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Wertbag

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Wertbag last won the day on January 15

Wertbag had the most liked content!

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About Wertbag

  • Rank
    Skeptic
  • Birthday 02/21/1977

Profile Information

  • Gender
    Male
  • Location
    Auckland, NZ
  • Interests
    MMA, gaming
  • More About Me
    Married father of 2 from New Zealand

Previous Fields

  • Still have any Gods? If so, who or what?
    No

Recent Profile Visitors

2,163 profile views
  1. My brother had a couple of melanoma removed from his neck, but they have now confirmed the cancer entered the blood stream and is all over and untreatable. Devastating for me and my family. Hes only 44, but with no kids or partner so at least others won't suffer too. I have this weird contradictory feeling of both wanting to live life to its full (eat whatever, drink whatever, do whatever. Enjoy life now because you never know). But on the other hand I want to do everything to make sure I'm as healthy as possible. Eat right, exercise, and make sure I maximise the amount of time I have so I'll still be here for my kids. My brother has been very careful with suncream, covering and sun safety. He hasn't been burnt in over 20 years. As kids we got burnt on occasion, back before people really understood the risks. It is quite possible the melanoma has been dormant for half his life, a time bomb waiting to go off. As I'm a pasty white boy I'm in the high risk category so have signed up for a full body mole map. Our family, friends and inlaws are all anti-funeral. Growing up it was always just an expectation that you would have a funeral, the only question was what type (long boring Catholic one with hymms, latin prayers and the traditional trappings, or perhaps a more modern version, secular in nature with speeches and music). Nowadays everyone is saying its very expensive, it doesn't matter to the departed, and it adds more stress, planning and effort to an already bad time. We have been having family memorials instead, more close family focus and without the cost. He never smoked, rarely drank, never did drugs, had a decent diet, was fit and is a really great guy. Perfect example of the problem of suffering, which I've still not heard a good answer to. There is no caring or loving god, bad things happen to good people.
  2. It is worth recognising that Christians do not have objective morality either. Pick any subject, whether it be abortion, euthanasia, capital/corporal punishment, alcohol, or the Harry Potter movies and you'll find Christians on both sides of the argument. The religious cannot agree on any subject, which would not be the case if we had some kind of built in spiritual morals from birth. Secular morals are not judged at an individual level but on a societal one. We gain our morals from a range of places such as our parents, peers, educators and authority figures. This does mean that morals are subjective, but comparable to the existing standard society has set. Those standards are not set in stone, but most people would agree we've been moving towards a better, more free and equal standard with things like slavery, womans rights and gay rights moving in the right direction. Subjective morals allow continual improvement while objective do not.
  3. Understandable, but I prefer to be openly atheist so that people are exposed to real people living good lives. Just being in contact with someone who is happy, doesn't swear, doesn't drink, has a nice happy family and a good job is often a clash with the image that preachers try to claim. I also like to answer surveys and census forms as atheist rather than jedi, non-religious or other, cos it gives a better indication of the actual size of atheism. To many religious those other terms just mean non-denominational, or a believer but not belonging to a certain church. At least atheist makes it clear that many people disagree with their beliefs.
  4. "You atheists have the ridiculous view that everything just sprang into existence from nothing!" "oh? What do you believe?" "That everything sprang into existence from nothing!" "Isn't that the same?" "No! Cos god dun did it!"
  5. One thing I've recently heard of is "Orthorexia", that is a hyper focus on healthy eating to the extent that it begins harming your well-being and quality of life. It is believed to be a form of OCD, just taking those natural tendencies to get obsessive and directing those towards dieting. The description I found: WARNING SIGNS & SYMPTOMS OF ORTHOREXIA Compulsive checking of ingredient lists and nutritional labels An increase in concern about the health of ingredients Cutting out an increasing number of food groups (all sugar, all carbs, all dairy, all meat, all animal products) An inability to eat anything but a narrow group of foods that are deemed ‘healthy’ or ‘pure’ Unusual interest in the health of what others are eating Spending hours per day thinking about what food might be served at upcoming events Showing high levels of distress when ‘safe’ or ‘healthy’ foods aren’t available Obsessive following of food and ‘healthy lifestyle’ blogs on Twitter and Instagram Body image concerns may or may not be present Some people seem to think it is bringing maths into the issue that takes it from a subjective consideration of food to an objective panic over small variations. We've never had the ability before to measure every last ingredient to the gram and being able to scan barcodes on your smartphone to get the numbers instantly in hand. A lot of detail is being overlooked in broad statements like "sugar is bad". Is fruit sugar as bad as sucrose? Is lactose absorbed as much as glucose? Are sweeteners really a good replacement or do they create other issues of concern? I worry that it is easy to get focused on the complexity and either lose quality of life, or just scare off people who will see dieting as too hard to do.
  6. In my browsing, I've recently seen quite a few Christians who assert that atheism means you fit a whole load of other beliefs into your world view. The most common seems to be "You don't believe in anything supernatural, therefore you must believe in a natural universe". Obviously wrong as atheism says nothing about the supernatural, only about god. There are several atheistic religions which believe in spirits, reincarnation, energy flow and all the related woo, without believing in a god behind the scenes. There are Christians who take it a step further and say "because you are an atheist you must believe in the big bang, abiogenesis and evolution" (although the Ham's and Hovind's of the world often jam all of those separate subjects under their definition of "evolution"). In reality the most common answer to the hard questions like where did the universe come from? or where did life come from? Is simply, we don't know. Some Christians will act like thats a gotcha moment. You admitted you can't explain the universe once you remove god and therefore prove your whole belief system is wrong. This argument sounds solid from their viewpoint but is meaningless to an atheist. Atheism isn't based on these questions, and regardless of what process turns out to be the correct one, it doesn't change the fact that right now there is no good evidence for god, satan, angels, heaven or anything claimed by the heavily debated bible. You then have the offshoot of this argument, which comes up in discussions about morality "as an atheist you must believe everything is pure matter, and one pile of matter is no more special than another, so there can be no value justified for anything. And with morals being purely subjective, it is impossible to say there is right and wrong". Even just from a gut instinct level this will feel wrong, even if you haven't considered it deeply. How do we know right from wrong? It is taught to us by our parents, by our educators, by our peers and by society. We are told what is acceptable behaviour and what is not, and are aware that our negative actions will be punished in various ways. There is no sign of any instinctive morals, with every society and every age changing what they see as acceptable. For the Romans, it wasn't just public executions but a show you would pay to see. Nowdays the practice is considered barbaric. No god given morals stopped those events, and no supernaturally given instincts reined in the inquisition or genocides committed in gods name. There's at least a couple billion atheists in the world, and trying to shoehorn everyone into little boxes is never going to work. The only thing we share is a lack of belief in god, everything else is up for grabs.
  7. You have to post a few times before the option unlocks
  8. I'm actually unsure why you have the question "I don't know what to do" when you clearly define both the problem, the guilt trip and your wish to leave. You can see the problem and can see the solution, all that is left is to take the step you already know you want to take. The only other way this could work is to look at it from a capitalist view. You have marketable skills and they want those skills. You could figure out an hourly rate and charge them for your time on a contract basis. Probably a church that small wouldn't have the funding to afford your time, but if they could then you could turn it into a paying hobby. You would of course have to put up with the material and people, which may be a big enough problem that its not worth the money. $30 per hour times 10 hours a week would be ~$15k per year.
  9. The middle east once again stands on the edge of another war and so far Trump seems to be doing everything possible to make it happen. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/world/news/article.cfm?c_id=2&objectid=12298144 We had the US pull out of the nuclear deal with Iran and impose sanctions, then an Iranian oil tanker was seized and Iran responded by seizing tankers in return. Recently we've had a US drone shot down, which the US say was over international waters while Iran says it had crossed over into their airspace. Now we have the killing of a top Iranian general, in Iraq, with no prior warning to any allied countries. The UN are looking at whether this is an illegal act as there has so far been no immediate threat that such a killing counters. Iran have threatened retaliation, Trump in return has threatened to bomb Iran, and Iraq have thrown their support behind their one time enemies and voted on kicking all US troops out of their country. Congress are annoyed as the airstrike was not run passed them for approval, but there doesn't seem to be any action likely from their complaints. I don't think Iran can back down from the anti-US wave sweeping their country, and I can't imagine Trump backing down from strikes if attacks do occur. Militarily the US has the firepower to stomp Iran, but if Iran destroy their own oil production and target the oil of their neighbours they could cripple the global economy with around half the worlds oil production coming from within striking range of Iran. Where do you think the escalation will lead? Is war inevitable?
  10. Christians can't even agree on how many books they have in their divinely inspired writings or how those writings should be interpreted. Moral stories, history, prophecy or heretical writings all mixed together. I think Christianity would be really strong if they had one message that they all agreed on. One worldwide church with unity of purpose would be immensely powerful.
  11. As a Christian what was your view on Jews? I see some commentators talk about Judeo-Christian values, joining the two together as allies in certain ways and yet considering salvation is via Christ so all Jews will burn in hell? Seems strange to think the whole OT is written about the Jews as gods chosen people and yet Christians think they now have it wrong for not believing in the NT. Like god doesn't care about the history or worship, its all about the new set of rules. But the Jews killed Christ! But Christ was a Jew! But we all follow the same god! But Christ is god so we don't anymore!
  12. Yes, the crowd who are offended on behalf of others is a real pain. Hopefully you can see my post was firmly tongue in cheek, over the top for this very reason. We had a case of this at work just recently. A lady who is famous for being very PC, put a complaint about the companies policy of giving people an Xmas gift which included the option of an Xmas ham as well as wine, a gift card or donating the amount. While no Jews or Muslims had ever voiced a problem with the ham option, she was offended on their behalf saying the practice "othered" them. So apparently I should miss out on an Xmas ham cos some religions don't agree with it, even when the followers of that religion are moderates with a live and let live mentality.
  13. It seems all Islamic countries are similar, is there any which are in good standings with amnesty international? I remember seeing the stat that of the 44 armed conflicts in the world (any that had claimed more than 100 lives in the last 12 months) Islamic forces were one or both sides in 42/44. The only ones that were different were the drug wars in south America. Be a couple of years ago that I saw that, but it seems likely to still be the same.
  14. Yeah, I reckon he wants an OT following lady, one who is fine with him having sex slaves and concubines on the side. A lady who is okay with the slaves working his farm and knows to only beat them unconscious, never to death. No, the killing is kept to the weekend date nights when they go hunting witches, sabbath breakers and unruly children. Of course his "progressive" friends try to tell him that murdering gays is wrong, but he knows they are just being "woke". Or did I misunderstand?
  15. My uncle (an open atheist) married a Christian lady. They thought they could make it work by being open, honest and respecting each others views. That worked for a couple of years, until children entered the equation. She wanted them schooled at a Catholic school while he wanted public. She wanted them to go to church and camps, while he wanted them to choose for themselves. She tithed but he didn't. It ended up constant fighting and their marriage was on the brink of divorce when he passed away. If you want to have a long term relationship then you need values in common and a clear path you can take together. I don't believe a Christian and an atheist can ever have that.
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