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Lived in Northern Ireland until I was 26. Brought up Presbyterian, but parents were quite liberal and church-going intermittent. Church was OK; Sunday School was awful. After a short period of mental agony in my teens, decided the whole scene was not for me. Spent three years in Cambridge, Massachusetts, then came to live permanently in Australia. Married to an Australian; two adult children.

Comments

Can you provide a label for my belief system?
Coffeo comments on Apr 2, 2018:
Seems to me that __atheist__ is as good as any, if you really need a label.
Are there any on this site that are anti-vaxxers?
Coffeo comments on Apr 1, 2018:
I haven't had flu since 1980. I never bothered with flu vaccinations until I turned 65 and they were free. But I'm very strongly in favor of vaccinations for children. It protects the rest of the community, most particularly babies who aren't yet vaccinated.
From the inimitable Neil DeGrasse Tyson [facebook.com]
Coffeo comments on Apr 1, 2018:
Excellent!
Ok, here's a challenge for you in this time of holidays: Anyone got a movie special effect that ...
Coffeo comments on Apr 1, 2018:
It was very advanced for its time, but at age 12, I was unimpressed.
Newbie here ?
Coffeo comments on Apr 1, 2018:
Two comments so far and neither of them a welcome. Pretty poor! So — __welcome__!
Are you patient?
Coffeo comments on Apr 1, 2018:
My mother said I wasn't. My wife says I'm not. My daughter says I'm not. So — probably not.
Do Atheiests/Agnostics Celebrate Easter?
Coffeo comments on Mar 31, 2018:
Nothing special. I had an extra hour this morning with the end of daylight saving and I was hoping to put it to good use but it disappeared.
Art & Culture in a truly agnostic or atheist society? I am curious about what everyone believes ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 31, 2018:
While it would be wonderful to live in a world free of religion, we must never destroy our history. Imagine taking a wrecking ball to the Rose Window at Chartres Cathedral, or the soaring spire at Salisbury. Imagine smashing Michelangelo's Pietà (though someone tried) or the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel. Imagine never hearing again Bach's St John Passion or Fauré's Requiem. You don't have to be a believer to cherish these things. They will not last forever, but we must keep them as long as we can.
Anyone can parent.
Coffeo comments on Mar 30, 2018:
Lovely!
Just got asked what atheists do on Easter. My answer is in the comments. What would you have ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 30, 2018:
We get an extra hour on Easter Sunday because daylight saving is ending here. Haven't decided yet how to use it. Read the paper? Piano practice? Work in the garden?
For those of you suffering from separation from the lab [youtu.be] Yeah I'm looking at you ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 29, 2018:
Nobody can really do Freddie's voice justice, but even so, this is a very clever, slick production! Enjoyed it a lot. :)
My music for the day. Francesco Bonaparti. Italian Baroque composer. [youtu.be]
Coffeo comments on Mar 29, 2018:
A very fine choice! Quite unfamiliar to me (although I tend to listen more to music of a later era).
Watched "The 5th Element" again recently. No end to the fun. Some of my favorite Gary Oldman ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 29, 2018:
That is one of the _very_ few movies that I'm happy to watch more than twice (and there aren't that many that I'd watch twice).
Hey I just joined the site I am looking to meet new friends and possibly that special someone
Coffeo comments on Mar 29, 2018:
Can't help with the special someone, but a big welcome anyway. :)
What do you look forward to in spring time the most?
Coffeo comments on Mar 29, 2018:
Blossom everywhere, fluffy clouds. But hang on, we're only just into autumn here!
Swear to tell the truth "so help me god?"
Coffeo comments on Mar 29, 2018:
So you tell a lie and get charged with perjury. Your defence? "God was supposed to help me but didn't"
I am new here and just wanted to say hello to everyone
Coffeo comments on Mar 29, 2018:
Hello and welcome!
What is something your parents told you as a kid that you realized later it was an outright lie?
Coffeo comments on Mar 29, 2018:
Just Santa. Everything else they told me, even if wrong, was something they believed, so not a lie.
Catholicism seems to be more of a ritual. Follow the rules and everything will be ok. Evangicalism...
Coffeo comments on Mar 26, 2018:
92 virgins won't last for eternity. What next?
Everybody is waiting for the Messiah....Happy Easter. [youtube.com]
Coffeo comments on Mar 26, 2018:
Everybody? Hardly.
Bathing
Coffeo comments on Mar 26, 2018:
When I was little, we only had a bath tub. Well, there was a shower over it, but it didn't work properly. So when I eventually moved to a place with a shower that worked (49 years ago), I used it all the time. The number of baths I've had since then would be barely into double figures.
I used to think that "fools"day comes every first April before Easter,now its going to be same day ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 26, 2018:
It's the date of Easter that shifts around. The calculations are arcane. Easter is on Aprl 1 this year, again in 2029, and again in 2040. After that it won't happen again for 68 years.
Are you more a cat or dog lover?
Coffeo comments on Mar 26, 2018:
I've known a few lovely dogs, but basically I'm a cat person.
What cats and dogs understand. A lot more than we think. Sacha is a unusual cat in that he ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 26, 2018:
Our two cats communicate with us a lot. We don't always understand them, though we often do. We talk to them a lot. They understand heaps.
To believe or not to believe. That is the Question...,...,.. ugh.... think I have that wrong.
Coffeo comments on Mar 25, 2018:
Well it is _a_ question. Isn't it what you wanted to ask?
For the men on site. Agree or disagree? "Writing for conservative website The Federalist, he ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 25, 2018:
We need to have people (and I guess men will usually be in the majority here) who can use violence when it is really needed. I'm thinking particularly about policing. But it is certainly possible to be a 'real man' without it. There are many non-violent men whose 'manliness' is not in doubt.
Why are we hated for hating xmas?
Coffeo comments on Mar 25, 2018:
I like many things about Christmas. I went on liking Christmas long after I stopped believing.
I'm very careful about who I talk to about being atheist . It insults people of religion and I hate ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 25, 2018:
If religious people feel insulted when you simply state your position, it's kind of their problem, isn't it? It's not as if your intention is to be insulting.
Growing up, & how we often destroy scientists before they start.
Coffeo comments on Mar 24, 2018:
I wonder if your family's crushing reaction would have been the same if you had been a boy? There are some very successful women astronomers (better represented there, I think, than in the other physical sciences). I was about 11 when I told my parents I wanted to be a research scientist. I went on to do just that. My mother thought I would make a lot of money. I didn't, but I made enough. I really wasn't all that ambitious, there just wasn't anything else that appealed to me to the same extent. I hope your children marvel at the stars. I hope you still marvel at the stars.
Well if religion has a pope then non religious should have a council to debunk all the untruths in ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 24, 2018:
An agnostic pope, assumed infallible, would have to assert (infallibly, of course) that god is in a quantum superposition of existence and non-existence.
Would you ever tell your kid to 'get the hell out'?
Coffeo comments on Mar 24, 2018:
Didn't have to, but seriously can't imagine doing it anyway.
Astronomer Announces He Has Discovered ... Mars... [space.com]
Coffeo comments on Mar 24, 2018:
Face palm? ... or publicity stunt?
Anyone find it ironic that this year Easter and April Fools Day is the same day?
Coffeo comments on Mar 23, 2018:
I've been looking at the years in which Easter Day (the Sunday) falls on April 1st. There's a bit of a pattern to it. The last time it happened was 62 years ago, in 1956. But we only have to wait 11 years for the next one in 2029, and then another 11 years until 2040. After that, there's a massive 68 year gap until 2108. So if you want to play pranks on Easter Sunday, just three opportunities this century! (It happened 3 times in each of the 17th, 18th, 20th and 21st centuries and 4 times in the 19th century.)
NZ Police recruitment Video... [facebook.com]
Coffeo comments on Mar 23, 2018:
I want to join up! Is 74 too old?
If Antarctica wasn’t so cold I’d move there. Hardly no people.
Coffeo comments on Mar 23, 2018:
Thing is, if it wasn't so cold, there'd be lots of people there.
How do you cope with infatuation?
Coffeo comments on Mar 23, 2018:
I would be one of those "several people".
When I awoke Sunday Morning, I turned on the TV, and a preacher was using "Amen" as a question - ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 23, 2018:
For so little brain, he has a very big head.
Oh dear: [m.youtube.com]
Coffeo comments on Mar 23, 2018:
:O (Sorry can't be more specific than that.)
What?? I see english, but I don't understand. Something with mercury affecting us,but a cristal ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 23, 2018:
This happens three times a year (occasionally four). It really isn't a big deal.
Technology - coffee drInkers Is thIs you?
Coffeo comments on Mar 22, 2018:
Here's a guy waiting for a train. __Just__ waiting for a train.
Does the ends justify the means?
Coffeo comments on Mar 22, 2018:
Not usually. There may be exceptions, but not many.
Have you ever been asked, "What Church do you go too?' by your boss?
Coffeo comments on Mar 22, 2018:
None of my bosses ever showed the slightest interest in such matters.
Agnosticism step 1: prove a universal truth
Coffeo comments on Mar 22, 2018:
Pooh Bear!
Tea
Coffeo comments on Mar 22, 2018:
With milk and no sweetener. How would I vote if I took both? (But I prefer coffee anyway.)
Comets and asteroids shower Mars with organics
Coffeo comments on Mar 22, 2018:
I'm surprised too.
A Star Grazed Our Solar System 70,000 Years Ago, and Early Humans Likely Saw It... [space.com]
Coffeo comments on Mar 22, 2018:
While early humans might have seen it, it would hardly have aroused their interest. It would have taken generations to change perceptibly in position or brightness.
Well if religion has a pope then non religious should have a council to debunk all the untruths in ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 21, 2018:
An agnostic pope would, of course, have to be infallible. (H)
Which way do you lean politically and why?
Coffeo comments on Mar 21, 2018:
I voted far left, but definitely not communist.
Can you imagine being Gods PR, ? Scratch head and think "this guys a nut"
Coffeo comments on Mar 21, 2018:
I'd be doing so much spinning I'd fall down.
As a side note from the "dating a spiritualist" post and the "Harry Potter "house member" ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 21, 2018:
I find real science much more interesting.
Does anyone else find this site hard to get away from? It's like reading a good book and can't wait ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 20, 2018:
I always come here first, before checking email or Facebook or anything else.
What is your definition of The Universe? I grew up believing the Universe is infinite in time and ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 19, 2018:
Believing something in science is inadvisable — one's beliefs are liable to be altered. I recommend not believing anything. To say of something that it is 'basic and true' sounds to me just the same as a statement of religious faith. Open minds are essential in science. Hawking's final paper offers some possibilities with regard to testing the idea of a multiverse. To me, the multiverse just seems wrong. But I do not hold any __beliefs__ concerning the matter. I think we still have a great deal to learn.
What's the best book you've read lately?
Coffeo comments on Mar 17, 2018:
_The One Hundred Year Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared_ by Jonas Jonasson. A very entertaining read, if you want some light relief!
I truly believe the idea of an afterlife was invented by those in power as a way to convince the ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
Yes, I've often thought the same thing.
Do you talk 'gibberish' to your pet?
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
Not gibberish, but sometimes baby talk. (Not allowed to do it with human babies.) I also explain things to them in regular English (like why they can't have any meat yet because it's still frozen.) Of course they understand perfectly.
.......................................................................................
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
All is not lost — you've forgotten what journal it was.
What's the best live performance you've ever seen?
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
Chicago.
In honor of the day, here is a site that lets you search the first 200 million digits of pi. ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
Never forget your PIN now! (All you have to do is remember where it is!)
Boys to Girls?
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
Not for a moment. _With_, sure. _As_, nope.
Amen...Do you say it? If not, what do you use instead. It has never been a word I use. I ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
For us Aussies "too right mate" is usually very suitable.
It's never too soon to get things done.
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
Fine if you like your liquor with a dash of soapy water.
Who here has a passport?
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
I do. But I'm Australian. We travel a lot.
Are you happy here?
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
Happy enough — but am I really here?
Pi Day -- it's irrational.
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
It transcends all else.
Who's got a religious name?
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
My middle name is Joseph. (After my paternal grandfather.) I only use it on legal documents and the like.
Hi - new to this site. Excited to meet free thinkers who value critical thought and kindness . ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 14, 2018:
Hi! Welcome! Don't worry about the points — they'll just happen as you use the site. I got mine without thinking about it. Have a good time!
I am a citizen scientist. Not professional.
Coffeo comments on Mar 13, 2018:
I think anyone with a genuine interest in science should be welcome in this group. Do others agree?
As a not-scientist (my ex told me a million times that computer science is not a real science), I ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 13, 2018:
Outside of my personal area of expertise, I try to maintain the level of a scientifically literate layperson. Now that I'm retired, the same goes for my personal area of expertise!
New Member here. I know this subject is probably brought up all the time, but here goes. How did/do ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 10, 2018:
The distancing between me and the church has been fairly gradual. I think most people who know me have a pretty good idea that I'm not a believer, but they don't ask. Why should they? It's none of their business, and they know that. I don't know how many of them are believers, either. I'm not even sure about my wife, who hasn't been to church or spoken to a priest for a great many years but still writes 'Anglican' on hospital admission forms and the like.
It's is indeed wonderful that Paedo-Protecting, Cardinal George Pell, 3rd. Man in the Catholic ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 10, 2018:
As I mentioned in response to another post, I worry that there will not be a satisfactory outcome. Pell is employing an exceptionally capable lawyer (an atheist, as it happens) who will earn a handsome fee and probably get him off.
Cardinal George Pell Appears in Court Over ‘Historical’ Sexual Abuse - The New York Times
Coffeo comments on Mar 9, 2018:
Pell has got himself an exceptionally good lawyer. This might all come to nothing. (The lawyer, Richter, is in fact an atheist, but that won't stop him from doing his job, for which he will get a very large fee.)
What was your favorite story book as a kid?
Coffeo comments on Mar 9, 2018:
*The Children's Encyclopædia* by Arthur Mee. OK, it wasn't *just* a story book, but it had stories in it. It also suited a wide range of ages, with all kinds of interesting stuff about how things work and the planets and things to make and do, and elementary French. It was published during the first part of the 20th century and had 10 volumes. (It had Bible stories, too, but I skipped those chapters — I got quite enough of that at Sunday school.) I spent hours at a time with it.
Why so sad ? [youtu.be]
Coffeo comments on Mar 9, 2018:
It's a lot nicer on strings.
Hard Solipsism The old "brain in a vat" problem. Well, only a problem if you demand absolute ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 9, 2018:
I recognized a long time a go that nothing is absoluely certain. But there are plenty of things that we can be pretty sure of ***for all practical purposes***, and that's what really matters.
Are we living in a computer simulation? Some serious thinkers like Elon Musk and Neil deGrasse Tyson...
Coffeo comments on Mar 9, 2018:
I don't see any way of ruling out a simulation, but I also don't think it is in any way helpful in explaining anything. So why bother? But if I'm wrong, and it helps to explain something, then we should be able to test it.
Zip tie frets?
Coffeo comments on Mar 7, 2018:
Very ingenious. I was trying to work out what language your heading was in, until I realized they are all English words. :-)
Honesty
Coffeo comments on Mar 6, 2018:
I am so lucky to live in Australia. Hardly anybody cares.
If we are all supposedly created in God's image, wouldn't that mean God is everyone, every race, ...
Coffeo comments on Mar 6, 2018:
Yes it would, but we aren't, so it doesn't.
Do any specific noises cause you anxiety or fright (without reason)? READ THE FULL QUESTION
Coffeo comments on Mar 3, 2018:
The noise that annoys me most is a chiming clock. Gee, shut up! If I want to know the time, I have ways of finding out.
Lol
Coffeo comments on Mar 3, 2018:
I do not think atheists hate god. I mean, how could they? I think the hateful thing is the behavior of many religious people. (Not the people themselves, but their actions.) I also do not think there is a great deal of hate on this site (obviously, there is some).
What is the personality of the Holy Ghost?
Coffeo comments on Mar 1, 2018:
I never understood any of the "explanations" I was given about the holy ghost/spirit when I was a kid. Or later. I went on to become a de facto atheist without ever understanding it. Maybe it was invented to give some meaning to the rather nice word "Trinity", since "Binity" just sounds stupid.
Are you more calculating or spontaneous?
Coffeo comments on Mar 1, 2018:
I am very uncomfortable with poeple who act spontaneously. I wish I wasn't.
Are there humans in here?
Coffeo comments on Mar 1, 2018:
No way to tell for sure.
What Happens to Your Brain When You Stop Believing in God - Tonic
Coffeo comments on Feb 28, 2018:
When I try to follow that link, I get this instead: https://www.vice.com/en_au/article/9kzzwd/how-is-it-possible-that-every-bakery-in-australia-has-won-a-pie-award Weird!
Are there any flat Earth believers among us?
Coffeo comments on Feb 28, 2018:
If I knew any flat-earthers, I'd want to ask them "Where is the edge? Why can't you show it to us?"
If God created the world, who made God?
Coffeo comments on Feb 28, 2018:
Daddy God.
Medical costs in America are so ridiculous that I just had a level 2 trauma walk into my ER. This is...
Coffeo comments on Feb 28, 2018:
I have a feeling that things in the UK have changed since we were last there, but back in 2012 we were touring in England (on Australian passports), and my wife twice experienced severe asthma attacks. We went to A&E (as they call it there — accident and emergency) at a hospital in Lancashire, where she was treated and discharged later the same day. About a week later it happened again in Yorkshire. This time she was admitted overnight and discharged next day with some medication. How much did all this cost us? NOTHING! (In fact, if you consider the fact that she got a couple of free meals, less than nothing. Well, there was probably a car park fee.) And if you're thinking travel insurance — we had it, but didn't need it.
Is there anyone here who has ever seen a UFO? And, if so, what do you believe you were witnessing?
Coffeo comments on Feb 27, 2018:
I'm agnostic about UFOs. (But I think alien explanations are unlikely.)
Are you in favour of a revolution?
Coffeo comments on Feb 27, 2018:
I think the benevolent dictator idea has a lot going for it. Provided it's me.
High anxiety day here, well the last 3. anyways here is a pic of my little brat not letting me have ...
Coffeo comments on Feb 25, 2018:
I hope you got your pants back. It would make going out in public a little easier for you. Meanwhile here's our cat Darcy, equally determined to be a rabbit for the day.
Has a faith healer ever wanted to try to heal you?
Coffeo comments on Feb 25, 2018:
My mother could cure warts, and did so several times, on the fingers of my young cousin (her nephew). She simply drew a ring around them with a ballpoint pen and told him they would go away, and they did. However, she never claimed that it had anything whatever to do with religion or faith in god. It was purely autosuggestion, but it worked. (Yes, well of course they might have gone away anyway — I know that — this is purely anecdotal.) My cousin is now an Anglican priest. I don't think there is any connection.
I am seriously considering building a "church style" building on my place complete with steeple and ...
Coffeo comments on Feb 24, 2018:
I hardly ever encounter bible-thumpers. I consider myself very fortunate.
Have you read the Bible?
Coffeo comments on Feb 24, 2018:
I never read more than I had to, which wasn't all that much (the well-known bits). I found it much too boring and frankly silly to ever read any other bits. I gather there's a lot of really bad stuff that I never read and am not going to.
A cuppa
Coffeo comments on Feb 22, 2018:
Lived in the UK until I was 26, but have always preferred coffee.
High anxiety day here, well the last 3. anyways here is a pic of my little brat not letting me have ...
Coffeo comments on Feb 22, 2018:
That is a _determined_ look. Nice kitty, though.
I saw this on another post on Facebook and decided to bring it here with my own twist. Burgers, ...
Coffeo comments on Feb 22, 2018:
Both, but not together.
Which word best describes you?
Coffeo comments on Feb 22, 2018:
Until I joined this community, I had no idea there was so much disagreement about what these terms mean. How much does it matter, anyway? I voted hard agnostic, which I think is the best fit for me. I have yet to figure out whether an atheist is one who does not believe deities exist, or one who believes deities do not exist.
Anti-matter on the Move..g:8 [livescience.com]
Coffeo comments on Feb 21, 2018:
Quote: Positrons (bizarro electrons) do occur in lightning bolts and occasionally show up in outer space, but they tend to annihilate one another long before they have a chance to accumulate. So physicists at the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) physics laboratory near Geneva generate them, Nature reported, by "slamming a proton beam into a metal target, then dramatically slowing the emerging antiparticles so they can be used in experiments." But it seems they are now talking about anti-protons. Some clarity would be helpful.
I want to live forever. Do you want to live forever?
Coffeo comments on Feb 19, 2018:
For a start, I don't think it's actually an option. Anyway, forever is an awfully long time. So, no, I wouldn't. I'd like to live long enough to see a permanent base established on Mars, though, but that seems unlikely, since I'm now 74.
How many republican atheists/agnostics are members of this website?
Coffeo comments on Feb 17, 2018:
I have to say YES to both. I'm a republican, because I think the Queen has been Head of State for long enough. We need an Australian President. But also, I'm not affiliated with any political party. Oh wait, were you talking about US politics?
Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist, Secularist, Skeptic, Freethinker
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