Agnostic.com
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Comes from a family with a history of working in horticulture, grew up running wild in the country and hated school. I have a life interest in the natural world a passion for gardening and also enjoy walking, travel, music, natural history and helping with the running of several gardening and natural history groups. I have been lucky enough to be asked to write a number of articles for books and magazines and also find employment as a public speaker. I continue to run the family business, though due to bereavements I am now left running it alone.

Comments

I am enjoying these facts today.
Fernapple comments on Feb 19, 2022:
You would need six files, at least.
I was once and naive enough to think our legal system in the US was a good system that had a few ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 19, 2022:
To be a bit cynical. Being the most "inefficient, corrupt, biased system in the world" is a big ask. There are that I know of no legal systems which are not all of those things, in fact, I am pretty sure that to have one that is not, would be impossible.
Because it's been in the news lately, whether Jewish is a race, culture, religion or ethnicity.
Fernapple comments on Feb 19, 2022:
1. Biologically there are no human races, race is not a scientific usage, the idea of it only exists in folklore. ( So nobody belongs to any race.) 2. Of the traditional folklore races, the Jewish belief spans nearly all of them, and so it could only be called a multiracial belief, even if races existed. 3. However, a large part of the Jewish traditional religion originates from a time when race was believed in, and a large part of the religion is concerned with the idea that being Jewish is racial. Another thing that religion got wrong. 4. There is however a small ultra orthodox sect called the Samaritans, (Yes, the ones in the story supposedly told by the Jesus character.) who claim to be the only true Jews, and to have maintained racial purity by strict marriage and sex laws. Which is why the other Jews traditionally got annoyed with them. As you may guess they are now highly inbred, have low fertility and other birth defects, and there are only a few thousand left. But yes, they alone could perhaps claim to be racial Jews, if that term had meaning. Are you more confused now ? So is everyone, and so especially are most believers, including those who filled in your marriage papers. For them it may be forgivable ignorance, for your state to still include the question, especially without a qualifier like , "traditional" or "self defined" is not forgivable.
Because…..Ignorance is my downfall?!?!?
Fernapple comments on Feb 18, 2022:
Against sober thought, it works very well.
when did it start?
Fernapple comments on Feb 18, 2022:
Thank you. I never heard of him.
I am actually wordywalt, but somehow I cannot gain access on my original account.
Fernapple comments on Feb 18, 2022:
Somewhere you will have a page shot of your password, or a bit of paper with all your passwords on it. Preferably both ? One easy way to think of these things is just keep saying "passwords" over and over. If you do not like to record passwords, this may be worth thinking about for the future, the best way to get strong ones that you can easily remember, is to use a basic chunk of password which is the same for all sites, and is strong like say Mmud?/"2flump, and then add a simple code to each one based on the site name. Such as say the second and third letters backwards. So your bank would be "na", and Agnostic would be "ng", plus perhaps a time code for each year like, add five, so that 2022 would be 2027 that way you only have one password to remember plus a simple code, or two. I know that is no help now, but worth thinking about.
I have several Facebook friends who are constantly proselytizing.
Fernapple comments on Feb 18, 2022:
Yes. You can be anybody you want online, but if they have two faces which are different, then you have to question just how good a friends they are, at the very least for reliability.
Gorillas and God: Evolutionary Roots of Religion by Dr.
Fernapple comments on Feb 18, 2022:
Interesting talk, though a lot was not that new. I am inclined to think that there is a little more genetic determinism in the origins of religion than she does, and her conclusion at the end that religion is a almost entirely cultural emergence, is a little too strong. But my differences with her on that point are very slight and nuanced, and well within the range of tolerance, so that I would not want to disagree enough to put my none specialist status to the test. Though I do think, that her compounding in one or two places in the talk however, of religion with morality, show a preconception, derived from what is probably her own religious culture, which is not strictly justified. Speaking in several places of, empathy for example, as associated with religion. Which means of course that if you want to claim as she does that, empathy is associated with religion, and is mainly a cultural thing, then you have to deny that it has genetic origin, which I think may well be the reason she is forced to distance herself from genetic determinism, to a degree not really reasonable.
Do we need religion to create a moral society? - Ask A Bitchface II
Fernapple comments on Feb 18, 2022:
Good. One thousand and seventy five years, I wonder if we will ever see a Catholic priest get that ? Sadly the only legal difference observable, between a religion and a cult, is only how many voters a religion can control.
Two four-year-olds, a boy and a girl, compare their bodies.
Fernapple comments on Feb 17, 2022:
Two four-year-olds, a boy and a girl, compare their bodies. Says the boy as he lowers his pants, “Ha ha, I have this and I bet you don’t!” Replies the little girl as she lowers hers. “I bet, you never knew that Catholics and Protestants were this different !”
"It is curious that while good people go to great length to spare their children from suffering, few...
Fernapple comments on Feb 17, 2022:
Could not agree more. And as the good party times for the human race are almost certainly coming to an end, and the future is probably bleak to a degree we have never seen before. That is more true than ever.
These are pictures of my SadieBaby. I don’t have children, just dogs.✌️🤟😊
Fernapple comments on Feb 17, 2022:
Hello and welcome. We like dogs here.
Gorillas and God: Evolutionary Roots of Religion by Dr.
Fernapple comments on Feb 17, 2022:
Sorry it may be interesting, but the pay wall is just too much.
[youtu.
Fernapple comments on Feb 17, 2022:
Great, one of the best short satires we had in a long time. Would it be possible you could post a text of the lyrics ?
I don't find it lonely at all but I suppose some people do and for those people there is church.
Fernapple comments on Feb 17, 2022:
The thousand year lead that the churches have in building, is a big asset to them yes. But it will go, take heart from what has happened over the last century in places like England. We now have vast numbers of empty churches, which are no longer used, and are now shops and houses, while more people spend more time in helping in secular charity shops, and at events in libraries, village and town halls, than ever go to churches. While very soon if trends continue, secular charities will be performing the majority of weddings and funerals.
Happiness - YouTube
Fernapple comments on Feb 17, 2022:
Ah the American Nightmare. Funny, I am sure I heard that phrase somewhere before.
Skeptics have been around for centuries!
Fernapple comments on Feb 17, 2022:
And that is all you really need to know.
What’s the difference between “ misinformation “ and “lie”?
Fernapple comments on Feb 16, 2022:
Intention ?
Do you shop at WalMart and if so does it bother you or do you think it is just capitalism at work?
Fernapple comments on Feb 16, 2022:
We have a local shop in the village, and he goes to the discount store to buy products and then puts them on the shelves. Because the discount stores are often cheaper than the wholesalers he can use. So if you do go to the local store, you may still be buying stuff from the conglomerates.
“Every myth is psychologically symbolic.
Fernapple comments on Feb 16, 2022:
Whether religion is metaphorical or literal, is completely beside the point as to whether it is a good thing or not. When your holy book tells you that you should kick sleeping prostitutes to wake them. It does not matter if you read that literally, and go around looking for sleeping prostitutes to apply the toe of your boot to. Or if you read it to mean, metaphorically, that sex workers are a lesser form of sub-human life, to be treated with far less humanity and respect than other people. It is still a nasty idea. The main trouble (there are others ) with the metaphorical view of religion, is that, when people like Campbell go down the metaphorical route. They naturally look for metaphors which match with their own preconceived idea of wisdom, mainly in order to prove that the metaphorical view is true. But in so doing they fail to notice, that they are thereby, by default, cherry picking, and the the wisdom they find thereby has a built in confirmation bias, because if you look for wisdom wisdom is what you will find. Which not only confirms to them the truth of the metaphorical view, but also leads to the delusion that the whole metaphorical view of their sources is good and wise, or leads to understanding. Which is not true, a lot of metaphorical interpretation of ancient myth which is possible, can be both bad and evil. Perhaps even more of it than is good. While a lot of ancient myth is probably just random and meaningless dross, which accumulated by accident between the meaningful bits, whether they are literal history or metaphorical originally. And the main problem with using ancient myth, ( Except perhaps for a few bits, cherry picked because they bring a deeper understanding of psychology, rather than moral wisdom. Which some bits do, though it is often an unhappy view of psychology.) is that it always submits to interpretation, and the metaphorical view leads to an even greater level of interpretation. Indeed a whole other level of interpretation. Which compounds the problems of trying to use what was often just random, meaningless and contradictory clutter, in a search for truth. The main one of which is that anyone can, and they usually do, place any interpretation they want on to it, and then make the claim that their interpretation is a privileged truth, having greater authority than others, because it is supported by either, deep metaphor, or literal sacred truth. Well sorry but only criminals and tyrants have a use for privileged truth.
My next project.
Fernapple comments on Feb 16, 2022:
And they followed the colour wheel series as well.
Why, yes we will.
Fernapple comments on Feb 16, 2022:
Well I would hope to survive long enough, to view a few more pretty ladies in tight vests before I kick the bucket. Are you not going to post a photo of you modeling it for us ?
How to correct the map location?
Fernapple comments on Feb 16, 2022:
No idea. It may though not be just a problem with this site. The site may be using algorithms and servers from the outside to locate you, and they are far from infallible. Even the almighty Google and Microsoft have between them, decided that I live about a hundred miles from my actual location. Despite me trying to put them right. It is thought by some that the power of digital media, via the net, to do things like locate you exactly, and know all about you, is some sort of threat, in my limited experience it is not much of a threat, because even the biggest and best of them are completely incompetent anyway.
Was Jesus created by man?
Fernapple comments on Feb 14, 2022:
No. There are some really neat theories out there though, everything from literally true, metaphorically true, may have been a real person with lots of myths attached , may have been a real person with lots of fiction attached, complete fiction, some myth some fiction and some truth, may have been several people merged together with or without fiction as well, may be a much older story retold with new names and times, political propaganda invented by the Romans, etc. All of them had some believers who made really good sounding cases, until you start to look for real evidence, of which there is none, and all the theories equally therefore stand on thin air. But people have a lot of fun with speculation, and as long as you realize it is only speculation for fun, there seems little harm in it. But sadly some people will take it seriously, and then it can be really dangerous. I have enjoyed the three Jesus theory recently. Many scholars have pointed out that there seem to be two contradictory persons in the text. One, who was a hard line fundamentalist rabbi who preached against foreign ideas and wanted hard line law, and the liberal pacifist who preached brotherhood etc.. The theory goes that the first was a real historic person, who became part of folklore, and the second is a fictional invention, tacked on to the name and reputation of the first later, by authors with a different agenda. It then goes on that there was then a third famous person, whose only claim to fame was that he survived being crucified, probably simply because he was taken down too early while still alive, and who may or may not have shared a name with the other two, ( It was a very common name. ) who then got into the mix by mistake or intention to deceive. The whole concoction is complete crap of course, but it is fun and just as likely to be true as any of the other theories.
Can you choose what to believe?
Fernapple comments on Feb 14, 2022:
At best, you can only choose from the selection offered to you by your brain via your own experiences, and those ideas offered to you by your own culture. Which means that the ideas of cultures you have no contact with, and ideas which no one including yourself have ever thought of, are forever off the menu. Which may well be many fundamental truths about the universe. Another big factor is, that humans are basically lazy. Which is an evolved survival strategy that once helped us to save time and energy, in the days when food was hard to come by, and hunting time consuming. And cowardly, we fear doubt and uncertainty. But those factors mean that, we tend naturally therefore, to prefer short simple answers lacking in nuance and complications. Yet the universe is we know, complicated and filled with important detail, which means that our in built bias, in favour of simple answers, may well be a bias leading us away from truth and understanding. Even worse we may tend to choose to believe lies rather than truths, because lies can be made up and deliberately engineered to be simple and easy, in order to be favoured by that bias. Being able to choose may not always be helpful. (I like this, may well post it. Thanks for the inspiration.)
How can I do my settings so I can see both males and females that live near me or near my friends?
Fernapple comments on Feb 14, 2022:
If you look under search members, you can find a map page and zoom in on your area. The map feature is a bit hard to find, but it works well when you get there, except that it does tend to list a lot of old members who joined looked and never came back again.
Chicago skyline summer and winter sunset from nw Indiana lakeshore
Fernapple comments on Feb 14, 2022:
Great photos, really manage to make the skyline seem important and yet far away.
Pastor holds “ol’ fashioned” book burning to destroy “witchcraft” items [wildhunt.org]
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
What a wonderful human being. Makes me thankful for the Atlantic.
When was God born?
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
Probably quite late, in that most early religion was animistic and gave personality to things, but did not conceive of gods as distinct form the things themselves. Gods as such, probably came on to the scene only at about the same time a collective cultures on a large scale appeared. While the idea of a monotheist god did not even exist in, for example, the earliest versions of the Old Testament, much before five or six hundred BCE. If you read the OT you can still find traces of the earlier polytheism, such as references to, our god, as though he was still one of many. Which is also about the same time that the polytheistic Greeks and Romans began to speculate about a philosophical metaphorical mono-god behind the polytheism, as an ideal.
What happened to the nonbelief channel at Patheos?
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
Nothing like a good bit of healthy negativity. That's What I say.
I think it was posed not 'shopped but awesome either way
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
Newton's laws do not apply equally everywhere.
I have been saying this for years! Old people have a harder time remembering things because we have ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
Yes fortunately, I hope, I have always been good a forgetting.
Excuse me while I throw up.
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
I did not know who she was. So I Googled her. And I usually avoid saying things like this on this site, where USA is the main population base. But you Americans are just weird, weird, weird, weird, WEIRD, weird !?!?!?! OK I said it now. Now here is a link to a page with some photos and videos of, your very own, female curling team in the winter games. Just chill with them for a minute, rethink what you think female charm should be, and we will all feel a lot better. https://www.nbcsports.com/philadelphia/beijing-2022-winter-olympics/us-womens-curling-triumphs-over-denmark-winter-olympics
Religions inclusiveness/exclusiveness in eastern vs western religions.
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
No, I think that as a westerner, it is easy to be naive about eastern religion, because all we tend to see is the smiling face of the missionary advancing to greet us. There is a long and whole series of violent conflict between Hindu sects and castes, Hindu and Buddhism, Buddhism and Toa, Shinto and Buddhism, Tao an confucianism and widespread intolerance of many philosophies. Religion certainly reflects the wider societies within which it finds itself, and so western and Arab religion may reflect western/Arab empires and their aggressive imperial traditions. While the monotheist religions may also reflect the patrician traditions of the nomadic desert tribes who started them. ( In the simple environment of the desert, there are no alternate lifestyles, only the absolute following of the flock and the, usually, man who owns it. ) So that the western monotheist religions may have a slightly deeper darkness than most, but it would be unwise to think they are alone in their evils.
It just blows my mind that after thousands of years of evolution and intellectual advancement, ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
Evolution needs millions of years, or at least tens of thousands, sadly. While we have only been doing intellectually advancement for a few centuries at most, and really significant intellectual advancement in only a small part of the world for a few tens of decades. We may never get there anyway but it certainly has not had much time yet.
It just blows my mind that after thousands of years of evolution and intellectual advancement, ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
Sadly our nature makes us readily accept everything our cultures tell us. We are hard wired to accept cultural input without question. But human culture in which we place so much faith, itself is almost completely pliable, and can be bent and shaped at will by those who control it, to say almost anything they wish, and it often says just random things which we inherit and no one controls, whose meaning is lost. So we place all our faith in something which often has no substance, or even makes any attempt at objective truth, a nebulous cloud reshaped by the merest puffs of wind. Like sailors trying to navigate by clouds rather than by the stars and the compass needle. Yet in that there is also a contradiction, and a hope, because that means that we can also readily create counter cultures, like science, philosophy and history. Which do attempt to justify themselves by working hard to find objective testable truth, even if they can not succeed completely. And then it is just a matter of promoting those counter cultures well enough, a question of mere quantity rather than type.
Did religion give an advantage to pre-industrial revolution societies?
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
Some religions may have, some may have been harmful and a few may have totally destroyed their societies. Societies, states and cultures, in the past especially, were many and varied, as were religions. Some say that for example, ( It is debatable. ) the ecology of Easter Island was destroyed, and with it the means to support a large population, by the addiction to making spirit statues of the ancestors, causing too much tree felling. That the Inca religious belief that their empire would only last ninety years, and that it would end with a visit from the gods, made them easy victims for the conquistadors. While on the opposite side, it is said that complex Buddhist marriage laws, may have helped restrict population growth among some cultures in the Himalayas, and thus made for a sustainable way of life. And certainly many early empires only survived because of the belief in holy god kings. It is all very complex. You can only really ask the question with the qualifier, "overall" and I am not sure that you can even give a good answer to that, without a lot of subjective value judgments, or that the answer would be useful if you could. Sorry to be a bummer.
Forget the symbolism of martyrdom and righteous devotion to blind faith, do you not find it utterly ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
For a long time there was debate among historians over whether people were tied or nailed to the cross. It is now mainly thought that it was both, because if you just fasten them with rope their arms and legs shrink as the circulation declines and then slip out, while nails can and will pull through. Also after a while, hanging from the ropes becomes painful, and the victim finds it hard work to breath, they could however, and did attempt to ease this by moving, which they could only do by using the nails to raise their weight, which is also painful, but it prolongs the suffering by helping breathing. The constant need to try and find ease between the pain of the ropes and the nails therefore kept the victim constantly squirming, which was regarded by the Romans as the main horror of that form of death. After a while, fluid builds up around the lungs and this could stop breathing, causing a quicker death. So it is thought that the practice of pushing a spear point into the side under the ribs, to let off the fluid, and thus further prolong suffering, grew up. By giving hydration in the form of water made unpleasant with vinegar, the victim could be kept squirming for three or four days. I do not know if telling them this will make any difference, but you could try it. ( Some people have speculated that the idea that Jesus was lowered from the cross early after barely three days , much sooner than usual, thanks to Joseph bribing the guard. Was a sign that maybe he was not truly dead when brought down. Which could explain a lot. )
Forget the symbolism of martyrdom and righteous devotion to blind faith, do you not find it utterly ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
I don't know, I live in the UK and you hardly ever see that here.
I said what I said 🙌🙌🦇🦇😂 [vm.tiktok.com]
Fernapple comments on Feb 13, 2022:
You just know that he tried a dog, and that did not work well either.
God is irresponsible!!! Just kidding...he doesn't exist.
Fernapple comments on Feb 12, 2022:
If he does not exist then he is certainly not responsible, best excuse ever.
Religion is Not about God [agnostic.com] .
Fernapple comments on Feb 12, 2022:
Nope. There are far worse things than that in a lot of them.
Okay Peoples, who's for the Challenge?
Fernapple comments on Feb 12, 2022:
Never have drunk alcohol on any of those days, except a small one on the 29th every few years, so I am well ahead of the game. Maybe I can have an extra drink or two ?
You need to regret the same thing as many times as it takes for you to eventually realize it is ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 12, 2022:
Hello and welcome. Yes , while it is true that it is better if you regret nothing, that does work as a second best, and does drum home the lessons of life's experiences so that you don't forget them.
When you don't know shit
Fernapple comments on Feb 11, 2022:
Yes but a horse , a cow and a deer don't all eat the same stuff.
• X-Men is about civil rights.
Fernapple comments on Feb 11, 2022:
Perhaps the very earliest, Superman, started out fighting the Nazis during the war, and the joke was of course that he was supposed to also be an ironic stab at the Nazi ideal of the racial superman and master race. So that an alien master race was set against a false master race. That enabled quite a nice set of ironic twisted jokes to be hidden in the subtext, so the the stories could be read at several different levels by people of different understandings. Quite clever in lots of ways. Nothing to do with your point, but just a little facto I thought you would like.
Is morality objective or subjective?
Fernapple comments on Feb 11, 2022:
I think that morality is subjective, until you have determined the objective or purpose to which you intend to put it. As in, a saw is just a piece of metal until you decide to cut some wood, then it becomes a wood saw. So morality is both subjective and objective, depending on whether you view it from the perspective of someone with a purpose in mind, or you see there as being no purpose for morality to serve.
Washington State Senate OKs ban on sales of gun ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds.
Fernapple comments on Feb 11, 2022:
We have never allowed automatics in the UK and even revolvers and semi-automatics are virtually banded, while the law requires that guns must be licensed and kept at all times in locked safes, (which have to be examined and approved by the police, ) when the guns are not openly in hand. That to continue to hold a license you must prove a genuine use, like hunting, be at least eighteen and buy ammunition regularly to prove that you are still active. And guess what ? We have very healthy hunting and marksmanship subcultures.
Bright future
Fernapple comments on Feb 11, 2022:
Hello and welcome. It is certainly a sunny day here.
Looking for friends
Fernapple comments on Feb 11, 2022:
Hello and welcome. Enjoy the site. You will certain find pen-friends here at the very least, and if you like that idea, then the site will be a great source of joy. Unfortunately though we are a bit spread out, and so actual physical contact is rare, though quite a few have managed to get withing hugging range over the years I am told.
I can't stand Bible thumpers trying to save so called souls.
Fernapple comments on Feb 11, 2022:
It is hard to hold on to your fantasies in a world which asks questions. Therefore questioning must be suppressed, even if that means converting and suppressing questioners.
Scientism is defined as the view that science and scientific method are the best or only objective ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 11, 2022:
Well if you like to be open minded, then there are other ways of looking at that too. For example you can take the historical view. That once almost all of human culture was religious. Which is to say that, all culture was received wisdom or folly handed down traditionally and only justified by tradition. Indeed the original Roman word "religio" meant exactly the same thing as the term, "our culture" would today. But by about the sixth century BCE it was becoming clear to many people in different parts of the world, that merely accepting traditional untested handed down knowledge without question, was not working very well, especially as technology and politics advanced, and people started to have contact with many more cultures, whose religion often, openly, contradicted their own. So at about that time, the idea that tradition alone was enough justification to be certain of the truth of an idea, began to be questioned. And in several parts of the world: India, China and especially Greece, people openly questioned it, and began to ask if improved methods of refining thought could not be found. They found that testing ideas against the filters of free debate, mathematics and the logical rules of epistemology which they invented based on maths, helped a lot, and philosophy was born, in an attempt to refine knowledge and grade out the rubbish. It soon however became obvious that a lot of things in nature were so complex and often counter intuitive, that merely thinking and debating alone was not enough to justify, or even discover, a lot of things and ideas. And so several philosophers, ( In legend beginning with Aristotle. ) decided that observation was also a useful part of discovering which ideas were the best, and so the branch called natural philosophy was born. As the world gradually came out of the MIddle Ages natural philosophy grew in power and importance, relative to the older type, and it was soon found that for many things undisciplined observation, could easily lead to errors, and was not in itself enough of a filter to keep them out. So that through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries further refinements were added, four especially: The experimental method; repeatablity; ( Everyone should be able to get the same results from an experiment.) the idea that nothing is ever totally proved, and that within natural philosophy everything can be reviewed in the light of new evidence; and following that, the value scale of hypothesis, experimental proof and theory. ( Which last does not mean hypothesis as in popular culture, but a whole body of evidence pointing to the same conclusion. ) And so the new even more improved version of natural philosophy eventually moved on so far, that it got a new name, "science". But at the ...
Soo, if you won the lottery, how would you spend the money?
Fernapple comments on Feb 10, 2022:
Travel and the local nature trust.
Jesus of Nazareth hung out with 12 other men, and the Catholic sect of the God Mob in Australia ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 10, 2022:
Given that Greek culture at the time honoured and celebrated homosexually relationships, as special and as a major benefit to society. And given that Greek culture was at that time becoming by far the most important and dominant culture in the Eastern Roman Empire. That the philosophy of Jesus is clearly a reaction to incoming Greek ideas. That he used metaphors like "brothers", "brotherly love", etc. That there was a fashion among the Jews of the time for imitating the Greek culture, so much so that you could actually get a reverse circumcision, so that you could pose as Greek in the public baths, and for other things. Jesus and his twelve, if they existed, or the authors who invented them, if they did not. (Authors who wrote in Greek.) Had to have been aware of that, and of the fact that, the dominant culture in their world, would not merely see them as homosexual, but would actually expect them to be gay. Probably the only reason it is not thought worthy of mention in the bible, is that at that time it would have seemed so obvious that it was not worth a comment.
‘The world is a dangerous place to live, not because of the people who are evil, but because of ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 10, 2022:
I always thought that the main danger actually comes from just simple incompetence. As in the old one about. "Never ascribe to malice, that which can be accounted for by simple stupidity."
How did the Incas build those walls?
Fernapple comments on Feb 10, 2022:
Or it could just have been used as a rubbing paste, which is a common mason's tech to this day.
The Insane Biology of: The Octopus. [youtube.com]
Fernapple comments on Feb 10, 2022:
Great post. I can well recommend the book 'Other Minds' by Peter Godfrey-Smith a great easy read which covers much the same subjects.
At work I've got the ear of my boss... I'm still not convinced we should pay the ransom.
Fernapple comments on Feb 9, 2022:
Tell them that you want half as a show of good will, and then you will pay them for the other half.
Which of these do you believe the Earth to be?
Fernapple comments on Feb 9, 2022:
Sadly only the first two are mutually exclusive.
“The great enemy of clear language is insincerity.
Fernapple comments on Feb 9, 2022:
A great truism. Word salad hides smelly fish.
At least it’s a wireless connection.
Fernapple comments on Feb 9, 2022:
I once had a rat emerge for ours. It must have got in the sewer and dived under the water lock to get out.
Significant dates in your evolution.
Fernapple comments on Feb 9, 2022:
A good summing up.
What is your fantasy wedding spot, if you were ever to get married or renew your vows?
Fernapple comments on Feb 9, 2022:
I think that I would lean on a competent organizer, like yourself, I could not do better than that. Though this spot on a nature reserve in Turkey, would be a good second best. ( My friend and traveling companion in the foreground.)
Is this all BS or does it make sense to you?
Fernapple comments on Feb 8, 2022:
Also perhaps, because they are obviously that little bit smaller, you make that little bit more effort to savour them, because you know they will be gone sooner.
Can we stop the Deserts from Growing?!... [youtube.com]
Fernapple comments on Feb 8, 2022:
Brilliant, all you need is that magic ingredient intelligent planning.
We don’t need God.
Fernapple comments on Feb 8, 2022:
First I am convinced, that a single overarching morality for everyone, or even a single way of achieving that, would be a bad thing, because there is nothing healthier than free debate. And the gods eye view, just moves the problem back one step. Because if people can't agree on right and wrong, then they wont agree on what is a gods eye view either. And in fact allowing the gods eye view metaphor to be the basis of your morality, only gives unjustifiable extra power to those who can control the media, to dictate right from wrong. Although they are often mistaken about it, or corrupt. Allowing them to claim that they have a deeper understanding of the gods eye view metaphor, only helps them to achieve even more unjustified greater authority. Just as traditional priests who controlled the media of church and temple, claimed a special understanding of the imagined god to justify, claiming fake authority, and further the often corrupt and self serving interests of their own prejudices. So the gods eye view metaphor just takes on the place of god, and gives fake authority to those who control it. Nearly the whole evil of religion, is that it exist to set up and justify claims of false authority. ( I define it as the same thing as false authority.) And the most important duty of any moral person, is to teach others, especially the young to recognize and reject fake claims of authority. There are many alternatives which give real authority and which can be brought to the issues of right and wrong. Secular moral philosophy is a well developed field, which is far better at deciding the fairly simple issues of morality, exactly because it is not restrained by prerequisites such as gods and grand metaphors. While in politics the expression of democratic will is usually accepted as the main genuine source of authority, though it is a very weak one. Even sometimes called the ad populum fallacy, and it can do no better at its best, than say that the largest single minority can dictate to the smaller minorities, and that right or wrong is only what the largest minority says they are. Yet even the world political consensus agrees on more than the worlds religions do. And even poor stumbling democracy is far better than allowing a tiny minority, with a self appointed wish to decide all things, to use fake authority and dictate, without responsibility for their actions to any except to their own created god, or metaphor, as religion does.
First, to those of you whom i normally treat well, i apologize if i in anyway have been harsh for a...
Fernapple comments on Feb 8, 2022:
You are fine. Think only about your dog, but do please give us updates now you have told us. I hope you have a good vet.
Baptisms invalid - priest used wrong words.
Fernapple comments on Feb 8, 2022:
The link is broken sorry. But based on your description, I would say that if the priest is a true literal believer himself then he has no choice, and he is at least honest, even if deluded. If he is not a true believer however, then he is committing a far worse act of dishonesty by leading people to think they should need a baptism, in the first place, and if he thinks that doing the right thing with regards to the words makes it alright, then he is suffering cognitive dissonance to an extreme degree. While if he is a metaphoricalist, then it is a small unimportant matter about exact words, but it is at least honest of him to think that people should get exactly what they pay for.
I got the winning bid on a condo! In thirty days the bank will own almost all of it again though my...
Fernapple comments on Feb 8, 2022:
Congratulations, I hope you get many years of joy from your new property.
Educational Mismatch [thisviewoflife.com] .
Fernapple comments on Feb 8, 2022:
Yes that sounds very true, pity it is only a short abstract, but I see there is a link to a paper.
The end times for religion - Freethought Now
Fernapple comments on Feb 8, 2022:
A note of caution, sorry. Another reason for religion being so strong in the US for so long, is perhaps because of the perceived, though false, connection between atheism and communism. Which may have created a a large but quite artificial and quite fragile bubble of support for religion, which did not exist in most countries. With the rapid discrediting of communism as an ideology in most of the educated world, and the perceived, though false, end to the cold war, that bubble may vanish rapidly, bringing the US quite quickly back into line with the rest of the developed world. Which means sadly, that the rapid decline in the US may not last. After a while, religion will still continue to decline, but only at much the same rate as it does in the rest of the educated western world.
So was there a master plan or was the omniscient creator just winging it?
Fernapple comments on Feb 8, 2022:
God always reminds me of a lot of his religious apologists. Changes his position all the time, and then says. "Yes but you misunderstood, that was what I really meant in the first place." ( Funny that, you would think it may be almost possible that theologians and apologists wrote his lines for him. )
The evangelical 'dissenters' trying to 'save' the faith have their own problems
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
They may have said so, but I don't think that evangelicals ever shared a common set of values. They were always a very divided bunch, just like every other human institution, the illusion of unity only lasts until something goes wrong, and someone needs someone else to blame.
I don't believe in spirits or aliens.
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
Never heard of a spirit harming anyone. Even if they exist, they don't seem to get cited on many death certifications.
As followup to my recent post concerning religion and government and recent discussions about ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
There are a few other features which follow from evolution and could lead to the development of religion, such as the well known positive error bias. Which may be hard wired into us, because for example. If you see a glint of light in the forest, which could be the reflection in a predators eye, it is better to assume that it is, say a tiger, and run away, than to think that it is maybe only a trick of the light. Because if it is a tiger, you could lose your life if you don't run away, where if you mistakenly run from a random glint on a leaf, all you lose is a little energy. And the reverse applies, if you think you see food, then it pays to move towards it, because if you are right then you get a meal, while if you are wrong, all you lose is a few seconds. A false positive error usually costs little where a false negative can be very costly. For which reason we may tend to assume we see dangerous and helpful beings like tigers, and gods, everywhere. Rather than be tend to be sceptical. In other words we may be hard wired to be gullible. But of course, in the modern world, most of us do not live in the jungle, but in an environment built by human culture, where most of the cultural things we encounter, are made by humans to manipulate other humans, probably by exploiting our weaknesses, in which case the best error preference may now be quite the reverse. I see that you say you have been reading Gould which is very good, you may also find that it is good for balance to read Richard Dawkins as well. Since they were great rivals and held opposite opinions, on exactly these sorts of subjects, although they were great friends for a long while and had great mutual respect.
So, It's been a few years, my old account is gone and I can't figure out how to message anyone.
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
You will soon get to the level where you can message people, the first few levels are quick and easy. And here's a like for a few more points.
If there were no humans, would Time exist? (I am not referring to the magazine)
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
As a concept at least, don't forget that humans are not the only creatures to measure it. It would perhaps be better to ask. If no living things existed would time exist ? From which it is possible to infer that living creatures are indeed measuring something that is real, since most biological clocks are genetically hard wired into organisms by evolution through natural selection, and it seems reasonable to think that those organisms whose internal models of the universe were less accurate would be selected against. A plant whose internal clock told it to flower in May, when its pollinators only came out in July would soon go extinct, while those which flowered in July would increase their share of the gene pool.
I do not care what anyone says.
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
Most cats act like they are having hormone problems all the time, its just being a cat. That's what is so lovable about them.
I was informed yesterday that I write too much. Thanks. No more.
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
More, more, more.....
I have a problem here that I think is based somehow in a cognitive bias and I need a little help in ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
Well all I can say is that it happens to me. So you are at least not alone. A few weeks ago I was taking some things out of the van, and had the door propped open. And I thought. " I must remember to close that door before I put the van away. " When it came to putting the van away I thought. "Did I close that door. Yes, I remember making a mental note to do so. " So I ran the van into the garage, and of course the door was open, and it hit the garage door post. Very expensive repair not covered by the insurance.
What starts with W and ends in T.
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
If you assume that I will find that funny, then you and me are following an ass.
I probably need to get out more, it took ten minutes to figure out the right answer
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
Teacher needs a lesson. Written is an alternative to oral, not an opposite, the pupil was correct. LOL
So last time I was on here I talked about the difficulties of coming out to my family, both as an ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
Take it from someone a lot older, a human life is a long time, and things change a lot especially if you are an active person who gets involved. Five or ten years from now you will probably look back and think. "How did I get here." And if I may hand out some pompus old person type advice, (sorry I know). If you are looking for a relationship, then one of the best ways, is not go on the dating round, but to pick hobbies where you do something real and social. Help out in a charity shop for an hour or two a week, volunteer to help in a community garden, or give reading classes for children, that way you have lots of human contact anyway, but you also raise your profile in the community and increase your circle of friends, then one day either you will bump into someone you like, or one of those friends will say. "Come and meet." Because if there is one thing no human can resist, its the thrill of matchmaking. ( They get it wrong most of the time, but hey that's life.)
The Blame Game
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
That way leads to murder.
Today’s scientists have substituted mathematics for experiments, and they wander off through ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 7, 2022:
Interesting view from a very interesting man. Not sure that I can really agree, since many equations made within mathematical models made at that time, have been subsequently proved by experiment and observation. While science does allow for the building of hypothesis, as long as they are subjected to evidential qualification. Tesla was an engineer, and here is perhaps here reflecting the long standing conflict in science between the experimentalists and the theorist, yet not all conflict is bad, and the competition between the two in science has certainly been a very productive one.
Amen to that.
Fernapple comments on Feb 6, 2022:
Baffling, WTF would anyone think there could be any reason at all to put aborted embryos in a vaccine ? And why are we searching for signs of intelligent life on other planets, when its often hard to find any here ?
Faith is useless without proof.
Fernapple comments on Feb 6, 2022:
First it important to decide what better means, and then the job is nine tenths done. But God never helped anyone with that. At best you can follow his holy books. Which really means, letting a bunch of ancient Roman and Medieval journalists, who were paraphrasing and sensationalizing the by then, badly garbled, thoughts of bronze age shepherds, to maximize their book sales, decide what better means for you.
LOL... wouldn't they had to have BOUGHT those books in order to burned them?
Fernapple comments on Feb 6, 2022:
In reverse, its a bit like all the atheists who go to the Ark Encounter, and spend money on tickets, so that they can laugh, point out the flaws and mock the fake science. I bet K. H. still pockets the takings.
When was the last time you received or sent a real actual letter?
Fernapple comments on Feb 6, 2022:
No. You do not know how bad most of my friends handwriting is. Too much eye and brain strain, I much prefer it typed. ( English schools are not big on hand writing. )
And I thought it was Dadieo, Ladieo, Spook.
Fernapple comments on Feb 6, 2022:
Those three I could kneel down before.
Morning all
Fernapple comments on Feb 6, 2022:
Sorry, not from the US. Who are the "blue stripe gang" please ?
A fine example of Human Innovative Ingenuity. LOL.
Fernapple comments on Feb 6, 2022:
So it passes through the hole twice. Now if we can only get it to recycle and come back up.
“Guid gear comes in sma’ buik ”…………Old Scots expression which translated means - ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 6, 2022:
Surely, you are not telling me that you are a vertically challenged person !
I haven’t posted here in ages, but I do stick around on several Athiest sites.
Fernapple comments on Feb 6, 2022:
You may of course be both.
Man sends us step-by-step guide on how to crash a pastor's book burning party.
Fernapple comments on Feb 5, 2022:
Buy a cheap porn magazine, cut up the pages and use them as dust jackets to wrap bibles. ( You can keep the interesting pages if you want.) Then go along and throw them on the fire. Hopefully someone will spot what is inside the jacket as they burn. And then you can throw your hands up in fake horror, and say. "Oh no my kids have been hiding bibles inside their porno mags again! "
In keeping with the standards that have become the norm on this site (if they were ever different) I...
Fernapple comments on Feb 5, 2022:
Maybe now I will grant that, though I would happily argue otherwise. But in the future as religion becomes more and more the resort of the criminal, the anti-social, and the anti environmental. In fact anyone who needs it, because they can not find support for their views in science, reason, politics, law or even main stream opinion, or any of the other alternatives now on offer in the world, and have therefore to turn to the one support network that has no moral or intellectual minimums built in. Then it will soon become a very different case. We may divide into tribes because we are genetically conditioned to be combative. But it is childishly simplistic indeed, to think that all tribes are equal, and that no tribe ever advanced, grew and prospered, because they had a greater claim to moral right or objective truth. ( Some times the evil prosper, yes. )Two hundred and more years ago there were too tribes, called the abolitionists and the pro-slavers, and the second were by far the majority, claiming that morality, law, reason, economics, tradition and, yes, religion supported their claims, and that the future would always belong to the slave owners. But now, although there is still much slavery in the world, they can no longer control governments, walk with pride in the streets, boast of the achievements or claim respect from the world at large. In fact they are marginalized, despised by many, never realistically dream of being a great power in the world again, and all the while they lurk in dark corners hiding their shame, and hoping that the extinction of their way of life will not come soon.
Poaching of Myths, Stories, Gods and Heroes
Fernapple comments on Feb 5, 2022:
Don't forget Zeus, he gave birth to Athena, and that was a virgin birth, plus he was male. gets complicated does it not. lol
What are the major differences between government - especially in a more ancient context - and ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 5, 2022:
I don't really know why you posted this as a question, since that seems to be quite a good summing up of the history anyway. Unless you are being purely rhetorical . I would perhaps however add that, religion was probably quite late on the scene when it came to making rules to live by. Firstly, because it was of much more interest to tribal secular leaders to have a well regulated society, than it was for priests. Since no chief/king/queen/democracy wants divisions among the subjects, whereas religion can profit from them. ( At a comic silly level for example, if Ug falls out with Og then she goes to pay the priest for a curse. ) And secondly, because religion was much more concerned and busy with controlling the supernatural forces, to ensure good hunts and harvests etc.. Early religion is usually thought by historians to be largely morality free. It may be a perspective of the Abrahamic religions that morality is an inevitable part of religion, but many early religions were amoral. And if you remember the moral codes, in the Abrahamic traditions first enter with Moses and the so called Exodus plus the captives of Babylon. Neither of which may have literally happened, but it is probable that the early Jews had a lot of contact, at around that time, with more advanced states like Egypt and Babylon who already had established moral laws, and not having an organized secular government of their own, were forced to turn to the witch doctors/priests, as the only tribal organization available. It also has to be said that in many early states such as Egypt, government and religion was one and the same embodied in the kings. And so it may have been with the early patriarchs of nomadic peoples such as the early Jews, who had little tribal organization beyond the wise man at the head of the extended family. A big part of the OT if you think about it, is about how the early patriarch government of the desert nomads separated into specialists kings and priests, and the conflicts which went on during that process.
Medicare opens up access to free at-home COVID-19 tests The Biden administration says people with ...
Fernapple comments on Feb 5, 2022:
In the UK we have had free tests for so long now, I can't remember when they started. And we regard our governments Covid response as largely a shambles.
Oops. Its been like.... A year and a half. But I exist again. Its been a weird couple of years.
Fernapple comments on Feb 5, 2022:
Hello, glad to hear you are well. And existent.

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