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I'm a 61 year old lifelong engineer happily married for 35 years to another techno-geek. My wife is more spiritual than I am but as the years have gone by we both have found less and less use for the Christian church. Living in AZ we don't get much direct exposure to other religions -- just what we read.

I've never been a fan of the supernatural. If something exists, it's natural.
But that said... The world is a huge, complicated place.

As George Polya wrote many years ago:
"Do not believe anything, but question only what is worth questioning".

Nobody has enough time to challenge every bit of information they come across. The game is to decide which bits are worth the time and effort to pursue.

Comments

Do You Hate God? | The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser
RichCC comments on Sep 29, 2019:
Thanks for the link. While I don't 'hate' 'God' (there are very few things I 'hate' ), I do dislike it intensely. Think of all the waste that would be eliminated If the imaginary entity were to vanish from people's minds. Maybe folks would devote themselves to doing genuine-good works rather than posturing to sort-of-good works. Maybe some people would anyway.
“Disney’s U.
RichCC comments on Sep 24, 2019:
I saw that. 🤗 Disney has no draw for me these days but it's a step in the right direction.
I took myself to lunch ! When I was still dating an over-the-top god person, we discovered this...
RichCC comments on Sep 24, 2019:
A couple of times I went on months-long job assignments in distant parts of the US. My wife came to visit each time about halfway through -- once company-paid, once we paid. Both I stranded in Houston and Ft Lauderdale, and my wife stuck back home in Phoenix, took ourselves out to eat sometimes to discourage tedium. We're both independent adults and didn't have too much trouble getting through. The biggest problem was probably my wife's reaction when I got back -- emotionally for her it was 'What the hell are you doing in my house?'. Ha, ha.😊 The biggest pleasant surprise was that a dog we'd gotten a couple of days before I left one time remembered me -- I was sure she'd forget but she got so excited when I returned that I was briefly afraid she might hurt herself. Ha, ha.😊
Kidnapper Ants Steal Other Ants' Babies - And Brainwash Them
RichCC comments on Sep 24, 2019:
If those kidnapper ants just found Jebus I'm sure they'd repent. /snark It's an interesting situation and I wish there were more(especially historical) information. I have to commend the researchers on what they've found out so far and I have questions. Are they technically parasites to the slave species? Is there any benefit to the slave ant species? Is it somehow symbiotic? Is there more than one slave species? How did the situation evolve into existence? As far as I know, there are queen ants that are the biological mothers of all the colony ants -- how did they arrive at a sustainable species dependent on slaves for food? It's starting to sound like a Star Trek episode and I think it's fascinating.
DO YOU THINK YOU WOULD TURN TO THE COMFORT OF THE CONCEPT OF GOD WHEN YOU'RE DYING?
RichCC comments on Sep 24, 2019:
I certainly hope not. That would mean that I'd slipped so far that I'd given up a whole lifetime of thought (rational or not). At this point I don't expect to be plausibly convinced of any god unless they show up personally and bring overwhelming evidence. If I slip so far mentally that I accept less than that I'll be very displeased with my future self.
My job involves sitting outside on a beautiful fall day with a papillon on my lap.
RichCC comments on Sep 22, 2019:
Beauty -- very nice pictures. And I love the expressive tongue. Lol.😊
Federal Judge Says Christian Hate Group Can Legally Be Called a “Hate Group” ...
RichCC comments on Sep 21, 2019:
On the one hand I totally agree that the Southern Poverty Law Center can call D. James Kennedy Ministries an 'Active Anti-LGBT Hate Group'. Without specifically looking into this case, I tend to trust the SPLC's judgement based on their record. I wouldn't be surprised at all if the Ministry acts with hate and malice. But I don't understand why the First Amendment would have to protect the SPLC in this case. Sure, the First Amendment prohibits the government from interfering with the freedom of speech or religion. But neither D. James Kennedy Ministries nor the Southern Poverty Law Center are part of the government. Either the SPLC improperly defamed (libelled) the ministry or they didn't. I'd rather have seen the judge validate the SPLC listing -- say 'You are a hate group. Go away'. Lol. Update: added 'speech or' above.
[alternet.
RichCC comments on Sep 19, 2019:
Ask me again after the 2020 elections. I'm always leery of constitutional amendment solutions because they take so long and they need to maintain a semi-consensus for long periods while they proceed. I have hopes for a liberal backlash in 2020 especially given the number of Republicans defending Senate seats vs the number of Democrats. But maybe I'm just getting old -- my confidence is weak.
Go Christian Right!!!! [fivethirtyeight.com]
RichCC comments on Sep 19, 2019:
Wow. That's quite a jump. Just eyeball-summing the shares (no promises), it goes from about 25% in 1992 to about 65% in 2016. That's solidly more than doubling in 24 years. And the trend is pretty steady. I guess I can only hope it keeps on. 😊
Alaska may seem crazy to some.
RichCC comments on Sep 18, 2019:
On the one hand I love it. But on the other I hope there is purpose to their FSM church --beyond just antagonizing religious folks. What does the pastor do day-to-day? Does he provide/assist charitable works? Does he counsel people in need? I hope his church is a good organization. Ramen.
The religious always seem to think our lives are so "empty" without their imaginary friend.
RichCC comments on Sep 18, 2019:
I don't see a lot of difference between an atheist viewpoint and a religious one. Except a lot of useless(presumed?) celestial promises. Satisfaction comes from within -- whether you're insecure enough to need pretend validation or not. It is discouraging to me how many people use group validation in the name of their church(es)/god(s) to claim celestial authority -- irrespective of the merits of their actions.
DO YOU THINK DISORGANIZED (NEW AGE) RELIGION IS AS BAD AS ORGANIZED RELIGION?
RichCC comments on Sep 18, 2019:
I agree with @jlynn37 they promote the same supernatural nonsense but they aren't as entrenched (haven't accumulated as much power) (yet?) in our society. Additional: There are always splinter groups. Some grow big enough and last long enough to call themselves mainstream religions. Lol.😎
Interesting map of religious adherents in the US.
RichCC comments on Sep 18, 2019:
Thanks. I wonder how much effort went into researching the cutsy-pie names on the map areas. I live in the 'Yavapai Trench'. Yavapai is the name of a local native American tribe and is the name of our county so the map label isn't inappropriate. Looking for that level of detail everywhere across the country seems like an awful lot of work. I guess I appreciate it vividmaps -- whoever did it. Update: Patheos calls the source 'Egoshin'. I'll have to see who that is.
Awesome love it
RichCC comments on Sep 18, 2019:
Thanks. I hadn't seen that. These are the first three links I saw: https://www.bbc.com/news/world-46111525 https://www.travelandleisure.com/attractions/festivals/tihar-dog-day-hindu-festival-nepal https://www.adventurewomen.com/blog/article/kukur-tihar-nepalese-day-dog/
[alternet.
RichCC comments on Sep 17, 2019:
Agreed
How do we leave a group now?
RichCC comments on Sep 17, 2019:
On my Kindle at the upper right of the page (but only in landscape mode?) there's a green 'You 're a member! ' panel with a 'Leave' subbutton.
Economists calculate monetary value of 'thoughts and prayers' | World news | The Guardian
RichCC comments on Sep 16, 2019:
That is interesting. There are so many directions the motives could take I'm not sure how meaningful the results could be. Other than the obvious of course. Religious folks think prayer has positive value and non-religious folks think it is null or even negative. It would also be interesting to see how people's behaviours would change if there were objective value rewards involved. The situation seems to me quite subtle and could quickly become very complex. At some point it would become an exercise in game theory -- people weighing risks vs rewards. It is interesting to think about though.
Squill and Moxie are used to being fed when I get home from work.
RichCC comments on Sep 14, 2019:
We've been fortunate that all but one of our dogs but one have been self regulating feeders. But it is funny when things happen outside their expectations. I remember one time I came out of my wife's bathroom one day when she happened to be out of town. That was the dirtiest look I think I've ever gotten from a dog. The dog demanded an explanation -- what the hell did I think I was doing?
Its a known fact that history is written by only the winners.
RichCC comments on Sep 14, 2019:
That's an idea I sometimes push -- 'nobody sees themselves as evil'. Everyone -- Stalin, Hitler, Pol Pot, whoever -- they were all working for the 'good' of their countries. I remember reading an evaluation of Ferdinand Marcos' journal after his death. He considered himself a 'benevolent dictator'. He was popular, a war hero, doing what he had to for the Philippines. It was only others who thought his rule was corrupt.
Don’t be afraid of words. Be afraid of hubris.
RichCC comments on Sep 13, 2019:
I don't have trouble with 'God'(capitalized or not). It's 'supernatural' stuff I avoid. People can call the universe 'God' if they want to, but I expect them to be able to point it out if they want me to accept it. We've seen a lot of wondrous things and there are a lot of things not yet seen(let alone understood). And I feel no need to add more imaginary stuff. To grant a version of your statement -- my attempt to 'avoid hubris' is to seek an evidence supported worldview and eschew fantasy. I'll even accept things that were previously fantasy, but only when they acquire supporting evidence.
I've always been fascinated by Christians who say they believe in heaven, then scramble in a panic ...
RichCC comments on Sep 12, 2019:
*bradnyijuan* pretty much hit it on the head. They're just as ignorant as the rest of us. Playing at religious convictions is all well and good when you're healthy. But when the chips go down and time gets short, we revert to what we know has at least some chance -- even if that chance is slim. They have ample experience that prayer and faith almost never deliver. They know that when it counts they have to stick with the real world.
A church lured in homeless people then locked them in houses and forced them to panhandle, feds say...
RichCC comments on Sep 11, 2019:
I've heard there were quasi-moral arrangements associated with panhandlers but I've never had a chance to look into it. I'm not surprised that they would assume the veneer of religion. Why wouldn't they? And preying on some of the must vulnerable people in our society is pretty bad. I wonder if they were once or are now homeless themselves. It sounds like an unpleasant, desperate path for everybody involved.
Here we go again. Flash floods and mudslides.
RichCC comments on Sep 10, 2019:
First let me add my wishes to the stay-safe chorus. Then... Just out of curiosity... Any news of the Fourth of July trail? It sounds to me like bailing may have been an even more prudent choice than you realized a couple of days ago. Ha, ha, I hope.😀
Most people admit to sulking after arguments like Orang-utans with half saying women rule the roost ...
RichCC comments on Sep 8, 2019:
Hey. I resemble that remark. 😎
'Most renewable energy companies' linked with claims of abuses in mines | Global development | The ...
RichCC comments on Sep 6, 2019:
Of course I could be mistaken but the abuse issue seems linked to the mining industry rather than being a renewable energy question. I imagine that progressive minded people would like to see progressive policies in supporting industries. But we still have to deal with our selfish capitalist society. 🙁
Not to be nit-picky, but, hmm, maybe “god” could have not let the accident happen to begin with?
RichCC comments on Sep 6, 2019:
I don't know the specifics of the accident, but it looks like Jules should credit a lot of his good fortune to the skills of the creators of his previous car -- whether Dog is involved or not. 🤔
Tried to duplicate a restaurant dish. Oops.
RichCC comments on Sep 5, 2019:
Ha, ha, ha. Cooking is an exploration. 😎 I'm an average cook at best and I most often use whatever happens to be in the kitchen at the time. I'd be embarrassed to tell how often it didn't exactly exceed expectations (I would if I took it as more than an enjoyable game that is.) I'm more happy that you are knowledgeable enough to quickly come up with a plan to improve next time -- that's the game. I use observation bias to emphasize and remember the good over the bad. Lol.😎
Religion & science--the topsy twins of human affairs.
RichCC comments on Sep 2, 2019:
I like the *Rush* lyric -- '*Why are we here? Because we're here. Roll the bones!*' Religious 'answers' are just part of their fantasy. They decide it's 'moral' so they claim it must be moral. Unfortunately for them, the real world doesn't care. They'll go through -- and leave -- this life much like everyone else. 😎
Cosmic Microwave Background Radiation (CMBR) Widely Claimed as Evidence for the Big Bang If there...
RichCC comments on Sep 2, 2019:
I am also not a serious physicist but general information on cosmic microwave background radiation is not hard to find. Actually there are shadows and they are being used to study the universe's structure. https://astro.fnal.gov/cosmic-shadows-in-the-microwave-light-from-the-big-bang/ Here's some info on CMB: https://www.universetoday.com/135288/what-is-the-cosmic-microwave-background/ From the link: *** The existence of the CMB was first theorized by Ukrainian-American physicist George Gamow, along with his students, Ralph Alpher and Robert Herman, in 1948. This theory was based on their studies of the consequences of nucleosynthesis of light elements (hydrogen, helium and lithium) during the very early Universe. Essentially, they realized that in order to synthesize the nuclei of these elements, the early Universe needed to be extremely hot. They further theorized that the leftover radiation from this extremely hot period would permeate the Universe and would be detectable. Due to the expansion of the Universe, they estimated that this background radiation would have a low temperature of 5 K ( -268 °C; -450 °F ) – just five degrees above absolute zero – which corresponds to microwave wavelengths. It wasn’t until 1964 that the first evidence for the CMB was detected. ... Due to the expansion of space, the wavelengths of the photons grew ( became ‘redshifted’ ) to roughly 1 millimetre and their effective temperature decreased to just above absolute zero – 2.7 Kelvin ( -270 °C; -454 °F ). These photons fill the Universe today and appear as a background glow that can be detected in the far-infrared and radio wavelengths
An email from a guy on a dating site: "Gwen forgive me for bothering you, you're the first real ...
RichCC comments on Sep 1, 2019:
That's a thoughtful, serious, response if they're serious, it'll be helpful. If they're not I imagine you'll find out soon (even if it's never hearing from them again, ha, ha).
I assume we are mostly all tired of all-things-immigration, but the language in this article (not to...
RichCC comments on Sep 1, 2019:
from the article: *** "The Chinese students were deemed inadmissible to the United States based on information discovered during the CBP inspection," the CBP statement said. *** I can only hope more specific information is forthcoming. If they acted for a reason, great. If they acted just because of the country name on the passport, it's very scary. Edit -- Additional: One problem these days is that with the kakistocracy we have, no one takes their word for anything -- and rightly so. Our entire government is untrustworthy. The waste caused by that alone is monumental -- let alone the actual corruption and dishonesty.
Saying "You're too fat" is rude. "You're too thin" is okay?
RichCC comments on Aug 31, 2019:
I can only wonder what he was trying to accomplish with his comment. You're obviously quite active and certainly not a child. Was he trying to take a dominant role in your interaction? My first thought is that he might be a little intimidated by you. Lol. You may be more confident than he's used to. If the best behavior he can respond with is some negging (do they still call it that?), it doesn't speak well for his self image. Ha, ha.
I have one of each - don't even ask!
RichCC comments on Aug 31, 2019:
One of our dogs talks to us at some length. From her body postures and the situational contexts when she talks -- for example, when one of us gets home from somewhere, Chai finds the one of us already home and announces the arrival -- we're convinced that Chai always has a message to convey but we're often too dim to understand. I wonder if Chai gets frustrated being patronized all the time. She patiently tells us what she means and we pretend to understand. But it has to be obvious to her that we're too dumb to figure it out most of the time. I guess that massive patience is why dogs tolerate us so well. Lol.😀
True how do you feel
RichCC comments on Aug 29, 2019:
'Felicitus est parvus canus calidus' -- 'happiness is a warm puppy' in Latin. At least according to Schulz
Plant-based "meats" - good for the environment, bad for you
RichCC comments on Aug 29, 2019:
Interesting. I read recently -- sorry, I don't remember where -- that the most healthy way to improve your diet is to cook for yourself. Commercially prepared foodstuffs by necessity have to make too many concessions for things like cost, shelf life and popularism. The salt content alone is discouraging let alone chemical preservatives and such. They said that just eating simpler food without all the manipulation will improve your health much more than any fad diet would -- it struck me as a very plausible thought. Personally, I seem to have been born without the bone that demands 'meat'. If food is tasty and well prepared it doesn't matter to me that it look like it was cut out of an animal. Lol.
Goodness gracious it's been awhile everyone! Hi! So my friend goes to a private christian college...
RichCC comments on Aug 29, 2019:
I think you're exactly right and said it very well -- '*humans lose the need to have a god to explain it*'. One of my favorite sources is a blogger/author named *Greta Christina*. She goes into more depth but says essentially the same thing. *** When you look at the history of what we know about the world, you see a noticeable pattern. Natural explanations of things have been replacing supernatural explanations of them. Like a steamroller. Why the Sun rises and sets. Where thunder and lightning come from. Why people get sick. Why people look like their parents. How the complexity of life came into being. I could go on and on. All these things were once explained by religion. But as we understood the world better, and learned to observe it more carefully, the explanations based on religion were replaced by ones based on physical cause and effect. Consistently. Thoroughly. Like a steamroller. The number of times that a supernatural explanation of a phenomenon has been replaced by a natural explanation? Thousands upon thousands upon thousands. Now. The number of times that a natural explanation of a phenomenon has been replaced by a supernatural one? The number of times humankind has said, “We used to think ( X ) was caused by physical cause and effect, but now we understand that it’s caused by God, or spirits, or demons, or the soul”? Exactly zero.
What’s your favourite food dish?
RichCC comments on Aug 29, 2019:
Curry! One of the joys of my life is curry on rice. Madras, Vindaloo, Saag, Massaman, Thai Red Yellow or Green, whatever -- I'll go nuts for any of them. I don't eat meat but the spicy creamy heat of curry will make my day every time.
Why does Fox News believe that “not like them” is somehow wrong?
RichCC comments on Aug 27, 2019:
And they'll explain it to you at great length. From what I can see, it's a big Dunning-Kruger effect demonstration. They will confidently tell folks why it's the way they claim and no other explanations or serious evidence are allowed.
I bought a cedar chest at a local thrift store and it is missing some veneer (no, that is not what ...
RichCC comments on Aug 27, 2019:
I'm interested in his inane question. Did he seriously think that as an atheist you must believe in, and probably worship, the devil? That's beyond inanity. He's massively ignorant and not a little bit foolish.😂 Edit -- Additional: It's a shame that you didn't have time to explore the Hobby Lobby angle with him. I get an image of a statement -- '*I don't believe in God, but I do spend a lot of my energy opposing evil*'. Lol -- twirls moustache.
I am so glad to see John Oliver address this issue.
RichCC comments on Aug 26, 2019:
People think that most discrimination is overt. If the N-word or the J-word or the Fem-word isn't being spoken or shouted then folks say there aren't any bigots present. But our society is completely packed with implicit biases. There is no way in the foreseeable future we'll get rid of them. All we can do for now is constantly and diligently work to make it better. And know we'll never finish.
Christian Identity Nativism/Dominionism And The Patriot Movement.
RichCC comments on Aug 26, 2019:
Thanks. I'll check that out. I was born in Kanab, UT because my mother's family is from that area. I even had(have?) several distant relations from the Colorado City, Bundyville area. Kanab and Fredonia, AZ were founded just a few miles across the state line from each other when UT was a state but AZ wasn't yet. It supposedly gave the residents a way too 'hide' their extra wives if the feds ever came looking. I never heard any direct telling of that kind of event so the 'hiding' may be apocryphal. But I don't know of any other reason for the towns to be located where they are. Lol.
After the orgy and why I love going to the dentist.
RichCC comments on Aug 25, 2019:
That reminds me of a story a dentist told me years ago. He had a patient that needed some work that he knew would take some time. He told her to dress comfortably and he'd do every thing he could to make it go as smoothly as he could. So she wore some loose sweats and said she was ready. As she started to go under the anesthesia she laid back in the chair and just started having a great old time. He didn't know what to do. Should he even tell her later or what? He was super glad that his female assistant was there so she could back him up later -- whatever came out. I guess some jobs have different risks than others.
Religion vs science
RichCC comments on Aug 25, 2019:
I'm a big fan of the '*Critical Mass*' theory of history. Discoveries are made as the knowledge supporting them becomes available. For example, Einstein would not have discovered 'e=mc^2' without the work of Lorentz and Minkowski et.al. to build on -- Science is cumulative. And I figure the discoveries would have happened and will happen regardless (to the limits of our cognitive ability of course). But that said... There's no denying the huge detriment Religion has been to our progress. Here is this week's '*Jesus and Mo*' comic. Lol. Edit -- Additional. I think we'd still be pretty much irrational. Ask any gambler, climate change denier or flat earth believer. People are lazy and they'd rather go with the quick answer rather than take the time to check and validate alternatives.
Scary isnt it
RichCC comments on Aug 22, 2019:
One of the smaller dogs I ever had came with physical problems. He finally broke (we think) his back and we ended up putting him down. We did give him 8 almost all good years that he wouldn't have had otherwise. But he was a pure bred miniature American Eskimo. He was so cute that almost every stranger would immediately reach for him. If we didn't stop him or them, they would likely have been bitten. He never managed to bite any stranger but I still have a couple of small scars on my hands from grabbing him when he wasn't expecting it. Crazy can be the operative word, and if it's in a small cute dog... scary is sometimes the right word too.
Love this picture
RichCC comments on Aug 20, 2019:
I've only had use those scratch guards twice over the years. The dogs hated them so much that I didn't even consider making fun of them over it. Lol.😊
Secular revisions to the serenity Prayer.
RichCC comments on Aug 19, 2019:
I wholeheartedly agree. These days I tell people I consider myself a classic Greek Stoic because I agree almost entirely with them -- Epictitus, Seneca, et.al. -- largely because of the sentiments you expressed. 😍
Mountain Meadows Massacre 9) Mormonism's repressive ideas about human sexuality, including strict ...
RichCC comments on Aug 17, 2019:
My biggest heartache as an outsider looks at them would likely be the hypocrisy. Their 'religion' has been a scam from the beginning. They are set up to gather converts by-hook-or-by-crook then hope to keep them later by inertia. Look up their 'Milk Before The Meat' doctrine. Their 'Prophets' get 'revelations' when it's politically convenient. A trigger for me was 1978 when minorities looked like they were growing into some political power so the church president had a 'revelation' that they could be church officers, at least officially. (But of course not women -- 'they have a different calling'.) The LDS is purely a political organization. Their goal is nothing more or less than monetary and political growth. My wife did their training as a teenager and they were quite blatant about it -- the taught that missionaries were going to be lonely and vulnerable when they get home -- so the women should grab one, marry and get pregnant. They pushed the most direct route to solidify and grow their organization. That was one of my later wife's biggest triggers to get clear of them. I was going to dig out some simple links but decided that your list is about as good a starting point as I could provide. Just search Wikipedia and Google for some of the terms on your list -- Brigham Young, Joseph Smith(especially 'criminal justice system' ), Mountain Meadows Massacre, etc. As far as your son goes... I would just try to be honest with him. Try to get him to look at the church from perspectives other than their own propaganda. They don't look very good in other views.
Public Service Announcement from the Mormons: [yahoo.com]
RichCC comments on Aug 17, 2019:
This is a copy of my comment on another Agnostic post. *** Nah. The independent_co_uk link cites an LDS youth mag article that says their *Doctrine Of Covenants* prohibits 'hot drinks' which they interpret to include all coffee drinks and what they consider to be 'harmful or habit forming substances'. They said if you're ordering in a coffee shop, you're probably getting coffee.😊 I want to know why cocoa and soup aren't included. Aren't they hot liquids? I guess all Mormons will have to go to gazpacho. Lol.😊 https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2019/08/vaping-coffee-tea-and-marijuana?lang=eng
Wow. Mormons banning something. That's amazing. So iced lattes are okay then?
RichCC comments on Aug 17, 2019:
Nah. The independent_co_uk link cites an LDS youth mag article that says their *Doctrine Of Covenants* prohibits 'hot drinks' which they interpret to include all coffee drinks and what they consider to be 'harmful or habit forming substances'. They said if you're ordering in a coffee shop, you're probably getting coffee.😊 I want to know why cocoa and soup aren't included. Aren't they hot liquids? I guess all Mormons will have to go to gazpacho. Lol.😊 https://www.churchofjesuschrist.org/study/new-era/2019/08/vaping-coffee-tea-and-marijuana?lang=eng
Meat industry attempts to slaughter vegetarian food.
RichCC comments on Aug 16, 2019:
It's not surprising -- just typically disappointing. We can't have anything threatening the profit margins of established companies. What if someone accidentally tried something new and liked it and stayed away? What a horrible thought. /snark Again. I wish I didn't expect this behavior. 😠
For the record, it was 118F / 47.
RichCC comments on Aug 15, 2019:
My wife and I lived in Mesa taking care of my father for 4 years until the alzheimer's finally took him. We're very happy to be back a couple of hours North and 4000ft higher in Prescott. Up here our house is super comfortable and doesn't even have AC. You're welcome to keep Mesa. Lol.😊 Update. Today was one of our warmest days -- 95° high.
“If the red shifts are a Doppler shift .
RichCC comments on Aug 15, 2019:
I'd be interested in his logic. Why do Doppler shifts 'lead to the anomaly of a closed universe'? If i remember correctly, there was an essay in one of the appendices of Albert Einstein's famous book where he demonstrated that if the average density of the universe is anything greater than zero the universe must be finite or our night sky would be overwhelming bright. I don't believe he took into account our visible horizon caused by things being too far away for the light to have enough time to reach us. I love reading these kinds of analyses of the universe's nature by folks who are so much more qualified than I am. I'm an interested bystander even though I'm out of my depth pretty much from their first sentences.
Have scientists proved the Big Bang did not happen? [youtu.be]
RichCC comments on Aug 13, 2019:
Interesting video. Of course, especially from my level of ignorance, it all works out to '*we think we're pretty close but so far we're not completely sure*'. 😊 I guess I'll let it go for now. It certainly doesn't change any position for me. A ~10% difference in measurements of a value taken 13 some odd billion years apart doesn't bother me much -- especially with the time shifts from measurement distances -- no matter how careful they are. Ha, ha. 😊
IS AMERICA RACIST AND SEXIST?
RichCC comments on Aug 13, 2019:
I agree as well. This is a shameful truth of our society. People blame our current leaders and our religions for our failures but in truth they are not causes but much more results of our terrible, selfish, shortsighted natures and actions.
The "Trump made me do it" defense.
RichCC comments on Aug 12, 2019:
Let's see... It can't be tRump's fault because he doesn't direct anyone to do anything. But it's not anyone else's fault because they were just acting on tRump's orders. That pretty much covers everybody doesn't it? Noone can be held accountable. I suppose it's about time to install someone who intentionally does things -- like on purpose. If I hear our supposed leader say 'well, I guess we'll see' one more time, I'll probably scream. And I very much agree with *LimitedLight* below. tRump and the Republicans are constantly doing immense damage to our country the longer they're allowed to stay in office. It'll take years to recover if we ever do. And you know they'll be complaining the whole recovery time. They'll say it'll 'be too expensive' and will 'hurt the economy'. What a load of frankly evil horseshit.
Happy to have this account. I'm a newly opened atheist.
RichCC comments on Aug 9, 2019:
Welcome. There are a lot of thoughtful people here.
Man in body armor and armed with rifle sparks panic at Missouri Walmart
RichCC comments on Aug 9, 2019:
I'm glad to not know whether he is terrorist. Most of the ways I can think of to find out are unpleasant bordering on horrific. He is apparently stupid enough to qualify for some serious consequences and I hope they come.
US policeman refused to train female officer because of his faith - was fired and is now suing for ...
RichCC comments on Aug 9, 2019:
One of my oldest memories is riding around in the back of a Driver's Ed Car. My father taught driver's ed in High School but didn't want to have to be isolated with teen age girls. So to allow the girls the drive time the course required, I or one of my brothers would ride along as a witness. My father's attitude wasn't caused by religion and he worked a way around his problem. I only remember one almost incident but it wasn't the student's fault. It was early in the morning on a two-lane road and someone coming towards us heading to work fell asleep and drifted into our lane from behind another car -- leaving us nowhere to go. The student didn't panic and fortunately the other driver woke up and swerved back in time. I guess that's one way to get a no-harm-done lesson that won't be forgotten. Ha, ha.
Lol great ad
RichCC comments on Aug 9, 2019:
Interesting that it specifies '*seeks male companionship*'. It's almost as if someone might have been doing a little fishing for themselves. Or I guess just wanted to spice the ad a little bit. Ha, ha.😊
Define Cult.... Define Religion.... Describe the differences:
RichCC comments on Aug 8, 2019:
I'll bite... There's an old saying: 'At the center of every cult there is at least one person that has firsthand knowledge that the whole thing is a lie and a scam. In a religion, that person is dead.' I wish I could consider that saying a joke. But when I look at the origin of every 'religion' I know -- Mormonism, Scientology, Christianity, Islam, whatever. It rings just too true.
For the history buffs: Interesting article about how Thomas Jefferson created his own "bible".
RichCC comments on Aug 7, 2019:
I'm surprised nobody's linked to it yet -- it's public domain. 😊 Online: https://thejeffersonbible.com PDF: https://www.google.com/search?q=jefferson+bible+pdf&oq=jefferson+bible=chrome.4.69i57j69i60l3j0l15.30331j0j4=silk&ie=UTF-8 Wikipedia entry: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible
If Guns were regulated as Cars....
RichCC comments on Aug 6, 2019:
Love it. I'd add 'serious consequences for operating when user impaired'. We already sort of have 'serious consequences for operating to commit a crime'. Too many people in this country regard guns as toys. I once worked with a guy who admitted he owned a pistol but he said it was ok because he was afraid of it and never did anything dangerous with it. A few days later I saw him with it in our lunch room playing by sliding the action and dry firing it. As far as I have seen, handling weapons is for some people like going out in the wild. A lot of people leave their brains at home.
Why are the liberals blaming white supremacist’s for mass shootings?
RichCC comments on Aug 6, 2019:
What's your point -- that some shootings are ok because they involve blacks? I have some more questions: As asked below, what are your sources? How many of those pictured knew their victims vs how many chose their victims by prejudice via skin color or religion or whatever? How many were gun-related -- how much shorter would a similar list have been if weapons were less prevalent in our country? How many high-capacity, rapid-fire weapons are owned by minorities vs white supremacists in our country?
Ever see a dog like this
RichCC comments on Aug 4, 2019:
Love it. We have one smaller dog who was almost that muscular when she was younger. We're not sure what she is (the adoption place had her as 'chihuahua mix' -- ha, ha). There is obviously some Pit in there but she's never been aggressive. She's the most athletic dog we've ever had. At the dog park she won't retrieve balls but she races others to the spot. Then she waits for the other dog to come get it. Lol.😊
Do stores ask you to download their app?
RichCC comments on Aug 3, 2019:
I've tried one for a local grocery that I like (Sprouts) but I've found the app more trouble than it's worth. For my wife and I it's much easier to go through their weekly and online ads for specials. Maybe if the store and what we wanted there were more complicated I guess. It's still on my phone but we never use it. My wife doesn't even have it.
Hiker scares off stalking cougar by blasting Metallica song
RichCC comments on Aug 3, 2019:
Back in the late 90s I worked for a small company that made animal radio tracking collars. Remember Wild Kingdom with Marlin Perkins where they would tag some animal and follow it's radio signals to learn where it spent its time? We probably made the tracker. In America it was interesting to talk to bear researchers. They generally weren't afraid of being stalked by bears. (I'll avoid blood odor stories.) What they were scared of in bear country was surprising the bear -- accidentally walking into it or its cubs on the trail. So what the researchers almost all did was to wear bells. That way the bears would always hear them coming and get out of the way. (BTW..... They also often carried shotguns -- not as weapons, but as really loud noise makers to scare off animals as a last resort). I have heard stories of mountain lions stalking people but I've never known anyone personally with that kind of story. That would be terrifying to me.
For dog lovers
RichCC comments on Aug 2, 2019:
Boo.
Do you think that some things are unforgivable or do you think that some people should be given a ...
RichCC comments on Aug 1, 2019:
This reply is going to get lost in this post. As I start typing it already has 25 comments. But... *** There is an old saying that people often go through three levels of realization about others when they see the others behaving badly. 1. First they give the others the benefit of the doubt and figure that maybe they just don't know they're behaving badly. 2. Then they still give the benefit and think that maybe the others don't understand that their behavior is bad. 3. Then they realize that the others are behaving badly because that's the way they are. They know they're behaving badly and do it anyway. More succinctly, the three levels are: 1. Ignorance, 2. Stupidity and 3. Evilness. For me, I think Ignorance and, to a degree, Stupidity can be helped. But Evilness can only be warred against, defeated and destroyed.
How long have you guys and girls been vegan?
RichCC comments on Aug 1, 2019:
We've been vegan since the early 2000s. I hope you're comfortable with the lifestyle and stay with it. It's worth paying a little more attention to diet and not assuming health as we age. At least in the US our society isn't entirely set up to automatically support us yet. But we've found it's by far worth it. We had a very close friend staying with us who was a strong vegan for emotional reasons. We weren't eating much meat anyway and it was easier to keep meat out of the house for everyone's comfort. She lives in SC these days but we decided to stay with it and never went back. We aren't as rigid about it as she is -- if a someone mistakes a restaurant order say, I'll eat the food rather than throw it out. We just try to live the good life and do what we can to help each other and aid anyone else we can 😎
How true is this
RichCC comments on Jul 31, 2019:
I'll state the obvious... Dogs are wired to be much more selfless than people are. I read an animal intelligence study summary years ago and the researchers said that by far the biggest behavioural difference they saw between animals' and humans' minds was that animals had almost no *spite*. They took each situation at face value rather than trying to make sure they were better off than their neighbors. Sure, humans are smarter in an IQ sense. But animals have separate awarenesses of which we can't conceive. Add that to dogs' inherent pack-oriented mentality and it's easy to see why dogs' actions are much more compassionate than ours at least within their group. In general their triggers for intra-group selfish competition are buried much more deeply than ours. Actually... I've also seen research that dogs can be disappointed in their rewards. I guess they don't care so much about the quality of their treats compared to others but they don't like it when others get something but they don't. Again, the motivation is being part of the group rather than being shut out. 😊
‘Science does not try to undermine religion – religion is simply irrelevant to science’
RichCC comments on Jul 26, 2019:
I realize that I'm about to state the obvious, but... *** Science tries to be 'correct' -- to describe reality. Science doesn't care about Religion except insofar as Religion often promotes falsehoods that Science by it's nature wants to correct. Religion tries to be in 'control' -- correctness is only useful in that it can be used to preempt integrity (deserved or not). Religion need only conflict with Science when Religion's control is threatened by Religion's falsehoods being exposed. The two positions would never disagree if their goals were the same. For me, one worldview seeking 'control' to the expense of 'correctness' makes it an easy choice. Religion falls in a poor second (at least) place.
Tibetan Mastiff. The world's largest dog. (According to the picture)
RichCC comments on Jul 26, 2019:
I've never lived anywhere cold enough for that goliath haircut to be safe -- let alone comfortable. It's beautiful. 😍
Did you believe in ghosts ?
RichCC comments on Jul 22, 2019:
Ghosts are logically inconsistent. If they're not affected by gravity, how do they stay attached to the Earth? Wouldn't they just slip away as the planet moves through the universe? It must be a lot of work to keep up. And ghosts would have to be perpetual motion machines. They don't seem to eat. So where do they get the energy to do anything -- even be visible? I guess they could be solar powered but if so why do they spend so much time in the dark? Lol. 😋
I have a question for the people that are 100% certain that no gods exist. How are you THAT certain?
RichCC comments on Jul 22, 2019:
What specifically do you mean by 100%? I have spent my life observing the world and have seen many more than 200 things without coming across anything supernatural. I mentioned the number 200 because 1 event in 200 gives 1 / 200 = 0.005 = 0.5%. Looked at in reverse that would be 99.5% out of 100%. 99.5% rounds up to 100%. So there. 😋 If course since I don't even have 1 event, the number works out technically even higher than that. 😎 Speaking seriously though... One thing that I am most confident of is that there is nothing certain in our existence. So I cannot say that I am absolutely certain the supernatural doesn't exist. (If something exists, it's natural.) But given my observations and what I've seen of the credibility (sometimes the lack thereof) of people's claims in various directions, my confidence in the non-existence of the supernatural is so close to 100% that 100% is definitely the number that describes it best.
Boy advertises 'Ice Cold Beer' at root beer stand - AOL News
RichCC comments on Jul 21, 2019:
Love it. One of my favorite old caps to wear is from *CJs* in Billings, MT. It says 'Free Drinks Tomorrow '. You always have to read carefully.
The rise of the Satanic Temple in Canada
RichCC comments on Jul 20, 2019:
I'm still amazed that any theists take the religion aspect seriously -- to be honest I'm not sure they do. At least some of them must realize that they're just being ridiculed for the sake of being opposed politically. I know I'm starting to sound like a curmudgeon, but it seems to me a lot of wasted effort on both sides. The Satanists know they don't really worship Satan and surely a bunch of the theists must know it too. Are all the statue machinations for the sake of form to appease the courts and voters? What a waste.
Are you superstitious?
RichCC comments on Jul 18, 2019:
Are there really enough new people here on Agnostic.com to justify seeing the same obvious questions over and over again? Personally, I've become weary of seeing the wasted screen space. Sorry. 🙁
Here's What Neil Armstrong Saw As He Landed Apollo 11's Eagle on the Moon
RichCC comments on Jul 17, 2019:
Is that the landing that Armstrong handled manually with ~25 seconds of fuel to spare because the automatic landing sequence failed? 😮 I have trouble imagining the courage and skill they displayed -- incredible. 😀
Has anyone read this book?
RichCC comments on Jul 12, 2019:
I haven't read it either. But from the link, it looks interesting.
Republican Jesus
RichCC comments on Jul 9, 2019:
Just a note to point out the apparent but unstated. The image (presumably *Republican Jesus*) shows a Caucasian man. I doubt they'd allow anything else. Update: And notice that it's a drawing rather than a photograph. It's an imaginary character.
It worked for Wholly Mary
RichCC comments on Jul 9, 2019:
It says so in the *Wholly Babble*(tm). It must be true. /snark
"Why Did God Create Atheists?
RichCC comments on Jul 7, 2019:
By the story then... to do the right, moral thing you have to dissociate yourself from God. Then of course they want you to come back (in time to give money I presume). The story rings true. /snark Except for the part about religious Students or especially Masters being right or moral. At that point my bs detector goes off the scale and I reach the limit of my ability to suspend disbelief.
Are we the masters of our lives?
RichCC comments on Jul 7, 2019:
What difference does your question make to me? Seriously -- I'm not joking. As far as as I know no one has ever definitely answered the *Determinism* vs *Free Will* question -(else why do we keep bothering to ask it?). So... you know what? I get to choose for myself. I choose *Free Will*. I can't tell if the consequences of my choices were predestined or not so I've decided to think that they're not. You can choose for yourself. The conflict comes of course when your actions affect me or vice versa. My personal preference is for interactions to be beneficial where ever possible and I work as much as I can to that end. But the *Free Will*/*Determinism* question doesn't mean a lot until we come up with a way to tell the difference.
Have you ever had popcorn for dinner?
RichCC comments on Jul 3, 2019:
We generally don't get too excited about specific timing and production meals. We don't have any kids. Also, I grew up as one of four brothers with a school_teacher/coach father. Dinner was often whatever, whenever, for whoever happened to wander through the house at any given time. My mother fixed a lot of stuff that could stay warm in a pot and be dished onto a plate. Especially since the invention of single-serving bags and microwaves, popcorn is a very convenient not too unhealthy vegetarian snack. If today happens to be a 3pm or 8pm dinner day, popcorn can fill in nicely. BTW... Check out https://www.popcorn.org including the *Facts & Fun* section in the 'MENU' on the upper right 😋
I am a 100% skeptic about all things supernatural! Do any of you hold on to any supernatural ...
RichCC comments on Jul 3, 2019:
Of course not. I don't believe anything supernatural -- knock on wood. 😎
This is my Penny.
RichCC comments on Jun 29, 2019:
She looks like a Beagle to me. Very nice. 😎 Snoopy would be jealous.
The very first pictures taken of the planets. I enjoyed this! [youtube.com]
RichCC comments on Jun 27, 2019:
Very nice. Thank you. 😀
Is anyone else as scared as I am about global warming?
RichCC comments on Jun 23, 2019:
Yeah, me too. I tell people that I am an Atheist and a bit of a nihilist -- I see no ultimate meaning or very long term future for the human race. But that said, I never imagined that I might live to see the serious start of the end. I constantly wonder what people are thinking about the fates of their children. 😪
In this picture we can observe one of the most dangerous animal in the world, resting at the side of...
RichCC comments on Jun 23, 2019:
It makes sense to me. Women are unquestionably the most dangerous species on earth. 😎
New group just up - Ecology for our Future Articles and debate of interest for the preservation of ...
RichCC comments on Jun 22, 2019:
I won't promise how much I'll participate. But I'll be very interested to read and follow.
Alabama governor signs law allowing church to have its own police force
RichCC comments on Jun 21, 2019:
Wow. My thoughts are heading off in all sorts of directions. Are the church patrons so unruly that security guards reporting crimes to police can't keep up? Are the current police so incompetent that they can't do the job? Will this new force by made up of mercenaries (maybe Blackwater is available)? How will the new force be armed? Who will pay for this? Will they be state subsidized (as the current police are)? This strikes me as the sort of horrible idea that could only come in the American South. It's shocking and disappointing. I wish I were more surprised. Update Added: Will they have private insurance for the inevitable lawsuits? Will they be minority neutral (as if the current police are)(maybe they'll use the KKK rather than Blackwater)? Will their jail be humane (with toothbrushes, soap and beds?) Who will be their judiciary? Wow again. Update Two: I changed 'racially neutral' to 'minority neutral' above. I bet their culture discriminates against lots of different folks.
Parents brawl at youth baseball game over young umpire's call
RichCC comments on Jun 19, 2019:
Years ago I managed a very small town Little League. One of my umpires had to call the sheriff's office on the crowd. They ended up clearing the stands to finish the game with nobody watching. You're very correct. People can be idiots and such great examples for their children. One thing that still bothers me is that a lot of them would claim that they *were* being good examples -- teaching their kids to be competitive. It's pretty pathetic sometimes.
Original artwork by me.
RichCC comments on Jun 16, 2019:
Be who you are and be proud of it! I was diagnosed with MS 24 yrs. ago and in that time I've had a couple of people ask me if I ever tried to blame Dog or any other supernatural cause for my life. My answer has never changed: '*You know what? I/we are some of the most unimaginably lucky creatures that ever existed (all of us). When we consider the odds that our parents got together to have us and their parents and so on through the depths of time, it's unimaginably improbable that we're even here to ask these questions. When I look at the range of possible outcomes, I have to say I/we didn't fall awfully far from the top. I/we don't have room to complain about what abouts. From here on, I say every moment is a new starting point - let's go forward from here.*' Update Addition: I'm a little jealous. I can't draw to save my life. Good job. 😎
Happiness is a 75-pound lap dog.
RichCC comments on Jun 14, 2019:
In one of my favorite Peanuts comics -- if I remember right, I first saw it in an old paperback at my grandmother's house in the sixties -- Lucy says '*Felicitus est parvus canis calidus*'. That's 'happiness is a warm puppy' in Latin. Snoopy wasn't impressed. Update -- ain't the interweb wonderful.
Why do so many men think sarcastic humor is positive?
RichCC comments on Jun 12, 2019:
Too many people (I'll say it seems to lean male) define their worlds by competition. And a couple of related observations: 1) A lot of people have twisted definitions of competition. For them it's not enough to win, the other side must lose. 2) I think a lot of the behaviour is driven by insecurity. A lot of people so lack confidence that the only way they can build themselves up is by bringing others down. I'm afraid we live in a society mostly made up of immature (to the point of being stunted) adolescents. It's going to be a long slog working out of our situation (that is assuming we ever do). Update: It just occurred to me that almost everyone (including me) is interpreting 'sarcasm' as denigrating others. No one even considered self-depreciating humour. We're in bad shape.
Questions.
RichCC comments on Jun 9, 2019:
I don't have anything about the philosophical aspects of religion per se. I do disrespect when they try to add supernatural stuff. And I really, really, hate it when they impose their views on others (read us). I see little difference between Jesus dogma and pretty much any other supernatural belief except where I live I see a lot more of Christianity than the others.
It is very important that we maintain positive diplomatic and economic relations with Mexico.
RichCC comments on Jun 9, 2019:
Nothing ever becomes better or easier when tRump gets involved. He corrupts everything he touches. The only question becomes whether the thing gets free before it is poisoned to death (or bankruptcy).
As an atheist and raising my sons as such I found the philosophy Stoicism a fantastic alternative to...
RichCC comments on Jun 9, 2019:
Years ago my wife happened to read a encyclopedia-style description of the classic Greek Stoics and noticed how close their worldviews were to mine. I looked it up and she was/is right. I have considered myself a Stoic ever since. I highly recommend the *Enchiridion* of *Epictetus* for a short (maybe 100 pages) read of the principles of Stoicism. The *Epistles* (letters) of *Seneca* to Lucilius are another excellent (if a little longer) presentation of the material. English translations of both are available for free download anytime. The Enchiridion: https://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/45109 The Letters of Seneca: http://www.gutenberg.org/ebooks/author/1308
"We must resist the impoverishment of public discourse on matters of religion which has come about ...
RichCC comments on Jun 8, 2019:
There are four Christian churches within a half mile of my house where as Carlin says -- 'they all gather once a week to compare clothing'. None of those organizations pay taxes. Atheists are still one of the most discriminated against groups in America at least (it was recently national news when a local politician accepted an atheist invocation for a meeting -- after vetting it of course). And admitted atheism is a route to certain defeat for just about every political candidate irrespective of any other consideration. Secularism has a long way to go towards equality. I don't accept your criticism. Again from the same Carlin piece -- '...you talk about a good bullshit story... Holy Shit'.
Women Spies.
RichCC comments on Jun 5, 2019:
Thanks. I now have that marked to read.

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Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist, Secularist, Skeptic, Freethinker
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