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I'm a 60 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

How do you trap someone into committing perjury?
RichCC comments on Dec 17, 2018:
Like Bill Clinton was. He was stupid enough do do something morally humiliating even to himself. Then under oath he was asked if he did it. He was 'trapped'. Even though what they were asking about wasn't a crime, he was humiliated into perjury. That is a perjury trap.
Comedians have figured out the trick to covering Trump - YouTube
RichCC comments on Dec 14, 2018:
Good video and true. And it's yet another example of 'I can't believe people are spending time on this'. But somebody has to.
The limits to freedom of speech
RichCC comments on Dec 12, 2018:
Everything in our sphere is a human decision. I personally am a fan of the last few words of what I've been shown as the Wiccan Rede: 'an it does no harm, do what you will'. And the Platinum Rule: 'Treat people the way they want to be treated'. Again, the details become human decisions. I can't think of a better approach than to take our best humanist shot and see where the chips fall. The Greek Stoics had a reasonable point of view. 'Do what you can but if it's outside your influence, don't let it bother you'.
The Year of the Woman just roared in Trump's Oval Office - CNNPolitics
RichCC comments on Dec 12, 2018:
Good article. Thank you.
FOX News Pastor: Democrats Are “Increasingly Becoming a Godless Party” | Hemant Mehta | Friendly...
RichCC comments on Dec 12, 2018:
They have my thoughts and prayers. ?
Y’all! An earthquake just shook me awake in my bed! So excited! Never experienced that before!
RichCC comments on Dec 12, 2018:
In Seattle years ago a tremor woke my wife (I was out of town of course). She called 911 and told the operator 'I think someone just drove into the side of my house'. The operator said 'We just had an earthquake. Could that be it?'. My wife's response was 'Thank god'. The operator said she'd never gotten quite that reaction during an earthquake 911 call before. ?
Anyone know how to get excommunicated from a mormon church, would be really helpful right now.
RichCC comments on Dec 11, 2018:
I think the term is 'disfellowshipped'. But the only people I ever knew who achieved it were youngsters who were outed as liking sex too much. Their church believes in Growth at all costs too much to encourage people to escape. It might be funny if it weren't so sad.
I thought I was finished posting for the day, but I found one more that I just have to share.
RichCC comments on Dec 11, 2018:
Sorry. I guess some Facebook users would laugh though. *No, That Sansabelt “Action Pants” Ad You Saw On Facebook Is Not Real* https://consumerist.com/2014/01/23/no-that-sansabelt-action-pants-ad-you-saw-on-facebook-is-not-real/
What's the best breed of dog for a pet?
RichCC comments on Dec 7, 2018:
Is 'Mishka' Serbian for mouse? That's an intriguing name. Update: Thinking about it, I should have said 'bear' rather than mouse. Sorry. I'm another vote for a rescue dog that matches your energy level.
What do atheists put on the top of their christmas tree?
RichCC comments on Dec 7, 2018:
My what? We don't support either killing trees (even ones grown for the purpose) or plastic house sculptures in our living space. There are more productive ways to celebrate the season.
MIND OVER MATTER - I'm just going to believe I have a full head of hair and the world will ...
RichCC comments on Dec 6, 2018:
I've also been graying and extensively thinning since my mid 20s. It's never bothered me much. A coworker once told me that folks with big brains get their hair pushed out from the inside. From what I could see he might have had the experience to know what he was talking about. For me, that's what hats are for. They keep the glare from blinding people. Lol.
It's that time of year again when Christians claim there is a war on Christmas. [youtu.be]
RichCC comments on Dec 4, 2018:
I read a news article recently that said the war on Christmas is winding down -- Jesus lost. I'm not entirely as optimistic as they were but I'd love for it to be true. Merry Xmas everyone! ???
Climate changes in your area.
RichCC comments on Dec 4, 2018:
Fun is definitely the wrong word. In a dry part of the world (AZ, USA) we're in a long drought that apparently has become a trend as opposed to a cycle stage. With the population growth the way it's been I don't think anyone knows where it might end. All the serious projections I've seen are grim.
It's still "religious", but it's encouraging.
RichCC comments on Nov 18, 2018:
8,000 to 340,000 in 18 years? Wow. A 40:1 increase. I'm not sure whether to accept that on its face or quite what to do with it. Wow, again.
Hey math friends! Can you help me understand this?
RichCC comments on Nov 18, 2018:
I don't see the problem. It's not actually contradictory: $0 - ($0 * 20%) = $0 It admit it's a waste of time. But they can do it if they want. Lol, I guess.
Is it always about the fight?
RichCC comments on Nov 17, 2018:
Fight (competition) is essential but the definitions have to be correct. Too many people these days include the opposition In their worldview. 'It's not enough to win, the other side must lose.' Destruction should never be a goal.
Are you a brain game or puzzle aficionado?
RichCC comments on Nov 17, 2018:
Chess and Crosswords.
Some charities that don't think you need a bible to help people.
RichCC comments on Nov 17, 2018:
I'd like to add *Big Brothers / Big Sisters* to the list. They're not an emergency relief organization per se but they help people do a huge amount of good and they are completely secular. Thank you your list. Separation from religion is a very good thing.
Missing page of the Bible found [youtube.com]
RichCC comments on Nov 16, 2018:
I'm a Red Dwarf fan too!
Survey, men or women: A-1.
RichCC comments on Nov 14, 2018:
Wilma Flintstone -- no question. (Except of course there's no way I'd ever get her away from Fred) -- hat tip to Red Dwarf
Trump's mood takes a foul turn: 'He's pissed -- at damn near everyone' - CNNPolitics
RichCC comments on Nov 14, 2018:
As screwed up as the last two years have been, I am deeply afraid it's going to get worse. As the comic *Calvin and Hobbes* said: 'That's the amazing thing about life. It's never so bad that it can't get worse '. I saw a comment on DailyKos that bothers me. They speculated that someone might suggest a deal to the 'great dealmaker' -- that he resign in exchange for immunity from investigation and prosecution. And of course Pence would pardon him. I'm afraid that the congressional powers could get so excited about the prospect of getting him off the seat before he drops another one that they might take that sort of deal. Not only would that make my sense of justice go a few paces past outrage but that would also leave us with president Pence. No matter how it goes, it's going to be a rough few years.
There is no progress fairy anymore than there is a savior god.
RichCC comments on Nov 13, 2018:
This has been one of the most annoying trends of my engineering career. I have always been shocked at how many otherwise intelligent people compartmentalize themselves so they don't have to think about subjects they're uncomfortable with. The *Progress Fairy* is a big seller as also is *Religion*. There are too many ultra-conservative people of all ages who would exist with their brains turned off rather than face being aware of their lives.
Capital punishment?
RichCC comments on Nov 13, 2018:
Life is an incredibly rare and irreplaceable thing. We must do all we can to protect the innocent. But once any life is taken it is gone forever -- it can never be brought back. I look at it as a variation of the last part of the Wiccan Rede: "does no harm, do what you will". Even when you are doing unpleasant things like dispensing justice, the rule must be to minimize harm -- especially harm that cannot be undone.
How many of you also visit churches when traveling?
RichCC comments on Nov 12, 2018:
I never have been and likely never will be a fan of religion. But I very much enjoy the culture wherever we visit.
Sinema is up around 32,000 vote in Az. Great news.
RichCC comments on Nov 12, 2018:
I just saw a reference to this comment from someone named Jennifer Bendery on a net news source. As a lifelong AZ native, I'm thrilled. Kyrsten Sinema marks a lot of firsts... First Democratic U.S. senator from Arizona since 1976 First female U.S. senator from Arizona First openly bisexual U.S. senator in the country
Given (hypothetically or literally) that there is no afterlife, does life have meaning?
RichCC comments on Nov 8, 2018:
It's up to you. If you decide you don't have or want any meaning then that's your life. The rest of us get to make our own calls. I'll do what I can when I can. I won't let anyone else take my choices.
[investigationdiscovery.com] Why Are So any Serial Killers Born in November?
RichCC comments on Nov 7, 2018:
It's obviously astrology dontchaknow. From Wiki: Scorpio-born are passionate and assertive people. ... Scorpios are known by their calm and cool behavior, and by their mysterious appearance. People often say that Scorpio-born are fierce, probably because they understand very well the rules of the universe.
I often wonder how people can justificed unfair treatment of another group.
RichCC comments on Nov 7, 2018:
I've heard it said... There are three levels of realization you come to with people. 1. When people are seen someone acting badly -- hurting others -- most people tend to give the benefit of the doubt. They assume the people don't know they are hurting others. 2. If people are still seen acting badly they are often still given the benefit. They are assumed to not understand they are hurting others. 3. Finally it becomes known that people know and understand what they are doing and do it anyway. More succinctly, the levels are: 1. Ignorance. 2. Stupidity. 3. Evil. No offense to you intended, but I think what you're describing tends towards number 3.
What I would like to see.
RichCC comments on Nov 3, 2018:
He tries... you just have to believe him... cough, cough. "Well, I try. I do try ... When I can, I tell the truth. And sometimes it turns out to be where something happens that’s different or there’s a change, but I always like to be truthful." — President Trump to ABC News Seriously. Trump isn't the disease. He's just the biggest symptom. Tuesday I hope we start removing all the conservative trash infesting our country -- starting with the current government.
If you could make a rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?
RichCC comments on Oct 31, 2018:
Joking... See below for my real Platinum Rule comment. The key to success is sincerity. Once you can fake that, you've got it made. -- Jean Giraudoux
When you're the only atheist at work
RichCC comments on Oct 23, 2018:
I don't keep it a secret but I don't advertise it. I have been an engineer all my career and even though I've pretty much from the beginning been shocked and disappointed how many theists there have been, we have almost all been professional enough to keep it separate from our work.
What is a childhood movie that still haunts you until this day as an adult?
RichCC comments on Oct 23, 2018:
For some reason 'The Power' really resonated with me. It scared me back then and I still enjoy it occasionally today.
Does evil exist? As non-believers do we still accept the concept of evil in its pure form?
RichCC comments on Oct 7, 2018:
Nobody sees themselves as evil. Everybody thinks they are doing what is necessary when they act against others. Save the country from sh~hole migrants, behave as a compassionate conservative, round up those minorities, whatever.
We still have 500 children without their parents.
RichCC comments on Sep 25, 2018:
I have a serious question. Could anyone tell me what consequences there are for defying court decisions? I keep seeing court statements worded as absolutes -- 'The children will be reunited with their parents by this specified date.' But when the date passes without compliance, no actions are taken. Are the courts simply powerless here? I don't see any punishments being administered at all. From the behavior of this executive branch, they seem to see slaps on the wrists as rewards -- 'We really upset those liberals this time.' I wish I were less discouraged by our situation.
Chess with Interactive chess board. [facebook.com]
RichCC comments on Sep 19, 2018:
That would sure take some getting used to -- pretty distracting. Also I assume they were at a show. There seemed to be at least three people moving pieces and it was hard to keep track of whose turn it was. Ha, ha.
I think it would be cool to join a lodge or the Masons or something, but they all require a belief ...
RichCC comments on Sep 14, 2018:
It's not a church-style group, but one of the things that most sold me on Big Brothers Big Sisters was that they are completely secular. There's lots of community and support and volunteering is a great way to help feel good about yourself. And they don't push religion (or frankly not-religion) at all. My little brother graduated high school this spring after 8 years we've known each other. I strongly recommend BBBS.
Okay, we will try meeting from now on on Sundays @ 12:00 P.
RichCC comments on Sep 9, 2018:
Ok. Thanks. I will miss tomorrow though. Sorry. Have to spend tomorrow driving.
Anyone ever play multiplayer chess?
RichCC comments on Sep 1, 2018:
We used to play like the one on the right with boards laid across each other. More common was side by side with partners having different colors. When I take a piece I pass it to my partner who can then place it on their board as their next move. The game has a name but I can't remember it.
Has anyone here a National Park Ranger or has worked with the National Park Service?
RichCC comments on Aug 28, 2018:
I waited to reply to see if anyone with firsthand experience spoke up. The closest I've been is an uncle who recently retired after ~30 years. My personal input for what it's worth is that I have yet to ever meet a Ranger I didn't immediately like. My uncle worked hard to get on. If I got the story correctly, he worked 6 volunteer seasons before he got on full time. He also had a degree in forestry with a minor in anthropology. Then one of his first tries for a particular position involved finishing 6th out of 1500 applicants and not getting the job. He obviously didn't quit and it turned out extremely well for him (and his wife -- he was enforcement, she was an interpreter). As I said above, I don't have firsthand knowledge but from what I've seen: *Stick with it, the personal rewards make it worth the while*.
As a non theist, what are your top 3 political issues you would like to see addressed in the ...
RichCC comments on Aug 13, 2018:
1. The environment 2. Gun laws 3. Removal of irrational politicians -- anyone who disagrees with me
What inspires you to follow a member's posts on Agnostic.com?
RichCC comments on Aug 13, 2018:
I used to follow several people and groups (I think I followed you briefly). But it takes up too much screen space on the notebook PC and Kindle hardware I use. Now I go without but I worry about missing things that I don't see because they fall outside my expressed profile preferences (which is likely an issue anyway of course).
I thought this a clever presentation on the rationale of atheism; one I'd not heard put precisely ...
RichCC comments on Aug 13, 2018:
That video expresses my point of view very well. It so happens that I've had that exact conversation with a Hospice volunteer in a situation where neither of us was free to fully express ourselves. We were waiting for my father to awake one morning and given the circumstances we weren't going to criticize each other. I do hope I gave him something to think about, though.
How are you using Agnostic.com?
RichCC comments on Aug 12, 2018:
I'm not very outgoing and I these days I don't move well enough to want to look for people to meet in the flesh. That said... I am very much enjoying interacting with the sincere, pleasant, educated, folks I've seen here. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but my biggest use for Agnostic.com is vicarious living. Lol, I guess.
Popcorn, which way is the best?
RichCC comments on Aug 1, 2018:
Candy corn balls made with cream and honey so they don't get hard or go bad. It's hugely fun to make for not too young kids (given some supervision -- it does get cooked it to softball stage) and it's beyond addicting to eat. The holidays are only a few months away.
What is/are your favorite craft beer(s)?
RichCC comments on Aug 1, 2018:
I'm not the dedicated beer fan I used to be. I'm afraid that's what happens when you move away from Seattle. But I used to love Moss Bay Extra from Hale's. It had so much flavor and edge that after a few pints you'd usually start to feel a little queasy. But those first few were heaven.
Do you believe in E.S.P?
RichCC comments on Jul 31, 2018:
If you mean supernatural abilities, I definitely don't believe. If I remember correctly, JREF came across someone who could identify the music on a vinyl record just by looking at it. But it turned out that their knowledge of, I think classical, music was so extensive that they could recognize patterns in the record grooves. From my point of view that would be ESP, but it's not supernatural.
LOYALTY SIGNALING IN POLITICS My impression is that our political behavior is driven largely by ...
RichCC comments on Jul 31, 2018:
And a lot of especially libertarian and conservative Americans have a competition-is-everything driven worldview. Not only that but they have a twisted definition of competition. It's not enough to win, the other side must lose. I think a lot of Americans wouldn't be too unhappy if the world burned to the ground as long as they were in charge of the ashes. We have a very shortsighted, selfish society at the moment -- dangerously so.
What are some good old movie or TV lines?
RichCC comments on Jul 30, 2018:
No matter where you go, there you are. -- Buckaroo Bonsai Laugh while you can monkey boy. -- Emilio Lizardo
Food you abused!
RichCC comments on Jul 5, 2018:
I may be the only person in America that doesn't like watermelon. I don't remember it but my mother told me that at a picnic when I was young I ate so much that I got really sick. Whether the story is true or not, for as long as I remember I've disliked watermelon. Lol I guess. Other melons are ok.
Childhood Favorite Toys
RichCC comments on Jul 5, 2018:
Third post try... My father was a high school coach and athletic director and we had 4 brothers. Pretty much all our toys were sports related -- balls, gloves, track equipment, golf clubs, whatever. Looking back, it was fun but kind of self-limiting. Ha, Ha.
Is everyone tired of talking about the weather?
RichCC comments on Jul 3, 2018:
For us the weather is a sort of a necessary obsession. In middle AZ we are waiting for the monsoon rains. The government designated official start date is June 15th but we've only had one day of rain in the last couple of months. NOAA says 20% rain chance this Fri then 40% Sat and Sun. We have our fingers crossed. We do have the hot part covered though.
Advice for a first time dog owner. Go!
RichCC comments on Jul 3, 2018:
Remember it's a dog not a person. It has its own perceptions and understandings of the world. You will have to always stay patient. It may destroy some things and only realize that is wrong when it finds out what your desires are. A puppy will tend to chew. It only gets the limited vocabulary that you give it. It will learn some words and sounds (a gutteral '*uh, uh, uh*' will be clear to it) but other words are just noises to ignore (except of course for your tone -- it will be very aware of that). It has very few perspiration glands. It could be more temperature sensitive than you might think. Water should always be available. And you will have to help it stay clean -- take to heart the hair comment elsewhere in this comment thread. Remember that it will be a child in a lot of ways for its entire life. For example, it doesn't know some people foods are poisonous (as chocolate). It will rely on you (and devote itself to you).
What nonbelievers do you remember from TV growing up?
RichCC comments on Jul 1, 2018:
There was a very long running local variety/comedy show in AZ called the Wallace and Ladmo show. As far as I remember they never took any stance either for or against religion. They were pretty irreverent. I well remember Pat McMahon dressed in drag as Aunt Maud in one of his many character roles hitting on the local cop doing PSAs for the show. It turned into a running joke with the cop horribly embarrassed every time he came on. Ha, ha. RCC Edit: Since @LiterateHiker mentioned Fractured Fairy Tales. W&L also often featured a lot of cartoons aimed as much at adults as children. Fractured Fairy Tales, Roger Ramjet, Super Chicken, George of the Jungle and others were some of my favorites. Thanks for the reminder.
When is a cult not a religion?
RichCC comments on Jun 30, 2018:
There's an old saying that the difference between a religion and a cult is: At the center of every *cult* there is at least one person with direct experience that the whole thing is bull -- whether they admit it or not. In a *religion* that person is dead.
Take it to the grave?
RichCC comments on Jun 30, 2018:
I have the recipe for the best candied popcorn in the world and I'm not telling anyone. Ha, ha, ha! (twirls mustache)
Bread Preference
RichCC comments on Jun 29, 2018:
I have been off white bread for a while. These days I usually go with a olive oil, honey and whole wheat recipe. I do put 1/2 cup of white flour and 2 tbsp of milk powder in to make the bread lighter and give more texture (I think from the added protein).
"They" are demanding civility...really?
RichCC comments on Jun 27, 2018:
I posted this link yesterday. Godwin's law not withstanding... From PZ Myers at Pharyngula: Hindsight is 20/20: https://freethoughtblogs.com/pharyngula/2018/06/26/hindsight-is-2020/ It's amazing how we repeat ourselves time after time.
Anyone want to take a crack at the question??
RichCC comments on Jun 25, 2018:
I won't try to answer it but i like it too and I hope to steal it also. Thank you.
Do you edit?
RichCC comments on Jun 23, 2018:
I don't change content but I do obsessively correct spelling, grammar and punctuation (to my limited ability) when I first put things up. I fight the autocorrect on various devices constantly. Ha, ha. If I decide to change content I go ahead and announce it. I figure mind changing should be allowed.
Who has/had the best singing voice of all-time? My vote goes to Whitney Houston.
RichCC comments on Jun 16, 2018:
My two cents worth. Julie Covington. She's the one who did the definitive *Don't Cry For Me Argentina*. And I loved her as Beth in Jeff Wayne's musical version of *The War of the Worlds*. Karen Carpenter. Too tragic a story. Billie Holiday. Another tragic story and I wish there were better recordings of her voice.
I seem to run into a number of atheists who believe that while theism is an irrational belief in the...
RichCC comments on Jun 8, 2018:
If you want to follow their morals, you can. Everyone has to make their own choices. A couple of thoughts: 1. As the Rush song says. *If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice*. 2. *No one ever sees themselves as evil*. If you'd ask any personality you could think of -- Adolf Hitler, Joseph Stalin, Benito Mussolini, Genkis Khan, Vlad the Impaler, Pol Pot, whoever, knock yourself out -- they'd answer that they were doing what they needed to to make their situation/country successful. I think it's up to each of us to do the best we can given what we have. I see no benefit in behaving any other way.
I do not believe the actual person named Jesus in the Christian religion ever existed.
RichCC comments on Jun 8, 2018:
I agree. I keep coming back to all the things that were written about him within at least 60 or so years of when he supposedly lived -- that is to say exactly *nothing*. This guy was supposed to be the son of God and was supposed to be going around performing miracles but no one (in or out of the wholly babble) documented it. All we have is very questionable *memories* that were written decades or centuries after the events they try to describe in a time before printing presses let alone cameras. And it all happened when people were far more ignorant than they are today (if that's possible).
Avoiding meat and dairy is ‘single biggest way’ to reduce your impact on Earth | Environment | ...
RichCC comments on Jun 3, 2018:
I'm still trying to understand the real implications of this but it's a disturbing set of information. https://www.ecowatch.com/biomass-humans-animals-2571413930.html Humans and Big Ag Livestock Now Account for 96 Percent of Mammal Biomass
How long does it take for the general public to know things that seem to be common knowledge?
RichCC comments on May 29, 2018:
I worked two summers on a marina as a teen in the 70s and saw several tangled birds. This is the kind of knowledge everyone should have. Plastic is one of the effects we're having on our planet that will take far too long to repair -- if we manage to fix it at all.
Do you keep an active journal?
RichCC comments on May 28, 2018:
In a previous post reply I described the weather journal format I use. Below is copied from my entry. I've kept a journal since the late 90s. A weather journal is a book with a page for each day of the year with space for several notes. As each day happens, the user writes down the year and the temperature/weather. Then when that day comes around next year you automatically get to compare the current weather with the that day on the previous however many years. That's how I have my note journal set up. I have 12 text files -- Jan, Feb, etc. -- with day numbers. Whenever something notable happens (not every day), I put it with the weekday and year at the date in the file. That way as the dates cycle around I get reminded of previous years' accumulated memories. Since they're simple text files, they're not too large and they're easy to save and back up. For example: May.txt might have 1 2017, Monday -- I did something today. 2018, Tuesday -- Something else happened today. 10 2018, Thursday -- Woo, hoo. 28 2018, Monday -- This boring month finally ended.
So why is it that as an atheist, I wouldn't have a problem dating a religious woman (Muslim, ...
RichCC comments on May 25, 2018:
Well, you know what they say about the crazy ones. Looking the other way maybe you're not so much. Lol.
Against my personal preferences, I tried a brand of chips, Pacqui, because they make a flavor of ...
RichCC comments on May 18, 2018:
I'm not that fond of Ghost peppers. They don't seem to be very flavorful -- just hot. I like Habanero and Sriracha and Tabasco sauces for their flavors but I don't slop them on until the food's inedible. Even spicy food should be for the taste. Lol.
I'm not sure I'd be classified as a skeptic.
RichCC comments on May 15, 2018:
I think we'll both fit in to this group -- good to see you. I also think I agree with your position. Being a skeptic doesn't mean taking a position that everything unproven is by definition *False*. Being a skeptic means that everything is conditional pending the acquisition of supporting evidence. Likewise proving anything *True* in an absolute sense is impossible. Things can just be well supported. We can accumulate evidence that indicates things are likely or unlikely -- sometimes very likely or unlikely. We also must go through life deciding which questions are worthy of our energy. One of my favorite quotes says: *"Do not believe anything, but question only what is worth questioning". -- George Polya*
One of my favorite political philosophers was a man named John Stewart Mill.
RichCC comments on May 14, 2018:
Mill is the source of one of my favorite quotes although I realize that *conservative* was a political party in his context. *I did not mean that Conservatives are generally stupid; I meant, that stupid persons are generally Conservative. I believe that to be so obvious and undeniable a fact that I hardly think any hon. Gentleman will question it. --- John Stuart Mill* My biggest concern with *Utilitarianism* (and understand this is a statement from a lot of ignorance) is that I'm unaware of any human society that is both aware and altruistic enough to make it work. I'm afraid that our species won't be mature enough to operate at that level (maybe for all our allotted time?)
At which level would you be willing to date someone?
RichCC comments on May 12, 2018:
If she's level 3 or below she's not serious. If she's above level 7 she may be obsessed with this site. Lol.
Has anything ever happened in your life that challenged your atheism and made you consider going ...
RichCC comments on May 11, 2018:
Nope. I've been lucky -- never even tempted.
Journal, anyone?
RichCC comments on May 11, 2018:
Is anyone familiar with a Weather Journal? It's a book with a page for each day of the year with space for several notes. As each day happens, the user writes down the year and the temperature/weather. Then when that day comes around next year you automatically get to compare the current weather with the that day on the previous however many years. That's how I have my note journal set up. I have 12 text files -- Jan, Feb, etc. -- with day numbers. Whenever something notable happens (not every day), I put it with the weekday and year at the date in the file. That way as the dates cycle around I get reminded of previous years' accumulated memories. Since they're simple text files, they're not too large and they're easy to save and back up. For example: May.txt might have 1 2017, Monday -- I did something today. 2018, Tuesday -- Something else happened today. 10 2018, Thursday -- Woo, hoo. 28 2018, Monday -- This boring month finally ended.
How do you feel about hunting for sport?
RichCC comments on May 10, 2018:
Hunting is not sport for the animals. The next time you see a bird hiding in a bush realize that the bird is in desperate fear for its life. It knows that it could die in great pain at any moment. Population control hunting isn't sport either. It may have become necessary in some cases because of animal populations -- situations sometimes caused by humans as with many invasive species. We should manage situations intelligently as needed. Full disclosure: I grew up near the northern border of Arizona and did some hunting as an adolescent but gave up my guns for cameras as a teen. All my immediate family are avid hunters but I'm pretty sure that I'm long past that part of my life.
Chile or chili?
RichCC comments on May 3, 2018:
One of my earlier memories from the late 60s and early 70s was joyriding with my cousin near his home in Albuquerque with a bushel of jalapenos in the back seat. Ah those were the days.
I got a new blender.
RichCC comments on May 2, 2018:
This is also not soup but I got it from the back of a blender instruction manual 40 years ago. It's great fun especially if you have kids. Personally i modify it heavily because i stopped eating meat almost that long ago but it's still a good recipe. Pizza Fondue: Fondue 1/2 lbs hamburger 2 cans pizza sauce 1 onion, chopped 1 tbsp fennel seed 1 tsp oregano 1 cup cubed cheddar cheese 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese For dipping 1/2 cup assorted cubed cheese 1/2 cup assorted cubed sausage 2 cups cubed french or italian bread Brown hamburger and drain off liquid. Add pizza sauce, onion, fennel seed and oregano. Add cubed cheddar cheese and grated mozzarella. Heat mixture at medium heat until melted. Serve as fondue with bread, cheese & sausage for dipping. Serves 4-6.
Questions: Do you take offense at turns of phrase, such as.
RichCC comments on May 1, 2018:
Take offense is too strong wording but I do notice. One you didn't mention is *Special*. I was told of a bumper sticker that was apparently popular at BYU -- *I'd rather be dead than Special*. I do notice such things a little. I have to admit.
Last night was a full moon.
RichCC comments on May 1, 2018:
We are in an almost unimaginably lucky situation. We live in a delicate yet surprisingly long lasting (by our individual perceptions) balance of confluences between the gravitation and radiation, etc. of the sun, the moon and the rest of the universe. I suppose it could be argued that with the huge number of stars and planets that seem to be there, it had to happen somewhere. But even given that, we have been incredibly lucky so far I highly recommend a book by Eric D. Schneider & Dorian Sagan -- *Into the Cool: Energy Flow, Thermodynamics, and Life* although it's probably a bit high level for your grandson. But it talks about our situation with respect to several of the energy gradients in which we happen to reside.
Why do people believe in ghosts?
RichCC comments on Apr 30, 2018:
I can't remember where I saw it. But when you think about it, ghosts would have to be perpetual motion machines. If they aren't alive in the classic sense -- don't eat, etc. -- where do they get the energy to do anything? They wouldn't be able to make a sound or even be seen without getting energy from somewhere. If they're solar powered, I agree with you. Why do they tend to hang out in the dark?
Mr. Deity and the Role Model [youtube.com]
RichCC comments on Apr 30, 2018:
Thanks for reminding me of Mr. Deity. That's a good show.?
Do dogs get moody like people?
RichCC comments on Apr 30, 2018:
I remember reading a story about testing animals' intelligence where the thing that most struck the researchers was that *spite* was unique to humans. Humans might say 'if my reward is too small, then I'll stop all the rewards including mine'. Animals take life more as it comes. They take what rewards are there. Dogs are by nature social. Is it possible their apparent moodiness is a reflection of the state of others around them?
Do you believe in the butterfly effect?
RichCC comments on Apr 30, 2018:
It's like when NOAA does daily weather forecasts. Even with their massive data collection and computer mode!ing efforts they can't make completely detailed predictions. So what they do is run multiple tries dithering the starting states slightly and choose the results that come up the most. They've found that the butterfly effect makes it so that even the tiniest variations in the starting conditions can have dramatic effects on the results. The simple truth is that there are a lot of (I'd argue most) systems in our world that we don't understand well enough to predict except in the coarsest way.
Just wondering
RichCC comments on Apr 29, 2018:
I tell people a newspaper story I read years ago -- no idea if any of it is true. A man carefully kept a secret box in his house and wouldn't tell anyone what it contained. When he died his will specified that all his family gather and burn the box unopened so they wouldn't know what was there. It turned out to be full of fireworks. Funerals are for the living. Surviving family can do what they want. And my family have been told that.
"Imagine that super neuroscientists have created a machine that can simulate pleasurable experiences...
RichCC comments on Apr 27, 2018:
You said simulate. But how about about stimulate? I tutored a guy in college that had an electrode in his brain that would (he said) reduce pain when he pushed a button. (It was for an injury he got in the military). At one point they had to turn it down for him because he was using it too much -- bummer.
Should I get rid of my Xtian bed?
RichCC comments on Apr 27, 2018:
I like the uncurse choice. Who knows. The priestess might be someone good to meet.
Does anyone else enjoy classic movies? I'm a huge fan of Turner Classic Movie
RichCC comments on Apr 27, 2018:
Very much so. i started to put in some examples but the list immediately got out of control. I'll start with "Roman Holiday", "To Sir, With Love", "Bell, Book and Candle" and "Father Goose".
What saying represents the way you see your world?
RichCC comments on Apr 27, 2018:
"Do not believe anything, but question only what is worth questioning." -- George Polya
Watching bird intelligence on NOVA.
RichCC comments on Apr 26, 2018:
I wonder what raptor Jesus would have been like. There's maybe a story idea there i guess for a talented writer (as opposed to me).
Debating Atheism
RichCC comments on Apr 21, 2018:
I used to have that bone in my head that said I always had to be right (especially if I could show other people wrong). Maybe I'm just getting old but for a long time now I haven't cared enough to confront people. I'll kibbitz with info (often in the wisecracking sense) but I'd just as soon let other people spend their energy arguing rather than spending my own energy.
Do you agree that if wasn't for the Dark Ages and religious prosecution, our civilization would so ...
RichCC comments on Apr 13, 2018:
I recommend: *Lest Darkness Fall* by L. Sprague de Camp and *Against the Fall Of Darkness* by Arthur C. Clarke. Truth to tell, it's been so long since I read them that I don't remember many details but I do remember enjoying the 'alternate history' concept very much.
Best daily multi-vitamin for a man 65+ or waste of money?
RichCC comments on Apr 12, 2018:
What's that old saying? -- *Americans have the most expensive urine in the world*. My wife and I have been vegetarians for many years so just to try to avoid any should-have-been-avoided deficiencies, we take ten or so tablets and/or capsules each day. We feel more comfortable that way -- we don't take enough of anything to be toxic.
So there are 9 churches between my house and town; anyone else think they are trying just a bit too ...
RichCC comments on Apr 7, 2018:
The town where I grew up -- Page, AZ -- was mentioned in 1975 in *The Monkey Wrench Gang* by Edward Abbey. It's amazing how religion can distort the culture of a small town. It seems to be obvious to everyone but the theists. *** From the book: Page, Arizona: thirteen churches, four bars. Any town with more churches than bars, that town's got a problem. That town is *asking* for trouble. And they're even trying to make Christians out of the Indians. As if the Indians weren't bad enough already. *** I started to include more from the book but the tone is more racist than I care for.
Favorite podcasts?
RichCC comments on Mar 28, 2018:
I've listened to *The Infinite Monkey Cage* from BBC Radio 4 for many years with physicist Brian Cox and comedian Robin Ince. There's so many episodes that now I can go back and rehear shows without feeling slighted.
Show us your desktop! What do you have as your desktop background?
RichCC comments on Mar 28, 2018:
Back when computers were just getting started I picked up some scans of a painter named Tim Jacobus -- an illustrator of various novel covers.
Defying Theories, This Ghostly Galaxy Has Almost No Dark Matter
RichCC comments on Mar 28, 2018:
Thanks. That's an interesting link even if it mostly says 'we don't know yet'. I love their inference that the absence of dark matter implies its existence.
SPICY!!?
RichCC comments on Mar 28, 2018:
I miss the *Galvanized Gullet Society*. Their motto was 'No food is properly spiced unless it is painful to eat'. To be honest, I do like to taste my food. But my favorite pizza topping is a few drizzles of Sriracha sauce even if I usually end up with hiccups.
When you have dinner at a new restaurant, do you order something that you are familiar with or try ...
RichCC comments on Mar 27, 2018:
We are vegetarian. But we always ask the staff what they are most proud of. We tend to try what they think they do well. We usually aren't disappointed.
Archaeologists discover 81 ancient settlements in the Amazon - The Washington Post
RichCC comments on Mar 27, 2018:
Thank you. I'd seen headlines but hadn't read any background yet.
Study tackles neuroscience claims to have disproved 'free will'
RichCC comments on Mar 12, 2018:
I've said it before -- including here on Agnostic.com: The ancient Greek Stoics had it right. *If you can't tell if you have free will or not you might as well assume that you have it.* Take responsibility -- and credit -- for your own decisions. I don't see any gain in behaving any other way.
Does anyone enjoy a hot cup of tea? What is your favorite kind?
RichCC comments on Feb 28, 2018:
I enjoy Sencha.
Is there anyone here who has ever seen a UFO? And, if so, what do you believe you were witnessing?
RichCC comments on Feb 27, 2018:
When I was a child riding across southern New Mexico with my family there were several cars parked by the side of the road while the people stood and watched a moving non-airplane UFO light in the sky. We didn't try to explain that White Sands missile base was only a few miles away. We just drove away shaking our heads. Who knows? Maybe it was an alien flying saucer and we just didn't realize it. Lol.

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Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist, Secularist, Skeptic, Freethinker
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