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I am a retired land surveyor. I grew up in Southeast Alabama, spent most of my life in Alaska, and am now back home, living on a small farm.

 For the record, like it or not, I am a member of Unity of Dothan. Some of my hobbies are walking in the woods, biking, gardening, woodworking, and taking naps.

  I have a BS degree in mathematics from Auburn.

WAR EAGLE!

I’m in a relationship. Not looking.

Comments

In your long history of ancestors there was a FIRST ONE. And regardless of its size or shape, it ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 25, 2018:
There doesn’t have to be a first one if you are talking about humans. We evolved gradually over the ages from lower life forms. The question should be “how did the first living cell come to be”? Maybe it evolved from a self-replicating virus. The truth is that no one knows how life began. We don’t actually know much of anything except superficially. Nature is one big mystery.
Does anyone else here actually sit and think about the philosophical ideas of God, Love, ... and ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 25, 2018:
I do. As a retiree I have plenty of time for pondering things, and I am getting stimulating ideas from this forum. I don’t wrestle with the God question however. “God” has become an inappropriate word IMO for public discussions. But there is Nature, and what a marvel is Nature! This Nature of which we speak—she created herself, decreed immutable laws, and brought life into existence. Nature is awash with conscious awareness, the crown jewel of existence! I love and worship Nature. Whatever we call it—Nature, Ultimate Reality, Universal Consciousness, or (heaven forbid) God, its essence is a profoundly deep mystery. IMO, it is not something to be believed or disbelieved. We are it and it is us.
Is Christmas a well earned break from the working world or a major inconvenience because you can’t...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 25, 2018:
Since I am retired Yule-Tide is just a very enjoyable feast day with friends and family, and it’s also fun to have a Yule tree and exchange Yule presents.
Bible Belt leads the Nation in Black Friday Violence [patheos.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 24, 2018:
Apparently we are supposed to think that since religious behaviors are a few percentage points more prominent in the South, and fights are somewhat more likely in some southern places, then the cause of fighting is religion. It is a flawed way of thinking IMO. In the first place, the South is a vast region containing over one third of the nation’s population. Do people really think they have neatly summed up the South when they throw out that “Bible Belt” moniker? How do you know it’s the religious ones who are doing the fighting? Half the population seldom or never goes to church. Do you think maybe some of them are the ones fighting? I clicked on that link and then clicked on the Estately.com link which supposedly conducted the study. What I found was an advertisement for a real estate company along with a silly, frivolous piece about levels of interest in Black Friday by state, and one person’s unprofessional attempt to correlate that with crime rates. The correlation is very shaky, and the named states only roughly overlap the South. Even if there were some sort of correlation, what serious use could possibly be made of the information? And there was no reference to religion at all. If you want to understand criminal behavior don’t look to churches. My impression is that the people prone to criminal acts are not interested in religion. They don’t call themselves atheists—atheists are a select group. They are selfish people who are looking only for gratification of their own selfish desires. There are studies showing that regular church attendees are much less likely to be charged with misdemeanors. So far as felonies, regular church attendees rarely commit felonies and there’s not enough data to even make up a meaningful study. https://www.google.com/search?q=are+church+members+prone+to+commit+crimes%3F&ie=UTF-8&oe=UTF-8&hl=en-us=safari
Christmas for us heathens. Most of you will know that Christmas is a tacked on holiday. That it was...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 24, 2018:
I love Yule time. Yule is a great celebration.
What platitudes really drive you mad? I hate it when people say, "Oh well that was meant to be" WTF?...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 24, 2018:
I believe that from a cosmic perspective things really do happen for reasons and things that happen transcend the human concept of good vs. bad. It’s all good IMO, and that’s no platitude.
Dogma - I want to share some thoughts on dogma. What do you think? Dogma is a major factor that ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 24, 2018:
In speaking of dogmas, I think it is important to concentrate on the dogmatic beliefs in our own minds rather than to point toward dogmatism in others. There are many dogmatic beliefs or world views other than those of organized religions. One example is an unquestioned belief In materialism or physicalism. There are dogmatic views concerning politics or economics. In the final analysis nothing is known and understood except superficially. We are abysmally ignorant.
Cosmic consciousness [youtube.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 24, 2018:
I just watched the entire video. The concept of cosmic consciousness is very alluring. Thanks for posting.
Who is God
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 23, 2018:
The word “God” is just a symbol, an icon for something we don’t understand. There are various words that represent Ultimate Reality, but the true nature of Ultimate Reality is a profoundly overwhelming mystery. Ultimate Reality is not a “who” and it is not in a particular place. “WE” collectively are that reality, everywhere and at all times.
How does a writer point to white male dominance?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 23, 2018:
Maybe White males are dominant in Arkansas but I’m not seeing it at my location. Somebody said we were supposed to be dominant but every time I try to exercise my dominance I get slapped down. Maybe I’ll move to Arkansas to where I can cash in on my White male dominance. So far as White privilege, I guess I have a little bit. I can eat all the watermelon I want without being made fun of.
Many people define 'God' nonsensibly. My definition of 'God' is that Nature is god of the universe, ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2018:
I am especially interested in your idea that Nature is god of the universe. Nature created its own self and decreed immutable laws that can not be broken. Nature brought about life. Nature is consciously aware, if in no other sense because we are aware and we are a part of nature. This Nature thing is one big, profound mystery, worthy of anyone’s adoration and worship, no matter what label you slap on it.
I find it very interesting that a scientific researcher, Dr. Jeffery Martin, by interviewing ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2018:
It’s a very interesting study. It would seem difficult or impossible to draw objective conclusions from such subjective experiences. To me the report seems mainly like a lot of pre-formed opinions about enlightenment rather than a scientific study. That’s probably just my personal impression, and doesn’t invalidate or lessen the report in any way. We expect a scientific study to present tables of data along with statistical analysis. Anyway, thanks for posting this interesting article.
Kiss Your Afterlife Goodbye! You can only hope to achieve an afterlife if you have some sort of ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2018:
“You are entirely 100% material at the end of your term since that's how you started out.” That depends on the definition of “you”. What evidence do you have for a materialistic reality? There is no such evidence, and in fact evidence points toward matter as being nothing but an artificial human concept with no actual reality. According to quantum field theory time does not exist, so any question about afterlives is meaningless. IMO “WE” are in heaven right now, always were and always will be. Of course our bodies along with our separate identities are essentially nothing. I am reading “Spiritual Science”, by British psychologist Steve Taylor. Taylor presents strong arguments for panspiritism, the idea that consciousness is primary in reality. The idea seems to suggest answers to several deep questions about existence. Taylor is not religious and he is not suggesting anything supernatural. I highly recommend the book.
Why r ppl still talking of heaven in this the Information Age? The absurdity of heaven can be fully ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 21, 2018:
There is a heaven and we’re in it right now all the time.
Who created evil? Who devises evil? Who sends forth evil spirits? Who has evil thoughts? Who speaks ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 19, 2018:
There’s no such thing as evil except as a shallow construct and label for things we don’t want other people to do.
This is the first I've heard of anything like this. [tonic.vice.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 18, 2018:
This is news to me. Apparently meditation is not for everyone. On the other hand, it seems that the people with adverse reactions were meditating for quite long periods of time. Maybe the trick is to go slowly and allow your psyche to adapt rather being overwhelmed with fear.
Free will or determinism?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 18, 2018:
I lean toward the idea that our consciously aware shared self is able to nudge the robotic organisms into action, overcoming genetics, instinct, learned behavior and blind chance. Of course the robotic organisms also can function and survive for awhile without conscious oversight, but they generally make a big mess of things.
I think the entire american public is being played? The machine owners want us divided and ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 18, 2018:
Strongly disagree! “Machine owners” are likely to be shareholders in corporations such as Walmart and Lowe’s. They are likely to be retirees or middle aged people who are saving for retirement. So far as race-baiting, it is the leftists who are engaged in that practice, along with demonization, and they are so swept up in those endeavors that they are totally blind to what they’re doing. How well I remember the small-town environment of my youth, and how much better it is today! With economy of scale goods and services are much more affordable and available. Besides that we can all participate and be owners just by buying stock. If you want to go back to the old days, be prepared to pick cotton for 3 to 6 cents/lb. and pay exhorbitant prices at your local mom and pop shops for things you need.
Do you think it true? That when we reject organized religion, we can still get caught by ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 17, 2018:
Of course nature has meaning—an extreme amount of value and meaning! Why is that kind of awareness a danger? On the contrary, awareness and appreciation for the great mystery of Ultimate Reality lends the keenest of motivation to survive and live well. What is a danger is a dogmatic belief in scientism and materialism. Such beliefs lead to spiritual blindness, a sense of worthlessness, depression, disease, and general unhappiness.
Considering that there is no tangible evidence for a belief in any religion it follows that they are...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 17, 2018:
But there are religions that require no belief, and in my opinion religion is not about belief in the first place. What is immorality? Just something people don’t want me to do? Who gets to decide what is moral and immoral?
Is free will an illusion? ( The type of free will most people “feel” they have.)
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 17, 2018:
It depends on what we are. In my opinion our bodies are little more than very nicely made robots with no conscious awareness and no free will. IMO “WE” are not organic bodies. “WE” are universal consciousness. It is this “WE” that coaxes the bodies into action. Of course the robotic bodies are programmed to function on their own also, but without conscious oversight they eventually get into trouble.
I have been laying low for a little while. Mentally I have been processing all that has taken place ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 17, 2018:
I used to lay low, but then I went to school and now I lie lowly. :-)
Are There Such Things As Events? Humans throw around the term “events” as happenings within ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 16, 2018:
Excellent presentation! It’s something to think about.
Science! Atheists are more intelligent than religious people, say researchers | The Independent ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 14, 2018:
I’m not at all surprised. It takes especially courageous, perceptive, assertive people to throw off the religious dogma that they were taught as children and declare themselves to be atheists. On the other hand, a large portion of humanity has no interest in religion one way or the other and hardly know what an atheist is. Apparently in order to be a proper atheist you have to either be educated and brought up in that tradition, or you have to be put through the fire of religious indoctrination so you’ll have something to throw off. If I change my designation to “atheist” will I gain IQ points?
"Two Canadian women have been charged with pretending to practise witchcraft, breaking a ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 14, 2018:
Knowing the bureaucratic mindset, they are probably charged with practicing without a license.
How many of you have read (or even heard of) the book "Finding Purpose in a Godless World" by ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 14, 2018:
I am not interested in someone’s ideas about why I am genetically and culturally evolved to look for purpose and meaning. That perspective is based on a blind materialist/ reductionist/physicalist mindset that inherently views life as worthless and meaningless. I see huge, vast meaning and value to life and reality. Every second of life is valuable beyond measure in my opinion. So far as this being a godless world, perhaps so, but it is a world of Nature. It is a Nature that created its own self and decreed immutable laws, created the miracle of life, and demonstrates conscious awareness, which is the crown jewel of existence. I find great value in being a part of this reality. No! Not just great—absolutely stupendous, staggeringly overwhelming value beyond all comprehension!
Regarding Atheists & Atheism: Some Random Thoughts Atheism is not just another faith, a faith ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 14, 2018:
John, John, now there’s no reason you have to fight against religion. I’ve been speaking out against Christianity for most of my life and not once have I been attacked by believers in the way you describe. Besides that I live squarely in the heart of the so-called Bible Belt. Is Australia more rednecked than Alabama? You are right that atheism is not just another religion—it’s only a statement about yourself that requires no proof or justification whatsoever. So why do you present arguments in defense of non-belief? You say: “So why is it okay not to collect stamps or dolls or whatever but not okay not to have any religious faith or belief?” Who is telling you it’s not okay? Even if someone is telling you it’s not okay, what does it matter? They are making asses out of themselves because we can’t help what we believe or disbelieve. IMO it is best not to get into arguments with such people. Just ignore ‘em is my unsolicited advice. This thing about all these wars being caused by religion—I don’t get that. Religion is at the root of some wars, such as between Jews and Muslims in modern times. There were the Crusades of course, and the Irish problems involved religion indirectly. But your major wars have had nothing to do with religion. The world wars, American Civil War, Napoleonic Wars, and all the others I can think of were fought for other reasons. Even where religion has been the cause, it has been not religion itself but religious organizations that were at fault. IMO religious organizations are mostly political and don’t represent true religion. You touched a vital point when you contrasted a belief in God with a belief in nature. What is this nature whereof you speak? It is one that created its own self and established immutable laws, caused life to flourish, and supports the mysterious miracle of conscious awareness. There is very little difference between nature and God—perhaps it is a matter of semantics. In any case, the nature of ultimate reality is a profound, unfathomable mystery no matter what label you put on it. Of course there are unaware people who uphold dogmatic views of mythical gods, such as in the Bible—there’s no need to join the ranks of the deluded. It’s been said that one should never wrestle with a pig. The pig will win and you’ll get all dirty. That’s my counter- rant, respectfully sir.
Fine-Tuning and the Goldilocks Universe. Here are a few of my random thoughts and comments on the...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
Your slightly plausible idea of a simulated universe is interesting, but even if that’s the way it is, the deep questions of reality are not explained. One mystery is substituted for another. Where is that flesh-and-blood programmer? What reality is she in? She can’t be functioning in the same simulated reality that she is creating.
Religious ideation is one of the primary symptoms of the mentally ill. Some cases are more acute ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
The book, “Rethinking Maddness” gives a new perspective on mental illness, especially schizophrenia. In that perspective, mentally ill people subconsciously tear down their personal realities because their lives have become unbearable. Yes, it is likely that those people will become religious or spirituality oriented, and subsequently will have a full recovery, recovery in that they will begin to function and care for themselves. They report finding new value and meaning in their lives. Their chances are much better if they have not been drugged into oblivion in the interim.
Good teachers make hard topics easier to learn. Bad teachers make you feel stupid for not easily ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
Absolutely!
How do you think you will die?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
I was not born and I will not die. As a separate individual in a body I never existed in the first place. My body will die but I have no idea how.
What is something you never noticed about yourself until someone else pointed it out?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
In my mid forties I was informed that I had a lateral lisp. Once I was aware the lisp disappeared instantly. It’s much easier to speak correctly. I still sound like a Cracker however.
Do you think we ought consider a re-write of the Ten Commandments specifically for the Third ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
The trouble with commandments is that they assume the existence of a commander, one who gives orders and beats the holy hell out of anyone who dares disobey. Jesus came along and seemed to imply that the first two commandments were the most important because all the others were based on those two. But the first two commandments order us to love. How can you command someone to love? Love has to be spontaneous. Love comes automatically when you become aware of beauty and value. There’s not much point in ordering someone to become aware—if they aren’t aware they probably don’t know where to begin or what it is they are supposed to become aware of. I propose that the Ten Commandments be reduced to just one: MEDITATE.
Thoughts or Input
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
I think that the religious impulse spontaneously bubbles out of people, and it lends the keenest of motivation to survive and live well. I think that Some domineering individuals within many religious organizations subvert the religius impulse for their own ego gratification. Those same types also infiltrate just about all organizations, not just religious ones.
Is knowledge only probabilistic? Rene Descartes is probably the most famous of philosophers for ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
I tend to agree with you. Our highly vaunted knowledge is generally superficial, meaningful only in the context of our limited, human way of thinking.
First, he addressed yoga poses. "They were designed, they were created with demonic intent, to open...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
It’s hard to believe there are people so ignorant and close-minded. What can we do about it? Maybe laughter is our best option.
Capital punishment? I know the Christian right thinks that the right to life starts at conception ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
The questions are loaded. What if a person opposes capital punishment for practical reasons? There’s nothing to check.
Capital punishment? I know the Christian right thinks that the right to life starts at conception ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 13, 2018:
I am undecided, however, for me it is not a moral issue—it is a question of what works best. From one perspective, we are not our bodies—we were not born and we do not die. We have responsible control of bodies though. It is unsociable to harm a person’s body or other property, such as their car. If someone is deliberately using their car to smash up other people’s cars, it seems prudent to either impound their car or destroy it. Same with their body. Despite all precautions there will sometimes be miscarriages of justice, but that IMO is not reason to eliminate the death penalty. Occasionally someone will be walking in the woods and a tree will fall on them. I know that, yet I walk in the woods anyway because from an overall perspective the benefits outweigh the costs. If we are going to demand perfection then we should refrain from locking people up, on the slight chance they might be innocent. It costs a lot to keep bodies in prison. If we are going to keep them there they should do useful work if possible so as not to be a burden. If the decision is to kill them, we should do that promptly and efficiently without pussyfooting around. Do it boldly without regret or guilt or don’t do it at all.
Test the waters... ALERT : If you want to read this post, I ask that you read it in it's entirety....
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 12, 2018:
I have no opinions on the subject at hand, but I would like to point out that sometimes after a tornado straws are found to have been driven through trees. Remember also, there was s lot of glass in those buildings. By all means, let’s not have hatred and intolerance. Especially let’s not blame one fourth of the world’s population for the actions of a few people.
White Evangelicals, This is Why People Are Through With You
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 12, 2018:
Umm...let’s see. Methodist Hillary Clinton is a white evangelical. Over-generalizing much?
We all , all that is, in any form is the source of being. Consciousness is the source and we are ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 12, 2018:
IMO what you are saying might very well be true. The idea is well worth discussing.
The Best of All Possible Worlds Let's assume for the here and now that the traditional ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 12, 2018:
It sounds as though you are arguing against an objective, human-like god, the god of the Bible, who resides out there somewhere and creates, controls and destroys the physical universe. But you have no problem with Nature—a Nature that creates itself, imposes unbreakable laws, brings about life, and creates conscious awareness. Gloria in Excelsis Naturae! Maybe the problem is only one of semantics, and of perspective. Assume the perspective of a worm about to be gobbled down by the early bird and reality is a hellish place, but the bird doesn’t see it that way. Assume the perspective of conscious awareness itself and nature appears as an absolute paradise. Objectivity is an artificial category we humans create in our minds for convenience. Reality is subjective. The kingdom of heaven is within you, and we collectively are an extension of God. Oh hell, pardon me! I didn’t intend to use that forbidden word. Read that as “Nature”. I’ll try to do better.
[therealnews.com] This is a very interesting read and video.. please comment after veiwing :) ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 11, 2018:
We get only a hint of the Great Law of Peace. It’s hard to form much of an opinion. Seems to call for matriarchy, but I’m not sure.
[youtu.be] ted talks on how to prevent land from becoming desert
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 11, 2018:
Very persuasive. If this is correct all that’s needed are managed herds of livestock to solve many of mankind’s problems.
Reincarnation
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 10, 2018:
I am constantly being reincarnated as my body rebuilds, my mind evolves, and my memories get pruned to make room for new memories. Even if I have memories from a previous life I’m not necessarily that same person who lived before. My sense of personhood as a body is an illusion. Perhaps the real self is Universal Consciousness.
What is the meaning of life? I think there isn't a meaning. There isn't a purpose other than ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 10, 2018:
As to why we exist, I think the question is a deep mystery, probably unfathomable. It is however, a question worthy of being pondered. So far as whether there is any value in existence—of course there is value. Every second of conscious awareness is a jewel to be savored and appreciated.
What do you think about the ideas linking patterns of thinking to being a follower of religion ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 10, 2018:
I think we need to be careful about making over-generalizations and stereotypes. Recent Pew studies show that hardline, authoritarian political conservatives constitute only a small fraction of traditional religious groups, and they are only five percent of the general population. There is a certain type of person who craves control and power. Those people tend to infiltrate all organizations, not just religious organizations. Sometimes they serve useful purposes to the group. In any event, psychoanalyzing your opponent is not a valid argument in a debate.
I am now an Athesit. I renounce my Christianity for Atheism
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 9, 2018:
I have also renounced Christianity but I am a non-atheist. To each his own, and welcome.
Of Course religious people have a better moral compass than Atheists, that's why they do things like...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 9, 2018:
Sometimes people like this Kelly guy murder people in churches, but it would be totally irrational to ascribe that behavior to atheists in general: “Kelley attended the First Baptist Church in Kingsville, Texas, from May to June 2014 and volunteered as a helper for one day of Vacation Bible School.[50] Later on, he stopped volunteering at the summer Bible class and began posting about atheism online.[51] According to some of his former high school classmates, he was constantly "trying to preach his atheism" and describing people who believe in God as "stupid", causing them to delete him as a friend on Facebook for his posts.[52][51][53]” (Wikipedia)
Were you religious at any point in life?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 9, 2018:
I am just as religious as ever, though I disagree with the basic tenets of Christianity and don’t believe in the god of the Bible. For me, religion is not about believing this or that thing. To be religious is to be aware of the staggering implications of the mystery of reality—to live in deep awareness and appreciation. Remember that Einstein described himself as religious, even though he was an atheist with respect to an intervening god. If I express awe for Ultimate Reality or universal consciousness, and you say that you believe in a nature capable of creating itself, what is the difference? Both are beyond our ability to understand. The trouble with arguing over beliefs is that such arguing diverts the mind from our stark, electrifying, magnificent existence. In an ultimate sense, no one has the answer anyway.
Given (hypothetically or literally) that there is no afterlife, does life have meaning? Your ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 8, 2018:
Of course life has meaning! Every second of awareness is a precious gem, valuable beyond value. There’s no need to think about afterlives—we are in heaven all the time.
Can We Guess Your Education Level Based On The American History You Know? URL: ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 7, 2018:
Not really. I last studied American history in fifth grade. School is only a scant introduction to knowledge. I learn more about our history continually. American history need be only a small fraction of our total knowledge base. World history would seem more important. What about those unfortunates who are not Americans?
15 Answers to Creationist Nonsense - Scientific American
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 7, 2018:
I am fully convinced that evolution is a true theory, however, like all theories, Darwinism does not tell the whole story IMO. I saw nothing about epigenetics in the article. New developments cast doubt on Darwin’s theory in regards to natural selection. Many researchers are saying that evolution is not driven solely by natural selection, and that natural selection might play only a secondary role. Epigenetics does not invalidate the theory of evolution—what it does is open the door to the possibility that evolution could be guided by consciousness rather than by blind random chance. It must be admitted that it is possible to guide evolution through conscious choices—breeders do it all the time. There are some mysteries involved here. I do not advocate the teaching of creationism in science classrooms, but I do advocate the teaching of truth about what is known and not known. BTW, I am proud to be cousin to monkeys. :-)
Christians claim god made the universe and everything in it. What did he make it from? Nothing?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 6, 2018:
Do you think the universe popped into existence by accident? I’m not saying there has to be a creator, however, at first blush both versions seem ridiculous. A big problem is that we humans don’t understand the meaning of the word “exist”. Another problem is that our concept of creation involves time. According to quantum gravity theory there is no such thing as time. Big muddlesome mystery aye?
.The Universe. ..just think about it as you will Giving life as we devour it Somehow I see what...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 6, 2018:
Great!!
God's Alleged Morality: Yet More Random Thoughts God can't be wrong. Why? Because theists assume...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 6, 2018:
My opinion is that in the workings of the world of human and animal bodies, everything is on course and working just as it is supposed to—just as it has to. From the perspective of individuals things might seem harsh or difficult at times, but from a higher perspective all is well. If you see yourself only as a human body, and you are thinking of the proposed God as an object—something supernatural “out there”, then I can understand the conflict and angst. Thinking of ourselves as one with Ultimate Reality leads to serenity.
Liberals Are from Mars, Conservatives Are from Venus - Scientific American
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 6, 2018:
It is a thought-provoking article, but sort of counter-intuitive. Do rural people think more collectively than those in cities? To understand that requires analysis, which is hard for us conservatives, but yes, I get it. Where the population is sparse it is important not to make enemies. People tend to be polite and deferring, and are quick to help their neighbors. They greet each other when they meet. In cities people often don’t even know their neighbors, and on the street they don’t even look at each other. It makes sense that an intuitive person would look at DT and see a leader, while a hard-boiled analyzer might concentrate on policy. Religion is an intuitive endeavor, so it is reasonable that conservatives would tend to be more religious. IMO a person from mars is not the opposite of a person from Venus, and a conservative is not the opposite of a liberal—each complements the other. And a person can have liberal and conservative traits at the same time.
Does anyone have any thoughts on Laveyan satanism ?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2018:
Very fascinating! I was prompted to read all about this version of satanism on Wikipedia and was relieved to learn that you do not worship satan as a supernatural being. Wikipedia describes satanism as “egotheism”, which was a new word to me. Reading further, I learned that the Hindu identification of self with Brahman is classified as egotheism. Perhaps I am an egotheist. I can not, however, bring myself to say that I am a Satanist. That is a rather alarming label.
How disgusting is this?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2018:
It doesn’t disgust me.
The 7 Wild Energy Technologies That Just Got a Billion-Dollar Boost
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2018:
Can someone explain how pumping water into an abandoned well could store any energy. Maybe what they meant was to pump water OUT of the well when there is a surplus of electricity and let it flow back while turning a turbine when there is a shortage. How much volume is there in an abandoned well? Not much I would think. I’m missing something here. No matter how efficient your batteries are, if those batteries are being charged off a grid powered by fossil fuel you are accomplishing nothing.
How is it that over a billion people have come to call Islam a religion of peace? And what are we ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2018:
Do nothing, except extend respect and love to all people. They are us and we are them.
Atheism Made Easy by Dustin Hartley on B&N.com! Get 20% off Atheism Made Easy with discount code ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2018:
Do you need a guru in order to be an atheist?
What is/are your favourite Christmas song/s? I was brought up Catholic and Christmas is an important...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2018:
It seems phony to celebrate Christmas if you are not a Christian. I’m calling it Yule.
The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing. Socrates
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2018:
Absolutely true. Even scientific knowledge is superficial.
Interesting ! And accurate.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2018:
Awaiting further evidence...
Global Warming and Fake Science By Norman Rogers [americanthinker.com] "About 10 years ago ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 4, 2018:
Apparently we are in a slight warming trend. No one knows how long the trend will continue or how much of the warming can be attributed to human activity. Even if the trend continues it is hardly enough to cause alarm. I refuse to be afraid!
Important atheist question: When you die, would you let them bury your body or cremate it. Also, ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 4, 2018:
If conditions are right I might stage a joyous and dramatic exit by performing a self-cremation. There are several advantages: escape the ridiculous fees of the funeral industry, avoid a huge hospital bill at the end, and thwart silly meddlesome bureaucrats.
What is to be Done? Looking Past Trump’s Tyranny
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 4, 2018:
What’s to be done? That’s an easy question—vote your conscience and support whomever is elected. Respect the choice of your fellow Americans. Good citizenship demands as much,
To the atheists What’s your response to someone when he or she says “it takes just as much [or ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 4, 2018:
The faith they might be referring to is faith in the idea that the universe popped into existence by accident, that life began as a random chemical event, and that conscious awareness somehow arose because of the firing of neurons.
Don’t believe in a caring god ,, or a god that directs us ,,
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 4, 2018:
I don’t believe in objective gods—human-like beings “out there” who intervene in human affairs. I lean toward the idea of universal consciousness. In that narrative our most intimate Self IS God, though I would not normally choose such a trite label for ultimate reality. “Objective” is just one side of the subjective coin IMO.
The Atheist Atrocities Fallacy – Hitler, Stalin & Pol Pot
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 3, 2018:
It’s a lot of words over nothing. Just about everybody knows that Hitler claimed to be a Christian. I think most people also know that Stalin did not do his murders in the name of atheism, or because of atheism. Pol Pot ditto. The entire long barrage misses a crucial point. Some atheists are prone to stating that nearly every war and every atrocity has been caused by religion, and that if governments could be set up that were run by atheists, religions and wars could be eliminated. The fact, totally ignored, is that over vast areas of the world such governments HAVE been set up, and the result in no case has been a utopia free of war. Look at “State Atheism” on Wikipedia and you’ll see what I mean. Some politician even tried to rid Mexico of religion—it was a bust. War is part of the human condition and is probably necessary, however if you want to blame someone blame egotistical, power-hungry politicians. It makes not one bit of difference the political opinions of these politicians. Tyranny in the name of atheism or religion is basically the same ignorant, egotistical crap.
I have found many reasons to completely disregard Christianity. I'm an agnostic and still unsure why...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 3, 2018:
Negative assertions are as easily proven as positive assertions. There is no such thing as a burden of proof except in a court of law. There is evidence for an intelligent realm beyond the boundaries of everyday human experience. It is trivial and meaningless whether you call it God, Universal Consciousness, or Ultimate Reality—in either case ultimate reality is a profoundly impenetrable mystery. It is ridiculous to argue over something when you haven’t the slightest idea of what you are arguing about. At the awareness level of ultimate reality the concept of creation is meaningless. According to quantum gravity theory there’s no such thing as time, space is finite and comes in quanta, and what we think of as matter is interactions between quantum fields. Our human concept of existence is bogus. I agree that Christianity deserves to be ignored. The fact that Christian authorities spread lies has no bearing on the God question.
Meditation in the Time of Disruption [theringer.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 3, 2018:
I downloaded that Headspace app. I’m going to try it out. Initially I like it. Thanks for your post. I walk almost every day on a trail in the woods, and I do a sort on meditation while I walk. I pay attention to my breathing and to the movement of my body as I walk. Then I pick out a tree up ahead and try not to have a thought until I reach that tree. Then I immediately pick a new tree farther away, etc. My walks usually last about fifty minutes. It’s just something that I am learning on my own. Do any of you do anything like that?
In Buddhism, 'dharma' means 'cosmic law and order' (among other things). The equivalent in Western...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 3, 2018:
I do lean toward thinking that there is a cosmic order—that things are as they have to be. Reality is as it is for reasons. We live in the best of all possible worlds. Maybe science discovers a tiny fraction of that order and formulates it in a way that is somewhat understandable to humans. Science audaciously labels it’s dabblings as “the Laws of Nature”. Ultimate reality is hidden from us but sometimes we might experience it subjectively.
Earlier today, an ol' dude in DC yells out to me...Hey, hey man, how old is that jacket? I say...Oh...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 3, 2018:
One hell of a nicely written account, and touching.
Categorizing Americans' Religious Typology Groups
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 2, 2018:
I’m definitely a religion resister. I’d like to be spiritually awake but that seems to mean new-agey to the pollsters, and I don’t go for that new age stuff in general. God-and-Country types: They seem to be people who want a solid authority in control, not only in religion but in society and government. I wonder how many of those folks are eldest siblings. In any event, they are the ones who make the most impact politically. Though a minority (4% of the total population), they tend to taint the reputation of religion. It’s an interesting article and I will study it further.
Atheists Are Sometimes More Religious Than Christians - The Atlantic
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 2, 2018:
“I hypothesize that being ‘spiritual’ may be a transitional position between being Christian and being non-religious,” said Linda Woodhead, a professor of politics, philosophy, and religion at Lancaster University in the U.K.“ Sound like what she is saying is that a spiritual person is sort of like a dying flame, about to flicker out. It could be the opposite. A flame of awareness might have been lit within them and that flame might be growing with each passing day. Spiritual people have no use for authoritarian religious organizations with their rigid dogmas—the kingdom of God is within them, metaphorically speaking.
We are born to die,sounds so wrong, does that mean we die to live?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 2, 2018:
“We are born to die” doesn’t mean that the reason we were born is to die IMO. I think it just means that death is our inevitable fate. It’s just a twist of words not meant literally, like “He was born to play the accordion”.
Would you stop eating animals if you thought they dream?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 2, 2018:
IMO we are not our bodies—our higher selves are something else. In the organic world of bodies, bodies eat bodies to survive. It’s not a question of morality or ethics—things are as they are for reasons that are neither good nor bad. Would you eat a human body rather than starve? It’s just a question—I’m undecided.
Why is that politicians want the Ten Commandments posted in government buildings but never seem to ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 2, 2018:
Excellent idea! I’m going to remember this and if another Roy Moore arises in our midst I’ll have ammunition ready. The religion of politicians is skin deep—they use deception to garner votes from the masses.
Went to a VERY religious charity event tonight. Nobody tried to convert me..just good intentioned ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 2, 2018:
I do so love reading posts like this!
I’m a hardcore materialist, in that I believe there is nothing outside the material world. ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2018:
skado, is it okay if I join your group. I’ll try to behave. You have just expressed my views about spirituality and religion almost perfectly. I especially like your next to last paragraph on reality. We are on the same wave length—maybe it’s an Alabama thing. I am in abject awe of reality. EXCEPT, how can you say all that and still say that you are a materialist? I can see that for practical, everyday survival, materialism works, but even modern science sees particles of matter, not as things but as interactions between quantum fields. Quantum gravity theory even has it that there’s no such thing as time, and that space is finite and granular. IMO spirituality is firmly rooted in science. You are not the kind of materialist that I’ve been berating in my previous comments.
INTRODUCTIONS if you please... Use this pinned post to tell us a bit about your interest in ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2018:
The first time I read the Bhagavad Gita and the Upanishads I was thrilled and amazed. For as long as I can remember I’ve had a burning sense of awe in connection with life and the implications of existence, but rarely have I found anyone who shared my enthusiasm. The Bible certainly was of no help, yet in Hindu scriptures I learned that Indian sages had pondered deep questions about reality thousands of years ago, and had formulated an advanced religious philosophy par excellence. I do not presume to call myself a Hindu, rather I am just a lover of their scriptures, and I do meditation but I am not a Yogi.
Is crime natural?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2018:
IMO Everything in our world is natural, the result of natural causes that, from a cosmic perspective, make total sense. From that perspective there is no good/bad duality—everything is good.
This site asks if I "believe in God". The entire question is semantically ambiguous and is ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2018:
I understand and agree with what you say, but I don’t know what an lgtheist is. How meaningful is it to believe or disbelieve something when you haven’t the slightest idea of the nature of that thing? Ultimate reality is a very profound mystery. IMO the only reasonable response is a sense of awe and appreciation. Those who are arguing about God just don’t get it.
Does anyone find that people who are in an organized religion are either redundant or hypocritical?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 31, 2018:
Depends on which organized religion.
Neuroscientist Sam Harris on Our Misconceptions About Free Will and How Acknowledging Its ...
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 31, 2018:
Some neuroscientists are heavily invested in the idea that humans are nothing but machines that have no free will. Free will complicates the picture too much. So does consciousness. Some of them are saying that there’s no such thing as conscious awareness—it’s all illusion. I think it is important not to swallow their unproven assertions. The materialist/physicalist/ reductionist philosophy may be soothing balm to some, but IMO it does not hold up to critical thinking.
If you could make a rule that everyone had to follow, what would it be?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 31, 2018:
Thou shalt not make rules for other people to follow.
Do you ever wonder why most people in any given generation are just spending their time cleaning up ...
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 31, 2018:
I didn’t know they were.
Why does religious zeal exist?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 31, 2018:
It’s not through analysis or cogitation. It appears to me that some people have some buttons ready to be pressed. Say certain magic words and they’ll respond with zealous religious behavior springing from deep subconscious wiring. You can’t expect to change them with logic. I don’t necessarily see that as a bad thing.
The bitter truth is that the world has simply become too complicated for our hunter-gatherer brains....
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 31, 2018:
I tend to agree, but I think that also those hunter-gatherers were acting on primal instincts, with very few of them interested in moral precepts. I’m not sure if bigger brains are needed in order to figure out what is moral behavior. There is a code of conduct for wolves and other pack animals. So far as I know they spend no time at all in analyzing morality. What if there’s no such thing as morality? Maybe there is just human behavior, regulated by cosmic forces beyond the control or understanding of individuals.
Religions vs Cult
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2018:
The word “cult” has come to mean a very bad group that will brainwash you and control you and take your money. Just about every religious organization has people who go around labeling other religions as cults. I was leafing through a book written by a Baptist in Texas. He described Hinduism, Buddhism, and Catholicism as cults. Narrow minded aye? I had a brush with Scientology back in ‘68. Now THAT is a cult.
When someone says" well it was ment to be" or it was gods will. What is your reply?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2018:
“Perhaps you’re right. Things that happen, if viewed from a higher perspective, are things that had to happen and are neither good nor bad”.
Is death something to be scared of?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2018:
http://m.nautil.us/issue/47/consciousness/roger-penrose-on-why-consciousness-does-not-compute There’s some evidence for the concept of universal consciousness. Perhaps our bodies are just robots with no self awareness and no free will. Under that concept conscious awareness is primary, immortal by default.
What exactly do ppl mean when they say that they r spiritual but not religious. Isn't this a ...
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2018:
I think spiritual people are deeply aware of the beauty and magnificence of reality. They are stunned and awed by the implications of existence. For them, every moment is a precious gift to be savored. Sir Arthur Eddington: The universe is of the nature of a thought or sensation in a universal Mind... To put the conclusion crudely — the stuff of the world is mind-stuff. We are no longer tempted to condemn the spiritual aspects of our nature as illusory because of their lack of concreteness. The scientific answer is relevant so far as concerns the sense-impressions... For the rest the human spirit must turn to the unseen world to which it itself belongs.
Ugandan maid cuts off daughter’s body parts to send to friend in Canada - Daily Monitor
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2018:
Jeez, did you HAVE to tell me that? We’ve got to start keeping an eye on them Canadians.
If you support shutting down a site because it's members are allowed to promote anti-semitic views ...
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2018:
It’s always the other people who are bigoted, hateful, ignorant, etc . Our own dear selves are truthful, courageous, intelligent to the point of genius, empathetic, loving, fair minded, etc etc. I wonder if the response would have been different it had been a bunch of Jehova’s Witnesses or something that got shot.
Is there anyone here that values the teachings of the bible, but rejects it's supernatural elements?...
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2018:
Yes, I think JC was a pretty tough, smart guy and I agree with most of what he reportedly taught. There’s nothing divine or unique there—other books are equally interesting. Hindu scriptures especially attract me. Those ancient Indians actually addressed the deep questions of existence while the Hebrew Bible is a mixture of myth and history.
[learning-mind.com] there are many articles on this. Take time to read this and your thoughts?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 29, 2018:
Here’s a very thorough treatment. It’s hard reading and all I’ve done so far is just skimming. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S1571064513001188
Cancer and conspiracy theories. Read this: [wired.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 29, 2018:
Great article! Thank you so much for posting this! Hopefully radiation and chemotherapy will someday soon be phased out in favor of this superior and more effective treatment.

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