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What are your objections to the fine tuning argument for the existence of god
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 7, 2019:
I do not argue either for nor against God. I assume that God, if she exists, has her own attorneys. There are some marvelous, even miraculous things all around us. Anyone who thinks they understand nature is wearing a blindfold IMO.
Almost the entire drive of human history has been, to find better ways of fooling your fellow ...
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 6, 2019:
I see competition among people as an integral and important part of nature. There has always been a blending of unity and competition. There’s no cabal of powerful people who control the agenda. Nature sets the agenda.
Mind changer
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 6, 2019:
I once made a post on a forum in which I stated that there’s no such thing as sex change because everyone is born with either XX or XY genes in every cell of their bodies, and that can not be changed. I received a scathing, emotional reply from a woman who referred me to some scientific studies showing that in some cases gender is not well-defined—the genes can not be clearly identified one way or the other. Those born in that way have to decide which route to take. Life must be very difficult for them—they deserve our utmost respect and consideration.
What will your ego let you do in the following scenario? [hellocaremail.com.au]
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 5, 2019:
Of course it is a duty to help people. I’m not sure how ego comes into play in that scenario. People in cities see so many unfortunates that they become hardened, and they are afraid of liability or entanglement. Calling the police would be an option.
Surgery went ok a complication happened but will not affect result just take an extra week to heal ...
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 5, 2019:
Best wishes for a fast recovery.
Rivers could generate thousands of nuclear power plants worth of energy, thanks to a new ‘blue’ ...
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 5, 2019:
That’s absolutely fascinating, and so promising!
The cutting edge of Human Evolution is the integration of science and religion.
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 5, 2019:
So we are in a meaning crisis. Aha, that explains a lot about the current social divisiveness that seems to be present. There are many religious doctrines that cannot be resolved with science, but there are also forms of religion that are compatible with science—which enhance science, and in fact, half of US scientists report a belief in God. As a Religious Naturalist, I see no conflict with deeply felt spirituality and the findings of science. The conflict is not between science and religion. The conflict is between shallow pseudoscience and shallow, dogmatic religion. Einstein said: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” “Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.”
John Vervaeke on the necessary merger of science and religion: [youtube.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 5, 2019:
So we are in a meaning crisis. Aha, that explains a lot about the current social divisiveness that seems to be present. There are many religious doctrines that cannot be resolved with science, but there are also forms of religion that are compatible with science—which enhance science, and in fact, half of US scientists report a belief in God. As a Religious Naturalist, I see no conflict with deeply felt spirituality and the findings of science. The conflict is not between science and religion. The conflict is between shallow pseudoscience and shallow, dogmatic religion. Einstein said: “There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle.” “Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.” “Try and penetrate with our limited means the secrets of nature and you will find that, behind all the discernible concatenations, there remains something subtle, intangible and inexplicable. Veneration for this force beyond anything that we can comprehend is my religion. To that extent I am, in point of fact, religious.”
Does stating your belief either for or against a deity matter?
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 5, 2019:
It makes no difference at all because no one can define or understand the proposed deity. That’s why I don’t do it. The most reasonable response to the staggering implications of existence is not belief or disbelief, but sheer wonder and reverence. But it makes sense to point out the silliness of literal interpretations of God as described in the Bible.
What I do, and what I don't do determines my reality. Agree or disagree?
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 4, 2019:
I voted yes but I really don’t know. It could be that reality, through universal consciousness, has general oversight over what our bodies do and what they don’t do. There is the personal reality of our perception that is a sort of dream-world of symbolic icons, and there is ultimate reality beyond. Conscious awareness and free will are qualities of ultimate reality in my thinking, with the organic bodies being finely made robotic systems, capable only of limited autonomy. There is the question of what we are in the first place. I lean toward thinking that our true Self is a single entity—there’s no you and me. There is only the eternal “US”. A “person’s” illusory personal reality is specific to a particular body and exists to enhance the survival of that body, bearing in mind that the so-called person is only imaginary. This is complicated and sounds like woo but I don’t care. It’s conjecture—there’s no law against conjecture.
I had a VERY interesting conversation today with a guy going to seminary.
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 4, 2019:
The soul concept falls short IMO. Who or what is it that is having a soul? It seems more reasonable to me to say that our sense of identity as a separate body is illusory and that it is nature itself that is consciously aware. The organic bodies are just dumb robots.
Just wondering if someone can answer me this?
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 4, 2019:
“There are five attributes of ideologues: 1. Absence of doubt 2. Intolerance of debate 3. Appeal to authority 4. A desire to convince others of the ideological “truth” 5. A willingness to punish those that don’t concur In the climate communication world, it has become very trendy to wear your political ideology on your sleeve. How many ‘climate science communicators’ can you name that have at least 4 of the above attributes of ideologues with regards to climate change?“ Judith Curry
Why do people recognize the fictional aspect of all myths and fairy tales, except their own ...
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 4, 2019:
Good point. For an atheist it is easy to recognize the fictional aspects of religion, but not all atheists see the fiction of their own pseudoscientific physicalist/reductionist world views, steeped in scientism.
Just wondering if someone can answer me this?
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 4, 2019:
“Virtually” means truly, and it is NOT true that all scientists believe that drastic measures are called for in connection with global warming. https://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-13-00091.1 Large numbers of climate scientists are not alarmed, giving the following reasons: The rate of warming is very slow, only 0.13C/decade. That rate of warming is hard to detect amongst the wild daily and seasonal changes and regional variations. The current warming trend could easily reverse to a cooling trend at any time. Climate models are not accurate. The average of all climate models predicted twice the warming that has actually occurred. It is not known what percentage of the warming is caused by human produced CO2. There are natural forces at play, such as solar cycles, all of which are not well understood. Not all “deniers” claim there is a conspiracy. It is more like mob action actually, caused by irrational fear and unthinking herd instinct, rushing to judgment with a religious-like zeal.
What's your biggest objection to this argument for the existence of God
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 3, 2019:
According to conjectures of quantum gravity loop theory, from a cosmic perspective there’s no such thing as time. What we experience as time and space are only modes of thought peculiar to our way of interpreting reality, and they have no true essence. Clearly we don’t understand the meaning of existence, because in our human sense-realm things exist through time. If there is no time it is meaningless to even talk about creation. Also meaningless are position, distance, motion, speed, etc. There are no objective “things” either. Particles of matter are not things but interactions. In that we don’t know what the hell we’re talking about it seems smart not to argue over the existence of God. “God” is a label for stuff we don’t know and can’t understand. Since I believe there’s a label called “God” that designates what is unknown. Does that make me a theist? :-)
Do people who hate religion do it because of their Atheism or Agnosticism or because of their ...
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 2, 2019:
I like your attitude. I turned away from fundamentalist religion but I have tried not to throw out the baby with the bath water. I used to be angry but nowadays I’m not angry . In fact I am now calling myself a Religious Naturalist. You can read about it on Wikipedia.
Does this terrify the living F%$k out of anyone else? [twitter.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 2, 2019:
All I saw was a blimp. What’s to be terrified about?
Larry Ogunjobi says Myles Garrett told him about racial slur immediately after
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 2, 2019:
Sounds like they’ve made up. Best at this point to let it go.
False Idol — Why the Christian Right Worships Donald Trump
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 2, 2019:
It’s a very interesting *Rolling Stone* article, but I think it is a mistake to lump together all evangelicals as though that is all that defines them, and then to say that they were the ones who put Trump into office. One fourth of the country might say, if asked, that they are a member of one of the groups deemed by the media to be “evangelical “. But are they active members or do they merely identify that way through family tradition? And it is said that 3/4 of evangelicals voted Republican. That’s only 3/16’s of the country. Where did all the other votes come from? Generally people do not vote based on religion. They vote based on political views or on personal impressions of the candidates. A person might identify with a particular church or other, but in general, that is only a small part of who they are. I also note that the article has a misleading headline. It’s not about the Christian Right. It’s specifically about those who have been branded as Evangelicals. That would include Hilary Clinton BTW.
“Life never went easy on her and she didn’t go easy on herself either.
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 2, 2019:
Intriguing piece of writing. Thanks.
The Psychology of Awakening .
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 2, 2019:
I haven’t finished reading the article, but offhand I’d say that there already are strong overlaps between the meditative traditions and modern counseling methods. I’m thinking of methods like Rational Behavior Therapy which trains you to analyze and police your thoughts—to think only true, nonjudgmental thoughts. “Right Thought (sammà samkappa) is the second step on the Buddha’s Noble Eightfold Middle Path. Thoughts are either words or pictures that form in the mind and which are often accompanied by or give rise to feelings which in turn may give rise to actions.” https://dhammawiki.com/index.php/Right_Thought
Do democracies need heroes?
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 2, 2019:
I agree. The worshiping of heroes does not seem like a hallmark of democracy. What is needed for democracy is an individualistic, educated electorate. Good leaders are needed but if they become worshiped they might become tyrants.
So do not fear death for it is inevitable...
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 2, 2019:
The death of individual bodies is inevitable. The process of life, however, goes on. “We” are that process.
Hello I’m new here and ready to get acquainted!
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 2, 2019:
Welcome. Jump right in.
Every country in the world makes laws to oppress people especially women and immigrants.
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 2, 2019:
What appears “just” to one person might seem unjust to another. The role of the Supreme Court is to interpret the constitution and decide on conflicting laws. Conservative justices oppose legislating from the bench. The proper place for making laws is in the legislature. If changes in the constitution are wanted, there is a legal process for making those changes, and that process does not involve the court.
What do you think about 'intuition?
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 1, 2019:
Even scientific theories start out as intuitive ideas before being subjected to rigorous testing.
Tis is to advise the group that Mike Flora, my son, died on Thanksgiving day.
WilliamFleming comments on Dec 1, 2019:
Sorry for your loss sir.
A little uncommon reading for you folks.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 30, 2019:
It is a fascinating essay, as much an exposition on religious ecstasy as about Virginia Woolf. I continue to read, but was stopped while this soaks in. “Because mysticism is not controlled by institutional religion, having ecstatic experiences is not dependent upon being affiliated with a religious tradition or upon "belief' in God. As accounts show, these experiences happen to anyone." “Heschel perceived radical amazement as a universal insight into an objective aspect of reality, of which all men are at all times capable; . . . The sense of the ineffable is not an esoteric faculty but an ability with which all men are endowed; And as Plotinus so beautifully spoke of this universal capability, "'Shut your eyes and change to and wake another way of seeing, which everyone has but few use."' Virginia Woolf was one of those few.” Heady stuff for a master’s thesis. I wonder how it was received.
The answer to reversing climate change may be whales.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 30, 2019:
I have serious doubts about the claims in this article, starting with the idea of carbon being sequestered in the bodies of whales. Sure, some carbon is sequestered, but eventually the whales die and every molecule of that carbon gets reoxidized. With every breath those whales emit carbon dioxide.
So if you won the lottery, lets say 150M after taxes. What would you do?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 30, 2019:
I would change but little—maybe travel more. Once the money was properly invested I might indulge in a Stemme motor glider.
Input Force Multiplier
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 30, 2019:
According to the law of conservation of mass and energy, input energy always equals output energy, so the answer is no.
Religious Belief and Poor Understanding Of Physical World It's beginning to make sense to me now.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 30, 2019:
The study can be seen here: http://www.weylmann.com/helsinki_study.pdf It is no surprise that people who think breaking a mirror leads to seven years bad luck, who think the wind has intentionality, or who have strong fundamentalist beliefs about religion would have done poorly in science classes and would also score poorly in various cognitive areas. The study was a waste—nearly anyone could have predicted the outcome. The study employs complex statistical analysis that I don’t understand. Maybe that’s the reason for my metaphysical ruminations—lack of statistical knowledge. :-) I think it is important in this frantic drive aimed at discrediting all religion and all metaphysical thought, to exercise discrimination. There’s a lot of difference between those who believe in silly superstitions and those who philosophize about a higher reality while holding deep awareness and appreciation for existence. “My religion consists of a humble admiration of the illimitable superior spirit who reveals himself in the slight details we are able to perceive with our frail and feeble mind." Albert Einstein In other words, don’t throw out the baby with the bath water.
A little uncommon reading for you folks.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 29, 2019:
Thanks for posting this. I started reading, and am saving it for later. I’m eager to read more about the religious ecstasy experienced by atheist, Virginia Woolf.
I argue that we are on the wrong path to combat climate crises when we ignore the capitalist system ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 29, 2019:
Offhand I don’t see how having government own the land and means of production would have any effect on climate or would bring any benefits at all.
So this happened yesterday.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 29, 2019:
I would respect him for what he is and take no action, especially if he is not disturbed by the experience. I would try to keep him talking about it.
As far as being thankful, I am very thankful that I've been so lucky in my life.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 29, 2019:
You sound like an optimistic person, and I admire that. I also have the sensation of having been very lucky, but I think it is because I have learned to glory in the good things that have happened to me, and I try to ignore the bad. Also I realize that good/bad are just modes of thought. Things that happen happen for reasons. I might not like what happens but from an overall perspective, it is just nature, proceeding as it must.
Hello! I am fairly new here, and I hope to get to know how to navigate this site, which appears to ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 29, 2019:
Welcome. I hope you had a nice Thanksgiving.
Worry about hells?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 29, 2019:
The only hell is the one you create for yourself by wallowing in fearful, hateful thoughts. It’s not necessary.
Didn’t even make it to 2 pm before my stepdad blew Christmas money at the casino and my mom tased ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 28, 2019:
https://youtu.be/TUCUsNx1HTs Sorta like this?
When you're the only Agnostic at Thanksgiving dinner and they ask you to say "Grace":
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 28, 2019:
I was asked to say grace a couple of years ago. I asked for willpower not to overeat, noting that some of us were over-nourished. Haven’t been asked again.
Pastor claims Jewish plot to impeach trump
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 28, 2019:
Look hard enough and you’ll find some ignorant, tin horn preacher who might say about anything. Did the guy even attend seminary? I doubt if he’s any more than a self-appointed faker, in it for the money. The so-called “church” is nondenominational I see.
Happy Feast Day, aka "Thanksgiving.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 28, 2019:
I am thankful for my sister who prepares the whole spread and refuses all offers of assistance. :-) I am praying (to myself) for will power not to overeat.
I see a lot of hate for what people describe as FREEMASONS. What is the story with that?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 28, 2019:
One of my grandfathers was a Mason, and he was the exact opposite of a controlling elitist. He was a small farmer and lifelong Baptist. I too don’t understand those attacks on Masons. I like the idea of men having groups for social interaction.
Is there a difference between a fundamentalist theist and a fundamentalist atheist?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
It is not so much that some atheists are adamant about their religious opinions as that they have associated beliefs about the nature of reality that they guard with religious zeal, and often they aren’t even aware of their beliefs. It is the physicalist/reductionist philosophy, steeped in scientism. NO one truly understands this reality in which we find ourselves, and to cling to that failed philosophy is no different than clinging to some religious dogma.
Is there a difference between a fundamentalist theist and a fundamentalist atheist?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
No difference at all except they each use a different shade of sun glasses to hide from the glare of reality.
As Christmas approaches I seem to sense a rising anger and rigidness toward the Christians and other...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
You are absolutely right. We only hurt ourselves by clinging to grudges and indulging in negative judgments.
My wonderful and sweet dad drove me to work because my car battery died.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
The end times—is that sort of like climate alarmism?
I see that most a lot of liberals make fun of call out Christians on their BS but are OK if Muslims...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
Mocking the religion of others is not truly liberal behavior. Those who do so are liberal in name only but are lacking in liberal characteristics. Demonizing conservatives—same thing.
While my own experience is just anecdotal, it's a reason why I can understand the results of this ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
It’s food for thought. I wonder if the big to do that sometimes follows the discovery of abuse actually exacerbates the damage. Not having been abused myself, I am in no way qualified to know. Maybe some people are just naturally tough enough to handle that kind of treatment. Maya Angelou for example.
I have a question for the fellow agnostics and atheists.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
I do not agree that all religions are “bad”. Religion in one form or another has been a way of life throughout human evolution. The seeds of religion were also the seeds of all kinds of human creativity. There are various religious groups that spread nothing but peace, joy and wellbeing. For example, I am a Religious Naturalist—we have our own association. You can read about it on Wikipedia.
Prince andrew..
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
No opinion and little interest. Double points. :-)
Anyone here sapiosexual?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
I had to look that one up. I used to be that way a little bit. These days I ain’t nothin’ sexual very much.
My wonderful and sweet dad drove me to work because my car battery died.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
You are absolutely on the right course to maintain a good relationship with your father. On the other hand, I think that being true to yourself is even more important. You did just the right thing IMO. We should give our opinions in a calm way. Other people will have to accept us as we are. I remember having a calm discussion with my parents about religion. We were in disagreement, but the subject was never raised again.They recommended that I seek out some other religious group—one that resonated with me, and that was the end of the discussion.
In America do you have a referendum if there is a push to amend the constitution?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
No, The issue is taken up in Congress and requires a two thirds vote by both houses and ratification by three fourths of the states. Another way that has never been used, is for two thirds of the state legislatures to call for a convention of states and at that convention, three fourths of state delegates must approve the amendment. As a federation of states, ultimate power rests with those states. They could change the constitution in any way they chose, or decide to disband.
There is a common thread in many of the posts I have seen here, that being you can't get people to ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 27, 2019:
You can not make another person believe anything. Each person has to ponder the available evidence and form their own conclusions, and it is perfectly legitimate to have no opinion—you can be undecided or disinterested. We seem so much hard wired to survive and reproduce that I doubt you’ll ever get enough people to forego having children to make enough difference. There are natural mechanisms for keeping populations in check: disease, war, predators, starvation, etc. that will do the job at some point. I would think that evolution works best under harsh conditions. A population of fat old people living in mansions is not going anywhere, in evolutionary terms. A group of people might achieve a stable or declining population level only to be invaded by younger, more energetic and prolific immigrants. If a person wants something to worry about, there’s no end of available topics. I prefer to concentrate on what is before me and to live in tranquility and joy. I’ll leave the worrying to y’all.
Has someone ever told you to give your problems to god?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 26, 2019:
I interpret it as meaning to relax and go with the flow. Quit hyper analyzing and listen to your gut intuition. Especially don’t build up scary scenarios through irrational thinking about the situation.
I had to actually make someone understand how crappy they make doctors / surgeons feel when they ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 26, 2019:
Except that 76% of Doctors in the US believe in God so they are probably saying the same thing. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/8318894/ns/health-health_care/t/survey-most-doctors-believe-god-afterlife/
At last! I have found a label I didn’t know existed.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 26, 2019:
Sounds like sarcasm or teasing. You don’t seem like the subversive type.
Should be lots of potential for building low-cost housing out of plastic blocks.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 26, 2019:
Neat! Great idea. Why would building codes be an issue?
Do you suppose dogs think in yips, barks, and growls?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 26, 2019:
I don’t know but I doubt it. Humans can think and act without using language. Think of an athlete, say a hockey player. While playing hockey there’s not time to verbalize your thoughts, and most of the thoughts are subconscious anyway. For a dog, responding to a voice is probably little different than responding to a smell. Since dogs don’t talk there’s no need for them to formulate words in their minds. I do think that dogs are consciously aware though. They communicate well with body language, and they can read our body language very well.
How many people are familiar with Plato's Republic?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 26, 2019:
Our perception of reality is just an illusion, and I think the illusion is less real than a shadow world—it is a total fabrication created in our thoughts. Underlying reality is of a different order of existence and can not be understood in terms of the space/time/objects model. There is no location, no objects, no causation, no motion except in our minds. Those people in the cave are captives of limited perception. A few people throughout history have had glimmers of ultimate reality beyond, and their insights have sparked religion, science, art and philosophy.
Greenhouse gases reach new peak in 2018 according to a UN report.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 25, 2019:
Being depressed and anxious won’t help matters. I have a strong feeling that a radical new method of generating power is just around the corner.
Thank you life experiences for making me into the person I am today! ❤ &Positivevibes
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 25, 2019:
I admire a good, positive, optimistic, non-judgmental attitude. That attitude stems from deep awareness and appreciation for life.
There is a connection between spider solitaire and the argument of intelligent design.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 25, 2019:
In general I agree with what you are saying. I do think however, that there is more than one kind of intelligent design proposal. There are ways of looking at intelligent design other than to believe that God is looking over you as an individual human body. It would be entirely possible to believe in intelligent design and also to think that there was no God looking over you. It would also be possible to think that evolution preceded strictly along Darwinian lines, yet to believe in a God that helps you individually. Conscious intelligence influences evolution all the time through selective breeding, demonstrating that possibility. I am not totally convinced that evolution has proceeded based strictly on random mutations and natural selection. The nature of conscious awareness is a profound mystery and I am not willing to declare that it plays no role in evolution.
The words "free thinkers" do not exist in developing countries.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 24, 2019:
I’d be careful about making generalizations about “developing countries”. All countries are developing in one way or the other, and all countries have free-thinkers. Besides that, 76% of US doctors believe in God. http://www.nbcnews.com/id/8318894/ns/health-health_care/t/survey-most-doctors-believe-god-afterlife/
So, I have lived here in Alabama most of my life.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 23, 2019:
Welcome and good luck in your search.
Why the electric-car revolution may take a lot longer than expected [technologyreview.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 23, 2019:
Maybe when sodium ion batteries come on line we’ll see a significant drop in electric car costs. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sodium-ion_battery
Hi all, hope you're well.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2019:
Welcome and good luck with your quest.
The "N" Word
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2019:
N-word? You made me click. :-) This requires some thought.
"I think it's much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2019:
Wow! That guy was very courageous and astute and as a Religious Naturalist I agree totally. It makes no sense to live in fear.
I got a job, one Summer, working for a certain manufacturer that makes ATMs and voting machines.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2019:
That’s an interesting story. I’d have gotten kicked out the first day because I won’t tolerate any kind of blaring radio or TV regardless of the material. I worked at a plant once that had a weekly religious service presented by Protestant clergy. Most of us were happy to have a paid rest break, but there was an exchange student from Iraq who objected and was allowed to continue working during the service. He worked with pride and determination.
Anyone who does not think that Russia under Putin is a real and imminent threat to Europe and the ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2019:
I don’t think that Russia is much of a threat. We should cultivate friendship with all countries where possible.
Atheists Call on Minnesota School District to Stop Letting Preacher Recruit Kids | Sarahbeth Caplin ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2019:
Thank God that didn’t happen here in Alabama—there’d be no end of hateful yowling, demonizing and stereotyping. No one religion should ever be presented in a public school because there are generally Muslims, Jews, Hindus, etc. in addition to various Christian denominations. Equally important is not to promote atheism or any other philosophy or opinion as being the correct view. What is very often presented without so much as a blink of the eye is a physicalist/materialist position reeking of scientism. It is an unsupportable superstition that does great harm but is rarely challenged.
Franklin Graham Promises Christians Chick-fil-A Will Keep Hating The Gays | Michael Stone
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2019:
As usual Patheos exaggerates, demonizes, and resorts to name-calling. Those supposedly horrible religious groups to which Chick-fil-A donates do not say that they hate anyone. All they say is that homosexuality is not approved by their religious doctrines. Those very same doctrines are held by the United Methodist Church to which Hilary Clinton belongs. Also remember that Barack Obama ran in opposition to gay marriage on his first campaign. Al Gore is a devout Baptist. Where is all the hatred for those folks? It’s all political garbage. Patheos is a slimy, disgusting source.
Can smokers & non-smokers coexist, or even date?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2019:
Depends on how much they like each other.
By Any Other Name Literalists, both theist and atheist, hold God to be a supreme creative ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 22, 2019:
As a newly established naturalist I am in full agreement. It gives me great pleasure to have such an intellectual-sounding label. It’s much better than my previous “confusionist” moniker, which was, after all sort of weak from a PR perspective. However, I remain totally confused.
Recognise who people are, beyond their usefulness.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 21, 2019:
Yes, everyone shares in the glory of conscious existence even if they are unable to work. Our ultimate value is not in production of goods—our basic being is inherently valuable. That becomes apparent when we realize our unity with all that is.
Would be something to see
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 21, 2019:
??
He says the truth
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 21, 2019:
Oh, there have been atheists who were mass murderers: https://www.conservapedia.com/List_of_atheist_shooters_and_serial_killers And don’t forget people like Stalin and Pol Pot who murdered their share.
Would you sell your (nonexistent) soul?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 21, 2019:
I sort of suggested to a woman one time that she would have my soul if we made love, but there was no true quid pro quo.
My dog, Lily, died last night.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 21, 2019:
Sorry about your dog. All you can do is go with the flow and ride out the waves of sorrow. Tears are good.
Can a person be so well learned, trained and practiced in their grammer that they can only think ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 21, 2019:
Did you mean to say, “...that they can think only grammatically **correctly**? :-)
The Master Race. Did it survive the fall of the third Reich?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 21, 2019:
After many generations a group might be developed having specific desired genetic characteristics, however, those characteristics would probably be of no value or of negative value in the future environment. Also, no doubt there would be other characteristics that could be even more valuable that, through ignorance, would be neglected. And there would be undesirable characteristics not readily apparent that would be propagated. The result would be that your master race wouldn’t be worth crap. Hitler got his ideas about eugenics from the US, from universities in New York and Wisconsin. Americans even sent advisors to Germany to advise the Nazi government in setting up their programs for the elimination of unwanted people.
Why intelligent people still believe in silly ideas - [bigthink.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 20, 2019:
“This, again, though, should not make us apathetic in trying to still convince people, even smart ones. Smart doesn't make you right: it just makes you, in many instances, better at thinking that you are.” Hmm...who are the “us” that have all the correct opinions and who appointed the “us” to convince everyone else, even the smart ones? Could it be that the “us” referred to have their own set of biases? There appears to be a level of stereotyping going on here. I would think that people with high intelligence would occupy the entire range of human characteristics. Anyway, are you going to give people an IQ test to determine if special technique will be required in order to teach them correct beliefs? There are various kinds of intelligence and normally you wouldn’t know all that much about the person.
CNN reports one in Six American adults believe the earth is flat.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 19, 2019:
The flat earth model works well over small areas, and is often used by land surveyors. For long-range navigation the spherical model is needed. For geodetic surveys the earth is modeled by an oblate spheroid. It’s not really an oblate spheroid—there are all kinds of bumps and depressions that have to be dealt with. The point is that our perception of earth is not real and we have to use mental props to represent it as an objective idea or “thing”. None of those models are absolutely true—they are just modes of thought. For that reason I will try not to judge the flat-earthers too harshly.
Isn't it interesting that there are so many Christian songs about being in the Lord's army?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 19, 2019:
What about *The Battle Hymn of the Republic*? How I hate that song! In first grade we were taught a different version, a version that I will prudently not reveal.
Are babies Atheists ?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 19, 2019:
They are just learning to experience life as a body and have no silly opinions about meaningless subjects. Babies are pure consciousness. For being such pure and innocent creatures, they sure demand a lot of attention.
Let's discuss reincarnation.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 19, 2019:
The work of Ian Stevenson very much supports reincarnation. It is incorrect to say that there is no evidence. You might not be persuaded by the evidence, but there is evidence. I lean toward thinking that our identification as a separate self in a body is nothing but illusion, and that any previous life as a body was also an illusion. Just because I share memories with a dead person does not necessarily mean that I AM that person. What it suggests to me is that we are all one entity as viewed from a cosmic perspective. In that sense, reincarnation might be something akin to remote viewing. I do not think in terms of afterlives. There is only the eternal present moment, immortal by default. Time is only a mental prop, and without conscious awareness the concept has no meaning. “Heaven did not hand down the word ‘time’. Man invented it. . . . If there are problems with the concept of time, they are of our own creation . . . as Einstein put it ‘Time and space are modes by which we think, and not conditions in which we live.’ ”30” — The Case Against Reality: Why Evolution Hid the Truth from Our Eyes by Donald Hoffman http://a.co/aR2bLZo
What is your opinion of trophy hunting? Trevor Noah discusses it in this clip. [facebook.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 19, 2019:
I fail to understand why trophy hunting is any worse than other hunting. The end result is the same. Also, I see no difference in hunting wild animals or butchering domestic animals. It’s all a part of nature—we evolved to eat meat. Chimpanzees, our closest animal cousins, are avid hunters and meat-eaters.
We easily see the role of religion in trying to alter human behavior, so that it is tempting to see ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 19, 2019:
I think that I lean toward monasticism in some ways. I like country life, but you can also live in a city and have monastic traits. I would not want to be a total hermit however.
NPR: 13.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 19, 2019:
In one sense, “God” could, without resorting to supernatural beliefs, be thought to alter the course of natural events. If you think of our selves as extensions of a natural God, then whatever conscious choices we make are really the choices of this God figure. Such a view, while not requiring supernatural belief, does require an admission of almost total ignorance of the nature of underlying reality. It also assigns conscious awareness to a higher level of existence than is often done.
Zeno (c.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 19, 2019:
I didn’t know that I was a religious naturalist but that seems to be the case. :-) I do not believe in supernatural things, but I do think that the explanations provided by science are generally superficial and that the true nature of reality is a profound mystery that can not be understood in terms of objects moving through space and time.
What are some traits of other adults that annoy the crap out of you?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 18, 2019:
I’m sorry you don’t like me. :-(
Am I wrong?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 17, 2019:
I live out in the country on a small farm. There are only small towns in the area. I enjoy the peace and quiet, privacy, clean air, and lack of crime. It’s also inexpensive. Do you like country living?
Did Islam cause the Dark Ages?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 16, 2019:
It’s an interesting proposal, but I am dubious. The Islamic world was having a glorious flowering of civilization during the medieval period. I don’t see how Europe could have been adversely affected. The decline of the Roman Empire must have brought on the dark ages.
Faith defined.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 16, 2019:
Actually we all operate on some degree of faith. There is usually at least some evidence either way and we make a gut decision. Evidence and reason are fine, but they will not tell you the absolute truth. Truth is not absolute.
"I'm spiritual not religious"
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 16, 2019:
I don’t think the two words are always interchangeable, and I don’t think that spirituality is completely described as an emotion. You can be filled with murderous rage. That’s an emotion but isn’t spiritual. In addition to emotions, I think that spirituality is accompanied by deep awareness and appreciation, where appreciation is to understand the value.. The resulting emotions, such as a feeling of reverence, are just byproducts. Also, IMO belief and disbelief are both nothing but value judgments—emotions. To be totally mystified and bewildered—there’s an emotional side to that response, but it seems to me the most appropriate response to our situation as consciously aware beings.
This is amazing. What do you think? [demilked.com]
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 16, 2019:
It’s a great idea and very beautiful but that dead tree is not going to last very long sitting in the ground as it is.
Should all bookstores be re-arranged in this manner?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 15, 2019:
Clever and amusing. I am not afraid of current events.
[psypost.org]
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 15, 2019:
Look at the actual study and you’ll see that there’s only weak negative correlation between intelligence and religiosity. (-0.20 to -0.23) No meaningful conclusions can be drawn from the study. In particular, you can not logically say that people are religious BECAUSE they are not as intelligent. Those who trumpet studies like this might be lacking in intelligence however.

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Skeptic, Freethinker, Spiritual
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