Agnostic.com
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I believe "Central New Jersey" exists, more that any deity exists. Can anyone prove me wrong?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 8, 2019:
“Central New Jersey” and “any deity” are both nothing but fluffy mind stuff. The concept of existence is just meaningless chatter anyway.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 8, 2019:
@LenHazell53 My sense of self as a body is an illusion, yet my body, robotic or not, represents *something*. That thing is programmed by evolution for survival and reproduction. Conscious awareness would observe that the body had leapt clear, but only shortly after having done so.
Report: Churches Cost Taxpayers $71 Billion Annually | Michael Stone
MizJ comments on Nov 8, 2019:
I would be fine with the option mentioned of taxation as non-profits, just no more free ride.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 8, 2019:
@MizJ I don’t know. I suppose that would depend on local laws.
Report: Churches Cost Taxpayers $71 Billion Annually | Michael Stone
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 8, 2019:
If an organization shows no profit what exactly are you going to tax? Local property taxes maybe, but federal income taxes don’t apply. Those **working** for the organization do pay taxes, just like everyone else. To call it a tax subsidy when there is no profit to tax is ridiculous—the ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 8, 2019:
@AnneWimsey I think they do have to file. https://www.journalofaccountancy.com/issues/2006/may/taxreportingforhousesofworship.html I support strict oversight to make sure that employee compensation is properly reported. Nonprofits don’t pay taxes on their investments, but they do pay taxes on the profit of unrelated side businesses: https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/are-churches-always-exempt.html
Report: Churches Cost Taxpayers $71 Billion Annually | Michael Stone
BestWithoutGods comments on Nov 8, 2019:
Tax the damn churches!
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 8, 2019:
By the same logic you’d have to tax the damn credit unions, the damn labor unions, the damn Elks Club, etc.
Report: Churches Cost Taxpayers $71 Billion Annually | Michael Stone
DavidDuhon comments on Nov 8, 2019:
First steps would be property taxes and finding a means of taxing what are basically tax sheltered businesses run by churches--your mega-churches have pre-schools, rec-centers, and other similar operations that are then given an unfair advantage over gyms and private pre-schools. The rest may have ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 8, 2019:
Compare with your local credit union. Credit unions are owned by their members and there is no profit to be taxed. That might seem like unfair competition to commercial banks, however the credit union members benefit. You could mount a campaign to tax credit unions, claim that taxpayers are subsidizing those greedy entities by billions, but in truth there is no subsidy.
Report: Churches Cost Taxpayers $71 Billion Annually | Michael Stone
MizJ comments on Nov 8, 2019:
I would be fine with the option mentioned of taxation as non-profits, just no more free ride.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 8, 2019:
Nonprofits pay no federal income tax. Not all nonprofits are charitable organizations. How about the YMCA, your local credit union, your labor union? The list goes on and on.
It is interesting the number of people on here commenting on how they are surrounded where they live...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 8, 2019:
I’m with you on this one. I live in rural Alabama, depicted by some as an evil hotbed of right-wing “Evangelicals”. Yet all my most immediate friends are non-believers, and church people never bother me in the least. I can see though that for some people, family members might pressure ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 8, 2019:
@DavidDuhon You can be as hateful, bigoted, ignorant and prejudiced as you want to be if you carefully pick the correct scapegoat.
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WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2019:
Interesting article. They seem to be talking about superstitions. I’m not sure if religious people are all in the category under discussion.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 7, 2019:
@MichaelSpinler it sounds as though you are an extremely advanced intellectual and have everything figured out. I myself know nothing and am baffled by the staggering implications of existence. I look at things as Einstein did: “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." And here’s Sir. Arthur Eddington, one of the foremost physicists of the twentieth century: “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.” I guess that in my quest I’ll first try to understand these great luminaries before moving on to your philosophy.
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WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2019:
Interesting article. They seem to be talking about superstitions. I’m not sure if religious people are all in the category under discussion.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 7, 2019:
@MichaelSpinler Here’s a few sources on the subject of universal intelligence or consciousness, which has been advocated by large numbers of eminent physicists. They were not thinking of God in the mythical sense, or as something supernatural. Yet theirs is a sort of philosophical God. Universal Consciousness https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/is-consciousness-universal/ http://jcer.com/index.php/jcj/article/view/565 https://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/600900 https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nbcnews.com/mach/amp/ncna772956 https://bigthink.com/the-universe-may-be-conscious-prominent-scientists-state-2604506953.amp.html https://www.ecstadelic.net/top-stories/the-unified-field-and-the-quantum-nature-of-consciousness? “Lest the idea of a unitary, group, or universal mind be dismissed as new-age woo-woo, we should note that some of the most distinguished scientists of the 20th century have endorsed this perspective. The renowned physicist David Bohm said, "Each person enfolds something of the spirit of the other in his consciousness. Deep down the consciousness of mankind is one. This is a virtual certainty... and if we don't see this it's because we are blinding ourselves to it." Anthropologist and psychologist Gregory Bateson: "The individual mind is immanent but not only in the body. It is immanent also in the pathways and messages outside the body; and there is a larger Mind of which the individual mind is only a sub-system..." Physicist Henry Margenau: "There is a physical reality that is in essence the same for all... [This] oneness of the all implies the universality of mind... If my conclusions are correct, each individual is part of God or part of the Universal Mind." Nobel physicist Erwin Schrodinger also believed that minds are united and one. He said, "To divide or multiply consciousness is something meaningless. There is obviously only one alternative, namely the unification of minds or consciousness... [I]n truth there is only one mind." https://www.huffpost.com/entry/spiritual-living-is-techn_n_600900 Surely you do not dismiss all these brilliant physicists as merely superstitious. I respect their opinions.
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WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2019:
Interesting article. They seem to be talking about superstitions. I’m not sure if religious people are all in the category under discussion.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 7, 2019:
@MichaelSpinler Any sources for your assertions or is it just your opinion?
The Darwinian ‘Struggle for Existence’ is Really About Balance – The Evolution Institute
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 31, 2019:
I read somewhere that Darwin never used the term “survival of the fittest”, and to his death he declared that he was being misquoted and misunderstood, and that natural selection is not the only driver of evolution. Natural selection is easy to understand and it so neatly explains things ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 7, 2019:
@girlwithsmiles I don’t know if anyone knows that. I’m not very knowledgeable in that area.
SPIRITUAL.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 7, 2019:
Great definition. I’m with you. The trouble with those dictionary definitions is that they are not sufficient. “Relating to the human spirit of soul”—what is the human spirit or soul? “Relating to religion or religious belief—how do you define religion? And those definitions ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 7, 2019:
@Mcflewster Rodatheist proposed adding this third definition to dictionaries: “Spirituality: A feeling of being in awe and harmony with the universe, including all processes of nature and all manifestations of life.” I am all for it—that’s how I think of spirituality. If enough people requested it I’m thinking the dictionary people would feel obliged to comply. They could be requested to do their own survey to determine if such an additional definition is warranted. You’ve gotten me interested in “oxidation”. I’m going to look that up right now.
The Darwinian ‘Struggle for Existence’ is Really About Balance – The Evolution Institute
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 31, 2019:
I read somewhere that Darwin never used the term “survival of the fittest”, and to his death he declared that he was being misquoted and misunderstood, and that natural selection is not the only driver of evolution. Natural selection is easy to understand and it so neatly explains things ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 7, 2019:
@girlwithsmiles Here’s an article that tries to explain gene expression if you can make anything of it. https://www.nature.com/articles/hdy201054#Sec2 What is a profound mystery to me is how such a complex sequence of events can proceed automatically without oversight. I get the feeling that no one knows.
Dot Sullivan, 101 years old - Sydney, Australia, on Donald Trump: That man is a nutter.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 6, 2019:
I am disturbed to read such a proposal. Is this what liberalism is all about? Warning: It is illegal to advocate or incite such action.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 7, 2019:
@TheoryNumber3 I would forward it to the FBI if I thought a post was advocating murder. I doubt the admin would allow such posts on this site.
Only now do we understand the true cruelty of Trump’s family separation.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 6, 2019:
“Over the past few decades, the number of imprisoned parents in the U.S. has skyrocketed. From 1991 to 2007, it jumped by more than 357,000. Today,[2018] more than half of the 2.2 million people in the nation’s prisons and jails are parents of minor children.” ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 7, 2019:
@TheoryNumber3 Do You favor open borders? I’m not sure you even read what I wrote. What is it that sounds sane and logical? And did you read the last article that I cited? We already have social programs for feeding hungry people. Open the border and offer free food and shelter and you will see an influx of millions of immigrants. Something tells me that this whole issue is just one more way of heaping scorn on DT, and nothing else. If you are so full of pity and indignation over the thousands of immigrant children, why do you ignore the millions of others that I reference?
I university of Alabama said protestor trump and lose your tickets
Organist1 comments on Nov 6, 2019:
It's time to teach the University of Alabama something about 1st amendment rights. A lawsuit would help.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 7, 2019:
What about the rights of the fans to watch the game that they paid for without disruptive behavior. Such behavior in a crowded stadium might turn into catastrophic violence.
The universe may be conscious, say prominent scientists - Big Think
MrDMC comments on Nov 6, 2019:
Ancient Asians new it all along.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 6, 2019:
“I go into the Upanishads to ask questions.” Niels Bohr
You may find this comparison of Europe and the USA interesting.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 6, 2019:
I’m not sure if “share” of income means much. The meaningful question is whether people are able to earn an adequate amount of goods and services. There’s a CPA in my neighborhood who earns $20k before breakfast every day. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carr,_Riggs_%26_Ingram,_LLC...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 6, 2019:
@ToolGuy Maybe huge numbers cannot, but this study indicates that on average the rate of consumption is as high for low to mid level earners as it’s ever been. https://www.nber.org/papers/w23292 I do not necessarily accept that at face value. What is a good source of information? I remember well conditions in my area in the fifties, and the standard of living is now higher by far for ordinary people and for those low on the income scale. Just my appraisal.
You may find this comparison of Europe and the USA interesting.
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 6, 2019:
I’m not sure if “share” of income means much. The meaningful question is whether people are able to earn an adequate amount of goods and services. There’s a CPA in my neighborhood who earns $20k before breakfast every day. https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carr,_Riggs_%26_Ingram,_LLC...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 6, 2019:
@ToolGuy “The meaningful question is whether **people** are able to earn an adequate amount of goods and services.” I use myself as an example.
Typical - barely educated preacher from semi-developped country comes to lay waste to what little is...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 6, 2019:
If the people decide to change and burn their old symbols there’s nothing that can be done about it. It is their choice, just as it was the choice of Germanic tribes to turn away from Woden and become Christians. Everything is in constant flux anyway so I’m not going to lose any sleep. Maybe...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 6, 2019:
@Allamanda Ha, I thought I might get a rise. It is hard sometimes for me to suppress my trollish instincts. Really though, is the old way of religion better? It probably is in many ways, but I’m sure there is also a negative side, such as having to make sacrifices to ward off evil spirits. That could be wasteful and tiresome. I in no way advocate Christianity, but we have no choice but to respect the decisions of the people and wish them happiness.
The afterlife and beyond
DeathNova comments on Nov 6, 2019:
Personally i have a neutral opinion on the subject. I don't think there is anything after death but the concept of there being nothing troubles me deeply
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 6, 2019:
@Fernapple That’s EXACTLY what my father said shortly before his death.
I'm agnostic & somewhat spiritual but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk about it.
Mofo1953 comments on Nov 1, 2019:
Religion = spirituality = bullshit!
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 6, 2019:
@Bobby9 Of course scales are based on math, as is modular arithmetic. You bring back old memories. In ‘61 I took a course in abstract algebra, and a major part of it was about modular arithmetic. I still have the textbook, autographed by my professor who was also the author. On a clock 2+2=4 but 11+2=1. :-) Anyway, thanks for a stimulating conversation.
Prejudices are interesting things--there are socially acceptable prejudices and socially ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 6, 2019:
We are all prejudiced by necessity because none of us has the whole picture. For that reason I try not to be judgmental when I see what seems like prejudice—it’s just that the person’s experiences are different than mine. Sometimes I screw up and get defensive, as when someone is running down ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 6, 2019:
@DavidDuhon Excellent analysis! I agree wholeheartedly with your optimistic assessment. Only through experience and knowledge do we grow out of prejudice.
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WilliamFleming comments on Nov 5, 2019:
Interesting article. They seem to be talking about superstitions. I’m not sure if religious people are all in the category under discussion.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 6, 2019:
@MichaelSpinler I’m not sure it is in every case. There are many religious groups for which belief is not required. In my experience, some churches preach against superstitious thoughts such as were discussed in the article. A philosophical belief in a higher power stemming from long study and contemplation does not qualify as superstition IMO. In my opinion, the true spirit of religion is not about belief or disbelief, but in many cases the true spirit of religion is not upheld.
I'm agnostic & somewhat spiritual but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk about it.
Mofo1953 comments on Nov 1, 2019:
Religion = spirituality = bullshit!
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 6, 2019:
@Bobby9 The article I cited has nothing to do with modular arithmetic—it’s about scales. However, modular arithmetic reinforces my point. As I said before, all logical systems are based on definitions and assumptions. There is no absolute truth. For that reason we should respect each other’s opinions. Some of the worlds greatest intellectuals have spoken of spirituality. Opinions of people like Eddington and Einstein mean more IMO than the opinions of radical, strident physicalists.
I'm agnostic & somewhat spiritual but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk about it.
Mofo1953 comments on Nov 1, 2019:
Religion = spirituality = bullshit!
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 5, 2019:
@Bobby9 http://virgil.azwestern.edu/~dag/lol/TwoPlusTwo.html
Fox's 'Family Guy' Calls Religious Believers 'Stupid People,' 'Idiots'
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 4, 2019:
Unable to access the site. Some of the worlds most creative and intelligent people down through history have been deeply religious. Even today about half of US scientists believe in some sort of God concept. Such arrogant and domineering language accomplishes nothing. What is stupid is to ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 5, 2019:
@LenHazell53 Good point. Words can only hurt you if you believe them. Still, I don’t see that kind of name-calling as funny—maybe it’s just me.
Fox's 'Family Guy' Calls Religious Believers 'Stupid People,' 'Idiots'
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 4, 2019:
Unable to access the site. Some of the worlds most creative and intelligent people down through history have been deeply religious. Even today about half of US scientists believe in some sort of God concept. Such arrogant and domineering language accomplishes nothing. What is stupid is to ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
@GIjeff04 Is there anything funny about calling people stupid and idiotic? Would you like to be on the receiving end of that?
Fox's 'Family Guy' Calls Religious Believers 'Stupid People,' 'Idiots'
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 4, 2019:
Unable to access the site. Some of the worlds most creative and intelligent people down through history have been deeply religious. Even today about half of US scientists believe in some sort of God concept. Such arrogant and domineering language accomplishes nothing. What is stupid is to ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
@altschmerz Well, if that’s the way it is, just poking fun at about everyone, I guess it’s not as bad as I thought. I don’t have television by choice so I get left out on many discussions. I’m glad he’s poking fun at dogmatic Christians, but there are other God concepts than “invisible man in the sky”.
Well i still believe the fact that there is an higher power, human creator, there should be a maker ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
You have every right to your belief, and it is just as rational as to believe that the universe and life just sort of popped into existence on accident. More rational actually. I would only add that from a human perspective it is impossible to understand ultimate reality beyond the senses, so...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
@OwlInASack I just read about Jersey on Wikipedia. And I am enthralled—such a large population on such a small island. Wow! And you are so close to France. It seems odd that France was not able to take the island. Do you speak Norman French? How about Jèrriais? Geography is not stressed in our US schools. We did learn some geography, but only in elementary school, and such young kids generally have little interest in geography. We had a Jersey cow, and I had assumed that Jersey was an English county. I read this, which makes me think that Jersey is a very fine place: “Farmers and growers often sell surplus food and flowers in boxes on the roadside, relying on the honesty of customers to drop the correct change into the money box and take what they want.” One good thing about forums such as this is that a person is stimulated to learn new things. Sounds like you are in a great place. Enjoy!
White nationalists caught trying to record video in front of Emmett Till memorial.
KKGator comments on Nov 4, 2019:
Other white people who see this stuff and do nothing about about it, are every bit as guilty as the ones who engage in this behavior. Living in the South, I can say that most of us know people who believe in this bullshit. Too many people stay silent when confronted with it. Too many people are ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
@KKGator If I made a harsh verbal attack on the guy we might become enemies, and that would be a bad thing in such a small community. I would lose whatever influence I have with him. Best to just set an example and maintain good relations. After all, he already knows my opinion. I like Dr. King’s advice: “Darkness cannot drive out darkness, only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.”
Well i still believe the fact that there is an higher power, human creator, there should be a maker ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
You have every right to your belief, and it is just as rational as to believe that the universe and life just sort of popped into existence on accident. More rational actually. I would only add that from a human perspective it is impossible to understand ultimate reality beyond the senses, so...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
@OwlInASack Fascinating! I’m going to google Jersey right now.
Poll: Can we not have questions directed at one group or another without the other non-requested ...
Deb57 comments on Nov 4, 2019:
There will always be people who make every issue all about themselves. I appreciate these people, because they are volunteering a whole lot of personal red flags, free of charge. I know what post prompted this poll, but I have no idea why the post disappeared. One would need to ask the person who ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
Great analogy! I’m going to have to remember that one. :-)
White nationalists caught trying to record video in front of Emmett Till memorial.
KKGator comments on Nov 4, 2019:
Other white people who see this stuff and do nothing about about it, are every bit as guilty as the ones who engage in this behavior. Living in the South, I can say that most of us know people who believe in this bullshit. Too many people stay silent when confronted with it. Too many people are ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
@KKGator You can call out your family without fear of being beat to a bloody pulp. A couple days ago I was talking with a neighbor and he made a mildly racist remark. It had happened before about ten years ago. At that time I was not going to have anything more to do with him until I learned that he is much loved by the Blacks in our neighborhood. He talks to them and gives them stuff—even money for beer. The guy weighs about 250 lbs and can ride up a hill on his bicycle in high gear. I don’t think I’ll be getting onto his ass about a few words. You’re not that far away. You come give him a lecture.
Well i still believe the fact that there is an higher power, human creator, there should be a maker ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
You have every right to your belief, and it is just as rational as to believe that the universe and life just sort of popped into existence on accident. More rational actually. I would only add that from a human perspective it is impossible to understand ultimate reality beyond the senses, so...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
@OwlInASack Sounds like you are spot on. I keep thinking you are a Brit, judging by some of your words, but then I see you are in NJ I believe it is. We should, by all means, support and learn about science whilst keeping in mind the limits of science.
White nationalists caught trying to record video in front of Emmett Till memorial.
KKGator comments on Nov 4, 2019:
Other white people who see this stuff and do nothing about about it, are every bit as guilty as the ones who engage in this behavior. Living in the South, I can say that most of us know people who believe in this bullshit. Too many people stay silent when confronted with it. Too many people are ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
I heard as much of that word when I lived up north. Generally I say nothing, or I might make a mild objection. That is because I know there is way more to the person that is good and kind, and that words are often shallow and mean little. IF I see actual harm or abuse I’ll consider shooting.
I sincerely have a hard time comprehending what "spiritual" means.
Dancing comments on Nov 4, 2019:
I think the universe is amazing and am in awe. When I think about it, sometimes it makes me feel connected to everything. That is my spirituality.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
Mine too. Well said!
Well i still believe the fact that there is an higher power, human creator, there should be a maker ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
You have every right to your belief, and it is just as rational as to believe that the universe and life just sort of popped into existence on accident. More rational actually. I would only add that from a human perspective it is impossible to understand ultimate reality beyond the senses, so...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 4, 2019:
@OwlInASack Yes, the Big Bang theory is well-supported, but what caused the Big Bang? What conditions brought about the Big Bang? Why are the laws of physics what they are? Deist belief is not in contradiction to Big Bang theory. Whether you say that God did it or that it was all just an accident, you have said nothing meaningful. That’s why I keep saying that belief or disbelief don’t apply. We are ignorant, and we live in a bubble of illusion that tends to keep us ignorant. Donald Hoffman has some intriguing ideas. I just downloaded his recent book.
Well i still believe the fact that there is an higher power, human creator, there should be a maker ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
You have every right to your belief, and it is just as rational as to believe that the universe and life just sort of popped into existence on accident. More rational actually. I would only add that from a human perspective it is impossible to understand ultimate reality beyond the senses, so...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 3, 2019:
@OwlInASack I sensed that mbim200 was slightly leery of posting his belief on an atheist/agnostic web site, and for good reason. Those opinions are routinely ridiculed on this site. He “still” believes...(despite all the arguments??) On your second question, yes they do. I just today watched a YouTube video where that very thing was proposed. There’s even a book out there that advocates such, but I don’t remember its name. https://www.space.com/16281-big-bang-god-intervention-science.html
Ok, so what are they going to do with a 1-ton rock?
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 3, 2019:
Some people like to have landscaping boulders. I have one myself. Large boulders are rare in this area, but there was one on the property that I had moved into the front yard, called a garden by Brits. I just planted my winter garden BTW—vegetables.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 3, 2019:
@CS60 That’s not a lot of value to risk jail over. It cost that to get my rock moved.
Ok, so what are they going to do with a 1-ton rock?
Fernapple comments on Nov 3, 2019:
Sell them for garden ornaments perhaps ?
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 3, 2019:
See my snide remark above. :-)
In my opinion, evolution is the greatest stumbling block for a theistic worldview, especially when ...
brentan comments on Nov 3, 2019:
This might raise a smile: ‘… the philosopher Leibniz famously maintains that, since the world was created by God, and since the mind of God is the most benevolent and capable mind imaginable, the world must be the best world imaginable. Under such a system, humans perceive evil only because ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 3, 2019:
Voltaire was a clever and witty guy, full of sarcasm, but I wonder if he truly understood the meaning of it’s being the best of all possible worlds. I think some of those imagined better worlds would get to be very boring and could not last. I sometimes wish there were no fire ants, yet ants play a vital role in the ecosystem. There are reasons why things are the way they are. Whether or not this is the best of all possible worlds, this is the world we have, and I prefer to look upon it and see beauty and perfection rather than ugliness. It also seems arrogant and irrational to come into this marvelous mysterious world and start making negative and harsh judgments. Here I am however making negative judgments against those who make negative judgements. What is likely is that a certain number of such people are necessary for society to thrive and move forward. I am very happy for them to shoulder that burden so that I don’t have to, and can live in joy.
Is the concept of god irrelevant??
freeofgod comments on Nov 2, 2019:
It's very relevant today since 72% of DT supporters are evangelical. Guess this is a case of 'stupid is as stupid does'.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 2, 2019:
How can that be? Evangelicals make up only a quarter of the population. 81% of evangelicals voted for Trump. Assuming a quarter of voters were evangelicals, then about 20% of all voters were evangelical Trump supporters. But Trump got nearly half the popular vote. Clearly Trump was elected with broad national support and it’s time to stop talking about so-called evangelicals.
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
That spill is in an older section of the pipeline, not the section recently contested. It’s just a half acre. Maybe they’ll get it cleaned up soon.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 2, 2019:
@Triphid First of all, I said “most” not all. Sorry that you are having such anger and consternation that you can’t read well. Don’t use me as a vent for your anger over this spill. While any spill is unfortunate, in the scheme of things an oil spill is of little consequence and to rail about It accomplishes nothing. At some point the entire earth will be engulfed by the sun. Thanks for toughening me up. If you are through lambasting me I’ll talk to you down the line.
I'm agnostic & somewhat spiritual but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk about it.
Mofo1953 comments on Nov 1, 2019:
Religion = spirituality = bullshit!
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 2, 2019:
@Mofo1953 2+2=4 only because of definitions and assumptions. Change those and you might get a different answer.
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
That spill is in an older section of the pipeline, not the section recently contested. It’s just a half acre. Maybe they’ll get it cleaned up soon.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@t1nick Excellent article. I have sent the link to e-cat world. You might enjoy that site, originally about Rossi, but also others. https://e-catworld.com/
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
That spill is in an older section of the pipeline, not the section recently contested. It’s just a half acre. Maybe they’ll get it cleaned up soon.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@t1nick IMO money needs to be put into LENR research.
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
That spill is in an older section of the pipeline, not the section recently contested. It’s just a half acre. Maybe they’ll get it cleaned up soon.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@t1nick What you say makes sense. Maybe sometime soon there will be better options. For now we have to make do. It is not practical to make an immediate conversion.
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
That spill is in an older section of the pipeline, not the section recently contested. It’s just a half acre. Maybe they’ll get it cleaned up soon.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@t1nick Do you have a source for that? Everything I see says the oil IS meant for US refineries.
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
That spill is in an older section of the pipeline, not the section recently contested. It’s just a half acre. Maybe they’ll get it cleaned up soon.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@t1nick I feel that in time better systems will be developed, but for now we have what we have and have to make the best of things. All this consternation over a small spill seems misplaced. What do you propose? To immediately stop using oil?
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
RoyMillar comments on Nov 1, 2019:
anything man builds will fail at one time or another but until we susatainable energy system that is better than wind or sun ,oil will alwauys beneeded,,Transporting by rail for the quanity requried would be even worse for the eviroment ,we are between a rock and hard place at a moment
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@ToolGuy Nothing is gained in the process. The hydrogen is just a temporary store of energy, like a battery, and it has to be compressed to very high and dangerous pressures. Maybe a better storage system has been worked out. Do you know?
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
RoyMillar comments on Nov 1, 2019:
anything man builds will fail at one time or another but until we susatainable energy system that is better than wind or sun ,oil will alwauys beneeded,,Transporting by rail for the quanity requried would be even worse for the eviroment ,we are between a rock and hard place at a moment
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@ToolGuy Where are you going to get your hydrogen? It’s mostly locked up in water and it takes as much energy as you gain to unlock it.
Well i still believe the fact that there is an higher power, human creator, there should be a maker ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
You have every right to your belief, and it is just as rational as to believe that the universe and life just sort of popped into existence on accident. More rational actually. I would only add that from a human perspective it is impossible to understand ultimate reality beyond the senses, so...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@evidentialist I agree 100%. She sounds like a real fanatic. I am glad that we have a few progressive and reasonable churches in the area to counterbalance those others. I have no problem with the basic teachings of Unity and CSL—they resonate with me on a deep level. For various reasons I seem to be pulling back however. It’s too far for one thing. There are some great people over there though.
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
That spill is in an older section of the pipeline, not the section recently contested. It’s just a half acre. Maybe they’ll get it cleaned up soon.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@t1nick You are using future tense but that pipeline has been in use since 2010 and it’s not the only one. The country is laced with oil pipelines. https://pipeline101.org/Where-Are-Pipelines-Located
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
That spill is in an older section of the pipeline, not the section recently contested. It’s just a half acre. Maybe they’ll get it cleaned up soon.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@t1nick I find no references to most of the oil being sent overseas. Some is exported, but what of it? It will benefit people wherever it is utilized, and the US will benefit from the trade. https://www.politifact.com/new-york/statements/2017/apr/16/kirsten-gillibrand/will-oil-keystone-xl-pipeline-stay-us/ I agree that the spill is unfortunate and that wildlife in the area will be adversely affected. It’s lucky that only a half acre is affected in this case. Cleanup will remove nearly all the oil and the small remnants will weather and in a few decades there will be no trace of oil left. In geologic time that is zero.
Well i still believe the fact that there is an higher power, human creator, there should be a maker ...
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
You have every right to your belief, and it is just as rational as to believe that the universe and life just sort of popped into existence on accident. More rational actually. I would only add that from a human perspective it is impossible to understand ultimate reality beyond the senses, so...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@evidentialist What is your point? What was your purpose? It doesn’t bother me—just wondering. I don’t speak for them and they don’t speak for me.
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
That spill is in an older section of the pipeline, not the section recently contested. It’s just a half acre. Maybe they’ll get it cleaned up soon.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@t1nick I don’t think the Canadians would be shipping us that oil if we were not going to benefit. We all use oil. Nothing is perfect. Any source of energy has drawbacks of some kind. This little spill will be easily cleaned up and nature will deal with any traces left. Oil is a natural, organic substance, not a deadly poison.
Keystone Pipeline spill over 380,000 gallons of crude oil in North Dakota
WilliamFleming comments on Nov 1, 2019:
That spill is in an older section of the pipeline, not the section recently contested. It’s just a half acre. Maybe they’ll get it cleaned up soon.
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@Triphid If crude oil is all that bad for the earth why is it on the earth in the first place. Crude oil is organic and natural and nature will deal with any traces left after the cleanup. So far as economics, every one of us benefit one way or the other from petroleum. If you are looking to fix blame, blame humanity.
I'm agnostic & somewhat spiritual but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk about it.
Mofo1953 comments on Nov 1, 2019:
Religion = spirituality = bullshit!
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@Bobby9, @Mofo1953 just about all these “truths” are nothing but speculation in an ultimate sense. Every logical system is based on arbitrary definitions and assumptions. There is no such thing as absolute truth. An assertion can be both true and false. It can be undefined or meaningless, or it can be undecidable. It all depends on the logical system. Truth is relative.
I'm agnostic & somewhat spiritual but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk about it.
Mofo1953 comments on Nov 1, 2019:
Religion = spirituality = bullshit!
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@Bobby9 It would be hard to find out with absolute certainty if unicorns exist. Hard to prove they do—hard to prove they don’t. The idea that you can’t prove a negative assertion is nothing but myth. Proving a Negative: http://departments.bloomu.edu/philosophy/pages/content/hales/articlepdf/proveanegative.pdf
I'm agnostic & somewhat spiritual but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk about it.
Mofo1953 comments on Nov 1, 2019:
Religion = spirituality = bullshit!
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@Mofo1953 Of course it does, spirituality is tied in with everything no matter how you define it. 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.
So this is a religious physicist's take on science and religion.
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2019:
I enjoyed reading it very much. Thanks. According to Barr: “What many take to be a conflict between religion and science is really something else. It is a conflict between religion and materialism. Materialism regards itself as scientific, and indeed is often called “scientific ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@AaronAgassi The question of the validity of a materialistic philosophy is not diversionary. That is a major part of the article. I don’t think reality is in any way apparent and accessible to the senses. Nothing that we experience in the physical world is anything but our own nervous system. Our entire vision or view of reality is nothing but symbolic and has only indirect association wit ultimate reality beyond. A map of Texas is not Texas. It is nothing like Texas except in grossly general aspects. You can assume the existence of a creator, or you can assume that the universe just sort of popped into existence by accident. Neither assumption is helpful or meaningful from a cosmic perspective. One is as valid as the other but neither one sheds any light at all. That’s why I keep saying that the most rational response to reality is total bewilderment. There is nothing to be believed or disbelieved. Scientists might be atheists but science itself should not be atheistic. Scientists who are driven by the true spirit of science are open minded and curious about all concepts and they do not limit themselves to atheism and certainly not to happenstance and mechanistic causality. Nearly all of the truly creative and eminent physicists of modern times have opined about a higher power or intelligence.
What is agnosticism?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 28, 2019:
I agree when you say that there’s no absolute certainty for mere human intelligence. By disbelief, do you mean belief that an assertion is false, or do just mean that you are not convinced by the evidence you’ve seen so far? “And there isn’t”? Which assertion are you referring to? ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@AaronAgassi Sure, scientists write mathematical equations that model natural phenomena and give some limited superficial understanding, but science doesn’t even address. Much less answer the deep questions of 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
The Darwinian ‘Struggle for Existence’ is Really About Balance – The Evolution Institute
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 31, 2019:
I read somewhere that Darwin never used the term “survival of the fittest”, and to his death he declared that he was being misquoted and misunderstood, and that natural selection is not the only driver of evolution. Natural selection is easy to understand and it so neatly explains things ...
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@Matias OK
I'm agnostic & somewhat spiritual but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk about it.
Mofo1953 comments on Nov 1, 2019:
Religion = spirituality = bullshit!
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@Bobby9 It might be hard to find out whether or not something exists, but proving negative assertions in general is no harder than proving positive ones. Assertions can be stated in either positive or negative terms.
I'm agnostic & somewhat spiritual but that doesn't necessarily mean I want to talk about it.
Mofo1953 comments on Nov 1, 2019:
Religion = spirituality = bullshit!
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
@Mofo1953 Spirituality is not concerned with belief or disbelief. As an analogy. An artist might be trying to convey beauty and reverence. She isn’t concerned with your belief or disbelief.
Fundamentalism is identified by its use of the language of pathology:
skado comments on Nov 1, 2019:
Explanation of fundamentalism: https://youtu.be/6f0ZHaoSnf0
WilliamFleming replies on Nov 1, 2019:
That is a thought-provoking video. The idea seems to be that fundamentalism grows out of literalism, and can lead to harsh judgements against those with other beliefs. Yet the Bible says to judge not that ye be not judged. If we are an obedient literalist then we should be liberal toward all. And many of Christ’s teachings strongly demand love toward all people. I am a little uneasy about that portrayal of fundamentalism. If you read about the history of the fundamentalist movement you get a different picture. I remember that the Baptists used to strongly identify with the fundamentalist movement, yet they have adopted some very liberal resolutions. Personally, I think that literalism is plain dumb and that fundamentalism grew out of a desire to have an authoritative guide for what to believe and how to act. Maybe some people need that authority in order to feel secure. As I watched the video, it occurred to me that the same ideas could be extended to politics. There are those who have a fundamentalist belief in the correctness of their political beliefs and who are willing to demonize and even kill those who disagree.
As an Agnostic I am always interested when the sciemce takes a serious look at a spiritual topic.
Stephanie99 comments on Oct 31, 2019:
I think that some scientists want to believe in something so much that they bias their research. I have not done a critical analysis of this research, but his wikipedia article and this one: http://skepdic.com/stevenson.html would indicate that is probably the case.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 31, 2019:
@Stephanie99 I am not so trained, however Stevenson himself was a medical doctor and a psychiatrist. When you looked at the Wikipedia article you must have read only the negative criticism. There’s also a lot of support from qualified people: [In an article published on Scientific American's website in 2013, favorably reviewing Stevenson's work, Jesse Bering, a professor of science communication, wrote, "Towards the end of her own storied life, the physicist Doris Kuhlmann-Wilsdorf—whose groundbreaking theories on surface physics earned her the prestigious Heyn Medal from the German Society for Material Sciences, surmised that Stevenson’s work had established that 'the statistical probability that reincarnation does in fact occur is so overwhelming … that cumulatively the evidence is not inferior to that for most if not all branches of science.' "[48]]
As an Agnostic I am always interested when the sciemce takes a serious look at a spiritual topic.
Casey07 comments on Oct 31, 2019:
It's true, just ask Big Foot.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 31, 2019:
We are talking here about a very exacting scientist who spent his career meticulously gathering data. I don’t see how you can so flippantly dismiss all those volumes without even looking at them.
As an Agnostic I am always interested when the sciemce takes a serious look at a spiritual topic.
Stephanie99 comments on Oct 31, 2019:
I think that some scientists want to believe in something so much that they bias their research. I have not done a critical analysis of this research, but his wikipedia article and this one: http://skepdic.com/stevenson.html would indicate that is probably the case.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 31, 2019:
I read most of one of Stevenson’s books. His methods were very exacting and his records are impeccable. After I had read about a hundred cases, it seemed like a waste of time to continue. Some people want to disbelieve so much that they bias their perspectives, and they frantically grab onto any article that bolsters their materialistic world views. I would say that in this case, if the evidence conflicts with your world view, that the problem is not with the evidence.
As an Agnostic I am always interested when the sciemce takes a serious look at a spiritual topic.
MichaelSpinler comments on Oct 31, 2019:
From what I see it's woo of the gaps. Science uses the method that we need in order to remain emotionless when investigating. When this artical repeats the phrase scientist refuse to look at the data. Which naturally is missleading infavor of the people that want to believe no scientist want data ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 31, 2019:
But Stevenson WAS a scientist, a very exacting one, and he spent his career carefully documenting and verifying cases of reincarnation. If his work does not fit your materialistic world view, the problem I think is not with the studies. What is woo is to claim that everything is made out of matter. That claim is not scientific, but is only philosophy—largely discredited philosophy at that. Just psychoanalyzing doesn’t cut it. Spend your life gathering evidence and you’ll have something of substance to offer.
IS CHANGE GOD?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 31, 2019:
Maybe god is everything.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 31, 2019:
@Remiforce I agree that such a definition of God is not very useful. We might as well drop the word from the language.
IS CHANGE GOD?
Fernapple comments on Oct 31, 2019:
God always was an idea, but while you can test the idea of change, the idea of god is untestable. Therefore since I can also test the idea of my kitchen table, by that logic, my kitchen table may be god.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 31, 2019:
@Remiforce I can postulate that I am an aspect of God without saying that I am all that God is. But what I actually think is that “I” as a separate entity in a body, am nothing, and that conscious awareness is what exists. Where’s the danger of claiming to be God? If I am God, so is everyone else. So is my dog friend.
IS CHANGE GOD?
Fernapple comments on Oct 31, 2019:
God always was an idea, but while you can test the idea of change, the idea of god is untestable. Therefore since I can also test the idea of my kitchen table, by that logic, my kitchen table may be god.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 31, 2019:
New proof that God exists: Definition of God: God is everything. 1) By personal experience I am consciously aware, therefore conscious awareness exists. 2) At least one thing exists. Therefore God exists. The holy grail has been discovered. Atheism is undone. The site can close down. :-)
What is agnosticism?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 28, 2019:
I agree when you say that there’s no absolute certainty for mere human intelligence. By disbelief, do you mean belief that an assertion is false, or do just mean that you are not convinced by the evidence you’ve seen so far? “And there isn’t”? Which assertion are you referring to? ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 31, 2019:
@AaronAgassi I agree 100% that “God” is a non-explanation. In so far as we have no idea what we are talking about it would be better to not even speak of God. To pretend that we are going to sort through the evidence and get to the bottom of this issue is nothing but posturing. The nature of ultimate reality beyond our sense world is a profound mystery and can not be understood in human terms. IMO the only rational response to the staggering implications of existence is an admission of ignorance, along with awe and gratitude. A claim that you believe or disbelieve in God Is just empty talk with no meaning from a cosmic perspective.
I am interested in the afterlife.Any anecdotes,memories,or theories would interest me.
bolivar comments on Oct 31, 2019:
I wish to garner any knowledge of the afterlife as possible.It may be that my partner will not survive for too long-so I ,and he,would like to gather up as much information as possible about what happens after death....for comfort,mainly....which doesn't mean I would jump at anything!
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 31, 2019:
I personally do not believe in an afterlife as an individual. Our sense of identity as a separate self in a body is an illusion IMO. If you identify with the entire procession of life along with its self-awareness “you” will be immortal because time is only an illusion that springs from consciousness. We are in “heaven” right now but lack the awareness to fully appreciate it. Every moment of conscious awareness is a miracle of enormous proportions.
So this is a religious physicist's take on science and religion.
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2019:
I enjoyed reading it very much. Thanks. According to Barr: “What many take to be a conflict between religion and science is really something else. It is a conflict between religion and materialism. Materialism regards itself as scientific, and indeed is often called “scientific ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 30, 2019:
@FearlessFly Wikipedia speaks of it as a theory: “On the other hand, the other three fundamental forces of physics are described within the framework of quantum mechanics and quantum field theory, radically different formalisms for describing physical phenomena.[2]“ However you define a theory, materialism is not science but philosophy, and has been widely discredited.
So this is a religious physicist's take on science and religion.
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2019:
I enjoyed reading it very much. Thanks. According to Barr: “What many take to be a conflict between religion and science is really something else. It is a conflict between religion and materialism. Materialism regards itself as scientific, and indeed is often called “scientific ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 30, 2019:
@FearlessFly it’s true that quantum gravity loop theory is a work in progress and is not fully accepted at this time. According to Rovelli it is the most promising area of inquiry however. There are many physicists who have rejected materialism as the basis for reality. Max Planck said in 1944, "As a man who has devoted his whole life to the most clear headed science, to the study of matter, I can tell you as a result of my research about atoms this much: There is no matter as such. All matter originates and exists only by virtue of a force which brings the particle of an atom to vibration and holds this most minute solar system of the atom together. We must assume behind this force the existence of a conscious and intelligent mind. This mind is the matrix of all matter". Edwin Schrodinger: Consciousness cannot be accounted for in physical terms. For consciousness is absolutely fundamental. It cannot be accounted for in terms of anything else.
What is agnosticism?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 28, 2019:
I agree when you say that there’s no absolute certainty for mere human intelligence. By disbelief, do you mean belief that an assertion is false, or do just mean that you are not convinced by the evidence you’ve seen so far? “And there isn’t”? Which assertion are you referring to? ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 30, 2019:
@AaronAgassi There is all kinds of evidence. There is the fact that anything exists in the first place. There is the appearance of life, unexplained by science. There is conscious awareness. There are the opinions of some very astute scientists. All of these are evidence of sorts. It is not testable scientific evidence but it is evidence nevertheless. You are simply not persuaded by the evidence. Unless we could agree on a definition of God it’s silly and juvenile to argue. We know little or nothing of ultimate reality beyond the senses. IMO the appropriate reaction to the staggering implications of the mystery of existence is abject bewilderment. Belief and disbelief are nothing but human emotions and have no bearing on the issue.
What is agnosticism?
Storm1752 comments on Oct 29, 2019:
Another atheist who is dead wrong Atheist and theism are two sides of the same coin. Without firm evidence either way--for the existence or non-existence of "god"--the "default position" is uncertainty, open-mindedness, and an inquisitive mind. Both atheists AND theists have closed minds. They ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 30, 2019:
You have nailed it sir! I agree totally.
So this is a religious physicist's take on science and religion.
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 30, 2019:
I enjoyed reading it very much. Thanks. According to Barr: “What many take to be a conflict between religion and science is really something else. It is a conflict between religion and materialism. Materialism regards itself as scientific, and indeed is often called “scientific ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 30, 2019:
@AaronAgassi I think that where religion attempts to explain the whys of nature that there is a conflict with science. But that’s not all there is to religion. I see religion as a way of life and as a collection of artistic expressions, not as an explanation for all of nature. If you read about modern physics, especially quantum gravity theory, you learn that time, space, and matter as we experience them are illusions. A particle of matter is not a thing but an event. There are no things, only relationships. Carlo Rovelli writes great books about quantum gravity theory.
What is respect?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 29, 2019:
To respect means to take a second look, in other words, to know fully and appreciate. The opposite would be to take for granted, to stereotype or to have a prejudicial opinion. You are grouping all religions and religious people together and saying that they define respect as unquestioning ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 30, 2019:
@AaronAgassi Good point. For many people, to disrespect means to treat with contempt, and they might view honest criticism as contempt. It’s hard not to feel contempt when someone says, “Because it’s in the Bible”. But I have a few friends who say that. They are great people—we just disagree about religion, that’s all. I disagree though that religious people define respect as unquestioning deference to authority. Some of them defer to the authority of scriptures, but in other areas they might be defiant of authority. Baptists e.g. are a notoriously independent group and defiant of authority. What about Martin Luther? He defied the Church in his proclamations.
So this is a religious physicist's take on science and religion.
Matias comments on Oct 30, 2019:
isn't it remarkable that almost all scientists who are also Christians are either physicists or mathematicians? I just finished a similar book written by renowned quantum physicist John Polkinghorne. Yes: the universe and its structure and the beauty of the laws and equations... are ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 30, 2019:
If you think of organisms as nothing but dumb robotic assemblages with no conscious awareness, then you get around that stumble. Organisms are designed to be temporary. It is a unified consciousness **watching** the organisms that is the Self. I am presenting that as just an idea. I know it’s a leap.
The agnostic crowd is much more intelligent than the rest!! Sorry, but it is the truth.
bobwjr comments on Oct 29, 2019:
Just rational not delusional
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 29, 2019:
Each group has its own delusions. Humanity is delusional.
The agnostic crowd is much more intelligent than the rest!! Sorry, but it is the truth.
Shaggy2018 comments on Oct 29, 2019:
To the statement that god is responsible for anything...I say not true and should be a discouraged concept. Fact is God has done nothing since God doesn't exist. The nut jobs who do all in Gods name one the other hand, should face the blame since they are the real culprits.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 29, 2019:
@Thomas-Covenant Great response! Right on the money.
I like this meme found at [foolquest.com].
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 28, 2019:
Put that way, things seem dire and hopeless. I prefer to think that some religious people are reasonable and that common ground can be found. What’s to prevent a religious person from saying, “If you could reason with atheists, there would be no atheists”? In the purest meaning, an ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 28, 2019:
@BestWithoutGods Not at all. I invented the term just to describe myself. From a cosmic perspective any question having to do with causation, creation, location, time, matter or motion is totally meaningless. Every sensory experience is an experience of nothing but our nervous systems. Framing that is our “self”, consisting of conscious awareness. Our sense of being a separate person in a body is a delusion. No one understands this mysterious situation in which we find ourselves, and to argue about God is presumptuous IMO.
Do you give to folks asking for money, holding up signs on the corner?
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 28, 2019:
I would hardly notice if they said that horrible g-word. Occasionally I contribute to someone, but only if we’ve had a conversation and they ask personally. Standing with a sign seems too commercial, like a racket.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 28, 2019:
@Tinocca It depends on perspective. Such a thing would not cross my mind. I wouldn’t be trying to do a good deed anyway—I would help on principle. What if one of your family members was religious and needed help. Would you tell them that?
I like this meme found at [foolquest.com].
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 28, 2019:
Put that way, things seem dire and hopeless. I prefer to think that some religious people are reasonable and that common ground can be found. What’s to prevent a religious person from saying, “If you could reason with atheists, there would be no atheists”? In the purest meaning, an ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 28, 2019:
@BestWithoutGods There is no reason for believing that anything at all exists except through our experience of conscious awareness, and no one understands what that is. Therefore I am a confusionist.
The "three natures" of Homo sapiens Our first nature consists of innate feelings, reactions, and...
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 28, 2019:
I wonder if it would be presumptuous to elaborate on that third nature a bit, the one of conscious awareness and analysis. That is the part of humanity that created art, science, religion, philosophy and technology. The first nature might give us contentment and happiness such as a cow out on a ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 28, 2019:
@yvilletom well, I agree that the Bible doesn’t fit very well with science. I was thinking that religion and art arose together and that religion was a collection of art-forms: drama, oratory, storytelling, literature, music. Apparently our animal cousins don’t have religion. At some point there was an exciting spark of awareness that prompted our early ancestors to make up stories which became myths and legends. Funeral rituals were developed and Medicine men emerged to ward off evil spirits, etc. It seems to me that after writing was invented philosophy was developed and then science was built upon that. I am not trying to elevate dogmatic religions to equal status with mankind’s other creations, but I do think they have common roots and were enabled by the birth of higher consciousness. Too bad we got stuck with an old Hebrew based religion infested with the harsh desert code. Maybe we’ll advance beyond that someday and move on to something better. I won’t be a Bible thumper if you promise not to be one . :-)
I like this meme found at [foolquest.com].
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 28, 2019:
Put that way, things seem dire and hopeless. I prefer to think that some religious people are reasonable and that common ground can be found. What’s to prevent a religious person from saying, “If you could reason with atheists, there would be no atheists”? In the purest meaning, an ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 28, 2019:
@BestWithoutGods No thanks. It’s up to each person to look and think. :-)
The "three natures" of Homo sapiens Our first nature consists of innate feelings, reactions, and...
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 28, 2019:
I wonder if it would be presumptuous to elaborate on that third nature a bit, the one of conscious awareness and analysis. That is the part of humanity that created art, science, religion, philosophy and technology. The first nature might give us contentment and happiness such as a cow out on a ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 28, 2019:
@Allamanda Very well said! It feels good when it quits hurting. :-)
Sex on the brain - Aeon Essays
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 27, 2019:
I don’t understand how anyone could think for one minute that male and female bodies are not innately very different. This article dances around the issue and pretends that it is an open question. One is not better than the other—each excels in its area of specialty, but they are definitely ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 28, 2019:
@Tomfoolery33 I know, but those bodily differences are what’s behind the other differences, at least in my opinion. Boys develop testosterone which leads to all kinds of different behavior patterns. And it is acknowledged that there are at least some brain differences. Anyone who has raised sons and daughters must surely have observed the differences. It is very easy to observe those differences in some of our animal cousins. Whether cultural or innate, differences are good. Vive la difference!
Street Epistemology: Maritza (1) | Truth Valuation (Co-ed Demands the Truth) - YouTube
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 25, 2019:
This “Street “Epistemology” process seems rather arrogant and intrusive to me. Most of these professional skeptics have their own set of irrational beliefs and assumptions, of which they are totally unaware. One can’t help but wonder what could possibly motivate them to go around ...
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 27, 2019:
@Biblebeltskeptic Sorry, I do get carried away on some issues.
A NEW BOOK ON CLIMATE SCIENCE The book: The Rise and Fall of the Carbon Dioxide Theory of ...
Deiter comments on Oct 27, 2019:
According to NASA, there’s a 97% scholarly consensus on human caused climate damage. But THIS GUY is the only one we should believe! One day you’re going to surprise us all, Southern reactionary William Fleming. Today is not that day.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 27, 2019:
@OwlInASack I should not present myself as an expert on climate. I am a perpetual skeptic of what is presented as truth, and I am an eternal optimist. What I think basically is that humans will deal with whatever occurs. Even if that is mass extinction I will not fret over such a thing. When I look at the NASA satellite data for sea level it looks like only an almost imperceptible increase circa 1960. Tide gauge date on the other hand shows more increase. I saw lots of glaciers melting back in Alaska over the years. It is an interesting subject. Maybe time will tell, but I really don’t think that drastic action is necessary.
It's been quite a disastrous weekend so far.
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 27, 2019:
Windstorm?
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 27, 2019:
@SonnyBubba It was a great game, fought vigorously. The Alabama games are usually downright boring IMO. I hope LSU beats’em Saturday, and I am praying for an Auburn victory in the Iron Bowl. Oops—not s’posed to pray on this site. :-) I think Louisiana is a great state, full of intelligent and warm-hearted people. It’s at least as good as any other state IMO.
A NEW BOOK ON CLIMATE SCIENCE The book: The Rise and Fall of the Carbon Dioxide Theory of ...
Deiter comments on Oct 27, 2019:
According to NASA, there’s a 97% scholarly consensus on human caused climate damage. But THIS GUY is the only one we should believe! One day you’re going to surprise us all, Southern reactionary William Fleming. Today is not that day.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 27, 2019:
@Deiter Since satellite measurements began, world temperature averages have jumped all over the chart. Only with careful analysis is it determined that there is a rate of rise of 0.13C/decade, and no, that rate is not accelerating. With rising temperatures it is inevitable that there will be record highs, but that is of no significance. It sure gives ammunition to fear mongers though. If temperatures start declining you’ll start to see record lows—big deal. Sea level has been rising at about 3 mm/year for as long as measurements have been made, and there is no acceleration of significance. If you have further questions please, please consult the work of the other Fleming guy. He’s a hell of a lot more qualified than me and besides that, he’s not a southerner. :-)
A NEW BOOK ON CLIMATE SCIENCE The book: The Rise and Fall of the Carbon Dioxide Theory of ...
Deiter comments on Oct 27, 2019:
According to NASA, there’s a 97% scholarly consensus on human caused climate damage. But THIS GUY is the only one we should believe! One day you’re going to surprise us all, Southern reactionary William Fleming. Today is not that day.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 27, 2019:
@OwlInASack Earth’s thermal energy is in constant flux. Whatever energy is gained in the Arctic is lost other places, such as in the Antarctic. Only by averaging temperatures world-wide can you determine if there is a trend. Satellite measurements peg that trend at 0.13 degrees Celsius temperature rise per decade.
It's been quite a disastrous weekend so far.
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 27, 2019:
Windstorm?
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 27, 2019:
@SonnyBubba Yep, my roots are here but I left for a long time before coming back to retire. I don’t actually call myself either an atheist or an agnostic. I don’t know what I am except bewildered. I am absolutely no longer a Baptist. I suppose you are an LSU fan? I’m kinda mad about that thing yesterday. :-( WAR EAGLE!
A NEW BOOK ON CLIMATE SCIENCE The book: The Rise and Fall of the Carbon Dioxide Theory of ...
Deiter comments on Oct 27, 2019:
According to NASA, there’s a 97% scholarly consensus on human caused climate damage. But THIS GUY is the only one we should believe! One day you’re going to surprise us all, Southern reactionary William Fleming. Today is not that day.
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 27, 2019:
@Deiter I agree of course, yet I do have a right to give my opinion. At 0.13C/decade in 70 years Boston will be as warm as NYC is currently—hardly a catastrophe. And there are many competent scientists who are not alarmed by the current rate of temperature rise.
It's been quite a disastrous weekend so far.
WilliamFleming comments on Oct 27, 2019:
Windstorm?
WilliamFleming replies on Oct 27, 2019:
@SonnyBubba Its been horribly hot and dry over here in Alabama, but finally that seems to be over.

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Skeptic, Freethinker, Spiritual
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