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The Halo Effect: Do you have a bias towards beautiful people?
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
I'm under a different sort of spell. I think all people are beautiful until they prove otherwise. I don't give a hoot about how a person looks. I care a great deal about how they think, act, and treat others. I do have a tendency to surround myself with people who are smarter than I am. Does that count?
Who are you? What major experiences (aside from religion and/or your break from it) have you had ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
Sorry, @AMGT, but this would take a book to write. Let's just say that my life has been shaped as a result of an attitude that was pretty well established before I reached the ripe old age of 10. The attitude is that I can do anything I set my mind to that is within the scope of my capabilities and I've made it a point to know my limitations and to be honest about them. As a result, I've done a lot and have very few regrets.
Thank you for this community! I’d just like to say hello, happy secular holidays and I hope to ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
Welcome to the zoo, @Ary0728
Is getting married important to non religious women.
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
So, a guy jumps in with an observation. In the United States there are a number of legal and tax issues involved. Marriage is a legal status in this country. There are pros and cons, but I suggest that marriage is much more than a social contract and should be considered in that light.
Anyone ever wonder why they have to exist. I mean we don’t make the choice, yet we have problems ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
There is no 'why'. We exist, and that is really all there is to it. As for problems being 'thrown' at us, that is a matter of perspective. I have found that many of my problems are self generated -- that I am the prime source for my difficulties. A little introspection can solve a lot of things. Any other problems that I have not been the mastermind for I look upon as challenges to either surmount or to learn from.
Greed: Is it good or bad?
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
Greed is a negative from the start. Ambition and the desire to better oneself is another issue and is always at least reasonably positive as long as greed is kept a bay.
Mental: How do you mentally prepare for a race?
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
Concentrate on winning through strategy + will. The strategy to be employed differs depending on the type of race, but the will is a constant.
I have just signed up here so I wanted to make a post in the hello section. It's a long way from...
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
Well, Skepticus (Maximus?), I am pleased to see you here. We are in disagreement about the anarchy element, but have common ground for the rest. Welcome aboard, mate.
To you, what is the difference between being lonely and being alone. No platitudes, please.
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
Well, annie, I've been on this planet a goodly long time now and have experienced both feeling lonely and being alone. Notice that the two words are not even close to being alike. Lonely is an emotional state. A desire. The feeling that something is missing or lacking, and that something is human interaction in one way or another. A need for contact. Being alone is a state of existence and doesn't necessarily include any feelings at all. One may feel lonely while being alone, of course, but that is different than just being alone. I have been alone a lot and never felt lonely. On the other hand, I have been in rather large crowds and felt quite lonely. Two different things, annie.
Does anyone else suspect that, assuming God does exist (which I find highly unlikely), He's looking ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
We run up against one of the attributes of the biblical god thing. This critter is supposed to be omniscient. That means it knew from the beginning how things were going to go. That means the Big Guy in the Sky never did care one whit about what went on here. In other words, it was a schmuck from day one.
I'm new here and I don't know if anything like this a been posted here..................NOAH'S ARK ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
Sardonicus, you can save an awful lot of energy by simply tackling the technical aspects of the vessel and the building thereof. The facts are that 1) the logistics involved make the project impossible, 2) the availability of materials required make it impossible, 3) the skill level and number of workers make it impossible, 4) the required tools and their maintenance make it impossible, and the list goes on. Then there's the basic engineering problem such a vessel represents. Although it would be possible to provide adequate girder strength for a static structure, the instant it became water borne it would begin to come apart. Structurally impossible. One doesn't even need to consider what it would have to carry.
Anyone else study Buddhism for the philosophy? I find the principles behind it extremely pragmatic ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
Some of the basic principles are useful, yes, but not all.
Astronomers and the like say that the Background Microwave Radiation, that is present no matter ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
It is apparent you do not fully understand what the Big Bang is about. The currently accepted proposition is that the Big Bang (a very misleading name) began with a quantum fluctuation. Because we can't begin to fathom the magnitude of this event and all known physics breaks down before we can reach the time of the event, we will probably never know with any amount of certainty what actually happened before inflation began. The CMBR is light and it is coming at us from all points in space. This is a pretty concise article that explains what that light is. https://www.space.com/16281-big-bang-god-intervention-science.html
Thanksgiving
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
Because only one option was available, I had to choose opposable thumbs. Why? Because without them we would not be able to manipulate much of our environment. I would have liked to choose both thumbs and thought, but cognitive thought wouldn't be of much use if we couldn't do anything with it. At least with the thumbs we would have the tools to survive long enough to develop the thought element.
Tonight, I'm thankful for finding this site! I look forward to getting to know like-minded people ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
Hello, Natalia, welcome to the menagerie. As for the good conversation thing, maybe you will find what you're looking for here. I certainly hope so. As you are undoubtedly aware, good conversation is a rare commodity in social media. So far, this site has not disappointed me more than a couple of times, so that's a good sign.
So, I left some beads on my neighbor's porch and he brought them in the house. I then walked over ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 24, 2017:
I spent a good deal of time, energy, and precious lung capacity laughing about this one. Thanks, Johnny....
Hi fellow Atheists etc. Are there any Woodwind Musicians amongst you out there in the big wide world...
evidentialist comments on Nov 23, 2017:
Flute and alto sax. Embouchure left many years ago and hasn't returned. So has the wind, so the only thing left is the wood.
How do you deal with people who believe The Noah’s Ark story to be a true word for word recounting...
evidentialist comments on Nov 23, 2017:
As a Naval Architect, if they continue to press after I tell them they are entitled to believe anything they wish, I will give them the famous Jacobs March through the Technical Destruction of the Great Flood Story and watch them as they scurry away while the water goes down the drain.
Do you have any "characters" in your family?
evidentialist comments on Nov 23, 2017:
Characters in my family? Why yes, and he is me.
how is everyone dealing with the religious aspects of the holiday season?
evidentialist comments on Nov 23, 2017:
Because I have no need of religion or any of its trappings, all the nonsense associated with the holidays does not affect me in any way, unless I see something being pushed on people or it gets in my face. Then there is "hell" to pay.
How do you deal with the day to day influx of bad things happening in the world? I find singing ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 23, 2017:
I don't have any problem coping with the world around me, so I have no need to distract my attention.
Do you think religions were crucial part of human evolution ?
evidentialist comments on Nov 23, 2017:
If you really mean 'evolution', then you have it backwards. Our evolution was a critical part of the origin of religion. Also, if we hadn't wandered in small groups of 15 to 20 individuals in the early days, we would not be here today. It was a matter of survival.
Happy Thanksgiving everyone.
evidentialist comments on Nov 23, 2017:
And to you, Brian, a Happy Stuffagut Day and may your holy digestive tract function properly.
Should an atheist study world religions or not?
evidentialist comments on Nov 22, 2017:
I am an adherent to the philosophy of Sun Tzu. "If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” For this reason, it is wise to study the enemy's ways, Grasshopper.
Any Jews out there?
evidentialist comments on Nov 22, 2017:
Nu?
Hello everyone! I've been working on an idea for a while now, and I wanted to asked my fellow ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 22, 2017:
Congregation? Preach? Organize atheists to take part in ... in services? You. Have. To. Be. Fucking. Kidding. I suggest you leave your bad habits behind you and get on with living a good and kind life and don't worry about ... preaching. You'll be more satisfied. Your fellow atheists will certainly be happy about your new path. And, above all, you'll prove to yourself that you actually can live like a human being.
Who here is a vegetarian or vegan? Why do you think there are so many atheist who are?
evidentialist comments on Nov 22, 2017:
What ever gave you the idea that there is any difference regarding eating habits among atheists? From my experience, the cross section of atheists compared to believers in terms of almost all characteristics is pretty uniform. We differ in beliefs, not in palates. Now, if you'll excuse me, I'm going to partake of a large baked potato (crispy skin) smothered in a load of sour cream sprinkled liberally with chives. With that there will be a large salad with cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, diced red onion, and bean sprouts, all floating in luscious real roquefort cheese dressing. Oh, and a 10oz. fillet mignon, medium rare, wrapped in bacon, and covered with a rich mushroom sauce. Bon apetit....
Why atheists feel sadness in religious surroundings?
evidentialist comments on Nov 22, 2017:
Sadness is not a word I would use when I go cavorting among the religiously endowed. Amused? Definitely. Bemused? Sometimes. Angry? Occasionally. Incredulous? Always. Sad? Never. Once in a while I'll get a pang of pity for the children. They deserve better. Sad? Nah.
Do you believe in Aliens & UFOs? Ex-Defence Minister "Aliens among us"!
evidentialist comments on Nov 22, 2017:
Let's attack this by breaking it down into the various components contained within the question and the following comment. "Do you 'believe' in aliens?" That depends on what you mean by 'believe' and 'aliens'. Let us say that I accept the notion (not the same as believing) that there probably are other places in the universe with life. Perhaps a small percentage of them are home to an intelligent species or more. Then a small percentage of that group may house intelligent species that have attained some level of technology. Following on that, a few may even have become spacefaring. "Do you 'believe' in UFOs?" Let us say I accept the idea (again not the same as believing) that people have seen things in the sky that were not identifiable to them. Most of those sightings have rather mundane explanations. Some of them a mite more exotic. A tiny percentage remain unidentified. It is a rather gigantic leap to go from seeing something that doesn't fit into any particular category to declaring it is a craft operated by aliens. No evidence, you see. As for the rest of it, there is also no evidence -- just anecdote, dubious photos, and unreliable testimony. Yes, I know some 'credible' folks have seen these things as well, but we still have to make that incredible leap. Abductees? Barney and Betty Hill remains the best case for actual abduction, but again, lacking substantial and testable evidence. All I can conclude at present from all those reports is that it could be anything from a bad batch of moonshine to an actual abduction, but I can't know anything about it, yet. I do have some direct experience with someone who became rather famous among UFO buffs many years ago. He was George Van Tassel. George was a friend. I was around during all of his revelations. That one did not help the UFO crowd one bit. I, and many other scientists in this world would be delighted to have evidence. It could and probably would be one of the greatest enlightening experiences of all time. It would certainly change a lot of people's way of thinking. My friend, Seth, would go bananas -- honestly, so would I. In the meantime, we continue to look, listen, and wait for evidence.
We need a secret gesture. Something very subtle, inconspicuous to let fellow heathens know what's ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 22, 2017:
Buzz words like other subcultures use. A unique vernacular. Perhaps speaking briefly in tongues would do the trick. A hop, skip, and a shake it all about? A tattoo of Christopher Hitchens on the back of our right hand?
Reply to charity: thank you lord! How would you react?
evidentialist comments on Nov 22, 2017:
One of the frequent results of generosity, no matter how slight, is gratitude. It's not always given voice, but it can be seen in the eyes and the corners of the mouth. Gratitude, however it is expressed, should be accepted and responded to with kindness. This idea will make itself clear if you can place yourself in their shoes. You know you'd be grateful. You know you'd want to express it in some way.
What is your favorite animal?
evidentialist comments on Nov 22, 2017:
All of them.
Skeptic Or Cynic ?
evidentialist comments on Nov 20, 2017:
Skeptic. I can be and often am cynical in my observations when pressed by some would-be angel, but as a person, I'm not. I'm also prone to being a bit toxic and sarcastic when it gets to be a bit much. I try to avoid such confrontations whenever possible, but get militant as all hell when they start moving on politics, education, and law.
Ever have a near death experience? Ive about 7 of them. Do you want to share them?
evidentialist comments on Nov 20, 2017:
Yes. Twice. Most recent one last year in a surgery gone sour. The experience is still fairly vivid. First one was not diagnosed and I can't really say it was a result of an actual death with any honesty. My memories of the first one are not clear at all. I am assuming you meant NDE and not just life threatening close calls. If the latter, I have a book full of them.
This is a joke I heard around 25 years ago: A woman moved to a new town and her neighbor visited ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 20, 2017:
Liked that one. On the subtle side, but definitely a winner. Thanks for the chuckle, resserts.
Afterlife
evidentialist comments on Nov 20, 2017:
I have to be honest here and tell you that I would prefer to stay around as long as possible. However, I am comfortable with the notion that death is a part of life and we all do it, one way or another.
Is it me or does it seem some religious people are obsessed with death?
evidentialist comments on Nov 20, 2017:
No, it's not just you, Emerald. Many of them are so caught up in this end times crap that they are looking forward to the rapture in their lifetime -- like right now. Many others are terrified of dying because they're not so sure they're going to move to the upstairs room and they'll wind up swimming in the Lake of Fire. Still others are afraid of dying because they're not so sure of their beliefs. There are other approaches too, but the fact is that a large percentage of them are in one way or another focusing on the death issue. It is ... disturbing.
Should euthanasia or "death with dignity" be available to anyone upon demand under controlled ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 18, 2017:
Of course it should. The use of the term 'assisted suicide' is there for the purpose of negative spin. Euthanasia by choice is a better way to put it and far more accurate. The good thing about euthanasia is that the dying can be made painless and without any sort of trauma, either physical or mental. I've heard all the slippery slope arguments, but I just don't see any validity in them. The process would certainly be easier on family and loved ones as well. They would know in advance that it was going to take place and they would know that the person who made the choice would not have to suffer.
Given that Satanism is an atheistic religion focused on the self I'm curious if there are any on ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 18, 2017:
Wait a minute here. Last time I checked, this Satan fella is on the big list of supernatural beings manufactured by Big Boy Blue in the Beyond. Belief in that guy would be a belief in a supernatural deity who hasn't gained the rank and stature of the Big Guy in the Sky. The word 'atheist' doesn't apply here. Back up a few paces and try again there, daniellaws.
In my experience when theologians talk about open mindedness, what they're really talking about is a...
evidentialist comments on Nov 18, 2017:
To hear a theist talking about open-mindedness is laughable. They all have their beliefs to protect and open-mindedness is the last thing they really want.
In love, how much does money matter?
evidentialist comments on Nov 18, 2017:
I voted that it is very important, but we need to understand a few things first. I can only approach this from my perspective. First, I can't imagine basing any intimate relationship on love. Love is fragile. Love is transient. Love is many emotions at play and little thought. For me, a marital relationship, a 'let's live together for a long time' relationship, or any other human commitment type of situation needs to be based in friendship first and real friendship entails honesty (not brutal, but honest), trust, understanding, and mutual respect. With those things in place, conversation on any topic is possible, reaching agreements or just agreeing to disagree are within the realm of reality, and dealing with problems is not a monumental task. Love? Love will grow over time, and it will be the sort of love that endures without high levels of stress. If a relationship is based purely in the emotions, anything that tends to upset the balance will in turn upset those basic emotions. It is tough to apply thought when emotions are in total control. Money, from what I have experienced over the many years of my life, is one of the touchiest of topics in relationships like that and has been the breaker in several cases. It's hard enough on strong friendships where talking about anything is normally easy.
I'm off to my nans for chrismas(bleugh), but the issue being is all the family over there refuse to ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 18, 2017:
I've always thought of it this way: When it comes to family, I don't care if they prey to Mecca, sacrifice a goat every full moon, or beat the Tooth Fairy up to steal her spare change. They are who they are and I am who I am. I am comfortable with me, so whatever they say or do does not affect me in any way other than my constant sense of wonder as to why that thing on the wall has some poor sonofabitch nailed to it or why dear auntie is reading turkey entrails on the kitchen floor. They pull out the Ouija board and I reach for my Kindle. Easy peasy.
If you have a stack of soup cans; 1 on top, then 2, then 3, then 4, and so on, until you get to the ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 17, 2017:
n(n + 1)/2 5050 cans in the stack
3 main religions
evidentialist comments on Nov 17, 2017:
Religion was never intended to help people live together. Religions grew out of ancient ideas and agencies. The rules of the religion (each has its own set) were designed specifically to control the masses and guarantee a generous income plus perks and retirement for the holy mucky mucks. Any thought that religion was designed for the benefit of the masses is pure fantasy.
Should I attend a wedding at church as an atheist?
evidentialist comments on Nov 17, 2017:
It is not hypocrisy for an atheist to enter any building. That is, after all, what it is. A building. You do not need to participate in their bullshit. Just be respectful, resist laughing, and wait till the services are over. Then exit the building, exhale, and once you're out of the parking lot, laugh your ass off. Simple, and you don't miss your daughter's wedding -- that's the important part.
Will these "religious freedom" bills reverse the rise of Atheism in the U.S?.
evidentialist comments on Nov 17, 2017:
It is a bother, that's true. I suggest to you that the church (when I say that I'm referring to all religions) has been meddling in politics all along. There has never been a time when that was not so. It is part of what religion is about. If they, the Christians of a more fundamental bent, think for one instant they can slip someone of like mindlessness into an position of power in the political structure at any level, they never hesitate to push it through. They know how to play the system and they know how to avoid noticeably overstepping their bounds. Religions in general are not at all bashful when it comes to pushing their agendas. The amount of overt/covert effort varies with different religions and denominations, but all of them are ready at any moment to take advantage wherever possible. These bills are a subterfuge for an effort to help ease the path to a theocracy when it comes to the Christian front. If one looks carefully at the wording used, one will notice that these things are leaning heavily toward 'the one true religion' in this country -- and it ain't Scientology. As for the future status of the atheist presence, it will not change much at all and, if anything, will continue to grow. The problem is that this is not the issue. The church will continue losing members, maybe even at a faster rate, but it will continue to gain power nonetheless. Now, that is the issue, because if they get enough power, they can make life even more difficult for us. This is serious business and requires that we all take an active part in resisting/overcoming their little scheme to implement god's plan.
Time to have churches pay tax. They want to play politics. Time to pay for playing!
evidentialist comments on Nov 17, 2017:
They should have been taxed all along. If we truly intend to maintain separation of church and state (this means all religions) we should not be subsidizing them through special dispensations. This has nothing to do with them making money, although many of them learned long ago how to play the system for all it's worth. No, my position is that all citizens pay taxes for the benefits of a free society, for the services the government provides (local, state, and federal) and religion should not be given a special status because it's religion. As it has been for many years, religion has been allowed to amass real estate, ornate and elaborate structures, etc. without having to put much into the system. I have no problem where they are doing charity work (real charity work and not ministry scams) to give them exactly what any other secular charity organization gets from the government. That is reasonable, but anything that smacks of subsidy/special dispensation should cease -- and there is a lot of it.
This is a poem that I wrote months ago, and I'd love some feedback on it. Anything that you can give...
evidentialist comments on Nov 17, 2017:
I enjoy free prose. This is a nice and pithy piece, and I like that too. Aside from the suggestion silvereyes gave you, which is particularly good, you would do well to write for rhythm. This is a little hard to explain and is wildly subjective, so I'll just say, read your work aloud after having not looked at it for a couple of days. If it trips you up anywhere, reconsider word order and/or choice. Good piece of work, Erich....
Three months to live. Would you do anything differently?
evidentialist comments on Nov 17, 2017:
Not really. Oh, I might take a trip or two. Maybe have a sit down talk with some old friends I haven't seen in a while, but I don't think there would be much other than that.
Likelihood of meeting in person
evidentialist comments on Nov 17, 2017:
Although I love making new acquaintances (every stranger is a friend not yet made), social media is as it is. I have met a few people from other threads and the outcomes have been generally good, but I don't expect it. Observation: I don't need anonymity to feel comfortable. Everywhere else I have used my full name, and I have no idea why I chose to use what I have here. Perhaps because it was shorter and would fit the allotted space, though I really can't honestly say.
Can we chose our reality?
evidentialist comments on Nov 17, 2017:
You can choose any reality you want. Religion provides us a good example of that. As for 'destiny', no. That is nonsense. Each of us is an autonomous mechanism capable of making decisions. Granted, our decisions are often forced by circumstance, but circumstance is just random input. The results of our decisions may not be in accordance with what we had hoped, but destiny has nothing to do with it.
The universe!!
evidentialist comments on Nov 17, 2017:
No. First, it is not arranged like neuronetworks. Each 'node' is a supercluster of galaxies and the so-called filaments are made up of minor galactic groups all bound by gravity. Many of the groupings are independent -- that is, not connected to all the rest. The only 'information' carried from one 'node' to the next is in the form of gravity waves. No. Another human construct rears its ugly node.
Communicate with aliens Carl Sagan posed this problem in Cosmos. How can humans assume we will be...
evidentialist comments on Nov 16, 2017:
The problem is not related specifically to intelligence. It is more a matter of long time experience, the ability to engage in abstractions, and the capability to manipulate things. We share no direct experience with cetaceans, thus it is difficult to find a place to begin building communication. However, with aliens who have developed technology, there are many pegs upon which to hang mutual experience and build communication. I know it's cliche, but if they have achieved a high level of technology, they have to have developed mathematics to a reasonable degree of sophistication. Mathematics would be a moderately easy first step. I see the major difficulties in the realm of understanding. Oh, I don't mean understanding that this is a prime number and that is a right triangle, but more at the psychological foundations of logic and rationale. It is there that we may diverge most greatly from one another.
Lets do a community story. I will write a few sentences, the next person adds a few lines and so on....
evidentialist comments on Nov 16, 2017:
So, I stood up from my spot at the table, straightened my face into seriousness, and said, "Mom. Dad. Uncle Toby, Terry, and Nancy, I have an announcement." All eyes were on me and I felt those nerves reaching out their little nervy fingers and puckering my every orifice. Oh, crap, I thought, am I going to be able to do this? About that time the twitching in my right eye began. I had to get it done before I became a helpless, convulsing mass of flesh under the table. "I'm ... I'm a frickin' clown," I said with more than a little quaver in my voice. "Do you understand? I'm a goddam clown." Dad toppled backward in his chair, both hands clasped over his heart. Mom sat with her mouth hanging open, a bit of mashed potato dripping gravy stuck on the end of a fork hovered just outside her lips. Uncle Toby mumbled something unintelligible. Terry and Nancy laughed uncontrollably.
Does anyone else know the meaning and purpose of life?
evidentialist comments on Nov 16, 2017:
The purpose of life is to perpetuate the species and to survive. This is true for all organisms. We and perhaps a few other animals have developed the capacity to consider abstract ideas and as a result seek purpose outside of the biological imperative.
A friend posted this on facebook. Seemed right to share it.
evidentialist comments on Nov 16, 2017:
There is a time lag from the time your heart stops functioning and the brain ceases to work. This may be upwards of ten minutes. During that time it is conceivable that one knows they are dead. I know, kind of a disturbing thought. The point here is that the first part of the meme, though essentially accurate, is probably not completely true. The second part is fine as is.
Paranormal
evidentialist comments on Nov 16, 2017:
I voted no -- purely psychological phenomena, but that's only because it was the closest to my position. It is possible for an atheist to believe in these things, of course. Just because one dropped belief in deity does not mean he/she gave up their belief in leprechauns, gnomes, trolls, fairies, etc. Atheists are just as capable of believing things that create cognitive dissonance as is anyone else. I would recommend that if you know of an atheist who holds paranormal beliefs, that you discuss it with them to show them the obvious problems with it. Fortunately, most atheists I know do not, but I have met a couple. It took very little discussion for them to realize how it was inconsistent with a rational outlook.
How do you respond to "It takes more faith to be an atheist"?
evidentialist comments on Nov 16, 2017:
FAITH 1. a :allegiance to duty or a person :loyalty: He lost faith in the company's president. b (1) :fidelity to one's promises (2) :sincerity of intentions. He acted in good faith. 2. a (1) :belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) :belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) :firm belief in something for which there is no proof: She was clinging to the faith that her missing son would one day return. (2) :complete trust 3. Something that is believed, especially with strong conviction; especially :a system of religious beliefs: The Protestant faith — on faith :without question: She took everything he said on faith. According to the various definitions of 'faith', this is one atheist who has no faith in anything because everything is open to question/doubt/consideration. That I accept the posits of evolution and consider the evidence for it is adequately sound does not in any way indicate a faith in the theory. There are certain things we all believe or have faith in that are mundane in nature. The car will start in the morning. When it doesn't, that belief, that faith is easily discarded in favor of the evidence to the contrary and we set about to solve the problem. Science operates similarly. An observation is made and is followed by a question. When some sort of plausible or reasonable answer for that question is formulated, there is an hypothesis. After sufficient experimentation, study, and other attempts do disprove the hypothesis, the explanation for the observation graduates to that of a theory. The theory is accepted, but the questioning does not end there, and at the slightest indication that there may be something wrong with the theory, it is reconsidered. At any point a theory can be proven wrong. If it is, it is discarded based on the new evidence and the issue is attacked anew. Many of the steps on the way to establishing a theory can require a certain degree of faith, but it is not the kind of faith that is unshakable. After explaining all of this, I then ask the believer to show or explain how his/her assertion can be even close to correct based upon their particular definition of faith. They can't, of course, but they manage to come up with some kind of filler drivel that they think makes sense. I don't make pummeling theists an occupation. I consider it more of a hobby, but I won't engage in it unless the brave, ignorant little theist initiates it. I'm polite that way.
I don't believe in God or heaven and hell but I do believe in the supernatural like ghosts and also ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 16, 2017:
Try asking yourself why you believe these things. What is the motivation? How do you reconcile it with scientific method of investigation? You might surprise yourself with the answers, and you might not but asking the questions is an important step.
Just joined, so throwing out an electronic message in a bottle, and not even sure on whose shore it ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 16, 2017:
Found a bottle on my beach. Read the message that was inside. Found it to be cool. Welcome to the menagerie, and I hope you find your stay here productive.
How many of you have expressed an idea on Agnostic.com and made to feel like you are not wanted or ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 15, 2017:
I've had some folks disagree with what I had to say, and that is not only expected, but welcomed. That's what stirs the pot. Other than that I've had no problems. However, this is a public forum and trolls will be trolls and disagreeable types will be disagreeable. Thick skin helps sometimes.
calling science an atheist religion
evidentialist comments on Nov 14, 2017:
I can see where the confusion/error came from. They equate the demand for evidence and rigor with a mantra -- a belief system with rigid rules/dogma. In a way, they are right, but with the wrong emphasis. They also use 'believe' in some rather silly ways because they don't understand the difference between acceptance and believing. "Do you 'believe' in evolution?" There is nothing to believe, but there is a posit to accept. "Those atheists believe in science -- ergo their religion." A bit tougher, but believing in the scientific method/science is a belief in something that exists and is readily demonstrable. Again, it's more accurate to say that I accept the process of doing science and trust its outcomes and understand its fluidity. Science works even when you don't believe in it. The same can't be said for religion/god(s). Also, they can't imagine anyone can exist without maintaining belief. It is just beyond their grasp that such a thing is possible.
Can anyone answer Karl Popper's question?
evidentialist comments on Nov 14, 2017:
As a rhetorical question, it is a good one, Paul. It caused me to think. Well done.
“How many?” said the maitre d’. “Make it a table for four.” My guests: Baruch Spinoza, ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 14, 2017:
Hypatia of Alexandria, Albert Einstein, and George Carlin.
"Has Evangelical Christianity Become Sociopathic?"
evidentialist comments on Nov 13, 2017:
I don't think there has been all that great a change in Christianity specifically and religions in general. Whenever there has been an opportunity to gain political power presented, they have all attempted to move in. Some have succeeded. I think we are more aware of their shenanigans now because of how our communications have continually improved. If any of them sees any chance at establishing a theocracy, they jump at it. The current evangelical assault on the institutions of law, politics, and social existence is a reaction to an opportunity. It is dangerous indeed, and it demands that those of us who see it for what it is stand in the way to not allow it to happen -- because it will if we don't. Answering the question as it was written, religion has always been sociopathic in one way or another and to varying degrees. It is in the nature of what religion is and does.
Putting the Message of Christianity Into Perspective
evidentialist comments on Nov 13, 2017:
It is indeed a sad commentary on our species as a whole. It is understandable how all this nonsense began, but it is inexcusable in light of our understanding of how the universe works and how the mind functions. However, there is a glimmer of sunshine showing through. More and more are managing to free themselves from the bonds of ancient superstitions and maybe one day we, as a species, will mature.
How does one define consciousness?
evidentialist comments on Nov 12, 2017:
Pretty wordy there, NEOTHEISTFool. Sorry, but to my mind it comes across as just more of that New Age nonsense with a couple of twists, but leading nowhere. Of course, I could be missing something -- but I don't think so. If I am wrong, please explain, but try to keep it into a short paragraph or two.
Ghost stories: how much of it is our imagination?
evidentialist comments on Nov 12, 2017:
Within the framework of being as reasonable and rational an atheist as I can, my answer would be that it is 99.9999999999...9% imagination. Since the supernatural cannot be proved or disproved, we always leave that sliver of a possibility, but in practical terms, 100% is more like it. Put another way, if you don't believe in leprechauns, fairies, Santa, or god(s), why in hell would you believe in ghosts?
Anyone a fan of multiverse theory?
evidentialist comments on Nov 12, 2017:
I wouldn't go so far as to say I'm a fan of it in the same way I'm not a fan of gravity or quantum entanglement. I accept it as one of the many possibilities. After all, if a quantum fluctuation can produce one and there is no reason to believe that there could be but one occurrence, then it is reasonable to consider the possibility of another occurrence, or ten, or a thousand, or a.... It is also not beyond belief that these fluctuations could produce all sorts of differing systems wherein physics as we understand it would not apply. These variations would likely be small for the most part, but what if the universe next door were one in which antimatter had won the toss? I don't think I'd like to collide with that one.
Size Does Matter: Have Yourself A Mindgasm
evidentialist comments on Nov 11, 2017:
One of the best presentations of its type I've ever seen. Thank you.
Veteran's Day Atheists
evidentialist comments on Nov 11, 2017:
The cross section of the military is not much different than what one finds in the general populace. At least, that has been my experience.
Should the U.S. Army allow Turbans, Hijabs, Beards, and Dreadlocks?
evidentialist comments on Nov 11, 2017:
I voted 'other' for a simple reason. For me, there should be no concessions made for any reason. However, if they make room for one, then room should be made for all. Frankly, it makes no sense to make these accommodations, but it appears to be politically correct and they aren't going to pay any attention to me.
Remember in your tributes: Some veterans are atheists | Lexington Herald Leader
evidentialist comments on Nov 11, 2017:
I don't want praise of any kind. Just a respectful nod of acknowledgement is more than adequate. It has been so long for me that I've become numb to the "... bless you," lines, but I understand the sentiment and the rationale behind the comments in the article. It was a good article.
How are you celebrating Veterans' Day?
evidentialist comments on Nov 11, 2017:
I am spending it quietly with memories, good and bad.
Should this girl's parents be prosecuted?
evidentialist comments on Nov 10, 2017:
There is no excuse to allow anyone to die, especially children for lack of proper treatment. Neglect, which this certainly is, should not be exempted for any reason. This applies to anyone, and the penalties should not be light.
Can Love save us, or is it just a New Age pipe dream?
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
I'm unable to cast a vote because the poll is based on restrictive options. Love is just one element. By itself it can certainly help, especially if one applies all the the word love implies in relationships. Love alone is not enough.
Is North Korea really that bad or is it just propaganda?
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
I couldn't vote because there are some options missing. The fact is that NK has been rattling everyone's chain since a couple of years after the cease fire ended the Korean war. Every few months they will do something provocative just to let the rest of the world know they are still there. Now, this is not to say we should not be vigilant, but there is no need to panic because of what Kim does or says at any moment. There is room to be very concerned because our Idiot in Chief is an unstable unknown.
Where do you fall on the Dawkin's Scale of Theistic Probability?
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
The atheist who makes the claim has the same burden of proof on his shoulders as the theist. Okay, I grant that the evidence in favor of the atheist is incredibly strong, but it is not complete thus making the claim that there is no god or gods or other supernatural elements is intellectual suicide. I operate on the assumption that there is no supernatural at work in our universe, but will not make the claim. I am Defacto atheist/evidentialist/rationalist. Humanist on the side.
What do you think of these Principles?
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
Yup.
What is your Heaven?
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
Filet mignon, medium rare. A baked potato with crisp skin that has been smothered in sour cream and heavily sprinkled with chives and bacon bits. A crisp lettuce, bean sprout, olive, tomato, and onion salad with real roquefort dressing. Follow all that with red raspberry tarts and cream. Afterward, a cup of rich Colombian coffee and lazy, long conversation with my lovely wife. Heaven.
Does a REVERSE Pascal's Wager sum up the Agnostic pov?
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
Because Pascal's Wager doesn't work when run forward, what makes you think it is any more valid run backward?
How do you counter a person's belief in God when something GOOD happens?
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
Unless you can demonstrate unambiguously to the other party that the something good would have happened without the presence of supernatural intervention, you can't. Don't even try. That goes double when it's your wife. "Ah, yes dear, we have indeed been smiled upon," is a far better out. You haven't agreed to anything supernatural, even though it sounds like it. You know what they say: "It has been proven that a man will die sooner than his wife. This is especially true after mentioning her waistline."
Hello all. Just joined and I am looking forward to discussions with fellow atheists and agnostics!
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
Howdy. Welcome to the menagerie.
Does absolute truth exist?
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
Absurdity seems to be a theological specialty. Basic truths of the universe are all around us and our experience so far indicates that they are absolutes. Gravity is an example. It has been our experience that when we trip over something, we always move toward the larger mass, in this case the Earth. This has, during the sum total of our experience, not varied. Although it is true that for a very long time we didn't understand the mechanics involved, we surely do now, and it appears to be an absolute truth. Is there a reasonable argument one can use to say that a god or gods has nothing to do with these truths? Not really. We can say that we don't accept the posit, but we can't say they are wrong. At least not legitimately. Where you and I may agree that this is nonsense, we can't prove that they are wrong because we can't prove there is no god or gods.
Have humans been socialized to be social animals? Is socialization the result of bonding behaviour? ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
Social behavior is common across a broad spectrum of species. You can see this for yourself. Watch a pack of dogs or a herd of elephants for a while. As for humans, if we hadn't been social animals, we would not have survived long enough to evolve into what we are now. No,it has little to do with intelligence. Yes, it is a part of our biological makeup. And, yes, it is necessary.
Is anyone here as terrified by CRISPR technology as I am? If you aren't familiar with it, it is a ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 9, 2017:
The technology has incredible potential.
Pastafarian City Official Who Wore Strainer While Taking Oath Wins Re-Election – Friendly Atheist
evidentialist comments on Nov 8, 2017:
I have nothing to say other than more power to him.
Inspirational/Antidepressant Songs for Agnostics/Atheists?
evidentialist comments on Nov 8, 2017:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V0kHokSsokI https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UrgpZ0fUixs https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=baSUO3zjneA https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3yt2aH42JE There are many more.
Hi atheists. Are you happy with your life now?
evidentialist comments on Nov 8, 2017:
imalive, your English is much better than my Bahasa Melayu Baku, I assure you. I understand your feeling of relief because of your enlightenment, but I caution you that you will face great difficulty and even danger should you let anyone know how you feel. It is my understanding that Malaysia is multicultural and that other religions are 'accepted' there, but over 60% are Muslim and Islam is the 'official' religion of the region. Please, be careful and be strong. I am pleased you have found happiness in your new view of the world. I came to this realization a little more than 60 years ago, and have never regretted it. Welcome to our little group.
AGNOSTICS: Are you uncertain of the existence of the Abrahamic god (that is of Christianity, Islam ...
evidentialist comments on Nov 8, 2017:
The poll lacked a couple of important choices. If there is a god (or gods) it (or they) would be totally unrecognizable to us. If there is a god (or gods) it (or they) have left long ago. There is also a distinct problem here in that the concept of 'god(s)' implies, no, demands there be a realm existing outside the reality we perceive (supernatural). There is no, nor has there ever been any evidence or functional theory for such an existence. Now, I realize that lack of evidence does not serve as evidence for lack of existence, but it certainly does support the idea that the odds for the existence of the supernatural are vanishingly small.
Agnostic vs. Atheist?
evidentialist comments on Nov 8, 2017:
Well, sir, that always appears to be a problem on the surface, but it becomes quite simple once one understands the actual meaning of the word, 'atheist'. When an atheist makes the statement that there is/are no god/gods, they are making a claim, just as the religious make a claim. There is a god. There is no god. When an atheist makes that claim, he/she has taken on the burden of proof. Unfortunately, there is no proof available for either side. About the actual meaning of the word, 'atheist'. It really just means that one does not accept the god concept. They ... don't ... believe ... in ... god(s). He or she is then not making a claim, just stating a condition of being. If pressed for explanation and they feel it worth responding, they can say that because there is no compelling evidence for a deity they are not obligated to believe there is one. Now, the 'I don't know if there is or isn't' line is fence-riding, but the 'there's no compelling evidence, so I don't believe' line is declarative without compromising. Of course there is a possibility that there is one, but that possibility is so low as to be reasonably considered nil, thus justifying the lack of belief. I am quite comfortable with the word 'atheist' because of all this, but the word 'agnostic' bothers me a bit. I don't mind people using it (after all, it is true as well), but it just seems so wishy-washy and uncertain that I avoid it. I am: Atheist. Evidentialist. Rationalist. Humanist to a degree. That all works well for me. Agnostic does not.
Have you ever been a Christian's pet project?
evidentialist comments on Nov 8, 2017:
Quite a few, especially back when I first declared my independence to the world. A shock wave rippled through the extended family and close friends, several of whom thought I'd just slipped on the ice and would come round soon. Others weren't so sure and made concentrated efforts to 'revive' me. That was back in 1957, so I've had plenty of time to hone my skills at shooing the nitwits. I have turned it into a game with high score being determined by how long it takes for them to realize they are being played with. My current high score is with the Witnesses. They appear to be particularly thick. I'll consider myself successful when they begin leaping from their watchtowers.
I call myself a catholic agnostic, what do you call yourself?
evidentialist comments on Nov 8, 2017:
Atheist/evidentialist/rationalist Humanist also fits, but I don't use it often as a descriptive because the challenged fold don't have an inkling of what it really means. The others they are pretty good and close guessing.
If we were having a discussion about the mystery religion Gnosticism & you said 'I have no knowledge...
evidentialist comments on Nov 8, 2017:
Antagagnostic
A better place, really?
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
I even find 'passed away' aggravating. Then there's the 'rest-in-peace' line. What the hell does that mean? How about the one that says 'the lord has taken him/her' for a grabber. I understand why they use such phrases, but damn them.
Do you support Trump?
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
Trump lacks in so many areas it is impossible to list them all. If he would do anything that indicated he was learning and that he understood how his manner of being was deleterious to the existence of our nation, I could support him with reservation. As it is, no. Absolutely not. I can tell you this much, we have a man waiting in the wings who is much worse in terms of how our republic could be seriously damaged -- and that is Pence. Want a theocracy, let Pence into the Oval Office with the power of the president.
What do we need or, can we do, to make atheism mainstream?
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
Atheism will become a norm in due time. I think it is the better approach to not create any greater negative feedback than we already have. We are making progress in a mostly peaceful manner. Let's keep it that way. That is not to say we take a passive role when it comes to issues of church and state with regard to politics and education. We need to be vigorous and conspicuous there. We need to be politically active to guard against the desired theocracy ambitions of fundamentalists everywhere in the world, but it is of supreme importance here in the United States because of the evangelical push we are witnessing. Bullshit spreads too easily on its own, but it is much worse when it gains a little power.
Should homeschooling be legal?
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
I have no problem with home schooling as long as it teaches the reality of our universe to the best of our understanding and provides for proper and adequate social exposure. Textbooks should be those used in public schools (not Texas public schools). Science should be science and not doses of woo. History should be history. Religion, if taught at all, should be in the form of comparative studies and not some single-minded theology, whatever that theology might be. To accomplish this, textbooks should be supplied by the secular public system and test materials should comply with the state regulations that apply to that state's school system (except the Texas school system). If you think I'm picking on Texas, do a little investigating.
Is continuously exposing a child to religion child abuse?
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
Of course it is. Anything that misleads or misinforms a child is abusive. That does not mean one needs to be coldly and brutally honest about things, because that can be just as abusive as the former. I consider anything that causes a young mind to reject the world as it is in favor of some nonsense about how we wish it was does a disservice to humankind in general and to the young person in particular.
What is the non-theist replacement for "I'll pray for you?"
evidentialist comments on Nov 6, 2017:
There are a few, but I usually will say something like, "My thoughts are with you," or, "I'll be thinking about you," for general purpose. I'll add whatever is appropriate if there is something like a death or an illness.

Photos

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Conference: Fact vs Fiction -- 2001
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My wife: Julieta
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Granddaughter: Ayrie Pauline Chaboya
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My youngest daughter: Alexandra Rachel Jacobs-Chaboya
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My eldest daughter: Leah Kelly when she was 3 years old in our stilt house at the west end of Galveston Island, TX in 1969
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My eldest daughter, Leah Kelly with me at the studio in 1968. Yes, she actually knew a few chords when she was a little over 2 years old.
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My son, Oscar, when he was playing police officer in 2002. Datsa my boy.
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My grandson, Logan Jay Chaboya and Gramps performing an experiment. We luvs science.
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Me in front of 'the wall' in 2004
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Copied from a newspaper article in which I was featured during Astronomy Day at the UACJ in 1999. I was lecturing on impact mechanics and how to identify meteorites in the field. At the university I also displayed my meager collection of meteorites and related materials.
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Founding members at the signing of the papers of incorporation of the Planetary Society: Carl Sagan (seated to the right), Bruce Murray (seated to the left), and Louis Friedman (standing on the left). The man standing to the right is Harry Ashmore, an advisor, who greatly helped in the founding of the Society. Ashmore was a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist and leader in the Civil Rights movement in the 1960s and 70s. What a fun group. Never a dull moment.
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Upper left: The four room farmhouse in which I was raised. Top right: Lovely little me on a rarely seen city sidewalk. Lower left: Me and my hotrod. Center: Aunt Lou, little sister, Lou, with me seated behind, and cousin Skipper with our 1927 Oakland Landau Sedan. Lower middle: Uncle Leroy riding my back. Lower right: Me and my tough row to hoe.
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A rather odd tale of first contact with a strange twist.
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The Earth travels in a random shooting gallery and one never knows.
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"Xenogenesis is one of those rare books that manages to catch even the most jaded of sci-fi readers off-guard. Somewhere between the description of cities in stratified levels of wealth and the injection of nano-machines, we realize we are somewhere between the world we inhabit and the world we only dream about, which makes the entire book something beyond a simple novel of escape. This combination of biotechnology and space travel with a hefty dose of hard-boiled detective fiction in the character of Patrick Dalworthy allows Jacobs to create a work that is both fantastic and close to home, one that tackles the subject of what it truly means to be human in a rapidly advancing world and answer it with aplomb." ~ Jamie A. Hughes
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IN THIS INCREDIBLE, SWEEPING SAGA across thousands of years and hundreds of light years we come face to face with our fears and deep prejudices. It is here, in SEEDS OF MEMORY, that we get an idea of what it means to be "HUMAN" and what "HUMAN" really means. It is here, in SEEDS OF MEMORY, that we are confronted with the need to know colliding head-on with reality. Are we, HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS, truly the only form that humans can take, and is our history the only history? Might there not be others, or others created out of the very stuff of life who are, after all, our brothers and sisters?kith and kin? In this story we find that the lines that divide have indistinct, fuzzy edges, and that we are the ones who make those divisions. Here we discover humanity at its magnificent best, its seething worst, and everything imaginable between, while we make an uncertain attempt to reunite two peoples separated by time and space...and other things.
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The follow-on to Storm Cloud Rising. Maelstrom and the third book have been included into the first book of the trilogy so that it is now a single novel.
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My short story, CLOUD, appears in this anthology.
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My short story, I NEVER SCREAM, is in this anthology.
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My short story, GOD SHIP, can be found here.
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Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist, Secularist, Skeptic, Freethinker
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