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With or without religion
p-nullifidian comments on May 28, 2020:
Assuming we survive, at some point in the not-too-distant future, I envision our descendants looking back at this period in time with amazement. They will likely be unable to relate to the control that religion held in our time, and it is this future that should be the focus of our attention. As a nullifidian I eschew all religion, but logically, there is necessarily a spectrum from the most detrimental to the least harmful. Let's begin with eliminating the foundation of orthodox religions, and go from there.
Since it is Memorial Day I want to give a salute to all those Atheist/Agnostics who fought, and ...
p-nullifidian comments on May 26, 2020:
"Pat Tillman was a famous atheist who fought for the US...and died in Afghanistan - allegedly accidentally by "friendly fire"....uh - huh...." Do you doubt the findings of the inquiries made into the Tillman tragedy? Do you offer evidence that what we (the public and the Tillman family) have been told regarding the incident is not factual?
Memorial Day thoughts of a former Nationalist.
p-nullifidian comments on May 26, 2020:
I agree fully. As a veteran, I too view Memorial Day as a day to remember the fallen who served in uniform, not the front lines of a pandemic--they deserve their own separate and special recognition. That said, I was brought up in a faith whose draftees registered, more often than not, as conscientious objectors, and where the name of Desmond Doss was esteemed above all others who served, including Patton, Bradley, Macarthur and Ike. My religious upbringing emphasized the clear division between religion and the state. As a result, to this day I reject the efforts of those who would seek to enlist God as their 'commander in chief.' IMO, jingoism, particularly the religion-sponsored variety, has no place in the armed forces, or any sector of society. Memorial Day is about remembering human beings whose lives were cut short, not about nationalism or extreme patriotism. This was brought home to me this morning, as I listened to this perspective by a Vietnam-era veteran on my local NPR station, while preparing our family barbecue. Peace.
Pale Blue Dot - You Are Here (Carl Sagan) - YouTube
p-nullifidian comments on May 25, 2020:
Thank you for this wonderful memory! Carl Sagan had championed the idea of training the Voyager cameras back on our home for years, but the concept was not considered of scientific value. It wasn't until Voyager 1 had flown by Jupiter and Saturn and its cameras were about to be permanently shut off, that the idea to aim the sensors back and image Saturn, Jupiter, Venus and Earth was finally approved. Incredibly, roughly half an hour after Carl's visionary idea became a reality, Voyager 1's cameras went dark. The 30 year anniversary of this image (February 14, 1990) was recently observed. Sadly, the significance of this image, and the words of Carl Sagan appear lost on the majority of our fellow inhabitants.
As a young catholic school girl, I tried so hard to believe.
p-nullifidian comments on May 25, 2020:
Well put! Thank you for this post. As a lifelong chorister, I must admit that some of the most gorgeous music ever written was to the text of "Ave Maria." Whether listening to a professional chorus or a soloist such as Andrea Bocelli, the various settings of the Ave Maria by a handful of composers from Bach to Biebl never fail to elicit emotion, no matter my unbelief. I am particularly fond of Voces8's rendition of Franz Biebl's Ave Maria.
I read in my local newspaper some Atheists are being blamed for burning down a church in ...
p-nullifidian comments on May 24, 2020:
If the arsonists are caught and they identify as atheists, it would only serve to reinforce an earlier conversation, elsewhere on this site, regarding the position of atheism being no guarantor of rationality. It's an old meme for sure, but simply replace 'atheist' with 'non stamp collector' and the folly of grouping atheists becomes clear.
Why Atheists Are Not as Rational as Some Like to Think [phys.
p-nullifidian comments on May 23, 2020:
That atheists may be as irrational as believers is hardly news. On this very website, I have been upbraided by anti-vax'ers, anti-GMO'ers, pro-Trump'ers and flat Earthers who otherwise appear to claim a 'rational' doubt as to the existence of a supreme being! We have all heard of countless examples of brilliant scientists who have remained persons of faith, and may even assert a 'personal relationship' with their god. If such a dichotomy is possible, why would anyone be surprised by the reverse--i.e., that a nonbeliever might be capable of irrationality?
Anthony Fauci: 'Now Is The Time .
p-nullifidian comments on May 23, 2020:
The irony in Fauci's call for selfless caring may be lost on many in this country who identify as Christians and insist on their right to do as they want in the name of freedom from tyranny, even if their selfish behavior imperils others. It would not be the first time that the secular humanist behaved more "Christlike" than the Christian.
Wired for marriage: The neural and genetic links to romantic love - Neuroscience News
p-nullifidian comments on May 22, 2020:
If we are wired for anything, it is the sex drive, but to propagate the species we need not have the institution of marriage, much less the practice of monogamy. Marriage grew out of the need to preserve and protect wealth or property--it is a social contract that was appropriated by religion and romanticized by poets.
p-nullifidian comments on May 22, 2020:
I have long felt as you do, but consider the following: this philosophy involves more than the cheapening one's brief existence. I have found that many Christians, including my loved ones, care little about preserving the planet which their Savior has promised, according to their Holy Bible, to destroy and rebuild. The faithful believe that when they die, the next thing they will see is their Redeemer in Heaven, and considering this cherished belief occupies the core of their identity, they cannot help but view their existence on Earth as little more than a 'waiting room' for what's next. And of what possible worth is this distraction-filled waiting room to them, anyway?
Cognitive Dissonance
p-nullifidian comments on May 22, 2020:
As a child I was taught to always listen to that 'still small voice' of my conscience, telling me when something I was doing, or even contemplating, just wasn't right. Later in life, that same voice became too loud for me to ignore as I re-read the Holy Bible. "Something here just wasn't right!" it said. It had become the voice of reason, which literally could not be quieted.
Why women remain in religious sects like this is beyond me--brainwashing into feeling inferior, I ...
p-nullifidian comments on May 21, 2020:
What 'his honor' is referring to was actually mainstream Christianity for thousands of years. Women weren't ordained as ministers in most Protestant faiths until fairly recently--some religions, including the one in which I was raised--have yet to take this step, putting them on par with the Catholic church. The greater problem here, IMO, is something the Framers recognized: the endorsement by government (in this case, City Hall) of religion.
In my last post I mentioned how Christ had no knowledge of science, especially biology and ...
p-nullifidian comments on May 21, 2020:
The authors who vomited what was later assembled into a hodgepodge of lunacy known by many as the Bible, were no more educated than any of their peers. The character in the New Testament drama called Christ, if he existed, was as ignorant as any of his playwrights. Never was any so-called holy word or scripture in advance of the people who wrote it, thus demonstrating the human fallibility and authenticity of 'God's word.'
No matter how they try to dress it up, Christianity IS a form of hate, if not racism.
p-nullifidian comments on May 21, 2020:
This text, while speciesist, is not the worst Christianity has to offer, IMO.
Are people protecting the idea of religion or the power, privilege and social status that religion ...
p-nullifidian comments on May 21, 2020:
"Do you know true believers that would spread religion even if it does not bring at least some apparent advantage?" Rewards come in many forms. There is always an advantage, if not in this life, the one they believe is yet to come.
Got a new mower today.
p-nullifidian comments on May 21, 2020:
Nice! Been looking at cordless mowers for when my 15 year old Black & Decker electric finally breaks down ... but it refuses to die! I converted to electric back in the early 2000's when I read that the 2 stroke engine on my old Toro put out more pollution in an hour than my car driving many hundreds of miles. I've had a Ryobi electric leaf blower for years with no issues, so it looks like you've found a winner. Thanks!
Utah Decriminalizes Polygamy with Near Unanimous Support by Legislators - Daily Citizen
p-nullifidian comments on May 21, 2020:
It seems clear that the core issue here is more legal / financial / tax related than any moral code. But the financial waters become muddied when multiple partners are involved, and since marriage is a contract first and foremost, the state might become confused! Ignoring for the moment the history of Utah and the Mormon church, might a more 'liberated' view of polygamy include both polyandry and polygyny? Assuming that there will always be those who seek a more complicated, if not burdensome, existence, if a man may legally have more than one wife, why can't a woman have more than one husband? In fact, perhaps the only just way to reconsider the issue of polygamy in Utah is through the lens of equality of the sexes, assuming of course an age of consent that is nearer 18 than it is to 12--no child brides or bridegrooms!
Oooops, there goes yet another "God did it" side of the Creation Myth it seems.
p-nullifidian comments on May 20, 2020:
Bet you those 'gappers' are still gonna claim, 'Oh yeah, but you can't explain abiogenesis!'
p-nullifidian comments on May 19, 2020:
We live in a universe governed by cause and effect, and so far as we know, this chain has not been broken by a force outside of nature. The faithful who are willing to risk their lives to attend services and ignore the virus believe that either their God will save them, or he will allow them to die, but that either way, their example will serve as a memorial to 'perfect faith.'
So I decided to dry cloths at the laundromat.
p-nullifidian comments on May 19, 2020:
When traveling to the 'bluer' part of my state, where masks are seen as an infringement on one's Constitutional rights, when someone challenged me for wearing a mask, I said something like this to him: "Excuse me, but I just tested positive for the Coronavirus, and was told I should quarantine myself and self-isolate. But I felt that was an infringement on my rights, so I'm just gonna keep doing my thing, but I'm wearing this mask because my wife has a compromised immunity and I don't want to infect her or anyone else [followed by a loud cough]."
I spent far too much time looking into which group this would be most appropriately posted, so it ...
p-nullifidian comments on May 19, 2020:
I only learned of Origen after I had abandoned my faith. It is apparent that, despite Paul's attempts to doctrinally unify the early Christian church, the fledgling faith had become home to a diverse set of beliefs and authors, many of which were eliminated by the council of Nicaea (325 A.D.). It is through the research of scholar/authors like Bart Ehrman and Elaine Pagels that I, as one who once believed in the authenticity of scripture, learned about the political and entirely human actors who determined what should be believed. A vote by fallible, politically motivated men forever decided what was to be discarded and what would be retained. A small group of men determined what is "God's Word!"
In the movie "The Meaning of Life" "The Galaxy Song" got me thinking.
p-nullifidian comments on May 19, 2020:
"...our planet has been traveling around the center of the galaxy and so should have something from everything it has come close to. So if there is life elsewhere in this galaxy there should be some evidence of it here." The galaxy and everything in it is like a giant pinwheel or turntable. Given that the distances between us and our nearest neighbors are relatively fixed, what "evidence" do you think we would encounter? It's not as though we're all ships at sea, leaving behind our flotsam for later parties to discover. Everything is in constant motion--there is no such thing as a body at rest--which means that our "here" is not necessarily "influenced" by any other of our neighboring star systems.
The new dog! She reminds me of Anubis, the Egyptian god.....those ears!
p-nullifidian comments on May 18, 2020:
In honor of your new companion, please allow me to share a sentiment that is in our vet's waiting area.
Obama reminds us of what a US president should sound like.
p-nullifidian comments on May 17, 2020:
As Stephen Colbert said, "I miss George W. Bush." Compared with what we have today, even "W," the man who gave us, "Is our children educated?" appears more presidential!
I checked in to see what agnostics are up to these days.
p-nullifidian comments on May 17, 2020:
Welcome! I have been traduced at times for being an atheist intruder here, but I personally don't make the distinctions that many do. I don't mind being labeled an agnostic, so long as that doesn't imply a vacillating, two-timing prevaricator. I also don't mind being labeled an atheist, so long as that doesn't imply a hardened, closed-minded militancy about the existence of a supreme being. My primary identity is a nullifidan (one who has no faith or religious belief), so both agnostic and atheist might apply. I am also a positivist, which is more a 'how' than a 'what' standard. Politically, I subscribe to a Gene Rodenberry vision of the future ... just not sure how we get there! Cheers!
Is your yard private?
p-nullifidian comments on May 17, 2020:
You are fortunate not to live next door! We have a Catholic church nearby, but all we ever hear are bells (recorded) for mass. Not the worst thing in the world ... reminds me of when I lived in Europe.
I wonder how many churches will close for good due to covid-19.
p-nullifidian comments on May 17, 2020:
Many. Some already have. I have two cousins who are ministers, and they've already seen consolidations. As operating budgets decline, staff are laid off and consolidated with neighboring churches, then the physical plant is not attended to and eventually a church must close its doors. The majority of Protestant churches in this country operate on a shoestring budget with fewer than 100 members each to support them. When large public gatherings are again the norm, many members will need to find themselves a new church to attend and congregation to join.
What would you do/say if a Christian friend told you they're questioning their faith?
p-nullifidian comments on May 17, 2020:
Your approach with your friend is sound, IMO. The Socratic method you have taken is preferable to the "well let me tell you why that is" method. We are a question-answering species, and while we may never be able to fully answer many questions, to lose one's faith represents the logical conclusion of methodical and relentless inquiry. The disciple Thomas was admonished for his open expression of the attitude of doubt. "Blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed," were Jesus' words. But when a believer is finally able to receive and embrace doubt and to question why things are (or even ought to be) as they are, they mark the commencement of their intellectual freedom. Your friend appears to have taken this step. The void left by the loss of faith in one's religion (or perhaps even the loss of faith in faith itself) will need to be replaced with something, such as a greater tolerance and love of this world and its inhabitants, or a renewed curiosity in the universe. Hopefully you will be around to help him.
Not too long ago I had the opportunity to take a couple of pictures of a peacock's feather.
p-nullifidian comments on May 17, 2020:
Hummingbirds also have iridescent feathers. One wonders if this adaptation began with dinosaurs.
My Grandma is Racist. She Hates Exactly Half of Me- the Latina Half.
p-nullifidian comments on May 16, 2020:
Thank you for sharing this article. I love this sentiment: "Racists are assholes. Their problem with me being mixed is and always will be their problem, not mine." I was blessed to have a mother who was very progressive. When I was in the 1st or 2nd grade, I once came home from school and repeated a joke I was told by a schoolmate that contained the N-word. Not only did my mother literally wash my mouth out with soap, but she told me to never ever use that word again, and that if any of my school mates used that word, I shouldn't play with them, nor were they allowed in our house. I had no context for this lesson, no understanding of the history, and where I lived, there were very few people of color. But that really didn't matter; I just grew up knowing that other words I learned at school that horrified my grandparents, like 'shit' and 'fuck' were practically harmless as far as my mom was concerned, compared to that word! I think that as a consequence I have always had an appreciation for variety over homogeneity and have valued diversity, a principle my wife and I have passed onto our children. We need to do whatever we can to eliminate this problem of racism and bigotry--a mode of thinking that is passed on from families and their chosen peer groups.
Four Habits of Discipline My SEAL Dad Taught Me. Apply these to help you in life.
p-nullifidian comments on May 16, 2020:
I've known a number of SOF (Special Operations Forces) guys in my life, and to a man they were the furthest thing from braggadocious. They're well aware of their abilities, and don't need to seek trouble. Most are wiry as opposed to musclebound ... picture the sculpted physique of a professional rock climber. They lead by example, not by barking commands, and are fully devoted to the mission and the team. Their training is much more than physically demanding, as it requires a psychological and emotional discipline that is either buried deeply within, or doesn't exist.
Some would say the glass is half full.
p-nullifidian comments on May 16, 2020:
You must be an engineer! ;-)
p-nullifidian comments on May 15, 2020:
Yet another example of a faith serving in the "best interests" of its parishioners.
How coronavirus spread from one member to 87% of the singers at a Washington choir practice ...
p-nullifidian comments on May 15, 2020:
As a lifelong chorister, Coronavirus is breaking my heart. We now know that singing and loud talking can spread virus-laden droplets much farther than 6 feet. But singing yards apart from one another presents a challenge for ensemble (musical blend) for all but the most professional choruses. In any case, it is nearly impossible for a large group of singers to find rehearsing / performing spaces that would accommodate such a widespread formation as would be necessary. I fear that choral singing may be out until herd immunity is achieved, whether or not an audience can be assembled.
Some evangelicals fear the 'mark of the beast' from a coronavirus vaccine
p-nullifidian comments on May 15, 2020:
“I might sound like a fanatic, but I’m really not,” she said. “I’m normal.” Normal for someone who listens to right wing radio, watches Fox News and supports Donald Trump. Sadly, the following is factually accurate, and should give us pause. "She is, in fact, not out of the mainstream of the large segment of the American population ...The coronavirus pandemic created the perfect environment for apocalyptic Christianity to fuse with antigovernment libertarianism, New Age rejection of mainstream science and medicine, and internet-fueled gullibility toward baroque conspiracy theories about secret cabals ruling the world through viruses."
p-nullifidian comments on May 15, 2020:
Like a scene from a Leslie Nielsen movie. "Nothing to see here, please disperse!"
I am agnostic because I want to have an open mind! Really?
p-nullifidian comments on May 14, 2020:
Some self-avowed agnostics may think the term reflects a "could go either way" attitude, as in, certain computer files, like JPEGs or PDFs, are 'platform agnostic.' However, to strident religionists, their apparent unwillingness to commit represents, in and of itself, a choice. To the faithful, not choosing to accept is to reject. Personally, I identify first and foremost as a nullifidian: one who has no faith or religious belief. If there were a supreme being, it has yet to be observed or described, and all religions are, and have been, equally ignorant on this account. I am basically a person without any faith or religious belief who lacks any knowledge of a supreme being.
Religion isn't the bane of humanity.
p-nullifidian comments on May 14, 2020:
IMO, it isn't a question of one or the other; both are banes of humanity. If religions (particularly the most orthodox) were to simply evolve and completely redact from their so-called holy books and doctrines their retrograde and immoral concepts, humanity would be in a much better place. Instead, they dig in, holding on to their antediluvian morality of a fossilized past. Beliefs have consequences, and the more extreme, the more dangerous. I agree with Steven Weinberg, who observed, “With or without religion, good people can behave well and bad people can do evil; but for good people to do evil - that takes religion.”
What are your thoughts about the "God of Gaps"?
p-nullifidian comments on May 14, 2020:
The argument from ignorance (sometimes called the God of the Gaps) is an ill-fated position, as it attributes a supernatural cause for phenomena we do not yet understand. But as our knowledge of the universe has steadily increased, and natural explanations have been advanced for things once believed to have been 'miraculous,' the role for a deity has gradually, yet unflinchingly diminished. Theists who rely on the argument from ignorance disregard the path of history and shut their eyes to the inevitable end of their incredible shrinking god.
Does anything about being in an atheist or agnostic social network provide comfort?
p-nullifidian comments on May 14, 2020:
A very nice post, but it ends on a sad note, IMO. "A stretch," you say? Maybe it's just the ENTJ in me, but it's been my experience that you get what you give (and very often more) on this platform--just look at those replies below! :-)
What would you have done differently had you been god?
p-nullifidian comments on May 13, 2020:
I would have done just as my Deist avatar believed. After having created everything--matter, energy, and all the physics governing the universe--I would have moved on to more important matters, leaving my creation to evolve on its own without my ever caring, interacting or even being aware of what became of it.
A new religion []
p-nullifidian comments on May 12, 2020:
Terry Firma? Great pseudonym ... much more creative than mine!
Which religion has the most influence on the spread of covid19?
p-nullifidian comments on May 9, 2020:
The effect of prayer, or lack thereof, on patients has actually been studied, and as Dan Barker has so famously quipped, 'Nothing fails like prayer.'
Are you in favor of UBI ? Why/not ?
p-nullifidian comments on May 8, 2020:
Before addressing UBI, a concept my avatar strongly advocated, perhaps we should address two basic rights (which many view as privileges) that have been underscored in the aftermath of COVID-19: universal health care and universal housing.
Michael Moore's Planet of the Humans is a film all atheists should see.
p-nullifidian comments on May 7, 2020:
Please explain your 'intersection' between the Green Movement and a lack of belief in a deity.
"In a certain sense, postmodernism seems to be the last step of secularization.
p-nullifidian comments on May 7, 2020:
With respect, Eagleton, it seems to me, sounds almost Chopraesque in his initial deepities, although I do resonate with this statement: "Only by breaking with the whole notion of 'deep' meaning can we break free."
Best yelled in a Princess Bride kind of spirit! And it is so, so true.
p-nullifidian comments on May 6, 2020:
Makes a great coffee mug meme too!
A renowned researcher who was on the brink of “very significant findings” in his coronavirus ...
p-nullifidian comments on May 6, 2020:
It happens. A property manager in my town was murdered in his office by an enraged tenant who had been evicted from his rental property. After shooting the property manager, the tenant drove his car several miles to a parking lot by the San Francisco Bay, where he swallowed the same handgun, an hour or two later.
This group is suspiciously quiet for a major metro region in a time of pandemic.
p-nullifidian comments on May 3, 2020:
"High" to you, as well. My wife and I operate a residential care facility for the elderly in the Outer Sunset. After what happened to the facility in the Seattle area, my wife went all 'mama bear' and began instituting strict practices in early March, prior to the County and State directives, which came weeks later. We have not let our guards down, and are concerned that complacency could lead to an outbreak. And until we have an effective vaccine, we fear we may be facing COVID again, later this year.
I was watching a Nature show and I thought you would all like to know that Jesus Christ lives and ...
p-nullifidian comments on May 2, 2020:
Jesus Christ, look at that lizard go! I hear that it would be much harder for Jesus to walk on water than it was the first time around, due to those holes in his feet.
For the grammarians: The atheist might say, “If there WERE a God there would be no unjustified ...
p-nullifidian comments on May 1, 2020:
What be "is?"
It appears that Jesus is not the only one that might try to be a man and a god at the same time.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 30, 2020:
An old rehash of ancient fables. There are, in fact, many themes such as a half-breed human god, virgin birth, execution & resurrection, raising the dead, healing and other miracles, etc. that were ripped off from previous mythologies by Christian plagiarists, otherwise known as authors of the New Testament.
Well, well, well.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 30, 2020:
"...the performers saunter into the audience to giggle their breasts..." Clearly something was lost in translation.
A few years back I was working at a factory.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 30, 2020:
This story is troubling on so many levels, whether directly stated or implied. First, that one's faith is supposed to blind one to a fact. Second, that recognition of a fact, in this case weight loss, dooms one to violating the 10th commandment. Third, that weight loss for women is only to make them more attractive to men. Fourth, the admission that if the woman who lost weight were more attractive to you, she'd garner a closer look, perhaps tempting you to violate the 7th commandment, if only in your heart [Matthew 5:28.] Please reread your post, while putting yourself in your co-worker's shoes--the one whom you've simply called, Joe's wife--and perhaps I won't be the only man to sense a tone of sexism in this story.
The test of a false god; Why I am an atheist.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 30, 2020:
The Christian faith in which I was raised doesn't even acknowledge the existence of other deities, which meant that there were no false gods. In fact, no false vs. real God argument was ever even considered. However, it was my own experience as a parent that doomed my faith in this 'one and only' deity, as I could no longer tolerate the 'bad parenting' going on. If you're a halfway honest person, you pretty much have to conclude that this God, as described in the Bible (and even as he supposedly exists today), is a fucking loser as a Dad. In fact, this "God" is one helluva vile and twisted monster who deserves nothing more than our loathing and contempt, and to be brought up on child abandonment, endangerment, abuse and infanticide by some form of celestial child protective services! So, once I renounced my faith in this God, and walked away from my church, there was (thankfully) no other deity to turn to. Game over, man ... game over!
I just saw this post in an otter group I’m part of on Facebook.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 28, 2020:
Clearly, Steve is asking his heavenly father for some fish!
Religion was destroyed! By whom?
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 28, 2020:
"Trust me!" Two words that should alert any sound mind that what preceded or follows is unlikely to be true.
Is the concept of a personal God needed in some individuals?
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 28, 2020:
Not merely a personal God, but one who will watch over us and take care of us. This need, it seems to me, is prompted by our desire to feel safe and secure, perhaps as we once did when we were young, and were protected by grown ups. By and large, humans seem to have a 'big person' fetish, which we satisfy with fanciful legends and myths.
Christian Nationalists Call For Secession, Formation Of White Ethnostate | Michael Stone
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 28, 2020:
So they want to leave, but where to? Come to think of it, Antarctica is probably the 'whitest' continent.
Ignoring COVID Order, Massachusetts Church Takes “A Stand for the Lord” | Terry Firma | Friendly...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 28, 2020:
God is fickle, frequently changing his mind. Instead of omniscience this god, whom many worship today, is infinitely capricious!
What would you create in collaboration with a machine that dreams?
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 28, 2020:
Clearly the dream begins with *Starry Night* by Vincent van Gogh!
Looking for a place to share/discuss some photography inspired by scientific effects/phenomenae.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 28, 2020:
For astrophotography, few sites can top Astrobin.
I've been a huge aviation nerd since I was a little kid.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 28, 2020:
Thank you for this post! Growing up in northern California, not far from Beale AFB, the strategic reconnaissance base where the SR-71s (and U-2s) were headquartered, I frequently saw (and heard) these planes, often connected with a KC-135 tanker during aerial refueling. Kelly Johnson, the Lockheed engineer who designed the SR-71 (as well as the P-38, Constellation, U-2 and F-104), was a genius, and it is hard to overstate how far ahead of its time this aircraft was. The last unit is at the Udvar-Hazy annex of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum by Dulles airport--I highly recommend visiting. On its final flight in 1990, this *Blackbird* set several speed records including an incredible cross-country time (from Los Angeles to Washington, D.C.) of just over 64 minutes!
A different perspective; Is the fight against COVID19 worse than the disease?
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 27, 2020:
Oh boy! Let's all become utilitarians. Put your grandma on that iceberg and push her off to sea! Those who don't make it become 'collateral damage' or 'acceptable losses' in the great cause of our economy. Let's just ignore, for a moment, that COVID-19 has killed healthy people, including young adults and even children. Forget about the fact that COVID-19 attacks the heart tissues and may trigger strokes in younger persons. Let's just chalk up the victims of COVID-19 as casualties in the battle for America's economy! In fact, let's make it 'un-American' to shelter in place during a pandemic. If you ever hear someone say that the 'cure is worse than the disease' or that 'we need to re-open the country' consider the utilitarian logic behind this argument: the economy is more valuable than the lives lost to the Coronavirus--lives that might have been spared to a different set of priorities.
Towards radical skepticism: Philosophically, I am a radical skeptic.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 27, 2020:
What we perceive through the medium of our senses is subjective, how could it be otherwise? Are we all brains in a vat experiencing a "Matrix" existence? Who knows? Perhaps we're just living in a shared definition of reality. Or, we should, at least, share this reality if we want to survive. Just as our ancestors agreed, for the most part, that the saber-toothed tiger was a threat to be avoided, so should we as a species recognize the threats we face, such as pandemics and climate change. All knowledge, including what we know today as scientific facts, is provisional, subject to future revision. To assume otherwise is to fossilize our understanding of the universe--a process frequently practiced by religion.
“On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at ...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 27, 2020:
This quote became exceedingly popular on Wednesday, November 9, 2016. Give the man a microphone and the evidence of his intellectual prowess becomes self-evident.
What could happen if we open the economy too soon?
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 27, 2020:
Take a look at what happened to Hokkaido.
At least the oil companies will benefit from the fly overs by the Blue Angels and the Thunderbirds.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 24, 2020:
Sorry, but as a veteran and enthusiast of flight, from the Wright Bros. to the present, you won't get me to join this fray. Not sure what it has to do with agnosticism, in any case.
Texas wanted to secede
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 24, 2020:
Secession, or efforts to do so, seems at times to be as American as apple pie. The mining town of Rough and Ready, California, in the gold-rich Sierra Nevada foothills, voted to secede from the Union in 1850. One wonders just how many regions, counties and towns have, over the years, voted to 'break away.'
Doing my first shift testing people for covid tomorrow wish me luck .
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 24, 2020:
We are in your debt sir, and I personally honor your commitment to applying your skills and knowledge to this important cause. Best wishes and stay well! PN
I’m an atheist but I want to ask a serious question.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 23, 2020:
Perhaps, but only when moving beyond their traditional context, in the same frame of mind as that of my avatar: “I do not believe in the creed professed by the Jewish church, by the Roman church, by the Greek church, by the Turkish church, by the Protestant church, nor by any church that I know of. My own mind is my own church. All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.” Thomas Paine, *The Age of Reason*
"Science is better than religion.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 21, 2020:
"For ages, a deadly conflict has been waged between a few brave men and women of thought and genius upon the one side, and the great ignorant religious mass on the other. This is the war between Science and Faith. The few have appealed to reason, to honor, to law, to freedom, to the known, and to happiness here in this world. The many have appealed to prejudice, to fear, to miracle, to slavery, to the unknown, and to misery hereafter. The few have said, "Think!" The many have said, "Believe!" Robert Green Ingersoll, 'The Gods' 1872
Hypothetical question
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 21, 2020:
Passing knowledge to the next up-and-coming species would confer an unfair advantage. Let them struggle as we have; let them figure it out on their own--no short cuts! Giving a boost only weakens them, in the long run. What makes a species strong are the challenges, questions and paradoxes in life. No one is ever improved by being handed the answers to a test, prior to taking it.
Moral Compass
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 21, 2020:
Morality, it seems to me, is an evolutionary development resulting from the survival benefit conferred to in-group cooperation vs. individualistic, selfish behavior. Morals may be reduced to two primary behavioral principles: fairness (or reciprocity) and empathy (or sympathy). These primitive, yet unmistakable behaviors are seen in many other species, including our closest relative, the chimpanzee. If we can agree that morality was a natural outgrowth of primitive codes that enabled the survival and flourishing of hominids that practiced such behaviors, why then is it necessary to credit an external authority many thousands of years after the fact? Did humanity really need Mt. Sinai for 'moral instruction?' Are not our morals a natural outgrowth of a clan-tribe-nation progression? Religion (much as it has everything else) co-opted existing practices and dressed them up in a false narrative of authoritative plagiarism. Taking credit for something that already exists is a lietmotif of religion.
[] Anti-Semitic fliers blaming Jews for Covid-19 near Washington, DC. WTF!!!!!
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 20, 2020:
Sadly, these anti-Semitic beliefs have never left us, and have only surged in recent years, thanks in large part to the top cover given by the current resident of the White House, who prefers to allow these cockroaches to roam freely, rather than shine a focused light of truth and force them back into the wood work.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 20, 2020:
Alternative Medicine = Alternative Facts
This is one of the good ones I post where I know Christians are reading .
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 20, 2020:
In the story, Mary's father remains hidden, but were I he, I would want to wring Joseph's neck! Impregnated by the Holy Spirit? Immaculate Conception my ass! It's little wonder then that the expectant couple hightailed it to Bethlehem rather than face the wrath of the family back home in Nazareth. If, that is, you believe any of this ever actually occurred!
The great Thomas Paine said this in his book Age of Reason "Whenever we read the obscene stories,...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 19, 2020:
You're speaking 'my language' in quoting my avatar ... thank you! Did you know that Paine wrote the Age of Reason while in a French prison for refusing to agree to the execution of Louis XVI? Paine had come to France in support of the revolution and was welcomed with a seat in the National Convention. But he soon fell out of favor with the Jacobins (led by Robespierre) when he voted against the king being guillotined--a fate that Paine himself narrowly missed!
I had a group of friends in high school that I hung out with.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 19, 2020:
We each grow at our own pace and in our own direction. The friendships we had during high school, amplified as they were by adolescent hormones, were about as 'true' as they could have been. It's a rare gift to retain a lifelong friendship from our youth. I count myself lucky to have found my lifetime companion, friend and spouse during high school, and together we have maintained a select few mutual friendships from those days; people we went to school with who share somewhat parallel philosophical journeys to our own.
Trump can not longer be considered president of this country!!! trump is pushing and pandering ...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 18, 2020:
All but his most faithful mind-numbed followers have long known that it's always about Trump and his spawn. The American people don't matter to this narcissist, and even his bootlickers are frequently thrown under the bus. A crisis has a way of highlighting one's virtues, or lack thereof, and people of substance can clearly see what this president is really made of. Alas it is only April, and November cannot come soon enough.
My explanation of Atheism NOTE This is my personal view, it is shared by many but I don't wish to...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 17, 2020:
I identify as a **nullifidian**, first and foremost--i.e., one who has no faith or religious belief. My first step was to reject all religions and their varied constructs of gods as being wholly man-made, while at the same time rejecting the notion of *faith*, which is an unreasonable intellectual posture synonymous with credulity and the dismissal of facts. I reasoned that, if there were a god, it would not be necessary to believe in it/her/him without evidence. Having rejected all religions in general, and faith in particular, I continued for a period of time to search for evidence of a deity. But finding insufficient evidence to prove its existence, I found God 'Not guilty of existing.' In this absence of evidence, a nullifidian may also be an agnostic--without *knowledge* of a deity. Additionally, with no such knowledge, and lacking the cognitive posture of faith (claiming to know things one cannot possibly know), what then remains to believe in? This nullifidian agnostic is also without theistic *belief*--i.e., I'm an atheist. But in the final analysis, what does all this categorization and philosophical taxonomy really accomplish? How many others on this site might likewise self-identify?
Does anyone have any recommendations on good books on non belief I'm new to this community and I ...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 17, 2020:
Congratulations on coming to your senses about your religion and courageously declaring your new status, decades earlier in your life than I! As a doubting Thomas, prior to leaving my faith completely, my first introduction to agnosticism was by Michael Earl on his website, Don't ask me how I stumbled across Reason Works, but I found Mike Earl's readings of his own ideas and, in particular, the speeches of Robert Green Ingersoll, that "Great Agnostic" of the 19th Century, most enlightening. Listen to Ingersoll's "About the Holy Bible," "Individuality" and "The Gods," and you will be amazed that such insightful ideas were so eloquently expressed, more than a century ago. To help reinforce my decision to leave faith, I found the books by former Christians such as Dan Barker's "Godless," Seth Andrews' "De-Converted," and Charles Templeton's "Farewell to God" very affirming.
Darwin Awards- Conservative idiots protest Michigan stay-at-home order.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 16, 2020:
My son lives in Michigan and is working on the "front line" as a produce stocker at Target. He's a little nervous these days when an unmasked patron with a MAGA hat ignores protocol and taps him on the shoulder to ask when the next shipment of toilet paper is due in.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 15, 2020:
How refreshingly honest, secular and science based. Then again, consider his electorate. There's a lot of states where a remark like this would get him unelected!
Trump is copying Hitler's early rhetoric... []
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 15, 2020:
There isn't an original thought or idea in the incomparably puny and narcissistic mind of the 45th president, a man who fancies himself as a populist, when in reality he came up 3 million votes short of a majority. That he was even elected is not the worst of it, however. What has made matters worse is that this neo-fascist blow hard has been aided and abetted by about 53 lap dogs in the Senate who have, in effect, switched political parties from Republican to Trumpian.
Pat Robertson: God May Have Created the Earth in Six “Universal” Days | Hemant Mehta | Friendly ...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 15, 2020:
For centuries now science--which is to say, our understanding of the universe--has had this effect on religion: it forces all but the ultra-orthodox, anti-science, scriptural-literalist fundies to reinterpret their holy books, and arrive at new conclusions, or so-called 'truths,' based on allegory, metaphor and personifications. Little by little, science has tugged at the thread of religion, and little by little the cloak of ignorance has unraveled until all that remains is an exposed body of lies, fables and atrocities. Religion must continuously reinvent itself in order to remain marketable, or it dies.
"What influence in fact have Christian ecclesiastical establishments had on civil society?
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 10, 2020:
Indeed! Madison, Jefferson and Paine were like-minded in their opinions on this matter. Prior to the founding of the United States of America, the altar and throne were in league with one another. But the Framers knew better than to put God in the Constitution. The problem has been a steady erosion of church-state separation, promulgated by that profligate beggar, religion. Never satisfied with merely being left alone, religion with outstretched hands seeks greater recognition, including legal and financial support from the government. Religion can never be happy until it can reclaim the power it once held, prior to the age of enlightenment.
I suppose that by now, just about everyone on the planet is aware of the COVID 19 Novel Coronavirus ...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 10, 2020:
Well stated! Worship of any kind is intolerable. Do I as a father want my children to worship me? Perish the thought! It has been said that God is as far above us as we are above a common bug. Of what possible use would worship by a lowly bug be to a deity? It's high time the world raise their collective heads, stand erect and wipe the dust from their knees, never again to degrade themselves in worship of any kind, whether a god or another human being. Worship is a word that belongs in the graveyard of passé verbiage.
Today was Reap the Rewards of Eight years' Worth of Drinking.
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 9, 2020:
Unless of course you anticipate this bottle of gin to be your last, Bombay Sapphire is way too good for a pandemic. I prefer Seagrams or even Gordons when drinking alone in the bubble. As they say, half of us will emerge from this quarantine as much-improved cooks, and the other half with a drinking problem. ;-)
Bill O’Reilly: Dead Coronavirus Victims ‘Were On Their Last Legs Anyway’ | HuffPost
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 9, 2020:
That this flaming asshole still has a platform speaks volumes to the assholery of Hannity and Fox.
Louisiana Pastor: 'True Christians Do Not Mind Dying' Of Coronavirus If Infected At Church | ...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 9, 2020:
Are people willing to die for ideas? You bet they are, and whether it's a self-immolating Buddhist monk, an Islamic extremist suicide murderer, or a fundie Christian attending church in the middle of a pandemic, martyrdom is, in their minds (and those of their supporters), the highest form of devotion. Beliefs have consequences.
I often enjoy UU ideas, but this one has me struggling .
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 8, 2020:
I think @Geoffrey51 nailed it. As the subject 'Resiliance' would imply, fire is being used as a metaphor for life's difficulties, nothing more. Burning Man, on the other hand ... well, anything can happen at a desert bonfire party filled with enthusiastically stoned individuals.
Here a few reasons I believe it is likely that Jesus did exist as a historical figure: 1) It is ...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 8, 2020:
Using a religious text to validate historical facts and characters is a fool’s errand, whether it be the Vedas, Tanakh, Bible, Quaran or the Book of Mormon.
When did you first see who your child is as a person?
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 8, 2020:
When, as a toddler between the age of 2 and 3, she admitted to doing something she shouldn't have done knowing full well she would be in time out. If memory serves, it was digging in the dirt of a houseplant and making a mess on the carpet. Honesty and integrity must always overcome the impulse to cover up or lie, and our daughter was rewarded for telling the truth by avoiding time out--but she got to help pick up the mess! ;-)
A Landlord of a Church Locks Doors to Save Lives LockWNvbnRpbnVlLXRvLWhvbGQtc2VydmljZXMiLCJwbHVn
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 7, 2020:
Churches often sublet. In this case, one Christian church (Bethel Open Bible Church, aka, the landlord) did another (Cross Culture Christian Center, aka, the tenant) a favor, even though they didn't appreciate it.
Bible stories may not be factual - but they are nonetheless true
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 7, 2020:
**true **| troÍžo | adjective 1 in accordance with fact or reality: *a true story* | *of course it's true* | *that is not true of the people I am talking about.* How do any Bible stories accord with fact or reality?
"If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?"
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 6, 2020:
Still a reasonable question, but if an electron passes through a slit and no one observes it, does the wavefunction ever collapse? ;-)
We shouldn’t hate Christ as a person in spite of what his philosophy has done to humanity over the...
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 3, 2020:
Assuming, for the sake of argument, that the character known as Jesus (as depicted in the writings later cobbled together to form the canonical New Testament) was an historical person, there is plenty to dislike, beginning with the supremely egotistical statement. “Do not think that I have come to bring peace on earth; I have not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law; and a man’s foes will be those of his own household. He who loves father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; and he who loves son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me; and he who does not take his cross and follow me is not worthy of me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for my sake will find it." Matthew 10:34-39 (RSV) Better had he never come at all!
What do you all think of the Illuminati?
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 3, 2020:
Secret societies are as old as societies themselves, but the question always comes down to conspiratorial power and control. Freemasons, the Knights Templar, the Priory of Sion, etc., such groups provide inspiration for writers like Dan Brown, but that's about all they do.
The Bible Belt . . . . Not Survival of the Fittest by an means
p-nullifidian comments on Apr 2, 2020:
This map would seem to tell a story about gubernatorial leadership more than the citizenry. California was the first state to issue a statewide shelter in place order on March 19, followed shortly thereafter by many others, but a larger number of states delayed, and some have yet to follow suit. Within our state capitals the decision making processes vary, however Americans freely travel across state lines daily, even during an epidemic. Spring break afforded a unique opportunity to spread the virus, as this study of just *one* beach in Florida shows.
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