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I am feeling great sadness this morning, and it is broad based.
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 5, 2020:
“I am feeling great sadness this morning ... The best advice I can put out is to be fluid with where you put your efforts, your time and money and brain power. Look for what does good over what feels good, and for me this suggest efforts that are more local and less political.” Physician, heal thyself.
I don't understand all the hate when it comes to my Marxist philosophy.
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 5, 2020:
Both Marx and Lennon were key figures in philosophy, wouldn't you agree?
In A 1st, Scientists Use Revolutionary Gene-Editing Tool To Edit Inside A Patient [npr.org]
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 5, 2020:
Fascinating! Overcoming nature--vis-à-vis the editing of genetic code--represents a pinnacle of human achievement. Only through the mastery of life sciences, including genetics and epidemiology, may we engineer a future for ourselves.
Why do amens not work.
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 5, 2020:
In my experience, resounding amens are a tool used to manipulate emotion in a group setting. Speaking and singing in unison (including laughter, cheers and boos) can incite a bonding effect, whether in a secular or so-called sacred setting.
Trump Campaign Will Hold Event at “Gay Is Not Okay” Evangelical Church in Ohio | Hemant Mehta | ...
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 4, 2020:
It's sometimes difficult to know which is more despicable, Trump's currying favor by showing up, or this organization's acceptance of him in their midst. Perhaps they deserve each other?
Do you think it is possible for a professing Christian to be agnostic?
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 4, 2020:
"Do you think it is possible for a professing Christian to be agnostic?" Not only is it possible, but it could be the rule, not the exception--we just don't know. Who knows how many self-professed Christians--from the pulpit to the pew--are in fact internal agnostics and atheists, fearful of what might happen if they 'came out?' The fear of being shunned, or even unemployed, can outweigh the desire to self-express, and thus a 'double life' may be lived. And while some may pass judgment against such 'paradoxical' behavior as being hypocritical, they really shouldn't.
Some Atheists can be just as self righteous and judgmental as Christians/religious people.
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 4, 2020:
Why not just say, some people can be self righteous and judgmental, no matter what their personal beliefs?
Why do hunters mount taxidermied deer heads on their walls?
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 4, 2020:
It seems to me to be a vestige of the past, a primitive ritual of collecting and displaying trophies from the hunt. A practice likely as old as humankind. Though I must admit that an herbivore's antlers are somewhat less impressive than the claws and fangs of a predator.
Honestly, what good is NATO?
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 4, 2020:
While in the military, I was assigned to EUCOM (US European Command), working in a NATO bunker in the former West Germany, weeks after Reunification. When I arrived, my CO asked me if I knew the three reasons for the existence of NATO: To keep the Russians out, the Americans in and the Germans down. These reasons—told to me in jest—were in fact based on a 1949 blueprint which clearly needed revision. The Soviet Union had collapsed and the Russians where leaving the former East Germany and Poland as fast as they could fall back. Germany had been successfully ‘kept down’ militarily, but had risen, once more, to the dominant European economy. Finally, the US had assisted in deterring a third major European war of the 20th century, and even the George H. W. Bush administration was looking for a ‘peace dividend.’ Following Desert Storm (the first Gulf War), many of the troops that had deployed from EUCOM never returned, and instead headed home. While in Germany, we watched the Soviet divisions head east, as ceremonies returning American base after base to German control took place. NATO was looking for a new reason to justify its existence, and it didn’t take too long for things to get pretty hot, right in their own backyard. But the Balkans were not why NATO was created, nor are the myriad activities to which you refer. I’m proud to have served as a deterrent, and gratified that NATO played a role in preventing World War III, but I find myself persuaded by your argument. Incidentally, my CO, who had quite a sense of humor, also asked me if, as a member of NATO, I knew the difference between heaven and hell. “Heaven” he said, “is where the Germans are the auto mechanics, the British bobbies [who at that time remained armed only with nightsticks] are the police, and the Italians are the cooks.” “Hell,” he continued, “is where the Italians are the auto mechanics, the Germans are the police, and the British are the cooks!”
This Rare Microburst Bomb Falling From The Sky Looks Insane
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 4, 2020:
The crash of Delta Air Lines Flight 191 (DFW, August 2, 1985) was attributed to this type of weather event. This was the first I had heard the term 'microburst' and I will never forget it, as a neighbor down the street was on that flight, and perished.
If most folks can agree that we "create our own reality" can we then agree that we create our own ...
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 2, 2020:
If an asteroid destroyed the Earth tomorrow, would this reality be our own individual creation, or would it be shared with 7 billion others who experience annihilation? Reality exists whether or not we as individuals accept, deny or even perceive it. In addition to the steady chain of causes and effects, reality consists of matter and energy, which can neither be created nor destroyed.
What do you suppose gives rise to and supports belief in God?
p-nullifidian comments on Mar 2, 2020:
"God belief goes back much further than any attempt to explain anything." Agreed. Ancient hominids probably didn't care for explanations, they just wanted to make it to the next day. We appear to have an innate fear of animals with fangs and claws, and those who survived likely carried superstitious fears regarding natural events like earthquakes, volcanoes and violent storms. Paranoia can confer a survival benefit. Believing that someone (or something) is relentlessly trying to kill you tends to keep the group on the alert. My assumption is that superstitious belief in spirits is as old as language, which began with gestures, grunts and hand signals. However, it is actually not natural to be a monotheist--polytheism has been the norm.
I just saw this on a meme: Imagine if you will: An atheist in their car at a green light, stuck ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 29, 2020:
That's great! Reminds me of the internal conflict an atheist would have with an insurance policy that covers 'acts of God.'
We all believe in evidence-based science, and that's why we're agnostic/atheist, right?
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 29, 2020:
The social sciences, (i.e., the so-called 'soft sciences' of psychology, sociology, anthropology, poli-sci) don't always apply the same scientific rigor as the natrual sciences (physics, mathematics, biology, chemistry, etc.) and thus, in my view, do not occupy the same rung on the ladder of knowledge.
Good Article but sad how America has begun to question Science. [blogs.scientificamerican.com]
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 29, 2020:
Thank you for sharing this article. I found this quote by David Dunning (of the Dunning-Kruger effect) spot on: “Some of our most stubborn misbeliefs arise not from primitive childlike intuitions or careless category errors, but from the very values and philosophies that define who we are as individuals.” I agree with @t1nick (below) in his assessment of the long trend, which I only recently became cognizant of during the George W. Bush administration and through reading books like Susan Jacoby's 'The Age of American Unreason.' The rise of anti-intellectualism has brought us anti-vaxxers, the anti GMO movement, the anti-Evolution (teach the controversy) crowd, climate change deniers, conspiracy theorists and flat Earthers. Politicians reflect their electorate, and when a large enough segment of a democratic society rejects reason and critical thinking, refuses to consider they may be wrong, eschews knowledge and expertise, castigates the educated as elites and resorts to a limited, if not, singular source for information, you get elected leaders like we see today. Leaders whose funding priorities align with their constituents who may view spending on scientific research and disaster preparedness as wasteful.
My mother called to say her Springer Spaniel seems to have cancer in her upper digestive system.
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 27, 2020:
Ironic as it may seem, those who allow their pets free run of the house and don't bother to properly train them are helping their pets as a loving parent, rather, they are behaving irresponsibly. All my life I've had cats and dogs, all of which were trained, sooner or later. Cats can be trained not to jump up on food surfaces such as tables or counters. And dogs can be trained how to behave as well, beginning with the tendency to 'jump up' without consent. I detest irresponsible pet owners. We have some friends who are cat lovers as are we, but we won't go to their house for dinner again, as they allow their cats to jump up on the dining room table, the kitchen counters and even their grand piano. I frequently dog sit a friend's Alaskan Malamute who is most affectionate, but he behaves differently with me than he does with my friend. Dogs know what's expected of them--kind of like kids, actually--and they can easily take advantage of a inattentive or complacent owner.
The first case of community transmission of the coronavirus has just occurred in northern ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 27, 2020:
When the number of deaths attributed to coronavirus come anywhere near this year's version of the flu, I will be concerned. According to the CDC, the flu has already caused an estimated 26 million illnesses, 250,000 hospitalizations and 14,000 deaths this season, and this is just in the U.S. alone! Coronavirus has infected less than 100,000 of which approximately 2,000 have perished, worldwide. A little more perspective would help here.
Hey everyone.
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 27, 2020:
Hey Britt, here's my 2 cents. It seems to me that this site attracts a disproportionate number of sapiosexuals (those who are attracted to one another by what, or more importantly, how one thinks--i.e., people who get turned on by another's mind). Consider this when posting comments, and be prepared to be disappointed in the 'lack of action' this site delivers. But anything's possible ... people come here for multiple reasons.
So unlike my parents, whom I love, lol I am letting my son decide what to believe or not to believe.
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 27, 2020:
Wait, he believes in God on his own? Who introduced your son to the concept of God? His grandparents? Other family members? A church? His public school (perish the thought)? When you say your son still believes in Santa at the age of 11 that would be the 5th or 6th grade? By then I clearly remember having pretty much abandoned any notion of an omniscient dude who knew when I was sleeping or awake or bad or good--I mean, that's God-like, and there's only one of them! In my young mind, Santa was totally fake!
I have a beautiful, tender-hearted young Christian relative who is working her way through college ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 27, 2020:
This incident was a crime, pure and simple. Religious belief is irrelevant. Does the investigating officer really care what religious leanings the victim or perpetrator hold? A victim of a crime, no matter her religious philosophy, is a victim, while the thief is a criminal scumbag. Now, sometimes those of us with progressive leanings may forget that the thief doesn't just rob someone of her possessions or cash, but literally robs her of the unrecoverable hours that it took to build up said possessions or cash. The thief doesn't merely steal your wallet, but he robs you of a significant portion of your life.
WHY does the AHA questionnaire keep asking "do you believe---" As a Scientist one doesn't BELIEVE ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 27, 2020:
What if the word "believe" were replaced with "accept?" I accept the Theory of Evolution, for example.
Philippines priests have changed their ash Wednesday ritual because of COVID-19 (Corona Virus).
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 27, 2020:
What a scene! Are the priests providing sackcloth to go with those ashes?
‪Melania’s Comeback to Whether She’s a Gold Digger: ‘If I Weren’t Beautiful, Do You Think ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 26, 2020:
This quote, if accurate, is telling. Maybe it's time that people stop viewing Melania as a victim? What if a deal was struck? The Donald, ever the playboy, has a model as his trophy wife, while she has access to a lifestyle unattainable in Slovenia, and can easily get her parents into this country--remember chain migration?
Gif or Jif?
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 26, 2020:
Originally it was pronounced "jif" (soft g), but that was decades ago, and as is the case with all word usage, the majority rules. Dictionaries change over time, and if the "common use" happens to differ from the original, so be it. Just know and understand that those of us who continue to pronounce "gif" properly (with a soft g) were there at the beginning and choose to do so out of homage to the originator.
It sometimes feels that we seldom stray far from the topic of religion on this site, so I have a ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 26, 2020:
Too many topics to handle here, but seriously ... palm readers and the Bible agree? <<sigh>> According to that work of fiction known as the New Testament, the character named Jesus is not always a "decent bloke." He told his disciples directly what he was about and who they should love more: “Do not suppose that I have come to bring peace to the earth. I did not come to bring peace, but a sword. For I have come to turn a man against his father, a daughter against her mother, a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law—a man’s enemies will be the members of his own household. Anyone who loves their father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves their son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me." Matthew 10:34-37 (NIV) Now tell me, do those sound like the words of a decent bloke, or a freaking narcissist? Gentle Jesus meek and mild my ass!
God bless Catholics! Say what you will, those guys can party! Just had a roaring good time at a ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 26, 2020:
I have many Catholic friends, Irish, Italian, French, Hispanic and more. One thing they seem to share is a love, if not lust, for a good celebration. And while my Catholic friends of Irish descent may be willing to give up something for Lent, they won't allow it to impact Saint Patrick's Day! Don't really care what they believe, so long as they enjoy a good time! Sláinte!
Oh well, you can't be right all the time I suppose.
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 26, 2020:
Poor Joe. Looks like "early onset."
Have you ever encountered someone like this?[youtu.be]
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 26, 2020:
I believe it's possible to separate mental health issues from religion--the two need not be inextricably linked. The woman's clearly been in the mental health 'system' before, as her terminology and threats would indicate. But did religion do this to her? Not likely. Unless there's a motherfucking faith that I've not heard of.
From There to Here
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 26, 2020:
The first twinge of doubt, which I chose to ignore for decades, came when I was an "earliteen" during the pastor's prayer for a gravely ill member of the congregation. He first prayed for the healing of the congregant, but later gave God an 'out' by saying something like, "...if it be thy will, Lord..." followed by words to the effect that "We all will meet again in Heaven." Well heck, I knew right then this was a win-win scenario. Either a) heal the poor man, and claim a miracle, or b) allow him to die, but not question this decision? Even as a 7th grader, I saw this as a free pass for God, but I buried this misgiving.
Who knew there was a word to describe the Trump presidency so well...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 26, 2020:
I did, and thank you for bringing the term to our attention! I believe I first used that term when referring to the mayor of Toronto, Rob Ford, sometime prior to 2016. And here's the problem, we (the people) elect our leaders, so in a very real sense, we deserve what we get and get what we deserve. Historically, the unskilled and uneducated have always outnumbered their highly-skilled, well-educated counterparts in this country, but this didn't present much of a problem, so long as deference was given to demonstrated expertise. In other words, as long as gaining expertise and higher education were universally valued, we didn't seem to have issues. But what happens when a significant segment of the electorate ignore experts? What happens when they believe their opinions are on an equal footing with the consensus of acknowledged authorities on a topic? And what happens when they are unaware of their inaccurate thinking? In a democracy, when a large enough number of poorly-educated, poorly-informed, flat-earthers, anti-vaxers and anti-media conspiracy theorists vote, we get a kakistocracy. The outcome of the 2016 election revealed that educational level was a major factor in predicting which candidate one would vote for. Sadly, a significant portion of our electorate are casualties of the Dunning-Krueger effect, and I have little hope that this circumstance has changed.
I love how most people who believe the bible can trace their belief to the notion that the bible ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 25, 2020:
"...the bible never explains the origin of magic but uses it frequently as proof of divine power." By 'magic' may we assume you mean 'miracles?' The two are never synonymous in the eyes of most believers. Magic connotes a trickster or sleight of hand, or it can refer to witchcraft and the devil. Either way, magic cannot be associated with divine miracles as found in a book or certified by some priests and elders. I enjoy a good magic show as well as the next person, but the laws of physics remain unbroken, and miracles don't happen.
Three of Saturn’s moons – Tethys, Enceladus and Mimas – are captured in this image taken by ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 25, 2020:
Anybody miss Carolyn Porco? I sure do. I thoroughly enjoyed her homage to Carl Sagan's 'Pale Blue Dot' in her 'The Day the Earth Smiled' image. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_Earth_Smiled#/media/File:The_Day_The_Earth_Smiled_-_Preview.jpg
The preacher at the church my family forces me to go to just said Jesus is the perfect communicator,...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 25, 2020:
What plane? I've heard of the 'sermon on the mount' but never once have I heard of the 'sermon at the plane.'
Finding like-minded people
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 25, 2020:
Your experience is all-too-familiar, Michael, and your succinct post has not gone unnoticed. My recommendation is to never shy from 'venting' (i.e. sharing) about your experience. How, after all, are we ever to truly connect with one another without making our feelings known?
Hello coming from a catholic background,how do you fill or erase the psycological void of God ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 25, 2020:
Catholics are not that much different from other faiths, where this immense personality--the all-knowing, all-seeing and all-powerful deity--occupies basically every aspect of one's life. How indeed does one fill such a void? By coming to terms with your new model of God and viewing it as a tumor that has been growing on your psyche from a very young age. A great relief may come when the cancerous burden of belief in a deity is surgically removed by the voice of reason. And when interacting with friends and relatives who believe differently, one simply must find a way to love them without judgment. My advice, after years of 'engagement' on the topic, is to disengage on the subject of religion or faith with your family, if possible, and view them as caring persons who hold different beliefs than you.
‘Belief’ definition I surmise that one cannot think about beliefs in the singular as if they...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 25, 2020:
I enjoy comparing / contrasting religion with mathematics. We begin with basic, simple concepts and build upon them. Addition, subtraction, multiplication and division form the building blocks for our learning. Before high school we learn basic geometry and algebra, and in high school we are taught (if we are fortunate) trigonometry and Calculus. And that is but a simple foundation. Religious belief is similar in that it builds a lattice work, or superstructure, of belief upon basic articles (or principles) or faith. Mathematics is universal--it crosses religious, cultural and ethnic boundaries in which it is tested and found to be true. Can the same be said for religion? In the end, it is my contention that belief is not a choice. I cannot choose to believe in something that my reason and intellect reject. Just as I cannot accept that the world is flat, I cannot believe in a supreme being as described to me by ancient books or others whose knowledge on the topic is, in all fairness, no greater than mine.
I miss church.
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 25, 2020:
You are not alone.
Why are many Christian people against D&D (Dungeons and Dragons.) playing?
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 25, 2020:
I was raised in a religion that perceived any interaction, or even encounter, with Satan’s realm as a possible first step toward the loss of one’s soul. In my youth, Satan’s domain included witchcraft, Ouija boards, seances, mystics, fortune tellers, tarot card or palm readers, etc. All of these were “of the Devil,” according to the Christian faith in which I was raised. These were all Satan’s attempts to snare us. The Bible teaches that witches and witchcraft are real, so it is no wonder that Christians today remain spooked by the ‘magic,’ ‘spells’ and ‘curses’ found in everything from Dungeons & Dragons (very retro, indeed) to Harry Potter, and beyond.
Who has been the most influential Atheist/Agnostic famous person for you?
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 24, 2020:
The lectures of Robert Green Ingersoll, as read by Michael Scott Earl (http://reasonworks.com). Ingersoll was a brilliant orator and forward thinker, and Mike Earl's readings of his speeches, and The Age of Reason by my avatar, as well as some of his own essays, opened and then completely blew my mind.
What Bret Weinstein Gets Wrong About Group Selection – The Evolution Institute
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 21, 2020:
Agreed, though I'm not certain consensus is achievable. In my opinion, while it would seem almost certain that, prior to organized religion, an evolutionary survival advantage would have been conferred upon hominids who ascribed unknown agency (which led to superstition/gods) to natural events, it is a significant leap to assert (or even imply) that, without organized religion (with its doctrines, clerical authority and forced subscriptions), our survival as a species may have been in doubt.
I have been a member on this site now for nearly two years and I have come to an interesting ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 20, 2020:
Militancy of any kind has no place in reasoned discourse! Unfortunately, the aggression you perceive is real and appears to be an unfortunate byproduct of this medium--one which has managed to gather, on the whole, a disproportionate throng of hostile, indignant and self absorbed narcissists. Those of us who come here for stimulation, conversation and perhaps an infrequent new concept, are in no way impressed by hardliners, chauvinists and zealots.
Anyone else hear the phrase, "I'm better than I deserve"?
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 20, 2020:
I never once heard that phrase in the Christian faith in which I was brought up. In fact, quite the opposite. We (humanity) are sinful and not worthy of anything. Only through the grace of Christ may we become worthy to join Him in eternity. Humanity is depraved and is continually declining due to sin and the increasing surrender to the influences of Satan. In such a condition, according to Christian orthodoxy, how could we possibly be "better than we deserve?" Not that I believe a word of it, but that is what I was taught.
California Pastor Loses Job After Posting Sign Stating 'Homosexuality Is Still a Sin' | CBN News
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 20, 2020:
Reading this heartwarming story, and seeing how a zealous died-in-the-wool pastor could lose his job over his public exhibition of faith, even in a tiny town in northern California, brings to mind the final lines of the iconic Inspector Harry Callahan, in Magnum Force: "A man's got to know his limitations."
Is there a place where nobody believes in any gods
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 20, 2020:
I call it, Heaven.
Christian Lawmakers Group Blames Satan After Twitter Poll Goes Badly Awry
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 20, 2020:
Many Christians belong to denominations and churches, including the one in which I was raised, that preach the eschaton (from the Greek, eskhaton), or final event in the divine plan--basically, the end of the world or apocalypse. Eschatology and eschatological thinking has run amok in many Christian churches, as every natural or man-made disaster offers the believer a sign of the 'end times.' Satan, of course, is behind all of this. As to why he would choose to participate in God's plan and accelerate the return of his archenemy, Christ, is not well explained.
Is it time to start talking TACTICS ? [pewforum.org]
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 20, 2020:
Curious choice of terminology--Tactics? Depending on the application, tactics can be an 'ugly' term which may evoke campaign-like, if not Machiavellian thinking. If by 'talking tactics' we ever threaten to entertain the notion that the end (or hoped for state) justifies the means (or tactics), you may count me out.
It amazes me, the deep indoctrination self- indoctrination I had growing up.
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 19, 2020:
It took years of introspection, deprogramming and relearning to conclude what my avatar so succinctly said, "My own mind is my own church."
Christian sues US Postal Service over Sunday work shifts.
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 19, 2020:
Too bad he didn't work where I grew up, in Angwin, CA 94508, a community comprised largely of Seventh-day Adventists, where the Post Office was never open on Saturdays, but was open every Sunday. A compromise or a capitulation?
Christian sues US Postal Service over Sunday work shifts
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 19, 2020:
I grew up in zip code 94508 (Angwin, CA) where the U.S. Post Office was never open on Saturday, but was open every Sunday, as the community was comprised largely of Seventh-day Adventists. A compromise to some, a capitulation to others.
Religion has always been used as a tool to control the population.
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 14, 2020:
Think of religions as fan clubs or societies--something like being a loyal fan of your favorite sports team or a member of the Kiwanis, Rotary or Lions club. One wonders if the majority of Americans are more passionate about their favorite team on any given Sunday than they are about going to church and paying their dues in the pews. We are fortunate that the establishment of the United States was drawn largely along religious lines with Quakers, Catholics, Puritans, Lutherans, Baptists, Anglicans, and so on, all vying for a seat at the table. And so in order to protect the rights of each, two of the most critical political compromises in history were made: the first was to draft the Establishment Clause to the First Amendment, and the second was the decision to leave any mention of the term "god" out of our Constitution.
I'm not sure into which category to post this speculation, so I eventually plumped for "general" ...
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 14, 2020:
As we have been reminded by recent events in China, viruses can jump from animals to humans without the so-called depravity of a Sodom and Gomorrah. So while bestiality may provide a salacious tabloid headline, it need not be present for an epidemic to occur. In any case, "God's displeasure" is always the stock answer for a natural disaster, the loss of a battle or the decline of a civilization. Unless of course the civilization was unknown to the authors of the holy books. I find it interesting how we never learned of "God's displeasure" with the Mayan civilization, which virtually disappeared centuries before the arrival of Europeans.
I discover more and more that in any group of people, there's a tendency for it to fragment.
p-nullifidian comments on Feb 14, 2020:
Common cause enabled 13 distinct colonies to unite in revolt against a monarch, draw up a constitution and establish a new form of government. When properly motivated and organized, it is amazing what can be accomplished. And yet we as a nation are founded on the principle of equality. The statement, "All men are created equal," (initially conferred only to white male landowners) has been expanded to include women and all races and creeds. This assertion, that a commoner is no less worthy or of value than a member of the nobility, forms the very basis for what some might label individualism. And the recognition of the rights of the individual over the state has been a repeated theme in legal findings. The right to be left the hell alone is a bedrock principal, going back to the Framers. A diversity of opinion is generally healthy, so long as the conversations and debates are respectful. We should always be wary of conformity of thought and unanimity of opinion. As a fairly wise observer of the human condition once said, "Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect." Mark Twain
Hummm, we came a long way but still have a ways to go
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 18, 2018:
I prefer the Roman 'repackaged' god to the Greek. To Hades with Zeus, let us acknowledge the preeminence of Jupiter!
Growing number of U.S. children not vaccinated against any disease - CBS News
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 18, 2018:
In the not too distant future, one can envision a society where inoculation is no longer voluntary, as the risk of epidemics outweigh all other risks.
The proof is in the book.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 17, 2018:
Missed one ... the Torah ... proof that Yahweh exists!
What is "Compartmentalization" with regard to religion?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 17, 2018:
Compartmentalization, it seems to me, is an evolutionary survival mechanism. In order to continue, we learned to compartmentalize psychological horrors and trauma, often locking them in a vault within the labyrinthine chambers of our minds. And just as we are able to compartmentalize trauma, we would seem to be likewise able to compartmentalize our hopes, joys, dreams and desires, isolating them from the relatively unvarnished reality of our existence. Upon this basic framework may be erected an elaborate superstructure of avowed belief. Thus, the religionist, no matter what the doctrine, may isolate the observed nature of the universe, to include the lack of evidence for the supernatural. Has our ability to compartmentalize for reasons of survival been hijacked by religion?
I love this post. Read it and see if you agree
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 17, 2018:
Theologically incorrect. "It's like this: I created man and woman with FREE WILL." No theologian would ever accept that God created man and woman WITH original sin. Original sin comes with Adam's choice. The rest is clearly a rehash of the statements of Michael Shermer and others, with whom I agree.
Au contraire, flat earthers... you ARE idiots. [youtube.com]
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 17, 2018:
If the world really were flat, I would purchase real estate on the edge, maybe build a high rise, just for the view! Can you imagine the fortune to be made on 'edge tours?' And if any of our fellow flat-earth-believing citizens can claim to take us to that edge, so that we might see for ourselves, let's go!! Oh, but they can't, can they? And they never will guide us to the 'edge of the Earth.' So, 'Flat Earthers,' just shut the fuck up and go climb under the pre-historic rock where you and your ilk came from, and don't ever bother the sane majority again! That anyone wastes keystrokes and breath on these insane idiots is a testament to forbearance!
'There is no God,' says Stephen Hawking in final book
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 17, 2018:
As much as I admire the intellect of Professor Hawking, I didn't need his endorsement.
Outside Time and Space?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 16, 2018:
"What would being outside time and space be?" I had to read this one repeatedly to make sure--I think at least--I understood the question. Just say it out loud, and see if it isn't a little tricky! That said, we might as well ask, 'What would being outside the laws of nature be?' The simple answer is either 'nothingness' or 'supernatural.' And yet, what if there is existence outside our understanding of the universe? What if there exists a domain beyond our definition of space-time? Would not such a discovery be an expansion of our knowledge of the natural? What then is left for this myth we label 'God?'
Atheist first responders/nurses/military
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 16, 2018:
My perception is that the prototypical observant believing first responder can be convinced that there comes a point where God's will takes over, despite his/her ministrations. When the believer assumes that, following the death of the body, the next moment the victim will experience is eternity in paradise (hopefully), then the loss here on this planet becomes a gain for heaven. Meanwhile, the atheist first responder may sincerely lean toward secular humanism. This first responder recognizes that the life he/she is protecting, or attempting to save, is the only life that the individual in harm's way has to live. Thus the atheist is open to a greater sense of loss, whenever a patient or victim dies. When I awakened from the stupor of my religious upbringing, and recognized the uniqueness and temporal singularity of each of our lives, the value I placed on human beings increased exponentially.
The Church's Development of the Hell Myth
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
The argument over the doctrine of 'hell' nowadays always brings me back to the words of Robert Green Ingersoll. "Now this doctrine of hell, that has been such a comfort to my race, which so many ministers are pleading for, has been defended for ages-by the fathers of the church. Your preacher says that the sovereignty of God implies that he has an absolute, unlimited, and independent right to dispose of his creatures as he will, because he made them. Has he? Suppose I take this book and change it immediately into a servient human being. Would I have a right to torture it because I made it? No; on the contrary. I would say, having brought you into existence, it is my duty to do the best for you I can. They say God has a right to damn me because he made me. I deny it." "Nothing could add to the horror of hell, except the presence of its creator, God. While I have life, as long as I draw breath, I shall deny with all my strength, and hate with every drop of my blood, this infinite lie.”
The so called New World. Indigenous Peoples. Standing Rock. The Lakota. Tribes.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
Seeing this reminds me of one of my favorite bumper stickers ... this one on the subject of 'homeland security!'
Evolution timeframes get a rethink after scientists take a closer look at Earth's first animals
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
I found this point interesting, as creationists are frequently critical of the biodiversity manifested by the Cambrian explosion. "This means that animal species were diversifying well before the Cambrian explosion."
I am a horrible person.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
"...I must be a sad cunt or wonderful depending..." One is at a loss for words...
Thoughts and Prayers
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
A well-funded, well-organized disaster plan and relief program is worth a million 'thoughts and prayers!'
An excerpt from a Book I am writing.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
Sorry, but this is the wrong venue, in my opinion. Your 2,588 words (by my estimate) can hardly be labeled an excerpt, at least in this particular forum. Here, your idea ought to be expressed in a brief thesis statement, followed by three (ideally) supporting bullet points, culminated, if need be, by a summarizing point. I glazed over at about word 666. ;-)
Do you believe animals to be sentient?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
"What do you think makes something sentient?" This is the first, and most important question to explore. Please provide a definition of sentience and perhaps we might actually have a meaningful discussion. Without a clear definition of this 'loaded' term, however, what we offer in response likely leads to a waste of our time.
It is interesting to me that as I read the answers to posted questions and chat with people, I find...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
"Questions about love, sexuality, and death" or "Safety, autonomy [and]...security" are among the key questions, are they not? And it is our core values that inform our understanding, and thus our responses to these questions. What values might you hold that influence your 'dramatic difference?'
God, I am such an asshole, sometimes. Forgive me? I love You.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
God, you're such an asshole, pretty much all the time. How could I ever forgive you? I despise you. ;-)
I tell my kid that his toy T-Rex says, "ROOOAAR.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
We literally haven't a clue as to what sounds the dinosaurs made. Mammals, including primates, felines, pachyderms, etc. are clearly influenced by the sounds of a potential mate or a competitor. Birds, the descendants of dinosaurs, also use vocalizations to declare intent. That impressive 'roar' ascribed by Hollywood may have been a less-than-impressive squeal!
Can I talk about my feelings for a bit?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 12, 2018:
I am curious about this need (requirement) to fill a hole. When all four of my wisdom teeth were pulled (seemingly, against nature), nothing but gauze was given to me to fill those holes. Similarly, when we learn, perhaps for the first time, that Santa Claus was not a real person after all, and didn't ride in a flying sleigh, climb down chimneys, bring us presents, and didn't know what we were thinking, we may have been relieved, or, in some cases, left wanting. And yet, we know that there is no replacement for a wisdom tooth or Santa Claus. There is simply removal (elimination), and moving on. It's perfectly alright to miss all that you found comforting in your life of faith. I too broke up with God, initially. After re-reading the Bible, I angrily demanded that Jehovah account for himself. No reply, of course. And then the Son didn't seem to answer me either, and so I began to wonder if I wasn't just praying to myself, much like talking to myself. It took years and the reading of many books (both critical and apologetic) for me to gradually emerge from the murkiness and gloom that was my brand of faith. And even then, there remained a tinge of nostalgia. In the words of Julian Barnes, "I don't believe in God, but I miss him." But later, at some point, there was this "Aha moment." It's like, "Wait, you mean to tell me that ....?" To which I added, "Well, that makes no sense at all!" And from then on I felt 'cured' of this imposition on our minds that we call "Religion!" Logic and reason had won over credulity and tradition. Improved thinking acts as a vaccine against weaker thinking, and once you know a fact, or see a fraud, you can no longer 'un-learn' or 'un-see' what you have witnessed. I wish you the best, in deepest empathy, as you go about charting your own course. It was not easy for me, but in the end, rewarding. Do not give up on yourself. Peace.
Islam is the fastest-growing religion in the world – more than twice as fast as the overall global...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
It is statistics like this that raise fear and anger in the minds of Christians, as well as unhappiness and disappointment in the minds of nonbelievers.
There was a court case where a preacher husband convinced his wife to commit suicide so he could use...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
If true, I would like to know what life insurance company would write a policy that failed to include a clause against suicide. If they paid it, they don't deserve to be in business!
Conversation starter.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
Wait, I saw this one! Didn't Marty go back in time and inform Doc Brown about the Flux Capacitor? Holy Logic Loop, Batman, you've found a 'temporal paradox!' ;-)
Atheist political party
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
A Humanist Party perhaps, but never an Atheist Party. Not in this country, in any case. Atheism is viewed as being 'against God,' when in reality it is merely the null set. And as such, it would seem an unlikely foundation on which to build a political party. That said, the planks you've highlighted were originally espoused by many of the Founding Fathers, and if we REALLY want to make America great again, a return to the Age of Enlightenment (version 2.0) might be a good beginning!
What is your favorite Sam Harris lecture on youtube and why?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
Sam's TED Talk on AI, because he's focused not on religion, but on a concern he shares with many involving a combination of technology and philosophy, which I found refreshing. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8nt3edWLgIg
Maybe you all are the affluent I rail against
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
And maybe you are the effluent that I rail against
I may not believe in god as other people might, but I love checking out the religious rituals of ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
Indeed, and the Hindus, for example, have traditions that date back millennia, but what is the significance and, more importantly, the usefulness of such behaviors and practices? When my Catholic relatives dip their fingers in 'holy' water, genuflect and take communion, their rituals may, or may not mean a thing to them, and they most certainly mean nothing but absurdity and nonsense to me!
As we settle into fall I'm thinking of christmas.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
You've struck a nerve. I've long been against this behavior. Perhaps we will one day look back on the entire practice of telling our children things which we either don't believe, or cannot claim to know to be true, as a form of child abuse. Why do we fill our children's minds with falsehoods that they must inevitably purge? Reading popular books and going along with the crowd can offer no excuse, because we, as adults, know the existence of these characters cannot be shown to be facts. Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, ghosts, God, Satan and Jesus are basically the same thing--made up characters who our children are sometimes forced to encounter as actually existing. Psychologically, when we teach this shit, we adults are fucking with our kids' heads.
NAKED PRAYER - Cuz god can hear you better with your junk hanging out. [christianpost.com]
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
There are things in life that one wishes never to see, knowing full well that they cannot be unseen.
Can you be a Wiccan and call yourself an Atheist?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
Wiccans seem to be all over the map ... some are said to be atheists or agnostics. So I suppose it's possible, though one wonders why one who had no belief in the supernatural would desire to claim to be a Wiccan.
One favorite QUOTE : "THE PROBLEM WITH THE WORLD is that intelligent people are full of doubts .
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 11, 2018:
How to turn a problem into an opportunity: begin to view 'doubt' positively as synonymous with 'scrutiny,' 'skepticism' and 'deliberation,' while negatively associating confidence as akin to 'hubris,' 'arrogance' and 'obliviousness.'
I have a person in one of my science classes that is really struggling with the content in class ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 10, 2018:
You had me, right there with you, until 'This is an online class.' In a real classroom, you'd have the opportunity for after-class discussion, or maybe even go out for a beer or something to discuss science compared with religion. But in the virtual world, such conveniences are wanting. The professor needs the tuition credits and class size that even this person's presence brings. Does your online environment allow for point to point messaging during the class? If so, you may want to collaborate with some of your other classmates on this topic. At some point, if a significant number of students raise the concern that non-scientific fairy tales may be replacing valued learning, the professor may start squelching unsuitable comments.
Why didn't Kavanaugh listen to Ford's testimony?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 10, 2018:
Perhaps he was too busy preparing his conspiracy laden emotional outburst to be 'bothered' by Dr. Ford?
Does God Intervene In Human Affairs?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 10, 2018:
My avatar, like many of his fellow Founding Fathers, believed in a supreme being who created the universe and its natural laws, and then moved on to other matters, never to be seen or heard. In this view of a deity, there is no interference, no miracles, no prophets, no holy books, no prayers, no churches, no faith! If justice is to be rendered, society improved, diseases conquered and life and property protected, all is the work of human beings, and human beings alone. That is what my avatar subscribed to, and I could live with that.
Am I the only one that believes that Eve was actually the daughter of Adam and Lilith?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 10, 2018:
What difference does it make? It's all fiction! These people you've described never actually existed. They're made-up characters, from folklore. We may as well argue over characters from Game of Thrones, but at least that would be more interesting!
This is by far the scariest thing. And we may never recover from it. [nyti.ms]
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
Agreed ... we are not likely to recover from this during the coming century. The odds would seem to be against us. Our children, their children and their children's children will inherit our lapses in judgment. In a fateful twist of irony, as the technology of the 'dominant' culture threatens our continent (and planet), we are reminded of the ethic espoused by the indigenous peoples in North America who asserted that the present generation were the stewards of the natural world that their grandchildren would inherit. Our stewardship is demonstrably lacking!
[facebook.com] all dressed up with nowhere to go
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
Hairless animals are nature's nudists!
Spirituality: Same nonsense by another name?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
So we have a vernacular issue ... right? So let's come up with a better term! I've heard it said that indigenous people who live in the arctic have many words for what we simply call 'snow.' The word 'love' is similarly ultra-generic. So, if there is a better term to describe an emotional state in which one 'feels' a sense of 'awe' or 'wonder' or a 'connectedness' with the universe, for instance, let's have it. Until then, we use the term 'spiritual.' And personally, if someone tells me that they are not religious, but spiritual, I'm inclined to be much more comfortable in their company than anyone who claims to be very religious, whether or not they claim to be 'spiritual!'
I used to have the cutest, most adorable birthday suit.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
Still attempting to extract the "Religion & Spirituality" from this post ... perhaps you can assist?
Who on here has ever liked someone that may have been religious but never told you
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
So, how would you know? I mean, if they never told you, what do you mean by "may have been religious but never told you"? Do you see the problem you've created with this question? If people don't tell you how religious they are, do you assume? Can you perhaps re-think this entire post? Where's the 'thumbs down' button on this damn site? ;-)
I read this and I thought it would be a good thing to share
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
Monsters are, in fact, inside our heads--they are make believe!
My ex called last night.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
In my opinion, the fact that you have children together almost forces your hand into being 'the bigger person.' Furthermore, the fact that he called you after his second wife left him, speaks volumes! Having been a product of a divorce, with a father who was clearly not the adult in the room, I am in awe of your strength, which is not unlike my mother's. I don't know how old your children are, but they will grow to love and respect you with each passing year, as you've remained true to them and yourself. I hope, for your sake that you are able, at some point, to take cognizance of the wondrous fact that you are no longer married to a child.
SSHHHHHHH! Shut The Fuck Up!
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
Watching the proceedings, and the interviews held after, one cannot help but wonder how our nation came to be led by a bunch of white old men. Seriously? We are painfully monochromatic at the top! Whether it's Trump, or Grassley, or Hatch, or Graham or McConnell or Corker or ... even Bret Kavanaugh ... well, you get the picture. Is that who we truly aspire to have as the principal leaders and policy makers of our democracy? A gaggle of middle-aged to elderly white males? Isn't it time that we allow the old white grandpas to retire to their rocking chairs?
Woman tied to Patriot Movement AZ gets plea deal with no jail time in Arizona mosque case | Southern...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
The Southern Poverty Law Center has no credence with me. They labeled the atheist-apostate Ayan Hirsi Ali and the Islamic reformer Maajid Nawaz (still a Muslim) 'Anti-Muslim Extremists!' Are you kidding me? They finally settled with Nawaz, earlier this year. The Southern Poverty Law Center appears to be striving to outdo the ACLU, and in so doing, without good evidence. Which is unfortunate, since they are attorneys. This organization is worthy of our contempt, in my opinion.
The discomforting truth is that in our consciousness we all have interpreters narrating our lives, ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
Are you implying that we lack free will?
Can anyone show me scientific proof that a fetus is not human?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 9, 2018:
A fetus is what we label an embryo at about the ninth week. Prior to this, it is just an embryo or blastocyst or zygote. Is a zygote human? It has the genetic constituents of two contributors. And yet, when you or I scratch our asses, we lose thousands of living cells, each with the DNA necessary to make another human. Would we call the cells that we shed every day 'human?' Remember, our entire genetic structure is contained in them. In the same way that an individual cell is genetically human, so is an embryo. Labeling it such, however, does not grant the right of the state or any other unwelcome party, to effectively exercise control over the woman's body. And yet, this entire argument may one day become outdated, as hundreds of fertilized eggs will be manufactured by couples who will be able to determine the traits and characteristics of their offspring, from genetic analysis performed on their blastocysts in a privately run, independent laboratory. Through IVG, we may one day choose not to conceive our offspring through sexual intercourse. Using genetic analysis future parents may select to eliminate disease and other handicaps, as well as choose desired traits such as hair and eye color, intelligence and temperament. The zygotes they wish to keep will be frozen, or implanted, and the vast majority of remaining embryos will be destroyed--just as they are today.
Making the church lady cry! I've got one co worker that was over joyed when her son lost his job, ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 8, 2018:
"Mexican guy?" What are you talking about? Sounds like an inappropriate joke from the Simpsons in the early 90's.
What life-altering things should every human ideally get to experience at least once in their lives?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 8, 2018:
Having experienced this last year, I would urge anyone who has never seen a total eclipse of the sun (under the path of totality), to put this event--somewhere on the planet--on your bucket list. I witnessed last year's eclipse in August in eastern Oregon by myself, and immediately regretted the absence of family and close friends. You just can't describe in words what you are seeing ... it was among the best two minutes of a life well-lived!
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