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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!
Narcissistic Sociopath Symptoms
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 8, 2018:
Not sure where this stat comes from, but to be fair, according to UNICEF roughly 3.1 million children die from starvation / malnutrition each year, or about 8,500 per day. That this is a tragedy few would dispute, but it's also important that we don't overstate the problem.
Brett Kavanaugh just hired the Supreme Court's first all-women law clerk team [theweek.com]
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 8, 2018:
This topic is history ... it's over folks, and we need to move on! No more whining, just vote. There's an election less than a month away. Sadly, the broader electorate almost never considers the ramification of elections on judicial nominations, and the rulings that result--not merely from the supreme court, but in the lower courts as well. Trump has elevated nearly 70 judges, and the appointment of Kavanaugh was a *fait de complis*, pre-determined by both the 2014 mid-terms and the 2016 presidential elections. In a nation where 40% of the eligible populace simply doesn't vote, one could make the case that we deserve what we get and we get what we deserve! To the victor goes the spoils.
Why do otherwise rational people believe in GOD?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 8, 2018:
At the heart of the debate lies—it seems to me—the fundamental belief, or lack thereof, in the dichotomy of what Stephen Jay Gould referred to as non-overlapping magisteria (NOMA). In such a worldview, science has its domain, while religion has its own separate space—the two don’t overlap. And while I do not subscribe to this point of view, it nevertheless allows—if not promotes—a ‘compartmentalization’ of the mind. And Gould may have been on to something here. Let us admit that, whether it be anti-vax'ers, the anti-GMO crowd, believers in UFOs, conspiracy theorists, those who truly believe in reincarnation or ghosts, or just the average, run-of-the-mill religionist, clearly the human brain is capable of holding both rational and irrational opinions simultaneously.
Last evening Southern California residents who happened to step outside and look skyward were ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 8, 2018:
As one who spent a good portion of his career in space launch and operations, as wonderful as the SpaceX launch vehicle performed--and it was superb--the mission (payload) is what most interests me. It is an all-weather, day-night, synthetic aperture radar (SAR) mission, capable of imaging the Earth using microwave pulses which penetrate clouds, and even dust storms or volcanic activity. From its near polar, sun-synchronous orbit (meaning it passes over the same spot on the Earth at roughly the same time, each day), this mission should be capable of producing even more sophisticated products, including highly sensitive interferometry and coherent change detection. The remote sensing data collected from this mission covers a broad range of valuable applications.
What's That Carnivorous Beast?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 6, 2018:
Ah, The Lamb and the Lion ... one of my favorite pubs in England! If you visit Bath, you must stop in. Cheers!
Study Reveals Link Between Calvinism and Acceptance of Domestic Violence Myths | Sarahbeth Caplin | ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 6, 2018:
Presbyterians today may no longer have John Calvin's Five Points drummed into them from childhood, using the somewhat ironic mnemonic, TULIP: 1) Total Depravity; 2) Unconditional Election; 3) Limited Atonement; 4) Irresistible Grace; 5) Perseverance of the Saints. But Calvin's likeness can be found in many, if not most Presbyterian sanctuaries or classrooms. If you accept Calvin's theology, you will assume that all mankind is, without exception, 'depraved,' having inherited the evil of man's original sin. You will also believe in predestination (Unconditional Election), which states that God, from the beginning, has already chosen who he will save, and who he will destroy. To say that Calvin was a horrible individual would be an understatement. Calvin had the gentle physician and theologian Michael Servetus, who is credited with the discovery of blood circulation, tried and slowly burned at the stake (using green wood, so that he would endure the torture longer) in Geneva for his heresies of Sabellianism and anti-infant baptism. Under Calvin, more than 50 people were executed for their 'thought crimes.' Calvin was the opposite of a saint, and were he alive today, we would justifiably call him a monster.
I think life in the universe is ubiquitous but what we call intelligent life may be rare, just ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 6, 2018:
Such a pessimist you are! ;-) Self destruction need not be inevitable. We are, it seems to me, more likely to be the victims of an extinction level event, such as the impact of a massive asteroid, than our own folly. And even natural destruction might not be the way of all beings that have evolved to a given level of advancement. If our galaxy has more than 300,000,000,000 stars (or suns), most with orbiting planets, and the observable universe has, according to current NASA estimates, more than 100,000,000,000 galaxies, each with billions of stars, it would seem likely that more than one species in our universe has figured out how to survive, even beyond the life of their sun.
To be or not to be!!!!!
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 6, 2018:
CDBs?
I just want to let all of you know that the Draconid meteor shower that is usually a weak shower ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
Comet dust raining down more seeds of Fred Hoyle's pansermia? ?
Regarding the Geography of Heaven and Hell Attention all True Believers: Have you actually seen ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
It was the physics, not the geography that pretty much lost me on the whole idea.
Why does it feel that the next thing I do is hinged on the next thing I do?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
Perhaps its because we live in a universe of causes and effects?
This is just the beginning of my article, written in 2000, entitled "Isaiah Was a False Prophet.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
With all respect, I once held in high regard the secular scholars and historians who engage in biblical criticism. Critics like Bart Ehrman and Robert M. Price were once favorite authors of mine. But when I finally saw the bible as it really is--not history, but a work of fiction--I began to see those who quibble about its meaning or authenticity as akin to those who argue *ad nauseam* over their favorite serial comic strip characters. What is it all worth, in the end? Time to move on.
I've just been diagnosed with bipolar disorder and am seeking therapy to improve my coping skills.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
Are you sure that's what she said? Have you tried putting it back on her? "So, are you saying to me, Ms. Therapist, that if I were a JW again, I wouldn't be depressed? Because that's what it sounded like to me." If you get her to agree with that point, tell her you're going to file a complaint with the California Board of Psychology for endorsing religion as a means of therapy. Also, was it she who diagnosed you in the first place? If so, my recommendation would be to seek a second opinion. Peace.
What is law? Is it " to uphold the moral values of society" or is it "to prevent harm to others?"
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
Laws encompass many domains, including the criminal code, business, civil, medical, etc. In general, our laws and our legal system is a form of societal engineering, which should, in my opinion, reflect the values of a society, not in a strict moral sense, but rather in line with priorities. Harm can likely never be prevented--reduced, perhaps, but not prevented. The legal system is never fully effective as a deterrent, as many, if not most, who commit crimes do not think they will get caught. But crime and punishment are the last resort. There are many points along the way where societal engineering may influence outcomes, and are the result of policies and programs, not laws.
Former Mennonite here, and I've dealt with personal issues debating whether I should be open with my...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
I suppose it would depend on how much you value a relationship based on pretense. If it's more important to you that your parents not disown you than it is for them to know the truth about you, let that sleeping dog lie. If / when you marry and choose to have children, this issue may not be as easily hidden, however. Do I sound enough like Dear Abby for you? ;-)
I sometimes feel like a monster.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
Maybe you are a monster who uses atheism as a means for misanthropic ends? Human beings, no matter what we may think of their systems of belief, are not disposable.
Morality is easy; treat others the way you would want to be treated.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
Empathy is only one of the two pillars on which morality is based; the other is reciprocity, from which our sense of justice and fairness are derived. Without consequences for behavior that harms others, there is a moral vacuum.
Gratitude?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
Even when I was a churchgoer, I don't think I've ever witnessed someone thanking somebody other than the person who did the nice thing in the first place.
When you hear people praying on the radio or TV, do you turn the sound off or change the channel?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
TV or radio stations don't have a prayer with me! ;-)
Long space journeys could destroy astronauts guts and prematurely age brains.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
The TESS mission video was pretty cool, though. :-)
Question.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
Consider what Christianity might become, were it to morph into the faith of retired Bishop John Shelby Spong, who espouses the following 12 Points of Reform in his book, A New Christianity for a New World: 1. Theism, as a way of defining God, is dead. So most theological God-talk is today meaningless. A new way to speak of God must be found. 2. Since God can no longer be conceived in theistic terms, it becomes nonsensical to seek to understand Jesus as the incarnation of the theistic deity. So the Christology of the ages is bankrupt. 3. The Biblical story of the perfect and finished creation from which human beings fell into sin is pre-Darwinian mythology and post-Darwinian nonsense. 4. The virgin birth, understood as literal biology, makes Christ's divinity, as traditionally understood, impossible. 5. The miracle stories of the New Testament can no longer be interpreted in a post-Newtonian world as supernatural events performed by an incarnate deity. 6. The view of the cross as the sacrifice for the sins of the world is a barbarian idea based on primitive concepts of God and must be dismissed. 7. Resurrection is an action of God. Jesus was raised into the meaning of God. It therefore cannot be a physical resuscitation occurring inside human history. 8. The story of the Ascension assumed a three-tiered universe and is therefore not capable of being translated into the concepts of a post-Copernican space age. 9. There is no external, objective, revealed standard written in scripture or on tablets of stone that will govern our ethical behavior for all time. 10. Prayer cannot be a request made to a theistic deity to act in human history in a particular way. 11. The hope for life after death must be separated forever from the behavior control mentality of reward and punishment. The Church must abandon, therefore, its reliance on guilt as a motivator of behavior. 12. All human beings bear God's image and must be respected for what each person is. Therefore, no external description of one's being, whether based on race, ethnicity, gender or sexual orientation, can properly be used as the basis for either rejection or discrimination.
Flat-earthers, unite!! But not globally (for obvious reasons).
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
Ever play the game Risk? The whole world is in two dimensions, and can most certainly be united--by force! And these strange people can also unite, if not globally, 'cylindrically' or, 'Mercatorially,' if you prefer. ;-)
How many of you attend services, but are agnostic?
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 5, 2018:
During my last few years of church attendance, I was filled with doubts and had gravitated toward unbelief. I called myself an agnostic, because it was an 'easier pill to swallow,' but I'd seriously begun to question what was being spewed forth from the pulpit, and much worse, from that book sitting on the back of every pew! Out of sheer boredom I had began to re-read the Bible during sermons, and that, more than anything else, hastened my exit, even as it increased my disgust.
Murdered man's body found after tree 'unusual for the area' grew from seed in his stomach ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 4, 2018:
The Mirror? Are you kidding me? What's next, the National Enquirer? You do realize this isn't the "Silly, Random & Fun" section, don't you? In any case, the story has been debunked. https://www.livescience.com/63667-fig-tree-grows-from-corpse.html
Panspermia..
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 4, 2018:
"Has anyone else seen anyone completely reject abiogenesis in favor of panspermia?" Perhaps the most famous example is that of Nobel Laureate, Sir Fred Hoyle, who gave the backers of intelligent design some welcome ammunition with this quote: "If one proceeds directly and straightforwardly in this matter, without being deflected by a fear of incurring the wrath of scientific opinion, one arrives at the conclusion that biomaterials with their amazing measure of order must be the outcome of intelligent design." Hoyle and his student, and later colleague, Chandra Wickramasinghe have advanced the idea that outbreaks of disease (influenza, polio, mad cow disease, etc.) are caused by extraterrestrial microbes carried by comet dust.
Leftees gone nuts:::: A scientist presents his scientific findings to a group of scientists who find...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 4, 2018:
Isn't that a clue to what, exactly? That Strumia is correct in his assertion that 'physics was built by men' and that women are demanding jobs in science without being qualified, resulting in men being discriminated against? Or do you believe it's a clue to some other underlying issue?
“The Christian God the Father, the God of Tertullian, Augustine and Aquinas, is the wickedest ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 4, 2018:
Agreed! When contemplating the 'nature of god,' I frequently turn to the 'Great Agnostic' of the 1800's, Robert Green Ingersoll: "Would God give a bird wings and make it a crime to fly? Would he give me brains and make it a crime to think? Any God that would damn one of his children for the expression of his honest thought wouldn't make a decent thief. When I read a book and don't believe it, I ought to say so. I will do so and take the consequences like a man."
So on another site there was a conversation going on and a lady said “religion always creeped her ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 4, 2018:
The same might be said of Santa Claus. "He knows when you are sleeping, he knows when you're awake; he knows when you've been bad or good..." I was seriously affected by this concept as a tyke!
Doubt and fear
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 4, 2018:
Quite the opposite. Fear seeks to eliminate all doubt, and the meek, out of fear, avoid troubling questions that might cause one to doubt. Fear is one of religion's most effective tools against doubt.
The greatest thing in this world is not so much where we stand as in what direction we are moving.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 4, 2018:
Agreed ... so long as we haven't found ourselves stuck in quicksand!
Doubt vs gullibilty
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 3, 2018:
"Is it wrong to cause believers to doubt their faith?" Like so many questions we ask, or have asked of us, it surely must depend on the situation. Reading the prior posts below I can see, perhaps as the author of Ecclesiastes, that there is "a time to search and a time to give up, a time to keep and a time to throw away, a time to tear and a time to mend, a time to be silent and a time to speak, a time to love and a time to hate, a time for war and a time for peace." Timing is everything, and we who no longer believe should, in my opinion, remain patient for the appropriate time. For any who flatly state that it is NEVER wrong to speak honestly, I have nothing but pity.
Juno is speeding around Jupiter at something like 160,000 mph.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 2, 2018:
Please check my math on this, but if Alpha Centauri is 4.243 light years away, that translates to 25.67 trillion (or 25 trillion, 670 billion) miles (25,670,000,000,000). At 160,000 miles per hour, I calculate a total travel time at that speed as about 160,437,500 hours. If you divide this by the number of hours in a year (8,760) you arrive at 18,305 years, give or take. If we assume 25 years per generation, the trip at 160,000 miles per hour will take a mere 733 generations.
Oumuamua - the first known Interstellar traveller - amazing that we know this much about stars in ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 1, 2018:
It's only relatively recently that we've developed the ability to observe such events. Who knows how many times our planet has been bypassed? And clearly, not all succeed in missing us, either! It's a helluva lot easier to analyze objects that emit photons (stars) as opposed to those that reflect them (albeit, very poorly).
People Who Love 'Pseudo-Profound Bullsht' Are Less Likely to Give to Charity.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 1, 2018:
Dan Dennett came up with an excellent term for 'pseudo profound bullshit' ... he calls it a 'deepity,' which may be defined as a statement that is apparently profound but actually asserts a triviality on one level and something meaningless on another. Just remember this term when some bullshitter tries to sound incredibly profound!
Those who did not get married I request them not to marry.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 1, 2018:
There is clear evidence that the birth rate is in decline, globally. Wealthy nations with access to health care, family planning and education for women are approaching zero growth, or no more than two (2) children per household, on average. And there is no reason to expect that the developing world will alter this trend, as poverty is reduced, child mortality diminished greatly, and girls are educated to become equal players with their male counterparts in the work force. For a better perspective on this, I recommend Hans Rosling's work, including his books, lectures and TED talks.
In honor of International Blasphemy Rights Day. Happy Sunday you blasphemers! [humanism.org.uk]
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 1, 2018:
Interesting. Pakistan is one of the countries that voted in 1948 to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which contains the following 2 articles: Article 18. Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance. Article 19. Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers. Just look how far we've come in 70 years!
I'm new to this site and I am a country boy.
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 1, 2018:
Religion is the great appropriator, a thief who steals morals, behaviors and customs for itself, and then codifies them in writing. That we are moral creatures in spite of religion is a testament not to any deity or faith, but to our humanity.
Do you think it is necessary to try to change people’s perspective about their beliefs or just get...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 1, 2018:
Beliefs? About what? The shape of the Earth? That the United States was founded as a 'Christian nation?' The 'risks' of vaccinating children? The 'benefits' of corporal punishment? The 'harm' of GMOs? The existence of a left-wing conspiracy to manipulate data on Global Warming to destroy capitalism? Beliefs have consequences, but the importance one places on any effort to change a belief necessarily depends on the impact of such a belief.
It’s interesting that the antipathy toward religion on this site generally seems to be aimed at ...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 1, 2018:
Geography? Most of the members of this site are from Christian dominant societies. We are most familiar with Christianity, see the harm it causes, and so we take aim and fire away! When it comes to Christianity, we know what we dislike, and dislike what we know.
Someone had too much fun at the bookstore...
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 1, 2018:
Or maybe at the motel. ;-)
The science of morality [facebook.com]
p-nullifidian comments on Oct 1, 2018:
Morality has its basis, it seems to me, in two main principles: empathy and reciprocity. Other primates exhibit behaviors based on these basic principles, and while we wouldn't say that they have a moral code, they nevertheless establish individual normative conduct through group pressure.
Away from the physics laws and scientific theories,When I raise my head to heaven and precisely to ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 30, 2018:
We must all remember that the warmth we feel from the sun is ultra-violet radiation, a leading cause of skin cancer, and other degenerative diseases. The sun bombards our planet with doses of radiation that would be lethal to organic life as we know it, were it not for the ozone layer and the magnetosphere. That which gives life, just as easily kills. In the words of Robert Green Ingersoll: “Nature, so far as we can discern, without passion and without intention, forms, transforms, and retransforms forever. She neither weeps nor rejoices. She produces man without purpose, and obliterates him without regret. She knows no distinction between the beneficial and the hurtful. Poison and nutrition, pain and joy, life and death, smiles and tears are alike to her. She is neither merciful nor cruel. She cannot be flattered by worship nor melted by tears. She does not know even the attitude of prayer. She appreciates no difference between poison in the fangs of snakes and mercy in the hearts of men. Only through man does nature take cognizance of the good, the true, and the beautiful; and, so far as we know, man is the highest intelligence.” The Gods, 1873
Funniest Comedian
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 29, 2018:
Dave Allen was a groundbreaking atheist comic. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mYXenjpefNU&t=16s
Trite but this came to me the other night. Dead heroes, who would you like to share a meal with?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 29, 2018:
There's some nice lists here. If we were really sharing a meal, I'd want the food to be the focus, and the conversation to germinate organically from our taste buds. So in that case, I think of: Alice Waters José Andrés Anthony Bourdain (miss seeing him) Charlie Trotter (really miss him) But if conversation were the focus, maybe over a 25 year old Glenlivet and a good Cuban, I'd want: David Hume Thomas Paine Robert Green Ingersoll Mark Twain
Sorry, but not SORRY ?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 29, 2018:
This joke's as old as the car! Carburetors are a thing of the past--all cars have been equipped with fuel injection systems for quite some time now. ;-)
How many of you know what Wedge Document is?Have any of you read it?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 29, 2018:
Haven't read it, but am aware of its purpose and goal. As Wendy Wright said in her interview with Richard Dawkins, 'Teach the controversy.'
Christian Leader Uses Bible To Defend Kavanaugh: ‘No Scream, No Rape’ | Michael Stone
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 29, 2018:
This pastor appears to be admitting to himself: "Boys will be Boys."
Mathematics
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 29, 2018:
One only need ask the question, ‘would an alien species have ‘discovered’ the same mathematics, or would they have ‘invented’ a language completely foreign to our brightest mathematical minds?’ I am of the opinion that physics is what we discover, and mathematics is a language we invent, not only to describe our universe, but to theorize about it, and what may be beyond.
Christian fundamentalists are driving our country into the Dark Ages
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 28, 2018:
An interesting, if not dated (2013) article from the UK. I appreciate the reference to Susan Jacoby, one of my favorite authors!
The mind is an gift!!!
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 28, 2018:
"An gift" requires a giver. If we leave a young child alone in the forest, he will die in a few days ... unless of course, he's Mowgli, with a bunch of animal friends who protect him. But then, he will need to find a mate, and so forth. And yet, out of the bush is whence we all came, including the scientists, anthropologists and physicists.
So I grew up in a rather religious Muslim family and I remember my family being pretty superstitious...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 28, 2018:
So there's religion, and then there's superstitious customs which may not have any direct bearing on the faith. The practice, for instance, of saying 'bless you' after someone sneezes, is a superstition that has little to do with a doctrine. I just have one question, what does it mean to "leave a show upside down?" Whenever I leave a show, it's on my feet. ;-)
3 prophets walk into a bar...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 28, 2018:
... oh, come on, what's the punch line? Clearly this is not just any bar! Don't go all New Yorker on us and expect us to come up with our own ... let's have it!
Fossil evidence of large flowering trees in N.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 28, 2018:
I like the illustration ... it reminds me of something my daughter did in 6th grade! In all seriousness, what is the significance of this discovery of flowering trees existing 15 million years earlier than previously known in North America?
This is soft science but explains why I tell my sister about wind and solar power, she dismisses ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 27, 2018:
The turbines do in fact kill birds (and bats) by the hundreds of thousands each year, but the impact of coal fired and natural gas power plants represents a greater risk to the bird population, due carbon emissions leading to climate change. Consider this: millions upon millions of birds are killed every year by flying into tall buildings, often at night. Some cities have begun to douse their lights after certain hours, but no one has seriously suggested we stop building high rises and skyscrapers on account of birds.
My problem with this religion issue is how we have to choose which team to root for or should I say ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 27, 2018:
The team we root for is, for the vast majority, decided by birth. Were you and I born in Tel Aviv, Riyadh, Bangkok or Delhi, we would almost assuredly be praying with, and rooting for, a different team. We are accidental believers, by and large. But we can choose to abandon the 'faith of our fathers' and chart a different course, even if it implies a lack of respect for the beliefs and practices of prior generations. We must always remember that culture is a choice, not a life sentence.
We live in the worst of possible worlds.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 27, 2018:
How about Case #2: Scenario 3? In this case, the Almighty created the universe and the laws governing it, and moved on to other things, never to be seen or heard from. In this case, the Creator never interacts, never tweaks, never inspires, never punishes. The Creator is the ultimate absentee landlord. This is the case of the Deist, which many of the Founding Fathers accepted, including my avatar. It is essentially Case #1 but with a 'superpower' first cause. And it is no more Panglossian than any of the cases you've described.
Is scientific knowledge limited in principle?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 27, 2018:
I think you know my propensity on this subject, based on prior conversations, so I’d like instead to offer a related question, as a diversionary thought experiment. When the singularity arrives, then what? When the artificial intelligence we create surpasses our capacity to acquire knowledge about the universe, and fashions their own learning systems and processes, as well as fabricating their own improvements, they will acquire vast stores of information at ever-increasing speed and in areas or dimensions we have yet to contemplate. When the AI we’ve created are more advanced than we are above a common insect, will they someday exhaust the encyclopedia of the universe, or is this supply infinite? Is there a point at which there is literally nothing left to learn? And what of us? When our AI become as gods, will they ignore us, or will they rid themselves of us, or will they modify us so that we might learn what they have learned?
God was fired.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 27, 2018:
We are, when it comes to our gods, much like Donald Trump ... we sometimes like to say, 'you're fired!' And yet, some of our gods are rehabilitated, or reinvented, while the majority join the trash heap with all our discarded gods, from Baal to Zeus to Odin.
The Vatican never apologized for the Inquisition.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 27, 2018:
These are two entirely separate questions, each of which deserves its own poll. That the Vatican, over the centuries, has balked in admitting wrongdoing--even in the case of molesting priests--has become a standard operating procedure for the 'Holy See.' Thus, one should never expect an apology for the Inquisition. That said, any attempt to identify and remunerate descendants at this point, many centuries later, is a fool's errand. It's too late, and time to move on.
Just found out my only "non-religious" friend believes in reincarnation, even to the extent that she...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 27, 2018:
The terms 'non religious' and 'reincarnation' are not reconcilable.
Believe in karma?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 27, 2018:
Seriously? "Rational" thinkers? Please quality that assertion. Karma, Dharma, Brahma, Ganesha ... what difference does any of this Hindu 'woo-woo' make?
Its been proven that Jesus did not exist. So why hasn't Christianity collapsed yet?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 27, 2018:
It has been proven? Really? How? In what universe do you claim to be able to prove (in the classical sense of the word) that a mythological being does not exist? Please provide your thesis or proofs.
Chris Hedges is a man worth listening to. Where are we headed as a country? [youtu.be]
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 27, 2018:
Mr. Hedges is worth listening to? The man who gave us the term, 'the cult of science' and wrote the book, 'I Don't Believe in Atheists?' Seriously?
This post is for a debate. What caused the universe?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 26, 2018:
Our universe is roughly 13.7 billion years of age, but there may be an endless number of universes that predate, or even coexist with, our own. There is, it seems to me, an infinite regression / succession of causes and effects, which do not require an 'uncaused cause,' or deity. This only raises the question as to what caused its existence, and if there is one thing we are able to ponder, it is the impossibility of a first cause or a last effect. And yet, as my avatar, who was a Deist, believed, even if there were an almighty entity that created the universe and its laws, it clearly has moved on to other things, and takes no interest in our daily existence. The laws which guide the universe, including the steady chain of causes and effects, have never been interfered with or broken. If science has shown us anything it is that miracles exist only in our imaginations.
I was just listening to Terry Gross interviewing Derek Black, former white nationalist on Fresh Air.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 26, 2018:
This TedTalk is one of the most incredible stories I've ever heard. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SSH5EY-W5oM
The Comics Section: Conspiracies and Hypotheticals - TheHumanist.com
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 26, 2018:
This awesome exchange is at the core of all superstition, religion and conspiracy theories: Jesus: "So where do conspiracy theories come from?" Barmaid: "I don't know. Maybe there's an evolutionary advantage in being hard-wired to detect agency, whether it exists or not, and we generate a lot of false positives?"
Decisions, decisions.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 26, 2018:
I choose pornographic memes.
Have you ever started a conversation with a person who seems normal enough until the topic switches ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 26, 2018:
"Delete that shit right now 'HOE?'" What century are we in?
An interesting quote by Alan Watts "There is no fate unless there is someone or something to be ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 26, 2018:
Reading this quote of amorphous vaguery evokes feelings of ... Jell-O.
You are not responsible for anybody else's happiness.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 26, 2018:
Agreed, if by 'responsibility' we mean accountability or a moral trust. But our goal should, in my opinion, be a net contribution to the happiness of others, as opposed to a net extraction (or depletion) in service of only ourselves. In the words of one of my favorite thinkers, that 'Great Agnostic,' Robert Green Ingersoll: "Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so." So, while we may not be 'responsible' for any particular individual's happiness, we can nevertheless be an influence, should they be receptive.
I noticed everybody I've met recently is always looking for something to gain that happiness or ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 26, 2018:
While the 'pursuit of happiness' is what we might call an American, if not universal, right, I am of the opinion that true happiness comes not from consuming, but from contributing. I have for years now appreciated the wisdom of Robert Green Ingersoll, that 'Great Agnostic' of the 19th century, who stated: "Happiness is the only good. The time to be happy is now. The place to be happy is here. The way to be happy is to make others so."
Asking for the thoughts/opinions of others here.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 26, 2018:
Having been raised in a conservative protestant faith, experienced baptism by immersion, and a rebirth of a kind, I can offer the following: 1. I didn't "run to religion" as an escape--it was all I had known. 2. The "reality of life" exists within the cocoon--those who are born again and accept Jesus know that we are all destined for heaven, and that this world is a mere way point. That was my reality! 3. When you are brought up in the faith, you don't need your religion to erase a past--unless of course, you've backslidden, and need to be reclaimed. I can't tell you how many re-baptisms I witnessed as people who had rebelled and led a wild life only to be filled with guilt and regret, and thus returned to their faith and were baptized a second time. 4. Newish fashion or fad? I trust you're kidding? When you do a little research you find that these practices and beliefs have been around for millennia!
Is the universe God?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 26, 2018:
What role does gender play in pantheism? If there is a force with intention behind, and a part of, all that exists, why refer to it as male? Such a force would seem unlikely to be equipped with male genitalia.
Creationism for Dummies
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 25, 2018:
It's a trick ... that's just the paper cover! Open it, and this is what you'll see:
Power of prayer?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 25, 2018:
As Dan Barker has so eloquently noted, "Nothing fails like prayer."
Values from facts?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 25, 2018:
I would assert that facts inform, but do not determine, our values. Values are inherently subjective, and while facts may call our values into question, facts alone cannot determine them.
What do you say to people who say you can’t have morals without god?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 25, 2018:
I ask them, 'Please describe the god-given morals,' and then together we proceed to pick them apart. Every moral truth found in the Bible has an historical antecedent, and every moral shortcoming is conveniently ignored! At some point, it may be admitted that humans, and none other, are responsible for our moral codes.
I was sitting on an airplane this afternoon and got the chance rewatch Contact for the first time ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 25, 2018:
Absolutely! I remember when this film came out ... and I will never forget the scene where Jody Foster is on the gantry of the Japanese machine, looking down on the spinning gyros. Sagan had it right, if we are all that there is when it comes to "intelligent" life, it sure would be a waste of space!
This is Africa ! Translation,:- "On the way to a barbeque"
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
Wait, is that a Holstein? Best milk cow ever! What's she doing there, poor thing.
“The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
Ignorance is bliss.
Dedicated religious persons are extremely dangerous, they are ready to kill you to prove that a ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
Only the most dedicated from a very small number of religions would kill, it seems to me, in order to prove that their God is superior. A search of the data, collected by many organizations, on the number of religiously motivated murders and terror attacks reveals the unsurprising fact that the vast majority of perpetrators claim Islam as their faith and that they acted in accordance to that faith, and that the victims of such attacks are more likely to claim Islam as THEIR faith.
Cooperation is contagious
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
It would seem nearly self-evident that we would not be here were it not for the propensity—perhaps genetically triggered—to cooperate. A survival benefit would most certainly be conferred upon the group that functioned more effectively as a unit, rather than a collection of self-serving individuals. And so it’s reasonable to assume that, while we retain much of our ‘selfish’ genes, we are also predisposed, on the whole, to identify ways and means to work together to prevail, if not thrive. In fact, the survival benefit may be the highest for the group in which the individual is subservient to the community. And yet, there are cases where the group dynamic overcomes the survival instinct, as may be found in mass suicides, which may be ideologically / religiously motivated. From Masada to Jonestown, the instances of large groups choosing self-destruction over an external threat, actual or perceived, while rare, point to a ‘bug’ in our firmware, as it relates to the survival vs. cooperation (or group identity) instinct.
Do you donate essential medical fluids from altruism, or from a financial perspective?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
The people who work in the mobile vans that come to my workplace in Silicon Valley every quarter, or so, have never once indicated that my donation of a pint could be remunerated. I'm curious, why is it allowed to pay someone to donate blood? We are, after all, DONATING! I've never been paid, never heard of anyone who I know having been paid, and find it rather 'twisted' to be 'incentivized to dontate.' Apart from a glass of orange juice and a sugar cookie, my only 'payment' comes from knowing that someone in need of my rather common blood type (A positive) will someday benefit.
Anybody else familiar with the story of the Catholic / Orthodox schism?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
I'm not that familiar with it, but as I recall it was more a political power struggle than it was a religious conflict. The every day layperson probably didn't care, at least initially. The destruction of Knights Templar is a subject that I have read about extensively, but this came suddenly on October 13, 1307 (it was a Friday). The East-West schism to which you refer occurred centuries earlier.
Do christians and ppl of all religions really do believe what is written in their so called holy ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
We should probably all be grateful that the majority of adherents ignore or discard (and thus do not believe) much of what their holy books say they should do. Nearly all pick and choose, which only serves to prove the point that our morals do not come from a book.
I'm far from a christian, but of all the versions of Jesus I ever came across, the ones of him as a ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
All the versions of Jesus, from the gentle, meek and mild to a ripped carpenter who led a revolt and 'came not to send peace, but a sword,' are made-up characters out of a made-up character. We have nothing in the historical record upon which to even base the existence of this person, much less his characteristics. I agree with @genessa, better to recognize a leftist musician who gave us one of the most beloved socialist anthems, This Land is Your Land, than to identify with someone who may never have existed.
Who do priest confess to about their sexual abuse?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
Should be obvious, to bishops, who confess to cardinals, who confess to the pope ... in other words, they're all in on it!
Why are we here ?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
For the nonbeliever, there can, of course, be no answer to this question. I like to fall back on the philosophy espoused by Neil Peart, my favorite drummer, who wrote: "Why are we here? Because we're here Roll the bones Why does it happen? Because it happens Roll the bones Faith is cold as ice Why are little ones born only to suffer For the want of immunity Or a bowl of rice? Well, who would hold a price On the heads of the innocent children If there's some immortal power To control the dice?"
“Properly read, the Bible is the most potent force for atheism ever conceived.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
I am in complete agreement with this sentiment. It wasn't until I started to seriously doubt my faith, that I began to re-read the Bible, by book, chapter, verse and line ... and I grew more doubtful with each passage. I then found the writings (speeches) of Robert Green Ingersoll, that 'Great Agnostic' of the 19th century, who had these excellent words of advice: "All that is necessary, as it seems to me, to convince any reasonable person that the Bible is simply and purely of human invention—of barbarian invention—is to read it. Read it as you would any other book; think of it as you would of any other; get the bandage of reverence from your eyes; drive from your heart the phantom of fear; push from the throne of your brain the cowled form of superstition—then read the Holy Bible, and you will be amazed that you ever, for one moment, supposed a being of infinite wisdom, goodness and purity, to be the author of such ignorance and of such atrocity." The Gods, 1873
I FINALLY GOT THE “STAY DUMB” ARGUMENT.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
Excellent conversation ... your poor mom! I had a pastor once who became tired of my questions, and said, 'You just have to have faith that God has a plan.' I felt that his willingness to stop probing and remain ignorant was an irrational position. Later I came across this quote by Robert Green Ingersoll, whose lectures from the 1800's were incredibly insightful. “The doctrine that future happiness depends upon belief is monstrous. It is the infamy of infamies. The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be relieved only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called "faith." The Gods, 1873 Insanity + Ignorance → Faith
Today I went to my neighbors baby shower.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
"Hey this is your thing not mine!" What a great motto, and my new reply to the imposition of religion, whether by individuals, public policies or laws, in our daily lives!
Can suicide be a part of God’s plan?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
Seriously? There's a 'plan?' Well that explains it then ... clearly I missed the memo!
Out of all the the denominations of jesus following religions the mormons creep me out the most.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 24, 2018:
Having abandoned my faith some ten or so years ago, I have found that the further away I get from religion, the fewer distinctions of any significance do I see. As nearly all religious faiths have, as their foundation, superstitions and a belief in miracles--i.e., things that could not possibly have happened and are therefore falsehoods--what does it matter what the Mormons or any other 'brand' espouses?
Is the human embryo sacred or something special ?
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 21, 2018:
What about IVF or IVG? In the not-too-distant future, all human embryos may be conceived in a lab, and a sperm donor won't even be required, as stem cells can be used to manufacture sperm-like cells. A significant number of blastocysts may result from a single egg harvest, which may then be frozen indefinitely. These samples may be genetically screened for diseases and deficiencies, as well as analyzed for gender and other physical attributes, and perhaps even temperament or personality. The designer child is not that far away, and the unwanted blastocysts, sacred or not, will be discarded and destroyed by the millions. https://media.giphy.com/media/JRF85A7Bcl2YU/giphy.gif
I guess since he's "agast" everything is ok now. [mysanantonio.com]
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 21, 2018:
I was 'aghast' once ... turned out I ate too many beans!
Was asked why I am agnostic and not athiest or religious.
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 21, 2018:
The agnostic states that he/she does not, and probably cannot, know whether or not a god exists. Meanwhile, the atheist states that he/she lacks any belief in a deity. One says they don't or can't know, the other says they don't or can't believe. And yet, in daily life, both conduct themselves in much the same way. Neither the agnostic nor the atheist relies on prayer or the supernatural to get through their day. Neither the agnostic nor the atheist accepts the orthodox religious views regarding the origins or age of the Earth. And neither the agnostic nor the atheist expects things to change on this planet unless men and women alone choose to effect such change. In short, when it comes to day-to-day living, the agnostic and the atheist are more similar than they might care to admit. When I encountered the speeches / writings of Robert Green Ingersoll, the so-called 'Great Agnostic' of the 19th Century, I found no philosophical difference between the atheist and the agnostic. Read for yourself, the essays "Individuality," "The Gods," and "Some Mistakes of Moses."
Many atheists groups on f/b advocate that they should be closed groups mainly because it's useless ...
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 21, 2018:
When it comes to just about any social media platform I’m familiar with, most of the exchanges between differing points of view are void of civility and respect. As a result, the platforms become echo chambers of like-minded automatons. If a platform exists where the ideas are more important than the personalities, I'd like to know about it! In my opinion, ideas are like assholes, we all have one, and we’d all best drop the pretense and just put our ideas out on the table, and let the others bat it around and beat it up. In this way, the best ideas win. And that's all that matters, right? Not who put the idea out there, but which one was the best. Once we are able to divorce our egos from the ideas that pop into our heads, and can see them on that table as detached, ill-formed thoughts, perhaps we can advance beyond tribalism and our own self-admiration.
True Facts : Carnivorous Plants [youtu.be]
p-nullifidian comments on Sep 21, 2018:
True Facts (zefrank1)! My favorite YouTube nature videographer!
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