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How many of you have gone through a tornado or earthquake?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 31, 2018:
As a native to the Bay Area, and having experienced dozens of tremors in my lifetime, one tends to develop an internal Richter Scale of sorts. I can't tell you how many times my wife and I have been awakened by an earthquake, and guessed at the magnitude. "Well, if the epicenter was close [our house is less than a mile from the San Andreas fault] that was probably a 3 to 3.5, but if the epicenter was more than 50 miles away, that was a major quake, say, between 5 and 6!" In California, that's just how we roll. :-)
Joe Biden’s niece dodges jail after $100K credit card scam
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 31, 2018:
Wait, seriously? You're linking to the New York Post? What's next, the National Enquirer?
New Atheism, Worse Than You Think
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 31, 2018:
I completely disagree with the article, which is outdated and off the mark, in my opinion. The label ‘Islamophobia’ is a fabrication, designed to conflate racial or ethnic hatred with a legitimate scorn, if not loathing, of the concepts, doctrines, practices and dogmas of the Islamic faith. With every fiber in my being, I despise Islam, almost as much as I do Christianity. And while the so-called Four Horsemen are the most well-known, if not infamous, atheists, I have read and listened to so many more, including Voltaire, David Hume, Thomas Paine, Robert Ingersoll, Bertrand Russell, Steven Weinberg, Richard Feynman, Carl Sagan, Susan Jacoby, Jerry Coyne, Sean Carroll, Alain de Botton, not to mention the comedic personalities of George Carlin, John Cleese, Steven Fry, Ricky Gervais, Bill Maher (i.e., the Islamobphobe) and Jim Jeffries. Attacking the so-called ‘New Atheists’ is a waste of energy, and the premise of atheism being akin to a religion is preposterous.
meteorites hitting the moon. []
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 31, 2018:
Poor Luna, she's defenseless.
We have too much here, not enough there.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 31, 2018:
Musk needs to focus on getting Tesla profitable instead of making unwelcome headlines like Thailand and nuking Mars.
Nautilus | Science Connected
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 31, 2018:
I’ve long felt that our brains performed unattended processing, even during sleep. How many times have we gone to bed thinking about a problem, and awakened with an unexpectedly good idea … often while take a shower? I disagree with the author when comparing recall to creative thought, such as Poincare, Hindemith or Einstein. Arriving at a solution for a difficult equation, composing the incredible *Mathis Der Maler Symphony*, or originating the Theory of General Relativity are in no way comparable to attempting to recall food items or country names! In my experience, my best ideas have come not when intensely concentrating on a problem, rather, it has been during periods when I’ve allowed my mind to wander and day dream. My mind finds answers without my assistance.
Does anyone listen to Sam Harris podcast, what you think about race politics, is affirmative action ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 31, 2018:
Came across this from a post in the Philosophy & Meaning forum, just a moment ago ... check it out.
Although I do not subscribe wholesale to the religion, I do believe there is some historical basis ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 31, 2018:
Well I would hope you doubt miracles. Turning water to wine, raising people from the dead, and feeding 5,000 people with a single lunch basket containing five rolls and a couple of sardines, etc. That would require an intervention in the laws of nature. And if he did exist--a big if, in that all we have is a couple of oblique references decades after the fact by Josephus (some clearly interpolated) and the Bible itself, which basically invented the man--he most certainly wasn't fair haired and light skinned.
Artificial Intelligence Shows Why Atheism Is Unpopular - The Atlantic
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 31, 2018:
Models are instructive, but not always precise. Still, I found this point interesting: “Using a separate model, Future of Religion and Secular Transitions (FOREST), the team found that people tend to secularize when four factors are present: existential security (you have enough money and food), personal freedom (you’re free to choose whether to believe or not), pluralism (you have a welcoming attitude to diversity), and education (you’ve got some training in the sciences and humanities). If even one of these factors is absent, the whole secularization process slows down. This, they believe, is why the U.S. is secularizing at a slower rate than Western and Northern Europe.” No kidding! With a) a widening income gap between the haves and have nots; b) a growing disdain for pluralism and diversity; and c) a distributed (fractured) educational system that varies not only from state to state, but district to district, Americans have 3 strikes against us.
Why people say RIP (Rest in Peace) for anyone who has died?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 30, 2018:
It's Biblical in origin, as in 'they rest from their labors' or 'find rest in their death.' But when one believes in a soul which, depending on the life lived, manner in which the individual died, and any number of things that might cause torment, the term is meant as a request or plea.
Supermassive Black Hole Caught Sucking Energy From Nearby Starlight
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 30, 2018:
Incredible! That star came to within 12 billion miles of the super massive black hole! That's not much farther away than Voyager 1 is to us! Way too close for comfort ... thanks for this one!
This came up in conversation, one of my more favorite tidbits about human evolution, from a favorite...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 30, 2018:
"...the contractor doesn't show up and it's been a million years..." ? Gifted teachers like this make me want to go back to college! Thanks for this post.
Quantum theory hopes to find a single proof that will unify the 4 forces and provide a simple ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 30, 2018:
You almost lost me with the first sentence. It is scientists who hope to find a grand unified theory (GUT), not quantum theory itself. And the universe is not an entity, so it cannot be anthropomorphized. Just as quantum theory cannot hope, it is a *personification* to attribute human characteristics to the universe. If your use of the term ‘bio-mechanical’ is synonymous with genetic, I would agree that our tendency toward belief is likely a vestigial relic which conferred a survival advantage. Our understanding of reality will always remain incomplete, as there will always be more knowledge to acquire—we know of no end to the universe, including what precipitated the Big Bang. I agree with your conclusion that human beings are incapable, at present, of moving beyond a certain point, due to our limited sensory awareness and our evolutionary and cultural biases. But this shortcoming appears likely to be overcome by a higher intelligence that *we* create. Our successors are likely to be artificial, whether fully apart from human beings, or implants that significantly alter our physiology and vastly enhance our bio-mechanical capacity. New detectors will be designed and data collected on phenomena we have yet to imagine. Whether we dread this or not, the singularity that Kurzweil and others have predicted, will occur, and solving the GUT, as well as the theory of everything (or TOE, which incorporates gravity) will become a walk in the park—a launch point for future discovery. I can only hope to be there on the Cayley plane! ;-)
Are the odds actually in favor of the notion of a creator , at least as a creator of us , us ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 30, 2018:
"Just a stranger on the bus Tryin' to make his way home?"
Who has read the comments on's facebook ad?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 30, 2018:
Facebook? What's Facebook? ;-)
This will likely drive people away from Microsoft []
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 30, 2018:
There will clearly need to be exceptions, such as for government computers working in classified environments, where an air gap exists between secure networks and the internet. And no, the solution isn't XP! ;-)
Atheists Are Brainwashed By The Scientific Method
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 30, 2018:
"Professor Canard teaches at the Theological Institute of Technology (TIT). His courses include Cryptoepistemology and Alex Jones I and II." What a canard! And why stop at one? Why not the Theological Institute of Technology and Science? This author belongs at the Onion! ;-)
Alex Jones threatens Robert Mueller and accuses him of pedophilia.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 30, 2018:
Sorry, but you may as well be a flat earth co-conspirator ... are you fucking kidding me, Alex Jones? This imbecile, like Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh, Michael Savage, and so many others, are individuals who have demonstrated a disregard for fact.
Supernatural VS Atheist
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 29, 2018:
My advice would be to step back for a moment, and consider that, if there were a 'realm' of existence beyond that which science has yet to discern, this phenomena would be entirely 'natural' (as in, evolved) vs. 'supernatural.' And if it were 'natural' (as in, a part of nature or our evoution), why be afraid? And, more importantly, why religion? As an agnostic, I would assert that we do not and cannot know what (if anything) exists beyond our corporeal demise. But as an atheist, I have no belief in a so-called 'divine' being. So, if there is a 'something' out there, as you seem to suspect, it wouldn't be 'supernatural' (God vs. Satan, Spiritualism or whatever) but simply another level of existence we have yet to understand. Does that make sense?
Reality, what is it?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 29, 2018:
Sorry, but you lost me. Perhaps you can illustrate your concepts with charts and graphs? As we all know, a picture is worth a thousand words, and as a visual learner, I cannot visualize your words. Thank you!
People don't need RELIGION, religion needs people.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 29, 2018:
True, church/temple/mosque attendance is not what makes us better people, and like any run of the mill club--Moose, Shriners, Elks, Lions, Kiwanis, Rotary, Oddfellows, etc.--they need subscribers to continue to exist.
EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY -- PRAGUE -- 1995 What astounded me most about Prague was the dearth ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 29, 2018:
I love Prague. You're walking around town, and you hear American jazz, folk and blues, and then you hear polkas, and accordions and all types of klezmer, and a classical string quartet ... what a scene! I was lucky enough to be a chaperone for my daughter's choir, and they sang in St. Nicolas church, right on the old town square--it's like something out of a fairy tale. One of my favorite history lessons I learned while on the tour of the city was the origin of getting rid of unpopular leaders through the practice of 'defenestration,' from the Italian word 'finestra' meaning window--throw them out the window!
Did anyone else go through the stages of Atheism?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 29, 2018:
The process, in my experience, is much like the stages of grief, which probably shouldn't be labeled as 'stages' since they can occur in varying sequences and simultaneously. I went through the shock and denial, the anger, the bargaining, the depression and finally the acceptance. And even after the acceptance stage, for the longest time I felt much like the writer, Julian Barnes, who famously admitted, "I don't believe in God, but I miss him." But now I don't miss him at all, and am, after many years, breathing freely.
Do "strong and independent women, not need a man"?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 29, 2018:
"So, why do feminists profess that I am unnecessary in a hetrosexual woman's life?" All feminists? Not in my experience. Women demand, and should expect, equal treatment, pay and opportunity, and as a cisgender white hetro guy, I have my mother, sisters, wife and daughter to thank for helping me understand my privilege.
Yale's Most Popular Course in History Teaches You to Be Happy—and It's Available Online.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 29, 2018:
When I first read your headline, being a the literalist that I am, took it to mean that Yale has a very popular History course (as in, Course in History)! How disappointed I was to learn that the course came from the Behavior Sciences department! ;-)
Science is unable to set its own priorities.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 29, 2018:
On a planet with a multitude of dissimilar ideologies, or interests, one might say that science is already flourishing, as breakthroughs in fields of study from astronomy to zoology are reported almost weekly. Pure science seeks knowledge about our universe, not how that knowledge is used. Those decisions are left to the realm of applied science, where engineering, medical and business priorities (to name three) are advanced, and investments made. In my opinion, the developed world appears to already have a dominant ideology for applied science—maximizing profit.
Seattle Mariners Demand $180 Million In Public Funds Or They Won't Sign Long-Term Lease
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 29, 2018:
We should all remind ourselves that sports are a form of entertainment, and should, in theory, be seen no differently than a rock concert, Vegas magic show or the state fair. We buy a ticket and are entertained. Television / advertising revenues, and now legalized betting, have raised the stakes, but the fact remains, sports is simply entertainment. How many of us remember what the acronym ESPN stands for: the Entertainment and SPorts Network? It's a shame, when considering billionaires and their 'hobbies' as owners, that there remains only one professional sports team that is owned by its fans/city: the Green Bay Packers.
Imagine , it's easy if you try . Did humans need religion ever at any time in our existence ?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 29, 2018:
The "utility" of religion is evident. Consider that a belief in 'evil spirits' predates a belief in a so-called 'good God.' Then consider that we might not have survived to procreate were it not for a predilection toward being 'agency detectors' and attribute intention to natural phenomena--false positives in the direction of safety ensure survival, not only of the genes, but of memes. Religion is the byproduct of superstitious thinking, which was an inevitable, if not necessary, hand hold to our survival. The point now is that, while religion may have played a useful role in our evolution, it almost goes without saying that it has outlived its usefulness!
What do you believe happens when you die?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 28, 2018:
If there is a 'spirit' within us, it would necessarily be a product of evolution. The question then is, when and how did spirits arise? Did Neanderthals or Cro-Magnons have spirits? What is a spirit? Is it a soul? Perhaps you're referring to consciousness itself, or self-awareness? If so, the question about what will happen to us when we die is often compared to our self-awareness, prior to being born. What we know for certain is that the atoms in our bodies were once a part of an untold number of plants, animals and even human beings, and when we die, we will return to the dust, and our atoms will become part of other living, and non-living, things.
I was celebrating my daughter's 25th birthday on Thursday by having dinner with her and her mother ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 28, 2018:
At the risk of sounding like Dear Abby, you may want to re-think using the term "the ex" or "my ex wife," which carries a considerable amount of baggage. This entire interaction makes it appear like you haven't moved on, and are gleeful when you can enlist your daughter's help to one-up her mom. Since she's an adult, maybe you and your daughter can celebrate birthdays on your own, and she can do the same with her mother? Give it some thought?
I am curious of people's thoughts of science here. Are you confident in science?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 28, 2018:
The so-called 'soft sciences' concern me, as they sometimes appear to resort to methodologies that skirt the edges of objectivity. These sciences include behavioral psychology, anthropology and sociology.
Why sexual desire is objectifying – and hence morally wrong | Aeon Ideas
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 28, 2018:
This concern about 'objectification' can go too far! What is often overlooked here is female desire. The only book in the Bible I consider worth reading is Solmon's Song, or The Song of Solomon, which contains passages of pure physical attraction, or lust--one of the so-called deadly sins. And these words of desire are spoken from both the male and female point of view. He “How beautiful you are and how pleasing, my love, with your delights! Your stature is like that of the palm, and your breasts like clusters of fruit. I said, ‘I will climb the palm tree; I will take hold of its fruit.’ May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine, the fragrance of your breath like apples, and your mouth like the best wine.” Song of Solomon 7:6-9 (NIV) She “My beloved is radiant and ruddy, outstanding among ten thousand. His head is purest gold; his hair is wavy and black as a raven. His eyes are like doves by the water streams, washed in milk, mounted like jewels. His cheeks are like beds of spice yielding perfume. His lips are like lilies dripping with myrrh. His arms are rods of gold set with topaz. His body is like polished ivory decorated with lapis lazuli. His legs are pillars of marble set on bases of pure gold. His appearance is like Lebanon, choice as its cedars. His mouth is sweetness itself; he is altogether lovely. This is my beloved, this is my friend, daughters of Jerusalem." Song of Solomon 5:10-16 (NIV)
What's your answer to "what if you die and God is real?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 28, 2018:
Playing along here, I like your demand, but I'd first want to know 'Whose God are you? What description that we have is the closest match? I mean, somebody's gotta be right about you, right?' And then, considering the issue of divine hiddenness, I'd want to know, 'Where the hell have you been all this time?' But one thing I would never do is bow my head or kneel.
Morality! Where does it come from ?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 28, 2018:
It would appear, to me at least, that morality was evolved (as opposed to authoritatively imposed) and arises from two primary behaviors, which were likely required for our survival as hominids: Empathy and Reciprocity. One involves Care, the other Consequences. Of one thing we may be certain, we didn't obtain our moral values from an ancient book, which represents the antithesis or moral behavior.
Humanists, both religious and atheist, talk about the ‘dignity’ or ‘value’ or ‘worth’ or...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 28, 2018:
Thank you for these discerning observations. I think perhaps that there are two key issues at stake here, the first concerns vocabulary (in this case, the word faith), while the second deals with values (in this case, human rights). The word faith is too broad, as it covers both the religious (which is where I typically go) as well as nonreligious realms, synonymous with more general terms like ‘confidence,’ ‘conviction,’ ‘trust,’ ‘hope,’ ‘commitment,’ ‘optimism’ or (secular) ‘belief’ itself. I think we can safely assume that the usage of the word ‘faith’ in the UDHR is nonreligious. With regard to the value of ‘human rights,’ the very acknowledgement of the concept requires a concession by those who hold power—historically the throne and the altar. To be sure, individuals and minorities have, throughout history, demanded rights, but those in power have generally ignored or opposed to the point of persecution, such demands. Human rights in general, and Humanism specifically, value the individual unit over the group, and this can be a ‘hard sell’ to both the East and the West. In-group loyalty—to family, clan, tribe, nation, religion, party, state—as cited by Jonathan Haidt in his research—remains a persistent priority. On very rare occasions, a moment in history produces an artifact documenting the value of rights—the Magna Carta, the American Declaration of Independence and the UDHR are but three—in which the principles would seem almost universal. Alas, this is far from the case. Peace.
Had six friends over yesterday for Mexican food.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 28, 2018:
Good food and good company are the recipe for a great time ... and cerveza of course! ;-)
Is anti-theism on a par with racism?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 27, 2018:
I'm not an anti-theist, but as a nullifidian I loathe all organized religions, most notably the Abrahamic faiths. I don't hate adherents, I hate the doctrines, dogmas and demands their faiths espouse. If there is a supreme being, none of the world's religious leaders or so-called prophets have a clue as to its attributes, despite their egotistical proclamations. What gives any man or woman the right to claim to be a mouthpiece for the divine? In this realm Rabbis, Priests, Imams and Buddhist monks are on equally specious footing. I literally seethe with every fiber in my being when I consider what has been perpetrated--and continues to be done--in the name of religion. And I agree with Richard Dawkins that to force upon the minds of innocent children these unfounded and hideous articles of faith represents a form of child abuse. And yes, we may think it's cute now to tell toddlers that there is a Tooth Fairy or Santa Claus, but someday we will look back somewhat shamefully and ask ourselves what made us think it was okay to fuck with our kid's heads like that! Away with all magical thinking, and to 'hell' with religious teaching and all organized religion!
Did you know that Charles Darwin, I think it is at the end of 'Origin', mentions the Creator in the ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 27, 2018:
Charles Darwin was not an atheist. And he also knew that his publication would be controversial in his Anglican community, to say the least.
True Facts about the sea pig (win-win hehehe!) []
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 27, 2018:
I love the True Facts series ... my favorite is the Aye Aye! Thanks!
Why has Man consistently disproved God for half melinnium while upholding Science?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 27, 2018:
A distinction should be made between failing to prove something and disproving it. The geocentric model and the practice of alchemy, for example, have been disproven, but one cannot disprove the existence of God any more than one may disprove the existence of leprechauns. The point here is that we need not waste our time disproving fictions. We may simply state that those who assert there is a God have failed to meet their burden of proof, due to insufficient, if nonexistent, evidence.
Space debris.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 27, 2018:
When I was in the business (satellite operations), we had a catalog of around 17,000 objects the size of a man's fist, or larger. The number today is over 23,000 and growing rapidly. Most of this debris is in low earth orbit where the ISS operates. Of course, orbits are determined by the mission, and can vary widely in altitude, inclination and direction of travel. There's a lot more 'willy nilliness' than we may realize. Here's a couple of useful videos, but the models may be deceiving when it comes to scale ... there's a lot of space out there!
I see this magazine is still around.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 27, 2018:
Biblical Archeology? Never read it. Sounds like it might be similar to Biblical History or Biblical Astronomy. In other words, oxymoronic.
Report: Anti-Intellectual Christian Terrorists Destroyed Classical World
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 27, 2018:
This headline reads like a tabloid. Terrorists? Seriously? There can be no doubt that, following the Council of Nicea called by the Emperor Constantine in 325, a significant purge of non-canonical writings occurred, and that this spread to so-called pagan writings, helping to usher in a period of relative intellectual stagnation. We should also be grateful for the schism in Christianity that split the east (orthodox) church from the west (Roman Catholic). Without it, the writings of the ancients may have been lost to history. As to the Christians today, they are a pathetic and ineffectual lot, whose efforts will eventually fail miserably. These two-faced idiots should be deprived of all the advancements of science and technology that they exploit, while at the same time angrily criticizing. No medicines, vehicles, computers, phones, etc. Return them to the dark ages where they belong.
The inconsistencies of Christianity.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 27, 2018:
Saints don't freaking exist, except in New Orleans!
I visited the Smithsonian Natural History Museum today.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 27, 2018:
The 'just a theory' trope is very tired and needs to be put to rest. The claim reflects a complete lack of understanding on the part of the religionist of what a scientific theory actually is. In this case, the contributors to Wikipedia appear to have summarized the topic very well. "A scientific theory is an explanation of an aspect of the natural world that can be repeatedly tested, in accordance with the scientific method, using a predefined protocol of observation and experiment. Established scientific theories have withstood rigorous scrutiny and embody scientific knowledge. The definition of a scientific theory (often contracted to theory for the sake of brevity) as used in the disciplines of science is significantly different from the common vernacular usage of the word theory. In everyday speech, theory can imply that something is an unsubstantiated and speculative guess, the opposite of its meaning in science. These different usages are comparable to the opposing usages of prediction in science versus common speech, where it denotes a mere hope."
Global Warming Linked to Higher Suicide Rates across North America - A new study suggests.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
Fascinating. And even on a micro (annual) level, suicide rates go up during the spring and summer months, not during the winter, as many seem to believe. Thanks for sharing this one!
Just to make it clear.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
Bravo Zulu to you for your integrity and honesty ... NEGAT Bravo Zulu on your brevity. Peace.
Not sure where to post this but think it's about right for me anyway. []
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
Well ... an inebriated good evening to you too! ;-)
Does the bible unwittingly promote Atheism?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
One of my favorite quotes comes from Robert Green Ingersoll, the Great Agnostic of the 19th century: "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, 1876
Myers-Briggs Personality Type?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
Classic ENTJ here.
Is Doubt a Sin?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
The question should be, is there such a thing as "sin?"
Conversely, as rock bands go: Who was the worst replacement for any band?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
When Michael McDonald took over for ailing Tom Johnston, the Doobie Brothers became a different band, and I personally didn't care for their sound after that. But others did, and so it basically comes down to taste. Bands inevitably morph and reinvent themselves, and more often than not, make more fans when they add new members, or pivot in their style. It's difficult to imagine Journey without Steve Perry, Fleetwood Mac without Christie McVie and Stevie Nicks, or Dream Theater without James Labrie. Some hardcore fans of the early Genesis sound regretted Peter Gabriel's departure, but drummer Phil Collins was a diamond in the rough. Speaking of talented drummers, I wonder what it was like for Dave Grohl to be overshadowed for as long as he was.
As an agnostic/athiest how do you go about getting married or having a wedding?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
City Hall is just as good a place as any church. We should remind ourselves that marriage was an economic contract, typically arranged by the parents, before religion co-opted it.
Conversely, as rock bands go: Who was the worst replacement for any band?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
So when David Lee Roth left to make his movie (which never was made) and start a solo career, who would you have replaced him with? Like Ronnie Montrose after Sammy Hagar left the band that bore his name, Eddie and Alex didn't think Van Halen's run was finished (disagreeing with their record label), and their first album with Sammy, 5150, was their biggest seller. Now I have "I can't drive 55" as an ear worm ... thanks for reminding me of Sammy! ;-)
I have to admit, if I had nine lives, I'd probably stick my butthole in your face too.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
A bartender says to his customer, "Sir, I think you've had enough for the evening." To which, the customer replied, "I'm not drunk, and to prove it, I can clearly see that one-eyed cat coming in the door." The bartender responds, "Sir, that cat is going out the door."
People don't kill people. God does, through "Free Will"
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
Once again, for the umpteenth time, we have the 'argument from the Problem of Evil.' The 'freewill' concept is distraction.
Why do people on the Left have such a problem acknowledging that Western Civilization is superior to...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
"Western Civilization is superior to all others?" "...based on almost every possible metric?" Do tell.
Good evening peeps! I am new to this site! With hopes of reading intelligent posts, have pleasants ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
Clearly you have set a high bar! We can only hope that you will not be disappointed. In the universe of free thought, there is much room for interpretation. Peace.
I was in an argument about dr.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
What would it matter? Please tell me! Dr. Oz is clearly a modern day example of a successful self promoter. It is hard to label him a pseudo scientist when he is not, in reality, a scientist of any kind ... he's merely a physician. Consider that some regard Ben Carson, who was a talented brain surgeon, as a man of science, but whose world view is nothing less than insane! Personally, and this is just my opinion, I would sooner accept the advice of a tarot card reader than I would the council of hucksters like Dr. Oz!
How convinced are you?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
"How convinced are you?" Based on this post, I remain unconvinced, if not, unimpressed. Point 1: What you call ‘anti-spirituality’ is not congruent with unbelief, or atheism. Point 2: The level of one’s conviction (i.e. ‘how convinced’ one may be) might appear important, but this metric can vary. One day a true believer may have deep doubts about the existence of God, while at the same time an avowed atheist may wonder if there is a grain of truth in those ancient belief systems. Point 3: Order in the universe and the existence of gods or a deity do not mean the same thing. Order, which is inherently subjective, could arise naturally. Point 4: Your question, ‘how deeply does that inform your views of life itself?’ is not answerable. Seriously? How deeply? Life itself? One may as well answer, “the number 42.” Your question is in line with what Daniel Dennett has labeled a ‘deepity,’ which is to say, a statement [or, in this case, a question] that appears profound, but actually asserts a triviality on one level and something meaningless on another.
Huge fires are burning all over the world, including the Arctic Circle.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
It isn't simply the heat of the day, or 'highs' that are the problem, but the nighttime lows. Firefighters have been noticing for quite some time now, that low temperatures during the night are rising, to a greater percentage than the daytime highs. This means that, in many cases, the dew point may not be reached, dry fuel is not moistened and the forest fire is not 'tamped down' during the night. It is possible that we've been focusing on an incomplete set of metrics, and that the rising daily (or nightly) lows offer even more compelling evidence of climate change.
Do you remember your dreams?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 26, 2018:
Always 'Technicolor.' For me, black and white belongs to my grandparents. Frequently I am flying, and sometimes I hear German and Italian, which understand fairly well, but speak poorly. No repeat locations or scenes, even when flying. I always remember the dream within the first few minutes of wakening, but soon lose the entire narrative and visualization. I have attempted lucid (or intentional) dreaming with some success, yet the setting (point of departure) always appears different.
Alberta scientists develop memory potentially exceeding hard drive capacity 1,000-fold - Edmonton | ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
If proven, we have yet another example of Moore's law in action ... but in this instance, on steroids.
Not really looking for advice but I just found out my ex-husband passed away today.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
My first thought is for your children who, regardless of their relationship with their father at the time, may experience at some future period, a range of emotions. The term 'closure' is, in my opinion, a fallacy. Finality never fully occurs, and the so-called term of 'closure' is not actually achievable. Events and circumstances that we've processed and worked through have a sinister way of resurrecting themselves. No matter the hours (and dollars) spent in therapy and counseling, we remain capable of revisiting the past and replaying those hours in our minds.
One of the best phrases i've ever seen...."Your God is a poor excuse for a human being." ;)
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
That's a great quote ... do you know who first said it? I am reminded of this one, by the 'Great Agnostic,' Robert Green Ingersoll: "No god was ever in advance of the nation that created him."
A conversation with a friend yesterday , his favorite answer to everything is ' god ' or ' the ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
I like to consider myself a conversationalist--one who listens as well as he speaks--but I leave that to the judgment of others. My ROEs begin with this--come away from a conversation knowing more about what your counterpart thinks than they do about you. Allow them to feel the imbalance, and voluntarily seek connection with you, before you offer unsolicited information about yourself. And if, after several opportunities, even in the course of a first meeting, they seem less interested in your journey or world view, than they appear about telling (or retelling) their own, the likelihood that a lasting and meaningful relationship based on genuine and heartfelt conversations is greatly diminished.
Lets talk PDA...Public display of affection. Do you mind it?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
"As long as there is not allot of kids around but otherwise go for it!" Why not? How is it unhealthy for kids to see public displays of affection? Are children made more loving by limiting their exposure?
Gene editing is GM, says European Court The European Court of Justice has ruled that genetically...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
Unlike climate change, the negative reaction to GMOs comes largely from the left, and at times resembles a religious movement, more than it does a fact-based, scientifically argued position.
Greek Orthodox Leader Blames Atheist Prime Minister for Deadly Wildfires – Friendly Atheist
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
Yes, and the televangelist Pat Robertson, who is a huge fan of the current irreligious President, said that hurricanes, earthquakes and other natural disasters were God's wrath in direct response to abortionists, gays and lesbians. The orthodox rant that God visits disasters upon innocent people as punishment for their sins makes of their God an immoral monster. Why is it that these horrible crimes seem never to be perpetrated by a devil, but by a punitive, petty, narcissistic God? Is it perhaps because the most outspoken and orthodox are, in character, just like the so-called prophets of old? In other words, they are no different than their God?
National Geographic The religiously unaffiliated, called "nones," are growing significantly.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
I've been seeing this for some time, first noticing it in the lives of my kids, both of whom are unchurched millennials, as are all of their friends. The religious right in America is in the midst of making a desperate play for significance in the public sphere, but even this is a last gasp, as subsequent generations tend to be more skeptical of religious authority, more cosmopolitan in their world views, and in general, more secular in their thinking. It will take a little longer here for the churches to empty, as they have in northern Europe, but it will eventually come to that.
I'm still new here so maybe I'm not acclimated.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
You make a fair point, and if my hostility (as a nullifidian) toward religious faith in general, and organized religion in particular, makes it appear that I am unable to recognize distinctions, I apologize. As many (including yourself) have observed, the category of religion is a very broad term. It is much like the word ‘weapon,’ which ranges from non-lethal (such as pepper spray) to genocidal (hydrogen bomb). That said, nearly every religious system may be weaponized under radical extremism--of course, I'd be less concerned in the presence of an extremist Quaker than I would a radical Islamist.
I think I'm failing at parenting. My kid just turned off Tom Petty to put on Billy Idol. ?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
Seriously? If your kid is listening to Billy Idol (in favor of Tom Petty) he/she is way more retro than most, and you most certainly are not failing. My goal in life was to impress my kids with the music of my youth ... Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, early Genesis and wild and crazy bands like the Tubes. I was blown away when my son bought me tickets to a Dream Theater concert, and my daughter joined a David Bowie cover band in college! The good stuff bridges many generations. And in turn, my kids helped introduce me to Radiohead, Tool and Beck.
Various funnies!
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
Good laughs ... thank you!
Personally, I think Hobbes had it down.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
People need to give up rights? Are you perhaps conflating 'rights' with 'privilege?' If so, I might be persuaded to consider your argument. Can you provide the Hobbesian reference to support your premise? I could not find it. Your final sentence is fodder for another discussion.
Thanks Texas
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
Wait ... isn't the Atheist Experience show headquartered in Austin? Perhaps Matt Dillahunty should invite the Governor onto their show!
So I've been told that I can't enter heaven until Jesus enters me...lmao
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
Well, to be honest, we must also go through him ... at least, according to the gospel of John. "Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'" John 14:6 (NIV) So who's entering whom here, and why does it matter?
Hey everyone.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
Great book by an excellent author ... welcome! Cheers.
Religion is a harmful addiction.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
I find myself in agreement with @RobLes. Religion is the ultimate placebo, which the image you've provide clearly ignores. Karl Marx's 'opiate of the masses' quote comes from a period in history when the throne propped up the altar, and vice versa--the two were in league with one another, and the public were incredibly ignorant and undervalued. Education replaces the need for opiates, and religion begins to fade in significance.
Animals are emotional beings too.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 25, 2018:
Is there any doubt? At this moment, I'm looking into the eyes of my companion animal, a wonderful rescue dog whose been diagnosed with cancer, and who is wasting away before my eyes. And yet, she is still the same friend, the same walking partner, the same family member that we've had for more than 10 years. She is thrilled to see us when we get home, and happy to curl up next to us for a nap. She asks for little, yet gives so much, and our family has been blessed by her in so many ways. On the day I received the news I took this photo of a sign our vet had on the wall ... words that resonate.
GOP Candidate Claims the Founding Fathers Put “One Nation Under God” in the Pledge – Friendly ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
There has to be a point, and trust me, I don't know where exactly it is, when people begin to awaken. A time where those who truly care about the future finally begin rub their eyes and open their ears, and suddenly become aware of the madness that occupies a disproportionate amount of today's headlines. For the past several years I've lowered the bar, but I'm beyond believing that a 'new low' is impossible!
I was watching Jim Jeffries and he made a hilariously good point about circumcision.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
A barbaric custom, particularly when viewed in the light of 1 Samuel 18:27. After all, what is the point? When it comes to this particular topic, both genders have an opinion, and men are particularly sensitive to the input of women as it relates to their desire to possess the so-called 'perfect penis.'
Tired of the religious US? Where would you want to move to?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
I really don't want to move ... I'm f’ing tired of moving. Like @lerlo I would prefer that the changes occur here, in this country, rather than feeling the need to leave. And you know, if the United States could produce Robert Green Ingersoll, the 'Great Agnostic' who filled auditoriums in the late 19th century while railing against religion and a belief in gods, it would seem likely that a Renaissance of unbelief awaits. A hopeful plaintive? Perhaps.
Is gaslighting abuse?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
Your initial question requires no debate. All are aware, or should be, that to manipulate another human being through psychological means that calls into question their own sanity, is inherently wrong.
If you could bring back one atheist who and why me bertrand russell such a nice guy no malice in ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
What? As your question is a non sequitur, please restate it grammatically in English that we may all understand. Perhaps after you've had the opportunity to sober up. Thank you!
Globalization "Globalization is a complicated issue.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
As a child of the 60’s and a huge fan of Gene Roddenberry, I share the vision of a one world government, or ’united Earth.’ Granted, it would seem to take an external threat to unite us, but having lived abroad and visited other continents, I am more aware of our similarities, as opposed to our differences. The world is becoming smaller, and its problems can no longer be firewalled. Even the most vehement xenophobe must come to the realization that, in order to prevent what he/she fears—mass migration—the global community must come together to provide the means required to not only allow all to remain in their place of birth, supporting their family and local community, but to enable them to flourish. This is not a ‘relief effort’ or ‘humanitarian aid’ but a path toward economic independence. There are models of success upon which to build, and we are wasting valuable lives and time waiting for spontaneity. Globalization is not the bogeyman; on the contrary, it is isolationism.
Anyone interested in going for a beer with me?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
Love the pubs in England, tied or free! Wish I could be there now ... cheers!
The Humanist Dilemma: Is Tolerance Intolerable? -
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
“How can we tolerate people whose sincerely held beliefs include the conviction that certain individuals and groups should not flourish or exist because of their race, religion, sexual orientation, political affiliation, position on women’s rights, poverty, etc.—particularly if those people are inclined to act on their beliefs in ways that encroach on our own?” This is a poignant question. And herein lies a paradox—both extremes, it seems to me, view all of this as a zero sum game, and resort to similar tactics to 'hegemonize' their views and to stifle criticism. The far left and far right are closer than those of us who champion reason, moderation and consideration realize. Rather than occupying two ends of a linear spectrum, these extremes are like the two heels of a horseshoe, closer to one another than to the middle.
At what point in your life did you decide religion was a load of horse pucky?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
I was a late bloomer ... about my 50th birthday.
Hiya I'm new to this site.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
So, you're from 'Forney.' Great conversation starter!
This is my understanding.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
I would also add that theists on the whole believe in an interactive god—one who takes an interest in humanity and will, on occasion, act. This I do not believe. But there may also be a ‘middle ground’ in deity ideology: Deism. My avatar, like a number of his Revolutionary contemporaries, was a deist who believed that the creator (or nature's god), having made this universe and the laws governing it, moved on to other things, never to be heard from or observed. Thomas Paine eschewed all faiths. To him, religion was a fabrication of man, utterly lacking in moral authority, and it is left entirely up to people to right wrongs and make a better world. Consider a world of Deism without holy books, no prophets, no doctrines or creeds, no miracles and no clergy. Now I could live with that!
Anybody else put their head in their hands and just say ‘how can this be possible’ whenever they...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
Historians of the future may look back at the collective wisdom of Ken Ham, Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron, to name a few, and marvel at its breathtaking absurdity.
I have noticed some incredibly sloppy and prejudiced thought on this site lately.
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
So, a message like this may be interpreted in several ways, and reminds me of the teacher who scolds the entire class for the behavior of a few. In the absence of specifics, all are inclined to dismiss the admonishment, including those to whom the reproach was made. The bottom line here is this: please endeavor to practice what you preach. Sloppy is as sloppy does.
Was there Russian collusion?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
I have yet to see any hard, scientific data on the risks of GMOs, and am inclined to group the anti-GMO crowd with the anti-vax'ers. That said, while the jury is still out on 'collusion,' we need not waste our time debating over Russian attempts to interfere in our elections. For me at least, I see no reason to connect the two issues in this manner.
Artificial Intelligence Shows Why Atheism Is Unpopular - The Atlantic
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
Interesting! In Europe, attitudes toward diversity and pluralism are being reexamined, due to the influx of migrant refugees. Meanwhile, the US has shown its anti-pluralism colors of late, but is also deficient in education and, worse, appears to champion this deficiency. Of all the statistics gathered during the 2016 election cycle, the one that struck me was the association between educational level and the party / candidate one voted for. In each case, the difference was greater than 2:1. Since when did it become elitist to aspire to higher education?
How old were you when you lost your faith? (If this applies of course)
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
I was a late bloomer ... somewhere around the age of 50.
Not religious, but spiritual? Really?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
The problem we may have here is that we're working with a limited vocabulary. When you only have one word for something, you're unlikely to have a nuanced conversation. For instance, when I gaze through my telescope at our 'neighbor' Andromeda, and consider that the photons touching my eye took 2.5 million years to reach me, or when I look at a nebula which resulted from a supernova, and realize that such explosions were necessary to provide the building blocks of life, I feel deeply and 'spiritually' connected to the universe. Until such time as a better word may arise, I have no problem using 'spiritual' to describe those moments of awe and wonder I have about the natural world.
If Jesus was a real person, was he the first magician?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
Long before the invention of organized religion, there were (and still are) shamans, or what were pejoratively called 'witch doctors.' It would seem likely that these were among the first 'magicians.'
Assuming the Christian god were real, and his biblical description is accurate; how is it that an ...
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 24, 2018:
Those are some extreme assumptions, but suffice to say, an omnipotent entity could pretty much do anything it wishes, right? As I see it, the Christian faith is founded on three moral outrages which pretty much scandalize the entire enterprise: 1. That guilt can be inherited, or passed down to later generations. The concept of original sin rests on the hideous notion that we all bear the stain of Adam's choice to eat an apple! Seriously? By what right does a church make such an immoral assertion and insist that we are born with this impurity? 2. That a substitute may be inserted to serve in the place of the guilty. The Christian belief rests on the story of an innocent person being sentenced to death in order to 'atone' for the ‘sins’ of all. What would we say today if, at the public execution of a convicted murderer, the governor were to accept the offer of substitution by an innocent citizen with a death wish? “Well,” says the governor, “a murder was committed and somebody has to pay, so it might as well be you.” And yet such absurdity is foundational to the Christian system. 3. That a deity or supernatural being would debauch a teenage maiden in order to produce a half-man, half-god ‘savior of mankind.’ Of all the absurdities found in religion, this story is by far the most inane. Gods mating with humans? How original! And what, after all, are the genetic constituents here? What would a paternity test have revealed? What, after all, is in a god’s DNA? And so it is upon these three absurd, immoral and indefensible principles that the Christian faith was founded. And the faithful wonder why so many have chosen to walk away.
The Age of American Unreason in a Culture of Lies
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 23, 2018:
I have Susan Jacoby's original Age of American Unreason, as well as her book Freethinkers. She's an excellent author.
Could Obama run again in 2020?
p-nullifidian comments on Jul 23, 2018:
The 22nd Amendment would prevent this.
Agnostic, Atheist, Humanist, Secularist, Skeptic, Freethinker
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