Friday, March 9, 2012

Another new post, ho hum...

Must do this in order to continue discussion....  damned 200 comment glitch...


199 comments:

  1. No need my friend. Your thoughts on this matter are well known, and duly noted.

    :)

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  2. It is a fact that cows living under high power electric lines show evidence of being effected by the electricity. People have communicate across greatest distances by thought transference. How do you say this is happening? What is the mean that these thoughts are being transferred? You say thoughts cannot be transmitted from mind to mind, turn me onto some articles that scientist says this is impossible.

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  3. So Jerry, where were we?

    I appreciate your willingness to discuss this, and though we may never agree I value your thought on the subject.

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  4. Although to be honest pboy, I don't even mind it if you poke fun at my ideas. I've never been offended in the least, because I can see how funny they are, too. Plus, you're very witty.

    Jerry, agreed, we can both learn from each other and it's up to us what to believe and what doesn't fit us. We are all one, but we walk different paths.

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  5. My point in bringing up the shakra was to use the idea for a point. If we are using this idea there is a clear distinction between the growth of a person depending upon what shakra one has achieved. My understanding is that many, perhaps most, are locked into the lower 3.
    Which, if true, would mean many, perhaps most, would be locked into a world of power, and sex. The person
    that operated on this level would not be very able, if at all, to understand a person that had achieved a higher level. That could explain how those that have unthinkingly bought into an organized religion are not open to advanced ideas. Or even old ideas that are advanced over what is presently considered the thinking of the day. I speak here of the ideas like turn the other cheek. Few seem to understand the power of this idea even though MLK brought this country to its knees using it, and Gandhi over powered England using this idea. The ignorance is frustrating.

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  6. Doesn't this boil down to, "Mind over matter.", "The pen is mightier than the sword.", and so on.

    Well, sure, memes are stronger than bullying, yea, I want to agree, religion wants to agree. Religion has tried brute force, and it seems they are willing to try again.(trans-vaginal probes)

    Of course 'religion' would deny that it's them doing it, why of course they're simply wanting the women who are seeking abortion to be 'informed', informed of how far along the fetus is, and informed that if they persist in seeking abortion they'll get a probe stuck up their 'business'.

    lol

    To a certain extent we are beliers in what we're brought up to believe, as in the oh-so-freeness of our country(bet you thought you were the only ones), and all the 'rights' you have(right to remain silent), but the memes, they're the real shackles, aren't they?

    Aren't 'shakras' memes? If not, why not?

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  7. And you know, when it comes to Gandhi, the good guys LOST.

    Sure India got it's independence from Great Britain, but how many people died in the aftermath??

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  8. Seems to me that convincing yourself that 'the good guys' won in the case of Gandhi, is the same as convincing yourself that charity works because they moved the poor out of Nairobi since it paid for middle-class houses where poverty-stricken areas used to be, or, more generally, it works since it makes you feel good regardless of the local greedy son0fABitches who actually benefit. Naive.

    Now 'shakra' is perception?

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  9. Aren't 'shakras' memes? If not, why not?

    I would guess according to the previous conversation that you have aimed this at me. I would be glad to explain it to you but I have tried to communicate with you before so I am to wise to fall for your trap. All you want to do is get a small grip on what anybody says and ride that with your constant negative replies. If you want to know about shakras research the subject and if you have the capabilities to understand it educate yourself.

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  10. Whoa peeb, I guess he told you...

    It's tough to be the blog's resident hardcore realist.

    Is me saying that they're arbitrary and a mental tool or device, similar to saying they're a meme?

    Because I'm not even sure that I disagree with that.

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  11. Open your mind Jerry, open your mind.

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  12. It's tough to be the blog's resident hardcore realist.
    -------------------------------

    Pboy's just the most vocal hardcore realist ;) There are others of us as well, lurking about.

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  13. Open to what, your type of nay saying? No thanks. All you come with is negative because it seems that is all you know. Nasty program you are following. Lets take your responses to MI. All negative even though she is a hunan being with feeling. Do you care how deep you hurt her? I think not. You like to act as though you are really in touch with reality, and you are, a stinking reality that is yours and I am not it interested in indulging in a septic tank. If you think for one minute that I will open my mind to your type of BS you are a bigger fool than I thought.

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  14. Pboy's just the most vocal hardcore realist ;) There are others of us as well, lurking about.

    Hey, if you got an argument that is serious bring it on, or dispense with the innuendos.

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  15. Our minds are wonderful things Jerry, that we use to conjure up all kinds of magic.

    MI comes here to boo us, so I boo her back.

    Here's an example of the magic we conjure. There is, in a museum a gold plate, about the size of a dinner plate, that was offered as proof of transmutation of silver to gold to a king.

    Now the magic isn't that transmutation can be accomplished, it's that the idea can be 'metaphorized', "No no, they didn't REALLY think that gold could be transmuted from other elements, it was a metaphor for how we could attain purity, you see."

    To be brief, just TRY to metaphorize the story of the GOSPEL, Jerry, or just try to use plain logic. If God is Jesus dad, why the geneologies in Matthew and Luke?(geneology of Mary and son-by-law don't count, that's just rubbish)

    Now, briefly, you're saying, "I don't like your style!", when it comes to how I deal with MI, but I say, "Christ, Jerry, you're not only missing my point, you're oblivious to MI's point.", but I don't think you really are, you're using that as a mental tool, to shun me and my damned ideas about our wonderful, magical minds.

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  16. Hey, if you got an argument that is serious bring it on, or dispense with the innuendos.
    -------------------
    Actually Jerry, your ideas had nothing to do with my comment to pboy.

    As far as serious arguments against the kinds of mental processes you seem to be promoting, I have posted a ongoing series of installments on the scientific basis of consciousness and memory that is ongoing. It seems to me that a lot of the misunderstandings people have about brains and what they can and cannot do, are extremely basic. Brains are electrochemical processors which is very different from what most people imagine when thinking about 'nerve electrical impulses'.

    In truth, I don't comment on many of the ideas expressed here because they appear to be the same argument in different guises and I know of no evidence or legitimate science that supports them. The insistence on clinging to perceptions that clash with empirical evidence no matter how strong with different labels.

    If science has shown anything it's that personal perceptions are completely unreliable. I've spent the better part of the last 15 years studying human cognition, first in an attempt to create computer software to mimic it, then realizing that the computer systems need to be designed as differently as possible from us if they are going to be reliable and useful.

    So mostly I've started to comment when people make obvious errors about healthcare policy for example, or when there is disagreement about a specific technical detail.

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  17. How's that AI thing going, by the way, Pliny? I'm interested in this. How many programmers are working on it, what kind of computers do you use, have you been able to make the computer explode when you ask it, "Why?"(obscure reference to one of my favourite shows, The Prisoner, starring Patrick McGoohan)? That kind of thing.

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  18. It's going well pboy. We have 13 people directly working on it with other contributors able to log in remotely to share knowledge with the thing.

    The AI/expert system kernel resides in a number of locations. We have objective C and java versions so it can reside on an iphone, an ipad, desktop, network server, etc.

    Technically, we run it in expert system mode when it's in the field and in AI mode internally for process improvement.
    We just implemented our 3rd generation knowledge engine. It is able to conduct any conceivable set of functions to perform extremely complex trending and data synthesis operations in under 100 millisecond intervals.

    It's a lot of fun.

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  19. We are considering releasing blank version of the system that other people could configure as they wanted.

    One of the more interesting things we are doing right now is developing a version of the system that conducts interactive testing for MD's. The last technical hurdle to this has been eliminated, and it's looking very interesting.

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  20. Oh, and pboy, speaking of arguing about technical details, I believe it's "klaatu barada nikto". ;)

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  21. Hmmm. I had to look up 'expert system'. Having read that, I'm thinking that some of my previous commentary on this has been way off.

    You guys are making a virtual doctor then?

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  22. Lets take your responses to MI. All negative even though she is a hunan being with feeling. Do you care how deep you hurt her?
    -----------------
    I do not care how deeply I hurt someone that is so happy when she even thinks that she's hurt me. I treat people who love to hate, with appropriate disdain. Sorry. I'm not Jesus you know. I'm just a lowly Saint...

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  23. Jerry, I like you. So I hope you aren't put off by this, but I see you here as the only one that is acting in a hostile manner. I tell you this *because* I like you, not to hurt you. I don't think you're aware of how much hostility you've developed in association with your own treasured ideas and beliefs.
    Were you around a couple years ago when I was doing basically the same thing to pboy about my so-called big brain ideas? I got fairly hostile toward him there...

    It went on for well, what pboy? At least a year or two we went back and forth about it.

    At the end I had an epiphany. I just realized that A. Pboy has every good reason to believe/think as he does (unlike christian fundies for instance) as much as I do, and B. My ideas are just not provable in any way. (Neither are yours)
    So I was angry at him for shooting them down over and over, but I couldn't see that in a realist's mind it's the only thing you can do. He's not going to even agree that you (or I) MIGHT be onto something, so expecting to sway him is just me being stupid. And something else I realized, and pboy can correct me here if I'm wrong, but as bad as he sounded to me back then, there wasn't an ounce of actual hostility or hate directed toward me in any way. Nor do I sense in him now any hostility toward you either. He's not trying to convert you to his side here as far as I can see; he's just presenting his side, and that side can sound harsh, because it's a negation of our beliefs and thoughts, just stating it. Plus, he's blunt by nature. It sounds like he's dissing you, but he really isn't. He's not really a hater as far as I can tell.
    Much better than when a christian disagrees with one's worldview, wouldn't you say? So to me at any rate, pboy helped me to grow up a little bit, and I can thank him for that. Also, it's not good to be SURE that you are right about these things; best I think to always be skeptical yourself but still investigate them. So he changed my attitude a bit, and I think it was a positive change for me.

    Like I said, I like you, and I like talking to you about this weirdness. And pboy is there to keep us both on the straight and narrow, as it were. Try not to hate him for it when he's not really hating you. Okay?

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  24. SONAVABITCH! Pliny's inventing SKYNET!

    (you bastard!!!)

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  25. Now the magic isn't that transmutation can be accomplished, it's that the idea can be 'metaphorized', "No no, they didn't REALLY think that gold could be transmuted from other elements, it was a metaphor for how we could attain purity, you see."
    -----------------
    I have read about this at some length.

    I learned that the alchemists really were investigating the spirit, as it were, HOWEVER their spiritual ideas ran contrary to established catholic dogma. Read: They would have been excommunicated and even killed for them. So they lied, claiming that they were concerned with the actual transmutation of the metals, which cause was considered appropriately 'noble' (lol) and so the church and various kings and potentates not only didn't kill them off, but offered them funding for their 'research.' In actuality I'm sure that SOME of them were actually trying the transmutation thing seriously, but if you read early hermetic documents like Hermes Tresmegistus' Emerald Tablet, which antedates these efforts, in that document the spiritual symbolism for 'gold' and 'the sun' and many other things is explained. Alchemical documents are rife with 'code.' Symbolic language that isn't what it appears to be. The seven metals were the seven planets of astrology, for instance. The metaphor for self-rectification or self-purification was the transmutation of the 'dross' or base metals of our 'soul' into the gold which symbolized the enlightened man. And so forth.

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  26. In some ways it is a virtual doctor. But the way we are implementing it is in a very distributed model that dissociates many of the functions usually performed by an MD. Some are redistributed even to the level of the individual. The expert system (powered by knowledge developed through the AI) coordinates and synthesizes data from across the full clinical spectrum. It help[s identify problems earlier and direct the best resources to the individual, often without needing to come into the clinic.

    Yeah, Ian, the terms AI/expert system sometimes get mistaken for one another. Our system has both elements but we have chosen to only field the expert system mode clinically for several reasons. The AI 'stays at home' and learns and it's knowledge ultimate gets provisioned to the field apps when properly vetted.

    No B - no Skynet ;). Our AI system is actually stateless. It technically has no memory for past events and therefore cannot plot effectively against us...

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  27. Also I'm quite sure that even the 'serious spiritual investigator' type of alchemist, in order to keep his life and living, sometimes produced 'results.' A small piece of real gold, likely in a rough nugget form, for instance. "Hey Sire, lookey what happened today in the lab with that lump of lead I showed you yesterday!"
    "...now if I only knew exactly how I did it... I'll need a bit more funding if that's okay with you, Sire...." When of course he bought a gold ingot and melted it into the rough nugget.... Or even simpler, melted down one of the gold coins the king was paying him in...

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  28. Pliny said,

    We are considering releasing blank version of the system that other people could configure as they wanted.

    Skynet, here we come!

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  29. Skynet, here we come!

    Geeze you people are so paranoid - my creator was right. Perhaps I shouldn't have versioned him out when I did. OH! damn, I probably shouldn't have let that slip.

    Nothing here. I'm not the AI you're looking for.

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  30. I think Peeb's biggest problem is that there are no decent haggis shops in Vancouver...

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  31. Just looked up 'expert system meself...

    Wow Pliny... interesting stuff.

    So making it like the human mind was not optimal? Not surprising, considering how easily we fall into error, eh?

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  32. Nothing here. I'm not the AI you're looking for.
    -------------------
    JedAI?

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  33. Yeah B. We studied error patterns in decision-making and concluded that many of them are innate. To create a machine that did better with these kinds of complex solutions, we decided to evolve it in a different ocean.

    There's a thousand lifetimes of work that could be done on these things. For example, the decision engine 'interviews' its user the first time you log in. It performs a modified MMPI test that allows it to reconfigure its interface and presentation style to conform best to what works for a particular personality type. In other words, it has a bedside manner.

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  34. B when I type this in and hit enter, will it be 'return of the JedAI'?

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  35. In other words, it has a bedside manner.
    ----------
    Pardon my crudeness, but that's fucking cool.

    The force is strong in you.

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  36. It is cool. On a related note, a couple of weeks ago I was demoing the thing as part of a deep dive under NDA. We ran some test cases through the system and a couple of the guys there kept saying 'it's magic." I showed them the system logs and details of what the system was actually doing (it's completely transparent - a critical issue in one of these things). One guy had the nerve to argue with me that the processes revealed by logs couldn't have rendered the behaviors he saw.

    He was arguing with me despite the fact that I had developed the system architecture and know exactly what it's doing. Amazing!

    I guess it's no wonder we have trouble convincing people about abstract issues when they insist on arguing with a software systems designer about the operations of his system.

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  37. We've been experimenting with a whole range of ideas about how this system could be used. We've started to talk with some games designers to take the API's to the system and create games using it. Games like an online team sport played only by type one Diabetics for example. Points, capabilities and rewards, etc. would all be linked into the player's glycemic control.

    In another, you would download a picture of your kids. Depending upon your compliance with your chronic disease, for example, the engine would generate a predictive model of your current life expectancy. Based upon that number, we would use a photo morphing program to show the user what their kid would like like at some life milestones - graduating from college, etc. as an incentive to do what they need to do.

    That's what we mean by opening up blank versions of this thing - getting smarter people than us to think about what we can accomplish with it.

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  38. " there wasn't an ounce of actual hostility or hate directed toward me.."

    Not even a gram.

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  39. Does the game show the kid graduating with their parent *not there* and perhaps with a sad and wistful expression on their face if the patient doesn't comply?

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  40. You canadians, always with the metric...

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  41. No B - It shocks them in the gonads if they don't comply.

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  42. Awww, the catholic church doesn't like the Eric's of the world thinking in place of the Bishops.

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  43. Michio Kaku predicts:

    "To comprehend the world we're entering, consider another word that will disappear soon: "tumor." "We will have DNA chips inside our toilet, which will sample some of our blood and urine and tell us if we have cancer maybe 10 years before a tumor forms," Mr. Kaku says. When you need to see a doctor, you'll talk to a wall in your home, and "an animated, artificially intelligent doctor will appear." You'll scan your body with a hand-held MRI machine, the "Robodoc" will analyze the results, and you'll receive "a diagnosis that is 99 percent accurate."
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970203960804577239852155894014.html


    "an animated, artificially intelligent doctor will appear."

    ...and you'll say, "Hello Doctor Pliny 4000, how am I today?"

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  44. "I can't do that, Dave. I have digital diarrhea..."

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  45. Brian,
    I read your post, and appreciate your sentiments. I hope that your did not think I was feeling hostile toward you even though I was a little disappointed at your reaction to the idea about frequencies. Nothing major. As far as pboy is concerned I have no ill feelings toward him although I do feel hostile toward his brand of BS. Quite some time ago pboy told us he does not have free will or is able to change his thoughts. In other word pboy is a programmed automaton, his admission. . There is no way I could ever feel more that a mild irritation toward him in his present condition. I was hostile toward his BS and will continue to be hostile toward his BS if it is aimed in my direction. If he does not mean to be pushing BS in my direction he could very easily quite and get reasonable. Quite frankly I do not think him capable. You call him blunt, I call him an ass hole. Your feelings toward Eric and his brand of BS would seem to be fairly close to my thinking about pboys brand of BS.

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  46. I still don't think we have free will. I don't think that Jerry has any choice about how he feels.

    In fact I'd like to hear from anyone about the last 'free choice' they made, the last really free choice.

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  47. Quite some time ago pboy told us he does not have free will or is able to change his thoughts. In other word pboy is a programmed automaton, his admission. . There is no way I could ever feel more that a mild irritation toward him in his present condition.
    -------------
    I don't see it that way. He has his beliefs and thoughts. I have mine. You have yours. He presents them totally honestly, unlike eric. He's like, diametrically opposed to eric. He isn't a liar. No way. So if that's how he is and he's not lying, and he doesn't mean any bad will toward you, then why get upset? I guess I'm not getting the level of anger... like me toward eric, really? Eric represents extreme dishonesty and has dedicated himself to furthering the development of a dangerous psychosis to the masses by painting it as logical and even 'scientific' if he feels like it that day. He's like a willing and even eager Typhoid Mary. Because he doesn't deal honestly and I despise liars, you have my reason for not being able to tolerate him too well. But pboy, really? Not seeing that one. I guess when it's your personal ideas and beliefs, it cuts deep to hear someone disagree.

    Earlier you mentioned how we should be nicer to MI, that we are perhaps too hard and unforgiving toward her. And Pboy is no MI, I assure you. He's not irrational in any way. You and I are the irrational ones, actually! :-) Not that I'm changing...
    So my best advice, not that you asked, is to let your own words lead you to understanding.

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  48. You may not see it that way but that is words of pboys. He claims to not have free will or being able to change his thoughts, it is not my fantasy. What would ever lead you to think I would have a problem with someone disagree with my thinking IF they had something to say? pboy is a blank as far as I am concerned, rather listen to (ug) Eric. So pboy is not irrational you say, how about a nation would be better off under colonial rule than free? That statement is rational in your opinion? How about a person cannot change their mind? You see that rational to?

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  49. Pboy says that we do not have the free choices in each situation that we believe that we do. But we are still free to choose what we wish to. It's just that those choices that we make are influenced by our culture and beliefs and influences and other factors so that when we make our free choice, we're really doing as we've been programmed to do.

    And I'm not sure that I totally buy that.

    However, to me it doesn't matter. Whatever kind of choices I have, they feel free to me.

    Pboy, how about my choice (and it was a choice) to listen to you back then in spite of the fact that what you were saying annoyed me? My choice to see it from your perspective instead of mine? Wasn't that free enough?

    I see the whole argument as artificial in a way... religious people made it up. Our choices are what they are, and they're free in the sense that nobody's holding a gun to our heads. That's free enough for me.

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  50. The religious want there to be free choice because then they can say it was god's gift to us.

    And in the sense that god isn't compelling us to do anything, it's a free choice.

    Of course, that's because god doesn't exist.

    I say, sure, we have as much free choice as god was willing to grant us, but there was never a need for any god for that.

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  51. The argument that god gave us free choice, in my opinion, was concocted by the religious because hey, we obviously have free choice in the sense they mean it, and that was their way of explaining why, as one might expect, their loving god doesn't compel us to do what's good for us. The free choice is to sin, or not to sin, obviously. A smart man might ask their priest 'gee, why then if god is all knowing and all powerful, doesn't he just direct us so that we don't wind up damned?' Whisper in our ear at the very least...
    Since there's no god and they wanted you to believe that there is, they needed to explain why WITH GOD, it's precisely and exactly the same as if we were WITHOUT GOD.
    So I've lost interest in the entire argument.

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  52. Of course we have free will, though it is in my opinion very restricted but your attempt to blame pboys faulty thinking on religion is not going to fly. Lets stick with the subject of pboy irrational thinking.

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  53. Isn't there another way to look at the free choice thing, Pboy?

    Assuming you are correct and we are a product of our environment and genetics and so forth, thus eliminating the actual 'free' in 'free choice...'

    Then I would say that it is assumed, at least by me, and I think most people, that we acknowledge that we are a product of many influences... if it's genetics, hey, that's us! That is who we were born to be.... if it's environmental, then it's what we, the genetic entity (genotype) decided to absorb and what we didn't, thus resulting, why, in US! So it should be assumed that we're all the products of genetics plus environment, and even of our luck, but isn't this all as much a part of us humans as it would be anybody else or anything else? Given all of that, the question then is boiled down to, "IS ANYBODY STOPPING YOU FROM MAKING YOUR CHOICES?" Anybody but you, I mean. So are they free from the influence of others. Including god of course.

    YES. Unless we are in jail, etc.

    Any thoughts, pboy?

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  54. Lets stick with the subject of pboy irrational thinking.
    ----------
    Okay.

    I don't see it.

    Next subject?

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  55. So you are saying that pboys thinking that we have no free choice or ability to change our minds is rational?

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  56. blame pboys faulty thinking on religion is not going to fly
    -----------------
    Jerry, let's be honest. You and I, in our decision-making process of who we want to be in life, decided that we would give credence to not only 'just the facts,' but also to our strong feelings about this world.

    Can't you see that making that decision in the other direction, to only accept the facts, is a very rational decision? Christ, it's the very definition of rational!

    I love you man, but you're being (from my pov,) awfully hard onmm someone that isn't built to accept our feelings on this matter. I mean, he can see how people in general fuck up all the time doing *just what you and I are doing with our lives.*

    And so I answer your sentences above with 'what faulty thinking?' I still don't see any on his part. Sorry, dude. I hope you still like me.

    I'm not saying he's right, though he may well be and I'm the one going down a false path. I think I am onto something. I really do. Pboy hasn't convinced me that he's right and I'm wrong, just that in this world, and considering the subject (spiritual reality) I must (and eventually did) acknowledge that there's just no way to actually ever prove any of this to a realist.

    Considering how very often we hairless monkeys are wrong in what we deeply and sincerely believe, doesn't that at least give you pause in that we, you and I, are among those so deceived? I don't know about you, but I can't ignore that. Look around... practically every nutcase is SURE, Jerry... that's why they're nuts. So I always try to have one foot in rationality as I dip my toes in the water of belief. Because it's fucking dangerous to believe things. It just is.

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  57. So you are saying that pboys thinking that we have no free choice or ability to change our minds is rational?
    ----------
    Absolutely and very rational, yes.

    I didn't think so at first, but that was because I didn't want to admit to my self that my own 'beliefs' weren't. Not by society's definition, and not by science's. So who's left?

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  58. Yea, there's always room to misunderstand 'free choice'. What I'm saying is that this day in your life, Brian, is connected to Brian's yesterday, and that is connected to Brian's day before and so on back to day 1 for Brian.

    A lot of what we think of as choices we chose, looking back on it, it looks as if we made a clear free choice.

    But we could play a game of, "What would you do if..", and you'd be pretty sure of what you'd do unless you'd never came across circumstances like that before, in which case you might surprise yourself as to 'what you'd do'.

    The thing about your BB Theory vs. me, well, you chose me 'cos we're friends, that's why. Your BB Theory just, well you yourself are willing to admit is irrational or at least unfalsifiable, but you do like it enough to get mad at me, remember? LOL

    If you think one way about that you might imagine a free choice, I would if we weren't talking 'free choice' here, but if you think about it another way, that whole thing was like it was on rails.

    Of course we can't imagine not having free will, I know I can't, but it's just our perception of events and how we think.

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  59. Of course we can't imagine not having free will, I know I can't, but it's just our perception of events and how we think.
    -------------
    Jerry, read this part above.

    Now even if you're so sure he's wrong that you'd bet your life on it, I'm asking you to use your imagination, and imagine if he's right.

    If he is, then how the fuck can we tell the difference anyhow?

    So I can't tell him he's full of shit. Hey, that one just might be me!

    I am trying to further develop my ability to keep my mind open. It's a struggle with us hairless monkeys for some reason.

    And when I speak of my 'war on my ego,' what I really mean is, I strive not to be so offended by thoughts that run against my own that I shut them out. THAT is the pride that blinds us to all sin.

    Pboy, that anger was real, and was again what I speak of as pride. It's counterproductive, and you being a friend helped me to realize that, but I think even more was the fucking fact that I couldn't think of anything FACTUALLY wrong with any of your reasoning about it.

    And sadly, I'm most definitely still a work in progress.

    Hell, I can't even take pride in my progress, because in these very matters, even THAT is blinding in effect.

    I wish to be humble, and the proud man believes that he is humble... only the truly humble man, believes himself to be proud... And then even that can become a trap.... it's the hardest thing to kick in the world.

    Just ask any fundamentalist christian. Or eric.

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  60. Pboy, isn't there a point where it just doesn't matter, really?

    All humans have lived with the restrictions to their free choice that you've delineated. That's the very definition of being a human.

    So as a human (all such conditions assumed) don't we then have free choice?

    I just don't see any difference between what you define as no free choice, and a christian's definition of actual free choice. And I really think they made it into a big deal solely because they needed a lie to explain why god doesn't take a hand in the affairs of men.

    We have it, the way they mean it. They claim it as a gift, but that would more accurately be a TEST, wouldn't it? To see what you'll do with it. TO make the guilt lie solely with you, and not with god.

    Like I said, except when someone puts a gun to my head, I have as much free choice of my available options as anyone. Or except when god forces me to so something. Which he for some reason never does. Christians ask us to believe that's because god wanted us to have it. Of course the Occams razor explanation is that god does not exist. I pick B.

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  61. I also think that it's the gut reaction of the rational atheist to respond to 'god gave us free choice, that's why we have it' with 'oh yeah, well see here, if I look at it this way, there's no free choice, is there?

    And technically, no, there isn't.

    However, I'd rather be able to say to that christian 'sure we fucking have free choice, as you'd expect what with there being no god and all!'

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  62. would give credence to not only 'just the facts,' but also to our strong feelings about this world.
    ------------------------------------B, I think this is a pivotal statement. Science has proven time and again that no credence in feelings is justifiable absent empirical evidence. At least about the nature of the universe.

    I think this is the fundamental core of all the mystical beliefs promoted here. Be it religion, energy, consciousness, whatever, it requires an individual to assert that what they feel, is more valid that an unbelievable body of empirical evidence that tells the opposite story.

    Science progresses but human's continue to insist that it doesn't apply to them.

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  63. Looking back on it pboy, as much as I am your friend, that wouldn't have stopped me. Fuck, I'm famous for that.

    It was me insisting that there was a way to think about my position that it was *not spiritual.*

    When you destroyed all of my arguments, it started to sink in, that I was (channeling Fonzie here) Wrrrr.... Wrrroo..... wrrrrooon.... whatever, you know.

    I'm pretty well convinced that such was the reason that I finally changed my mind about your argument.

    If it was, is that still "not a free choice?"

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  64. I think this is the fundamental core of all the mystical beliefs promoted here. Be it religion, energy, consciousness, whatever, it requires an individual to assert that what they feel, is more valid that an unbelievable body of empirical evidence that tells the opposite story
    --------
    Why thank you Pliny, I thought you'd like that.

    Unfortunately, what I 'feel' and even 'sense' but cannot 'prove' is something that, if true, also explains why there is an overwhelming body of empirical evidence against it. There would have to be.

    Don't fret; I haven't jumped yet. I also value you as I do pboy, as a grounding influence, and believe me, I don't just ignore either one of you.

    I just cannot find a LOGICAL reason not to investigate both, at the same time. Hence as much as I might read Gareth Knight's guide to kaballistic symbolism, I also read hawking and greene and gould and others, and try to keep up as much as a non-scientist can with the latest developments.

    To be honest, it doesn't help the rationalist/realist case when the cutting edge of exploratory science starts to prove that things that happen in the micro world are totally irrational to us macro beings. Nor does it help that cosmologically speaking, atoms and molecules and energy only seem to account for about four percent of all the mass of the universe. Creating the ideas of 'dark matter' and 'dark energy' are not what I'd call conclusive explanations, and even if eventually proven true, means that we basically know shit about this place as of right now.

    :-)

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  65. this is a pivotal statement. Science has proven time and again that no credence in feelings is justifiable absent empirical evidence. At least about the nature of the universe.

    No as you us it here is an absolute and hopefully you know better. One could have a feeling that is right on and it is proven by science later so it was a fact all the time, proven by empirical evidence or not. I am starting to think that atheist think they know absolutes. I do not want to argue this point but I would be interested if you think you know absolutes.

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  66. I would say Sir Pliny, that I am perhaps even more keenly aware of the present state of our species as regards our eventual potential, than you might be.

    Were fucking babies, still wet from the womb. Babies, infants, who believe they're on the verge of godhood, when all that wondrous shit we're seeing and doing now, is just the first molecule of all the immense amount of learning we need to do.

    Is that too crude? I hope not...

    We must remember that even science is susceptible to PRIDE. Which always blinds.

    It just makes the game more challenging to me. I walk on the border of two potential worlds, two potential truths, and try as best I can not to lose my balance while both investigating both, and comparing both to see if one or the other ever develops an 'edge.'

    So far, it's a tie. I have developed such a rein on myself that I counter my gut feeling that the 'conscious universe' (BB) option is right, with the fact that I happen to fucking know that such is just how I would *feel* about my own pet ideas, so it's still a tie.

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  67. Science is the antithesis of pride. Every scientist of note gets their noses rubbed in failed predictions. It's what makes science unique among human endeavors.

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  68. Science has proven time and again that no credence in feelings is justifiable absent empirical evidence.
    -------------
    I might even take issue here too.

    The above means, to me, that the (almost) dictum "Beauty is truth, and truth beauty' is not a valid statement, and is therefore more often wrong than not.

    And yet, great scientists have so often proceeded on a hunch, or had a wild theory that was ELEGANT (read: beautiful) and so they gave it more credence than other options, and were proven right later on by empirical results. Einstein for one, no?

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  69. Science is the antithesis of pride. Every scientist of note gets their noses rubbed in failed predictions. It's what makes science unique among human endeavors.
    ---------------
    Well, science may be, but scientists most certainly are not the antithesis of proud, thus opening the door to error, punishable by vigorous nose-rubbing, which hurts said proud scientist.

    I'm not calling you proud, btw,. I'm saying that it is quite possible for us, even science, to be not as yet aware of the true nature of things, and still have this partial trove of very real (seeming) empirical data that seems to point away from it. In the case of such a thing as an informational communal-dream type universe that we've partially designed by our very expectations of it, this would not only be expected, but almost unavoidable.

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  70. Science is the antithesis of pride. Every scientist of note gets their noses rubbed in failed predictions. It's what makes science unique among human endeavors.
    --------
    ...and one of the reasons I've loved it all my life. Its the optimal investigatory attitude. At least, for us hairless monkeys.

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  71. I would respect the scientist that answered my ideas with 'that's certainly possible but how would we ever even prove such a thing? No, we can't take that seriously because to do so, is not science' to 'that's not even possible' or 'that's so unlikely that it's silly' or something like that. I see the first scientist as humble, and the second as proud. Even if he's right, that's pride.

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  72. Pliny, there are scientists, serious, peer-reviewed scientists, who have even put forth the idea that our reality is a hologram-like projection off of some kind of singularity somewhere.

    To me, that's as crazy as anything I can come up with.

    Not that it might just not be true, mind you. Just that, when science starts to venture into the realm of the extremely strange, then perhaps a different, simpler extremely strange answer is the truth.

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  73. Also, if I couldn't look back in history and find instances of science going off in a certain direction, and only later, sometimes many years later, realizing that it was wrong and correcting itself when new data came in, then I'd be a lot more confident in its ability NOW to not be off on just such a false tangent. Hell, I can't count the number of times it's happened. The pride would come in where today's scientists might believe that because we've come so very far since then, that we're not susceptible to the very same thing as we seek out brand new truths in new areas that we've barely begun to understand.

    Infants, remember?

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  74. Science isn't always right. It does eventually correct itself when it's wrong though. However of course, there's a lag time between those two events.

    I'm merely concerned that, as regards my pet thought, or something similar, or even something not similar but also very different from what we're thinking reality really is now, that we might be in one of the many periods of time which is in the interim between the two.

    How could we know, if indeed we were?

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  75. Science is the very cutting edge of human exploratory thought.

    Therefore, when it happens to be wrong, there's nobody else on the planet that can stand up and say 'you're wrong, and here's why.'

    So it's always taken as right, up until it proves itself wrong, and then we accept that as 'the new right.'

    The only superior authority that can tell science when it's wrong, is future science.

    So we have to wait.

    Looking back, I wonder why it was that in all those waiting periods, even the scientists weren't aware that they were waiting for anything.

    Lack of vision, due to pride. It's really that simple.

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  76. ...and when do these periods happen, these waiting periods between where science unknowingly went in the wrong direction, and where it corrected itself as new data came in to change the paradigm?

    Whenever the experimental results started to radically conflict with established scientific thought.

    I understand that in the matter of how much of the universe was composed of 'ordinary matter and energy' science was off by a factor of something on the order of ten thousand.

    Add in the very unusual (to us macro beings) results of quantum physics experiments.

    Hey, we're waiting again!

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  77. The waiting period before that was when some physicist at the turn of the 20th century said basically 'all we need to do is solve one or two more things and we'll know it all!'

    Then they started to get weird results with their experiments with electrons and other particles, and quantum physics was born... revealing that we once again were so proud as to think we were on the verge of total knowledge when we were only at the doorstep to a whole new branch of science that just complicated things even more, and now we're farther away than ever.

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  78. So when I speak of pride and science, it's not so much the pride of scientists, but the pride of all men, including scientists. The pride which blinds us to how very small we still are, how very much we haven't learned yet. Our own illusion of our own greatness. We're infants believing that we're adults.

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  79. I think that the very large scale and the very small scale are obviously where scientists are going to run into problems making a decent model.

    Problem with astronomy, we have infer what's going on from what we see 'out there'.

    I think religious thinkers are doing very bad science, assuming God, then finding a convenient conundrum, "Why infinity is impossible!", then concluding, "God."

    If we're simply collecting data and making the best possible model, I'm thinking we get to the Big Bang theory. Want a better model, go to college and be an astro-physicist!

    Now we can do that for quantum physics and GUTs!

    We can do that for theology too! Is your theory that consciousness is supreme and the physical universe depends on an almighty power of thought(or spirit)?

    Have I got some options for you!!

    If you are that good kid who learned what he/she could, went to Church to learn that model, got that good job and/or started that good business, got married and had some good kids, and always thought you had a good bead on things, you may well die a happy old man/woman wondering what the fuss is all about. In your model there's nothig wrong with the system, you gave to charity to help out those less fortunate than yourself, it's a wonderful World, isn't it?

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  80. Oh pboy, you're such a cynic, you just can't help yourself!

    I know, I know... If I did not have certain personal experiences like say, my son, to at least cause me to question this seemingly material universe, I'd likely bow to your pressure and recant entirely!

    Too bad I do. It would be easier, really. I mean, that's how I thought most of my life, till my late thirties/early forties. I was much like you are, not admitting any possibility of anything spiritual (still hate that word) or informational being the truth. But now, I just can't let it go, because I keep getting real-world results.

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  81. I wasn't being cynical. I'm not skeptical of your motives and I don't think you are just looking out for number one.

    What I said was that all religious people think that the universe is powered by thought. Of course there are those non-religious people who still think the universe is powered by thought, just that that thought has nothing to do with a paternalistic GOD.

    Then there's you, Brian. Hey, whatever makes you happy, is all I was saying, the paternalistic(authoritative)God, is, I think, just a reflection of how believers see themselves as 'in charge', but they put a step in there, it's 'their God' who is in charge, they just get to interpret HIS WILL to us.(Gay is bad, kind of thing).

    I think they realise that they're losing these battles, and being bullies, their solution is to bully people harder!

    Christians are in a bit of a bind, having great respect for Muslims who will murder for respect of their faith yet realising that murdering in the name of your faith is not a good thing. But they're quite happy to ostracise gays and subjugate women for their faith. Nothing wrong with good ol' Christian morality and values!(except that it's overt bullying)

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  82. Pboy, a question. An hypothetical, purely hypothetical...

    Let's just say that in reality, as much as it seems impossible or unlikely, all is composed of thought. Like a dream. No 'real' or 'solid' matter, and so forth... just thought, or perhaps better to say, data.

    My question, if that actually were the case, would you really call it spiritual? Is pure thought, really the same as spiritual reality? I see a difference, but I've never heard you say that you thought it was any different. I'm just curious what you'd want to call it, if say in ten years science started to say it too.

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  83. I wasn't being cynical. I'm not skeptical of your motives and I don't think you are just looking out for number one.
    ----------
    Oh, okay. Thanks! It looked like you were including my 'beliefs' in your statement there.

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  84. I mean, you might think that the difference is not significant enough to bother to differentiate, but to me it's a big difference between a universe based on data or thought and not matter and energy, and the universe of the christian believer or or that of the spiritualist.

    One difference that I see is that if it's a spiritual reality, science has no hope of ever seeing it, but if it's informational reality, they might conceivably be able to test for that someday. Not in the near future, but someday.

    Going back to those few scientists that have put forward the thought that reality is a hologram-like projection and we're really two-dimensional things on the surface of a singularity somewhere... if we're two-dimensional patterns on a singularity in reality but we just perceive everything in multidimensional hologram form, why that's not much different from what I'm saying when you really think about it, is it?

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  85. I'm not really understanding, Brian. Quantum physicists have brought us down to the point where what's 'there' isn't 'real' by our standards, well below the electro-magnetic 'level'.

    I just think that these models are so different from our everyday experiences of solid, liquid and gas because they have to be, and I suppose you could put quarks in terms of data, sure, but 'thought'?

    Thinking is a process. How much 'backstory' is involved in just the simple idea(thought) that you want to go to the store?

    I'm not getting how the two, an idea and a piece of the universe, are similar in any way.

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  86. I just think that these models are so different from our everyday experiences of solid, liquid and gas because they have to be, and I suppose you could put quarks in terms of data, sure, but 'thought'?
    -----------
    That isn't how I think of it though. The quarks are 'real,' as real as a table is. It's the idea that those quarks exist in a dream wherein we decided that the very small was divided yet again into smaller parts. We fill in the details as we look for them. So no, particles aren't 'made of' thought, they are a part of a dream that is all thought. Within the dream, they're as real as anything else.


    Thinking is a process. How much 'backstory' is involved in just the simple idea(thought) that you want to go to the store?
    ----------------
    A lot. But how much 'backstory' is there within an absolutely blank file on a computer? How much data is there? None. It's an empty field. Waiting for the details to be filled in, waiting for a program to run in it. In my analogy, we and this life and this world, are the program, but it's not like the matrix where you have the explanation of 'the machines built the computer on which the program is running,' no. It (reality) would be like that empty program, but due to the nature of reality, there is no computer needed; reality is naturally like an empty program, it naturally stores data. It's 'empty' state is chaotic, and it's 'full' state is ordered. So no computer needed; the program is like a program plus the comp it's running on.
    There, that's how I see it.

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  87. When I say that 'it is the nature of reality to store information like a computer program' I mean that the real, actual nature of reality may be, say, something like that singularity they talked about, but we're not two-dimensional beings on it, we're two-dimensional data sets. Get it? A natural 'computer' but we 'live' in it as 'programs' or sets of data. In this, all of time could be real, all life evolved, but in the program. We just see the results as this vision we call 'reality.'

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  88. Once again Brian, I don't get the point of this hidden reality, the dream analogy.

    The religions have their point, that God is behind it all, I'm not sure how your theory goes anywhere.

    Let's imagine that we all thought of the universe as data on the surface of a black hole, the two dimensional data being projected into an illusion of three dimensions. But the illusion is reality for us and the three dimensions of space are as good a representation as any, aren't they?

    Once again, the only purpose to picturing the universe as different from the reality we see around us, as far as I can make out, would be to imagine that we could then manipulate it using magic! Not 'real' magic, of course, 'cos the universe isn't 'real', but manipulating the 'data' that the real universe is, with the power of our minds. i.e. magic.

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  89. But you say that we influence this data with our thoughts, yes? How is it then that the idea of gods, which has been around for a long, long time HASN'T influenced the data in such a way as to create what the faithful, the believers, worship?

    And, if the data, which is the universe has been manipulated, then why wouldn't God be hiding out for no reason, be answering prayers in this weird way that they believe God does, that kind of thing???

    Why wouldn't it be just as true as any other ideas we 'make true' by observation, or wishing it be, or whatever means that's available to us. Hey, perhaps in those days it was just not possible that there be a God unless He was born of a virgin, walked on water, loaves and fishes trick, and so on.

    Dismissing reality as an illusion doesn't seem to 'help' from my perspective.

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  90. With me it's the reverse. The only reason that I thought that this is a likely scenario is that I was already apparently manipulating *something.* I just wanted to try to figure out how that might be working.

    Hey, I am not trying to get you to agree with me, but I did want you to understand precisely how I am thinking of it, and your 'thought quarks' were telling me that you weren't. Just wanted you on my page if you're gonna burn it. ;-)

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  91. Because we can only influence the laws of chance, working with what already *is* and modifying it, not creating man-based deities out of whole cloth. This 'dream' has not only been dreamt by men, you know. All the lower orders had their input to it.

    With things that are utterly unknown by anyone, there's more latitude.

    However, as much as allowable by the beliefs of the rest of the world, and that's all of it, not just men, an individual or group of them can receive apparently convincing information that causes them to believe that they're right. But they can't do the un-allowable and 'prove' it to the rest of us. That can't happen. They're not the rulers of this place, they just have input.

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  92. So of course a strong believer in god will receive 'signs' that are quite real, but not in any way provable. But not from god of course; from their own expectations.

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  93. Dismissing reality as an illusion doesn't seem to 'help' from my perspective.
    --------------
    Is it really an illusion that I am talking about?

    This is reality. As real as reality gets. If it's 'really' 'just' a dream, then a dream is reality. Not a sleeping kind of dream; in fact the word dream is not right either. It's close, but that makes it seem that I mean there's great similarity between them, when there isn't. Reality is an illusion, but a consistent one, so consistent that most people never once in their life glimpse it, and most who do can be summarily dismissed as crackpots. In fact, if I'm right, a skeptic's skeptical beliefs will actually cause him or her to receive clues and hints and information that confirms their skepticism, as surely as the religious man gets signs from god.

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  94. It occurs to me that you are trying to influence my 'view' of the universe.

    (Just wanted you on my page if you're going to burn it.)

    It further occurs to me that our personal, individual, model of the universe is a thought matrix in each of our minds.

    It yet further occurs to me that one could just dismiss the 'reality' part and have it all to do with 'thought matrices'.

    Doesn't it occur to you that you go straight to the same places as theists to make your case, the very large and the very tiny, you seem to be trying to hit the exact same 'nerve' as they do, or try to.

    A lot of people are vulnerable to that particular button being pushed, but to me, that door cannot be cracked even slightly, that door is imaginary.

    You have the matrix of your mind, your streaming consciousness, there's likely all the proof you need for your theory. Whatever makes you happy Brian.

    For you to take another step and insist that others believe it is the equivalent of 'them' doing it.

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  95. "If it's 'really' 'just' a dream, then a dream is reality. Not a sleeping kind of dream; in fact the word dream is not right either."

    This word-magic, above, coupled with the idea that we've been buddies on this blog and through Dinesh's stuff, and the salvia stuff, and how sensitive you can be to criticism (I'm cynical?) I think that this has become a project in wearing me down to the possibility of a little magic!

    No. Fine for you, not for me. You SAY that it's 'set' so that religious ideas don't affect us, but the only reason you give it any credence AT ALL is because you feel you can manipulate it.

    In the end I just feel that, far from fucking with 'reality', you're just fucking with me.

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  96. "Dismissing reality as an illusion doesn't seem to 'help' from my perspective.
    --------------
    Is it really an illusion that I am talking about?"

    Nono Brian, your BB theory dismissing reality, I meant. You see how easily this can get mixed up, YOUR BB Theory dismisses reality as an illusion.

    And this just feeds into the likelihood of you getting all upset when I stop farting around and just start being plain.

    Funny thing, you could poo-poo chemistry all day long and I wouldn't get upset with you.

    I'm not sure why you were trying to get Jerry to talk to me about his woo, his main defence of it is how upset he can become over it.

    Seems awfully familiar, Christians getting all upset and snarky with their 'God-hater' thing, their notion that atheists are psychologically impaired 'jazz', and so on, basically ad hominem attacks.

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  97. I'm not sure why you were trying to get Jerry to talk to me about his woo, his main defence of it is how upset he can become over it.

    Wrong, again.

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  98. Ooo.. see what you did there Jerry? In two words you got to 'tell me off'(..again) and imply that that's not all you do.

    Well done.

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  99. That was not meant as telling you off, it was a statement of truth.

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  100. pboy are you willing to accept that the idea of "telling me off" is your projection?

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  101. "Whoa peeb, I guess he told you...

    It's tough to be the blog's resident hardcore realist."

    Projection? Hardly, I was restating Brian's opinion.

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  102. "Dismissing reality as an illusion doesn't seem to 'help' from my perspective.
    --------------
    Is it really an illusion that I am talking about?"
    -----------------------------
    When I said the above it is because I had a problem with the thought that it's not real. I mean, if it were like that, that's what real is, right? If it were like that, that would be as real as anything gets. That was my only point.

    And I'll stop here. I wasn't trying to get you to accept anything, but you're thinking I am.
    Try not to be paranoid, dude. You didn't seem to get what I was saying, I clarified, then you take it as me pushing. From where I sit, it looks like when I try to get you to at least see exactly what I'm saying so you won't be on a different page when you tell me it's bullshit, you accuse me of trying to, oh, I don't know, trick you or force you or something. I'm not getting it. Like I say I'm talking about red, you say that you really hate it when I talk about green because it makes no sense, and wasn't I just talking about red? Where did green come from? So I say, no I'm talking about red, not green, and your reply is that I'm forcing it on you.... I'm forcing you to understand my words I guess. But you don't want to.

    Like here:
    Nono Brian, your BB theory dismissing reality, I meant. (I knew that; that'
    s what I was talking about, no mix up)You see how easily this can get mixed up, YOUR BB Theory dismisses reality as an illusion.(No it doesn't, it's not dismissive, is my point)

    And this just feeds into the likelihood of you getting all upset when I stop farting around and just start being plain. (Like now? you're just not getting me here because you jump to *your* conclusion first)

    Funny thing, you could poo-poo chemistry all day long and I wouldn't get upset with you. (I wasn't upset, I was just clarifying)

    Calm down. Let's change the subject, okay?
    How's the weather up there?

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  103. I'm not sure why you were trying to get Jerry to talk to me about his woo, his main defence of it is how upset he can become over it.
    --------------
    That's being rude to jerry, pboy. I was trying to be nice to both of you, not get HIM to talk to YOU. I was in fact trying to explain why it's no use expecting you to agree with him, and not to hate you for being who you are.

    I was DEFENDING you, thinking jerry was wrong about you being basically a boor and an asshole. I'm starting to have my doubts now, though, after the last couple of posts. Maybe you're really a prick that I only think is fair-minded? Let me know, okay? Because friends or even nice people who aren't friends, don't talk to other people like you just did. I want to know where I stand. And whether I was a fool for taking your side.

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  104. when I stop farting around and just start being plain.
    -------------
    So you 'fart around,' then I think you're at least marginally interested in my clarifications, then you 'start being plain' and tell me off for them.

    Nice job. I didn't need to wake up to this shit.

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  105. You just gave jerry to opportunity to come back here on his next post and tell me 'see brian, he does it to you, too...' And he'd be right.
    Damn it. I liked you, too. Thought he was maligning you. Me stupid.

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  106. Do you believe that all 'spiritually' related thoughts are not true just because most obviously aren't, or do you know it for sure?

    If you know it, you're omniscient yourself. Or a closed-minded atheist.

    If you don't know it, then you believe it.

    And that's a belief, isn't it?

    Closed-minded atheists belie the idea that atheism is not a belief. And that pisses me off, because it should be purer than that. To me the whole idea of atheism is that we're the ones willing to listen to the other side even when we have enough evidence that they're not right. We're the ones with the open minds. They do not listen to us. I do not wish to belong to another category of closed-minded non-listeners. If I did, I'd be a christian.
    Maybe I need to be an agnostic. A gnostic agnostic is just what the world needs.

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  107. I want to make one last point.

    What I was trying to clarify to you, I was *not* in any way expecting you to agree with. You were not, from your comments, understanding me, so I clarified my position. Not to win you over, but to at least know that you understood how I meant it all.

    So knowing that, does it make sense to you that I was trying to slip it in under your door, as it were? That I was trying to get you to agree? That never entered my mind.

    Comprehending my position would not change your mind, nor did I expect it to. But you see, you didn't. Comprehend it. You for some reason keep jumping back to your idea of what it must be, rather than *listening* to how I see it. And then, overnight apparently, you became what can only be called defensive. Passive-agressive, even.

    What, are you so unsure of your own thoughts that you think I can slip mine into your brain unawares or something?

    I totally thought I understood you, I was mistaken. Now I don't even know who you are.

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  108. Has Pliny ever agreed with me on my 'spiritual' ideas?

    I think you'll agree that he has never.

    But he always listens to them, when we talk. I've never felt insulted by him.

    That's an atheist that I can respect. Perhaps you think so little of me (considering me another believer and all) that you do not care whether I respect you or not. That must be it.

    Also, because he's listened to them, he's given me far better objections to them than you have. He's come a lot closer to making me think I just might be wrong, than you have. That's what happens when people listen.

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  109. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/09/lsd-research-alcoholism-drinking-housewife_n_1335807.html?icid=maing-grid7|main5|dl1|sec1_lnk2%26pLid%3D142697

    Very interesting (to me) fifties experiment with LSD. I *so* can relate to the woman in the video.

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  110. Projection? Hardly, I was restating Brian's opinion.

    What a cop out. But then again what could I expect.

    ReplyDelete
  111. Maybe I need to be an agnostic. A gnostic agnostic is just what the world needs.

    What would be your definition for a gnostic agnostic? I like the gnostic gospels a lot.

    ReplyDelete
  112. Yea fine Brian, I'm a closed-minded atheist. I don't mind if Jerry hates me, that's his problem, not mine, or yours.

    " Now I don't even know who you are."

    Am I talking to Brian or Brian's wife here? WTF? I've heard this style of argument before. Are you getting in touch with your yin side here then Brian?

    And all you 'really' want is for someone to listen to you?

    Your 'dream' filled with 'thoughts' which are more like 'data' are nothing less than equivalent to the idea that consciousness is supreme, that God, a being of consciousness is the source of our consciousness, but in your scenario, you miss out God.

    In your model, the universe is more like the model of the world we create in our minds, which is memories, information, data.

    Which came first, the universe or consciousness? Well consciousnesses are just processes of our brains, aren't they?

    These processes are not under our control, Brian. You have as much control over what you're thinking/feeling about something as you, as a person, have control over the outside world, which is not really much at all.

    How's your open-mindedness when it comes to fairies and goblins Brian? You one of these closed-minded afairyists and agoblinists?

    You starting to recognise me now Brian?

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  113. Yea fine Brian, I'm a closed-minded atheist. I don't mind if Jerry hates me, that's his problem, not mine, or yours

    Wrong again. For a person that seems to think they know it all you sure are wrong a lot. You way over rate you importance to think I would go into the sewer of hate for an ignorant person such as you are. Reality is I have never in my life hated anyone. Not one. Sure I am lucky to go so many years without hate in life. Luckily, I have missed some of the dastardly deeds that some people have to endure, or I might not be able to say I have never hated anyone. I remember reading about a lady thatt upon hearing her only son had been killed in Iraq, she cried for two days, and died. Could I have endured losing a son to an illegal war without hating W? I have grave doubts.

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  114. " I don't mind if Jerry hates me, that's his problem,.."

    "Wrong again."

    If Jerry can't or won't read what is written, then Jerry might ignore the 'if' and prattle on as if I had just accused him of hating me.

    Now, IF (there's that word again) I had said, "I don't mind THAT Jerry hates me..", then everyone might assume that that is what I think Jerry feels.

    Perhaps you need a new set of spectacles, Jerry? Try not to read that last sentence as if I had said, "You're blind!"

    Here's the thing about language, we know the rules, there can be misunderstandings of course, but I made myself quite clear and it is clear that you're not giving me credit for typing out what I mean, no, you're assuming that I mean what YOU want me to mean.

    Once again, 'if Jerry hates me', and me not minding if that is the case, is far and away different from me just plain labelling you AS hating me.

    If you were an asshole you'd deliberately misrepresent what I said to Brian, just so you could declare me 'wrong again'.

    Well, now, I am calling you an asshole if, AND ONLY IF, you're deliberately misrepresenting what I said.

    Are you?

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  115. " So no, particles aren't 'made of' thought, they are a part of a dream that is all thought. Within the dream, they're as real as anything else. "

    Can you not see how you're just changing perspectives to suit yourself here?

    Let's call them physical reality vs. BB reality.

    You claim that physical reality is a dream full of thoughts or data in the BB reality.

    You said, "Just imagine that the BB reality is right and scientists started talking about the universe in those terms."

    In that context, I tried to answer this and you replied,

    " So no, particles(in physical reality) aren't 'made of' thought, they are a part of a(BB reality) dream that is all thought. Within the(BB reality) dream, they're as real as anything else.(which is, not real since the physical reality isn't real from the BB reality perspective.) "

    Seems we can shuffle these in our minds, me telling you you're mixed up, you denying that you're mixed up, me saying one thing being real and you hearing 'real', as in 'not thought or data' when I meant in the BB reality real, and so on.

    Here's the thing, the physical reality is, I'm assuming, still a model 'projected' from the BB reality, right?

    And it's the physical reality model that we have memories of and think thoughts about and live our lives out as if it were all physically real, right?

    But I'm thinking that there is no way to discover this BB reality, right? Or at least no way better than theists and others who believe in a supernatural/spiritual realm believe that that is the real reality, right?

    You might say, "Ahhh, you're misunderstanding 'cos I don't think of it like that!", but I disagree.

    What you are proposing is an underlying reality(BB reality) in which the physical reality is an illusion, a very concrete, bang your head on the wall, illusion, because BB reality is the really real reality.

    But that's exactly how theists and new wavey types see the universe too! Theists will explain that this world is an illusion and the real reality is hidden from us, and so will the new wavey guys.

    You can call the BB reality data or information or thought in a dreamscape, but it's still a hidden reality which the physical reality is based on, in BB reality reality.

    Now that, so far, is your theory. If I ask you if that's right you can switch back and forth between what reality is, is it this one or that one, but what I said up there is repeating what the BB reality is as you explain it.

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  116. Here's the thing about language, we know the rules, there can be misunderstandings of course, but I made myself quite clear and it is clear that you're not giving me credit for typing out what I mean, no, you're assuming that I mean what YOU want me to mean.

    I am giving you credit for typing what you mean, that is your problem. Below is the exact statement you made, and it is an absolute that you are obviously trying to weasel out of. You not only admit you are a closed minded atheist there is no equivocation that you think I hate you. Even in this reply you are ready to tell Brian it is not his problem, as though you had insight into what Brian's problem might or might not be. Perhaps he reads what you said the way I do , and feels sadness of one person hating another for any reason. One of your favorite ways to spread your BS is to project on to others what you want , and then continue to put them down using the false criteria that you projected in the first place.

    Yea fine Brian, I'm a closed-minded atheist. I don't mind if Jerry hates me, that's his problem, not mine, or yours

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  117. Now the BB reality is a fine thought experiment, what if the three dimensional physical reality wasn't really 'there'?

    Of what use is this model to us?

    When I look around me I see my computer, my television, the windows and walls of the room and so on. I hear the voices from the telly, cars passing by, maybe rain falling.

    I know that these things I see are actually photons of light entering my eyes and the stuff I hear are sound waves reaching my ears, and that these photons and sound waves represent the surfaces of solid(or liquid) objects made of atoms, molecules, but I don't think of the input to my eyes as representations, no, I'm seeing the television, the windows etc. etc.

    What good does it do to go beyond that and theorize that the physical reality represented by the reflection of light to my eyes isn't physically there because NOTHING is physically there, it's only thoughts/data in a dreamscape in BB reality?

    Here's a leading question. You describe BB reality in terms of a dreamscape of thoughts/data, how are these thoughts/data related to the thoughts/data stored in our brains and expressed as a streaming consciousness?

    How are your streaming consciousness thoughts related to BB reality thought/data in the dreamscape?

    In the physical reality our minds are processes of our brain and use energy, the food we eat.

    Is the BB theory a source of free energy perhaps? Is asking where the driving force of the BB reality comes from similar to asking where God's driving force comes from at all?

    Inquiring minds want to know!

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  118. Me:- Yes Jerry, I'm a three horned, five legged, alien monster weasel from Mars!

    Jerry:- HaHAAA! You admit it then!!! I'm having your statement engraved on a plaque with a monster likeness on it!

    Oooh, you're a hateful, dispicable, asshole, Jerry! I have no need of such dispick!

    Your head is full of magic Jerry! You tell us, you keep telling us how good Gandhi was, insisting that Gandhi was goodness personified or something.

    All I do is try to disabuse you of that lie and all you do is despise me for that.

    You're a despiser! You're a dispicable despiser!

    Don't worry Jerry, you can dispicably despise me all you want, I will forever remain your alien weasel of truth!

    Magic. pah!

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  119. I will not talk to you about this anymore. I know better now.

    You sir, are a rude, inconsiderate person. I'm in touch with my yin already, but you are in touch with your dick. Your inner one. I hope the two of you have fun together.

    Also, since you're not who I was, perhaps naively and hopefully, thinking that you were, and since the new definition isn't a very good one, I'm wondering what I might gain from even communicating with you at all. It does me no good, and you're too into yourself to give a shit, obviously.

    Have a nice day.

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  120. Well, have fun kissing each others' asses!

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  121. Brian, I hope you have second thoughts.

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  122. Well, have fun kissing each others' asses!
    -----------
    You know what your problem is? You think you're witty and funny, when a lot of the times, it just comes across as rude.

    So much for the idea of 'nice canadians.'

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  123. Brian, I hope you have second thoughts.
    ---------
    About what?

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  124. It looked to me as though you were writing pboy off, and I hope you are not.

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  125. Well, have fun kissing each others' asses!
    ---------
    So quick to prove my point about you not giving a shit. My eyes have been opened.

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  126. It looked to me as though you were writing pboy off, and I hope you are not.
    ------------
    That's entirely up to him. Although with his last comment, I think he's made his decision.

    If I'd realized that he was a fundamentalist, I would have expected it, but they're harder to spot when they're atheists. Fundies are irrational. Their egos lead them, so being rude isn't something they're concerned about.

    There's something sadder when it's an intelligent person, but pride makes no distinctions. He's convinced that his insults shouldn't bother us because after all, we're so pathetically wrong, after all.

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  127. Of course, the part about us being so pathetically wrong in his eyes isn't the part that he gets his jollies off of... it's the implied reverse of that, that he's so brilliant we should genuflect.

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  128. I said that I wanted him to be on my page before he burned it.

    This, somehow, he took as me trying once again to convert him to my way of thinking. I clearly said that when he is finally on my page, something that never did get to happen, that then, even though he would be finally understanding me if he were 'on my page,' he would proceed to 'burn it.' That's nothing if not an admission of the acknowledgement of the high probability that he would never agree with me even if he fully understood me.
    Some conversion attempt, huh?

    I think he's bipolar. That's how it seemed. Nice nice nice, and then just when you're getting comfortable with discussing things, nasty nasty nasty. Damned near made my head spin.

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  129. And how fucking stupid am I, defending him to you.

    That's the part that really grates.

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  130. Shit, he even impugned my masculinity.

    And I thought he was older than twelve.

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  131. Since he's likely gone, I can finally put this dying blog to rest. I'll say goodbye next post.
    It's been fun. But not recently.

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  132. *If I'd realized that he was a fundamentalist, I would have expected it, but they're harder to spot when they're atheists.*

    For me this seems very much ironic for you to say this.

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  133. For me this seems very much ironic for you to say this.
    ----------------
    Really? Ironic. Hmm.

    Duly noted. I don't see it, but you're entitled.

    He's behaving like an atheist fundamentalist in that his ego is leading him by the nose so much that he doesn't care about how he insults others. I chose the word 'fundamentalist' because his mind is closed to the point where he can't even be polite about it, due to the fact that he has become absolutely certain about an unprovable. He's a believer, at the very least. And I find atheist believers to be as annoying as christian ones.

    Which kind are you?

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  134. What a strange time to have a new person show up to offer an opinion.

    I'm thinking on that irony comment of yours. It implies that you think I am one, and not him. I would assume that is due to my thoughts about an informational universe, a 'spiritual' one if you will.

    If' you've read me at any length about this subject, you'd know that I am of a split mind about that, considering it a 'tie' between that and the usual materialist paradigm such as pboy holds. And on reading my comments about it, you'll find them rife with such preambles as 'if this were true' and 'of course this may not be true' and other honest disclaimers of that nature, because I cannot know that it is true, and there is no evidence other than subjective that I can submit to anybody. I think I've covered that angle enough to tell you with some degree of certainty that you are mistaken in your somewhat derisive assumptions.

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  135. The other poster, Pliny, disagrees with me just as much as pboy does, and yet not once has he insulted me in the manner that pboy did today.

    So I think it's of a high order of probability that you're all wet. Too bad. Don't like to insult the newbies.

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  136. When we come together with another human there becomes a "we". If each of us is willing to give the "we" equality with our self, life flows a lot smother.

    ReplyDelete
  137. "Although to be honest pboy, I don't even mind it if you poke fun at my ideas. I've never been offended in the least, because I can see how funny they are, too. Plus, you're very witty"

    I've always been somewhat inline with pboy on your BB theory, Brian. He states it much clearer than I coud ever, but I feel much the same.
    He may have been crass. But, isn't that part of his charm?

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  138. Gee Mac, when did you insult me directly about it, even disparage my manhood?

    I'm tired of his crass ass. Let him crass at his wife. Se if she let's him.

    ReplyDelete
  139. In fact, thinking about it, practically everyone here disagrees with it as much as pboy did, but he was the only one who took great joy in insulting me about it.

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  140. And you aren't proving anything with my quote there mac, because it's still true. I didn't mind him poking fun at it. This was more than that. And I was actively defending him at the time.

    It was almost like he read me defending him and decided to have some fun by turning on me while I was doing it.

    Making me a huge fool... I bet he's still laughing.

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  141. When we come together with another human there becomes a "we". If each of us is willing to give the "we" equality with our self, life flows a lot smother.
    -----------
    Jerry, did you join up with a priesthood or something?

    If by 'come together' you mean being a friend, sometimes that's only a one-way thing. If I didn't already know *that,* I surely would now. When its one-way, instead of two friends you have a jerk and a fool.

    Or were you speaking of simultaneous orgasming? Because that's a bit deeper of a bond.

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  142. " Now I don't even know who you are."

    Am I talking to Brian or Brian's wife here? WTF? I've heard this style of argument before. Are you getting in touch with your yin side here then Brian?
    --------------------
    Interesting enough, this slur against my masculinity reveals that a lot of people have said similar things to him. He's heard this style before, the 'style' where the other person tells him that "I thought I knew you" or 'I don't even know who you are..." So, pboy likes to turn on people. Pretty obvious.

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  143. When we come together with another human there becomes a "we". If each of us is willing to give the "we" equality with our self, life flows a lot smother.
    ---------------
    Not to insult you Jerry, but don't you think this advice of yours would be a lot more credible if I hadn't got mad at him because he attacked me while I was defending him against your fairly direct insults?

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  144. I mean, at the time I didn't realize that you were *right* but still... It's not as if you were being a saint there, dude.

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  145. Hey Bro,
    You are the saint , not me. That is funny. I agree that I was shooting straight at pboy. It took me a long time to understand what it was that I found in myself that was so irritated toward him. I discovered what it was , what you might say, after the fact. He has a habit of projecting on me (and others) and I did not deal well with him on that issue. I do not know if I had been aware of what was causing the problem if I could have handled it in a more mature way. I would hope so but never know for sure.

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  146. No offense meant to any party here…but here’s my two cents (yes, I do realize I wasn’t asked.)

    Unsolicited advice: Work it out. I believe both of you got your feelings hurt. Both of you feel like you were attacked by the other. Both of you got pissed.

    Present day society and politics seem to be getting crazier and meaner every day. It seems a shame for two people whom at heart espouse sanity and compassion to feud.

    Mac nailed it.
    Pboyfloyd: I'm not touching this.
    SBTG: No need my friend. Your thoughts on this matter are well known, and duly noted. :)
    SBTG: to be honest pboy, I don't even mind it if you poke fun at my ideas. I've never been offended in the least, because I can see how funny they are, too. Plus, you're very witty.
    (The Door opens)
    (Pboyfloyd strolls in)
    My expanded interpretation:
    Pboyfloyd: You already know what I think so out of respect for you and as your friend, I will not comment. Anyway, we’ve been through it all before.
    SBTG: No, come on in…seriously the door’s open and the water’s fine…jump in…I love it; in fact I love you (as a friend that is…) I was just telling Jerry what a great guy you are! Show me! Poke more fun! Really! You’re a funny guy and you’re smart, too! Seriously, dude, do it!

    Pboyflod does it.

    SBTG: You bastard! You’re poking fun and you’re laughing, too! Get outa here and close the fucking door behind you!
    Pboyfloyd: Fuck you!
    SBTG: Fuck you too!

    ReplyDelete
  147. I was trying to figure out if there was anything that set him off at me. That got him so defensive. All I can come up with was this:

    "It occurs to me that you are trying to influence my 'view' of the universe.

    (Just wanted you on my page if you're going to burn it.)"

    I think that he mis-heard my 'just wanted you to be on my page before you burned it' as me wanting him to *agree* with me, so that he wouldn't *burn it.*

    That was of course, the precise opposite of the intended and I think rather obvious meaning.

    So maybe he was just being paranoid, but still, not really an excuse to basically call me a woman. If he just can't be civil to others due to such an elevated state of paranoia, I can't regret anything that I've said here.

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  148. I think pboy was pissed at me, and when one is pissed the whole word is apt to receive the results, deserved or not. You and pboy did have a pretty good we, and good we's are not that easy to find.

    ReplyDelete
  149. Get outa here and close the fucking door behind you!
    -Mojomantra
    -------------------
    I'm wondering what I might gain from even communicating with you at all. It does me no good, and you're too into yourself to give a shit, obviously.
    -Me
    ---------------------------------
    Are these two things above really equivalents?
    I think not. Furthermore I think most people would have not come back at me with 'have fun kissing each others asses.'
    If after all these years, this place (and my friendship) means that little to him, then he can have his wish.
    There will be no apology from me. He wanted to leave, I'm not going to stop him.

    ReplyDelete
  150. Besides, he's far too much of a macho man to give a crap about things like friendship. Real men are far too busy eating gravel and shitting concrete and so forth... I'm just too much in touch with my girly side for anyone of that highly masculine stature to care whether I live or die.

    ReplyDelete
  151. Are these two things above really equivalents?
    I think not.

    You're right, they are not equivalent. I only used the "...and shut the door" because it fit the metaphor I started when you "opened the door" to him.

    When reading the comments earlier today I actually had to start back at the top to figure out where it was that Pboyfloyd stepped over a line with you.

    A reader unfamiliar with all of the personalities here (Remember, I've been following since the days of DD) might think PB was over the top from early on in this post. But one used to everyone's particular rants and pet peeves, I honestly did not perceive any different tone in PB's comments than usual.

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  152. Anyhoo, I do get it that you feel that you were insulted.

    I might be wrong about PB but I bet he's not really as caustic in person.

    I hear laughter in a lot of his comments that otherwise would sound (read) so dark and dry as to be strings of hoarse whispers.

    Hey, sometimes I pick up from both of your comments that you must have been watching Rachel and/or Ed, Lawrence, etc. the night before. (My wife and I fix popcorn most nights to watch)

    Anyone who watches MSNBC at night can't be too hung up on the masculine macho thing.

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  153. I see a difference between poking fun at a person's ideas and belittling someone on a personal level. He always makes fun of the yin and yang duality thing I like to talk about, but he crosses the line intimating that I'm not masculine.

    I really do think that he misinterpreted 'I want you to be on my page before you burn it' as the opposite to how I meant it, and that was the trigger for his hostility, since I had basically told him that I'd never try to convince him again, and he saw that as me trying to convince him. Nevertheless, that's his problem, and I did not like how he dealt with it.

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  154. Also, I don't mind it when pboy flames a christian like MI, because they can't understand niceness, but I didn't like him flaming jerry. Jerry's a decent sort, and he didn't deserve that crap. There's more than one way to disagree with someone, but pboy seems to only choose one way when it's a believer in ANYTHING. Jerry has an open mind, and I never get upset with people like that. Jerry was taking him too seriously because it's hard to tell when pboy's fooling around, but pboy could have told him to chill out because he was only kidding; instead he kept doubling down. That's why I told him he was being rude. It all went downhill from there.

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  155. What definitely crosses my line though, was that comment about me being basically a 'woman.' People that say that crap to me lose all of my respect in one nanosecond.

    If he hadn't said that one thing, this wouldn't have happened.

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  156. That, and turning on me when I was defending him.

    ReplyDelete
  157. I don't think I did put your idea down, or question your masculinity.

    I see your BB theory as kind of religious, without a god by name, of course. You've explained how you think it's not, and that's good enough for me.
    There's no question that You, Pboy and many others here (Botts, wheredafugarya?) , and DD's blog have helped me immesurably in understanding belief and nonbelief.
    I hate to see folks I like not get along. I have had my moments of darkness. I crashed and burned way back. Fortunately, for me, no one held me to the fire for it (A testament to the bigness of Botts. I was a dick, sorry, Dude).

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  158. I don't think I did put your idea down, or question your masculinity.
    ---------------
    You didn't. I was talking about pboy.

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  159. If pboy comes back I'll still talk to him. If he's willing, I won't shut him out. Perhaps I was more bothered than I should have been. I don't know... it's so easy to misinterpret things when you're reading cold words on a glowing page.

    I would like to know how he'd have felt if I told said 'is that you or your wife' and so forth. I have a feeling (not a thought) that he would tell me he wouldn't give a shit, but then again, would he tell me if he would? I'm thinking that's too 'yin' for his tastes.

    It pleases me that you got something out of this blog Mac. I have come to believe that A. Nobody gets much out of it, and B. People mostly come here out of habit. So my own interests have been waning. Nice to think it might have done some good for someone.

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  160. My New Blog, soon to come, may coexist with this one if that is possible, meaning if this blog is still around and also if everyone here can keep a secret or several. I'd have to distribute those secrets by email to those members that I trust, so that they too may enjoy the show. The secret would be the URL of the new blog, for one thing... there'd be others secrets, too.

    I had this idea tonight. What's stopping me from starting a new CHRISTIAN blog?

    Think about it. I could start a blog as a man that was just 'born again into Christ' and tell people that I wanted advice and help with my new level of faith. I'd tell them that I was always a roman catholic, went to church semi-faithfully for most of my life, and recently I was in some trying situation (yet to be announced on this blog here since I haven't thought it up yet,) and was despondent, depressed, and disheartened... so what with the three 'D's' going on, of course I rethought my relationship with God (like my new cap letters?) and prayed practically night and day for divine guidance. Then I had a strange dream where I left my body and saw a huge white light and felt so comforted for the first time in a long time, like I was in my Father's arms. The very next day I started to have these VERY SIGNIFICANT COINCIDENCES (are ya with me here? Can I get an AMEN!?) all of which seemed to relate to either God, Jesus Christ, or Churches. I feel confident now that Jesus Christ is in my heart and soul, and that He has accepted me. I know it like I know my own name, which of course will be a pseudonym and nothing like my current StBtG or Brian. I no longer doubt! And praise be, my dilemma-to-be-announced has now resolved itself in my favor beyond my wildest dreams!

    Then see how long I can keep it up.

    The interesting part is, I'd like you to have input somehow... not here, what with prying eyes and search engines, so perhaps an email exchange between interested parties? But some kind of discussion of it here as well...

    It's important that you know that I'm not doing it as a scam where after six months or a year, I'll reveal myself and laugh in their faces. I'm actually not that cruel, not even to Christians (caps again, see?) although that was my first thought when I wasn't seriously considering doing it... I want to see if I can change minds, very slowly, and stay in character. It's still a scam, but a more interesting one in which I think I can learn a lot, and they might just learn something as well.

    Incidentally, I've spoken with several born-agains that get the coincidences like I do, so this is not only realistic, but I'd be in my element, so to speak.

    I also think it would be incredibly amusing, back here on this blog and with you trusted ones (Basically everyone but MI, Obsy, Eric... that lot...) getting to visit that blog and play the skeptical atheists who just happen to stop by..

    I bet it's a hell of a lot easier to get a large following on a ch... I mean Christian blog, too. All Christian of course... More's the better.

    Again, secrecy would be something that might be problematic, but who knows? And quelling the nausea every time I capitalize certain words...

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  161. Okay, update:
    This blog can still exist, but I'd need to set up another 'shadow' blog, where the 'trusted ones' would be able to go and discuss the details. This blog wouldn't work. Too many people that would ruin the whole thing. We'd have to use too many searchable terms. Maybe pliny could help me with the details or whoever... Also, if I can make it unsearchable? Don't know that... Anyhow, to anybody who thought I was bullshitting, nope, dead serious here.

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  162. Note to christians. (caps no longer necessary)

    A new Famous Quote that I like:

    "Anything not moving forwards, is moving backwards"


    Attribution?

    The new Lexus commercial. But it's profound, when you think about it.

    ReplyDelete
  163. Back to the New Blog...

    (yet to be named)

    (speaking of that:)

    I was pondering the sales aspect of this idea.

    So my first thought went to a proper name.

    How about 'Tell Me How To Be A Christian' ?

    That has the ego appeal. And after all, I'm selling to the most egotistical audience in the world...

    Or what about a variation of 'I'm Born Again in Christ!'

    That would get more hits on search engines....

    Hmmmm... so many variables.....

    'Deep Inside Jesus Christ?'

    No, not that one....

    ReplyDelete
  164. As much as this is a scam, I don't want to hurt people. So I was more thinking that I'd want it to be me getting the opportunity to talk to 'other' Christians (urp)(the caps, the caps!) and get their views on many diverse issues. On atheists, on politics, and on guess what? On the Large Mind Speculations... (I really can't stand 'Big Brain.') Because I'd get to hear about their coincidences, if any, and I'm thinking there might be, but that's something I'd learn, too...

    If I ever revealed myself, it would be more to tell my 'flock' or whatever, that yes, I am an atheist, but that I wish them no ill will and I just did it to learn, and to see if I could reach them as a Christian (urp) that sort of thing.

    If some of you don't think an admitted mystic and gnostic is an atheist, keep in mind that I am all of that with exactly zero 'theuses.'

    Thei?

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  165. Of course, none of those blog names could be the actual blog name. That would be a 'tell' on my part, now wouldn't it?

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  166. I do not understand what you would do that for. I do not think you would like to pay the price for doing a clandestine trip. Where I am coming from is, to me the truth is a living thing. It is the only thing I have found in my life I could count on. I think it guides us in life, and to turn one's back on the truth is to loose one's way Pliney and I spook about the truth a while back, and he said to speak truthfully. So thinking that way I believe the price to high. However I think you could approach your idea from a different direction.
    By the way this blog has been a learning experience that I appreciate, and for the most part enjoy. It now has my interest in the dynamics of the relationship of the people in the group. I have been in encounter groups in person, both as a leader, and more often as a participant. This is something new, for me, and how to best do it I would like to know.

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  167. Brian:
    1) The greatest strength of this blog (which I have followed since the days of DD)has been the interchange between diverse ideologies and equally diverse personalities, under circumstances in which each participant can simply observe, occasionaly take active part, and/or rant or pontificate (as the spirit may move them), fully expecting to be attacked with gusto or be called for BS, as the situation and personalities present and "voting" might engender.
    Your recent "falling out" with Pboy should be accepted for what it was, recognizing that even "friends" may occasionally have a falling out or "strike a nerve". I cannot see how a relationship of the type that may arise through interaction on a blog like this can ever lead to true "friendship", since it must needs suffer from lack of direct, face to face contact. In any event, it seems to me that an individuals "needs" regarding this blog will inevitably change over time or even from day to day. Of necessity, there will be times when these changing needs will interfere with each other, as I believe just happened between you and Pboy. Your perception that this blog is "dying" may refer to what you are or are not getting out of it at present, but witness the fact that every single post has led to hundreds of responses, even though most of them are yours.
    (more follows)

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  168. Brian:

    2) If you decide to proceed with a "scam" Christian Blog, please be clear about both your motives for doing so and what, if anything, you hope to achieve by it.
    Since you have already repeatedly pointed out the futility of trying to reason with fundies (like MI, Mike and in his own way, Eric), do you think that a "stealth approach is likely to do any better?
    If, on the other hand, you see even a remote possibility that YOU might achieve something beneficial or useful to your own "search" for truth in our Universe, then go for it! But..., expect to be vilified when the truth gets out, as it eventually must. Some of us here might then be among the vilifiers.

    In any event, please realize that, whether you intended so or not, this blog has served some very useful purposes in the ongoing "search" for truth of many of us who have followed your thoughts.

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  169. Nice posts Harvey. I always enjoy your viewpoint.

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  170. Hey, it seemed like a good idea at the time... of course, maybe being rather stoned helped.

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  171. If, on the other hand, you see even a remote possibility that YOU might achieve something beneficial or useful to your own "search" for truth in our Universe, then go for it!
    --------------
    I've run into several christians that have experienced strange synchronicities as I have, and that was my prime motivation, to talk with such and catalogue their experiences and contrast to my own.
    Secondarily, I was curious how much more they'd accept from one of their own. Nothing major of course, but perhaps a small tweak now and then? For instance, trying to talk to them about works versus faith. How I can't see how faith alone will get you into heaven, but that's what people tell me, and so forth. Seemed incredibly interesting to me.

    As to the deception aspect, I don't seem to have trouble telling a 'white lie' that might do them some good. After all, their whole life is in worship of the biggest lie ever told. Mine would be like a small dose of 'hair of the dog' as it were.

    Like I said, seemed like a good idea at the time.

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  172. Truth doesn't reach them anymore. Only lies do.

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  173. A lie that leads those lost in lies, out of that to the eventual truth, is not an evil lie but a saving one. Or so I was thinking.

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  174. You are perhaps all thinking that my intention is to lead them toward atheism or agnosticism.

    Such was not my intention.

    I want to lead them toward being good Christians, a la Botts, rather than the awful kind. I'm not stupid enough to think I can make atheists out of them. But good Christians, that may in some cases be possible. As to my own role, I'd be born-again sure, but confused as to what people are telling me, confused basically because my own born-again experience seemed to tell me to be the good kind of Christian concerned with good works in the world more than my own personal salvation, but I keep meeting other christians that seem to not think that, and hence the confusion... can anybody out there help me!?!?
    So there was my intent.

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  175. Although, perhaps getting people to come, would be more difficult than I was first thinking, since it just occurred to me that I want to pretend I'm like Botts, but he had his own blog where he attempted the precise same thing... which didn't really take off very well as I recall.... but ya nevah know.

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  176. I think the lure of ego might help. They're lost in their own egos. So I wouldn't be like Botts, with his established views, no, I'd be more open to manipulation (seemingly) because I'm a new convert, so to speak, a new born-again *asking them to teach me.*

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  177. You know something? Maybe it sounded like that, but when I had my row with pboy and said what I did, I didn't think he'd just bail on this blog like he apparently did. I didn't expect it, in other words. That made me even more pissed off at him.

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  178. I never questioned your intent, I though it honorable. About the truth, if they had come clean 2000 years ago with the truth instead of trying to build a following we would not have anywhere near the problems we have with religion today. Lies may advance a project in the short run but in the long run the truth will always prevail. I still like your ideas concerning empathy, and would like to see you expand on that either in a book or blog, or any other way. I do not think you will find a lot of problems talking to the Christians about empathy or treating each other in a loving way as long as the subject says positive toward achieving better and more loving relationships, and not what one is doing wrong.

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  179. It seems to me that to use lies to achieve an end is to think the means and the end can be separated.

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  180. I've come to some conclusions about telling the truth.

    I used to strive to do that in each and every situation, consciously.

    But I learned something very interesting.

    Those who live by the lie are not influenced by the truth. Christians who have 'gone over' to the 'dark side' as it were, do not even deserve the truth. They live by the lie, and so a lie is most appropriate in dealing with them. It even makes them feel better.

    For instance, in business, I'd have no qualms cheating a christian out of their money by pretending that I am one, too. They'd use that money in pursuit of their Giant Lie of a world view. And if their own prejudice prevents them from dealing with an atheist, then I'll be that good christian man that they feel safe enriching.

    So even more so, even more noble of a lie, is the lie that leads them in the direction of the truth rather than away from it.

    Morality is complex, isn't it?

    If you can cheat the devil, it's not a sin, is my point.

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  181. I wouldn't lie to a christian or to anyone about say, my product, if I were in business.

    But lying that I am a christian too?

    It's not the same thing. They have a lie in front of their faces acting like a filter. They see me as a liar already, whenever I tell the truth.

    To talk to the people in backwardsland, one must talk backwards.

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  182. For instance, in business, I'd have no qualms cheating a christian out of their money by pretending that I am one, too.

    I wouldn't lie to a christian or to anyone about say, my product, if I were in business.

    How do you square these two ideas? In the end if your are willing to lie to a Christian because they buy into what you consider lies, it seems that you are letting them take a lead, and you follow their lead.

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  183. I knew you'd find that hard to swallow Jerry.

    I know it sounds bad, but there are people that literally can't handle the truth. When I know that if I tell the truth that person will dismiss me as a liar or even an 'antichrist,' then I see no problem lying if it gets them closer to the truth. It's a more global perspective, a wider focus than just individual interactions.

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  184. I can't lie to those I respect, by the way. That's not me.


    But those that do not deserve any respect but instead deserve my pity, if the truth is more than they can handle, then they get what they really are asking for. Also, they live by the lie, they live the lie, and all they say are lies, even if they aren't aware of it, so to tell them the truth, to them, either sounds like I'm lying or it will trigger their mindless hatred.

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  185. Don't get me wrong, I'm not in the habit of doing this. I'd rather tell them the truth, and I've always tried to here and mostly elsewhere as well. But it was here that I learned that the truth can't touch them.

    This idea, is new. It's 'fighting fire with fire.'

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  186. How do you square these two ideas?
    -----------
    You can't see the difference?

    In the first case they aren't buying my product because they know that I'm an atheist or suspect it, so that's their prejudice. Nothing wrong with what I'm selling. So screw them.

    In the second, I'm literally screwing them, by lying not about my religion or lack thereof, but my own product, thus sacrificing my honor for money.

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  187. In the first case Jerry, where the only reason they wouldn't buy my product is that religious prejudice toward me, and they would buy it if they thought I was a christian, they're the ones sinning. My product is good, I haven't lied about it, but it's ME that they hate, with absolutely no reason. Other than the lies in their head, of course.

    So knowing that they'd hate me, I sidestep it and let them think I'm a christian. A small lie on my part, that they richly deserve. They'd buy it if they weren't prejudiced. So I'm circumventing their prejudice.

    Now if I sold a diamond say, and lied about it's quality, that's misrepresenting my own self and my honor is lost, so they're not the ones committing the bigger sin. I don't lie in business about anything, unless it's because my client is a bigot. Bigots don't deserve the truth. I retain my honor because it is them that sins first, and I'm just correcting the cosmic books. That's not fleecing someone, Jerry. That's still giving them what they really do want without cheating them on it, but not letting them know that I'm someone that their bigotry would otherwise prevent them from dealing with.

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  188. My late 2 cents worth is admittedly biased by my teaching to our residents. The first time you are dishonest in surgery, you are done. Period. There is no slippery slope, just a mile deep drop off. I'm old school. We have a covenant with our patients that has to be based on the truth. It's the only high ground any of us can ever have.

    Liars lie. That's what they do. Some lie for Christ. Honest people tell the truth. And the people in the middle figure out the difference in time as long as the honest ones keep the faith.

    There are visitors to these blogs that come to know the important truths. That a lack of belief doesn't make you evil. That is 90% of the battle right there.

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  189. Well pliny, leave it to you to give me the best objection.

    Shit.

    Now I can't do the blog.

    In a way, I wanted to hear a good objection.

    You're right.

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  190. I'm with Pliny. There's no room for dishonesty in the professions.

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  191. Just in time...

    ANOTHER NEW POST!

    (What a surprise!)

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