Saturday, March 24, 2012

Just another 200 comments...

A new post so that we can continue the conversation without all the hassle. 

(I will eventually get around to *writing* actual *new* posts, someday)

202 comments:

  1. First comment!

    Neener, neener, neeeeeeener!

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  2. Brian, it wlll go past 200 now.

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  3. Maybe I was wrong, oh well there is a first time fir everything.

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  4. Guess I ask in this new post then. Was Walter always needy or is this since you brought home your son?

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  5. BTW, interesting dialogue there Ed and Harry!

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  6. He was always very needy, but before the son came along we had more time to indulge him. He's still a happy dog. mostly, but leave him with no attention for a while and he'll be in the corner.
    Also, if he's hungry, he'll lie down on the floor on his belly with his paws in front of him, pointed directly at his dish (about four to six feet away from it though.) He'll do this if what he's craving is in the fridge, too... lie down and point toward the fridge... we call this behavior 'the compass of sadness.'

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  7. Do you take him for walks, or rollerblading or bike ride with him? How old is the little bugger now? Sounds like he's got too much time on his paws(heh).

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  8. He gets two walks a day, and really, a lot of attention. I've had dogs my whole life, and any of the others would have been totally happy with the amount... This one's an emotional basket case. No, really. Plus, he's even un-coordinated FOR A PUG. He had a breathing problem all his life, so when he was like two we had to get him a nose job. No, really. To the tune of $500, but of course, well worth it at any cost. It pretty much saved his life, we think, because he used to just pass out and pee himself when he was at all excited. Even as an adult (he's 5) he doesn't play vigorously, he stops running and takes a rest, that sort of thing... poor thing can't frolic for any amount of time, and he loves to frolic... sad to see a happy pug spinning around and floor-stamping with his front paws, all of a sudden stop ad cough and gag, then lie down, as if to say 'crap, can't even fucking play...'

    He's loved practically as much as our son, and that's a whole lot, let me tell you.

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  9. I've seen other pugs as adults... other pugs are normal dogs compared to this one. He's BRILLIANT at figuring things out if food is on the line... or something he really likes to do... he can learn a new word almost instantly, if one of those things is related to it... like for instance 'jerky' or 'downstairs' (we've recently finished the basement, and he fucking loves to go down there and play or even just sit on the furniture...) (He has to be carried down, can't do stairs well either... even going up, he is scared, but on the rare occasion that he tries it, it's sketchy at best, so he has to be 'spotted..')

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  10. So rollerblading or bike riding isn't only 'out' but you have no idea how funny the idea is... if you knew Walter, you'd laugh your ass off at it.

    I can imagine him trying to keep up with me on a bike... run run run, tongue waving in the breeze.... for about thirty feet, then tripping, rolling, rolling, rolling.... stop

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  11. I've seen other pugs as adults... other pugs are normal dogs compared to this one.
    ---------------
    To clarify this, I didn't mean that Walter is brilliant by comparison, I meant that he's physically uncoordinated by comparison.. then I went on to say how he's brilliant at figuring things out.....

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  12. Pugs and chihuahuas are what we did to the wolf. If ever there was a sin based in evolution... that'd be it.

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  13. How can anybody doubt evolution when we have the evidence so clearly visible?

    We kept keeping the cute dogs, the ones that are smaller, with flatter, more human-like faces so that we would perceive them as cuter.... and eventually, we have the pug. Poorly designed to survive, but so very well designed to be cute.

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  14. Technically, Brian, that would be an argument of design, not natural selection, and I don't think any domestic dogs have speciated, but I could be wrong about that.

    But I get your point.

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  15. It was selected by us, instead of nature. It the mental jump too much for the christians? They really can't imagine nature selecting the organisms that SURVIVE BEST? I mean, that's direct selection, by killing off the unselected... It's the same principle as people selecting the traits they like and breeding for them, only substituting 'traits people like' for 'traits that confer survival advantage.'

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  16. Technically, Brian, that would be an argument of design, not natural selection,
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    ...and even more technically, it would be an argument of selection and not design, because 'design' does not imply 'by humans' and if it did, then because of the context in which these two terms are typically opposed to each other, said humans would have to design the organism as god supposedly did, from scratch, and just poof it into being, or whatever we humans would have to do technologically to achieve a 'poof.' Only *that,* would be true design, not *selecting* traits we think cute or beneficial to us.

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  17. If we do it, it's 'un-natural selection,' not design.

    I mean, am I wrong?

    As to actual speciation, the old definition is, the divergent species can no longer produce viable offspring. However, in more modern times we have different species of many sort that can still interbreed with the parent stock. I mean, to me (old school) that's different species by definition, but not to today's scientists apparently. The mere fact that we have been able to induce such huge morphological changes should tell the most casual of observer that if phenotype can be changed so much by us mere humans, genotype isn't far behind.
    I'd also say that, imho, it is quite possible that the only reason that the diverse dog breeds are still genetically viable with each other, is that canis familiaris is 'used' to being crossbred with other dissimilar phenotypes... read: mutts.

    Also, even though it is still possible in the laboratory, can a chihuahua really produce offspring with a great dane, or a feral african dog, or a wolf? I think not. Unless it has a ladder.

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  18. http://www.philly.com/philly/news/nation_world/144117865.html

    Cheney eats somebody's heart and this is the press release!


    Every day he comes closer and closer to Darth Cheney..........

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  19. Did anybody else see the trailer for DD's film about Obama?

    (Dry heave)

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  20. No I didn't Harry. I'm sure I can't take it today. Seeing Satan get a new heart on the eve of the SC debate on healthcare reform would be too much for one day. It did inspire me though.

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  21. I'm assuming you mean 'inspire' the way disease "inspired" you to help patients.

    Here's the hook.

    "America has a dream, from our founding fathers. That together we must perfect liberty, and America must grow so liberty grows."

    I personally love the equating of America and liberty. What a guy.

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  22. Beautiful sunshiney day here. Sadly RIck Santorum must be doping his daughter up with ecstasy from the looks of her 'actively' being so fucking happy about her dad winning the GOP thumbs up for yet another State.

    I look at the people they have placed off to the side off the speaker to help 'guide' our reactions to what they are saying.

    Santorum loves using his family to help his supporters have the right response to him. His older daughter is generally off to our right guiding us to listen closely when they deem that appropriate, smile and nod at his points, always ready to smile broadly at his joke.

    But that was a bit over the top, today. With no sound, it might have seemed as if Santorum was telling us how he planned to give his younger daughter a new car, her own house, perhaps a million dollars, just for starters!

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  23. I actually tried extasy last year. First night, fantastic, a lot of fun... second night, made me sick.... every other night, made me sick. Silly of me to try it in the first place, looking back at it.

    To me it seemed that the only way to enjoy it, is to be really physically active, like dancing... and be young enough not to poop out. Which isn't me, lol.

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  24. Interesting.

    The only time I tried ecstasy is when my best friend gave it to me. A few hours later he told me he was going to kill himself. I spent the entire time pleading with him not to.

    Drugs are fun.

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  25. For me, I've kinda learned to only do natural drugs like salvia and MJ. they seem to have no negative effects no matter how much I take or how long I take them for.

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  26. I like mushrooms, peyote and MJ. Did a few chemicals in the 70's, did not like. Peyote, the best.

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  27. Anyways, I suppose my point was that we are communicating with each other on different levels, the majority being swayed at the emotional level.

    Notice how Sarah Palin puts 'just the right emotion' into every word possible. "How's that hopey, changey thing working for you, Barak?", seethed out to let us know how to feel about Barak, how we ought to relish the pain Obama supporters feel that Obama is being blocked at every turn.

    I hate it how pundits ask 'what does your gut tell you'. How is it possible to exert free will when it comes to politics and religion when the information we receive about it is ideological propaganda, misinformation and flat out lies told for the sole purpose of making us think favourably of the liars.

    Seems to me that the majority of people are so weak-willed they'll fall for the 'no true Scotsman' fallacy from both sides, sometimes on a daily basis.

    "Americans are a hard working people!" (What, lazy people born in the USA aren't REAL Americans now?)

    "Americans, GREAT!" (All those ordinary people, they don't even know they're not Americans?)

    Certainly Romney wants you to believe that he'd lower tax rates for the very wealthy for your benefit!

    Certainly Santorum wants you to believe that he'd just be making people freer if he made the U.S.A. a little more Catholic, by law.(I'm sure Eric can explain that one.)

    Certainly Palin want you to feel her hatred and hate along with her, wants you to feel her adoration for the oil barons and adore along with her, wants you to despise people who think and despise them along with her.

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  28. I just don't believe that Eric imagines that we're all born equal. With such an obvious unequal start in life, how does one, from the lofty heights of 'born with a silver spoon up their ass' to the deepest disparity of being born of a defacto slave prostitute, imagine that there can be any justice at all?

    Them nuns be the great equalizers? I don't think so. Best they're going to do is make 'em some good ass-kissers.

    Plus, ya can't win, if you buy into it, you're on their ladder, if you don't at best your worth something to them and at worst you are a menace to be eliminated.

    Darned free will anyways, always knocking against someone richer's free will.

    What a laugh.(Jethro Tull)

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  29. Had to pop in Aqualung after that one...

    Thanks, Peeb.

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  30. We know a Mary who has kind of crossy eyes and that's how I introduced Emma to Jethro Tull.

    'Nother one she liked not from that album, just the beginning, "Flying so high, trying to remember, how many cigarettes did I bring along."

    My mom liked, 'Cheap day return.', I remember her, stinking drunk, singing it while she was staggering up the stairs. Good times, lol.

    Few years later, in Canada, she enjoyed, "Bloody well right!"(Supertramp).

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  31. Typo in a huffpo article, misquoting Santorum:

    "Santorum pressed the message of "freedom," stating that America doesn't "need a manger. We need someone who is..."

    America certainly doesn't need a manger.

    Nor do we need a 'mangier.' And as bad as Romney is, Santorum is definitely mangier.

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  32. I remember her, stinking drunk, singing it while she was staggering up the stairs. Good times, lol.

    Few years later, in Canada, she enjoyed, "Bloody well right!"(Supertramp)
    ------------
    So, she came over for breakfast? Did she take a jumbo? 'Cross the water?

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  33. http://www.vancouversun.com/health/UPDATE+Miss+Universe+Canada+finalist+Jenna+Talackova+disqualified+from+pageant/6348674/story.html

    Pboy, you guys voting for the boys in the pageant now?

    I have zero problem with the transgendered, but I don't see that they should compete against biological women in beauty pageants. Am I just old-fashioned?

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  34. Indeed they did take a jumbo 'cross the water, and, later on, did all that they had told her 'what to dream'. Vegas, Reno, Hawaii, Alaska cruise, even Dodge City and Deadwood.

    Weirdest thing I remember about my mom was the sayings she'd come home with. "F.O., and I don't mean Food Office!", she'd say, having engineered the conversation around to the point where, "Fuck off!" was an appropriate response.

    1)When did anyone ever say F.O. and mean Food Office?
    2)There's a Food Office?

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  35. http://palinsdirtylittlesecret.blogspot.com/

    If you wanna see nuckin' futz, here it is.

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  36. That's the thing about mental illness. Most of the correlations are incredibly skewed to the personal.
    Common sense must tell a more normal person that others aren't necessarily privy to their worldview.

    If we were all world creators and not just world sharers, people like Aaron Fleszar or MI, would be just fine.

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  37. "I just don't believe that Eric imagines that we're all born equal."

    Here's a typical 'philosopher's answer' -- it depends on what you mean by 'equal.'

    Now of course, we're not born 'equal' in the obvious senses (inherent talents, family conditions, place and time, etc.), but then no one claims that we are. So why did Floyd focus on this conception of equality in his post?

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  38. WOW! So there are people who kind of look alike! And words/names that can be 'jiggled' to fit some weird 'pattern'.

    Whitney Houston and Oprah Winfrey!?

    White House and Win Free, eh?

    Definitely time for Judge Wapner, definitely, definitely.

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  39. "Now of course, we're not born 'equal' in the obvious senses (inherent talents, family conditions, place and time, etc.), but then no one claims that we are."

    So you agree with me then?

    Circumstances are such that any free will we actually have is going to be swamped out as surely as we are going downstream if we're floating in a fast moving river. Sure, you can choose which song to hum on your way down river, you can even choose to resist.

    You, for example, have decided how much you care for the poor, the old and the sick. You've lined up all your 'reasons' why you agree that it's not fair for government to interfere in the natural process of poor people being hungry and ill educated, the ill being at the mercy of profiteers and the old, well, they ought to resign themselves to the fact that there are a lot of losers for every big winner.

    But according to you, you can change Eric.

    I don't think you can.

    :o)

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  40. "Circumstances are such that any free will we actually have is going to be swamped out as surely as we are going downstream if we're floating in a fast moving river."

    Floyd, you don't seem to understand what 'free will' means.
    An extremely rich and powerful tyrant who can do literally whatever he wants doesn't have more 'free-will' than the political prisoner chained to the wall in one of his prisons. You're confusing freedom of the will (autonomy) with freedom/liberty/powers/etc.

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  41. "You, for example, have decided how much you care for the poor, the old and the sick. You've lined up all your 'reasons' why you agree that it's not fair for government to interfere in the natural process of poor people being hungry and ill educated, the ill being at the mercy of profiteers and the old, well, they ought to resign themselves to the fact that there are a lot of losers for every big winner."

    Floyd, how in the world do you have any idea what my position on any of this is? Stop listening to the many voices in your head; or, rather, stop listening to the obviously crazy ones...

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  42. "You're confusing freedom of the will (autonomy) with freedom/liberty/powers/etc."

    Agreed. But I sympathize with his determined determinism.

    :-)

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  43. Ericm what *do* you mean by free will or free choice, anyhow?

    A question: Is it like I was saying, that the christian idea of free will is freedom of all *available* choices without any *divine* coercion or forcing of any kind. The point being, it's god that isn't forcing us, his creations.

    Is that it? If not, why isn't it it?

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  44. Oh, and do me a favor please. Don't answer me 'no that's not it' and then proceed to list copious amounts of reference data and/or attributed quotations that, when I take the twenty minutes out of my day, still do not tell me why it isn't.

    Please, okay? Plain speak, not pedantistani.

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  45. "Is it like I was saying, that the christian idea of free will is freedom of all *available* choices without any *divine* coercion or forcing of any kind. The point being, it's god that isn't forcing us, his creations."

    That's not bad, Brian, though I'd want to say that nothing is 'forcing' us (which makes the view compatible with atheism, since it doesn't presuppose a god).

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  46. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  47. Incidentally Eric,

    Have you ever considered that when a philosopher uses philosophy terminology and parses the meanings of words and so forth as philosophers are wont to do, that such behavior is equally rude as if at a meeting of diverse people, all of whom speak english perfectly, if two of them insist on speaking in say, urdu, to each other.

    Except, this is as rude as if it were only one person insisting on speaking in urdu when nobody else there speaks it. And then denigrating their lack of fluency in urdu.

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  48. (which makes the view compatible with atheism, since it doesn't presuppose a god).
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    Lol... which you say, in your pride, because you do not wish to give the impression of arguing for your god. You want the imprimatur of neutrality as a weapon in your arsenal of biased thought.

    Hey, no need to deny it... if I'm right, that's what your pride would force you to do.

    And don't feel bad. I'm proud too, remember?

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  49. Have you ever considered that when a philosopher uses philosophy terminology
    -------
    meant to add: ...in a format such as this where most here are not as conversant with them...

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  50. (which makes the view compatible with atheism, since it doesn't presuppose a god).

    -But that's the whole point, isn't it? What you're describing, IS compatible with atheism; in point of fact, MORE compatible.

    Which is what I've been trying to say here for like a hundred posts.

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  51. "Except, this is as rude as if it were only one person insisting on speaking in urdu when nobody else there speaks it. And then denigrating their lack of fluency in urdu."

    Brian, since what you discuss here are predominantly philosphical issues (the existence of god, moral issues, political issues, etc.), this is the proper analogy:

    A group of people who don't speak Urdu (well, most of them don't) are discussing the Urdu language with someone who's fluent in it, and then begrudge his fluency and his insistence on referencing Urdu in a discussion about it.

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  52. And it's still more compatible with atheism, even if you were to use the the term 'god.'

    It's how you nice people answer the obvious questions about why your god is not involved in human affairs, and of course why your god did not make us so that we cannot 'sin' and thereby not fry in your god's furnace forever.

    He's so loving that way. What a gift!

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  53. A group of people who don't speak Urdu (well, most of them don't) are discussing the Urdu language with someone who's fluent in it, and then begrudge his fluency and his insistence on referencing Urdu in a discussion about it.
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    And any such references would by necessity also be provided along with (here it comes!) * a plain english translation.* They most certainly would NOT be used as you use them, to muddy up simple truths.

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  54. "and of course why your god did not make us so that we cannot 'sin' and thereby not fry in your god's furnace forever."

    Brian, if we went to Hell because we sinned, then we'd all go to Hell, because we all sin. Nice strawman.

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  55. Because Sir Eric, in said urdu discussion group wherein everyone speaks perfect english but only one person speaks fluent urdu as well, that one person if he or she *chose* to *only* make their salient points *in urdu* then that person, would still be RUDE.

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  56. "And any such references would by necessity also be provided along with (here it comes!) * a plain english translation.*"

    Brian, I almost always go out of my way to provide easy to understand examples of what I'm saying (though I don't pretend always to succeed). Look at my response to Floyd above about free will, and my 'tyrant/prisioner' example.

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  57. Brian, the point is simple: If you're discussing Urdu, don't get offended when someone references the finer points of Urdu. Now I can actually improve the analogy: Imagine that those talking about Urdu are denigrating it, talking about what a crappy language it is. Wouldn't you expect the Urdu speaker to be a bit harsh in his corrections from time to time?

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  58. When I speak about insects, it would be most scientifically appropriate to refer to them all by their binomial scientific names along with any pertinent subspecies. I can do that. But I don't. Do I? I talk about ants, and beetles, or common names like 'bombardier beetle' and never refer to it as one of the several hundreds of species belonging to several genera of said insect. Nor do I insist on saying 'carabidae' rather than 'beetles.' And yet, I seem to have no problem getting my points across here in argumentation as regards insects.
    It's called 'communication. You should try it. You did well in your last response to me, btw. Keep it going, dude!

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  59. Wouldn't you expect the Urdu speaker to be a bit harsh in his corrections from time to time?
    ------------
    Oh absolutely. Unless he's harsh, in urdu. Then he sounds like as much of a rude dick as he is.

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  60. The other side of this, is that there's no POINT in that urdu/english speaker to be speaking only in urdu, unless he's concealing something or trying to mislead. Or he's really dumb in both languages, maybe, and thinking he's impressing the others...
    No more point than you insisting on always using philosopher speak when all of us here speak english better, and are smart enough to be able to understand quite complex concepts even when 'handicapped' by only being able to understand them in plain english.

    Shame shame! ;-)

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  61. I mean hey, if you're 'fluent' and really have a fantastic grasp of philosophy, great for you!

    However...

    If that's true, then you can explain all of your technical concepts in a way that we can understand them, at least enough to get your point.

    If you really can't do that, then I'd actually question just how much you really understand philosophy.

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  62. See Eric, I for one think you're not stupid. I mean, you're pretty smart.

    So I have 'faith' in you, Eric.

    I believe that you are fully capable of rendering all but perhaps the most complex of philosophical or theological arguments in a form that we could comprehend.

    So believing that, my logical question is 'Why don't you?'

    All of us here know the answer to that.

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  63. "...and then begrudge his fluency and his insistence on referencing Urdu in a discussion about it."

    Chutzpah doesn't even begin to describe this. You are NOT fluent in philosophy, you are ONLY adept at obfuscation. This makes you no greater a philosopher than a politician, salesman, or cult leader.

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  64. "If that's true, then you can explain all of your technical concepts in a way that we can understand them, at least enough to get your point.
    If you really can't do that, then I'd actually question just how much you really understand philosophy."

    Brian, I agree 100%. But I surely can't be expected to succeed in explaining something if the person I'm speaking to is looking for loopholes before I even open my mouth because he's persuaded that everytyhing I say will involve some lie or trick. You share some of the blame here too, my friend.

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  65. Someone who has a masters in Lit Crit could do what Eric does on this blog, except we might actually learn something.

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  66. "An extremely rich and powerful tyrant who can do literally whatever he wants doesn't have more 'free-will' than the political prisoner chained to the wall in one of his prisons. You're confusing freedom of the will (autonomy) with freedom/liberty/powers/etc."

    Well, this is odd. Who are we to say that all animals, barring humans of course, don't have free will then? They'd simply be limited by their circumstances to act as they act.

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  67. "Floyd, how in the world do you have any idea what my position on any of this is?"

    Yea, I was listening to the voice in my head which I hear when I read comments. For example your comment telling us that you're a Burkean conservative.

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  68. Brian, since what you discuss here are predominantly philosphical issues (the existence of god, moral issues, political issues, etc.)

    Bullshit, these issues CAN be discussed by philosophers, and they are welcome to discuss them, but are not necessarily "philosophical" issues.

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  69. "Chutzpah doesn't even begin to describe this. You are NOT fluent in philosophy, you are ONLY adept at obfuscation. This makes you no greater a philosopher than a politician, salesman, or cult leader."

    I'd ask for one example in which I've obfuscated rather then attempted to clarify, but that's surely too much to expect of all the 'straight talkin' folk' here...

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  70. "Bullshit, these issues CAN be discussed by philosophers, and they are welcome to discuss them, but are not necessarily "philosophical" issues."

    Ryan, that's as stupid as saying that since evolution can be discussed by scientists, it can also be discussed by theologians, so it doesn't follow that evolution is a scientific issue. Come on, now. Who discusses them is irrelevant.

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  71. Ryan, that's as stupid as saying that since evolution can be discussed by scientists...

    For example,when it comes to the "philosophical" like "why there is something instead of nothing", I'm going to trust cosmologists over philosophers.

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  72. "Floyd, you don't seem to understand what 'free will' means.
    An extremely rich and powerful tyrant who can do literally whatever he wants doesn't have more 'free-will' than the political prisoner chained to the wall in one of his prisons. You're confusing freedom of the will (autonomy) with freedom/liberty/powers/etc."

    Nothing I said implies that I don't understand what 'free-will' is supposed to be. You chose to believe that my analogy indicated that that I was speaking of actions, when I was speaking of thought.

    Let's say that you make an analogy, "It's like a rabbit bolting for it's hole!"

    Your response to my analogy is like me saying, "Don't be ridiculous, we're not rabbits!", just diverting away from what I'm saying by being picky about particulars of the analogy.

    Y'see conversation is like a river, flowing along, and if you don't want to acknowledge where it's going, you divert it. But the crux of the comment is lost, you don't have to deal with it if you divert before that point, you never have to acknowledge that point at all.

    You choose to do this a lot. I mean A LOT, Eric.

    But I don't think you have a choice.

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  73. Harry; isn't it awesome that Eric demanded an example from you, and then provided one for you replying to me?

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  74. "For example,when it comes to the "philosophical" like "why there is something instead of nothing", I'm going to trust cosmologists over philosophers."

    Bad move.

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  75. "Harry; isn't it awesome that Eric demanded an example from you, and then provided one for you replying to me?"

    If you found that example obfuscatory, Ryan, then you're dimmer than I thought (and that's saying something). ;)

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  76. Yes. But this leaves me wondering whether he actually understood you in the first place. It seems like he didn't, or he didn't read carefully enough.

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  77. But this leaves me wondering whether he actually understood you in the first place.

    Right, as a long time observer, he seems to come here with a set of talking point prepared to work in, and then reads the comments in such as a way as to ensure maximum pretentiousness.

    Not sure if anyone else saw his recent histrionics on Debunkingchristianity.blogspot.com... simultaneously funny and sad.

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  78. Political issues are philosophical?

    I think you owe Ryan an apology.

    I don't imagine that you could justify the political 'argument' that 'whatever Obama says or does is just wrong' and, 'our main goal is to make Obama's presidency a one term presidency', as a philosophical issue.

    Now as far as the existence of God is concerned, I see it as a sanity issue. Supremacy of consciousness over matter flies in the face of common sense. as does the supposed 'failure' of the OTF for non-common sense reasons as do 'fake' common sense reasons FOR God and so on.('God did it!', or God is simple therefore Ockham's razor sides with theism)

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  79. Eric, you linked to a page about what happened *before* the big bang.

    Not about the big bang, which science is in agreement on and can test and prove. And science has not got there *yet,* as noted in the article, so that's when philosophy of the scientific speculation sort is appropriate and may be of some value in directing science's next steps or at least suggesting them. When science can't see it YET. It's not like it never will, and it's not like, when it does, what it finds then will absolutely trump any philosophical speculation that turns out to be WRONG.

    You're reaching in order to be right when you are not. Please consider how unattractive this looks to an observer.

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  80. Eric, if you really think that philosophy is superior to science, then I'm afraid that my 'faith' in you, mentioned before, was sadly misplaced.

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  81. Brian, I agree 100%. But I surely can't be expected to succeed in explaining something if the person I'm speaking to is looking for loopholes before I even open my mouth because he's persuaded that everytyhing I say will involve some lie or trick. You share some of the blame here too, my friend.
    ----------------
    Um, no. You surely CAN be expected to defeat any rational objections and accusations of having 'loopholes' in your argument regardless. After all, we're not the ones using the confusing terminology here. We're the simple ones, remember? If you can't defeat *our* objections, which are nothing if not rational (whereas your arguments are borderline in this respect) without resort to your smoke and mirror-like phraseology, then my friend, you suck as a philosopher. What's that dot that comes at the end of a sentence. Oh yeah, right. Period.

    :-(

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  82. Brian, no, the point is simple: there is not, and cannot be, a physics of nothingness, unless you redefine 'nothing' to mean 'a little tiny bit of something'; but, given that redefinition, you haven't at all answered, or even responded, to the question Ryan raised, viz. why there is something rather than nothing. So, to say "I'm trusting the physicists here" is absurd. The point of the second article, if you had bothered to read it, is that the Hawking-esque pronouncements of the death of philosophy, or, minimally, of the irrelevance of philosophy vis-a-vis questions like the one Ryan raised, are farcical.

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  83. Or I should have said, you certainly should be expected to succeed against all our objections without resort to fancy terminology, IF, and only IF, your argument is ultimately a sound one.

    Lol.... Nope. That's why you need the philosophy.

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  84. Eric; physicist have recreated their "nothing" in a giant, very expensive lab. Can philosophers recreate their "nothing"?

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  85. viz. why there is something rather than nothing.
    ---------
    Why are we looking for and theorizing about nothing rather than something? "Something" is what is there, and what is always there, ergo is is rational to have the working assumption that real and actual 'nothing,' does not exist except as an abstract concept in minds.
    Where's the rule that the ultimate starting state of the universe, is nothing? Isn't that a very human assumption, my friend?

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  86. "If you can't defeat *our* objections, which are nothing if not rational (whereas your arguments are borderline in this respect) without resort to your smoke and mirror-like phraseology, then my friend, you suck as a philosopher."

    As usual, you miss the point. If you refuse to try to understand what I say (exegesis) because you're so busy reading your own assumptions into everything I say (eisegesis) then you can't put all the blame on your failure to understand on me. If I say P, and you're thinking "whatever he says is going to be BS, so if it sounds reasonable, there must be a trick somewhere, and I must either find it or refuse to accept what he says until I do" *before* I even get to P, what chance is there that you're going to understand it? I have no problem whatsoever with your objections, when you bother to raise them.

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  87. "Eric; physicist have recreated their "nothing" in a giant, very expensive lab."

    No, Ryan, they have not.

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  88. Maybe philosophy isn't dead and has it's uses, but your religiously-oriented version of it is surely as outdated as a pterosaur. That kind would only do the world a favor by vanishing.
    Sorry, but that's how I see it. Through the lens of logic and not hopeful belief.

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  89. Ah, I missed that qualifier 'their,' which makes your claim true, but serves to reinforce *my* point, i.e. they mean 'something' when they say 'nothing,' and hence aren't answering the question, or even responding to it, at all.

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  90. And I think ryan put the word 'nothing' in quotes because he's acknowledging that it, their 'version,' is not absolutly technically 'no-thing.' The point being, so what? It's what's there. And very likely what was always there, at least in potential form.

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  91. they mean 'something' when they say 'nothing,'

    No, they mean their "nothing", not your "nothing", which you cannot demonstrate to actually exist.

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  92. I mean if philosophers can acknowledge that a freaking "square-circle" is impossible and move on, why can't they do the same with "no-thing"?

    Oh wait, religion, that's right...

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  93. An observation, about Eric.

    I know he's not dumb. He's smart. But unlike say, real people that you talk to, I can't tell how smart. That's what happens when one seems to have devoted their intellect to re-thinking thoughts already thought and not starting a new one. It becomes hard to separate said intellect, with the intellects of those said person constantly refers to as authorities. I suspect, and not saying this is actually the case here with Eric, but I suspect that it is possible to be considerably less of an intellectual light than those one refers to, and still appear to be much greater than that due to whose shoulders you are perched upon.

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  94. No, they mean their "nothing", not your "nothing", which you cannot demonstrate to actually exist.
    -----------
    Well said!

    Sorry Eric, but it was. Not to you of course, but still, it was.

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  95. but serves to reinforce *my* point, i.e. they mean 'something' when they say 'nothing,' and hence aren't answering the question, or even responding to it, at all.
    --------------
    In the province of 'we do not know yet' there is much room for cogent-sounding explanations.
    You are making an assumption that is not warranted, Eric. You are assuming that true nothing *can* exist, totally just assuming it as if it were true.
    It is not the nature of space to allow for 'nothing' to exist, and a space that is absent of space is not a space. So nothing, must mean absolutely empty space, which doesn't exist as far as we can tell.
    You assume that the BB exploded into absolute nothingness, but that's nonsensical. It might have created space where none existed, or there might have been space there already for it to explode into, but either way, we have no reason to assume that there was ever a truly empty space anywhere or anywhen.

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  96. Plus, space itself, isn't static. Again it appears that you are assuming that somehow it can be. It's not. The finer the detail, as in, the smaller the scale we are considering, the more unusual things happen, and at the level of the very smallest (planck) distances, space itself is so dynamic that it's truly chaotic, and so is time, and you (I think) know this. So in order for there to be no virtual particles or vacuum fluctuations at all, the fine structure of space itself would have to be totally different.

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  97. Or are you thinking about 'empty space' but really meaning a concept more like Ain Soph Aur?

    Look it up if you have to. Your god knows that I've had to often enough.
    ;-)

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  98. If there is a limit to the size of universes such as this one, that wouldn't mean that there was a border beyond which nothing, true nothing, 'existed' you know. That wouldn't be how it would work. There would be curvature effects that folded said space back upon itself or something like that, making it analogically like walking on a spherical planet and looking for the world's edge.

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  99. "No, they mean their "nothing", not your "nothing", which you cannot demonstrate to actually exist."

    Ryan, the more you post, the more difficult I find it to believe that you've graduated from high school, never mind college.

    What you naively call 'my' nothing is simply the acceptation of the term -- the absence of anything. Now how, pray tell, my brilliant friend, could anyone show that the absence of anything exists? If it existed, it wouldn't be the absence of anything! You are seriously confused.

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  100. Eric, good point, I should have said can you demonstrate that 'your nothing' is possible.

    But I expect you actually did understand the spirit of my question.

    Harry, another example for you!

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  101. From Laden's blog: House Bill 368 passed the Tennessee House of Representatives on a 72-23 vote on March 26, 2012, the Chattanooga Times Free Press (March 26, 2012) reports.

    This is another 'teach the controversy' bill that makes us the laughing stock of the West.

    Oh well, some more books will come out when the trial that dismisses it is over.

    You'd think all those fiscal conservatives would stop wasting taxpayers money futilely defending this crud in court.

    Maybe, if they teach the controversy about the existence of any gods at the same time? I mean this is a bill about academic freedom, right...

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  102. Turin Shroud Led Apostles To Believe In Resurrection of Christ, Claims New Book

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  103. Turin Shroud Led Apostles To Believe In Resurrection of Christ, Claims New Book

    -----
    which is a neat trick considering that the shroud was created 1200-1400 years later ;)

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  104. I have no idea about the dates except what I read. The article says that.......
    Italian researchers last year declared that they were “95% certain” that the shroud dated back to the time of Christ.

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  105. 3 independent prior research teams showed that the shroud dates from somewhere between 1200 and 1400.

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  106. yes they mentioned that in the article. I have no idea who is right, but the idea that the disciples bought into the resurrection due to a piece of cloth does great damage to their story.

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  107. yes they mentioned that in the article. I have no idea who is right,
    ---------------
    You really don't?

    Jerry, I must take issue with that. You have teams of scientists carbon-dating the shroud to the middle ages or thereabouts. Repeatably. And on the other side, you have the USUAL BUNCH OF BELIEVERS saying the usual bunch of useless believer things just like we'd expect them to, just like they always do when one of their treasured beliefs is disproven, all the way back to geocentrism or even farther. How on earth can you give any credence to the believer side, Jerry? How on earth can you even think that they MIGHT be right, and teams of scientists and repeatable testing wrong? How can you, Jerry?

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  108. But I expect you actually did understand the spirit of my question
    ----------
    Of course he did. He's not that stupid.

    Of course, he must pretend that he doesn't, and we all know why.

    The thing that honestly puzzles me, is why keep it up forever, with us, knowing that the more he does it, the less credibility and respect he'll get here.

    The only reason that I can come up with, is 'just for the practice.' One must rehearse falsehoods, perfect them. Not so with telling the plain truth.

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  109. but the idea that the disciples bought into the resurrection due to a piece of cloth does great damage to their story
    -------------
    Maybe, but it's already a fatally flawed story in the first place... The four gospels don't agree at all on the story of the resurrection. Nor on the annunciation, for that matter. Nor on many other things. The bible is swiss cheese. logically speaking. You have to be a gullible rube to buy into it at all.

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  110. Speaking of that, is anybody else AMUSED to the point of having to stifle a chuckle, about how very SERIOUSLY the apologists take a book that is at the third-grade level at best, and is absolutely chock full of logical flaws, inconsistencies, and obvious fabrications? It's like an attempted serious scientific discussion/argument over the coat patterns and directionality of horn-spiraling of south american unicorns as opposed to european ones.

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  111. See, you can just take a good look at the source material, the bible, and see how any building upon that or 'interpretation' of that, cannot have any value at all. So I don't care how elegant Aquinas' "proofs" of god are, because he based them on a silly book of old fables that isn't even at the adult reading level.

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  112. If the entire roman catholic church and all it's resources and apologists had devoted thousands of years controlling a wide swath of humanity inculcating not faith in god but faith in elves and fairies, why today we'd be arguing just as vociferously about *their* existence with Eric here instead of god's. I mean, can we really have any doubt about that?

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  113. Eric, it is my contention that you assume God, and that you must therefore assume that consciousness is the basis of everything.

    I think that your assumptions guide your study, which seems to me to be completely concerned with how different apologetic philosophers divert attention from assumptions towards inferences.

    "The world/universe infers God.", which it doesn't. If we assume God, then we can infer from THAT that the world/universe must infer God.

    Seems to me that philosophical arguments for God start, "Let's put aside the assumption of God, let's forget that we assume God at all. Let's pretend that our reasoning finds God or leads us to God, or at least the probability or possibility of God."

    Consider Paley's argument. "If we find a watch on the disarray that is a beach, we can infer that there was a watchmaker. Now if we change perspective, ignore the disarray, we can infer a maker of the World/Universe."

    Everyone who already assumes God imagines that they have put aside their assumption of God fairly, read the argument, agreed, bringing themselves fairly back to their assumption of God.

    But it's all pretend.

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  114. Here's a simple example of how wordplay or wordgames are used in theist argument.

    How can something come from nothing?

    ?

    Well, if something comes from a previous thing, it cannot go back forever, for infinity, right?

    And?

    And that beginning thing has to be immaterial and without 'beginning' itself.

    You mean it exists forever, infinitely?

    Nono, eternally.

    You mean it exists forever, infinitely?

    Man, you are so confused and ill-read.

    Look at me and say, "Infinity, not possible!", now pretend you're a miser imagining a mountain of made of gold, and whisper, "Eternity."

    There, that ought to do it.

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  115. Here's another one that uses the power of imagination, which seems to imply that God would exist for 'you' if only you had a vivid enough imagination.

    Imagine time going back infinitely!

    Okay, I'm having a bit of trouble imagining that.

    Just keep imagining back, back, back.

    Okaydokey!

    NOW, imagine you have reached it. If we now try to come from that infinity ago, we can never get to 'now', can we? As we imagine time marching towards 'now', we can also imagine infinity getting infinitier and infinitier and time can never catch up to 'now'.

    I,I, wow!

    Right, now imagine you're a chicken! Dance like a chicken, chickenboy!

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  116. And that beginning thing has to be immaterial and without 'beginning' itself.
    ----------
    said argument further complicated by the fact that matter as we know it now, is a lot less 'material' than we at first thought.
    So we cannot say, we cannot know, the initial conditions or even if such a thing was ever necessary. As in, everything might be an eternal cycle.

    We know so very little. That's the point. Even what we think we know now, can change, can evolve.

    I look at it this way: What philosopher or scientist in the 1700's could have forseen quantum physics, dark matter and energy, and so forth? Then it would have been considered insanity.

    So is it really so far beyond the pale for us, now, to actually know a lot less than we like to think that we do?

    The problem is of course, that so many people insist on knowing now, when such is not possible. So they have to pull shit out of their asses.

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  117. Here's an infinite universe that is limited and bounded:

    One in which there is a Big Bang at the beginning, it all proceeds as we think it did after that, and then at the end, something happens to all the matter and energy in the now-dead universe that causes it to become a huge singularity, so huge that attendant temporal effects cause it to pop out of spacetime and back in time and become the Big Bang that started it all.

    Not possible? We can't even know *that,* now can we?

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  118. Or conversely of course it could just become a singularity, taking in with it all of spacetime as well as all matter and energy, and then just re-explode into a new universe, no time travel required, just an infinite series.

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  119. Or there are a huge number of universes of all different types and sizes, and our 'big bang' was just one of those collapsing, or even *something* (huge singularity) In one of those collapsing, disappearing in that universe, and creating a new one.

    Hey, what if scale is only pertinent within a particular universe?
    That's a wild thought. So a huge singularity compresses down and disappears, because it became maximally small in that universe and then exceeded that local 'planck' limit in size, thereby 'slipping through the sieve' of the very fabric of this place, and having a micro big bang somewhere else, perhaps attached in some way or 'pendant' to the original universe that it came from, but a zillion times smaller than that one, but inside that tiny universe it's as big as the original one, and so on, all the way 'down' as it were, but no lower limit on size, all being relative.

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  120. Or it's all more like a mind than a place. That is the simple answer. So is god, of course. Don't think I can't see the similarities.
    Such similarities meaning nothing, really, since that doesn't preclude it being correct. In that scenario, people got the general idea, but quite naturally attributed the mind to a supreme being, when it's just the natural ground state of the universe and is not self-conscious nor does it need to be.

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  121. Or it's one of any of the many, perhaps millions, of options that are so alien to us, that we cannot see it yet at all, not even a glimmer. So many possibilities.
    Lets not forget that the processes that perhaps went on 'outside this universe' or 'before this universe' which caused it to come into being, are not necessarily bound by this universe's laws of physics and so forth.
    That's a huge wrinkle.

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  122. "Theists say that God is eternally existent. How this is understood depends on which definition of eternity is used. On one hand, God may exist in eternity, a timeless existence where categories of past, present, and future just do not apply. On the other hand, God will exist for or through eternity, or at all times, having already existed for an infinite amount of time and continuing to exist for an infinite amount of time. One other definition states that God exists outside the human concept of time, but also inside of time. The reasoning for this definition is that if God did not exist both outside time and inside time, God would not be able to interact with humans."

    Now, foolish atheist, can you see? No word games there at all, what? Eternity is outside of time, includes all time past and future, and God may 'exist' both in time AND outside of time!

    No word games there at all.

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  123. Of course health care is a slippery slope, where government is mandating our freedom.

    Pretty soon government will be mandating safety belts and motorcycle helmets, requiring one to prove an ability to drive, forcing people to drive not under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

    It's a slippery slope which could lead to people not being allowed to just kill each other if they feel like it.

    Wait what? Most of that IS illegal already?

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  124. Get a picture of the universe, and then erase the earth, then tell me what time it is.

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  125. Okay Jerry, I'm picturing the universe, I'm erasing the Earth, it's 4:07 Pacific Standard Time.

    LMAO

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  126. If the universe still exists after all of us and the planet are gone, then time will also exist in some form, for time is just another word for change, and if it doesn't change then it's not a universe.

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  127. "Theists say that God is eternally existent. How this is understood depends on which definition of eternity is used. On one hand, God may exist in eternity, a timeless existence where categories of past, present, and future just do not apply. On the other hand, God will exist for or through eternity, or at all times, having already existed for an infinite amount of time and continuing to exist for an infinite amount of time. One other definition states that God exists outside the human concept of time, but also inside of time. The reasoning for this definition is that if God did not exist both outside time and inside time, God would not be able to interact with humans."
    --------------
    Isn't it amazing how you can replace 'god' with 'elves' and no coherence is lost at all?

    Doesn't speak much for the line of reasoning, does it?

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  128. I do think it's odd that we're expected to have a special vocabulary with special, and perhaps differing meanings(yes, more than one) for a word that is equivalent to forever. Eternity, kind of a religious forever.

    Guess this is what happens when a bunch of pansies who like to wear dresses in public take themselves too seriously.

    Metaphysics, ontology, epistemology, then it's dresses.

    "In what category would God be, I wonder?"

    Is there a 'Bullshit' category?

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  129. Honestly, I think it really comes down to this:

    Some people think that you can argue your way to the truth.

    The rest of us insist that you have to have some real evidence before you can make any claim to the truth.

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  130. Brian,
    About the shroud, I don't know anything about it except what I read and the only interest in the article was the idea that someone had taken the idea of the shroud and had a different conclusion than the story told by the bible and Christians. As far as my believing anything about the shroud, it is a joke to me. I though some on the blog might find the twist interesting, that is all. I luckily learned in 4th grade not to trust ANYTHING that is written without getting further evidence. As far as I am concerned I am not buying into anyone's option on the shroud, partly because It is irrelevant to me. I would like to read the way the author of the book came to his conclusion, but not nearly enough to buy the book.

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  131. Some people think that you can argue your way to the truth.
    ------------
    That is such a foreign concept to me that it never occurred to me.
    I guess it's true.
    Strange though...

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  132. That tells me why Eric keeps arguing all the time. I just thought that he *believed* that he had facts, but in retrospect it all makes more sense that he doesn't see the need for them.

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  133. So when someone tells them 'you're entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts' the thought in their minds is 'what's the difference?'
    WOW.

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  134. Doesn't it strike you Pliny that philosophy is a lot like the believer that thinks his argument trumps a fact, and science is like the person that requires a fact before he believes.
    In philosophy, the form takes over from the substance.
    At least what I've seen from Eric does... I'm sure not all philosophers are like that. But the christians ones have to be.

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  135. B that's my problem with philosophy. I think it can be a great starting place for new ideas that can be empirically evaluated, but I don't think that pure philosophy - argument for argument's sake, is particularly useful in many of the areas that philosophers insist to be true.

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  136. ... and, STOP! You don't have to dance like a chicken anymore!

    I will reveal the secret! It's like the Jedi Mind tricks that we had fun watching on the Star Wars movies.

    If I can get you to try to imagine the unimaginable, I can induce a confused state, into which I inject the 'solution'.

    The biggest mindfuck as far as religion is concerned, if that the 'solution' is itself another 'unimaginable'.

    If I can get you to try to imagine infinity, to really try because it is important for you to understand, if you are to understand anything about God.

    To release you from your state of confusion, imagining, "..on and on and on and on.."(try it, think of infinity), I introduce God and eternity.

    God is a being who 'is', who 'exists', who 'lives' outside of time, in Eternity.

    But we cannot imagine 'outside of time'.

    Living is a time consuming process. The very best 'living outside of time' I can imagine is a sci-fi 'stasis field', where we might look in through a portal and see our intrepid space man, 'frozen' for the long journey, ready to be activated, to come back to life, when the computer detects a problem or our destination is reached.

    So, if infinity(an unimaginable concept really)is invoked and then resolved with a few simple ideas that contain other unimaginables we're left to resolve those unresolvables on our own.

    I picture God as the angry looking old guy touching Adam's finger, you know the one. But at the same time I've been told that of course God 'lives' in Eternity and is immaterial, so 'looking like' and 'acting like' and so on are out of the question really, for such a non-living life, for such a non-existing being, and so on.

    What do you 'see' when you imagine God? Is it the old angry flying man or 'infinity'?

    Either one is total bullshit, isn't it?

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  137. I love philosophy, and see it as the first reach into the unknown to seek truth. Today's philosophy has, in my view run off the rails. It is mostly like Eric, not a real truth seeker, but someone who is trying to prove a point that is already in the mind that can, and often obscures the truth. I sincerely think anyone that is seeking truth would be much better off studying critical thinking rather than the full teachings that philosophy offers in academia.

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  138. I recall Eric getting into the details, a bit, when we were talking about morality.

    After all his insisting that I was confused, which is typical diversion, we reached the point where he admitted that in his conception of God, Eric's life itself was a gift frim HIM and God owed Eric nothing, God, according to Eric owes us nothing, not the 'love' promised by theists, nothing at all.

    Eric believes in the God described in the poem that is the Book of Job.

    The,"Who are you to ask me...?" guy who brags about pushing the constellations around and throwing bags of snow out of warehouses in the sky, and so on.

    We could banter back and forth about 'truth' itself or how any story at all contains some kind of truth, the book 1984 for example, containing a warning about human nature and human willingness to dehumanize humanity, and so on.

    We could argue about the truth of any Scriptural passage and hear clergy cast them in any and every perspective they can think of, their objective being to 'get you on board', you are, in fact, either with them or against them, after all.

    Here we have Eric, intelligent man that he is, willing to imagine both that God is Love(love is a process BTW, how does this process work in timelessness?), and that God owes us NOTHING!

    There is no, "In truth, God loves you, yet God owes you nothing.", this is equivalent to a tyrant saying, "Of course I love my people, now go out and round some up for execution, for I owe them nothing too."

    And no fancy philosophical word-play, no, "I see you're confused by the word LOVE(or any other word).", no, "But you're a materialist who is missing the part of our mind that can reconcile 'apparent difficulties' with 'spiritual thought'(more confusion technique)." can fix these things up.

    And this, just the same as trying to tell a person who has been hypnotized to not 'know' the number four, that there is a number called four.

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  139. The God of the old testament, is a petulant child who pulls the wings of of flies. He's egotistical in the EXTREME like a toddler, he flies into rages like a toddler, and his will MUST BE FOLLOWED or else, like a toddler. He's jealous, like a child. He says he loves us but his actions indicate anything but. He apparently does not know what selfless love is, like a toddler. He created us as we are and then damns us for being who he created. He's an evil child who desperately needs to be punished but there's nobody bigger to do it. Most of his defining traits as described in the bible are the very traits that good parents try to get their children to grow out of.

    And christians don't see this, because they've been brought up as toddlers and think that's how an adult acts. And that's how they act, as proven by this election season.

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  140. That is how today's christians can watch Sesame Street and only see the 'evils' of SHARING.

    And they see gay in it of course. They see gay everywhere but in the mirror, where it really is.

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  141. "..see it as the first reach into the unknown to seek truth."

    But this is purely metaphorical. You're talking the same language. It's some kind of 'mental reach', isn't it, a 'spiritual reach'?

    This 'unknown'. If I look in a drawer hoping to find a lighter, did I 'reach into the 'unknown''?

    Did I find the 'truth' that I was seeking, that either there was or wasn't a lighter there?

    I'll tell you how to 'find yourself' Jerry, without meditating for as long as you can on an imaginary point. Step up to a mirror and look, there you are!

    You bring your assumptions to it, to your notion of 'what philosophy is', 'what philosophizing is'.

    And know what, you got those assumptions from someone else, you can't tell me anything about spirituality simply because you don't know, not some weird, "I'm not telling you 'cos you're cynical, and you're projecting!"

    1)I'm not cynical.
    2)I'm not projecting.

    I don't think those words mean what you think they mean.

    Emptying your mind and 'wondering' about the blankness of an empty mind isn't 'seeking truth' any more than sticking your head in the toilet is 'seeking truth', although you might find something, at least something in the fucking toilet.

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  142. How do christians reconcile all that I just mentioned, the sheer smallness and shallowness of their god, with the fact that they all seem to believe that 'god is love?'

    Would not the ultimate loving being in the universe, at least exhibit some of it from time to time? And never exhibit hatred?

    How stupid are they, really? How stunted are their minds by blind faith? It's amazing to me.

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  143. I used to think very cynically of the phrase 'to find yourself.'

    I really don't anymore.

    I didn't think it meant anything. But now I see it as learning who you really are.

    Why do we need to do that?

    BECAUSE WE CAN'T SEE OURSELVES!

    So that look in the mirror will tell us nothing about who we really are, it will just confirm what we already *believe* about ourselves.
    We need to learn how we look to other people, especially others whom we trust as sane and humble individuals themselves, and from that learn who we really are.
    It's never who we think we are, by the way. We're always mistaken about that, and so it really is necessary to 'find ourselves.' To find enough humility to look within and see what's there unobscured by our pride.

    "Oh would some power the giftee gie us,
    to see ourselves as others see us"

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  144. I think that's all my funny stuff for the day, hope you all enjoyed it!

    I was thinking I could create a character called 'THE HAMMER', for when I feel like ranting like that.

    See, Jerry, I don't imagine, much like yourself I think, that you have 'something extra' that I lack.

    Quite the opposite, I'm thinking.

    You're like the hypnotizied person who has been ordered to ignore the man behind the curtain, and swears that he's just not there!

    You have to speak in jargon because you're not 'seeking truth', no. What you're doing is buying into a 'worldview'.

    I meditated on the nature of being yesterday and realised we are emergent beings searching for union with the cosmos, and it is searching for union with us!

    Pfft.

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  145. Emptying your mind and 'wondering' about the blankness of an empty mind isn't 'seeking truth'
    ----------------
    It's not intended to be, actually. It's for mental discipline. Learning to be in the moment. Quieting the mind, which is often a distraction from a train of thought. Fashioning your attention span into a point rather than a broom in order to better 'pierce' the 'veil' of the unconscious mind. Being receptive to your unconscious mind requires quieting the conscious one.

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  146. I didn't used to see any value in it, either, btw.

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  147. Incidentally, about meditation...

    There are two basic kinds.

    The Eastern traditions, and the Western.

    The Eastern is much better known, due to the fact that the western variety is no longer practiced much, being not in agreement with standard religious dogma. It used to be, before they demonized it.

    The Eastern kind is to empty the mind.

    The Western kind, is to fill it.

    It's the opposite. "Inflame the mind with prayer" and so forth. (I know, I know...)

    Both of them can produce 'gnosis.' A state in which one's will is in touch with the universe, and thus can produce results in the 'real world.'

    Hey, it's pretty flaky for sure, I realize. I wonder why it seems to work though?

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  148. See, Jerry, I don't imagine, much like yourself I think, that you have 'something extra' that I lack.

    Quite the opposite, I'm thinking.

    You're like the hypnotizied person who has been ordered to ignore the man behind the curtain, and swears that he's just not there!

    You have to speak in jargon because you're not 'seeking truth', no. What you're doing is buying into a 'worldview'.

    Total projection from a person chained to a concrete post, and cannot see beyond the limit of the chain. You say you do not believe is a spiritual reality, and then attempt to tell everyone all about it. Arrogance in full bloom.

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  149. But you just rephrased what I said, and said, "Sure it is."

    "Quieting the mind,(Emptying your mind)to 'pierce' the 'veil'(seeking truth).

    Do you have 'intrinsic knowledge' of the 'unconscious mind' and whether it has 'truth' or just 'random bullshit'.

    Are you not more likely to find, or think you've found, what it is that you'd think you ought to find, rather that what, if anything 'coherent' is there?

    You might not think arrogance is a good thing, I don't either btw, but if I was lost on a desert island by myself, I'd much rather be a very well adjusted arrogant son-of-a-bitch, imagining myself king of my domain and everything in it, than be so humbled that I feel I'm like a speck of sand on the beach, crying about my misfortune.

    We are social beings, imagining ourselves in social situations all the time and there is plenty room for imagining ourselves assertive when we are being abusive. Life is a negotiation with others which has a mirror in our minds.

    Perhaps, I don't know, perhaps you seek insanity, imagining that your unconscious mind has something profound to offer you when it may very well just be like the janitors and nightwatchmen in the bowels of a corporation. "The corp. must be kept clean.", and, "The corp. must be kept safe.", these ultmate truths by our unconscious mind.

    Who knows though? And how, how is it that it is known?

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  150. "Total projection from a person chained to a concrete post, and cannot see beyond the limit of the chain. You say you do not believe is a spiritual reality, and then attempt to tell everyone all about it. Arrogance in full bloom."

    I say there is no 'spiritual reality', that it would be an unreal reality.

    How could I be telling you about something that isn't there. The exact same as how could I hate God since there is no God.

    The people who say atheists are projecting their hatred on atheists by call them 'the haters'.

    You are, since you cannot explain anything about spirituality or spiritual reality, projecting on me that I AM 'explaining something that I don't believe'.

    Which lets you conveniently off the hook as far as explaining your beliefs, right?

    Eric cannot explain to us how his God can be all loving and yet so fucking careless.

    You yourself cannot explain how your spiritual reality depends on silly comparisons to 'love' for example, as if 'love' is a thing, and not an ongoing process, that life is not a thing, but an ongoing process, that a mind is not a thing, but an ongoing process.

    For example, I have a mind, I have life, I have love, but if I died, I wouldn't have any of those things.

    But these 'things' are processes. My life is the process of me living. My mind is the process of me thinking. My love is the process of me feeling a certain way about something. Wife, pet, car maybe.

    Now this takes away from a worldview that spirituality is nothing more than a mental process, you see? Spirituality, if life and love and mind are things(which they are not), spirituality can become a thing, a 'reality'.

    Now there is a lot of semantics involved here, "Love is in the air.", is about 'the idea of love', the spirit of love', the 'personification' of a process, the 'thingifying' of a process, making a metaphor, analogy, allegory, kind of thing.(process)

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  151. But you just rephrased what I said, and said, "Sure it is."

    Hardly.

    You yourself cannot explain how your spiritual reality depends on silly comparisons to 'love' for example,

    How would you know? You say again that spiritual reality does not exist and then go on to say what it depends on. Usual BS. Have you ever listened to yourself?



    You are, since you cannot explain anything about spirituality or spiritual reality, projecting on me that I AM 'explaining something that I don't believe'.

    Which lets you conveniently off the hook as far as explaining your beliefs, right?

    Have you ever thought of opening your ears and listen? I have stated many times on this blog about spiritual reality, that you now say, falsely, lets me off the hook.

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  152. How dare I say that life is not a thing?

    My life is the material which my body is made from plus some life-force, isn't it?

    My mind is that life-force, sometimes called my soul or my spirit, or my heart, which has free-will, which can decide to be good or no, right?

    Well, sadly, no.

    You are a conglomeration of animalcules even down to having symbiotes inside each of your billions of your(specifically that which has your DNA) cells. They're called mitochondria.

    These little beasties live inside us, reproduce and change form to suit the type of cell they are living in. Without them our cells could not survive.

    This doesn't even begin to imagine the complex system in our gut, on our skin, of mutual hangers-on, pathogens and tiny buggers just living their lives as if we are their world to be fruitful and multiply on.

    Sure, from your perspective you're an 'individual' and you have 'a mind', but this is an illusion.

    You're likely all willing to admit that there is a large part of your 'mind' that just does it's own little thing until you need it to do something, called 'the subconscious mind', very mysterious, that's true, but would you rather spend your time thinking about which angle each of the hairs on your body ought to be at, I don't think so.

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  153. Yea sure Jerry.

    Double down on that 'tude.

    Quote me and say, "Hardly."

    Quote me and say, "How would you know?"

    Tell me that you've alread told me.

    You mined how many comments(?) to quip 'hardly' and such, at, then say, 'I told you already', as if that's saying something new.

    You're just like Eric when, when asked, says something like, "I answered that three posts ago, now go look it up!"

    So, when asked what it is that you believe justifies your worldview, is it that it's so vague that you have to rethink it, or it's so complicated that you can't be bothered to type that much, or is it as you said yourself, I'm not in some jargon-learning mode and your not getting off with meaningless crap, so you'd rather not engage at all, except as above!

    "Listen to yourself.", and such.
    "I told you already.", and so forth.

    You want to imagine an objective spiritual reality from your totally subjective feelings and some jargon, fine. Just don't pretend that that isn't what you're doing.

    Not for me do this Jerry. For yourself. For yourself.

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  154. Imagining me 'locked in the garage' or 'chained to a post', it seems to me, is just rephrasing, 'grounded', or 'standing on the ground' in a bad light.

    What do you hope to find swimming freely in that spiritual sea, Jerry?

    The theists fish in that sea, you know!

    This, how do you know it's not real, bullshit, is exactly the same as asking how I know that fairies and centaurs aren't real.

    They too live in that spiritual sea, don't they?

    When physicists look as close in as they can, it seems to turn into a bubbling fractal mush, and when astronomers look out as far as they can, it seems to turn into a bubbling fractal mush.

    I'm pretty sure that if scientists look close enough at our mind, it's going to be, well you'd never guess what.

    If you think about 'life on Earth' from a 4 dimensional perspective, it's a bubbling fractal mush.

    The Sun? Take a close look at the surface, bubbling fractal mush!

    Porridge for breakfast? Bubbling fractal mush.

    Case closed. LOL

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  155. This, how do you know it's not real, bullshit, is exactly the same as asking how I know that fairies and centaurs aren't real.

    You do not seem to be able to quite projecting your BS on others. Bad habit in my opinion. Your karma.

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  156. But you just rephrased what I said, and said, "Sure it is."

    "Quieting the mind,(Emptying your mind)to 'pierce' the 'veil'(seeking truth)
    --------------
    I will give you this point on a technical.

    May I tell you why I disagreed?

    Quieting the mind does equal emptying it.
    However I was seeking not outside knowledge, but inside, subconscious knowledge that I already possess but am not consciously aware of.

    But on thinking about it, the difference is not significant enough to argue. So I agree.

    Which should not and does not bother me, because I've already admitted to 'playing both sides of the deck' when it comes to my worldview, that of both science and mysticism.

    So 'guilty' and 'here's my hands' if you wanna cuff me.

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  157. All I'm saying there is that, "How do you know it's not real.", is a really, really bad reason for you to believe it's real.

    "How do you know that Santa Claus (sanity clause)isn't real?"

    "How do you know that the 3 billion gods of the Hindu religion aren't real?"

    "How do you know that the Egyptian pantheon isn't real?"

    "How do I know that you're not a grown man with the mind of a little girl?"

    Now THAT is 'projection', y'see because my 'how do I know' is just as valid(i.e. NOT) as all the rest.

    And cherry-picking a bit out of a comment to be a snarky little girl about does not bode well for any 'reason' you may imagine you have for your case.

    Bordering on ad hominem replies may prove to yourself how glib you are, but it seems to divert from your, "Why, I already justified my ideas.", canard.

    Once again Jerry, I don't think 'projection' means what you think it means.

    If you're offended that anyone would dare question your sacred beliefs, Jerry, simply repeat to yourself, "I'm offended that anyone would dare question my sacred beliefs.", until you are happy with that or you see how silly it is to do that.

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  158. If you're offended that anyone would dare question your sacred beliefs, Jerry, simply repeat to yourself, "I'm offended that anyone would dare question my sacred beliefs.", until you are happy with that or you see how silly it is to do that.

    I do not have sacred beliefs. You will have to ck a mirror for one that does, it is your idea, of course you will probably not own it, as usual.

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  159. "So 'guilty' and 'here's my hands' if you wanna cuff me."

    The penalty for being 'guilty' of this is to get up tomorrow and make a big pot of steaming, bubbling fractal porridge!

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  160. "You will have to ck a mirror for one that does.."

    You've completely lost me here.

    But anyways, your beliefs regarding some kind of objective spiritual reality, then.

    I was using 'sacred' in the sense of 'unquestionable', or 'not to be questioned', since apparently they are not to be questioned.

    There's the metaphorical chain or locked garage which is also 'located' in this spiritual reality which kind of gives us a clue that it is not real, but metaphorical.

    Do you imagine it might be possible to communicate with others through this spiritual reality then?

    I'm not talking about speaking metaphorically and that then being understood by others, of course.

    I liked my metaphor about theists fishing in that spiritual sea a lot since I cannot imagine how you'd gain any insights/knowledge floating around in that 'sea', unless some theist threw some doctrine your way and you got caught up in it.

    I like the idea of karma although I realise that it hints at some kind of mysterious cosmic justice.

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  161. pboy,
    You do not believe the world that I live in exist. You have said so many times, many ways. I know it exist because I live in it. I see no way that you and I will ever come to understanding about my world as long as you refuse acknowledge that it exist, so I see no reason to continue to try to discuss issues that concerns spiritual reality.

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  162. Brian, You may well be aware of this but I found it very interesting.

    Bee Ball: Honeybees' Defense Against Wasp Predators (VIDEO)

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  163. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/world/moroccans-outraged-suicide-16-year-old-girl-forced-marry-rapist-article-1.1039116

    This is infuriating in the extreme!

    Woman commits suicide after being forced to marry her rapist.

    I'm so sick of religion. And our brand is only about a step and a half behind this one. Our own religio-moronic assholes are already talking about 'no abortion even if you were raped.'
    Pretty close to being the same thing.

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  164. Without clicking on it, yes, I know... they raise the body temp of the attacking wasps by balling around them... pretty amazing, huh? I saw a special on it last year, with the big japanese hornets (3 in long, egad!)

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  165. A complete hypothetical, which will likely not ever happen, but for the sake of argument Pboy:

    If in a hundred years science proves by experimentation (hard proof) that reality is informational in nature, perceived by us humans as similar to what a communal dream would possibly be like, but different in that it's all due to reality being like a field that acts much like a 'blank computer data bank' with the potential for patterns and eventual
    'programs' (life) forming within it....

    If that were the case, unlikely as it appears at this juncture, what would happen to the word 'spirituality?'
    I wonder how it would be viewed then, in that scenario.

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  166. I mean, if someday science proved that god was the answer (really fucking unlikely, but still...) it would VALIDATE all spiritual claims.

    But in the case of my pet ideas there, it would seem to me that it would INVALIDATE many of them and give a rational explanation for why people were mistaken about them.

    People like you would still say 'hey, that's spiritual' about it, I guess, if my ideas were found true, but christians? How would they react to it, I wonder? Disbelief, I'd wager.

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  167. Incidentally, within an informational type universe, it is still just as possible that we die, and have no afterlife. In such a universe, we are patterns, and patterns can disperse or be dispersed. In that universe it is also still possible that, while alive, our thoughts can interact with it.

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  168. Jerry, you and I both get upset whenever our ideas about reality are challenged, especially when it's in a mocking way.

    I'm going to speak for me here, and just me.

    I want to change this in myself. I do not like it. And also, I can see that it actually makes me a much worse communicator of those ideas.

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  169. I was reading 'up' the responses here, and came across this, which I missed before, from Eric:

    "A group of people who don't speak Urdu (well, most of them don't) are discussing the Urdu language with someone who's fluent in it, and then begrudge his fluency and his insistence on referencing Urdu in a discussion about it."

    Eric, this analogy fails, because in it, "Urdu" = "Philosophy"

    It would be accurate if the subject, the actual subject, of our conversations here, were philosophy itself, and not religion and atheism and the possibility of a deity. You may believe that philosophy is the proper language to be talking in, but we don't, hence the rudeness.

    See now? No?

    (sigh)

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  170. Brian, are you aware of the idea that uses the rider and the elephant?

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  171. Um, no Jerry, must have missed that one. Unless you're talking about the three blind people touching different parts of an elephant.

    What is it?

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  172. Thought experiment.

    You are free to think of anything you want to. You are not free to think of anything you want to. You are allowed to think of anything you want to. You're not allowed to think of anything you want to. You are able to think of anything you want to. You are not able to think of anything you want to. You may think of anything that you want to. You may not think of anything you want to.

    Which of these do you think is true? Perhaps you don't think it's as clear cut as this?

    I think that what we are thinking about is determined to a large extent on what state we are in, in other words, how we are feeling.

    So, how are you feeling? On a scale of 1 to 10, how tense would you say you are?

    How about this, what you do think it is that is making you tense?

    Is your wife getting on your last nerve because she insists on waking you up by farting in your face?

    Solution:-nose plugs.

    I feel like I got off track there, since as I thought about my state, or how tense I was, what I was trying to say, being made up as I go along as usual, well that changed as I relaxed.

    I was thinking of creating a blog called "Om." Every day I'd post an entry which would say, "Om.", and my fans would comment, "Om."

    It would be a very relaxing site.

    You may be feeling like murder, just having received the 'treatment' from the wife, you could log in and comment with an, "Om."

    Sad joke, "What does a bhuddist paratrooper shout on the way out the plane door?" "Ger-OM-ino!"

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  173. Jonathan Haidt (wikipedia) writes that we are like a rider on an elephant. Rider being the conscious mind, and the elephant the programmed or unconscious mind (my definition) The elephant cannot understand reason and logic, and must be addressed in a way that it understands. Using Observant, we both experienced not being heard. According to Haidt we were addressing the conscious mind, and not the elephant. I have a friend that finds this idea very useful, and I thought it might be of interest to you.

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  174. "..that reality is informational in nature.."

    I'm not happy with the word 'informational'. It brings up the question, who is it intended to inform? Not to mention the intelligence implied in the formation of the information.

    I suppose it doesn't have to have an intelligent source, but it does need an intelligent receiver.

    Now of course, since we could consider ourselves 'information receivers', some eye data, some ear data, some nose data etc. anyways, the idea that scientists could inform us that reality is simply 'information' is really a moot point.

    I'm wondering how this new information, 'that reality is simply information', changes anything any more than , say, scientists explaining to us that the Einsteinian model is more accurate than the Newtonian model when we're looking at objects travelling at astronomical speeds and having astronomical gravity.

    I mean, here we are, stuck with our model working fine for us, Newtonian laws of physics and all, unless we become astrophysicists, whereupon we find we need a more refined model.

    To continue the analogy, who really gives a fuck if it takes a couple of minutes more, or is it less, to travel to Australia by plane, than the Newtonian model would predict?

    Christ! I think a head wind would have more effect on the ETA than that, though I could be wrong.

    What with our computers all over the damned place these days, it can't be much of a chore to tell us that indeed we're going to land in Melbourne at such and such a time including the time dilation.

    I for one would be more concerned about the extra radiation I'm getting soaked with from flying than whether I gained or lost a few mins. of my life.

    And none of that was intended to be poo-pooing your idea at all, although I do tend to picture data 'falling down' on the CRT a la Matrix, when I'm thinking of your 'all is data(information)' idea.

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  175. "..that reality is informational in nature.."
    ---------------
    Informational, as in, data based and not matter based.
    As in, the universe (in these speculations) is a huge data bank with no computer necessary to run it. It's all one thing, no processing necessary because the data interacts with itself, with other data, and not with some 'user' somewhere.

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  176. I suppose it doesn't have to have an intelligent source, but it does need an intelligent receiver.
    -------------
    It's intelligent receivers are all 'programs' within the 'data bank.' No external users, in this scenario.

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  177. I'm wondering how this new information, 'that reality is simply information', changes anything
    ----------------------
    To most people, it won't. To scientists, of course it would. But the nerwtonian physics will still be good for the regular stuff and the einsteinien physics for the macro and the micro worlds... But to people like me, well, it just makes more sense, is all. I sense (intuit) that there's more to this reality than meets the eye, and this would vindicate that. And it would give us a fresh start on a whole new concept of the universe that DOESN'T NEED GOD in the sense that, there's no room left for him. It would close the 'you can't prove he doesn't exist' loophole.

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  178. And pboy, for people like me, even the religious ones, that have had the coincidences and have 'had their prayers answered' which is the equivalent of my magic or meditations or whatever actually producing results (as it has, after all) it would justify and explain the mechanism behind that.

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  179. I still think that when we are refering to the supernatural, we tend to put forth ideas or to accept ideas as metaphorical.

    Take the story of Adam and Eve in the garden with the magic trees and the snake.

    "Pah! Theists explain, it's metaphor!", but then we have to listen to how we have original sin because of Adam, women give birth in pain because of sin and snakes crawl on their belly because of what snakes did.

    This is equivalent to saying, "It's raining cats and dogs out there!"

    Someone saying, "I don't see any animals falling down."

    "Pah! It's a metaphor!", but then going on to describe the breeds of the cats and dogs and maybe saying that this cat/dog rain is the reason that cats and dogs don't generally get along.

    Saying, 'it's a metaphor' or just using a metaphor doesn't give the supposed facts we're describing magical properties, especially if the supposed facts aren't explained at all, only the metaphor, really meaningless.

    We could talk of the U.S.A. being Christian land, although land itself has no religion, and this might be abused by a Christian having the idea that you shouldn't be walking anywhere in the U.S.A. since he/she has decided to 'unmetaphorize' the idea that 'land' is really meaning people.

    If we get to, and we do, metaphorize stories and more importantly unmetaphorize them, when it suits us, we have a mechanism that moves goalposts, making any ridiculous argument seem sane.

    Just don't come right out and say the obvious, "Well, God is a metaphor." They'll just call you an angry atheist god-hater.

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  180. " It would close the 'you can't prove he doesn't exist' loophole."

    Nothing, Brian, no thing, nothing, is going to convince a theist that his particular brand of theism isn't right.

    You'd imagine that the Outsider Test of Faith would do a fine job of explaining that one faith has no better grounds than any other.

    The implication being, either they're all right or they're all wrong.

    But Eric proved that if you invoke epistemology and categories, you can fool yourself into imagining that the OTF is itself a faith which needs to subject itself to it's own test!

    This ought to be known as the 'Shuffling the deck' defense.

    But we know how Christianity fails the test by Islamic standards and we know how Islam fails the test from a Christian standard, don't we?

    If they didn't fail each other's tests of faith, then there'd be one religion encompassing the faith in them all. I think that some apologists actually try to use that kind of argument, that all faiths are kind of equal, to try to defeat the OTF, but who is fooling who here?

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  181. If they didn't fail each other's tests of faith, then there'd be one religion encompassing the faith in them all.

    Well there is, when Eric wants to make the argument ad populum.

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  182. I had a salvia experience not too long ago. I might have mentioned it in passing, but not in detail. A meditation on my own 'life force' for lack of a better term. In it at one point, due to my having sucessfully (apparently) isolated the feeling of being alive, the sensation of cellular life, the tingle of it, my recognizing it and focusing on it altered it and I felt my entire biology shutting down as *I think it will in death.*

    No, really.

    I felt a lessening of my own life, throughout my body and mind. And mind. What I mean is, I felt my consciousness diminishing all through me at once in a way that I'd never felt it in life. I stopped it somehow, by shifting away from it, and felt fine afterwards, but for about a second I clearly felt what I would not be surprised to eventually find out (as we must all do) is what actually dying feels like. It was not at all like falling asleep, I'm afraid. And speaking of fear, it's terrifying. I'm trying to work on my acceptance of it, so that when it happens (again, going all the way down that time) I won't die in terror. I think I can do that, at least not be totally terrified.... It's the feeling of everything shutting off; I mean, what did I expect it to feel like? No pain... heck, pain means you're alive... so there's that.

    So my point is anyhow, I'm fairly confident that I know what dying feels like in the mind. Not shitting you, either. Wish I were.

    Salvia is a mixed blessing.

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  183. The thing about it though, is that it was not just my body feeling it, it was my mind as well, in perfect tandem. The point being, it didn't feel like there'd be anything left of me to 'go onward' to any afterlife. I mean, if I went all the way, all the way 'down' as it were, and lost my consciousness that way, I don't think I'd be there anymore to wake up anywhere else. I wasn't going to sleep... I was SHRINKING. My whole consciousness. Best word I can think of. Diminishing. Getting less and less, with totally predictable outcome.

    Sorry... hope I didn't disturb anybody. I've got nobody else to tell things like this to, really... I wouldn't want my wife to worry, and there's nobody else that wouldn't think I was insane.

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  184. I guess the reason that I brought that up was this line of reasoning, provoked by what was being mentioned here:

    1. Too bad christians will never know that they are wrong, because when they die they won't be able to tell that they're not going on to heaven.

    2. Wait a minute... if it is what *I experienced,* they actually *will* be able to tell. It doesn't feel like you're 'moving on.'
    It feels like you're *going out.* But not as fast as a candle, unfortunately.

    3. Small satisfaction, that.

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  185. After an experience like that, 'going down all the way,' if I woke up in say, heaven afterwards, it wouldn't feel right.
    It would be, closest analogy I can think of, like I woke up as a clone of the original Brian. It wouldn't feel continuous. I'd feel like an identical copy or something, not the original me.

    Is this shit getting too weird for you guys?

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  186. It feels like you're *going out.* But not as fast as a candle, unfortunately.

    What would you say is the time it would take to go clear out?

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  187. As for the fear, one of the ways to deal with it is physical relaxing. Dr Edmund Jacobson proved years ago that one cannot feel strong emotions while relaxed. In case you want more info on that, the name of the book is, "You Must Relax".

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  188. CK this out.

    Bear Saves Robert Biggs From Mountain Lion Attack In California

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  189. What would you say is the time it would take to go clear out?
    -------------
    No Jerry. Nothing like that. I experienced like a second of it. It's hard to figure from that, but it felt like if I hadn't stopped it, maybe three to five seconds and I'd be gone.

    Sorry... it wasn't promising. And don't think I'm not disappointed, too.

    Of course, I can still cling to the hope that it was all a mirage, and it wont be like that...

    Or I can prepare for the eventuality that it will be.

    I choose both, of course, being who I am.

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  190. As for the fear, one of the ways to deal with it is physical relaxing. Dr Edmund Jacobson
    --------------
    I wasn't talking about my fear of it NOW Jerry. I can handle that just fine. I'm talking about learning now, to deal with it eventually, when it happens, so it won't take me by surprise. If I hadn't had this 'flash,' it would have, and my last moments would have not been pleasant, to say the least. Now I 'get' it. That's all.

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  191. I threw up a new post.



    Still tastes funny. Need to brush.

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