Sunday, May 27, 2012

Extemporizing...

Just a new post for the next 200 comments, continued from the last.

Incidentally as to the last post, just wanted to re-iterate that you can access comments over the 200 count by pressing the very small and hard to notice link that says 'load more' near the bottom of the page.

Nice design, Blogger!

187 comments:

  1. Now as to the 'reason' for the existence of angels, a traditional response concerns what's sometimes called the 'chain of being,' from the simplest bit of inanimate matter to god himself. If you move from inanimate matter to human beings and then to god, there's an obvious gap there, one that angels nicely fill:
    -------------------
    You have no idea how incredibly silly you sound.

    How man angels can dance on the head of a pin, Eric? I mean, nothing you're saying here is less silly than that famous question, so I figure you have an 'answer' to it as well. Is it 42? Do I need to ask the mouses?

    Why shouldn't there be a gap between angels and god, Eric? What is it that calls out for a filler here? It lacks the sense of a human hierarchy, that's what. So you're projecting human values onto your deity.
    Nothing new here... very old in fact.

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  2. I've heard 'god of the gaps' arguments before, but this is even funnier, an 'angels of the gaps' argument! Well, I'll be dipped!

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  3. I means, a gap between humans and god, with no angels. That was the intended meaning.

    So it's inanimate matter, then humans? No animals or plants, or are they included somewhere? And then after humans, you obviously can't skip right over to god, so there has to be something.... hmmm...

    We're nothing even close to angels, eric. They're much closer to god than we are to them.

    So, another gap. What's in it, Eric? What's in that gap?

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  4. The saints? Ghosts of our ancestors?

    I'm just using your reasoning here Eric... where am I going wrong?

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  5. I mean Eric, if you can't see that that 'chain of being' argument is just a flimsy illogical pasted-together excuse for the obvious question 'why does an omnipotent god need angels' then you're nowhere near as smart as you are capable of sounding.

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  6. Why does God need a 'chain of being?'

    Same question as why does he need angels.

    The answer to both is 'he doesn't.' Not if he's omnipotent.

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  7. Yea, why would God need any more messengers than Himself, as seen in, was gonna say WWI, but I meant the O.T., Jesus, God incarnate, who may appear any old time he sees somebody sad, or whatever. And let's not forget the Holy Spirit, who is with us always, when we beat ourselves to exquisite pain, or maybe just to give a hint at the local lottery ticket stand?

    I liked the O.T. version where the prophet, the purported writer himself, had a straight line to God, and maybe added a bit of hyperbole himself if God was sounding a bit too loving at the time.

    All this drivel about an entire army necessary to defeat the forces of darkness(or evil, is it), is so obviously made up bullshit, made up by the storyteller trying to sound both mysterious and profound.

    "And the Seventh Seal was opened, and Holy Jeebus, you'd never believe all that 'loving' and 'shit' that was going to rain down on us!"

    LOL

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  8. Alan Simpson Slams Fellow Republicans For Unwillingness To Compromise

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  9. I'd be a lot more interested if he was slamming their heads into a locker.

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  10. I was doing some reading on 'the chain of being...' Apparently a concept dating back to plato and aristotle. It's pretty funny. Apparently all animals are in it too, and animal groups have a 'primate' or prime best example, like as in, all mammals' 'primate' would be either the lion or elephant... And the primate, or prime example of all humans is 'the King' whoever that might be at the time I guess (deference to authority much?) but this one I found Interesting. The 'primate' or prime example for all fishes, the 'king of the fish' if you will, is the WHALE.

    Funny stuff... stupid by today's standards, even comical.

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  11. When the religious try to emulate science, the results are always hilarious.

    They rank 'useful' animals like a dog say, over domesticated farm animals and those over 'wild' animals.

    All totally human-centric. We're in between animals with no souls, and angels with souls, so we're a bit of both. Angels can commit intellectual sins like pride, but not physical sins like lust. Because we're tied to bodies.

    Of course animals are soul-less. That way we don't feel guilty when we torture them and kill them.

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  12. Listening to apologists one realizes that what it is that they're selling is nothing more or less than a really illogical, even moron-level bunch of bronze-age wild guesses and stuff they just pulled out of their asses, with all the force of modern philosophical terminology and even scientific terminology, and trying with all his humanly determination to make it look acceptable to modern logical people. It's like marketing a retarded chimp dressed in silk and finery as a prince.

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  13. Eric said,

    Now as to the 'reason' for the existence of angels, a traditional response concerns what's sometimes called the 'chain of being,' from the simplest bit of inanimate matter to god himself. If you move from inanimate matter to human beings and then to god, there's an obvious gap there, one that angels nicely fill: human beings are created, finite beings that are composites (however conceived) of matter and spirit, while god is unconditioned being itself; angels, as created beings of pure spirit, 'fit' well here.

    If THAT wasn't a fairy tale non sequitur, nothing ever will be! There is absolutely no reason to believe that there is even a gap to fill, if there is no god; Inventing god invents the gap, too.

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  14. Looks like Brian beat me to it...

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  15. Hey, I appreciate the company, Ed! ;-)

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  16. Lately one of my prime reasons for disbelieving in god is that everybody here that believes in him uses bad logic and stupid stories and weak reasoning to try to convince me that he's real. If he's fucking real, he'd definitely be offended at the dipshit morons (or slick lying salesman types) that represent him on earth, and do something to stop it. But no soap. No real god would allow people to spread this crap about him. No god worth worshiping would have such dimwitted and/or immoral representatives spouting off such obvious, childish lies.

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  17. Eric, perhaps you were just telling us the old historical reason for angels and not your own? I mean, I can't believe that someone like you would rely on such a kindergarten construction-paper chain for the basis of your reasoning in this matter, so tell us something we can at least see as marginally plausible, will you?

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  18. It's interesting that there wouldn't have been a gap initially, when gods and goddess were flopping around on Mt. Olympus and Mt. Sinai acting like superheroes instead of "grounding all being" and such.

    It seems that theology becoming "sophisticated" is what actually invented the gap.

    If he's fucking real...

    My thought is if god was real, he'd be obvious. Mystery is a gimmick, not evidence.

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  19. Here's something by the eminent Mortimer Adler on Aquinas on Angels that neatly sums up some of what I extemporaneously posted.

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  20. From Eric's link:

    The only justification for affirming the existence of something unperceived and, perhaps, imperceptible is that whatever it is that needs to be explained cannot be explained in any other way. This is the sound rule laid down by William of Ockham in the fourteenth century and it has been followed ever since by careful, cautious scientists and philosophers.

    The reasoning of nuclear physicists concerning the existence of certain elementary particles that are intrinsically imperceptible takes this form. So, too, does a valid argument for the existence of God.
    -------------------------------
    Invalid comparison, since we have evidence for the particles and forces that we DO know from which we can deduct the absent particles or forces, but there is no shred of evidence for god, NOR A NEED FOR HIM. Same with angels of course... you're extrapolating real (albeit somewhat arbitrary) hierarchies to a 'spiritual' reality that you insist is 'above' the material one, and on that single huge ASSumption everything else in the article fails.
    Weak minds see a need for god, because they are not capable of seeing all the reasons that said need is purely psychological nor are they willing to give sufficient credit to scientific explanations of cosmology.
    You're just inhabiting the rapidly-vanishing gaps. When they're all gone, so will be your religion. And you can see this. Through the last thousand years, you can plot it. It's a downward trend in inverse proportion to scientific edification. Our eyes are opening, so fantasies are being dispersed by the light of reason.
    Go with it. Stop fighting it. It's called progress.

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  21. And 'there is no god' is of course, the "other way" that you're ignoring in that equation of Sir Ockham there.

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  22. And the rest of it, that piece, I wanted to post in it's entirety here just to 'red ink' it... there would have been an awful lot of red.

    So we're back to my last thought, that is, "Eric, what are YOUR reasons to believe in angels?" Because the ones that you're using and the authorities you're appealing to aren't worth serious consideration, no more than elves being responsible for the chihuahuas.

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  23. Although I did enjoy reading Eric on Adler on Aquinas on angels.

    You appeal to authorities that appeal to other authorities that appeal to other auth.... Doesn't this get tiring?

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  24. I think Brian on salvia makes more sense. And that's not much.

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  25. whatever it is that needs to be explained cannot be explained in any other way.
    ---------------
    This razor cuts both ways.

    What is it that needs to be explained that cannot be explained in any other way other than god and angels? You haven't identified it.

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  26. ...and I can't think of anything. Not anything under the sun, or stars, or really, anything.

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  27. I posit that there is a chain of being, and that it extends from the inanimate to the spiritual and then, beyond that.
    So there's the inanimate, then plants, animals, then people, then angels, then god, then the force that created god, then whatever was the origin of that force. Oh, and god isn't aware that he was created by a superior force obviously... there's a veil of mystery at every level....
    Hey, it's just as valid... I merely noticed the huge gap *beyond* god!

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  28. See, I was thinking (I know, how brazen of me!) about this chain of being, and I see a huge flaw.

    At every level above the mineral and plant, at every *sensate* level, the creatures at that level are capable of perceiving and/or interacting with the creatures on the next level above, and the reverse is true as well.

    But we, we humans, cannot perceive any angel or god. I know; I've looked. It doesn't interact with us. We can't interact with it. Apes can see us just fine. Rodents run from hungry apes. And so on backwards... but not forwards from where we sit.

    You see a need for a spiritual realm, and a deity to inhabit it and angels and so forth... but that need is purely psychological on your part, and of course sadly, this cannot be communicated to you in such a way as so that you will see the truth of it, for you've been biased, corrupted. Bad code.

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  29. From the Adler link:

    The explanation advanced by Thomas Aquinas rests on a single insight. In his Treatise on Angels in the Summa Theologica, answering the question whether there are entirely spiritual or incorporeal creatures, Aquinas asserts that "the universe would be incomplete without [them]."

    Eric,

    You, sir, owe me a fresh screwdriver, as I could not prevent myself from spraying the one I was drinking all over my monitor.

    THIS is the earth-shattering insight that Aquinas came up with? Again, non sequitur!

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  30. Ed, logic 101: every simplification of an argument is a non sequitur. Only those unaware of this basic fact, or those looking for cheap shots, label with dispatch simplified arguments as non sequiturs. It's one the distinguishing marks of the novice, or of the sophist. If you want to see if the argument is indeed a non sequitur, check out the complete argument. Now there are of course legitimate criticisms you can level at simplified arguments, but 'non sequitur' generally isn't one of them.

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  31. Call it what you want, Eric; the assertion that the "universe would be incomplete without some arbitrarily postulated "order of being" is just fanciful thinking, promulgated by people who wanted it to be true because it seemed like it "completed some imaginary hierarchy.

    The complete argument cannot be, at it's core any more sophisticated than the summary.

    Just more verbose...

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  32. If you want to see if the argument is indeed a non sequitur, check out the complete argument.

    I truly believe that would be a colossal waste of time.

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  33. Eric, what is it that needs to be explained that cannot be explained in any other way other than god and angels? You haven't identified it.

    I like this question. So I'll ask it again. I am not being cocky here, I am genuinely curious.

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  34. I think the rules are 'fair game'.

    You might tend to agree with those rules unless you understand what 'fair game' is. Which is no rules at all.

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  35. Incidentally and of course, in this universe we have an apparent 'hierarchy of being' from the inanimate to the animate and from the lower forms to the higher, because they evolved, all evolved from that supposedly 'inanimate' matter, as in, primitive amino acids and so forth. So unless god evolved from angels and angels evolved from us. there's no connection.

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  36. answering the question whether there are entirely spiritual or incorporeal creatures, Aquinas asserts that "the universe would be incomplete without [them]."
    --------------
    He believes. He has no knowledge of it and therefore is not qualified to answer. All his beliefs rest on the shoulders of previous person's beliefs, all the way back to a campfire myth. To answer such a question as if with authority, is sheer hubris.

    His fantasy version of a universe would indeed be incomplete, as in, no god. Since he can't conceive of that completely valid option, the man is useless.

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  37. If you cannot BELIEVE in all possible options, then you are not capable of judging the situation with neutral, critical thought. You are biased, corrupted. Bad file.

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  38. This whole “chain of being” thing is silly.  If evolution (biological and otherwise) is true (and the catholic church says it is, regardless of what MI actually believes), then it’s not a “chain of being” but rather a “tree of being”, and the existence of angels and daemons  not only don’t leave this model “incomplete without [them]” but they actually fatally confuse it. 
     
    I’d thought better of Alder, but in retrospect, I’m not sure why.

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  39. Well Ryan, I was thinking about this, and weak arguments are all they've got, really. So they have to use them. They just *have to* believe in god and angels and pixies... oops, not pixies, but the god and angels and all that grade-school level malarky, but they haven't got any good arguments for it because hey, it's bullshit. To us Aquinas (or Eric on Adler on Aquinas!) sounds somewhat well, retarded. They can't see that though, because they already believe in all the BS FIRST, and so then afterwards they have to find arguments to justify it all. So hence the silly shit.

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  40. MI's a Santorum Catholic. That's a catholic that has sold out to the protestants to 'fit in' to their social values. Not a real catholic by any measure. (Neither is Santorum, for that matter...)

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  41. I can understand why people like MI cannot see how silly their arguments sound, but in Eric's case I have more of a problem. He seems smart enough to know what an argument like 'chain of being' will sound like to us. Why use it? Same with anything that Aquinas wrote. Silliness to us, but he likes it so much that he can't see how we see it. Refuses to, I guess. Can't relate.
    Also, does Eric ever tell us *his* arguments for god? Why he believes? Not really, he'd rather quote someone else. Makes me wonder if the reason that he sounds smart but still buys into this silliness might be that he's a great 'storer' or 'recaller' of information but not a very good 'processor' of what he's got in his memory banks.

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  42. Eric,
    Do you find these arguments compelling? Aquinas I mean, in general... you quote him endlessly, but do you personally find his arguments compelling? If so, why? Because I can't see how. I seriously can't see how. And it's not like I'm not getting them. They're very simple, albeit couched in as many obscure terms as the man could manage... (I sense a reason for that)

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  43. It's like they just borrow the whole biological web of life and use the hierarchy implicit in it in reverse to indicate a god and angels coming *after* it all. However they seem to not understand that everything on that 'chain' has one thing in common EXCEPT for the last two items. It's all natural, made of matter, and conforms to evolution, indeed is the result of evolution. So as I stated a while back, unless Angels evolved from men, and then God evolved from angels, the last two items do not fit. They are non-sequiturs.

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  44. I mean, wouldn't 'elves' fit nicely between men and angels? That's a gap that isn't full...

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  45. Oh, and between angels and god, we need demi-gods. And no, the metatron doesn't count.
    Another gap that must be filled!

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  46. Boy though, can you imagine, before science, how compelling those arguments must have been?
    No wonder christianity hates science so virulently. Science has destroyed it, and not even on purpose! It just turned out that the search for rational knowledge led away from god. What a shocker that must have been back when it was first happening....

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  47. Something I need help understanding. How is the simplification of an argument always a non-sequitur?
    Sample argument: One must be able to stand before one can walk.
    Now how does simplifying that invalidate the conclusion following the premise? I must have missed this in Logic 101, which I did actually take and do well in.

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  48. B, I suspect that sometime in the future, assuming we last that long, religious thinking like what we experience here (suspension of belief, magical thinking, angels and such) will be viewed as part of the continuum of obsessive or addictive behaviors. It’s pretty depressing that the subject of angels shows up in the 21 century anywhere but on QVC.

    For now, I think we are experiencing one of the ‘intellectual’ cycles we see from time to time. University students rebelling against their predecessors and utterly convinced that they are the first ones to see the truth. They learn the classics for the first time but forget that people before them read the same things and tried them on for size but there happen to be really good reasons why modern life isn’t governed by them. It’s kind of like an ultraconservative version of the ’60’s, but without the great music and heart. No doubt some will disagree - meh.

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  49. On a more practical note (at least to me ;)) Friday was a very special day. We ran our first live test of our AI/expert system where it autonomously conducted a test of a human clinician's cognition and decision-making skills. It's pretty cool.

    This will have some relevance to Harvey if he passes by. This kind of technology may replace the current every ten year recertification exam. If so, you would be tested over the course of each year instead of cramming for one test every ten.

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  50. My wife told me to say this...

    As a social worker and a health care professional for most of her life, she wanted me to tell you all, that Thomas Aquinas is fucking retarded.

    There you have it. Clinical diagnosis.

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  51. Here's Thomas Aquinas on those damned heretics... you can't live with them, but you can kill them:


    "With regard to heretics two points must be observed: one, on their own side; the other, on the side of the Church. On their own side there is the sin, whereby they deserve not only to be separated from the Church by excommunication, but also to be severed from the world by death. For it is a much graver matter to corrupt the faith which quickens the soul, than to forge money, which supports temporal life. Wherefore if forgers of money and other evil-doers are forthwith condemned to death by the secular authority, much more reason is there for heretics, as soon as they are convicted of heresy, to be not only excommunicated but even put to death. On the part of the Church, however, there is mercy which looks to the conversion of the wanderer, wherefore she condemns not at once, but "after the first and second admonition," as the Apostle directs: after that, if he is yet stubborn, the Church no longer hoping for his conversion, looks to the salvation of others, by excommunicating him and separating him from the Church, and furthermore delivers him to the secular tribunal to be exterminated thereby from the world by death."(Summa, II–II, Q.11, art.3.)

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  52. So you get two warnings. Very merciful.

    Oh, What A Great Thinker!

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  53. I'm sorry Eric, I realize that I am being very rude to you. I do honestly have trouble understanding why you believe as you do, and your explanations for it just aren't convincing to this old mystically-inclined atheist. They seem, in light of your apparent intellect, absurd. I am being weak in mocking you though, and I shouldn't do that. So for that I apologize.

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  54. Forgive me if I'm not impressed with the judgment of social workers.

    "Eric, what is it that needs to be explained that cannot be explained in any other way other than god and angels? You haven't identified it."

    I haven't identified it with respect to angels, for they don't exist necessarily (gratutious creation, remember?), but I most certainly have identified it with respect to god -- contingent being, to use one example.

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  55. "Something I need help understanding. How is the simplification of an argument always a non-sequitur?
    Sample argument: One must be able to stand before one can walk.
    Now how does simplifying that invalidate the conclusion following the premise? I must have missed this in Logic 101, which I did actually take and do well in."

    Let's take your example:

    "Sample argument: One must be able to stand before one can walk."

    The first problem here is obvious: this *isn't* an argument. An argument minimally comprises at least one premise and at least one conclusion, right? Well, how could you formulate your example as an argument (without any logical desiderata)? You can't. At best, you have an implication (e.g. If X walks, X stands).

    But let's ignore that and suppose that you're summarizing an argument along the following lines:

    (1) X is walking.
    (2) Therefore, X is standing.

    Note, this most certainly is a non sequitur, *without* the addition of the premises, (P) If X is walking, then X is standing. Compare the two arguments:

    (1) X is walking.
    (2) Therefore, X is standing.

    and

    (1) X is walking.
    (P) If X is walking, then X is standing.
    (2) Therefore, X is standing.

    Does that help? It may seem pedantic to you, but then simple examples used to illustrate basic points are almost always pedantic; the important point is found in the application of the principle that's simplistically illustrated to more complex cases.

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  56. Thank you.

    And forgive me if I didn't bother to click on your 'social worker' link. It was a joke. Obviously it's not her professional judgement.
    She is right, though. You must understand how silly this looks to a reasoning atheist.

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  57. Pliny:

    Congratulations!! If you are really able to apply AI in the manner you describe, the only obstacle I can see at this point is whether or not our brethren in the medical establishment will be able to give up the power they have over the rest of us to the betterment of all. I hope that this will prove to be so, even though it will have come way too late for my career. In any event, those of ous Board Certified in Otolaryngology before 1985 are not required to recertify, unless we wish to do so voluntarily.

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  58. Pliny, I have faith that you've seen "Logan's Run" and are even now assembling the automated plastic surgery machines....

    Hint: Copyright the word: Autodoc

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  59. Naw, B, plastic surgery machines are really far down the list

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  60. contingent being, to use one example.
    ------------------------
    Then let's talk about that for a while, because I have trouble remembering the argument. And besides, 'chains of being' are getting a bit moldy.

    The existence of god is contingent upon....?????

    Is this the Aquinas argument about first causes? I'm sincerely mixed up... have trouble keeping them straight. I realize they are very important to you but to me they are without content, so I tend to lose track of them...

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  61. Doesn't it all boil down to 'we can't explain how things started so therefore, God?'

    All things have a cause and so forth? So obviously at the start of things there had to be a complete and sentient being that intentionally created the universe? And of course asking how such a being itself came into existence is off-limits as a line of inquiry? Is that where we are?

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  62. Not trying to sound cocky or caustic but it seems to me that just describing the arguments are well, self-insulting. As in, an accurate description of your beliefs necessarily sounds like an insult to you, at least to me. So sorry.

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  63. The existence of god is contingent upon...

    No, the point is that everything we know of is contingent upon something else. We can't think of anything that isn't contingent upon something else, so ultimately there must be a non-contingent something that everything else is contingent upon.

    But this is just reductionism and more importantly, conflating the term "something" with the term "little baby Jesus".

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  64. Something is contingent if it depends on something else for its existence. This has nothing to do with *temporally* first causes, e.g. the 'cause' of 'the beginning' of the universe, but with *ontologically* first causes, i.e. with the existence of anything that exists contingently, here and now. The argument from contingent being moves from the obvious existence of contingent beings to the conclusion that something must exist necessarily, and from an analysis of what that necessarily existing 'thing' is to the conclusion that it has many of the properties we all ascribe to god. (That's not the argument itself -- I've presented a version of it here before -- but a sketch of the course the argument takes). Note, it doesn't get you to Christianity, but then it isn't meant to do so.

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  65. "But this is just reductionism and more importantly, conflating the term "something" with the term "little baby Jesus"."

    I've already addressed the latter point above, but could you elucidate the former point for me?

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  66. This has nothing to do with *temporally* first causes, e.g. the 'cause' of 'the beginning' of the universe, but with *ontologically* first causes, i.e. with the existence of anything that exists contingently, here and now.
    ----------------
    So nothing to do with the start of beginning of the universe but concerning the start of things that exist contingently and are still in existence like the the chain of events that we like to call 'the universe' is....
    Gotcha!

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  67. I've already addressed the latter point above, but could you elucidate the former point for me?

    I wouldn't say what you did was "address the point".

    Would you deny that if the ontological argument is false, then Christianity is necessarily false?

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  68. "I wouldn't say what you did was "address the point"."

    I most certainly did: The argument from contingency doesn't get you to Christianity for the same reason that contemporary evolutionary theory doesn't explain abiogenesis: it isn't meant to.

    "Would you deny that if the ontological argument is false, then Christianity is necessarily false?"

    First, I haven't said anything about the ontological argument.

    Second, an argument can't be false; its conclusion can be false, or it can be invalid or unsound, so I'm not exactly sure what you're getting at here.

    But if you're talking about the ontological argument being unsound, then, well, I agree, it is not sound. I don't think that the OA proves the existence of god; rather, I think it proves the *alternatives* we face vis-a-vis the existence of god. Either god necessarily exists, or he necessarily doesn't exist -- that's where the ontological argument in fact gets us (which is not, of course, where those who use it intend to get us).

    So obviously, the answer is 'no,' I don't think that if the OA fails, then Christianity is necessarily false, for I don't think that the OA works as it's intended to in the first place.

    Now could you address the 'reductionism' question?

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  69. think it proves the *alternatives* we face vis-a-vis the existence of god.

    Assuming an abuse of the term "god".

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  70. Now could you address the 'reductionism' question?

    Wow, you are making demands of us to actually answer questions? Ballsy.

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  71. I would suppose that any argument that claims ultimate first causes (not to mention their nature!) by extrapolating backwards to the beginning of things, an area which is necessarily still shrouded in mystery, as in, we don't know yet, that any such argument is by it's nature overly reductionist, wouldn't you Eric? If we don't know and can't know, then to say that certain things are necessarily true, is a tad hubristic.

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  72. Where in your worldview is the consideration for the possibility (for instance) that the universe is cyclical somehow? Or that there are many universes and new ones pop up out of older ones all the time? Or that this universe is a quasi-holographic projection off the surface of some unimaginable singularity? Or how many other possibilities not addressed in your philosophy, Horatio?

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  73. Looking at the sum of your arguments vis-a-vis god and it's supposed existence, I have come to what I think is a salient objection. Where, good sir, is the beef?
    I can't find anything that gives me any sort of 'aha' moment at all.
    It doesn't satisfy. You are strongest when most obscure, and that is not a characteristic of honesty. No offense.

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  74. First, I haven't said anything about the ontological argument.
    ---------
    Ontology recapitulates philately?

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  75. Either god necessarily exists, or he necessarily doesn't exist
    --------------------
    What if he necessarily doesn't exist but we can't see the 'necessarily' part yet?
    My point being, your side likes to see two options where many more potentially exist. What if there is something, some option, that we just don't know about and can't even imagine yet?
    You'll never hear a religious person cop to that truth.

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  76. Pliny's not working on automated plastic surgery kiosks-- the tissue rejection problems of the life-clocks and the levitation drive in the carousel are taking up all of his spare time...

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  77. Only if you give him an Ankh...

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  78. Speaking of, did you know that Hollywood is doing a re-do of Logan's Run?

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  79. Why has reading your bad puns created an ear worm by the The Chordettes?

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  80. A re-do?

    Awww.

    Some movies shouldn't be remade.

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  81. http://www.newser.com/story/147017/serpent-pastor-dies-of-snake-bite.html

    Apparently the rattlesnake was an atheist.

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  82. And his father was also a pastor that died from snakebite.

    Hey, I'm in favor of this sort of thing!

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  83. Earworm?

    Why does this remind me of Marty McFly at the gas station?

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  84. I have all seven Marvel Comics issues of Logan's Run from back in the 70's... The first five were an adaptation of the film, and the other two were new material. But Marvel stopped the series after just two more issues and left it hanging.

    :o(

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  85. Sometimes I think if I changed this to a science fiction blog we'd be a lot more popular.

    I could do it... I've read all the biggies. Most of Heinlein, Clarke, Anderson and so forth... All the way down to Zelazney.

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  86. I'm reading The Hyperion Cantos by Dan Simmons right now. Well written, interesting, great imagery, but get the sense its not going anywhere.

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  87. I read Hyperion, didn't get to the sequels. Dan Simmons is extraordinary. His 'Carrion Comfort' was one of the best horror novels I've ever read. His short stories are very moving as well... 'Sleeping With Teeth Women' for instance, explores Sioux mythology...

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  88. You have to be impressed with the Shrike.

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  89. Yeah, after Hyperion I didn't see where it could go either.

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  90. If anybody's interested in a really great and very DARK re-interpretation of the Peter Pan story, you have to read 'The Child Thief' by Brom.

    (Just Brom, no last name)

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  91. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/05/24/mermaid-the-body-found-animal-planet_n_1544087.html

    Okay, what do you people make of *this?* Animal Planet, really? Mermaids? The 'aquatic human theory?' Is it farcical, like an Onion article and nobody's getting it? Or is this a real show purporting to explore mermaids and their possible existence?

    Talk about slumming, Animal Planet!

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  92. I haven’t read up on it in a while (and didn’t read the huffpo article) but I thought that was a reasonable theory, there are a number of similarities we share with aquatic mammals that other mammals don’t share, like directional body hair, finger/toe webbing, subcutaneous fat, etc… etc…  I think the speculation was that at some point, our pre-homo ancestors returned to the sea for a bit. 
     
    With that said, it could have been completely demolished in the last 20 years and I wouldn’t have known about it.

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  93. http://abcnews.go.com/blogs/politics/2012/05/ann-romney-i-completely-support-90-percent-of-where-mitt-is/

    Even Ann Romney isn't comfortable with ten percent of what Mitt believes!

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  94. The mermaid article makes incorrect claims right there in it. Like only humans among land mammals can instinctively swim. And others.

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  95. I'd never heard of anything like it, so it seemed to be total bullshit to me. (I still think it is!)

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  96. Look up the aquatic ape hypothesis. Again, not sure if this is what the animal planet thing was talking about.

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  97. While we're at it, let's also research the aerial ape theory to explain fairies!
    Is it me, or is this too ridiculous to be serious in any way? It's not just wrong, it's absurd.

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  98. I think that's precisely what it was talking about.

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  99. Romney is a total douchebag. Can you imagine having to put up with this jerk for four years? I don't 'get it', he is so unlikeable. The Decider was not very likeable but he was more likeable than Gore, who was way too stiff, basically phoney.

    Fuck, Romney is ALL phoney all the time, the only thing he's got going for him is that he has an anti-Obama machine willing to vote for anyone but Obama.

    I've thought of the USA as the Corporate States of America for awhile now, hard to believe that about 1/2 of you are willing to turn it into the Douchebag States of America now.(actually Bush, Cheney et al were total douchebags, come to think of it)

    Just listening to Romney's weak arguments for himself and the right's ideological agenda, it seems obvious that he's going to try to bolster his image by making war, much like the Decider, who must know that he came across like the 'What, me worry?' Mad magazine kid, but thought he could boost his macho image with mucho carnage.

    Eight years of Bush was a fucking nightmare, and dammit, I'm thinking we're getting ready for another eight year nightmare.

    The World is circling the toilet bowl and these guys are getting ready to flush. It's fuckin' lunacy.

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  100. And basically, all because he's black.

    Hey, I have to live here!

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  101. Every action has an equal and opposite reaction. Astronomical amounts of hydrogen gas compressing itself into a star has an equal and opposite reaction, gravity produces electro-magnetic energy.

    EM energy is weird 'cos it travels at light-speed which means that it travels in time, yet out of time. As I understand it, anything travelling at lightspeed is both outside of time and relative to the velocities of things in 'regular' time-frames.

    Example:- Light is travelling at lightspeed, i.e. outside of time, yet it is affected by gravity and the medium it finds itself in, water, glass and whatnot.

    It's hard to imagine that if you were in a space-ship and hit the 'lightspeed button', you'd get where you were going instantly from your point of view, but you might take years to get 'there' from an Earth observer's POV.

    So how about the equal and opposite reaction thing, what if the equal and opposite reaction was gravity. In our timeframes it would be the equal and opposite push back, sure, but in the other non-timeframe, it's manifested as gravity.

    There!(slaps dust off hands)

    I've done the hard work, now finish up that GUT.

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  102. "Just listening to Romney's weak arguments for himself and the right's ideological agenda..."

    Hmm, I hadn't thought much of Romney, but if Floyd thinks that his arguments are weak, they're almost certainly fairly strong, so I'll have to reconsider... ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. They're incredibly weak, but in Bizarro catholic world of course that means strong.

      Delete
  103. During their time together, she said, Eugene would sit on the bed or on the couch in the evenings with her to read from his Bible. He carried it him just about everywhere he went, she said, and often cited verses to friends and family.
     
    “If someone was lost or didn’t know God, he would tell them about him,’’ she said. “He was a believer of God.”

     
    ergo, religion causes cannibalistic face eating.

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  104. I'm sure you can find some logic in the notion that when your country is swimming in debt, in part because of a massive tax cut for the wealthy, even more tax cuts for the wealthy would be a 'solution'.

    You think I give you enough credit to not vote for Romney, Eric? You seem to have this idea that I think enough of you to imagine that you do not wish your country in the toilet.

    This couldn't be any further from what I think of you Eric.

    Swing and a miss.

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  105. I guess probably Eric and his friends will vote for Romney, if for no other reason than the Romney worldview is closer to theirs than to ours. Hurt the little guy, take it all for yourselves, who cares about being correct or knowledgeable if you win anyhow.... Screw everyone but me and my buds... it's the Catholic way too, after all. Oh not what they say, but what they do. Like moving around pederast priests rather than giving them over to the law. And if Eric can't see validity in our arguments here he's likely not seeing reality either, but rather what he believes/wishes it to be.

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  106. I bet Eric never had any doubt that he'd be voting for Romney. I can't imagine him voting for Obama. Obama is the candidate of 'reality' and Eric doesn't like reality; it's too real. He likely prefers the company of the republican spinmasters, as he admires their technique of pretending they're right until enough vacant-eyed lost souls sign onto what they're selling....

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  107. Facial cannibal guy was a devout christian? Well knock me over with a feather...
    I'd have been surprised if he WASN'T!

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  108. What amazes me, as far as U.S. politics goes is how right-wing the right-wing expects a Democrat President to be. S.E.Cupp, for example, if you just never mind the specific things she is saying and capture the overall attitude, it's that the President is not doing what she'd expect a Republican President to do.

    Actually it's even worse than that. Seems to me that she'd be willing to forgive and even defend a Republican President's efforts re: China, just not a Dem. one.

    This is similar to their 'stance' on gas prices. When the Reps. have the presidency, why gas prices are completely out of their hands, it's the fickle hand of the market and all that crap, but if the Prez. is a Dem. somehow they expect him to be more socialist than Mao, dictating the prices at the pumps like the totalitarian dictator that he was. "Shortages you say? Well, when you CAN get it, it's cheap!"

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  109. I bet eric thinks I say that about facial cannibal guy, in scorn. No, I really truly mean that whenever I see someone who is undoubtedly utterly insane I assume they're likely religious, since that's usually the seed that creates the psychosis in the first place. There's a definite correlation between religion and insanity. A strong one. And it's not coincidental either.

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  110. The evil dark side is winning here, Pboy. All the money, that makes the difference. With all this money, the old 'good conquers evil in the end' has been reversed. "Good" doesn't really stand a chance anymore. They're winning, and if and when they do, I bet it will be the last election that they even have a CHANCE of losing since they'll make sure all others afterwards are better rigged.
    Makes me want to puke.

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  111. I mean, by the time (years, likely) that this country realizes that it's been stolen and that it's failing rapidly, even public revolt en masse won't stop it... they have the military you see.

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  112. It would do me a small amount of schadenfreude-associated good to see the poor and middle class republicans that voted for the New Fascists to also be under their whip, to lose what they have when they thought their guys would save it for them.... they deserve that, at least. They sorely need a good spanking from reality.
    One wonders whether even if they lose their homes, maybe they'd BELIEVE that they still have them and sit in vacant lots seeing roofs over their heads that don't exist...

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  113. Money isn't free speech, money is power. Conflating free speech and power is obviously evil since the rich are likely to use their massive amount of 'free speech' to silence detractors, who would be using the regular kind of free speech.

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  114. "It would do me a small amount of schadenfreude.."

    I know, I know. 'First they came for the blacks, latinos, gays, socialists, liberals, the poor, but I never expected them to come for ME!'

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  115. Floyd, lay out the argument for me: precisely how did the bush tax cuts lead to our current debt issues?

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  116. Tax cuts mean less revenue. Are you a republican, Eric? If you are, no point in explaining things that you do not believe in to you. Mental block.

    ReplyDelete
  117. http://www.dailykos.com/story/2009/10/13/792976/-It-s-Official-CBPP-calls-Tax-Cuts-a-Boon-to-Top-1-

    Here it is Eric... pay attention to the pie chart about a quarter way down the page, 'Figure 1.'

    You won't like it. It's math. Very hard to spin with philosophical terminology.

    But I'm sure you can manage it, sir. ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  118. "The evil dark side is winning here, Pboy."

    And here it is, Brian, a bunch of misdirection, overgeneralization and all the other tricks.

    " when your country is swimming in debt, in part because of a massive tax cut for the wealthy, even more tax cuts for the wealthy would be a 'solution'." - I said.

    ".. lay out the argument for me: precisely how did the bush tax cuts lead to our current debt issues?"

    Apparently Eric *read* me saying that the Bush Tax cuts lead to our current debt issues!

    Let me lay out how the Bush Tax cuts did hurt the bottom line, aren't helping and even more tax cuts for the wealthy would be hurting the bottom line even more.

    Eric, taxes are what we call revenues.(write that down) The total revenue(or aggregate revenue, in bean-counter-speak) must be more than the total expenditures, or the country will have what we call a deficit(write that down too.)

    With the Bush tax cuts in place long before Obama took office, there is no question but that they are contributing to the deficit. since without them, the deficit would obviously be less.

    Let's assume, and I'm joking here since you're arithmetic skills seem to be at least as bad as the average red-neck here, nevertheless, let's assume that you have heard of and understand the right's premise that the wealthy are 'the job creators' and that the jobs that they create will be subject to payroll taxes, by which, the theory goes government revenue will be more than compensated.

    This 'theory' has been in place for more or less 10 years, and the agenda is showing since the right don't care how much the deficit increases due to war, but they're counting pennies when it comes to social programs.

    I'm sorry Eric, how old did you say you were again? I feel as if I'm explaining to a child!

    ReplyDelete
  119. "Let me lay out how the Bush Tax cuts did hurt the bottom line, aren't helping and even more tax cuts for the wealthy would be hurting the bottom line even more.
    Eric, taxes are what we call revenues.(write that down) The total revenue(or aggregate revenue, in bean-counter-speak) must be more than the total expenditures, or the country will have what we call a deficit(write that down too.)
    With the Bush tax cuts in place long before Obama took office, there is no question but that they are contributing to the deficit. since without them, the deficit would obviously be less."

    Um, Floyd, have you ever actually studied economics?

    (I'm no economist, to be sure, but I have formally studied macroeconomics, microeconomics and international economics, and I aced each course.)

    Revenue isn't determined *merely* by tax rates, but by economic growth (and all that comprises) as well! Have you never heard of the *increase* in government revenue that followed upon, oh, tax *cuts* in the 1920s, the 1960s and the 1980s?

    Now with respect to Bush and his tax cuts, did you forget that we were at *war*, which kinda increases government *spending* a little bit -- not to mention Bush's *increases* in entitlement spending, a fact dogmatic liberals like you seem conveniently to forget, since it makes it more difficult to portray him as a nutty right winger. And whatever you think of Bush's policy vis-a-vis terrorism, and the concomitant increase in spending, there's one thing no one can deny, something no one would've bought for a moment on September 12, 2001 -- we haven't seen anything like 9/11 since then on U.S. soil.

    Still, most interestingly, government revenue under Bush (in constant dollars) was *higher*, in all but three years, than *the highest* under President Clinton! In 1999, the government took in 2136.4 billion, the most in any year of the Clinton administration; the Bush administration took in *more than* Clinton's best year, in every year of his presidency except for 2002, 2003 and 2004, the years that followed directly upon 9/11; and the *lowest* the federal government took in under Bush -- 1901.1 billion in 2003 -- was *greater* than all but two years under Clinton ( 1467.5 billion in 1992, 1511.5 billion in 1993, 1617.7 billion in 1994, 1691.4 billion in 1995, 1775.5 billion in 1996 and 1889.9 billion in 1997)!

    So Bush's worst year beat six out of eight of Clinton's years, and Bush beat Clinton's best year five out of eight years!

    You were saying, Floyd?

    Now before you try to portray me as a supply-sider, let me say that I do *not* think that tax cuts always increase government revenue, or that the solution for every economic ill involves a tax cut, or that tax increases are never called for. What I'm saying is that you are, as usual, the mirror image of what you apparently despise, for rather than think complex issues through, you'd rather shout, "Tax cuts for the rich!" and other left wing shibboleths (which are, of course, as devoid of content as many right wing shibboleths).

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  120. (I'm no economist, to be sure, but I have formally studied macroeconomics, microeconomics and international economics, and I aced each course.)
    ------------------
    You have an ego hard-on. And it's showing.

    You are making a boy's mistake. I know because I was one boy that made it too.

    You mistake fact retention for processing power. It means that you're not nearly as smart as you are totally and utterly convinced that you are. However it takes humility to see that, so as long as your egotism is still blinding you, you're rather stuck, aren't you?

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  121. You either know you are wrong about the Bush cuts and just like to argue contraries, or you honestly believe that you are in the right, in which you are no better on this issue than the typical tea-bagging moron in a Paul Revere hat. (lined in tinfoil)
    It's all about the processing power.

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  122. Ahh, scratch all that... you're not about to believe me anyhow.

    Just one question:
    Do you yourself believe that egotism, or Pride if you prefer (I do) is capable of blinding a person to who they actually are, leaving them with an utterly false impression of their own identity as a person, how others see them and so forth?

    It's a real question.

    ?

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  123. Ed, nothing they do surprises me anymore. They could be found in septic tanks copulating with wharf rats and I'd barely blink.
    Ironic how scum of the earth like this always believe they're more moral than anybody.

    I hear Eric in the background 'gee, it was only one out of ten or so...'

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  124. "Now with respect to Bush and his tax cuts, did you forget that we were at *war*, which kinda increases government *spending* a little bit --"

    Did you forget that the Bush Administration kept the cost of the wars off the books?

    So, that makes you a total bullshitter right there.

    So much for those courses in macro-economics. What'd they teach you to lie?

    Y'know, I'm thinking that is very possible.

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  125. Floyd and Brian, neither one of you can dispute the figures: Government revenue during the Bush years were (again, in constant dollars) higher in five out of eight years than the highest year under Clinton, and Bush's worst year beat six of Clinton's years. Care to explain that? How does that jibe with your simplistic "der, taxes are revenue, and if we cut taxes, we cut revenue, so tax cuts, der, mean less revenue!" As usual, I cite facts, and construct an argument, while you folks come back with fluff and insults. The difference is that here, I admit that I'm very much an amateur -- imagine how much worse the contrast is when we're discussing topics in my field!

    Re: the Church scandal, I have a question for you, Brian, and be honest: statistically, is your child safer with one of your relatives, or with a priest? Or, is your child safer with a teacher, or with a priest? I suspect that you know the answer, yet I don't see you calling for the overthrow of public education, or of the family unit.

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  126. Brian, and be honest: statistically, is your child safer with one of your relatives, or with a priest? Or, is your child safer with a teacher, or with a priest?

    Not sure, are my relatives statistically more probable to create an institution wide coverup and work to avoid local laws?

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  127. I do recall seeing some numbers which showed that your child is no safer with a protestant minister than they are with a catholic priest.

    So you've got that going for you, which must be nice.

    ReplyDelete
  128. Ryan, Re: teachers, see Shakeshaft and Cohan: "In loco parentis: Sexual abuse of students in schools, (What administrators should know)" where you'll find how infrequently teachers who abuse children are reported to the police, and how frequently they're moved to other schools or to administrative jobs. (Here's a NYT article on the phenomenon: "Clark County's experience is hardly unusual. When teachers are accused of sexual abuse, educators and law enforcement authorities say, districts often rid themselves of the problem by agreeing to keep quiet if the teacher moves on, sometimes even offering them a financial settlement. The practice, called passing the trash, avoids the difficulties of criminal prosecution or protracted disciplinary proceedings.")

    Ryan, I've found that most people I encounter with training in the Classics have a much more clear and more sober understanding of human nature than you seem to evince; I don't doubt that you studied Latin, but I'm amazed that you could have read so much of it without soaking any of the great truths about human nature. I mean, did you honestly think that human beings in public service, such as teachers, are so fundamentally different from human beings in the clergy that they'd respond in radically different ways to the abuse of minors by their own? Man, I'm disappointed in you -- now go reread your Juvenal and your Tacitus (two writers who understood a thing or two about the weaknesses of human nature!).

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  129. Eric, you may want to go back and reread my relatively short comments and see if I actually said (clearly, soberly or otherwise) what you think I said.
     
    …did you honestly think that human beings in public service, such as teachers, are so fundamentally different from human beings in the clergy that they’d respond in radically different ways to the abuse of minors by their own?
     
    In point of fact, I do not expect them to behave any differently at all.  I would expect clergy to be behave differently if their religion was actually true, however.   Since it’s not…  default to basic human nature.  It’s amazing how, in the end, be it voting, views on social issues, use of contraception, or covering up institutionalized child abuse, being catholic is not really any different than not being catholic, which really should clue you in on something…  
     
    but I’m amazed that you could have read so much of it without soaking any of the great truths about human nature.
     
    You mean you’re amazed I didn’t come to the same conclusions as you?  You believe everything you read, Eric?

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  130. Why'd you lie about the bottom line being off because of the wars Eric?

    Why does the Ryan Plan have huge cuts to social programs to 'offset' the huge tax cuts for the rich?

    Why no cuts to the military, Eric?

    And lastly, to address your 'constant dollar' argument for the Bush years, where'd the huge deficits come from since the wars weren't being counted?

    Also, since taxes haven't gone up for the rich under Obama, that should be having this wonderful effect for him too, right? Maybe tax cuts know when the Dems do it and refuse to 'work' like they 'work' under the Reps?

    Reagan started this voodoo economics, why didn't it work for him?

    When you have to talk about constant dollars, your talking inflation, basically the purchasing power of money, especially in poor people's pockets drops.

    Thus the economy is bad.

    Bush took 128 billion surplus and turned it into a 144.5 billion deficit in one year.

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  131. "Why'd you lie about the bottom line being off because of the wars Eric?"

    Same old Floyd.

    I did no such thing. There is a difference, Floyd, between government revenue on the one hand, and the deficit on the other.

    The rest of your post in completely senseless, so I can hardly address it. Take this gem:

    "When you have to talk about constant dollars, your talking inflation, basically the purchasing power of money, especially in poor people's pockets drops.
    Thus the economy is bad."

    I could make sense of Hindi before I could make sense of that.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I'm surprised you're not proficient yet. Work on it.
      Salaam effendi.

      Delete
  132. Eric, why are you such a dipshit? Clinton gave GWB a budget surplus, and GWB left office with HUGE debt.... unfunded wars can do that, and unfunded senior drug programs and huge tax cuts. Stop the LYING.

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  133. Stop trying to find other ways to look at reality so that it agrees with you, and develop some humility in your misbegotten life.

    ReplyDelete
  134. Paul Krugman makes a lot of sense when he talks... Listen to him for one of your silly 'authorities' eric. Listen to a human that talks sense for a change instead of your believer buddies. Believers just don't 'know' anything, eric. They only believe that they do.

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  135. Although Eric, don't think I don't like you posting here. Why, it's a lot more boring without an actual representative of the Powers of Darkness present!

    I do often feel like I'm dialoguing with the actual Antichrist when I talk to you... no, really... it's kind of fun to have a line on such evil, without actually having to physically *meet* it of course.

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  136. No doubt you can't make any sense out of the difference between ex-nihilo creation and transformational creation either, right Eric?

    You might have addressed this after the 200th comment on the last post, but I'm pretty sure you simply wouldn't want it to make sense.

    We simply cannot extrapolate ex-nihilo creation from transitional creation data.

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  137. Eric, so you're voting for Romney of course, (It's not a question)

    Two peas in a pod.

    Does your false reality correspond enough with his false reality that you can understand each other, though? Or perhaps it doesn't matter as long as his is also false and not the actual reality that you both loathe and despise so much that you're in denial that it exists?

    ReplyDelete
  138. The rest of your post in completely senseless, so I can hardly address it
    ---------------
    He asked you some highly salient questions in there you know. Makes you look kinds like an idjit to gloss over them....


    "Why does the Ryan Plan have huge cuts to social programs to 'offset' the huge tax cuts for the rich?"

    "Why no cuts to the military, Eric?"

    "Also, since taxes haven't gone up for the rich under Obama, that should be having this wonderful effect for him too, right?"

    "Reagan started this voodoo economics, why didn't it work for him?"

    Eric: (cricket cricket)

    ReplyDelete
  139. If everything is created from something else, transitional creation as you call it, how *could* that relate to an 'ex nihilo' creation? To me it indicates that such is always the way... that there is always something else, something before any creation event... and this is an area that we cannot yet know very much about, so to theorize your way to a christian worldview by invoking infinite regression as an impossibility is to me pure ignorance.

    ReplyDelete
  140. Well I don't have to go as far as invoking infinite regression to defeat the KCA type cosmological arguments.

    We can look around us and note causes and effects, these are creations. What creates a chicken? An egg. What creates eggs? Chickens. What creates(or is the cause of) a tree? A seed. What creates seeds? A tree. (of course chicken eggs and tree seeds)

    We can never mind 'nature' and look at creations such as watches, chairs and so on.

    Well a carpenter transforms some wood into a chair, that kind of thing.

    This is nothing like what a wizard would be doing, waving a wand and casting a spell and poofing a chair into being. But these kinds of things happen in our imagination or by misdirection(leger-de-main).

    This is what the KCA is, it's simply misdirection. Everything is created out of something else(has a cause).

    If we can imagine the universe as 'a thing', we can say that the universe was created out of something else(has a cause).

    If we miss out the 'created out of something else' implication by using only the 'cause', we can say that the universe had a cause and imply that it came out of nothing at all(ex-nihilo).

    But this is what Eric's philosophy training is all about! He's the one who is supposed to be spotting that all our examples of creation, whether natural or man-made, are made from material that is transformed into that thing.

    I can see how Eric might get lost here though, since he can see that the KCA is aiming at 'finding God'.

    But either the universe was caused using material that was around, like all our examples, or our examples are meaningless, since that's not what we're meaning when we point creations around us.

    The KCA may as well say, "We see things popping into being out of nothing all the time and give God the credit he deserves for doing that, therefore God is the creator of the whole universe."

    But we don't see things popping into being out of nothing, do we Eric?

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  141. Well, the occasional partical...

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  142. Well, I'm betting you haven't seen a particle popping into existence, Ryan.

    I'm not saying that doesn't happen, I'm not about to dismiss particle physicists. But while this may well be an indication of how the universe came in being, I hardly think that the KCA and the examples given, around the time that those Kalam dudes were doing all that hard thinking, were sub-atomic particles randomly popping in and out.

    ReplyDelete
  143. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/01/robert-van-handel-pedophile-priest-reveals-molestations-in-sex-history-document_n_1562001.html?ref=topbar
    ------------
    Priest's pedophile confessions revealed in document from his therapist

    So he himself was molested by a priest, and that started it all.

    I've said just this before. It's a cycle. Priests molest boys and screw up their sexuality and those same boys later on become priests themselves and go on to molest boys.

    It's the catholic way.

    ReplyDelete
  144. Although, virtual particles make a point.
    We used to think of empty space a lot differently.
    We used to think the space between the stars, interstellar space, was mostly empty with a few particles here and there.
    Now it's a sea of particles popping into and out of existence.
    So the definition of 'nothing' has changed. The type of 'nothing' we used to think of, cannot exist. Doesn't exist. Isn't real.

    So of course Eric says that the original nothing, was like we used to think of 'nothing' as, as in, really empty. He has to because in that kind of 'nothing' virtual particles don't pop into existence, and so that can't be the cause of the Big Bang. If that could be the cause of the Big Bang, then God is not necessary.
    Blasphemy!

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  145. It really amused me when Eric informed us of the actual qualities of the original void.

    I didn't even know he was there!

    ReplyDelete
  146. And once again Eric misses the point that the catholic priesthood is a group that claims to possess moral authority from God. So if they're no better than the average male in pederasty, that disproves the idea that they're more moral in any way. Plus, most men in our society are christians, so what I'd like to see is figures comparing pederasty among christians in general with atheists. THAT would be interesting.

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  147. Catholic Cardinal Authorized $20K To Pay Off Pedophile Priests, Then Railed Against 'Immorality' Of Gay Marriage

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  148. It's the hypocrisy that's so amazing. Not so much the horrible acts, but the sense that they feel entitled to do them. And entitled to tell others how they MUST live in a moral manner, and to then define said morality for them. Amazing level of egotism.

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  149. premiss. Morality is absolute on account of God.

    premiss. The Bible describes leprosy and promotes identification etc. from their perspective, an uncurable disease.

    premiss. Leprosy is curable, making God's absolute morality, obviously not absolute but relative to the time we live in.

    Unless we're happy to talk about stuff which used to be absolute but isn't anymore, we are not happy when it comes to the absolute.

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  150. All of that makes too much real sense to ever appeal to actual fundamentalist christians, unfortunately.

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  151. The Epsom Derby.

    Quick look at them and this song gets stuck in my head, ".. someone took a lamp-shade, wore it like a hat.."

    LMAO

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  152. Huh?! Epsom salt derby what?

    (sometimes I think you are on the better drugs, whatever they may be)

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  153. Oh, the QUEEEEEEEEEEEN!

    I see.. they probably named the 'salts' after the place, huh?

    Btw, is there a 'talcum' England, too?

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  154. Couple thoughts...

    Anyone read Gene Wolfe's "Book of the New Sun"? I think it's Sci-fi, although it might be fantasy. I'm honestly not sure how I felt about it although it moved me deeply.

    Also, I think Eric thinks that if something was written in Latin or Greek, it's somehow "extra profound".

    Thoughts?

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  155. I'll check out the book, thanks!

    As to Eric, it will come as no surprise to him I'm sure that I think he has a bit of an egotism problem. He takes a lot of Pride in his accomplishments, more than the normal amount. He's young. It shows sometimes. Maybe he'll learn that the most profound thoughts are often the simplest, and in communicating yourself to others humility is one of the most effective characteristics you can cultivate. You can't fake it, either. You have to put yourself in the place of others, using your imagination, and not be afraid of their thoughts and beliefs and differences so that you can truly relate to them. He doesn't have any of this ability as far as I can tell. More to your point, he seems to believe that the more verbose and arcane a statement is the more respect it garners, whereas the opposite is more often true. He can't seem to state his position is simple terms, and that makes it suspect in the extreme even without delving into it. (Of course, on delving into it one encounters more problems...)

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  156. "Also, I think Eric thinks that if something was written in Latin or Greek, it's somehow "extra profound"."

    Nonsense. It has nothing to do with the languages themselves, and you of course know that. You're just trying to get a rise out of me, and I suppose I'm biting by responding. Oh well. As you know, the term 'classics' is derived from the Latin 'classicus,' which means something along the lines of 'of the first/best rank/class.' We still read Homer and Euripides and Pindar and Cicero and Plautus and Livy not because 'they wrote in Greek and Latin,' but because they discussed fundamental issues in ways that are rarely paralleled, never mind eclipsed, with respect to quality, depth and insight. But you already knew that, didn't you, Ryan?

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  157. 'they wrote in Greek and Latin,' but because they discussed fundamental issues in ways that are rarely paralleled, never mind eclipsed, with respect to quality, depth and insight. But you already knew that, didn't you, Ryan?

    No, I didn't know that, not at all. I think the "classics" are often eclipsed.

    I also wasn't just trying to get a rise out of you, I was trying to get you to needlessly name drop and use the Latin spelling for something. Thanks!

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  158. I have nothing against the classics, but I have noticed that some people tend to give them more value solely due to their age and historical significance without regard to how accurate they are in light of today's knowledge. Reverence, even. And no work deserves so much reverence that it increases it's apparent value far beyond it's actual value. (Including of course the Bible)

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  159. Incidentally Eric, you are aware that many of the authors of the classics, were homosexuals and even pederasts?

    See, now you have to abandon them, dontcha? No wait......

    (I'd even include old T.A. as a likely)

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  160. "See boy, a tyrant must put on the appearance of uncommon devotion to religion. Subjects are less apprehensive of illegal treatment from a ruler whom they consider god-fearing and pious. On the other hand, they do less easily move against him, believing that he has the gods on his side. Now bend over and I'll drive you home."
    -Aristotle

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  161. On an aside, and my apologies for asking too many questions but Eric, do you personally believe that a man that is sexually aroused by other men and not women, is only a homosexual if he acts on it? In other words, if that man has the discipline to marry a woman and act only in an heterosexual manner for the rest of his life, is he still gay or is he straight? Opinion?

    On a related point, would God see that man, making that sacrifice in order to not sin and to be heterosexual, see him as the better man even over a naturally heterosexual man that didn't have to battle in order to 'stay straight?'

    Serious questions, btw, not baiting you.

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  162. Eric, do you like my particular choice of 'classical' quotations (somewhat modified for humor)shown above??

    I think on this quote, I agree with you, it deserves to be a classic. We should all be able to see the truth in it. Rather obvious, I'd say...

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  163. My fake eHow or answers.com question.

    We just got a puppy and tried different 'handles' on him. I settled on Mo.(Mighty Mo, sock-slayer extraordinaire!)

    My wife insists on calling him Mosey. This is a two part question.

    1) What kind of weapon should I use on her for this offense? A Saturday-night special, maybe? Lock and load with an AK 47?

    2)Should I aim to kill, or would wounding her be sufficient?

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  164. ... P.S.

    Warface or Calm, assertive? We don't need to traumatize the dog, I'm thinking, but I need to get my point across.

    Maybe assault weapons are a wee bit too much? How about I run around screaming, 'BLASPHEMY, BLASPHEMY!', at the top of my lungs every time she utters, 'Mosey', lovingly to the puppy?

    Hey, here's an idea, the passive-aggresive route, I could salt her coffee(by mistake, of course), short-sheet her, bleach the toilet seat, doggie crap in the toothpaste, that kind of thing.

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  165. Saran wrap the toilet?

    What's wrong with 'Mosey?'

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  166. How does one get doggy crap into a tube of toothpaste anyhow?

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  167. Because it's not as if I haven't tried...

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  168. I'm sure he'll answer to both. Mo.. Mo-zee .. likely not a difference to him at all.

    Emma found a another toy for him to play with, geez, I didn't think toys were so important to puppies.

    Anyways, now he is Mighty Moe, the Aardvark slayer, so proud to run and catch the thing and bring it back as a trophy!

    Hope this puppy stage goes quick. Got the eat/poo schedule, well, getting a bead on that. The pee thing though. Seems I need a random number generator tuned to Moe's schedule.

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  169. "Because it's not as if I haven't tried..."

    I was thinking, put some in the cap, then make sure only a little transfers, not enough to notice. Could be brushing teeth with dogshit for days! lol

    Hey, this is new, I talked to my uncle and he told me that my sisters think that I would murder them if I had the chance!

    Well, their consciences must be bothering them, last I heard from Val, Ann told her that, "I got what I deserved.", concerning my late mom's estate.

    I'm thinking that they expected me to be cajoled into just forgetting about that as time went by, but I haven't spoken to them since. From my POV, I've forgotten about it, don't even think of them, but from their POV, I could be plotting away my bloody revenge! Bwahahaha!

    Hope they soil their underwear every time they see someone who looks like me!

    They don't 'get' me. I don't think that death is necessarilly a bad thing for the dead.

    Hey, if I got them to dress up as aardvarks, I could set Moe, the fearless aardvark slayer on them! It's just too diabolical!

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  170. What's wrong with the idea that the Mighty God, the Sun, so magnificent HE cannot be directly observed, sets time for us by passing overhead each day, and taking a rest each night, gives us all an example of balance.

    At night we see the host of demi-Gods, or pershaps Gods heavenly children, and (insert some crap about the Moon here).

    Lower Gods vie for our attention, including the angry God, the Clouds, which comes to fight Sun every Spring and is slain, it's blood pouring down life sustaining rain on us.

    So we just concoct a self-consistent story anthropomorphizing the weather, the seasons and can appeal to them in times of famine, thank them in times of plenty and so on.

    I'm pretty sure that philosphers and theologians alike can see how different religions around the worls, past and present, seem to resemble each other and the basic premiss of thanking the seasons for their 'gifts'.

    Instead we hear salesmen selling their religion of choice, defending it's sophistication as if seeing the simple roots of religion itself were some kind of blasphemy.(Looking behind the curtain, I suppose).

    Didn't Plato worship the Sun though?

    This has been some more unintelligible gibberish from pboyfloyd, meaning it's not unintelligible enough, and certainly not gibberishish enough either for the sophistocated philospher/theologian.

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  171. A sad day for us all...

    The Trololol guy died. I vote for another funniest video contest!

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  172. Why not? I'll try to find one worthy of starting it off and we'll have a new post soon.

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  173. Okay, that didn't take long...

    New Post is UP

    Funny videos, plus the usual conversation hopefully...

    I SAID, NEW POST IS UP!

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  174. OK...

    Watch the video I posted in my lat comment BEFORE you watch this then...

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