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1  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK General Election 2015 on: November 23, 2014, 04:41:17 pm
The DUP is like a UKIP sampler. It gives you an idea of the lunacy.
2  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Christianity on: November 23, 2014, 02:11:32 pm
Now you might be wondering at what I'm getting at. It is simply this; what is Christianity actually for?

Measuring something's value by its utility is such a disgustingly 20th-21st century concept. Oscar Wilde correctly said "All art is quite useless," and the sentiment applies to everything of any real worth in life.

That's exactly my point. As an 'art'; a philosophy, it is quite useless Smiley

Absolutely, and that's its beauty and why it's good. Any ideology or belief system that claims utility is...perhaps not inherently worthy of hostility, but certainly arouses my skepticism. Scientific and "practical" philosophies top the list. Christianity is so metaphysical and interested in a second, spiritual life that its few suggestions as to how to live a just life end up evaporating into "believe in Christ" and doesn't have much if any actual requirements for behavior beyond "splash some water on your face."

However, Christianity does claim utility. It says it is the way, the truth, the life. So much so, it claims utility over many other competing or even complimentary philosophies.
3  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What is the marital status of your parents? on: November 23, 2014, 06:00:08 am
Married 39 years.
4  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Labour leadership election - To be announced on December 13 on: November 23, 2014, 05:43:23 am
Union nominations were 'accidentally omitted' from the guide for voters. In part because they tend to back Neil Findlay.
5  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: UK General Discussion II on: November 22, 2014, 04:56:32 pm

He know's that this re-election campaign starts now. And he won't be.
6  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What do you think God is? on: November 21, 2014, 02:52:23 pm
Within pre-history, we have lost a competitor species who was also self-aware but to differing degree and with a differing outlook.

Are you referring to Homo (sapiens) neanderthalensis or some other homonid?  While it is possible that they were a separate species, the evidence that Neanderthals were a separate species rather than a localized subspecies that lost out as its preferred habitat disappeared is decidedly lacking.  To me it appears that a large part of the desire that they be considered so is due to the same impulses that lead to the noble savage meme.

You're being a tad pedantic over my use of the word 'species' Wink
7  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What do you think God is? on: November 21, 2014, 11:57:47 am
To be honest, the strongest reason I have for believing in God is my inability to take the leap of faith that we humans have divined enough of the universe to know that we are only a bunch of biochemicals trying to replicate our molecules.

But why should we think we deserve to be more than that? We just so happen to be a process in the universe that is (only by our own measure, remember) the most self-aware on this planet. Within pre-history, we have lost a competitor species who was also self-aware but to differing degree and with a differing outlook. And as for other planets around other suns in other galaxies well then who knows. It makes little sense to think that because we hold ourselves in such high esteem, even as the world outside our own window has grown immensely, that we are special enough to matter to the universe.

We are made of matter. We shouldn’t be put off by that for the same reason we shouldn’t be put off by the fact we are animals. We are here because we are here. Life is a process, not a condition that requires a diagnosis. You don't 'have life'. You do life. You are life. Life is not a property of matter, it is not the reason for the existence of the physical matter that that assembled to make up you. Other collections of physical matter don’t have life. Life is therefore one of many things that matter does.

Aren't we lucky.

And that’s okay.
8  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Obama to announce executive order on immigration on: November 21, 2014, 06:54:32 am
I don't care what Party does it, the Constitution must be followed.  If a bill can't be passed by Congress, then deal with it.

He is dealing with it.

Let me explain it this way.

Congress passes laws.  The President can sign them or veto them.  If Congress decides not to pass the law that does not give the President authority to break the rules. 

Nobody has told me what law the President violated with his actions.

He has violated the Constitution.  This is not in the President's power.

What's not in the Constitution?

Black Democrats aren't allowed to do what Reagan did.

We have a winner.
9  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone III - The Whinge Binge on: November 21, 2014, 06:51:27 am
I'm currently starting the GOMAD diet, combined with some serious squats. It's going to be fun :p
10  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: UK parliamentary by-elections 2014 on: November 21, 2014, 06:48:43 am
With the result being as it was, it probably lessens the chance of any more Tory MP's defecting. I doubt he will hold his seat come May.
11  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Best/worst videogame controller you've ever used? on: November 20, 2014, 06:08:46 pm
Atari joystick, the Sega Megadrive/Genesis pad and the never beaten Playstation One pad.
12  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What do you think God is? on: November 20, 2014, 05:59:55 pm
Was this too wordy or too obvious to get a response?

Well first off, God is love and not a stranger.  The rules God uses are simple so that we can all know them.  God offers a full commitment you won't get from anyone else.  God tries to communicate this in ways we all can understand.

God never gives up on us.
God never disappoints us.
God never leaves us.
God never makes us cry.
God never says goodbye.
God never tells a hurtful lie.

We all recognize God and our hearts ache for God, but we're shy about acknowledging that need for someone else.  But God sees inside us and knows that, so God goes along with the game we insist upon. If we'd but ask God how God feels about us, we'd see the love we blind ourselves to.

Anyway, here's a video that explains it better than I can.

It was too old a meme Smiley
13  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What do you think God is? on: November 20, 2014, 12:40:06 pm
On the whole I tend to agree. If there is ‘something’ that holds it all together, it’s not organic, it’s probably not sentient, it’s existence may even be transient. It may not be aware of itself or it’s abilities. It does not care if you or I know of it, or if we do know of it, whether or not we kowtow to it. Because in many ways, that would defeat the point of it all. The idea that if there is ‘something’, it’s human in its concerns and picked out a semi nomadic people in one planet out of countless billions of planets in trillions of suns in millions of galaxies in countless universes as important enough to impart it’s wisdom to deciding what people should do and what they should sink their d-ck into is vacuous. It would be the equivalent to me thinking that the entire universe, every person and every event that has ever happened has happened so that I alone (and to hell with everyone else) am here.

I actually agree with a lot of this; if anything I'm even more uncertain. In reality, God is just another word for the unknowable, so to answer the question 'what is God' would destroy the concept of God itself. It would also imply that knowledge is possible, when in reality it is subjective and just another word for confidence. That being said, I think it is reasonable to believe that God communicates to us through a series of avatars, one of which was indeed an old white man in the sky with a flowing beard

If god reveals itself in a series of avatars, from bearded old grey man in the sky, to a man asking for help on the street or even as a string of numbers in a problem solving equation, wouldn’t exclusive worship of one of those avatars, in the form of traditional organised religion, be idolatrous?

Would it not (to pick up on something I’ve discussed on here before) be more fitting not to actively worship anything at all, less you be worshipping only part of the whole?

An over eagerness towards seeking god (and therefore personifying it in order to gain insight) could lead a believer to believe things or do things contrary to what is the established ‘order’ of things. The non-worshipper, who sees no reason to ‘worship’ what is in effect the reality around them, but loves, listens, touches, learns and enjoys his existence is perhaps having the wider experience.

To take a very stark and very simple example. The Christian, in order to please the avatar of god that he worships, wilfully opposes evolutionary theory thinking that to do so pleases god. In actuality, evolutionary theory is part of the human story and is very much, through intent or causation, a representation of god. So the non-believer is acknowledging god and is close to god through learning about the human story but the believer, who has idolised one archaic avatar of god relevant to a now passed period of human understanding, is through his worship…not really paying reverence to god at all. If that makes some sense.
14  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What do you think God is? on: November 19, 2014, 03:39:36 am
... if you think there is a God at all, that is.

Growing up in the Midwest (and around those who embrace a literal interpretation of the Bible), God was imagined as some old -- though not infirm -- father figure who ruled in a sky kingdom from a throne. He was human in appearance, masculine in gender and demeanor and wizardly in how he interacted with the human world.

Over time, I started to develop a different view of God (I often told my mother that I'd prefer to think that God was much more of a scientist and much less of a magician than her religion taught her).

That's continued to evolve over time. I'm not religious any more, and even saying I'm "faithful" or "spiritual" would be a stretch. However, I still believe I'm a small part of something much, much bigger.

I'm a believer in the multiverse, in that every possible timeline or permutation of our current universe (far bigger than just Earth) has happened, is happening and will happen, infinitely and eternally. We just happen to live in a single instance of this universe and are experiencing time (which flows in two directions) in only one direction, one quantum frame at a time. But every possible and impossible me exists, as well:

 - I'm the President of the United States
 - I'm a convicted felon spending the rest of my life in prison
 - I'm currently winning a gold medal in the 2024 Olympics
 - I'm hunting the stars of every Bravo show for sport
 - I'm an overweight, unemployed 32-year old from Oklahoma
 - I'm celebrating my 125th birthday
 - I'm already dead ... a trillion times over for a billion different reasons

And I believe there is a wider multiverse -- an infinite number of permutations of "the beginning" that alter our basic laws of physics, from infinitesimally small to wildly different. That layer of the multiverse stretches on infinitely, as well. In some, humanity can exist. In others, it can't. In some, "angels" may be a normal / present species. In others, "demons." Can they access our layer of the multiverse? Who knows ...

So, my belief in something larger is that "God," as it exists, is the embodiment of everything. The smallest quark and the largest galactic supercluster. He ... she ... it is everything, experiencing everything and able to "do" everything.

So, when a Christian says, "Through God, all things are possible," my (admittedly different) belief supports that.

I don’t necessarily disagree with what you say, perhaps only the imagery used Smiley

I am not a fan of having the starting point for any discussion being ‘god v no god’. We all do it. It’s something that humanity in general presupposes is the manner in which you should view the universe (when perhaps it is not). Secondly, the ‘god’ aspect of that discussion originated from human invention or more accurately, what we choose to ‘extract’ from both our perception of the world and the need to both anthropomorphise and see agents in everything. It comes from a time when almost everyone presupposed there had to be a god/s.

So whenever we think of anything ‘great’, no matter how abstract then we then endow it with that word, often for ease of understanding more than anything. That is the cart leading the horse. It also bleeds into the other human tradition of worshiping an entity for their own means, which I think discussions of the multiverse and ideas like it don’t really need. I doubt you ‘worship’ these concepts, or think they will notice if you say bad things about them.

On the whole I tend to agree. If there is ‘something’ that holds it all together, it’s not organic, it’s probably not sentient, it’s existence may even be transient. It may not be aware of itself or it’s abilities. It does not care if you or I know of it, or if we do know of it, whether or not we kowtow to it. Because in many ways, that would defeat the point of it all. The idea that if there is ‘something’, it’s human in its concerns and picked out a semi nomadic people in one planet out of countless billions of planets in trillions of suns in millions of galaxies in countless universes as important enough to impart it’s wisdom to deciding what people should do and what they should sink their d-ck into is vacuous. It would be the equivalent to me thinking that the entire universe, every person and every event that has ever happened has happened so that I alone (and to hell with everyone else) am here.
15  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: ESA's Philae spacecraft to land on comet tomorrow on: November 18, 2014, 02:39:36 pm
http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-30097648

Organic molecules were detected.
16  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Over the Garden Wall on: November 17, 2014, 07:09:58 pm
Has anyone seen this 10 part animated 'mini-series'. It's...really something. It's for everyone really, despite being a kids show and is more 'sepia' than dark but it's one of the best animations I've seen. 10 episodes, ten minutes long.
17  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Have you ever been spanked, beaten or otherwise abused ... on: November 17, 2014, 02:09:10 pm
I didn't grow up in Rochdale, so no.

Or Billericay, I would assume

(there's one for the sleuths out there)
18  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Getting your blood drawn on: November 17, 2014, 09:47:08 am
Easy. Which is why I'd like to be able to give blood.
19  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Catholicism Fading in Latin America on: November 16, 2014, 01:16:50 pm
Everywhere it goes, it chips away at local culture and decides that the issues that concern the Reverend Asshole of Bum, Ohio must be the concerns of Uganda or China or Chile. Throwing in a little latin heat doesn't take away the taste.

But remember kids, afleitch is the mature, dispassionate one here.

I'm allowed to get passionate. I'm a human being.
20  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Catholicism Fading in Latin America on: November 16, 2014, 12:08:05 pm
The growth in protestantism is all very disturbing. And if you are asking 'why?' then you should be aware that it's rather self explanatory.

Pretend it's not self explanatory, since it is not.  I grant that for many protestant denominations, I can see why you would find their growth to be disturbing, but the issue which seems to touch most directly upon why you might find this all very disturbing is not a defining issue for protestantism.  Or are you equating all protestant denominations with those which you find disturbing?

You're kidding yourself if you think the growth in 'protestantism' is in say, cuddly Episcopalians. It's growth is in the same sort of church that the USA excels in spreading like a venereal disease across the world. It's the same style, the same vapidness, the same suits, the same music, the same sermons, the same promises, the same banality, the same persecution complex, the same victims, the same victimised, the same sh-t that the USA, the one country in the world that makes Christianity into a consumer product exports throughout the world.

Everywhere it goes, it chips away at local culture and decides that the issues that concern the Reverend Asshole of Bum, Ohio must be the concerns of Uganda or China or Chile. Throwing in a little latin heat doesn't take away the taste.
21  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Voting Booth / Re: November 2014 Special At-large Senate Election on: November 15, 2014, 06:26:40 pm
1. Bacon King.
22  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Is Homosexuality a sin? on: November 15, 2014, 06:01:02 pm
I'm pretty sure it's sin (normal, Bible-believing Christian.)  But that being said, I have nothing against homosexuals as people.  God loves them as much as everyone else, and Jesus died for their salvation, just as He did for everyone else.  Showing homosexuals love and respect as people does not mean we accept or condone their behavior and lifestyle choices.

Is a strong forty year exclusive relationship between two men or two women based on selfless mutual love, support and care, continuing through sickness and through nursing and tending to another in death, a sinful act?
23  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Christianity on: November 15, 2014, 05:58:23 pm
Now you might be wondering at what I'm getting at. It is simply this; what is Christianity actually for?

Measuring something's value by its utility is such a disgustingly 20th-21st century concept. Oscar Wilde correctly said "All art is quite useless," and the sentiment applies to everything of any real worth in life.

That's exactly my point. As an 'art'; a philosophy, it is quite useless Smiley
24  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: LDS Church acknowledges Joseph Smith's polygamy for the first time on: November 15, 2014, 01:13:18 pm
Quote
The Mormons don't hold Joseph Smith as the holder of eternal truth, either.  They're a continuing revelation religion.  Not everything is Protestantism and it's sola scriptura commitment to one truth, don't just lump religions together.

About time someone here got it right.

This particular 'revelation' lends particular credence to the once contemporary understanding that Mormonism was initially a sex cult.

EDIT: I'll modify this a little. It would be more correct to say that Joseph Smith was clearly, by not only modern but contemporary standards, a sexual predator who manipulated men and women through contrived 'doctrine' for his own sexual desires. We know that Joseph Smith married his friends wives, his friends daughters, his wives maids and impressionable young girls one of whom he would later marry; Mary Rawlins. Some famously said no, despite experiencing what we would now under stand to be sexual harassment; Nancy Rigdon or Sarah Pratt who he publicly slandered. Joseph often explained that an angel of the Lord had revealed the doctrine of plural marriage to him three times since 1834. He would always say how repugnant he was at first and then said that the final time the angel brandished a sword and said he had to obey this or would be slaughtered. Sure Joseph.
25  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Catholicism Fading in Latin America on: November 15, 2014, 12:56:28 pm
The growth in protestantism is all very disturbing. And if you are asking 'why?' then you should be aware that it's rather self explanatory.
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