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News: Atlas Hardware Upgrade complete October 13, 2013.

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76  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Doctor Who - Series 8 on: August 24, 2014, 05:24:35 am
Classic Moffat Doctor Who - a succession of gimmicks threaded together by innuendo, ridiculous characters and general strangeness. What's more, it appears that the incredibly-incompetent-not-at-all-frightening-yet-somehow-considered-to-represent-the-gold-standard-of-villainy Daleks will be making yet another appearence next time round. I mean, going back to this episode, is the programme's name 'Doctor Who' or 'Madame Vastra', because, you know, it was looking like the latter for much of it Tongue.

I completely agree. I'm appalled that he wasn't wearing a gharish costume or resorting to pop culture cliches. His assistant didn't do enough screaming and this episode was only what, 75 minutes long? I was expecting this to last at least four weeks. Not one single quarry shot either. I don't know why I pay my license fee. It's insulting.
77  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Opinion of Kate Bush on: August 22, 2014, 06:01:01 pm
My favourite Bush.

^

One of the best. As I said when I did make this as a poll a while back, she's one of the most fecund and influential artists of the past thirty or forty years, and if you narrow it down to solo artists (women or otherwise, really), that expands to all time, at least in the realm of popular music.

The Dreaming and Hounds of Love are obviously magisterial achievements, but I'm very fond of Never For Ever as well and don't believe that it gets as much attention as it deserves.

There's something very maternal about Never For Ever which for some people makes it, quite rightly a challenge. It not the first to deal with such themes but it's very direct. Song wise, I've forgotten how much I love 'Sat in your lap' the video of which piqued my adolescent sexuality some twenty years ago (which I would be happy to psychoanalyse 'but I don't have no energy' Wink ) And more recently 'Wow' which is just luscious.
78  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Opinion of Kate Bush on: August 22, 2014, 05:27:05 pm
No poll on this one.

Just magical.
79  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: If the rest of the world joined the USA... what would change? on: August 22, 2014, 03:57:22 pm
I'd revolt.
80  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Doctor Who - Series 8 on: August 22, 2014, 01:58:08 pm
One more sleep Smiley
81  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: What do your family and friends think when they see the Atlas Forum? on: August 22, 2014, 12:33:10 pm
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V4ECb_fmLUU
82  Atlas Fantasy Elections / Atlas Fantasy Elections / Re: The Mideast: Dead? on: August 21, 2014, 04:40:49 pm
It's cause I left isn't it? Wink Smiley
83  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Meetup 2014 on: August 21, 2014, 04:37:25 pm
I'll be in the States in November Sad
84  General Politics / U.S. General Discussion / Re: Family values Republican state rep. arrested for raping his wife on: August 20, 2014, 04:26:25 pm
Excusing Tweed's joke post, the simple fact is this. Every sex act is consensual for the duration of that sex act. Then it ends. Then you have to consent again. You can't give prior consent. If you're married it's exactly the f-cking same. If it's 'not tonight dear' then it doesn't happen. If faculties are inhibited or lost then you have to respect the fact that consent will also be lost.
85  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Which atheist do you have a more positive opinion of? on: August 20, 2014, 04:03:30 pm
This again...again?
86  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: Christian rock musician Vicky Beeching comes out as gay on: August 20, 2014, 02:40:46 pm

Yes I read about that. I have a feeling it will all implode. Though having said that actor Luke Evans' re-closeting has been a PR success.
87  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Religion in Latin America 2014 on: August 20, 2014, 01:37:24 pm
What is with 'modern religious movements' (I'm using a nice PC term Smiley ) and utterly pretentious architecture?

"Pretentious" is very much not the word I'd use to describe that sort of architecture.

Does 'vulgar' (very much as opposed to 'vernacular') come to mind for you? Because it does for me.

I prefer hollowed.
88  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Religion in Latin America 2014 on: August 20, 2014, 05:59:34 am
I didn't find the thread for this. Uruguay 38% atheist, yay!

The biggest 'yey' should be the fact that not only are 38% atheist, but 41% are still Catholic. The alternative is a saccharin happy clappy nightmare.
89  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: BREAKING: American forces bomb ISIS targets in Iraq on: August 20, 2014, 05:57:34 am
While it's always been a tactic of Islamist terror; relatively comfortable monied terror heads getting poor and stupid people to do their dirty work for them, we now have people from the west, from the UK flying over to basically get to 'play' at being terrorists. It does not help, and I will be attacked for this, that many come from relatively comfortable families where the domestic culture essentially treats them as entitled little princes by virtue of their sex. No one ever questions them, tell them know or calls them out on their self interested stupidity. When this whole sorry mess is over and any of them live to see it, they will be crying to their parents to get back home.
90  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 2014 on: August 19, 2014, 12:48:22 pm
So seems like the No is headed to a 60/40 win. While I think this would probably be the right choice for Scotland, I must say I'm a bit disappointed, because a secession would have been really fun.

For politicos, yes. For actual British people, no.

Speak for yourself Smiley
91  General Politics / Individual Politics / Re: Battle of the New Atheists on: August 19, 2014, 09:38:01 am
Oh this again.
92  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Update for Everyone II - Less Boring, More Whoring on: August 19, 2014, 06:00:31 am
This is very sappy but meh;

I had a very snuggly day with Michael. In bed, snacks, crappy YouTube videos and kicking him with my leg if he took too much of the blanket. There was no effort but it was a superb.
93  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Sexual Morality Poll on: August 17, 2014, 12:49:00 pm
Because to consistently engage in something that you legitimately believe is wrong is unhealthy and destructive. I'm sure you're describing a significant number of people, and it's frankly a shame that they've been guilted into thinking that something as innocent as porn is "morally bankrupt," but, more often than not, I don't think someone who faps to porn everyday could truly believe it's immoral. I do think, though, that many people who enjoy porn are brought up in socially-conservative environments where the only right answer to the question is "yes, porn's bad."

I think what it comes down to is that a good number of them actually believe in Christianity and have not discarded the aspects of sexual morality that come with it (barring liberal Christianity of course), including believing masturbation is a sin. A lot of them don't have the strength to actually stop. So they can go a couple directions from there, either continue in a state of internal conflict, find the strength to stop, or take the standard narcissistic modern approach and redefine their moral beliefs to fit their lifestyle. I know we live in an era where nothing is ever supposed to hurt our self-esteem, or heaven forbid require us to make any difficult changes to our lifestyle, but perhaps not everyone believes they're God's gift to the world and never do anything wrong. Some people recognize that they are sinners even if they don't stop.

Why is "redefining your moral beliefs" so wrong? I'd rather live my life exploring the world and reaching my own conclusions about morality than unquestioningly accept someone else's moral code. There's no standard here. These are difficult questions for a reason, and if they're not difficult I kind of question whether you're doing it right. There's more to the world than rules and baseless self-restraint.

Because what's the point in believing anything's wrong if you're just going to change it every time you do something in violation?

You've accepted another persons moral code, or the moral code of another body which likes to think that it doesn't change but it does. Views of what is right and wrong are based on interaction with other individuals. An isolated person has an isolated mind. Internalising one moral code without recourse to experience or empathy for that which you cannot or do not experience but others do, is morally flawed. If you are not challenged by the outside world to constantly re-evaluate the moral code that you have chosen to internalise to best fit an ideology you concurrently subscribe to, you are not holding a morally superior position.
94  Other Elections - Analysis and Discussion / International Elections / Re: Scottish Independence Referendum - 2014 on: August 17, 2014, 10:21:29 am
Two new polls. No still led, but gap down despite the Yes campaign being 'finished' last week.

52-48
55-45

There is a rule in Scottish politics. As tempting as it is, don't make an election about Alex Salmond.
95  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Sexual Morality Poll on: August 17, 2014, 05:33:28 am
Because to consistently engage in something that you legitimately believe is wrong is unhealthy and destructive. I'm sure you're describing a significant number of people, and it's frankly a shame that they've been guilted into thinking that something as innocent as porn is "morally bankrupt," but, more often than not, I don't think someone who faps to porn everyday could truly believe it's immoral. I do think, though, that many people who enjoy porn are brought up in socially-conservative environments where the only right answer to the question is "yes, porn's bad."

I think what it comes down to is that a good number of them actually believe in Christianity and have not discarded the aspects of sexual morality that come with it (barring liberal Christianity of course), including believing masturbation is a sin. A lot of them don't have the strength to actually stop. So they can go a couple directions from there, either continue in a state of internal conflict, find the strength to stop, or take the standard narcissistic modern approach and redefine their moral beliefs to fit their lifestyle. I know we live in an era where nothing is ever supposed to hurt our self-esteem, or heaven forbid require us to make any difficult changes to our lifestyle, but perhaps not everyone believes they're God's gift to the world and never do anything wrong. Some people recognize that they are sinners even if they don't stop.

I think the fact you think masturbation is such a big deal that you regularly make the point of telling us how you don't do it and how others that do are falling short says a lot about you.
96  Forum Community / Off-topic Board / Re: What cultures do you "-phile" for? on: August 16, 2014, 07:24:37 am
Scotophile Cheesy
97  General Politics / International General Discussion / Re: Uganda anti-gay law struck down on: August 15, 2014, 04:04:14 pm
A new bill has been introduced as the law was only invalidated on a technicality. Kenya is toying with a 'death by stoning' bill.
98  Forum Community / Forum Community / Re: Atlas Sexual Morality Poll on: August 14, 2014, 07:48:22 am
1) Agree

2) Agree

3) Agree

4) Disagree

5) Agree, if by consent

6) It's just greedy

7) Agree
99  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Reincarnation on: August 13, 2014, 06:01:12 am
Roll Eyes  I was trying to be as general as possible with the term afterlife and not limit it to the usual Christian/Greek concept of a realm for reward and/or punishment for deeds in this realm, but any sort of consciousness that may exist beyond this corporeal realm we share.

But it's still an afterlife with no 'forethought', if you will. Concentrating on what comes after over what comes before is what makes the concept of the afterlife an imbalanced one, regardless of any reward/punishment system intertwined with it.
100  General Discussion / Religion & Philosophy / Re: Reincarnation on: August 12, 2014, 11:12:15 am
I can't say I find reincarnation all that satisfying a concept.  Since we are unable to make use of the experiences of our past lives while in our current incarnations, it adds an extra layer of complexity beyond that found in the simpler concept of there being an afterlife.

It seems to me that it exists primarily as a means of explaining why bad things happen to good people—they were bad in a previous life.  However such an explanation seems to me to be in opposition to free will.  It means that people don't do things to others because they choose to, but because they are part of the mechanism for punishing people for bad things done in previous lives and also rewarding them for good deeds.  Yet is it then just to punish or reward people if they act because they must in order to punish or reward people for previous actions?

Hence if reincarnation exists, I can't accept the idea that it exists as a means of enabling karmic retribution or reward. Yet absent that aspect, I see no particular reason for reincarnation.

The afterlife is not a simple concept nor is it a balanced one. It places a great degree of importance on your actions (or perhaps, irrespective of your actions) in one life, whether you die in an incubator a few days old or just after your 100th birthday. As I’ve outlined before, as a fraction of infinite time it is so miniscule as to be of both no value and of equal value to the largest expanse of time you can envision (which still falls short of infinity). The living have technically no time at all. And yet their destiny is judged on that. Even if you embrace a universalist position, allowing the consciousness an infinity of time in which to reflect and make peace therefore ensuring no one is placed in ‘hell’, given that no one knows what the standards of the arbiter (or god) are, it could well be that not one person who has ever lived has actually met those aims. Therefore there is no heaven, nor a hell, nor any place of finite rest or if there is, not a single person is there. As eternity has no end, then it may well be the case that we are spiritually chasing a destination that can never be reached.

The afterlife is is not a balanced concept as it is preoccupied with the transition of the soul or consciousness from the living to the not living. It pays little attention to the consciousness prior to it being embodied into a living being. From the not living to the living if you will. Given that the circumstances of your birth are beyond your control, the conditions under which you are born have a very significant impact on your life and the choices you make and can make. It is disjointed to place weight on the decisions that you make in life informing the circumstances after your death, but not place weight on ‘decisions’ affecting the circumstances of your life coming into being. As you know, I’m not bothered by or informed by metaphysical concepts but if I was, I don’t necessarily have to consider the decisions affecting why you are born as being ‘karmic’. They may be entirely arbitrary (as indeed causation dictates) It may well be that your consciousness is placed in whatever vessel is available to it. It may even have a choice.

Karmic reincarnation serves the same moralistic purpose in the concept of reincarnation as exposure to a pleasurable or dis-pleasurable outcomes does for the concept of an afterlife so I don’t think it can be criticised on that alone. If there is a consciousness, the idea of a cyclical consciousness is much more balanced and simplistic whether one wants to impose a reciprocal good/bad justice system onto it or not. Indeed given that concepts such as right/wrong, justice, pain/pleasure are very much informed by the physical, you would be more assured of actual punishment/reward in any case.
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