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Profile: will
User Name: will
Forum Rank: Advanced Member
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Joined: Monday, June 29, 2009
Last Visit: Monday, April 2, 2018 9:57:03 AM
Number of Posts: 1,077
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  Last 10 Posts
Topic: Happy Easter!
Posted: Monday, April 2, 2018 9:46:14 AM
jacobusmaximus wrote:
For reasons that will be obvious, I am not casting any pearls here.

Ah, the enduring appeal of Faith, the luxury of simply asserting that one’s personal truths are pearls of wisdom, untarnished by the burden of evidence and above the incredulity of ignorant pigs such as myself. Eh?

Helenej wrote:
God saved the most righteous people to only end up having, in the long run, the same mixture of very few righteous and the majority of unrighteous ones, just as before the Flood. What puzzles me, though, is that He, who knows what will happen, couldn’t predict the result.

A common mantra of the Christian apologist is that without evil in the world we would have nothing to measure good against; but this cuts both ways. It could just as well be argued that God (whomever he or she is) is actually a malevolent being and the world is supposed to be full of evil – with some good thrown in to measure the evil against. This would certainly explain the arbitrary nature of suffering – infant mortality, whole communities buried under mudslides, or even global floods (if one suspends all logic and reason and accepts such nonsense). An evil creation would certainly explain large parts of the Old Testament. An evil creation definitely makes more sense than believing that malaria, currently killing 3000 African children daily, is an acceptable consequence of a benevolent omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient God successfully tempting His first created humans with a talking snake.

Perhaps (this omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient) God’s repeated attempts to fine tune His creation is to keep humanity’s propensity for good in check. It’s a credit to humanity, and cause for great pride and celebration, that good deeds, love and respect are generally the default position, but life is still pretty insufferable for vast numbers of our species and personal beliefs do little, if anything, to alleviate that.

Of course, what makes most sense is that there are no gods, nothing supernatural and no afterlife of eternal salvation, or suffering, depending on one’s adherence to specific sets of contradictory beliefs and practices… but apparently large numbers of humanity still find empiricism incompatible with their egos and fear of their own mortality.

Epiphileon wrote:
if you accept the foundational premises of the belief, then the rest of it is pretty much logically consistent.

If you simply accept foundational premises without question, then any position could be made to look consistent. But logic and reason must always, by definition, be based on a sound premise. So, yes, it could be argued that the Bible is internally consistent – though it really isn’t – but, being founded on flawed premises, it certainly is not logically consistent.

In truth, as I’m not fluent in ancient Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek, I have no genuine way of knowing if God’s word (assuming it is God’s word at all) was consistent, logically or otherwise… and the same is true of absolutely everyone else on this forum, or indeed anyone alive. All we have is subsequent editing, translation and personal interpretation by mere mortals; the result is, in my humble opinion, neither logical nor consistent.

But thank you for wallowing in the mud and pig shit with me and at least attempting to offer a reasoned explanation... very Christian of you Angel

Topic: Happy Easter!
Posted: Saturday, March 31, 2018 10:54:20 AM
Considering Jesus knew (Matthew 20:21, for example) that he would be resurrected after a few days, and returned to His exalted position of Lord over everything, for all eternity… can Christ’s crucifixion really be considered a ‘sacrifice’?

Sure, it would have been an unpleasant few days, but considering Jesus (by his own account, John 10:30 et al.) is God Himself – omnipotent, omnipresent and omniscient – those few days would have been a blink of an eye and nothing compared to the suffering so many of His subjects, through no fault of their own, endure every day; being a victim of the high infant mortality rates in Christ’s time was forever; mere mortals don’t get to have a little rest for three days before hitting the reset button for a straight pass into paradise.

Surely the real hero in the Easter myth is Judas. It was Judas who played the vital role that enabled Jesus to complete the prophecy, which He already knew would happen...being omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient and all that.

Depending on which flavour of Christianity one chooses to believe, it was Judas who either returned the 30 pieces of silver before hanging himself, or who bought a field and fell over in it causing all his bowels to gush out, or who got fat and was crushed by a chariot… causing his bowels to gush out. Either way he met a truly sorry end, for eternity.

Judas was the ultimate scapegoat, despised and vilified, condemned to an eternity of suffering, but without his sacrifice mankind would not have been saved (at least in the manner foretold by Jesus)

In my opinion, Jesus comes out of the Easter myth looking like a privileged prince who expects the adulation of his subjects, just because he gave up his weekend to convince the malevolent king not to escalate his tyrannical rule.

And what are the chocolate eggs all about?

Topic: FYI - Polar Bears - New Study and It's Not Good News
Posted: Friday, February 2, 2018 7:43:45 AM
They should switch to eating fish... they should be easy enough to catch in open water. Think

Topic: Massive Hole Appears In Antarctic Ice and Scientists Aren't Sure Why
Posted: Tuesday, January 30, 2018 8:58:21 AM
Time for me to chip in then?

FounDit wrote:
I have listened to, and observed the discussion on "Climate Change" for about 45 years now. I've heard both the pro's and con's. And since absolutely none of the predictions by climate change advocates have come true over that time period, I have remained in the skeptical camp.


Svante Arrhenius first postulated that an increase in atmospheric carbon dioxide would increase the Earth's surface temperature, through the greenhouse effect, more than 100 years ago. Since then this basic theory has been extensively tested and every prediction, experiment and data set that has survived the scientific method and peer review fully supports that principle.

In the last 50 years, decade upon decade, year on year, the scientific method – formulate a hypothesis, make predictions, conduct experiments, gather data, then reject or improve the theory – has tested many predictions. Some failed and have been discarded. Many others pass, because they accurately reflect the observable experimental data, and are used to strengthen the reliability of the theory. That’s how science works. Through this method the veracity of anthropic climate change has become so compelling that it has gone from Svante Arrhenius’ personal opinion, to a fringe theory in the 1960’s, to the overwhelming scientific consensus we have today – over 90% across associated sciences, rising to a fraction off 100% in the field of climate science.

To claim “ none of the predictions by climate change advocates have come true” is pure bullshit, and only serves to highlight your ignorance of how science works.

FounDit wrote:
I was also convinced to remain skeptical by the fact that we now know the data has been falsified and manipulated by climate scientists and this has proven to me that I must continue to doubt it.


I don’t know if you have a specific incident in mind (Piltdown Man perhaps? Think ) but for the current consensus to be based on falsified and manipulated data would require an unimaginably complex conspiracy. This conspiracy would not only need to involve every climate scientist, but it would also require, at the very least, tacit collusion from fields as diverse as zoology, chemistry, geography, physics and oceanography. A conspiracy to falsify and manipulate data on the scale required would also require a collective political or ideological motivation that the world has never before seen. The boards of every scientific body, and every major business (including all the major fossil fuel companies), and every government on the planet (with the possible exception of Trump’s autocratic inner circle) would need to share this collective political or ideological motivation for such a conspiracy to work.

You may be able to imagine the existence of such a collective ideology… but this really is tin foil hat territory.

FounDit wrote:
So whenever I see someone advocating "anthropogenic" climate change, I feel the need to refute it, as there is absolutely no evidence to date that humans are responsible for any of it.

So trying to convince me of it is like trying to convince me to become a believer in gods and religions. I've been told it's true, but I see no evidence of it; just the opposite. So I remain unconvinced.

And very much like the creationist “need to refute” evolution, your “need” has nothing to to with the science.

FounDit wrote:
As for the polar bears, what habitat is shrinking -- the ice? You do know, don't you, that polar bears need to be able to dive into the water to hunt for fish for food? So open water, or less ice, is a good thing for them. They would starve if there was nothing but ice and no way to get into the water.

Are you serious? This is a frankly idiotic line of reasoning.Eh?

FounDit wrote:
Well, again, if you want to live like a Native Canadian, you can. I choose to live in the modern age even with its problems, because I think we can solve them without disrupting industries. It won't be easy, of course. Change never is, but it can be done. We've already see that it can.

This is like someone in the 19th century arguing that we should seek to just solve the problems caused by the whaling and logging industries, and that a move to alternative energy sources is unnecessary because whale extinction and deforestation is not man-made, and should not be disrupted.

First you claim the ‘problem’ has nothing to do with mankind burning fossil fuel and then you say we can solve the problems of burning fossil fuel. You’ve contradicted yourself in this way several times

The overwhelming scientific and political consensus says we need to change to low carbon economies; that change is not easy (as you say) but not because the consensus is based on a lie, but because the facts are contrary to the economic and ideological interests of a powerful minority… a minority that perpetuate the kind of muddled misdirection and pseudo-science that you are repeating here -- such as the “hockey stick” data was based on a single tree... complete bullshit.

FounDit wrote:
Have we frozen to death, as environmentalists first proposed we would back in the 1970's?

I’ve called you out on this before. You chose to ignore it before. It’s dishonest to pretend otherwise. Shame on you

There was no serious scientific support for global cooling in the 1970’s (or any recent time). Although not as strong as it is today, the consensus in the 1970’s was actually predicting what we actually observe today: global warming. In the 1970’s support for a theory of global cooling was about as well supported as the current support for theories that reject anthropic climate change today... i.e practically bugger all.

FounDit wrote:
With all progress over the millennia there have been concurrent problems that arose, and we have dealt with them. I see no reason we won't continue to be able to do so in the future.

The overwhelming scientific consensus says that we haven’t dealt with the problems predicted by Svante Arrhenius over 100 years ago, problems have arisen, as predicted decade upon decade, year upon year, and supported by empirical observations. However, finally, the political consensus has also now reached the point where there is overwhelming agreement that the problems predicted by the science need to be dealt with.

This issue is no longer up for debate. Apart from a minority aiming to wring the last dime out of the fossil fuel cash cow, and a few tin foil hat wearing ideologists, this issue is settled.

FounDit wrote:
No one denies that the climate changes. What is denied is that we are causing it to happen.

Until recently today’s skeptics were absolutely denying that the climate was changing. Only now that the evidence is so overwhelming has the argument switched to ‘yeah, it’s changing. But it’s not man-made’.

In fact the evidence that it is man-made is now also so overwhelming that there are now very few who even deny that – even Mike Pence could no longer ignore the science… and he believes the Earth is 6 thousand years old. Current skeptics mainly argue about what action we should take.

Again, it’s very much like how creationists moved from denying evolution completely, to accepting ‘adaptation’ through Intelligent Design, and finally to wilful ignorance and self delusion.

FounDit wrote:
One such scientist is Dr. Roy Spencer. There are many others.

Dr Spencer mainly voices opinions in line with his employers, The Heartland Institute, but they are just opinions. To obtain the credibility of ‘scientists who disagree with the consensus’ he really needs to turn those opinions into scientifically credible hypotheses. Like anyone else, he is total free to do so by submitting his data for peer review and scientific scrutiny. He's yet to do so.

Dr Spencer also rejects evolution in favour of Intelligent Design, and perhaps he’s right. But his opinion that all of biology (and every associated field), most of chemistry and large parts of physics are wrong, in favour of an alternative theory that cannot be tested and for which there is no evidence, has absolutely nothing to do with science.

Topic: Could It Really Happen That Way?
Posted: Friday, January 19, 2018 6:06:59 AM
Fyfardens wrote:
Nearly 40% of Americans approve of Trump's presidency.
Nearly 40% of Americans believe that God created all life in the last ten thousand years.
It would not surprise me to learn that 40% of Americans believe that if Trump ordered a nuclear attack on North Korea (or Iran, or Hati or some other s***hole state) the world would be a better place - and no Americans would suffer.

Agreed. Applause

With the current political landscape, shaped as it is by conflicting strains of Abrahamic death cults, it’s sometimes hard to trust one’s faith in humanity.

Most recent Pew research (2013) found that roughly half of all Christians in the U.S believe the return of Christ, the central event in Christian eschatology, will occur within the next 40 years.

Senator Doug Broxson received rapturous applause (pun intended) when he announced, with giddy excitement, that Trump’s decision to recognize Jerusalem as Israel’s capital might bring forward a Biblical bloodbath... from which the chosen few are saved, of course. Pray

I suspect the applause, and the Pew poll, reflects a wider political and theological ignorance in the U.S, rather than a general culture of deranged Rapture-ready sociopaths, but it doesn’t paint a pleasant picture. It’s this kind of mentality in other Faiths that has Trump supporters foaming at the mouth.

The last forty years alone has witnessed countless apocalypse-hungry Christian leaders gleefully heralding the imminent mass extinction of all life on Earth. I have no doubt Mike Pence believes he will make the list come Judgement Day, and there is a very real scenario where he could actually bring such an apocalypse about.

Trump might just launch the nuclear arsenal if the button is ever designed with a certain gropeable quality. Eh?

Topic: Fear mongering
Posted: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 8:32:44 AM
progpen wrote:
Yes, that is what I'm doing but Listening doesn't seem to catch on to that sort of thing, so I then resort to being direct and he ignores me. Ah well, what can you do?

It's worth considering that Listening... might be ignoring you for an entirely different reason. I would hate to think FounDit believes I ignore his arguments because I'm unable to 'catch on'. Think

Topic: Fear mongering
Posted: Wednesday, December 20, 2017 8:28:06 AM
Listening... wrote:
I thank you for the gesture. I fear, however, you might be the one to wave the white flag at the end of it all. ; )

No white flag in sight, but I think I’ve said about all I need to and will probably only be repeating myself from here on.

Listening... wrote:
I suspect the western side would prefer to live in harmony...

True, and so would vast majority from the ‘other’ side – it is a myth that ‘they’ don’t.

And, fortunately, Trump and the USA do not represent the ‘western side’ by any stretch of the imagination – Trump as leader of the Free World is also just part of the ‘us’ and ‘them’ myth you’ve bought into. Trump is no more representative of western beliefs and culture than ISIS is representative of Islamic beliefs and culture.

Listening... wrote:
I don’t think Trump should Tweet. His ability to communicate lacks clarity and, sadly, refinement.

Such astonishingly poor judgement doesn’t bode well for more serious matters, does it? d'oh!

Listening... wrote:
I don’t think his tweets are helpful to the situation but I also don’t think they have substantial impact on the decisions of terrorists to continue to terrorize.

Had Trump not retweeted those videos, they would have circulated around a small group and likely made no substantial impact on their already bigoted prejudices. For the rational majority the global exposure was possibly a good opportunity to expose the lie for what it was. For the small group of Islamic extremists the hateful lie will have substantially reinforced their bigoted prejudice against their western enemies; that undoubtedly increases the risk to all of us.

Listening... wrote:
Obama was an outstanding orator and chose his words carefully - there was neither a decrease in terrorist attacks nor a diminished level of fear or anger.

I don’t know about a decrease during Obama’s tenure, but I think many people believe the situation is currently escalating, that was certainly the narrative from Trump during his run for office and since being elected, and the point of my original post.

Listening... wrote:
I wholeheartedly love this idea. Peace, compassion, unity, hope, rationality, and truth. If only the human condition didn’t screw these up so badly, compassion, hope, rationality, and truth would (in theory) bring peace and unity. When, in human history, has there been such a utopian existence? I suspect you will say there hasn’t but it’s the right direction to strive toward.

In general humankind – that’s ‘us’ and ‘them’ – currently lives in a era of unprecedented peace and harmony, due to a combination of a pragmatic understanding of the cost of conflict – particularly mutual annihilation – and the benefit of interdependent global systems.

In the year following 9/11, despite all the talk of war and terrorism, the average person was more likely to take their own life than be killed by a terrorist or soldier, or fall victim to any act of violence at the hand of another.

Peace is not just an ideal to strive for, it’s already the reality for the vast majority. You don’t have to buy into fear-mongering. If you have to be afraid I suggest you focus on the fact that you are considerably more at risk from an American on a gun rampage than a Muslim jihadist… or a thug from the Netherlands.

Religious extremists, popular nationalism and irrational divisive dogma make up a small dwindling minority. They have experienced a disproportionately visible resurgence in the last decade or two, due to the global reach of media and in particular the internet, but we don’t have to follow that agenda.

There is no long term future outside of cooperation within the global community. When Trump chooses to actively provoke North Korea despite repeated warnings from pretty much the entire international community, or when he decided, again against the grain of international diplomatic efforts, to recognise Jerusalem as Israel’s capital (while simultaneously signing the waiver to keep the US embassy where it is, confirming the move is about as likely as the building of wall to keep those Mexican rapists out), or when he promotes lies that promote harmful stereotypes, he does so purely for short term (mainly personal) political gain.

Topic: Your Favorite Song
Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 7:09:51 AM
almo 1Our musical tastes are strikingly similar... Applause

A different take on a Christmas classic: The Maccabees - Walking in the Air
Topic: Fear mongering
Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 6:59:51 AM
March Hare wrote:

My new favourite phrase Applause

Topic: Fear mongering
Posted: Tuesday, December 19, 2017 6:57:46 AM
Listening... wrote:
I think we can all agree that Trump is not the most refined politician in the arena. However, I don’t believe Trump delivers any message that he believes is false. In other words, Trump believes what he is saying. Therefore, he is not telling a lie. I sincerely do not believe he is intent on misleading US citizens (or the world) into fearing a group of people. The group of people are speaking loudly enough for themselves about their intended direction. I suspect the victims and the families of the victims of terrorist attacks understand Trump’s movement toward mobilizing a defense.

Listening... I don’t want to drag this discussion on much further, I might not agree with you, but at least you are able to plainly state the ‘other’ side without feeling the need to resort to polemic and stereotyping; I genuinely appreciate that... and flogging it out until you finally see how wrong you are is not worth the animosity. Whistle I giveth with one hand...

I will say, however, that your argument works in exactly the same way as justification for the Taliban or ISIS; they don’t believe what they are saying is false, they genuinely (at least to the same political degree) believe the fear of ‘us’ is justified. Western military invasions, corporate occupation, physical and verbal abuse on the streets of one’s adopted country and lying tweets that attempt to portray Muslims – as a group – as savages, are all actions that ‘speak loudly enough for themselves’. The victims of decades of Western interference in the Middle East understand...etc.

Actually, that last point (and yours before) is ‘begging the question, a logical fallacy; there is no evidence to suggest that victims of terror are inclined to understand or support the actions of those that further perpetuate terror and, in this case, the ‘clash of civilisation’ myth. It’s this self-fulfilling cycle that extremists attempt to exploit. In fact the most common response to most attacks, in my experience, is one of peace, compassion, unity and hope.

Others have made this point already, but it’s worth repeating: peace, compassion, unity and hope are hard ideals to achieve. Whereas fear, hate and division are easy. This is why we have a situation where the overwhelming majority of humanity – including this old ‘lefty’ – want the former, but are drowned out by the tiny minority that promote the latter.

Listening... wrote:
If, as you state that this type response is all based in waking fear in the weak-minded, how do you explain what has happened to the families of the dead?

Sorry, I don’t understand the question. I think you've misunderstood what I said.

Listening... wrote:
Do you tell them that fearing (or being angry) toward the group that killed their loved one is not justified; that there is not a group to fear, in fact?

Which ‘group that killed their loved one’ are you referring to? Muslims in general? Muslims from a particular country? Migrants? Dutch nationals? Or males that beat up disabled people?
I suggest your use of the term ‘group’ is buying into the unqualified ‘us’ and ‘them’ fear-mongering that the likes of Trump are promoting.

Listening... wrote:
Their lost loved ones matter. It would be nice to slow the hate that moves such violence.

As I said before, the bottom line is this: do you think Trump’s anti-Muslim tweets are more likely or less likely to inflame the situation and lead to further hate and violence? Do you really believe that extremists are going to throw in the towel because the figurehead of Western imperialism portrays Muslims as savages, by tweeting a video of a Dutch national of undetermined religion beating up a disabled person? Eh?

I suspect the reason the White House, and Trump supporters, refuse to admit the obvious wrong in this particular incident is because it is in no way an isolated case.

Listening... wrote:
How do we do that?

We, the overwhelming majority of humanity, do that by promoting peace, compassion, unity, hope, rationality and truth, and by rejecting hate, fear and lies.


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