Jonathan H. B. Lobl

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Everything posted by Jonathan H. B. Lobl

  1. Quiz-one topic

    That depends. Sometimes, free will has a price. Like death. In theory, we have free will. If we can pay the price.
  2. Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Free Thinkers

    All true. Once the purerists take over a board -- the board usually goes into a death spiral. It's a sad thing, when Atheists act like Fundamentalists. Such is life.
  3. I thought it might be a fun topic to discuss the different labels. Atheists, Agnostics, Brights, Free Thinkers, Secularists, Humanists, Secular Humanists, Spiritual Humanists, Objectivists, Pantheists, Apatheists, Nones, No Preference, Etc. Of course, there are combinations. Apathetic Agnostic and Agnostic Atheist are popular. We all end up wearing labels, whether they fit or not. Sometimes, finding the perfect label becomes a game. Which label do you like? One of these? Something else? Stoic Atheist?
  4. Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Free Thinkers

    The core value of the Jain religion is to be harmless. A serious Jain will walk carefully lest he kill an insect. The more extreme a Jain is, the more harmless he becomes. The question does indeed become -- what values is a person extreme about? That includes the importance of being "right". Of having to "win" arguments. IMO. I judge extremists by their actions. It's not such a rare thing for an Atheist to be rude or condescending. I never heard of an Atheist suicide bomber. I conclude from this that there is a huge difference between an Atheist extremist and a Muslim Jihadi. As you noted, not all extremes are the same.
  5. Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Free Thinkers

    A Muslim minority in Burma, is under attack by Buddhist mobs. We don't have to wonder. There are fanatical Jains. The more extreme a Jain gets in being harmless -- the less anyone else has to worry about. In this, the Jains are an exception. We should remember that Richard Nixon had a Quaker background. His upbringing seems to have failed.
  6. Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Free Thinkers

    I think it's an ongoing conversation. I have encountered Atheists who regard it as a debate. I should explain that. I had to drop out of several Atheist groups on Facebook. It's a pattern I discovered. Yet again, someone would ask a recurring question. If you had to choose a religion -- which one would you pick? I said Agnostic. I thought it was funny. These groups were sadly lacking in humor. They had a pile on. Rather than deal with their crap -- I left/ I don't enjoy stupid arguments with Atheists, any more than I enjoy stupid arguments with the pious. Extremists are just plain tedious.
  7. Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Free Thinkers

    There is also the distinction between knowledge and belief. I can talk about what I know and how I think I know it. I don't believe -- is a conversation killer.
  8. Agnostics, Atheists, Brights, Free Thinkers

    I have been finding the Agnostic label, more useful than the Atheist label. By useful, I mean that it gets me into fewer stupid arguments. I enjoy friendly conversation. At this point, I don't enjoy arguing. Even less so, when there are no objective and verifiable facts.
  9. Quiz-one topic

    In my understanding, "forgiveness" is a way of releasing anger. Releasing anger is good for the person who has been harmed. Releasing anger prevents additional harm. "absolution" is about releasing the person who did the harming, from his guilt. People pray for "absolution". "Forgiving" is about releasing and letting go of anger.
  10. Wisdom Lovers United (or untied)

    The procrastinators will put off doing the work, and will not be ready.
  11. You seem to have missed the line that I was responding too. Here it is. professing to be a Christian and being a Christian are two different things. possibly the majority of this "Christian majority" are not Christians. When people tell me that they are Christian, I don't question it. As to your point -- when Christians and Muslims try to define me -- it irritates me, but I don't argue about it. At least, not the way I used to.
  12. If we begin with a few basic assumptions -- God is the author of Scripture -- God wants Scripture to be understood -- that God, the All Knowing, knows in advance everybody who will ever be confused by Scripture -- it's disturbing. Unless we give up these assumptions. God can do anything. This is God's best work? God's perfect work? God's message to all, which must be clearly understood? No room for improvement? At minimum, God should have only put out one Book. Or prevented the other Books. Or enjoys all the arguing and mayhem and blood. If God were All Knowing, All Powerful and All Good.
  13. I let people define themselves.
  14. Quiz-one topic

    The assumption here is that the Bible has authority.
  15. Quiz-one topic

    I take it as a given, that when people own slaves; they do themselves great harm in the process. It is not possible to harm others, without being harmed in the process.
  16. Wisdom Lovers United (or untied)

    When you're rowing against the current, drop anchor and wait. I'm not sure what that means in this context ...........
  17. Wisdom Lovers United (or untied)

    You have my sympathies. I had an awful time with the formulas. That was no fun at all.
  18. Matthew 6:5 And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. In Context | Full Chapter | Other Translations Not really consequence free. Think of all the resentment that they are creating. Imaginary enemies become real. Called into existence by all that sanctimonious smugness.
  19. Origins of hell

    I'm inclined to agree. People who have a real connection to the culture, might be able to tell the difference. The parts available to outsiders, stinks of New Age and fraud. Maybe you remember the fad, back in the seventies, Westerners going to India to find themselves? History repeats.
  20. Quiz-one topic

    Where we stand depends on where we sit. If you want arguments for slavery -- ask a slave owner. If you want arguments against slavery -- ask a slave. If you want to find someone so ignorant, that he has no opinion -- ask an American.
  21. By all means, tell him -- yes. You did hear the good news. Atheism is more popular than ever.
  22. Origins of hell

    Just so. This is one reason why I have come to despise arguing about God's existence. Without common reference points -- people are just arguing. Getting mad about something they can't define.
  23. Wisdom Lovers United (or untied)

    It might help to think in concrete rather than abstract terms. I'm thinking of the police doctrine of excessive force. Consider two examples. One. The police show up to discover a drunk trying to break into a liquor store. He has cracked the plate glass window. He's more pathetic than dangerous. There is no need to hurt him, or even threaten him with harm. He is quickly subdued and placed in the back of the police car for processing. Two. The police show up at an armed bank robbery in process. One of the robbers exits the bank and shoots at the first police officer to arrive at the scene. He refuses to drop his weapon. The police will shoot back. They use their side arms. They do not use a rocket launcher. Another example. A deer hunter normally goes hunting with a sport rifle. Not an AK-47. There is necessary. There is sufficient. There is excessive.
  24. Origins of hell

    Terminology is it's own can of worms. Christians don't have religion. They have a special relationship with God. Orthodox Jews don't have religion. They are only obedient to Torah. Muslims don't have religion. They submit to the will of Allah. Odd, really. Nobody is religious.