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Everything posted by Etherman

  1. The pseudo-skeptic claims to be skeptical but has actually already made up his mind. He can always move the goalposts by claiming that the evidence offered up isn't extraordinary enough. He'll reject perfectly good evidence for the flimsiest of reasons. He'll claim that experiments might have hidden flaws so the results can be rejected. Real, but inconsequential flaws, will be magnified so large that they negate any experimental result. An interesting experiment was performed several years ago (I can try to find the reference if you're interested). A scientific paper was submitted to several peer-reviewed journals. Half of those submissions had data that agreed with the dominant paradigm but the other half disagreed with the dominant paradigm. Everything else about the papers were identical. The researchers found that the papers that agreed with the paradigm were accepted for publication and the methodology praised. On the flip side when the results disagreed with the paradigm the papers were rejected and the methodology criticized.
  2. I voted not pacifist. I'm against the initiation of violence, but I find violence is is a perfectly acceptable reaction to someone molesting, or attempting to molest, one's property (which includes one's own body). On a national level the same logic holds. The nation should not go to war unless attacked or under immanent threat. Our reaction to violence should be quick, decisive, and put and end to further hostility.
  3. Though there may be some overlap, anarchism and libertarianism are not the same. Anyway, I'm an anarchist. Government is an unnecessary evil.
  4. Since I can't add anything to the topic I'll just post a link to a really cool song about the topic.
  5. Not to rain on your parade, but isn't this the day that God killed a bunch of Egyptian babies? Shouldn't this be a day of mourning?
  6. I note that the text mentions nothing about Israel, David, the Temple, and isn't a passage from the Bible. While an interesting find, it doesn't actually support any of the claims made by Gershon Galil.
  7. An action is morally wrong if it harms me. An action is morally right if it benefits me.
  8. Here's something I wrote on another forum in response to the question of whether an atheist can be spiritual. Enjoy: I would actually argue that most atheists are spiritual, moreso than most Christians. If you look up the word "spiritual" you find something like "of or concerning the spirit". Well that's slightly less than helpful. What the spirit? From Vital itself means "of or manifesting life". So, far from having anything to do with souls, ghosts, demons, or deities, spirituality has to do with being alive. This includes the necessities of life like food, water, and shelter from the elements. But, as they say, man does not live on bread alone. Spirituality is about living. It's about enjoying life, our relationships with other people, good health, our relationship to the environment, art, etc. Atheists are spiritual because we believe this is the only life we get so we want to make the most of it. Christians, and most other theists, are deathual. They're obsessed with what happens after death. Instead of living life for their own spiritual good, they live life for empty promises of the afterlife.
  9. I recommend reading Galatians if you want first hand evidence for what Paul thought of the Apostles. Loathing is the word that comes to my mind.
  10. Biblegod is too evil for me to worship, so if he did exist he'd have to be satisfied with my contempt.
  11. This is actually the normal way that it happens. I highly recommend Mircea Eliade's Shamanism: Archaic Techniques of Ecstacy. Note, it's not a how to book, but a study of shamanism around the world.
  12. Who even reads their profile comments?

  13. I just got a copy of the Book of Mormon. Could be an interesting read.
  14. I thought the first book was excellent (I hadn't at the time yet read LOTR). I read the second two books but didn't think they were very good.But then again I didn't think that LOTR was any good either. I hate his writing style.
  15. Were you surprised to see Adam and Eve's names? I must admit that I had spiritual blinders on at the time. I was a devout Christian but also pretty egalitarian so the sexism in the Quran was enough to get me to stop reading. The sexism in the Bible, however, wasn't enough to get me to stop reading the Bible. I could always rationalize the defects away.
  16. The Earth doesn't have foundations. You'd think that God would know that.
  17. That was one of the first fantasy novels I ever read. I thought it was great. The sequels sucked, so don't bother with them. He was ripping of Tolkein, but I didn't know it at the time (and quite frankly don't like Tolkein).
  18. Point of Impact, Dirty White Boys, and The Day before Midnight, by Stephen Hunter are all very good thrillers. They're filled with suspense and plot twists, if you like that sort of thing. Frederick Forsythe is also worth a read. Pretty much anything by him but especially The ODESSA File and the Devil's Alternative (it's starts a bit slow but it's worth it after he's cranked it up a few notches). For horror go with Dracula by Bram Stoker. There's no close second on this one.
  19. I'll second Games of Thrones by George Martin for fantasy. For sci-fi I'll second Dune by Frank Herbert. I don't much care for sci-fi books (though I love sci-fi movies and TV shows; don't know why it is the way it is) but this was very good.
  20. Invisible Monsters is my favorite! <{POST_SNAPBACK}> Really??? Didn't you think it was obvious that Brandy was the narrator's brother? I literally saw it 100 pages away. I didn't get the motivation for anything the narrator did. I also thought that telling the story out of chronological order was to divert us from noticing there was no plot--just anti-consumerism one-liners. To each his own I suppose.
  21. Chuck Palahniuk. I recommend all his books except "Invisible Monsters" which was total crap. I just finished "Ender's Game" by Orson Scott Card. It started a bit slow but got a lot better and liked the twist at the end. I'm not usually into sci-fi but I'll probably read the other books in the series. After I get through the 50 books strewn randomly around my bedroom. So for my next book I'm going to read "The Flanders Panel" by Perez-Reverte.