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About Dianna

  • Birthday June 11

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    Psychology, Comparative religions/philosophies; Writing (blogging, an e-book re: R.H.); Greek history/Philosophy/Mythology; Chess, Zoroastrianism, Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA); Anasazi and Hopi culture
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    Rational Hedonism

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    Psychologist/ R.H. Celebrant
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  1. Introductory philosophy was a nice over-view, but the main takeaway is to realize that, not only are there other sides to a point of view, but some of those other points of view can be just as well thought out and have as much evidence for their argument. You can listen to one side and hear the different philosophers and empiric evidence, and nod and think, I can agree with that, then hear out the other side with other philosophers and their reasoning and find yourself thinking, I can agree with some of that too. To me, philosophy is a chance to challenge what you think you already know. It's about being open-minded enough to really listen to other ways of looking at things. If you can stick it out past the names and dates and memorizing for tests, the deeper you go, the more interesting it can become. Not in general, but when you find a subject or subjects of interest, such as religion, social issues, education etc. where you can learn different, sometimes nearly opposite historical schools of thought and how they evolved and affect what we have today. , I think some philosophical way of thinking should be introduced in school curriculum, not with lists of philosophers but in fun activities leading to discussions of good citizenship and personal integrity. The public school system knows well that if you teach a child how to think they will likely follow that pattern of thought as they get older. Unfortunately, they do not want children to overly question what might be in the revisionist history books or a teacher's point of view. This past year I've seen a lot of riots in big cities, supposedly for free speech and people wanting to be heard, yet shutting down other people's points of view and right to express themselves. Imo, this is what can happen when you have a generation of kids who have grown up being protected from "bad" or "other" thoughts and always praised that they were right and infallible -- we see people who can not even actively listen to well reasoned out other points of view they don't think they can ever agree with, without needing to seek out some "safe space" to protect them from "trigger words". It's not just the youth, it's also the adult world lately. We see this in politics, which has become so concrete and inflexible, Democrats and Republicans can't even agree when they agree, bipartisan has become a bad thing. Because the general media loathe the president, they can not ever allow themselves to report on anything positive. We live in an era where we have access to so much information, yet seem to becoming more closed minded. The bigger picture of philosophy is starting with what you think you know, be willing to learn other points of view, be able to defend what you believe against widening arguments, and quite probably, finding your own understanding has broadened. When all the dust settles from those old philosophy books, it boils down to being able to know what you believe, be able to effectively argue your case, and an ability to listen and respond to other points of view, which is the exact opposite of what is going on in schools, politics and media today, so in my opinion, I think philosophy would be useful for children to learn, just as they did in other societies throughout history.
  2. I've done gratitude journals off and on over the years, usually during a hard period in my life. Sometimes there doesn't seem to be any good thing on what seems to be an endlessly terrible day, but it does help when done regularly. There can be so many negative things that stress us or cause real problems in life; politics, medical and financial stress, work, retirement, buying things ... and we can sometimes focus so much on that elusive future where we envision everything will be better, then when we finally get there, sometimes it wasn't the great happy thing we'd hoped for. We can get so caught up in the future or stress now, we might not appreciate what we have and who we have in our lives now. I'm also a little bit lazy, so once I get over the bad patches of life, I usually stop the gratitude journal, but it does help retrain your mind's way of thinking and perspective in looking for the good things, those little incidents that happen, or the people who, maybe just by a smile or word of encouragement, brought a moment of reprieve and brightness in what seemed like a bad day. A gratitude journal collects those good moments, and when you can start flipping back through pages and see those good things, it teaches you the optimism to look for those few good things that happen or be thankful for those people right now, during every day. You can't change the past, and though it seems like there is so much we always have to worry about the future - later today, tomorrow, next week, in the next few years - what we do have is now, today, and find the good, today. I like the idea of husband, wife and kids all sharing their gratitude for each other, I'd never heard of that as a process of keeping a gratitude journal. In Rational Hedonism we have a mini-Thanksgiving the 20th of every month where we remind friends and family how important they are. Kids and spouses so often hear only griping about each other, so the idea to share with kids or grand kids what positive things they do might be especially important nowadays to inoculate them against a world of cyber bullying and peer pressure that causes so many teen suicides. Do you still keep one?
  3. Curious question.. you have Master Debater under your name. Is that really how you want to be viewed...argumentative? Master Conversationalist I would think would be more enticing. Said in much love. Night. Renee' -- child of the Master. Smile

  4. Not sure if they are the best methods, but I can suggest what works for me. Nowadays, never underestimate web presence. There are free, simple-to-use website builders like weebly.com to set up at least a page with the name of your ministry, a pic of you with a email and/or business phone, as well as the services you provide. As you get business, make sure you include photos as samples. Now you have a place to point people to. Websites have become the new business card and include as a link when you list yourself with area pages of wedding search sites. Be sure to include the search words in your site you want to be "findable" in search engines, such as "wedding", "hospital visitation" or specifics you want to stand out for, and the city/state you are in, so locals can find you. You don't absolutely need a private domain name at first until you get going, and the longer your site is online, the more you are "findable" by search engines. If you want to do hospital or some other type of ministry or visitation, nothing beats going to area hospitals. convalescent and retirement homes and either talking to their social services or clergy offices, they may be able to connect you to people who would benefit. I've found most places don't mind you visiting with residents. There are wedding officiant listing sites you can be listed for free by area location, and they are good if someone specifically clicks you, but the free account listings don't usually help promote you, although it's good to be listed and include your website link for someone searching. If you are going to do weddings, it helps to research the local area floral shops, sometimes you include their ad on your page, they may mention you on theirs. Facebook is only good if you have things to say, such as hospital visitation, wedding, and other ministerial things to show photos and people leave positive feedback for things you did, and it's best to be tied in with other groups where you post or that are relevant so people can follow your comments back to your fb page, where again, you will have the trusty link to your website. Otherwise, if you aren't a big fb poster, it's not worth it. There are usually four major bridal shows in larger areas a year, each season promotes the upcoming season. Most of the professional people will have booths and attention-getting advertising and promotions displayed, and it can be hard to compete at first with what they offer. It's best to find some specialty niche or appeal to the smaller, intimate one-on-one situations and ... figure out who your target is. If parents are paying, your down-to-earth, common sense and empathy may win over overwhelmed fathers or mothers. Most people at big bridal shows aren't in the market for wedding clergy at that time, but a business card with your ministry website information can easily be tucked in their sacks where they're collecting all the other promotional things, to be looked over once at home. If you want business cards, I've gone through Vistaprint, but their cheapest cards used to have their logo on the back of your card, you pay extra either to have that taken off or for your own printing on the back. I've also use a cheap flip-top Trak phone for a business-only number I use for weddings, funerals, etc. That is the number I post publicly so my real life and family life isn't interrupted by crank calls. Take time to snoop over other people's websites (who are doing similar things) and see what they include and how they lay things out, you may get ideas. Also, take the time to learn the answers to questions people may ask you, in order to be a better help. You'll make yourself the expert they depend on. Not sure if this is the type of information you were looking for, but hope it helps in getting started when it seems like there is so much to know and not sure what to do.
  5. I just wanted to say that I have a lot of respect for you and your ability to hold your own here sometimes when it seems so many jump against you.  I would have thought there'd be more Christians here from what I've read of the older posts, but seems they wander away.  I may not believe the way you do, but you are about the only Christian here who posts and I learn a lot of the Bible beliefs from you.  :)


    1. Pastor Dave

      Pastor Dave

      Dianna, I agree. Dan is probably the most active Christian here. I have commended him before for his willingness to stick in there and give a Christian view when he is usually outnumbered. I used to enjoy the debating when I first joined but it seems that the same arguments are simply rehashed with different people year after year. While Dan and I may not agree on every jot and tittle of doctrine, I believe we agree on the fundamentals. One of the things I find so refreshing about Dan's style is that even if I don't agree with him on a specific stance he has taken, he is able to give scripture showing how he came to that point of view.

      Props to Dan.

      Keep fighting the good fight.

    2. Dan56


      Thank you both.. There does seem to be relentless opposition to what I believe and think, but most of the conflicting views come from the majority (nonbelievers) who seem to despise the bible. So I don't take anything personal, the arguments are usually against scripture, and a few get extremely frustrated with my acceptance of what they consider a ruthless OT God. Others who believe nothing, just enjoy challenging the authenticity of the bible.. I don't mind, its keeps me sharp, and I think down deep, everyone is just looking for answers. We were all born with an unction to seek and find our purpose, to find the Truth, Perhaps the biggest obstacle is ourselves.  

  6. Nice Monkee's song! Fits perfect there lol.... Thanks!

    1. Gruffydd y Dryw

      Gruffydd y Dryw

      You're welcome! I've been a huge Monkees fan since watching reruns of their TV show as a child :)

    2. Dianna


      Me too! And I don't care how much that "dates" me anymore lol... we had so much good music!


  7. Questions, I always have. Answers? Not always so much.
  8. How did the world begin? What happens after we die? What is true freedom? Do we have free will? Are our decisions made by free will? Is there such thing as absolute truth? What is true happiness? Do the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few (or one? --sorry Star Trek meander) What is my purpose in life?
  9. According to that chart, I fall into the Agnostic Atheist. I believe we are all, as Carl Sagan said, “star stuff”. We are composed of the materials of this planet, so in that sense, we are a part of nature and can become more in tune with its natural rhythms. While I do believe the earth is “living”, I don't believe that it can be “appeased” as some cultures have tried through religion. I believe the early gods were attempts to explain natural phenomena. I also do not believe specifically in the god of the Hebrew/Christian Bible or any of the “known” gods, and I do not have a need to attribute the good and beautiful or bad things that exist or happen from a god. I am Epicurean in the sense of believing even if there are higher beings that would seem to be as gods to us, they would either be so different than us, or be so evolved and involved in their own thing, they chose not to be involved or interact with us at this time. I think as humans, we ultimately share the same experience upon death. We certainly don't have to worry about them sending us to eternal torture upon death. So yes, Atheist in that I don't believe the “gods” of religions but “There are more things in heaven and earth, Horatio, then are dreamed of in your philosophy”- Hamlet (1.5.167-8) What I do know, is that we do not know, see, hear, the whole enormous picture, we don't have the senses even “lesser” animals and insects use (for example, can color-blind animals see a rainbow? How many spectrums do we miss?) If they exist, are they gods? Or just different or advanced and godlike to us? So the Agnostic is also there because I know that I don't know, and if there is are gods/spirits there, they may be totally different then our legends have created them.
  10. This was actually the main quote I was looking for, instead of the above. Still Justin Martyr, since I wasn't able to add this excerpt above in time: Again, to me, this seems to explain to me the beginnings of the Christian church - in order to get away from Jewish connections - were originally taken from pagan Roman beliefs, before eventually growing and developing into its own religion.
  11. With all due respect to the religion Christianity, in my opinion a possible reason it has managed to twist a perfectly-fine-religion-on-its-own and created a different one where salvation must only come through belief of Jesus as the son of God whose blood "sacrifice" was for the sins of the world. My opinion is partly based on the writings of Justin Martyr, a respected Christian (who was later martyred) who is telling the Roman (pagans) that what the Christians believe is no different than what they believed. As the Jewish believers were squeezed out and the "church" became increasingly Roman/non-Jewish, it seems pretty obvious (to me) that to better relate to the people of the Roman empire, they started drawing in these popular ideas that differed from any former Jewish concepts. Again, just my opinion.
  12. !צום קל May you be inscribed and sealed for a good year!
  13. The funerals I usually conduct are for non-religious, unaffiliated families who don't want to bring in some pastor from an unknown church. That doesn't necessarily mean they don't want some sort of spiritual service, so here are a few I've used over the years : We’ll Meet Again - Vera Lynn If We Ever Meet Again This Side Of Heaven - Johnny Cash O Love That Will Not Let Me Go - Indelible Grace Music One Sweet Day – Mariah Carey & Boyz II Men When I Get Where I’m Going – Brad Paisley & Dolly Parton And one of my personal favorites: Circle of Life – Elton John They are all "You-Tube-able" with lyrics. P.S. Btw, Al, I've added your violin solo to my already extensive list - that haunting tune has stuck in my head for days!
  14. My own response was in regard to VonNoble's : The more I've learned and studied other religions over the years, the more I've seen these overlapping teachings. Maybe those who strongly adhere to one religion don't see it (the forest for the trees), but when you are secure enough to step back and compare your religion to others, you can sometimes catch a glimpse of the "bigger picture". It's not meant to make less of what you believe, but instead make it . . . more . . . That what you believe and thought was the picture is actually an intricate part of the bigger picture. And I could just totally be explaining this awkwardly. Thanks for the link, Dan! I read the refutations as I have on other Christian apologetics sites before. It was kind of what I expected from a Christian site for Christians but it was interesting reading. I can understand the difficulties potential refuters run into trying to disprove the similarities of Horus and Jesus since most of the primary resources are from pre-Christian era scrolls and texts. The types destroyed in that horrible fire at the famous Library at Alexandria. A wealth of known (at the time) ancient knowledge and information was destroyed then and over the centuries during the Dark Ages by religious zealots who wanted to destroy "pagan" teachings, as well as deliberate censorship from Biblical scholars who didn't want to deal with legitimate questions when Christianity was trying to distance itself and define itself separately (they do it this way, so we'll do it this way) from some of its pagan influences. The only reason some of this "alternative" knowledge survived was it had been copied by scribes and taken to study in the Indian and Arab countries. I won't hijack a thread for Horus and Jesus as that is not the topic. but I'd enjoy a friendly discussion about it in PM with you Dan. I have solid, historic documentations/reasons for my beliefs, not just bytes copied and pasted from Wikipedia or some conspiracy or quack website. And yes, I totally agree. Other historical records and myths indicate a great flood and the Biblical account is but one of them. There are flood stories on every continent. There's a lot of real information out there - it's not all contained in any one holy book. To me, the bigger picture is so much more awesome.