Ex Nihilo

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Posts posted by Ex Nihilo

  1. On 1/12/2018 at 10:42 PM, VonNoble said:

    Is an omission the same as a lie?

    EN - Depends on whether the information was knowingly omitted or was an honest lapse in memory.


    Is exaggeration the same thing as lying?

    EN - Yes.


    Do most people carefully tell the truth most of the time?    

    EN - not in my experience.


    Are we more likely to fudge for entertainment value, to impress....or to win when we lack proof?

    EN - Yes, that has been my experience.


    What is the most common tip off some one is lying?

    EN - When a story doesn't make sense, I find it means I don't have either the whole story or the true story.


    You can pick and choose the above starting thoughts.... with truth telling being in the news so often these days I am reflecting on that virtue.

    EN - Candor is a virtue. However, consider what are the appropriate limits. I believe that one should always tell the truth but no one is required to tell more of the truth than anyone is entitled to. One has a right to privacy and no one is entitled to invade that privacy without just cause.


     As an employer, rarely did I have a day without an employee missing the truth (for various reasons) in conversations with me... over time I came to accept that FAR FROM everything I heard from staff was true.

    EN - True, as an attorney I find testimonial evidence to be the least reliable. People's thoughts and recollections are often colored by multiple factors, only a few of which are motivated by an intent to deceive. People have bad memories, are prone to emotions which overthrow their ability to have unbiased recollections. Some have physical or mental disabilities that make their statements unreliable. Sometimes, the information requested does not lend itself to precise answers. And of course time plays a large factor. Our brains constantly filter the information we receive from our senses, so expecting unfiltered truth is not reasonable.


    I never know what to do when kids lie.    With adults I usually let them continue as soon enough things unraveled....    or.... I wanted to see just where the scheme would headed.    I want to know WHY they chose to lie.     “Why” ....sometimes was an issue.

    EN - I do the same.


    What guesstimate do you have  on the % of honesty provided to you on average in a day?      Everyone is honest?   Probably 5% of what you hear today is not truthful?

    EN - I believe it is higher. I would imagine 20% are knowing an willful lies. 20% is reasonably truthful, honest and accurate. 60% falls in the grey area where people believe things are more-or-less true when they say them but may be mistaken or have interpreted things inaccurately


    If each of us has lied at least once in our adult life.... is it really highly prized character trait or a wink and nod game we all play?

    EN - I think it depends on who you ask. I for one believe it is a moral weakness, a sin, and should be avoided by all people of good will.


    When is it okay to lie?    If you have a good reason.... is it still a sin?

    EN - I suppose many would say it is morally acceptable to lie in the avoidance of a greater evil. However, I adhere to a worldview which includes an objective moral code. Immoral acts do not become moral based on intent or results. An act is either moral or immoral on its own merits, not on tangentials. Therefore, a lie, for whatever the reason, is a sin.






    See my replies in italics in the quote above.

  2. On 10/12/2016 at 7:06 AM, VonNoble said:

    There is some risk announcing to the world "you are clergy" - no matter what the title of  your choice.

    People will, often, comment upon that decision (some favorably, some incredulously, and a few 

    perhaps negatively.)


    What makes it worth the risk?  Ego. Belief in a message.  Hoping to make a difference.   Shock

    value.  Some on this Forum over the years liken their decision to painting a target on themselves.

    Others never reveal they have been ordained.  Others go out in the world and proclaim it loudly.


    What's your story.    Why did you take step to be ordained?  (motivation)

    And the action you invested following step one?  And the reaction to that action?


    And what's happening currently or planned for the future?



    I've never found it to be the case that people react negatively. Most often it is with curiosity. Usually the first question I get is "Of what denomination?"

    I usually reply, "whichever one you want." Which allows me a chance to tell them about the amazing doctrinal diversity and freedom of conscience in the ULC.

    I can certainly appreciate that some areas are not nearly so friendly to religion of any kind as it is here in south Georgia.

    I guess knowing your audience is important.

  3. 4 hours ago, Dan56 said:

    In the spiritual sense, God has not killed anyone yet.. Death is a natural part of life in the flesh, we were all born to die. If God cured everyone, it would defeat the whole purpose of us being here. God is life, and without him, life does not and cannot exist. People who want to live, naturally worship the life giver. While some don't find this to be a compelling reason to worship the giver of all life, I find it unusual to refer to God as "evil". God is not evil, God is good, and God is love. Evil is simply the result of sin, and sin is our disobedience to God.

    Well said!

  4. Ive visited them. I had heard that people have weird vibes from them. Didn't tell my wife and kids. My wife got really nauseous when we got up to them and my daughter (3 at the time) ran back to the car saying she didnt like the "voices". Weird but certainly not conclusive. Folks around the Elberton/Athens area have a hundred stories about where the money came from to build them and even more stories about the stuff that happens around them.


    From what I recall, it was funded and as far as I know is still funded by a private trust. The commands don't seem that bad until you realize that achieving the goals it  champions would require the elimination of nearly 93% of the world's population. I'd be interested in finding out how that's done without breaking rules 5, 6, and 7:

    "5. Protect people and nations with fair laws and just courts.

    6. Let all nations rule internally resolving external disputes in a world court.

    7. Avoid petty laws and useless officials."

    Maybe those rules only go into effect after the vast worldwide holocaust hits its mark. 

  5. I think at first blush it would appear to be false but when one looks closer one will find that changing religions is often more a reaction to and rebellion against parental worldviews and parents themselves than it is a rejection of the (insert religion name) spiritual/religious paradigm. To put it another way, it's not the god they're rejecting as much as it is the god they saw/see in their parents that they reject.

    I grew up around close-minded, fundamentalist families with hyper-critical parents. Children would grow up and leave the church/denomination and either leave organized religion altogether or join a church with a diametrically different culture/theology. When I talked to them, they'd call themselves a "recovering catholic" or a progressive christian... but the problems they would cite were not, strictly speaking, problems with the church or faith...rather they were deep-seated  problem they had with their parents that bled into and colored the way they looked at the religion of their childhood. Even when folks reject the faith of their fathers (or mothers) it is often the family dynamic motivating  and steering it. Jmo.

    Peace&Love -RR

  6. We are all creatures stuck in the tar pits of space and time...even if only subconsciously, our families and their traditions, learnt during our formative years, will inevitably influence the belief system and worldview we develop as we mature....mom and dad are the first icons of God(dess) we worship and these old gods, for good or ill, cast their shadow over every view we have of Divinity afterward. Not an absolute but seems more or less like an inevitable...

    Peace & love! -RR

  7. Very cool kingfisher, thanks for sharing the link.

    Notwithstanding your link. Here is Hawking's take on the issue (from his book The Grand Design):

    Do people have free will? If we have free will, where in the evolutionary tree did it develop? Do blue-green algae or bacteria have free will, or is their behavior automatic and within the realm of scientific law? Is it only multicelled organisms that have free will, or only mammals? We might think that a chimpanzee is exercising free will when it chooses to chomp on a banana, or a cat when it rips up your sofa, but what about the roundworm called Caenorhabditis elegansa simple creature made of only 959 cells? It probably never thinks, That was damn tasty bacteria I got to dine on back there, yet it too has a definite preference in food and will either settle for an unattractive meal or go foraging for something better, depending on recent experience. Is that the exercise of free will?

    Though we feel that we can choose what we do, our understanding of the molecular basis of biology shows that biological processes are governed by the laws of physics and chemistry and therefore are as determined as the orbits of the planets. Recent experiments in neuroscience support the view that it is our physical brain, following the known laws of science, that determines our actions, and not some agency that exists outside those laws. For example, a study of patients undergoing awake brain surgery found that by electrically stimulating the appropriate regions of the brain, one could create in the patient the desire to move the hand, arm, or foot, or to move the lips and talk. It is hard to imagine how free will can operate if our behavior is determined by physical law, so it seems that we are no more than biological machines and that frew will is just an illusion."

  8. Once upon a time in Bill Shakespeare's imagination, Cassius told his friend Brutus that the fault was not in their stars but in their selves that they were underlings.

    Is that true?

    Do we create our reality/destiny or are we trudging the path laid out for us by fate. There's comfort in both beliefs in hard times. One allows us to think that we dug ourselves into whatever hole we're currently in and therefore we are free to dig ourselves out. In the alternative, it's a solace knowing that even in bad times god is in control....well I guess that depends on how you view god...or is it somewhere in the cooperative middle? Sort of a bowing to the universe and universe bowing back scenario.

    Any thoughts?

  9. As far as advance medical directives, contact your attorney, legal aid, or visit your local library to find personal legal forms templates. Also, nolo.com is an excellent online legal resource for do-it-yourself legal products. I found this article which may give you a better understanding of the differences between living wills, healthcare directives, and powers of attorney all of which are helpful in ensuring that you get your medical wishes respected should you be incapacitated: http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/living-will-power-attorney-advance-directive-30023.html

    The website also offers a lot of state-specific info on directives. Hope this is helpful.