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Everything posted by cuchulain

  1. So I had a friend in high school who played dungeons and dragons, right along side me a several other friends. Yep, I was and still am something of a nerd. Anyhow, after a couple of years playing, this friend started having rough times coping with his life, and it got to a point where he was institutionalized because he was really thinking he was his character. About the same time, the vampire killings happened around Murray, Kentucky. Some kids acted like vampires and killed some people, and the media and a lot of religious groups tended to blame it on the game "Vampire: the Masquerade". It even got to the point where book stores in Kentucky quit carrying RPG's for a time in response. My wife's mother, when I first started dating my wife, told my wife that I was evil because I played Dungeons and Dragons and that was Satanic. My grandfather used to sit outside of concerts, such as AC/DC, because that stood for antichrist devils children, and protest. That was his opinion, by the way, not mine. The theme in all this is this: I have noticed a lot of Christian outrage over some things that happened because people did something bad, what they would consider evil, after playing or reading roleplaying games. But I don't notice much outcry from the Christian community when it comes to doing evil things based on the bible. The bible has inspired more death and what Christians would call evil than any roleplaying game ever created, yet no outcry. Myself, I don't think it is the book, or movie, or videogame. I think it is the psychosis of the individual, or group of individuals, who engaged in the activity. My friend, he thought he was his character. That isn't the game making him crazy, that is the form of crazy he took. If roleplaying didn't exist, he would have thought he was a comic book character, or a movie character, or maybe even a bible would have been something, because he couldn't cope at the time with his life and what was going on. The vampire killings would still have happened if the game didn't exist, it simply would have had another outlet. so my question, or topic, is: Books, games, music, religious you consider any of it truly evil enough to inspire evil acts in society? And even if it is, does that give the right of censorship? I guess I answered myself above, but in case it wasn't obvious, my opinion is no, it is the person, and they will channel their crazy into some outlet, regardless of if it is banned or not. And, no, censorship in my opinion is just wrong when the government gets involved. I mean, I am a parent, I censor what my kids watch in terms of violence and nudity, and how old they are at the time. But as far as organization and governments, I think censorship is always wrong on that front. Other opinions, disagree, agree?
  2. I always disclose where I received my ordination, and sometimes there is resistance, mostly in the form of people who think its "just that online thing, right?" And I tell them, while technically I was ordained online, the ordination meets a need for me, and so I consider it perfectly legitimate. With my status of minister, truthfully, I practice my faith much as I always have, I simply have a certificate I can give to the county clerk when I officiate a wedding. As far as non-profits, I don't venture there. I haven't personally grown a large following, or even a small group of people, who believe the same as I do. That would be an interesting group though. My view of the ULC now is one of a shelter in the storm. My religious views are not largely tolerated in the area I live, good ole southern Illinois, where there is a giant cross about twenty miles from my house, and I have often considered that cross to be the spike on the belt buckle of the bible belt.(Cue dueling banjo music now). Definitely not the most progressive of areas, I have seen other pagans have their windows busted out, the burning crosses, the whole nine yards...the police don't bother doing anything about it, even with license plate numbers and accurate descriptions given. I personally have been wrongfully prosecuted? Well, I don't know if I should call it prosecution or what, a person made up a story about me strictly on the basis that I had a pagan bumper sticker, and later admitted to such. But the ULC is all inclusive, this is a forum that I can go, I can speak my piece, and usually have a grand ole debate, but not get threatened or worse. Shelter in the storm, for me.
  3. I have never heard of fairness being a biological reflex, either, but I would be interested in sources for such information. If it is a reflex, do other animals exhibit such behavioral reflexes as well? I like to study human behavior.
  4. fair is a made up idea. It doesn't exist independent of people who have ideas about what fair is. What is, is.
  5. I know welfare isn't designed to make someone's life better, I feel like it was intended to be a stepping stone so someone could get back on their feet and then from there make their own lives better, what I was pointing out is that the system is currently failing to do that in the case of my friend. He gets ahead a little bit, and thanks to the addition of obamacare, he is actually set further behind. There clearly needs to be some kind of welfare reform, although I am wise enough to admit I don't know what direction that should take. But when someone is penalized by a system for doing what they are encouraged to do, there is an issue, obviously.
  6. so here is an example of welfare gone wrong. I have a friend who works at a restaurant, and who has severe asthma. He is on Medicaid, which covers all of his necessary meds. He just got promoted to management, which normally you would think of as a good thing. Unfortunately, since he now makes more money, Medicaid doesn't want to cover him anymore. Understandable, it is designed that way. But, with Medicaid not covering him anymore, he will end up with less money because of out of pocket expenses and having to pay for health insurance, which isn't covered by the restaurant, they don't have enough employees for the government to mandate that they pay for it. So, the only affordable insurance option he has under obamacare doesn't cover his meds either, meaning if he doesn't pay the insurance he gets penalized come tax time, and he is still out of pocket on his meds. Either way he works it out, this promotion, which should help him get ahead in life, will end with him making about half as much as he did when he wasn't management, if not less, and working harder to boot with his new management duties added in. He doesn't have a degree, specialized training, or anything, so he can't really switch to a management job somewhere that will cover his insurance needs. His only real option at this point is either get another job with insurance, losing his status as manager in the process, or demote himself so he can go back to Medicaid and back on welfare. And that is the problem with welfare, it is designed in such a way that people on welfare have an extremely hard time getting off welfare, even when they work and do things right, it is a system that in conjunction with other welfare programs end up penalizing people for doing what they should be doing, which is working and trying to work their way up the ladder.
  7. when I clicked on the link, it just brought me to the ulc forum main page.
  8. I saw a family tie ruined earlier this month by a few hundred dollars, and it got me to thinking. I never loan family money, just for that reason, because inevitably there are feelings hurt, something is misunderstood, etc...and is family relations only worth a few hundred dollars? So when I have the money to give and someone needs it, I give it with no attachments, because that is what true friends and family does. If it gets paid back, that is nice, but never necessary for me. The same thing with favors, of course. Expect something in return and you will never be disappointed, most often what you get in return is grief and sorrow. Give freely, that is the quality in a friend that is best, in my opinion, and in family too, for that matter.
  9. "if they are not acting for the benefit of humanity there is no moral support for their actions, and any inclusion of environmentalism into any system of thought makes it immoral as well, to the degree it supports it"... basically waste what you want if it makes you feel better? that seems like a special approach to me, but believe what you want. I disagree with you, and that is about as polite about it as I can be.
  10. i don't claim to have the answers, merely posing that answers need to be found, and I had a thought that a subset of the world could handle it better than the mass population of the world, because so far the mass population of the world hasn't handled it effectively. I could easily be wrong, I don't claim omniscience, I am simply having a discussion to possibly raise awareness and find new possibilities. as a side note, I have often heard that mob mentality has the I.Q. of its lowest how do you figure that the worlds population would act at the highest instead? Just curious.
  11. I appreciate the well reasoned differentiation, and also welcome.
  12. I agree to a point pan, but...I never said to use environmentalism to redistribute resources. Its something I just recently started thinking about, and I like to hear people's opinions about how to go about environmentalism with sanity. I believe that environmentalism should trump economical considerations to a point, and I admit I wasn't very clear about that, was I? If we burn off all our natural resources as fast as we can in order to help a third world country so people there don't die, it reduces the quality of life for everyone left on the planet, until eventually we run out and all perish. On the same note, if we have absolutely no advancement because people are too afraid to hurt the environment to do research, experiment, etc...then we end up in a bad place as well. I was thinking of a greater environmental role than we currently have, not to take it to extremes that would end up hurting more than helping.
  13. does environmentalism play a role in your religious/spiritual beliefs or practices? Why or why not? Do you believe environmental causes should trump economical? How far should environmental concers go? Just something I have been thinking about lately, and wondering how other faiths handled the environment. In my personal views, I think environmental concerns should trump economical, as a part of my spiritual belief system I think the environment is entwined with humanities welfare in general. I can understand financial considerations exist, but I feel that with the resources available to the world at large today it should be no problem to find ways to do what we want to do while at the same time minimizing our impact on the world itself. I have no problem whatsoever with the governments of the world using a portion of our tax dollars to better our environment and find solutions to energy problems. I suppose this is antithetical to my typical republican stance, yet the environment is important enough in my estimation to warrent responsible government interference. I guess the biggest problem for me is defining what is responsible interference, as opposed to the usual botching of things the government does. I mean, they still can't deliver the mail right, so how can they possibly tackle something of this scale with anything close to effectiveness?
  14. what's in a name? that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet
  15. i hate that song...what was the point of this post, if I may ask?
  16. the shortest distance between two points is zero.

  17. the funny thing about can usually be tailored to fit circumstances that come to pass, and so can usually be called true. As obi-wan said, it is the truth, from a certain perspective.
  18. I think intellectual property holds progress back, because if everybody had access to the supposed intellectual property, everybody would have a better chance of discovering ways to improve upon it. Just my opinion.
  19. revtim...deepest apologies if I misunderstood your statement. It seemed an oblique way of calling me, as well as a few other people who agree with my opinion, stupid bigots. I am sure you can see why I would infer that, since i just finished saying i was suspicious of muslims, and you claimed anyone who is suspicious of muslims must be a stupid bigot. Anyway, no use arguing about it, you are all quite correct, I don't require anyone on here to agree with me, that would be stupid. I like to debate, and am certainly not trying to hurt feelings, just trying to convey my points to the best of my ability. I will ask you to forgive me on this one in advance, but I think with all honesty anyone who stumbles onto this topic and sees the posts we all have made about this topic, they would probably assume it was a debate. I dont think I was out of line for that assumption, but if I was I apologize again. I respect your opinion, right along with everyone else's, I just got carried away with what I perceived as a debate. Thanks to everyone for sharing their opinions, i certainly hope nobody took offense at mine. It is simply a statement of where I stand on the issue, agree or not, that is perfectly acceptable and doesn't hurt my feelings.
  20. my biggest weakness is misinterpretation, I suppose, but maybe putting my foot in my own mouth(why would anyone do that, where did that expression come from?) is a close second if not a tie.
  21. scott, that was directed directly at revtim...if you will notice he said it was stupid, bigoted, etc...if someone were more cautious of muslims, which I said I was, so yeah technically he said it obliquely...which is still against forum rules btw. But in any case, the above was not referenced to you, so why did you take issue? I didn't say anything at all about YOUR debating skills in this post. And, it says in the rules that debate is encouraged, rudeness, not. that's paraphrasing. So, if it is encouraged, then it IS for this forum isn't it?
  22. A woman named Anluan lived by a stream in the forest, in a small hut. She was renowned for her bursts of sudden temper whenever anything in the slightest went wrong. One day she was washing her laundry in the stream, when a salmon leaped into the air, glistening in the sunlight. Anluan hadn't eaten lunch yet, and saw this as the perfect chance for some fish. Anluan immediately grabbed a branch from nearby and started thrashing in the stream, flailing this way and that, becoming more and more angry until finally she ran out of breath. Then she looked around, and noticed half her clean laundry had been knocked into the water, and floated into a mud bank. Sick with frustration, she gathered her laundry together again, and rewashed it. Sure enough, when she was almost finished, the salmon leaped again. Anluan rushed into the stream and grabbed the salmon, laughing in triumph until the beast wriggled loose and jumped into her basket of laundry, then into the stream...getting away again. Anluan flailed about herself in a perfect rage, and when she was tired saw that she had done it again. The laundry was a mess, she was starving and now she was worn out. So Anluan went to the hut and got her fishing net and set it. She finished the laundry a third time, and noticed her nets wiggling in the stream. The salmon had been caught. Anluan went to the nets, turned them over, and let the salmon loose. This is how Anluan of the temper became known as Anluan the wise.
  23. calling someone stupid...does that add to the debate rev tim? Calling someone a bigot doesn't seem to add either. I suppose your debate skills must be lacking if you must resort to name calling. Isn't that against forum policy as well, the name calling I mean? To your point, sure, lots of serial killers in the u.s. were white, what about other countries? That seems a pretty even spread to me, however, looking at the terrorist is different. Not so universal, nor so even a spread. Especially in the u.s. sunni muslim terrorists committed more that 70%(8886) of the 12553 terrorist murders in the world last year, according to a report by the national counterterrorism center. That figure doesn't cover other branches of islam, just sunni. when nearly 3/4 of terrorist murders are committed by muslims of some sort or another, I take extra vigilance when it comes to muslims.
  24. revtim, by all accounts, the boston bombers were as nice and friendly as can be, up saying your personal experience with Muslims has been the same doesn't reinforce the idea that most Muslim's aren't terrorists. In fact, look over past news accounts of terrorist attacks in the U.S., especially people's testimony about the characters of the perpetrators. Now, that doesn't mean all Muslim's should be put under a broad umbrella of terrorist. But I agree with youch to the point that at the least people should be more cautious of Muslim's. And debating Hamas vs. Israel? I watched a video the other day, can't remember where, of a group of Hamas militants setting up rockets in this housing complex, and everyone from the complex standing outside and cheering when they launched a rocket randomly at Israel...literally within a minute the housing complex the rocket was stored in was hit with a rocket and flattened, and suddenly the hypocritical Hamas were screaming about how Israel targeted unarmed non-combatants. Irony at its best, in my opinion.
  25. that is only the presidential election, revtim, which in my opinion is the least important of the elections because it is decided by the electoral college. The congress are the ones who are supposed to make the laws, and I do say "Supposed", since our current president seems to be writing a lot lately. Congress is elected by direct election, and they have control of our social systems regulations.