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Everything posted by Bluecat

  1. I agree with Rabbi O, actually. Possibly for different reasons.
  2. Most Christian groups believe God is eternal. No trace of "reformed Egyptian" is known to archaeologists. The (genuine) Egyptian papyruses from which Joseph Smith claimed to have translated, by means of a 'seer stone', The Book of Abraham - an account of the prophet's life, by himself - have been found again, and translated by actual Egyptologists. They don't say anything like what he claimed for them, have no mention of Abraham, and date from around 70 AD.
  3. Awww, bless you for clearing up that possible confusion, RabbiO. I'm not either, except culturally. I was (a believing and practising) one, once upon a time. I have lived in places where saying you're not a Christian was tantamount to calling oneself a rabid babystrangler...
  4. Our lovely cat Roxy once woke us up after my husband had left a kettle (one of the old-fashioned kind that sits on the hob) boiling and gone back to sleep. She jumped on his chest a few times, mewing, then got off, marched to the bedroom door and turned back with a 'follow me, you idiot' look. After a couple of times of that, he followed her. She led him to the kitchen where the kettle was boiling dry, stood in front of the stove and mewed in a 'told-you-so' kind of way.
  5. Summer is ending: I am still at my work desk as the weekend starts.
  6. Oh no! That's terrible. I am so sorry. They are in my thoughts.
  7. Ah well, we get into who is (or isn't) a Christian, and who has the right to call it. There is no end to those discussions. If we use 'Christian' to mean 'a generally moral person' (or at least 'one of whose morality I approve') then almost anyone who seems moral (or with whom I share moral ground) will seem like one. If we use 'Christian' to mean 'one who subscribes to a set of beliefs (the creed, for instance) and/or behavioural norms (at least in public)', then we have to decide which beliefs, which norms, what forms they have to take. We may also have to decide whether an item of belief is falsifiable (ie, capable of being disproved) and if it is, whether it has been disproved or not. For instance, 'I have a purple unicorn in my garden, but it is invisible, intangible and neither eats nor excretes' is not falsifiable, so it can only be a matter of belief. Nobody can disprove it. Statements like 'the earth is 6000 years old' or 'God lives in a physical form on a physical planet' can be falsified: it's possible to have proof or disproof of it (though of course people tend to vary as to what they accept as proven or disproven). We may find the physical planet mentioned by Joeseph Smith and a physical, embodied god will either be there or not. 'By their fruits ye shall know them' is a very handy rule. The only problem with using it to assess large groups of people, and especially large groups of people over long time periods, is that we can't find very many such groups whose fruits are consistently good. I would say the number of groups of people whose fruits have been perfectly good would be... oooh let's see... something around zero? Personal impression is that the book of Mormon has much of the form of Christianity but not much of the content, whereas the practices vary from pretty close to mainstream American (I've only ever known American Mormons) to quite thoroughly ... um... different. So, can a Mormon be a Christian? Can a Randian be a Roman Catholic? Some reading:
  8. All this reminds me of the Yiddish joke about the boy whose mother says he's a genius. But, her friends ask, by geniuses, is he a genius? Mormons, it seems, reckon they are Christians. Many Christian groups disagree, but some agree.
  9. Depends on your definition of Christian. Mainstream - the Orthodox, Roman Catholic and Mainstream Protestant versions, see belief in the Trinity the divinity of Christ and the idea that revelations ended with the book of ... erm... Revelations in the Bible as pretty much non-negotiable elements of Christianity. Mormons, as far as I can recall, don't have much truck with the Trinity, see Christ's divinity as nothing special (all men will be divine eventually) and get their revelation from a book that turned up in the early 19th Century. I read the Book of Mormon about 30 years ago, out of interest, but mainly remember how much a pastiche of the KJV it is.
  10. Wow! What a great picture.
  11. Good to hear you're doing OK,Stormy. You are in my thoughts. Thank goodness for a good doctor. Here's wishing you a great recovery! H Pylori is horrible, does terrible things to your insides, but the little so-an-so can inded be fixed.
  12. If no offence were really intended, you might choose different words, Dan. 'Wimpish' 'crawl' and 'brown nose' are not exactly neutral. But, overall, it does look like you have not done much research or reading as to what pacifism actually consists in. I believe the pacifist response to 'if you saw your daughter/sister/mother being raped" is 'I would try to get between them' - thereby thwarting the aggression and protecting the person under attack. In other words, they would intercede. There is a difference between interceding and attacking.
  13. The middle picture was taken early in the morning. I was in bed and Suki was on my lap, but under the blanket. That's a 35 year old blanket, BTW, still doing a great job. The top photo is Suki too, appreciating the heavy blanket we bought in Romania. If it's good enough for the Transylvanian winters, it's good enough for Norfolk UK. The mogs spent the first 2 and a half years of life in the Arabian peninsula where they were born - and not always in the AC, either. This has been the first year in Britain, and they found the winter a surprise, but, you're right, they were extremely friendly. This has been a terribly wet summer with lots of thunder and they look quite indignant when they want to go out and it's raining. The look that says 'Stop doing that! Turn it off!' This weekend we put a fur fabric cover on the bed in the spare room and since then they've spent each night there instead of with us. Probably it reminds them of their days in the kitten pile. We feel bereft.
  14. Opportunity as much as necessity. Domesticable animals, for example - especially large ones for traction. Very few large African mammals are really domesticable (possibly because they evolved in an arms race with humans), and there were no domesticable mammals in Australia big enough to make a differences, whereas sheep, cows, horses etc all come from the Eurasian land mass. Roughly, where animals can be domesticated, they have been.
  15. Our cats were used to a warmer climate than England. Since we moved back here they have become very fond of the big woolly Romanian blanket and the heaters.
  16. The definition of the Dark Ages is pretty a-historic here. But also, what do you mean by science? The Greeks and Romans had some pretty good inventions, and some handy engineering and technology, much of which got lost or forgotten after the fall of the Roman Empire - although it took the Dark Ages to get to the useful invention of the stirrup. But they did not have what can be called science. Science in the modern sense doesn't appear until around the time of the Enlightenment - certainly post-Renaissance. As sponsors of the Renaissance, (and as the only method by which ancient literature was preserved during the Dark Ages) the Catholic Church did a certain amount to promote the Enlightenment, even though they may not have liked some of the results. And, obviously, they couldn't have predicted those results. If you look at societies around the world, certain discoveries seem to take a certain amount of time. It takes longer if the local environment is less favourable (some Australian aboriginal groups seem to have been in the process of developing fish farming when the Europeans arrived - settled agriculture in one of the most hostile environments on the planet). See Jared Diamond's 'Guns, Germs and Steel' for a brilliant exposition of this.
  17. Old custom all over England was to put out milk for the pucks or the pooks (which comes from the Cornish Bucca - devil, and may be related to Buggaboo and Bogey - but these were considered friendly critters) or the hobs, in the hopes that they would continue to bless the place. But apotropaeic offerings are often made of metal.
  18. If we accept there may be just causes for war, it does not mean there is any just cause for starting a war. It also does not mean that all ways of waging war may be justified. I am not a total pacifist, as I would defend myself, and others too, against direct physical attack if I was able - but not by all and any means. If my country was invaded and occupied I would resist. I oppose the wars of aggression which my country has been involved in, but blame the politicians who made the decisions, not the serving men and women who fought.
  19. Putting iron nails into trees as a protection or offering is not that unusual, and the idea that evils of certain sorts can't abide iron is pretty widespread. Couple of years ago we were walking in North Yorkshire, a beautiful walk in a narrow valley with waterfalls, near Kirkby Lonsdale, and found an old tree which had had coins stuck into cracks in the bark. I mean, hundreds of small denomination coins, obviously put there over many, many years - the bark has grown over a lot of them. I saw enough to recognise that some of the coins were probably pre-decimalisation (ie before 1971). Why? What were people thinking? Offerings to the genus loci? Or, likeb the Trevi Fountain in Rome, a wish to come back some day? That part of Britain is very Norse influenced, as the place names suggest: It is the village with a church (Kirkby) in the dale of the River Lune. Only 'Lune' is not Old Norse.
  20. According to the Anglo-Saxon chronicle and subsequent records, Queen Elizabeth II is descended from the god Woden. According to Elizabethan chroniclers, she must also be a descendant of the Goddess Venus (via Aeneas and his son Brute). Not to be rude to her Maj, but, that ain't the way it looks.
  21. Please folks, bear in mind this is a very small book written for learners of English! MR James - I wish.