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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:
Yes. We'll give you a good 15 minute head start to keep it sporting though.
I only just came across this today and I didn't see anyone talking about it in the off topic section so I thought I'd post this here as it's kind of relevant to gaming. We have fake and imaginary fur in Pathfinder. Could PeTA be coming after other RPGs next? It's a pretty ridiculous story and one that diminishes what little I've thought of PeTA, but I thought I'd share.
Male hu-man Paladin
Patrick Curtin wrote:
OK folks. Thank you for your patience. I'm going to write in the new folks and hopefully we can get some interactions going :)
Thank you for your continued support of this game Patrick.
I don't know what the future of the democratic part is but I'm pretty sure it's not with corporate democrats. Seems like a corporate democrat is a republican that is pro-choice.
Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Sorry I've been busy.
Yes, it was tragic, but I was never of the opinion that racism and xenophobia wasn't a problem in Canada. The fact that it happened in Quebec isn't surprising either. Things have been at a slow boil there for a while now, and one has to understand that the Quebecois have been feeling under threat for a very long time, mostly from anglophone pressure, but also from within as middle eastern immigrants may speak their language but don't share their culture.
I really hope that people realize that although I can't say I'm surprised I also feel this isn't normal, and that I would imagine that most Canadians inside and outside of Quebec feel the same. I wonder if anything can be learned from this tragedy? I know there's no way to guarantee this can't happen again, but I would feel better knowing that something happened or changed because of this.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Really, what laws do we take directly from that book? How many people do you hear quoting or referencing that when they're arguing laws or rights of citizens? If you're arguing that the Bible is a historical text I'm not arguing against that, however the bible is not JUST a historical text. People claim to govern their beliefs on it to this day.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
The Bible isn't a religion,
Maybe not, but it's what Christianity is derived from.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
You mean to tell me that you've never heard a religious person say that the bible is the word of god?
Orfamay Quest wrote:
and secondly, even if we did, why would we completely ignore the cultural context of the receiver? If you have enough psychological knowledge to know that what "most child psychologists these days are saying," you would also have enough to know that, for proper understanding, a message must be tailored to its audience.
Every sect and denomination interprets the bible differently, some people believe the Adam an Eve thing really happened, others will say it's just allegory, but they're all picking and choosing what to focus on and what to ignore.
Orfamay Quest wrote:
Basically, you're indulging in a straw-man version of Christianity here. You are assuming that all Christians are not only Biblical literalists, but also Biblical literalists who don't actually understand the Bible (because your understanding comes only from the English translation), and then criticizing them for not updating their understanding of the Bible despite the fact that they have literally been doing that since before the canonical list of the books was compiled.
No, my position is most people haven't read the bible and those that have gloss over the nasty bits and focus on the good bits. Christians usually cite the parts in Deuteronomy condemning homosexuality but are fine with eating pork, rabbit, and shellfish.
Male hu-man Paladin
Karrin probably isn't going to ring the bell, she's just being Chaotic, thankfully there's also a large bit of good in her as well, and ringing that bell would be bad . . . but it's just so big and belly.
What I'm saying is that the people here are wisely ignoring certain parts of the bible, not that one group is more Christian then another group, and that if I had a choice between the two groups I'd gladly take the ones that are omitting the ugly bits over the ones that are focusing on it. I'm not trying to insult Christians here in the west, I'm trying to complement them.
female Tiefling 10th level Duskblade
When Justin looks up from the ring Karrin is a good 10 ft closer to the bell.
"I do love the sound of a church bell though, nice clear ring that you can hear from miles away, and sometimes if I were good Kron let me ring the bell, but you know, for some reason, that didn't happen much. I wonder what this one sounds like? I bet it's pretty horrible."
The best example of I can think of where science doubted and later proved to be wrong might be the duck billed platypus. When the first examples were brought back scientists naturally assumed that it was stitched together and purely cryptozoology. However the point of science is that it eventually corrects itself. The fact that there were naysayers who eventually changed their opinions is a good thing. If the evidence is strong enough they re-write the science books.
Religion, on the other hand, doesn't change but what people chose to ignore does. There are sections of the bible about dealing with slavery that we've now got the human decency to overlook, huge sections of Deuteronomy we thankfully ignore, but sadly not all groups have the decency to ignore what is clearly primitive and cruel. Look to the Middle East or Africa if you want to see religious groups free from reason to practice their religion. The majority of theists in the west are relatively harmless in their beliefs. They are accepting of others, science, and social justice rather then what's laid out in the bible. If we have to have religion I'd rather have how we practice it in the western society then how it's practiced in other parts of the world.
The Raven Black wrote:
I'm not sure science has any business quashing opinions unless those opinions are seriously contrary to accepted science. People take a challenge at changing the science books all the time, they put forth their findings and experts debate, but if you're making statements purely on opinion that are contrary to how we understand the world then science quashing your opinion might be in your best interest. For example, if I had an opinion that I could fly under my own power without any gear or equipment, well, that's an opinion that's quantifiably wrong. We know that's not the case.
Now, more to the point, if someone says there's an afterlife, that's not a statement or believe that science can disprove, however it's not the responsibility of science to disprove something that has yet to be proven to exist. That's not to say an afterlife doesn't exist, maybe there's a spectrum or wave that science will one day be able to detect that suggests an afterlife, but until that day comes the default position is to be skeptical.
Widow of the Pit wrote:
I would never scoff at another person's personal experiences and beliefs however at the same time we know that eye witness testimony is very flawed and the human brain is susceptible to suggestion and memories can and do get altered over time.
Let me put it this way, I think there are probably space aliens, we know there are UFOs, however I don't think that there are any UFOs piloted by space aliens. I don't think people have been abducted by space aliens. That doesn't mean I think people who claim to have been abducted by space aliens are intentionally making it up, for them it was a very real experience, and that's not something I'd laugh at. However that also doesn't mean I believe it happened, only that I think they believe it happened.
Clearly you believe in an afterlife, and if you think you have personal experience to validate your beliefs then I will take you at your word, but you have to understand it's not something I can accept as evidence for myself. There are bound to be people in this thread who sincerely believe there's an afterlife, there are also people who sincerely believe they were abducted by aliens, people who claim to have seen Bigfoot . . . I'm not going to automatically dismiss these claims, I think they're unlikely, but that doesn't mean I'm right and they're wrong, but, and this is the important bit, in order to investigate these claims there has to be something to test. Bigfoot tracks, Bigfoot droppings, and with a distinct lack of these things it becomes easier to dismiss Bigfoot. With no evidence or even a way of testing for an afterlife it's very hard for us to prove your claims. Again, not to say you've imagined your experience, just that we can't prove you haven't.
Quiche Lisp wrote:
You're assuming that a) there is an afterlife and b) that people that tell you there is an after life aren't lying to you. Maybe there is an afterlife, who knows, but if you looking, for example, to see if there are any health benefits to yoga talking exclusively to yoga instructors isn't going to give you a fair and balanced opinion. Talking to people with a vested interest in the continuing belief in the thing you're testing is extremely problematic.
Jesus was fairly radical in his beliefs (supposing he existed) and I really admire some of the things he supposedly said. It astonishes me that there's things like Prosperity Gospels when it should be fairly well know that Jesus said things like this. Casting off your wealth and being a servant to your fellow man is the only true path to the kingdom of god, but that message gets lost somehow. Somehow there are minsters flaunting their wealth demanding top of the line jet planes. If anyone is scamming believes, knowing full well that there is no god, it's people like that. I'm sure most religious leaders are fairly earnest in their beliefs but I can't imagine one of those prosperity ministers is in the least bit religious.
Medicine is one of those areas that infested with money these days though, and where there's money to be made you can get corruption. Sadly the US government is quite corrupt at the moment and I'm not sure the US regulatory bodies are exactly unbiased. I wouldn't completely discount their findings, but I'd have to take it with a grain of salt.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
I don't think that atheists and other non-believers are different from believers in any way that can be neatly or reliably described. But I suspect that there are trends associated with believers and non-believers. For example, if one were to do a large survey I wouldn't be surprised to discover that non-believers tend to be low on the spectrum of desire for unconditional love, certainty, closely-knit community, etc. and/or high on the skepticism spectrum and/or be personally familiar with the dark side of the religion they were raised with. Whereas believers might tend to be on the other end of those spectrums.
Maybe, I'm not really aware of any large scale tests on atheists and theists, but it's entirely possible. It might boil down to an actual physical difference as to how our brains are wired. The thing that I try to stay away from is suggesting that a atheist is somehow smarter. Until there are more of us who feel happy and safe to admit that they're atheist I'm not sure if we can have any large scale studies.
Tequila Sunrise wrote:
I do think the world would be a better place with a bit more skepticism, but non-belief certainly isn't a new thing, nor do I think that belief reduces a person's value as a human being. Fun fact: Though Socrates was in fact a believer -- you might say that his personal patron was Apollo, the god of Truth -- he was accused of, tried, and executed for being an atheist. Because atheism was a known thing even back in the classical era, and probably from the very first moment that cave-preacher Bob started preaching his tribe's fanciful stories as literal truth.
This is the real danger of religion in my mind, if we're just talking beliefs about if you think there's a god and what you think the afterlife is we're fine, nobody has ever been killed for liking Picard over Kirk, but once money gets involved things get ugly pretty fast.
The Raven Black wrote:
The only difference between an atheist and theist usually boils down to how many gods they believe in. Most theists believe in one god and most atheist believe in one less then that. Atheists aren't smarter, better at reasoning, or less susceptible to lies than anyone else. Usually it boils down to us simply not seeing a reason to believe a given faith, often because we've studied science, philosophy, or read into our own religions or studied history and ancient beliefs. Expanding our education obviously isn't the only path that causes many of us to start doubting but it wouldn't surprise me it if were the most common.
So to be clear: I don't think atheists are in any way different from religious people, I'm sure most religious people remain that way simply because there's been no reason to doubt or question what they've been told. Some believers might even be skeptical but they likely have friends and family in the religion and might go through the motions of pretending to be religious simply due to social pressures. Others might believe simply for the certainty that it affords them in their lives. Not knowing things is a challenge and a thrill for the adventurous or curious, but that's going to cause anxiety or fear for other personality types, and so religion fills a void. Most people get very religious when left to contemplate their own mortality, hence the idea of an afterlife is very reassuring, and that's something science simply can't offer, which is why many people turn to religion.
The Raven Black wrote:
I would be greatly interested in knowing how science explains the prevalence of religious beliefs in modern human beings
There are a bunch of ideas, one that I like is this realization that our human brains are evolved to see patterns, sometimes even when there's nothing actually there. It's a trait that would have made it possible for our ancestors to survive in a world with deadly predators, strange plant life, it would have helped them find safe drinking water, and navigate long distances. When our ancient ancestors had a chance to rest and develop language there would have been stories. At some point, very early on, we'd have made the assumption that things we notice happen for a reason, and while we might not have been able to fathom what that reason was, we probably were able to jump to the conclusion that it was nature itself trying to communicate with us. Why does the bird circle overhead? It's the bird spirit trying to tell us something.
As we advanced we probably began to think it was our ancestors guiding us, then we likely moved onto revering specific ancestors, hero worship, these heroes became god like, then they were gods, then we have the superiority of some gods over others, to finally one god being superior to others, or just one god in total.
As I've often said: thankfully nobody has died because of the Kirk/Picard schism in the Star Trek fandom, but I could say nobody has died due to the 4,5,6 / 1,2,3 schism amongst Star Wars fans. The first Council of Nicaea (325 AD) had to get that Jesus fandom nailed down for their future books.
I'm looking at this from a former Christian, atheist perspective, and from my point of view, best case scenario for an afterlife is that the religious texts are screwed up. Supposing there is a god and an afterlife at some point in human history the books that we base our religion on got misinterpreted, maybe the Torah was edited while it was still an oral law, maybe the oldest written versions we have were reworked to fit the then modern sensibilities of the time. Maybe the prophets couldn't fully comprehend the message to pass on their followers, or made stuff up when asked about things not foretold to them by god.
Usually I just suspect that all religions in general were just a good stories for entertainment that got out of hand once they were turned into money making businesses. When I get very cynical I think it was always a scam and most religious leaders know it. However there are plenty of preachers out there that seem sincere in their beliefs and most local pastors aren't getting rich. I don't have the answers here and if you're asking the question is there an after life the most definitive answer I can give is that I've seen no evidence of one. If your case is that there is an afterlife my statement is really not a strong condemnation against your beliefs.
Also, I don't want to hurt anyone's feelings here. I don't believe but if you're not trying to force your beliefs on others I have no bone to pick with you. I'm not looking to de-convert anyone.
I don't know, from a Christian biblical sense there can't be justice. If a priest were to rape a lot of children but then repent and ask for forgiveness supposedly he would be forgiven and be absolved of his sins. If he doesn't pay for his sins in life then he gets off scot free in the afterlife. It's also worth noting that I could live the life of a veritable saint, but being an athiest, when I die I would suffer the endless hellfire and torture for all of eternity because I didn't die with [insert religious figure here] in my heart.
I think the statement should be: I believe in Justice, therefor I believe there is no afterlife.
I think people would have come out to vote for Bernie, that some of those people that voted for Trump would have preferred to vote for Bernie instead, and while I can't be certain that he would have gotten as many votes as Obama did in 2008, I'm sure he could have gotten at least more then Mitt Romney did in 2012.
People wanted an outsider, you had a political revolution, and while it was quashed on the left people think they got what they wanted on the right. I can't imagine Trump working out though, he's going to take away people's health care within a few weeks of taking office, he'll take the US out of the Paris climate change accord, might cancel the Iranian deal, heck his first few weeks might be completely about breaking things rather then fixing anything. He's starting out as a deeply unpopular president, government is sitting at all time low approval ratings, and I can't imagine either number going up as their main priority has been to destroy Obama's legacy.
Up here in Canada we seldom have our Prime Minister picked by the majority of voters, it happens, but more often then not he or she wins with 40% of the popular vote. We usually have 4 parties at the national level though, two major parties that have formed the government, the liberals and conservatives, a national socialist party that has formed the official opposition in the past, the NDP, and usually a regional party that exists mainly in Quebec, the Bloc. Last election we saw Trudeau winning a majority with just less then 40% of the popular vote.
Personally I like minority government situations, it feels like nobody is going to do anything too extreme because the ruling party needs the support of at least one other group to pass anything.
However our system is being reviewed at the moment and we may be moving to a more European proportional system rather then first past the post. The major fear with that is that you will have more regional parties as it's very easy to form a party at the provincial level or even city level, and win enough of the local vote to get into government then it is to maintain a national party. This could lead to a very fractured country but I suspect it would mean higher election turn outs.
We have the same problems you guys in the states have, there are liberal and conservative strongholds, and if you're not voting for the incumbent you're pretty much wasting your time. We've never had a voter turn out quite as low as the Americans but it has been trending lower over the years, our lowest turn out in Canadian history was back in 2008, ahead of Obama's historic win, where we had 58.8%, which I believe may still have been higher then one of the highest US turn outs of the past 20 or 30 years.
What's the man difference? Well we have great access to voting up here in Canada, I've voted in every single election since I was old enough to vote and I've never had more then a 10 minute wait to vote. Usually I'm in and done in under 5 minutes. The biggest hassle came under Harper where we actually had to have some form of ID to prove we were who we said we were. Just about anything with a picture is accepted though, and we can vouch for someone living at the same address, and they'll also accept bills, like the water bill, made out to you with the same address. It's very easy to vote. Even prisoners are allowed to vote. The other thing is we don't vote directly for our Prime minister, we vote for our member of parliament, and whichever party has the most seats gets to form the government. This means we're usually voting for someone we like at the local level rather then who's leading at the national level. It's not always the case, last election Trudeau picked up 60 new seats, including my ridding, and I'd never even heard of my MP before the election.
The other main difference is that our ballots are usually much simpler, often all we're voting for is the candidate for a single level of government. If it's a federal election, we're voting for our MP, provincial we're voting for our MLA, and municipal we're voting for mayor and city councilor. We don't have ballot initiatives, rarely have referendums and so our ballots are very simple. There's no need to study multiple initiatives, candidates on different levels, and for this reason voting is less of a hassle and is quicker.
If there's anything Americans can learn form the Canadian system is debatable, our systems are pretty different, but I do think voter suppression on the level we see in the US is pretty unique in the West. I mean it happens, but not on the level we see in the states, and having government officials bragging about it seem very unsavory. If there's anything threatening the Republic I'd have to say it's that.
Kevin Mack wrote:
Stop me if I'm mistaken but I think a large part of the problem is not that people voted for trump but almost 50% of the country either diddent vote at all or they ignored the president part of the ballot and focused on the other sections..
Trump got less votes then Mitt Romney and still won.
I'm curious, yet dubious of Trump's claim to work on unification. Kind of hard to accomplish when you have contempt for a segment of the population. Be an interesting couple of years ahead of us all.
Well, I'm not a great scholar of world history, but as I understand it after the camps and ghettos are up and running the rest of the country should start being a lot more unified.
First of all I'm Canadian, I'm very happy with our national system, second of all, the US pays, per capita more then any other western country on your health care system. The US is already putting more money into their health care system then Norway or Sweden. Employers pay into that cost, as does the government, and then the private citizens. Because there's few national programs drug companies and health care providers have more power in the negotiation of pricing, the veterans program for example enjoys lower drug costs then most other plans because they're a national program and can ask for lower prices. If the US had a single payer program they could easily force drug costs down and balance hospital fees across the country.
Begs the question: How can you afford lower drug costs?
Do you know why the debt went up so much? Because of a thing called the deficit. The US was spending much more then it was making. That's a deficit. The last time the US had a surplus, and was starting to pay down the debt was under Bill Clinton. Then Bush took over.
After that smoking crater Obama was handed the worst economic rescission since the great depression, after eight years he's almost got the deficit under control. Now Trump is likely to take over.
The USA is done with the corrupt Clintons, who have no solution for 20 trillion in debt and how to pay for this failed socialist utopian dream.
Well I do hope you enjoy your upcomming dystopian reality
My health insurance went up $9,000 last year. It will go up more this year under the ridiculous Affordable Care Act. The elites in Washington are being shown the door. None too soon.
I'm sorry, you think that Trump is going to fix that how? They get rid of the affordable care act that doesn't stop insurance agents from being greedy MF, all that will change is that you revert back to the old system where they can reject you for preexisting conditions if you have any and they'll keep the same rates.
The oligarchy doesn't allow people they don't like to win primaries. That's why Bernie didn't win. In 4 years you'll have another batch of corporatist democrats hand picked by them and likely America will be in such bad shape by then that people will be happy for a "revolution".
That's never been a surprise to me. What is a surprise is how the democrats failed to motivate them. People were excited by Trump because he's anti establishment (or so he claims) whereas Hillary was on the "Not Trump" ticket. I guess there are people who still haven't felt any gains in the last eight years and they still blame the bankers. Meanwhile Hillary has aligned herself with Wallstreet. All the money in the world but that might not be enough to help her. She may still pull this off but it's going to be very close.
Pillbug Toenibbler wrote:
That supposes they would want the objective facts over their version of Truthiness.
It could be Trumpiness, as we all know from Colbert, "Truthiness comes from the gut, but Trumpiness comes from further down the intestinal track."
I have to say once again that I'm very happy that I don't have to make the choices you guys are making this election cycle. Clinton seems like a terrible candidate but somehow Trump is even worse. I'd vote 3rd party myself but apparently everyone is conditioned against that regardless of how horrible their main party candidates are. The scariest thing about this election is how close it is. Now obviously the alt right see this as reclaiming the White House, they're willing to put the stupidest, most unqualified, dishonest, narcissist to ever run in my lifetime, probably one of the worst candidates in the history of the US, but they're willing to do that because Obama was black and a democrat. On the other side we have a candidate that went into the primaries with baggage, but even with all the insider help form the DNC, millions of dollars from donors and super packs, media help, the political machine that has won the White House, senate seats, and the governorship in a republican state, she still had a tight run from a virtually unknown socialist from a tiny unimportant state. They're both horrible. If I had to pick one of the main candidates I'd go with Hillary, but I'd prefer to go with Jill Stein. Heck even Gary Johnson, who seems to be monumentally stupid seems like a far better pick then Trump at this point. But that scary fact is that Clinton and Trump are almost tied.
Regardless of who wins that's something that's deeply disturbing.
NPC Dave wrote:
Also, just because you don't agree with someone doesn't mean it's at all personal. People argue all the time, I consider myself on the left, but if someone claimed that Hilary is the best candidate I would take issue with that, and would argue with them. It doesn't mean that we don't agree on 50% to 90% of the issues.
Also, arguing isn't about having someone change their position completely, I don't think I've ever seen that happen, but it is about trying to get the other side to better understand your position and to understand theirs. Having someone challenge your ideas is a way to test your beliefs and positions. If you find something shaky then it also gives you the chance to try to hammer out those position. Sometimes you'll find a middle ground.
At this point I'm not sure I understand NPC Dave's position but that's why we're challenging him, to see if he can elaborate so we can understand his reasoning.
female Tiefling 10th level Duskblade
Karrin nods at the mention of food and eating. She begins digging into her bag of everlasting rations as if testing to see if she has a case of false advertising against the shop who sold it to her.
It is akin to watching an anaconda swallow a gazelle whole and then, after being amazed at the feat, watching that same anaconda slither back to the buffet and pop a capybara and a half dozen emu eggs on her plate, and then, after she returns to her table, and she happily cleans her plate, having it painfully obvious that she's not eating more because she's now aware that you're watching her. I mean you could say it's no big deal, you've seen others eat as much, but you haven't and it is freakish to behold, you're not sure you could tell her that lie, so instead you try to pretend that it was something behind her that had caught your interest, caused those wide eyed stares of shock and amazement, she glances behind her to pretend, for both of you really, that that was what it was. That it was something behind her. However you both know that it wasn't and that awkwardness shall always remain. You stop going to that buffet afterwards for fear of seeing her again.
Watching Karrin eat is like that.
Come on, are you trying to trigger him? Can't this be a safe space?
I loved Colbert's line at that Bush correspondents dinner:
"And by those standards sir you've set up a fine government in Iraq"
I think I posted this elsewhere, but 17% of the US is Hispanic, and the majority of them support the Democratic ticket, 12% of the US is African American and the majority of them support the Democratic ticket, only about 1% of the US population is Muslim and they're a culturally insignificant number to worry about nationally. So when Trump comes out against Mexicans, wants stop and frisk nationally, wants to ban all Muslims that's not going to hurt the average republican. They literally don't care about those statements. Now when Trump brags about sexual assault that's 50% of the country and likely 50% of the republican base, that's why they're suddenly "appalled" at Trump's conduct. Certainly there seemed to be a sudden need to distance themselves from trump, but as I've also said elsewhere, Trump supporters are maniacs and support him regardless. People who claim to have been appalled and now are returning to Trump are doing so because it seems politically expedient to do so.
I suspect that many of them were very isolated and didn't realize the people that they represent. I'm sure most of the folks they deal with are donors, pack organizers, campaign bundlers, lobbyists, and thus they thought their base was something it's not. They've cultivated willfully ignorant, racist, xenophobic, paranoid, religious people who regularly vote against their own self interests and they think Trump will solve all their problems because he's not a politician. People like that aren't going to follow or care about your rational for distancing yourself from Trump. That's your party, your chance to take an idealistic stance has long sailed, and so now they're swimming back to the volcanic island that is Trump, well knowing that that volcano is going to blow and there's little to no chance of survival.
Kobold Cleaver wrote:
How do you run to the left of Clinton on social issues, though? Her policy, and that of the general Democratic party these days, is "Leave the bathrooms alone, let them marry, and let them get abortions." In other words, the only way to get further left would be to actually do stuff—like the Equality Act. Like regulations. And libertarians hate that kind of thing.
legalize drugs, end foreign wars, end corporate well fair . . . there's all sorts of libertarian stances that people on the left would agree with to a point.
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