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Guy Humual's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 3,709 posts (7,587 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 22 aliases.


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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Remember all that talk about "Democrats need to lie about economics"?

Looks like some of them listened.


Pugh to veto $15 minimum wage bill she said, as a candidate, she’d sign

She also listened to the adage that paying workers a living wage kills jobs . . . somehow. Who wants to bet that she's also cut taxes for corporations so that they'll stay in Baltimore at some point as well?

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It's the oracle of Kevin Bacon, everyone is connected to what the US government considers a terrorist with enough degrees of separation.

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
Canadian stuff

Thanks for the reply. All I'll add is that the last time I visited Toronto, probably around two decades ago, I stayed with comrades with children and was mightily impressed while watching some children's television show by a sketch about asking Canadian children to sing the national anthem. None of them knew the words past the first two lines, until the end of the bit, when two adorable Asian children belted out "O Canada."

I might have told that story before, but, if so, it's probably been years.

Well, the funny thing about the Canadian national anthem is that it exists in both French and English, It started as a French song actually, and sometimes when they're preforming for a national audience they'll use the bilingual version which switches to French after doing the first few bars in English.

People from my parent's generation grew up with God Save the Queen rather then O Canada. Our anthem has been around since 1880, been the de facto national anthem since 39, but it started out as a French song and the English translation was for years very clunky and hard to sing. It wasn't until 1980 that we got an English version (not an exact translation). And so, people from my parent's generation, folks who never really had to learn french, and never learned the clunky English translation, might sing our current version (which is pretty easy to remember and sing), but there's always that panic when it seeming shifts inexplicably into French.

When I was a kid I could sing both English and French versions, although I mostly knew the French version phonetically. I wonder, seeing as it was a Toronto show, if the kids were trying to remember the bilingual version of the song that shifts to French for a few bars?

For anyone wondering, this is the official bilingual version:

O Canada!
Our home and native land!
True patriot love in all thy sons command.
Car ton bras sait porter l'épée,
Il sait porter la croix!
Ton histoire est une épopée
Des plus brillants exploits.
God keep our land glorious and free!
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.
O Canada, we stand on guard for thee.

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Kung Fu Joe wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
we have the same problems up here, on a smaller scale because we have a less populated country, but we have similar problems up here.
You have MUCH worse problems than we do. Your beer is $13 a pint.

This is the most insightful post regarding Canada, my own included, that I've seen on this site.

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Citizen Humual, in the interests of conversation, whereabouts in Canada do you live and how do you vote?

What's the layout of the Canadian Parliament these days? Where's the NDP at? What's Quebec's array of parties look like these days? How's Sexy Trudeau holding up? (All I read is bad stuff, but that shouldn't surprise anyone.) And do all the liberal ladies up there clog your Facebook feed with Sexy Trudeau memes like they do down here? (There's a lot of French Canadian-Americans here in the Merrimack Valley.)

I'm in Atlantic Canada, Nova Scotia to be more precise, and I speculate we're mostly like middle America in a lot of ways. Maybe a bit more educated, but a lot of our economy is based on natural resources like fishing. Our Provence is traditionally conservative, with that party doing well on the provincial and national stage but in the previous election we did have an NDP government! However they only had one term before being voted out of office and returned to a minority party. The problem was they moved towards the center, traditional liberal territory, and given a choice between Liberal or Liberal light (aka the NDP) people voted for Liberal.

On the national elections I didn't vote for Trudeau, although he did seem like the less horrible choice, I actually voted for my MP rather than for the party. Quick refresher, in Canada we don't choose our Prime Minister directly, we vote for our Members of Parliament, and whichever party has the most MPs gets to form the government. If you want Trudeau, for example, you vote for your Liberal Party candidate. I didn't particularly like Mulcair, the NDP party leader, but I did love my local MP a lot, and so I'd voted for my MP rather then for a party to decide the PM. Does that make sense?

Canada got our national healthcare under Lester B Pearson's government, which was a minority Liberal government, and was probably due to Tommy Douglas, leader of the NDP, who were voting with the Liberals to keep them in power. Tommy was formally Premier (similar to a Governor) of Saskatchewan and it was there that what we've come to know as Medicare was first enacted. Tommy went to Parliament and helped to enacted it on a national level. Tommy Douglas recently won a poll naming him the greatest Canadian. The following year Pearson resigned as leader of the Liberals and his Justice Minister, Pierre Eliot Trudeau took over as leader. Most of the changes Pearson and Douglass enacted in that minority government were felt under Trudeau, and so next election Trudeau won a majority government.

With all that understood: people have fond memories of Trudeau (senior), which is why his son, Justin Trudeau will have a relatively smooth ride for a few more years, baring any major fork ups, even if he is behaving like a typical NeoLiberal by sacrificing the environment for economic reasons. He's been talking about very progressive things though, changing our government from a First Past the Post System (which can lead to situations like your presidential election), to a more European Proportional Representation, and finally the legalization of marijuana in Canada, which amazingly still isn't a thing, but enforcement of marijuana laws have been relaxed over the years. I don't actually expect he'll move to a proportional system though, he got less then 40% of the popular vote but managed to get 54% of the seats in parliament. Switching to a proportional system would likely mean only minority governments from here on out. I'd be fine with that, as I've explained earlier we got Medicare under a minority government, but I doubt the party in charge is going to sacrifice control like that. As to legalization, on that front I'm very hopeful, the PM himself was rumored to have lit up after the election win.

Full disclosure: I've only once smoked pot in my life, it was a pleasant experience but I'm not super keen on trying it again, my support for legalization has more to do with economic factors. I don't think police resources should be used to enforce a ban on a relatively harmless and potentially helpful substance.

Okay, that's enough rambling about my geographically large but populationally small country. Back to the democrats.

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Scythia wrote:

FDR "context" "product of his time"

HRC is a politician in a time when big money donations is the only proven viable path to victory.

Seems like someone can't maintain internal consistency.

So your argument is that Hilary appearing corruptible is understandable as people from Hilary's generation (folks born in the 40s and 50s) think corruption is normal. It's only us modern kids, with out progressive values, that frown on corruption.

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

Random Paizo Politroll Nostalgia

It's kind of amazing that five years later, it's pretty much the same posters saying the same things to each other. On the other hand, it becomes obvious that these conversations aren't a complete waste of time. For example, I would never have voted at all in 2012. So yay! for you, although, I consider this a rightward drift on my part.

Can't believe I'm letting you liberals rub off on me.

I genuinely like and respect most of the people in these threads, even if I don't always agree with them, and hearing different opinions is important when it comes to forming your own opinions. There have been some Conservative voices here, like Kryzbyn, that I like hearing from and your, some would say extreme, left wing opinions helps serve as a strong counter balance.

I love these threads and often learn new things. If people don't agree with me on somethings that's fine, I'm not offended, I'm not going to agree with you on some things, however, for the most part, I think we handle these discussions relatively peacefully and that's admirable considering the topic.

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Irontruth wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:

I'm not really interested in pointing out how terrible Hilary was, she lost to Trump, that's an accomplishment that will live in infamy.

However, back to defending FDR: he was, like anyone else, a product of his time. It's very easy to look back now and realize how wrong the internment of Japanese American citizens was, but judging people by our standards today isn't fair. However whitewashing history is even worse. Yes, FDR was wrong for internment camps, and we need to remember why that is, but to suggest that's only accomplishment or his only legacy is to do that man a great disservice. You want to judge people based on our modern values and you're not going to have many heroes. However, anyone old enough today to have been interred in WWII is likely collecting social security rather then being a burden on their families or starving on the streets.

He also cost some 200,000 Jews their lives by turning them away as refugees.

But you think extending the Bush tax cuts is a bridge too far.

You're the one who wanted to judge people without context. Don't cry foul now, you set the rules. Your liberal icon was a bigot who locked up 120,000 Americans because he was a racist. He took us into the largest global conflict in history where millions of people died. It's interesting how you're willing to apologize and over look all this, but you want to disavow Obama. How many civilians died in USAAF bombing during WW2? I bet it's more than have been killed by drones.

Want to guess what my opinion of your righteous indignation is?

Canada was equally racist in WWII, we also turned away Jews fleeing the Holocaust and that's a shame and disgrace, but we can't change the past, all we can do it try to shape the present. I'm not sure if you realize this but a lot of people were racist back then. More so then today . . . and people are pretty racist today. Heck in 80 or 90 years from now whatever we're doing today is likely going to seem super racist or unethical to people of the future.

Did I say the Bush tax cuts were a bridge too far? I liked Obama, for the most part I understand he was in a difficult position, but that doesn't mean I can't criticize him for things he did in office. I happen to like FDR more but that doesn't make him immune to criticism either. There's nothing wrong with yours or
Comrade Anklebiter's condemnation of him as a racist, but I think his social programs would eventually help most Americans, even those he likely hated.

Also, entering WWII wasn't really America's choice, you were attacked by the Japanese, and as they were an alley of the Germans it's not like you were going to let that slide. America might have been mobilizing towards war anyways, but there wasn't much of a choice after Pearl Harbor. Drone strikes in Yemen on the other hand probably aren't making the US any safer, they're probably helping the Saudis, and that in turn is keeping oil prices down, but killing people in one of the poorest countries on Earth probably isn't necessary for national security. You think I should let that slide because it's a democrat doing it? You can be damn sure I'm going to be upset at Trump now that he's taking over and so I'm not going to be hypocritical by giving Obama a pass.

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thejeff wrote:
bugleyman wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
They did things like try to repeal the ACA, things that were never going to happen with Obama's veto and the dems controlling the senate so they wasted time. Now they don't have excuses, they don't have a safety net, and so now they have to actually do things.

You *seem* to be saying that we can only judge a party by what it does when it controls all branches of government (a rare occurrence, btw)?

I'm sorry, but I'm having a really hard time following your logic.

No, he's quite happy judging Democrats by anything that's proposed or any compromises they make, whether they're completely in control or not.

Only Republicans get the benefit of the doubt.

I judge the democrats harshly because they're the party I would want to vote for. I don't really care how horrible the republicans are because that's expected of them. The republican politicians are regressive, xenophobic, short sighted people and for the most part they live up to that standard. Every now and than they impress but usually they're just doing the bidding of their business interests.

I expect more from one then the other. Why complain about the republicans, especially in a thread about the democrats?

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Irontruth wrote:
Ah, you prefer the liberalism of someone who put 120,000 people in concentration camps. Cool.

Yes, because that was the only thing FDR ever did.

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thunderspirit wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
On paper and on the campaing trail there's a world of difference, but in office? I don't see much difference between a republican and a democrat these days.
Then you're either blind or intentionally obtuse.

What did Bush do that democrats didn't vote for?

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thejeff wrote:

And again: "aren't that dissimilar"

I really can't take anything you say seriously while you keep saying things like this.

So, what you consider dissimilar is clearly different from what I consider dissimilar. Obama was supposed to get the US out of wars, by the end of his term he was bombing 7 different countries. Almost none of the bankers responsible for the 2007-2008 crash haven't been prosecuted. Bush era tax cuts have been made permanent. Under Obama Habeas Corpus has been further threatened, people called terrorists, even US citizens, can be obtained and held indefinitely without a trial. We've discovered that government surveillance has increased. These issues are big and maybe the republicans would be worse somehow? It's hard to imagine.

As for the EPA, science, health care, social security, LGBT rights, the conservatives are saying some really terrible things that's for sure, how anyone in their right mind could vote for them is beyond me, but actually implementing some of these things isn't going to be easy. For one thing, as I've said, they're behooved to their donors, who might not want things like LGBT rights changed, and they have their own maniac supporters who aren't going to like social security or health care being changed. They might run maniacs but they're also maniacs on a bit of a leash.

I suppose it's possible that as bad as the democrats seem to be the republicans could be worse, but that remains to be seen. Right now I don't think there was much difference between Obama and Bush. Trump looks like a complete disaster, like he'll mess up the US for generations to come, but as of right now all he's doing is signing papers and looking like a clown. On paper and on the campaing trail there's a world of difference, but in office? I don't see much difference between a republican and a democrat these days.

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thejeff wrote:

The Republicans are maniacs because of Democrats? Seriously?

It's all the Democrats fault. No matter what. The Democrats force Republicans to go full on crazy. Somehow.

It's not the democrat's fault that republicans are maniacs, and it's not the republican's fault that democrats are now corporate stooges, the thing we can blame for the current state of affairs is money in politics. You have two parties fighting for money and corporate interests aren't that dissimilar . . . which is why democrats and republicans aren't that dissimilar. Get money out of politics and you'll have more democrats like Sanders, and some that would make him look more like the moderate that he actually is.

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thejeff wrote:

I thought you though she did try the "dirty republican tricks"? My point was she didn't even bother with standard campaign attacks. Bernie never got enough traction to need it. You can blame the media for that, if you like, but Clinton and the DNC sure as hell don't run the media or they wouldn't have spent nearly so much time on Clinton scandals. It might have been closer than the Republican race, but it wasn't nearly as close as the Obama/Clinton race in 2008 was.

Let's be honest, Obama is just a superior politician to Sanders, I'm not a fan of everything he's accomplished but if Obama had been running in 2016 Sanders wouldn't have even been a road bump. Bernie is not particularly charismatic, not a great public speaker, but his message was one that people liked. Obama had both, it's why the Clinton machine couldn't stop him, and while I like Bernie's message and I respect him as a person, if I had a choice between Bernie and Obama I'd probably pick Barrack because I think he'd have a far better chance of defeating whatever the republicans had to offer.

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Knight who says Meh wrote:
It's hilarious to watch someone ridicule other people's belief in God while at the same time worship thier lord and savior Bernie Sanders.

Slow down chief, Bernie was the best candidate running in 2016, but that's like being the thinnest kid at fat camp. The field was not stellar. You had two people who most people hated winning the nominee. Suggesting that Bernie was a perfect candidate is just plain silly. People liked his message. If you're not a fan of socialized medicine, free public education, and income inequality than I suppose you're fine with whatever the republican + pro choice party, or republican (original flavor) are putting out.

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So according to the Washington Post, Donald Trump's fallibility, which is still under 50%, is higher than Hilary Clinton. Just 35% of registered voters have a favorable opinion of Clinton with 55% having an unfavorable. The majority of people hated both candidates but you'd think, considering she won the popular vote, and the fact that she hasn't been in the news lately that her unfavorable opinion would decline and some folks start feeling buyers remorse or something, causing her favorable to rise, but I'd guess from these numbers folks are blaming Hilary and maybe the DNC for Trump rather then wishing she'd won. The story suggests that this isn't unusual, they point out that Romney's favorbility dropped after the election causing him to have more unfavorable opinions then favorable, but Clinton's numbers are worse.

I'll just point out here that Bernie Sander's numbers still haven't dropped at all. People still have more of a positive than negative opinion of him. So good work DNC, you know how to tip the scales toward winner don't you?

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CrystalSeas wrote:
Guys. GUYS

I think there's only one of me here.

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:
I am a paladin.

I feel like there should be an "Anti-" somewhere in this sentence.

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Lou Diamond wrote:
Guy, if you think the Koch brothers are conservative you are mistaken they are libertarian. They fund political candidates that they think will advance their business entrusts mainly oil and petrochemical.

The Koch brothers are Kochatarian.

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MMCJawa wrote:
If progressives want more influence in the party, than the job will be to primary out people who they don't think are ideologically pure enough. It's what the Tea Party did to the Republicans, and there is absolutely no reason to think it wouldn't work with the Democratic Party. In politics, people who are successful at what they are doing (and those currently in office can be considered so) are not likely to radically shift there views without being forced to.

I think you'll find that the tea party wasn't a ground swelling populist movement that they pretend it was, rather it was a purge of moderate republicans funded by the Koch brothers (amongst others) in an attempt to bring congress to a screeching halt. These so called "independents" were able to primary establishment republicans because they were well funded.

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Male hu-man Paladin

Well you know these bard types, they make their living talking, and so even when they're pissed off it's hard for them to boil their sentiment down to a couple of words. Probably could have been reduced to two words or one gesture.

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"That is not dead which can eternal lie,
And with strange aeons even death may die."

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Drahliana Moonrunner wrote:


Will I be run off this board if I confess to not having a Lovecraft obsession?

Yes. We'll give you a good 15 minute head start to keep it sporting though.

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They spell it PeTA, the "ethical" part of their own acronym is in lower case, which suggests to me that being ethical isn't as important.

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Fun link

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.

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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.

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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.

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Comrade Anklebiter wrote:

A thread about Canadian politics? Someone contact Citizen Humual!

Horrific shiznit, though. I'm not good at the whole expressing my feelings stuff, so I'll just skip to the part about expressing solidarity and "An injury to one is an injury to all!"

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.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:

Caesar's Gallic Wars haven't been rewritten for longer than that, but our understanding of them has changed radically in the intervening 2,000 years.

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:


No, and no. First, why on earth would we do such a stupid thing as look at the Bible that way,

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.

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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.

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thejeff wrote:


My point is that the folks in Uganda aren't "following all the Bible" any more than those in the US - either the hippy churches or the fundies. They're all picking and choosing what they want to follow, reading it through their own biases and interpretations, even or maybe especially those who loudly proclaim they're not.

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.


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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."

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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.

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The Raven Black wrote:

Using science to dogmatically squash the opinions of people who think differently goes pretty much against the impetus of science which IMO is discovery and maintaining an open mind

YMMV

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.

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Widow of the Pit wrote:


Scoff as you like, but this is from my own experiences and they are what they are. I cannot deny them nor quantify them.

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.

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Quiche Lisp wrote:

There’s a pragmatic way to make up your mind about the afterlife.

If you want to probe the question « Is there an afterlife ? »:

- read books about it: the scientific, philosophical, and spiritual litterature.
- meet with and hang around people who have a link with the afterlife: mediums, witch doctors, spiritualists, ancestor cults worshippers, etc.
- See how they connect to the afterlife. Try to keep an open mind.

Then, having acquired all that knowledge, experiment for yourself the connection to the afterlife (with no drugs* ; no unsafe practices or people ; no sex with the wise man/woman ; no depletion of your financial resources ; no bodily harm whatsoever to yourself, or to others, and neither to small animals, because… duh !)

Then you will be able to answer the question for yourself.

Spiritual knowledge (and is not knowledge of the afterlife spiritual knowledge ?) necessitates work, honesty, an open mind and a sense of humour.

*drugs are s+*%. Drugs must be avoided. People who tell you you need drugs to acquire spiritual knowledge are to be avoided.

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.

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Rednal wrote:

@Guy: Yeah... money is needed, to a point, but aiming for great wealth is explicitly discouraged by Christianity (at least). There are actually quite a few comments on this throughout the Bible, one of which is actually rather relevant to our topic.

Quote:
Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Truly I tell you, it is hard for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of heaven. Again I tell you, it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:23-24, NIV)
(Context: They'd just met a rich young man who wanted eternal life, and who went away sad at the thought of giving up what he had now for greater rewards in the future. It was followed by Jesus also noting that what is impossible for humans is still possible for God, responding to his disciples' astonishment at his comments and general concern over what it actually takes to enter heaven.)

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.

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"You know what they call alternative medicine that's been proved to work? Medicine!"

Tim Minchin

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.

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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.

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The Raven Black wrote:


I am quite thankful for the answers provided here :-)

Now, all of those mentioned do not explain why there would be atheists. Nor what would actually make atheists fundamentally different from religious people.

Unless we posit that atheism is an evolution of the human being, like the next step in our collective progress. Which would then mean that atheists are inherently better/superior to believers, and that is not a notion I like, because I think that what an individual believes has no incidence on their value as a human being

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.

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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.

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AdmiralAckbar wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:

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.

So the Abrahamic religions are like the Star Wars Expanded Universe before Lucasfilm/Disney threw it all out? :)

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.

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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.

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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.

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Male hu-man Paladin

I think it's from those metallic disks

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Male hu-man Paladin

In Negative Energy Plane, Fool pities Mr T

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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.

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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.

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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.

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