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Guy Humual's page

Pathfinder Society Member. 3,647 posts (7,509 including aliases). 3 reviews. No lists. 1 wishlist. 3 Pathfinder Society characters. 22 aliases.


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Sovereign Court

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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Male hu-man Paladin

Although for the record, Kessel did explain what he knew about the history of the region, and Blake said he wasn't interested. Kessel was trying to explain why it might matter. Bards are very particular about these sorts of things.

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Male hu-man Paladin

No worries Patrick, the PCs shouldn't kill each other while you're away.

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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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Male hu-man Paladin

Course no need to point out that Karrin was talking to the bell from the start. That's normal for her :D

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Male hu-man Paladin

Oh no! Justin is talking to bells! He's finally snapped.

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Male hu-man Paladin

"Okay, see you later bell, I might be back to ring you later"

Karrin follows Hamar though the portal, axe at the ready.

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Faux News was quick to jump on the fact that a Moroccan man was taken into custody along with the shooter. With that being the extent of their knowledge guess who they thought the shooter was?

Later, when the facts were in, they had to be pressured by the PM to delete their Tweet. Stay classy Faux News.

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Sara Marie wrote:

Hey folks, I find myself in a weird spot, I just had to self-moderate my own post.

Removed a post, as a moderator I think I was out of bounds participating in the way I did.

Wow, and in my thread. Should I feel guilty or honored?

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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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Well I didn't see this story on any news site, just in another gaming site, but it still is pretty ridiculous. It's not real fur, it not even faux fur, it's sculpted fur on a model. Anyone ever look at a two inch model and say "I want to wear that?"

Anyways thanks for the link, it clarified things a bit. Rather then talking about banning warhammer they were asking Warhammer to ban fur from their models.

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The Sword wrote:
I've seen the full letter. It wasn't calling for the public to ban Warhammer it was asking games workshop not to model fur. Still very odd, considering the models are space Vikings. What do they expect them to wear ... Spandex. Good find on the article though.'very entertaining.

interesting, I haven't been looking too much into it, the link I posted was the first article I saw about it. Would you happen to have a link to the actual letter?

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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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1 person marked this as a favorite.
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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They were never going to vote for her. The best she could have hoped for was republican voters being so discussed with Trump or Johnson that they just stayed home. The only person more unpopular then Clinton that election was Trump and so it was a battle to see who could motivate their base more. Trump ran a populist campaign while Clinton ran a "I'm not Trump" campaign, and as I said repeatedly, there were two other candidates on that ticket.

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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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Male hu-man Paladin

I have no idea what's wrong Pat but I can only hope for the best.

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Male hu-man Paladin

I hope things work out Patrick.

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Male hu-man Paladin

Welcome aboard

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Male hu-man Paladin

Got to love Ekuur getting in on the fun :D

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thejeff wrote:
First of all, practically no one just reads through the bible on their own - with no preconceptions already shaping their expectations. Most are introduced to it through church or family teachings and are taught interpretations along with the text. Even those (like me!) who aren't raised in a religion are still raised in a culture steeped in it. I know well enough that I didn't read it as a blank slate.

Most people don't read the bible, obviously, they trust it says whatever their religious leader says, there are selected readings at church, and anything that's contentious or ugly never gets brought up. Meaning that whoever selects the readings ignores it.

thejeff wrote:
If you're already Christian reading the Bible on your own, you're already primed with interpretations and not just interpretations of specific passages, but with patterns of how to read it and how to make sense of it. When you reach a passage that sounds contrary, interpreting it in light of everything else you already know about God and the message of the Bible is practically automatic. Blatantly ignoring something is rarely necessary.

So it's your contention that everyone reading the bible goes into it with preconceived notions about what it's about, fine, but what happens when those preconceived notions are challenged? Personally I became atheist, but I'm saying that others find away to ignore those passages.

thejeff wrote:
The Bible is a very difficult text - even in English translation. Interpretation is necessary to make any sense out of it at all.

again, agreed, but interpretation often means, in your words "picking and choosing" and "ignoring" in my words. I'm still not seeing the contention.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
I wouldn't presume to tell a cardiac surgeon the best way to install a stent, and I'd not really argue with an professor of Old English about the difference between "treasure" and "hoard" (there's apparently a huge moral difference). I'm also not really going to tell someone that they're interpreting the Bible wrongly because of my decontextualized understanding of a set of words produced by some early 17th century translators.

Okay, on this point we're in agreement.

Orfamay Quest wrote:


Apparently there is no middle ground in your universe between following the literal meaning of the words and "ignoring."

I stand by my writing. You apparently believe that all Christians are Biblical literalists whose only response when presented with a text whose literal meaning is problematic is to ignore it. I further stand by my writing that such a belief is a straw man that bears little resemblance to Christianity as it is actively practiced today.

So what about someone reading through a bible on their own? They come to a section they don't like, that sounds contrary to their own beliefs, what do you think happens? I think they ignore that passage and move onto ones that they like, if they're someone that studies the bible they might reference someone else's interpretation, perhaps make one of their own, perhaps they claim that a later passage in the bible contradicts it and thus they should follow the newer ruling, all I'm saying is that it boils down to ignoring what they don't like. I'm fine with that. Especially if it's ignoring some of that aforementioned nasty stuff. We have laws on the books across the world that officers and judges ignore because they're stupid or antiquated. If I thought people were biblical literalists why would I claim that they're ignoring parts of the bible. A literalist wouldn't ignore something just because it's contrary to what they actually believe.

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Rednal wrote:
@Guy: Well, there's a reason why I'm okay with gay marriage, equal rights, and so on. o wo/ As a Christian, I don't believe the old laws (i.e. broadly speaking, the earlier parts of the Old Testament - the latter half is mostly historical stuff) are really in force any longer (except for the Ten Commandments). They can be studied and all, and that can give useful insights and context, but the teachings of Jesus are more important and, in case of conflict, take priority. My faith teaches me to love everyone, not condemn them and push them away.

I'm cool with that Rednal, I think so long as we can all get along we should be free to believe in whatever we want.

I'm an atheist but I got no bones to pick with theists like you. We disagree on a couple of things sure, but we're probably more alike in many more other ways.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
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?
Dozens. Hundreds. Millions believe it as official Catholic doctrine; millions more believe it as official doctrine in various other denominations. But very few of them are Biblical literalists, which is the straw man that you're insisting "Christians" must be. It's quite possible to believe that an omniscient God is smart enough to know about metaphor. What most Christians find incredible is the opposite, that God isn't smart enough to know about it.

While I do find it interesting hearing what I apparently think based on your readings of my quotes, I don't think I've ever said all Christians are literalists. I think I've said repeatedly now that most Christians ignore parts of the bible they don't like and that I'm super cool with that.

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Rednal wrote:

For what it's worth, the actual passage cited there, in the NIV, reads "He who spares the rod(1) hates his son, but he who loves him is careful to discipline(2) him(3)."

1: Cross-referenced to 2 Samuel 7:14, a section on God's promise to David, "I will be his father, and he will be my son. When he does wrong, I will punish him with the rod of men, with floggings inflicted by men." Verse 15 adds "But my love will never be taken away from him..." (This is not generally believed to be a literal "rod of men", but rather a description of general events and circumstances that could take many different forms. Contextually, it also suggests that parents should continue to love their children even if they must be disciplined, and act accordingly, and that the "rod" does not necessarily involve a physical beating.)

2: Cross-referenced to Proverbs 3:12, "because the Lord disciplines those he loves, as a father the son he delights in."

3: Cross-referenced to multiple places, including also Proverbs 19:18, "Discipline your son, for in that there is hope; do not be a willing party to his death." (In a section about generally obeying instructions, working hard, and teaching people to not be hot-tempered types who constantly get themselves into trouble.)

I don't think Christians are necessarily inclined to interpret that passage literally - many are far more likely to take away the concept "Children should be disciplined appropriately, using whatever techniques we understand to be genuinely effective, to help raise them to be decent people". Many interesting turns of phrase in the Bible are a reference to something else, which is part of why we're often hesitant to accept literal interpretations at face value.

I think we can agree that beating children is wrong but there are still sects of Christianity that believes that the rod is literal and have fought to keep their right to beat their kids. As I said earlier, I'm not able to read ancient Greek never mind ancient Hebrew so I wouldn't even attempt to figure out what the bible actually means, but if you can interpret the translations to say that actually beating kids isn't necessary then I'm very cool with that.

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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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Orfamay Quest wrote:

By understanding the rules and the cultural context in which they were laid down. Slavery was never mandatory (nor did the Old Testament rules make it so), but it was commonplace and accepted as a part of everyday life. What the Old Testament rules changed was how people were allowed to treat slaves, by forbidding what were relatively common practices. For example, you were not to enslave fellow Israelites (Lev 25:39-45). You weren't allowed to murder a slave (Ex 21:20), and if you injured one, you had to free him (Ex 21:26-27). Et cetera, et cetera, world without end,....

God never told you that you were supposed to have slaves, but He did tell you that you had to treat them well and respect what were, by Bronze Age standards, a substantial set of human rights.

Similarly, a lot of the apparently barbaric rules about when you were allowed to murder people are pretty good when you understand that that what they actually did was limited when you could murder people. And one of the key insights that Christians attribute (wrongly*) to the New Testament (Matt 12:12; Mark 3:4) is that "it is lawful to do good"; that God approves of the merciful application of his laws. Thus, God may allow you to murder your son, but He does not require it.

But this is taking us rather far afield, as it has little to do with the afterlife.

(* The reason that I say "wrongly" is that Jews have long recognized -- since before Jesus -- that God permits** them to break almost any of the commandments in the service of protecting human life. If it's a choice between eating bacon and starving, help yourself. That's actually a rule -- from Leviticus -- that many Christians would do well to heed.)

(** in modern Jewish understanding, for "permits" read "requires." I'm not sure how far back that goes.)

Society changes, as we became less vulnerable to food shortages and less dependent on human labor our view on slavery changed. The bible didn't change, there's nothing in the bible that says that I can't own people or beat them so long as they don't die within a certain time frame, there are probably more books on interpretations of the bible then denominations, but the bible itself hasn't been reworked since 325 AD, our science textbooks would be terrible if they were the same.

Now I beleive that the bible was written by men, and yes, if we're looking at it from that stand point historical context does matter, but if we're looking at it as something laid down by a omnipotent, all knowing being you'd have to accept that beating your children (Proverbs 13:24) was the right thing to do, despite what most child psychologists these days are saying. A wise Christian listens to the experts and ignores that section of the bible.

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thejeff wrote:
Every church interprets. Every church picks and chooses.

I think my statement and this one are not at odds. I must be missing some of the nuisances of your argument because I don't think we're disagreeing on much here.

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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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Rednal wrote:
I could go into a long discussion on why that is... but I feel like that would be taking us further astray from the actual topic of this thread. XD

Fair enough.

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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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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:


Religion, on the other hand, doesn't change but what people chose to ignore does.

I'm afraid that once you strip the nasty prejudice out of this statement, it's not only wrong, but contradictory. How people interpret their religion (a more accurate statement than "what people chose to ignore") is part and parcel of any religious practice, so people changing the interpretation is religion changing.

And religions do change. Demonstrably. This is sometimes explicit, as with Talmudic scholarship enriching Jewish practice, as with theologians updating the Catholic magisterium to reflect new learning, or as with new revelations in any religion that accepts such (a rather famous example is LDS First President Kimball's 1978 revelation that blacks should be ordained to the lay priesthood and permitted to participate in temple "ordinances," meaning rites).

Sometimes it's less formal. When churches don't have formal doctrine (as many don't), the choice of interpretation is often left up to the individual congregation or pastor, and a group of like-minded people will often interpret a passage differently than other groups. That's, for example, how the Amish came into existence (as an offshoot from other Swiss Anabaptists) and how the various Amish communities in the United States have chosen to regulate themselves differently. As a simple example (thank you, Wikipedia), the Lancaster Amish do not allow themselves to use bulk milk tanks; the Kalona Amish do, and I assure you that the phrase "bulk milk tank" does not appear anywhere in Scripture. The difference then, is not Scriptural, and it's not a question of what they ignore. It's a question, instead, of what they interpret and draw from the Scripture, along with the rest of the cultural practices.

So how do you re-interpret the rules for slavery? How are we re-interpreting passages that call for the murder and death for those that somehow break biblical law? People are changing their interpretations sure, I'm not suggesting otherwise, but the bible hasn't had a re-write since 325 AD, and most of those reinterpretations come about by wisely ignoring wide swaths of the bible that are problematic, which again, is a good thing.

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Orfamay Quest wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
The New Testament says nothing about gays.

Er,.... you're not acquitting yourself well here.

Rom 1:26-27 For this reason, God gave them up to passions of dishonor; for even their females exchanged the natural use for that which is contrary to nature, and likewise also the males, having left the natural use of the female, were inflamed by their lust for one another, males with males, committing what is shameful, and receiving in themselves the recompense which was fitting for their error.

1 Cor 6:9-10 Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind

1 Tim 1:9-10 We also know that the law is made not for the righteous but for lawbreakers and rebels, the ungodly and sinful, the unholy and irreligious, for those who kill their fathers or mothers, for murderers, for the sexually immoral, for those practicing homosexuality, for slave traders and liars and perjurers—and for whatever else is contrary to the sound doctrine.

and from the Gospels themselves.

Matt 15:19-20 And he said, That which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, sexual impurities, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness: All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.

It's very easy to interpret any of those passages as forbidding homosexuality. It's also very easy to interpret any of those passages as not forbidding homosexuality, especially if you resort to enough smoke and mirrors about whether the Greek word "porneia" translates to immorality, to specifically sexual immorality, or to any specific acts. (The correct answer, of course, is that the word appears in several contexts and therefore there is no clear-cut answer. Ergo, we need to rely on extra-textual sources.)

Well as I'm not a historical scholar on ancient Greek, I can only go by the interpretation I've been given, I mean their are more precise words for homosexuality in ancient Greek but those terms aren't used.

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thejeff wrote:
Let's not say "free from reason to practice their religion" or "rather than what's laid out in the bible".

The bible is written from an authoritarian state, it tells you that:

Deuteronomy 21:18-21 wrote:

18 If a man have a stubborn and rebellious son, which will not obey the voice of his father, or the voice of his mother, and that, when they have chastened him, will not hearken unto them:

19 Then shall his father and his mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the elders of his city, and unto the gate of his place;

20 And they shall say unto the elders of his city, This our son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our voice; he is a glutton, and a drunkard.

21 And all the men of his city shall stone him with stones, that he die: so shalt thou put evil away from among you; and all Israel shall hear, and fear.

That's pretty straight forward, but people have chosen to ignore passages like this, I doubt even the biblical purist would even think about killing their own children. My point is that's a good thing!

thejeff wrote:
That's all in the Bible, sure. Lots of nasty stuff. Along with lots of higher-minded aspirational stuff. Much of the crappy stuff in the Middle East & Africa is cultural with a layer of religion on top to justify it. So are a lot of the nastier sides of religion in the West.

Oh sure, female circumcision for example, that's practiced amongst tribes of Muslim and Christian faiths, and they didn't get that from the Bible or the Koran. But when you look at places like Uganda, who recently almost passed a law that gave the death penalty on homosexuals, they didn't get that from their own culture, they're not getting that from addition religion added on top, that was the work of American Christian missionaries.

thejeff wrote:
It's not that they're doing "real religion" while religious folks in the West are doing some watered down form.

Watered down isn't exactly what I'm saying, I'm not suggesting that people's beliefs here are weaker or less fervent, I'm saying that what religious people in the West are far less likely to follow all of the bible. They're focusing on better, more positive parts, and thankfully we live in a secular society so religious groups have no actual authority over anyone.

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Rednal wrote:

*Raises hand* I feel like I should note that many Christians believe that Deuteronomy (and, indeed, all of the first five books) were part of the Old Covenant made with the Israelites, which has been replaced by the New Covenant. That is, we have no particular obligation to follow (most of) the laws and regulations given there*. There's much more of an emphasis on the teachings in the New Testament, which includes things like "Love your neighbor and your enemies alike" and "Blessed are the peacemakers".

*: Although a few parts are addressed in the New Testament and still generally followed.

Well the only problem with that is that a lot of the really crumby religious bigotry we have stems from Deuteronomy and the old testament. The New Testament says nothing about gays. Also the ten commandments, that's all Old Testament. I'm happy that you're putting an emphasis on the New Testament, and if you're church is one of the more progressive and accepting ones that's even better, but my point isn't that religious groups are ignoring this or that, it's that I'm glad that they are, that although the book is unchanging, what people choose to practice is.

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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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Male hu-man Paladin
Patrick Curtin wrote:
Hey all. I put out some feelers for a few new players. This boat trip will be a good time to introduce some new folks, and we've lost Iz/Nathan

Oh, what do we need? Kessel is a bard/druid, we got a ranger, an oracle, a magnus, a wizard/ranger, and a swashbuckler so I suppose what we need is as sneaky skill monkey unless I'm missing something?

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Scythia wrote:
I think non-believers do spoil that idea somewhat. I've heard atheists say that they miss that feeling of comfort thinking that they would one day rejoin deceased family & friends. They clearly didn't choose what was the most feel-good answer.

I think I mentioned this earlier but thoughts of death are strong triggers to religious centers in the brain. People who are religious get stronger feelings of faith when they're thinking about death. Death is sad, I've lost many people I loved, pets I've loved, and one day I'll also die, thinking that we all get to see each other again is extremely comforting, but sadly I can't turn off the skeptical part of my brain. The world existed for billions of years without me, it's going to exist for billions of years after I'm gone, not sure how long the human race exists beyond me, but as George Carlin once said "The Plant is fine, it's the people who are f@%ked"

Sovereign Court

The Raven Black wrote:


I do not remember your posts being that antagonistic. And I strongly believe that anyone who shows this kind of care for another person's feelings is very unlikely to have crushed those same feelings beforehand :-)

I think it would be awesome if someone could actually change my beliefs and I do not feel that there is such a thing as de-converting someone who thinks like I do.

Because I am a deeply ingrained doubter. I think that I have no ability to be certain of being right about big things and I give the benefits of doubt to others' beliefs or assessment of reality because they just may be right after all. Whether this view of reality is religious or atheistic. I admit very freely that I do not know and have zero certainty if there is an afterlife or if there is nothing at all after this life.

That said, I have a strong dislike for people who fall quickly to extremes and try to impose their views on others without care for any hurt they might inflict while doing so. That includes religious extremists but IMO it is not limited to those who hold religious beliefs

Okay, that's good then, we're coming from a similar place even though we're not on the same side of this debate. An important thing to remember is that debate are never won, at best people can come to an understanding, and even if we can't agree at the end of the day we all need to live together. I might not think there's an afterlife but belittling an opponent that does doesn't do anyone any good. Maybe you're never going to come to my side, but by civilly talking about it, maybe theists won't have negative opinions of atheists in the future. In that way everyone wins in the future.

Sovereign Court

Azih wrote:
TOZ wrote:
Azih wrote:
*Unobservable obviously means having no impact on the observable universe as anything that has an impact on the observable universe is observable through that impact.
Also known as 'nonexistant'.

Well there is maybe the crux of the discussion.

If something is unobservable. Does that mean it does not exist?

If we can't observe it, can't sense it, how do we know it exists? You have to show some kind of evidence that it exists before we need to actually debate this point.

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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.

Sovereign Court

thejeff wrote:


We can decide they're not Christian, but as I was arguing before, that's not something I'm comfortable with.

Are we talking the preachers or the congregation here? I'm fine with categorizing the leaders of those groups as con artists rather then preachers, but the people following them? I wouldn't think they're particularly different from most Christians, they believe and assume that their leaders are being (directly or indirectly) guided by god himself.

Sovereign Court

BigNorseWolf wrote:

or...

If something is completely undetectable, how do you know about it?

Something undetectable that you know about is itself a contradiction. It shouldn't be surprising that this leads to other contradictions.

The other thing, besides the god of the gaps thing mentioned earlier, is that oftentimes people look to insert god into an equation just to needlessly mess it up. Maybe god caused the big bang, but that's an extra step that doesn't help explain things.

Maybe god is outside space and time and that's why we can't see or test for him/her, but again that's a needless extra step used just to explain the apparent non existence of a supernatural creator. If we can't detect for god then we should probably just refer to them as a non entity unless we find evidence that they exist.

Or to put it another way: "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" Carl Sagan

We can't prove that things exist outside what we can test of course, but then it's not our responsibility to prove that they do exist.

Sovereign Court

BigNorseWolf wrote:
Guy Humual wrote:
but I'd have to take it with a grain of salt.
Don't. It will raise your blood pressure.

Zing!

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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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