3 January 2004
Submitted by eve on Sun, 01/04/2004 - 11:28am. Funny
"Yeah, but then you've got to give them your address to send the check to."
"I don't think that psychos are browsing ebay for the addresses of random sellers to come and stalk. That's as dumb as worrying about the phone book."
"Good point. And it's not like you're a hot woman with pictures of yourself holding the baseball cards you're selling."
"People do that."
"Yeah. Bikini babes holding the stuff in the photos, stuff like that."
"That's brilliant. They should use bikini babes to sell everything. Life insurance! Carpet cleaner! I'll bet lots of women in bikinis could sell anything."
"Exceeeeept... the movie 'The Real Cancun,' which took in a mere 6 million."
--A girl and a guy at Peet's Coffee.
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Posted by Joe Napalm on Sun, 01/18/2004 - 8:59pm.
Okay, I shouldn't have sat down and even tried to catch up with IP, at the moment...let alone this particular thread. *Grin*

I'm still not home (yes, I know...I don't have a home - how nice of you to remind me), just borrowing some broadband from a friend ("borrowing" being a nice way of saying that I've latched onto it like a stray timber after a shipwreck) while I'm working my way back toward base-camp after an extended expedition into vast, uncharted regions. (Well, okay, they're actually pretty well charted...you can just buy a map at any gas station...but I'm working in a little poetic license here, so back off.)

In any case, if I didn't get around to a specific reply to one of your posts, remember that we receive a high volume of posts, and while all of them are important to us, we cannot answer all of them at this time and still hope to get to bed before we have to get up an strive for civility and coherence the following morning.

Or something.


Efreeti Sophist
So, Joe...
Posted by jcharles on Tue, 03/08/2005 - 3:21pm.
How was YOUR Valentine's Day? Learn anything new about God, metaphysics, the nature of the universe?

'Cause mine was great.


Never apologize. Never explain.
What about Bikini's???
Posted by Social Neanderthal on Mon, 01/12/2004 - 8:38am.
This board has realy gone downhill when fine topic's like bikini's and scotch get hijacked by religion and genetics.

Damn intellectuals ruin everything.
Posted by Cebu on Tue, 01/13/2004 - 7:15pm.
Hooray for boobies!

I hate Elmo.
You're right...
Posted by ParU on Mon, 01/12/2004 - 11:55am.
Posted by Mike on Wed, 01/14/2004 - 11:57am.

Heh. Better?
Posted by hypoxic on Sat, 01/10/2004 - 6:28pm.
Scotch? What happened scotch? I just tried to Aberlour and I like it! Very floral and honey notes. But didn't see god or religion in it. Sorry.
Try again.
Posted by steff on Sat, 01/10/2004 - 7:38pm.
drink more. *grin* and, please, try to leave the scottish out of this.
Posted by Kris the Girl on Sat, 01/10/2004 - 4:21pm.
I'd rather believe in something than leave life itself entirely to chance.
I do and and understand my own 'gut reactions,' at least.
Great, now I AM worried about the phone book.
Posted by Mike on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 1:30pm.
Nope. No psychos on ebay.

(*strains mightlily to refrain from making a crude "string bikini babe selling carpet cleaner" joke*) Whew.
Posted by Saint on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 2:27pm.
Where do you find this stuff?

As a confirmed carpet muncher, I have to admit I would very much like to see bikini babes selling carpet cleaner. If I were single, I would say I'd like to have bikini babes apply carpet cleaner, but I think bloodred might not be entirely happy with that.

"Die, Navin R. Johnson!"
Posted by Mike on Fri, 01/09/2004 - 9:40am.
Where do you find this stuff?
Never underestimate the reach of psychos, for they are supernaturally powerful-- almost as powerful as the stupid. Psycho vs. idiot? Idiot wins, but just barely, so when confronted by insanity, play dumb and hope for the best.

...but I digress. Look! Bikini babes selling... bikinis! Well, percentages of bikinis anyway. (Uhm, you're not at work, are you?) Seeing that site made me realize that there's a thin line between being sexy and making the whole world your gynecologist. That stuff would make nudists blush! "Jeez, leave something to the imagination, will ya?"

That's enough rambling for today, I guess.
Meandering tangents
Posted by Social Neanderthal on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 11:33am.
OK, let me get this straight....the topic went from girls in bikini's [ALWAYS a favorite of mine] to bad movies, religion, and expensive booze?

Who says Americans have a short attention span?

Anyway, I'm expecting the physics guru's to use the string theory to inadvertenly prove God does exist, so that should be interesting.

Right now I'll just use the string bikini and bacardi theory to prove my God is indeed a good God. [and yes, The Real Cancun really sucked...way too much reality]
Posted by umrguy on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 12:42pm.
Well, see, Joe kinda tossed a grenade (thanks to somebody on here in years past, maybe Mike? or Paul? for providing the original link to this site) into the fray, but it was only a little one. Looks like most people (so far) have taken the safer course and kept far enough back from it :D

-There's someone in my head, but it's not me.-
I lied
Posted by umrguy on Sat, 01/10/2004 - 1:08pm.
It's a bigger grenade than I thought, it's just taken a while to stir things up.

-There's someone in my head, but it's not me.-
Posted by Joe Napalm on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 9:33am.

I'm not really back...I'm just in a lull. Well, okay...I'm procrastinating and there happens to be a laptop with a wireless card handy.

It seemed the only reasonable course of action to come in and see if I couldn't stir up a hornet's nest or two. Everyone's so docile when I'm not around.

Well, okay...semi-docile. Mostly housebroken.

And I really was thinking about my friend's logical conundrum. I figured I could get it out of my system here, when most people have already figured out that burning me at the stake is rather futile....cause, you know...the Efreet thing. Elsewhere it can be rather frustrating for the angry mob, what with me singing campfire songs.

And vanilla malts. I dunno...I agree that a nice single malt beverage, such as, say, a 25 year-old Macallan, is pretty nice...but a vanilla malt is still very nice.

Anyway. Still procrastinating.

How're yallall?

Efreeti Sophist
Damn - lost a lot of text try
Posted by DaveBanon on Sat, 01/08/2005 - 10:58pm.
Damn - lost a lot of text trying to reply to this thread, but here goes again (will save in Notepad so I don't lose it again):

I used to drink Scotch (blended) a couple of decades ago, just because it was the "in thing". However, I went to Scotland (Edinburgh) for a day a couple of years ago and tasted some single-malt Scotch whiskys.

Then I went back to Scotland to spend about a month in the Western highlands in May/June of '04 and visited some distilleries (Oban, Talisker, Dalwhinnie), and found that I not only liked single-malt Scotch, but also could differentiate among the regions and their applications.

For example, the really strong highland/western island Scotches, such as Laphroaig, have a lot of peat and salt (from the sea during the 10+year aging). I like Laphroaig for an after-dinner drink, but can't go as far as Laguvullin, which I think tastes like used ash-trays. However, I visited and tasted the Talisker distillery on the island of Skye, which produces a single-malt that has been described as a 'volcano", with a smooth initial taste with a following explosion on the tongue. I like Talisker, but not for an aperitif - Dalwhinnie or GlenLiviet are much more suited for 'before dinner".

I visited Oban (my first distillery tour), and found its whisky to be OK, but not as distinguished as others such as GlenLivet, Dalwhinnie, Talisker, or even Laphroaig.

I am NOT an expert on single-malt Scotch, but I've been there (a little) and can answer some questions if you like.
25 year-old Macallan
Posted by hypoxic on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 10:10am.
is just nice? Ok... I guess if you feel that stuff is just nice how about springing for a bottle for me? :)

That stuff is liquid gold, I just can't justify spending $200+ for a bottle of booze.
I just can't justify spendin
Posted by tim on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 10:46am.
I just can't justify spending $200+ for a bottle of booze.
That's because you never have spent 200+ dollars for a bottle of booze. : D
--" The torture never stops"--
Posted by hypoxic on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 11:02am.
I guess the thing is that I can get other Scotches that are almost as good for $50 or so. Paying $289.99 at Bevmo and only coming back with one thing is a luxary that is very hard to explain to the SO. Though I may get a bottle anyhow.

BTW have you actually bought a bottle of this stuff? I only had it at a Macallan tasting.
Posted by Joe Napalm on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 4:43pm.
BTW have you actually bought a bottle of this stuff? I only had it at a Macallan tasting.

No, but Mycroft bought us some when my nephew was born.

It's VERR nice.

Efreeti Sophist
I agree
Posted by tim on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 11:13am.
about the 50 or 60 dollar stuff.
I like Bowmore as well as any of the higher priced ones....
That being said..
Johnny Walker Blue...165 dollars a bottle...at Costco.
: D
I'd say it was pretty close to being worth it.
Highland Park...let's just say upwards of 100...and I didn't care for it.
If you like it...it's worth it
and yeah...that's hard to explain to anyone..let alone the SO
--" The torture never stops"--
Johnny Walker...
Posted by hypoxic on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 11:49am.
ehh never really went for the blends much. I'm not a real fan of peat. And yes blue is pretty smooth and mild but if I'm spending that much I'm getting something less smoky. And I too am a fan of the Costco stuff. Great prices on booze. And for general everyday stuff I like Glen Livet. Like I said I like the smooth mellow highland stuff.

BTW have you tried Johnny Walker Green? That's not to bad.

And isn't a good scotch the next best thing to heaven? and if you believe the rap songs, high priced booze can get you bikini clad chicks.

Ties it into a neat bundle for 'thal to take back home with him.
The more
Posted by tim on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 12:16pm.
peat the better for me
: )
I like it to smell like an autumn fire.
Anything from Islay
And Laphroig is some pretty tasty stuff too.
I had a 21 year old Bowmore at Christmas....I walked around the party saying "if only everything 21 went down this easy"...
Women don't find that amusing apparently
~shrug~ never had the green Johnny......
might be worth a try
--" The torture never stops"--
Posted by hypoxic on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 3:09pm.
I have a friend that insists on drinking stuff like that. I bought him a bottle of Ardberg, which I find unpalatable, but he loves it. He claims that he wants to taste the dirt I tell him that if I wanted to drink smoke and dirt I go chew on some cigar butts. Oh well I guess to each his own.

BTW do you like Oban? Its a peaty highland and I thought that it was a nice balance that I could drink every once in a while.

Here's to all the scotch drinkers! Have a neat one on me.
Posted by Matt on Fri, 01/09/2004 - 1:21am.
Just had a very fine glass of Oban 14 tonight. And not my first. I find it infinitely more drinkable than, say, Lahprohaig (not to step on your toes, tim: just a difference of opinion). Full of flavor, but no bite to it. And not nearly as pedestrian as, say, Glenfiddich or Glenlivet. That whole Speyside region just seems a little too smooth and easygoing for me. Lacks some kind of personality I find in other scotches, Macallan being one. Probably the best 12 I've had.
Ouch Matt
Posted by hypoxic on Fri, 01/09/2004 - 9:07am.
you wound me with the Speyside shot! :)

But it seems like we do have a difference in tastes. I happen to like the "pedastrian" scotches. Speysides are smooth and IMHO very drinkable and complex in their own right. Just because I don't have to gnaw my way out of a peat bog doesn't mean that the scotch doesn't have layers. I think you guys are mistaking difficulty of tasting to nuances and layers :)

BTW do you guys drink neat, with water, or on the rocks? And what are the merits of them all? I've always taken mine neat, unless the scotch is cheap then on the rocks. Never tried it with water but have read a few recommendations that it is ok if the water is spring water.
Posted by Joe Napalm on Sun, 01/18/2004 - 8:31pm.
I drink mine neat, thanks.

Warmth brings out the flavor, so if it tastes so bad that I have to put ice in to kill the flavor, why the heck would I be drinking it?

I've had some people tell me they put ice or water in the cut the burn, but I actually enjoy that sensation...go figure.

Efreeti Sophist
Posted by Matt on Fri, 01/09/2004 - 11:25am.
I never use ice, but almost always drink them neat. I consider it a sin, because as soon as you cool the liquid, it begins to numb the tongue a little and some of the taste is lost. What I've had to do with Lagavulin is add a few drops of water to every sip. It breaks up the surface oils and, in addition to cutting just the edge off the burning peat bog experience, just smooths everything out quite nicely.

I don't consider Oban very peaty. I guess I could categorize the few scotches I've had in terms of "presence:" how forcefully the taste hits me. The Speysides being on the low end of that scale, Oban and Macallan (and several others I've not tried, I'm sure) being in the middle, and Lagavulin and its compatriots on the high end.
You can have peat
Posted by tim on Fri, 01/09/2004 - 9:57am.
and nuances too.
I can get apples, honey, pears, etc in some of the scotches I drink as well as the burnt rubber heaven of a bog fire.
An old Scotsman told me you should Always add a wee bit of water to a good scotch because it's SO concentrated that the water helps bring out the underlying qualities and hidden flavors.
that being said...I usually drink mine with 1 ice cube...but I also pour like 3 fingers of it at a time.
: D
--" The torture never stops"--
I guess I'll try
Posted by hypoxic on Fri, 01/09/2004 - 10:38am.
an ice cube with my scotch. When I went to the Macallan tasting they actually just everything neat. And it just tasted so damn good that I never screwed with the recipe.
Posted by tim on Fri, 01/09/2004 - 4:39am.
Just reminds me of Three Stooges scotch...An Oban for Omay.
" And now the gentlemen will do their native dance for us"
" I aint taking my clothes off for nobody" I liked Oban ..but not as much as Bowmore or even Lagavulin ( which I think You recommended to me Matt)
And just think...the first scotch I ever had was Black & White at 15 dollars a bottle.
--" The torture never stops"--
Posted by Joe Napalm on Wed, 01/07/2004 - 8:20pm.
So, yeah...you see, my friend's a die-hard Atheist - not that there's anything wrong with that - but it just gets me into full-blown Rant Mode, which takes him rather aback as he knows I'm a Militant Agnostic, and misinterprets that to mean that I'm going to back him up with the whole "I understand Life's Great Mysteries!" act.

I mean, I have big problems with people who just take things on faith (and bigger problems on systems that are designed to convince you that this is perfectly okay and as long as you do what you'll be told you'll be rewarded...eventually...like after you die. It's bad enough that people are willfully ignorant, we don't need them to be taught willful gullability), but it always seems that Atheist's fail to realize that this includes them, too.

In any case, my friend the rabid atheist is therefore taken aback when I pull out the Sophist Kung Fu on him when he gets all hubris-like.

Of course, I'm not saying there IS a God. I'm a Militant Agnostic, after all. ("I don't know...and neither do you!") It just seems awfully arrogant to insist that there isn't. What does one base such an observation on? Personal experience? I haven't seen any gods around, so there must not be any? I don't grok a master plan, so therefore it cannot exit?

It's rather like a flea insisting that there's no Dog because he's never seen one.

Religion is an aspect of culture - an element found in all cultures. All societies have them - there's literally thousands of gods that have been worshipped by humanity. And yet my friend - the rabid atheist - is only familiar with one tradition associated with one of those gods, and since he disagrees with the lowest-common-demoniator iconistic representation of that concept, he proclaims the very concept of a God to be invalid.

What do they teach kids in school, these days, anyway? I was always taught that we went to school as much to learn to think as to learn facts. It's a pretty basic tenant of science (well, from a Positivist point of view, anyway) that you can't disprove the existance of anything. For example, people always insist that Efreet don't exist, yet here I am...which of course leads to the "You're not an Efreeti!" accusation, answered by the "Prove it!" reparte. Even if I weren't, which I am, you couldn't therefore conclude that such a thing doesn't exist. It's specious logic - you know...like ParU likes to use. *Grin* There is, by nature, no evidence or proof of non-existance.

Therefore, to be true Atheist requires...ironically...an act of faith.

I've also been thinking that I'm rather fond of vanilla malts.

Efreeti Sophist
Acts of faith
Posted by daen on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 9:55am.
Being a sapient being requires an act of faith.

There's very little in life that doesn't require faith - in order to live, you have to believe that what has held true in the past will hold true in the future (ingesting certain substances will be helpful, ingesting other substances will be harmful, gravity pulls down, fire burns (or doesn't, in Joe's case), water is wet); you have to believe that you recall correctly; you have to believe that you are perceiving your experiences correctly (if it feels wet, it is wet).
Of course, you can go through phases where you doubt various aspects of this - but to doubt all of it all the time would make it impossible to function as a human being. You would have no time for life as such if you constantly had to discern (for example) if the air in your backyard was safe to breathe, if you could walk into your house without floating up and banging into the ceiling, if the chair would continue to hold you up, if the second bite of the sandwich would be as edible as the first.

I myself find it amusing how much faith people put in science. Apply the tenet of "you can't disprove the existence of anything" to the scientific method: just because the results have been reproducible doesn't mean that they always will be.

(Yes, I realise I'm in over my head, arguing belief systems with the big boys. Oh well.)
Posted by ParU on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 5:30pm.
Naw, you're not over your head daen. Your opinion is as valid as mine or Joe's.
But 'science' can only 'prove' (and I just know peegee who does proofs for a living will disprove me) the 'exact' state of 'one particle in a box' from first principles. Two particles is too hard (or thus my Graduate Quantum Mechanics at Berkeley taught me). Everything else is an approximation.
Butttttt the phenominological proofs (this happens every time we've ever observed it) are still valid. If you lift the apple and let go, it'll drop. And why was explained by Sir Isaac. Other things are often statistics, especially when it comes to biological things (always the hardest to predict and humans being the most complex are also the 'most hard'). But I can predict that if you smoke tobacco, you've got a good chance of dying of heart disease or cancer. But not a 100% chance. But of course there's a 99.99999% chance that Joe'll argue with me on this. *g*
Posted by daen on Fri, 01/09/2004 - 6:12am.
It's not validity or lack thereof that concerns me - I just don't think I have the stamina to keep up with the sophists among us.

As it was, I didn't even get to the primary point I wanted to make. I suppose I'll have to do that later - I'm technically supposed to be working now.
Posted by Joe Napalm on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 9:03pm.
That, ParU, is why modern science uses the term "well-established" instead of "fact" or "proven". The Positivists (like me) would maintain that God (or Nature, if you prefer..."God" is a handy term for The System, I've found) does play dice...all the time. The House always wins in the long run, of course...but in each iteration there is that random chance.

For instance, I think we're actually in agreement on this.

And I'm sure your fancy shmancy degree from your oft dropped Alma Mater taught you that they can only determine the position or the velocity of the particle with any accuracy...not both.

And daen's opinion is probably more valid than both of our's put together. A) She's a librarian, and you don't wanna argue with onna them, and B) she's a woman, so resistance is almost certainly futile - if nothing else, any argument we might make could be annulled by the application of the Zero Logic Factor, a luxury not allowed to the less fair of the species.


No no...don't get up...I'll let myself out.


City of Brass Epatraite
Posted by ParU on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 10:17pm.
Youse probably right. But if I drop my alma mater's name too often, it's excusable, cause IP started there, so there!
You go start up a web site from Slippery Rock or wherever your alma mater is and you too can 'name drop' that Univ. all you'd like.
Harrrummmphhh (*g*)
Posted by Joe Napalm on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 4:40pm.
I myself find it amusing how much faith people put in science. Apply the tenet of "you can't disprove the existence of anything" to the scientific method: just because the results have been reproducible doesn't mean that they always will be.

Very good, daen...therein lies the fundamentals of the Positivist approach to things. There are no certainties, only theories that haven't been disproven, yet, and behave well under testing.

Efreeti Sophist
Actually, I don't find I have
Posted by Saint on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 12:14pm.
Actually, I don't find I have to have faith just to live.

Yes, you have to believe that the basic nature of your surroundings won't change abruptly and without cause, but that isn't exactly faith. I mean, it's based on very observable phenomenon--raspberries have always been edible and those skinny black peppers you find in Oriental cuisine have always been inedible, etc--whereas, gods (particularly gods in anthropomorphic form) seem to be mostly pulled out of humanity's metaphoric ass.

See, if the world didn't work, at least basically, like we have observed it to, then we wouldn't be here to observe it. Someone or something else might be here to observe it, and be stunned at how amazing it is that conditions are exactly right for them, but we humans wouldn't be.

I've never seen any observable phenomenon that makes it more likely than not that a god exists. So to believe in that would be a rather large leap for me. Now, I'm not saying there absolutely isn't a god; I'm just saying that there's no way to know, and nothing solid I could base a decision off.

Just because it fits the topic: Does anyone remember the religion poll that showed that most Americans believe in God, but know nothing about their own religions? Only half of one percent of people polled believed they were going to hell, even though I think around 70% of people believe there is a hell. People who identified as Christian fundamentalists also professed to believe in reincarnation. That sort of thing. It was interesting, and if anyone knows where I can find a copy of it online, I'd be obliged if you'd tell me.
Specious logic???
Posted by ParU on Wed, 01/07/2004 - 10:49pm.

Yon pyro guy hadst best beware of the flammability of his own domicle before he casts aspersions on his elders...

(And glad Joe's back anyway!).
Posted by Joe Napalm on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 8:57am.
Beware the flammability of my own domicile?

Perhaps you haven't noticed, but I'm made of fire.

Posted by paul on Wed, 01/07/2004 - 11:32pm.
"Yeah? Well, we'll see if those trees you're always huggin' protect you when Gordon Lightfoot comes creeping 'round your back door!"

(New Strong Bad Email is up.)
Actually, Joe...
Posted by paul on Wed, 01/07/2004 - 10:43pm.
...being an Atheist is an act of faith- blindly believing that there is no god. Being an agnostic is far more rational, really- after all, "I don't know" is a perfectly valid answer, and basically says that you're not going to firmly believe one way or the other because it can't be proven to your satisfaction.

Me, I'm not an atheist or an agnostic because I've concluded from looking at the universe around me that there is simply no way that it all came to be by pure chance- or rather, that the odds of the universe being as complex as it is and having it all work for billyuns and billyuns of years (thanks, Carl) are vanishingly small. Therefore, there has to be some guiding intelligence behind it all. Call it God, Allah, Vishnu/Brahma/Shiva, the Goddess and God, Yaweh, or whatever you like- I'm convinced that it's there, because it all seems too improbable otherwise.

And I'm a pagan because I can't make the leap of faith to believe that an ancient book holds the real keys to knowing the Divine. I prefer to get to know God better by studying His work- in other words, the world and its inhabitants. It's the only thing that everyone can point to and agree that it was made by Him.

And malt is much better when made into whiskey. In my opinion, of course.
Posted by Joe Napalm on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 9:05am.
Actually, Joe...being an Atheist is an act of faith- blindly believing that there is no god.

You know, I love that there are some things in this Universe that will never change. I hate that one of them is that people repeat back to me what I just said as if it weren't what I just said. *Grin*

And not to pick nits, but the odds of the Universe functioning as it is after all this time are exactly 1 in 1 - cause it's how The System works. If it worked differently, that's what we'd observe. It's the Anthropic Principle at work. It works the way we observe because what we observe works that way.

Would red wood work work better than white wood work would work?

Anyway, my whole point is that believing that there is or is not is based on faith, alone - whereas being Agnostic isn't. Nor is it wishy washy...well, it CAN be, but it can also be a realization that you're asking the wrong question. I mean, how can you answer a question you don't understand? You'll get an answer like "42" and it's all downhill from there.

City of Brass Expatriate
I can't believe I'm going to say this...
Posted by Anna on Thu, 01/08/2004 - 7:15pm.
...but Joe, I agree with you. Atheism is also a belief. I've pointed this out to Atheists occasionally, and for some reason they never seem to appreciate it!
I did a philosophy subject last semester at uni, and one of the things that we did look at was the concept of God. There was a discussion group run in conjuction with the course, and we had some pretty heated discsussions at times - particularly with the interesting mix of personalities and faiths that we had there. I particularly challenged the staff member in charge of the group, because I'm a Catholic and yet also a thinking, logical individual as well!
And - I see this often offline as well as on - to the argument about religion being a whole bunch of placebos, and good for nothing other then a crutch:
I know that alot of people first turn to God in a moment of crisis. But when you think about it, that's kinda a natural human response. Just like we think about our own mortality most poignently when a family member of friends has just pasted away. When we're going through a tough time, particularly when surrounded by people who aren't, we wonder "why me?" We as the big questions about life, and we often turn to religion in the process.
But that's not the same as saying that that's the only time these answers are 'right', or that religion is only worthwile then in those moments.
Can you tell I like this topic at all? lol
Re: I can't believe I'm going to say this...
Posted by rmbolle on Sat, 01/10/2004 - 8:12pm.
Atheism is not a belief it is a lack of belief. Aren't you confusing atheism with humanism? Humanism in my view is belief in humans--- that humans are intrinsically good, and that deep in their thoughts humans are Gods.

Religion is a different belief: the powers of God are incarnated and concentrated mainly in superbeings, not distributed over humans.
What s/he said.
Posted by Mike on Mon, 01/12/2004 - 1:01pm.
Atheism is a belief like darkness is a form of light, or like "window glass" is a potential crayon color: it isn't. Atheism is nothing more than Occom(Ockham? Occam? whatever)'s Razor as applied to the universe: is there anything in the world which cannot be explained by natural processes? Is there anything in the world around us that would need a God there to jumpstart it? The atheist answer is a clear "no," and there's your simplest explanation. Why clutter reality with superfluous deities? Atheism is a lack of faith in which only testable, provable theories are given credence.

Which leads to the next point: The whole "can't disprove the existence of anything" argument is pretty much a blind alley-- unless you're willing to cop to the existence of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, elves, goblins, Smurfs, and invisible pink unicorns, you're committing the same kind of mental error you accused your atheist friend of, aren't you? Pretty much everyone over the age of five has internalized the whole "extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof" filter to some degree; your friend is just taking it to its natural extreme.

Of course, that's the real problem: some atheists become insufferably smug and dogmatic about the whole thing, which just goes to show that even without religion people find things to argue, fight, and potentially kill over... but now I'm edging towards ranting and personal opinion and condemnation of the entire human race, and who needs that on a Monday? ;^)

Here, play the game if you like. I'm done until someone produces some bikini pictures to lure me back in.
Posted by Apple on Mon, 01/12/2004 - 8:23pm.
"unless you're willing to cop to the existence of Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, elves, goblins, Smurfs, and invisible pink unicorns..."
They're not real????
Posted by paul on Mon, 01/12/2004 - 7:37pm.
"Atheism is a lack of faith in which only testable, provable theories are given credence."

And therein lies another whole host of problems. Back in the 1600s or so it was considered proveable that mice could be "created" by leaving a mixture of straw and food in a wooden box in a barn for a few nights. It was able to be proven- after all, if you do that you will most likely find mice in there, right? All it took was the right recipe to make them. It never occurred to most of the people doing this that mice reproduced by sexual means, they thought that the mice were spontaneously created. And why would they question it? It was a repeatable experiment, after all. Doesn't that make it scientifically sound?

The point is that in reality there are no absolutes. Scientific laws are broken and re-formulated all the time when an exception suddenly appears. So to say that atheism is a lack of faith is incorrect- it's faith in the ability of man to be able to explain away everything as the mechanistic results of the laws of what we see in the universe. And there have been plenty of things that have been well documented that defy such explanations quite handily- such as the ghostly light that appears on certain evenings along a set of railroad tracks in West Point VA. Last I knew the Smithsonian had assigned some scientists to study it and find out its source, but without success so far.

Being atheistic is saying that you've taken a definite stance on the matter, and that God doesn't exist. But how can you ever really know until you die? So it is indeed faith.

Really, the most rational choice is being agnostic, which is to admit that you just don't know. Me, I'm not that rational- I still prefer to believe in the Divine.

Oh, and by the way- I'm not sure what's more frightening, that someone put all that effort into creating the IPU webpage or that you knew that it existed. *gryn*
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