The big question...continued

This is a continuation of the topic The big question....

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The big question...continued

Sep 11, 2012, 2:26pm

I got tired of waiting for 600+ messages to load.

Sep 12, 2012, 4:28pm

Nicely done, sir. It was a wee bit out of control.

Sep 12, 2012, 4:40pm

In fact, I have updated the group's page to direct newcomers to this thread, so uh, welcome newcomers!

Sep 16, 2012, 11:48am

I forget what the big question is (was?). I'm not waiting for 600+ posts to load to read it again. Newcombers, if directed here, need to know too.

Sep 16, 2012, 12:54pm

I think it was "what is six times nine?"

Sep 16, 2012, 1:57pm

I thought it was, "what is the answer to life the universe and everything?"
That is, if it's not 42 of course.

Sep 16, 2012, 2:13pm

The big question is "What, if any, religion(s) do you practice, follow, or otherwise associate yourself with?"

And my answer is that Christianity is the religion I'm not following. I'm a bit torn between not being Catholic and not being Lutheran; the Lutheran influence here in Finland is pretty strong but I grew up in a Catholic context.

I'm leaning toward not following Islam too but I haven't decided yet.

Sep 16, 2012, 3:31pm

609 (or whatever number it was on the page I have just been peremptorily moved from!)

It's a bit of a grey area as to when exactly Constantine embraced Christianity, and to what extent. Certainly, a very sound theory is that he was first and foremost a Sol Invictus follower (Sun worshipper) but as X'tianity was also monotheistic, he was by nature sympathetic to it.

I believe the Trinity doesn't go a whole lot further back than Constantine? and indeed there were bishops active in his day, who didn't hold with a divine Christ at all.

Edited: Sep 16, 2012, 3:39pm

Hi all. I am a secular humanist, I am also a retired scientist who happens to pratice random acts of kindness. There ain't no god and I cannot believe in something that I cannot see, measure, etc. By the way an atheist can be spititual because spirit comes from the same root as to breath (oddly so does to think). Therefore if I think and breath I am spititual. As most religious people do not think; they are not spititual(?).

Sep 16, 2012, 4:21pm


"I cannot believe in something that I cannot see, measure, etc."

Oh dear. I'm sorry you cannot believe in justice, morality, the Higgs Boson, love, beauty, philosophy - that must be a very strange world indeed. (I'm not arguing for God, by the way, just for abstracts).

Sep 16, 2012, 4:53pm

>9 BobVTReader: "spirit comes from the same root as to breath

Eh? That doesn't sound plausible to me, but then I have never quite understood what "spiritual" means. I don't think I have ever experienced it.

Sep 16, 2012, 5:22pm



Sep 16, 2012, 5:32pm

But "breath" doesn't come from the same root as "spirit", even if "spirit" comes from words that mean breath. Anyway, I'm not a fan of etymological essentialism. The history of a word can give us some insight into its meaning but the history doesn't define it.

Sep 16, 2012, 5:51pm


Your claim that "most religious people do not think" seems odd to me. Surely almost everyone thinks in the sense of forming opinions, making decisions, making plans, imagining desired outcomes, and generally being conscious. So you must mean a very specific meaning of "think". But what? Perhaps a spiritual one -- thinking about the meaning of one's life, one's place in the universe, the relationship between the world of the mind and the external world, the boundaries of ethical action, the nature of responsibility, that sort of thing?

I know it's a cliché that most people don't do this kind of thinking, but, you know, everyone I know does do it. In my experience the only ones who don't are the ones I see on TV. And maybe those people are too busy being on TV to do it while we're watching.

In any case, why would you single out religious people as unthinking? They are the majority, so any observation about people in general will apply to religious people, but that logic doesn't go very far.

Edited: Sep 16, 2012, 5:53pm

This message has been deleted by its author.

Sep 17, 2012, 6:07am

So now we've got on to the etymology of the word 'spirit' maybe it's a good point to clarify by what is meant by the ubiquitous nonsense-term "I'm not religious but I am a very spiritual person". If you, or someone you know, are/is one of those, can you help the rest of us to understand what exactly is meant by it?

Sep 17, 2012, 6:43am

I've never been very spiritual but I described myself as spiritual when I was still open to the idea of souls, reincarnation and divine guidance. I wasn't religious because I followed no religion, so I needed another word.

Sep 17, 2012, 7:14am

The idea of souls, reincarnation and divine guidance are present in most religions. Can you not find a religion that satisfies you?

Sep 17, 2012, 8:37am


Leaving aside your loaded, subjective, and opinionated phrase "nonsense-term", I'm more than happy to help you understand, if understanding is what you are REALLY after.

All religions are an expression of something that lies at the heart of the human response to the universe itself, when we - as sophisticated, self-aware and complex animals - ask currently unanswerable questions such as "How did the universe arise?" "Is there any meaning to life and the universe?" Most religions attempt to give answers, but are usually in the context of a particular culture or a spectrum of understanding of the world that varies from the primitive and superstitious to our current technological sophistication.

Now, it doesn't require membership of a religion to have these unanswerable philosophical questions about the universe, our place in it, and any meaning (or not) attached to it. I'm not a materialist, but nor am I tempted to join a community of people worshipping some supernatural being I don't believe in. Which leaves me having to label that part of me that wants an answer to the world and any meaning attached to it, and my place in it.

The word "spiritual" can apply to this. I find some depth and stillness (and hopefully peace) in meditation, which is a technique that can be practised by members of a religion, or members of none. Meditation is spiritual. I also find a personal response to writings of certain kinds of people: Nelson Mandela, the Dalai Lama, Meister Eckhart, to name 3 out of very many. That response is a spiritual one, and for me it lies outside of religion. I can find a sense of wonder at a beautiful sunset, a piece of great music or art, simple friendship, or the fact of the universe itself. That sense of wonder I call spiritual, and it has nothing to do with religion.

This has been a personal exploration of my own spirituality. Someone else might give a different, though equally personal response of what the word means to them. And that's the key - outside religion, one is free to explore what spirituality means for themselves, unencumbered by restricting rules; one doesn't have the support of a community, which some would find difficult, but which others find liberating. However, whatever one finds will have meaning that is totally subjective, a "rule for one" if you like, and no two people will have the same experience of it.

I hope your question was genuine, despite the flippant dismissal.

Sep 17, 2012, 3:02pm


Should I have picked a religion to satisfy your need to categorize me? :)

Sep 18, 2012, 6:50am

#19 Your reply is a thoughtful and interesting one. To me, the word 'spiritual' has an association with the 'spirit' (though I'm still looking for a sensible definition of that!) and the emotions - perhaps best described (again, only my view) as the opposite to materialism. Having been described by more than one long-term aquaintance as 'the least materialistic person' they know, I'm just not sure that that makes me 'spiritual' instead. It has so often been my experience (I do not include your reply in this) that the term is used either by those people who want the comforts of religion without having to expend any effort on the responsibilities that go with it and they often prefer a mix and match type of 'religion' that has more to do with excusing their own behaviour than anything else, or the kind of people who prefer a shallow approach to these things and choose to believe whatever is sufficiently wishy-washy to satisfy their romantic notions of life, usually the more unlikely the better - so these are often the people who believe in ghosts, homeopathy, moon-worship, astrology etc. - pretty much whatever comes along that sounds cute but for which there is, at best, no evidence, and frequently which have been proved to be absolute nonsense. Those who are more inclined to give the matter serious thought seem to be people who have found something to dislike (or which is inconvenient to them) about every religion they have so far investigated and are basically trying to invent their own, preferably one without rules.

I'm not saying that this applies to anyone here - I sincerely hope it doesn't - but 'spirituality' is a term (in my opinion, a 'nonsense-term') that has no real meaning and one that puts many of us immediately in mind of Tim Minchin's 'Storm' (posted here many times but in case there's anyone in the world who still hasn't heard it, here's the link again -

Sep 18, 2012, 7:17am

I understand where you're coming from. I share your distaste of crystal-using moon-worshippers and their ilk. But one thing in their favour - they rarely do harm to others, except in the cases where people are talked out of consulting their doctor for cancer, and follow some quack remedy instead.

But don't dismiss 'spirituality' simply on that basis. The term is far older than New Age 'whatnotery'. I'd point you in the direction of Socrates as he is represented in the Plato Dialogues, as a useful starting point. And the spirituality of the indigenous races of Australia and North America is so very different from conventional religion. Meditation - if practised properly - is a wonderful tool for quieting the mind and becoming a more useful and efficient person (as the Buddhists know, though it's not necessary to be a Buddhist to meditate).

I will follow up your link when I have more time. Thanks.

Sep 18, 2012, 7:34am

#22 one thing in their favour - they rarely do harm to others . . . - they do bore the crap out of the rest of us though;-)

. . . except in the cases where people are talked out of consulting their doctor for cancer, and follow some quack remedy instead.
To be honest, that's a pretty big exception and a bit like saying boa constrictors rarley harm others except when they kill them. It's the insidious spread of these ideas and beliefs that are the danger and they do seem to be spreading pretty damn fast.

I'd certainly agree with you about the benefits of meditation as a tool for relaxation though I'm not convinced it needs to stem from whether or not a person is spiritual. And I'm 100% with you on Socrates.

Sep 20, 2012, 9:31am


. . . except in the cases where people are talked out of consulting their doctor for cancer, and follow some quack remedy instead.

To be honest, that's a pretty big exception and a bit like saying boa constrictors rarley harm others except when they kill them.

Yes, absolutely it is. But what I was trying to suggest is that such idiots are a very small minority of those who profess or practice some sort of "New Age" thing or other. And let's be clear - snake oil salesmen and charlatans and quacks go back a long way. As for modern health stuff - if the least they do is to bring a more 'holistic' approach to traditional medicine, then that's a good thing.

Sep 21, 2012, 8:13pm

Hello all, noob to the group here. Quite a few old time friends here.

Sep 27, 2012, 4:00pm

I noted the "discussion" way back in mid September, 2010 in the original topic. I smiled at Jesse_weidinmyer's posts 299 through 302 at 11 pm. I can just picture in my mind someone reading the preceding posts and saying to themselves, "Oh, for God's sake" (Whoops!).

Sep 27, 2012, 5:25pm

Christ, what the fuck did I do now?

Sep 27, 2012, 5:27pm

After checking, I'd like to say that that's not even close to my best work.

Sep 27, 2012, 5:43pm

Clearly, a case of You're never alone when you're schizophrenic. {:>)

Sep 27, 2012, 5:59pm

Of course I am.

No, I'm not.


Sep 28, 2012, 6:23pm

I used to be a very spirituous person until my liver lost the will to.

Sep 28, 2012, 9:18pm

"...For I Know that My Liver Redeemeth..."

Edited: Oct 1, 2012, 7:59pm

I'm a newcomer and, after reading the preceding posts, I think I'll just wade in gently and answer the original question.

I was raised by atheist parents who had religious parents, and so they decided to have my sister and I baptized, and send us to Lutheran (protestant) Sunday School just to keep peace in the family. As a result, I discovered the flaws in both religious philosophy and atheist philosophy very quickly. I consider myself a lifelong student of philosophy (both secular and religious) and an agnostic.

I don't know whether God exists or not, I don't really care whether God exists or not, but I'm terribly interested in the complexity of the human psyche and how we each devise our own personal ethical codes.

Oct 2, 2012, 7:48am


That's almost exactly where I am too! I love philosophy and science, particularly the Big Questions.

Oct 2, 2012, 7:13pm

>34 Tid:
I'm sorry to say that my philosophical mind often gets me into trouble with my fellow agnostics and atheists. Especially the ones who favour science over philosophy and expect every question to have a definitive answer. I favour philosophy over science, and I'm willing to accept that some questions don't have definitive answers.

Oct 2, 2012, 7:30pm

I see the difference as being this:

Philosopher: I'm willing to accept that some questions don't have definitive answers.
The Atheist : I'm willing to accept that some questions don't have definitive answers... yet.

There's no logical reason to assign magic as a answer for currently-unanswerable questions.

Oct 2, 2012, 7:34pm

The agnostic: I claim with utmost certainty that some questions cannot be answered.

Yeah, that's the original definition of agnosticism. It's a word that was coined to describe a specific philosophical position. People seem to be using it differently now.

Oct 2, 2012, 8:47pm

>36 WholeHouseLibrary: WholeHouse quote: "There's no logical reason to assign magic as a answer for currently-unaswerable questions."

Did you mean to imply that philosophers and mystics are the same creature? If you did then it shows that you know little to nothing about philosophy. Religious philosophy is a branch of philosophy, but the majority of philosophy is secular and encompasses every major intellectual revolution in history from the Renaissance to feminism and from the Scientific Revolution to the rise of secularism. In fact modern atheism owes its existence to writings of Voltaire and Sartre: two the Western world's most widely read philosophers.

If you would like to gain a better understanding of philosophy, may I recommend The Voyage of Discovery: A Historical Introduction to Philosophy by William F. Lawhead. It's a commonly used textbook for first-year philosophy majors and gives a wonderful overview of the evolution of thought in the western world.

I think of philosophers as people who aren't afraid to ask the questions no one else has the nerve to ask.

Oct 3, 2012, 12:26am

Heck no! Philosophers speculate. They will take either side of a proposition and what-if it to death. In the end, they accomplish nothing except create mostly unanswerable, and often paradoxical questions. Mystics, on the other hand, are predators. They profit from peoples' gullibility.

Edited: Oct 3, 2012, 9:16am


My opinion disagrees with your opinion (for that's all they are in the end). However, your opinion about both philosophers and mystics do not tally with the English definitions of the terms.

Philosophers don't CREATE "mostly unanswerable, and often paradoxical questions" unless as an outcome of another unanswerable question they began with. Philosophers start with unanswerable questions, which many scientists acknowledge exist, but are outside their remit.

Mystics, on the other hand, have inherited a quite horrible reputation because of the definition being used - quite incorrectly - for things like "magic" and "the supernatural". That's wrong. Mystics are simply those who follow a set of techniques or disciplines to gain access to something they believe exists within themselves . Buddhists, Taoists, anyone who practices meditation, are following a form of mystical experience. There's nothing magic about it, and yet - as with Buddhist techniques - it's empirical and repeatable. However, the results will be subjective, as by definition they cannot be anything else.

Oct 3, 2012, 9:18am

>40 Tid: Thank you, Tid. Very well explained.

Edited: Oct 3, 2012, 9:59am

I actually find it surprising that so many scientifically-minded people have such a dislike for philosophy. Even though philosophy addresses questions of human interaction, business ethics, and personal ethics rather than concrete questions with a single answer, you would think that intelligent, thinking people would understand the need for these questions to be discussed and debated.

After all, every major social, political, and ethical revolution in the Western world can be traced back to the work of a single philosopher who dared to ask questions about a situation that everyone else up to that point had just accepted as inevitable. The whole intellectual development of the Western world, from city-states run by local warlords and serfdom to democracy and social responsibility, can be traced through the work of philosophers throughout history. How can any one claim that working on those problems, and continuing to work on those problems, accomplishes nothing?

"Civilization" isn't an end result. It's an on-going process driven by thought and discussion.

Oct 3, 2012, 10:27am


I agree. And when you consider the contributions made to science by the likes of Aristotle, it's even more surprising. However, I suspect that it is probably mainly atheist materialist scientists who have this aversion to philosophy - in other words, "if it can't be answered, there's no point in asking, so why bother?"

Oct 3, 2012, 2:10pm

The problem with philosophy is that it is very good at asking questions but hopeless at providing answers. Philosophical discussion can be very demanding and great for a mental work-out but I'm always left with the feeling that I'm no further forward than when I started.

Oct 3, 2012, 3:17pm

Thanks for your input, darrow. I was waiting for a break in the mutual-admiration posts; didn't want to interrupt.

My bad; I used the term "mystic" in the same broad sense that it seemed LP meant it in #38. That is... people who 1) promote a belief system based on supernatural entities; and 2) have ulterior motives for doing so. Okay, LP probably didn't have the second one in mind at all, but I'm trying to distinguish a difference between people who sincerely believe in the unsubstantiable, and those who may or may never have, but promote said belief for power and/or personal gain.

So, of course, the rebuttal then focuses on a specific subset that marginally qualifies. Bravo! I happen to be someone who meditates. There's nothing mystical about it. The techniques are varieties of disciplines designed to exert control over the subconscious. The oxymoron of it is that you have to allow the subconscious do the work.

I completely agree with your ending on #42.

Oct 3, 2012, 3:32pm

44, 45

I quite agree, darrow! Philosophy asks the questions that no-one else can answer, which is why there are so few answers. I wouldn't say that a 'great mental work-out', especially considering such deep questions, leaves you 'no further forward'. Isn't it wonderful enough for its own sake?

WHL - I wonder why you refuse the term mysticism for meditation? St Teresa of Avila is regarded as one of the great Christian mystics, she who defined the seven levels of prayer, an exercise that seems to me describes meditation as well as anything. The techniques themselves are not mystical, I agree, but meditation can take you so deep, so still, that the senses are disconnected and one is left with a sense of deep peace. That's what I call a mystical experience. And F C Happold's Mysticism: A Study and An Anthology deals with nothing else than these. That's the real definition of the word, I suggest.

Edited: Oct 3, 2012, 5:01pm

44, 45:

Let me ask you one simple question: what is it that we are doing right now?
The question we're addressing is "Does philosophy accomplish anything?" You post your views, I agree with certain parts of your post and disagree with others, and compose and post a rebuttal. You disagree with something I said and post a rebuttal. And so on and so on.

Welcome to philosophy in action.

By participating in forums like this one, you are directly engaging in the act of building and understanding your own personal philosophy. Will we ever agree? Probably not. But we both walk away with a better understanding of our own innate beliefs: the things we feel instinctually to be true but can't always put into words until we find them challenged by others.

We are actively pursuing philosophy every time we engage in social, ethical, or political discussion, and every time we disagree with someone on how a problem in day-to-day life should be handled. We keep asking the same unanswerable questions because they are the questions that are fundamental to all of human experience, and each generation and each individual must discover their own answers.

To quote from The Voyage of Discovery: "We can work at doing philosophy well, or we can do philosophy in a sloppy, haphazard manner, but we cannot opt out of doing philosophy altogether."

Philosophy isn't supposed to provide answers. It is supposed to provide you with a large selection of possible answers and then allow you to choose the one that best fits your own identity. If you want someone to tell you what to believe, I suggest you go to church.

Oct 3, 2012, 5:09pm

#47: "Does philosophy accomplish anything?" ... Welcome to philosophy in action.

Except that's an empirically answerable question that can be answered by historians and psychologists.

I suppose part of my aversion to philosophy comes from when I was reading William James and he treated Zeno's paradoxes as open questions, despite the fact--as he knew--their resolution is a matter of calculus and a solved question for 300 years.

Edited: Oct 3, 2012, 11:14pm

>48 prosfilaes:: Do you take the position that philosophy accomplishes nothing?

Edited to add: So let me get this straight in my mind. You disliked one philosopher's writings, and then decided, based on that, that all philosophy is garbage? Isn't that a bit like a someone condemning all of science just because he doesn't like doing calculus?

Edited: Oct 4, 2012, 4:47am

#49: Do you take the position that philosophy accomplishes nothing?

No, I take the position that many philosophers have a problem with hubris, and don't care about other disciplines. They believe that the important questions can be answered through thought alone, that, for instance, ethics is something that reasonable answers can be given to without consideration of biology, psychology and sociology, and that philosophy is all of the important questions.

A Mathematician's Apology is a good example of the opposite in a field, a mathematician's claim that a large part of his work is irrelevant to the greater world; math for math's sake. Trying to make a difference in the world is perhaps better, but with the humility to understand that your questions and your answers are not profoundly more important then those of the person next to you.

all philosophy is garbage

You do like putting words in people's mouths, don't you?

Oct 4, 2012, 4:34am

Yes, she does.

Oct 4, 2012, 7:31am

<50 Quote: "No, I take the position that many philosophers have a problem with hubris, and don't care about other disciplines."

You don't even see the irony in that statement, do you? Considering that scientists are the ones who scoff at anything that can't be proven by science alone.

And if you're going to take four words our of someone's post and interpret them out of context, of course you're going to think I'm putting words in your mouth. My entire sentence was:

My quote: "So let me get this straight in my mind. You disliked one philosopher's writings, and then decided, based on that, that all philosophy is garbage?"

Meaning that you came to your conclusion based on too small a sample and jumped to an unjust conclusion. Not only is that bad philosophy, it's bad science.

A little bit hypocritical of you to accuse me of "putting words in your mouth" when you're so skilled at taking other people's words out of context and reading your meaning into them.

Oct 4, 2012, 9:46am


"No, I take the position that many philosophers have a problem with hubris, and don't care about other disciplines. "

I'll see your "don't care about other disciplines", and raise you: Aristotle. He is only one of an entire legion of philosophers, but I just wanted to make the point that what you say may be true of some philosophers, but not all. And you did refer to William James who was also a psychologist and respected academic.

"They believe that the important questions can be answered through thought alone"

Is that such a bad thing, if the 'important questions' are the big, scientifically unanswerable ones? The mind is the philosopher's disciplinary arena, after all.

"that, for instance, ethics is something that reasonable answers can be given to without consideration of biology, psychology and sociology, and that philosophy is all of the important questions."

There is a certain insularity that many philosophers share, you're right about that. And ethics is too important to be left to the insular. However, Aristotle, Kant, Bentham, Mill, etc really did try to come up with practical answers to the great ethical questions that human society inevitably faces.

Oct 4, 2012, 11:08am

Aristotle, Aristotle was a beggar for the bottle,
Hobbes was fond of his dram.
And Rene Descarte was a drunken fart,
I drink therefore I am

Oct 4, 2012, 1:46pm

"To be is to do" (Plato)
"To do is to be" (Sartre)
"Do be do be do be" (Sinatra)

Oct 4, 2012, 2:15pm

>54 jjwilson61:

Socrates himself is particularly missed;
A lovely little thinker, but a bugger when he's pissed.

Oct 4, 2012, 2:45pm

>55 Tid:

That's close to the lines in Kurt Vonnegut's Deadeye Dick.

But was KV the originator, or are there earlier references?

Oct 4, 2012, 4:59pm

John Stuart Mill, of his own free will,
on half a pint of shandy was particularly ill.

Oct 4, 2012, 5:27pm


I don't know! I first encountered it as a cartoon in a magazine, ooh, years ago.

There was another cartoon that showed graffiti on a wall. The first said
That was struck through, and under it was

Oct 4, 2012, 8:34pm

The graffiti of college bathroom stalls everywhere...

Oct 4, 2012, 9:07pm

It was Nietzsche's fictional Zarathustra who said that God was dead, just like the graffiti wag's fictional God said that Nietzsche was dead.

Oct 5, 2012, 4:25am

And they said that irony was dead...

Oct 5, 2012, 1:30pm


Who said?!

Oct 5, 2012, 2:29pm

Hardly makes a difference, they're probably all dead as well.

Oct 5, 2012, 3:04pm


Oct 5, 2012, 3:39pm


they're probably all dead as well.

Or sleeping?


RIP van Winkle?

Oct 5, 2012, 3:44pm

No no he's not dead, he's, he's restin'! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian Blue, idn'it, ay? Beautiful plumage!

Oct 5, 2012, 5:17pm


"E's rung down the curtain and joined the choir invisibewl! If you hadn't nailed its feet to the perch it would be pushing up the daisies! E's moved on! E's no more! This... is an EX PARROT!"

Apr 2, 2013, 8:48pm

Hello all. I'm Freda. I run a pagan church here in Richmond, VA. We have a large library, of all sorts of things. Everything from world religions to mythology and fairytales to Civil War history and blues music. Look forward to seeing what y'all are about on here. But honestly, quoting Python is definitely good in my book!!!

Edited: May 12, 2013, 8:41pm

I always though Python was the ultimate in spiritual enlightenment, but ya never know...

May 11, 2013, 4:56pm

I've always found the Pythons to be a font of wisdom, myself... (From the official Pythons YouTube channel!)

Sep 24, 2013, 10:59pm

I'm the stupid atheist.

I'm the one who has to watch what he says lest someone hypocritically feign offense. It's different when I say something, because I'm coming from a totally inappropriate place. I am the unforgiven.

I am the fall guy. People direct anger toward me that was generated by others. The other is then treated as if nothing happened.

I am considered the village idiot until there's a problem the village can't solve. Then, I'm someone else's idea.

Oh, and it's my birthday.

Sep 25, 2013, 2:05am

There are important discoveries to be made in molecular biology and quantum mechanics. If you philosophize a hypothesis, I think that makes you a scientist.

Sep 25, 2013, 6:20am

Happy birthday androidlove!

I guess you're American? You'd be none of the things you mentioned if you were here in Britain, where atheism (or agnosticism) is the norm.

Edited: Sep 25, 2013, 11:59am

Yes, I'm in America. Thanks for the invite. Of course, I've often thought of moving to another country.

The people I work with are the biggest annoyance. However, I've built a persona that allows me to interact with the public. I take them slightly out of their comfort zone and allow them to tilt their heads in thought. I then make them laugh and offer advice. We nod, smile, and exchange goodbyes. This is the routine. If I become tired of playing the jester, people ask me what’s wrong. They want to know where “I” went. They appear depressed and lifeless. I start to think I'm responsible for their happiness.

Sep 28, 2013, 7:41pm

Happy belated birthday, Adroid, and may the FSM bless you!

Edited: Sep 29, 2013, 12:16am

I have been accused of quoting Dawkins in another thread. I have never read Dawkins. I always felt I didn’t need other atheists to tell me what I think about atheism. I did eventually buy a few books at once on atheism out of curiosity. I didn’t read them. I carried them around with me. The last place they were was on the floor of my current place. There was a small flood which destroyed them all but Scientists Confront Creationism. I’ve yet to read that one as well. My conclusions about atheism and religion are based on my adventure filled life. I have no intention to write a book about it.

Someday I might publish a book of origami flying spacecraft I designed. There are even adventures surrounding those. I’ve been creating papercraft models since kindergarten. I’ve recently published a papercraft model.
This one is simple to attract the gamemasters. The one I’m working on now is more complex.

BTW, the only other book destroyed in the flood was America (The Book). It was a gift. Jon is too mainstream for me anyway.

Aug 31, 2015, 10:21am

Hey, new here enjoy reading so I like a variety of authors from King to Connelly to Plato and anything in between. Don't know if I want to join, have trouble committing, but like everybody's post and comments. I guess this current. but anyway I'm here.

Edited: Jan 2, 2017, 12:06am

This message has been flagged by multiple users and is no longer displayed (show)
Hello, just joined and wanted to introduce myself. I am an author and teacher on the mythological, scientific, mystical, and psychological dimensions of the Bible, the West's most misinterpreted and misunderstood book. As an independent scholar I have no turf to protect or theology to promote.

Feb 15, 2017, 4:57pm

Ah ok, finally read the original thread and question.

Well the few here who are already acquainted with me know that I am an actual Heathen.

I follow the Pre-Christian ways of my Germanic ancestors primarily and my Celtic/Gaelic ancestors also.

No I don't pretend to be a viking, too damn many wanna-bees out there who think that is the be all and end all of Norse/Germanic Heathenry.

Any questions? More than happy to answer.

Feb 15, 2017, 6:32pm

There are no gods.

My children have been brought up with the standard UK school RE (education about religions, rather than the catecism my generation had). Plus appropriate cultural references as and when from me, such as that, while in Welsh the days of the week are named after the planets, in English most of them are named after the English versions of the Norse gods - which they know from the Avengers / Iron Man films.

So they have been told at school what Christians believe Christmas and Easter are about. But their lived experience is that Christmas is a family/school holiday when dad pretends to get annoyed with Siôn Corn for leaving certain presents in Christmas stockings, that mum had already said weren't going to happen. Easter is a festival involving bunnies and chocolate eggs that even GCSE Biology doesn't quite explain. And the only angels in their lives are Weeping Angels.

My mistake. Gods do exist. They live in the same world as trolls, dwarves, goblins, fairies, witches, the Nac Mac Feegle, wizards, golums, werewolves, vampires, zombies and much else. I read it in a book, in many books, so it must be true.

May 31, 3:12pm

This is the continuation thread for the one we're trying to limit to 666 posts.

I'm attempting to move a post here.


From HarperBear
Greetings all. I'm not here very often, but do drop in occasionally.
I am a professional musician and public library employee, among other things.
Anyway, I am High Priest for the local Gardnerian Coven (the only one in Kansas (USA)). Background is varied, born and raised Christian (my father a minister) went through a number of things including some New Age teachings and Buddhism. Along the way I earned a degree in Metaphysics and am currently working toward becoming certified as a Therapeutic Musician (working mainly at the bedside of people under hospice care).

Edited: May 31, 3:14pm

Well, it did not work. Still showing the 667 posts. I knew it would happen, just didn't expect it to happen quite so fast. Haha...

May 31, 3:21pm

>83 clamairy:

People don't read!

Edited: May 31, 3:35pm

>84 LolaWalser: No. In the poster's defense if they were replying to a question farther up the thread they never would have seen that the thread was meant to be closed. And unfortunately Admins in this group can't turn off posting in a thread. I think there might only be a handful of groups where that can be done.

May 31, 3:35pm

>85 clamairy:

Oh, right, I forgot about the "reply" thingy.

May 31, 3:36pm

>86 LolaWalser: It's easy to forget about!

May 31, 3:39pm

Weird that admin powers would be different by group...

Edited: May 31, 3:44pm

>88 LolaWalser: I am not sure, but I thought in the Bug Collector's group they could close a thread when the issue was fixed.

May 31, 8:32pm

>89 clamairy:

I think anyone can mark it "closed", but also anyone can re-open the thread if the bug reappears.