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9 minutes ago, Skell Dagger said:

The second thread in this 'series' has now been merged by the moderators into this first thread.

That's really good. I hadn't noticed. Ty for the heads-up.

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3 hours ago, Bitsy Buccaneer said:

You keep bringing it back to your theological position.

For me to have a "theological position", would mean that I had to be a theist in the first place. But I'm not. Not anymore, to be exact. I rather consider myself as an atheist. :P

However, I know the position of a theist from my own experience - having been a member of a church from '93 when I had me baptized, until '03 when I had me excommunicated again because I didn't need that crutch "faith" anymore...

Having grown up as an agnostic among atheists, and seeing my world-view crumble when The Berlin Wall fell, I became a "seeker", and explored each and every religion and philosophy available to me back then. Finally I got stuck with the NT, joined a church in '93, became a short-time missionary, later Sunday School teacher for a couple years... well, and then I began to think for myself again, and realized that everything I had been teaching (following the church guidelines) was just an interpretation of a myth book. I stayed away from that church for a couple months, then I made up my mind and went to a "testimony service", went to the podium to "give testimony", and announced that I don't believe in god, the "holy ghost", and Jesus anymore, that in my opinion the "scriptures" are only fictional, and that the founder of this particular church was nothing but a con-man. Of course did that get me excommunicated. And since that day, that particular church leaves me in peace - even when missionaries of this church are in the house where I live in, they don't ring on *my* doorbell. :D 

Some years ago, I even made a couple of JW literally run out of the house.  They rang at my doorbell, I let them in, and at first I first discussed with them, using Bible quotes myself to counter theirs - and then I asked if I also could share a "spiritual" thought. Curiously, they nodded, so I read a paragraph out of an ebook that I had downloaded out of curiosity and had been reading just before they rang my doorbell. Anyways, they liked this particular paragraph at first - but then they asked where to find it in the scriptures. I showed them the title page of that ebook, and they became pale - and hurried to get out of my apartment and out of the house, as if the devil were after them: The book I showed them was the "Satanic Bible". Since then, I've never had any JW missionary bother me again. :D

 

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11 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Who knows? ;)

At the moment, probably nobody. Eventually? Perhaps nobody. That shouldn't stop us from trying to figure things out.

11 hours ago, ChinRey said:

Back when I was even younger and in high school, our physics teacher demonstrated brownian motion, claiming that they were random. I had to point out the obvious fallacy of that claim of course and ended up discussing it with a very christian friend. Once we had established that atoms do not move about at random, she concluded that that was the very reason God gave humans Free Will: to add a random factor to an otherwise completely predictable universe. I do tend to agree with you Madelaine, but I can't actually prove that my friend was wrong and I'd rather not use Occam's razor to settle the question.

Your physics teacher was actually correct, but at a level deeper than that particular lesson explored. For a small collection of atoms, given their initial conditions, it is possible to predict their motions with great accuracy, enough accuracy to convince the most skeptical of high school students that their motion is deterministic. But, if we watch the experiment long enough, no matter how carefully we measure it, it will eventually wander away from our predictions. That wander will be the result of quantum uncertainty. This uncertainty is so vanishingly small as to be of no consequence to most of us, but it's there. Whether this uncertainty is in our ability to measure a thing, or in a thing's inherent randomness, is irrelevant. This uncertainty has been used as a foot in the door to the certainty of free will... and god.

I understand the comfort that certainty can bring, it's nice to be able to depend on things. I also understand fear of the unknown. I have experienced it myself, often when eating Mom's cooking. But comfort and fear are complex feelings, often based on erroneous assessments made by subconscious processes we're unaware or barely aware of. When I'm interested in getting at the truth of a thing (like a cancer diagnosis), I do my best to put aside my feelings and assess the evidence with the analytical eye of an engineer. I may not like the truth, but I believe I'll ultimately do better by accepting it than relying on erroneous assessments to make me feel better. I also understand that, even with my best effort, I'm going to make erroneous assessments. Some of those might come back to bite me... or kill me. I can live with that.

Also, proving that your friend was wrong about the introduction of free will by God is akin to (under the right circumstances) the idea that you can't prove a negative. You don't need Occam's razor to cut through that, it's not a knot.

And finally, back to "Who knows?"

Here's a quote from Penn Gillette of Penn and Teller...

My friend Richard Feynman said, "I don't know." I heard him say it several times. He said it just like Harold, the mentally handicapped dishwasher I worked with when I was a young man making minimum wage at Famous Bill's Restaurant in Greenfield, Massachusetts. "I don't know" is not an apology. There's no shame. It's a simple statement of fact. When Richard Feynman didn't know, he often worked harder than anyone else to find out, but while he didn't know, he said, "I don't know." I like to think I fit in somewhere between my friends Harold and Richard. I don't know. I try to remember to say "I don't know" just the way they both did, as a simple statement of fact. It doesn't always work, but I try.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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2 hours ago, eighthdwarf Checchinato said:

For me to have a "theological position", would mean that I had to be a theist in the first place. But I'm not. Not anymore, to be exact. I rather consider myself as an atheist. :P

LOL. OK then, your anti-theological position regarding the existence of God/gods, religion and various other related things. You know, the ones you keep bringing up. :)

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5 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

If you mean that what s/he writes is worth nothing at all, then I agree with you - at least as far as the forum is concerned. I think it's common knowledge here.

Sorry, Dakota. I just had to.

No, it meant that sometimes she gets it so wrong that it turns really quite comical. :) I guess part of me hopes that it's intentionally so.

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3 hours ago, Nalytha said:

@Madelaine McMasters, I just want to say a lot of what you have written resonates with me. I also am skeptical of "free will." So much so that it forces me to sympathise with some folks than many don't think twice about -- addicts, sociopaths, pedophiles, etc. I do think there is a balance. I might wager I believe there is a tad more free will than you do. But I'm not sure if that's just me being over optimistic. I don't believe a pedophile can change their thoughts. I do believe it's within their power to not assault children. I believe it's a crazy type of restraint that perhaps most of us will not understand. So I yeah... I totally went there. I just realized that's probably going to open me up for some negativity. But hopefully you understand what I'm saying. 

I feel like there has to be a religious gene, because I too was a 'problem child' in the church. I asked too many questions and as young as I can remember -- preschool -- I was told "that's just the way it is." To me, it's obvious that I was born a skeptic and it's taken me a long time to realize not everyone is. To me, that supports my opinion that our free will is more limited than most think it is.

I haven't put a number on my position in the free/no free will spectrum. I simply don't know enough about the subject to do it. I do share your concern about societies' attitudes towards those outliers that don't get a second thought. Surely all of us know the turmoil of fighting an inner demon, even if it's only the one urging us to make a second root beer float. Imagine what it must be like to fight off a panic attack without the use of drugs, suppress the intrusive thoughts of an alternate personality, or distinguish hallucination from reality (a problem that may become more common with the rising use of immersive VR technology).

I do find the idea of genes conveying religious susceptibility interesting. Might they be akin to BRCKA1/2 for susceptibility to breast cancer? Evidence suggests that the flora in our guts release neurochemicals that affect our thinking, including some that make us crave foods they like to eat. And I've read about the epidemiology of the spread of religion looking much like that of other communicable diseases. I've also read the same about violence. Thinking is more than we think.

 

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1 minute ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

I do find the idea of genes conveying religious susceptibility interesting. Might they be akin to BRCKA1/2 for susceptibility to breast cancer? Evidence suggests that the flora in our guts release neurochemicals that affect our thinking, including some that make us crave foods they like to eat. And I've read about the epidemiology of the spread of religion looking much like that of other communicable diseases. I've also read the same about violence. Thinking is more than we think.

 

Years ago, I stumbled down a rabbit hole on Youtube and found a video. I'm not sure if it was a conspiracy theory or not. It claimed that we have found a gene that predicts our tendency toward religious fanaticism. It's been a long time since I saw the video, but I think the gist of it was that this knowledge could be useful in fighting things like ISIS. But I didn't care about that so much as it intrigued me that there might be a grain of truth to my guesses that there might be some biological root for religion or at least religious tendency. 

Honestly, part of me wishes I could buy into religion. It doesn't always feel good to be the outsider. I don't feel smarter for it. It just leaves me wondering if I'm the crazy one at times. 

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   I have a hard time accepting that all the wonders of our world happened by chance. It has always seemed like too much coincidence.      

   At the same time I admit the possibility, given the basic premise of evolution and the amount of time involved, an amount of time, that, like the infinity of space, I can't really comprehend in any practical way. 

   Yet another part of me quietly whispers from the shadows in my mind that all of religion is simply an invention of some really smart people who wished to prevent mankind from destroying itself, and/or power hungry people who wanted to control everyone else.

   So, maybe there is some supreme being. I don't know. Maybe I'm blessed. Maybe I'm just lucky. I don't know. I'm not going to tell other people how to live their lives or conduct their affairs beyond this: Don't hurt people. 

Edited by Ivanova Shostakovich
Because some tiny word
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@JoeDex

Joe, you need to make all your Life Forward posts in one thread. People will read one but won't be able to follow any of your other related posts easily. Whenever you post in the same thread it goes back to the top of the forums. In addition to making a new post, you should also edit your top post and add your new anchors.

 

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37 minutes ago, Nalytha said:

Years ago, I stumbled down a rabbit hole on Youtube and found a video. I'm not sure if it was a conspiracy theory or not. It claimed that we have found a gene that predicts our tendency toward religious fanaticism. It's been a long time since I saw the video, but I think the gist of it was that this knowledge could be useful in fighting things like ISIS. But I didn't care about that so much as it intrigued me that there might be a grain of truth to my guesses that there might be some biological root for religion or at least religious tendency. 

Honestly, part of me wishes I could buy into religion. It doesn't always feel good to be the outsider. I don't feel smarter for it. It just leaves me wondering if I'm the crazy one at times. 

Gonna ramble:

You might find this interesting...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Harvard_Psilocybin_Project

And this part in particular...

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marsh_Chapel_Experiment

I think about this now and then...

“Taking LSD was a profound experience, one of the most important things in my life. LSD shows you that there’s another side to the coin, and you can’t remember it when it wears off, but you know it. It reinforced my sense of what was important—creating great things instead of making money, putting things back into the stream of history and of human consciousness as much as I could.” ― Steve Jobs

As a natural introvert (who can dial herself into any quadrant of a Meyers-Briggs test on a whim) I'm actually okay with being an outsider and I certainly don't feel smarter for being atheist. If anything I feel dumber for not knowing so much and the more I learn the dumber I feel. Although my father was as critical a thinker as I've ever met, he took Pascal's Wager and believed there was some kind of creator, though certainly not a personal one that gave children bikes for not hitting the neighbor kid in the head with an alley broom. My inability to take the wager might explain why I did hit the kid.

As for the crazy ones, look who had something to say about them...

How about you and I aspire to that kind of craziness?

I had, for a while, wished I could believe because of the purported health benefits of doing so, but then I reconsidered...

https://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/the-human-beast/201212/are-religious-people-healthier

;-).

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I've haven't tried many drugs. I have done Salvia Divinorum though. That definitely takes you somewhere else, for a very short time. I like it because the effects wear off quickly. I'd like to try other things simply because it amazes me how limited our mind is by chemistry. Mess up that chemistry for a bit and see what happens. I've suffered from depression my entire life, so I've also been exposed to many medications. It was my experience with Wellbutrin that really opened my eyes to how sensitive we are to chemistry. A drug given to me to treat depression actually put me in sort of a psychotic daze. I don't really know how to explain it except that only a very, very tiny part of me had enough sense to ask my husband if the thoughts going through my mind were normal. Needless to say, he had me quit it immediately. 

I'm also getting off of progesterone right now, which I've been on for about 15 years -- half my life. I'm just now understanding the profound impact of hormones. Something most women don't really think much about when taking birth control. I'm experiencing some drastic changes in my physical and mental being. 

All of these experiences to say that these things have reinforced in me the idea that my "free will" is an illusion to some extent, though I'm not sure to what that full extent is. 

Edit: Re the perks of religion: I've heard that Mormons live a long time. Not because of a belief in God, but because the way their organized religion is structured, it puts a strong emphasis on relationships. People age and stay connected and simply aren't lonely. The idea being there is some connection between this and average life span/health. 

Instead of joining Mormonism, I think I would rather start a commune. 

Edited by Nalytha
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10 minutes ago, Nalytha said:

I've haven't tried many drugs. I have done Salvia Divinorum though. That definitely takes you somewhere else, for a very short time. I like it because the effects wear off quickly. I'd like to try other things simply because it amazes me how limited our mind is by chemistry. Mess up that chemistry for a bit and see what happens. I've suffered from depression my entire life, so I've also been exposed to many medications. It was my experience with Wellbutrin that really opened my eyes to how sensitive we are to chemistry. A drug given to me to treat depression actually put me in sort of a psychotic daze. I don't really know how to explain it except that only a very, very tiny part of me had enough sense to ask my husband if the thoughts going through my mind were normal. Needless to say, he had me quit it immediately. 

I'm also getting off of progesterone right now, which I've been on for about 15 years -- half my life. I'm just now understanding the profound impact of hormones. Something most women don't really think much about when taking birth control. I'm experiencing some drastic changes in my physical and mental being. 

All of these experiences to say that these things have reinforced in me the idea that my "free will" is an illusion to some extent, though I'm not sure to what that full extent is. 

Edit: Re the perks of religion: I've heard that Mormons live a long time. Not because of a belief in God, but because the way their organized religion is structured, it puts a strong emphasis on relationships. People age and stay connected and simply aren't lonely. The idea being there is some connection between this and average life span/health. 

Instead of joining Mormonism, I think I would rather start a commune. 

I've found my mind to be a remarkable tool in dealing with pain, and I can't imagine what it's like to have that tool misbehave. Until recently, like half the world's population, I was reminded monthly of the power of hormones. I hope you find a path through your thicket, Nalytha.

I haven't tried any drugs, nor do I consume alcohol. But, I would participate in a clinical trial of a psychedelic/hallucinogenic drug if they were legal, out of a curiosity about them that I share with you.

I do think it's more a matter of social support and strong relationships than shared ideology that benefits the religious. That still leaves me out in the cold, as in RL I'm quite the loner, perfectly able to entertain myself. I couldn't join a commune, but I could start a cult (and I once did!). Then I'd immediately close the cult to the outside, leaving only me. Fish and sycophants stink in three days, to paraphrase Ben Franklin.

My only hope is that the underlying truth is that people who are well entertained tend to prosper.

;-).

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25 minutes ago, Ivanova Shostakovich said:

   I have a hard time accepting that all the wonders of our world happened by chance. It has always seemed like too much coincidence.

This was my father's argument, though he stressed that "seemed" was an allowance for his own incompetence. He was never afraid to admit when he goofed up, or simply didn't understand something.

1 hour ago, Ivanova Shostakovich said:

At the same time I admit the possibility, given the basic premise of evolution and the amount of time involved, an amount of time, that, like the infinity of space, I can't really comprehend in any practical way.

This is where my engineering background helps me. I work with things I can't directly experience and with things I can, but only in very limited ways. For example, we easily comprehend things that change over time fast enough for us to see them move. But most things move far more slowly (mountains, evolution) or quickly (bee's wings, light) than we can directly detect. But, with the aid of tools (both physical and mathematical) we're am able to dig much deeper. I have tools on my bench that allow me to see the speed of light and witness quantum effects. I can see ultraviolet and infrared, radio waves and x-rays. I can look at microbes and distant galaxies.

Once I started down this road of measuring things I cannot sense, it became clear to me that my entire understanding of my world, until then, was based on perceiving almost none of it. And that's where most of us still are, perceiving almost none of the world we inhabit. It's no wonder we continue to believe in explanations for that world that make no sense at all to those of who have the motivation, skills, and tools to lift the veil. Thankfully, we have the ability to record and forward information, so those explorers can tell the rest of us what we're missing.

1 hour ago, Ivanova Shostakovich said:

Yet another part of me quietly whispers from the shadows in my mind that all of religion is simply an invention some really smart people who wished to prevent mankind from destroying itself, and/or power hungry people who wanted to control everyone else.

That's an interesting observation. There are examples of religion being used for both good and evil. What's important to me is that religion pulls powerful levers in us, levers that I believe evolved for our benefit in those situations where we spent most of our evolutionary history (small tribes). We've left that history behind and I'm not sure those levers are so beneficial now, but people will certainly continue to pull them.

1 hour ago, Ivanova Shostakovich said:

So, maybe there is some supreme being. I don't know. Maybe I'm blessed. Maybe I'm just lucky. I don't know.

And, as I've hopefully shown elsewhere, there is no shame in not knowing. While Richard Feynman is a beautiful example of the dignity of not knowing, my other philosophical hero had this to say about it...

"It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so." - Mark Twain

And finally...

1 hour ago, Ivanova Shostakovich said:

I'm not going to tell other people how to live their lives or conduct their affairs beyond this: Don't hurt people. 

THIS!!!

;-).

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9 hours ago, Phil Deakins said:

If you mean that what s/he writes is worth nothing at all, then I agree with you - at least as far as the forum is concerned. I think it's common knowledge here.

I was reading another thread that I had saved, relating to mesh clothing.  In it, I found a response from Phil to @Klytyna that directly contradicts this statement, so I just had to point it out.  The first two sentences here:

Followed up by Phil's next post after Klytyna's reply to the above.

Yes, I know that her writing style is frustrating sometimes (maybe often, to some), but she really does impart some useful info on the technical side of things.

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6 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I was reading another thread that I had saved, relating to mesh clothing.  In it, I found a response from Phil to @Klytyna that directly contradicts this statement, so I just had to point it out

Shhhhh! Don't remind him of mere facts he chooses to forget, you'll just upset him...
 

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9 hours ago, Nalytha said:

Interesting to note. There are three parties in this situation: 
1. The Theist.
2. The Atheist.
3. The clueless pseudo-intellectual Agnostic 

I don't understand why the third group deserves the extra, demeaning, adjectives. Can't we have a discussion without such qualifiers? 

Maybe Klytyna is talking about 2.0013 parties?

100% of the Thiests
100% of the Athiests
0.13% of the Agnostics

The agnostics I know are clueful and intellectual (as are the a/thiests), except maybe at Halloween. Then they're all just goofy and run around my forest paths trying to eat their children (or steal their candy, it's hard to tell).

If you really want to split hairs, it's not possible to be an atheist. That requires (in a context where it's impossible) proving a negative.

Edited by Madelaine McMasters
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3 minutes ago, Madelaine McMasters said:

If you really want to split hairs, it's not possible to be an atheist. That requires (in a context where it's impossible) proving a negative.

This sort of fuzzy self definition based pseudo logic is what gives agnostics a bad name...

Atheist - Does not believe in any gods

Theist - Believes in one or more gods

Agnostic - Cannot decide if they believe or not

Belief or lack of belief is not dependent on definitive knowledge, nobody knows if there are or are not, gods, in any definitive way, and you are right you can't 'prove' invisible purple unicorns DON'T fly around Ganymede on the night of the summer solstice...

But 'proving gods do not exist' is not 'Atheism', I don't claim to have proof of a NO-God, I state that I do not believe in any gods because NO valid and reliable evidence has been produced to support their existence

Atheism is simply the LACK of belief in deities.

The only people who persistently claim that one cannot be an atheist are... pseudo intellectual agnostics trying in vain  to prove their 'intellectual superiority' over people who have actually made a decision, rather than squatting on the fence sneering at everyone else.

If you want to split hairs, in arguments between Theists and Atheists, generally, the only statement many agnostics are qualified to make is "I don't know what the words Theist and Atheist actually mean so I'm going to make up some plausible sounding bs, in the hope it will make me look smart" .
 

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50 minutes ago, LittleMe Jewell said:

I was reading another thread that I had saved, relating to mesh clothing.  In it, I found a response from Phil to @Klytyna that directly contradicts this statement, so I just had to point it out.  The first two sentences here:

Followed up by Phil's next post after Klytyna's reply to the above.

Yes, I know that her writing style is frustrating sometimes (maybe often, to some), but she really does impart some useful info on the technical side of things.

Alright, Lil. Klytyna's posts are almost always worth nothing at all. The post of his/her's that you are refering to was probably short. Once in a while I read a short one, but I always skip the long ones, which most of them are. However, I've read enough to know that almost all of what s/he writes is worthless - and much of it is bloody rude too.

I guess that that post was your retaliation because I corrected your misunderstanding of a couple of simple english words earlier in the thread. Y'know, when you wrote that I'd said something that I hadn't said at all ;)

Edited by Phil Deakins

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Why not use actual definitions instead of convenient ones?

Atheist: a person who does not believe in the existence of a god or any gods. 

Theist: a person who believes in the existence of god or gods.

Agnostic: a person who holds the view that any ultimate reality (such as God) is unknown and probably unknowable. 

FWIW, I used the squatting on the fence analogy with my husband. It turns out I sounded just as sneering and derisive as you claim they sound sitting there. Some Atheists think Agnostics are smug about not knowing... some Agnostics think Atheists are smug about knowing something they can't know. 

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What is a life forward?

Life Forward is the living the rules that make the world a better place. You can have a better life; a more fulfilling life by keeping to certain rules. In Life Forward they are called Anchors. Why anchors? Because these are the elements that give a steadying influence in life. They root you to the bedrock of existence.  More to come in the near future. 

Anchor Number 1

You are a child of God. You have worth and purpose. Always know that you matter.

I want to emphasize that you are free to choose whether to accept or reject what I write. If you don't believe in a God then nothing I can say or do will change your mind. You would chose to reject the concept. Your freedom allows this decision. It is like hot oil reacting with cold water, a violent explosion results normally in vitriol from the non- believer. Once again, they choose to reject.

Why is this an Anchor? Because in order for you to add value to the world you have to know that you have value. Your being alive is valuable and your purpose is to add to the value of others. This can be accomplished in as many ways as you can imagine. Likewise, there are those that try and take value from others.

You have value and you matter.

Anchor Number 2

There is a God. He is everywhere and he loves you.

Anchor 2 follows directly from Anchor 1

Something, however you define it, created matter. I call the something God. You may call it something different. I do not profess to know all the names for the creator so I will use what is familiar to me: God. Because you were created and because you have value, you are precious in the eyes of God. God is everywhere. even avowed deniers cannot explain what preceded the big bang. So, something created matter as we know it both light and dark matter. That creator had to have power. Much more power that I could possibly ascertain.

The concept of God being everywhere takes on more importance in Anchor 6, but for now, know that you are loved by a great power.

Anchor Number 3
Always tell the truth. It is easier on you and fair to everyone you deal with.

This one is hard because everyone lies. If someone tells you they do not lie; they are lying. Some lies are big; others are small. Sometimes we lie to save someone's feelings. In fact, that is probably the type of lie most people tell. 

Telling the truth is powerful. Yes, you can hurt people’s feelings but in the long run people will come to know that you always tell the truth as you know it. Adopting this Anchor is freeing. There is no longer any doubt that you will be found out. You are straight forward with your dealings with people and with that comes respect and mutual understanding.
 

Anchor Number 4

You will fail.

We all fail at times. We try and we fail. Sometimes we fail in small ways; sometimes we fail spectacularly.  Know that at times you will fail. Know that is okay to fail. The only ones that do not fail are those that do not try.

The best part of this Anchor is that even though you will fail at times; at times you will succeed.

 

Edited by JoeDex
Added Anchor 4

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6 minutes ago, Nalytha said:

Some Atheists think Agnostics are smug about not knowing... some Agnostics think Atheists are smug about knowing something they can't know. 

Atheists don't "know something they can't know". that is that fact destroying head up own arse pseudo intellectual agnostic self promoting bs all over again.

The fraudulent Agnostic Crapola that stating "no evidence = no reason to believe" equates to "we know what we cannot know"

Nobody knows for certain, only Theists claim to, the difference between Agnostics and Atheists is that Atheists have chosen a side on the matter of belief in gods, while the agnostics stand in no-mans land, in the mine field juggling grenades and shouting "I'm smarter than you silly people in body armour crouching behind sandbags".
 

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I was simply trying to point out the humour of the situation when we look at it from each point of view. 

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2 minutes ago, Nalytha said:

I was simply trying to point out the humour of the situation when we look at it from each point of view.

For a life long atheist who was NEVER a theist or an agnostic, who has spent several decades listening to non atheists telling me what atheists are, and invariably getting it WRONG, usually on purpose to further their own sordid agendas, it quickly ceases to be amusing.

I remember one worthless pseudo-intellectual agnostic snob, who on hearing I was an atheist demanded to know if I had read Bertrand Russel's book "Why I am an atheist", and what I thought of it, when I based my 'philosophy' on that of the 'great man'.

When I replied that a) I hadn't read the book and b) had no interest in doing so as it was of NO relevance to me, and c) had nothing to do with me being an Atheist, said agnostic snob then announced loudly that I couldn't possibly be a REAL atheist if I hadn't read the book and based my life on it because [insert load of pseudo-intellectual academic ivory tower asshat snobbery bs here].

Apparently he thought it impossible that MY reasons for being godless could be different from those of a dead upper middle class academic philosopher who'd 'converted' to atheism after re-evaluating his own phillosophy.
 

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