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About bejjinks

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  1. Don't force noobs to go through orientation. They need the option of skipping it. I was a noob years ago and left SL but came back recently. When I came back, I already knew most of what I needed to know and only needed a refresher or an update. Noobs appreciate the opportunity to direct their own education, to skip what they don't need and focus on the help they need. Help should not be linear forcing you to have to learn how to walk before you can learn what a sculpt is. When I came back to SL, I didn't stay long at the portals. The only other people there were other noobs who knew less about the game than I did. There was no one to ask questions. So I stuck around long enough to redesign my avatar (after flying over the trees to find some privacy). Then I went straight to places where I knew I'd find real people to ask questions that the tutorials didn't cover.
  2. Madelaine McMasters wrote: I have friends of many faiths, and of no faith at all. We sometimes do discuss religion, though I don't know if anyone has shifted position much as a result. Our discussions don't last long enough to have that effect. While it may be true that no amount of defending will ever convert anyone, I don't generally defend. I simply wonder aloud, discuss things I've read, heard and observed, and explain why I find those things compelling, or not. I don't try to convert other people, I simply try to explain why I believe what I believe. As for developing my opinions from my own experiences, I find that a dangerous thing to do without critical self analysis. I am easily fooled, spotting patterns and causality where none exist. This can produce amusing or frightening results. So I must depend on and cooperate with others in the search for knowledge. In that sense, I too am faithful. I'm faithful that people with vastly different beliefs are nevertheless curious enough to explore and open enough to change their minds, and that collectively we will, though it might look like a drunkard's walk, head in the general direction of the truth. Nice. I like that.
  3. These are biases common to many Atheists. I am not saying that all Atheists have these biases. I'm merely pointing out a few of the more common biases held by many Atheists. 1. "I have no bias". The denial of bias is a bias itself. To assume that oneself is logical is to arrogantly set oneself above everyone else. This leads many Atheists to avoid using the word believe and to state his or her opinions as if they were facts. For example, the theory of evolution is spoken of as if it was a fact or even a law. Many Atheist do not say "I believe" in the theory of evolution because that Atheist wants to give the impression that only a fool would dispute this theory. Some Atheist may even be so bold as to say that any scientist that disputes the theory of evolution is not a scientist. However, there are many scientists that dispute the theory of evolution and the very definition of science requires that they be allowed to dispute the theory. As for this bias, the more Agnostic the person is, the less biased he or she is because the Agnostic is more willing to say, "I believe but I could be wrong." 2. "Fluffy Cloud Heaven". I refer you to the tv tropes website http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FluffyCloudHeaven. Related tv tropes of interest are "Fire and Brimstone Hell" http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/FireAndBrimstoneHell and "Grandpa God" http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GrandpaGod. Basically the bias is to assume that God, Heaven and Hell have been defined for us by the popular media. Many Atheists then assume that all religious people have been indoctrinated to believe in these media defined concepts when the truth is, the concepts of God, Heaven and Hell that people believe in vary greatly and are typically nothing like what the media portrays. This bias leads people to look for the wrong evidence. We can find no evidence for Fluffy Cloud Heaven so if we assume that Fluffy Cloud Heaven is the definition of Heaven, we can assume that there is no such thing as Heaven. But if we look past the assumption and allow for other definitions of Heaven, then we need to open our minds to look for evidence of the alternative definitions of Heaven. Likewise, I have heard of the Santa Claus Syndrome which is when people assume that God is like Santa Claus or is in the same category as Santa Claus. Their pseudo-logical construct goes like this, God is like Santa Claus and there is no Santa Claus, therefore there is no God. The problem with that piece of pseudo-logic is the assumption that God is like Santa Claus. It is a bias that blinds people to see the evidence because they are looking for the wrong kind of evidence. They are looking for Santa Claus instead of for God. Maybe we should apply Feynman's philosophy to God and instead of asking whether there is a God or not, maybe we should approach the whole issue with an attitude of "I don't even know who God is but I'm trying to find out as much as I can about God". 3. "All religious people are alike". This bias places the entire world into an either/or, us or them mentality. This black and white thinking is a logical fallacy in and of itself. It is the very kind of fallacy that leads to prejudice, oppression, segregation, persecution, and even genocide. Some Atheists (not all) want to see all religious people exterminated or at the very least, placed in mental institutions until they can be "cured" of their religion. 4. "People are indoctrinated". This bias is partially true so I will give some credit to it. Some people are indoctrinated. I even spoke with a woman this morning who talked about how she had been indoctrinated and stayed a Catholic for forty years because of childhood indoctrination. But to assume indoctrination in all cases is a bias. It is also a bias to assume that the theory of evolution is not indoctrinated into children or to assume that Atheism is not indoctrinated into children. But people grow up and in many cases they question the beliefs they were raised on. Sometimes they even reject the beliefs they were raised on as I have rejected the theory of evolution. And people who have examined their beliefs and rejected indoctrination, now believe other beliefs that they weren't raised on.
  4. Deja Letov wrote: there is truly no point in even making a post like this except to get a rise out of people. You know the answer for yourself to every question asked...does it really matter what others think? Of course not...it's just a futile attempt at spreading the word of God around and attempting to convert people My hope is not to get a rise out of people. I do have a motive other than getting a rise out of people and other than trying to convert anyone. I'm aware of the risk but I'm hoping for something other than a feud of people trying to convert each other. I don't have the answer for every question. I know my own experience and that is all I know. I do care what other people think so long as those people don't discredit my experience. In fact, I really do want to know what other people think. Some have shared what they believe or think and that was great. But some have done nothing but criticize me for thinking. Like you haven't shared what you believe or what you think. I'd like to ask you the question you asked me. What do you believe and what is your evidence? I promise I will not accuse you of trying to convert me the way you are accusing me of trying to convert you.
  5. Eileen Fellstein wrote: I'm all fine and dandy with the 'Jesus loves me' stuff but when people go driving it into the heads of little kids 5 years old or less that they are going to burn in a lake of fire for eternity if they make a mistake and that they need to go force-feed this ideal to everyone they see or surely that fate will be theirs, I'm sorry, that's not only incorrect, it is wrong, cruel, abusive and quite honestly needs to be stopped at this point by any means mecessary. This paragraph of yours, I agree with. It is wrong and cruel to terrify anyone, let alone five year olds, into any belief system that condemns people for making mistakes. That kind of behavior does need to be stopped. It is those who indoctrinate five year olds that should be (and will be) condemned to Hell.
  6. Solaria Goldshark wrote: Without using coercion, perhaps you'd be so kind as to bestow upon us simpletons this amazing evidence you have for us to examine, since as you say, having examined the same evidence you have we would come to the same beliefs as you have. The entire flaw in your position is that troublesome issue of "Belief" The problem is that it is not my attempt to prove anything to you and it was never my attempt in the first place. My real objective is to ask whether people of differing beliefs can be friends or not. I used to believe that people of differing beliefs could be friends but the more feedback I get from the forum, the more I begin to doubt that people of differing beliefs can be friends. The more aggressive people are to try to get me to change my beliefs, the more I wonder if it's even possible for a Christian, an Atheist, and a Muslim to have a CIVIL conversation. I will share my evidence, not in any attempt to coerce you or force you to believe as I do, but just out of hopefully friendly dialogue. I cannot share all the evidence I have because there's just too much but I'll share some of the most memorable. For nearly my entire life, I have had respiratory problems. My nose was nothing but problems. I went to doctors and their treatments helped. I even had surgery but the doctors said that some of the problems were too deep and they didn't want to risk trying to fix it. So I was resigned to live the rest of my life with repiratory problems. I was not seeking a healing. I was not looking up any miracle workers. I'd given up. Then three people from church spontaneously prayed for my nose and within a week, the problem went away and has never come back. Not only can I breath, I can smell things that I never could smell before. Before October 3, 2008, I was in major financial trouble. I was regularly coming up in debt at the end of each week despite all my best efforts to manage my money. It was supernatural why I was in so much debt. All the searching I did through my records could not find where the money was disappearing to. It was just disappearing. On October 3, 2008 I had a life changing encounter with God. The next week, I had thirty dollars left at the end of the week. The week after that, I had three hundred dollars left at the end of the week. The next week after that, I had six hundred dollars at the end of the week. I'm not wealthy but God has helped me not be so desperately poor. God has also spoken to me. Now I'm sure several of you are gonna accuse me of being schizophrenic but this was not a delusion. God didn't speak in audible words. He's a spirit. But it was absolutely convincing that it was God and not a demon or my imagination. Frequently, I have also been impressed by God's timing. I've gotten sick at the best times I could have gotten sick. God is not similar to Santa Claus in any way. God makes it rain on everyone, good or evil. But . . . Romans 8:28 NASB And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. In other words, God doesn't prevent Christians from suffering but directs the suffering for our benefit. I have seen this time and time again in my life. I've had some horrible things happen in my life but do to timing or some other circumstance, even the most horrible thing wound up benefitting me. I'm not just talking about "that which doesn't destroy us makes us stronger" I'm talking about it as if God was an athletic trainer purposefully controlling when I hurt so that I would get the most benefit from it. That has been one of the most significant miracles in my life, the amazing timing of God. I'm not a great person. I struggle a lot. I have faith though that God will see me through this year. If God doesn't exist, I'm going to wind up homeless because I don't have enough of an income to keep paying the rent. In fact, if it wasn't included in the rent, I wouldn't have internet and wouldn't be able to write to you. My life is scary right now but God has seen me through scary times in the past so I know he will continue to see me through. There is my evidence of why I believe. The reason I can't convince you is because it's all experiential and you've had different experiences. I respect that. So I'm not even going to try to convince you of anything. I'm only asking that you respect my experiences. My experiences are my own.
  7. Sorry if I haven't responded in a while, I've been a little busy with real life. You'll just have to entertain yourselves for a while.
  8. What you are doing is taking a single sentence of what I said and treating it as if it was the whole point of what I said. The truth is, you can throw out that sentence completely for all I care, because it has almost nothing to do with my point.
  9. No, I'm merely pointing out how inneffective coercion is. You can't force someone to change their mind because minds don't change as easily as flipping a coin. So it is a valid point to say that people can choose to "purposely exposing themselves to ideas they think might change their mind". It does not contradict what I said because I was talking about coerced or forced changes of belief.
  10. Pavanne wrote: But to try and conclude from this that there is no choice is not only erroneous, you just can't get there from here. This is what I was referring to in my post. You said that I conclude that there i no choice. If you had read what I wrote, you would have seen that I said we do have a choice. We cannot choose what we believe but we can choose how we handle evidence. Your messages are failing because you are completely missing the point. Of course some Balkans chose to look at the evidence and therefore rejected racism. What I'm saying is they didn't one day wake up and say, "I think I'll be a racist today" and then wake up another day and say, "I think I'll stop being a racist today." First they examined their beliefs. That is a choice. Examining their beliefs led to a change of beliefs. Hypothetical: Someone chooses to let his dog outside without a leash and this choice leads to his dog being picked up by the pound. That person didn't choose to have his dog picked up by the pound but he did have a choice that led to his dog being picked up by the pound. What I am saying is we choose to examine evidence and by examining evidence, that leads to a change of belief. We didn't choose the belief but we chose to examine the evidence that led to the change of belief.
  11. You really misquoted me. You have me saying what someone else said, attributing their words to me as if I said them. I don't want to debate you and I don't appreciate you introducing a debate into this thread. I was talking about coercion not creation. Please don't hijack this thread and change the subject.
  12. Qie Niangao wrote: There was a time when religious beliefs caused tribal rivalries. Now causality is reversed. Watching the GOP convention, I'm convinced the same reversal is now happening in US politics. That's a bold statement to make. What evidence do you have "There was a time when religious beliefs caused tribal rivalries. Now causality is reversed."
  13. Deja Letov wrote: I think I understand what you meant when you say it, but as Celestiall stated, her argument is valid is well. But here is the only problem I see with this thought. As a Christian, you don't have to use any coercion type tactics to try and sway people into believing what you believe because you have the bible to do it for you. It's a main reason why people who are debating religion always quote the bible. The bible is one of the biggest methods of coercion known to man. It uses fear and punishment to coerce and has since it's inception. It's probably the single biggest reason why religion has survived as long as it has. It depends on how you use the Bible. I admit that some people use the Bible in a coercive way but that doesn't make the Bible coercive. People can and do use sticks in a coercive way. Should we ban all sticks because of how they can be used? Those that use the Bible in a coercive manner are often people who pick and choose certain verses and take those verses out of context. They are fond of certain passages that they can use to prove their biased view. They frequently search the Bible looking for passages that support what they already believe blinding themselves to any scriptural passage that they disagree with. They are as bad in the way they handle scripture as they are in the way they handle evidence.
  14. Ceka Cianci wrote: "bejjinks wrote: But I will only stand against coercion because I believe that if people would honestly look at the evidence without dogma, without bias, without coercion, than people would come to the same beliefs I have." so now that the misquoting is set to the side ..what do you think about what i said in my first post rather than what i did? I still believe that if people would honestly look at the evidence without dogma, without bias, without coercion, than people would come to the same beliefs I have. But that's just my opinion and you are free to disagree and believe differently.
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