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secretnude
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Not strictly 'Miraculous'

Post by secretnude » Tue Jun 17, 2014 6:39 am

If in the first place you are already
quite good
then you already
have a tendency to do the Good Thing.

The Good Thing
that a Prayer to God
thus bring
maybe nothing
more than your unconscious coming
to fore.

I might stress as before
doesn't quite require
that you actually acquire
a message from God.

God
may not intervene at all like an Architect
but the defects
in God's
'perfect'
Architecture
does bring some doubts of God's
intentions for sure.

Why would God
perform so many Biblical Miracles
then stop making Miracles
that are in a strict sense Miraculous?
strawman wrote:A holy man was once asked if he believed in miracles. He answered that it depended where you're from. "In your country, a miracle is when God does what you ask. Here, it is when we do what He asks."

The studies you site remind me of the show Mythbusters, where the host shows how psychics bend spoons.
Prayers of "Petition", "asking God to do things" may be the concept of prayer that skeptics have. But prayer that is centering, meditation, Thanksgiving, Praise, the Serenity prayer seeking acceptance, courage and wisdom, are the bulk of what I do, and make a big difference to outcomes. As you know, the primary prayer asks that Father's will, and not ours be done.
A miracle is a phenomenon not explained by known laws of nature, or an act by some supernatural entity or unknown, outside force
The claim that God has worked a miracle implies that God has singled out certain persons for some benefit which many others do not receive implies that God is unfair”.[9] An example would be "If God intervenes to save your life in a car crash, then what was he doing in Auschwitz?". Thus an all-powerful, all-knowing and just God, predicated in Christianity, would not perform miracles.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miracle
research has found that long-term mindfulness meditation practice promotes executive functioning and the ability to sustain attention, the effects of brief mindfulness meditation training have not been fully explored. We examined whether brief meditation training affects cognition and mood when compared to an active control group. After four sessions of either meditation training or listening to a recorded book, participants with no prior meditation experience were assessed with measures of mood, verbal fluency, visual coding, and working memory. Both interventions were effective at improving mood but only brief meditation training reduced fatigue, anxiety, and increased mindfulness.
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20363650
G.A.O.T.U., meaning the Great Architect of the Universe, continues a long tradition of using an allegorical name for the Deity." They trace how the name and the abbreviation entered Masonic tradition from the Book of Constitutions written in 1723 by the Reverend James Anderson. They also note that Anderson, a Calvinist minister, probably took the term from Calvin's usage.

Christopher Haffner's own explanation of how the Masonic concept of a Great Architect of the Universe, as a placeholder for the Supreme Being of one's choice, is given in Workman Unashamed:
“ Now imagine me standing in lodge with my head bowed in prayer between Brother Mohammed Bokhary and Brother Arjun Melwani. To neither of them is the Great Architect of the Universe perceived as the Holy Trinity. To Brother Bokhary He has been revealed as Allah; to Brother Melwani He is probably perceived as Vishnu. Since I believe that there is only one God, I am confronted with three possibilities:

They are praying to the devil whilst I am praying to God;
They are praying to nothing, as their Gods do not exist;
They are praying to the same God as I, yet their understanding of His nature is partly incomplete (as indeed is mine — 1 Cor 13:12)

It is without hesitation that I accept the third possibility..
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Great_Arch ... e_Universe
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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Is Science just another Religion? (Not Quite)

Post by secretnude » Tue Jun 17, 2014 8:19 am

I don't have a Religion
and Science
isn't a Religion.

Science
does compete with Religion.

Science
seemed to have displaced Religion
among the well educated but Science
is mostly reproducible
while Religion
maybe inherently not reproducible
due to the subjective
quality of Religious
Experience versus the objective
gathering of facts
that in fact
forms the basis of Science.

There's one Scientific Method
versus many Methods
in Religion to attain
the 'Truth'
but the Truth
obtained
in Religion is subjective
and private
at any rate
as compared to the Objective
Truths
that are the Scientific Truths
obtained by the Scientific Method.
strawman wrote: Scienctific Method is the popular religion of well educated people.
Modern science has assumed many of the roles traditionally played by religion and, as a result, is often mistaken for just another religion; one among many. But the situation is rather more complicated and many of the claims that science is not a religion come across as a claim that science is The One True Religion. In the past, religion has supplied answers to the basic questions of how the universe originated, how people were created, what determines morality, and how humans relate to the rest of the universe. Science is slowly but surely replacing religion as the source of answers to these questions. The visible universe originated with the big bang, humans arose through evolution, morality arose through the evolution of a social ape and humans are a mostly irrelevant part of the larger universe. One may not agree with science’s answers but they exist and influence even those who do not explicitly believe them.

More importantly, through answering questions like these, religion has formed the basis for people’s worldview, their overall perspective from which they see and interpret the world. Religious beliefs and a person’s worldview were frequently so entangled that they are often viewed as one and the same thing. In the past this was probably true, but in this modern day and age, science presents an alternative to religion as the basis for a person’s worldview. Therefore science is frequently seen as a competing religion not just the basis of a competing world view. Despite this, there is a distinct difference between science and religion and it has profound implications for how they function.

The prime distinction was recognized at least as far back as Thomas Aquinas (1225 – 1274). The idea is this: Science is based on public information while religion is based on private information, information that not even the NSA can spy on. Anyone can, if they wait long enough, observe an apple fall as Sir Isaac Newton (1642–1727) did, but no one can know by independent observation what Saint Paul (c. 5 – c. 67) saw in the third heaven. Anyone sufficiently proficient in mathematics can repeat Albert Einstein’s (1879 – 1955) calculations but no one can independently check Joseph Smith’s (1805 – 1844) revelations that are the foundation of Mormonism, although additional private inspiration may, or may not, support them. As a result of the public nature of the information on which science is founded, science tends to develop consensuses which only change when new information becomes available. In contrast, religion, being based on private information, tends to fragment when not constrained by the sword or at least the law. Just look at the number of Christian denominations and independent churches. While not as fragmented as Christianity, most major religions have had at least one schism. Even secularism, the none-of-the-above of religion, has its branches, one for example belonging to the new atheists.

The consensus-forcing nature of the scientific method and the public information on which it is based lead some to the conclusion that science is based on objective reality. But in thirty years of wandering around a physics laboratory, I have never had the privilege of meeting Mr. Objective Reality—very opinionated physicists, yes, but Mr. Objective Reality, no. Rather, science is based on two assumptions:

Meaningful knowledge can be extracted from observation. While this may seem self-evident, it has been derided by various philosophers from Socrates on down.
What happened in the past can be used to predict what will happen in the future. This is a sophisticated version of the Mount Saint Helens fallacy that had people refusing to leave that mountain before it erupted because it has not erupted in living memory.
...
Science and religion are, thus, both based on assumptions but differ in the public versus private nature of the information that drives their development. This difference in their underlying epistemology means that their competing claims cannot be systematically resolved; they are different paradigms. Both can, separately or together, be used as a basis of a person’s worldview and it is here that conflict arises. People react rather strongly when their worldview is challenged and the competing epistemologies both claim to be the only firm basis on which a worldview can be based.
http://www.quantumdiaries.org/2013/11/0 ... -religion/
Peirce could still be right in the long-run, for he tunes his optimism to the arc of infinity. ‘Our perversity’, he writes, ‘may indefinitely postpone the settlement of opinion; it might even conceivably cause an arbitrary proposition to be universally accepted as long as the human race should last. Yet even that would not change the nature of [a true] belief, which alone could be the result of investigation carried sufficiently far; and if, after the extinction of our race,another should arise with faculties and disposition for investigation, that true opinion must be the one which they would ultimately come to’ (45b). This is realism. Even for Peirce, that is, some one truth exists. The world really is a certain way – whatever that way may be; and though it may take us an infinity to see it, it is out there nonetheless. Furthermore, science, Peirce believes, is the only vehicle capable of making the trip. Given the evidence I’ve just surveyed, then, we must come to the following conclusion regarding our question about science and reality. Even for the father of pragmatism the answer is
yes. Science can – and can exclusively – tell us what is really true about our world.
http://www.academia.edu/625642/Can_scie ... ively_true
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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The Truth is Out There

Post by secretnude » Tue Jun 17, 2014 9:11 am

He that speaketh truth sheweth forth righteousness: but a false witness deceit.
http://biblehub.com/proverbs/12-17.htm

Fox Mulder
said the 'Truth is out there'
and Scientists will always dare
to find the 'Truth'
since at the root
the observable
Truths
shouldn't be hard to observe.

If there are Inconvenient Truths
there will be People that do dare
to care
to speak the Truth
since the Truths
will be revealed one way
or another
by many other
Researchers
at any given day
even if let us say
the results do disappoint
the people holding contrary viewpoints.

If the Research Methodology is sound
and the findings
that are found
are Politically Incorrect
the findings
are still Scientifically Correct.
strawman wrote:The last President of Harvard had to resign because of un-PC scientific comments. It isn't just environmentalists. Everyone with an agenda, from self-proclaimed feminists to the Sexual Identity and Racial Identity Cults is chasing the Science bandwagon. God forbid (excuse the expression) anyone should scientifically study IQ differences in different racial groups. The few who did were thrown into a volcano. The scientific community stands silently by. Volcanos for nonconformists is called an 'object lesson'. Scientists aren't stupid.
The Duke researchers — Jonathan Wai, Megan Cacchio, Martha Putallaz and Matthew C. Makel — focused on the extreme right tail of the distribution curve: people ranking in the top 0.01 percent of the general population, which for a seventh grader means scoring above 700 on the SAT math test. In the early 1980s, there were 13 boys for every girl in that group, but by 1991 the gender gap had narrowed to four to one, presumably because of sociocultural factors like encouragement and instruction in math offered to girls.

Since then, however, the math gender gap hasn’t narrowed, despite the continuing programs to encourage girls. The Duke researchers report that there are still four boys for every girl at the extreme right tail of the scores for the SAT math test. The boy-girl ratio has also remained fairly constant, at about three to one, at the right tail of the ACT tests of both math and science reasoning. Among the 19 students who got a perfect score on the ACT science test in the past two decades, 18 were boys.
http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/08/scien ... d=all&_r=0
Racial Differences in Intelligence: What Mainstream Science Says

This public statement, signed by 52 internationally known scholars, was active on the information highway early in 1995 following several rather heated and negative responses to Herrnstein & Murray's The Bell Curve. It was first published in The Wall Street Journal, Tuesday, December 13, 1994. An alphabetical listing of the scholars and their home institutions are given at the end of the statement.
...
Members of all racial-ethnic groups can be found at every IQ level. The BELL CURVES of different groups overlap considerably, but groups often differ in where their members tend to cluster along the IQ line. The BELL CURVES for some groups (Jews and East Asians) are centered somewhat higher than for whites in general. Other groups (blacks and Hispanics) are centered somewhat lower than non-Hispanic whites.

The BELL CURVE for whites is centered roughly around IQ 100; the BELL CURVE for American blacks roughly around 85; and those for different subgroups of Hispanics roughly midway between those for whites and blacks. The evidence is less definitive for exactly where above IQ 100 the BELL CURVES for Jews and Asians are centered.
http://www.cpsimoes.net/artigos/bell_mainstr.html
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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Re: Secretnude's Drabble Poetry Corner

Post by strawman » Tue Jun 17, 2014 10:52 am

Oh my, We don't appear to disagree except in definitions. You say science is not a religion. I say 'religion' comes from 'religio', the Latin verb 'to bind'. In that your allegiance to the scientific method binds you to its rules, it is only NOT a religion to the extent that there are negative values imputed to religion, things like superstitious beliefs. When that happens in science, you call it 'pseudo'science. By your rules then, when it happens in Christianity, I should be able to classify it as 'pseudo'Christianity. If it were not for the pseudos, the ideals would be the norm.

Whether we're talking about the physical or metaphysical, it is still 'we' humans who are talking, out of our imperfect understanding, out of psyches affected by parental rejection, emotional traumas, psychological wounds. For some, that endogenous sedation never fully abates, so laws must be passed to limit the consequent harm.

A correlative to House might be apropos: "It's ALWAYS lupus". Because this system of laws restraining selfishness is similar to elements of the body attacking itself.
“If only it were all so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart?”
― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956
I've witnessed the arguments, large and small, between the religious Bigendians and the Littlendians (see Swift). It is indeed similar to Lupus.

But I have never hear an argument about the Sermon on the Mount
But I say unto you that hear, Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, bless them that curse you, pray for them that despitefully use you. To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and from him that taketh away thy cloak withhold not thy coat also. Give to every one that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise. And if ye love them that love you, what thank have ye? for even sinners love those that love them. And if ye do good to them that do good to you, what thank have ye? for even sinners do the same. And if ye lend to them of whom ye hope to receive, what thank have ye? even sinners lend to sinners, to receive again as much. But love your enemies, and do them good, and lend, never despairing; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be sons of the Most High: for he is kind toward the unthankful and evil. Be ye merciful, even as your Father is merciful. And judge not, and ye shall not be judged: and condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: release, and ye shall be released: give, and it shall be given unto you; good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, shall they give into your bosom. For with what measure ye mete it shall be measured to you again.
(Luk 6:27-38)
Who indeed is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? Maybe no one argues about it because that would interfere with ignoring it.

I think it is scientifically verifiable and duplicatable that anyone who takes this as their rule of life, who is "bound" by it, will produce a healthier and happier life, family, and community.
G. K. Chesterton wrote "Christianity has not been tried and found wanting; it has been found difficult and not tried."
Science, on the other hand, could use every method in its arsenal and never discover this kind of truth: To gain your life, you must lose it.

It could be that Lupus is a physical manifestation of this mental and emotional inner conflict. Could be where to look for a cure.
Never judge anyone until you have biopsied their brain.

"Be kind, for everyone is fighting a hard battle."
Known Some Call Is Air Am
Spoiler:
Non sum qualis eram = "I am not who I will be"

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The Humpty Dumpty Egg and Christianity

Post by secretnude » Tue Jun 17, 2014 1:34 pm

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pseudoscience
Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, contradictory, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.
The distinction
between Science
and Pseudoscience
isn't my invention.

I'm amused that Pseudochristanity
had to be invented
as a word for the Unchristian
Christians.

Catholicism
does Christianize
people close to birth with Baptism
and Theoretically the Baptized
are Christians.

Maybe Theoretical Christians
is a better term since these Christians
may actually know fine
Christian Doctrine
but not put Christian 'Theories'
into practice
as you may actually practice.

The question
is which version
of Christianity
isn't Pseudochristian
since there's much variation
in Christian Theology
much like which side of the Egg
you break but this Egg
is the Humpty Dumpty Egg.
Intolerance may be difficult to define, but some evangelicals say they have become victims of intolerance because of their reverence for the Bible.

The conservative media culture is filled with stories about evangelicals being labeled as “extremists” for their belief that homosexuality is a sin.

Their sense of persecution goes beyond their stance on homosexuality. There are stories circulating of evangelical students being suspended for opposing homosexuality, a teacher fired for giving a Bible to a curious student, and the rise of anti-Christian bigotry.

A blogger at The American Dream asked in one essay:

“Are evangelical Christians rapidly becoming one of the most hated minorities in America?”

The reluctance of evangelicals to speak out against homosexuality is often cited as proof they are being forced into the closet.
http://religion.blogs.cnn.com/2013/05/0 ... t-page-14/
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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The Evangelical Christians reaped what they sow

Post by secretnude » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:19 pm

Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.
http://biblehub.com/galatians/6-7.htm

The irony of Gays out of the Closet
and Evangelicals
in the Closet
does get
almost comical.

The Evangelicals
reaped what they sow according to Biblical
principles that are interpreted differently
by different
sects of Christianity.

I prefer the simple Golden Rule
over the Rule
laden Holy Book
that make many Christians
overlook
the Golden Rule
and maybe to some
they actually do become
Pseudochristian.

I'm a quite ethical
and a quite skeptical
Atheist.

Theist
claims of moral superiority
is often practically
quite easy
to debunk if moral superiority
leads to maltreatment of the morally inferior
by the morally superior.
Golden Rule can be found in the early contributions of Confucianism (551–479 BC). Kidder notes that this concept's framework appears prominently in many religions, including "Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Zoroastrianism, and the rest of the world's major religions".[7] According to Greg M. Epstein, " 'do unto others' ... is a concept that essentially no religion misses entirely."[8] Simon Blackburn also states that the Golden Rule can be "found in some form in almost every ethical tradition".[9] All versions and forms of the proverbial Golden Rule have one aspect in common: they all demand that people treat others in a manner in which they themselves would like to be treated.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Golden_Rule
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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Time to amend the Bible?

Post by secretnude » Tue Jun 17, 2014 3:46 pm

http://www.lifesitenews.com/mobile/news ... ranslation
Since Don’t like it? Change it. That’s the approach to Scriptural translation taken by the creators of a new gay-friendly Bible.

“You can’t choose your sexuality, but you can choose Jesus. Now you can choose a Bible, too,” say the creators of the Bible, emblazoned with a rainbow cross, which was launched at the end of November.

The editors explain in a statement that they took each of the eight Bible verses traditionally used to argue that homosexuality is sinful, and edited them “in a way that makes homophobic interpretations impossible.”

For instance, in the first letter to Timothy, where St. Paul refers to “them that defile themselves with mankind,” the new Bible simply excises the word “mankind.”

This new translation, the editors say, will “resolve interpretive ambiguity in the Bible as it pertains to homosexuality.”

Other than the eight verses in question, the Bible uses the King James translation verbatim. The “Queen James” title is based upon a theory that King James, the British king who commissioned the famous translation of the Bible, was bisexual.
The Golden Rule
isn't really just limited to Christianity
then maybe Christianity
isn't that special
as a rule
since many other ethical
systems produce the same results.

The Christian
claim to need
to save
others indeed
may need
to be revised as Christianity
might need some saving
itself indeed.

Why have a Holy Book
that you have to interpret
when you tend to overlook
the Rule that actually gets
universal acceptance
by chance.

Maybe a new Bible
needs to be created since the old
Bible
is quite old
and reflects old
prejudices that we cannot defend
and must amend.
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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Christianity had a great fall

Post by secretnude » Tue Jun 17, 2014 4:15 pm

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thirty_Years'_War
Thirty Years' War (1618–1648) was a series of wars principally fought in Central Europe, involving most of the countries of Europe.[10] It was one of the most destructive conflicts in European history, and one of the longest continuous wars in modern history.

Initially, religion was a motivation for war as Protestant and Catholic states
Christianity
sat on a wall
and had a great fall
such that many Kings of Men
can't put Christianity
back together again.

Christianity
can be quite good
but historically the record isn't good.

The Thirty Years War
is quite far
from our
memory and that war
was a brutal war
between Christians.

A Christian
may actually believe that Homosexuality
is evil
and such is the subjectivity
of the perceptions of good and evil.

A morality
based on Science
and the fact that we by chance
don't choose to be Gay
or Straight
will save the day
and set things straight.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Homosexuality
biologically-based theories for the cause of sexual orientation are favored by experts,[3] which point to genetic factors, the early uterine environment, or both in combination.[4] There is no substantive evidence which suggests parenting or early childhood experiences play a role when it comes to sexual orientation;[4] when it comes to same-sex sexual behavior, shared or familial environment plays no role for men and minor role for women.[5] While some hold the view that homosexual activity is unnatural,[6][7] research has shown that homosexuality is an example of a normal and natural variation in human sexuality and is not in and of itself a source of negative psychological effects.[1][8] Most people experience little or no sense of choice about their sexual orientation.[1] There is insufficient evidence to support the use of psychological interventions to change sexual orientation.[9]
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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I would probably endorse this quite funny Bible

Post by secretnude » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:06 am

Using a razor, Jefferson cut and pasted his arrangement of selected verses from the King James Version[8] of the books of Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John in chronological order, putting together excerpts from one text to those of another in order to create a single narrative. Thus he begins with Luke 2 and Luke 3, then follows with Mark 1 and Matthew 3. He provides a record of which verses he selected and of the order in which he arranged them in his "Table of the Texts from the Evangelists employed in this Narrative and of the order of their arrangement".

Consistent with his naturalistic outlook and intent, most supernatural events are not included in Jefferson's heavily edited compilation. Paul K. Conkin states that "For the teachings of Jesus he concentrated on his milder admonitions (the Sermon on the Mount) and his most memorable parables. What resulted is a reasonably coherent, but at places oddly truncated, biography. If necessary to exclude the miraculous, Jefferson would cut the text even in mid-verse."[9] Historian Edwin Scott Gaustad explains, "If a moral lesson was embedded in a miracle, the lesson survived in Jeffersonian scripture, but the miracle did not.
http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_Bible

If Jesus Christ was just a Man
he was a Great Man
even without the fine
appeal to the Divine.

Even the Virginity
of Mary
and the Virgin
Birth is questionable
and are we able
to separate myth from fact
when in fact
centuries of scholarly debate
only bred hate?

America is great
and the great
Thomas Jefferson
with Jeffersonian
Democracy
is a good son
of Christianity
that you do see
he tried to rescue from the immaturity
of superstition.

Aside from the American Constitution
this Bible of Jefferson
maybe a lasting legacy
even if editing out miracles sounds crazy.
The doctrine of the virginal pregnancy is based on the accounts in Matthew and Luke. Mark and John ignore his infancy. Not even Matthew and Luke show any awareness in their chronicle of Jesus' public life of the details listed about his birth: miraculous conception, Roman census, star, magi. The infancy narratives are best understood as late additions to Matthew and Luke.
...
In Luke the virginal conception was announced to a girl on the point of marrying Joseph. Mary was baffled. How could she become a mother before they had come together? One may wonder whether her astonishment resulted from the knowledge that, not having reached the age of puberty, she was not yet ready for motherhood, for virgin in Jewish parlance could designate a girl too physically immature to conceive. The angel, in his answer, seems to argue that God could allow the pre-pubertal Mary to conceive just as he had caused the post-menopausal Elizabeth to become pregnant. Again in Jewish parlance, a married woman past child-bearing age was a virgin for a second time.

In some ancient Greek, Latin and Aramaic manuscripts, Matthew specifically asserts the paternity of Joseph: "Jacob begot Joseph, and Joseph, to whom the virgin Mary was betrothed, begot Jesus." The same claim was made by the ancient Jewish-Christian community of the Ebionites. Finally, hostile Jewish and pagan gossip rumoured that Jesus was conceived out of wedlock, and that his father was Panthera, a Roman soldier. This theory often features among feminist interpretations of the gospels.

Let us discard the extremes. Luke and Matthew stress that Jesus' conception by a virgin through the Holy Spirit outshines all other miraculous conceptions in the Bible. By placing their wonderful infancy narratives at the beginning, Matthew and Luke intended to intimate to their gentile audience that Jesus was not only the Messiah, but also God's son, not just figuratively in the Jewish sense, but really by nature. As for the role of Mary in worship, believers who are happy to base their faith on unwritten traditions can easily accommodate Marian cult with the rest of their Christianity. Indeed, the idea of a loving maternal hand suitably counterbalances for them the intimidating image of the severe male heavenly judge.

· Geza Vermes is Professor Emeritus of Jewish Studies at Oxford. His latest book is The Nativity: History and Legend
http://www.theguardian.com/world/2006/d ... mentisfree
Jefferson's draft arrived too late. The constitution prepared by George Mason and amended by others had already been adopted. This text "had been so long in hand, so disputed inch by inch, and the subject of so much altercation and debate; that they were worried with the contentions it had produced, and could not, from mere lassitude, have been induced to open the instrument again." It's not difficult to detect the annoyance in Jefferson's tone—he seems offended by the delegates' laziness—but by then nothing could be done about it.

Not all was lost. Jefferson recorded that the convention, "being pleased with the Preamble to mine, ...adopted it in the House, by way of amendment to the Report of the Committee; and thus my Preamble became tacked to the work of George Mason." And anyone who reads this preamble, with its long list of complaints against George III, will notice the similarities to the Declaration
Jefferson's plan for a Virginia constitution in 1783 went further, not merely ending the slave trade but emancipating all slaves in the state: "The General assembly shall not have to power to ...permit the introduction of any more slaves to reside in this state, or the continuance of slavery beyond the generation which shall be living on the 31st day of December 1800; all persons born after that day being hereby declared free."

It's tempting to imagine what might have happened to Jefferson's constitution had it been introduced in time for discussion and debate, whether in Williamsburg in 1776 or in Philadelphia in 1787. An America that banned slavery, an America that spelled out the rights of natives, an America that outlawed most capital punishment, an America without a standing army, or an America where sitting politicians could not run for reelection would be very different from the one we inherited. Had he been involved in the debates, Jefferson might have lost some battles he considered important, and others might have persuaded him that some of his ideas should be amended. We'll never know. We should, however, recall that this long-forgotten draft constitution offered an alternative view of government that might have had profound consequences over the last 230 years. It's probably healthy to be reminded that many of the principles we now regard as fundamental, even self-evident, might have turned out differently had a letter from Philadelphia to Williamsburg arrived just a few days earlier.
http://www.history.org/Foundation/journ ... ferson.cfm
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Accidents of History

Post by secretnude » Wed Jun 18, 2014 2:57 am

Much that we Traditionally
hold as Self-evident
maybe just Accidents
of History
as was the previous Story
about the quite Tardy
Jeffersonian Constitution.

If the Chosen People of God
lived in a Tropical Climate
then their God
might have been naked at any rate
such that we would have no prohibitions
on nudity
and much less bodily
inhibitions.

When I was quite a young and innocent kid
I did
draw an anatomically
correct scene from the Genesis
that the puritanical
Catholic Teachers did insist
was a Sin even if I had no malicious intent
since I do much creative content.
The OT’s main narratives (the Exodus, the conquest, the kingdom and the ongoing struggles against powerful foreign nations, Israel’s eventual captivity, exile, and return from exile) are all the story of a small, inconsequential people struggling to maintain their culture and identity in a world in which they’re surrounded by outside influences and hostile nations.

Read the OT with that in mind and the arcane laws and prophetic denunciations make sense. There’s a persistent, overwhelming fear running throughout the OT, and it isn’t just fear of foreign conquest. It’s the fear of assimilation and loss of identity as a people. The Israelites are sort of like the Federation facing the Borg. (Sorry—couldn’t help it. Resistance was futile.)

And so the god they conjured up in their stories and traditions was a jealous god, a god who gave them an identity that could survive conquest and exile, an identity that included a promise of a homeland, but which wasn’t tied exclusively to the land. This identity, they were told, could survive slavery in Egypt and captivity in Babylon. But it required religious exclusivity—one god, no more, no less.

This raises an interesting question. Had Christianity and Judaism (and Islam, which borrows from them both) been rooted in other political circumstances, if Israel had been a larger and more stable nation, how would today’s religion be different? Would we see the emphasis on exclusivity that we see in the purer forms of the three desert religions? Would they have created a different kind of god?
http://pretentiousape.wordpress.com/201 ... f-history/
Many pagan cultures throughout history considered public nudity normative, especially Spartan, Greek, and Roman societies. In more recent years, pubic nudity has become more and more acceptable, with many groups promoting a “back-to-nature” philosophy and the supposed health benefits of taking off one’s clothes. Nudists, or naturists, form clubs, frequent clothing-free beaches, and engage in activities ranging from hiking to horseback riding au naturel.

Although the world’s standards may permit or even encourage nudity, the Bible has a different perspective. It is true that the first humans were created unclothed by God (Genesis 2:25). Adam and Eve were innocent in their nakedness, but after the fall everything changed. When they sinned, “the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked” (Genesis 3:7). Never before had they realized they were unclothed—the concepts of “clothed” and “unclothed” were meaningless to them. Sin affected their hearts and minds, creating vulnerability, guilt, and shame, and these things produced fear (verse 10). In their attempt to cover their spiritual shame, Adam and Eve intuitively covered their bodies. We should note that, when God took away their fig leaves—a sadly inadequate covering—He replaced them with something more permanent—animal skins (verse 21). Thus, God regarded clothing as appropriate and necessary in a fallen world.

Nudity now has implications of sinfulness attached to it. With few exceptions, the Bible presents nakedness as shameful and degrading (Genesis 9:21; Exodus 20:26; 32:25; 2 Chronicles 28:19; Isaiah 47:3; Ezekiel 16:35-36; Luke 8:27; Revelation 3:17; 16:15; 17:16). The only passages in which nudity is free of shame are those that describe Eden’s idyllic setting or that deal with marital relations (Proverbs 5:18-19; Song of Solomon 4).

We still live in a fallen world, surrounded by lust, immorality, and perversion. The innocence of Eden is gone. Naturist philosophy ignores the results of the fall. Even in “asexual” contexts, public displays of nudity dishonor God by pretending an innocence that no longer exists. A Christian should definitely not be a nudist or participate in nudist activities.

Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/Christian-n ... z34xC1Jk4N
The gods of northern countries were represented warmly clad in robes of fur; those of the tropics were naked.
http://infidels.org/library/historical/ ... /gods.html
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The Explicit Comic Book of Genesis

Post by secretnude » Wed Jun 18, 2014 4:00 am

The Book of Genesis is a best-selling[1]comic book illustrated by cartoonist and comic book artist Robert Crumb that purports to be a faithful, literal illustration of the Book of Genesis from the Hebrew Bible. It reached #1 the New York Times graphic novel bestseller list and on the Christian books list at Amazon.com.[1]

Given Crumb's past body of work, and his professed rejection of religion, many assumed when the book was announced that it would be a satire or otherwise profane or subversive send-up, and were surprised or disappointed[2] to find it "straight-faced".[3] Crumb "resist[ed] the temptation to go all-out Crumb on us and exaggerate the sordidness, the primitivism and the outright strangeness"[3] found in the Bible—the depictions of sex are explicit, but not gratuitous.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Book_o ... 8comics%29

The explicit Comic Book
'The Book
of Genesis'
only had its Genesis
in the fine
year of twenty o nine
by Robert Crumb who was quite fine.

My fine
Naked Genesis
was indeed ahead of its time
being made in the early Nineteen
Eighties as an innocent pre-teen.

At that time, I didn't understand
why my Parents also did demand
that I confess a Sin
that to me was the Sin
of being
a quite creative being.

The Christian conception of Sin
is such a subjective thing
that brings
much suffering.

What's so sinful
and awful
about good
old nudes?
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Jesus Mythbusters

Post by secretnude » Wed Jun 18, 2014 5:38 am

I love the show Mythbusters.

Scholarship into the real Jesus
hasn't come up with evidence to bust
the Christ Myth
Theory
that in theory
should be easy to bust
since both the Romans and the Israelites
weren't light on writing
and preserving
writings.

Was Christ illiterate
that at any rate
he couldn't write
an autobiography
and had to rely on autobiographers?

Outside Josephus
we have no account of Jesus
as a historical figure.

I figure
that God
or the Son of God
wouldn't be illiterate
at any rate
being
an all knowing
being
in the form of a Human Being.
Christ myth theory (also known as the Jesus myth theory, Jesus mythicism or simply mythicism) is the proposition that Jesus of Nazareth never existed, or if he did, he had virtually nothing to do with the founding of Christianity and the accounts in the gospels.[1] Many proponents use a three-fold argument first developed in the 19th century that the New Testament has no historical value, there are no non-Christian references to Jesus Christ from the first century, and that Christianity had pagan and/or mythical roots.[2]

In recent years, there have been a number of books and documentaries on this subject. Some "mythicists" concede the possibility that Jesus may have been a real person, but that the biblical accounts of him are almost entirely fictional.[3][4][5] Others believe in a spiritual Christ, but that he never lived.[6] Still others, including some atheist proponents, believe Jesus was neither historical nor divine.

Despite arguments put forward by authors who have questioned the existence of a historical Jesus, there remains a nearly universal consensus agreement among historical-critical biblical scholarship that Jesus lived,[7][8][9][10][11][12][13] but they differ about the accuracy of the accounts of his life. The two main events agreed upon by biblical scholars are that Jesus was baptized by John the Baptist and was crucified by the order of the Roman Prefect Pontius Pilate.[14][15][16][17] However, certain scholars, particularly in Europe, have recently made the case that while there are a number of plausible "Jesuses" that could have existed, there can be no certainty as to which Jesus was the historical Jesus, and that there should also be more scholarly research and debate on this topic
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Christ_myth_theory
The extant manuscripts of the writings of the 1st-century Romano-Jewish historian Flavius Josephus include references to Jesus and the origins of Christianity.[1][2] Josephus' Antiquities of the Jews, written around 93–94 AD, includes two references to the biblical Jesus Christ in Books 18 and 20 and a reference to John the Baptist in Book 18.[3][4]

Scholarly opinion on the total or partial authenticity of the reference in Book 18, Chapter 3, 3 of the Antiquities, a passage that states that Jesus the Messiah was a wise teacher who was crucified by Pilate, usually called the Testimonium Flavianum, varies.[5][6][3] The general scholarly view is that while the Testimonium Flavianum is most likely not authentic in its entirety, it is broadly agreed upon that it originally consisted of an authentic nucleus, which was then subject to Christian interpolation or forgery [6][7][8][9][10][11] by fourth-century apologist Eusebius or by other
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Josephus_on_Jesus
Author Reza Aslan believes that Jesus probably lacked the education to read a book like the Bible. Or the Torah, or any other written text for that matter, no matter the language.

Aslan’s new book “Zealot: The Life and Times of Jesus of Nazareth” is a revisionist take on the life of Jesus, arguing that his message of love was aimed more at a Jewish audience than a global one, that his attitude toward violence was “far more complex” than is generally thought, and that he was “very likely” illiterate.
http://blogs.wsj.com/speakeasy/2013/08/ ... thinks-so/
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Dysfunctional and unusually religious

Post by secretnude » Wed Jun 18, 2014 6:49 am

Secular Europe and Japan
must be less better than
the US with so many Christians
and much less Atheists.
but the evidence
says otherwise even if quite dense.

I think that higher educational attainment
leads to containment
murder and related crimes
and at the same time
leads to weaker need
to appeal to the fine
Divine
indeed.

The United States
that I don't hate
feels very much like
the Philippines that I also like.

Both Countries have large Christian Populations
but are relatively poorer nations
compared to their peers
and the
loss of 1st World Status, the
US must fear.
strawman wrote:I think it is scientifically verifiable and duplicatable that anyone who takes this as their rule of life, who is "bound" by it, will produce a healthier and happier life, family, and community.
The antagonistic relationship between better socioeconomic conditions and intense popular faith may prevent the existence of nations that combine the two factors. The nonuniversality of strong religious devotion, and the ease with which large populations abandon serious theism when conditions are sufficiently benign, refute hypotheses that religious belief and practice are the normal, deeply set human mental state, whether they are superficial or natural in nature. Instead popular religion is usually a superficial and flexible psychological mechanism for coping with the high levels of stress and anxiety produced by sufficiently dysfunctional social and especially economic environments. Popular nontheism is a similarly casual response to superior conditions.
The Interpol and International Crime Victims Survey data suggests that the U.S. is a high crime nation and is not superior to other 1st world nations in terms of nonlethal transgressions (Barclay and Taveres, 2003; Neapolitan,1997; OCED, 2001), so inclusion of the latter should not significantly alter the cumulative SSS results in favor of the U.S. No other country, even much more populous China, has so many inmates as does the U.S., over 2 million
U. S, have always been elevated well above the rates in the more secular democracies where murder rates have long been low and relatively stable, perhaps representing the minimum practically possible (Beeghley, 2003; Lane, 1997; Neapolitan, 1997). Despite a recent decline from an extreme peak in the 1980s, homicide rates are still many multiples higher in the U.S. than in any other 1st world nation
The success of strongly secular 1st world societies is sociologically intriguing because, as Shermer (2006) and Bloom (2008) note, the phenomenon appears to contradict the proposal that individuals benefit from participating in religious activities
Because it performs so poorly relative to more secure democracies, the status of the U.S. as an advanced 1st world nation is marginal and may even be at risk; the World Economic Forum recently downgraded the U.S. from its long standing first place status in global economic competitiveness, ranking some other democracies as more competitive (WEF, 2007).
The societal and economic failings of the U.S. are all the more remarkable and difficult to explain because no major nation has such extensive financial and physical resources with which to overcome its internal defects. With ~5% of the world’s population the U.S. possesses a quarter of the global financial assets and uses a similar portion of the planet’s energy production; but this means that America is the least efficient advanced nation in terms of converting wealth and assets into social health
From a research perspective it is fortunate that a socioeconomically dysfunctional and unusually religious developed nation like the U.S. exists; if one did not then it would probably be incorrectly concluded that a simple rise in prosperity to 1st world standards results in steep declines in mass religiosity in favor of secular modernity -- the actual situation is more subtle.
It is also scientifically fortuitous that the U.S. is an anomalous outlier not only in its elevated religiosity, but in its elevated socioeconomic defects. If religious America were no more dysfunctional than the more secular prosperous democracies, then a viable explanation for the divergence in popular faith and nonfaith would be difficult to discern.
This study’s uniquely broad based comparison of socioeconomic conditions in the most prosperous democracies confirms that they vary widely among these nations, and that the U.S. is the most dysfunctional prosperous democracy overall.
http://www.epjournal.net/wp-content/upl ... 8441_c.pdf
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Science of Morality and Altruism

Post by secretnude » Wed Jun 18, 2014 8:22 am

strawman wrote: Science, on the other hand, could use every method in its arsenal and never discover this kind of truth: To gain your life, you must lose it.
An interesting example of altruism is found in the cellular slime moulds, such as Dictyostelium mucoroides. These protists live as individual amoebae until starved, at which point they aggregate and form a multicellular fruiting body in which some cells sacrifice themselves to promote the survival of other cells in the fruiting body.[3]
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Altruism_in_animals

You are describing altruism
and altruism
maybe bred into beings
even mechanical beings.

The animal
that forfeits its own life
to save the life
of another animal
with its genes
may gain life
as its genes
get passed
to the next generation
but this example that I mentioned
is quite extreme
but very well
could be observed in animals
that are even just single celled.

Maybe our morality
is in our DNA
and it's our destiny
to rewrite DNA
to let us say
make our life
and the lives
of the succeeding generations better
as we understand our biology better.

Robots in a Swiss laboratory have evolved to help each other, just as predicted by a classic analysis of how self-sacrifice might emerge in the biological world.

“Over hundreds of generations … we show that Hamilton’s rule always accurately predicts the minimum relatedness necessary for altruism to evolve,” wrote researchers led by evolutionary biologist Laurent Keller of Switzerland’s University of Lausanne in Public Library of Science Biology. The findings were published May 3.

Hamilton’s rule is named after biologist W.D. Hamilton who in 1964 attempted to explain how ostensibly selfish organisms could evolve to share their time and resources, even sacrificing themselves for the good of others. His rule codified the dynamics — degrees of genetic relatedness between organisms, costs and benefits of sharing — by which altruism made evolutionary sense. According to Hamilton, relatedness was key: Altruism’s cost to an individual would be outweighed by its benefit to a shared set of genes.
http://www.wired.com/2011/05/robot-altruism/
In its weakest form, science of morality is the idea that we do not need divine authority to be critical of any so-called 'moral system' that causes unreasonable suffering. Daleiden, Harris and others discuss or support a stronger case, however. It is the idea that, once we accept the premises that are necessary for any empirical, secular, and philosophical discussion, we can define "morality" in a relevant way. Presumably, societies can then use the methods of science to provide some of the best answers to 'moral' questions. This means identifying which values and norms (e.g. free speech versus government censorship) are more likely to maximize the well-being of all conscious creatures.[6] In plainer words, Harris imagines a science premised on the use of the term "morality" to refer to the pursuit of flourishing for every conscious creature.[7] If an issue does not, in any way, concern conscious creatures, then it is devoid of morality by the definitions of science of morality. A universe full of nothing but rocks and dirt, for example, would be one without anything that can be meaningfully called "moral issues". Advocates of a science of morality believe that science needs to begin pursuing and debating "moral facts" about people's flourishing. Consequently, it is possible to be wrong about how to maximize flourishing as a general rule, and even in a specific situation.[5]
...
The scientific search for empirical facts always requires operationalization. In other words, investigators need to agree to define terms to some extent before reasonable discussion can even begin.[8][9][10] Here, moral scientists purport to possess a more than adequate working definition: something is morally good if it promotes the flourishing of conscious creatures.[5] Although moral norms have often been defined as requiring supernatural origins, science of morality thus understands morality to describe facts about nature (i.e. how creatures can live in harmony). Daleiden adds that society can no longer afford to wait and see which values cause cultures to fall apart, and which ones allow them to succeed: scientific methods are what is needed.[1
Daleiden says that society should aim for its members to aspire to more than egoistic behavior, or even rational egoism. He confronts the hypothesis that everyone pursuing their own self-interest will somehow result in everyone cooperating, and calls it bunk. Instead, Daleiden advocates for "conditioned self-interest" (aka conditioned rational egoists). These are individuals who pursue their self-interest, and for various reasons, their self-interest amounts to altruistic behavior. This is important, because humans have evolved many tendencies that can be maladaptive to civilized society. A case in point: our sometimes-uncontrollable aggression (see also evolutionary psychology).[62]
...
Prosocial training includes everything from instilling explicit virtues, building character strengths, and forming mental associations. Prosocial training also requires some level of practiced reasoning. Daleiden discusses moral development research by James Rest suggesting that intelligence, abstract reasoning, is also a factor in making moral judgments.[64][note 16] Rest also emphasized that moral judgements alone do not predict moral behaviour. As Rest puts it “Moral judgement may be closely related to advocacy behaviour, which in turn influences social institutions, which in turn creates a system of norms and sanctions that influences people’s behaviour.”[64] The point is: the entire prosocial training regime is an important part of creating conditioned egoists. Daleiden's last factor in prosocial training, mental associations, is quite familiar: he says it has been traditionally understood as the conscience – where the student learns to feel empathy, and to feel regret for harming others. Unless an individual can, and begins to feel empathy, it may be unlikely that any amount of reasoning, or any coherent moral system will motivate them to behave very altruistically.

Discussing his proposed training, Daleiden says “Call it indoctrination if you wish; I find nothing repugnant in training children to be honest, kind, and hardworking.”[66] Also described above are the reasons that it should be the intention of adults to shape children, or presumably "indoctrinate" them, to think critically. He adds that the focus is on especially socially relevant values (e.g. kindness, sharing, reasoning) and not the more personal, private values (e.g. a preference like writing novels versus painting on canvas).[66]

Religion, although it is not the best method of determining moral norms, has often been very effective at promoting them. Religions often satisfy many of Daleiden's criteria for raising people to be conditioned egoists, especially by practicing the aforementioned elements of prosocial training. He suggests that this is what they are doing when they instill a sense of virtue and justice, right and wrong. They also effectively use art and myths to educate people about moral situations.[67] Biologist Randy Olson believes that the use of the arts, including stories, is likely important for science communication in general
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Science_of_morality
evolution may not be as dog-eat-dog of a world as we thought it was. The selfish can survive for a while, but according to new game theory research, long-term survival requires cooperation.

Game theorists were taken aback last year when a paper in the Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences presented a new breakthrough strategy for the Prisoner's Dilemma, a classic game theory situation that presents two prisoners with the opportunity to either cooperate or betray each other in exchange for lesser sentences, widely studied as a model for economics, psychology and evolutionary biology.

Using a strategy called zero-determinant, or ZD (meaning that in the mathematical model, the value called the determinant is set to zero), the paper argued that selfish players could be guaranteed to beat cooperative players, enforcing "a unilateral claim to an unfair share of rewards." Since the Prisoner's Dilemma is used to explain biological phenomena, it raised the question: Does evolution favor jerks?

Selfishness isn't evolutionarily sustainable.Michigan State University microbiology and molecular genetics professor Christoph Adami and his research associate Arend Hintze immediately had doubts about whether ZD strategies could prove that evolution favors the selfish over the cooperative. In a paper published today in Nature Communications, they argue that according to their simulations, ZD strategies aren't evolutionarily stable, and that eventually, selfish players would have to become cooperative to survive.

"We found evolution will punish you if you're selfish and mean," Adami said in a press statement, vindicating every 8-year-old with a schoolyard squabble.

"For a short time and against a specific set of opponents, some selfish organisms may come out ahead," he explained. "But selfishness isn't evolutionarily sustainable."
http://www.popsci.com/science/article/2 ... es-selfish
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Subjective and Objective

Post by secretnude » Wed Jun 18, 2014 12:20 pm

I distrust the subjective
enterprise called Religion
and prefer the objective
truths of Science.

Science
has been largely beneficial
and Religion
while beneficial
had detrimental
effects to many like Homosexuals
and quite Heretical
Free Thinkers like me.

You do see
that Christian
Morality
can be
Subjective
as oppose to Christian
claims to having Objective Morality
since their Morality
came from a Deity
that may have no Objective
Reality.

If the Deity
exist Objectively
then I will believe in a Deity.

Seeing
and/or hearing
a Deity
in a vision
maybe nothing more than neurons
firing
in a Brain that maybe misfiring.
Religion is often included in the beliefs and experiences of psychotic patients, and therefore becomes the target of psychiatric interventions.
OBJECTIVES: This article examines religious beliefs and activities among non-psychotic persons in the United States, Brazil and other areas of the world; discusses historical factors contributing to the wall of separation between religion and psychiatry today; reviews studies on the prevalence of religious delusions in patients with schizophrenia, bipolar disorder, and other severe mental disorders; discusses how clinicians can distinguish pathological from non-pathological religious involvement; explores how persons with severe mental illness use non-pathological religious beliefs to cope with their disorder; examines the effects of religious involvement on disease course, psychotic exacerbations, and hospitalization; and describes religious or spiritual interventions that may assist in treatment.
METHODS: Literature review.
FINDINGS: While about one-third of psychoses have religious delusions, not all religious experiences are psychotic. In fact, they may even have positive effects on the course of severe mental illness, forcing clinicians to make a decision on whether to treat religious beliefs and discourage religious experiences, or to support them.
CONCLUSIONS: Clinicians should understand the negative and positive roles that religion plays in those with psychotic disorders.
http://www.scielo.br/scielo.php?pid=S01 ... xt&tlng=en
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The Crook Worm

Post by secretnude » Wed Jun 18, 2014 1:13 pm

A very wormy
Nigerian Scam Artist wormed
his way to the wormy
Alien Symbiotic Worm
Laboratory of the fine
Dr. Frank N. Stine
via an e-mail infected with a worm.

This extremely wormy
Crook
and swallowed Symbiotic Alien Worms
that made the Crook Worms.

The Crook Worm
gives you a very wormy
tongue and social engineering skills
that kills.

It was both by hook
and by crook
that this Crook
also took
a Bottle of Alien Worms
by virtue of his wormy
tongue and this Crook
with the Crook Worm
also took
a somewhat large stash
of cold hard cash.

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Secular Christianity

Post by secretnude » Wed Jun 18, 2014 3:39 pm

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/hay- ... stian.html
Richard Dawkins, the prominent atheist and scientist, has admitted that he is a “secular Christian” because he hankers after the nostalgia and traditions of the church.

Speaking at the Hay Festival, where he was presenting the first volume of his memoirs An Appetite For Wonder, the evolutionary biologist claimed that although he does not believe in the supernatural elements of the Christian church, he still values the ceremonial side of religion.

The author made the comments after being questioned by an American minister in the audience who claimed that he no longer believed in miracles or that Jesus was resurrected, but still considered himself a Christian and preached the teachings of Christ.

“I would describe myself as a secular Christian in the same sense as secular Jews have a feeling for nostalgia and ceremonies,” said Dawkins.
Christianity may have to evolve
to fit in a World that's secularizing.

Rising living
standards go hand
in hand
with secularization
and Christianity
may soon revolve
around ritual and community
rather than Doctrinal Purity.

I support
the concept
of Secular Christianity
but this wont fly unless the Christian
Churches also supports
this concept.

There's beauty
in Christianity
that even an ex-Christian
would acknowledge.

What would be more beautiful
is if the Churches acknowledge
the beauty
of embracing even nonbelievers
into their community of believers.

What would be more Christian
than accepting
and understanding
ex-Christians
without forcing them to be Christians?
A secular Christian—I could be a candidate, for example—might go to church for the beautiful or traditional or inspiring music. The church building might be a draw, whether it were awe-inspiring or quaint. Sermons about finding the right path or avoiding the shallow temptations in life or even Bible stories might be edifying. Services could mark the important events in life such as births, marriages, and deaths. Whether the secular Christian went weekly or only a few times a year, the community of good people, eager to help others, would be welcoming. It might give focus to good works, providing opportunities for volunteering and direction for charitable giving.
But—and here’s the interesting bit—secular Christians would reject the supernatural origin of Christianity, would be open about their atheism, and would be accepted within the church community. The Christian church has millions of members who are secular Christians except for the last part. They’ve lost their faith in the supernatural claims, they’ve admitted this to themselves, but they can’t come out to their church community. The concept of a secular Christian would allow these people to keep their community, charitable, and even family connections.
The Christian church isn’t pleased with these ex-Christians simply leaving the church, and this broadening of the church community, as is done in many Jewish communities, could provide a soft landing for many mainstream churches hurting for members.
http://www.patheos.com/blogs/crossexami ... tianity-2/
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Drugs are Bad....

Post by secretnude » Thu Jun 19, 2014 12:53 am

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caffeine
caffeine acts as a central nervous system stimulant, temporarily warding off drowsiness and restoring alertness. It is the world's most widely consumed psychoactive drug, but unlike many other psychoactive substances, it is legal and unregulated in nearly all parts of the world.
I grind whole bean coffee
and drink coffee
as a morning ritual
as if it's a religious ritual.

When out of the house I attend Service
at the Church of Starbucks
and pay bucks
for the nice service
as well as to enjoy the music
that's the best music
to worship the Holy Coffee Bean.

The Holy Caffeine
in the Holy Coffee Bean
is a Holy Brain Stimulant
that's wholly legal
unlike other Brain Stimulants.

Rastafarians
have a Holy Stimulant
and so do some Indians.

The blanket
statement
that drugs are bad
maybe bad
since Caffeine
as Drug is fine.
Almost every potential chemical aid to creativity has been tried at some time or another: Auden, Ayn Rand and Graham Greene had their Benzedrine, the mathematician Paul Erdös had his Ritalin (and his Benzedrine); countless others tried vodka, whisky or gin. But there's only one that has been championed near-universally down the centuries: coffee. Beethoven measured out his beans, Kierkegaard poured black coffee over a cup full of sugar, then gulped down the resulting concoction, which had the consistency of mud; Balzac drank 50 cups a day. It's been suggested that the benefits of caffeine, in terms of heightened focus, might be offset by a decrease in proficiency at more imaginative tasks. But if that's true, it's a lesson creative types have been ignoring for ever. Consume in moderation, though: Balzac died of heart failure at 51.
http://www.theguardian.com/science/2013 ... son-currey

Holy Cactus http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peyote

Holy Stimulant http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Religiou ... f_cannabis
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

User avatar
secretnude
Member
Posts: 1999
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:33 pm
Location: Tau Ceti

Losing our Religion.... Trying to keep an eye on you

Post by secretnude » Thu Jun 19, 2014 3:00 am

Though young, Linus is unusually smart,[2] and acts as the strip's philosopher and theologian,[3][4] often quoting the Gospels.[5] Juvenile aspects of his character are also displayed; for example, Linus is almost always depicted holding his blue security blanket—for which he is often mocked by other characters—and often sucks his thumb. He invented his own legendary being, the Great Pumpkin, who, Linus claims, appears every Halloween at the most "sincere" pumpkin patch, bearing gifts. Linus is the only person who believes in the Great Pumpkin, although he occasionally temporarily convinces other characters the Great Pumpkin is real, only to stubbornly maintain his faith when they lose theirs. On one occasion, Linus had a commanding lead in the polls for school president—until he brought up the subject of the Great Pumpkin, at which point he was nearly laughed out of the election.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Linus_van_Pelt

Although I said
too much, I haven't said
'nuff
like this Huffingtonpost
I post
at most
Religion
is on the losing side of history
and it's no mystery.

A young Civilization
may need Religion
to provide social cohesion
and prevent social tensions
but I should mention
that our Global Civilization
seems to be growing up
and giving up
the Security Blanket
that can get
a bit 'Dirty'
since you do see
that the World is Dirty
and nothing stay pure.

Science
isn't a Security Blanket
but it does get
clean
with the Washing Machine
of Peer Review
in my view.
Why is the global population turning secular? To answer this question, it helps to understand the emotional function of religious beliefs and rituals. Religion calms distress and thus functions like the security blanket from which a child derives comfort when upset.

The market for religious comfort is strongest in the most miserable places in the world, where life is hard, life expectancy is short and life can be expunged at any moment by infectious diseases, violent criminals, starvation, brutal political leaders or natural disasters.

In the most advanced social democracies, the quality of life is much better, with expectations of good health and long life expectancy. There is less need of the security blanket of religion, and its emotional functions are supplanted by medication, psychotherapy, sport and entertainment.

So the answer to the question of whether atheism can replace religion is clearly "yes." It not only can replace religion but has done so in the most advanced social democracies, such as Sweden and Japan.

The Counterargument

Secularization is real, but many religious people are loath to accept the facts, because it means that they are about to be on the wrong side of history.

Opponents point to the persistence of prophetic movements, new religions such as Mormonism, violent religious extremism and so forth, yet such phenomena are signs of rapid social change. Extremist sects are historical flashes in the pan, and those that survive become more moderate and mainstream -- as Mormonism is doing.

Other objections involve rarified theological claims about the meaning and purpose of life, the existence of God and so forth that are irrelevant to the secularization debate. Perhaps the silliest of these ideas is the argument that a gambling skeptic should put some money on God's existence just to avoid being wrong after death.

Can Secularization Reverse?

So economic development is weakening religion around the world. If the global economy went into a tailspin maintained over many decades, religion would unflatten itself like a cartoon animal after meeting a steam roller. Yet that is distinctly unlikely.

Global economic growth is on a torrid upward path that is being accelerated by technology, urbanization and globalized trade. The world is going secular. Nothing short of an ice age can stop it.
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/nigel-bar ... 55172.html
It is worth looking more closely at how Weber's vision of the modern world has panned out in the century since the publication of ''The Protestant Ethic.'' In many ways, of course, it has proved fatally accurate: rational, science-based capitalism has spread across the globe, bringing material advancement to large parts of the world and welding it together into the iron cage we now call globalization.

But it goes without saying that religion and religious passion are not dead, and not only because of Islamic militancy but also because of the global Protestant-evangelical upsurge that, in terms of sheer numbers, rivals fundamentalist Islam as a source of authentic religiosity. The revival of Hinduism among middle-class Indians, or the emergence of the Falun Gong movement in China, or the resurgence of Eastern Orthodoxy in Russia and other former Communist lands, or the continuing vibrancy of religion in America, suggests that secularization and rationalism are hardly the inevitable handmaidens of modernization.

One might even take a broader view of what constitutes religion and charismatic authority. The past century was marked by what the German theorist Carl Schmitt labeled ''political-theological'' movements, like Nazism and Marxism-Leninism, that were based on passionate commitments to ultimately irrational beliefs. Marxism claimed to be scientific, but its real-world adherents followed leaders like Lenin, Stalin or Mao with the kind of blind commitment to authority that is psychologically indistinguishable from religious passion. (During the Cultural Revolution in China, a person had to be careful about what he did with old newspapers; if a paper contained a picture of Mao and one sat on the holy image or used the newspaper to wrap a fish, one was in danger of being named a counterrevolutionary.)

SURPRISINGLY, the Weberian vision of a modernity characterized by ''specialists without spirit, sensualists without heart'' applies much more to modern Europe than to present-day America. Europe today is a continent that is peaceful, prosperous, rationally administered by the European Union and thoroughly secular. Europeans may continue to use terms like ''human rights'' and ''human dignity,'' which are rooted in the Christian values of their civilization, but few of them could give a coherent account of why they continue to believe in such things. The ghost of dead religious beliefs haunts Europe much more than it does America.

Weber's ''Protestant Ethic'' was thus terrifically successful as a stimulus to serious thought about the relationship of cultural values to modernity. But as a historical account of the rise of modern capitalism, or as an exercise in social prediction, it has turned out to be less correct. The violent century that followed publication of his book did not lack for charismatic authority, and the century to come threatens yet more of the same. One must wonder whether it was not Weber's nostalgia for spiritual authenticity -- what one might term his Nietzscheanism -- that was misplaced, and whether living in the iron cage of modern rationalism is such a terrible thing after all.
http://www.nytimes.com/2005/03/13/books ... tion=&_r=0
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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secretnude
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Posts: 1999
Joined: Sat Dec 07, 2013 10:33 pm
Location: Tau Ceti

Nigerian Crooks with Crook Worms

Post by secretnude » Thu Jun 19, 2014 4:26 am

Due to Nigerian Crooks
with Crook Worms
many Governments undertook
a Deworming effort
that was supported
by the private
sector at any rate.

Wormy
Nigerian Crooks
enhanced themselves with Crook Worms
and took
much cash with Wormy Phishing
and social engineering.

I did get an e-mail letter
that I knew was better
left unread
due to the dread
caused by the strange Mind
Altering Memes
that the Crook Worms
do seem
to help generate
at any rate.

You better watch what you read
since indeed
you might be reading
a Wormy Letter
that's better
left unread
with such great dread.

- Links -
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A mind virus is not spread by sneezing, like the flu, or by sex, like AIDS. It’s not a physical thing. Mind viruses are spread by something as simple as communicating. I discuss the ways we get programmed by mind viruses in Chapter 8. In a way, mind viruses are the price of one of the freedoms most dear to us: freedom of speech. The more freedom there is to put forth any communication, the more welcoming the environment for mind viruses.
Some mind viruses arise spontaneously, as I discuss in Chapters 9 and 10; some are created intentionally, as I cover in Chapter 11. But all of them share one thing in common:

Once created, a virus of the mind gains a life independent of its creator and evolves quickly to infect as many people as possible.

Viruses of the mind are not some far-off future worry like the sun burning out or the earth being hit by a comet. They are here with us now—have been with us since before recorded history—and they are evolving to become better and better at their job of infecting us. We are being infected in some new ways—television, popular music, sales techniques—but also in very ancient ways—education, religious teachings, even talking to our closest friends. Our parents unwittingly infected us when we were kids. If you have children, chances are you are spreading the viruses to them every day.

Read a newspaper? Catch a mind virus. Listen to the radio? Catch a mind virus. Hang out with your friends and shoot the breeze about nothing in particular? Catch one mind virus after another. If your life isn’t going the way you would like, you can bet mind viruses are playing a large part. Having relationship problems? Mind viruses take over parts of your brain and divert you from what would give you long-term happiness in a relationship. Having trouble in your job or career? Mind viruses cloud your future and steer you along a career path that supports their agenda, not your quality of life.

Cult religions are springing up everywhere, the result of more and more powerful mind viruses. These cults take control of people’s minds and make members engage in bizarre behavior ranging from odd rituals to mass suicide. If you think you’re immune, remember: nobody ever set out intentionally to join a cult and have their mind taken over. It’s the work of tricky and pernicious mind viruses. And once the founder of the cult starts the process, the virus of the mind takes on a life of its own.

Because of mass media and direct elections, the U.S. and other governments are becoming more and more subject to infection by mind viruses. A politician today cannot be elected without coming up with an effective image that pushes people’s buttons and gets the votes. "We’re having a crisis and only I can fix it," they say, or, "Those other guys have caused all these problems; surely any change is better than what we’ve got!" Politicians’ well-crafted images are hooks into some of the most elaborate and pervasive mind viruses infecting society today.

What brand of soft drink do you buy? The ones that sell the most cost twice as much as unadvertised store brands. The extra money goes into television advertising, sending out the spores of ever more penetrating mind viruses that literally take control of your mind and make you push your shopping cart over to their shelf. Successfully programming your mind to believe that you prefer that brand, advertising agencies are among the most brazen and calculating of the mind virus instigators.

The unchecked spread of mind viruses shows up most alarmingly in the state of our children today. Starting with the inner cities and quickly spreading, the mind viruses infecting many children are pushing them into hopelessness, single motherhood, and gang warfare. Many children seem to be losing their sense of values and taking off in some very unsettling directions. Chapter 12 discusses the possibility of disinfection for us and our children.
http://www.memecentral.com/vmintro.htm
"Be Authentically Weird and be Weird
enough to be in a Category of One."

"It's time to shake up staid traditions
in favor of strange experimentation."

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