Author Topic: Forum Best Bits  (Read 24538 times)

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #150 on: October 03, 2016, 09:29:26 AM »
From Harrowby Hall on the subject of pornography. I was going to write my own post on the subject but this covered everything I would have wanted to say, and said it better than I think I would have done.


I have nothing - in principle - against porn. If people wish to photograph each other, naked or in coitus, why should I object? And I could argue that by the obsessive covering of the human body - or specific parts of the body - we are unwittingly fetishising  it.

Half the human population have rounded fatty lumps on their chest which are crowned with a nipple. These are kept covered up - or are displayed in such a way that much of them can be seen but not the nipple. The other half of the human population do not (normally) have the fatty lumps but do have a vestigial nipple. These can be freely displayed. A consequence of this is that female breasts have become objectified and, in consequence, command attention.

If people in a loving relationship wish to record their lovemaking, why should I object? (Though why they would put it on the internet for all to see is beyond me.)

What I really do object to is the industrial pornography which is so readily and easily available and which dominates the internet. This consists of stereotyped, choreographed, behaviour which I find very difficult to believe can be present in normal loving behaviour. A really disturbing development is the belief by teenagers that pornography is real and that they therefore apparently use it as instruction for sexual behaviour, expecting their partners to behave in similar ways. Consequently, they remove their pubic hair believing that this is normal (often accompanied by rationalisations involving "comfort" and "hygiene") and believe that ejaculating onto the face of their female partner is acceptable and welcome.

Much porn does objectify - and even brutalise - women. And this must be condemned. But porn adds to male insecurity, too - in terms of performance and size (lack of ...).

The problem really is that the genie is now out of the bottle, and we have to learn to live with that. I think that one thing we must do is to help young people see the reality of porn. As part of their normal education, adolescents must be taught about the "realities" of porn -  the commercial pressures behind its production, that its participants are usually acting in some kind of studio, that it does not reflect real life but is a caricature (of a caricature) of real life.
« Last Edit: October 03, 2016, 09:34:29 AM by Nearly Sane »

jeremyp

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #151 on: October 20, 2016, 07:34:53 PM »
I'm nominating this one from Prof D on the Turing Law thread. I've included the post to which he was responding for context.

My point is that if we rewrite history once, we will be rewriting it time and time again. Let the past be as it was.
It isn't rewriting history - that would be to claim that those individuals were never charged and convicted at the time. It is righting a wrong, pardoning them, which is different to implying they weren't convicted in the first place. So in a way it is the opposite of rewriting history as, by definition we are clearly acknowledging what happened in the past and trying, in a small way, to make reparation for the wrong committed.
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #152 on: October 21, 2016, 10:05:19 AM »
Post from Anchorman on Aberfan



I remember the telly pictures, and my mum crying. I can remember my uncles coming home early from Highouse and Barony pits, not laughing or joking, but quiet. And I remember being terrified of Highouse bing - the coal tip behind the pit, where we used to play for hours. It was months before any child went near it, even though it was stable and in no danger. Indeed, though the pit is gone, and most of that bing with it, a large area remains - right next to my church. It's greened over, and covered with trees, and there's a miners cross on the summit - That's two bits of pit prop girders welded together and planted at the top as a memorial to those who died at Highouse over the years. This afternoon, we're having a memorial service at the summit. I hope it's raining - the tears won't show as much.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #153 on: October 31, 2016, 10:44:16 PM »
From Brownie


There's nothing unChristian about a name for part of the female anatomy but I'm not sure it is very Christian to call you that, Wigginhall, because surely there is more to you than just one part, especially one which, unless I am mistaken, you don't have anyway. 

Dear Vlad, you're not a prick so stop talking bollocks.

Brownie

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #154 on: November 01, 2016, 04:22:44 PM »
Gabriella re: importing a Pakistani sub culture.

...the British weapons imported into foreign countries that help fuel sectarian violence? What kind of morals must a nation have to export weapons that can kill hundreds and thousands?

I think our defence industries and therefore the British economy have a vested interest in the continuation of sectarian violence abroad. If some of that violence trickles back to here, maybe, like immigration, we could look at it as just part of the cost of generating profits to help the British economy, or as ..... likes to say, "a cross we have to bear".
Let us profit by what every day and hour teaches us

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #155 on: November 06, 2016, 10:21:49 PM »

from Anchorman

Hi, Brownie. The letter 'l' is somewhat problematic in heiroglyph or  hieratic texts. There's plenty of evidence for names starting 'Ya-' (though not Yah) from the Hyksos occupation - a king Yacobaaam, for example, shows the Semitic roots of the word. 'Yah' occurse a few times in the New Kingdom, but it's in the late period - from the 26th dynasty, that YHWH had a functioning, sacrificial temple at Elephantine, on Egypt's southern border - to serve the Jewish mercenaries imported by Psametik I in order to stop a resurgent Kushite invasion. There is evidence of a second temple to YHWH in the Delta in Ptolemaic times.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #156 on: November 07, 2016, 03:35:31 PM »
From Gabriella - thoughtful and even somewhat unbelievably for on here admitting to a lack of knowledge


That's why it's called faith. It's a personal interpretation of experiences.

On the issue of faith being taken seriously, personally speaking I can't think of how it would make a difference to me if my religious, ethical, moral or political views are taken seriously any more than it would matter to an atheist if their lack of belief in religion or their political views or morals etc are taken seriously. We can only put our opinions forward and seek to persuade and then leave it up to individuals to decide whatever they are persuaded by, within the limits of a changing legal framework.

If someone claims they are persuaded by any or all of my opinions on all kinds of issues or views, I would still think that they would have to go through their own individual investigation, exploration, experience and interpretation.

Happy to work together with other people to form a society on the basis of mutual respect though. I am unable to provide a single definition of mutual respect - i imagine the definition would change over time and it would be defined as we went along depending on the particular circumstances, competing interests, some kind of consensus, and lots of testing of definitions through case law.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #157 on: November 08, 2016, 10:45:04 PM »
From enki on the  Wallace and evolution. Informative and informed



'It is quite true that he struggled financially(sometimes because of his own bad judgements) and it is to Darwin's credit that he actively helped him secure an annual government pension for his lifetime contributions to science.

Unfortunately, he also had bad luck. In 1852 he lost all his specimens collected in South America(an exploration incidentally which was also partly inspired by von Humboldt's work) when the cargo of the brig, Helen, caught fire and the crew had to abandon ship. Later though he did manage to collect a huge number of specimens in the Malay Archipelago (126000+, several thousand of which were new to science).

He wrote the 'The Malay Archipelago' published in 1869, which, according to Wiki, became 'one of the most popular books of scientific exploration of the 19th century'. He was also a prolific writer, publishing 22 full length books and 508 scientific papers.

Although I am not clear what exactly you may mean by 'spirituality' here(surprise, surprise!)
I would suggest that by the end of the nineteenth century, attitudes to both science and religion had undergone powerful changes.

In the early 19th C. the prevailing  mood was that religious faith and the sciences were generally seen to be in accordance with each other, as can be attested by the influence of Paley's 'Natural Theology' and the Bridgewater Treatises, for instance. However, as the century wore on, it became increasingly clear that science was challenging many religious concepts. Darwin, Lamarck and Russell were all part of that mix. Science was becoming increasingly professional in its approach, and focussing more singularly on the natural world. This didn't mean, of course, that eminent scientists, could not have their own beliefs.(e.g. James Clerk Maxwell was a Christian).

You would have to be much more specific on what 'secular spirituality' means for me to be able to comment on this.

Epigenetics has been discussed in detail before on this Forum, so I have little to add. The idea that hereditary information moves in only one direction, as proposed by Weismann, was a strong challenge of Lamarck's hereditary views of course, and, whatever one thinks about his theory of germinal selection, he was one of the first neo-Darwinists to focus on the genes(determinants) and genetic mutation. On the subject of Lamarck, it would depend on which part of his ideas you are considering, I think, as to whether he is proved right.'
« Last Edit: November 08, 2016, 10:47:14 PM by Nearly Sane »

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #158 on: November 15, 2016, 04:24:11 PM »
And from wigginhall


Well, AB's phrase, 'I find it hard to imagine' is hilarious really.  I do find it hard to imagine how gravity could be a curvature in spacetime, or how quasars are so distant yet so bright, or how photons can't experience time.   Furthermore I intend to write to the Royal Society informing them of my inability to imagine these things, and just what do they propose to do about it.   I expect at least that an A-level in not imagining will be set up, where we look at lots of things that are hard to imagine.  I've just about had enough of not being able to imagine!

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #159 on: November 17, 2016, 10:10:34 PM »
And jeremyp


That's kind of odd, isn't it. We can identify human designed objects pretty easily, but surely, if nature was also designed, that wouldn't be possible.

If design is the quality that enables us to spot a watch in a desert as being man made or a painting in a wood, then the conclusion must be that the environment in which these objects reside is not designed, but that environment is exactly what you are claiming is designed. Paley's watch is actually an argument against a designed Universe.

By the way, the chief characteristic of a designed object is not complexity but simplicity.

Gordon

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #160 on: November 19, 2016, 09:21:20 AM »
From Torridon.

Quote
It is for people making the (theist) claim to identify the evidence.  But nothing is ever said about the nature of god that would qualify as evidence.  Nothing about his coordinates, speed, temperature, provenance, constitution, mass, charge, spin, there is nothing that we could use to calibrate a god detecting machine with, so we cannot ever justify theist beliefs through empirical means. If we could, well that wouldn't be god would it ?  God is an unevidencable concept, so on what grounds can anyone justify their belief ? Once objective empiricism is removed, all that is left are the deeper psychological motives and personal preferences of the believer.  This god is the god of human mind, this is the kingdom within, the part phenomenological, part cultural, part philosophical, mental construct that works for some people in the sense that it provides a good enough working backdrop to our daily experience enabling us to make sense of things. But none of this is evidence, rather, it is personal justification.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #161 on: November 30, 2016, 11:22:43 PM »

From wigginhall


It seems pretty clear that if you partake of the Holy Rite of Carbonara, while the accidents of spaghetti still appear to the naked eye, actually the substance of spaghetti is changed irrevocably into the substance of the Flying Monster.  Does this mean that the substance of the FSM lacks its usual accidents?  Of course not, it just means that the accidents are hidden.   Likewise with the sauce, while it may appear as an ordinary carbonara sauce, in fact, it has been transformed into a Noodliness which we can all partake of, and which joins us together in one substance.  In fact, you and I become one with the Noodliness, and are each a strand of it, yet connected beyond time and space in infinite goodness and loveliness of Pastafarian Transformation.   This is what the instructions on the packet say, anyway.

enki

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #162 on: December 05, 2016, 04:23:18 PM »
Torry's Reply 291 on the Karma thread, because of its admirable clarity and effectiveness:

Quote
That's all very nice, but I think it creates more unanswered questions than it solves.  It says nothing about what a spirit is, about where they came from, what their properties are, how many are there, are these spirits discreet and unique or are they all part of a greater whole, is the number of spirits constant over time, does each e-coli bacterium have a spirit of its own, do spirits exist in spacetime or do they transcend it in some way, would we expect there to be spirits on Mars and Europa ?

Could go on but you get the picture - I see this sort of top down rationale as creating more unexplained things than it explains, and for evidential support in the modern sense you end up having to rely on fragmentary and anecdotal claims of exotic aberrant phenomena like out of body experiences whilst ignoring the overwhelming bulk of insights accrued through mainstream research into the nature of life.

It's an interesting contrast to western traditional ways of thinking, but at the end of the day it seems to me to fly in the face of evidence more than it explains the evidence, and furthermore, like western judeochristian traditions, it is anthropocentric at heart, it starts from our human experience and extrapolates a universe from that.  In contrast, modern research shows us a cosmos in which we are very much an exotic extreme rarity rather than the centre of things; and it is telling that your philosophy depends much on introspection paralleling the western traditions of meditation and prayer - by focussing on what is inside us we end up seeing the cosmos through a highly personalised human-centric lens rather than an objective view.  These ways of thinking appeal to our narcissism, so they become popular.  They also act to support our denial of mortality, again, an immensely seductive power.
Sometimes I wish my first word was 'quote,' so that on my death bed, my last words could be 'end quote.'
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #163 on: December 14, 2016, 04:30:57 PM »

From Dicky Underpants


 ???Please pay attention to what Slashcuba said so succinctly, before you wish to dilute the modern meaning of Science. "Spirituality" in itself is a vague term, and can mean anything from a sense of artistic sensibility to the yogic practices which you are no doubt specifically referring to.
In the broadest spectrum of the world religions of history, you might say that the human sacrifices of the Aztecs and the Incas constituted 'spirituality'  - I'm sure those ancient peoples thought they were appeasing the spirit world by slicing away at young virgins with obsidian knives.

In the Christian tradition, we know that San Juan de la Cruz was well into self-flagellation, as were the notorious flagellants of the middle-ages. Ostensibly, these practices were to imitate the sufferings of Christ, and no doubt they produced changes in consciousness. The real science comes in when we realise that, after intense pain, the body produces endorphins which in turn induce a sense of euphoria. Added to which there is the psycho-somatic component of feeling that the participants are doing the will of God and therefore may be on the way to paradise. The latter concept perhaps explains the behaviour of that revolting 'saint' who liked to lick the sores of lepers, and lick their arseholes, claiming that such activities produced in her the most ecstatic spiritual joy. Again, true science can explain the pathology, but to claim that such 'spirituality' is 'science', I think even you would agree is stretching definitions a bit too far.

Again, there is the spirituality of the practices of Zen Buddhism, which directly contradict your own concepts, since though there are meditative techniques advocated, there is no direct or expected correlation between performing such postures etc. and the likelihood of "Satori". In fact, it is an axiom of Zen that "if you try to get 'it', it will elude you".

In short, 'spirituality' is a mixed bag. I don't doubt the Hindu tradition is replete with discliplines and systems. Why can't you be content with calling them such, instead of this neurotic need to appropriate the word "science" for them, which is neither helpful to true science, nor to getting anyone interested in the corpus of religious experience to which you are apparently alluding.

Trentvoyager

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #164 on: January 03, 2017, 05:46:32 PM »
From NS describing pubs (that is good pubs):

A good pub is a place of worship, a place of companionship,  somewhere to go with friends, somewhere to go to make friends. It is never judging, always welcoming, both a home from home, and a place to forget about home. It is where we are all Jock Tamson's bairns, and where we can be like Tod Sloan in a solitary uniqueness. There time stops and we escape the mundane, surrounded by the ghosts of our former selves, and the shades of the us yet to come. It is a community bounded by place but universal in character.
Brexit [Noun] - The undefined being negotiated by the unprepared in order to get the unspecified for the uninformed.

Shaker

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #165 on: January 06, 2017, 12:08:24 PM »
A witty little paragraph from wigginhall:

Quote
I always think how dull AB's descriptions are. He talks about the soul as if it was a pile of washing. OK, I'm not expecting thrilling poetry, but once he's said 'it's the soul that produces free will/perception' and so on, that's it. The instructions for an electric kettle are rather similar.
I don't mock religion - religion mocks itself; I just narrate. - Anon.

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #166 on: January 14, 2017, 09:59:54 AM »
From Anchorman


Openness is good, Sass. Ideas are good as well. It's perfectly possible to study both without compromising ones own faith....and incidentally not being judgemental about it.

jeremyp

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #167 on: January 19, 2017, 02:45:50 PM »
Just a one liner but it made me laugh. It's from Squeaky Voice in response to one of my posts. I need to quote my post to give the context but the Best Bit is all Squeaky...


If this story is true [the Trump prositutute g*lden shower one], we need to start cacking our pants, if we haven't done already.

Why? How much does he pay for that?
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Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #168 on: January 26, 2017, 04:52:21 PM »
From Owlswing:



Looking back at 2016 and at 2017 so far I have taken one thought from the unpleasantly long list of celebrities who have passed to the Summerlands in the period of 13 months, a list which inevitably will grow as 2017 passes.

Almost all these artists are people who entertained me as I grew up, some up to 10 years older than me, some a few years younger, and their departures have forced me to look at the questiion of "Just how much longer have I got?"

Over the past seven months or so I have considered the question and been forced to the conclusion that, in all probability, I am living on borrowed time but that worrying about it will, also in all probability, have only one outcome. It will shorten however much time I still have, worrying being, as far as I can see, one of the most debilitating avoidable 'illnesses' that humanity is heir to.

On this forum I have found friends and have made enemies, some from both groups are still here and some, also from both groups, have departed, for various reasons, for parts unknown. I have, despite the fact that I rarely post anymore but I do read the posts of others far more frequently, come to the realisation of just how much I miss those who have departed and how much poorer my advancing years would be if ALL those here were not here.

I have not participated in some of the discussions of subjects that have interested me as much as I might have wanted too as i have come, over the years, to realise just how far below those of others here my levels of intelligence and learning fall. My most useful adjunct to a perusal of the forum is the Oxford English dictionary.

All the above, taken as a whole, leads me to make this post to thank the forum denizens for both their friendship and their emnity before I suddenly find, from the other side of the veil, walking through the Summerlands, that I am no longer in a position to give that thanks.

To each and everyone who reads this my gratefull thanks for having made my life richer and for making what I have left brighter than it might otherwise have been.       
 
Thank you all, whoever and whereever you may be.

Trentvoyager

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #169 on: January 28, 2017, 08:53:48 PM »
From the Trump thread (from this day forth he will not get the appellation 'president' attached to his name by me) by Rhiannon - succinct and completely accurate:

The populist posturing is to distract from the fact that the 'man of the ordinary American' has surrounded himself with billionaire businessmen who've never given a shit about ordinary workers and who aren't about to start now. Classic smoke and mirrors.
« Last Edit: January 28, 2017, 08:58:53 PM by Trentvoyager »
Brexit [Noun] - The undefined being negotiated by the unprepared in order to get the unspecified for the uninformed.

Samuel

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #170 on: January 31, 2017, 01:33:06 PM »
From Gabriella on the Call to the religious thread. Eloquently expressed I thought

Quote
I use religion in the same way that I use culture and morals - I have a combined emotional and intellectual reaction to adopting certain views - and I go with what gives me the most satisfaction and happiness and that doesn't break the law. Obviously all cultural, moral or religious views may sometimes impact negatively on others, where they disagree with your views, but that is part of the challenges of living in a society - to try and accommodate that difference in a way that benefits society. Of course then you have the problem that there is no objective view of what benefits society.
A lot of people don't believe that the loch ness monster exists. Now, I don't know anything about zooology, biology, geology, herpetology, evolutionary theory, evolutionary biology, marine biology, cryptozoology, palaeontology or archaeology... but I think... what if a dinosaur got into the lake?

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #171 on: February 03, 2017, 04:38:10 PM »
From Dicky Underpants

As is well known, there are a number of words for 'love' in koine Greek, and it is important to understand what you actually mean by 'love' in this case, God's love, before you start making comparisons with one-to-one human situations. The Orthodox concept I've always found particularly unconvincing, since it seems predicated on the ideas of convinced believers who cannot
imagine a situation where there is no God as the ultimate reality, and presume that therefore anyone who does not believe must be consciously or unconsciously directly rejecting the supposed divine reality. A little more acquaintance with the actuality of what humans experience in their lives gives the lie to this idea - there are many genuine seekers who have not found, or some who thought they had found, and then realised they were deceiving themselves (myself included). Such would be the last to reject a divine presence, if there were one.
In this instance, you appear to be confusing a similar quote at Matthew 7 with the very specific one I referred to in Matthew 25. Both refer to 'doing the will of the Father', but the second one (which has the eternal fire reference) simply states what the fate of the cursed will be if they do not do good works. The former quote is more subtle, and refers to those who act from hypocritical motives, doing 'great works' in Jesus' name - however, there is no reference to eternal punishment here.

There is, of course, another possibility - on the assumption that there was a real historical Jesus, whose sayings and doings are buried somewhere in the NT text, and that Jesus himself had some sense of continuity in his mission. The possibility is that some of these texts are simply inauthentic - particularly the hell-fire one. Since Jesus made constant references to the Jewish law, 'one jot nor tittle of which would pass away', and was very familiar with the OT, he would certainly have been aware that there is not one reference to hell-fire therein, so would have been unlikely to start spouting such ideas, which largely grew up in the inter-testamental period.
I take the view (which I owe to Geza Vermes and others) that Jesus was Jewish through and through in his outlook, and that all other ideas expressed in the gospels are later accretions, reflecting the personal gripes and/or ardent aspirations of the evangelists who wrote about him.

I personally have ceased to be 'troubled' by these matters, since I have no axe to grind about convincing myself that the NT in any way portrays a consistent religious, philosophical or any other kind of view. I leave it to the true believers to be honest with themselves about what the text may or may not be trying to convey.

Gordon

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #172 on: February 10, 2017, 07:04:34 AM »
From Torridon (Seaching for God thread).

I'd agree the vast majority of us live happily within within that ''illusion' of free will, never even bothering to question it, having little need or motivation to. Most of us are happy in our skin and don't regret the loss of freedom that comes with being part of the chain of cause and effect. I don't regret the fact that I cannot be Japanese, I don't regret the fact that I cannot be gay.  I'm broadly happy like I am and what I am is an outcome of the chains of events that have led up to me being me right now. We take pleasure in our sense of agency and being able to make apparently free choices in more trivial matters, whether to choose tea or coffee, where to go on holiday, which house to buy.  In a sense, these debates are at cross purposes; you talk to the sense of freedom in terms of its meaning in the greater scheme of things without questioning how that sense arises. On the other hand, I am very interested in how that feeling of agency arises which means understanding and accepting the underlying substrate of cause and effect which leads to the insight that our feeling of apparent freedom and agency is a most improbable and wonderful thing.  What we have is the best possible situation, limited apparent freedom, we feel free without actually being truly profoundly free; to be truly free of cause and effect would yield meaningless incomprehensible chaos.

Gordon

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #173 on: February 13, 2017, 07:15:57 PM »
Penguins rarely get a mention here so this from Squeak is worth preserving (from the Searching for God thread).

Quote
Good grief. Watching chunsty trying to get the point is like those stories (from the Falklands) about penguins that were so intent on watching planes fly over them that they ended up falling flat on their backs.

"Look! Look! There's the point. Up in the sky! Look look it's going straight over us!" THUD. "Wow. That point was amazing! Look! Another one, another one!" THUD. "They keep going right over our" THUD. "heads!" THUD...

Nearly Sane

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Re: Forum Best Bits
« Reply #174 on: February 17, 2017, 09:47:21 AM »
I doff my hat to Anchorman for the post below.





Spud:
What I 'want' is irrelevant.
Archaeology doesn't work that way.
What it does is work with the available evidence, and try to build the history round it.
Sometimes new evidence comes around to shake up the established histories; in that case, if they are in any way true to their discipline, the historians will try to reconstruct the period in question with the new evidence included.
It wasn't always like that. Take a young man, skilled in draughtsmanship and a committed evangelical, determined to prove what he thought the Bible was in his mind.
He entered an Egypt newly administered by Britain and France; was stunned by the pyramids, which, like many of his day, he thought to be a message from God.
As his draughtmanship took over, he realised the truth, and from that moment till his death, he excavated the remote past.
We have him to thank for much of the predynastic and early dynastic dating of Egypt (and showing that the land was not affected by a cataclysmic flood).
His name? W.M.Flinders Petrie - and he remained a committed Christian till he died.
There should be a lesson there for you: that it's perfectly possible to be an evangelical yet accept that the Pentateuch is not historically accurate.

I ask again the two questions I have posed:
1: Where is the archaeology for a slave population of massive proportions in the Egyptian Delta?:
and
2) When do you propose the Exodus occurred (if it happened as set out in Exodus) and why?