Author Topic: I'm taking pascal's wager  (Read 6266 times)

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Offline GamerGirl

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I'm taking pascal's wager
« on: March 30, 2011, 01:57:14 AM »
Because I'm willing to break my heart for a soul my mother created.  At least, until I reconcile an idea that defies reason... I'll make this forum's question one of my prayers... for the sake of my mother...

I'll ask her the WWGHA question.... I hope she can tell me.  Why? Because I can?

Now debate me!  I'll need a lot of explanations before I can ask her.

Offline xphobe

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #1 on: March 30, 2011, 02:24:38 AM »
You seem to be posting more frequently lately, or maybe I've just recently noticed you.  At any rate, I went back and read through some of your recent posts, and I'm having trouble understanding what you're trying to say.  Sometimes I get the feeling you're not saying anything at all.  I'm trying to figure out what kind of a conversation to have with you, and I find myself wondering if it's worth the mental effort.   I don't mean that to sound insulting, though it probably did.  Sorry.  It's late (or early, whichever) and my brain is sort of fried.  I'm just trying to be honest.
I stopped believing for a little while this morning. Journey is gonna be so pissed when they find out...

Offline GamerGirl

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #2 on: March 30, 2011, 02:39:42 AM »
I want to ask my mother this question one day in the future.  I need newer arguments for the courage to ask her why.  She wants me to pray with her and for her, and help her answer her prayers.... I feel dishonest when I do so. 

I want to ask her why.  It's not a question a person here can answer, but... I want to hear more than just atheistic reasons... Does this help?  I want to be able to do this before she dies, so I don't have to ask a tomb stone.  She entertained my theistic evolution, but said she couldn't understand evolution, but she was proud that I believe God caused it.  I wonder if she'll be willing to entertain this question the next time I discuss religion with her. 

So I ask that people debate me, on this matter... or discuss it... whichever.  I want to know why adults have chosen their beliefs before I choose to abandon mine entirely.

Offline Emergence

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 03:29:28 AM »
[tangent]

At any rate, I went back and read through some of your recent posts, and I'm having trouble understanding what you're trying to say.  Sometimes I get the feeling you're not saying anything at all.

Xphobe, it's not late where i am at and i had a good night's sleep. But just this morning i thought something very similar, reading the posts here and on ATT (ok, i mainly thought: WTF?!?). So i can say it's not just the perception of your "fried" brain but also that of my well rested one, too. I normally wouldn't have posted about it without your priming, but you have a point: Honesty is important. Therefore i wanted to publicly tell you that you are not alone and give another honest opinion to GG. GG, i hope you take it as fillip  :)

[/tangent]
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Offline Vivisectus

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #4 on: March 30, 2011, 03:41:27 AM »
Pascal's Wager is based on a logical fallacy. It confuses "all possible gods" with "the god that I Imagine when I say the word god"

You need to answer the question - what is god? Before you can even begin to contemplate it. And also - do we need to know what god is? Do we, when you get right down to it, need a god?

I don't think we do. I don't believe in gods. I believe in People. Us. We are pretty great, I think. Look at us! Small, fragile bags of watery stuff held up by brittle bits of calcium. We grow on a small rock somewhere in the middle of an enormous, largely hostile universe. Even this rock does not yield life to us easily! We must use all our resources to make sure we can maintain our existence.

Behind us and in front of us is oblivion. We live but short, frantic lives. In the end our own bodies will fail us as we make room for the young we have created.

And yet we invent, we create, we imagine, we care, we love, and we bring beauty into this world were there was none before! All this in the face of these enormous odds! Can you imagine anything more romantic, more dashingly quixotic, more full of the force of life itself? To live life as a decent human being - just to be a decent person - is a heroic undertaking, and a truly noble one. It makes me proud to be a human being - to be a part of all this.

That is my answer - my spirituality, if you like. I like Nietzsche when he says we should say "yes!" to life, and say so with pride and enthusiasm[1]. We should not invite death into our lives as long as we have one last heartbeat in our breasts and one last drop of life flowing through our veins. Don't become a fatalist, like most believers are, who give up on life and long for static, eternal happiness - what else IS death but a lack of change?

Religion requires you to give up on this world. I am not prepared to do so - I am not a coward. Pascal's Wager is not just fallacious - it is cowardly. It yields to an imagined God because of what he may or may not withhold from us, or do to us. That is not faith - it is sycophancy!

Me, I will risk the wager, and if I am wrong, then I will stand before God with my head held high, and state that I always lived like an honest man. If that is not good enough for him, then I will spit in his eye and damn him for a tyrant. Why worship such a creature? And if it IS good enough, then I can do so without begging for his help at every step.
 1. mind you, there is a hell of a lot wrong with old Nietzsche as well!
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Offline GamerGirl

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #5 on: March 30, 2011, 04:12:06 AM »
Vivi, I asked my mother that question "What is God": she said that God was love.  She showed me how to love reading, and so here I am.  I read the bible in an attempt to justify her answer.

What is God?
I don't know.

Who is God?
I'm not sure.

Who do I suspect he is?
A childhood friend.

I want to know... why do I still care?

Did I create God or did God create humans? 

No SPAGing.  I've heard those questions and some decent answers to them.  For me, God is literature, language, and life celebrated by humans who are capable of many things. 

Does that make God a symbol? If so, what does he symbolic of?

My own delusions, but... am I crazy? Why am I so afraid of saying no to God? x_X am I addicted to him? Oh gawd.

^An example of me arguing with myself when I'm running on sleep deprivation mode, usually due to finals... but this time... family keeps me up at all hours of the day.  I sleep in 4-6 hour shifts, go to school for 2 hours, then spend time talking to friends, doing homework and lurking the webs.

Offline Vivisectus

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #6 on: March 30, 2011, 04:50:24 AM »
God is love? Humans love! It is something we do! I hate it when people say that. It is part of the usual routine where all good things get attributed to God and everything bad is our fault. We love, and it is part of what we are, part of what makes us so successful. I see humans love every day of my life. I have never seen a god doing it.

I would say, if I was taking the deistic approach, that God is Life. Our urge to live and give life to ourselves, our children, even to ideas and little rows and columns of letters! But when I look at that sentence, I wonder why I am keeping the word God in there. I would be more honest to say "Life IS".

But hey that's just me :)

I think I know how you feel. My wife has the same feeling - an internal recoil from a godless universe, even though she cannot justify believing in god logically. She doesn't believe, but to think of there not being anything touches some nerve deep inside her, and makes her shy back from it.
It is a foine loine between a poirate and a farrrmer. Oi stand astroid that foine loine.

Online Anfauglir

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #7 on: March 30, 2011, 04:52:53 AM »
Marcus Aurelius said:
Quote
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
This sums it all up for me.
Just because you've always done it that way doesn't mean it's not incredibly stupid.
Why is it so hard for believers to answer a direct question?

Offline Vivisectus

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2011, 05:05:19 AM »
^^^ I like that! Nicely put and full of dignity.
It is a foine loine between a poirate and a farrrmer. Oi stand astroid that foine loine.

Offline GamerGirl

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2011, 07:44:07 AM »
Me too.  I want to help my mother learn how to love life because she taught me so well how to love my own.  It took moving away from her to realize that.

Offline screwtape

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #10 on: March 30, 2011, 07:44:44 AM »
GG,

It sounds like you want something - some kind of change? - but you have either do not know what it is or cannot articulate it.  As a result, you post cryptic paradoxes, vague emotional tropes and poetry.  Going by history, this makes conversations with you very difficult because we try to drag the point out of you and you seem to do everything you can to obscure it. 

I am more than happy to have a discussion with you, but I am not going be the doing the heavy lifting for you.  I have some ideas of what I think you are trying to say, but I am not going to bother to comment just on that speculation.  I need you to put forth more effort in communicating.

So, before this becomes an annoying clusterfuck, take some time, figure out what you are really trying to say or ask, and then post it in a concise and clear manner. 

your affectionate uncle,
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Offline GamerGirl

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #11 on: March 30, 2011, 07:54:50 AM »
I'm not asking you to! I want to go back to my family one day telling them that I tread upon atheist waters trying to learn why they taught me to value life through God. 

I want to know why I believe, and until I reason with other believers, I may not fully decide until I'm tired of sitting on the fence one day.

Offline Dante

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #12 on: March 30, 2011, 08:01:13 AM »
I'm not asking you to! I want to go back to my family one day telling them that I tread upon atheist waters trying to learn why they taught me to value life through God. 

Probably because that's how they were raised by their parents. They know no other way.


I want to know why I believe, and until I reason with other believers, I may not fully decide until I'm tired of sitting on the fence one day.

It's been discussed before; it's not a decision you make. You cant decide to believe, or not believe. You either believe, or you do not.
Actually it doesn't. One could conceivably be all-powerful but not exceptionally intelligent.

Offline GamerGirl

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #13 on: March 30, 2011, 08:14:20 AM »
I don't remember being an atheist, I do remember doubting God, becoming a rededicated Christian, and then hating religion.  I can't do this to another person.  I'm a dishonest Christian, because I'm not creating spirit babies, raising them to believe they're someone aside from themselves.  I've denied myself the Christian title and instead enjoy its mythology.

But... I want to try and figure out how to explain this to my son... I don't want to violate his soul by defining it for him, I want him to discover himself as he grows and learns to think for himself. 

Offline Lurking

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #14 on: March 30, 2011, 08:14:57 AM »
Marcus Aurelius said:
Quote
Live a good life. If there are gods and they are just, then they will not care how devout you have been, but will welcome you based on the virtues you have lived by. If there are gods, but unjust, then you should not want to worship them. If there are no gods, then you will be gone, but will have lived a noble life that will live on in the memories of your loved ones. I am not afraid.
Wonderful words. I try to live my life according to this, but has never been able to put it down in such meaningful sentences.

Offline Zankuu

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #15 on: March 30, 2011, 08:25:48 AM »
I don't remember being an atheist, I do remember doubting God, becoming a rededicated Christian, and then hating religion.  I can't do this to another person.  I'm a dishonest Christian, because I'm not creating spirit babies, raising them to believe they're someone aside from themselves.  I've denied myself the Christian title and instead enjoy its mythology.

But... I want to try and figure out how to explain this to my son... I don't want to violate his soul by defining it for him, I want him to discover himself as he grows and learns to think for himself.

GG, if you can find the time I'd like you to create a new thread about your beliefs because honestly, I have no idea where you're coming from. One member has claimed you're a deist but that's in contrast to you posting Biblical scripture.
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Offline screwtape

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #16 on: March 30, 2011, 08:27:14 AM »
Hi GG,

I'm using my moderator voice now.  That is to let you know I am trying to help you with your posting style, not argue with you.


I'm not asking you to!

Not asking me to what?  Have a discussion with you?  That is what the forum is for.  It is not your personal bullhorn for you to send every random thought you have into the cyber-universe.  It is not for you to post whatever you want and not have a response.  And if you are posting material that is opaque, that nobody gets, that you are unwilling or unable to explain, then you are trolling.

I want to go back to my family one day telling them that I tread upon atheist waters trying to learn why they taught me to value life through God. 

This is exactly what I am talking about. Cryptic.  Self-contradictory.  Poetic.  I cannot say for sure what you mean.  I have some ideas, but you have not stated anything clearly enough for me to be more that 50% sure. 

The point of communication is to convey an idea to someone else.  If nobody else understands your idea, you are not communicating.  As a tangent, the point of art is to communicate.  If no one is getting your message from your art, it is not art.
 

I want to know why I believe, and until I reason with other believers, I may not fully decide until I'm tired of sitting on the fence one day.

Same here.  That could be interpreted about half a dozen ways. 
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Offline velkyn

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #17 on: March 30, 2011, 08:31:48 AM »
GG, if you can find the time I'd like you to create a new thread about your beliefs because honestly, I have no idea where you're coming from. One member has claimed you're a deist but that's in contrast to you posting Biblical scripture.

The problem with GG is that she is desperate for attention from anyone, be it her imaginary god or us.  She wants the external validation that her beliefs in her god are correct but doesnt' like other theists because they disagree with her.  So she comes here, trying to find external validation from a "safe" audience because she can ignore us when convenient.
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Offline LadyLucy

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #18 on: March 30, 2011, 09:10:05 AM »
GG, if you can find the time I'd like you to create a new thread about your beliefs because honestly, I have no idea where you're coming from. One member has claimed you're a deist but that's in contrast to you posting Biblical scripture.

She is indeed a Deist. See, she has this... problem. It's SPAG. And she is unsure about what she believes in, which explains her cryptic and "poetic" posts. She wants help, but at the same time, I can't help noticing her wanting attention from every single corner of the universe (on this forum). Normally (at the Atheist Think Tank), she's not like that, but maybe it's because she knows the people there better. Eh.  :?

And I would suggest the same, to make a whole new topic of her own, so that she can share her thoughts there and not turn this place into a chat room.


Offline velkyn

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2011, 09:20:04 AM »
I can't see her being a deist since she always invokes "God" and Jesus.   :-\
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Offline LadyLucy

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #20 on: March 30, 2011, 09:29:02 AM »
I can't see her being a deist since she always invokes "God" and Jesus.   :-\

Well, you see... She has been implanted deeply with this Bible God, so basically, she completely massacres the Bible God, took off all the limbs, and then she put him back together with what she thought is right or whatever else she thinks. Therefore, not really a Christian, since she doesn't belong to any Christian denomination, so it's a "Christian" Deist on a SPAG-fest! And to be honest, it's getting annoying since she does shout out her unsureness to every corner of the universe, but then again, she does want help finding closure, despite the fact that she has been going through this process for YEARS. [And she is slightly older than me, too. Don't want to share on what I think of that, for the sake of not sounding insulting.]
 
I have a feeling you know her already though...  :P


Offline Zankuu

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #21 on: March 30, 2011, 09:32:08 AM »
I can't see her being a deist since she always invokes "God" and Jesus.   :-\

Same here, velkyn. That pesky capitalized 'G' is really throwing me off.

Since my last post about GG I've sifted through her 35 pages of posts. This quote of hers is in response to a member that basically asked her what her SPAG was like, and really stuck out:

Loving, compassionate, wise, yet flawed.  Powerful enough to create a universe, weak enough to feel disgusted and give up for the most part but still intervene here or there.  One who reincarnates and senteces people to time in hell or grant them heaven based upon their actions in life.  One who is at awe and yet fearful of his creation but one who loves it dearly and has let go like a parent lets a child go when it grows up.

Basically, all the feel good stuff of a bunch of religions.

I'm still holding on to Jesus though out of fear.

I'm curious how much her belief has changed.
Leave nothing to chance. Overlook nothing. Combine contradictory observations. Allow yourself enough time. -Hippocrates of Cos

Offline Hatter23

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #22 on: March 30, 2011, 10:04:42 AM »
I'm not asking you to! I want to go back to my family one day telling them that I tread upon atheist waters trying to learn why they taught me to value life through God. 

I want to know why I believe, and until I reason with other believers, I may not fully decide until I'm tired of sitting on the fence one day.

If you are looking to reason with other BELIEVERS, why are you asking these questions in an atheist forum?

If you are a Deist, then you are to know "god" through his work (the universe) and not from mythology (the Bible) To Claim attributes about "god" from biblical sources is not Deistic at all.

An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline screwtape

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #23 on: March 30, 2011, 10:30:38 AM »
I'm curious how much her belief has changed.

It is difficult to gage since she is not very specific and her beliefs seem to change drastically from post to post.
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Offline velkyn

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #24 on: March 30, 2011, 10:56:22 AM »
Well, you see... She has been implanted deeply with this Bible God, so basically, she completely massacres the Bible God, took off all the limbs, and then she put him back together with what she thought is right or whatever else she thinks. Therefore, not really a Christian, since she doesn't belong to any Christian denomination, so it's a "Christian" Deist on a SPAG-fest!
Indeed.  She is just like *every* single Christian who has come here in her creation of her own version.  As we've seen, being in a denomination doesn't mean much for self-professed Christians.  ;)
Quote
And to be honest, it's getting annoying since she does shout out her unsureness to every corner of the universe, but then again, she does want help finding closure, despite the fact that she has been going through this process for YEARS. [And she is slightly older than me, too. Don't want to share on what I think of that, for the sake of not sounding insulting.]
Age has little to do with it.  One can be a vain idiot no matter what age you are.  There is nothing about her claims of wanting "closure" and her actions that demonstrate she actually does.  She can play the martyr no matter what.

and oh yes, I know GG aka Lillium.   :P
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Offline Graybeard

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #25 on: March 30, 2011, 12:25:25 PM »
I don't want to violate his soul by defining it for him,
Violate his soul??? What garbage is this? I dread to think what messages your son is picking up from your delusion, which I'm sure he cannot share (unless you frighten him to death with it!). Stop this immediately, it is mental cruelty.

Now, before you go any further, imagine "a soul." You are probably imagining an ethereal and nebulous substance that will evaporate from the body on death; that is the standard view.

The word for 'soul' and the word for 'life/living being/human life/human being” is the same throughout the Old Testament = nephesh.

The NT has two words

Soul = psuche?  breath, that is, (by implication) spirit, abstractly or concretely (the animal sentient principle or life-force) only;

And

Soul = pneuma; a current of air, that is, breath (blast) or a breeze; by analogy or figuratively a spirit, that is, (human) the rational soul, (by implication) vital principle.

The NT thus produces 2 ideas where as there was only ever really one and both end up meaning “Life force.”

Life force does not exist as a 'force', it is something that bronze age intellectuals made up. Thus, there is no 'soul'.
Nobody says “There are many things that we thought were natural processes, but now know that a god did them.”

Offline Hatter23

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #26 on: March 30, 2011, 12:57:58 PM »
Life force does not exist as a 'force', it is something that bronze age intellectuals made up. Thus, there is no 'soul'.

Unfortunately, way too many Sci-Fi writers didn't get the memo.
An Omnipowerful God needed to sacrifice himself to himself (but only for a long weekend) in order to avert his own wrath against his own creations who he made in a manner knowing that they weren't going to live up to his standards.

And you should feel guilty for this. Give me money.

Offline LadyLucy

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #27 on: March 30, 2011, 01:25:55 PM »
There is nothing about her claims of wanting "closure" and her actions that demonstrate she actually does.  She can play the martyr no matter what.

She said so on the other forum, ATT, and that's how I know. Otherwise, I would have a hard time trying to see what's going on in her rampant mind!  :laugh: As for "playing the martyr," not really. She is far from that, but at the same time, she is not making a good impression on her recent posts on here that are very cryptic and ambiguous.

and oh yes, I know GG aka Lillium.   :P

Wonderful! :D

Unfortunately, way too many Sci-Fi writers didn't get the memo.

But... B-b-but... I love Sci-Fi... It's so wooing and awesome and... Wooing!


Offline commie_atheist

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Re: I'm taking pascal's wager
« Reply #28 on: March 30, 2011, 01:59:09 PM »
lol neither.  i came across that photo somewhere on that new fangled intar-webs.  thought it was pretty funny seeing a 5 year old in a tiny stormtroopers costume.  i was going to use one of my drummer pics, but i thought that the mini trooper would be funnier.
please forgive my typos, i suck at written English.

 atheist extremist communist extraordinaire!