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Religion & Society / Re: God and Earthquakes
« Last post by velkyn on August 26, 2016, 05:40:18 PM »
I was thinking of that too.   One can pretty much guarantee that the parents were treated medically when they were children but they want to experiment with their religion by sacrificing their children to it.
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Why Won't God Heal Amputees? / humans healing amputees!!
« Last post by Boots on August 26, 2016, 03:10:43 PM »
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Killing in the name of Charlotte's Web?
« Last post by jaimehlers on August 26, 2016, 10:11:44 AM »
You should say "I now know what Eddie was saying".
You clarified what you meant, so further comment by me would have been superfluous.
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Religion In The News / Re: Religious Woman Planned to Kill Stephen Hawking
« Last post by jetson on August 26, 2016, 07:17:05 AM »
What bugs me here is the fact that the woman appears to be Christian, but the article never mentions her faith. What would the reporting be like if she was Muslim? Because it seems to me that when Christians do stupid s**t to hurt others, they're "clearly mentally unstable/ill/insert vaguely appropriate politically correct term here", but when members of certain other faith(s) do it, they're just religious zealots, pure evil that just wants to kill. Maybe it's just me, but I've been noticing this strange disparity for ... well, about a decade and a half now.

Also, a good question would be if people like the woman in the article can, ultimately, be helped. And, more importantly, what that help might imply in how to even define it. Can people like that be deprogrammed and if so, can they be happy in their new, non-religious or at least non-zealous state of mind?

I would agree that the reporting can be frustratingly lopsided in terms of calling out "Christians" who perpetrate such things. However, I believe there is a general undertone at the water coolers where most people seem to agree that there is no way a true Christian would do such a thing, especially on behalf of their Christian beliefs. Fellow Christians do not accept that God spoke to Andrea Yates, instead they consider her a nutjob. If not that, they tend to immediately project godless onto such a person.

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Religion & Society / Re: God and Earthquakes
« Last post by jetson on August 26, 2016, 07:13:18 AM »
what of the idiots who refuse blood transfusions?   I do agree that most would never ignore the help of science and tech.

Indeed, there are plenty of idiots (forgot about those). Reminds me of some parents of minor children who seem happy to put their child's life at risk, but not so much their own.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Killing in the name of Charlotte's Web?
« Last post by Eddie Schultz on August 26, 2016, 02:10:18 AM »
I think jdawg just sunk skeptic's battleship.  Or at least his destroyer.

People don't assert that heinous villains like Lex Luthor, the Joker, Frieza, the Chess Pieces, Dio, Turbo, or Archimonde don't exist because said villains do evil things (since people in the real world do evil things).  They assert that those villains don't exist because they're from fictional literature.  So if someone asserts that YHWH doesn't exist, it's not because they disapprove of YHWH's behavior in the Old Testament.

You should say "I now know what Eddie was saying".  :)
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The Ottoman Empire was no different to any other empire back then. Their goal as in any other Empire of the time, were to convert, enslave, and steal the wealth. The Roman Empire was the same, the British Empire started in the 15th century, too. They were conquerors. They converted, enslaved, and stole the wealth of too many countries throughout the world. The Ottoman Empire, by comparison, wasn't even near their level, and the British Empire didn't dissolve until 1997.

While Eastern Europe took the brunt of it, i think the Russian Empire during their Communist era, actually harmed Eastern Europe more than the Ottomans ever did. But that's my opinion.

-Nam
But I wasn't talking about the harm inflicted by the Ottoman Empire expansion. I was merely stating the fact that there have been Muslims in Europe for centuries, and not in negligible numbers, but Europe in general is still either Christian or secular (at least on paper). Therefore there's no evidence that Muslims are trying to enforce any kind of Islamic law on European countries and should not be prevented from exercising their basic human rights and seek better living conditions for themselves. With the emphasis on living.
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Religion In The News / Re: Religious Woman Planned to Kill Stephen Hawking
« Last post by oogabooga on August 26, 2016, 01:26:00 AM »
What bugs me here is the fact that the woman appears to be Christian, but the article never mentions her faith. What would the reporting be like if she was Muslim? Because it seems to me that when Christians do stupid shit to hurt others, they're "clearly mentally unstable/ill/insert vaguely appropriate politically correct term here", but when members of certain other faith(s) do it, they're just religious zealots, pure evil that just wants to kill. Maybe it's just me, but I've been noticing this strange disparity for ... well, about a decade and a half now.

Also, a good question would be if people like the woman in the article can, ultimately, be helped. And, more importantly, what that help might imply in how to even define it. Can people like that be deprogrammed and if so, can they be happy in their new, non-religious or at least non-zealous state of mind?
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Killing in the name of Charlotte's Web?
« Last post by ThatZenoGuy on August 25, 2016, 10:35:04 PM »
I think jdawg just sunk skeptic's battleship.

Oh god that is an accurate metaphor.

He sunk an old obsolete thing which was proven to not be useful or viable simply as tech advanced.
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General Religious Discussion / Re: Brian Weiss: Many Lives, Many Masters
« Last post by kcrady on August 25, 2016, 10:09:35 PM »
There's also a significant Locating the Hypothesis issue here.  Even if we grant that sometimes people experience "memories" of experiences had by other people in the past, reincarnation does not necessarily follow; it's only one possible explanation.  For example, instead of the hypothesis that there's a "soul"/"spirit" that "incarnates" sequentially in different bodies over time, what if consciousness or experiences is/are non-local and/or stored in some as-yet unknown manner, and that people sometimes tap into the cosmic hard drive and get a download?  This wouldn't even require anything supernatural--it's entirely compatible with the Nick Bostrom's Simulation Hypothesis (basically, that we're probably living in a Matrix, because if a culture can make Matrices, there'll be lots of those and only one "real" reality, so the odds favor this being a Matrix).

Or, it could be something akin to remote viewing, but across time as well as space, and perhaps using a person in that time as a locus, because it's easier to see through someone's eyes than to "see" without eyes.

Either hypothesis would explain "past life experiences" just as well as reincarnation, without reincarnation's problems.  A hundred people could access the same experience from one person in the past, so population problem: not an issue.  Experiences of people who made a "bigger dent" in the Akashic Record (or whatever) might be "louder" or easier to access in some way.  So, people might access the experiences of "important" people and remarkable events more often than unimportant people and unremarkable events for much the same reason we read more about "important" people and events in the history books.  Personal compatibility could make certain experiences easier to access.  So, Charlie Manson might have past-life experiences of being Hitler, but the nice little lady down the street who practices Reiki would be more attuned to experiences from a gentle Shinto priestess from 500 years ago.

Those things (multiple people can "access" experiences from the same life, some experiences are "louder" than others, personal compatibility matters) are secondary hypotheses in their own right, and reduce the probability of the main hypothesis in Bayesian terms.  However, reincarnation has its own secondary hypotheses (e.g. the existence of the immortal "soul" doing the reincarnating, that there's such thing as "karma," it's administered somehow, it's accumulated and cleared with in various ways, and so on).

Unlike the downloaded experiences hypothesis and the temporal remote-viewing hypothesis, reincarnation requires an additional ad hoc hypothesis to explain why most people don't remember any past lives, and even those with "past life experiences" generally (AFAIK) don't remember the whole life, much less a whole stream of lives. 

The end result is, there's no operational difference between "you reincarnate" and "you just die."  If I die and "reincarnate" as a girl in sub-Saharan Africa, her knowledge and personality will grow from a completely different set of experiences and knowledge-set than mine, and there's no discernible continuity between her and me that requires reincarnation as an explanation.  When I die, "I" am still gone, even if my bit of spirit-Play-Doh gets re-molded into little Ndota Inkasha.

So, apart from compelling evidence in favor of reincarnation specifically, what's the point of believing in it?  BTW, in Asia where the reincarnation hypothesis originated, it is viewed as a trap to escape (into Nirvana, which means "snuffing out" or "being extinguished" in Sanskrit--sounds like plain ol' death to me!) via the proper spiritual practices and behaviors, instead of "Yay!  A hereafter!" 
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