Why can’t you just respect my beliefs?

November 21, 2012 at 1:24 am 53 comments

Isn’t that a terribly common cry to hear from those who still believe? You try to engage them in some sort of dialogue about your doubts, they give some pat answers, you shoot those down easily, and then they act like you’re attacking their faith, they get defensive, and they cry, “Why can’t you just respect my beliefs?”

I have to admit that my first thought in response to this accords with a quote I found by Bertrand Russell. “There is something feeble and a little contemptible about a man who cannot face the perils of life without the help of comfortable myths. Almost inevitably some part of him is aware that they are myths and that he believes them only because they are comforting. But he dare not face this thought! Moreover, since he is aware, however dimly, that his opinions are not rational, he becomes furious when they are disputed.”

How perceptive of Mr. Russell. The real problem with believers, and the real reason they are so easily upset, is a deep-seated insecurity. As I brought up in a previous post, God is really a surrogate parent. So believers who have their faith challenged are afraid of losing their parent, and by extension, their whole “faith family”. The cry, “Why can’t you just respect my beliefs?” can be translated more realistically to “Don’t take away my comfort and security! You’re scaring me!”

For me this realization brings me to wonder, “How do I get past this blockage? How do I help someone to set aside their insecurities and face their fears? How do I help them to grow up enough to face the world as an independent adult when they’ve been leaning on a parental figure for so long?”

From the experiences of just about everyone on this forum, I think it must be concluded that this process happens in a stepwise fashion, not all at once. These steps of course can differ for everyone, but there are some common elements.

  • Doubts have to lodge in the mind of a believer and grow there.
  • The believer needs to have some idea of life apart from his/her known faith.
  • The believer has to develop some firm idea that something is true apart from what he/she has held heretofore.
  • The believer has to be able to figure out how to deal with the cost of deconversion. After all he/she stands to lose friends, family, and more.

Of course there are probably more elements to add, but these are ones I can readily think of. The upshot of all of them is that respecting someone’s beliefs, or if you will not exacerbating someone’s fears, can be complicated. Still and all we do need to take the trouble to try to awaken people from their errors.

Why that last statement? Quite simply because religious beliefs aren’t just benign and powerless. They’re not like Easter Bunny myths. No, religious beliefs are constantly being thrust into politics, laws, school systems, and into the next generation of vulnerable, young brains.

I admit that I’m not the sort of fellow who likes to upset my religious friends and acquaintances by yanking away their security blankets and setting them into crying fits. But I also don’t want to live under Sharia law, or Old Testament law, or under some interpretation of New Testament law.

And I must hasten to add this point. At the end of the day, religious people aren’t usually very respectful of unbelief are they? Not really. Not often. Do unto others and so forth is supposed to be a prinicple they live by though isn’t it? (I not the one who make that rule up ya know.)

So here’s the conclusion that I get pulled to:  I can’t respect your belief if that means letting you go on disrespecting mine, or demanding that your beliefs dictate how I should live, or allowing fantasies and poor performance to substitute for education. None of that deserves respect. In the end that’s really the final answer to the question isn’t it?

“Why can’t you just respect my beliefs?” …… “Because your beliefs don’t earn respect.” 😦

Entry filed under: LeoPardus. Tags: , .

Built in Irrationality The reason for the season?

53 Comments Add your own

  • 1. lunch break whatevers 11.21.2012 | words with pictures  |  November 21, 2012 at 1:04 pm

    […] via de-conversion: […]

  • 2. cag  |  November 21, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Thanks, Leo. That which we find amusing in a three year old should often be disrespected in an adult.

  • 3. Alban  |  November 28, 2012 at 4:08 am

    Cag, are you a parent? Have you watched a child grow to an adult? Big difference between you growing up and being a parent! You learn to temper judgement,

    Leo is very clear. If I have to judge, I’d say his observations are sound. Remember there is no right or wrong here- we have adopted that attitude-which doesn’t make it correct when we support or undermine any belief. For skeptics’ sake you should know better.

    I like your smart-aleck edge in most cases, not that it gives you an edge, but if I could suggest a better tact, digest first the heart of the expression then make your quip if necessary, with your opinion.

    Sophisticated muggers like you and ubi can entertain and sometimes provoke interesting dialogue in this type of conversation, but please do not bring your observations down to a level that disregards the dignity of a contributor.

    The three year old right or wrong, years into the future still posesses a purity no matter how covered or slanted, that still can be sought, if not actively coveted…the honesty-the enthusiasm-that is what we are…not what we have been sculpted to be by our elders or by our circumstances. We all need to express our inner frustration or what seems to be fulfilling,

    We are raw love bound in limitation, some by physical law, most by decree and then the kiss of death…widespread agreement. This site shouldn’t faceplant expression- it can challenge and in that challenge encourage people to think more clearly, step back or step forward as their conviction propels them.

    Let it happen and swoop in as you uniquely do (as well as ubi) once you have read and ascertained a couple of times. There are some really decent people with valid points and concerns who contribute here and I applaud Leo for his well expressed views!!!!!!!!

    It’s certainly not like the ease of Southwest Airlines, but please do not run sincerity off. Your rebuttals are fantastic to HELP people think. Just remember the dignity part in your well formulated rebuttals or acquiessances. Thanks

  • 4. cag  |  November 28, 2012 at 3:07 pm

    Alban, I have no problem respecting a person while considering some of their beliefs to be absolutely absurd. All religious people have beliefs that I find ridiculous. There are also non-religious people that have silly beliefs. A three year old who believes in monsters under the bed is not in the same category as an adult believing in the supernatural. The first is from allowable ignorance, the second is from curable superstition.

    The three year old has, unfortunately, about an 80% chance in the USA of being lied to and inculcated with superstitious nonsense before having the ability to reason. Religion thrives not by its value to society but by its ability to brainwash the young. I have no respect for any organization that encourages child abuse, and make no mistake about it, convincing children into superstition (religion) is abuse. I do not respect the aspect of any religious person that brainwashes their children into accepting lies.

  • 5. ubi dubium  |  November 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm

    JT Eberhard has a really good response to this:

    “I’m going to do you the respect of being straight with you.”

    (http://www.patheos.com/blogs/wwjtd/2011/11/what-im-thankful-for-respect-real-respect/ )

    He explains:
    “Respect, at least in my eyes, does not mean placating somebody as though they lack the fortitude to withstand criticism. It does not mean treating somebody as though they’d rather be unaware of an error than hear about it. Those things are condescension and nobody should want that.”

    I don’t think I can say it any better than JT did. So I’ll leave it at that.

  • 6. Cris Rand  |  November 29, 2012 at 10:55 am

    Excellent post. I’ve been a former evangelical for almost 10 years now, and my primary concern in dealing with family and friends has been one of not affirming their beliefs. I don’t usually directly criticize, I just refuse to affirm for them anything they say that relies on a supernatural belief. If something comes from the bible, and is true anyway, all the better. I have yet to have anyone be bold enough to question me on religious matters. They do realize somewhere deep down, like you say, that their religious faith stands on insecure ground (despite it supposedly being on ‘The Rock’), and would rather not endure a negative social interaction that just may lodge too serious of a doubt, one that they might not be able to dismiss or rationalize away. That’s how I felt as an evangelical during college… the very last thing I wanted was a debate! I knew I had no convincing arguments.

    Your four conditions for deconversion are right on. Though the fourth I wasn’t ready for.

  • 7. LeoPardus  |  December 5, 2012 at 2:03 pm

    What’s so very strange to me, and I suppose it always will be, is that I was always ready to take on anyone who challenged my faith. I never backed down and most of the time the other person backed down from me. I had loads of solid, convincing arguments. In fact, to this day I dare say I could play the part of an apologist rather convincingly and scare a lot of atheists and agnostics.
    You’re right. They should never be so timid if they have “The Rock” to stand on. It’s just more of the hypocrisy.

  • 8. Freddy Drennan  |  January 26, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    One might ask this question if the individual understands evolution.

    Since evolution happens, how does it synthesize with a historical Adam? If there was no actual “fall” introducing original sin then why does man have to suffer in hell if his brain is the result of blind evolutionary processes. Since the mind does control social and moral behavior in the prefrontal cortex and temporoparietal junction.

  • 9. cag  |  January 26, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Freddy Drennan #8, please provide evidence for a “historical Adam” without reference to any fiction such as the bible.

  • 10. Freddy Drennan  |  January 26, 2013 at 6:25 pm

    There isn’t. That’s the point. If you find a Christian who believes and understands evolution, it completely undermines their theology. They have to choose.

  • 11. Freddy Drennan  |  January 26, 2013 at 6:27 pm

    I don’t try and prove anything, I just want them to think for themselves.

  • 12. Alban  |  January 27, 2013 at 12:49 am

    My last reply to Freddy never made it the post…oh well.
    Choice is in 2 different realms. In the analogy to “the garden”,the choice was given to the soul-it’s deepest desire- during or should I say ‘despite’ brain function. The soul though protected in infancy and early youth is nevertheless indoctrinated to a known measuring capacity in the choice of right/wrong; good/bad; how high; how far etc.

    The original and now seemingly to our chosen choice extinct (never existing?) choice to each soul is do you want to accept Life itself in its simple essence or are you going to take life and apply your ignorance of it subject to the limitations conferred in ‘the garden” ? (as an analogy) and accept its outcomes as your reward?

    Yes-yes has been our reply without deferance to our soul(s) which seems like woo to most skeptics. Can the soul( the pilot-the decisionmaker) being animated by the life force make any ‘decision’ without the brain? YES.

    Before there was capacity to determine right/wrong- good/bad we had as a race, clear choice. You are either “in” or you are out…with myriads of choices on the out side-(one among them being “in”) was the filter we chose at that time in the analogy of the garden. The filter is for better or worse, our own rationalization.

    That ‘filter’ did not exist before the garden. It became an add-on that we as a race adopted and have handed down. Philosohers eventually called it “reason” and theologists used the strategy to keep our origin and the difference between the choices – a mystery. It was truly ‘the path of least resistance’. Compatible with imagination and its devotee, religion. Both groups did not purposely cloud the picture. Deductive ‘reasoning’ was the pearl giving skeptics in their original posture a chance to be ‘born again’ (as skeptics albeit on the other side) Skeptics were originally for original choice.

    Nowadays we live in our 6×8 cells thinking we have choice not realizing we are eliminating an entire other choice because we can explain it away, It does not exist. Yet it does, way outside of religion, way in the heart (not emotional)…the intrinsic clarity of each one of us beyond the brain and its protocol of measurements. A measurement of sorts can take place in the choice to accept knowing onesself, though the the criteria for ‘measurement’ is hard to explain. It is not woo. It is always available throughout our breathing lives.

    Otherwise our only choice is ignorance. We can dramatize that and even put lipstick on it. There are afterall, good and bad choices. And in the outward tradition of the original skeptics, we can deride it- claim that ignorance as involving an “absence” of God-completely a 180 from the original sect. (The original skeptics were all rounded up and slaughtered)

    At least the ultimate responsibility of those 2 choices remains-each one of us can decide what we really want. One allows you to enjoy freedom within any outward limitation OR excess (has similar challenges)- the other, a prisoner in the cell of circumstances and limitation, continually theorizing an escape or in the absence of escape, blame.

  • 13. cag  |  January 27, 2013 at 2:07 pm

    Alban #12, I put your word salad into Babelfish and the program abended.

  • 14. Alban  |  January 27, 2013 at 4:15 pm

    The dilemma some have in accepting the simple essence of Life itself is the notion that they already do accept that. “Isn’t it obvious”,
    one might ask?

    We take for granted our breath for instance until it comes no more and live in attempted quality that is fully dependant on circumstances. We aim either to improve this quality of life or maintain it-depending on the motivation of each one of us. T,hat sets up perpetual self judgement or analysis. Conditional joy is then the basis for how we assess life and became the prototype for creating “God’. “He must be just like us”.

    Yet time after time someone shows up claiming that “God” (our agreed upon term) is within each one of us.We see outwardly that we are alive but cannot grock how the 2 might be related…possibly being one in the same. The religious see God outside of themselves in nature and the like and make the good results of their actions the results of God’s favor. God is good- on good days anyway.

    Then the next sunami shows up or kids are gunned down in a school or another ridiculous war begins and we wonder where our ‘god’ is. Reading and believing have never and will never answer that question. At best they create a hopeful disposition,maybe a little reverance and humility and of course behavioral guidance, contingent along with faith in going to Heaven upon death.

    So when we ask ourselves what is so great about life in its essence we see nothing except our presence. We are sad when we lose loved ones and either faithful stoical or scared when our own death faces us…still not recognizing the value of life itself-for itself and ourselves. We have all essentially become opportunists without wanting to touch or perceive what provides the opportunity to live. Yet we can historically read that that possibility is presented to us time and time again much like a reminder. Who acts upon it?

    Only those who haven’t been so covered with every type of indoctrination including that they feel or notice the part of themselves that wants by its nature- more so than “choice”, to feel, to perceive, to know and accept its essence.

    By the time the apostles and later Paul were all killed- John died of old age in prison the influence that had been out there was that the ability to know this essence was available yet without the messenger/Giver/ Revealer in any kind of prominence (safety had become a major concern obviously) Hence skeptics of christian belief had the hunch that knowing literally the essence of life was possible but that somehow the possibility had vanished. Unlike today where the possibility is well advertised but the possibilty to know onesself devolved into Babelfish.

    Nowadays at least the lives of skeptics are spared. The religions of the world do not fear their influence or their suggestion that living and ‘God” are somehow related-because the roman christians were efficient in sanitzing the ”plague” of that notion…glorifying and cementing “the mystery of faith”.

    What was so heretical about people wanting to simply know themselves-perceiving and accepting the essence of their lives? In this day and age maybe a couple of industries would take a hit, but I’d say, take one for the team. Ignorance can be scaled way back like darkness in a room when the lights are on. It is still there, but the light is where you want to be.

    And that can change a whole lot of unintended consequence in our world-quickly!…and not to forget above all, meaning, purpose, cotentment, joy, gratitude, a more conscious creativity etc.

  • 15. Freddy Drennan  |  January 27, 2013 at 4:45 pm

    I have stared death in the face and cleaned the blood of my fellow soldiers off the floor. Do not talk to me about life, as I have lived surrounded by death bolstered by religion. We sit here in America with our fat asses thinking about how blessed we are and how God’s grace has saved us. We pray for help without taking action. Believers stare fact in the face and deny the age of the Earth. Children are brought up believing those who aren’t like them will be damned to hell over something that cannot be proven or falsified. I cannot prove God doesn’t exist but on my journey through life I’ve found we’re all much the same. The Bible is a very human book with truths and lies, correlation and contradiction. It speaks to the human condition, our search for knowledge and understanding. However, it is an idol just as much as it speaks against false ones. It corrupts and uplifts. I do not claim to know the fundamental meaning to life, except that in my ignorance there is exceptional clarity. I give without wish to convert, because those in need are my companions in life. I just happen to have been born on a separate part of the planet. The one of thousands of sperm. Dumb luck. Life is precious, humbling, and bittersweet. But I refuse to hold contradictory views or distort reality into something we wish it to be. This life is all I got, I’m not going to waste it waiting for help to arrive.

  • 16. Freddy Drennan  |  January 27, 2013 at 5:02 pm

    I apologize. I get passionate, but I sounded like those I prefer not to hear from. I can understand what you are saying, as I felt it once too. I gave up faith for thinking freely.

  • 17. cag  |  January 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Freddy Drennan, it appears that I may have misinterpreted you (comment #8) as being one of the deluded. I apologize.

    Alban, two questions, do you believe in what we commonly call god? What about jesus? A “yes” or “no” will suffice. I already know that you believe in woo.

  • 18. Alban  |  January 27, 2013 at 7:03 pm

    Freddy Drennan, your perspective is understandible and thank you for your service.

    Thinking freely is much simpler when one realizes he or she is fully self contained. It sounds like a riddle but the old analogy of forests being contained in a single acorn is an accurate description…from the forest perspective. From the acorn perspective it seems mysterious.

    How to move people from one perspective to first wanting to feel the bigger picture within is difficult. If the want isn’t to some degree present, (even though it is by nature) the availability to find it does not exist for that individual.

    That is what makes a good teacher, a master.There is a gift in that person that melts away the layers of not knowing and distrust that blind faith has nothing to do with. Just simply focusing people on the subject which makes the brightness more and more obvious and the impediment to it less so.

    The words of that person although significant for topical understanding carry in their essence a connection for anyone listening to that place within that is free, full of ‘light’. Many have listened to the many masters (one at a time who have this particular gift) but relatively few ever follow thru with the discovery process.

    To some it may seem like a magic show. Simple words, simple meaning but a phenomenon of a unique inner presence (with no parallel to the experience of religious sermons) and a curious absence of extraneous thought…a simple contentment some have described as bordering on bliss. And that is just an introduction. But poof, within a few hours that phenomenon is gone. And in that wake most of the people, not realizing the simple connection made within, rationalize away that subtle feeling from that time, a feeling not able to be recaptured in thought or memory.

    Historically for most of those who came it ended there as a phenomenon. The very few who proceded somehow knew that that feeling was worth growing in tangible acceptance as opposed to developing. It wasn’t afterall a created phenomenon. This was something that was already present within. It was not an add-on. Daily effort would be inspired by the living breathing teacher whether that person be near or far.

    History has not been accurate or kind to this self discovery-self knowing. Yet all the major religions began with the only remnant of what the ‘disciples’ described that could be understood by those not shown the simple essence – the love and gratitude for the master.

    That is what throws history off in terms of real understanding. For the gift is greater than the giver. History made the giver superior to the gift, yet the gift offers a little insight into the nature of the giver.

    So Freddy, of any faith you have, to be a truly FREE thinker, have faith in yourself. Trust yourself And with that asset find within you what may enjoy accepting the knowledge of self if it seems to be worth knowing. It will provide a perspective that is both soothing and spectacular!…..and free of imagination.

  • 19. Alban  |  January 27, 2013 at 7:18 pm

    Sorry cag. I was already feverishly writing. Not the “common” understanding of “God” or The Christ, so commonly understood belief, no.

  • 20. Freddy Drennan  |  January 27, 2013 at 7:23 pm

    I like to think of myself as a free thinker because I realize how biased we are towards our “wants.” I force myself to try and understand others perspectives, or at least I have for quite some time. It is not always easy. This involved reading the Bible and a lot of Christian literature. Certainly “woo” comes from Mere Christianity and I definitely enjoyed some parts of it. It was a mature discussion of Christian beliefs. However, there were also places where his clever writing, “Lord, Liar, Lunatic”, misleads because my option on who Jesus might have been is none of those.

    But yes, in order to continue our discussion, what type of God do you subscribe to?

  • 21. Alban  |  January 27, 2013 at 10:07 pm

    As you may surmise I do not perceive God as an invisible presence or as the guy who chooses sides in any game or activity including war.

    I do perceive God as an all pervasive sustaining energy and awareness that is quite pleased with our individualty, all encompassing love and abundance in every area of life but predominately with human being’s passion.We give the sustainer of all life the opportunity to feel the essence of him/herself (or other?) within our own nature and wants by our design by The Creator but bigger than that, our choice to be fulfilled which is strictlly within our will to want. Kind of like a mutual fulfillment.

    I still am amazed by the imagination of God. Look at all the different plants and animals and their great diversity

    So we get the chance to be as intimate as possible in our physical existence with what was not created, what has never not been and to be able to drink that pure love and joy from within is a worship so to speak, of the unbroken fabric of life that can light up for each of us, because it’s already lit and waiting and unbreakable in it’s essence..

    Not much office visitation in the afterlife. The ‘action’ afterall is here,which does include a great deal of concern including our own unintended consequences.

  • 22. Alban  |  January 28, 2013 at 2:11 am

    Freddy- I have had a hard time posting for some reason.

    In short the God I suscribe to is accessible within myself and to anyone who who would want to know an intimacy which is peaceful beyond words. Including taking me to a perspective of life not found in faith although there is some cross section, this perspective is big big picture. The gratitude of this connection, this union, produces a gratitude that is indescribable and an appreciation for life itself that is inaccessible thru any other means that I am aware of. To know this component of myself fulfilled my life in a way no other acomplishment or add-on perspective ever have. And the only power I know to be available in my own direct experience to be available 24/7. The Love of loves right there breath for breath with the life that breathes me. Not woo and absent of imagination.

  • 23. ubi dubium  |  January 28, 2013 at 8:29 am


    Sorry about Alban. He tends to post walls of text that are mostly word salad. I’ve long ago given up on trying to understand what he’s talking about. He believes in a lot of woo, that’s for sure.

  • 24. Freddy Drennan  |  January 28, 2013 at 9:11 am

    “Birth and death are space-time events in the continuum of life. So the opposite of life is not death. The opposite of death is birth. And the opposite of birth is death. And life is the continuum of birth and death, which goes on and on.” Deepak Chopra

    Alban, you seem like a nice guy but your not really saying much. Lots of words without any sort of meaning.


    Ever read Michael Shermer, I think this article sums it up.

  • 25. Freddy Drennan  |  January 28, 2013 at 9:14 am

    I really hate writing on phones, FYI. I end up looking like a 6th grader when I check my grammar.

  • 26. Alban  |  January 29, 2013 at 4:44 pm

    How can a person who lives by the sea explain the ocean to a person who lives with a well in his backyard and has only heard of the ocean?

    This is not to say the well isn’t vital for that person’s existence. Nor does it connotate that person isn’t expert in the knowledge of that well or its upkeep.

    It is just a matter of perspective. Deepak and law of attraction akin to religion rely on the ‘hope’ of the sea so to speak the invisible momentum. However seeing it, listening to it, feeling it, smelling and tasting it- swimming in it, sailing on it…that is an entirely different realm.

    Analogies and parables are the only descriptions that can be utilized unless you (want to) go there within. Why? among other ‘reasons’ because it is there and because you can.

    It is a non religious non mystical offer that’s been around for quite a while.

  • 27. Alban  |  January 30, 2013 at 2:07 am

    It is ironic-what I am talking about is the perception and simple accepteptance of what sustains life. Without it, there is no conversation at all…from a purely physical standpoint!

    Forget the dogma about “God” and wake up. This is a built in standard feature that is an asset, not the subject of an ideological debate. Interpretation of implication is a discussion for after the fact unless fear and mistrust of self delay the day.

    You have senses. They go inside as well as out. Have you ever put them inside- would you know how ? Then what is your beef when a “nice guy” suggests checking it out? What is there to gain in terms of perspective, cannot lose to to what is there to lose…or is the group agreement so much like the early roman-christian element that your whole premise of NO fulfillment or enlightenment fictionally corroborated and sticking fingers in your ears repeating la-la-la wins the day?

    You guys are better than the woo tact. Don’t insult yourselves. Pride can serve us well at times but arrogance is pride on steroids. C’mon if someone even suggested I was missing the best and biggest part of existence and it had nada to do with religion, I’d be all over it..especially for no money-are you kiddin’ me?.

    I can criticize to my heart’s content and laugh at it later If I felt it deserved that but what if it is actually present in me and I never gave it a second thought?

    I read some accounts of people who had lived thru the Depression. When phones began being attached to walls in homes- instead of putting money under the bed- many began putting it in the wall behind their phones. Several of the inhereting generations made the observation that when they would talk on those phones they would have fleeting thoughts about where Mom or Dad (then deceased) had hid a block of their money but didn’t connect the 2 circumstances.

    An innocent but costly mistake. So do you wonder if there is is some compassion in this possibility?. It’s certainly not hardcore go ahead and destroy yourselves mentality-in fact there is no interference one way or the other but the results of our ignorance are costing us.

    To take it to an extreme, is this about world dominanation corraling dumb folk or individual sovereignity-free of reasons, but chock full of proof for truth? No Sunday services (unless you want to)…just a little time everyday and alot of answers for alot less questions.

    A single possibility that’s al,l in a world full of possibilities.

  • 28. cag  |  January 31, 2013 at 1:55 pm

    Alban, perhaps the reason your message is not coming through is the messenger. What are you writing about? We are not a bunch of Deepak Chopra apologists.

  • 29. Alban  |  February 3, 2013 at 8:42 am

    Let’s put it another way. A little more cras perhaps.

    Part of us is animal. Part of us is not.

    You don’t like the lipstick on the rationalization of the animal part that considers religion. Deepak or woo.

    The message I am extending is about intimately knowing the other part…possibly better than you know your typing hand. Since you probably haven’t considered more than the function that hand performs, you may be oblivious to the other intricasies of the hand.

    The LIFE of a human being is similar to the hand. Looking at it like an animal we can only utilize its function. That is no different essentially except in our imagination and belief…well, we do have more active brains so we can mis-utilize our imagination, feebly attempt to create a manageable social order. Does that make us “The Crown of Creation”?

    No. THE other part allows access to something that balances out the ‘smart’ animal. THE other part invites enjoyment of self much better applied than a hand or imagination when savored. When there is no desire to savor LIFE, then savoring remains relative- completely bound by circumstance…like apes and monkeys dressed up in our ‘Sunday best’.

    The human race has alot more potential than imagination, social order or the abomination of either. The solution not a formula. It is self existent within each one of us.

    But when anyone has ever brought that to our attention we are more comfortable turning the possibility into a religion or as in the instance of skepticism, taking that ignorance and chucking the big picture out along with it.

    Isn’t time to WANT to know the big picture within each of us, in its practicality and not as an idealic theoretical pinianta? (pin-yata)

  • 30. cag  |  February 3, 2013 at 1:59 pm

    Alban, you lost me at

    Part of us is not.

    From the “lowest” to the “highest”, we are all animals. Obviously there is an intellectual variation between animals with humans at the top of the intellectual ladder. We have more imaginative thoughts than the lower animals. That just puts us at the top of a gradient, not in any special category.

    My dog enjoys life. His ability to lie is not as developed as the humans he lives with. Does that make him superior?

    You keep harping at what is within us but, like a god botherer, never explain in any useful way what that is. A lot of words meaning nothing. Until you explain yourself with specifics rather than some feel good generalities your words will remain worthless. We are not susceptible to self delusion on the scale needed to believe in your variety of woo without even knowing what your woo is. You prattle about what is within us, but that means nothing without specifics (which you have never presented).

  • 31. Freddy Drennan  |  February 3, 2013 at 2:37 pm

    My woo is astronomy. I get spiritual like feelings because I can’t contemplate all of existence. My mind evolved for other reasons.

    My woo is a desire for knowledge. Verifiable data that cannot be denied- common ground humanity can sit upon.

  • 32. Freddy Drennan  |  February 3, 2013 at 2:41 pm

    My “woo” is real. I’m humbled knowing I don’t have the answer to it all.

  • 33. Freddy  |  February 3, 2013 at 5:22 pm

    Like this Alban- this is English.

    We assume something can’t come from nothing, yet none have ever experienced a state in which there were no things. Maybe nothing isn’t what we assume it is.

    It took humanity thousands of years to figure out we circle the sun; facts stare us in the face yet we dont see them. I think future discoveries are staring us in the face as we drive to work.

    We’re made up of mostly empty space. If we were to make a black hole out of the earth, it would be about 9mm across.

    Early stars were formed by collapsing hydrogen and helium. As they heated up under the force of gravity, a fusion reaction created new elements like carbon and oxygen. As stars die, the elements they created go and create new stars lending to even heavier elements. Supernovae, as they explode, by their pressures and heat, form gold, mercury, lead, etc.

    The lightests elements are the ones in abundance. And heavier elements are created by recycling and molding old star dust.

    I wonder how people can believe that miracles happened 2000 years ago, but discredit faith healers today for being false teachers. And those who believe him “crazy.”

    I think C.S. Lewis was a brilliant man.

    I think the Bible is a testament to humanity. It is mans way of trying to understand events around him and make sense of it all. Men did not understand dreams as we do today. God “punished” when things went wrong and “blessed” when things went right. These were explanations written after the fact.

    Prophecy is not prophecy when written after the events happen. None of the desciples were around when Jesus was born, but surely if he was God, they “must” have happened this way.

    Were subject to confirmation bias and post hoc explanations. Not one individual is free from this.

    It speaks to us because it is in effect, an attempt to make meaning out of the world.

    Even if the universe had no ultimate purpose, that does not mean that we cannot find purpose in life.

    Wake up in the morning and be happy you’re breathing.

    Not all religious people are stupid, many are much more brilliant than I. Those are people that I should learn from but with equal time to those whom arent.

    DNA is complex, really complex. Maybe it’s divinely created, but I doubt it. All of what the earth is made of was once hydrogen and helium. Everything that you sit on, has been mathematically and observationally verified to come from just these elements. Including you. Except the whole precise origin of life.

    Which obviously is a heated debate.

    I dont think our brains have changed much in 50,000 years.

    Homo Sapiens in their anatomical form have been around for about 200,000 years. Only within the past 200 have we made such progress into living in such comfort. On top of that, you live in the richest country in the nation. For most of our existence we have lived hand to mouth yet we complain when our coffee isn’t right.

    I don’t care. I sleep in a bed and take showers. Much of humanity now cant say the same.

    I think everyone should be able to look at the stars and visualize how the solar system looks from a distant at that moment.

    So, lets place some circles around the sun. One; Mercury, Two; Venus. Alright, so if these two are circling the sun closer than us, then they’ll only be seen in the evening as the sun sets or sunrise. This is because the sun is too bright during the day. However, if you know where the sun is. You know about where these planets are and be able to find them.

    The moon circles the earth about every 28 days. The shadow on the moon isnt the earth’s shadow, but instead is nighttime on the moon. Pretend you are sitting on earth but have a flashlight as bright as the sun. Shine it on the moon, you’ll see a full moon. If you stayed on earth, but put the flashlight on the other side of the moon towards you, you’d have a solar eclipse. (Moon blocks out the sun). So now just think of the sun as that giant flashlight, You’ll notice that you’ll always see a full moon in the mornings and the evenings. That’s when the sun and moon are ligned up with us in the middle.

    Next, look at the moon in a picture and determine what time it is. You can get a pretty good guess.

    You’ll certainly know where the sun is in respect to the photo taker.

    A half moon is when the sun and earth are in a line, but the moon is directly to the right or left of the earth. Again, the moon circles the earth once a month. So when we see it moving at night, that’s us rotating, not so much the moon circling us.

    When I see light from the moon, that little photon left the Sun 8 minutes ago, reflected off the moon, and landed in my eye. That means, in 8 minutes it traveled 144,000,000 kilometers through space from a place that was 10,000 degrees on its surface and 27 million at it’s core.

    Heat is caused by how fast atoms are going. Heat is jiggly atoms.

    Light travels at 300,000 kilometers per second. Thats, 186,000 miles per second. The Andromeda galaxy is 2.5 million light years away and we can see it with the naked eye. If we could enhance it’s brightness, it would take up the space of 4 moons ligned up in our sky.

    2.5 million light years. Thats 23,652,000,000,000,000,000 kilometers. Thats, 310,393,000,000,000,000,000,000 grapefruit ligned up together.Thats the closest one.

    Get a pin, place a dot in the sky, and take a photo of empty space. You’ll see about 3,000 galaxies. All with billions of stars. Thats a pinpoint. Almost every star we look at has multiple planets around them but these are thousands of galaxies.

    Google “Hubble Deep Field”

    Light travels at a fixed speed. When a train moves toward you, the pitch is perceived higher and when it travels away from you, lower. Light does the same thing, so as a galaxy moves further away- it’s wavelength is perceived lower than it actually is. Doing the math lets us know how fast it is traveling away from us. Supernovae (Type 1a) explode with a fixed luminosity – thus, we’re able to determine distance by it’s perceived brightness. And in turn, determine how old the galaxy is.

    See, 2.5 million light years. That means the light has been leaving that spot for 2.5 million years. You are in effect looking directly into the past.

    Ever see the “evolution of man” diagram? Little ape to us? With all in between? Cut out thousands of these diagrams and separate the monkeys, monkey humans, and humans, into separate pieces. Now throw them and let them stick to the sky. That is what we have. We can see galaxies in the past forming, solar systems forming, stars forming, quasars, and black holes. All at different times of existence. We are able to see the evolution of the solar system at all points of existence up until a few hundred million years after it formed. And the further back we see, the more primitive the system.

    Yep, astronomy has it’s own time machine.

    We’re made out of stardust.

    We can trace evolution and see how we have progressed by looking at a fetus developing in the womb. We dont start out as little humans, we start out as little fish.

    Evolution passes along changes to descendants. Thus, it is like building a house but instead of removing parts to improve, it simply builds over.

    Wonder why kids develop lanugo in the womb now? That is, fur?

    I was the lucky sperm out of thousands. If my parents went to bed early that night I woudnt be here.

    If Hitler’s parents went to bed early he wouldnt have existed either.

    99% of all species that have lived are extinct.

    It’s highly unlikely we’ll fly. (Sigh)

    Inguinal hernias are an evolutionary side effect.

    Can you move your ears? Many animals can- but this is used to direct their attention towards sound. Our ancestors once had this trait, but as we moved into communities, this was less necessary as eyesight in a group is more beneficial. Use it or lose it.

    Ever wonder why some kids are born with tails?

    On occasion, female praying mantis’ will eat the head of their mate during sex. This also increases the rate in which they copulate. Though, this is not always the case.

    The most common animals on islands are birds, weeds that have grow to enormous sizes, and bugs.All which can travel by wind (spiders have been found foating a mile up in the sky), or floating.

    Most flightless birds evolved on isands. The dodo, kakapo, and kiwi, for example. Use it or lose it.

    The Asian Giant Hornet can get to the length of your palm and a few can decimate a hive of bees in about an hour, ripping their heads off. A certain group of bees in Japan have developed a defence; they lure in the larger hornet, vibrate their abdomens and raise the temperature of the nest to about 117 degrees. The bees literally cook the hornet to death.

    An ant paracite takes over the ant and makes it’s abdomen look like a bright red cherry. Birds eat the paracite where it reproduces itself and is pooped out so more ants are infected.

    There was no “first” man. Say I’m 300 pounds and I lose 0.001 pounds am I still fat? Do it enough times and you’ll find that I am no longer fat, but there is not a “specific” time when this would have happened.

    Adam and Eve had a mother and father.

    Language has been around 50,000 years, the last ice age ended about 10,000 years ago. Rapidly rising sea water would have resulted.

    If Noah and his family were the only flood survivors, why are there hundreds of flood myths all around the world? See the statement above the last statement.

    Venus is a greenhouse planet. You could cook a pizza on its surface in about 7 seconds. Thats what happens when a planet goes bad.

    When I use a garden hose, I see the upside down parabola caused by accelleration due to gravity.

    All arguments should be inverted. If statement x is given, what is 1/x?

    Explaining how the world came into being by stating complexity is required to create simple atoms to me is an illogical statement. Maybe empty space weighs something. And actually, it does.

    The oil spill was not BP’s fault. It was OUR fault. We all use oil and I didn’t see many people riding a bike the next day.

    The problem with humanity is our mentality to think that “the world would be a better place if everyone understood and saw the world the way I do.” For me, that is the root of evil and I have been the instigator more than once. We all have.

    We are a group oriented species. We form groups and morality is the bond between them. We love our groups, but despise those whom are opposed to us. We may say we love them out of some societal word salad, but we really have feelings of hatred towards them.

    Anyone who goes on the news to make a prediction about the economy should be recorded and his prediction checked for accuracy in the future. Any other time he or she goes on the air, the previous predictions and their accuracy should be visible. I wonder how many pundits would be willing to go on record.

    Any prediction about the economy should mimick his or her portfolio.

    We’re pattern seeking animals. Take Dr. Nash, he developed Game Theory but was schizophrenic. We see patterns in the world, but there is no filter to discern real patterns from fake ones.

    The right temporoparietal region of the brain (above the right ear) has been found to assist with one’s ability to determine the intentions of other people. On determining the appropriateness of poisioning another person, when this region was disrupted, the clients determined the person doing the poisioning was a fault when he or she didnt follow through with their task instead of placing blame for trying to kill another.

    This is much like when a child states someone is wrong for breaking a cookie jar, regardless if the person actually inteded to.

    I think churches work because we are social animals. We need community. Regardless of whether or not the basis of religion is solid, this is something they do right.

    With that, the longer something has been around, chances are it’s going to be around just as long or longer. There will be no “end” to religion.

    Living in urban environments, we’re isolated from others. This urban environment is far from the one we evolved in.

    I think depression is a good thing. It is your body telling you that something is wrong and until you figure it out you’ll continue to feel this way. Depression medication doesnt solve the problem, it just deadens it.

    I think schools kill creativity. Kids need to follow their passions. Everything I’ve learned I got from a book outside of school.

    All should read books by people they despise or wholeheartedly disagree with. One might find there is more common ground than they originally thought.

    Nobody can prove why you are alive or how you got here with certainty.I think our emotions and behaviors are evolutionarily constructed.

    The role of genes is to get passed along. Those which do during sex are the ones that increase in number.The behaviors that increase transmission of genes are going to be the ones most paramount in human behavior.

    Wonder why teens are so sex crazed?

    Murder decreases competition.

    Stealing decreases resources from another and increases one’s survivability.

    Altruism can been seen as the enemy of my enemy is my friend.

    Those who work together are at increased chances of surviving, period.

    Apes kiss, hug, and mourn. It is humans who put ideological explanations for war.

    It’s true, apes are 99% related to us and the rest of the animal kingdom is about 90%. It’s not all about outside looks.Almost all animals have a heart, liver, lungs, kidneys, brain tissue, a humerous, tibia, fibula, phalanges, etc. Our insides are amost identical but in different proportion.

    Nobody will show up and say “You’ll never guess what just happened” and then state “Absolutely nothing.”

    The unique and unusual things are the things that make for conversation, thus the normal every day is not held within equal context of the unusal. Strange things happen, they will always happen, but this does not imply the divine.

    We just remember the strange things.If prayers are answered with a yes, no, or maybe, they will always be answered. Whether by god or the flying spaghetti monster.

    I dont care what is true. My two rules are know exactly what I believe and be able to back it up while holding non-contradictory beliefs.

    I dont have to know everything, but the pieces that I do have must fit somewhere in the larger context.

    I dont think in possibilities but instead probabilities.

    Everything that I have stated is open to change. I dont subject myself to a particular worldview because once this happens, that is the filter in which we see things.

    Being “rational” isn’t always.

    I hope half of what I said comes back to be false and I’m shown otherwise. That is the joy of learning and understanding.

    America will not always be the strongest nation in the world. We’re young in comparison to others.

    If one’s political views line up exactly with a particular party, he or she is not thinking for herself.

    Not everything happens for a reason. In a way, that is consolation. There is no higher purpose for war, death, or merciless killing. Nothing “better” will come out of it. So instead of trying to figure out why a friend died in war or another lost their life in a wreck, it seems more plausible that random events happen. Good can come out of pain, but no death of a young person will bring “greater good” to the world. Good has left the world, because that person was beautiful, wonderful, and otherwise amazing.

    I’ll drop a thought on the world the moment I’m shown to be wrong.I dont care what’s true, I just want to know what is.

  • 34. Alban  |  February 5, 2013 at 2:45 am

    Your observations are eye opening. Many are anomolies (sp?) and others are hypocritical to any basic integrity of our race. I place all those on the core ignorance of humans.

    All people should want to discover within them what makes them “human” translated God- man. Sorry though, no verifiable proof prior to wanting to know for yourself. It is more of a self trust issue so as throughout history you’ve read like many others an account of one person who has been shown and who like his predacessors has the same inadequacy of spoken language to indicate the depth and breadth of this subject firsthand.

    Suffice to say initial acceptance of subtle, simple joy doesn’t remain subtle and the desire as you seem to have(!!) to want to know, can remain constant in the wish for fulfillment-peace-joy- elightenment-nirvana-God whatever name or label we put on it, without end. And do not just believe me here…you can literally determine that (endless/timeless-ness) before you die. Is that a good enough criterion? although oops, once again heasay (and leading) for the reader!

    For me it’s been pretty seriously beyond wow, way practical and far past words in gratitude. And free of charge but with a small time committment. Not a bad deal.

    So as many want proof of something ‘immaculate’ beyond full comprehension, indescribable Joy and connectible 24/7 within each one of us, they like you, will need to find something within them akin to the genuine-ess you have expressed to be able to literally see and hear the greatest possibility of all… the whole enchilada- as much as you can take. Then its about the business of knowing yourself and REALLY enjoying life unconditionally. This juncture will be the most difficult for skeptics. Overcoming self doubt in self trust is no easy feat.

    If no wish, there is no whip and no self-imposed guilt. The time will come sooner or later for everyone. NOW is the better time as any…in my observation…procrastination is a poor habit especially in this pursuit if you ‘see it’.

    So Freddy, keep all your astute observations handy. Get ready for a perspective that is huge yet simple addressing those, a quietness/stillness in extraneous thought and a wondrous majestic peace in a simplicity that will be a little difficult explaining to your friends, but obvious to you. Still you will try. Check out either tprf.org or wopg.org for recent addresses…because “you just want to know what is”.

  • 35. Freddy Drennan  |  February 5, 2013 at 9:37 am

    Hmm. So what did I say that was hypocritical?

  • 36. cag  |  February 5, 2013 at 1:25 pm

    Freddy, remember that Alban is auditioning for a Shakespeareian play, “Much ado about nothing”. He is also a leading candidate for the “Deepak Chopra” prize.

  • 37. Alban  |  February 5, 2013 at 2:17 pm

    You simply point out hypocrasy. This was a complement to your perspective and thought provoking!

    Stealing for any reason is wrong, yet necessary at times for survival. That’s a reflection on “ownership” and concepts of earn and deserve. Power is hard to relinquish or share…in a world where we are all borrowers in reality, not owners -except for the life we breath in temporary quarters. There should be no need to steal.

    Competition lessoned by murder? Murder should not ever be necessary. Mercy killings such as taking down a deranged muderer in the act of say killing innocent school children still should be a mistake. Inducing unconsciousness is preferable Should existence be so competitive that we assign a monetary value to the lives of competitors?

    War rarely has a noble much less higher purpose. Ending the enslavement of a people is almost reasonable. I would like to see war boil down to the leaders who declare war on each other be put in a stadium like gladiators and have it out, but not to the death. Perhaps to exhaustion with styrofoam bats.

    We someday will all discover I hope why we are alive. The answer is self contained as you may soon find out. At best without direct knowledge the closest we get to prove why we’re alive is justification of our expression of life. I am valuable because…I am a good parent, a good provider, a good worker, socially conscious, donate to charity, nice to animals-maybe just a good person etc.We fail however to understand the value of life that provides the stage for any weak justification, hyped rationale or the lack thereof.

    When life is understood to be priceless and free will is respected within THAT priceless perspective, we’ll have understood why we are alive. We will no longer have to justify or rationalize expression as expression will reflect the proof of preciousness of life painfully ignored by the majority of us to this point.

    You have made some of the best points I’ve read on this site. Now check out the inner journey if you want, to see what and where the dilemma and the solution are on a grand scale. That perspective will further highlight our human hypocrasy. More importantly it makes one particular priority fulfilling.

  • 38. Freddy Drennan  |  February 5, 2013 at 2:48 pm

    I will explain later. Much of which you are critiquing me on is implicit in evolutionary theory and the formation of morality.

  • 39. Luis  |  February 8, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Ok so I def need to purchase some wetiftlihigng shoes. Kim let me try on her pendlay shoes and they were awesome!Anyway, did 4 reps at 90%. Was rocking onto my toes with my inov8 s, then went down on the weight to work on form and did 3 reps perfect form at 80%. Felt great. So, I know I need to purchase the shoes.Tim looked at my journal and got all my points tallied. Hope that I calculated everything correctly.

  • 40. Alban  |  February 9, 2013 at 7:00 am

    #36 cag…forced me to check out Deepak’s gig. Has absolutely nothing to do with what I have communicated. I knew that but had to check out any strings of rationale in your logic.

    Here is a litmus test for skeptics, agnostics and atheists. If you truly want to prove to yourself that there is THE POSSIBILITY of timeless perfection or whatever label chosen then you must consider following first, the genuine desire, the LOCATION of where the PROOF is. Within you. That is ‘the lab’ okay?

    In the lab there is no one and nothing but you. So what are you? Once thru the inventory checklist of what you think you are, what makes the question PERTINENT? Answer: Being alive. What are you? Alive- maybe something more and certainly, nothing less. Simple enough.

    Now in order to know any uninventoried components, is there a way that adds nothing onto your perception that makes that quest possible? No white clothes, no chemicals, no focused breathing, no prayer, no physical required posture, no book, no incense, no mantra, no picture of Jesus, Joseph Smith, Billy Graham, Pope Benedict, Deepak or the flying spaghetti monster.

    Nothing there but you and your thoughts (initiated and uninitiated- purposeful and chatter/extraneous thoughts) The goal now is a singlely directed. To find within you what you and everyone else find impossible to imagine, sense or validate.

    Rather than trying to clear your awareness of thinking, you must instead focus awareness on what exists independent of all thought.

    So without thought in the mix, take your attention singlely to your sense of vision and turn it within. Do the same with your sense of hearing. Then with feeling. And finally with the sense of smell and taste.

    Do each of these experiences make time n/a and obliviate or diminish thought? Is there a simple somehow profound presence perhaps a unique joy there? Does it seem apart from you or are you in union with it? (If you are enjoying it, then yes connected)

    Now the reality. The how – the actual connection no one has ever made by themselves- no need to apologize to our own arrogance.

    The reality of knowing combines the sincere wish with the help…some would capitalize the h recognizing the value of the pursuit.

    And some are not available. The help does not judge. Neither does the (J)joy.

    You folks have analyzed, contemplated, argued, asked and not bought all the stock answers. Maybe it’s time to take the perhaps last, most obvious option. Search out you. Get some help as has been suggested.

    Then read this post again. It will make perfect sense after the fact and lack of proof will no longer be an objection. So gracious and so empowered we won’t concern anymore ourselves with foundational debate.(We will still have topical debate) We can thrive and in that awareness, change everything. In that order.

  • 41. cag  |  February 9, 2013 at 1:32 pm

    Alban, the reference to Chopra was in regard to the signal to noise ratio. Currently it sits at about 1:100.

  • 42. Alban  |  February 9, 2013 at 3:51 pm

    cag, I appreciate the math. If I remember correctly that would be a disappearing ratio once the tuner is reset. Let’s try…

    What is the difference between a living person and that same person, dead? Even if you debunk the concept of the soul, where did the power go that animated the body?

    It’s not like turning off the TV. The power is no longer potentially there for that body, but the power didn’t “move”. It didn’t go anywhere. The body is vacant and no longer has function much less debated purpose. Its elements will be redistributed.

    The weight of that missing power according to the research is 21 grams. The blood in its circulation and any trapped oxygen up until the entire system shuts down after death does not account for 21 grams and yet the power hasn’t moved. Is this an anomoly?

    The power or energy that birth, life and death are an inlay to, is like an unbroken grid. Objects on the inlay come and go in time and space. Something unmovable that has no weight, is invisible to outward observation, somehow has weight in a living body “attached” to the grid..

    During the life of a person that presence can be directly observed, heard and felt. When the body separates from the grid, the possibility to have connection is gone. Choice at that point is gone as well…obviously.

    More significant than asking where did the 21 grams go is what is the potential treasure of this unique weight in the intersection of the grid and the inlay? The 2 not being mutually exclusive, the treasure has substance in immeasurable “size” “light”, “sound” “feel/touch”, So the answer is just awaiting the individual awareness to determine.

    Visits can gradually turn into ‘residence’. Of course there’s the perks. Indescribable joy and gratitude among others…gradual sometimes sudden disappearance of skepticism and judgement.

  • 43. cag  |  February 9, 2013 at 7:20 pm

    Alban #42, what a marvellous display of gullibility. Parading an urban myth as fact. If this is the best you can do, then I am forced to change my analysis of the signal to noise ratio of your postings to 1:100000. Please research your fantastical claims before making a fool of yourself on the internet.

    Here is a start. See also snopes.com.

    My google search to debunk your silly assertion was (include the double quotes)

    “21 grams” dead

  • 44. Alban  |  February 10, 2013 at 3:41 am

    Alas cag, the “scientific community” a virtual fraternity of academics with agreed upon guidelines nixed this one despite the evidence of the actual findings and their limitations…much like the Nicene convention(s) and what would be suitable for print in the Bible. That does NOT eliminate the evidence. It just ‘sanitizes’ (neutralizes) it for posterity.

    We all need to get a little less black and white. Existence is largely gray and we all need to acknowledge that distinction.

    Outright judgements oft reflect the state(of mind) of the judge. Lighten up. The entire dialogue as previously stated is not about right and wrong. You are certainly welcome to your own opinion, but it’s not a good idea to assume you understand a person’s or a situation’s research or history. Especially if the goal is consideration for a greater benefit vs ‘winning’ an argument.

    This isn’t about putdown my friend. I am cut out of the same mold in my history. My Father used to say about me I’d rather be right than be president. That’s a balance that has been a lifelong challenge to achieve. I have been wrong alot more times than I’ve been president, but both perspectives bring forth the same challenge.

    Remember Danny Glover in “Predator 2” at the end challenging the then unseen potential predators- “Who’s next?”. That’s not me.

  • 45. cag  |  February 10, 2013 at 2:11 pm

    Alban, if you think that Duncan MacDougall’s conclusion is decisive then your rambling is of no value to me. You are defending an unscientific “experiment” which is laughable in its lack of rigor. Is it not suspicious to you that the only time that this “loss” has been documented was over 100 years ago? MacDougall was attempting to prove a point, so was biased to a certain conclusion. He was not interested in, for instance, capturing any water (perspiration) that would result from the sudden rise in body temperature upon death. Someone who would believe in the “21 grams” could also believe in any other absurd notion. If you want to be right, it would be a good strategy to reject the ridiculous, something that you seem incapable of doing.

  • 46. Alban  |  February 10, 2013 at 5:34 pm

    Not decisive and no I am not looking to be ‘right’. What I find interesting is the “energy’ it takes to sustain life in a human body. The difference between the “successful” results in MacDougall’s experiments and the failures in the animal experiments are worth considering.

    Have you ever seen an awake conscious person die? Have you ever talked to nurses who witness death more than the average person? And have you witnessed the acceptance by animals of death? These experiences and or conversations may prompt wondering how energy relates to weight, perspiration or not, in terms of “letting go” at death.

    Human beings have the notion they have some measure of controlling life function. At the moment(s) before death there is often resistance by the patient. In these instances there is occasional residual spasm or twitching that exceeds time of death. Animals submit without hesitation. They seem to accept their death without the same sense of control.

    The struggle to maintain life however feeble in terms of energy expenditure probably elevates the body weight very minimally. Force and weight are complex bedfellows. A good example is the 96 lb karate expert exerting 300 lbs of force to break the brick. At that moment how much would he or she weigh? At the point of impact the weight is probably greater so a scale would at least show a spike and likely the actual body weight at least a few calories reduction afterward.

    It would not be a stretch to consider this weight difference in a resistant person. So it is likely that though the soul itself may have no weight, the energy needed to sustain life fluctuates depending on disposition and will, possibly in terms of weight.

    New term then,”life force”. Can it create weight? Yes. Can it of itself utilizing will and force actually weigh something? It can. Is it a constant? NO.

    But I could be wrong.

  • 47. cag  |  February 10, 2013 at 7:49 pm

    Alban, finally I can partially agree with one of your utterings.

    But I could be wrong.

    Of course I would substitute “am” for “could be”.

  • 48. Alban  |  February 11, 2013 at 5:56 am

    Glad it’s only partially. Of course taken out of context in future history books the quote might be attributed to you. Where could interpretation proceed from that point?

    Maybe skepticism would lean back to what is vs. what cannot be. The end of denial…an openess toward the greatest possibility of life confirmed by a critical renowned skeptic.

    Surely you are aware history is politically originated. Momentum of history is like a pendulum- often it takes thousands of years to swing the opposite way, sometimes on the back of misquoting or misinterpretation for reasons not having to with fact or evidence..

    The audience now just sees a right and wrong dilemma and an edge to the (vs by the) prosecutor where a greyer format could be followed to encourage participation/contribution rather than intimidating the same.

    BTW what’s with Luis # 39? Is this a shoestore site as well?

  • 49. Sue  |  April 30, 2013 at 6:32 am

    Bear in mind deconversion runs in two opposing directions. While many apostates grew up in churches, it does happen at least once on a while that a person will grow up in an atheistic environment and will deconvert from that constraining li(f)estyle. Yeah the truth is tough isn’t it. Have a nice day. The LORD rules, don’t like it, lump it. Have a nice day.

  • 50. ubi dubium  |  April 30, 2013 at 6:52 am


    Sure there are a few who convert. The religion virus is very contagious, especially since people who have a really bad case of it go around trying to infect everybody else they can. Sort of like rabies. Good thing I’ve had my kids vaccinated with plenty of education.

    There are plenty of churches and other places to go if you want to show off how proud you are to be infected. This is a website for recovery. Go be condescending somewhere else.

  • 51. cag  |  April 30, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    Sue, at one point in Europe there were no out atheists as the church enforced their scam with the death penalty. Any caring parent under such threat would ensure that their children were brainwashed into believing. Even after the threat of death was past, the indoctrination continued as parents were mentally crippled by the lies of religion. Parents did not want their children going to the imaginary hell. As knowledge and enlightenment took hold, the threat of hell no longer had the same force. Belief in any gods in countries such as France and Sweden is plummeting. The Church of England is shutting down unused churches.

    A recent study where I live, British Columbia, shows what the trend is for religious belief.

    If the link above does not work, try http://bchumanist.ca/news/110-bc-religious-and-secular-attitudes-poll

  • 52. LeoPardus  |  April 30, 2013 at 1:34 pm

    Do you know where you are? This is a sight full of people who spent years being quite ardently religious. We are entirely aware of converts. In fact many of us evangelized and converted people. Did you really think you were educating us?
    What you clearly fail to grasp here is the fact that just about everyone on this site knows everything you know and more. If you weren’t so occupied with being arrogant (a major sin in the faith), you might learn something.
    Like for instance, a moment’s thought could tell you that the religious lifestyle is the constraining one. We are free to do as we choose; you are forced to do, or not do, things according to a list of “morals”.
    As for the truth being tough; yes it is. Almost all of us were very dismayed by the truth, when we discovered it, that religion was all fake, made up, a set of lies, etc. That was a tough truth that we struggled with.
    As for you curt, rude, arrogant dismissal at the end; the lord you imagine is only imaginary; he only exists as a product of your imagination. The only place that rules is in your mind. You can like it, lump it, or anything else. Freedom is easily in your grasp. You just have to give up being frightened, insecure, lonely, self-loathing, and all the other unhealthy things that your upbringing visited upon you.

  • 53. Alban  |  May 1, 2013 at 4:26 am

    Might as well pile on. Sue, what really rules in life is your free will. You are free to choose freedom in many different assortments or you can choose narrow mindedness in one of it’s 2 veins, poison or boxed in/pidgeon holed mode.

    Narrow mindedness is like a death march. It has spikes both ways in relativity. The ultimate end is death with nothing gained. Just ups and downs and plenty of concerns (MANY VALID TO A DEGREE) that have nothing to do with enjoying life. Obligations rule I’m guessing in your case with a dash of poison. Your identifying with challenges justifies rationalizing your faith, but you are like a chihuaua up against a rotweiler and you spit out your temporary safety with a holier than thou approach. This is counter to somewhat sane religious approach. But I sense the vulnnerability in the arrogance. You are holding up the knife with automatic weapons pointed at you.

    Now freedom does’t have any fences around it but with so much variety it’s easy to get snared in tangents that run in parallel courses. Freedom in parallel can get foggy and misdirected. So accuracy is an attainable course of action, if that makes sense in fine tuning the choices of free will. Ask for it or “pray” if that is a preferable term, within yourself. Sincerity is a strong yet sometimes variable asset. It can cut to the core but can be mislead by conditioning.

    Parallels seem to resemble an imagineable origin, but keep in mind if you haven’t seen the origin you can’t distinguish what is the masterpiece and what is an imitation and a poor one at that. Explanations dance in relativity and arrogance keeps that dance underway until death. So aim for sincerity in accuracy.

    Then accuracy as an independent delivery mechanism infuences free will, not as right or wrong but as WHAT delivers the perspective to navigate arrogance and seek truth. Your faith would categorize this as right or wrong but it is a means, not an end.. So misplaced in result, your assertion is benign. Unlike malignancy or infection, the cancer doesn’t “spread” to the helpless- it is requested by the helpless and is ‘delivered’ in universal ageement only.

    So reconsider what it is you really want with an accuracy untainted by what you have been told. Learn to listen to what DOES NOT speak to you in words, but what would wish for those words to be true in its pure innocence (vs its naitivite). That is the source of discernment- understanding the difference.

    This sounds almost too simplistic perhaps childlike, but it is not the manner, it is the essence that makes free will so valuable in its ability to rule- to at least choose wisely in a simplicity our complexity often ridicules.

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Attention Christian Readers

Just in case you were wondering who we are and why we de-converted.

de-conversion wager

Whether or not you believe in God, you should live your life with love, kindness, compassion, mercy and tolerance while trying to make the world a better place. If there is no God, you have lost nothing and will have made a positive impact on those around you. If there is a benevolent God reviewing your life, you will be judged on your actions and not just on your ability to blindly believe in creeds- when there is a significant lack of evidence on how to define God or if he/she even exists.



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