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Oh, you’re so going to hell!

Oh, you're so going to hell!

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77 thoughts on “Oh, you’re so going to hell!

  1. In India, they will find the dot, name a new God, fund millions to make 25000 temples, declare today’s date as public holiday, which means another dry day…Phew

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  2. Good one. However, as a rationalist, I do give quite a lot of fucks about anyone claiming I deserve eternal punishment for a thought crime. Not because I think that I am going to be punished, but simply because someone feels righteous and not at all illogical to think it would be justified.

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    • I haven’t heard it in a while, but i do remember giggling every time the threat was thrown out in the past, “you’re going to burn in hell!” I’m an adult, so i can laugh at it. I’m afraid for children its not as funny.

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      • Yes, it is a terrible abuse of children to teach them some people are deserving of a hell. Never mind what that actually means. A Christian friend (I have a couple of those) once tried to make the point mellow for me, by saying that he did not believe in actual everlasting torment, but that the hell is more like an oblivion, while heaven is eternal bliss. I cant help the fact, that even though to me the entire concept is bogus, it offends me, that someone would choose to worship a deity, who by the alledged powers could bring everybody to the eternal bliss, but prefers the company of only those who worship him and beg for his forgiveness, for being born as such human beings as this same entity has alledgedly created to be faulty and in need of his forgiveness. It is so crooked, it makes me sick.

        By the way I have to confess, that since I was born into an atheist family in a rather secular society, I was seven before even realizing there actually are some adults, that do believe in gods and other such fairytales. You can imagine how it made me laugh. And still does.

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      • Dear RAUTAKYY,

        All there is to discovery, scientifically speaking, has not yet been discovered. We, as humans, are very much different than any other living thing on this planet. We have abilities no other living thing has and the question of whether or not we are more than just a hear-today-gone-tomorrow set of atoms is yet undetermined, scientifically speaking.

        Although the proof of us having a soul that lives on after death is considered a pseudoscience there is good evidence to that fact.

        Your post is personal feelings, there are deviations from real truth.

        “people are deserving of a hell” – not Gods intention.

        “prefers the company of only those who worship him” – false. Father loves all His creation.

        “beg for his forgiveness” I didn’t beg. No one begs God, He doesn’t answer to beggers.

        “created to be faulty” – false. We are created to be perfect, given the right input. Evil and sinful men create evil, flawed and crippled men.

        “and in need of his forgiveness” – again, men are afflicted by other men, sin and unrighteousness beget the same.

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      • vidadecristos, nice claims but all utterly unsupported by reality. I do like watching a Christian saying other Christians are wrong. Some Christians are quite certain that your and their god does want souls to go to hell. So, I ask you, show me your version of Christianity is the “right” one. I think a contest between Christians with altars and each praying to have them lit should be enough. It worked once didn’t it?

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  3. Yeah, but it was very educational. Up to that point I had learned to allways trust in authorities, but when one suddenly realizes, that such authorities, as teachers might have got something fundamentally wrong, it makes one skeptical. While trust in adults and their authority is good for kids, it is important we grow to also not to trust authority blindly. Otherwise authority, such as gods, demagogues, politicians, or dictators may be used to lead us very much astray from ethical behaviour. An adult should follow an authority only when one fully comprahends the motives and reasons by wich the authority is asking for us to act. Gods are tricky in this respect, because when can we even imagine to understand such motives or reasons, that would affect a god? That is, if there was any evidence, that god(s) actually exist.

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  4. Atheistic john told me to look between the arrows
    He told me my brain had a case of the narrows

    I feared to look afraid of the perils
    But god looked there and showed me the little sparrows

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    • Mildly hilarious, yes. Even the Vatican has stopped using it…. not the evangelicals, though. Regretfully, the truth is we have to deal with the assholes right here on on earth and not rely on some cosmic vengeance machine to right wrongs.

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      • Thought I’d stop by to see what you guys are up to. Got enough money and a loving women to keep you warm at night I hope?

        About your post, you do know God doesn’t send anyone to hell don’t you?

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      • Morning Roy. Hope you survived the storm ok up there in Boston… Isn’t modern computer weather modelling technology wonderful? A tad more useful than praying, I think you have to agree. It’s summer down here and we’re in the middle of Carnaval, or as evangelicals call it, “The week of sin!”
        So “God doesn’t send you to hell,” huh? Honestly, where on earth do you get these ideas? It’s worrisome that you actually believe this stuff.
        In your reply to Larry you said “There is fringe science to show it (the soul) does exist” Errr, what “fringe science?” Care to point me in the direction of this “research” so I can read the papers and study their methods… or are you just making this up?

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      • Well, you pose a good point Larry.

        Either we have a soul or we don’t. Either there is an existence after death or not. This has not yet been scientifically proven and there is fringe science to show is does.

        If there is life after death then what information do we have to know what to expect?

        If not heaven, and a reuniting, then what? The opposite, separation. And if this is true, is this separation going to be good thing?

        But my question was, Are you sent? Or is it, do you choose? It’s like the game show Let’s Make A Deal. Do you want THIS, or what’s behind curtain #2?

        As a free being you can choose curtain #2, roll the dice and cross your fingers.

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      • OK, I reread your post Larry. The error is that, He doesn’t let you into heaven, you enter based upon your choice here and now. I care about your choice but I can’t make it for you.

        It’s kinda like like my family and friends. I can tell them to get 10,000 shares of Coca Cola stock, just like I did, because Warren Buffet owns millions of shares and they pay dividends every quarter. I can tell them to open Forex accounts and upload certain robotic software to make the buy and sell trades to create thousands of dollars of profit every week, but do they? NO

        So, it’s the same. HE doesn’t let you do anything. HE enables you. HE gives you the ability to CREATE. YOU can be HIS and help the suffering, the desolation and poor, or not. It’s not about you, and all things you, it;s about the others, the ones who need Him and a hand to reach beyond the misery evil men hold upon us.

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  5. ” HE gives you the ability to CREATE. YOU can be HIS and help the suffering, the desolation and poor, or not. It’s not about you, and all things you, it;s about the others, the ones who need Him …”

    So even if we don’t believe HE exists or accept HIS son as our savior, we can still get into heaven as long as we are sincerely altruistic and sacrifice our creature comforts to help others?

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  6. “But my question was, Are you sent? Or is it, do you choose? It’s like the game show Let’s Make A Deal. Do you want THIS, or what’s behind curtain #2?

    As a free being you can choose curtain #2, roll the dice and cross your fingers.”

    I think rational creatures will always choose THIS if they believe the alternative is eternal pain and suffering. So again we get back to behaving a certain way out of fear of wounding up in that alternate We can perhaps be genuinely humane and do good deeds but “it profits me nothing” unless we accept Jesus Christ as our personal savior, right?

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    • When I was a child, and we boys were misbehaving, mom would threaten us that she was going to tell father when he got home. We became afraid and stopped misbehaving. We feared father for we knew he was very capable, as he had done before, of giving us a spanking. When father got home we would run to him and he would hug and kiss us. We loved father very much. As I look back some 45 years latter I understand that kind of fear as a good thing. We boys so wanted his love and approval the fear of disappointing him and earning a spanking kept us in line. We learned there is always a consequence to our actions, whether good or bad. The fear of our Heavenly Father is much the same as the fear we boys had with our Earthly father.

      Most Christians believe life is cut and dried. Meaning most things are ready-made, predetermined and not changeable. Everything has an odd order to it. From the atom, to cells, to us, to our planet, to our solar system, to our galaxy, and universe.

      Check out victorzammit(dot)com Very interesting proof of life after death and he believes the objective evidence for an afterlife has nothing to do with religion or personal belief.

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      • “We became afraid and stopped misbehaving. We feared father for we knew he was very capable, as he had done before, of giving us a spanking”

        That makes for a nice, warm fuzzy but at the end of the day you got see your Dad Leroy, touch him and hear him talk to you in response to your queries. We don’t get that with an invisible God that seems to have mood swings. Comparing God with your mortal father assumes much with little evidence to support it.

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      • The warm fuzzy is to show how fear can be a good thing and that I do not fear God because the “alternative is eternal pain and suffering”.

        For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God. For the believer, the fear of God is something much different, as my analogy to my Earthly father shows. The believer’s fear is reverence of God.

        You say God is invisible, which is true in the physical sense, like you and I are not invisible, but consider a fundamental law of science – ex nihilo nihil fit – out of nothing, nothing comes. As Aristotle said, “Nothing is what rocks dream about.”

        Next, your statement of an imaginary God ignores the basic laws of causality – an effect must resemble its cause. How can an impersonal, meaningless, purposeless, amoral universe accidentally create beings who are full of personality and obsessed with meaning, purpose, and morality? It can’t. Further, intelligence doesn’t arise from non-intelligence, which is why even Richard Dawkins (noted atheist) and Francis Crick (co-discoverer of DNA) admit that intelligence had to engineer DNA and life on earth – they just say it was a superior alien race who seeded the earth, which of course, begs the question of who engineered that superior alien race.

        But what of evolution, you might ask. Doesn’t evolution explain life and intelligence? Not at all. Evolution is a biological process that attempts to describe change in already existing life forms – it has no way to answer the question of existence.

        Lastly,these facts being evident, it then becomes quite easy to offer a simple, reasonable, logical proof for God in the following way:

        1. Something exists
        2. You don’t get something from nothing
        3. Therefore, something necessary and eternal exists
        4. The only two options are an eternal universe or an eternal Creator
        5. Science has disproved the concept of an eternal universe
        6. Therefore, an eternal Creator exists

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      • Hey Roy, are you going to let me in on what this “fringe science” is (the one you mentioned) which has discovered that the soul exists? If you’re going to make such claims you should also be able to back those claims up. This isn’t Grade 3.

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      • Sure,

        Victor Zammit has offered a 1 million dollar reward to any skeptic who can rebut the evidence for the existence of the afterlife.

        victorzammit(dot)com/skeptics/challenge.html

        His online (free) book is at victorzammit(dot)com/book/

        You may be interested, specifically, with Chapter 29. Although the reasons he dismisses the Biblical account of life-after-death is bent to “untruth” to explain his worldview, he states,

        “For example, those who want to believe that the dead lie in unawareness until the sounding of the trumpet on the day-of-judgment have to balance that belief against the experience of millions who have seen and spoken to their loved ones after their death.

        Not too many people in the world today accept that some people will be punished in “hell for all eternity” in the afterlife. But some religions still teach that.

        So why should you accept the empirical explanation as to what is going to happen to you when you die and the conditions that exist in the afterlife when you inevitably cross over?”

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      • Prove him wrong and be a millionaire. Just saying.
        Also, I never wrote, “fringe scientist”.

        Fringe science is basically the study of a field of science that strays from accepted theory/practice into unorthodox theory/practice. Put more simply, it is science that is generally not accepted by the general “community” of scientists.

        There is also proof in the young earth theory and intelligent design, but these too are not mainstream and contradict the current scientific worldview.

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      • Two can play that game: I’ll give anyone $100 million dollars if they can prove to me their god exists. See, easy!

        Roy, hate to burst your bubble, but there is no such thing as “fringe science,” just “science,’ which is a method of investigation. You’re single source for this “fringe science” (a lawyer, of all people) is a joke… just like your claim of “evidence” for young earth creationism. Please, if you’re going to play such nonsense take it to the children’s table where i’m sure such claims of “fringe science has discovered….” would go over much better.

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      • Larry, it’s a real pleasure to converse with you. You are respectful and kind, a mans man, a real gentleman. I came here to offer a different perspective in opposition to the ideas presented, not to belittle or dismiss your ideas as that of a 3rd grader.

        So, I thank you for your respect and for teaching me. I went to your website and I read your latest post, ” An Epiphany on Healing Our Chronically Ill Society”. I’m going to watch the documentary and ease my family into the diet. I’m amazed that I came here to possibly do some good and I end up being the one to receive. My wife asked me yesterday why I’m wasting my time here and I told here I just feel compelled. A lot of coincidences happened to bring me to your website: Jack, Robin, Peter, Prayson, John, and then you write a post on the very day I click your link. Before today I would have dismissed the idea of a vegan diet as not necessary for optimal health.

        We have similar backgrounds; born and raised in Texas, Catholic parents, the military, a little college which I cant remember any of.

        What’s your rush? you ask. Indeed. Shall we all just follow our bliss while we journey to culminate.

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      • Roy, my 3rd Grade comment was perfectly justified as you threw out the fantastically vague term “fringe science,” then went on to claim this “fringe science” has “proven” the soul exists… without sourcing the claim. Sorry if it offends your sensibilities, but that IS 3rd Grade stuff. Such unsubstantiated nonsense might work with blinkered theists but it won’t cut it here.

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      • Your 3rd Grade comment is insulting and dismisses me in a degrading way because life-after-death is an idea that you do not like. You do not like it so you attack and attempt to belittle me. I’m Christian so I’m stupid and nothing I say is taken seriously by you. Even when you attempt to justify your hateful and insulting “labels” for me and mine, you continue to attack, you vile hateful “blinkered theists”. Every time you comment to me it is with hate and contempt. I can see right through it. You can not bring me down to your level and that infuriates you even more. You’ll never admit you just might be wrong and that is dangerous, not dangerous to me, dangerous to you and your sanity.

        “A closed mind is a dying mind.” Edna Ferber

        I choose Victors site out of many because it has a 1 million dollar challenge to skeptics. Call it whatever you want; soul, spirit, life force, essence, etc. It’s very real.

        Copied In Part, From the Intro on His 29 Chapter Book:

        “The argument that follows is not just an abstract, theoretical, academic legal argument. As an open-minded investigator, I set out to investigate the existing evidence for survival after death and, with others, to test claims that communication with intelligences from the afterlife is possible.

        After many years of serious investigation I have come to the irretrievable conclusion that there is a great body of evidence which, taken as a whole, absolutely and unqualifiedly proves the case for the afterlife. I will not be arguing that the objective evidence has high probative value. Nor am I suggesting that this evidence be accepted beyond reasonable doubt. I am stating that the evidence taken as a whole constitutes overwhelming and irrefutable proof for the existence of the afterlife.

        There have been millions of pages written about psychic phenomena and scientific research into the afterlife. Using my professional background as an attorney and my university training in psychology, history and scientific method, I have very carefully selected aspects of psychic research and afterlife knowledge that would constitute objective evidence. This evidence would be technically admissible in the Supreme Court of the United States, the House of Lords in England, the High Court of Australia and in every civilized legal jurisdiction around the world.

        When the objective evidence, near death experiences, out of body experiences, after-death contacts, voices on tape, psychic laboratory experiments, the best mediums, the Cross Correspondences, the Scole Experiment, proxy sittings, poltergeists and all of the other evidence contained in this work is seen collectively, the case for survival after death is absolutely stunning and irrefutable.

        The evidence presented in this work also proves the existence of so-called ‘psychic phenomena’, which are interconnected with the afterlife and can only be explained satisfactorily by survival of the individual soul and personality after death.

        In absolute terms the evidence presented in this work will convince the rational and intelligent open-minded skeptic or the genuine searcher about the existence of the afterlife.”

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      • Roy, here’s a heads-up… if you don’t want your words to be called 3rd Grade then I’d suggest not using 3rd Grade thoughts. “Fringe science”?
        Now Roy, in case you forgot, this is my blog. You came here looking to preach, so I’m quite free to say what I want. If you don’t like what adults have to say to you, don’t come. If your sensibilities are so fragile that they cannot stand up to even mild scrutiny, stay away. I didn’t invite you. Like all evangelicals you knocked on my door, and now you’re offended I told you what you believe is a childish fairy tale.
        “After many years of serious investigation I have come to the irretrievable conclusion that there is a great body of evidence which, taken as a whole, absolutely and unqualifiedly proves the case for the afterlife.” What a load of trollop! There isn’t a single case for this wild claim. 17 billion unique humans have died in the last 6,000 generations and not one has ever returned or managed to a get a message back to our biosphere. That is a fact.
        Now, don’t get me wrong… an afterlife would be great. It’d certainly help to find reason in life, but there exists no evidence whatsoever or this. Perhaps you should read my post on Duncan McDougal. It might give a better feel for what I think about this subject. Here’s the link. https://thesuperstitiousnakedape.wordpress.com/2013/01/22/could-the-next-duncan-mcdougal-please-stand-up-we-promise-not-to-laugh/

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      • Me Preach? NO I say. Free to say what you what? Absolutely. For you and I, or is it only about you and your opinion? Is it OK for you to just get a pass, because its your blog, or do you say we both deserve respect and a voice? Do you welcome a different perspective, or do you demand blind allegiance to your utterances? And if it isn’t just about you, will you not respect those that have a different opinion?

        I read the cuss words you used on Praysons blog and you ASKED later, that he edit them out, and what did he say? NO. Why? Because it proves the point that bitterness and hate has no position. It has no authority. It does not move us forward.

        The words I type, the thoughts I espouse, and the truisms I show, hurt you. I understand. But it’s not only about for you John. It’s for those seeking and lost. I may demand respect but I understand I may not always get it but I will always demand it.

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      • Roy, you are most certainly free to say what you like, and i’ll never delete your comments or ban you. I appreciate the fact that you engage, but do understand that when you engage you have to meet a certain level of, let’s say, believability. I leapt on your “fringe science” because it was a patently ludicrous statement unfunded in reality. Surely you can’t expect to say something so outlandish and then hope the rest of us simply ignore it? You will never get such a free pass here, and you know that. Now, if you see that as bitterness and hate then that’s your reality problem, not mine.

        As for Praysons forum i merely offered him the chance to edit my swear words if he felt the need, letting him know i would not be offended (or see it as censorship) should he so choose. I don’t see any controversy here.

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      • Thank you John.

        Fringe ideas that go against mainstream scientific thought are effectively a constant in most areas of science, and there are a number of examples where the ideas have moved from the fringes to the mainstream. A classic example is Alfred Wegener, who is celebrated for his development of the ideas we now know as plate tectonics, a phenomenally successful scientific theory. At the time in 1912, however, his ideas were ridiculed. “Reaction to Wegener’s theory was almost uniformly hostile, and often exceptionally harsh and scathing,” as the Berkeley site notes.

        Many have used this example as a cautionary tale, a warning that the conservatism of the scientific community might interfere with achieving its goal of understanding the natural world. But, as I noted, fringe ideas, often dozens of them for every successful area of science, are a constant. Inevitably, the majority of them will necessarily wind up being not only wrong, but uselessly so. This forces the scientific community into a balancing act.

        Astrology eventually developed into a genuine science, astronomy. In the same way, alchemy metamorphosed into chemistry and it can be argued that many ‘complimentary’ fringe medicines are developing into genuine areas of scientific research.

        It would be unfair to call ancient astronomers or alchemists, with their meticulous observations, unscientific, so the term protoscience is used.

        Fringe sciences often turn out to be protoscience, the start of a new branch or field of research. Unfortunately, they can just as easily move into the realm of pseudoscience.

        Here’s a few examples of ideas on the fringe. Some started out on the fringe and have since moved to mainstream.

        Astral Projection, Bio-Suspension, Bio-Technology, Bio-Weaponization, Brain Porting, Cellular Rejuvenation, Chaos Structure, Clairaudience, Clonal Transplantation, Cloning, Cold Fusion, Cryptozoology, Cryonics, Dark Mater, ESP, First People, Genetic Engineering, Ghost Network, Hive Mind, Hypnosis, Mental Transference, MOND theories, Mutation, Nanotechnology, Neural Network, Neural Partitioning, Neuroscience, Parallel Universe, Pre-Cognition, Protoscience, Psychokinesis, Pandemic, Pyrokinesis, Reanimation, Resonance Weapons, Retinal Visual Imprint,Retrocognition, Singularity, Speciation, Suspended Animation, Synesthesia, Telepathy, Teleportation, Temporal Plasticity, Transhumanism, Transmogrification, Wormhole

        And here’s a few afterlife resource proofs

        1. Dr. Elizabeth Kubler Ross, the woman who singlehandedly launched the hospice movement and wrote the seminal book on end of life care for the terminally ill (“On Death and Dying”) spent the last years of her life documenting what she called death bed visions, or the incredible experiences of people who spoke of being visited by loved ones, going into a bright and beautiful light, and having detailed discussions about the afterlife with beings no one else in the room could see…up to their final breath.

        Many of these people were previously comatose, or had dementia or Alzheimer’s disease and were totally unable to communicate, other than these incredibly lucid conversations. President Ronald Reagan reportedly woke up after his long struggle and had one of these experiences. According to the eulogy offered by his sister, so too did Steve Jobs. (she claimed he suddenly woke up…and repeated “Oh Wow” 3 times right before he passed away)

        These are very common, very well documented and quite often, offer revealing information that no one else in the room previously knew…making the argument that they are hallucinations hard to believe.

        2. Therapist Sameet Kumar, in his essay “Ascending the Spiral Staircase of Grief” (in Michael Kerman’s Clinical Pearls of Wisdom: 21 Leading Therapists Offer Their Key Insights), describes this:

        One of the most common occurrences on the deathbed is the sense of being visited by deceased loved ones or “emissaries” from the afterlife. People will often feel tremendous relief about being reunited with beloved grandparents, parents, deceased children or pets, and siblings. Again, these visitations, whether believed to be real or imagined, are also indicators that death is near. While these visitations usually comfort the dying, the lucidity of conversations with invisible beings [often] confuses loved ones.

        3. profezie3m.altervista.org/archivio/TheLancet_NDE.htm

        With lack of evidence for any other theories for NDE, the thus far assumed, but never proven, concept that consciousness and memories are localised in the brain should be discussed. How could a clear consciousness outside one’s body be experienced at the moment that the brain no longer functions during a period of clinical death with flat EEG?22 Also, in cardiac arrest the EEG usually becomes flat in most cases within about 10 s from onset of syncope.29,30 Furthermore, blind people have described veridical perception during out-of-body experiences at the time of this experience.31 NDE pushes at the limits of medical ideas about the range of human consciousness and the mind-brain relation.

        4. The most profound evidence of life after death consists of the similarities among people of different cultures who have near death experiences. Raymond A. Moody, M.D. in his book Life After Life documented over 100 near death experiences and noted 15 similarities among them like the inability to adequately describe their experience, feelings of peace and quiet, the blind seeing, meeting others who had previously died and seeing a bright light.

        5. In Evidence of the Afterlife: The Science of Near-Death Experiences, Jeffrey Long, M.D. states there are nine arguments that prove life continues after death such as children having similar near death experiences as adults even though they’re too young to have been exposed to the concept of life after death.

        6. Dr. Jeffrey Long in his book, Evidence of the Afterlife.

        Scientifically speaking, interviewing people that have permanently died is challenging. Obviously, given that impossibility, we have to do the next best thing. If these people have no brain function, like you have in a cardiac arrest, I think that is the best, closest model we’re going to have to study whether or not conscious experience can occur apart from the physical brain. The research shows the overwhelming answer is absolutely yes.

        7. “Parting Visions: A New Scientific Paradigm,” Dr. Melvin Morse

        surveyed 5,000 doctors and nurses in the United States and 704 in India. They collected 471 cases of pre-death visions and comment on their similarity to near-death experience, which they also collected. Pre-death visions were typically of brief duration, within twenty-four hours of death, dead and living relatives were often seen, and the purpose of the experience was to take the dying person away and to provide comfort

        8. The Scole Experiment chronicles the extraordinary results of a five-year investigation into life after death. At the beginning of 1993 four psychic researchers embarked on a series of experiments in the Norfolk village of Scole. The subsequent events were so astounding that senior members of the prestigious Society for Psychical Research asked to observe, test and record what took place.

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  7. Leroy,

    “The warm fuzzy is to show how fear can be a good thing”

    Yes, I understand how fear can be a good thing but you still subject the unknowable to a story that would appeal to a child. I understand too the perception that we can never know God like an ant can never understand humans so how can anyone assess how God will react about anything? Aren’t you engaging in mere wishful thinking; hoping that God is after all how we portray him to be but not really knowing for sure?

    Our understanding of things spiritual are created through cultural filters. If they weren’t there would be a singular concept of this supernatural being. So please don’t try to pretend you know how God will do anything. You and I are only mere ants who haven’t yet figured out to avoid killing each other.

    When an abused child sits curled up in fear in a corner of her room dreading the next time her abuser enters her room she will likely create a fantasy figure she hopes will come and save her from this evil. We know for a fact that that doesn’t happen for many of these kids. Yet this survival instinct about a rescuing hero is in play because she likely heard stories that such characters exist. We hope they do. We don’t really know they do and for some, they clearly don’t.

    Yes, I hope there is a good god that will reward us for our good deeds and punish those who deserve it but this all based on what the ancients conjured up at a time when they still thought the earth was flat and the sun revolved around it.

    You are an excellent apologist for the church Leroy, or at least that part of the Church that sincerely believes the centuries of story telling handed down have some merit and should not be dismissed. But you’re talking to someone who has gotten past that dogma. I’m open to possibilities and when and if science can prove God and heaven, angels and demons, then I’ll consider that too.

    But the life after life testimonies of people who were clinically dead and brought back to life suggest only that there may be another dimension we experience when our corporeal being no longer exists. There’s been nothing that I have read on this subject – and I go all the way back to Raymond Moody on this – that says what this experience is is what was prophesied in ancient scriptures and most certainly doesn’t affirm the dogma of the Church, including a personal savior. Not without stretching things quite a bit.

    This entire area of life after life experiences is subject to biases we learned since child hood. How else could anyone make any other sense out something they or anyone they have known who has never experienced it.

    “How can an impersonal, meaningless, purposeless, amoral universe accidentally create beings who are full of personality and obsessed with meaning, purpose, and morality? It can’t”

    Time, experiences and aversion to pain will likely play a part in how people interact with each other. As we understand evolution things are not instantaneous. The human animal has been around for millions of years but recorded history suggests morality has been around only a fractional part of that time.

    And finally. Your “lastly” list of things is good deductive logic but it draws on the supposition that you raise, not I, that if evolution doesn’t raise the question of existence then something else must. And according to you that would be the God of your faith when it could just as well have been Dawkins and Cricks “superior alien race who seeded the earth” Why so willing to dispute this so quickly? We spent millennium getting to where we are at today. Perhaps we should not be so hasty in drawing on the first conclusion that already has a lot of skin in the game through successful extermination of competitors, leaving little to no competition to counterbalance your take on this. What’s your rush?

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  8. I don’t see how wishing for an afterlife is in the best interest of our species. I suppose people wish for an afterlife, because they cannot accept the absurd, indifferent nature of the universe …. but, indifference and absurdity are only truly bothersome, because we have decided that with the help of religion.

    That being said … All evidence of an afterlife must be dismissed thanks to modern discoveries in neuroscience. All methods of investigation must be filtered through these discoveries.

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    • Greetings Christ To Clochard,

      Who wishes for an afterlife, I don’t, nor do I know of any one who does.

      The universe is not absurd, nor is it indifferent. This argument has been proven false. The absolute evidence that indifference is absurd is the fact you are able to type and words appear.

      Modern discoveries in neuroscience “might” explain near-death experiences, but it does not explain the “whole” of the psychic phenomena and scientific research into the afterlife.

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      • Left out a word. My bad.

        The absolute evidence that indifference is absurd is the fact you are able to type and words appear.

        Add “NOT”

        The absolute evidence that indifference is NOT absurd is the fact you are able to type and words appear.

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      • You do not wish for an afterlife? Then why do you spend so much time defending it?

        “The absolute evidence that indifference is absurd is the fact you are able to type and words appear”

        The only thing this proves is how absurd your though process is.

        As I am only counting on this one life and am not knowledgable in the matters which you so effortlessly confuse, I am going to abstain from wasting time arguing with you.

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      • An indifferent universe fails the smell test.

        Instead of gazing outward, turn your attention inward, discover that the universe does have a heart, lots of them. They’re beating in our breasts.

        Any inventory of the cosmos that omits us is like a survey of the body that overlooks the brain. In evolving the human mind, the universe has fashioned an instrument capable of understanding itself and empathizing with others. We are that instrument, and since we are part of the cosmos, we err if we judge it to lack kindness, love, and compassion. If I believe the universe is indifferent and heartless, it’s because I myself do not care and do not love.

        How, after all, can one say that the blind, indifferent laws of the universe have brought forth life, and at the same time argue that this same blind, indifferent universe is fundamentally hostile to life?

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  9. “Shall we all just follow our bliss while we journey to culminate.”

    Leroy,

    I’m beginning to believe that this may not prove to be as detrimental as the good nuns who filled my head in my formative years led me to believe.

    Glad you read my article on plant-based diets and are thinking about “converting”. How easy it is to accomplish such a transition when we have hard facts presented to us. I do not envy you your task of trying to win adherents to a theological view of an afterlife.

    Such a state may exist but I can only hope that if it does it is not filled with the hypocrites who have persecuted people because they didn’t accept the Judeo-christian view of an afterlife.

    You’re a good man too but I’ve been where you are and I know what I know from coming to the conclusion that it shouldn’t be that difficult to realize that the ancient mystics would have never made the claims they did if they had the scientific knowledge we have developed over time.

    No, we have not discovered all there is to know but discoveries are often a surprise, even when they’ve been in front of us the entire time, (lack of sanitation and transmission by rats caused the Black Death that killed 1/3 of the western European population in the 14th century, not God’s wrath with a sinful people) and they seldom reflect the mystical notions about our natural world.

    The “why” of life is open for debate but the belief that there is an afterlife based on testimonies of those who’ve had and after-life experience hardly makes the case for me to renew my membership in a faith system that believes the 20 first-graders in Newtown Connecticut died as did the 3000 people in the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on 9/11 because “America has abandoned God”

    Like

    • Hi Larry,

      There’s been a lot of study and research into what produces and nurtures a healthy and productive mind.

      A sense of self sufficiency, self esteem, and self worth
      The ability to put one’s trust in others
      The ability to give and receive friendship, affection and love.
      The ability to form enduring emotional attachments.
      The ability to experience deep emotions.
      The ability to forgive others and oneself.
      The ability to examine oneself and consider change.
      The ability to learn from experience.
      The ability to tolerate uncertainty and take risks.
      The ability to engage in laughter and reverie.

      For me, from reading, studying, and contemplating on how to achieve all the above, for my own good, I found it from what I believe is my manufacturer.

      ****

      Consider only recently slavery was officially banned in all countries. There has been so many advances in science yet we still have an abundance of problems. The rich get richer and the poor get poorer, jihad, imperialism, dictators, evil men, murderers and thieves. At the current rate of planet abuse the bubble is going to pop. I see us being on a 45, spinning around and around on an unalterable course to the end of the record when either the manufacture wipes the slate clean or the universe throws us up like someone who just ate rotten sushi. It seems we take two steps forward and one step back. I’m still optimistic, just very concerned at the state of our world.

      ****

      If 14th Century Europeans had followed the medical and sanitation laws written by Moses the Black Death never would have happened.

      ****

      There is much more evidence of an afterlife than just near death experiences. Read the guys book and the evidence he has, prove him wrong and get 1 million. By the way, he also clearly states his documented proof has nothing to do with religion. So you might be right, there might not be two places in the afterlife. There are some bible scholars that outline a seemingly valid argument that the Bible does not teach heaven and hell as two distinct places. And another I’m studying now is the Bible references to Heaven as being when we are alive and Hell is when we are dead, and there is no afterlife until Judgment Day.

      ****

      I agree with you. Anyone who thinks those bad things happen because “America has abandoned God” is a false prophet. Men abandon God, and men commit evil on men.

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      • “I will not be arguing that the objective evidence has high probative value. Nor am I suggesting that this evidence be accepted beyond reasonable doubt. I am stating that the evidence taken as a whole constitutes overwhelming and irrefutable proof for the existence of the afterlife.”

        I hate to jump into this conversation so late, but this is a quotation from the book Leroy referenced above. I found it funny that the third sentence completely contradicts the preceding two, but more importantly, functions as a disclaimer. That is to say, on one hand he is admitting that the evidence is deficient, while simultaneously arguing that it is “irrefutable”. That causes an immediate red flag.

        But why would you, Leroy, reference this particular section of his book? It offers nothing; it’s fluff. It simply asserts that there is evidence, but provides none. If you want to make a case for Victor’s work, you should cite some of the evidence he provides.

        Furthermore, Victor’s challenge is strikingly similar to that of James Randi’s. James has been offering money – for much longer than Victor – to anyone who can “show, under proper observing conditions, evidence of any paranormal, supernatural, or occult power.” He has debunked hundreds of claims from leading “physics” over the years. Most notably being, perhaps, the claims of Uri Geller.

        Randi has addressed Zammit’s claims, and Zammit has provided rebuttals. I advise looking into the articles that Randi wrote about Zammit’s claims (if you wish to be objective). Afterwards, read Zammit’s rebuttals and you will see how childish they are. For example, he attacks Randi’s credentials. News flash Zammit, you don’t have any scientific credentials either! At least Randi has sixty years of experience in the illusion / trickery industry. But I suppose attorney’s are in that business as well.

        Happy hunting.

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      • Hello R.L.,

        Seems you misinterpret what Zammit is saying. He is not doing what is described in the 1st sentence you quoted, as well, he is not doing what is described in the second sentence. What he is doing is what is described in the third, “I am stating that the evidence taken as a whole constitutes overwhelming and irrefutable proof for the existence of the afterlife.” This is what he will pay 1 million if you prove this third statement wrong.

        James Randi’s challenge is a total scam and the proof of that can be found at
        victorzammit(dot)com/skeptics/index.html, where anyone with real psychic abilities are either ignored by Randi, or disqualified for one reason or another.

        I only quoted part of the Intro of his 29 Chapter book where the third sentence statement (above) is written, as well as the various types of afterlife proof phenomenon (not just near-death-experiences), all his evidence follows in the book. There’s just too much information to example in a post. The main thing is his statement of “irrefutable proof” and the challenge.

        Like

  10. Leroy, even though this may sound pretentious, I’d like you to know that I choose my words carefully. In doing so, I have developed a habit of meticulously reading papers. I’m aware that this particular point cause us to veer off-track, but I’ll try to explain anyway.

    Let us examine the first sentence.

    “I will not be arguing that the objective evidence has high probative value.”

    What does this mean? He is admitting that the evidence is difficult to demonstrate. This is essentially half of his disclaimer. That is, he can always fall back on this statement if a test proves to be unrepeatable.

    The second sentence:

    “Nor am I suggesting that this evidence be accepted beyond reasonable doubt.”
    So, he expects a certain degree of ambiguity – how convenient. This is the second half of his disclaimer. In other words, if a certain claim can’t be demonstrated, or if it’s inconclusive, the claim remains valid. This is analogous with the argument, “Absence of evidence is not evidence of absence.” If you are a proponent of that type of logic, you’re beyond saving.

    Finally, the third statement:

    “I am stating that the evidence taken as a whole constitutes overwhelming and irrefutable proof for the existence of the afterlife.”

    What does overwhelming mean? In this context, the word is synonymous with univocal. That is to say, the evidence has only one interpretation. The next important word is irrefutable. When combined with overwhelming, Victor is declaring that the evidence he intends to present will be demonstrable and unambiguous, thereby rendering it impossible to repudiate. This contradicts the first two sentences, as I said.

    Now, Randi has never refused a psychic the opportunity to undergo testing. Like I said, he has conducted hundreds of tests – many of which were televised – and not a single person passed. In fact, many simply refused to participate or made excuses for their inability to reproduce the supernatural phenomena. These excuses ranged from interference from stage lighting to static electricity from props. It’s all very obvious that these people are charlatans.

    If you want to believe a man that is a self-described clairaudient, then be my guest. But tell me, how do you prove he can’t hear voices that only he can hear? Anyone can make such claims and no one can prove them wrong. That’s the point Randi is trying to communicate. You can’t prove a negative. Try it. Prove that my assertion below is false.

    Assertion: I can speak to God, but I’m the only person that can hear his replies.

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    • Here’s the whole paragraph we are looking at, with the preceding paragraph,

      “The argument that follows is not just an abstract, theoretical, academic legal argument. As an open-minded investigator, I set out to investigate the existing evidence for survival after death and, with others, to test claims that communication with intelligences from the afterlife is possible.

      After many years of serious investigation I have come to the irretrievable conclusion that there is a great body of evidence which, taken as a whole, absolutely and unqualifiedly proves the case for the afterlife. I will not be arguing that the objective evidence has high probative value. Nor am I suggesting that this evidence be accepted beyond reasonable doubt. I am stating that the evidence taken as a whole constitutes overwhelming and irrefutable proof for the existence of the afterlife.”

      Not taking one sentence, out of context, it is clear to me Zammit is making a declaration, the declaration is simple.

      1) He will not supply evidence to formulate proof that is “highly probable”.
      2) He will not supply evidence to formulate proof that “has” to be believed “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
      3) He will supply evidence to formulate proof that is “overwhelming” and “irrefutable”.

      It is similar to our debate for/against God. Do I have evidence that is “highly probable”, or evidence to formulate proof that “has” to be believed “beyond a reasonable doubt”, or evidence to formulate proof that is “overwhelming” and “irrefutable”.

      If you assert: I can speak to God, but I’m the only person that can hear his replies I would say, Amen brother, God is awesome.

      He spoke to me once, removed a deadly addiction. He came to me in a dream and the image given saved me from a terrible car accident. The list is longer too. I’ve seen men saved through prayer and acceptance of Gods healing. Men get into terrible straights; defeated, numb to love, hateful, suicidal, destructive to oneself and others, they succumb to substance abuse and the inability to forgive themselves for hurting others, the horror of war and the need to escape the deeps we do to stay alive that makes some want to but a gun in thier mouth to end the screams. Sometimes we get broken, sometimes circumstances dictate we have to return to the manufacture to get repaired.

      Like

      • Oh the old “out of context” argument. Including the entire paragraph didn’t change anything. Curiously, you seem to be confused on the words he’s using – such as probative – but even when using your definition – very probable – you still didn’t see the contradiction.

        I’m going to move on, with reluctance.

        I’m really not interested in your personal stories of redemption, etc. They’re meaningless – to me. Most of our decisions are arrived at emotionally. Our minds seek patterns and then try to rationalize those patterns. When information is incomplete – as it so often is – our minds fill in the gap. That’s essentially what you described in your last paragraph – confirmation bias, assented to due to emotional instability. In other words, you wanted to believe that someone wouldn’t let an addiction ruin your life; it’s comforting, so you ignored the fact that you, yourself, quit that addictive behavior on your own. Now, if you can provide demonstrable evidence that God does such things, I’ll sit down and listen to the details. But these stories are ridiculous, not to mention, incongruous with reality – thousands of deserving people are not saved by your benevolent god every day.

        Because much of our decisions are emotionally driven, scientists are reluctant to trust their senses; because we can’t help but to have presuppositions which influence the interpretation of data. Hence, the need to develop the scientific method. It’s simply a set of guidelines that help us avoid confirmation bias.

        Now, everything that you mentioned, and my question about hearing God, cannot be confirmed by such a method. It’s simply impossible. This is why Randi’s tests are continuously attacked by Zammit and his charlatan posse. They know that their “abilities” can’t be verified by science; hence the disclaimer. If you want us to believe, expose your claims to the scientific method; it doesn’t care about feelings.

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      • I almost forgot: I can’t speak to God. You were pretty quick to believe me though, and assuming this is the same answer you give to anyone with such a claim, I think you just demonstrated how credulous you are.

        Sorry if that’s harsh, and it’s not meant to be an ad hominem attack. Just saying…

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      • I used his words, typos and all. There are three approaches to a debate.

        1) You can supply evidence that is “highly probable”.
        2) You can supply evidence that is “beyond a reasonable doubt”.
        3) You can supply evidence that is “overwhelming” and “irrefutable”.

        In a debate you can state, beforehand, you will not do #1 and #2, but do #3.
        *****
        You make a good point. Emotions. Emotions Are The Driving Force Behind Why We Do What We Do. Why and how do we even have emotions? Why would an indifferent and uncaring universe give us emotions that are not like the universe that created us.
        *****
        The fundamental basic nature of humans is when information is incomplete we seek to fill in that gap by search and learn. It’s been this way since recorded history.
        *****
        Addicts have no control. Human nature is to take the easy way out and the easy way is to continue in the self-destructive behavior. I’ve seen it, dealt with it, and been there. And I’ve also seen and dealt with those traumatized by war and the total evil way we have to get through it. Addicts and those suffering from PDSD are powerless against the thing that is killing them. It’s only when the human nature of a man tells himself he will die staying on this path and he decides that he doesn’t want to die just yet, that he admits he is powerless. There are things good for us and there are things not good. There are things that feed positive mental outlook and negative mental outlook. Both these outlooks affect everything in our lives, personnel relationships, work ethic, health and life longevity.
        *****
        I knew Sir, your assertion was to prove a point and not a fact. I took you assertion as fact to prove my point. Many millions of people speak to God every day. Many hear Him, at least once, some never and some a lot, and many are recipients of His cause.
        *****
        Why would you find it necessary to belittle me by calling me credulous? I am not a stupid man. In my 52 years I have traveled the globe and studied and absorbed as much as I could, filling the gaps if you will. I have posted in this thread, and others, and have not gotten any educated rebuttal to numerous truisms, such as a proposed explanation to the advanced medical and sanitation laws written by Moses. All I get is out-of-context statements such as God hates shrimp and God says it is ok to rape virgins. I will not cuss you nor belittle you by calling you names, but I will tell you one thing: when God pulls one out of whatever it is that is killing them, and He wants you to live, you will forever trust Him. You will be eaten by lions before you denies your faith.

        , as fact and responded

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  11. Leroy, how can a claim which lacks high probability be at the same time irrefutable? The very idea of being irrefutable is contingent on definite evidence. Acknowledging even the slightest degree of ambiguity reduces the argument to a less compelling state. I don’t know how else to explain this.

    “Why would an indifferent and uncaring universe give us emotions that are not like the universe that created us?”

    Why do you think the universe has given you anything? There isn’t anything to suggest that our animation was constructed with purpose, nor is there any evidence that life holds a greater meaning. Your questions assumes both. However, to get to the point of your question: emotions are probably easiest to explain by evolution. As I’m sure you’re aware, we are not the only animals that exhibit emotions, and they allow us to be both proactive and reactive; they are merely a utility which enables us to stay alive – at least they initially were.

    I’m not sure where you were going with the addict argument. This statement pretty much supports my position:

    “It’s only when the human nature of a man tells himself he will die staying on this path and he decides that he doesn’t want to die just yet, that he admits he is powerless.”

    I believe you’re implying that God then grants us the power necessary to overcome such difficulties, but this is again incongruous with reality. First, I was, or am, depending on how you look at it, an addict. I quit on my own. Second, I’m a Marine. I have multiple friends that are combat vets, that are also atheists, who are anything but powerless against their PTSD. This demonstrates that people save themselves. Therefore, this can’t be used as proof of God since it’s not mutually exclusive to theists.

    Lastly, I know you were aware that I was trying to prove a point. I’m not suggesting that you are credulous for believing me. I’m suggesting that you show signs of being credulous if you believe similar claims without demanding evidence. Anyone can make these claims, and many have. Since such a claim has never been independently verified, it’s unwise to accept such things as truth. I’m sorry, I know that’s offensive, but I’m simply being honest on how I perceive your position.

    We can end this now if you wish. I don’t see much reason to continue anyway. Take care, Leroy.

    Like

    • We can, and I really do appreciate learning your view point. You may have the “last reply”, or let this be it.

      You ask, ” how can a claim which lacks high probability be at the same time not irrefutable?” It can’t, and that is not at all what he is saying.

      Example: I will make a claim that I will prove something and my proof will not be highly probable, as some proofs only use “high probability”, nor will it be necessary to accept my proof beyond reasonable doubt, as some proofs have a lesser degree of probability than not, and rely on “high probability”. No. My proof will be overwhelmingly and irrefutably true.
      *****
      I know some people can flourish and succeed without believing in a higher power, but I also know the reality that many others can not. Follow your bliss. Search those key words with Joseph Campbell. You will find you have a purpose and it is to know and love yourself. Your purpose is to follow your bliss and love all others as you love yourself. This one, single purpose, is not embraced by all and that produces evil men who hurt others.

      All life on earth must replicate under the auspices of the process of evolution. The driving force for this basic mechanism of life is the survival instinct, which, in turn, is rooted in the pain/pleasure principle. This principle can be stated briefly: Every living organism, including every human being, always acts in what it considers to be in its best self-interest: To avoid pain and to enhance pleasure. Only organisms that perceive a threat to their existence as an unpleasant emotion, a perception of pain, can survive and replicate.

      The existence of this pain/pleasure syndrome in all living organisms does not imply that human beings always act in their actual best self-interest. The genes of every human being compel him to act in what he believes to be in his best self-interest. Any person, who does not act in what he considers to be in his best self-interest, is engaged in self-destructive behavior. Self-destructive persons are all around us. Self destruction manifest itself in our lives by 1) what bad we do to our selves, 2) what bad others do to us, and 3) bad events we go through. Sometimes, to temper a self-destructive behavior (1, 2, or 3) some of us have to surrender to, and seek understanding and healing from, a higher power. For some, it is the only way to accept and discard #1, forgive #2, and accept #3 should not impact us in a self-destructive way. To be selfish, in the sense of always acting in what we consider to be in our own best self-interest, is the ultimate imperative of all life. Once a person understands this he can then see the need to temper that selfishness with loving and caring for others.
      *****
      If you believe in evolution then the universe, being what it is, created you. Star dust. Almost every element on Earth was formed at the heart of a star. Almost.

      “Stars mimic living systems. They are born, live to maturity at metabolic rates determined by their masses, and die, spewing forth the matter by which their stellar offspring can take form. Throughout, they convert the light atoms of their birth into the heavier ones dispersed at death. The chemicals that constitute our beings were manufactured in the bowels of stars that today exist only as memories.” — George A. Seielstad, “Cosmic Ecology,” 1983.

      Any inventory of the cosmos that omits us is like a survey of the body that overlooks the brain. In evolving the human mind, the universe has fashioned an instrument capable of understanding itself and empathizing with others. We are that instrument, and since we are part of the cosmos, we err if we judge it to lack kindness, love, and compassion. If I believe the universe is indifferent and heartless, it’s because I myself do not care and do not love.

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      • 1. Our first disagreement has not changed. You didn’t explain this any better, or even in a different way. You simply repeated those three sentences again. An arbitrator is necessary at this point.

        2. To a degree, I think we generally agree on the second point. Although I recognize that some people require a higher power to turn to, this does not provide evidence for such a being. It is simply evidence that the need for such comfort is inherent in certain people – or at least it seems to be inherent.

        3. I didn’t say the Universe didn’t create us. I said the Universe didn’t created us with any purpose; for this there is no evidence. To conclude that if someone holds such a position, they themselves lack compassion and love is demonstrably fallacious. I think it’s rather pointless to even provide examples.

        Unfortunately, I don’t think Mr. Zande could act as our arbitrator, but I’m always happy to discuss topics with people of opposing views. I will, however, not apologize if I offended you. Just as your last statement was offensive, I would not dream of taking it to heart. I think it’s best to be honest than to censor ourselves, or apologize afterwards.

        Take care, Leroy.

        Like

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