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Showing posts from 2014

Film Review - Samsara

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IMDB Samsara link

Amazon Prime Samsara link

Netflix Samsara link

There never was a more perfectly photographed, perfectly soundtracked film than Samsara, by Ron Fricke.

Moderates Become Extremists

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When I was a religious extremist, I embraced every teaching of the Bible as if it could be none other than directly from the mind of a loving God to his lost children. One year of college, then one year of missionary service, only made me more extreme. Meeting and marrying my wife, having our first child, returning to the mission field, and then returning to college to complete my teaching degree were all life events which eroded away my extremism. By the time I was a seasoned teacher, I was religiously and politically liberal. I had become a moderate, using the current terminology.

The Dickish Driver

UPDATE 02/05/2015: A brave group of youthful activists in Russia is taking dickish driving in their neighborhoods very seriously, and documenting it online. Have a look at some translated vids: https://www.youtube.com/user/Lomak1581/videos

A dickish driver's manual must be genetically encoded into human DNA, because I see it so often these days, and it's not just one age group, gender, or nationality. 

Easy Solution to Middle East Conflict

With tongue planted firmly in cheek, I offer the following quick-fix, simple, easy solution to that persistent problem of war in the Middle East (currently flaring up between Israel and Palestine, for the xx time in xx years/months/weeks).

Why I Doubt Daniel 2 Is True

Daniel 2 Doubts Wrapped Up in Daniel Book/Doctrine Doubts The relevance of the second chapter of the book of Daniel to a believer in Seventh-day Adventist doctrine is entirely dependent upon that church's twin doctrines known as "The Sanctuary" and "The Investigative Judgment".

Rejecting Jesus

[This post is in response to a comment by a pastor on my previous post; here's the link to the comment].

Miss Burke, my Kindergarten teacher, was young, pretty, caring toward me and all my friends, and best of all, single! (I always took my childhood crushes way too seriously.) Sadly, I left that school after third grade, and Miss Burke didn't come with me to my new school. Adding insult to injury, she got married, and lived in a house with the man who bested me in a home cloyingly close to where I had to walk to and from my new school. Every day, I had my wounded feelings revived as I mourned having loved and lost. (Waaaaaay too seriously...).

Good Without God, Better Without God

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For whatever reason (I'm not sure I'm willing to guess), in the few years since I've come out atheist, I have experienced a motivation to behave ethically and morally far beyond that which two and a half decades of Christianity ever provided.

A Christian Mind Cannot Open

I remember being convinced that the Seventh-day Adventist worldview was the only correct lens through which to judge all incoming information, including political information used to make voting decisions. For decades I perceived everything I read, heard, observed, learned, and discovered through that very narrow lens, also known as The Great Controversy:

How Do I Know?

These past few months, I've become more interested in how I know, than what I know. While facts play a big role in the formation of my values and beliefs, the primary concern is summed up in my title: 'How do I know?'

Why Do I Care?

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My wife asked me the other day why I post anti-Christian images and 'like' those of others on Facebook. It was a question that made me think-- my favorite kind!

How To Keep Members From Leaving Your Church

An open letter to my former church, in which valuable advice on how to retain members is humbly offered.

The biggest problem facing the Seventh-day Adventist Church is arguably how easily they lose church members. They constantly praise one another for each new baptism, but chronically ignore established members who no longer attend.

The Possibility That You Are Wrong

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Israeli settlers are stealing other people's land in the hope of bringing on the Messiah and a terrible war. On the alternative side-- as it thinks of itself-- the Islamic jihadists are preparing a war without end, a faith-based war, based on the repulsive tactic of suicide murder. And ALL of these people believe that they have a divine warrant, a holy book, and the direct Word of God on their side. (Christopher Hitchens debating Dinesh D'Souza at Notre Dame, http://youtu.be/jhP-LOlPNX8).

Case Study in Deluded Christian Credulity

UPDATE 3/26/2014 ON AGW PORTION:
"Given this broad agreement on the fundamentals of climate science, what cognitive mechanism would underlie people's dissent from the consensus? We suggest that if a person rejects an overwhelming scientific consensus, such as the one for climate science, then that person needs to deny that the consensus emerged as the result of researchers converging independently on the same evidence-based view. Rejection of the scientific consensus thus calls for an alternative explanation of the very existence of that consensus.

Anonymous Guest Post

It's kind of long and not such an easy read but stick with it till the end.....

Credulity

Religion is a gateway drug. Well, drug, in the metaphorical sense, as in an anesthetic for critical, rational, logical, skeptical thinking. But it is a gateway also, in the sense that when you assent to the claims of a religion, you thereby make it much easier to assent to other dubious claims. Claims against which, if you hadn't tied up your critical thinking and thrown it down in the basement, you would have had some defenses.

Voluntary Ignorance

What if you ran a cult, and needed to cut off your followers from the constant flow of information from the outside world?

You Got Your Religion in my Humanism

This article (call it "Opening" http://www.strangenotions.com/the-opening-of-the-scientific-mind) is a comment on this article (call it "Closing" http://www.commentarymagazine.com/article/the-closing-of-the-scientific-mind). The "Opening" article was recently recommended to me by my cousin and facebook debating partner, Tom. For a wider audience, I here present my thoughts on both articles.

Philosophy and Theology WAR! What Is It Good For?

Absolutely NOTHING! Say it again...

"Atheists Don't Get God" Claims Arrogant Thomist

This is a response to the article "Atheists Don't Get God", a review of David Bentley Hart's book, The Experience of God: Being, Consciousness, Bliss.

Comfortable Delusions

I've been thinking about what it was like to be a comfortable Christian church member; remembering the soothing feelings of belonging to a morally superior movement with a great commission directly from the throne room of Almighty God.