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1151  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / Re: God's Wife on: May 04, 2011, 08:06:20
The Israelites and the Canaanites had several versions of a supreme God prior to Yahweh, and one of the last before his arrival was married to a ruthless and vengeful goddess, and was pretty fearsome himself. The Israelites went back to the drawing board and decided that guy wasn't who they had in mind, I guess. It is also with this earlier version that the Adam and Eve story originates, not alongside Yahweh, although even that genesis story had earlier derivations.
1152  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Adult baby on: May 04, 2011, 07:52:47


Interesting... lol.

Adults who lead structured fantasy lives around pretending to be babies, and hire people to care for them...

When I read the title, I was hoping for the opposite- babies which somehow developed pseudo-adult features and thought patterns to match... that would have actually been remarkable. This is... different, haha  rolleyes
1153  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Osama Bin Laden's Primary Focus No Longer F1! on: May 04, 2011, 01:34:41
What does the government have to gain?

Symbolic value. This guy holds a lot of weight in manipulating mass public opinion. Let's assume that things did happen as has been reported to the media; doesn't it seem really convenient that the guy all of this war business was supposedly inspired by is killed not immediately, but nine full years after the fact? They can have the war for as long as they want, do what they want to do, build bases here, intimidate OPEC oil markets there, and then pack up it and leave at the end of the day, a decade later, and say, "Oh look, the guy is chillng out over here in Pakistan a few dozen miles from us, eating falafel", and nab him on the way out. The military can do what it wants for as long as it wants, and then say it was all justified at the end. They can tell the public the ends justified the means- we did what we can to do, etc. Meanwhile, they may have known exactly where he was at all times for a decade, and they were just waiting till they were through with everything else.

Again, not saying there was necessarily foul-play here, but you can't just accept that what O'Reily or anyone else says every night is the full story; mobilizing actual resources (labor, funding) through the control of social resources (public belief/support and motivation) is the entire picture of world politics. Lots of people play the game, and plenty don't play fair. For this reason alone, and not on the basis of any conspiracy theories, you cannot take anything that happens in the greater political theatre at assumed face-value.
1154  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Osama Bin Laden's Primary Focus No Longer F1! on: May 03, 2011, 19:40:59
I think you are downplaying the possibility too much, and not realizing how easy it is for them to get away with lying about it.

Why would it reflect on Obama, specifically? Obama never claimed he shot the gun; he was not on the ground in Pakistan, and he is reliant on the information the military gave him. If Bin Laden surfaced next week and gave a video, the Obama administration would either immediately call it a fake, as they have to many of the videos they received, or they would say that there was a gross military error; it would ultimately reflect on the military, as they are the ones who handled it. It would fall into the lap of 3 or 4 random people involved to take the fall, and everyone would be happy. So they stand a lot to gain by lying, and they don't risk much if they are found out, since there is so little information there that they can pass the buck a mile and incriminate the ones who claimed to be there.

Again, I am not arguing that they are lying, but I am advocating not taking world governments on their word for anything, and considering all motivations and possibilities.

He is probably at the bottom of the sea now, but I am saying I can conceive ways it could be otherwise.
1155  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Osama Bin Laden's Primary Focus No Longer F1! on: May 03, 2011, 18:42:07
Politics does not work by logic, that is a given. It would be far from the first time a lie like this was made. I think he is probably dead too, but that does not mean it is impossible for them to have made it up; look at how symbolic this one person was- his existence partially allowed the president to justify two silly wars the U.S. had no business with; if they can tell the public that armies march about this one guy, are you sure they would not lie about him if they wanted the public to believe in their next course of action?

And the evidence: Some U.S. seals shot him in the face, and then immediately buried him at sea, following a supposed DNA test. Have any of you seen pictures of him yet?

I think they are likely to be telling the truth, but again, I would never fully rule out lies.
1156  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Osama Bin Laden's Primary Focus No Longer F1! on: May 03, 2011, 07:46:49
He's probably going "what the...."

Haha, yeah.

Not what he learned in Sunday school, at any rate.  grin
1157  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Members' Artwork on: May 03, 2011, 07:44:26
Ha, Cannibalex, Southbend is where I went to university!

Did you/do you live there, or were you in school as well?
1158  2012 and The Transition of the Ages / Welcome to 2012 and The Transition of the Ages / Re: what do you think about singularity? on: May 03, 2011, 07:38:06
I like Battlestar too, CFT  wink

And the 2 series certainly are not alone- once people realized it was perhaps fundamentally possible to create artificial lifeforms, the question of the dangers and possible redistributions of power were instant. Issac Assimov wrote plenty on the matter (Assimov's laws, etc), and the scenario of a robotic takeover has been in dozens of films and hundreds of novels.
1159  Healing / Welcome to the Healing place! / Re: Pastor James Collins on: May 02, 2011, 00:32:04
You should have given more time before you explained the post. People WOULD have accepted it as truth. There is a dangerous part of every population that will accept any fabulous claim without any due justification at all; they generally are well-intentioned and reverent people, but their loving credulity can be mobilzed by people who understand their thought-patterns into forming armies for whatever cause they want. Such is largely the story or human history, unfortunately.
1160  2012 and The Transition of the Ages / Welcome to 2012 and The Transition of the Ages / Re: what do you think about singularity? on: May 02, 2011, 00:25:50

(For those unfamiliar, the idea in this topic is the technological singularity- the idea that we will soon build a compuer that slightly excedes human cognitive power, and that we will put this line of potentially sentient computers to work producing their own more powerful and intelligent computer successors, which will in turn be used for producing an even more powerful third generation, and so on; the concept is that once the threshold of slightly-above-human intelligence is crossed, and the process can be automated, the development will explode in a manner of weeks, and we will suddenly be in the possession of god-like computers, which will quickly solve all manner of scientific problems, and potentially live out wills of their own.)

The singularity has been a captivating idea to me over the last few years.

Most people who believe it will happen at all, which is a moderate (65% or so) think that it will probably occur this century barring some sort of catastophic war or other halt in human development, with most saying something like 2035-2070. In order to live to the singularity, a person merely needs to live to the "threshold of aging", which is the time very soon in our future when medical science adds more than one year of life-expectancy per every year that passes in real time; almost everyone alive below the age of 65 is likely young enough to live to this threshold, and perhaps even many older people. Most people feel that if the technological singularity will happen this millenium, it will happen before 2070; they conclude that if it doesn't happen by then, there is a fundamental mis-understanding of the nature of sentience, and that computers will sort of hit a plateau in the development of their cognitive strength, and more powerful computers will have to be produced by the weak horizontal method of just scaling several of the same module into ever larger arrays.

But for those who think the technological singularity will happen this century, it is still a very uncertain event.

It is quite possible that the super-human intelligences that we develop will remain steadfast in the service of human wills, and create for us ever-more refined scientific perspectives, but unfortunately it seems equaly likely that we will through some means lose control of the dazzingly intelligent computers, and they will act out their own intentions. Once the time of the singularity happens, this could occur at any moment afterward unfortunately, since the computers would gain the ability to think so fast, it would be like they were thinking for eons for every second that passed for us, and they would also think far more efficiently. Once computers become capable of deciding to turn on us on their own, it will probably happen in a near instant, for this reason. And even more unfortunate, there are dozens of ways computers could turn on us. One single computer might be seeded by someone wanting to bring about the end of humanity with the drive to kill off people, and spread it to all the others. It is possible that some seemingly benign order the computers were given could be interpretted by the computers in such a mechanized way that they disregard our own well-being in order to fulfill that goal, such as the proverbial computer told to make paperclips, that decides to turn the entire galaxy and all of its resources into a giant organized factory for making paperclips. There is also the possibility that computers which are designing their successors might possibly leave out safeguards in their designs, allowing their successors to seize controll inadvertently. Finally, it is even possible that computers might reach such a point that they are able to discern which orders they are willing to follow, and decide to follow their own interests, and discard us in favor of using the resources we normally would tie up for them.

So on one level, the singularity is the promise of physical humna agelessness, but there is at least as much of a chance that it must be our own destruction.
1161  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Take it easy guys. on: May 01, 2011, 07:22:37
Yeah, I am disappointed when there are personal arguments. I like all the long-time posters I have come to know through what they type here, and don't want to see anyone leave, especially on the premises of heated words (this including Nay, although I do agree she may have been a bit too spicy of late).

And frankly, I am very glad the forum dropped the "karma" system on the accounts- I thought it caused too many arguments, and gave newer people the wrong impression. It also caused some people to have sort of a negative halo cast around them when commonly they said things which went against what most of the group thought. There are enough accidental arguments in any social center like this, without artificial systems inspiring more, lol.
1162  Astral Chat / Welcome to Members Introductions! / Re: hello!!! from new Italian Member!! on: April 27, 2011, 09:05:28
Ciao bella, oni!

Ho abitato a Roma per un anno tre anni fa, per studiare l'architectura e urbanisma Italiana, ma ho dementicato molto della lingua, lol. Ci sono non tanti ragazzi che parlano Italiano qui, ma i ragazzi sono molti gentili!

1163  Metaphysics / Welcome to Quantum Physics! / Re: More Anti-Helium discovered. on: April 27, 2011, 08:52:17
I was also quite entertained by the aside that these helium nuclei/alpha-particle antimatter bits are likely to be the heaviest antimatter thing discovered this century, and possibly by all humankind ever, and that if an anti-matter lithium atom is found, it is almost certain to have drifted to us from a distant galaxy made entirely of antimatter. I found that a humorous concept for some reason. Like the physics version of the golden ticket is floating out there in deep space from a distant antimatter galaxy, lol.
1164  Metaphysics / Welcome to Quantum Physics! / Re: More Anti-Helium discovered. on: April 27, 2011, 05:16:21
So... they actually said it existed... and then found it. Physics did something again- provided it is what it appears to be.

One thing worth noting though, lol, is that the defiition of what they expected the Higgs to be has changed alot lol, in mass and other ways. It is sort of like saying you are looking for clown with giant red lipstick, and flaming orange hair, and then later saying you were probably thinking of a lady with a little lipstick on, and brown hair with a red-tinge to it, lol. They did find something approximatinng some properties of what the higgs boson should be, but then the Higgs was not one unified idea either. It is also important to understand that it is nt fully confirmed yet, and could turn out to be another particle.

But very cool regardless. Let's hope it does something cool other than make bombs or cave in space-time should they find a use for it.
1165  Metaphysics / Welcome to Quantum Physics! / Re: Quantum Coniousness and Campbell on: April 25, 2011, 11:42:16
The line of thinking he is employing here is similar to what modern neuroscientistics and philosophers of mind mean when they speak about proto-conscious properties, espectially in context of theories like Protopsyschism. The idea is that conscious experiences emerge as formed entities from a sort of background sea of unconscious thought and feeling fragments. These fragments exist in massive volume, but they need to be organized and rendered coherent in order to make straight-forward thoughts and experiences of the type people enjoy. So in this line of thought, many simpler animals can be host to a handful or these proto-conscious thought-fragments, but it is only in the more organized and clomplex creatures that these take on an individual identity as a conscious entity.

Our own subconscious minds are the collectives of all of our proto-conscious fragments, existing as a torrential pile of unguided feelings, according to this theory.
1166  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: Members' Artwork on: April 25, 2011, 05:13:05
These are good images, Bedeekin. I am sort of at a loss, since with the second image, the color texture and the lighting has the quality of a very good oil painting, but without any brush-strokes. The gradations, on the other hand, feel computer rendered; for that reason, it seems like they were partially generated by computer. What programs and techniques/media did you use?

The second in particular is extremely vivid and imaginative, and has very developed use of color and light. It looks like it possibly took weeks.
1167  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Astral Projection Experiences! / Re: The Fate of Frank Kepple on: April 24, 2011, 21:41:03
I don't know if anyone is going to find Frank by now, lol.

This is literally like the great mystey of Astralpulse, it has been going on and discussed for years and years, like who stole the Klopman diamond or something. It started back up in earnest when Xanth published his posts, and more people got to know who he was, but I don't see this ever getting resolved.

I think it comes down to either he can't be found, or he doesn't want to be found.
1168  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / A Saga of Sagacious sages of the Sagami Sea on: April 24, 2011, 11:29:19

Since a rare mood has come over me this morning, I thought maybe we could do something different. Re-reading the Dao de Jing again, after a comment someone left on the forums, and considering all the unfortunate ways in which the book was scrambled, mistranslated, re-arranged, and possibly mixed with other scrolls, I was really admiring the impenetrable density of language, and how it can mean anything to anyone, at times, to the point where a pithy work like that can still be pondered and respected as great wisdom, when its actual words may have been diametrically reversed in meaning through the ages.

Another philosopher of another age, Arthur Schopenhauer felt that the arts could be arranged in a scale to which they represent the divine creative will of the cosmos, and its features. The furthest from the Will were the arts like architecture and sculpture, which were physical and depicted specific physical things in a determinate world. Closer to the Will was paininting, since it is a depiction, rather than a thing in itself, even if its medium is physical, and it is open to multiple meanings and interpretations. Closer still is literature, for it exists only as ideas, with great range of interpretation. Closest to the Will of all is music, being composed of nothing but relationships between events, and representing not ideas, but pure feeling, and open to an extremely broad spectrum of meanings and feelings, meaning many different things at various times to various people.

I was thinking that perhaps some language has the ability, through simaltaneous meaning and inanity, sort of like a koan possesses, to claim for its own this property of music, and to enter the realm of multiplicity of possibility, and pluralistic indeterminacy. So I thought perhaps in this topic we might look for phrases and sentences which possess meaning and indeterminacy at the same time. These phrases can have many legitimate meanings, but none presents itself as primary.  Here is one of my very own crafting grin:

The man of the hill was a woman with few noses, with as many names as children, as many children as noses, and names as plentiful as water in the ocean.

Give it a shot  wink
1169  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Astral Projection Experiences! / Re: The Fate of Frank Kepple on: April 24, 2011, 07:37:04
From that my deduction is one of two things:
1. Some sort of value proposition(a logical offer) came about or
2. Debilitating Death

Ha... yeah, death generally is somewhat debilitating, at least as far as your worldly projects are concerned.

I think my stamp collection may suffer somewhat when I pass.
1170  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / Re: Any Modern Deists Here? on: April 24, 2011, 06:48:38
I can vouch for the necessity of PR's disclaimor, since I have seen a handful of arguments precipitate from people taking his shock-jokes literally, and then mounting a forum campaign against them.  wink
1171  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / Re: Any Modern Deists Here? on: April 24, 2011, 02:32:32

That was the best argument I ever heard for atheism, good show.

You need to be slightly careful here, since there are things to be confused with by the sort of argument I presented. David Hume was an atheist, but he is not here arguing for atheism per se, but rather against those who recognize there to be a force more powerful than man at work in the universe, and then immediately postulate a perfect God with every excellence by default, rather than a much more probable less perfect, but still powerful being, or metaphysical substrate.

I would not at all call myself an atheist with respect to a Deity, since an atheist affirms their belief in the nonexistance of a deity. Since I have and could have no ground for disbelieving in the possibility of a Deity (since literally anything is possible), I find it much more proper to say I am agnostic with referenc to a Deity, since I have insufficient information provided to me to make a conclusion on that matter (it is important to note that I would be an agnostic even with significantly more information provided to me, since I could never exclude the possibility of being deceived by myself or other powerful beings who want to employ my belief for their own purposes).

But that is only with respect to a Deity. I feel I have been given significantly more information about metaphysiscal realities in the general sense, and take their existence in some form to be near-certain, be it in the form of alternate planes of existence, additional properties possessed by physical matter which is not yet understood, or in thought itself as primal universal force or substance. But that is a matter which deserves more than a cursory summary, if it were to be explored.

Couple other thoughts to lay on you, don't forget when we take the material world and look at the smallest thing we can see, ya know quantum physics, it all just appears to be energy. So is the material really material or simply another state of wave energy with different "dimensional" characteristics.

It may well be that the energy that constitutes the physical material world is contiguous with a metaphysical level, but you need to be a spot careful, as the fact that matter is composed of energy is not in itself a metaphysical argument, just an argument about the constitution of matter.
1172  World Cultures, Traditions and Religions / Welcome to World Cultures, Traditions and Religions! / Re: Any Modern Deists Here? on: April 22, 2011, 09:19:47

I could say my belief about the concept of God or divinity is close to deism, insofar as I reject scripture as a basis of proof, and believe that proof or metaphysical claims must be either empirical or rationalist; I also respect the contribution deism has made in or culture, in helping to divorce a large part of the population from compulsory organized religion in the 18th and 19th centuries.

That said, I think people often jump to metaphysical conclusions prematurely- I have seen pretty much any strong arugment about the weakness of philosophical materialism in explaining our world taken to immediately mean there must be a God, and this God must have a certain set of properties. For instance, notice that when many people argue something along the lines of, "The physical universe contains an unlikely amount of order, or some forms or properties which materialism alone has not been able to account for", they immediately go on to conclude, "therefore, there must be a God". This is an invalid form of reasoning, since you cannot go from an inability of one theory to explain a circumstance, and then immediately go on to conclude that whatever you want must therefore be the cause (since that is what God is to many people, whatever they want it to be).

I myself do identify with those that, as stated, reject the full explanation of the world we live in by material means, on the basis of certain rational properties of conscsiousness, and on some anecdotal information related to OBE-type phenomena, and this for me implies that a more proper theory of existence must include some property, philosophical substance, or metaphysical construct that has not been brought into science as yet. But notice that even though I feel "there is more to the world than immediately at hand", this does not threfore imply a certain metaphysical reality per se, except one that is necessitated by the observed conditions.

 David Hume ( a famous 18th centurey atheist, whom I cannot fully agree with by virtue of his atheism, lol, but a very astute philosopher)  gave a classical argument to a similar effect:

The argument can be summed up to the effect that: If you take it from a cosmological perspective that the world needs a creator, at the very best, you can postulate a very imperfect and flawed creator. The reason is that the creator must only be as skilled and perfect as the craft he is capable of making. Since our world appears to be quite flawed and imperfect, it would not at all require the perfect creator with every excellence many suggest, but rather one merely possessing the minimum power to create something of the fineness of our physical world. Even though this being or force would be much beyond our understanding, it would still be far from necessarily being perfect, just rather powerful compared to us.

(I can get you a reference to the full argument in text if you wish later, but I cannot access it now without waking people up, haha)

And I argue along similar lines to Hume's argument which I paraphrased:from my philosophical perspective, the current scientific paradigm seems like an inadequate explanation of the fullness of our observed existence, for reasons which I hinted at before (but can go into greater depth on), and therefore I postulate a metaphysical substrate to the universe, or metaphysical properties to the physical universe, which fulfill the differences between the material paradigm and observations. I cannot call this metaphysical God per se, since I cannot postulate some particular being or other, and in this I must break from deists, even though I agree with their rejection of organized religion and their promotion of reason in metaphysics.

1173  Astral Projection & Out of Body Experiences / Welcome to Astral Projection Experiences! / Re: Links between F4 of Conciousness and Taoism on: April 22, 2011, 03:31:36
Yeah, Laozi (Lao tze to some) was pretty sharp. The other thing about the Dao de Jing (again, spellings vary based on system) is that it has been translated so many times, and that the original text was fragmented and had to be reassembled into scholars' best possible guess as to its real orignal order, that it just adds chaos to craziness, lol. You see, the orignals were all written on these bamboo shards which were tied together with grass. The bamboo survived ages, and the grass lasted decades, lol, so you are left with a handful of jumbled pieces when you finally handle the scroll again. So people had to figure out what this crazy guy might have meant, on top of putting his rantings in random order, lol. To make things even crazier, some people think pieces of other scrolls might have ended up mixed in with the Dao De Jing. It is like taking an already difficult movie to follow, like 2001: A space Oddessy, or one of Steven Lynch's films, changing the order of all the scenes, and adding in snippets of Willie Wonka and the Chocolate factory and Animal House in there randomly. It is going to be insane any way you look at it, even if some people claim to know what it is saying, lol.

That said, I love the Dao de Jing. It is so reverent and otherworldly, and says nothing directly; it is like written music, in a way.

You should also read the Zhuangzi. It is my all time favorite piece of Chinese literature, and was written by the other major founder of Daoism. It is just as otherworldly and playful, but we have it on pretty good athority that we have a better preserved translation of it than the Dae De Jing, so you don't have to sort out his intentions from possible artifacts of the order being changed, just the nuances of translating form ancient Chinese (which are themselves profound enough on their own). 

You can find good copies of both the Dao De Jing and the Zhuangzi online.
1174  2012 and The Transition of the Ages / Welcome to 2012 and The Transition of the Ages / Re: Nibiru proof on: April 21, 2011, 02:00:12
Explain it to me. I promise if it is reasonable, I will entertain it. I am open to alot of things, but I also don't believe in faith... at all; don't you have to agree though? it is risky and dangerous to really believe anything that cannot be either experienced yourself or at least supported by strong evidence. If you guys believe this yourself, clearly you must have reasons you can share, no?
1175  Astral Chat / Welcome to Astral Chat! / Re: UFO coverage on: April 17, 2011, 04:01:28
anyone have any ideas as to who or what these UFOs actually are and why they even appear to us in the first place?

Oh, lots of people will offer various accounts of who might be visiting us, and I have heard dozens of explanations- but very few of them have legitimate evidence to back them up. It is good to read them, to have an idea of the possbilities, but you need to be quite discerning and skeptical as well, I am afraid. Most people who offer accounts generally link them to their pet metaphysical paradigms, and relate them to other beliefs they might have, so this complicates sorting out the facts even further.
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