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Wed Feb 13, 2013, 06:03 PM

The God problem (part 1)

For a long time a variety of posters have asked for some better definition of God than much religion has traditionally offered. Here is the first of my posts offering some fresh thinking on this subject.

First, we must consider the outdated notion that the Bible is the Word of God. Traditionally most Christians have seen the Bible as revealing all we need to know about God. It is the Bible that traditionally comes out as the fundamental source of revelation. But if we take seriously what we now know about the structure of the cosmos, we have a problem in seeing the Bible as literally true and divinely revealed.
The Bible throughout assumes a two level Aristotelean universe, with the world down here and God up there. The Bible is stuck with the notion that God is a supernatural uncreated reality and the world a natural created reality. The Biblical cosmology posits this two-tiered universe. If we today don’t believe that any more, most religious people don’t know how to abandon it. We are like the Australian child who got a new boomerang for his birthday, but couldn’t throw the old one away? That idea may have gone out when Copernicus came in, but like the tar baby, we are unable to turn it loose.

The Biblical record, therefore, is based on what we now believe to a mythical cosmological system that does not now and never has existed. This pre-scientific religious fallacy posits not only a spatial division between the world and God, but also a hierarchical relationship. God is above us, up there somewhere—omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Revelation comes as God chooses to reveal “himself” from his supernatural realm. The Bible contains the record of the way our religious ancestors saw that revelation.

This brings us to the heart of our problem. It allows, indeed it mandates, the notion of God as a person, an entity who exists apart from our human sphere in some supernatural realm. Persons must be somewhere, and they must have attributes or they are not persons in any way we have defined the word. So God is a personal character who lives in a supernatural reality.

In this posting I have only laid out the religious problem in believing that the Bible is divine revelation in which God is a person existing in some non-worldly supernatural realm. In my next posting I will talk about an alternative way to understand God, based on a post Copernican understanding of how the universe is put together.



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Reply The God problem (part 1) (Original post)
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 OP
muriel_volestrangler Feb 2013 #1
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #5
Starboard Tack Feb 2013 #2
skepticscott Feb 2013 #3
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #4
trotsky Feb 2013 #21
Starboard Tack Feb 2013 #25
trotsky Feb 2013 #33
Starboard Tack Feb 2013 #36
skepticscott Feb 2013 #41
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #42
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #29
trotsky Feb 2013 #34
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #38
trotsky Feb 2013 #45
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #46
trotsky Feb 2013 #47
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #51
intaglio Feb 2013 #56
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #63
skepticscott Feb 2013 #65
intaglio Feb 2013 #74
trotsky Feb 2013 #58
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #64
trotsky Feb 2013 #67
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #69
trotsky Feb 2013 #70
skepticscott Feb 2013 #57
Phillip McCleod Feb 2013 #6
skepticscott Feb 2013 #7
Phillip McCleod Feb 2013 #8
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #9
skepticscott Feb 2013 #10
mr blur Feb 2013 #17
Starboard Tack Feb 2013 #26
skepticscott Feb 2013 #39
trotsky Feb 2013 #59
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #61
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #14
mr blur Feb 2013 #18
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #28
Starboard Tack Feb 2013 #37
skepticscott Feb 2013 #40
mr blur Feb 2013 #84
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #85
okasha Feb 2013 #32
Warren Stupidity Feb 2013 #11
Marrah_G Feb 2013 #12
goldent Feb 2013 #13
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #15
goldent Feb 2013 #48
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #50
skepticscott Feb 2013 #81
okasha Feb 2013 #60
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #62
trotsky Feb 2013 #68
skepticscott Feb 2013 #75
trotsky Feb 2013 #83
cleanhippie Feb 2013 #91
mr blur Feb 2013 #16
goldent Feb 2013 #52
skepticscott Feb 2013 #73
trotsky Feb 2013 #22
Xipe Totec Feb 2013 #86
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #87
trotsky Feb 2013 #88
Xipe Totec Feb 2013 #89
trotsky Feb 2013 #90
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #43
skepticscott Feb 2013 #44
Jim__ Feb 2013 #49
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #53
goldent Feb 2013 #55
deutsey Feb 2013 #19
trotsky Feb 2013 #20
EvilAL Feb 2013 #23
trotsky Feb 2013 #24
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #30
trotsky Feb 2013 #35
DonCoquixote Feb 2013 #54
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #66
trotsky Feb 2013 #71
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #72
trotsky Feb 2013 #77
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #79
trotsky Feb 2013 #82
backscatter712 Feb 2013 #27
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #31
HockeyMom Feb 2013 #76
SarahM32 Feb 2013 #78
Thats my opinion Feb 2013 #80

Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 06:23 PM

1. If you're talking about the Christian bible (as opposed to Jewish scriptures)

you also need to deal with the claim that 'God' was, for a while, a person existing in the worldly, natural realm. It's very difficult to be a Christian and not believe that God is a person.

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Response to muriel_volestrangler (Reply #1)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:17 PM

5. I'm talking about both the OT and the NT

Wait and see where I am headed with this.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 06:39 PM

2. I'm with you so far.

I suggest, to avoid confusion, that you add part 2 to this post as an edit.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 06:48 PM

3. You assume throughout

that the contention that the Biblical, Xstian conception of "god" is outdated automatically means that something else HAS to assume the mantle of "god" instead. A notion which you have utterly failed to justify. Why does anything need to be your (or anyone else's) "god", and why does anything you might invent even qualify as a "god" (which Yahweh of the Xstian Bible certainly would, if he actually existed anything like as described)?

Why don't you start there, Charles, before you ramble on and on and on about how your "god" makes so much more sense than that of the people whose deeply-held beliefs you minimize and disparage? Tell us why rational people should even need to have a "god". Are humans incapable of living happy, productive, emotionally stable lives without having something to call "god"?

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #3)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 06:50 PM

4. Are humans incapable of living happy, productive, emotionally stable lives without having something

Are humans incapable of living happy, productive, emotionally stable lives without having something to call "god".



Bingo! That's the $60,000 question. And Charles has no answer.

Well, he does actually, he obviously thinks humans DO need something to call god, and he is going to tell us all just what this is in part 2. I can't wait.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #3)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:25 AM

21. TMO has already given his answer on that.

Across dozens of threads and hundreds of posts, his message has been consistent: moral and ethical behavior can only come from religion and belief in god(s).

It's a slap in the face to all non-believers, no different than we hear from any given loudmouth TV preacher. But at least Charles smiles as he tells us we are second class human beings.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:20 PM

25. Is every opinion you disagree with a "slap in the face" to you?

I find little difference between the loudmouth TV preachers and the loudmouth, intolerant bullies around here who pretend to speak for non-believers.
Maybe you'd like to quote where he called anyone a "second class human being".

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #25)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:43 PM

33. Your namecalling makes it pointless to discuss anything with you.

Good day.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:30 PM

36. My name calling? That is truly hilarious.

How is asking you to back up your accusation name calling?
I'm not interested in having a discussion with you either. I just want to point out that you make accusations and smear other members without backing up your accusations.
Now, you can run away or you can answer the question, or you can continue name calling. Your choice.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 06:47 PM

41. Well, maybe one of the hosts

will step in and admonish him. Maybe even one of the ones who has called for more civility in here. Seems only right, yes?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #33)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:27 PM

42. Just more of his passive-aggressive bullshit.

Consider the source and disregard. You did the right thing.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #21)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:23 PM

29. Try and be honest about what I have continually said.

I have said over and over again that religion is a source for moral and ethical behavior, but it is certainly not the ONLY source. Your need to keep repeating the ONLY word, is disingenuous. I'll say it again for the last time. Religion is not the ONLY source for moral and ethical behavior. And anyone in an honest dialogue can never be a second-class human being, and I have never said and do not believe that you are in any way second-class..

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #29)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:12 PM

34. I have been brutally honest about what you have said.

From one of your very first posts where you claimed that "None of us would want to live in a society without some sort of an ethical sensitivity based on solid religious faith," your disdain and disrespect for non-believers has been clear.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #34)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:54 PM

38. i have made my position clear over and over again--including today.

You even continue to misinterpret something I said three years ago. Get over it. it is disingenuous.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #38)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:24 PM

45. Let's settle this, once and for all.

Your quote, once again:

"None of us would want to live in a society without some sort of an ethical sensitivity based on solid religious faith."

I've asked you repeatedly, to the point of exhaustion, to clarify what you meant by this. The best you've managed is to say you don't think religious voices should be silenced. But that's not what your quote says. It says:

"None of us would want to live in a society without some sort of an ethical sensitivity based on solid religious faith."

I have presented you with a hypothetical society several times now - a society that did NOT have "an ethical sensitivity based on solid religious faith" - one that didn't actively stifle the religious viewpoint, but one that just never had it, or one in which it simply faded away or was naturally replaced with a secular ethical system.

According to your quote, "none of us would want to live" in such a society, since it's lacking "an ethical sensitivity based on solid religious faith."

So, do you still hold firm to your quote? Or would you like to amend it now, and admit that a society lacking "an ethical sensitivity based on solid religious faith" could be perfectly civil and pleasant too?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:33 PM

46. Five bucks says you don't get an answer.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #46)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:39 PM

47. Only 5?

I've asked him this - hell, I don't even remember how many times. I've NEVER gotten an answer. And he wonders why I still doubt his sincerity. Gee!

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Response to trotsky (Reply #45)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:13 PM

51. once and for all??

I would not want to live in a society without the corrective of a sturdy band of non-believers.
I would not want to live in a society not based on the findings of scientific investigation without any religious connection.
I would not want to live a society without the arts, music, poetry, literature.
I would not want to live in a society without the discipline of solid philosophical thought and discussion.

Just to name a few structures that make up a livable culture.
I doubt if this will satisfy you because that is not want you want. You want your bitterness to continue to dig around in the same old pit. It’s boring!

By the way, could you name me a good half dozen examples of what you describe in paragraph 3? I can name a few, but I doubt if you would want to claim them as good examples.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #51)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:41 AM

56. Discipline your thoughts

Begin with the original statement; it is made up of 2 parts:
1) None of us would want to live in a society without some sort of an ethical sensitivity ...
2) ... based on solid religious faith.
The first part is acceptable to all, the second is a not. Mind you the first element might be considered a tautology as I cannot conceive of a society not based on ethics; we might not like those ethics but for that society those ethics would be acceptable, consider the societies of carnivores or herbivores that show up in science fiction.

Now look at your follow up statements:
I would not want to live in a society without the corrective of a sturdy band of non-believers
This is a horribly confused statement not overtly including a second unproven assertion; but there are the problems.
1) you are assuming that the "sturdy band of non-believers" is an exceptional case and wish us to accept that without discussion;
2) You also include in this statement the word "corrective" without saying what is to be corrected;
3) You certainly do not realise that your statement implies that we might be willing to live in a society without bands of believers, sturdy or otherwise.

I would not want to live in a society not based on the findings of scientific investigation without any religious connection
My emphasis is to show that ask us to accept that there are 2 classes of science, some that has a "religious connection" and some that has not. In this case you are attempting to smuggle your viewpoint of the world into the argument by adding a clause unnecessary to the statement.

I would not want to live a society without the arts, music, poetry, literature
Singular statement where you imply that "music, poetry, literature" are in a different class to "the arts"

I would not want to live in a society without the discipline of solid philosophical thought and discussion
Confused, what has discipline or solidity to do with "philosophical thought and discussion"? It is certain that you can have undisciplined philosophical discussion and it can certainly be enjoyable*

Now to restate your conditions for a livable society without the dross you wish us to accept without discussion;
None of us would want to live in a society without some sort of an ethical sensitivity.
None of us would want to live in a society without either non-believers or believers.
None of us would want to live in a society without the arts; including music, poetry and literature.
None of us would want to live in a society without philosophical thought and discussion.


With a minor niggle about statement 2 in my case, these statements can be accepted as a basis for discussion.

==============================

* Ah the '60s and '70s you had to live through them - unfortunately you had to live through the bad bits as well ...

==============================

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Response to intaglio (Reply #56)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:16 PM

63. While I have serious problems with how you interpreted what I have said,

Your response was careful, rational and the best analysis of the subject I have seen in three years. Now lets get over rehashing this three year old statement and get onto the substance of the larger issues.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #63)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:25 PM

65. As long as you hold firmly

to that expression of bigotry, and won't back down from it one inch, pardon us if we don't "get over it". You're still here, still spouting the same bigoted attitudes, so what does it matter if it's been three years or three days?

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #63)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:29 PM

74. Your original statement is and was unacceptable

What issues do you have with my restatement? It is not enough for you to declare that the argument is over and all discussions have based upon your original, theologically loaded, declarations.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #51)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:03 AM

58. You did not answer the question.

But in doing so, you answered it.

You don't believe that a society comprised solely of non-believers (even if religion had peacefully disappeared, or never arisen) would be worth living in.

That's bigotry. And very, very sad, especially coming from someone who claims to be enlightened and tolerant.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #58)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:20 PM

64. I too ask questions that deserve to be answered, just as I respond to yours.

Forget the hypothetical. Name me half dozen such societies as you suggest, and then we can talk about whether they are worth living in.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #64)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:55 PM

67. You need to answer mine first.

It's one I have been posing to you since shortly after you signed on to DU.

I find your squirming and refusal to answer very disappointing. Surely you can understand why I still believe you harbor prejudice against non-believers.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #67)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:11 PM

69. What a dodge!

I've responded to your questions in 29, 38, 51.
You may not have like the responses, but there they are.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #69)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:05 PM

70. I'm not dodging a thing.

You are, and have been since Thu May 05th 2011, 10:58 AM.

That you refuse to answer betrays your feelings on the subject. You don't think atheists can be moral without a religious ethical code to guide them.

Here, I'll answer your challenge so that you'll lose your latest excuse for refusing to answer.

Let's look at today's secular democracies in Europe. Religion has been fading from relevance even as some countries still have "official" state churches. If what you believe is true, that a society without religious belief would be unbearable for any of us to live in, we should expect to see life getting increasingly worse for citizens of those countries.

Instead, what we see is a healthier, longer-living, happier, and more tolerant populace.

This stands directly opposed to your quote.

I now await your answer.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #45)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 06:06 AM

57. I was going to predict

that you'd get an answer that dodged the question, which is exactly what happened. I was too late with my prediction, so you'll have to take my word

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:55 PM

6. it seems to me that..

 

redefining the idea of god suffers from two inherent and fatal flaws. it assumes that other people will be on board with the new definition, when they will not. and any idea of use to us already has a name. if god = universe why not just call it 'universe' and drop the loaded terminology?

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 07:59 PM

7. Didn't you know?

There are thousands of Serious Progressive Theologians all over the world who have discovered what "god" really is, after Christians, Muslims, Jews, Hindus and all manner of pagans have failed for millennia to get it right.

The suspense is...well..ungodly.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #7)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:12 PM

8. is it 'the secret'? or 'thrive'?

 

this time for sure.

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Response to Phillip McCleod (Reply #6)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 08:55 PM

9. What I am suggesting is snot new in religion

It is the basis of all religions. It is not new. In a post-Copernican world it may only be a better way to say some very old things.
It is interesting that there are those here who are fascinated by the new in science, technology, even philosophy but if anybody say anything about religion that takes into account fresh thinking, they have apoplexy. How can they condemn the old is there may be better ways to articulate it?. Horrors!

Does everybody need religion? No indeed. But over the history of the world most people have found that reverence for the meaning of life--which is what religion is all about--is important.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #9)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 09:37 PM

10. "Fresh thinking" is unimpressive

if what it proposes is no less an invention that what it seeks to replace. The "new" in science replaces the old based on better and more complete evidence, and gradually gets closer and closer to the truth, and allows us to do things we couldn't before. Not so for "fresh thinking" in religion...it simply moves from one spot to another to try to avoid embarrassment and to render itself less liable to critical examination, but gets no closer to true understanding, and in fact, still can't even demonstrate the existence of what it claims to understand. "Fresh thinking" is also rank hypocrisy when it comes from those who claim on one hand to "respect" all beliefs, but who on the other hand dismiss all other beliefs as silly, misguided and outdated.

Keep trying, Charles..I'm afraid you're not there yet...in fact you're already contradicting yourself.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:24 AM

17. ^^This^^

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #10)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:27 PM

26. "Fresh thinking" is unimpressive

Says it all!
Do you ever read the idiotic nonsense you write?

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Response to Starboard Tack (Reply #26)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:02 PM

39. You might try reading past the jump

Then you might look less foolish than you do. If you can't make a point for daddy-in-law without taking something idiotically out of context, and if you can't even understand the concept of a conditional...well, then you're even more of a waste of time than I thought.

giving to charity is unimpressive idiotic nonsense...

IF...the charity is yourself. Oh.

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Response to skepticscott (Reply #39)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:11 AM

59. ST is probably the worst offender when it comes to civility in this group.

He screams at others, calling them "loudmouth bullies" and then follows up to insult people with words like "idiotic" to describe their posts.

I'm pretty sure readers of this group can see who the real bully is.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #59)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:03 PM

61. The ONLY time he shows up is to castigate.

He never contributes to the discussion unless it is is heap praise on his clan.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:01 AM

14. "But over the history of the world most people have found..." That they were an ignorant lot!

THAT is what we are finding right now. That for all this time, we have been truly ignorant about the world around us. We have created this thing called "god" to give us a way of understanding the understandable....Until science came along. That's when it all started changing.

And since that very first time when Galileo Galilei dared to question religious authority with this "fresh thinking" called Science and our path was changed forever, religion has tried to evolve its thinking in order to stay relevant to reality, only to find it's role ever shrinking.

I look forward to read what YOUR "fresh thinking" will be. I only hope that it is not just another attempt by religion to stay relevant in areas where the natural laws of the universe are concerned.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #9)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:12 AM

18. "reverence for the meaning of life" is what religion is all about?

That's your scared, useless justification for magical thinking? Once again you waffle on about new ways of looking at what to many of us is delusional nonsense. You may as well argue about what colour your god is - it would be just as much use to the world as the other vital matters with which you seem to fill your time.

You still fail to understand that we couldn't care less about new ways of articulating thoughts about religion not because we're in some way threatened by them, but because to take them seriously would be like reading up on the latest "expert" thoughts on what sex the Loch Ness Monster is just so we could appreciate how 'enlightened' contemporary thinking has become in the vital field of study of sexing mythical tourist attractions.

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Response to mr blur (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:14 PM

28. Bigotry defined.

During the State of the Union speech, I had one eye on the President and the other on Boehner. It was clear that no matter what the President said—even before he said it, the answer was No. Boehner didn’t even need to listen. He knew ahead of time that the President was wrong. There was no dialogue, no listening, no coming to terms with anything. Had the President said, “the sky is blue” the answer was the same.

From to time I have encountered religious fundamentalists, and the response is identical. Rational discourse is impossible. The only reason they are even in a conversation is to slam whatever is said. They are bigots. Any attempt to have a dialogue with a bigot it a waste of time. A non-believing bigot is about the same as a believing bigot

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 04:34 PM

37. +1. Nicely sliced and diced.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #28)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:15 PM

40. Nice try, Charles

I know it's a favorite tactic of yours to brand anyone with the nerve to question or criticize your ivory tower proclamations as a "bigot", or to characterize any such criticism as a "personal attack". And while that may be a convenient way for you to avoid addressing what any rational person can see are substantive objections, it's lame, tired and transparent. Not to mention that it makes your calls for "dialogue" and "discussion" empty and hollow.

You've got your mind set in stone on this, and don't want to hear anything but fawning praise, so why not save everyone the time and just admit it?

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #28)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 05:08 PM

84. "Any attempt to have a dialogue with a bigot it a waste of time."?

Yes, I've noticed that myself many times in this group.

But, you know, if you tried listening to what people are actually saying to you instead of just dropping your latest screed from on high and then retreating to your ivory tower, then you might learn something.

And how dare you accuse me of bigotry? Saying that you (gasp!) might be wrong is not bigotry. Neither is refusing to accept your latest lecture as being beyond criticism. Not everyone here would prefer to sit at your feet and learn wisdom, though no doubt you would take that as your due.

You don't really want "rational discourse", though, do you? You want an audience and if it doesn't sit respectfully and keep quiet unless it agrees with you then you leap in with the accusations of bigotry and lack of respect.

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Response to mr blur (Reply #84)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 08:03 PM

85. In this bit I have made 18 responses already. Many of them have advanced the conversation.

I have learned from several of them, as my perspective continually changes. So much for retreating to my ivory tower. And yet the definition of bigotry is clear. If the shoe fits, wear it. If it doesn't, forget it..

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Response to mr blur (Reply #18)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:41 PM

32. If you don't care, you're not obliged to read.

You're certainly not obliged to throw a tantrum because someone disagrees with you.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Wed Feb 13, 2013, 10:12 PM

11. Some Christian Atheists explain "what happened" as a literal death of god.

I think it is irrelevant. The space left for "god" is vanishingly small. At best a spark of causality, at most irrelevant to the world we live in.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:12 AM

12. So in other words " God is Q"

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 12:46 AM

13. This pre-scientific religious fallacy posits not only a spatial division between the world and God..

The idea of a spatial division is still reasonable, considering it could be along a physical dimension we do not perceive.

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Response to goldent (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:10 AM

15. Hi! Welcome to DU. That sure is a curious sign-up date/time listed on your profile.

Right about the same time when this group lost a couple of it's regular posters who turned out to be homophobic bigots.

It's a good thing you never had to meet them. Terrible, terrible people they were.


Anyway, welcome to DU.

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #15)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:20 PM

48. That was a curious welcome!

Why do I feel like I was just welcomed into the mafia?

Anyhow, thanks!

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Response to goldent (Reply #48)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:37 PM

50. That was a curious welcome.

Don't let it run you off. There are plenty of other voices here really interested in creative conversations, not just ready with swords to slice folks up.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #50)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:30 PM

81. We'd just like to avoid "creative conversations"

with bigoted assholes in disguise. I'm guessing you would too...

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Response to cleanhippie (Reply #15)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 10:46 AM

60. If I recall correctly, and I think I do,

you were tossed out of the LGBT (then GLBT) group for trolling.

Pot, kettle?

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Response to okasha (Reply #60)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:08 PM

62. I await your apology for such slanderous bullshit.

Your memory is obviously not something you should use to make such slanderous statements.

Kindly post your apology if you have any integrity at all.

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Response to okasha (Reply #60)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:09 PM

68. That is a very serious and damaging accusation, okasha.

I sincerely hope you have more evidence than your possibly faulty memory on which to base it.

If not, an apology is definitely in order.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #68)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:52 PM

75. Oh, come on

Stop playing "gotcha". okasha would never fling an accusation like that around unless she could back it up. In fact, backing up their claims with evidence is one of the hallmarks of the religionists here, is it not?

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Response to okasha (Reply #60)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 01:01 PM

83. It's deplorable you have not yet substantiated your claim.

At least have the decency to delete your post. You, at long last, DO have some decency, right? Or is your hatred so all-consuming that now you're at the point you'd rather just hurl vile and false accusations to demean and attack someone you hate?

What do your religious beliefs tell you to do? Should you apologize, or continue to fling poo?

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Response to okasha (Reply #60)

Mon Feb 18, 2013, 04:42 PM

91. At least we all now know with certainty that you lack ANY integrity at all.

Your failure to apologize of your baseless and insulting allegation shows that you deserve neither respect not given any credibility.

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Response to goldent (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 05:23 AM

16. So, we'd need some "other ways of seeing", you mean? nt

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Response to mr blur (Reply #16)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:16 PM

52. I don't know whether these extra 8 or so dimensions exist

but whenever I hear physicists talk about them, I want to see what's in there! It'd be like a door to a secret room. But to see them would be tricky I suspect.

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Response to goldent (Reply #52)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:21 PM

73. I hear that

Quantum woowoo makes an effective key to such doors.

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Response to goldent (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:31 AM

22. Glad to see a new poster jump right in.

Welcome to DU! As cleanhippie noted, it's a little better around here the past few days now that we dumped a couple of long-standing homophobes who were also horribly bigoted against atheists. I look forward to reading your contributions in this group!

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Response to trotsky (Reply #22)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:28 PM

86. A thread a long long time ago asked theists: why do you personally believe in God?

My answer was:

Because I read Kurt Gödel, and I think he's on to something.

And because Hugh Everet's many world interpretation of Quantum Mechanics allows for the possibility of a universe in which miracles do happen.

I thought the OP was interesting and was looking forward to a lively discussion of the topic.

I was disappointed to see how quickly it descended into mudslinging and personal attacks by some of the respondents. It was particularly galling to see that some of the worst offenders were the alleged banner-men for logic and reason.

I hope the conversation veers away from ad-hominem.


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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #86)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 10:46 PM

87. And so do many of us nt

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #86)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 05:46 PM

88. Hey, if you want to defend two recently PPR'ed bigots, that's your deal.

I am not interested. Take your attacks elsewhere.

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Response to trotsky (Reply #88)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 07:30 PM

89. It's not them I'm defending

But carry on.

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Response to Xipe Totec (Reply #89)

Sun Feb 17, 2013, 07:57 PM

90. Well, that's who I was referring to.

So carry on yourself.

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Response to goldent (Reply #13)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 07:50 PM

43. Certainly that is a possibiity

Nevertheless we now have the enormous contribution science has made in helping us understand the marvelous way the universe is constructed. There is a considerable difference between the pre-scientific world-view of Aristotle and Ptolemy and that of Capernicus and Galileo. Science is a partner with theology, nto an enemy.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #43)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:15 PM

44. A partner? Not hardly

Theology has no part to play in what science does, Charles. You know that perfectly well, so why do you keep trying to steal credit for religion that it isn't due?

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #43)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 10:34 PM

49. I disagree with your assertion that Aristotle and Ptolemy had a pre-scientific worldview.

Their astronomy, which essentially worked for over 2,000 years - the Ptolemaic System was a refinement of the Aristotelian System -, was ultimately found to be wrong. But, their views were based on observation, meticulous observation, which is why they remained valid for all that time. They knew that they lacked an explanation for planetary movement. They knew because they had no law that could explain it. But, according to Thomas Kuhn, the Ptolemaic System was so accurate, and easier to use than the heliocentric system, that it was still being used for navigation and surveying purposes in the 1950's. From Kuhn's The Copernican Revolution (Harvard University Press 1957 - page 38):

Because it provides a compact summary of a vast quantity of important observational materials, the two sphere universe is actively employed by many people today. The theory and practice of both navigation and surveying can be developed with great simplicity and precision from models built to the specifications of Figure 11 <a diagram of the two-sphere universe found on page 31 of the book - Jim__ >, and, since the model demanded by modern astronomy is far more complex, the two-sphere universe is normally used in preference to the Copernican when teaching these subjects. Most handbooks of navigation or surveying open with some sentence like this: "For present purposes we shall assume that the earth is a small stationary sphere whose center coincides with a much larger stellar rotating sphere." Evaluated in terms of economy, the two-sphere universe remains what it has always been, an extremely successful theory.


It is important that people be aware of how accurate and stable old scientific theories were, and how long these theories lasted while being incorrect.

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Response to Jim__ (Reply #49)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:18 PM

53. Jim, of course there was legitimate science.

But this side of Aristotle and Copernicus, there is a very different cosmology which radically alters our perception of reality. Thanks for the correction.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #43)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 01:08 AM

55. Not sure if I would call science and theology partners

but I agree they are not enemies. I know quite a few people who are involved in science and religion (as I am) and it is enjoyable to see the relationships between the two.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:15 AM

19. Interesting thoughts

Looking forward to part 2.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:20 AM

20. Wow.

You're telling a majority of the world's Christians that they are wrong. You should probably work on convincing a few of them of the error of their ways before you claim to speak True Christian Theology.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 08:31 AM

23. Way to go,

kicking the bible out the door is the first step to realizing the world has been duped by greedy, power-hungry institutions for thousands of years. After that it's very easy to equate the lies of the bible to the non-existance of the god of the bible, then to realize that it was all made up, every god man ever created, all made up.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 09:11 AM

24. I have two very important questions for you.

1) Whenever you make pronouncements of this nature, you seem quite sure of yourself and your proclamations. Do you admit there is a possibility you could be wrong?

2) If you do admit such a possibility, could you please lay out exactly what information or reasoning would cause you to admit error?

Claims that are falsifiable are crucial to making sure our approximations of reality are increasingly accurate. I am certain you can appreciate this.

Very much looking forward to your responses to the questions above. Thanks!

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Response to trotsky (Reply #24)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:39 PM

30. Sure

1-All of rational life is an exploration. Absolute certainty is not only dangerous, but the hubris makes conversation impossible. Every conclusion is,, therefore, proximate. That is true of science, philosophy and every other discipline. Absolutism pro-or con-- inevitably leads to bigotry. As long as I am involved in the exploration which comes with intellectual investigation I may will be subject to error.

2-"Exactly what information or reasoning" is an impossible question. The implications you suggest are in the way you puts the question. I am not now and never have been an absolutist. There may be a few in "religion" who just may be.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #30)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 03:15 PM

35. So let's make sure I understand:

You admit you could be wrong, but you refuse to identify what evidence you would accept to indicate you were wrong.

I don't think that's any kind of foundation for an honest discussion.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #30)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 11:35 PM

54. not really

I enjoyed your answer to number one, but number two seemed to be a copout. As someone who has had many a discussion with trotsky, I would have answered thus:

"Exactly what form of information or reasoning" will vary on the question. You do not answer "How do you make a Marinara sauce?" the same way you would "what is the meaning of life?" But as far as what is considered wrong, I rely on observation, and the idea that if the hypothesis is subjected to analysis, and it does not survive the analysis, it is false. Logic itself is kind of dangerous, as logic will make the idea that "if one person can dig a post-hole in 60 seconds, 60 men can do it in one second." An idea needs actual observation,in practice, and it needs to survive the analysis, to last past the challenge. That is why while I am an agnostic, and skeptical, I subject folsk like Madalyn Murray O hare's idea that "an agnostic is just an atheist without guts" to scrutiny, namely that her ability to define the term will not last the test of time, as many have come before and many will come after her that will define the term.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #54)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 12:31 PM

66. Gosh, I wish i would have said that

Except his second question was a non-answerable, "why would cause you to stop beating your wife," sort of thing. "Gotcha" questions never look for information. They are "please walk into my trap."

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #66)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 02:20 PM

71. I in no way set you up with a gotcha question.

I sincerely wanted to know how your claims would be falsifiable. That's part of any earnest intellectual pursuit - identifying how we know if we're wrong. Do you disagree?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #71)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 03:12 PM

72. I am in a contrual process of rfethinking.

I am changed by every encounter with a new idea, a new experience, a new person, a new insight.

Once I say, 'I have arrived at all truth', please bury me.
What could change my opinions? Lots of things--and they continually do.
Specifically what might them be? How can anyone possibly know the answer until the fresh insight comes on them.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #72)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:11 PM

77. I'm not asking what specifically would convince you.

That's irrelevant.

I'm asking what *kind* of evidence would lead you to conclude you're wrong. What would it take short of a divine revelation from your god itself?

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Response to trotsky (Reply #77)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 05:38 PM

79. You ask an absurd question.--like

what evidence would convince you that evolution it wrong or that Ptolemy was in error.
I have done my best to answer both your questions. Obviously these are not the answers you want ,or I am evading the trap. I have spent hours with this. Don't accuse me of not responding. Now respond to the one simple question i asked, or this conversation is over.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Reply #79)

Sat Feb 16, 2013, 12:52 PM

82. Neither of those is an absurd question.

Finding a more complex organism that predated a simpler one would throw evolution into disarray. As would any number of findings. And Ptolemy was wrong about many things. So it would appear you simply don't want to answer, or that you lack the intellectual integrity to provide an answer.

I've lost track now, what's the "one simple question" that you are demanding I answer? And if I answer it, do you PROMISE to once and for all answer mine?

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 01:33 PM

27. Hmm. Would you be taking the Spinozan view on God?

That concept does make more sense than the supernatural, anthropomorphized God, which I find to be nonsense.

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Response to backscatter712 (Reply #27)

Thu Feb 14, 2013, 02:40 PM

31. wait and see nt

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:07 PM

76. 12 yeasr of Catholic School cured me

not only of the Catholic Church, but the whole god thing totally.

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Response to Thats my opinion (Original post)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 04:13 PM

78. Nice effort. Here's just a few thoughts about it.

I think most religious people don’t know how to abandon "religious" ideas that are out of date, antiquated, superstitious, and simply wrong.

However, I don't think there is anything wrong with the idea that God is a supernatural uncreated reality and the world a natural created reality, if we recognize the it is all One and the uncreated reality is the essence of the created reality. And I don't think the biblical cosmology posits a two-tiered universe. It is One.

I also don't think that the Bible "mandates the notion of God as a person."

The authors of the different texts in the Judeo-Christian Bible are contradictory in their characterization of God, and while in some instances God is depicted as “I” or “Him” or “He,” in many other instances God is depicted as what God is, the formless, eternal, infinite Divine Light and universal cosmic consciousness that can be realized only from within.

Even King David recognized God as the Divine Light, such as in Psalm 4:6, where David says: “Lord, lift up the Light of your countenance upon us.” And in Psalm 27:1 he says: “The Lord is my Light and my salvation; whom shall I fear?

King Solomon went much further, and Solomon’s Book of Wisdom states:

Wisdom is beneficent and kind. She is the aura of the power of God, the radiance of the eternal Divine Light, a spotless mirror of God. She renews all things, and passing into holy souls from age to age, She produces friends of God and prophets. She is firm, but Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all Her paths are peace. She is a Tree of Life to them that lay hold upon Her. And Wisdom is far better than weapons of war."

God is the eternal Divine Light, as Solomon knew. That is why even Jesus of Nazareth said to his disciples: "You have not heard the voice of God or seen God’s shape at any time." (John 5:37) And Jesus even said: "God is greater than I." (John 14:28)

When Jesus said "only through me can you see the face of the Father," he was not talking about his physical person, but of his spiritual aura. That is why in verses 7 thu 9 of John 1 John says “the true Light lightens every person born into the world.

Jesus of Nazareth said such things knowing what preceding Jewish prophets wrote, that "God is not a man, nor a son of man" (Numbers 23:19), and that no man can be compared to God. In fact, Isaiah says we should not liken God to any man; nor regard any man equal to God; nor worship any idol or image of any man. That is what Isaiah 40:18, Isaiah 40:25, Isaiah 42:8, Isaiah 43:10-11 and Isaiah 46:5 mean.

In the ignored Gospel of Mary Magdalene, Jesus is quoted as saying that "All natures, all formed things, all creatures exist in and with one another and will again be resolved into their own roots, because the nature of matter is dissolved into the roots of its nature alone."

This is very similar to the Taoist concept of Oneness which states that "All things derive their life from it , All things return to it, and it contains them."

In other words, God is the eternal, infinite, omnipresent Divine Light-Energy-Source of our existence, the Universal Cosmic Consciousness, the Essence of all life and form, and the primordial vibration or "Word" that is made flesh in all of us.

Therefore, before you write Part 2, I would suggest you read an article on The Nature of God.
.

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Response to SarahM32 (Reply #78)

Fri Feb 15, 2013, 08:11 PM

80. Sarah--you have predicted a few of the things I will say in my next installment

We may be on the same page with a few different footnotes

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