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Could it be that it's impossible for atheists to believe?


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In reply to an earlier post on May 20, 2012 10:34:06 PM PDT
Bubba says:
I used to run a password cracker on users' password too, and caught one once or twice a week.

I worked at AT&T for over 20 years and learned UNIX at Bell Laboratories. When I worked for AT&T, I used ATTMail, which was used internally and was sold as a service to customers. The system used to generate passwords for users; it would generate three passwords and the user selected the one they wanted. The passwords were alternating consonants and vowels, which were usually pronounceable and easily remembered, such as; ciretowy. They didn't contain an upper case, lower case, numeral, and a special character; but they were checked for dictionary words and they had to be changed every 30 days.

I use ssh on my systems and use keys on my laptop and workstation rather than passwords to access servers; I generate random root and my user passwords for the servers and put them on an SD card that I keep in my wallet in case I need them. I still have to have passwords on my laptop and workstation.

Posted on May 21, 2012 1:04:56 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 21, 2012 3:41:30 AM PDT
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Posted on May 21, 2012 2:14:01 AM PDT
The turgidity of scripture.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 8:20:10 AM PDT
Ariex says:
B. Josephson says: "I wonder who made him the person who can decide who is Christian or not."

Ariex: I think he was appointed by a True Scotsman.

In reply to an earlier post on May 21, 2012 9:32:13 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2012 6:48:15 AM PDT
Allan says to Jeremy:"The atheist DOES NOT WANT to be saved.''
From what, exactly?

Isn't *need* to be saved probably more accurate. Don't you agree, Jeremy? :-)
Your reply to Philip Duerdoth's post:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 22, 2012 12:23:20 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2012 12:52:02 AM PDT
Leoncefalo says:
TO REDCROWDOG,

I would sincerely hope that your knowledge of the Holy Scriptures is as extensive as your telling the truth to all of your friends - believers and non-believers alike. The world will always follow the path of least resistance and, like water, will run downhill to its own level with the lowest. NOT everyone is meant to be saved, and that is a terrible truth to admit.
But even Jesus went out to save the lost sheep, and that "all of those you have given to me, not a single one shall be lost, and no one can snatch them out of my hand."

Every true Christian needs to remember the words of the maid Jeanne D' Arc just before the British burned her at the stake- "If I am not in the state of His grace, may He put me there, and if I am in the state of His grace, may He keep me there." There is no absolute certainty in this world, only the trust you place in his Word.

But if you are using the words of Jesus to becoming self-righteous, then you have missed his message altogether. If you do not love your neighbor - tough love that is, then you will be held responsible as well as those who take the wide path, and will not reach the narrow gate, which is Jesus himself. "No one comes to the Father, except through me."

You are posting Holy Scripture here to unbelievers, and yes, you are throwing your pearls before swine. Do you actually believe that your posts here will make any difference?? Unless there is an iota of doubt in the atheist's heart to allow the love of G-d to enter, there is no hope that he will be saved. You are responsible for placing that loving word in the unbeliever's heart, and it is the Holy Spirit that will do the rest.

To the believers here who have already heard Jesus' words, you are preaching to the choir. To the unbelievers, you may as well flush them down the crapper. Or, as you quoted scripture, 'treat them as a pagan or a tax collector." But the whole Law and the Prophets is summed up in the First Law of Jesus, referred to in Star Trek as the Prime Directive - "Love G-d with all your heart, soul, mind and strength, and your neighbor as yourself." I just said in 15 words what it took you a whole page to announce. I am not chastising you, but want to remind you of your use of words. Jesus said, Answer "Yes," and "No."

kindly,
Leoncefalo

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 3:46:36 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012 3:51:10 PM PDT
Leoncefalo says: " You are responsible for placing that loving word in the unbeliever's heart, and it is the Holy Spirit that will do the rest. "

Leoncefalo :As a God fearing agnostic and closet misanthrope " with a hellhound on my trail, steeped in scholarly Biblical criticism and surrounded by neighbors who might as well be pagans or tax collecters { or GLBT Wiccans hostile to all Patriarchal religions } or whose ideologically warped version of " Jesus " is rabidly stumping for the GOP, i fear i have fallen short in this most important business of Love...but then haven't we all ? { and i can discern at least a few subtle threats in your implicitly unflattering, sugar-coated epistle }

Mark 6: 10 -12 and yah,while i appreciate your drift on " quoting Holy Scripture to unbelievers and about the" Yes and No " i also recall many passages where Jesus quotes scripture or takes a more confrontational approach like when he throws the money changers out of the Temple or with the women at the well or the aldulteress or when the Chief Priests, scribes and elders asked him to :

" Tell us by what authority You are doing these things, or who is the one who gave You this authority?"

And He didn't offer them an easy " Yes or No " answer, but rather deflected the question with an identical query - in their own treacherous currency .

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012 6:34:17 PM PDT
>>" Leoncefalo says:

You are posting Holy Scripture here to unbelievers, and yes, you are throwing your pearls before swine. "<<

No.......actually, what you (and he) are doing is throwing unsubstantiated, nonsensical claims before thinking, rational people.

And we are not buying it.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 5:39:12 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2012 1:13:57 PM PDT
C.T., well nobody said pigs were stupid, just swine-ish.
And if you look into the matter you might discover that a sizeable portion of " critical thinking " peformed by so called " rational people" is unsubstantiated nonsense too.
As Patrick Deneen pointed out in his essay " Critical Thinking is making us Stupid :

" What was sought was not the abandonment of certain books in favor of certain other books, but the abandonment of the idea that there were normative standards or moral lessons that could be drawn from books at all. What was sought was the defeat of the idea of education that involved moral formation based upon an inherited tradition discoverable by inquiry and reflection encouraged by the reading of great books, and instead its replacement by an ideal of a free-floating liberated "subject" who was capable of "thinking critically" about any and all subjects except the basic presuppositions of what constituted "critical thinking" and associated substantive commitments...The implicit opposite of "critical thinking" is faith, understood as an unreflective set of commitments to pre- or anti-rational beliefs. An education in critical thinking takes on the appearance of contentless inquiry, but is in fact deeply informed by a considerable set of Enlightenment beliefs, including the effort to inculcate deracinated reason, a conception of the individual as a monadic "self," antipathy to culture and religion, philosophical skepticism, a deep-seated materialism, and a devotion to a cosmopolitan outlook that permits one to be comfortable everywhere and nowhere in particular. "

I've always been infatuated with hardcore versions of scepticism that turn even the simplest tasks like blinking the eyes or getting out of bed in the morning into ratiocinative ordeals .
The simple fact remains that "rationality is a value and that the idea that the rational life is the best one for human beings cannot be proven logically, scientifically or any other way. " - or to borrow your expression it's " unsubstantiated nonsense " .
You can appeal all you want to the dangerous consequences of prefering the irrational life of belief
over your belief in the rational... but with meagre consequence, as the rational life often often errs on the side of caution{ and calculation }. So, near the end of any given day, the
irrational is just as appealing to the true believer as belief in the rational is to the true skeptic and whether one chooses a life devoted to rationality or irrationality is a matter of faith.

As agnostics go i'm fairly sceptical as to the rationality of maintaining any uncertainty as to whether or not there are gods, God or other metaphysical phenomena because so much of what we do and presume to know is largely based or grounded on Faith. { as well as custom and tradition }
Thus, i can only surmize that my shaky agnosticism is also sort of inverted faith that we can't be certain that the things we believe in have an existence that's entirely independent from our beliefs - to be is to be percieved and all that...
So, whereas i believe in God and more particularly in the christian revelation as the primary source of my belief , i remain uncertain as to how far the reality of that belief extends beyond my imaginings. And it is mainly this uncertainty that excludes me from all the mainstream confessions - i'm lukewarm and lukecold at the same time...though i still have occational seizures of fundamentalism {as per the post Leoncefalo responde to }

It's rash, if not irrational - to dismiss religion or the Holy Scriptures { and i do think they are Holy } as " unsubstantiated BS " because - whether you buy the Supernatural Effects or not - there's still a core of collective and poetic knowledge { particularly, imaginative, historical and emotional knowledge } and wisdom that is sorely absent from are currently degenerating Western culture.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 5:53:05 AM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
"And we are not buying it."

But we might have a bridge that we could sell you.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 6:40:43 AM PDT
Redcrowdog: "And it is mainly this uncertainty that excludes me from the all mainstream confessions - i'm lukewarm and lukecold at the same time...though i still have occational seizures of fundamentalism {as per the post Leoncefalo responde to } "
------------
Wow, I thought you were a fundamentalist from that post ... I'm shocked to see that you consider yourself uncertain.

You admit that you are uncertain. I have a suggestion -- why not admit that uncertainty is okay, yet continue to search for the most likely explanations? I am an agnostic atheist, because I realize my own ignorance, yet have made the judgement that all the gods that have been presented to me are likely a work of fiction. I also see no evidence for the supernatural.

Redcrowdog: "It's rash, if not irrational - to dismiss religion or the Holy Scriptures { and i do think they are Holy } as " unsubstantiated BS " because - whether you buy the Supernatural Effects or not - there's still a core of collective knowledge { particularly historical and emotional knowledge } and wisdom that is sorely absent from are currently degenerating Western culture. "
------------------
Is it rash for a Christian to dismiss Budhism? Is it rash for a Hindu to dismiss Islam? If not, then why would it be rash for someone who does not believe in the god of the bible to treat the text with any more weight that Homer's "The Odyssey"?

If you have some internal desire to search for meaning beyond that given by the "rational", by all means do so. But it seems that you are caught up in a particular culture's stories -- and some of them are really not very flattering about their portrayal of God. Perhaps you need to look at other culture's stories, as well as the stories of the secular world, to find which stories resonate with you. But that does not make the stories "true" -- it only makes them useful to you.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 6:45:25 AM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
"Perhaps you need to look at other culture's stories, as well as the stories of the secular world, to find which stories resonate with you. But that does not make the stories "true" -- it only makes them useful to you."

Very well stated, N. The bottom line always comes back to what works for each individual. It is the audacity of any one group to claim superiority over another's stories, that strikes the rational as irrational.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 12:59:23 PM PDT
sfon says:
Critical Thinker says: "No.......actually, what you (and he) are doing is throwing unsubstantiated, nonsensical claims before thinking, rational people. And we are not buying it."

It probably isn't as satisfying for them to think of their audience as 'thinking, rational people' as it is for them to characterize (and dehumanize) others as 'swine'. Such is their spirit.

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 1:26:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2012 1:26:43 PM PDT
Leoncefalo says:
Leoncefalo :As a God fearing agnostic and closet misanthrope " with a hellhound on my trail, steeped in scholarly Biblical criticism and surrounded by neighbors who might as well be pagans or tax collecters { or GLBT Wiccans hostile to all Patriarchal religions } or whose ideologically warped version of " Jesus " is rabidly stumping for the GOP, i fear i have fallen short in this most important business of Love...but then haven't we all ? { and i can discern at least a few subtle threats in your implicitly unflattering, sugar-coated epistle }"
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
To RedCrowDog,

I don't quite understand what you mean by. . ." God fearing agnostic. . .with a hellhound on my trail. . " with BOTH statements in the same sentence. If you truly fear G-d, there is NO hellhound on your trail.
Jesus said, "I have NO devil." Do you fully grasp the depth of what He
said here??Within the Lord a white hot flame is present, and when you use the expression, "Go to Hell" you are consigning the 'evil one' to the
end of his/her days. It is Jesus who is in charge of the evil one, not the other way around.

If I gave you an 'epistle' it was certainly not meant to be sugar-coated, but actually tacked to a cross, which you MUST pick up if you are truly Jesus' disciple. It makes no difference what the GLBT, Wiccans, murderers, all politicians, and those who seek comfort do. They will reap what they have sown. Only you are responsible for what RedCrowDog does in this world.

As for this whole fog of 'critical thinking' that some claim gives them superiority, at least in terms of Scripture and spiritual beliefs, it is only their defense mechanism to protect them from deeper truths which they are unable to reach because of their lack of faith and fear of exposure. Richard Dawkins is a ''critical thinker" and he has to be the most rabid, unfeeling, hardbitten atheist this side of Karl Marx. I would not trust his thinking to balance my checkbook, let alone instruct me on what to place my faith beliefs in. Do not let these lost souls delude you into believing you are the deceived one - if you place your complete trust in His word, He will never fail you.
And if you have." . fallen short in this[supremely]important business of love," it is you who will suffer the most because of it. Get straight with your hostile neighbors ASAP.

"I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world." "Be of good cheer, I have conquered the world."

What better words are there in all of Christendom than these???

kindly,
Leoncefalo

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 3:33:03 PM PDT
Leoncefalo says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 3:41:24 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 24, 2012 3:56:44 PM PDT
N. Hunt says: " I have a suggestion -- why not admit that uncertainty is okay, yet continue to search for the most likely explanations? "

N.Hunt, well, the short answer is that i have of no way of making this determination - that
" uncertainty is ok " other than as a matter of belief - which is the basis of my uncertainty.
I take my cue from folks like Heisenburg in these matters:

"Not only is the Universe stranger than we think, it is stranger than we can think."
¯ Werner Heisenberg

as well, isn't it somewhat irrational to assign a value or to say that something is or isn't " ok" when you've previously signed on to the notion that the basis for providing such value determinations is uncertain ?
Whether or not uncertainty is ok is a matter of faith /belief too.
As a practical matter sitting on the fence is an impediment to action that can only be valued in a specific context - it can be either a good thing or entirely disasterous - or a bit of both.

N.Hunt asks: " Is it rash for a Christian to dismiss Budhism? Is it rash for a Hindu to dismiss Islam? "

Hard to say, and would depend on the basis for their objections. If it's literally true, as Christianity has instructed its members, that Jesus is the human manifestation -or God made flesh - of the One and Only Living God and the only path to redemption and eternal salvation then it would be " rash " for those christians not to dismiss any other religious traditions { Judaism included as it rejected their Messiah }
But for those of us who question and remain uncertain or sceptical about the veracity, authenticity, translation, interpretation and various other suspicious influences that hammered out the tenets of the Christian cult /Faith there is more reluctance to insist that christianity is the only " True " revelation and that many individual and collective experiences and religious traditions have both aesthetic and insperational merit as well as flaws .
So, from this perspective and a modest acceptance of both our individual and culteral limitations it d0es indeed appear to be rash to reject other religions as " counterfits " pagan or demonic - especially as all these troubling aspects seem to appear in varying degrees in all creative enterprises subject to the distortions of human influence.
That being said, my impression is that the Judeo/Christian dispensation offers some unique innovations
with a real Divinely inspired Power for both personal and collective transformations - for Peace and Harmonious co-existence - and that our survival increasingly depends on just these sort of transformations.

Again i'll take a cue from Heisenburg :

" Although I an now convinced that scientific truth is unassailable in its own field, I have never found it possible to dismiss the content of religious thinking as simply part of an outmoded phase in the consciousness of mankind, a part we shall have to give up from now on, Thus in the course of my life I have repeatedly been compelled to ponder on the relationship of these two regions of thought, for I have never been able to doubt the reality of that to which they point."

I do not dismiss Buddhism { i'm a big fan Chiang Tzu } Hinduism { Yeah Gandhi } Judaism, Islam, Mormonism { well, maybe a little iffy } or Homer { especially like Porphyry, On the Cave of the Nymphs-De antro nympharum) When considering other Faiths and traditions i try to keep in mind Goethe's adage that where as " all have the same Mother not all have the same Father ..."

In reply to an earlier post on May 24, 2012 4:46:42 PM PDT
sfon says:
Leoncefalo says: "If the shoe does fit - wear it." The term 'swine' was used by Jesus to distinguish valuable things from those that hold no value. It does not mean that 'people' are swine, but that their
principles are lacking in love and therefore, in the cosmic scheme
of things, without value."

Personally, I think the shoe best fits the personality of those who would insult and dehumanize others.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 12:58:13 PM PDT
Leoncefalo says:
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In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 1:16:19 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 25, 2012 1:16:31 PM PDT
Astrocat says:
Leon, the whole thing about "hating the sin" has always set my teeth on edge. Looking at mistakes or at others doing things not coinciding with your morals as "sin" is so separative and judgmental. How about just loving people and seeing their "mistakes" as opportunities for learning and for growth? In that case we could, in many cases, applaud our mistakes and be thankful for them. No, not if they harm others, that goes without saying. But let's say my daughter moves in with a man I really don't approve of. I continue to love her, and I treat him with at least a minimum of respect, due to the fact that he's a human being and therefore a Soul in incarnation.

Eventually (hopefully) my daughter works through the issues that caused her to choose this man in the first place (or, and this is possible - he makes some changes and becomes more acceptable). In any of the possible scenarios, her "mistake" can lead to greater understanding, patience, tolerance and so on. You might say she was wrong to have sex out of marriage and hone in on that "sin" and not see that the whole process was, on the whole, a positive one.

So where would "hating the sin" have done any good in that scenario?

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 1:35:38 PM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
"hating the sin, and not the person doing the sin.'"

Yeah, that's like "hating the banks but loving the bankers". Makes about as much sense.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 1:42:08 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 25, 2012 2:34:32 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 1:42:31 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Leoncefalo says: "The world will always follow the path of least resistance and, like water, will run downhill to its own level with the lowest."

Ariex: This observation is very true. In fact, that is why most people seem to embrace the religion taught by their culture/family/peers, rather than examining the claims of religions and the evidence offered by the world itself. You seem to be a victim of this same phenomenon, believing wondrous promises instead of examining the evidence itself. (note that the Bible is not evidence of its own reliability)

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 1:49:22 PM PDT
Ariex says:
Leoncefalo says: "I am with you all days, even unto the consummation of the world." "Be of good cheer, I have conquered the world."

What better words are there in all of Christendom than these???"
Ariex: "John 8:32 "And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free."
This verse struck me particularly as I studied the Bible, realizing that the truth was setting me free from the superstition and magical thinking promoted by religion, including the truth that the Gospels were not written by eyewitnesses, that they contained a lot of myth and fabrication rather than historically reliable information, and that Christianity, like all other religions, was the invention of man.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 2:22:41 PM PDT
Because they stink so badly. And also, they can be a little obnoxious with that butting thing that they do.

In reply to an earlier post on May 25, 2012 2:28:57 PM PDT
MaryAnn H. says:
"Ok, *I* know what I mean!!! =)"

I am really glad you do! Me thinks you have been smokin' the funny stuff again ;)
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