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@Bronwyn Thanks for your comment Bronwyn. It didn't take much searching to find the metaphorical link between "forbidden fruit" and sex. See here for example :http://www.academia.edu/5041322/Forbidden_Fruit_Ancient_Near_Eastern_Sexual_Metaphors

I am aware that the fruit in genesis was never referred to as an apple, but I used that description as it's the most popular depiction in today's world. It was much more likely a fig.

Let me know what you think of the above PDF link. I am quite familiar with this interpretation, and have been for many years.

7 months, 1 week ago on Why are Religions Obsessed With Sex?

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@Kevin SolwayActually Kevin, I watched this unfold, I saw it for what it was, I've spoken to many involved and am even "friends" with some of them. What makes you think I don't know? The description I gave above is precisely what they founded themselves upon.

As I said above: "The former group, dubbed “Atheism+”, started from a suggestion by Jen McCreight as a way to refocus the activities of the atheist movement, because of the fact that many of the types of activism that people participate in cross over into the realms of feminism, humanism, equality, environmentalism, et al. At the time this suggestion came about, she had been subjected to all manner of abuse online, and even quit the movement for a while. Because of the support shown by Freethought Blogs, particularly by PZ Myers, the name FTB has become conflated with  Atheism+, and in some people’s minds, the two are one inseparable entity."

This was the true driving force behind A+. Whatever it has evolved into is a different beast.

 As for the Block Bot - I have spoken to oolOn about this. Have you?

1 year, 2 months ago on Walking A Thin Line – The Perils of an Online Voice

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@Sam @Graham1 Good points, but there doesn't appear to be anyone running in my electorate from The Secular Party

1 year, 3 months ago on Tales From The Upper Left-Hand Side – #AusVotes

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@ds80If you would like to tell your story, even anonymously, please go to this form on the Not Alone site and submit it. I would be glad to publish it. http://notaloneproject.wordpress.com/stories_comments_questions/

1 year, 4 months ago on Announcing The “Not Alone” Project

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@PercySledge

"Qualia" is our reactions to stimuli. It is observable, and although subjective in a sense, it is universal enough that we can say it's "objective"in that brain regions react the same way in most people. This is why we can agree that "red" is "red" and salt is "salty".

"Now" is actually past. our brains and our bodies constantly are behind in our evaluation and actions in time, and "now" is simply what we call any given moment. The "now" doesn't exist.

"Homunculus" is an alechemical term and means very little in today's understanding. If it's the "inner voice" or the feeling of "being inside our bodies, then it is simply an illusion that is caused by our brains.

All perfectly explainable, and to some degree worthy of dismissing.

1 year, 4 months ago on Is “Spirituality” Necessary?

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@askegg I still wouldn't call it "spirituality".

1 year, 4 months ago on Is “Spirituality” Necessary?

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@lynchj678 Unfortunately no, It would be nice to transcribe these podcasts, but unfortunately it's very time-consuming, and time is not something I have in abundance these days. I hope you were able to get something from it though :)

1 year, 5 months ago on Imaginary Friends Show Podcast #144

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@Mork Actually, not necessarily. Some claim that organic foodstuffs are better for you based on the fact that they are more nutritious. This is not necessarily so, but what organic farming DOES is ensure that you are not eating masses of pesticides, and that pesticides which are harmful to the beneficial creepy-crawlies around the place aren't being used.

It is about treating your world with a little respect. While the chemicals used in mass crop farming may not harm humans, they are bad for the environment. For instance, a chemical used in the drenching of lettuce is only slightly toxic to humans, and only in large doses. However, according to the report on Confidor's active ingredient, Imidacloprid, "It is highly toxic to earthworms and very highly toxic to bees by oral and contact routes." Organic foods are not only about human health. They are about the health of the environment AND humans. Without our environment, we die.

Link to PDF report: http://www.apvma.gov.au/registration/assessment/docs/prs_imidacloprid.pdf
 

1 year, 8 months ago on Transubstantiation, Halal and Kosher – How Food Becomes Magical

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@LaughPurgatory

No it's nothing like that at all. It is much more like ignoring the wrongdoings of a banana manufacturer and buying their products in spite your knowledge of their behaviours and denial of human rights to their workers.. It is quite simple to buy from people whose behaviours you agree with, and boycott those with whom you disagree. BSA is a brand whose behaviours I disagree with, and the franchisees seem able to make their own decisions about how to enact these behaviours.

Don't make excuses for BSA's wrongdoings simply because the money goes to the troop themselves. The troops themselves need to stand up for what is right, and if they don't then they are either ignoring or backing the prejudice of the the BSA themselves.

@LaughPurgatory @reasonbeingblog 

2 years ago on Boy Scouts America: Anti Gay, Anti Atheist (BSA Blog Carnival)

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@blamer Be that as it may, it just goes to show the hypocrisy with which people deal with their faith. The monotheistic religions of Islam and Christianity both implicitly state that their way is THE ONLY WAY, and all others are doomed to hell. The modern Christian may say that "there are many paths to God", but unfortunately their bible says otherwise.

2 years, 1 month ago on The Many Faces of God

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@Jaros No I'm not conflating issues, simply showing my support for this campaign. It is not my campaign, I didn't start it. I am merely showing support. If you want an anti-violence campaign of your own, go ahead ans start one. I will support that too. You act as though this is the only campaign I support. I don't get it. I agree with your version of the oath also, but this is *specific to this campaign*.

2 years, 1 month ago on White Ribbon Day – Calling for an End to Violence Against Women

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@Jaros There is no doubt that individualised violence against all people should stop. But this campaign fights at a dual level against sexism and misogyny AND violence. Men are the ones causing the problems in most cases, so to say "It's not alright" to men, and to have men stand up, sometimes against what their society and upbringing might have taught them, is of paramount importance.

I think this campaign, given its origins in the Montreal Massacre of 1989, highlights not only inequity between the sexes, but the fact that women are treated like second-class citizens from the outset, and that many could feel threatened by empowered women, or equal women, or women garnering respect.

I see your point, and I agree to the premise, but that is not what we are talking about here. What's the old adage? "Think global, act local"? Women have been disenfranchised worldwide, but I cam make a larger difference here among people I actually come into contact with than with people in Saudi Arabia or Afghanistan.

So I take it that you think the issue of ending violence against women excludes men? It does the very opposite, since most violence against women comes from men. Change the attitude toward violence toward one, and I think you'll find the change is carried on to other areas of a person's life.

2 years, 1 month ago on White Ribbon Day – Calling for an End to Violence Against Women

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Please, if you have any suggestions for "must-read" online essays and blogposts, feel free add them here in the comments section. SHARE SHARE SHARE!

2 years, 1 month ago on Must read – Online Essays and Blogposts

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@innomind Yes that certainly is an interesting project. It shows to me that "truth" is more subjective than I showed in my blog.

2 years, 1 month ago on The Trouble with Facts

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 @AlbertJ OKAY ALBERT. This is my FINAL WORD on your posts. I gave you the benefit of the doubt in that you may actually be trying to prove something here. Turns out you are nothing but a delusional spammer. You have posted 71 comments on this piece, and are yet to make a point. Because of this, I am BANNING YOU PERMANENTLY for commenting at my blog. Goodbye.

 

2 years, 1 month ago on Yes, Another Post About Atheism

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 @Celia Jane I have changed the wording of that section to read:

 

Many defenders of Mr Abbott have claimed there’s no way he could actually be a misogynist, with rhetoric like “Misogynist is a term which describes the hatred of women, and clearly Mr Abbott doesn’t hate women, he has a wife and daughters!”

 

I hope this makes my intention clearer.

2 years, 1 month ago on The New Misogyny

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Hi @Celia Jane , thanks for your comment. I think you are misreading this post. The comment about Tony Abbott in parentheses was meant to be an example of a comment coming from the defenders of Abbott, not my opinion at all. I see Tony Abbott as pretty much the definition of patriarchal disregard and contempt for women. Sorry if it didn't read like that.

2 years, 1 month ago on The New Misogyny

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 @AlbertJ Albert that statement is not about GOD it's about KNOWLEDGE. You are shooting yourself in the foot by using it. Don't make me ban you again.

2 years, 2 months ago on Yes, Another Post About Atheism

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AlbertJ has been unbanned, but only so you could see what he's writing and facepalm along with me. @AlbertJ please, you conflate so many unrelated things to suit your notion of a god that it's embarrassing. seriously, yours is the ultimate conspiracy theory, and you're starting to sound like a certain Canadian psychopath I know...

 

2 years, 2 months ago on Yes, Another Post About Atheism

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 @AlbertJ Albert. I banned you from commenting, but you didn't notice. You just kept on posting. So here's the deal. I'm going to let you post whatever you like here. But I will not stand up for you if someone here decides to take you to task for your beliefs and strange interpretations of life, science and the universe.

2 years, 2 months ago on Yes, Another Post About Atheism

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 @D4M10N Well there it is in black and white

2 years, 2 months ago on Yes, Another Post About Atheism

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 @AlbertJ  OKAY ALBERT I'VE WARNED YOU. You are no longer allowed to post here. Please find another place to peddle your wares. Maybe consider getting a blog of your own rather than trolling mine.

 

Consider yourself banned from posting until further notice.

2 years, 2 months ago on Yes, Another Post About Atheism

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 @AlbertJ  @Dubravko  @deityshmeity  19 posts. LAST CHANCE ALBERT!!!

2 years, 2 months ago on Yes, Another Post About Atheism

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 @AlbertJ  18 posts...

2 years, 2 months ago on Yes, Another Post About Atheism

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 @AlbertJ 17 posts

2 years, 2 months ago on Yes, Another Post About Atheism

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. @AlbertJ Albert, while I'm quite happy for you to continue your circular reasoning rants here on my blog, can you please keep 2 things in mind? 1. Be respectful to other commenters or you will be banned from posting. 2. You have posted 16 comments in an hour and a half. Try to have some restraint and don't flood the comments or you will be banned from posting.

 

Restraint and respect. Also, maybe try to structure your arguments better. All I see is baseless blind assertions, conflation of unrelated topics, and terrible, terrible grammar and spelling.

 

Personally I'm not going to address the "facts" you bring up, because to tell you the truth I have no idea what you are on about, except that we (atheists) are "wrong" and you are "right".

2 years, 2 months ago on Yes, Another Post About Atheism

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Can someone please explain to me the cognitive dissonance involved in a person who has a PhD in science, yet sees a difference between "observational science" and "historical science"? Anybody? Please?

2 years, 3 months ago on Bill Nye vs Those Who DeNye – A Discussion

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 @Shay_Chandler I'll DM you the link so you can have a look at them :)

2 years, 3 months ago on Special Project – 3 Questions

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 @collhannah And this applies to my survey how exactly?

2 years, 3 months ago on Special Project – 3 Questions

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 @ColinMackay Ah yes, sorry, in investigatiing  there seems to be many people who have made this connection wrongly. See the link above (in the correction). The Australian "The Family" were based around the teachings of a yoga teacher named Anne Hamilton-Byrne, not the same group at all. see this article for THAT "The Family". http://www.news.com.au/national-old/anne-hamilton-byrne-leader-of-the-family-unrepentant-but-ready-to-die/story-e6frfkvr-1225762020614

 

Sorry for any confusion.

2 years, 3 months ago on Welcome to The Family

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 @reasonbeingblog There's really not a lot much more to it for me...

2 years, 3 months ago on Joel Cohen on Big Think – Demography and the Real Challenges of Humanism

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Some good points being brought to bear here, and I'm glad we have managed to, for the most part, keep this conversation civil. That is important to me. One thing I've noticed, though, is that this conversation keeps going back to Daniel Tosh, George Carlin and standup comedy. This is not only about standup comedy, rather the much less publicised, but much more common and insidious tendency to tell these jokes, or make "joking" threats of rape against people as a means to demean them and threaten them. This is where the problem lies. I don;t really care about Daniel Tosh, though he has served as a catalyst for a lot of this conversation. What I care about is in the wider community, the everyday conversations of people, the attitudes and actions of men with regards to women.

2 years, 4 months ago on Rape, Still Not Funny

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 @Herpert_Derpington Thank you for your comment. I appreciate your opinions. What I don't appreciate is threefold.

 

Firstly: you set out to deliberately be an asshole here on my blog, but in the spirit of freedom of expression I'll leave it here. You can make your point without coming off as a jackass, as other people who've commented have done.

 

Secondly: You are misrepresenting me here. I never said you can't find something as "seemingly harmless" as a rape joke funny, there is no accounting for how low some people's taste in comedy may be. I never said you can't say "rape" in a conversation. I'm even leaving your obvious baiting by way of the words "cunt" and "nigger" here, because I have enough respect for your freedom of expression to do so. I'll let the other commenters deal with you over these words written in bad taste. Who said anything about "forcibly remov(ing) rape jokes from daily conversation"? Who said anything about forcibly doing anything? The only force going on here in this blog piece is the bit where a someone gets raped.

 

Thirdly: How exactly am I supposed to fight the real cause of rape in society when it is precisely this kind of unthinking misogyny which is responsible for it?

 

I think your response is highly inappropriate considering you misread this as a call to limit the freedoms of expression we enjoy SO LIBERALLY here in the west and on the internet. Your post is testament to that. Please re-read my last paragraph, as this was the crux of the post. If this is the paragraph that got you angry, well good, get angry, I've obviously addressed something within you. If not, then why are  you so angry at my post?

 

"Now for a message to the guys out there, the ones laughing at the rape jokes, the ones who don’t care, or call any woman who challenges them a “fucking bitch”. You need to grow up. You need to open your eyes and see what damage your words and actions can do to others. You need to know you are from a dying breed, and you need to know that if I ever see someone treat a woman with anything less than decency and respect because she is a woman, I will not let it lie. The only thing awaiting people like you is ridicule, and this is because the way people like that see women is ridiculous. Maybe you’ll be man enough one day to stand up for, and beside our mothers, sisters, and daughters and help us all to build a better world."

Oh and one more thing. Just because we have freedom of speech does not equate to shooting off our mouths inappropriately and at all times. There are

2 years, 4 months ago on Rape Is Never Funny

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 @JBusta this post wasn't about prison rape, it was about women, and the way men treat them with such unflinching disrespect. If you're saying I am overly feminist (i.e. care too much about women's rights) then I am guilty as charged. And prison rape is not funny either.

2 years, 5 months ago on Rape Is Never Funny

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 @askegg the universe we live in

2 years, 5 months ago on It Doesn't Matter If God Exists

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@Dgsinclair I have a pretty good understanding of teh wager and have tackled it before http://martinspribble.com/archives/1892

2 years, 5 months ago on It Doesn't Matter If God Exists

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 @blamer Actually it's a little more complicated than that. It means *of no particular religious significance, or with no religious affiliation.* This can apply to anything that is not inherently religious, and also the completely atheistic and anti-religous, but not exclusively. :)

2 years, 5 months ago on I Am (Secular) Woman, Hear Me Roar!

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 @Mortified  @mspeir  @blamer so Mort, tell me why you think my reply is a fairytale. Please, enlighten me.

2 years, 5 months ago on Could A God Prove Its Existence?

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 @Mortified  @mspeir  @blamer love it... *SMH*

2 years, 5 months ago on Could A God Prove Its Existence?

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 @Mortified  @mspeir @blamer The most reliable and most reputed part of the New Testament was written by Paul of Tarsus, who wrote his manuscripts as early (and no earlier than) 70 AD. This is more than 30 years after Jesus' death. It is likely that Paul never met Jesus in person, and the only "contact" he had with Jesus was, after being delirious with hunger, was stricken down, where he met Jesus in a vision. And it is also likely that many of the books which are ascribed to likely be from the pen of Paul (such as 2 Timothy)  were actually written by completely different authors whose names were wither lost or never known. The rest of the apostolic writings were not written by the apostles, rather they were ascribed the names of the apostles some 300 years later, at the first council of Nicaea. Not only were these writings given the names of Mark, Luke, John etc, but at this same council, the many religious books of the time were decided upon, thus making up the New Testament we now know... sort of... Each revision of the bible changes, depending upon the beliefs of the person making he changes at the time. Whether it be revisionism of the translations available, or changes to whole passages, these changes have been so numerous that the bible we see today barely resembles the bible of the 4th Century.

 

Far from being a "... reliable collection of historical documents written by eyewitnesses ..." it is rather a poorly preserved series of stories gained from hundreds of pagan, christina and mythological sources dating back to before the times of the ancient Greeks.

 

Interesting to keep in mind also is the fact that when Constantine sought to "formalise" the New Testament, his motivation was not a religious one, but rather a completely political one. He hoped to bring together the various belief systems around at the time and create a new formalised religion, which ended up being Christianity, with Jesus Christ as the son of God. Up until this point, there was no formal recognition of Jesus as the actual immortal son of God.

 

There is so much more that can be learned from history, as written by actual historians. Un fortunately for the Christ story, there is little or no historical documentation of Jesus' life at all/

2 years, 5 months ago on Could A God Prove Its Existence?

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