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  This April Fool's Day
Posted by: Paleophyte - Today, 12:22 AM - Forum: Atheism & Theism - Replies (4)

Let's start the Church of Woke Jesus.

In Florida.

First we break out the Establishment Clause. Then we demand equal time in classrooms. Teach the controversy!

You can hear their little heads popping now.

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  An important distinction
Posted by: Rubaiyyat - Yesterday, 09:54 PM - Forum: Atheism & Theism - Replies (8)

Many years ago, as a presumptively Roman Catholic teenager undergoing the usual Church indoctrination that was supposed to teach me how I should view the world and my own place in it, I came to think of the Church’s teaching as nothing more than one religious organization’s line of reasoning—or well, its philosophy’.

So I fiddled around some with all that, trying to figure out just how philosophy and religion were fundamentally distinguished from one another, if also somehow related—and soon came to the conclusion that philosophy had to do with belief, period; while religion had to do with action, or simply living by whatever it was that one believed. 

That distinction is very important. Because the truth is that religion need not—and today, for the spiritually woke, should not—include gods. I’m an atheist because I don’t believe in gods—nor in any of the trappings that go with them.  But as a humanist, yes, I live religiously by the principles of humanism!  

Understand, it’s only the continued presence of Bronze Age gods in religion—as first made possible by the invention of writing, and since maintained by individuals and/or institutions who often have a huge stake in keeping the spirit of that Age alive in various Books or whole Collections of books—that has mostly given religion a bad name among the intelligentsia over the literate generations.

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  Uganda passes anti gay bill
Posted by: abaris - 03-22-2023, 04:27 PM - Forum: World News, Politics and Current Events - Replies (11)

It think, this deserves it's own thread, since it's an outrage. Unganda's parliament has passed a bill that outlaws LGBT people completely. The ultimate punishment is death. But it doesn't stop there. People harboring gay people or offer them legal counsel could go to jail for ten years. This means, LGBT people cannot even be represented in court, since their counselors would commit a felony under the new law.

Quote:MPs in Uganda have passed a controversial anti-LGBTQ+ bill, which would make homosexual acts punishable by death, attracting strong condemnation from rights campaigners.
All but two of the 389 legislators voted late on Tuesday for the hardline anti-homosexuality bill, which introduces capital and life imprisonment sentences for gay sex and “recruitment, promotion and funding” of same-sex “activities”.

“A person who commits the offence of aggravated homosexuality and is liable, on conviction to suffer death,” reads the bill presented by Robina Rwakoojo, the chairperson for legal and parliamentary affairs.

Just two MPs from the ruling party, Fox Odoi-Oywelowo and Paul Kwizera Bucyana, opposed the new legislation.


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  Triggered Rant on an Anti-Feminist's Lack of Perspective
Posted by: Glossophile - 03-21-2023, 05:34 AM - Forum: Philosophy and Ethics - Replies (19)

I'm not sure which subforum this belongs in, so mods, I apologize if it needs to be moved.

I hope you all don't mind being my figurative bartender, 'cause I need to get something off my chest!
Lately, I've found myself lured into rabbit holes of YouTube shorts, and a frequent contributor is some kind of panel debate between multiple young men and young women on feminism.  I came across one clip in which a guy basically complained about how men often feel like they're putting in most of the effort of courtship (e.g. planning dates, paying for them, etc.) only to be given less attention and/or clarity than they'd be comfortable with.
I'm not going to claim that this is never a legitimate complaint.  Women are as varied in character as men, so there are bound to be some who really do not, in fact, duly appreciate their partners' contribution to the relationship, and such individual vices should not be excused.  But the vibe I got from the guy making this argument was just too general and seriously short on any apparent empathy for the opposite perspective.  It was overall very frustrating to listen to.  My immediate reaction was, "Yeah, maybe you have to be a little more proactive on the front end…but the woman more than makes up for it on the back end."
Let me begin with a few caveats.
First, I am neither a clinical nor an experiential authority on these topics.  Far from it.  I have only the informally acquired bits of knowledge acquired by an interested layman, many of which should be common knowledge, and I welcome correction on any point whose factuality may be an osmotic illusion of pop culture.
Second, I realize that the perspective I'm about to present is clearly reductionist and general.  There are more facets and nuances to dating and sexuality than the kind of reproduction-focused calculus that I'm about to describe, and those additional aspects, including individual personality and proclivities, will inevitably modulate such considerations to varying degrees.  Nevertheless, reproduction does play an important and frequent enough role to be quite helpful, perhaps even crucial, in making the point I want to make.  Also, I do not mean to suggest that any of this is necessarily a conscious thought process.  I suggest that this may all be better (though still not perfectly) described as musings on evolutionary psychology, but I'm no expert on that either.
Third, although I find the perspective I'm responding to reprehensibly short-sighted, I won't lie.  As a heterosexual male, especially one with virtually no real sexual experience of his own, I must nonetheless admit to empathizing, on a superficial level, with the primal appeal of lower barriers to intimacy with women.  At the same time, however, I feel compelled to at least try looking at the same matters from a woman's point-of-view, and when I do, it becomes clear to me why it is toxic and wrong to broadly project that fantasy into real-world behaviors and/or expectations.

I don't claim to fully understand the female perspective.  I probably don't and never will.  I think I understand enough, though, to call out an apparent shortage of effort towards such inter-gender empathy in other men.  This isn't rocket science, guys!
So let's take a bird's-eye-view of the reproductive process from conception to birth.  There's a pleasurable part at the start and a very painful part at the end, but their distribution is severely lopsided, least of all because, on average, men climax significantly more easily than women. 
At the start, the man is almost guaranteed a bout of intense pleasure, while the woman will only experience comparable pleasure if she's lucky and/or discerning enough in her choice of partner.   
At the end, the woman is virtually guaranteed to experience extreme pain, while the man could never really share any of that burden even if he wanted to (likewise regarding the relatively less severe but still considerable aches and/or other inconveniences of pregnancy).
So for women, they bear a unique risk that potentially culminates in excruciation, while their odds of also experiencing pleasure comparable to that of men, who take no such risk at all, tends to be much lower.
So on balance, when a woman consents to sex with a man, she's almost always the one who takes the greater risk and makes the greater corporeal investment.  At least depending on how well she knows her male partner, she frequently takes the gamble that he has the raw talent, acquired skill, and/or patience to make that risk/investment worthwhile, and men failing or refusing in that regard is common enough to hardly even bear mentioning.
Of course, there may be some mitigation depending on the precise nature of the relationship.  So let's say we're talking not about a casual hook-up but about a long-term, committed couple who actually want children and go on to love their progeny.  Let's also assume that the man reliably brings the woman to climax, as is more likely (though still not guaranteed) in such a healthy and established relationship.  Even here, the man still gets the joys of fatherhood not just for free but with the bonus of an erotic climax.  While the mother also gets the joys of motherhood and an orgasm as a bonus, she also pays a heavy price that her male partner is biologically prohibited from sharing.  She may consider the results easily worth the agony, as any fit mother would, but that doesn't change the fact that there was an albeit temporary downside that could never apply to her male partner.  On balance, then, the female partner is still clearly left with the short end of the proverbial stick.
I think the risk of STDs is a wash, since it applies in at least roughly equal measure to both men and women.  As for various contraceptive mechanisms, few if any are 100% reliable, so even if it's minimized, the unique risk for women is usually still there.  The condom could break, the pill might be having an off day, or the man may lose control and fail to pull out in time.  In every such instance, the potential (biological) consequences fall 100% on the woman's shoulders.
There's also menstruation and uniquely female limits on fertility.  Think about it.  On a monthly basis, a woman's body undergoes a process that is inconvenient at best and painful at worst, all to prepare her body for a potential pregnancy, regardless of whether she's actively trying to get pregnant or even sexually active in any way.  Plus, if she ever wants children, it's not like she can have them entirely on her schedule.  She'll only ever have a limited number of eggs/chances, and regardless of how many she actually uses, there comes a point in her life when biology arbitrarily declares, "Nope!  Time's up!"
Meanwhile, sperm production is so painless as to never actually be felt in any conscious way whatsoever, and it continues all the way from puberty to the grave.  Sure, in the twilight years, motility and/or erectile function may weaken, but male fertility rarely if ever stops outright.
Finally, I'm less certain of this one, since my only source is a vaguely remembered YouTube video, but it said that women are overall a bit more sensitive to pain than men (due to greater density of nerve endings, I think).  If credible, this makes saddling women with childbirth even worse!
All of this ignores the question of whether even the best orgasm truly matches and thus compensates for childbirth in sheer intensity of sensation, which I doubt.  Meanwhile, what do men have in their corner?  Oh, testicular trauma hurts like hell…for a few minutes!  Men, I get it.  I do.  I've experienced a blow to the balls.  It's not fun.  But as bad as childbirth?  The difference in typical duration alone should make it no contest!  Prostate cancer?  Yeah, ovarian cancer makes that a wash.   
The point, to put it colorfully, is that we need to stop calling nature a "Mother," because no real mother would be such a bitch to her fellow females!  The idiom really should be "Father Nature" in my book!  So Mr. This-Is-Why-You're-Single-Ladies can just fuck all the way off!
Thanks, guys!  That felt good!

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  Cannabis chat.
Posted by: adey67 - 03-18-2023, 09:17 PM - Forum: Off-topic - Replies (63)

A place for stoners and non stoners to discuss all things marijuana related, favourite strains, beneficial effects, non beneficial effects, hash, oil, kief, edibles, joints, pipes and bongs, strange experiences, munchies etc etc, all are welcome to the table. I'll see you down the rabbit hole with Alice.

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Exclamation Call to Ban "Button" Cells...
Posted by: SYZ - 03-17-2023, 08:35 PM - Forum: World News, Politics and Current Events - Replies (8)

They've been labelled tiny "killers" in households across the country,
yet they're still made and sold every day.

A one-year-old girl has woken from a coma after surgery to remove a
button battery [cell].  She suffered burns to her oesophagus and is
expected to remain in hospital for the next month.  An emergency
paedetrician, Dr Ruth Barker, said button batteries needed to be

Barker complains that the industry are still making button batteries,
companies are still selling button batteries, and we are still buying them.


The parents have slammed the Mackay Base Hospital for dismissing their
baby with a button battery in her throat, and failing to carry out an initial
X-ray.  The parents had told the treating doctor that they thought the
object was a polystyrene bean bag ball.

The father said he'd received "nasty comments online" asking what the
button battery was "doing lying around", claiming "It wasn't lying
around".  Apparently the battery was in an unused key fob in a draw.
"They key was shut but somehow it must have been loose or something
and she's managed to get it open", he said.

To me, this sounds like total bullshit.  The baby is only 12 months old,
and I wouldn't believe physically capable of and/or having sufficient
manual dexterity or fine motor skills needed to open a draw and extract
a tiny object from a key fob.  The parents' story is simply a lie in order to
avoid a child abuse or lack of due care charge.

—At any rate, whatever happened to diligent parent care of young
children?  How about some acknowledgement from these parents that
they obviously failed in their duty of care?  Why blame everyone else in
this sorry saga—the treating doctor, the hospital, and even the battery

This projection of third party blame is becoming far too common with
today's generation of younger parents—tragedies like this are always
"someone else's" fault.  (Consider the number of infant swimming pool
drownings every year—a similar tragic scenario.)

Footnote:  There are 2 billion button cells manufactured and sold
worldwide every year, powering millions of electronic devices.  To even
suggest their banning is absurd—particularly from a medical professional
such as Dr Ruth Barker, who I could guarantee uses several in her everyday
professional capacity—even in the humble digital thermometer.

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  About last night (A Haiku)
Posted by: no one - 03-17-2023, 04:42 PM - Forum: Art and Literature - Replies (3)

Terrified screaming.
As I see your nekkid ass.
Bleach my memory.

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  Thinking about starting a 2nd reformation
Posted by: OMM - 03-15-2023, 11:34 PM - Forum: Atheism & Theism - Replies (21)

You know... For my own amusement. As a social experiment. Just to see how it plays out.

... seeing as the last one went off so well without a hitch.

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  Interesting DaVinci-Code-esque B-Movie that Pulls Fewer Punches on Religion
Posted by: Glossophile - 03-15-2023, 08:16 PM - Forum: Atheism & Theism - Replies (1)

I was n the mood for some independent sci-fi cinema last night, and it led me to this German-made gem on YouTube.  It's a bit hokey in places, and the English dubbing is often somewhat bland, but a couple of things really stood out to me.

(1) It's technically a time travel movie, but the only actual time travel we see depicted is a couple of very tentative experiments.  Virtually the entire movie is centered around the consequences of an implied time trip that we never actually witness.

(2) More importantly for this forum, religious intrigue plays a prominent role, to the point of presenting a brand of fanaticism, in this case Catholic, not often seen in mainstream cinema.  It is perhaps fitting that this was a German production, as it's hard to see a project like this one selling well in America.

(3) The main villain gives a speech at timestamp 2:02:55 that, at least in my view, really contextualizes his actions and presents the toxicity of Divine Command Theory, or at least the Abrahamic brand of it, in a remarkably stark way.

Anyway, if you like the idea of a three-hour archaeological action/adventure romp with a sci-fi twist and a gun-toting religious conspiracy, which is at least a bit bolder in its handling of Christianity than mainstream fare, this might be a fun watch.  I think the vibe is best described as "discount Dan Brown" or "a provocative love-child of the Indiana Jones and National Treasure franchises."

If you want more info but aren't sure if it's worth the three hours, here's a basic plot synopsis.  If you'd prefer to go in completely blind, don't read any further.

A young archaeologist finds some majorly anachronistic artifacts buried with a 2,000-year-old skeleton.  Further examination suggests, at least to him, that a time traveler went back to see Jesus in the flesh and recorded video evidence that the Vatican is murderously keen to get their hands on.  This digital McGuffin apparently calls his existence, or at least his resurrection, into serious question.


I'm not sure if I'm interpreting the ending right, but the video that everyone was chasing seems to imply that, while Jesus existed, he didn't resurrect.  After he died on the cross, he stayed dead.  I thought I saw his hand move, but that might've been the woman examining the body gently pushing it.  His eyes never opened or anything.  Also, if you watched it, I'm curious about how long it took you to at least suspect the identity of the time traveler(s) revealed at the end.  I think I had an inkling about halfway through, though that was likely just because the YouTube synopsis described the ending as the archaeologist realizing that his adventure had only begun.

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  Biden's banking policy
Posted by: Dom - 03-13-2023, 01:29 PM - Forum: World News, Politics and Current Events - Replies (10)

I can't find any recaps of the speech yet, but Biden just announced that the government, as of right now, will guarantee all deposits of any size. This after a second bank collapsed over the weekend.

The bailout (only for depositors, not banks, and managers will be fired) is paid by fees banks have been paying, not by the people.

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