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  #1  
Old 01-02-2018, 01:38 PM
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I have tried Christianity at different times. It always causes psychological problems! It goes without saying that we should treat each other with respect. The problems I have are with supernatural things like the virgin birth, miracles of Jesus, and Jesus coming back from the dead and walking around 40 days before ascending into heaven. It sounds ridiculous, a combination of mythology, superstition and lies, not something we might regard as fact. I tried the Bible and church again when my mother died. I basically laid in bed and drank for a year. I prayed her soul went to heaven. At the same time, I could not say there is any kind of afterlife or such a thing as a soul. When I pray, I feel schizophrenic, like I am talking to myself. It seems that when we are dead, we are dead. Yet, there is something in humans that yearns for immortality. Why? Perhaps it is an indication that there really is a "God" and some kind of eternal existence. Apparently, animals do not have religion or any longing for immortality. People say that humans are animals. I recoil from that idea. We differ from animals, yet this is still not proof of any kind of Creator. It seems that all religions are wrong! Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam all reflect medieval thinking. I cannot say I am an atheist because I am not. Nor can I say I am a believer or an agnostic. None of these categories apply.

Creationists offer no proof. The Bible is mythology, stories made up by men. Ancient Jews had their mythology as did the ancient Greeks and Romans. Science is objective! It deals with nature and physical reality. The flood story of Genesis is fantasy. The idea that Noah built a boat and put all the animals in the world in it is absurd. Science sets the date of the earth at 4.6 billion years. All the continents have been under water at different times. Fossils of marine animals can be found in the highest mountains. But there was no "Biblical flood" as such that killed all the people except Noah and his family. Charles Darwin started out as a "believer." His faith had to be shaken by his voyage and his findings in the Galapagos Islands. But in the 1830s and in the company he kept, it was dangerous to contest scripture.

After my mother died, I went to Belmont Church on Music Row a couple of times. I did not fit. I asked the preacher how he knew Jesus rose from the grave. He said because of the "empty tomb." I was not convinced. There was no empty tomb. The preacher was confusing a ghost story with reality. Printed words on a page do not make an empty tomb. On the bottom line, the gospels are mythology, although they are not taught that way by the Church. They are taught as fact. But the idea that a man came back to life, ascended into the atmosphere, and will one day return in clouds to catch believers up in some kind of rapture is strange.

Jesus is a mythological character. So, any number of stories can and have been invented about him just as the ancient Greeks had varied and contradictory stories about their gods and goddesses.

I do not want to be called an "atheist!" It is a derogatory word people who believe in mythology call people who know the difference between what is real and what is not real.

Life is a result of bio-chemical processes. When those bio-chemical processes cease, life ends. "We are chemistry," as Seth Shostak writes.

We are chemistry and biology! We are thinking beings with language. We created religions, gods and goddesses and the monotheistic concept of one God. We wrote the Bible and ascribed its authorship to an imaginary deity.

Still, it nags at me.

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Old 01-03-2018, 01:10 PM
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Wow Jim, you are a tough one. But I'll try an answer. Have you studied the biological sciences in any detail? If you do/ or did, how can you not appreciate the perfect dovetailed relationship that every living thing has with every other living thing? The parasite that is perfectly adapted to his host- abiding but without killing. Or the bee with special adaptations to carry pollen from just one type of flower. Consider our own microbiota inhabiting our gut- each type specifically equipped to break down one type of nutrient, and now we are told they form our first line of immune defense. Again, abiding and insuring our good health. To me this is the best evidence of a creator. This cannot be the random working of creatures. As for evidence of Jesus and his story, I agree this does require some faith. But in view of the fact that there is great evil in the world would you not expect there also to be great good? And Jesus and his love for mankind is the greatest good imaginable. I know you to be, from your writings, a highly intelligent man. Therefore I urge you to pursue this subject diligently and read what scholars have written. Don't just take the offhanded opinion of some preacher. And try several faiths. You may well find one where you do fit in.

I hope I have not offended- you did invite a dialogue.
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Old 01-03-2018, 01:47 PM
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Hmm... I would say evolutionary biology answers those questions very succinctly, and accounts for all of the perfection. Like, all of it.

There are, however, good cultural and social reasons for churches. I donít think anybody can deny that. In a way, I think we have pushed tech and science so fast that evolution canít keep up. I donít know whatís going to happen with that. It could go either way. Anyway, I donít think we have a choice at this point. We canít put the genie back in the bottle, and some of the ways we are developing run counter to what we still ďneedĒ as basically tribal animals.

I see what Jim is saying, and I donít think he is really struggling with it. Maybe he should find a church that fits with him. Who knows, he might meet a nice girl who will adopt him into her tribe.


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Old 01-03-2018, 03:37 PM
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[QUOTE=Jim Colyer

Life is a result of bio-chemical processes. When those bio-chemical processes cease, life ends.

[/QUOTE]


Perhaps you are deciding that life is limited to the consciousness processes
that you are currently enjoying.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XwY8BO29zjk

Jump to 26:00 or so to begin seeing what I am presenting for your consideration.
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Old 01-04-2018, 03:46 PM
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Poor Jim.

He won't be feeling so smug when he's burning in the fires of eternal damnation.
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Old 01-04-2018, 04:38 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
Poor Jim.

He won't be feeling so smug when he's burning in the fires of eternal damnation.


Iím hoping Bon Scott and James Joyce will be there by the time I get there.


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Old 01-04-2018, 04:46 PM
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Oh yeah. They'll be there.

I probably will be too.

But I don't know that conditions will allow us to enjoy each other's company.

Along those lines -- people talk about "rock and roll heaven."

But I'm pretty sure rock and roll hell would be more my cup of tea.

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Old 01-04-2018, 06:09 PM
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Iíll meet you at the molten fountain of fudge. Yeah, itíll suck, but... fudge.


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Old 01-04-2018, 06:24 PM
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You think you'll make it to that level?

Cuz with my luck, I'm thinking more like a molten fountain of green bean casserole.
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Old 01-04-2018, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
You think you'll make it to that level?

Cuz with my luck, I'm thinking more like a molten fountain of green bean casserole.


Iíll try and shit you some fudge... youíre younger than me, so Iíll have a decade to practice.


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Old 01-04-2018, 06:40 PM
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Thanks man.

But seriously, I like Jim's approach.

It's like, well, the shit's hittin' the fan, so I think I'll "try" Jesus...
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Old 01-22-2018, 09:50 PM
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I've been down this rabbit hole for a long time. You won't find the answers you're looking for when it comes to proof. Hence, faith. But that doesn't put butts in seats.
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Old 01-23-2018, 12:26 PM
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Who is your target audience for a piece like this. Are you looking to provoke discussion or just record your thoughts. Do you want someone to come along and convince you to change your beliefs. Where would you see this being published; a blog, a magazine etc?

If intending to publish you might what to reconsider the title, as although there is reference to other religions, what you've actually stating is that you don't believe in Christian bible stories.

The current title may discourage the readers you're looking for, or encourage readers who may try to turn it into a piece about all religion.
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Old 02-07-2018, 10:50 AM
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It was the spirit of true Christianity which finally put a dagger into the heart of the slave trade. It is my belief that the teachings of Jesus Christ were altered in the New Testament to benefit the ruling classes. Thus, the true passages on His teachings about slaves were changed to make it appear as though He favored it. Christians who owned slaves were disconnected from Christ's true teachings in the same way that Muslims who kill in the name of Allah are disconnected from the true teachings of their religion today. Even the Atheists who butchered millions in the 20th Century cannot be associated with Atheism. For the true spirit of humanity is built around brotherhood, peace, and love. Therefore, anything that goes against this spirit is at a disconnect. Religion is a beautiful tool for mankind when correctly applied. However, when it is used for one's own benefit, it loses its name. No longer is it religion but just a device to manipulate and control others.
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Quakers in particular were early leaders in abolitionism. In 1688 Dutch Quakers in Germantown, Pennsylvania, sent an antislavery petition to the Monthly Meeting of Quakers. By 1727 British Quakers had expressed their official disapproval of the slave trade.[97] Three Quaker abolitionists, Benjamin Lay, John Woolman, and Anthony Benezet, devoted their lives to the abolitionist effort from the 1730s to the 1760s, with Lay founding the Negro School in 1770, which would serve more than 250 pupils.[98] In June 1783 a petition from the London Yearly Meeting and signed by over 300 Quakers was presented to Parliament protesting the slave trade.[99]
In 1787 the Society for Effecting the Abolition of the Slave Trade was formed, with 9 of the 12 founder members being Quakers. During the same year, William Wilberforce was persuaded to take up their cause; as an MP, Wilberforce was able to introduce a bill to abolish the slave trade. Wilberforce first attempted to abolish the trade in 1791, but could only muster half the necessary votes; however, after transferring his support to the Whigs, it became an election issue. Abolitionist pressure had changed popular opinion, and in the 1806 election enough abolitionists entered parliament for Wilberforce to be able to see the passing of the Slave Trade Act 1807. The Royal Navy subsequently declared that the slave trade was equal to piracy, the West Africa Squadron choosing to seize ships involved in the transfer of slaves and liberate the slaves on board, effectively crippling the transatlantic trade. Through abolitionist efforts, popular opinion continued to mount against slavery, and in 1833 slavery itself was outlawed throughout the British Empire - at that time containing roughly 1/6 of the world's population (rising to 1/4 towards the end of the century).

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Old 02-07-2018, 04:21 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim Colyer View Post
I have tried Christianity at different times. It always causes psychological problems! It goes without saying that we should treat each other with respect. The problems I have are with supernatural things like the virgin birth, miracles of Jesus, and Jesus coming back from the dead and walking around 40 days before ascending into heaven. It sounds ridiculous, a combination of mythology, superstition and lies, not something we might regard as fact. I tried the Bible and church again when my mother died. I basically laid in bed and drank for a year. I prayed her soul went to heaven. At the same time, I could not say there is any kind of afterlife or such a thing as a soul. When I pray, I feel schizophrenic, like I am talking to myself. It seems that when we are dead, we are dead. Yet, there is something in humans that yearns for immortality. Why? Perhaps it is an indication that there really is a "God" and some kind of eternal existence. Apparently, animals do not have religion or any longing for immortality. People say that humans are animals. I recoil from that idea. We differ from animals, yet this is still not proof of any kind of Creator. It seems that all religions are wrong! Christianity, Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism and Islam all reflect medieval thinking. I cannot say I am an atheist because I am not. Nor can I say I am a believer or an agnostic. None of these categories apply.

Creationists offer no proof. The Bible is mythology, stories made up by men. Ancient Jews had their mythology as did the ancient Greeks and Romans. Science is objective! It deals with nature and physical reality. The flood story of Genesis is fantasy. The idea that Noah built a boat and put all the animals in the world in it is absurd. Science sets the date of the earth at 4.6 billion years. All the continents have been under water at different times. Fossils of marine animals can be found in the highest mountains. But there was no "Biblical flood" as such that killed all the people except Noah and his family. Charles Darwin started out as a "believer." His faith had to be shaken by his voyage and his findings in the Galapagos Islands. But in the 1830s and in the company he kept, it was dangerous to contest scripture.

After my mother died, I went to Belmont Church on Music Row a couple of times. I did not fit. I asked the preacher how he knew Jesus rose from the grave. He said because of the "empty tomb." I was not convinced. There was no empty tomb. The preacher was confusing a ghost story with reality. Printed words on a page do not make an empty tomb. On the bottom line, the gospels are mythology, although they are not taught that way by the Church. They are taught as fact. But the idea that a man came back to life, ascended into the atmosphere, and will one day return in clouds to catch believers up in some kind of rapture is strange.

Jesus is a mythological character. So, any number of stories can and have been invented about him just as the ancient Greeks had varied and contradictory stories about their gods and goddesses.

I do not want to be called an "atheist!" It is a derogatory word people who believe in mythology call people who know the difference between what is real and what is not real.

Life is a result of bio-chemical processes. When those bio-chemical processes cease, life ends. "We are chemistry," as Seth Shostak writes.

We are chemistry and biology! We are thinking beings with language. We created religions, gods and goddesses and the monotheistic concept of one God. We wrote the Bible and ascribed its authorship to an imaginary deity.

Still, it nags at me.

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I read your post. It seems to me that you were attached to your mom, truly miss her, and wish the best place for her. That makes you an okay person. But, you are thinking too strong, similar to a swimmer stroking against the current and not moving. I've had friends who have seem their deceased loved ones. One friend of mine was frequently visited by his mom after she died. He never married and like you adored his mother very much. She'd come in the apartment to sit in her favorite chair to spend some time with him. I haven't had the privilege of seeing my deceased mom, but I have heard her voice. My sister who was close to my mom also heard her. I have had the privilege of hearing many deceased friends but never seeing an apparition. So, I just want to pass a bit of information along to you -- don't be too concerned about what others write, say, or think. They have their own oceans to swim. Try to live in the present moment and supernatural experiences -- what you refer to as "miracles" -- will frequently occur in your life. Now, this is what I really wanted to say to you. If you want a visit from your mom -- and judging by your writing, I'm sure you do -- try this experiment. Take a photograph of your mom to bed with you. And stare at it for about 20 minutes each night for about a week. I can almost guarantee you that if you do this every evening for about a week, she will begin to visit you in your dreams. Of course, these dreams are more than dreams -- they are what we refer to as "visitations." Try it. You have nothing to lose and much to gain. Sincerely hoping the best for you.

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Old 02-07-2018, 09:50 PM
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They are tax exempt and we don't even bat an eye. Wow.

When they talk about tending to their "flock" what they really mean is that we are getting our dumb asses sheared repeatedly.

Keep drinking the kool aid.
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Old 02-21-2018, 04:34 PM
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Perhaps, the divinities would have been better off if they had started off with the Theory of God, some ideas which may more not be true, brought to us by the writings of Moses, Mohamed, dozens of spiritual thinkers. Of course, the Bible is mythological, the Quran, the Torah, the Bhagavad Gita too. And rain is still wet. Even a priest will tell you that the Bible is symbolic, a giant metaphor, based loosely upon the cultures of their time. And, perhaps, if they gave themselves the same freedom to make changes as they went along that science affords itself, they'd be better off. The problem that we all have is that we have lived inside the mythology for so long that we're ultimately talking about the man in the white beard. And so when we finish with the Beard and conclude that he's fiction, as any reasonable person would, we haven't really disproved anything that wasn't mythological all along. If there is a god--a little extra something that predates nature and keeps it in check--it's most definitely not the god of the Bible, unless the Bible is that metaphor and it's only intention was for a lot of early thinkers to say "here's this thing and we don't know what it is." Perhaps, we'll discover that yet, perhaps we won't. After all, we give ourselves too much credit. By our own admissions, we're a half-step removed from the ape and you can still see ape tendencies in all of us. Warfare, the way the chimpanzees went to war in the Gombe war, or just the propensity to fling our own metaphorical shit at each other.
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Old 02-23-2018, 05:31 AM
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A thoughtful piece on the questions that come into many minds about religion. I struggled like you for a long while, and then suddenly, after a cancer death in the family, I realized I did not believe in God, did not believe in an afterlife, and even if I liked some of Jesus's teachings (and other spiritual leaders'), these were just metaphors for how to live. Anyway, I felt so light, so real, and so true without religion to bug me, I could suddenly see the beautiful world of nature in all its amazing complexity much more clearly. And I didn't have to blame a God for the bad things that happen. I didn't have to wonder why a God would answer some prayers and not others. I was free! If it is best for you, I hope you get to the same conclusion.
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Old 02-25-2018, 02:54 PM
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Originally Posted by spshane View Post
Perhaps, the divinities would have been better off if they had started off with the Theory of God, some ideas which may more not be true, brought to us by the writings of Moses, Mohamed, dozens of spiritual thinkers. Of course, the Bible is mythological, the Quran, the Torah, the Bhagavad Gita too. And rain is still wet. Even a priest will tell you that the Bible is symbolic, a giant metaphor, based loosely upon the cultures of their time. And, perhaps, if they gave themselves the same freedom to make changes as they went along that science affords itself, they'd be better off. The problem that we all have is that we have lived inside the mythology for so long that we're ultimately talking about the man in the white beard. And so when we finish with the Beard and conclude that he's fiction, as any reasonable person would, we haven't really disproved anything that wasn't mythological all along. If there is a god--a little extra something that predates nature and keeps it in check--it's most definitely not the god of the Bible, unless the Bible is that metaphor and it's only intention was for a lot of early thinkers to say "here's this thing and we don't know what it is." Perhaps, we'll discover that yet, perhaps we won't. After all, we give ourselves too much credit. By our own admissions, we're a half-step removed from the ape and you can still see ape tendencies in all of us. Warfare, the way the chimpanzees went to war in the Gombe war, or just the propensity to fling our own metaphorical shit at each other.
Sit down with any honest scientists and he or she will tell you they know squat about the invisible realms that Eastern and Western mystics and prophets have known about for years. In fact, many scientist ignore the subject as if it were a hot potato, sticking their heads in holes instead. Science works -- or for that matter anything else -- only when thoroughly and properly investigated. Avoidance doesn't get the job done. Just like the police officers in last week shootings which claimed 17 young lives. They were law enforcement officials but they chose to avoid the shooter. Same thing as an unworthy scientist.
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Old 02-25-2018, 03:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Luciaphile View Post
A thoughtful piece on the questions that come into many minds about religion. I struggled like you for a long while, and then suddenly, after a cancer death in the family, I realized I did not believe in God, did not believe in an afterlife, and even if I liked some of Jesus's teachings (and other spiritual leaders'), these were just metaphors for how to live. Anyway, I felt so light, so real, and so true without religion to bug me, I could suddenly see the beautiful world of nature in all its amazing complexity much more clearly. And I didn't have to blame a God for the bad things that happen. I didn't have to wonder why a God would answer some prayers and not others. I was free! If it is best for you, I hope you get to the same conclusion.
Sorry about your loss. And I'm glad you like nature. But, not one prayer to God goes to waste. As far as dying goes, nothing gets out of here alive, not even a blade of grass. Why grieve death (or blame God) when without death one could not enjoy a single moment of living? Whatever makes you happy, continue to do it. Happiness is only an emotion though. The afterlife and God are so much more. Mixing apples and oranges. A person could live to forty years old, get sick one day, and then blame God. But, they will never praise God for the forty good years they received from Him. It's always "why me?" Naturally, nobody wants to leave loved ones behind, but nothing never ends, especially love.


By the way, there's a good book out there written by scientists (ones who have their eyes opened) concerning the topic. It's called "What the Bleep Do We Know!?" Give it a shot. It's interesting. Better to learn from highly intelligent, neutral, and honest people than to learn from people who have a horse in the race (as I do and so many others).

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Old 03-03-2018, 05:31 AM
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From "What the Bleep Do We (K)now!?

" ... the established world of science does not want to look at something that is thought to be 'outside of their domain.' Funny, because that's where the breakthroughs comes from.

So, who now hijacked the search for truth?

Two sides of the same coin.

First the Church, and now the new priesthood -- the Scientists.

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Old 03-03-2018, 05:51 AM
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https://www.theguardian.com/science/.../16/g2.science


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Old 03-03-2018, 06:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post

" ... the established world of science does not want to look at something that is thought to be 'outside of their domain.'
"Outside of their domain," as in, not science.
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:05 AM
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Originally Posted by Myers View Post
"Outside of their domain," as in, not science.


I donít want to actively agree with you because, well, people might think weíre sleeping together, and, you know, thatís kinda gay. But I do too wonder what is outside the realm of science?


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Old 03-03-2018, 07:05 AM
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No, as in "invisible." Like certain bacteria before the invention of the microscope -- always there, but not to the naked eye. To the "lame," because things cannot be seen, they do not exist.

Hope this helps your understanding.
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:07 AM
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Originally Posted by Cityboy View Post
No, as in "invisible." Like certain bacteria before the invention of the microscope -- always there, but not to the naked eye. To the "lame," because things cannot be seen, they do not exist.

Hope this helps your understanding.


The good thing about science is itís a series of hypothesis open to revision when faced with evidence (data) that it should be. So, nothing is outside its realm.


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Old 03-03-2018, 07:07 AM
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If you're sleeping together, more power to you. Besides, it's nobody else's business, except for you wives.
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Old 03-03-2018, 07:08 AM
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Yeah, but the thing is, we can now actually see "certain bacteria."
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  #29  
Old 03-03-2018, 07:15 AM
Myers (Offline)
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Now our wives sleeping together -- that might be something I'd like to see.
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  #30  
Old 03-03-2018, 07:26 AM
Cityboy (Offline)
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I'll offer you a trap-door, so you may focus on me (your field of expertise) and not continue to make a clown of yourself. // Myers, JoeMatt or whoever else you may be -- you may come off as some intellectual hot shot to a few blind, puppet followers, but you are over-rated. And, despite all your degrees, you'll always remain 25 replies behind me in "smarts." And, just for your information, she was being quite generous with that number.
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