more of gemli's gems

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Lemmie
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Re: more of gemli's gems

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gemli
12 hours ago

I'm pretty stupid, you know. If I was smart, I'd find a way to monetize my presence here.

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... qus_thread

:lol: I'm thinking maybe, just maybe, gemli reads a little here.

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Re: more of gemli's gems

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Gadianton wrote:What are you likely to obtain in the afterlife that I won't?

Conceivably a head start, if I've used my mortal life more efficiently because my guiding principles were more accurate.

That's only in the optimistic case (for me) where my principles were in fact more accurate. We might both be equally wrong. And even if we're not, I'm sure that our progress towards whatever our eternal goal is supposed to be must be affected by lots of other factors besides the accuracy of our metaphysical theories. So even if I turn out to have been more right than you about God, very likely it won't be so much a matter of me having a head start on you as of me being not quite as far behind you as I would have been.

We're only talking about a difference of a few decades in eternity, anyway. That can't be a big deal. Maybe after ten thousand years your planet will get its rings only a century before mine does, instead of the three extra centuries it would have taken me if my faith hadn't goaded me somewhat out of my innate moral turpitude. So yay, my mortal faith will have saved me two ringless centuries of additional lagging behind your atheistic but innately noble spirit. It's still only two hundred years out of ten thousand. Or maybe it'll just be about extra harp strings. Not as good as planetary rings but whatever.

Of course I really have no idea of what any afterlife will be like. Insofar as this even makes sense I'm hoping it will be unimaginably different. But in any case I can't imagine that there will be any significant long-term consequences from anyone's mere opinions. Why would God care about those?
Last edited by Physics Guy on Sat Oct 05, 2019 11:55 am, edited 7 times in total.

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Re: more of gemli's gems

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Exiled wrote:I'm interested on what you view as the core beliefs in which most religions believe. Also, how many of those core beliefs are based on perception and experience that all can have and how many of these core beliefs are based on some supernatural experience the religious leader supposedly received. What I'm driving at is beliefs such as the golden rule and living as best as one can and devoting time to family seem to be values atheists would find without religious leaders telling them what to do.

Not all religious people are theists. My understanding is that Buddhism has nothing to do with any God. And not all theists are religious. My understanding of current survey results is that a large fraction of people who identify as non-religious—maybe even a majority—also profess a belief in some kind of God.

The "common core" of beliefs that many theists I know seem to share is pretty vague; but that's my point. A lot of theists—and a lot of religious people—don't put all their beliefs on the same level. I've heard quite a lot of people say that "believing in God" is a more important belief issue than everything else, or is even the only issue that's really important—without specifying exactly what "God" is.

I don't think that's an illusion of common belief. I think it's a matter of how finely you slice things. If you prefer lagers and I prefer pale ales, it could still be true that we share a common taste for beer.

Whether theists' common beliefs imply shared moral values is a separate issue on which I did not mean to comment. To comment on it now, though, I completely agree that atheists can endorse the Golden Rule as well as anyone.

I do think that religious belief must be able to provide some amount of extra motivation to act decently, because why on Earth wouldn't it? Allowing tax deductions for donations clearly tends to make people in general donate more, because they anticipate a reward in April from the IRS. Wouldn't people who seriously anticipate a reward from God after death tend to give more as well, other things being equal?

Of course other things rarely are equal. Reward motivation is not the only factor affecting behavior. Plenty of atheists manage to do the right thing without that extra motivation, while plenty of believers act wrongly in spite of it.

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Re: more of gemli's gems

Post by Gadianton »

Of course I really have no idea of what any afterlife will be like. Insofar as this even makes sense I'm hoping it will be unimaginably different. But in any case I can't imagine that there will be any significant long-term consequences from anyone's mere opinions. Why would God care about those?


Right. The headstart thing is the direct answer to the question, but it seems like your real answer is it doesn't really matter. But, that's still compatible with God. Just because there's a God doesn't mean he has a specific program for people to follow. In fact, it might make belief a little more interesting if there is no guarantee that those who believe will get anything out of it.
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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Re: more of gemli's gems

Post by Philo Sofee »

Just to throw in something else. There is no hierarchy or levels in the next life according to some Eastern ways of thinking. That's all earth thinking. There is no one ahead of anyone else, in anything. That doesn't mean its boring and blase either......although, like PG, I'm not so sure anyone knows just what the heck when it comes to the next life anyway, so there is that... :biggrin:
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Re: more of gemli's gems

Post by Physics Guy »

Gadianton wrote:Right. The headstart thing is the direct answer to the question, but it seems like your real answer is it doesn't really matter.

Yeah, that’s what I meant. I think believing in God matters in this life just as much as any other belief or principle or whatever that someone uses to make meaning and purpose. In that sense it’s important. As a ticket to eternal bliss, though, mental assent to a proposition makes no more sense to me than a secret handshake.

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Re: more of gemli's gems

Post by Lemmie »

Speaking of movies about witnesses...
gemli Logophile 4 days ago

Every religious person I've known believes the same sorts of things that the nuns tried to instill in me, which was that spiritual beings exist and that failure to believe will have dire consequences for my eternal soul. This philosophy is based on the same kind of evidence as stork theory or Santa Claus or Leprechauns, in that it proposes a wildly improbable cause for real-world events that can't be demonstrated to exist. One untestable belief is as valid (or as invalid) as every other.

The amount of ballyhoo that attends such beliefs has no bearing on whether they're true or not.


https://disqus.com/home/discussion/danp ... 4638859238

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Re: more of gemli's gems

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Lemmie wrote:Speaking of movies about witnesses...
gemli Logophile 4 days ago

Every religious person I've known believes the same sorts of things that the nuns tried to instill in me, which was that spiritual beings exist and that failure to believe will have dire consequences for my eternal soul. This philosophy is based on the same kind of evidence as stork theory or Santa Claus or Leprechauns, in that it proposes a wildly improbable cause for real-world events that can't be demonstrated to exist. One untestable belief is as valid (or as invalid) as every other.

The amount of ballyhoo that attends such beliefs has no bearing on whether they're true or not.


https://disqus.com/home/discussion/danp ... 4638859238

That's a great quote. While religion tries to accentuate the ballyhoo and points to emotional reactions as an indicator of truth, science is designed to cut through the ballyhoo and look at the evidence. Not all experiments are scientific.
It’s relatively easy to agree that only Homo sapiens can speak about things that don’t really exist, and believe six impossible things before breakfast. You could never convince a monkey to give you a banana by promising him limitless bananas after death in monkey heaven.

-Yuval Noah Harari

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Re: more of gemli's gems

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Analytics wrote:While religion tries to accentuate the ballyhoo and points to emotional reactions as an indicator of truth, science is designed to cut through the ballyhoo and look at the evidence. Not all experiments are scientific.


We may claim to value the scientific method over emotions and feelings. But we really don't.

An alien visiting earth today might look at our scientific accomplishments and observe that we are, as a species, doomed. Our intellectual powers have collectively been squandered because we are totally unscientific about the choices we make in living out our 79 year expected life spans.

If we really believe in science and logic over feelings and emotion, then why are we so ridiculously NOT that way about life's most important choices?

The food we eat. The mate(s) we choose. Physical activity. Use of "free" time. Career selection. Clothes, cars, and adornments.

These choices have scientifically demonstrable solutions, but instead we choose to do what we feel, when we feel, because we feel like it.

Because we still make most of our choices based on myths we tell ourselves, myths that aren't real.

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Re: more of gemli's gems

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Dr Moore wrote:The food we eat. The mate(s) we choose. Physical activity. Use of "free" time. Career selection. Clothes, cars, and adornments.

These choices have scientifically demonstrable solutions.

I guess I'm in the wrong field.

Science is pretty reliable but when its reliability comes up in discussions about religion I sometimes feel that people are saying that science really is as reliable as some religious believers think their faith is. To me the scientific response to religious certainty is not to declare that only science has real certainty but to ask: Why do you need so much certainty?

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Re: more of gemli's gems

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For some reason, SeN staff writers continue to make insupportable assertions. Gemli responds:
gemli

No one claims that religious scientists can't do legitimate science. As long as they compartmentalize science and religion, they'll do just fine. But to say that the fundamental tenets of science and religion are not in conflict is absurd. One demonstrates observable, demonstrable and reliable relationships between force and matter that any interested person can see, test and confirm. The other claims the existence of divine beings who can perform miraculous events, the defining characteristics of which require that natural scientific laws be suspended in favor of the believer. Divine beings are not shy about performing these miracles in full view of spectators, as long as there are no cameras about and not a scintilla of reliable evidence is left that might confirm the miracle.

Another difference between science and religion is that scientists leave a tangible legacy of greater understanding, practical benefits, and improvements in the human condition, while religions leaves stories in books that insist upon their truth without providing evidence. Science promises the possibility of a better and potentially longer life, while religion promises eternal life, which is only appealing to a mortal being that is smart enough to be terrified at the prospect of dying but not smart enough to realize that eternity is an inconceivably long time that is beyond its comprehension.

Science makes discoveries that are added to the expanding framework of knowledge, giving each generation new tools and techniques to make their lives better. But I know of nothing provided in any holy book that didn't merely reflect the ignorance of the times.

To the extent that religious scientists help to create the future, more power to them. To the extent that they make unfounded claims and impossible promises of gods and eternal lives, well, what difference does it make?

https://www.patheos.com/blogs/danpeters ... izona.html

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Re: more of gemli's gems

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:rolleyes: Sometimes I wonder if Midgley has any idea how arrogant and mean-spirited he comes across. Surely a grown man cannot be as naïve about how to interact with other humans in the world as he exhibits repeatedly in his posts. Is it really Mormons against every other one of the more than 7 billion people on the planet? According to Midgley, it is. The immaturity of his posting reminds me, repeatedly, of one of the reasons I left this cult. Surely no God would ask a tiny few of his followers to repeatedly trash every person who is different from them, as Midgley does to gemli. What an education about Mormon behavior he is giving gemli’s east coast readers, who I am sure are wide-eyed at reading exchanges like this:
Louis Midgley gemli • 4 days ago • edited

Well, we know that some as yet not soured and decayed mere hunk of meat had never once heard of Karl Popper and his argument about science being a series of conjectures, followed by efforts to falsify those hunches. Now I wonder if our learned Village Atheist has even heard the name Thomas Kuhn...


−—
gemli Louis Midgley • 4 days ago

I pay more attention to what is being said than who is saying it. Science works not because of unassailable authorities who assert holy dogma, but because hypotheses are tested, and successful ones are added to the framework of understanding. Science is built with a crane rooted firmly on the ground. Religion is erected by a sky-hook with no visible means of support. When one's faith is tested, more faith is the only right answer. When science is tested, the only right answers are the ones that work. Bad ideas are eliminated rather than being revered. That's the gold standard.


−—
Louis Midgley gemli • 3 days ago • edited

Our mere hunk of accidental meat slides around the issue of whether he has every previously even known the name Thomas Kuhn. There is a good reason--one with a dogmatic scientism need not command any actual science, or know a thing about scientific method especially in the natural science. This same accidental hunk of meat very often boasts that he knows nothing about the faith about which he opines because he has imagined things about the faith of others that they simply cannot recognize as what they believe or why. And our Village Atheist has just illustrated the ignorance about which he boasts. Simply amazing, and also utterly boring.


−—
gemli Louis Midgley • 3 days ago

Given your persistent focus on the names of authorities rather than the subject matter, I strongly suspect that I know and care more about science than you do. I've also found that knowing more about someone's faith does not make me feel intrigued or enlightened, but rather causes me to despair for those who believe it. But I must admit that if there were no theists I my life would be far less interesting and entertaining. Thank you.


−—
Louis Midgley gemli • 3 days ago • edited

Those names that those deeply into some dogmatic scientism do not know at all are primary sources of understanding scientific method, especially in the natural sciences. Someone who boasts that he does not know a thing about any version of Christianity, and especially about the faith of Latter-day Saints, but who insists on posting rubbish on a blog featuring discussions of this very faith, perhaps should think about exhibiting his opinions elsewhere. However, he does manage to provide a bit of comic relief.


−—
gemli Louis Midgley • 3 days ago

You tend to invent an idea that has nothing to do with reality and yet treat it as though it's the incontrovertible truth. This explains your defense of religion, and it also explains why you have decided against all evidence that I neither know nor care about science. I don't enjoy finding out I'm wrong, but when when it happens I change my view so that it corresponds to reality. I suspect that the very idea that your particular religion could be wrong or invented out of thin air is inconceivable to you, which is probably exactly what other believers feel about their religions, even though they all conflict on crucial dogmatic points.

We're not in a competition. It's an exchange of ideas, and no idea is sacred, least of all religious ideas.


−—
Louis Midgley gemli • 3 days ago • edited

Someone who masters no science, and yet opines up a storm about science in general and also has no idea what constitutes the scientific method, or it limitations, and also has exactly no idea how there are other ways of gaining knowledge....ought to realize that they are merely amusing at best. And annoying when they rattle on...., they ought to be ashamed.


−—
gemli Louis Midgley • 3 days ago

Q.E.D.


−—
Louis Midgley gemli • 3 days ago • edited

Please note that QED is an abbreviation for "Quod Erat Demonstrandum" which is a Latin expression that is sometimes placed at the end of a proof in mathematics that signifies that something has been demonstrated. I am pleased that our Village Atheist has either granted that I completed a demonstration. However, it is more likely that he does not know what QED means or how it should be used, and perhaps he thinks that it is actually the proof itself.

I wonder if I can tease out of our Village Atheist an explanation for his rather odd reply.


−—
gemli Louis Midgley • 3 days ago

I know what QED means. Your response to my comment demonstrated precisely the tone and content I had just described as being typical of your responses.


−—
Louis Midgley gemli • 3 days ago • edited

Everyone who reads our Village Atheist's response should note two things: (1) he is now complaining about the tone of my perfectly harmless remark, as if he were an expert on "tone," when he refers to published items, and (2) he claims to know the meaning of GED, which was his reply to my analogy, as if those three letters constitute a demonstration, when he has provided none.


“The tone of my perfectly harmless remark”??? Someone needs to have a serious chat with the brat. He behaves like a mannerless child, raised in the wild by no one. Even animals have better instincts for how to get along with others. His self-indulgence is so off-putting that even the even-keeled, ever patient gemli has clearly had enough of his nonsense.

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Re: more of gemli's gems

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I strongly believe that Midgley acts the way he does because deep down, he realizes his religion is based on empty desires to believe in a charlatan that has been disproved over and over again. I am sure that he and his colleagues have encountered nonmember friends at academic conferences or wherever, where the nonmember asks if he actually believes in the religious nonsense that is Mormonism. The nonmember means well and probably quickly shuts up when he/she discovers that the smart Mormon continues to follow an obvious cult. It has to sting when the well-meaning friend gives him that look of disbelief from a place of humble superiority that Mormons try to emulate. Hence the bitterness and pettiness.
"Religion is about providing human community in the guise of solving problems that don’t exist or failing to solve problems that do and seeking to reconcile these contradictions and conceal the failures in bogus explanations otherwise known as theology." - Kishkumen 

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Re: more of gemli's gems

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

This one is certainly a gem!

Louis Midgley 7 hours ago

I have now thought of something that happened to a high school kid who had stolen my credit card from the wallet of my son, who had left it in his car. This young fellow was using it for his pleasure and even renting it out. The Provo police figured out who he was. And one morning my wife and I were invited to the Provo police station, where this boy was with his parents, and we witnessed the interview. The police detective began by asking this boy if he planned to serve as a Latter-day Saint missionary. He stammered out that he did, with tears everywhere. Then the police detectives talked to him about repentance and keeping the commandments. How, they asked, would he repay us for what he had done. And my wife said that this would not be necessary. And the other detective then lectured her on how this was necessary in repentance.

I followed this young fellow who served as an excellent missionary and has gone on to become a faithful Latter-day Saint. On the way home from that very emotional experience, the Midgleys wondered if this kind of police interview could take place anywhere but in Utah County at that time. My wife later mentioned that she was pleased that the police detective had scolded her in a kindly way, when she tried to prevent that detective from insisting that that young fellow had to pay settle accounts in some appropriate way to get things right with the Lord. All this despite our own deep desire to see his obvious suffering come to an immediate end.


Boy. Uh. Huh. There’s so much there that needs to be unpacked I’m not sure where to start...

- Doc
In the face of madness, rationality has no power - Xiao Wang, US historiographer, 2287 AD.

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Re: more of gemli's gems

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

This is interesting:

Louis Midgley 9 hours ago

I must admit that I came to detest the name Kilmer, and hence that poem, when I was snatched from the dreadful experience of undergoing "basic training" at Fort Ord in California, which I was able to discover was not far from a community that very much reminded me of New Zealand, and after visiting that neck of the woods. Well, I did Clerk Typist school, which I very much enjoyed. Then I was flown to somewhere near the infamous Camp Kilmer just after Christmas to wait to board a blood "Troop Ship" headed from Bremerhaven in northern Germany.

I had, of course, once traveled from the Oakland Naval Yard two days after boarding the SS Sanoa, a freighter, headed to Hawaii loaded to the gills, so to speak, with war materials that were to be unloaded and sent to our army in Korea. Most of this "war material" was beer, which the troops need to keep hydrated, I suppose. Then we headed to American Samoa. I should explain that I was among four Latter-day Saint missionaries, two of whom were headed to Samoa. That ship only had twelve passengers. If they carried more, they needed an MD. Then we headed to Wellington, New Zealand, which is where the government is located. So I thought of myself as experienced in ocean voyages, except on a bloody Troop Ship in the winter with storms battering us the entire time, as well as the battering of fowl language from those shouting orders.

All this just to indicate that I have wild memories of Camp Kilmer. Two of us escaped that place very early one morning and spent the day in New York City, and too a buss that went right to the gate, and had an MP board and ask for our passes. He got to the two sitting right in front of me and my friend, and then gave up checking. My friend and I figured that either an MP would just ignore our not having passes, or that his officer would ignore it, rather than fill out papers, since it was not at all likely that they would have held a court, since the next day we were to board that Troop Ship. So the next day we were out of Camp Kilmer, but I can't get that poem out of my head.

Did he admit to going AWOL? Wow. Not a good look for someone who likes to moralize as much as he does.

- Doc
In the face of madness, rationality has no power - Xiao Wang, US historiographer, 2287 AD.

Understanding the world as an amoral, chaotic system that is in a constant flux of competing entities all driven by an innate biological determinism is both redpilled and blackpilled.

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Re: more of gemli's gems

Post by Lemmie »

Yes, I saw the AWOL thing too, that’s a pretty big deal, right?

Also, I was never more shocked than when I read one of his posts about missing his wife. He said he couldn’t wait to see her again in the afterlife... so that he could thank her for running his household so well for him, enabling him to live his life the way he wanted to. What the...????

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Re: more of gemli's gems

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I think Midgley may have missed a nuance in gemli's "Q.E.D.". The acronym was indeed traditionally used at the end of a proof, but in a specific way. The medieval format for proof of a statement was to begin from axioms and deduce a succession of statements until one eventually stated, as a logical deduction from the axioms, the very statement which one had set out to prove. One then simply reminded the reader that the last deduced statement was itself the statement "which was to be proven."

So saying "QED" isn't like saying "Checkmate." It's like saying, after checkmate has been acknowledged, "And that was the goal of the game." To say "QED" after someone else's statement, as gemli did, is thus not merely to claim that something has been proven. It implies that whatever the other person has just said is in itself a full admission of the thing which one has been trying to prove.

Midgley might well not agree that his own statement amounted to such an admission, but gemli's suggestion that it did seems to have gone over Midgley's head.

And okay, it's not actually any big deal if Midgley doesn't really know his Latin gerundives. That sort of thing may once have been a shibboleth of the educated elite but if those days aren't yet fully past then they've gone on far too long. Valid deductions still matter; Latin acronyms don't.

The problem is that Midgley was the one sneering at gemli for not really understanding the Latin he was trying to use to impress, when in fact gemli used the expression quite aptly and Midgley is the one who didn't get it. QED.

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Re: more of gemli's gems

Post by Gadianton »

Doc,

The credit card story is pretty interesting. Funny thing, is that it's credible so far as how the PD works in that area. One day in an empty Provo parking lot, I decided my tires needed lighting up, apparently an unhappy bystander lurked way off in the distance (who yelled at us later but we had no clue what for) and then the Provo PD caught me hours later. I was 19. They had called and left messages for my parents. They lectured and threatened me (and friend) (car to car) for a long time and let me go after a discussion about school and mission plans. Sure, it's better than a ticket, and that other kid is really lucky as credit card fraud is a life sentence (job wise), but obviously that's a horrible way for society to run. Midge thinks Celestial law works like that. Yeah, in hickville central where they find silver plates in cornfields maybe, lol. My Bishopric neighbor who was retired LAPD went ballistic when I told him the story.

So, what the cops in these situations are trying to do is get you to admit guilt and then give you another chance and a wink, but they are breaking the law themselves to the extent they believe a crime or infraction has been committed. So you have to trust by the dialogue that they are willing to break the law themselves, because in the usual situation they are working you, trying to be your friend to get you to admit something. I admitted nothing, which is why they were so pissed at me, but I did display a humble attitude and a big desire to serve a mission. Now, true story, fast forward a couple of years and I'm on my mission. There had been a few missionary car accidents. The mission president gave a big speech in Zone conference, and he was all bent out of shape, trying to tell the missionaries (contrary to everything they'd been brainwashed with their entire lives) to quit admitting guilt in these situations! He literally gave a lesson on plausible deniability. lol. squeaky clean Mormons are especially vulnerable if one day they wind up in trouble for something, because they have the Midgley model of Celestial Law in mind about how things work, and think if they are honest with the authorities that they'll brace themselves and then everything will be okay. An old friend of mine had life-ruining legal problems, he'd done some bad stuff, but the dumb by far outweighed the bad, and the punishment by far outweighed the crimes, but his real issue was that at the first at least, he kept admitting guilt to everything because that's how it works with priesthood leaders. So by the time it sunk in how the legal system works, he'd already screwed up his chances.
FARMS refuted:

"...supporters of Billy Meier still point to the very clear photos of Pleiadian beam ships flying over his farm. They argue that for the photos to be fakes, we have to believe that a one-armed man who had no knowledge of Photoshop or other digital photography programs could have made such realistic photos and films..." -- D. R. Prothero

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Re: more of gemli's gems

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

Gad,

Voof. I can relate too well. It took me yeeeeears to get over the mental subordination I felt toward authority. So, many, cringe moments where I was weirdly deferential to bosses. Ugh. Embarrassing.

- Doc
In the face of madness, rationality has no power - Xiao Wang, US historiographer, 2287 AD.

Understanding the world as an amoral, chaotic system that is in a constant flux of competing entities all driven by an innate biological determinism is both redpilled and blackpilled.

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Re: more of gemli's gems

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Doctor CamNC4Me wrote:Gad,

Voof. I can relate too well. It took me yeeeeears to get over the mental subordination I felt toward authority. So, many, cringe moments where I was weirdly deferential to bosses. Ugh. Embarrassing.

- Doc

I think you're over that ____. :lol:
"God" is the original deus ex machina. --Maksutov

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Re: more of gemli's gems

Post by Doctor CamNC4Me »

Like a dog returning to its vomit, The Midge has apparently stopped ignoring Gemli:

Louis Midgley gemli

Poor gemli does not seem to realize that the old subject/object distinction works both ways. We are objects who sometimes study, but sometimes don't see any point in studying subjects like the faith of others, or we can be subject that study or at least have opinions about objects. Those who imagine that they are objective, while those with whom them disagree are merely subjecting, are confused and inch close to making a category mistake, which is a kind of informal logical fallacy


Gemli, ever the genial intellectual superior reminds us what kind of academics BYU employed as their intifada-like henchmen:

gemli Louis Midgley

If I could understand your response I'd probably disagree with it.


- Doc
In the face of madness, rationality has no power - Xiao Wang, US historiographer, 2287 AD.

Understanding the world as an amoral, chaotic system that is in a constant flux of competing entities all driven by an innate biological determinism is both redpilled and blackpilled.

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