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  •  How can you sit and read something (24+ / 0-)

    so clearly and obviously full of bullshit. And i refer specifically to the claim that "we can do no wrong." Go tell that to the parents of twenty dead kids that are dead because someone did wrong. On fact  
    , tell it to everyone who has been tortured.  That's the worst of these things.

    And of course there was the mandatory attack on atheists as a religion.  What a pathetic joke.

    The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

    by AoT on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:21:42 PM PST

    [ Parent ]

    •  The affirmation of doing no wrong was (13+ / 0-)

      obviously directed to a soul already in heaven.

      The book has much to say about the ability to do wrong, and the existence of evil, on earth.

      Your fundamentalism is unlikely to be swayed, of course.  Too bad for you.  You have NO evidence superior to what is presented in a book like this; in fact, you have MUCH less.  Too bad you're too stuck in pride to realize any of that.

      •  What a joke. You present "evidence" that (15+ / 0-)

        is as reliable as hearsay and then move the goalposts when i point out the problem with it.  And you call me a fundamentalist to boot, even though you are basically making shit up.  I would point out the numerous other problems in this nonsense but you and the othet woo heads would just hand wave them away with some pop theology.  But keep insulting atheists and then pretending like your oppressed, maybe the real religions will give you a seat at the table if you attack us enough.

        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

        by AoT on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:54:14 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

        •  not only are you what we call a 'rational fundamen (13+ / 0-)

          talist' downthread,

          But you are demonstrating it in the worst way.

          Woo heads?  

          Grow the hell up.  Maybe you don't believe in God, but why don't you use your atheist-guided morality and respect other  people?

          Thank God most atheists aren't as closed minded as yourself.

          •  Yep, a fundamentalist. Obviously. (14+ / 0-)

            Because i think taking hallucinations as confirming personal biases is a bad idea I'm a fundamentalist.  I'd note that saying people can do no wrong in heaven is literally the most useless message to spread and is merely repeating what christianity has said for years. I'm not a fundamentalist,  I'm reasonable. There is no reason to think this is true unless you want to believe it, and that's just nonsense.

            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:12:30 PM PST

            [ Parent ]

            •  no, dude--it's because you're acting like an (9+ / 0-)

              arrogant 3-year-old that I'm calling you a fundamentalist.

              Reasonable is not what you're being.  At least in this thread.

              Also, dude, spirituality doesn't have to come from wanting--or needing--to believe something.

              •  No, he is not. (27+ / 0-)

                Though I expect his exasperation at this rubbish being praised is making him express himself in an aggressive fashion.

                According to your account, this book's author suffered extremely grave injury to his brain and appeared dead for some time. This in itself makes any "testimony" he provides completely unreliable. It's no better than finding god in the bottom of a whiskey bottle; worse, really, since even very severe drunkenness causes less disruption to thinking and perception than the author suffered.

                As Clifford wrote in "The Ethics of Belief," "however many nations and generations of men are brought into the witness box, they cannot testify to anything they do not know." The author was in a medically verified state of being incapable of knowing anything at all. That his "revelation" was hallucinatory is the inescapable conclusion.

                And when the "truths" he comes back with are so utterly banal; not offensive, to be sure, but commonplace to an extreme.....

                Worthless wishful thinking that should be passed over in an embarrassed silence, rather than lauded.

                "They smash your face in, and say you were always ugly." (Solzhenitsyn)

                by sagesource on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 10:44:33 PM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  if you choose to respond (9+ / 0-)

                  with 'embarassed silence', go right ahead.

                  I choose to look more deeply.

                  My friend sees ghosts.  Do I go around telling her she's a stupid, misguided, child?  No.  I wonder why she sees ghosts and I don't.  Maybe there are ghosts.  Maybe there aren't.

                  •  Imagination is a wonderful thing. (5+ / 0-)

                    There is a difference between fantasy and reality. Fantasy often seems more attractive. Reality, however, eventually bites, so it's helpful to know the difference between the two.

                    It's rather like the Republicans denying science. They can deny climate change, for example, all they want. The climate doesn't care what they think.

                    By all means, enjoy the fantasy. Nothing wrong with enjoying the fantasy unless you start letting it guide your life.

                    Enjoy the San Diego Zoo's panda cam! Now with new baby panda! And support Bat World Sanctuary

                    by Fonsia on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:28:21 PM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  i am in no place to question someone else's (2+ / 0-)
                      Recommended by:
                      bkamr, The Marti

                      reality.  How can I know?  Absence of evidence, and all....

                      •  I have an internet friend who writes (4+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        blueoasis, Wee Mama, corvo, Smoh

                        ghosthunting video games. He believes in that stuff completely.

                        I don't care if he's crazy. He writes fantastic games!

                        Enjoy the San Diego Zoo's panda cam! Now with new baby panda! And support Bat World Sanctuary

                        by Fonsia on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 11:59:42 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                      •  "Extraordinary claims require (11+ / 0-)

                        extraordinary evidence" works a lot better for me

                        •  Actually that old maxim that Sagan loved (0+ / 0-)

                          is, on the face of it, complete nonsense.  Moving the goalposts because of preconceived notions is anti-scientific.  Evidence is what it is.  There are no "extraordinary claims" when it comes to investigating what it means to be alive.

                      •  I'm sure you say that when people (2+ / 0-)
                        Recommended by:
                        Smoh, tommymet

                        bring up global warming, or when birthers start talking about Obama's birth certificate.  I'm betting you lose you relativistic nonsense real quick then.

                        The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                        by AoT on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:40:38 AM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  making stuff up for the purposes of character (1+ / 0-)
                          Recommended by:

                          assassination and superstition are not the same thing.

                          •  Seriously? Making things up for the purposes (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            tommymet, corvo

                            of superstition is different than talking about near death experiences how?  And there are a hell of a lot of people who truly believe that Obama was born in another country.  And there's plenty of people who truly and honestly believe that black people are genuinely dumber than white people.  That's their reality.  Of course, you reject that, mostly because it's completely absurd, but also because you disagree with it and so it suddenly isn't one of those acceptable realities.  

                            The point being that once you decide that some realities are acceptable and other not you open the door to saying anything is just another persons reality, and then we have a bunch of nonsense like anti-vaxxers and birthers.

                            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                            by AoT on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:10:20 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  because when you can SEE people making things (2+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:
                            SoCalSal, Neuroptimalian

                            up, and you can see the nefarious purposes as to why, then you can say 'Hey--people who buy into this nonsense--you're morons and here's why'.  Plus, they're buying into what others tell them.  AHA! you might say--'But isn't that exactly what organized religion is?  Buying into other's mythology'?  Well, yes.  

                            But we're not talking about organized religion--we're talking about someone's subjective experience which we really know nothing about.  So we can't really say what did or did not  happen. Now, if a cult of Alexander were to arise--we could say--as we do with fundamentalists, 'I can't believe you're basing your entire reality over what this Alexander guy told you.  You're nothing but a wacky cult'.

                            But we can say much less about Alexander's reality itself and what that actually means.

                            Does that make sense?

                          •  I see what you're saying (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            but I still disagree with it.  Saying that a belief in some reality is bad once a bunch of people believe it doesn't make sense either.  And honestly, I don't care what you believe, what anyone believes really.  I care what people do, and what organizations do.  I don't need to hear the reasons for that unless they make me realize what I'm doing is messed up in some way, and talk of personal realities screws that sort of thing up completely in my mind.

                            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                            by AoT on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 10:43:52 AM PST

                            [ Parent ]

                          •  that was sort of (but not exactly) my point... (1+ / 0-)
                            Recommended by:

                            If someone tells me he had a vision--well, fine, he had a vision.  I can't really judge--I'm not in his head.  I also can't judge whether it was a normal cognitive thing or something from some other realm of existence I'm not aware of.  Hence agnosticism in my case.  I mentioned my friend who believes in ghosts.  I don't believe she lies about these things.  What exactly it IS that she experiences--and where it comes from--and if it's solely a product of her mind (she's sane but spiritual individual) I can't say.  Somehow the stories are compelling enough that just writing it off as a bullshit hallucination don't quite do the trick--although i don't believe that she sees ghosts.

                            Now, if there were to be a group of followers around that belief, and those followers ostracize, intimidate or oppress others--I would find great fault with those people.  Because they act on beliefs that aren't their own, and use these beliefs to do harmful things.  

                            So in a sense we're in agreement about the thoughts/beliefs vs. the actions...

              •  I am a bit perturbed that you (11+ / 0-)

                appear to be saving all of this invective for one side, but are ignoring the diarist's rather blatant childishness/dickishness in responding to anyone who doesn't agree with the idea that Alexander's experience is proven to be genuine.  I mean, we're talking outright name-calling and ad hominem attacks.

              •  The diarist already took pot shots (3+ / 0-)
                Recommended by:
                Scott Wooledge, corvo, pot

                in the diary at atheists in general, so why should I just come here with my head bowed asking is he could pretty please not be mean.  He attacked atheists, and clearly did so.

                The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

                by AoT on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:39:14 AM PST

                [ Parent ]

                •  Nonsense. Most of my best friends (0+ / 1-)
                  Recommended by:
                  Hidden by:

                  are atheists. I went through an atheist period myself for a few hours in 7th grade. I majored in religion in college. These arguments are all old to me. I'm just attacking the fundamentalist, cult-like atheists.

                  And from your actions, you seem to be one of them.

                  That doesn't give you a right to call on your buddies to gang up on me.  You should be ashamed of yourself, but you don't have the experience and wisdom.  You probably haven't suffered enough.  I hope you come to have a little more spiritual wisdom.

                  At the moment, I just see you as a hollow person.

                  But there's always hope!

                  •  cult (0+ / 0-)

                    HR'd for continued use of the cult slur.

                    The plural of anecdote is not data.

                    by Skipbidder on Tue Jan 01, 2013 at 11:54:26 AM PST

                    [ Parent ]

                    •  Ignoring almost everything I said. (0+ / 0-)
                      •  ignoring almost none of it (0+ / 0-)

                        I've read what you've said Timaeus.

                        I know that you are a net positive contributor here.

                        I know that you have a tendency toward getting angry and the insults tend to fly when this happens. I know that you feel you have an issue with alcohol and have on multiple occasions indicated that you felt that some of your posts were less restrained than they might have been had you not been drinking at the time.

                        I know for at least one of your prior bannings (when I was in a period of just lurking), I thought that you were provoked and that reinstatement was justifiable.

                        BUT, I consider the use of cult here to be an insult. It is not a borderline case to me. I didn't HR any of the comments in the original diary where you got all the recent HRs. Multiple were straightforwardly HR'able and multiple were borderline. Some I don't understand why they were HR'ed.

                        You then came back and issued an apology and explanation. Even though I was quite offended, perhaps more so than any set of comments that I can actually recall here, that would have been enough for me to let it pass.

                        You undid the apology by starting right back up with the cultist talk again.

                        As I said earlier, I know that you are a net positive contributor on this site.

                        I am not stalking you, but I think that we tend to read the same diaries (or you read a lot more diaries than I do). I will consider every instance of the use of cult or cultist to refer to atheists to be a slur worthy of HR'ing. It is that offensive. You understand that it is an insult. That is clear. I'm not sure if you understand how much of an insult it is.

                        I'm not engaging on the issues here, since I don't feel it is consistent to do that while using a hide-rating.

                        The plural of anecdote is not data.

                        by Skipbidder on Wed Jan 02, 2013 at 07:47:58 PM PST

                        [ Parent ]

                        •  I'm not that important. (0+ / 0-)

                          And since I'm right now unbelievably sick with flu, I'm not going to argue very much. Right now at least.

                          But I'll be back with my insistence that there is a difference between the majority of atheists (of which I was a member myself for a few months in 7th grade) and that smaller subset of them who are fundamentalists.  That group just hates being labeled like that.  I think the intensity of the opposition is directly related to the truth of the charge.

                          Peter Higgs (one of the greatest physicists of all times, the one who invented the incredibly important theory of the Higgs Field), a certain Nobel Prize winner, and a nonbeliever, just last week denounced Richard Dawkins for being a "fundamentalist" about atheism.  Dawkins responded on his website that he's not a fundamentalist about atheist because he's open to "evidence," as a scientist, unlike religious fundamentalists.

                          Anybody who believes that . . . is not rational.  It's just so obviously not credible that it's amazing Dawkins thinks he can get away with it.  It's obvious there is no possible evidence that would sway him.  Which makes him a liar.

                          But we knew that all along.

      •  It doesn't matter what anyone else believes... (22+ / 0-)

        It only matters what you believe!

        In my life I have had two "miraculous" healings, one from staph in the bone and one from pancreatic cancer. In both cases the docs said there was no medical explanation for them or the rapid healing I went through after the initial experience.

        I've had a boat load of what some would call "coincidences" and other would call "synchronistic events" in answers to prayers... some as rapidly as when I said Amen.

        But one thing those experiences have taught me is that they were for me and me alone. No telling of them ever convinced anyone of anything and that is okay. Faith is a gift that not everyone receives.

        I have no idea whether heaven exists or not, it is something that all of us will find out someday when we shuffle off this mortal coil as it is the birth right of us all.

        I choose to follow the moral precepts of certain teachers not because of the expectation of a grand pay-off at the end of life, but simply because my heart tells me they are the right way to live.

        I wish you well with your upcoming surgery and a speedy recovery.

        You may find that meditation helps in speeding your recovery and a particularly good technique is the Trappist practice called the "Centering Prayer of the Heart."

        It is similar to Buddhist meditation techniques and also ones taught at the University of Pennsylvania hospital and the Harvard Mind Body Clinic. They have done extensive research on it and it can be found here:

        It is very simple and helps speed recovery by reducing stress, even at the genetic level.

        Good luck and God Bless!


        •  Thank you. (13+ / 0-)

          I'm inspired to think that this comment by you is the reason I felt impelled to write this diary. Oh my goodness, that's what I need. Let me now preserve that all.

          •  You might enjoy this... (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mary Mike, worldlotus

            Dr. Eben Alexander is on this video along with numerous other physicians and physicists. It is a fair examination of NDE's and where modern science is on the question of life after death.

            It provides no answers, but leaves the door open to many more questions... and that is more important in many respects, especially where human consciousness is involved.

            Many "rational materialists" choose to believe in a "common sense" machine like view of the world based on their perception, but modern science proved long ago that the world is not what we think it is based on our perception alone.

            Through The Wormhole S02 Ep01 - Life After Death

        •  Let me say again: God be with you always. (9+ / 0-)

          Your comment is deeply helpful for me, in a time of despair that I've been more or less trying to hide.

          •  The Holy Spirit is with us always... (7+ / 0-)

            it is just that most of the time we are not listening!

            Contemplative prayer is very powerful and deceptively simple. I like the description of St. John"

            "Centering Prayer is one of the contemplative prayer forms St. John of the Cross describes as “the practice of loving attentiveness”."
            It reminds me of the words of one of my favorite authors Viktor Frankl:
            “For the first time in my life I saw the truth as it is set into song by so many poets, proclaimed as the final wisdom by so many thinkers. The truth - that Love is the ultimate and highest goal to which man can aspire. Then I grasped the meaning of the greatest secret that human poetry and human thought and belief have to impart: The salvation of man is through love and in love.”
            ― Viktor E. Frankl, Man's Search for Meaning
            Frankl came to that realization on the death march from Auschwitz to Dachau. He was a contemporary of Freud and did psychoanalysis in the camps.

            He said that the prisoners who lived were those who knew love, remembered love, who felt love... in a hell that we can't even imagine, a place where they had lost everything. It gave them the will to live... it was the survivors salvation.

          •  I too wish you well with your surgery. (7+ / 0-)

            I have had so many surgeries (8) in the last 15 years that I wish I could send you both my luck with and my lackadaisical attitude toward it.

            Cats are better than therapy, and I'm a therapist.

            by Smoh on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 09:06:06 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

      •  The book does not provide evidence... (8+ / 0-)

        it provides anecdote.

        •  It provides anecdotal evidence (5+ / 0-)

          Of what the conscious experience of partial neural damage is like.  Naturally being raised in a judeochristian Christian society, the author uses those stories to explain what he experienced.  Had he been a Viking he'd have been writing about what a swell guy Odin is.  (If hed returned and said Odin was a swell guy and he was converting to paganism, id be rather more impressed!). Humans have used unexplained phenomena to under pin religious/superstitious theories since forever.   This is another example.  

          Of course theologically, since he didn't die, there's a wee problem with the "I went to heaven" narrative.  I have no doubt that he experienced positive emotions in his coma.  What the source is or meaning is is another matter altogether

          Hay hombres que luchan un dia, y son buenos Hay otros que luchan un año, y son mejores Hay quienes luchan muchos años, y son muy buenos. Pero hay los que luchan toda la vida. Esos son los imprescendibles.

          by Mindful Nature on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:00:00 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  No, it provides testimony (3+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            koseighty, Scott Wooledge, corvo

            of a hallucination, specifically because he didn't die.  Like people accidentally get let into heaven early because god is such a fuck up.

            The revolution will not be televised. But it will be blogged, a lot. Probably more so than is necessary.

            by AoT on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 08:36:39 AM PST

            [ Parent ]

          •  yeah--despite my defense of Timaeus post here (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Mindful Nature, Smoh

            the heaven and God references I found problematic.  Maybe he went to some altered plane of existence--I don't find that particularly far-fetched...but the Judeo-Christian imagery gets in the way a bit.  I haven't read the book--just skimmed a few sections, and read his story in Newsweek...

          •  Yes, NDEs follow cultural conditioning but (2+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            cotterperson, Mindful Nature

            that in no ways disallows them.  It only makes sense that a transition state follows upon ones understanding in the moment.  When we move to a foreign country, it takes many months to begin to see with eyes less conditioned by ones original country.

    •  Maybe God was referring to (12+ / 0-)

      the DailyKos community when she said we can do no wrong?

      A conservative is a scab for the oligarchy.

      by NBBooks on Thu Dec 27, 2012 at 09:48:23 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  'mandatory attack on atheists as religion' (5+ / 0-)

      whines the person who says this is 'clearly and obviously so full of bullshit'.

      So much irony here you could de-wrinkle your entire wardrobe...

    •  God's Chinese Son (6+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      tommymet, corvo, AoT, Smoh, koseighty, joanbrooker

      If you enjoy reading this sort of fantastic personal near-death revelation testimony, (not quite as extreme as the UFO-abduction-Youranus-probing scenario) then check out Yale historian Jonathan D Spencer's 'God's Chinese Son' (Norton 1996), the story of a missionary-taught Chinese nobody who visited Heaven during a deep illness and recovered as God's second son to then organize and lead the horrifically megadeath Taipei Rebellion of 1851 - 1864.  

      GOD is not DEAD; HE is merely DEAF

      by Roadrage on Fri Dec 28, 2012 at 02:08:18 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  +1 (6+ / 0-)

      Polytheistic Pagan here, but I get tired of Timaeus' attacks on atheists and atheism. It's completely unfair to the great people who happen to be atheists, including my mom.

    •  Well sure. (0+ / 0-)

      I mean, just look at how the religious just can't stand to not mock anything that isn't their faith in order to try to evangelize.

      Really shocking how people could find equivalency between religious zealots & atheists.

      /snark (obviously....but perhaps not obvious enough)

      Those who would sacrifice liberty for security deserve neither.

      by FrankRose on Sat Dec 29, 2012 at 05:32:43 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

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