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  • posted a message on A debate with Christians: What makes you think God is actually good?
    Except that he claims to be the God of the entire world- that he created it. Further, he admonishes that anyone who doesn't follow him is damned.
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on A debate with Christians: What makes you think God is actually good?
    I have no interest in a PM discussion. Thsi sort of thing should be discussed in an open forum.

    Please point out how the depiction of God in the old Testament is anything other than one of the most vile creatures in literary history? I don't think I oversimplified anything- I distilled it to its essence.

    You make the excuse that you don't have time for lengthly debate, but you do have time to log on to the debate subsection of forum dedicated to an extremely expensive and time-consuming hobby? It sounds more like you lack a reasonable counter-argument, but rather than remain quiet, you basically say "you clearly don't understand the subject" and attempt to blemish on my post by attacking my background instead of actually addressing my argument.

    Exactly - you had no way of knowing- so you assumed I didn't understand the subject and so attacked me instead of my views. Not a great choice for a debate forum.
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on A debate with Christians: What makes you think God is actually good?

    I was an evangelical charismatic for years. I spoke in tongues, engaged in Faith-Healing type activities, and preached constantly. You can see some of my Christian Apologist posts on this very forum if you search back around 2012. I've read the Bible cover to cover numerous times, in several diffrent versions. Reading it over and over is part of what led to my profound distaste for it.

    What an assumption. Wow.
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on A debate with Christians: What makes you think God is actually good?
    DRay563, you said:

    ". My faith is placed in the God as portrayed in Scripture, and He is not portrayed as a malevolent being. I have faith that the Bible is an accurate depiction of God and not a fabricated one by Man or a falsified one by a malevolent being who wants to pose as a benevolent being to subvert Man to his own wishes. These are things that I must put my faith in to hold the beliefs that I do. And it's not easy, and it's not always simple. But to me, it is both truth and a reality."

    By what standard do you find the depiction of God in the Bible to be benevolent? By any commonly accepted standards of behavior, the God of the Bible is extreemly malevolent: he creates humanity, picks the hebrews as his chosen people and orders them to engage in all manner of awful acts upto and including Genocide , creates a set of rules that are impossible for his creation to follow, sets the punishment for this as toture unimaginable to the humna mind for ALL TIME, and then gives a very narrow way out (Jesus). He also creates this world with a set of scientific laws that appear to contradict lots of information in the only guidebook to getting to that one way out.

    God as depicted in the Bible is psychotic by any common standard of evaluating behaviour.

    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on MTG Shirt and Booster Bundles
    I saw a few of these on the weekend as I went to several different Canadian Wal-Mart stores looking for specific gifts (that weren't in stock grrr). Each and every one of them only had the Boros + other shirt combination. As Boros is my least favorite guild, I didn't even think twice about not buying it, but if they had Simic, Dimir, Azorius or Izzet I'd have given it some serious thought.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
  • posted a message on Mother's Ultimate Sacrifice For Newborn
    It is selfish. It is selfish because ultimately she would rather have her existing child deal with living without a mother than put herself through the remorse of having an abortion. Suicide is usually a selfish act. This isn't like jumping in front of a train to save another person - that's self-sacrifice. This is suicide, and it is ugly and vile. How awful for her current child.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Am I a hypocrite?
    I am in a similar position. I was agnostic for quite some time, then began to listen to religious music (David Phelps and the Gaither Vocal Band particularly), became religious for quit some time, and have circled around to atheism. I'm actually vehementaly anto-religious, but I still love the music- some of the msot talented artists active today are gospel artists. It's not hypocricy.Performing it in a church would be, whcih I why I gave up being a Cathloic Cantor even though the pay was good.

    Believing that there are certain unexplained phenomena such as "ghosts" or "spirits" while being atheist is not hypocritical either. A scientific worldview should accept that there are still phenomena in the physical universe that we have not acquired an explanation for as of yet.
    Posted in: Talk and Entertainment
  • posted a message on Oloro, ageless ascetic VS. Skithiryx, the blight dragon
    There is a Commander forum on this site dude.

    That said, Oloro is Much better than Skittles due to the color combination. Oloro basically can run all the good removal and countermagic and keep Skittles off the board for a long time. The only truly viable mono-color for EDh duals is Blue due to countermagic, and maybe Green due to ramp/land destruction.

    Of course, a fully optimal oloro deck will cost orders of magnitude more than a fully optimized Skittles deck. At certain budget points Skittles may be a better choice.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Why isn't socialism a crime?
    Why isn't capitalism a crime? In a completely free market, people use power (in the form of original ideas, business strategies, and money) to obtain more money (which is also power), from others. Why is this form of power more valid than, say, force of arms?

    The most obviosu counter-argument is that the power to persuade in a market leaves the buyer with free will, whereas pointing a gun at someone doesn't give them any meaningful choice.


    The most extreme free-market advocates object to ANY regulation. One of the most problematic concepts to deal with here revolves around anti-trust. If company X uses superior financial power to corner the market on a product, say Oil, that is vital to lif, it then obtains a similar power to force of arms- the ability to deny consumers meaningful choice. They cannot make the meaningful choice not to deal with company X, as the product they sell is vital to modern life. Oil may be an outdated example, so if you're having an issue that that, substitute Food.

    When you follow this line of thought, it becomes rapidly apparent that some level of regulation is required for a free market to operate fairly.

    Anti-Trust regulation IS a redistribution of wealth and power. Without it, the strongest actor in any given field will, inevitably, control the entire field if operating under typical capitalistc principles. Eventually, a monolithic entity must be broken up and it's wealth (resources) and power resdistributed among other smaller actors in order for the system to function fairly.

    This is the essence of socialism. People have basic rights, and a lack of ability, or even drive and motivation, is not sufficient to deny them of those rights. An examination of the values of free-market capitalists vs. socialists eventually boils down to what those basic rights are. Socialists belive that things like medical care, housing, and a basic standard of living are fundamental human rights, and therefore it is the responsibility fo society to provide those thigns to people who are unable, or yes even unwilling, to provide them for themselves. Free-market capitalists generally believe that these things will be better provided by private interests (charities, including churches) and private donors. They object to being "forced" to provide these basic right for their fellows by the government. A few radicals believe that these are not basic rights at all, and that people who refuse to work or are unable to work can be left without food or shelter, without introducing any moral quadaries. Among educated capitalists, these people are fee, far between, and are the equivalent of Jihadists or the Westboro Baptist Church. too often socialists portray capitalists as unfeeling and uncaring. This is wrong and misses the point.

    A socialist like myself believes that privae interests will never be sufficient, and that the government, as the representative of the people and the embodiment of society, should fullfill the obligations of the people and society. If, as a society, we accept that we cannot allow people to starve, to go without shelter and the basic requirements of living, then we, as a society, have to act to prevent such thigns from happening. The Government is our vehicle for acting together as a whole society. We cannot rely on a small subset of society (private interests, charities, the Churches, etc...) to fullfill our obligations - we must do so collectively.

    It then becomes a matter of how to do so fairly and effectively. Socialists believe that people with greater ability have greater responsibility. Capitalists believe that everyone shares equal responsbility.

    I am a socialist because I recognize that people are not equal. People have equal rights, but people do not have equal abilities, and therefore do not have equal responsibilities. To illustrate, let's say in a public area a woman is being mugged by a man with a small knife. Three people are walking by and see the mugging: an elderly person with a walker, an athlete in their early 20's, and a 10 year speical forces vetern with advanced combat training who is current armed with a loaded gun and is still in prime physical condition. Most people would agree that the elder has no responsibility to personally intervene in the mugging - the elder only places themself in danger by doing so and is unlikely to make much of an impact. People might be divided on the athlete- sure that person is in good physical condition and might be able to offer some real help, but on the other hand they do put themself at risk by intervening. Almost everyone would agree it would be a noble thing to do, but there would be much dissent about weather or not it's an obligation. Finally, I think most people would agree that the armed speical forces vet has an obligation here - this person is clearly capable of helping and, given the armament and training this person has, they are unlikey to face a significant risk by doing so. There are some people who belive that none of the three has any responsibility to act.

    In an economic situation, the woman being mugged is replaced by a person with a part-time, minimum wage job that is not sufficient to earn a living wage. The elder is someone who makes a living wage, but just gets by. They don't have the means to help the woman, and if they tried they would place themself in economic jeopardy. The athlete is a middle-class worker- yes, they potentially have the resources to help, but there is some risk exposure to doing so and contraversy over weather or not they should. The spec ops vet is a multi-millionaire- they have the resources to help without any real risk of loss to themselves.

    Posted in: Debate
  • posted a message on What's your favorite enchantment in EDH?

    Seriously. This card is dumb dumb dumb. Love it
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on Win cons for UW durdle control?
    It sounds like your deck is confused about what it wants to do. As you mentioned a few posts above, is it a control deck or is it a Blink deck, which is more about tempo/aggro.

    You've mentioned a ton fo good win conditions that are already in the deck. It sounds like you're having trouble protecting them, and that is likely because of one or more of the following:

    - the deck plays poorly from a political standpoint and cannot overcome the hate

    - the deck has too MANY win conditions and therefore the control elements are too dilluted to establish firm abnout control over the game

    It seems to me that what you really need to do is focus on the Durldle aspect of the deck - 10-15 ways to draw cards, 15-20 counterspells, a number of Wrath effects, plus your powerful lock pieces like Rest in Piece and Strong silence, maybe adding in a Cursed Totem or the like.

    Personally, I like wrath effects like Aetherspouts and Angel of the Dire Hour as they are more political - they clean up dudes who are attacking instead of everyone's everything which allows oyu to make friends and also tell people to back up off you. Obviously you need a few things to clean up the whole board, but keep alot of these things around.

    With this kind of deck, you have to avoid Haymakers until you are ready to kill the Entire table. It might be a playstyle issue as well. Just keep in mind you should have MAYBE 3 dedicated win conditions in a control deck- the rest of the deck should be about drawing cards, killing opposing permanents, keeping people the heck away from attacking YOU.
    Posted in: Commander (EDH)
  • posted a message on To atheists and agnostics: what makes Christianity unappealing or unacceptable to you?

    I didn't say Islam came before Christianity. Realtions between the Moslems and Jews in the middle east were better prior to the crusades. Something else entirely.

    "there is not"

    Yes, there is.

    See how useless that form of argumentation is? Why do you beleive there is not?
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on To atheists and agnostics: what makes Christianity unappealing or unacceptable to you?
    I have been, in rough order:

    an unstudied Roman Catholic (did not go as far as confirmation)
    a general "Christian" without much real background or knoweldge
    a "satanist" (ie an emo semi-Goth kid trying to rebel)
    an agnostic
    a well-studied Charismatic pentecostalist

    and now

    an atheist-leaning agnostic

    What turned me away, espeically since I "found Jesus" and was "reborn"? Heck, I passed the heck out during a fith healing at my church once, and I absolutely did not fake it. So why am I now 100% convinced that there is no omnipotent God, that Yeshua of Nazareth was an ordinary (well, extraordinary, but not supernatural) man, and that there is nothing special or true about middle-eastern mythology of any denomination?


    You have to come up with some pretty convoluted arguments to make Christianity "work" if held up to any self-critical examination. Heck, I was just re-reading some of my own posts from 2012 on this very forum, and I was surprised at the extend to which I was willing to contort my thought process to "accept" the "truth" of Jesus.

    Why would a God who was (supposedly) so active in the world for so long convieniantly stop as soon as we started to have reliable account of history?

    Why do two books of the New Testament have completely different geneologies for Christ (there are even a different number of generations)?

    Why would this God create all of humanity, set up the metaphysical universe so that only people who believe in Him go to Paradise and everyone else suffers unspeakable horrors for billions and billions of years (and then many more beyond that), and then act like a minor tribal God and ignore everyone else. YHWH, if he is who it is claimed he claims to be, would be known to the entire world, not just a nomadic tribe in the desert.

    Why would he allow his followers to splinter into so many different factions? It's so stupid. the wars between different followers of the "same" god (Christ/Allah/YHWH) have defined Western history. You'd think Mr master of Elijah/Moses/Mohammad/Jesus/etc... etc... etc... would send someone who could literaly split the Earth and say "ummmm, STOP please. You're not listening." But apparently it's more convieniant to cease witht he sending of prophets as soon as media exist that can actually spread their work beyond "so this guy I know head from his neighbour that this dude saw this guy talk about God and then ascend into the heavens. awesome. Let's kill people because they have a slightly different idea about this unseen, self-described unknowable entity".

    Someone asked me this once:

    "Here's the scenario. Scientists have discovered a fragment of the Comsmic Egg from the Big Bang. This object, which someone is proven by the laws of physics to be unique, enables time travel. You can go back to any point in history, but there's only enough of this object to allow you to stay there for 5 minutes. Once that's done, that's it- Time Travel is now IMPOSSIBLE. Assuming you believe that altering the timeline will not cause a paradox, and proceeding on the assumption that you can make the modern world better by going back and doing something that only takes 5 mintues, what do you do to cause the most net good to society?"

    After long and hard thought and much discussion and debate, having only 5 minutes, more than likely the correct answer here is to prevent the birth of Jesus. The crusades, the inquisition, the religious right in the USA today, pseudo-christian justifications for Nazism, etc... would all not have occured if there was no Christianity to propagate them. Jews and Muslims got along much better in the middle east before the Christians came in to muddy the waters.

    Thinking about this is what led me on my current path of thought. If Jesus is really God (or his son), it should not follow that there is a good rational line of thought that preventing his birth would be the best net good to humanity in that scenario.
    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on Question for Christians/Jews: If God Commanded you to kill your own child, would you do it? What about someone else's child?
    The terms of this discussion allow for questioning God, and allow that God has proven Itself as as Omnibenevolent and Omniscient, right?

    Ok, so God explains thusly:

    "If you sacrifice your child now, he becomes a martyr of (your) faith, and ascends to Heaven. You, in the meenwhile, have a lifetime to atone for this act, and so have the potential to avoid Hell.

    If you do not, I, being Omniscient, know that tomorrow, your child will get into a fight in which he will kill an innocent and then die. He will go to Hell and suffer for eternity. You will become so depressed that you also will go to Hell upon commiting suicide.

    If you follow my command, you will suffer great anguish, but knowing that you obeyed Me will bolster you sufficiently to avoid suicide and have a chance at redemption."

    Thus, the sacrifice becomes a benevolent act- it is in the best interests of the child to go to Heaven instead of Hell.

    (I've made a number of assumptions in this construct that are consistent with variosu Christian dogmas. Please allow for those assumptions for the sake of arguement. There is little point in debating the existance of Heaven/Hell. The argument assumes a Christian God, and many denominations assume Heaven/Hell, Sin, and redemption, etc... Take it at face value)

    BTW, I'm an agnostic, but I do not believe in any omnipotent, omniscient, or omnibenevolent being One of the reasons for this is that you can construct scenarios like this if you beleive in the Christian/Hebrew/Islamic God, and I have a problem with that.

    Posted in: Religion
  • posted a message on 2014 World Champs to feature Real-Life Vintage Masters
    Folks, there are several people who are either Wizard employees, or otherwise involved at a deep level with tournament magic (like Randy Buheler) who own Power 9 - some likely own more than 1 set. They won't have to brorow from dealers- they'll borrower from themselves.

    Please for love of Pete stop discussing the Reserved List. This topic has nothing to do with it, they won't be getting around it, and it's just depressing. Until one of us makes several billion dollars and purchases WoTC from Hasboro and abolishes the list ourselves, it ain't happening.
    Posted in: The Rumor Mill
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