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psychotrope

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About psychotrope

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  1. The devil is really only explored as an individual in the book of Job in the OT. It's obvious that he was a later invention. That's why, in the OT, it is usually God who is said to bring about evil intentions in people (such as King David's census), not Satan. Early OT authors held God responsible for good and evil it seems. Heaven and hell were also later additions. From what I understand, these concepts (especially hell) were embraced by the Jews after Babylon conquered Israel and there was an emotional need to invent some sort of paradigm of ultimate justice. The whole "eternal burning"
  2. When I was in college, a lot of the guys in the dorm would take blank CDs (or lousy ones such as Brittany Spears), put them in the microwave to give them a cracked pattern, and then tape them over the keyhole on their door. So I am familiar with the practice of microwaving CDs for decorative purposes. Having never done it myself (I valued my microwave too much), I cannot relate to the mental state that leads one to choose to do such a strange thing, but nevertheless, it was fairly common in my dorm.
  3. BTW, the person who penned that letter was probably not serious. See http://www.snopes.com/humor/letters/daylight.asp
  4. Here is a great example of deductive reasoning relating to Global Warming. This letter was actually printed in the Arkansas Democrat Gazette. I double checked their official web site to make sure it wasn't a fake. I can't believe the scientists haven't thought of this before. (The URL I got the scan from is http://www.nctexasbirds.com/images/hot_news.jpg)
  5. I highly recommend searching for "Richard Dawkins" on Google video. You can find hours of his excellent lectures, appearances, and mini-debates on talkshows. Plus you can check out his documentary "Root of all evil" which aired in UK.
  6. You should be able to find the segment on YouTube or Google Video after it's aired.
  7. I was impressed with how many of the presenters supported selfishness as a basis for morality in some sense. I heard terms like "enlightened selfishness" and "self-interest" thrown around quite a bit in discussion of ethics. In session 6, ethicist Susan Neiman attacks that idea saying that <paraphrase> eventually self-interest will come into conflict with morality </paraphrase>, which, of course, is begging the question by assuming a priori that morality is different than self-interest. Another note: Joan Roughgarden (session 3) is kind of crazy and, IMHO, a bad scientist. She r
  8. I need my "Favorite Bible Stories" fix! Which book is next? Judges?
  9. I love it, Bold Standard. These tracks are great quality for being home recordings, too. I really like Otto. It reminds me of the Velvet Underground. Were they one of your influences? The instrumentals remind me a bit of Air 10,000 KHZ. Very "alternative", but not in that mid-90's "Everyone's alternative since alternative is the new rock mainstream", but "alternative" as in the pioneers such as the aforementioned Velvet Underground, REM, etc. Anyway, I think your guitar work is genius. What kind of guitar are you using on Otto? Is most of your stuff instrumental? I tried to click on the "ly
  10. Thanks for that, Moose. That was a very interesting read and I must say you handled yourself amazingly on that forum. I have a good Christian friend who recently came to the conclusion that ultimately we just CHOOSE what we're going to believe. You can choose to believe what science says or you can choose to believe what the bible and the religious leaders say. That's what I see with Christians: they have chosen who and what they are going to believe, largely for arbitrary reasons, and that choice is all it takes. One thing I find incredibly frustrating is that faith, as defined in the b
  11. Since Jesus never existed, at least not in any form similar to the gospel descriptions, I'd say he was a man of no esteem at all. But the character named "Jesus" as described by the authors of the books we know as Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, seemed to be very confident and assertive. But it's easy to make a character in a book confident and assertive when you as the author can endow him with godlike powers. It's humorous, however, that this character evidently vastly overestimated his own power. See Matthew 16:28, 23:36, 24:34, 26:64; Mark 9:1, 13:30, 14:62; Luke 9:27, 21:32. Matthew 16:
  12. When can we expect your next list, MisterSwig?
  13. If you look at the history of Christianity, particularly the earliest writings, it seems like Paul is attempting to make sense of the outdated crap in the Old Testament. He infuses new meaning into the absurd by reinterpreting the sacrificial system as pointing forward to the ultimate sacrifice, the "Lamb of God." He was unwilling to abandon his Jewish heritage and accept that the whole religion was a sham and start over with a blank slate. Instead he creates a way of thinking about it that allows him to keep the "holiness" of the sacred Jewish texts while at the same time being free to ignore
  14. I highly recommend the Skeptic's Annotated Bible. They also have the Quran and the Book of Mormon.
  15. Excellent thread. When pointing to verses of the Bible that reveal its absurdity and underlying evil, it is important to differentiate between stories where God's people do insane things, and when God himself does or commands insane things. In an argument with a Christian who has actually read the Bible, they are more than happy to point out that God's people were human and made mistakes (like date-raping their father). And in most cases, the Bible doesn't say "go thou and do likewise" to stories like that. But on the other hand, we have stories where God directly does something evil, such
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