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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Thu Jul 17, 2008 9:15 am

Hi Logan welcome. That's an interesting combination of 80's death metal and born again Christianity. Smile What did you're born again friends think of your taste in music?

I think you'll find that we all pretty much agree on the importance of reason on this forum but usually not much else. Smile Personally I think that's one of the beautiful things about a philosophy based on free-thought. It liberates people to go in all different directions.

Anyway glad you found us. Feel free to ask questions or jump right in to any discussions that interest you.
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Logan



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PostSubject: Thanks!   Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:26 pm

Aaron wrote:
Hi Logan welcome. That's an interesting combination of 80's death metal and born again Christianity. Smile What did you're born again friends think of your taste in music?

I think you'll find that we all pretty much agree on the importance of reason on this forum but usually not much else. Smile Personally I think that's one of the beautiful things about a philosophy based on free-thought. It liberates people to go in all different directions.

Anyway glad you found us. Feel free to ask questions or jump right in to any discussions that interest you.

Thanks for the welcome! As for what Christian friends thought of my musical taste back then, I went through that common regrettable phase of when you first become a Christian you don't listen to any "secular" stuff but listen to so-called "Christian Metal" instead. Aside from a few bands that actually had some talent, there was a lot of terrible stuff. Eventually, after a short time period, as I grew in Christianity, I began to listen once again to the things I really cared about and learned to simply ignore things that I might disagree with lyrically. Of course, any rational personal already does such things, but when you are caught up in religion its a big torturous deal and you end up sort of in a different class of Christians, somewhat snubbed by some who act or feel that you are just a little too uncouth for them or whatever. Honestly though, my music interests affected me very little in Christianity as I was so caught up in study and debate at the time, people were more interested in debating with me, talking theology and apologetics, and they never had much interaction with me personally. The only thing that might have gave away some of my interests is the fact that I have had (and continue to have) long hair since high school. The small group of Xtian friends I did hang with were mostly Xtian Metalers or odd ball types and did not seem to care one way or another what people listened too. I grew into being a very rational, independent Christian who really disliked the typical Christian and his goofy, overzealous, hypocritical ideas and attitudes. In all my years in Xtianity I never officially joined a church, though I came close a couple times. But it was a great relief to finally see the ethical and logical failures and atrocities of the Bible for the man made failures they truly are and to get free of Biblical inerrancy, religion, etc. I'm sure plenty of Xtians would accuse me of being backslidden, etc., but really its all about the continuing quest in my life to evolve as a better and more rational human being.

P.s., I never listened to "death metal" in the 80's. Was never into groups like Slayer, Morbid Angel, or whatnot (and still am not). Bands like Iron Maiden, Dio, Black Sabbath are not officially (within the Metal community) considered death metal, but are much more Early Metal, Power Metal, Etc. Only recently in the past few years have I had any interest in Death Metal, but it is a fairly minor interest with Melodic Death Metal groups like Arch Enemy and Opeth. There is an incredible Metal Genealogy chart that really goes into detail about the many categories and types of Metal on the fine dvd documentary, METAL- A HEADBANGER'S JOURNEY. I'm pretty much just an old school Metaler though. I also listen a lot to The Doors, Zeppelin, etc.


Last edited by Logan on Thu Jul 17, 2008 7:47 pm; edited 2 times in total (Reason for editing : minor corrections, additions, etc.)
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Thu Jul 24, 2008 4:22 am

Welcome Logan! The people of Schizotopia salute you! You sound cool and I'm looking forward to hearing your point of view in things. I hope you still like to debate things like you did as an apologist.
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PostSubject: Thanks!   Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:44 pm

Thanks for your kind words Schizophretard. I do still enjoy discussing certain topics of importance, but I'm not much of a debater anymore. I guess I'm more interested in just sharing information back and forth. Exploration, so to speak. It would probably take a lot for me to get into a full out raging debate like I used to. My Misanthropy keeps me in check now over how much time to waste. It has been my experience over the years that once things get beyond the sharing of information and casual exchange stage of a conversation, people rarely, if ever, change their mind through debate. I think debating can serve a useful purpose at times when it comes to others who are observing the debate, but debaters themselves seem to be generally set in their ways and are out to win their argument, or find new ways to argue their position through debate. Rarely have I ever ran into people who are interested in searching through debate, or who draw any rational lines of awareness for when their position may actually be undermined or in need of repair, change, etc. But, then, perhaps that has just been my own misfortune in the quality of people I have run into in religious circles in my past. But I've noticed some similar problems online as well over the years. People (especially here in the U.S.A.,) really like to be armchair arguers. They like to argue for the sake of arguing. I'm more interesting in exploring and bettering myself and those around me. For me that has turned into believing as little as possible yet as much as is necessary for a decent life. I hate deception. So I find that it is easier and makes for a more natural life for me to limit the amount of things I give my mind over to believing in. This way of thought actually started developing in my later Christian years and used to piss off people when they found out that I really didn't give much of a shit about END TIMES theology, creation theories, and a whole other host of bible stuff. I studied all of it heavily, but cam to a far tighter conclusion on what was really essential to teach or not. All I cared for was what I then perceived as the "essentials" of Xtian belief. Xtians divided and wasted too much time over stuff that didn't matter for living a "good" life. I got to see it first had in the pain and anguish that it caused myself and other Xtian people I was friends with/knew. Of course, after leaving religion behind entirely, I've pursued this "essentials" sort of thinking even more. I think the whole world wastes time over unessential thought and beliefs. If people could learn to value their mind more and be more selective about what they give their minds over to believe or not, the world might actually be able to improve beyond this constant apathetic stalemating of social development we seem to always be in. But, I'm not an idealist so I don't think humanity is going to ever truly improve much in the way of society, popular beliefs, religion, etc. Actually, if I was a betting person I would probably bet that organized religion and faith at the expense of rationality, will be one of, if not thee main eventual causes of human extinction.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:48 pm

Quote :
Actually, if I was a betting person I would probably bet that organized religion and faith at the expense of rationality, will be one of, if not thee main eventual causes of human extinction.

Yeah I can relate to that, logan. I'm trying to read, learn more, rather than debate, lately, with various degrees of success.

Sadly, I especially think your last 'graph may be dead on.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Sat Jul 26, 2008 4:52 pm

Logan wrote:
It has been my experience over the years that once things get beyond the sharing of information and casual exchange stage of a conversation, people rarely, if ever, change their mind through debate. I think debating can serve a useful purpose at times when it comes to others who are observing the debate, but debaters themselves seem to be generally set in their ways and are out to win their argument, or find new ways to argue their position through debate.

That's why I like this forum. Informal dialog, and sharing of opinions & relevant information is a win-win game, as opposed to the win-lose motive of political and religious debates on other venues.

Most of us are probably seeking some validation and approbation of our non-mainstream personal beliefs. But we are too aware of the tenuous nature of beliefs-in-general to attempt to force someone else's worldview into the mould of our own. I have no animosity toward organized religions, but my personal paradigm is growing much too fast to live in the rigid shell of a traditional religion based on dusty ancient understandings of reality.
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Schizophretard

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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Tue Jul 29, 2008 7:23 am

Helium wrote:
Quote :
Actually, if I was a betting person I would probably bet that organized religion and faith at the expense of rationality, will be one of, if not thee main eventual causes of human extinction.

Yeah I can relate to that, logan. I'm trying to read, learn more, rather than debate, lately, with various degrees of success.

Sadly, I especially think your last 'graph may be dead on.

I don't believe it will cause our extinction. Survival of the fittest is the rule and the rational are more fit than the irrational. So, natural selection will eventually cause us to evolve to be more rational creatures.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Wed Jul 30, 2008 9:46 pm

I agree, survival of the fittest is the rule. But as a rule are the rational more fit than the irrational? And do brains always win out over brawn? No, not always. Its situational. In WWII Japanese prisoner of war camps there was a saying, "THE STRONG BEAT THE WEAK AND THE SMART BEAT THE STRONG". But suddenly, odd things could happen that unpredictably could tip the scales in a whole unexpected outcome. I would like to think that brains generally win out, but ultimately the chaos of life makes me very skeptical about the big picture. Certainly natural selection is how things begin, but I'm too skeptical to say that natural selection equates to meaning we could NEVER cause our utter extinction. There are natural factors that can override that process (comet hits the earth destroys all life, or sun dies out, etc.,) so I have no problem thinking that man himself could also cause its own utter extinction somehow or another. BUT, I also agree that as a rule (or maybe more as a guideline actually) that its survival of the fittest. I'm just pretty skeptical and can go either way about it and about just what "FITTEST" can come to mean as a deciding factor. If I was a betting person I would bet on mans extinction by his own ignorant hand and brawns based on his repetitive track record of death and destruction throughout history. One can "get away" with wars and mass atrocity when the technology is not as refined, but the more refined technology gets the worse these things become. In other words, you can cause a lot of atrocities with spears and bows and arrows, but a whole great deal more and with much more ease with nukes and biological weapons. And who knows what advancements the future may hold, especially if they ever figure out how to make nanotechnology work. So, survival of the fittest is a statement that must be carefully considered and qualified. If by "fittest" we mean that nature rewards the most moral, rational or whatever, such is not necessarily always the case. Fittest, in terms of evolution and natural selection, is a term best loosely defined by natural and situational requirements to survive. These requirements many vary widely. What means "fittest" in one circumstance or circumstances crucial to man survival may not apply under another or others.

This is why I hold to a saying, THE STRONG BEAT THE WEAK, THE SMART BEAT THE STRONG, AND NATURE (CHAOS, NATURALISTIC FATE) BEATS EVERYTHING.

I'm a Hard Determinist (the belief that free will is an illusion, doesn't exist, etc.,) so this has some bearing on my view of this subject of as well. I think nature does beat everything, so to speak, in the long run. I hold to a mixture of environmental, biological, and perhaps ultimately deism connected determinism. But I'm not a fatalist. To quote wikipedia: "It is a popular misconception that determinism necessarily entails that humanity or individual humans have no influence on the future and its events (a position known as fatalism); however, determinists believe that the level to which human beings have influence over their future is itself dependent on present and past. Causal determinism is associated with, and relies upon, the ideas of materialism and causality."

I believe that people are free to act in accordance with their natures and abilities etc., but ultimately a cat cannot be a dog, a human does not choose against their choice, etc. All things are influenced by other things in nature. True 50/50 free will is a STALEMATE not choice. Hypothetically, if one were given the option of literally EQUALLY choosing one thing over another, then truly, one would stalemate in their choice until something tips the scale in favor of one thing over the other, even if it is an irrational factor that helps to tip the scales in one direction over the other. Something has to tip the scales in favor of one thing or another. No one is free to choose against their choice. There is always something else involved in ones choice. Nature is a dynamic balance. Balanced in that for ever action there is an opposite reaction, dynamic in that things are ever changing within that balance. Or, Yin/Yang. From our finite perspective we exist heavily in the area of change and imbalance. As such we often make decisions with ease, the scales easily tip in change and motion. But when we see the oneness of everything we also see the balance.

Whether or not our lives and in fact our human existence is going to end good or bad I do not know. But I do know that eventually things usually reach their peak and then turn over again. Once you reach the top of the mountain, there is no where else to go but back down. And most people hate to just sit on top the mountain and be content, they want to keep moving, climb ever higher, etc...
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:32 am

I get what your saying but I see it a little differently. I believe our nature and the way we behave is a part of this stage of evolution. I believe this stage and other stages of evolution are universal. In other words, on other planets that have intelligent life that evolved in a similar way that we did we would see the same situation. They would be having religious wars and have irrational thoughts. What I'm trying to say is that if we can't pass this stage of evolution because we are mentally unfit then no intelligent life anywhere can either. If that were so then this stage would be the highest possible stage of evolution. I don't believe it is. I don't believe there is a highest stage. I believe life can evolve forever.

I believe that all the horrors of this world drive evolution. It is like nature gives us all kinds of dangerous challenges to overcome. We are being tested. Those that fail die and those that pass breed and drive evolution. That is how it always worked. This planet has been through all kinds of apocalypses. The majority of all species that have ever lived have went extinct but the minority of species that survived evolved into more superior life. We are the descendants of the survivors of all these apocalypses. Think about it. From the first living cell all the way up to you all your ancestors has survived to pass on their genes. The majority of all creatures that have ever lived never got to pass on their genes but you are a minority. You are a descendant of survivors. You have been finely tuned by the process of evolution to be more fit than your ancestors. So, you have a better chance of survival than they do. If all your ancestors survived through Hell to get you here then you should be optimistic about your and our survival.

I agree we can go extinct and could even cause it but that isn't necessarily a bad thing. The dinosaurs probably would think their extinction was a bad thing but if it never happened we wouldn't be here. So, even if we do go extinct it isn't the end of the world and chances are something better will replace us.

The main point I'm trying to make is that the challenges we face as a species help us evolve. If everything was peaceful, we had no danger, and nothing to fear then evolution would stop. I have more fear of evolution stopping than extinction because if there is no room for progress then there is nothing left to do and we might as well go extinct.
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Logan



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PostSubject: hmmm   Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:19 pm

Very interesting indeed. I have not given much thought to universal evolution. I do suppose that evolution would follow similar patters elsewhere. I agree that if we did go extinct, in the end something better would probably come along. I suppose it is "bad" from the point of view of those going extinct, but honestly I guess it is ultimately neither good nor bad, it simply is what it is. I agree that if everything was peaceful evolution would stop. There is the necessity of having both order and chaos to have driving need to change and evolve. But I'd like to be careful here, because though evolution takes place and evolves and is about striving to overcome extreme circumstances and adapting to adversity, that does not necessarily justify humanities excess or spell the need for atrocity, etc. I think nature itself provides enough chaos to evolve from without humanities addition of more and more horrors. But I'm sure even that is part of the system, part of nature itself since humanity is part of nature.

I guess ultimately the main thing I would not say is "if we can't pass this stage of evolution because we are mentally unfit then no intelligent life anywhere can either" for I could not assume that all systems of evolution must parallel ours exactly. They may work under the same parameters, involving order, chaos, etc., the same basic concepts fundamental to the universe, but that does not mean that their circumstances would or could be exact. Life elsewhere, if indeed there is (I'm just a major skeptic, but I think there probably is) would not necessarily evolve under the same conditions, circumstances, etc. I could easily see one planet of life going down one branch and road of evolution, to die off suddenly (from an internal or external catastrophe) and another planet of life surviving far longer. The varied nature of evolution (some species dying off while others adapt) is itself this sort of a pattern, system. I'm too much of a skeptic to believe that all systems must mirror our own, that "if we can't pass this stage of evolution..then no intelligent life anywhere can either." Their circumstances would be totally different, its a different world, not a mirrored world like in Star Trek (I don't mean that to sound rude or sarcastic). They would not involve the same meteors, same disasters, same whatever. I think their evolution would adapt and work within their special set of circumstances. Every world has its own special set of circumstances, pluses, and minuses, and its just a matter of what direction the scale tips in (ultimate success of a species or failure), which side the variable are on the most. And everything is different and changing, nothing is exact or the same.

"If all your ancestors survived through Hell to get you here then you should be optimistic about your and our survival." Well, I certainly see the value in having survived up to this point, but several species die after having survived thousands, if not millions of years, and there is no guarantee that we will keep on surviving, or that this branch will continue on. Perhaps it might be good to be more skeptical about humanities chances for survival, and I think to some point I am, (I've always said "if I was a betting person" but I am not a betting person). So who knows. But its not best to tell a confirmed misanthrope to be an optimist (heh, heh). : )
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Schizophretard

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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:13 am

Creatures on other planets would evolve under different circumstances but the process of natural selection is still universal and before a creature evolves into a rational creature it is first an irrational creature. Creatures evolve from stupid to smart and the stage we are at is somewhere in the middle. It is completely natural for us to be this way. In a way natural selection has created our irrational ideas because those ideas had some kind of survival value. For an example, the concept of Heaven and Hell. This concept appeals to our survival instinct. If we have a choice between eternal life and the second death then obviously we will choose eternal life. This concept has survival value because many people have no conscience and without such a concept we would of never been able to move from the barbaric stone age to the more orderly civilization we have today. This concept has helped control criminal elements in primitive societies. This concept is completely irrational but natural selection had to choose between making us think that there is no consequences for our actions or that there is. In the course of our mental evolution natural selection selected the irrational concept over the rational one because it has more of a selective value. Rational ideas don't always have a better survival value as irrational ideas. Natural selection can use either to help us survive.

This may sound like a contradiction to you but even though rational ideas don't always have a better survival value as irrational ideas, I still believe that rational ideas are ultimately being selected for. I believe that irrational ideas are selected for temporarily and rational ideas are selected for in the long run. It's like nature lies to us until we are advanced enough to handle the truth. Like with how we raise our children. We sometimes lie to them because they can't maturely handle the truth. We tell children things like babies come from storks because they are to immature to deal with the concept of sex. Natural selection does the same thing. It causes us to make up silly ideas of Heaven and Hell but as we mentally evolve these ideas become obsolete. Even though at our present stage of evolution we have very irrational ideas, we will eventually let go of them as we evolve(grow up into mature adults). Anyway, my point is that our irrational ideas don't always equate to extinction and our rational ideas don't always equate to survival.
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Logan



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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:47 pm

I pretty much agree with everything your saying here, very nicely said. I do however remain skeptical on just how much of a parallel other worlds would be with our own due to variation in evolution and circumstances themselves. I see where your coming from, and agree with the general form, but I think the specifics may vary widely from planet to planet. Ultimately, there is just no way to be sure. Who knows precisely how another world may have developed or not. The general principles may be the same, but there is a vast amount of possibilities in the specifics. At least that is about as far as I would skeptically go with it.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Sat Aug 23, 2008 2:26 am

Oooops!

I just now found this "Introduce yourself Here" thread, after having introduced myself somewhere else a few days ago.

Hello, everybody!

Peace
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Sat Aug 23, 2008 3:53 pm

I'm sorry. Now I'm going to have to place you on double secret probation. Don't let it happen again. Wink

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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Sat Aug 23, 2008 11:17 pm

Your judgment is truly just, and I thank you for your kind, yet firm, treatment of this situation.

I promise to mind my "P's" and "Q's" and dot my "I's" and cross my "T's" and do whatever else is required of me to do to various alphabetic symbols from here on out.

Laughing Peace
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:21 am

Hello to all. Mine is probably a familiar 'nym if you've spent time on the Positive Deism board. (I promise not to talk politics here)

My interest is Deism, the entire spectrum from Classical to Panendeism. I am especially interested in the formation of a Deist church (as my signature will attest). My own Deist viewpoint is starting to become something I can articulate fairly well: a very individualistic Deism that embraces freethought beyond Classical Deism.

I hope I can contribute something worthwhile during my time here.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Thu Oct 30, 2008 10:48 pm

Hello

I am probably what you would call a Classical Deist, but my views are nowhere near completely developed.

I know there are many advanced opinions on Deism, but I don't seek to argue. I only come here to enlighten myself threw the example of others.
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Thu Oct 30, 2008 11:12 pm

Nice to meet ya holmes!
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Fri Oct 31, 2008 9:13 am

Welcome! Smile Feel free to join in on the discussions.

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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:20 pm

Hi. Smile

I found this site through searching for information on Loevinger's theory of ego development, and decided to check it out. And I see Aaron shares my interest in that and spiral dynamics and Cook-Greuter's levels and everything too. How about Kohlberg and Dabrowski?

At the moment this looks like the community I've been looking for - one where I won't make people mad because, as my husband tells me, I don't think in ways that normal humans do.

Err - I would say that I'm an atheist, but I think that my philosophical stances are somewhat different from what I've seen attributed to atheists in the threads I've read so far. I imagine you guys are probably aware of MBTI - I'm INFP and, like it says about NFs in the thread I saw with religious preferences by type, I am all about the mystical experiences. So I'm definitely not the materialism uber alles nihilistic sort of atheist.

Biographical information - I am female, 28 years old, very happily married with three cats, and my job is taking pictures and virtual tours of rental properties and putting out and pulling signs and supra locks and doing various errands for the property managers. I really like it - I get to hang out all day by myself in my truck, listening to music and thinking and experiencing the beauty of nature and taking pictures of it. Smile I used to work in fast food, and that almost killed me. So I guess my current job is all the sweeter for comparison to that utter hell.

Hmm, it seems like other people shared their "spiritual journey" thing.

I didn't grow up in any religious tradition. Or social tradition - my mother pretty much just let me be my own person and didn't try to force anything at all on me. And despite what people on political forums say, my corner of the rural South was actually pretty cool and I never felt pressured to believe anything or act in any certain ways. I even got respect and popularity for being the resident school "genius" rather than teased and bullied.

My father died when I had just turned seven, so I had to deal with reality as opposed to stories pretty early on. Although the stories had never really made sense to me - I read the Children's Bible when I was five or six and it made me feel weird and wrong.

If I had to point to one thing that really had a hand in my development - the winter that I was nine I read all the books about the Holocaust in the local library. Reading about the guys in the sonderkommando breaking the necks of the kids who survived the gassing because that was a better death than suffocation in the mass grave when you're not yet in double digits can have quite an effect on you. It definitely made me aware of the evil that humans are capable of, and I think it may be part of why I'm wary of prejudice and groupthink and propaganda.

This has long gone past the tl;dr point, so I'll stop now.


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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Tue Mar 03, 2009 10:51 pm

Welcome!

I'm in Florida on vacation now, I'll try and get back to you later with a more full reply. Smile

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Uriah

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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Tue Mar 03, 2009 11:48 pm

Nice to have you around! Jump right in!
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Wed Mar 04, 2009 1:15 am

Welcome.
I've done a bit of reading on the Holocaust myself. Actually, I just finished Herman Wouk's Winds of War and the follow up War and Remembrance which has the Holocaust as one of the main themes running through it. Recently re-read Diary of Anne Frank than I actully read a biography on Anne Frank's Dad which was quite interesting; and now I'm reading Winter, the fictional story of a Berlin family from 1900 to 1945. Cheers!
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PostSubject: Greetings and felicitations   Thu Oct 22, 2009 1:30 pm

Just a quick introduction.

Hello to everyone... the name is Timothy. Looks like a nice place to participate and Deism is right up my alley. Didn't know about this board until yesterday and was referred by Uriah. Aaron frequents another board I enjoy (sorta).

I'll probably lurk for a while until I get a chance to read up on some of your old posts and see which way the wind is blowing.

If there are etiquettes I should know about, please let me know before I offend.
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Aaron
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Thu Oct 22, 2009 9:49 pm

Hi Tim. This board is generally pretty slow but I like to think that what we lack in quantity we make up for in quality.

I think that you'll find that most people who post here are pretty laid back and respectful so feel free to post at will.

Welcome!

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Uriah

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Location: : Tucson, AZ
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PostSubject: Re: Introduce Yourself Here   Thu Oct 22, 2009 10:49 pm

thr4im wrote:

If there are etiquettes I should know about, please let me know before I offend.


Well, there's one, it seems. We have to have an argument about Free Will vs Determinism. Very Happy
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