I have an account on OKCupid, mostly because I use it to take tests and answer questions, though I have in the past used it to date. I often get messages that are perfectly ignorable, but occasionally I get ones that are interested in my skeptical positions. A gentleman who is my age sent me a message, and here is the conversation we’ve had so far. Any editing is just to make it more readable.
I just wanted to say, I am totally interested in you and I kinda wanted to expand my mind by entering into a debate over religion and politics with you if that’s cool.
I start first by saying that I’m totally mature and open to even the deepest levels of debate on these taboo subjects…even deeper than most would feel comfortable.
Next, I was raise in a single parent home where my mother (who her own mother died of cancer) believed in GOD but hated his ass. When I was 13, I found GOD, and my Dad, and read the entire bible. My Dad who was a devout christian abuse me from 13 to 15.
I have seen a lot of shit and I’ve grown enough to realize that while there are things that occur that made me believe that GOD does exist, I too like mother hates even the mere thought of it. That some being over saw my life and CHOSE for or allowed that shit to happen…and to happen to all of the others in the world that suffer daily without justice or sufficient help.
I believe that religion is a method of control used to keep us in check. If life had no purpose than why would we buy IPODs right!?! They want us to buy and consume. It’s a fucking trick. It has ALWAYS been a political tool.
Now then, with that being said. I DO believe in and have witnessed to events occurring that appears to be beyond coincidence…like fate or something…I can’t explain it….Anywho your thoughts?
I was also raised in a single parent home by a devout mother, she lost both of her parents to cancer at a young age.
I was about 13 when I became really interested in religion because it all struck me as untrue. I read a lot about world religions, I wanted to see if anything struck me as true because the bible never had. Eventually, I decided I was agnostic, until 9/11 at which point I sort of dropped the whole interest in organized religion.
I’ve never seen anything that I think the only explanation could be god. Usually when exploring something either scientifically or statistically, rare events are actually very common. I obviously cannot speak to your specific experiences, as they are personal, but I can tell you that the experience of religion is a psychological one that people who are not religious can experience — it’s a set of chemical reactions, like the ones associated with near death experiences.
I think spirituality, particularly a questing one, is generally a positive thing, so long as it’s not overly credulous. People who believe anything they hear are prone to being swindled or hurt. Organized religion, on the other hand, is a manmade institution posing as a Godly one — and for that reason generally capable of the kinds of evil most men don’t even dream of.
Outstanding…I misspoke earlier…Instead of saying some experiences prove there is a God…I should have said some experience make me believe in the extraordinary or supernatural.
I totally believe that we are only conscious matter floating in space…but I also believe that things can occur that aren’t readily or easy explain…though I’m sure can be with the right mind. I’m speaking more about probability here because EVERYTHING ELSE CAN BE EXPLAINED THOUGH SCIENTIFIC AND LOGICAL METHODS. But can someone explain how or why back in 2007 when I was needing money for my family so I buy a lotto ticket, the 19 year kid behind me buys the same ticket scratches the jackpot…I can’t explain that…but I was pissed at who ever orchestrated that little joke on me….just saying..
Anywho thanks for humoring me this was fun…..Oh and I totally wish I typed what you typed earlier….cause I totally agreed… 🙂
Well, almost all the people who buy lotto tickets are in need of money. Socioeconomically speaking, the most economically disadvantaged tend to be the biggest buyers of lottery tickets — this is part of the reason that a lot of people have moral problems with state lottos as they are essentially a tax on the poor. So, everyone who ever buys a ticket is going to be horrified that someone else got the jackpot when they didn’t. People are incredibly self-centered, and so they remember the odd things that happened in which they were the star — which is why this stands out in your memory. In reality, if you ever play the lotto, the odds are pretty good that you won’t win, however someone has to actually win it. So while your odds aren’t that good, your odds of encountering a winner, especially if you play often and spend time with others who do as well, are pretty high.
God, I love you!!! I mean I freaking LOVE YOU!!! You’re sooo honest but equally informed, like Bill Maher or the old non bitch-assed Dennis Miller. That analysis of my 2007 lotto situation felt like…..liiiiike…..like a HARD kick in the nuts with a steel toe boot and I didn’t even braise myself. I just turned around and then WHACK!!! Right in the balls, yet in some masochistic way it welcomed….I can’t explain it really…I feel like revealing some other personal things about myself so you could dissect them again….then ram your results down my throat!
That was a joke…I’m not a creep…
Anyway – My retort: You’re totally right. I AM self-centered. Everyone should be. My interpretation of the world is based on MY own experiences as is EVERYONES. (World- including any cultural, societal, and spiritual beliefs/moral.) While this IS true (as I say, at least for me) I find that I’m also unusually empathic to the plight of other Sapiens though I can’t ever completely hone cultures that are totally different from the one I was raised (Western Civilization).
With that being said, I can not help my dark and selfish nature. I DO desire more than what I have, though I have more than most human beings because of our “luck” in being born here in privilege.
Referring back to your aforementioned statement regarding the emotion poor, arrogant, idiots endure from losing at an inherently masked and corrupted faux-tax dubbed “the lottery” – why can’t I assume that since I was “lucky” enough to be born out of oppression (African and South Asian countries) that I’d also be “lucky” enough to win the lotto AND not FEEL so self-centered!…. 🙂
One more thing, I have to go to work tonight around 5:30pm til 6am the next mourning so If I miss your reply today than I can’t reply again until this time tomorrow mourning…Thanks again for the attention.
If you think about all the encounters we have every single day, it would actually be really strange if there weren’t any coincidences.
My mom, for example, thinks she has the ability to make me call her because sometimes when she thinks of me, I do call her. But I call her all the time, and she probably thinks about me often. She just remembers when the two overlap and forgets all the times she thinks of me and I don’t call, or all the times I do call and she wasn’t thinking of me. Selective memory and confirmation bias.
Hmmm…..Totally feeling the coincidence theorem, but I feel that there’s more. Jesus-babble aside, How do you feel about telepathy, or ki energy/ aura manipulation, or other forms of extrasensory perception? My feelings towards these subjects are totally rooted in science.
I think all of that is, not to put too fine a point on it, complete bullshit.
Seriously!?! Really though!?! Crap, I have SOOO much more to say but I HAVE to leave for work in 30 mins. BUT BEFORE I GO – String Theory??? Quantum Mechanics??? Alternate Dimensions???
I think that particle physics is very interesting, but I think there’s a big difference in string theory and the nonsense put forth by “what the bleep do we know”.
Huh?? I don’t follow…What is “What the bleep do we know”??? Is that the name of something…like a noun. A title of a book or TV show??? What is the “nonsense” that you speak of. Can I google it for more info?
Anyway, I need to speak more about your mother’s supposed clairvoyance and how I feel its purposed presence is relevant to several theorem posed by some credible names in Quantum physics…..But first I need to eat my Corn Pops and watch Fringe….So I’ll typie type a little later. 🙂
Ok, sigh…..I know I’m JUST typing you back…but I encountered a traumatic experience last night and I’m soooo frustrated by it that I can hardly stand myself.
Here’s what happened: Last night, I disconnected my netbook then sat down stairs to watch Smallville and Supernatural while simultaneously typing my feelings on your “My Mom’s a telepath” example.
I typed soooo much stuff, and during second half commercials I went to my kitchen to blend some juice and frozen fruit. While I was doing that, Smallville was airing a showdown between Clark and an old Lex. So I sat down to watch this. Another commercial comes so I run in the kitchen to stop my blender, pour my beverage then sit back down to chill. When I looked back at my netbook, it was turned off. I figured it went to STANDBY. But when I tried to log on I realized that the friggin battery died!!! I gathered the wall plug then turn on my N-book, and realized then that NOTHING was saved!!! NOTHING!!!! I was livid!
Anyway, I don’t feel like remembering EVERY-FREAKING-THING I typed so I’ll summarize: Your mom COULD HAVE thought a thought that was “mentally emailed” and then received by you at the time of her first thinking of that thought, but that single thought wasn’t enough to overpower EVERY OTHER thought that you were thinking at that exact moment. So that thought “To Call Your Mom” was deferred to a later time/date or not EVEN important enough for you to store in your long term memory. So you forget the thought…until you “remembered” later only by then you think it’s your original thought then you call but LONG after SHE originally thought the thought in the first instance. It’s actually hard to measure unless you were doing some sort of trial experiments or something.
Thoughts “POP” into our heads ALL of the time but our primitive levels of cognition are always prioritized over all other less meaningful/important thoughts. For instance, hunger or pain or fatigue – all forms of discomfort – WILL cause you to forget or postpone even the most important of your daily tasks.
Imagine this experiment: Clear your mind of as many distractions as you can. Ensure that you’re completely comfortable. Then see if you can feel the thoughts of someone else in close proximity. The feeling should resemble the feeling of when a thought just “pop” in your mind.
There’s sooo much more I want to say about this subject but I want to send this (before my battery dies again) and have you respond to see if this even interests you…because I may need to change the subject I guess…..
Are you familiar with Occam’s Razor? It’s the premise with the least contingencies, the least clarifications, the simplest premise is usually correct.
What is more likely? That I usually call my mom several times a day regardless or that the entire world’s understanding of physics is incorrect and there’s some magical way for one brain to communicate with another, regardless of proximity, strength of connection or thought? A way of communication that has been repeatedly proven false in laboratory tests.
Basically what I’m saying is everything you just said is nonsense with no evidence and a complicated explanation for something that has an incredibly simple, natural explanation. No supernatural forces necessary.
Magical!?! SUPERNATURAL!?! Ouch… Look, Ms. Tech – Einstein said matter and energy are equal. You and I are matter. We also emit low electromagnetic waves. Is it SO far fetched to believe that our bodies can interpret incoming “waves” as information!?! You’re starting to sound like a FLAT-EARTHER! lol
Okay……Okay, sorry about the name calling….I like to keep an open mind to EVERY possibility….plus I’m a little sleepy and in turn cranky. I’ll message again when I’m rested…again, I’m sorry 🙂
You are mixing your concepts. There’s no reason to think that people emit thoughts via electromagnetic waves. So, assuming that you could even detect electromagnetic waves, which humans can’t because they don’t have the necessary sensory organs, unlike sharks for example. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ampullae_of_Lorenzini ) Electric fields are generated by muscles, which your brain is most certainly not.
Furthermore, even in a conducive body (ie water), even with organs specifically directed to that purpose, sharks cannot sense small electric fields from great distances.
Finally, we’re not talking about something that no one’s ever thought of or investigated. It’s not like string theory, where it’s difficult to run experiments. Hundreds of experiments on psychic powers have repeatedly shown that any form of telepathy is complete and utter bunk.
There is a really cool convention in Las Vegas every year hosted by James Randi, The Amaz!ng Meeting aka TAM. It is not, however, the cheapest thing in the world. Registration costs $450 and a room for three nights would be $250 (not really that bad), which brings it to $700 upfront costs. Also, two days of lost work, gas, and eating out of town. And if I had an extra $1000 I could eat dinner with James Randi and Richard Dawkins.
Obviously, I don’t have an extra thousand. I don’t even have the first thousand to go to TAM in the first place. Suddenly, $50 to eat dinner with PZ Myers makes him seem like kind of a cheap date.
Anyway, I was bemoaning this yesterday, being in a particularly bad mood thanks to a migraine, and Jen “inventor of Boobquake” McCreight over at Blag Hag ended up bemoaning her own inability to pay for it. Made even worse in her case in that she was invited to speak, but JREF doesn’t cover speaker’s registration, travel, or hotel expenses. In 8 hours, she raised $1500 dollars. That’s insane!
Suffice to say I am jealous and astounded, probably in that order. Because, in addition to Dawkins and Randi, who are both pretty much 10s on the awesome scale, there will also be Penn&Teller and Adam Savage, all of whom are probably 11s.
I’ve been bad about updating because I’ve spent most of my time the last few days trying to plan a road trip. And the thing is that I’m horribly nerdy and when I decide to do something like this I have to Have A Plan. The basic idea is that I have a three day weekend that coincides with Valentine’s Day, and neither F or I have seen the Grand Canyon, so we thought, hey, let’s go see the Grand Canyon. But then it was like… and what else are we going to do besides drive to the Grand Canyon and back. And I was like Hoover Dam.
And then I spent 3 days researching what sorts of things there are to do on the legs of the trip and once we got places. Like I learned of a place called Grand Canyon West, where there’s this horrifying/tacky/awesome thing called the Skywalk, where you essentially walk out onto glass above the Grand Canyon. Think Indiana Jones’ leap of faith, but less cool. It’s much much closer to the Hoover Dam and Vegas, but it’s also extremely expensive and not as high up as the South Rim. I weighed pros and cons and decided that the South Rim was the <i>real</i> Grand Canyon, so I’d better see that.
I’ve been trying to come up with things to do in Las Vegas that I wouldn’t hate, and I’ve had a few suggestions, but you’re welcome to comment here. Keep in mind that I don’t drink, gamble, or do things where the main objective is to “have fun” rather than do something in particular. We were thinking we might try to get some tickets to see Penn&Teller, they do the 1/2 price thing like in NYC. The Erotic Heritage Museum looked interesting, and it’s open til midnight. “The Chapel Theater will prominently feature Shakespeare’s erotic material. This material has not been performed in four hundred years. Be prepared to be “Bard to the Bone” and experience Shakespeare in an entirely new fashion.” Bard to the Bone. Oh dear.
It also seems likely that we’ll pass through Baker which has two things that are heavily recommended by travelers. Alien Jerky, supposedly the best jerky ever, I’m not a jerky eater, but F is. And the Mad Greek. I’m not necessarily sold on either, but they’re there.
LA to Tusakan AZ 8 hours
-Drive through Joshua Tree +50 mins
-Visit Grand Canyon Caverns +1 hour (plus visiting time of probably an hour, closes at 4)
–Roadkill Cafe (off the interstate, adds only the time of visit)
NOTE: I think we wouldn’t be happy trying to get to the caverns before 4 on this leg
Tusakan AZ to Las Vegas NV 5 hours
(I-40 to 93)
-Visit Grand Canyon Caverns +1 hour (plus visiting time of probably an hour, closes at 4)
-Roadkill Cafe (off the interstate, adds only the time of visit)
-Hoover Dam (adds only time of visit, closes at 4:15)
NOTE: I think we can’t do the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon in the same day, unless we get super bored with the Grand Canyon early
Las Vegas NV to LA 4.5 hours
-Hoover Dam +60 minutes round trip, +30 minutes if taking 95 (closes at 4:15)
-Drive by Death Valley +2 hours
-Take 95 to I-40 +2 hours; +1:30 if driving from Hoover Dam (if we don’t go by Joshua Tree, we will have driven this stretch already)
NOTE: I’d like to see the Hoover Dam, but we will be driving over it, so if we don’t make it to a tour, I’d be fine.