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    [–] Huge Airbus landing in Germany during storm "Xavier". Props to the pilot. defleopold 2 points ago in interestingasfuck

    The whole time I was reading Timeline I thought "This sounds like a bad movie".

    It was a repeated series of OH NO IT'S BAD...SAVED!...OH NO IT'S WORSE...SAVED!

    [–] Do religious arguments against birth control, LGBTQ needs, and socio-economic progress boil down to "Sinners getting what they deserve?" defleopold 3 points ago in DebateReligion

    Adoptive parents are rightly held to a pretty high standard of conduct, and many gay couples don't meet that standard.

    I assume that you would agree we should judge couples individually and not based on group statistics. For example, we wouldn't judge a minority couple based on the average income/education/criminality among their group. Those things shouldn't even come into play, so I don't see how it's relevant to mention here.

    [–] You don't understand the Hindu concept of God. defleopold 3 points ago in DebateReligion

    I guess I mean Western Buddhism but to be honest I'm not sure. There are versions of Buddhism that definitely seem magical. This might include literal reincarnation, mythology or legends about divine beings that are taken literally, and devotion to mythological characters rather than devotion to a practice and the way in which it can ease suffering. I'm not interested in those aspects.

    The Buddhism that I appreciate sees the Buddha as a genius psychotherapist who was ahead of his time rather than a magical character we should worship. They point out that he gave very clear advice on achieving peace that is simple to practice and test to see if it's useful. They spend time teaching others how to explore their own mind and find peace with themselves and their surroundings. They generally avoid lists of good and evil, but instead offer advice on examining situations for yourself.

    They would consider something like reincarnation to be a metaphor but often won't give a definite yes/no- you can see it however you like, it's beside the point. I know a little about ancient India and Hinduism, and I think the Buddha would have used the concept of reincarnation because it was prolific in the culture in which he taught. When he used it, he seems to try to bend people towards seeing every single moment as a figurative "rebirth". This is similar to OP mentioning that each moment is created, experienced, and destroyed by the Hindu characters.

    I listen to Gil Fronsdale and other teachers on Audio Dharma occasionally. Last night I listened to his talk titled "On the Way to Unshakeable Faith". In that talk, his description of "faith" seems very different from what religions generally teach- certainly the faith that I grew up practicing.

    [–] You don't understand the Hindu concept of God. defleopold 1 points ago in DebateReligion

    I suggest you use that energy and inspiration to seek the truth inwardly, rather than trying to get others to accept the conceptual shell of the practice that you've learned of.

    What's wrong with sharing your beliefs to help others understand and/or updating your beliefs based on questions and discussion? He's doing what is kinda the point of this sub.

    [–] You don't understand the Hindu concept of God. defleopold 5 points ago in DebateReligion

    I don't understand what point or greater truth you're trying to express.

    [–] You don't understand the Hindu concept of God. defleopold 7 points ago * (lasted edited 6 months ago) in DebateReligion

    As a non-theist who casually practices non-magical Buddhism, I've admired Hinduism for a while. I think it's a really good metaphor for the connectnedness of everything, and it's interesting for describing something like quantum weirdness when you let it be a metaphor.

    God's Debris, by the author of Dilbert, describes a God who reminds me of hinduism. Out of boredom mostly, he explodes his infinite self into pieces which- since they all have part of him- will slowly re-combine themselves by evolving in that direction.

    Alan Watts does a good job describing it as a drama with a single "Everything" playing all the parts of people and animals and everything else in nature.

    Of course people will cling to statues and images, and of course they'll lose the point of the metaphor. Alan Watts used the analogy of someone pointing at the moon, and others admiring the pointing hand while losing sight of the actual moon. Humans are humans, whatcha gonna do?

    Thanks for posting.

    [–] Just thought I'd leave this here defleopold 19 points ago in gatech

    The value of a UGA education is the people you meet who are 95% like you and will give you sweet jobs that you aren't really qualified for.

    [–] Religious fundamentalism and anti-conservation: does being a hardcore theist make it easier to proudly trash the planet? defleopold 1 points ago in DebateReligion

    Yeah, Rule 3 should be used to keep topics tightly focused.

    On the other hand, though- and much broader than the environmental issue at hand- I can't shake this feeling that all Abrahamic religions and sects are complicit. If the book by itself, read in the most ignorant way, leads to terrible conclusions by millions of Christians then you'll have to explain how God created such a terrible means of communication and why he refuses to invent better ways.

    [–] Religious fundamentalism and anti-conservation: does being a hardcore theist make it easier to proudly trash the planet? defleopold 0 points ago in DebateReligion

    Sure, they may be quieter but they vote. And they keep voting for politicians who pay lip service to their religion while badmouthing the science that indicates we're hurting our longterm chances of survival by destroying our environment. While actually dismantling steps the country has taken to clean up the environment.

    I think this happens because they have a deep-rooted disdain for the planet. It's corrupt to them, so destroying it is a non-issue. It's theirs to use as they see fit and God will make it alright in the not-too-distant future.

    They won't say this so clearly but it's not hard to read between the lines. Especially if you grew up hearing it and being a part of it.

    [–] Religious fundamentalism and anti-conservation: does being a hardcore theist make it easier to proudly trash the planet? defleopold 2 points ago in DebateReligion

    Earth is our real home, in some sense

    In a very real sense, many Christians see it as a temporary home and the basis for that conclusion is the Bible. Adam was created and given dominion over the planet. It will be destroyed by God before he makes a shiny new Earth without pollution. Plus, a lower population once he casts doubters into the fire.

    To quote pastors and radio hosts I listened to as a child: "The Earth is as close to Hell as Christians will get". It's trash to them, and the Bible is clear that the Earth is not that old and is not meant to last. Of course those beliefs lead to the political idiocy and environmental inaction and the laziness that we see in America's current government.

    Yes, it's true that not all Christians care as little about the world as American/Republican/Evangelicals. Those are not the majority of Christians who speak up and proclaim their religious bona fides, or vote, or run for office where I live. And I completely understand how their holy text leads them to the absurd and harmful conclusions they hold. Unlike me and other non-religious folk, they need not concern themselves with ensuring that the world lasts for more than 100 years.

    [–] Why is every single post revolving around "liberal this, lefty that"? defleopold 2 points ago in samharris

    "the perfect is the enemy of the good"

    Too much time is spent criticizing elements of the left, when the right actually holds power and is actually doing harm that will obviously make people angry because they are worse off. We're nitpicking the folks who are human but are largely on the right path, and it gives comfort to the moronic and dangerous elements of the right.

    [–] Mr. Steele Has left Rotor Riot defleopold 6 points ago in Multicopter

    He's looking to go full time drones too, it sounds like.

    I like him. I think he's a teacher currently, and I hope he'll keep finding ways to expose kids to cool stuff that could impact their future livelihoods. Whether he goes pro youtube or not.

    I definitely get tired of all the content pumped out just because of money and not because there's something truly worth sharing.

    [–] The NRA Is Complicit In Stoking White Nationalist Violence defleopold 1 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago) in politics

    No offense was taken.

    Sam Harris came up with these words and they perfectly reflect my opinion on the matter.

    Are you confident that it's not your emotional identification with demigod-Sam's words that makes you want to paste them without framing up your own thoughts or providing sources?

    Don't get me wrong, I like listening to Sam's opinions. But he might be wrong sometimes. He might exaggerate certain threats in his own mind, and might sometimes feel like his tone of delivery and time in a classroom are good replacements for facts. But that's just my opinion based on reading and listening to him for years, combined with data from other sources.

    This is a non-Trump version of "make America great again" you're talking about an America and a world that never existed -- nostalgic for an era that is fantasy. What exactly do you mean? The rest of the sane world doesn't have crime?

    I don't get the Trump comparison since I'm not expressing nostalgia or asking for legislative action. I'm pointing to a general problem in US culture.

    ... As decades have passed, we've seen more guns and less crime -- those are statistical facts, not emotions

    I'll have to trust that you're not conflating correlation and causation.

    By way of Google I can seek to compare rates of violence among developed nations.

    From the New Scientist article, this especially stood out to me:

    "In addition, any attempt to shift high violence rates must note that homicide declines are often triggered by influential groups or individuals emphasising the importance of self-control, civility and respect, changing societal views on harming others. Over the last 20 years much evidence suggests that in the West we have become less tolerant of violence, maybe as part of an ongoing civilising process that stretches back centuries."

    This approach is what I was suggesting earlier, when- I believe- you understood me to be "waxing nostalgic".

    To say it has become this way implies it was not always this way, and that would be an inaccurate assessment. I'm happy to discuss changes over eras, the calibration of dials.

    Guns and technology in general may increase the sensitivity of existing societal dials.

    I do not agree that it has always been this way, this is definitely a turning of dials.

    To summarize:

    • We have cultural problems.
    • Guns are not a sole cause, but adding more is not a good solution.
    • Crime in general is down.
    • Conservatives and gun nuts talk as though a rapist or murderer is around every corner. Of course they do. It's a useful, fear-based strategy.
    • Having more guns in circulation obviously increases the average danger we are each exposed to.
    • A bad actor is more likely to have a gun, and we cannot avoid subconsciously factoring that in.
    • This will have an effect on our perception of threat and society-level stress.
    • This will increase the damage done when people or groups hit a breaking point.
    • Backlash in the US against comprehensive and sensible gun regulations means that it must be approached though social change first- the way we talk and think about guns and crime in general.
    • To do that, we must talk to each other and we must listen.

    [–] The NRA Is Complicit In Stoking White Nationalist Violence defleopold 0 points ago * (lasted edited 7 months ago) in politics

    That does not to seem to match the experience of the rest of the sane world. I'm not proposing a legal solution in America because I doubt there is one, and I have no problem with the idea of guns in a healthier society.

    But the fact that a handful of Americans will think it is ok to use guns to get their way, plus the more common and paranoid worldview you express- where people think they always have to look behind their back because of that other handful of people and who believe that that's just the way it'll always be- THAT combination is not good. I'm not sure how to heal the nation's collective psyche.

    It's become a literal small arms race for certain deluded parts of our society, often legal and sometimes not. Of course that will ramp up the average stress level.

    Please don't copypaste your wall. Talk or move on.