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Messages - Eamonnca1

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General discussion / Re: The Horse racing thread
« on: Today at 12:07:54 AM »
I'm just chiming in on this thread to alert everyone to the fact that I have no interest in horse racing.

That is all.

All right there, Laoislad?

General discussion / Re: It's been..
« on: Today at 12:06:33 AM »
What's the record for the maximum amount of time between the starting of new threads about the free state?

General discussion / Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« on: April 25, 2017, 07:31:08 PM »
Some people in America talk about freedom being a product of guns, but the truth is freedom is a product of democracy and the rule of law.

I agree that giving people too much of a say can be a problem, like they do in California where voters get to micromanage everything. But I think that the kind of parliamentary democracy that's popular in Europe is a much better compromise.

General discussion / Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« on: April 25, 2017, 04:59:28 PM »
Fish don't know what water is - they only realise how important it is when they are taken out of it. The same could be said of Western citizens and democratic freedoms - which is why we insist on gambling it on decisions like Brexit and morons like Trump.

Hear hear. This deserves to be framed on the wall.

General discussion / Re: The Many Faces of US Politics...
« on: April 25, 2017, 05:07:55 AM »
• Spoke via video link with Commander Peggy Whitson aboard the International Space Station, who just set a new record for total time in space. He apparently is setting a goal for a manned landing on Mars during his second term.
The first manned mission of any type using the Orion capsule is not slated to take place until 2023.

• The president has reportedly told his staff to craft a plan that will cut the corporate tax rate from 35% to 15%, even if it will reduce revenues, by Wednesday so he can make the announcement he promised last week.

Roughly, each percentage-point cut in the tax rate lowers federal revenue by $100 billion over a decade, so a 20-point cut would cost the government $2 trillion over a decade, according to the congressional Joint Committee on Taxation.

So really he wants to have a theatrical tax reduction moment and doesn't care if he blows up the budget in order to do it. Reduce revenue, up military spending. Wonder whose backs are going to bear that extra change.

Treasury Department
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said that the president's tax plan "will pay for itself" thanks to economic growth.

Supply-side economics has never worked. This is just unambiguously true. Even Bruce Bartlett, the author of Reaganomics, has been calling for higher taxes on the wealthy for years.

100 Days
• New Jersey governor Chris Christie gives the president a 'B' grade so far.


Never Ask Me About My Kleptocracy
• The U.S. Embassy to the United Kingdom ran an ad for the president's tony, members-only club, Mar-a-Lago on its website.

• The Department of Commerce announced it would impose countervailing duties of up to 24% on Canadian softwood lumber and Customs & Border Protection would be collecting cash deposits at the border. This has been a long-running trade dispute between the nations, but Canada has always prevailed when the matter was adjudicated by NAFTA & WTO panels. The previous agreement on the matter expired last October.

Border Wall
• On Friday Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney offered Democrats a deal: For every dollar you give us to build the border wall, we won't cut a dollar from the ACA subsidies. Literally holding the well-being of millions of citizens hostage in order to pay for this xenophobic boondoggle. Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer effectively told him to get bent.

• Then in a meeting with conservative media reporters Monday, the president said he would be willing to let funds for the border wall wait for spending legislation in September.


The Best People
• Deputy Assistant to The President on counterterrorism and cybersecurity, anti-Islamist hardliner, anti-Semite, and former Breitbart security editor Sebastian Gorka was participating in a panel discussion at Georgetown University on fake news. The self-described "alpha male" stormed out after five students asked questions challenging him on his (very thin) credentials as an academic and as a professional.


The Russia House
• 73% of respondents in an NBC/WSJ poll prefer an independent commission — instead of Congress — to investigate Russian interference in the election.

• The Senate Intelligence Committee investigation seems to have stalled, with only seven part-time staffers assigned to it. None of them have any investigative or counter-intelligence background. One is still in law school. There is no witness list, no interviews have taken place, and pretty much the only thing they've done is ask people to preserve communications and documents.

Spicey Meatball
• Won't be fired no matter how many times he effs up or yells at reporters. Why? "That guy gets great ratings. Everyone tunes in," said the president.
This has been Day 95 in Trumpistan. Good night!

Virgin birth is a familiar religious marketing tool

Eg Buddhism

"The most popular legendary account of the birth of Buddha is in the Nidanakatha Jataka  which accounted for the lives of Buddha in previous incarnations. In this account, the “Great Being” chose the time and place of his birth, the tribe into which he would be born, and who his mother would be. In the time chosen by him, Maya, his mother, fell asleep and dreamed that four archangels carried her to the Himalayan Mountains where their queens bathed and dressed her. In her dream the Great Being soon entered her womb from her side, in the form of a white elephant. When she woke, she told her dream to the Raja, who summoned sixty-four eminent Brahmans to interpret it."

Yup. Most gods seem to have a hard time with the female reproductive system and the need for a man to get it working.They wish the birth canal were a one-way passage, hence the universality of the virgin birth trope. Even Star Wars has it.

I see this nonsense phrase bouncing around a lot. I was always taught that God is within us and all around us. But I suppose its easier to try and and make believers sound stupid from within your own paradigm that actually trying to understand theirs.



That's a very deliberate and offensive choice of words.
Adding a question mark is a cowardly way to try to escape that.

Your explanations are based on current theory applied to a 2000 year old event. Your explanations are at least equally open to dismissal on those grounds.
I agree with you that the bible is not an accurate historic account but there is no way I'd try to offend Christians for their faith. Nor would I argue with an atheists with deliberate attempts to offend.

Haha! You think I have nothing better to do than try to set out to offend people? My choice of words is an accurate picture of how I interpret these ancient texts. I could refer to the invisible man in the sky as "almighty holy and merciful God" but it wouldn't be an accurate description of how I view that character. If you choose to be offended by it than that's your business.

As stated above, I think it's fairly accurate in some places but not so accurate in others. Particularly the bits where the laws of physics are violated.

Hurling Discussion / Re: Sunday Independent Sport
« on: April 21, 2017, 09:55:27 PM »
Could never understand the Lions thing

Yeah, it seemed to me to over-rate the southern hemisphere teams that we have to send an amalgamation of the Triple crown teams to give them a game.

In the days of month-long journeys to Australia by steamship it was probably easier to get amateur players gathered up from four Rugby unions than just the one.

Hurling Discussion / Re: Sunday Independent Sport
« on: April 21, 2017, 09:52:49 PM »
Could never understand the Lions thing

A hangover from pre-independence days. Quoth wiki:

The British and Irish Lions is a rugby union team selected from players eligible for any of the Home Nations – the national sides of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales. The Lions are a Test side, and generally select international players, but they can pick uncapped players available to any one of the four unions. The side tours every four years, with these rotating among Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa. The 2009 Test series was lost 2–1 to South Africa, while the 2013 Test series was won 2–1 over Australia.

From 1888 onwards combined rugby sides from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland toured the Southern Hemisphere. The first tour was a commercial venture, and was undertaken without official backing.[2] The six subsequent visits enjoyed a growing degree of support from the authorities, before the 1910 South Africa tour, which was the first tour representative of the four Home Unions.[3] In 1949 the four Home Unions formally created a Tours Committee[4] and for the first time, every player of the 1950 Lions squad had played internationally before the tour.[5] The 1950s tours saw high win rates in provincial games, but the Test series were typically lost or drawn. The winning series in 1971 (New Zealand) and 1974 (South Africa) changed this pattern. The last tour of the amateur age took place in 1993.


whats your take on the accuracy of the bible as a document?
the dead sea scrolls contained a copy of the book of Isiah which was 1100 years older than any copy in existence at the time. Estimated to be 200BC.  The dead sea scrolls further highlight the accuracy of the old testament and the skill of the Jewish scholars in preserving texts.
I don't believe the stories you are referring to are in the dead sea scrolls. I think they're from one of those other gospel of thomas or something like that....
but how about you comment on the accuracy of the bible as an ancient text?

I think the gnostic gospels (Gospel of Mary, Gospel of Judas, etc.) are interesting. The story behind why they didn't make the "final cut" of the Bible is a great story in itself.

What I take from the Bible is that there probably was a Jesus-type character who was a "prophet" in the sense of being a philosopher and public speaker, since that was a common thing in Palestine at the time. The re-telling of some of the stories has lost some accuracy along the way, which is a pity because some of the intended lessons were lost. Case in point; the feeding of the 5000. It's told today as him performing a miracle by converting small amounts of fish and bread into large amounts. What really happened was people in those days carried food around with them because there wasn't exactly a grocery store or cafe on every corner. Some of his followers had run out of food, so he got everyone to put a bit of their food into a pile that could be evenly redistributed among the crowd. It was a lesson about collective effort to help everyone.

Did the crucifixion happen? Sounds about right since the Roman state felt a bit threatened by civil unrest he was stirring up with his newfangled ideas. The Romans wanted stability.

Did the resurrection happen? Obviously not, but if he somehow survived the crucifixion and was seen alive afterwards then that would explain how that little story got out to a small number of people. People being misdiagnosed as dead is not unheard of. If an earthquake coincided with his apparent "death" then the superstitious nature in everyone would have pounced on that as a meaningful event.

As for the old testament, some interesting creation myths in there. I heard once that there is evidence of a big ancient flood in the Black Sea region, so that would have fueled the Noah story.

So my personal take on the Bible a scripture in general is that there's probably a kernel of truth in a lot of it, but I don't accept supernatural explanations. I mean, what do you think is more likely? Mary was impregnated by an alien or was she fooling around with someone and decided to stick to her story? That said, there are some good lessons and messages in there. You can agree with the teachings of Ghandi without being Hindu, and you can agree with a lot of the teachings of Jesus without being a Christian.

here's some commentary on the bible as an ancient text - forgetting about content:
the manuscript evidence for the New Testament is stunning. The most recent count (1980) shows 5,366 separate Greek manuscripts represented by early fragments, uncial codices (manuscripts in capital Greek letters bound together in book form), and minuscules (small Greek letters in cursive style)![7]

Among the nearly 3,000 minuscule fragments are 34 complete New Testaments dating from the 9th to the 15th Centuries.[8]

Uncial manuscripts provide virtually complete codices (multiple books of the New Testament bound together into one volume) back to the 4th Century, though some are a bit younger. Codex Sinaiticus, purchased by the British government from the Soviet government at Christmas, 1933, for £100,000,[9] is dated c. 340.[10] The nearly complete Codex Vaticanus is the oldest uncial, dated c. 325-350.[11] Codex Alexandrinus contains the whole Old Testament and a nearly complete New Testament and dates from the late 4th Century to the early 5th Century.

The most fascinating evidence comes from the fragments (as opposed to the codices). The Chester Beatty Papyri contains most of the New Testament and is dated mid-3rd Century.[12] The Bodmer Papyri II collection, whose discovery was announced in 1956, includes the first fourteen chapters of the Gospel of John and much of the last seven chapters. It dates from A.D. 200 or earlier.[13]

The most amazing find of all, however, is a small portion of John 18:31-33, discovered in Egypt known as the John Rylands Papyri. Barely three inches square, it represents the earliest known copy of any part of the New Testament. The papyri is dated on paleographical grounds at around A.D. 117-138 (though it may even be earlier),[14] showing that the Gospel of John was circulated as far away as Egypt within 30 years of its composition.

Keep in mind that most of the papyri are fragmentary. Only about 50 manuscripts contain the entire New Testament, though most of the other manuscripts contain the four Gospels. Even so, the manuscript textual evidence is exceedingly rich, especially when compared to other works of antiquity.

The argument of chinese whispers and inaccurate text is no longer contested by non-Christian scholars, and for good reason. Simply put, if we reject the authenticity of the New Testament on textual grounds we'd have to reject every ancient work of antiquity and declare null and void every piece of historical information from written sources prior to the beginning of the second millennium A.D.

Has the New Testament been altered? Critical, academic analysis says it has not.

What's your take on the Dead Sea Scrolls? If I recall correctly they tell of Jesus surviving the crucifixion, retiring from public life, joining some monk order called the Essenes (sp?) and starting a family with Mary Magdalene in some quiet corner somewhere.

General discussion / Re: UK General Election 2017
« on: April 20, 2017, 06:13:06 PM »

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