Last night just before bed, I looked out over my deck, and there
over the middle of it, was the most magnificent spider web ever
devised, shining in the spotlight. This wonder appeared perfectly
circular and was about the size--and very much resembled-- a
33 rpm phono record, with very precisely placed circular strands
close together with perfect symmetry. I still am not sure how
this little master builder anchored this creation; must've been the hedge
on one side and the chimney on the other, and maybe the deck; but
all this stuff was a good ways off, and the masterpiece was hanging
a good 8 feet over the deck. Another amazing thing is that we had
a heavy rainstorm not 3 hours earlier, so this beauty was designed and
built in less than 3 hours.
So here we have a creature, with a brain maybe the size of a grain of sand,
and likely less than a year old, building something any civil engineer would
show with great pride. I got up to pee around 3 a.m., looked out,
and it was already gone.
It is not the equivalent of a civil engineering project though, being much much
simpler. All the spider needs to do is jump back and forth between anchor spots
a few times and then walk around the perimeter with the prior strands to the
same side of it's body.
Very simple rules can create the appearance of complexity, much the way
language and the international monetary system exhibit complexity even though
they have no master designer.
Hmmmm. It *is* amazing to see nature at work. In the case of a spider and
it's web: seems pretty 'natural' to me. But then, some people would see the
'miracle' of the construction of a spider-web as proof that Jesus walked on
water, raised people from the dead, and in another 'guise', created the
universe. Now that's what I call a *leap* of faith.
I am not sure why non believers think people who are believers are
Spirituality is a very subjective thing and means different things to
different people. When I'm engaged in conversation and the subject of
god comes up, I ask people what they mean by "god." I am always
surprised to find out many people use the term as a metaphor and it
actually means nothing.
My mother is always saying god watches out for her. If she wants to
believe that, and it gives her some solace, I shut my mouth. I don't
engage her in that discussion because I do not believe in god, or that
someone is watching me who created me. It's still nice to allow for
others to have their thoughts and sometimes it's really good to just
shut my mouth.
Because it's a tautology when you condsider that belief in
(*) Miraculous and extraordinary events
(*) Supernatural intervention
(*) Angelic apparations
(*) The efficacy of Charms: crucifix, pictures, saint candles
(*) The efficacy of Prayers, Chants, and Ceremony
(*) Biblical Prophecy
are all forms of superstition.
Of course Deists are completely immune to such criticism. Not all
believers are superstitious by definition, just most of them.
It's like saying the story of Jesus the Christ shouldn't be considered
Myth because a lot of people believe it. Strength and number of
conviction is irrelevant.
Yes, some believers are very rational and lack an anthropomorphic
That sounds like a grade A superstition to me. And I would probably
bite my tongue to. But in a public forum where believers are preaching
to nonbelievers, I think the rules are a bit different. You don't go
out of your way to harrass your mother, and your mother isn't going out
of her way to harrass nonbelievers.
I have many images and statues and articles which are considered holy
objects. They are motivating to me, and the sole reason why they are
here. Then again, I'm a Buddhist who is aethiest. There is no
creator god, but there are people who have purified their minds to the
point they no longer need a body. This could be called superstitious.
The whole of it suits me. I can live a spiritual life and not believe
Well, that's kind! My mother is beyond superstition and deep into
mental illness. I don't say this as a mean statement, but at my age I
can no longer ignore it and she has no intention of doing anything
about it at 72.
I do get annoyed within my thoughts when people either blame or give
thanks to an invisible man in the sky. I shrivel up when I'm anywhere
and people are discussing that.
As for believers who harrass non believers, I would ignore them. It's
a problem IMO when someone has to or tends to defend a position as
fact. When asked about reincarnation and if science disproved it, The
Dalai Lama simply said, "Then we will get rid of it immediately!"
Many little kiddies have an Invisible Friend that they either grow out of
as childish & silly, or else their invisible friend turns into God for
them. The tragedy is how so many people love their invisible friend more
than they care about their children, friends, or humanity. And the
invisible friend can be used to justify any harmful thing they want to do.
-paghat the ratgirl
Get your Paghat the Ratgirl T-Shirt here:
On Sun, 20 Aug 2006 20:16:57 -0700, firstname.lastname@example.org
Good point. I don't deny there is a god, I simply don't care and
personally don't believe in a god.
Another interesting thing I've noticed is how people go from one thing
to the other and god becomes the drug of choice.
Your last sentence is why my husband and I don't have a flock of
friends. There's no bullshit "fellowshipping" going on around here.
If you are talking about reincarnation, there are extensive tests
performed when a young Tulku or Rinpoche manifests in another body
after they die. I'm not saying you should belive, I am saying I
believe this to be true and it would take me far too much time to
explain karma and rebirth in a forum like this. I don't find I have
any authority to discuss, or defend the position.
However, there are many books written with Gelugpa traditions. His
Holiness has a newish book, "The Universe In A Single Atom." I could
be off on the title.
There are no objective Or subjective, repeatable, peer-reviewed
studies that provide any evidence that reincarnation does NOT exist.
That's why with most religions confidence is underlying.
Not too different is suspension of disbelief when you see a movie
which makes no sense.
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