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Hang With Friends

Location: Earth
Members: 849
Latest Activity: 2 hours ago

Come on in, pull up a chair!

Picture yourself spending some time with congenial friends, sharing your lives and pictures from your cell phones." They're curious about that cool game, song, movie, camping trip, art show, or other event that fascinated you. You talk about all kinds of stuff, poetry, styles, personal achievements, relationships, and bad days. You can share your inner child, and laugh together. They sympathetically listen to your feelings about serious topics like politics or climate change, even when they don't agree.

Personal validation comes from paying attention to one another, giving more than you get. Everyone respects you and themselves, despite our amazing range of personal tastes and interests. They'll tell you they don't agree with an idea or behavior without implying you're a bad person or somehow deficient. It's an "I'm OK, You're OK" kind of fellowship, where nobody tries to make himself look better by picking on somebody else.

Nobody here is into mind games. A discussion started with a loaded guilt-throwing question will be deleted.

This group is not intended to compete with other groups on topics they cover but to "fill in the cracks." Whenever a discussion dwells at length on a topic for which there's an existing group, we urge you to provide members a link to that group to continue along their tangent.

A comment is a shout-out, which will get lost in a few days, because the comment wall is just a random stack.

Please start a discussion to share stories, photos, and videos. Replies will pop up in your "latest activity" and a conversation can develop from the feelings and thoughts you contributed. Groups are built on discussions.

Discussion Forum

An AN member passed away

Started by Deidre. Last reply by Deidre Aug 18. 4 Replies

Went into the chat room last Friday night, for the first time in a while, and learned that Mequa passed away. I had been good friends with him for a time, but we had differences and stopped talking back in the spring of this year. I knew however,…Continue

A Parable by Mrs. Betty Bowers

Started by Loren Miller Aug 17. 0 Replies

Betty Bowers is becoming SO GOOD at delivering as America's Best Christian, she now does 30-second parables!  (Okay, 32 seconds!  Picky, picky!) Have You Had YOUR Betty Today?Continue

Tags: bible, parable, America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers

Goodwill to Few Men (Betty Bowers)

Started by Loren Miller. Last reply by Michael Penn Aug 16. 8 Replies

Think Goodwill Industries does well by the poor?  Fact is, they do WAY BETTER for themselves, to the point where America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers, thinks they're ripping off the christian playbook a bit too well!  Have a look for yourself:…Continue

Tags: ripoff, Goodwill Industries, America's Best Christian, Betty Bowers

Steven Weinberg on his anti-theism

Started by Joan Denoo. Last reply by Loren Miller Aug 2. 4 Replies

I like the sound of Steven Weinberg's voice. He has a calming impact on me as I rush to get my home of 41 years ready to sell and plan and put into motion the new garden at my daughter's home. My home is full o empty boxed quickly filling with the…Continue

Your favorite photobombs?

Started by Ruth Anthony-Gardner. Last reply by Plinius Jul 10. 12 Replies

Running of the bulls photobomb.Continue

losing faith (TheraminTrees)

Started by Loren Miller Jul 5. 0 Replies

TheraminTrees has recently begun producing a new series of YouTube videos, which added to a wonderful library of earlier observations regarding his experience of religion. Good as all those pieces are, I personally think they pale against this…Continue

Tags: story, history, faith, TheraminTrees

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Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on April 5, 2013 at 1:28pm

Joan, I can see how rats would beat humans in responding to random stimuli. Quite bright people can be gambling addicts. We’re wired to “see” patterns and intent where they don’t exist. Such as alleged signs from alleged gods.


Of course we have to forge our own sense of meaning. But don’t forget that we are part of the universe and the known universe exists only insofar as we know it (at least for us). I integrate our role as knowers into my concept of “blind indifferent forces of nature”. This means I see meaning in the interplay of natural forces, not as something imposed by an external god but an emergent outcome of complex systems.


There are patterns, from evolution of genes and of memes. Everything isn’t just random, even at the atomic level. Yes atoms far outside of living things behave randomly, but atoms inside of living things and moved by them have their position and momentum constrained because they’re caught up in our complexity. The molecules in my fingertips and the keys of my computer keyboard are moving in a very systematic way correlated with the English language and the molecules in my brain. Those deviations far exceed the influence of their thermal vibrations. Even the size of those random vibrations is correlated with my electric bill.
So I don’t need religion to find meaning and order in chaos, only observation and the understanding flowing from science and philosophy.

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 5, 2013 at 12:00pm
The idea of living or dying by chance alone is hard to accept. If you look at the misfortune and fortune in human life, in the universe generally, there is no pattern that relates to people, any patterns are entirely related to physics. The universe has exactly the properties we'd expect if there were no plan, no design, no aim, just blind indifferent forces of nature.

The Homo sapiens brain insists on seeing order, meaning and pattern even where there is none. It's a very human characteristic to fool ourselves that we are in control. In today's world, it seems that we make more mistakes seeing patterns that aren't there rather than missing patterns that are there.

In fact, there's a great experiment; researchers put a rat in front of a red light and a green light. The red light and the green light flash without any pattern, at random. However, the green light flashes 75% of the time, and the red light flashes 25% of the time. The rat, if it guesses correctly which is going to flash, it gets a little sugar water. So when rats do this experiment, they see after a while that the green light is flashing more than the red light, and they just start guessing green, green, green, green, green every time. They get it right 75% of the time and are happy with that.

However, people think we know better. So when humans do the experiment, they won't do what the rat does. They've seen that it's 75% green and they'll guess a pattern. They'll go, green, green, red, green, green, green, red. They'll start spewing out these red and greens in some weird pattern that's tailored to be 75% green and 25% red, thinking that they can beat the system. When they do that, they end up about 60% of the time getting it right, instead of 75%. Rats out perform humans. That's because humans see patterns where there aren't any. That's just the way our minds work. That is called The Gambler's Fallacy.

Perhaps this is part of the explanation why religion evolved in the first place, it satisfies our desire to find meaning and order in the chaos.

In fact, there is no meaning, design, aim, purpose or plan, just blind indifferent forces of nature.

"In the face of what appears to be a blindly indifferent universe, Dawkins argues that we each have to forge our own sense of meaning."

~ Richard Dawkins, Sex, Death and the Meaning of Life
http://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLB4uoi02B2hPwxZsIP3yPmBGKxwHZ...
Comment by Steph S. on April 5, 2013 at 7:07am
Love the cat photo Ruth!
Also Joan that chipmunk is so cute.
Well it's cold here this morning, and I feel like it's Fall weather instead of Spring. Low temperatures around mid 30's!! Sometimes even goes to freezing at night.
I hope everyone is doing well. It's Friday!
Comment by Ruth Anthony-Gardner on April 5, 2013 at 12:14am

So much good stuff today. Thanks everyone.

Joan, that "Internet Animals Can’t Believe Fossil Fools" made my day. Thanks for all of the pictures and posts. Was there a weird association between your desert flower and Steph’s yoga cat that followed it? Its bursting pistils reminded me of the jazz hands, and they were similarly bent. Maybe I have too much imagination.

Good point Patricia, with your Tracie Harris quote. “If I could stop a person from raping a child, I would.”

We got up to 54° degrees today. I hope your weather was as lovely.

Comment by The Flying Atheist on April 4, 2013 at 11:59pm

Love the chipmunk and the corn, Joan. 

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 4, 2013 at 11:21pm

Chipmunk with expanding cheeks. 

Comment by Steph S. on April 4, 2013 at 10:20pm

Love it Patricia and Booklover and thanks for the link Joan.

Comment by Steph S. on April 4, 2013 at 10:19pm

Love the posts Joan!

Comment by Steph S. on April 4, 2013 at 9:47pm

Comment by Joan Denoo on April 4, 2013 at 9:39pm

 

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