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Jamie123 last won the day on April 9

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About Jamie123

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  1. Jamie123

    Free will

    Why Free Will Doesn't Exist - YouTube Here's my problem: We naturally think that we make our own decisions in life and we therefore have free will. But if God is sovereign, surely His sovereignty must extend over our decisions. Therefore we cannot have free will. People who don't consider things too deeply often leave it at this. But consider the following... If God is sovereign, must He not have the power to delegate part of His own freedom to us? This would not interfere with His own sovereignty since He retains the sovereign power to reclaim that freedom. If this is correct then we do have free will (albeit "on loan" from God). This as I understand it is the LDS position*: Satan (or Lucifer) wanted God to force obedience on mankind (i.e. for them not to have free will). Jesus Christ wanted God to give mankind the freedom to obey or disobey. When God chose to follow the latter course, it sparked off the "war in Heaven"... etc. But Cosmic Skeptic throws a spanner in the works here... Our actions are always directed by our wants, but we have no freedom to choose what we do or do not want. Since we do not have the freedom to control our wants, then we cannot have free will. You might say that a man who yawns his way through the movie Love Story when he'd rather be watching the soccer does not really want to do so, but he does want to please his girlfriend. We don't always want to get out of bed on Sunday morning to go to church, but there's usually some deeper want that forces us to do so. You might also go away and do something you particularly don't want to do (like eat liver...ugh!) just to prove Cosmic Skeptic wrong - but in doing so you would only be obeying another "want" (the "want" to win the argument.) You might say you have a free choice between proving yourself right and avoiding eating disgusting liver... but then it would just come down to which of those two wants was the strongest... It gets you at every turn! Now consider this... If we take the hyper-Calvinist view we could say that God could have implanted desires in us so as to make us obey or disobey Him (depending on whether we are elect or reprobate). But notice now that we have simply transferred the same problem from the "Human-level" to the "God-level". In what sense is God free to act, other than in accordance with His own "wants"? Unless there is some other kind of "free will" which exists only at the divine level (and which we couldn't imagine) then God does not have free will either. I wonder whether assigning freedom to God isn't a form of anthropomorphism: (i) Man starts by thinking he has free will. (ii) He assumes that God is analogous to Man. (iii) He therefore assigns to God his own quality of free will. (iv) He then decides that since God is omnipotent and has free will, then Man cannot have it after all. *I'm not LDS so please correct me if I've misrepresented this.
  2. (Well, not the ones you read at school, I'll bet!) The US Government, in the 18th and 19th Centuries, paid about a fifth of its annual income in "tribute" to pirates. These weren't your Jack Sparrow type pirates. None of your "yo ho ho" and "arrr Jim Lad". these were the Barbary Corsairs from Morocco, Algiers, Tunis etc. - the state-sponsored terrorists of their day - who had been robbing ships and taking slaves from the Europeans for centuries. They even got as far as Cornwall, sometimes nabbing whole fishing fleets, or even coming ashore and depopulating villages. (That's right - white slaves captured and sold by black slavers to black slave-owners! Tell that to BLM!) The British had been paying them tribute for years. Not that the Royal Navy - then at its peak - couldn't have wiped them all out, but it made greater economic sense to pay them off and have them re-direct their piracy against other nations. (Mostly France.) Initially the American colonists were covered by the British tribute payments, but not so after the Revolutionary War. Once the US became independent, American ships became fair game to the pirates. Having dismantled the Continental Navy, and with the US Navy just a vision on the horizon, what could the Americans do but negotiate with (and bribe) the terrorists? It was really only during Jefferson's presidency that the US began to fight instead of paying - though even he had to fork out his lunch money once or twice!
  3. It's better to say "with the greatest respect..." before saying something disrespectful.
  4. "As far as I'm concerned..." Usually said by a person with power/authority who has totally misunderstood a situation (especially in a manner that makes you look silly/guilty) and refuses to be corrected. Back when I was at school, the history teacher gave a talk about Copernicus, in which he: Conflated the idea of geocentrism with the idea that the earth is flat. Stated that heliocentrism was the last word in cosmology, and that even the most distant galaxies "relied upon our sun". When I challenged him, he told me to go and check my facts. (I felt like asking him to "check his facts" concerning the year of the Battle of Hastings!) The next lesson I brought in an astronomy book by Patrick Moore and showed it to him, but he insisted that this was "just Patrick Moore's opinion". When I continued to argue he sent me back to my desk saying: "As far as I'm concerned the sun is in the centre of the universe". He really wasn't interested in learning anything new. https://movie-sounds.org/famous-movie-samples/quotes-with-sound-clips-from-willy-wonka-the-chocolate-factory/and-for-a-student-to-teach-his-teacher-is-presumptuous-and-rude-do-my-make-myself-clear-yes-sir-good For the record, the idea that the sun is not the centre of the universe, but is merely another star, and that other stars may also have planetary systems independent of ours, goes back to Giordiano Bruno (1548-1600). (He was burned at the stake by the Catholic Church - though not so much for his astronomical beliefs but because he denied the Trinity.)
  5. One that always works is: "I don't wish to be pedantic, but..." [and then say something pedantic].
  6. I quite like "Easy-peasy". (I usually add "lemon squeezy" - for no reason other than that it rhymes.)
  7. Jamie123

    Stopping Gun Violence

    "Guns don't kill..." "(Yawn) Yeah I know. People do." "No...bullets do." (Sledge Hammer)
  8. Jamie123

    Why did we fight a war in Afghanistan?

    We (and the UK is as much a part of this as the US) went there because we had to do something in response to the 9/11 attacks. If we hadn't we'd have looked like the meek kid in the playground who doesn't punch back. (And we all know how that invites further punches from every cowardly little jerk who wouldn't have dared knock away Tiny Tim's crutch if he'd thought there was the slightest chance of a reprisal.) And we stayed there for 20 years with the idea of making Afghanistan into some kind of Western cultural colony where girls get to go to school and can hold posts in government. All well and good. But what was the point of it if the minute we leave it all collapses and said girls are all put to death by the Taliban? Were we not supposed to be training the Afghan Army, so that they could hold their own when we finally pulled out? We made a really good job of that, didn't we?
  9. Jamie123


    My daughter is just about to start what we call "Sixth Form" - which is the last two years of school (what you in America call Junior and Senior years). Our kids specialise a lot earlier than American kids - the usual thing is to focus on just three subjects. My daughter originally chose Maths, Psychology and Biology - which I totally approved of. Then she decided she didn't want to do Maths, but Art and Design. Which was disappointing, but OK. But then she found out she couldn't do Biology and Art and Design together (because of timetabling) so she dropped the Biology and chose Philosophy. Now ordinarily I'd be delighted. She's always liked philosophy. I used to give her kids' philosophy books for Christmas and birthdays, and I was reading bits of Plato's Republic to her when she was about 11. She loved it. I really hope she gets to learn about the great philosophers. (Well - not all of them - there are too many. But a few - and a DIVERSE few.) I hope they get to contrast their ideas and decide for themselves without the insertion of any "four legs good two legs bad". But I fear though what murky wokisms might actually be fed to young people these days under the name of "Philosophy". I'm going to be keeping a close eye...
  10. It reminds me of a story I once heard about Captain Cook. The Royal Navy was starting to fight scurvy (the curse of long voyages) by making all the sailors drink lime juice once a day. The sailors had seen limes being brought aboard, and had clearly heard stories about how vile the juice tasted. So they sent a deputation to the captain telling him that they would NOT under any circumstances drink it. Cook's reply was something like "YOU drink lime juice? Don't make me laugh! These limes are for officers only! They're not for the likes of YOU!" After a hasty fo'c'sle meeting, the deputation returned to the captain, saying it WASN'T FAIR and demanding that THEY be allowed to have limes, just the same as the officers. Cook, after fake show of reluctance, bowed to public pressure and everyone got their lime juice!
  11. Jamie123

    My Mid-Year's Resolutions

    Speaking of Perrin, I used to do a great Rigsby impression in the car on the way to my step daughter's parents' evening. (Her teacher was called Miss Jones - though I never quite had the nerve to "Rigsby" her to her face!)
  12. Jamie123

    My Mid-Year's Resolutions

    I'll make that my NEW YEAR resolution!
  13. I'm going to stop being a wicked man, and start being a GOOD man. I'm going to stop making obscene gestures to BMW drivers. (Yes...even when they do cut me up.) I'm going to stop looking "lustfully" at women... (well...except my wife of course) ...'coz we all know what Jesus said about that! I'm going to stop getting angry and doing Basil Fawlty impressions. I'm going to treat everyone with infinite patience. (Yes...even the most annoying people.) I'm going to stop spreading gossip. I'm going to stop making snarky comments to the effect that Meghan Markle keeps her husband under house arrest. Wish me luck. I'm going to need it!