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Jamie123 last won the day on April 9 2021

Jamie123 had the most liked content!

About Jamie123

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    Henry the talking dining chair from outer space
  • Birthday 10/03/1964

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    Pretty much everything.
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  1. Jamie123

    Is there a word for this?

    It reminds me of an episode of Frasier, where Frasier and Niles are unhappy to discover that a new club has opened in town, and they're not members of it. They don't even know what sort of club it is, but they are determined to join it. After a bit of wangling and string-pulling they manage to become members, and discover it's actually a health and fitness club. For a little while they are happy, until they discover that there's a door they're not allowed to go through because it leads to the "Gold Member" area, whereas they're only "Silver Members". So it's back to the wangling and string-pulling until they finally manage to become Gold Members. They're happy again for a while until they discover yet another mysterious door in the Gold area. Furious, Frasier believes that some deeper paradise is being withheld from him (Platinum membership maybe?) so he storms through the door and finds himself out in the alleyway amongst the trash bins. End of episode.
  2. This was yesterday actually, but I heard the song "Tell Your Heart to Beat Again" for the first time ever. "Tell Your Heart To Beat Again" - Danny Gokey (Lyrics) - YouTube I've never needed this message more than I do today.
  3. Jamie123

    Donny Osmond

    "Joseph's coat annoyed his brothers, But what made them mad, Was the way that he would talk about The dreams he often had!" (Great musical! I first saw it when I was 11 and loved it ever since!)
  4. I just tried listing them all: Oddly enough I can easily list my teachers between ages 5 and 16, but after that it gets fuzzy. Some stick in the memory - like the math professor who taught us to do "carculus", but I couldn't for the life of me remember who taught me business studies.
  5. Jamie123

    Is Third Hour defunct?

    I think I'll give Discord a miss. I used to get into a lot of "bad stuff" there. Though I've cleaned my life up (or more precisely God has cleaned my life up) there's no point raking up old temptations.
  6. Jamie123

    Lame Jokes, the Sequel

    I finally got it. It took me a while, but I finally got it.
  7. Jamie123

    Lame Jokes, the Sequel

    What do you call bears without ears? b
  8. I disagree. It doesn't mean "make no provision for tomorrow" but "spend your day so that if tonight you find you must lay your life down, you will have no regrets"
  9. Jamie123

    Swinging Birches

    I've been reading one of my favourite books - "Ghosts" by Adrian Plass - to my wife as a bedtime story. Last night we got to the part where two of the characters go "birch swinging" - like in the poem by Frost. Here's proof that it really can be done: Birch Swinging / Tree Parachute - YouTube There are some birches in our quadrangle. I'm tempted, but a bit worried that (a) I might kill myself, or (b) I might get into severe trouble for setting students a terrible example. Has anyone here ever tried it and survived?
  10. Jamie123

    For Fun: Stocking A Library

    For the kids' section: All the "Tim" books by Edward Ardizzone (plus any other books by Edward Ardizzone, especially "Johnny the Clockmaker" - it lacks the punch of the "Tim" books, but it's a nice bedtime read.) "Green Smoke" by Rosemary Manning (Yes I know she was a lesbian, but I really don't care) "Stig of the Dump" by Clive King (try to get one with Edward Ardizzone's illustrations) All the "Pooh" books by A.A. Milne. "The Wind in the Willows" by Kenneth Graham (Make sure it has Ernest Shepherd's illustrations - though Arthur Rackham's are quite good too. Avoid editions illustrated Paul Bransom. Bransom's artwork is *really* beautiful, but it does no justice to Graham's characters.) Anything by Edith Nesbit, but especially "Nine Unlikely Tales" and "The Enchanted Castle".
  11. Jamie123

    Free will

    I suspect that is too narrow a definition of "want". When we say that God "wants" something (i.e. that we should become His true disciples) are we talking about things "temporal, flashy or earthy"? Yes, many people do perform their duty against their immediate wants, but do they not also "want" to avoid the later shame of not having done their duty? I don't think the argument is dismissed quite so easily as this. True...but do you not also "want" to act in a logical rather than an illogical manner, because that will ultimately lead to greater happiness? Again, the problem here is defining a "want" as only something immediate and carnal. Our "wants" exist on many different levels. Like askandanswer, you are defining a "want" too narrowly. A want could be a very spiritual and noble thing, as well as a bestial or sensual thing. Did you (for example) not want to be baptized? I was (like most Anglicans) baptized as a baby, but I can remember later on wanting very much to be confirmed. And it had nothing to do with any sensual or carnal pleasure. (In fact it was in total opposition to the sensual sins I was struggling with at the time.) I have a book somewhere by Alistair McGrath - an introduction to theology - which asks the questions "could God draw a four-sided triangle" and "could God create an object too heavy for himself to lift" and "could God commit an evil act" - from which he develops the theory that divine omnipotence cannot be summarised as "God can do anything". He ends up with the conclusion that God's omnipotence means that He is unlimited in His ability to achieve His purposes. (Or words to that effect - I don't have the book to hand.) Cringeworthy or not, he raises points which I think deserve thoughtful consideration. Even if we don't agree, it's instructive to consider why we don't. And don't forget he's a kid. A clever kid I grant you, but a kid all the same. We can cut him some slack. Thanks for clarifying that. I guess the idea of "free-will-on-loan" has more to do with the Arminians (originally an off-shoot of the Calvinists, who were similarly preoccupied with divine sovereignty). Isn't that rather like saying that "free will" is deciding whether to chuck your litter in the bin when there's no one looking, and "moral agency" is the same when there's a policeman watching? OK thank you. I stand corrected. One could argue that Jesus still "wanted" to obey his father because he loved Him, and this was for him (being who he was) a stronger desire than his wish not to be crucified. Though I agree that "thy will" and "my will" presented as a dichotomy is rather suggestive. You are falling into the same trap as everyone else, namely of thinking that a "want" can only be something"bestial", or "sensual" or "irrational". I could just as easily argue that you wanted to get better, and your rational mind told you that getting better required you to take your medicine, Therefore you took your medicine (on the occasions when you did) not because you wanted the taste of the medicine but because you wanted the benefit of its other properties - namely its ability to make you better. It's exactly the same as with the pneumonia medicine. The drug addict is presented with two wants - the want for the drug, and the want to be free of his addiction. His "bestial" self will choose the drug, while his "rational" self will realise that greater long-term happiness will be had by resisting it. It could still be argued (though I wouldn't do so myself other than to play "Devil's advocate") that he is still responding to the stronger want. I think you are basically correct, though not for the reasons you have given. This comes closer to what I think myself. Let me try to explain (though it's not going to be easy)... CosmicSkeptic's arguments have a hidden assumption about what the human "will" really is: namely that it's a causal machine which takes inputs in the form of wants and produces outputs in the form of actions. It is like a thermostat responding to the relative strengths of "hot" and "cold" and adjusting the heating or A/C accordingly. But that is in essence also his conclusion, so the argument is circular. You see the same sort of idea in Freud - the idea of "man as a machine" whose actions are programmed into him by "complexes" which can be explained in a causative manner. But if the mind is nothing but a mechanism, where is the...whatever-it-is...that experiences the effects of its operation? I was never convinced by Freud: if I had gone into psychology, I would be a Jungian, not a Freudian. (Most likely I would have driven myself nuts.) I mentioned in my original post that even if the want>action model is (at some level) correct, perhaps God has a kind of "freedom" which goes beyond it. (I put the word "freedom" in quotes because I don't know how to define it.) But perhaps we also have that same sort of freedom ourselves: either "on loan" from God as the Arminians would claim - or perhaps inherent as Jane Doe says - or perhaps (in kind of "Pullmanish" way) as a result of original sin. Quite what this is I could not really contemplate - but could an entity ever really contemplate itself? In a similar vein, I remember once seeing Susan Greenfield on TV talking about how consciousness was a "sensation" which we would one day - by science - understand. I thought at the time that this was wrong: a "sensation" requires someone (or something) to experience it, and would not that experiencer need to be conscious in order to do so? You stand at the beginning of an infinite regression. To make sense of anything there has to be something "above and beyond" - and that whatever-it-is could be the real seat of free will. But what that whatever-it-is is... Pope said "Know then thyself presume not God to scan". Maybe both are unattainable. (And by the way, thanks to everyone for replying!)
  12. 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.
  13. (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!