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Can Skepticism Blind You to the Truth?

arthur ellison belief skepticism truth blind disbelief

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#31    Merc14

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:22 PM

View PostJ. K., on 25 March 2014 - 02:08 PM, said:

There actually is an observation/testing process that occurs.  For example, Bob believes that every sickness and disease can be healed by prayer.  Jim believes that God doesn't heal on demand.  Both Bob and Jim are skeptical of each other's belief, based on each one's perception of what he has observed.

Jim treats his massive bacterial infection with amoxycillin and is better by Friday; Bob treats his massive bacterial infection with prayer and dies in terrible pain late Friday night asking the lord what happened.  If this is the outcome 96% of the time, what would be your conclusion?

Believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake.  The idea is to withhold belief until there is compelling evidence and if the universe does not comply with our predispositions, okay, then we have the wrenching obligation to accommodate to the way the universe really is.  - Carl Sagan

"There is no difference between Communism and Socialism, except in the same ultimate end:  Communism proposes to enslave men by force, Socialism-by the vote.  It is merely the difference between murder and suicide."  - Ayn Rand

#32    White Crane Feather

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:29 PM

View PostMerc14, on 25 March 2014 - 01:56 PM, said:



Nothing is infallible but the scientific process is at least somewhat impartial and based on disproving rather than proving a theory.  If it survives the process it is accepted but still may be displaced by a better theory down the road. It striives to get it right.  I see no such process in the believer community.  If you say you saw it, it exists.  Period, end of conversation and if challenged, the challenger is dismissed as blind to the mystical.  How absurd.  There is no viable comparison between the two processes here that I can see?
Observation is one of the first steps in the process. There is a big difference between believing what someone says they saw and telling them "no you didn't."

I can't argue with you about blind faith fundamentalism... Non of that is rational. But despite the claim otherwise philosophical materialism/physicalism does not have a monopoly on fundamental reality.

In fact while the concept that leading theories can change dramatically is good, the fact that they probably will makes me entirely skeptical that any of them are actually right. Which ultimately makes the entire "scientific" view by and large totally wrong. I only have 75 years or so of life, why on earth would I totally hang my hat and Deni what i see and learn for myself on a concept of reality that know is tremendously likely to be totally and completely wrong.

Empiricism tells a story ( many times a conflicted story based on consensus driven facts). It's like a path of real bread crumbs leading to the witches house but blown by the wind to get that way. Without all the information the story is complete fiction. It might be a factual driven story but its just as wrong as a made up one.

Eons from now our galaxy will still exist after colliding with M82 ( I think). It will stand alone in a sea of darkness because space will have expanded all other galaxies beyond the speed of light horizon. If mankind evolved during this epoch, there would be no Inflation theory, no cosmic back ground radiation ( it will have cooled tremendously by then), and virtually only intergalactic cosmology. The story we will have of the universe will be totally and utterly wrong. In place of what we have now would be another story based on fact but yet still a fiction.

I am a logical thinking person, billions of years if evolution has given me a dam good system of evaluating information. While not infallible, I néed dam good reason to think its not working. Completely Trusting a system that I know is likely completely wrong most of the time, subject to economic manipulation, group dynamics, and interpretation   by its very trial and error nature over the one nature gave me seems wholly irresponsible. At best a blend of the two.

You might like the book " The undiscovered Self" Carl Jung.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#33    J. K.

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:32 PM

View PostMerc14, on 25 March 2014 - 02:22 PM, said:

Jim treats his massive bacterial infection with amoxycillin and is better by Friday; Bob treats his massive bacterial infection with prayer and dies in terrible pain late Friday night asking the lord what happened.  If this is the outcome 96% of the time, what would be your conclusion?

In this particular scenario, my belief falls in line with Jim.  God is not a cosmic genie who grants wishes, and He is not insulted by the use of medicine.  I was pointing out that there is indeed a process of observation and conclusion that occurs within the context of religion.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#34    Hideout

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 02:40 PM

View PostWhite Crane Feather, on 25 March 2014 - 05:49 AM, said:

All possible evidence maybe, but evidence paints a picture not necessarily the truth.
Are you seriously telling me that for any given phenomenon, you aren't going to believe the explanation that has the most evidence? Then by what criteria do you choose what is real? Whatever makes you feel better? How do you ever know what is real and what isn't?

To those who do not know mathematics it is difficult to get across a real feeling as to the beauty, the deepest beauty, of nature ... If you want to learn about nature, to appreciate nature, it is necessary to understand the language that she speaks in.
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#35    White Crane Feather

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 03:29 PM

View PostHideout, on 25 March 2014 - 02:40 PM, said:


Are you seriously telling me that for any given phenomenon, you aren't going to believe the explanation that has the most evidence? Then by what criteria do you choose what is real? Whatever makes you feel better? How do you ever know what is real and what isn't?
That wholly depends on how much evidence. Yes the earth orbits the sun. But what's causing that orbit? Gravity? Well what the hell is that? Curvature of space? Ok, what exactly is curving? .... ? And why is mass curving it? Higgs bosons gives it mass ( maybe), but how is the sun affecting the earth? What is space? Virtual particles transferring information? Maybe... then the boson somehow causes an angled refraction of information carried by  virtual particles slightly to words it but decreasing in strength as the energy density between it lessons ( farther away).  If we now have a basis for what space is based on virtual particles, where do they come from? The uncertainty principal.... Yeah but do they really just pop out of nothing because of natural instability? I doubt it. Scientists simply say things pop out of nothing when they are perplexed where to even begin to look for where it comes from.

Do you see my point? Saying the earth rotates rotates around the sun is like saying the eggs you ate for breakfast came from your mamas frying pan. It's true... Sort of... But not either. Simply accepting that eggs come from frying pans isn't science. At best empiricism gives us concentric rings of knowledge, but believing that last ring is "the truth" is completely fallacious. So no... I don't simply accept what has the most "evidence", like everyone else I look at the evidence and make a logical interpretation. I understand that these interpretations usually come from a philosophical premiss. Accepting that one premiss has authority over another is simply dogma.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#36    Merc14

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 04:32 PM

View PostJ. K., on 25 March 2014 - 02:32 PM, said:

In this particular scenario, my belief falls in line with Jim.  God is not a cosmic genie who grants wishes, and He is not insulted by the use of medicine.  I was pointing out that there is indeed a process of observation and conclusion that occurs within the context of religion.
I

f two pwople observe a physical event and have completely different views of how that physical event was created then there are only two options, both are wrong or one is right and teh other is wrong.  Your initial statement left open the possibility that both are right and whn teh question is "Was that magical or physical?" only one answer can be correct..

Believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake.  The idea is to withhold belief until there is compelling evidence and if the universe does not comply with our predispositions, okay, then we have the wrenching obligation to accommodate to the way the universe really is.  - Carl Sagan

"There is no difference between Communism and Socialism, except in the same ultimate end:  Communism proposes to enslave men by force, Socialism-by the vote.  It is merely the difference between murder and suicide."  - Ayn Rand

#37    Merc14

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 05:12 PM

View PostWhite Crane Feather, on 25 March 2014 - 02:29 PM, said:

In fact while the concept that leading theories can change dramatically is good, the fact that they probably will makes me entirely skeptical that any of them are actually right. Which ultimately makes the entire "scientific" view by and large totally wrong. I only have 75 years or so of life, why on earth would I totally hang my hat and Deni what i see and learn for myself on a concept of reality that know is tremendously likely to be totally and completely wrong.

The heart of your argument is the above and it is fundamentally flawed because it is based on a lie and poor logic.  You start by saying it is good that some theories can change.  Good, that is the heart of the scientifc method no?  It is down hill from there, however, when we read this "the fact that they probably will makes me entirely skeptical that any of them are actually right".  Huh?  Theories are always being adjusted but that doesn't mean they are completely wrong because of that change, it means they got 90% of the science right and a new method of observation has added 5% to that knowledge and changed 2% of what we thought before.  You, however, equate any change with complete faiure.  Yikes.  It gets worse though doesn't it.

After this mistake you make the completely illogical leap that since theories change over time, the entire "scientific" view is by and large totally wrong.  Wow! Utterly ridiculous statement.  The discovery of quantum physics didn't mean that Newtonian physics was completely wrong.  In fact, Newtonian physics explains perfectly 99% of what we observe in the known universe but in your world, since Newtonian physics didn't describe everything possible in physics, it is completely incorrect.  You sound like the grand inquisitor barking at a heretic in the 15th century with that mindset.

After this mess of logic, you reach your ultimate objective that since science has been proven to be completely wrong you are better off using your own five (six?)  senses, evolved over "billions of years" (your words) to decipher the mysteries.  Here we have gone from the grand inquisitor to the stone age in one fell swoop, where, drum roll please, mysticism enjoyed its heyday.  Congratulations, you found a place where there was no science and man looked up in terror at the night sky and saw magic everywhere.

the fact that you are pushing  this illogical mess on the internet through a powerful computer while staring at an LCD screen means scientific theory works.  This fact alone rebuts your entire argument above.  I don't think for a minute you believe your argument yourself so double shame on you for posting it.

View PostWhite Crane Feather, on 25 March 2014 - 02:29 PM, said:

You might like the book " The undiscovered Self" Carl Jung.

Dr. Jung, who considered himself a scientist, would be very disappointed in the above tortured and self serving logic.

Edited by Merc14, 25 March 2014 - 05:15 PM.

Believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake.  The idea is to withhold belief until there is compelling evidence and if the universe does not comply with our predispositions, okay, then we have the wrenching obligation to accommodate to the way the universe really is.  - Carl Sagan

"There is no difference between Communism and Socialism, except in the same ultimate end:  Communism proposes to enslave men by force, Socialism-by the vote.  It is merely the difference between murder and suicide."  - Ayn Rand

#38    J. K.

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:07 PM

View PostMerc14, on 25 March 2014 - 04:32 PM, said:


I

f two pwople observe a physical event and have completely different views of how that physical event was created then there are only two options, both are wrong or one is right and teh other is wrong.  Your initial statement left open the possibility that both are right and whn teh question is "Was that magical or physical?" only one answer can be correct..

Perhaps I misunderstood what you had said in this comment:

Nothing is infallible but the scientific process is at least somewhat impartial and based on disproving rather than proving a theory.  If it survives the process it is accepted but still may be displaced by a better theory down the road. It striives to get it right. I see no such process in the believer community.  

My answer was intended to communicate that the process of observation and conclusion does exist in the believer community.

Edited by J. K., 25 March 2014 - 06:08 PM.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#39    DecoNoir

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:10 PM

View PostJ. K., on 25 March 2014 - 06:07 PM, said:




My answer was intended to communicate that the process of observation and conclusion does exist in the believer community.

I would very much like to see this in action, if you have the means.

I reject your reality, and substitute my own! Mostly because yours is boring as hell.

#40    Merc14

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:22 PM

View PostJ. K., on 25 March 2014 - 06:07 PM, said:

Perhaps I misunderstood what you had said in this comment:

Nothing is infallible but the scientific process is at least somewhat impartial and based on disproving rather than proving a theory.  If it survives the process it is accepted but still may be displaced by a better theory down the road. It striives to get it right. I see no such process in the believer community[size=3].  


My answer was intended to communicate that the process of observation and conclusion does exist in the believer community.

Like DecoNoir, I too would like to see it in action.  You gave the example above above of Bob and Jim both postulating radically different ideas on healing and, I guess, consider that a process.  It isn't, it is two belief systems and only one can be right.  The process would be injecting 200 people with an aggressive bacterial infection and then turning 100 over to Bob and 100 over to Jim and seeing  who has more "patients" walking around in two weeks.  If they both have 80 survivors then I have a problem, if one has 99 survivors and the other has 3, then you have a problem.

An orb is either dust being illuminated by a flash or a spirit being visiting its ancestors.  I can prove the dust mote orb but so far no one has proven the spirit being  orb.  I have read various reasons for thei lack of proof including impenetrable jungles, overly sensitive tribes, sacred rituals, "I see them all the time but never have a camera during the day, just at night." and various and sundry other excuses.  So what am I to think?

Edited by Merc14, 25 March 2014 - 06:29 PM.

Believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake.  The idea is to withhold belief until there is compelling evidence and if the universe does not comply with our predispositions, okay, then we have the wrenching obligation to accommodate to the way the universe really is.  - Carl Sagan

"There is no difference between Communism and Socialism, except in the same ultimate end:  Communism proposes to enslave men by force, Socialism-by the vote.  It is merely the difference between murder and suicide."  - Ayn Rand

#41    White Crane Feather

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:29 PM

View PostMerc14, on 25 March 2014 - 05:12 PM, said:



The heart of your argument is the above and it is fundamentally flawed because it is based on a lie and poor logic.  You start by saying it is good that some theories can change.  Good, that is the heart of the scientifc method no?  It is down hill from there, however, when we read this "the fact that they probably will makes me entirely skeptical that any of them are actually right".  Huh?  Theories are always being adjusted but that doesn't mean they are completely wrong because of that change, it means they got 90% of the science right and a new method of observation has added 5% to that knowledge and changed 2% of what we thought before.  You, however, equate any change with complete faiure.  Yikes.  It gets worse though doesn't it.

After this mistake you make the completely illogical leap that since theories change over time, the entire "scientific" view is by and large totally wrong.  Wow! Utterly ridiculous statement.  The discovery of quantum physics didn't mean that Newtonian physics was completely wrong.  In fact, Newtonian physics explains perfectly 99% of what we observe in the known universe but in your world, since Newtonian physics didn't describe everything possible in physics, it is completely incorrect.  You sound like the grand inquisitor barking at a heretic in the 15th century with that mindset.

After this mess of logic, you reach your ultimate objective that since science has been proven to be completely wrong you are better off using your own five (six?)  senses, evolved over "billions of years" (your words) to decipher the mysteries.  Here we have gone from the grand inquisitor to the stone age in one fell swoop, where, drum roll please, mysticism enjoyed its heyday.  Congratulations, you found a place where there was no science and man looked up in terror at the night sky and saw magic everywhere.

the fact that you are pushing  this illogical mess on the internet through a powerful computer while staring at an LCD screen means scientific theory works.  This fact alone rebuts your entire argument above.  I don't think for a minute you believe your argument yourself so double shame on you for posting it.



Dr. Jung, who considered himself a scientist, would be very disappointed in the above tortured and self serving logic.
How can you write all of that drivel loaded with straw men, red herrings, and flat out accusations and still claim to be using  logic and judging my logic is beyond me for sure. But since logical arguments stick with the arguments themselves:

Why don't you compound your 2% changes over time. Try 36 times ;)

Yes after compounding 36 times using your own number you would have well over a 100% change. That is totally wrong. But like I mentioned in an earlier post its not that description is wrong only the mechanism. "Concentric rings of knowledge". This is why Newtonian physics works so well. It accurately describes nature, it dosnt exsplain it. Relativity is a better description of macro physics. Quantum mechanics certainly is not a refinement on either, this shows that you have concept of the relationship between the two. QM and relativity are completely irreconcilable at the moment unless you you are a candidate for the Nobel prize and can tell me how. QM is the physics of the small Relativity the physics of the large. There is an interface somewhere but nobody knows how and where.   And its completely different, so it dosnt matter how useful newtonian physics is... its wrong plain and simple. Its akin to your stonage fellas  being able  to acuratly predict what part of the island dosnt get swamped during tsunamis based on their oral traditions about the world tree and the water spirits fighting. This is where people that argue like you miss the boat completely. This is why i laugh when pseudo skeptics think their creative explanations are scientific.



My little iPhone I'm using right now is not a result of explanation.... It's a result of description. The very Idea that because my iPhone works because of physicalist philosophy is simpley preposterous.

You might try at least try to use actual logically constructed arguments when claiming another's lak of logic. It's just silly to even whatch logical fallacies used in nearly the same sentence claiming somone else's "mess of logic". It dosnt demonstrate critical thinking, it highlights and reinforces my points about people simply following sciencism. It actually dont like to bring up logical rhetoric, but it seems I am forced to half the time because people like yourself don't seem to know what it actually is and throw around the term based on your own perceptions and definitions. Huge problem don't you think?

Jung would agree with me totally, how do I know this, because much of my take on matter comes straight from his influence on my thinking. He wrote extensively about the marginalization of the individual and the fixation of accepting averages as absolute truths. You may have known this if you actually read his material. Not that it's perfect, of course, but I find it particularly revealing that your insinuations of superior logic ends with a massive assumption of jungs positions on these matters and how it relates to me.

Jung was a scientists and thinker ---- my view of science is this---- I disagree with white crane feather---- jungs view must be more like mine. :( :( :(

Probably haveing never read my sugestion all I can do is shake a shameful finger your way.

Me thinks one should actually know what logic is and constitutes before throwing out accusations on its use.

That's just me though.





"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#42    Merc14

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 06:33 PM

View PostWhite Crane Feather, on 25 March 2014 - 06:29 PM, said:

How can you write all of that drivel loaded with straw men, red herrings, and flat out accusations and still claim to be using  logic and judging my logic is beyond me for sure. But since logical arguments stick with the arguments themselves:

Why don't you compound your 2% changes over time. Try 36 times ;)

Yes after compounding 36 times using your own number you would have well over a 100% change. That is totally wrong.

I quit reading after the above.  You aren't serious with this are you?  I will allow you to think about the math involved and start over.

Believing when there is no compelling evidence is a mistake.  The idea is to withhold belief until there is compelling evidence and if the universe does not comply with our predispositions, okay, then we have the wrenching obligation to accommodate to the way the universe really is.  - Carl Sagan

"There is no difference between Communism and Socialism, except in the same ultimate end:  Communism proposes to enslave men by force, Socialism-by the vote.  It is merely the difference between murder and suicide."  - Ayn Rand

#43    J. K.

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:07 PM

View PostMerc14, on 25 March 2014 - 06:22 PM, said:

Like DecoNoir, I too would like to see it in action.  You gave the example above above of Bob and Jim both postulating radically different ideas on healing and, I guess, consider that a process.  It isn't, it is two belief systems and only one can be right.  The process would be injecting 200 people with an aggressive bacterial infection and then turning 100 over to Bob and 100 over to Jim and seeing  who has more "patients" walking around in two weeks.  If they both have 80 survivors then I have a problem, if one has 99 survivors and the other has 3, then you have a problem.

An orb is either dust being illuminated by a flash or a spirit being visiting its ancestors.  I can prove the dust mote orb but so far no one has proven the spirit being  orb.  I have read various reasons for thei lack of proof including impenetrable jungles, overly sensitive tribes, sacred rituals, "I see them all the time but never have a camera during the day, just at night." and various and sundry other excuses.  So what am I to think?

Well, I would be with you on the subject of orbs.  As you have observed yourself, they are explainable as being dust.

Considering Bob and Jim, the process is how they arrived at their "understanding" of healing in the first place.  Each one made observations and drew conclusions about what they considered to be the truth.  As you said, they can't both be right at the same time, so one of them is wrong.

Let me see if I can demonstrate the process with this illustration.  There is a phenomenon called "holy laughter" which occurs in certain churches.  Those churches would consider it to be evidence of the working of the Holy Spirit.  I (and others) used a process to determine whether or not I could consider it to be a legitimate or a false phenomenon.  First, I determine whether or not holy laughter is found in Scripture.  It is not mentioned.  Then I determine if the phenomenon falls within the mandate of "discipling nations."  Discipling is helping one mature in Christian growth.  Holy laughter doesn't appear to enable growth, so it fails that test.  Finally, I determine whether or not the phenomenon "glorifies Jesus."  (Think about the Kennedy Center Honors; it's the same idea.)  Holy laughter does not draw attention to Jesus and His attributes; instead, it draws much attention to the laugher.  So, I have applied three different tests to determine whether or not the phenomenon is valid.  It did not pass the tests, therefore I consider holy laughter to be invalid as an experience to be sought.  That is an example of how I would use a process in the context of a belief system.

One's reality is another's nightmare.

#44    White Crane Feather

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:13 PM

View PostMerc14, on 25 March 2014 - 06:33 PM, said:



I quit reading after the above.  You aren't serious with this are you?  I will allow you to think about the math involved and start over.
I expected as much, and it fits well with the title of the OP ;)

Edited by White Crane Feather, 25 March 2014 - 07:18 PM.

"I wish neither to possess, Nor to be possessed. I no longer covet paradise, more important, I no longer fear hell. The medicine for my suffering I had within me from the very beginning, but I did not take it. My ailment came from within myself, But I did not observe it until this moment. Now I see that I will never find the light.  Unless, like the candle, I am my own fuel, Consuming myself. "
Bruce Lee-

#45    DecoNoir

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Posted 25 March 2014 - 07:17 PM

View PostWhite Crane Feather, on 25 March 2014 - 07:13 PM, said:

I expected as much.

I'm sorry but where has belief in the supernatural benefited anybody? Other than the wallets of psychics and healers of course.

I reject your reality, and substitute my own! Mostly because yours is boring as hell.




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