Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#41  Postby Autumn Clouds » Mar 26, 2010 8:56 am

A pound to a penny nobody has ever applied because they know the evidence will not stack up under the focus of properly skeptical oversight.


I agree, neverthless there are several cases whom coulden't be discarded out by alternative forms of explanation by skeptical scientists. If there's a logical explanation to them I would gladly hear it. I don't think reincarnation is the answer to these events, just saying its a possibility.
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#42  Postby Mike_L » Mar 26, 2010 9:05 am

I'm going to take the lazy way out and simply refer to the Afterlife Debate Between Michael Shermer and Deepak Chopra. The debate is not specific to reincarnation, but that topic is encompassed in the broader discussion on afterlife. There's quite a lot of reading there, but it's quality stuff. Shermer goes first and Chopra replies. However, I gained the impression that Shermer managed to demolish most of Chopra's arguments in advance!
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#43  Postby tnjrp » Mar 26, 2010 9:44 am

aspire1670 wrote:For an exploration of Stevenson's weird see: http://www.skepdic.com/stevenson.html
Ah, I was wondering why the name was familiar...

On Glenn Ford, the strongest evidence pointing towards an anomaly seems to be his reported ability to speak in an old French/Parisian dialect during his regression hypnosis. This has reportedly verified by UCLA but I failed to find anything more on it except cut&pastes saying it was. Does anyone have a stronger search-fu (or just more time on their hands)? :think:
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#44  Postby Autumn Clouds » Mar 26, 2010 10:05 am

However, I gained the impression that Shermer managed to demolish most of Chopra's arguments in advance!


Thanks, and I mean TY, Shermer's arguments gave me a healthy dose of much needed skepticism, and he was so elegant, unthreatning and so much more mature than Chopra.
BTW you don't need much to refute Chopra's claims, since he just grabs all nonsense he can find and bags it all together.
But he does make an interesting point (it's probably the only time and last one in my life that you'll find me defending Chopra):
"Leaving out the heart of the matter, as Shermer does, smacks of unfairness, for I rely on this same Dutch study and give all the particulars. Skepticism is only credible when it’s not being devious. But Shermer often deliberately misses the point. I cite a University of Virginia study that to date has found over 2,000 children who vividly remember their past lives. In many cases they can name places and dates. The facts they relate have been verified in many cases. Even more astonishing, over 200 of these children exhibit birthmarks that resemble the way they remember dying in their most recent lifetime. (One boy, for example, recalled being killed with a shotgun, and his chest exhibited a scatter-shot of red birthmarks). Unable to refute this phenomenon or imagine a counter-study, Shermer fails to mention it."
The statistical probability of birthmarks occuring according to Stevenson, is around 1/25500 or something like that (it's availabe on the skeptic.com/stevenson site), why is it so high (around 0.35) then?, in many repeated studies?. That's over 10^4 % increment from the standard.

Its not like the psi research that it states, because there was a 10% increase of the avarage we should consider psi to exist... in that case yes I would question the method utilized to reach such slim margin.

The methodology alone is not enough to rebuke the "reincarnation" studies, and most of the counter arguments still fail to explain a large number of these cases, which are unresolved as so far.
Last edited by Autumn Clouds on Mar 27, 2010 5:04 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#45  Postby virphen » Mar 26, 2010 10:09 am

Autumn Clouds wrote:Even more astonishing, over 200 of these children exhibit birthmarks that resemble the way they remember dying in their most recent lifetime. (One boy, for example, recalled being killed with a shotgun, and his chest exhibited a scatter-shot of red birthmarks). Unable to refute this phenomenon or imagine a counter-study, Shermer fails to mention it."


Funny how a skeptical mind looks at this and says "what's more likely, that the birthmark inspired the death memory or that the person had lived before and really had died that way?". Whereas Chopra goes "wow, I can interpret this in a way that suits me while ignoring everything that is known about birthmarks and how they develop, and I can ignore any interpretation that casts doubt on its validity, and hold it up as evidence!".
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#46  Postby Autumn Clouds » Mar 26, 2010 10:26 am


On Glenn Ford, the strongest evidence pointing towards an anomaly seems to be his reported ability to speak in an old French/Parisian dialect during his regression hypnosis. This has reportedly verified by UCLA but I failed to find anything more on it except cut&pastes saying it was. Does anyone have a stronger search-fu (or just more time on their hands)?


Sorry I can't find much more either, on the other hand Glenn Ford was raised in Quebec woulden't that give him some knowledge about French? (still has me confused with the parisian dialect of the 17th centruy though).

You can dig up if you feel like it, to another high profile case like Barbro Karlen. That one should be easier to refute I belive.
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#47  Postby Autumn Clouds » Mar 26, 2010 10:30 am

Funny how a skeptical mind looks at this and says "what's more likely, that the birthmark inspired the death memory or that the person had lived before and really had died that way?". Whereas Chopra goes "wow, I can interpret this in a way that suits me while ignoring everything that is known about birthmarks and how they develop, and I can ignore any interpretation that casts doubt on its validity, and hold it up as evidence!".


Absolutley 100% agree with you.
But the strange coincidence (ref. http://www.childpastlives.org/library_a ... thmark.htm) shouldn't be ruled out again cause some hippie wants to make it fits his new age hokums.
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#48  Postby tnjrp » Mar 26, 2010 1:25 pm

Autumn Clouds wrote:Sorry I can't find much more either, on the other hand Glenn Ford was raised in Quebec woulden't that give him some knowledge about French?
A fact many sites (tactically?) fail to mention, along with the fact that Mr. Ford acted in a number of Western movies (probably because he was a good horseman) which serves to cast some doubt on his supposed past life as a cowboy being a genuine piece of evidence for rebirth.

You can dig up if you feel like it, to another high profile case like Barbro Karlen. That one should be easier to refute I belive.
Well, yes and I'm sure a lot of notable "new age" proponents also have been this-or-that (usually notable, typically same-sex) person in the past...

Anyways, I'm not really interested in doing or even seeing case-by-case refutations as that is an endless (and winding) path. Besides, strictly speaking, that there are an endless number fake/uncorrborated rebirth cases/UFO-as-in-space-alien-craft photos/Santa Clauses doesn't automatically mean there is no genuine rebirth case/UFO-as-in-space-alien-craft photo/Santa Claus someplace.

It would be much better if we could find even a trace of one. So far I think the best we may have is Ford's UCLA clue :dunno:
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#49  Postby Autumn Clouds » Mar 27, 2010 4:08 am

A fact many sites (tactically?) fail to mention, along with the fact that Mr. Ford acted in a number of Western movies (probably because he was a good horseman) which serves to cast some doubt on his supposed past life as a cowboy being a genuine piece of evidence for rebirth.


It's whats giving me a hard time analyzing the cases, separating the New Age shit from the real scientific work. Nevertheless, The Ford case is amongst the weakest of them all, in compare to the Burmese girl claiming to be a Japenese soldier, for instance.

Well, yes and I'm sure a lot of notable "new age" proponents also have been this-or-that (usually notable, typically same-sex) person in the past.

Not at all, same with the grandeur argument. Common amongst the cases, was children grumbling having different sex, and the social heriarchical distribution seems in accordance with historical facts as well.

strictly speaking, that there are an endless number fake/uncorrborated rebirth cases/UFO-as-in-space-alien-craft photos/Santa Clauses

:lol: First time I heard of a Santa Claus sighting.
We could draw an analogy with the UFO cases, I agree. But that's my point. Why should the standar procedure it seems is to completly discard all evidence (photographs, videos, etc), as hoaxes and say they don't exist?. I mean they seem to have photographed something. With the same argument we should invalidate their claims that they're out of space aliens, since further proof is needed.
Most UFO's turned out being experimental military aircrafts, that's something isn't it?.

Our position on these cases seems to be, blantly deny them. But if it was so absolute, these cases shoulden't exist. I think we should move from "mumbo jumbo", to a posibility of a weird thing going on. Just trying to keep an open mind, but always demanding evidence.

I really should stop watching Fringe. :lol:
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#50  Postby Autumn Clouds » Mar 29, 2010 5:37 am

Ok here's another staggering case (for me at least), with actual physical evidence involved.
Hope it dosen't bother anyone, that I'll keep trying to post the most bizzare "reincarnation" cases which seem to elude all forms of alternative explanation.
I'll try to keep looking for isolated phsycial evidence in a reincarnation case, thus far nothing has come up.

Vikram Raj Singh Chauhan is an Indian forensic scientist.

Chauhan has discovered a six-year-old boy named Taranjijt Singh who says he remembers his previous life. According to his parents, he’s been talking about this since he was two years old and used to run away from home. The boy knew the village he lived in during his former life, as well as his and his father’s names. He knew the name of the school he attended as well. On September 10, 1992, he was riding his bike home when he was hit by a motor scooter. He received head injuries and died the next day. His present father, Ranjit Singh, says as the boy became more and more insistent, so he and his wife went to the village where he claimed to have lived in the past. At first, they couldn’t find anyone who resembled the descriptions of his former parents. Then someone told him to go to another nearby village, where they met a teacher at the local school who confirmed the story of the motor scooter accident. They found out where the boy had lived and went there to meet the parents.

When they told the family their story, Ranjit Singh mentioned that his son claimed the books he was carrying when the accident occurred had gotten blood on them. He also described how much money he had in his wallet. When the woman heard this, she began to cry and said she had saved the blood-stain books and the money in memory of her dead child. Taranjit Singh’s parents and siblings from his former life soon came to his new home to meet him. The boy recognized a wedding picture his former parents brought with him.

At first, Vikram Chauhan refused to believe this story but he eventually became curious and decided to investigate. He visited both villages and found the boy and both sets of parents repeated the same story. He spoke to a shopkeeper who told him that the boy had owed him the money that was in his wallet when he was hit, and was probably bringing it to him to pay for a notebook he’d gotten on credit.

Chauhan took samples of both boys’ handwriting and compared them. He found they were identical. It’s a basic tenet of forensic science that no two handwriting styles can be identical, because each person’s handwriting has specific characteristics. Experts can usually spot even expertly forged handwriting. A person’s handwriting style is dictated by individual personality traits. Chauhan’s theory is that if the soul is transferred from one person to another, then the mind – and thus the handwriting - will remain the same. A number of other forensic experts examined the handwriting samples and agreed they were identical.

We could discard the entire case, since it's completley anecdotal, and biased by all parties because of their strong belief in reincarnation (the shopkeeper though, is strange). However what baffles me is the identical handwriting. The odds of this happening are astronomical.
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#51  Postby tnjrp » Mar 29, 2010 9:08 am

Autumn Clouds wrote:
Well, yes and I'm sure a lot of notable "new age" proponents also have been this-or-that (usually notable, typically same-sex) person in the past.

Not at all, same with the grandeur argument. Common amongst the cases, was children grumbling having different sex, and the social heriarchical distribution seems in accordance with historical facts as well
Children are unlikely to be "notable 'new age' proponents". Their parents may be, obviously.

First time I heard of a Santa Claus sighting
Numerous children have Santa Claus sightings every Christmas and they are quite convinced it was the real issue they saw. Not Mr. Jones from next door dressed in a silly costume, par example.

Why should the standar procedure it seems is to completly discard all evidence (photographs, videos, etc), as hoaxes and say they don't exist?
Rather few people do that in my experience. Certainly not so many as is the common claim of the "woo" proponents.

I mean they seem to have photographed something
Indeed. And only some percentage of those are delibrately created hoaxes. Unfortunately nobody's quite sure how big that percentage is, only that is a number in excess of 0.

Most UFO's turned out being experimental military aircrafts, that's something isn't it?
Most UFOs turn out to be something quite more mundane that experimental miliatry aircraft.

Our position on these cases seems to be, blantly deny them
Sorry but that's just BS. We "deny" that UFO photographs, sightings and experiences are evidence for alien visitation because they aren't compelling enough, never mind conclusive enough, towards corroborating "extraterrestrial hypothesis". As to if they aren't compelling or conclusive of some other hypothesis is a different question again.

Just trying to keep an open mind, but always demanding evidence
Indeed and it should be not just be any evidence that can be interpreted every which way to suit an agenda. There be extraordinary claims. There need be extraordinary evidence. And the burden of proof is on the claimant. You do know the drill.
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#52  Postby Iconoplast » Mar 29, 2010 10:02 pm

Oh, dear Anecdotal Evidence. Look at you, pretending you're science. You're just adorable.
Image

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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#53  Postby Autumn Clouds » Mar 30, 2010 4:10 am

Children are unlikely to be "notable 'new age' proponents". Their parents may be, obviously.

:grin: sorry about that one, was referring to Dr. Wambach's studies which involved adults as well.

Numerous children have Santa Claus sightings every Christmas and they are quite convinced it was the real issue they saw. Not Mr. Jones from next door dressed in a silly costume, par example.

:lmao: that brought back memories.

Most UFOs turn out to be something quite more mundane that experimental miliatry aircraft.

Shhhh! don't tell anyone!.

Sorry but that's just BS. We "deny" that UFO photographs, sightings and experiences are evidence for alien visitation because they aren't compelling enough, never mind conclusive enough, towards corroborating "extraterrestrial hypothesis". As to if they aren't compelling or conclusive of some other hypothesis is a different question again.

I agree with you on this point, you have that healthy agnosticism, which is sometimes lacking. However everyone that I had a direct conversation about the possibility of "reincarnation", refused to even aknowledge it, because it was imediatly discarded without reasoning as "mumbo jumo".

Indeed and it should be not just be any evidence that can be interpreted every which way to suit an agenda. There be extraordinary claims. There need be extraordinary evidence. And the burden of proof is on the claimant. You do know the drill.

Yup, that's why I was so careful never to admit reincarnation, just the possibility. :mrgreen:

Oh, dear Anecdotal Evidence. Look at you, pretending you're science. You're just adorable.

Let me just say... :rofl:, Ok, best quote ever from now on.
However:
Not all evidence is anecdotal, the last case I posted it indeed was (that's why I discarded most of it), except for the writing compatibility.
Xenoglossy is not anecdotal.
The ability to remember foreign cultural traditions (some of them rather complex), at the age of 3, and direct observance of them upkeeping them is not anecdotal either.
Verifiable accounts, by a third party, before any of the families could ever have met, I guess it counts as anecdotal, but a rather compelling one at least.
Historical coincidences by a rather large group is anecdotal, but the extreme impossibility of them knowing them, is something to be considered as well. Some of them are extremely precise facts, unavailable to most historians.
And above all:
Birthmark coincidences are not anecdotal. And far away from random occurance, (up to 1 case in 25500, which is strange since the 35% of the study group presented them).

My point before, which seems to have come rather poorly with the UFO analogy, was that I perfectly agree with extreme claims, require extreme coincidences. But given how little we know about conciousness, claiming a utter materialistic view as a known fact on the ocurrance after death (as most atheists do), has the same claim as reincarnation or eternalism. Yet no evidence is required for it. We simply don't know. If materialism was a law of nature, these cases woulden't exist, at least not in the number they do so (Not anymore than you see 'records' of miracles that breach the laws of physics occuring).
Maybe I just want reincarnation to be proven, so I have a rather compelling argument to instantly flip the finger to the next one that threatens me with hell fire. :lol:
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#54  Postby The_Metatron » Mar 31, 2010 2:30 pm

Autumn Clouds wrote: ...these cases woulden't exist, at least not in the number they do so (Not anymore than you see 'records' of miracles that breach the laws of physics occuring). ...


What are the numbers of these cases per year, exactly? Or roughly? Your sources?

Tens, hundreds, thousands? Rate that against what, six billion people. It'll clarify how statistically insignificant they are.
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#55  Postby Autumn Clouds » Apr 01, 2010 3:22 am



What are the numbers of these cases per year, exactly? Or roughly? Your sources?

Tens, hundreds, thousands? Rate that against what, six billion people. It'll clarify how statistically insignificant they are.


I've posted the sources of thes studies on previous posts. They're thousands you're right.

And I'm aware of the statistical insignifcance of them, but you're considering them to be isolated cases. They're not. They involve large study groups of volunteers willing to undergo hypnosis, which pretty much sets them to random. And a large number of individuals, recall some of the items I've mentioned earlier. If the numbers are small it's due to the unwillingness to look into and perform even larger studies, due to being labelled almost instantly as 'mumbo jumbo'. Even Carl Sagan mentioned that we should investigate this further as it's highly suspicious, being only one of the three cases in parapsychology worth studying.

Now my point was, that due to our extremely limited knowledge of the brain, counciousness, etc. Asuming materialism as the valid theory is rather arrogant. And that you only need one, just one of all these thousands of cases to be validated to blow materialism and eternalism out of the water, since it's only required one observation to counter the premises of the materialistic theory.
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#56  Postby The_Metatron » Apr 01, 2010 12:36 pm

Oh well, hypnosis. Why didn't you say? That legitimizes nothing, you know. They may just as well have been vetted by dowsing.

hypnotism/hypnosis - One of the most controversial subjects or phenomena in psychology is hypnotism. It is said to be an altered state of mind a subject enters into at the instruction of the operator, a trance condition in which the subject is amenable to suggestions made by the operator. Stage demonstrations of the phenomenon may or may not be genuine. Since there are no adequate definitions of trance and no means whereby one can test for that state, it appears more likely that hypnotism is a mutual agreement of the operator and the subject that the subject will cooperate in following suggestions and in acting out various suggested scenarios. ...


Now my point was, that due to our extremely limited knowledge of the brain, counciousness, etc. Asuming materialism as the valid theory is rather arrogant.

Rubbish. So far, materialism seems to work rather well.

And that you only need one, just one of all these thousands of cases to be validated to blow materialism and eternalism out of the water, since it's only required one observation to counter the premises of the materialistic theory.


Validated? No. It will take much, much more than a "validation". Testable, repeatable, falsifiable. You know the drill.

Even so. Not one single case passes muster. Having no further reason to think there ever will be, I'm back to watching my grass grow.
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#57  Postby Autumn Clouds » Apr 02, 2010 1:21 am

Oh well, hypnosis. Why didn't you say? That legitimizes nothing, you know. They may just as well have been vetted by dowsing.

Not all of them are through hypnosis, there are several children studies which don't undergo hypnosis.

Rubbish. So far, materialism seems to work rather well.

Can you validate this hypothesis?, Test, repeat or even falsify it?. Show me some evidence for a study that suggests materialism. Can you show me that conciousness is anhiliated at death?, but, we don't even know where conciousness is.

Even so. Not one single case passes muster. Having no further reason to think there ever will be

There are several unexplainable ones, which shoulden't be discarded just because, 'we can't explain them'. Everything has a cause, it's the scientist way to find it.

I'm back to watching my grass grow.

Man, get a T.V :lol:
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#58  Postby MarkHei » Apr 05, 2014 5:26 pm

I read a lot about your skeptical views on a subject I have a little history behind and I find your analysis to be lazy on these subjects. Rather than just be doubters, you need to look at the evidence with an open mind. Many of you seem to have an attitude of being afraid of humiliation vs finding the truth.
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#59  Postby MarkHei » Apr 05, 2014 7:43 pm

I've grown up admiring scientists and the skeptics society but as I've continued to learn I support the view of reincarnation. I find the subject to answer a lot of questions, but the skeptics only have faith in their limited understanding. How can skeptics be taken seriously if they don't only speak the truth? Why would you treat a subject you profess to be impartial to as if it were already in doubt without regard to the evidence supplied?
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Re: Reincarnation Myth or Possible?

#60  Postby Cito di Pense » Apr 05, 2014 8:35 pm

MarkHei wrote:I've grown up admiring scientists and the skeptics society but as I've continued to learn I support the view of reincarnation. I find the subject to answer a lot of questions, but the skeptics only have faith in their limited understanding. How can skeptics be taken seriously if they don't only speak the truth? Why would you treat a subject you profess to be impartial to as if it were already in doubt without regard to the evidence supplied?


So how's that working out for you? Don't like the answers that inspection gives you? Make up some of your own where the results can't be inspected? Bend a spoon, man.
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