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Social Degradation and Religious Decay (Split from "Life on Europa") in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #7
1. Stillness, welcome to Spiderweb. You will find that most members are either agnostics or hard-core atheists. And most of them actually know what they're talking about, and aren't afraid to walk all over you to demonstrate.
But, if you leave your sanity at the door as suggested, allow yourself to have a little bit of an open mind, respect the others, and know that you have to pick your battles carefully, you'll find that despite the many conflicting political and religious views present here, we're all a great bunch... if not a little hard-headed at times. :P
Who knows, if you pay attention to our little market of ideas, you may actually learn something.

2. "Morality" is drawn from a clearly-defined set of values and social standards. "Morals" are personal values derived from the implications of a set of social values. They also, to an extent, assist in defining said social values.
Simple observation suggests that a specific core set (not the entire thing) of these social values are necessary for social stability, and that many of society's values, including the definition of freedom, the content and context of the family unit, the prominence of religion, and others, naturally evolve from context and society.
I do believe through my theological research and convictions that there is only one working set of these core values... and that they are still prominent in Western society. I have come to the conclusion that conservatives, churches, and political activists are chasing the wrong ball.
The fact of the matter is that morals are always in "decay" because some morals are always changing, i.e., the definition of freedom, the development and formation of the family unit. The fact of the matter is, a society does not internally collapse when morals decay, it collapses when people stop caring about it. I point to the Roman Empire, obvessively religious, even Christian when it fell.

3. Our current "Moral decay" has not come because people are not being religious. Religion may help establish values, but it does not demand them, is not the only source of them, and, if truly of the god that it claims to be from, obviously does not derive from them.
Interesting that Confucious got mentioned. And I am surprised, Stillness, that you have not recognized Romans 1:18-32 which, for those who don't feel like loking it up, states that the will and knowledge of God is ingrained into all men and his glory revealed through nature, etc.
Point is, you can be moral without being religious because mankind intrinsically knows right from wrong.

This "decay" is occurring because two major changes in value have been made: First, value has been purposefully shifted away from society to the individual, ignoring or ultimately rejecting standing social values. From the perspective of those with "traditional" values, this is chaos, and indeed, there is and will be a large period of instability as both social and personal values will need to realign. But from the perspective of those who want the values changed, yes, humanism is finally winning.
Second, the recognition of absolutes has been abolished, and from any perspective except the secular humanist, this is a very bad thing. Without absolutes, laws have no effect, science is merely the observation of slanted perspective and not fact, and an individual's rights are correlated to how much control they have over others. Power reigns, not law, and stability arrives in the form of a military anarchy.

4. So as to explain where I'm coming from to the newcomers, I am a disciple of Christ. A born-again, baptized, Bible-believing Christian, for those of you who require the lingo to believe it. For those who care, I do not speak in tongues, because an online translator can do that for me.

5. That said, my theological research has led me to believe that there is only one set of core values that will be stable in any society (best summarized here, if you're interested.), and that just about everything else will fall into place once these values are considered social absolutes.

EDIT: I missed deleting half a sentance from a rant I decided not to go on.
Drew, thanks for inserting that post. Sorry I missed it.

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The Silent Assassin knows exactly two things: that he knows nothing about why my car is covered in pink paint, and that he knows that he doesn't know why my car is covered in pink paint.
Liar. That's three.

[ Wednesday, July 11, 2007 07:18: Message edited by: Lenar ]

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-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Life on Europa in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #44
In order to keep the focus on, well, the stars, a separate religion/morality thread has been sent here.

Curses upon you, Aran, for beating me to the Scientology joke.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Social Degradation and Religious Decay (Split from "Life on Europa") in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #0
In order to maintain an interesting discussion on extraterrestrial beings and mankind's fascination with finding them without the risk of getting it burned up in a flamewar, let us move the hotter stuff out.

The relevant posts:

quote:
Originally by Stillness
How would you be affected if it were discovered? How do you think it would affect society as a whole?

I just saw "Aliens of the Deep." If you haven't, it deals with deep sea life and the ecosystems around hydrothermal vents. There was much allusion to the teams that were exploring these ecosystems being precursors to teams exploring other planets/satellites in our solar system. There was also a great hope by these scientists that the life that is mainly driven by these vents and not the sun could mean that life is possible beneath the ice on Europa or some other planet that is not necessarily near a star. (One can only guess why they have this hope). They then made the statement that 'this discovery would affect society greatly.' Would it? (I'm mainly speaking of life more on parr with non-human life on our planet as opposed to something like us).
quote:
Originally by Alorael
—Alorael, who thinks life on Europa would change society in that people would go alien-crazy. Research and the media, especially the entertainment media, would explode. Otherwise, life would go on. At least until Jupiter's engineered transformation into another star. That would have some pretty big effects.
quote:
Originally by Stillness I agree with what you said Alo, with this addition: I think that religion would be greatly affected. Maybe in a similar way that I think the teachings of general evolution has affected it. I think it would be the death blow to the faith of a lot of people.

quote:
Originally by Drew
Don't count faith out just yet. After all, if it can weather the discovery that the world is round and that it circles the sun, it surely can weather the discovery of extraterrestrial deep sea creatures under the icy surface of a moon. "Sure, there may be other bastards out there, but we're God's special bastards!" We're already fractured into hundreds of different faiths and sects - why should the introduction of additional life out there stir that up too much?
quote:
Originally by Frozen Feet
I don't think faith and religion will go anywhere untill something very drastic happens to the very nature of human life. If your faith is bothered by the idea of extraterrestrial life, well, it's your problem. Actually, I consider it highly likely that the finding of alien life will spark as many new religions as it will destroy.

quote:
Originally by Stillness
As a Christian I'm certainly not counting faith out. But, religion is not as important to people as it was 200 years ago, especially in western society. And it's still declining. I think such a discovery would speed that trend. I think we'd see a more rapid decline in morals and a general feeling of uneasiness about what else lies beyond our skies.

quote:
Originally by Wary Wanderer
Do you mean to suggest that the decline in the importance of faith would directly bring about a decline in morals? I didn't realize that one had anything to do with the other.

quote:
Originally by Kelandon
I think such a discovery would cause wacky evangelicals to get their knickers in a knot, but I don't think that normal religious people would be affected at all. A clockmaker god could have created the universe to grow life all over the place, and there's no particular reason to believe that we're unique. If you have to believe that life was created, there's no reason to believe that it was only created once.

The discovery of the Americas didn't lead to mass panic and hysteria, so I don't know why this would lead to more uneasiness, and I seriously doubt that many people's morals would be affected (because why? Only a few people's faith would be shaken, and only a few people's faith plays a significant role in their morals).

quote:
Originally by Stillness
Yes there is a link between faith and morals. The decline of both is not coincidence.
quote:
Originally by Drew
There is a correlation between faith and morals, but I would posit that there's not a dependency. What is most important to a moral system is that there is some great authority that dictates what is what, whether that authority be a mythical deity or a man-made government. I prefer the latter, because at least in most cases there's a paper trail.
quote:
Originally by ADoS
[addressing Stillness]
No there isn't.
quote:
Oringinally by Lenar
Though religion defines mores, mores do not demand religion.
Stillness, decline in morality has come due to the destruction of the definition of our society's mores; and the decline will continue until our society either destroys itself or actually defines a stable set of mores.

quote:
Originally by Stillness
I initially meant the traditional definition SoT. Although finding a virus on Europa would be quite interesting. Your question is really why I started the thread though. What would life in outerspace do for you? Why are some scientists so eager to find it?

I said only that there was a link, not dependancy. We naturally have a conscience. It tends to go astray without proper guidance though. People start to set their own standards as it suits them. Hence the decline in morals we see. Increasing disregard for human life, lowering of sexual standards, breakdown of the family unit, lowering of standards of what is considered publically acceptable behavior, etc are all around us. I can see it in just a few decades of being around. I don't know how anyone could not see it. If you start talking about the past century then the difference is glaring.
quote:
Originally by Drew
If anything, the "decline in morals" exposes the flaw in reliance on religious doctrine as their source. Given that religion depends on belief in a mythological deity in order to inspire fear sufficient to reinforce "moral" behavior, is it surprising that an increasing lack of belief in the Church of Our Fathers would cause those individuals to question what the Church is saying? I think this underscores the importance of the role government/the social contract plays as the basis for morality. The difficulty is that unlike a mythical deity, the government is neither omnipotent nor omniscient. However, the upshot is that it's real.

I have a big problem with arbitrary determinations of what "proper" guidance is. While I agree that having two loving parents around to raise a child is probably ideal, the rest of what you generally refer to as a "lowering of standards" is completely relative to your own religious worldview, which is just as arbitrary as mine until you can prove that the authority you rely on is capital-T True. In the mean time, I think that I will continue to abide by the laws we have more or less legitimately agreed to, and celebrate the U.S.'s continuous march toward true liberty and equality, which I think are perhaps the most important moral values of them all.

quote:
Originally by Stillness
Kel, You asked why I think religion would be affected. It teaches God created life. As I mentioned before general evolution erodes people's faith in general - not everyone's. The scientific community would probably push the same conclusion that Randomizer would about life elsewhere. Many would accept that conclusion.

Drew, on the one hand you say "the "decline in morals" exposes the flaw in reliance on religious doctrine as their source." Then you say "is it surprising that an increasing lack of belief in the Church of Our Fathers would cause those individuals to question what the Church is saying?" How does the first follow from the second.

I'll be the first to say that a lot of what mainstream Christianity does and says is bad - it has been for quite a while. To the extent that it sticks to the Bible it is good though. To the extent that society deviates from that it is bad. You'll accept what it says about the family. But the rest you say is arbitrary. OK, let's take my first statement and see how arbitrary it is. I don't have to prove God you you, because you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears.

Disregard for Human Life: In the past century more blood has been shed in wars than in the 1900 years prior to that. High regard for human life (which Jesus taught) would not allow for war. Is that arbitrary?

quote:
Originally by Archmagus Michael
Granted, but while Jesus may have said this- it didn't stop the Crusades, which (in general), was a Christian (again generalisation) invasion of Arab lands (I'm not condemming or anything like that, I'm just stating objectively). And while more life may have been shed in this last century, this last century has also seen massive increases in both population and military technology- there was probably more deaths in the middle ages than in the stone ages, due to those same reasons.

Going back to the original thread, life may well exist in other forms on other worlds, but (as I think has been mentioned)- why are we looking for it so keenly, why are we broadcasting knowledge about ourselves out there for anyone to find? Sure, we want to knwo if there's life out there, but who's to say that it's friendly life, that it won't just blast us out of existance? (a bit doomsday/ late night movie sounding, but we honestly don't know what's out there).

- Archmagus Micael

quote:
Originally by Drew
The first follows from the second because a decrease in faith in the existence of a mythical being undercuts that being's authority to hold individuals accountable to the morality that religion espouses. I.e., once I knew that Santa Claus didn't exist, it undercut my worries about being naughty or nice.

Although it may not be as absolute an authority (and therefore allow for more "flexibility"), I think that abiding by the morality espoused by what we've decided in forming our government is preferable to abiding by that espoused by what a sizable portion of the population doubts the truth of. Further, it's not as if faiths haven't relaxed their standards over time as well. Remember the prohibition against interracial marriage? Or less seriously, how about the SBC's boycott on Disney? Where are those hard and fast lines of Good Ole Time Religion?

And please don't read any further into my words than what I said - that I agree that it's a good thing for a child to be raised by two loving parents. That does not equal "Drew agrees with everything that the Bible says about parenting." Further, what does the Bible even say about parenting? I know that the Christian tradition certainly has many things to say, and many of them are, among other things, hostile to the notion of women being equal to men. No thank you.

Frankly, once you cut out reliance on the existence of a mythical deity, the Bible is no more authoritative than any other codex. "Do unto others..." is a pretty age-old sentiment, and Christianity certainly doesn't have the monopoly on it. There are cultures extant with moral systems not rooted in faith that seem pretty morally sound to me. The Bible even does much to contradict itself - are we to abide by OT prescriptions, or take Jesus' lessons from the Gospel to heart, or are we instead to abide by what Paul has to say, contradictory though it may be?

Also, "I don't have to prove God you you, because you can tell a tree by the fruit it bears"? That's a pretty bold assertion! I'll spare you the enormous litany of the horrors that faith and Christianity in particular have wrought on the world, because I'm certain you're well aware of many of them.

quote:
Originally by Alorael
On disregard for human life: I think that's untrue. In fact, I think that's remarkably untrue. Human life was cheap in the early 20th century. Human life was literally for sale in America into the mid 19th century. The North and South fought a huge war over, among other things, slavery.

Let's look at the death tolls, too. The American Civil War was an unprecedented bloodpath. The Battle of Shiloh killed more men than all previous American wars combined. WWI's carnage dwarfed its predecessors'. The Holocaust was like nothing before it or since, although the "since" is mostly due to lack of organization and infrastructure.

I'll agree without qualm that wars have claimed more and more lives. I dispute that it's due to any change in morals, though. The difference is mostly in weaponry. You can only kill so many people with swords and spears. Guns make that easier. So do standing armies. Automatic weaponry adds on, and so do bombs. We don't want to kill each other any more now than we did millenia ago. We're just better equipped for it.

—Alorael, who on the contrary thinks that aside from the right-wing reactionaries liberal democracies have made amazing leaps in tolerance of and completely acceptance of very different people. Racism is at least ostensibly censured. Sexism is already dropping dead. Rigid insistence on one right way to live is slowly dwindling. It's a decline in Judeo-Christian morals, but it's a great advance in humanism.
quote:
Originally by Safety
I am a christian and as a christian I will hold my self to the certain rules I believe a Christian should follow. However as a Christian I believe it completely unreasonable to expect non Christians to hold christian values. As Chrisians we should be more concerned about the preaching of our faith then political games.

quote:
Originally by Thuryl
I don't know why you see a decline in morals. As far as I'm concerned, the average citizen of a modern First World country is more moral than the average inhabitant of any other civilisation in human history. For one thing, we don't keep slaves.

quote:
Originally by Stillness
If I say I am a law-abiding citizen and I sell illegal drugs, is my statement true? No. To be a law-abiding citizen one has to do more than claim that he is. He must actually obey the laws of his nation. Christ has laws. To be a Christian means you are actually a disciple of Christ. Simply saying you are does not make it so. This is one thing Jesus was extremely explicit on. A Christian waging war is like a Muslim that doesn’t believe in Allah. Christianity is not responsible for any wars, atrocities, or invasions. It’s impossible for it to be.

God places a high value on women. Their role is vital in the family arrangement. I don’t know what you mean by “hostile to the notion of women being equal to me.” Much is said about fathers, mothers and children, but that is not what I meant when I said you agreed. I was only speaking of the traditional family that you spoke of as ideal. And the Bible does not contradict itself.

You say the golden rule is age old and not originating with Christianity, please list the other source(s) that has that rule. You say that God is flawed as a source for absolute morality because people lack faith in him. That’s like saying water is bad because I don’t drink enough of it.

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Alo, Slavery has been around for quite awhile and is alive and well today. War has also been around for a bit. What happened in the last century was unique though. I agree that technology played a role in the ease of killing. But we had two world wars – absolutely unprecedented! That has nothing to do with technology. It was over world domination. Darwinistic thought, which teaches competition and advantage over others translating into survival and prosperity, heavily influenced the governments that were based off of Marx. These governments killed or allowed to die tens of millions of their own citizens. That certainly has to do with morals. I have read a quote supposedly from Stalin that says, “killing a million people is no different from mowing the lawn.” If he didn’t say it, he certainly lived it. Why should it be any different if grass is our evolutionary cousin?

I’m not saying morals alone are to blame, but there is a link. Racism, sexism, and intolerance are still alive and well too. That’s why a lot of folks have love/hate feelings towards the U.S. This country is supposed to be so concerned with human rights yet it tortures, bullies and abuses all over the world. I see no great advance in humanism whatsoever. I see a lot of violence everywhere. There are a bunch of broken families because of low opinion of marriage and lax morals regarding sexuality. AIDS is running rampant all over the world for the same reasons. Millions are dying, starving, and poor while the rich get richer and billions are spent on weapons and war.

http://www.berkeley.edu/news/media/releases/2004/09/23_16691.shtml

“Forced labor occurs in at least 90 cities across the United States… Slavery is a problem the public thinks we solved long ago, but, in fact, it's alive and well.”

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Oh yeah, Jesus was an alien, sort of "You are from the realms below; I am from the realms above. You are from this world; I am not from this world." That's why I can picture a vastly different scheme for "life."
quote:
Originally by Kelandon
Wow. For a religious person, you are remarkably ignorant of religion and ethics. Confucius articulated the Golden Rule at least half a millenium before Jesus ever did.

quote:
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Christianity is not responsible for any wars, atrocities, or invasions. It’s impossible for it to be.
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Well, if you define Christians as only those who agree with you and act on it, then sure, but pretty much no one will agree with that definition.

quote:
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What happened in the last century was unique though. I agree that technology played a role in the ease of killing. But we had two world wars – absolutely unprecedented! That has nothing to do with technology.
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Um, you're so extremely wrong that it's hard to believe that you can think this. The Peloponnesian War was a war that consumed the entire known world, but the known world was pretty small at that point, because they didn't have enough communications technology to find out about, say, the Americas.

Large-scale war between many nations had occurred previously in history (the Napoleonic Wars, the Thirty Years War, etc.). The Thirty Years War was almost as international as WWI. WWI and WWII were different because of the technology available, but I don't think that there is anything else that makes them unique.

quote:
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Darwinistic thought, which teaches competition and advantage over others translating into survival and prosperity, heavily influenced the governments that were based off of Marx.
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Wtf? You mean, governments that were based off of capitalism. Social Darwinists most frequently justified allowing competition to weed out the unfit, which is a capitalist, not a communist, system. By the way, Social Darwinism is not an inevitable consequence of biological Darwinism. It's a corruption of a scientific principle, not the next logical step.

quote:
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Racism, sexism, and intolerance are still alive and well too. That’s why a lot of folks have love/hate feelings towards the U.S. This country is supposed to be so concerned with human rights yet it tortures, bullies and abuses all over the world.
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Yes, but it no longer has a legally-mandated racial caste system, nor does it deny women the right to vote (much less to work), and no longer has sodomy laws. Whatever you may say about the morality of the "good old days," you have to admit that we've made progress on the fronts that you've named.

quote:
Originally by Randomizer
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Wikipedia reference page to the Golden Rule

There are several texts that predate Jesus on the Golden Rule. Besides morality is about actually following what you preach.

That's why Republican family values is a joke. During the period up to the Clinton impeachment, Newt Gingrich told his mistress to give him oral sex so,"I can swear that I never slept with you." This is when he was cheating on his second wife, who was his mistress when he cheated on his first wife.
quote:
Originally by Stillness
It just so happens that I am learning Chinese and studying the culture. I am aware of Confucius which is why I know that he did not articulate the Golden Rule as Jesus did. What he said sounds similar, but is different. Look closer. Jesus requires positive actions of doing good to others. Confucius is a negative version of what Jesus said.

Christianity is not based on me, but on Christ. That is the common measuring line. He was very clear that many would claim to follow him and use his name to perform powerful works but would in actuality be lawless. He was also clear that his disciples should not fight. I can quote the relevant scriptures if you think I’m making stuff up.

I didn’t say that there weren’t large scale wars. I said there weren’t world wars. That was absolutely unprecedented. Technology played a great role in the wars, it always has. It didn’t make them world wars though. The Americas were discovered centuries before 1914, yet there were no world wars. If you don’t think there is anything else unique about them then check the civilian casualties.

Darwinistic thought influenced Marx and governments that were based off of his teachings. I meant exactly what I said.

It doesn’t matter if something is legally mandated if it still goes on. Or maybe you think the government doesn’t know about forced labor. No caste system?

http://www.hrw.org/reports/2000/usa/Rcedrg00-01.htm

“Blacks comprise 13 percent of the national population, but 30 percent of people arrested, 41 percent of people in jail, and 49 percent of those in prison…Thirteen percent of the black adult male population has lost the right to vote because of felony disenfranchisement laws.”

Do you think blacks are genetically more prone to criminal activity? If not, what do you think the problem is? I do think that some progress has been made in certain areas, but the full picture shows regress. I’m not blaming lack of religion for the whole thing. Some religion is bad. Every time I hear about female genital mutilation I want to vomit.

JS, I’ll find the book I got the information from and quote from it later.

EDIT: The book I have quotes from Worldwatch Institute as follows:

"Three times as many people fell victim to war in [the 20th] century as in all the wars from the first century AD to 1899."

I found their website and this article entitled Kosovo and Beyond: Peacemaking in a Post-Cold War World at http://www.worldwatch.org/node/1650 that seems to be what it quoted from. It gives 110 million as the number killed which would imply about 35 million for the 1900 years before. I looked over the article, but it doesn't seem to say how they came up with that number.

quote:
Originally by Wary Wanderer
Originally written by Stillness:

It just so happens that I am learning Chinese and studying the culture. I am aware of Confucius which is why I know that he did not articulate the Golden Rule as Jesus did. What he said sounds similar, but is different. Look closer. Jesus requires positive actions of doing good to others. Confucius is a negative version of what Jesus said.

Regardless of the discussion of negative and positive injunctions, the Torah's repeated statement that one should love one's neighbor as oneself used the positive framework before Christ lived.

He was also clear that his disciples should not fight. I can quote the relevant scriptures if you think I’m making stuff up.

And what, in Catholocism, of papal infallibility? When Pope Urban II started the first crusade, calling for all Christians to wage war against the Turks (and even promising automatic remission of sins as a perk), is this not for Catholics the statement of direct Divine Will to wage war? And what of Pope Sixtus VI's support of the Inquisition?
Okay.... That should be it.
To the mods and/or admins: I'm in a bit of a rush and don't have time to go back for formatting. Feel free to fix it for me :P .

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Seperated from a loved one. in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #24
I suppose I forgot to mention that she and I casually dated for two years before I went to college...
Or that we typically end up talking on the phone every night...
Or that the only reason why the relationship has survived is because we've both had to work at it.

Oh well... It's what I get for trying to make a coherent post in between attempts at trying to revive a dying satellite feed.

In the course of my writing this, actually, she has contacted me via AIM, and asked me to point out that not everyone needs physical closeness in order to build a relationship, and that some of our best times together are our late-night talks over the phone.
Her words, not mine.
But I agree. The best thing to keep a relationship going is not love, nor lust, nor physical closeness, but a devotion to keeping that relationship going. It takes constant open communication, sacrifice, and even going through hell to go through. But the results are more than worth it.
A long-distance relationship is hell. I hate not being with her, and she hates not being with me. But I know that she's okay, and I know that she is as devoted to waiting it out as I am. And that is why I will continue being in this realtionship, alone, but not alone. Thank you, free nights and weekends.

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The Silent Assassin believes that a raging inferno can also be hell.
The best way to survive, he says, is fireproof diving flippers and a good sprinkler system.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Seperated from a loved one. in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #19
quote:
Originally written by Ceylon:

Someone brought up long distance relationships. There is really no point to long distance relationships, because ultimately they are not really relationships. Instead they are fantasy. A relationship requires two people together in the same place.

Oh?
I would like to point out that I am the embodiment of the contradiction of that observation. I am currently going into year four of what appears to be a five-year long-distance relationship.
It's no fantasy. It's hell.
Granted, we do get to see each other once every two months or so, and normally during summers.
Of course, the only reasons why we're still involved is because we're devoted to each other, and we're devoted to seeing it through.
It still takes a lot of open communication. I'd like to thank AIM, e-mail, the United States Postal Service, and especially Free Nights and Weekends. There's nothing quite like waking up to your cell phone at two in the morning and answering it to hear your sobbing girlfriend on the other end...

My point? I'd rather be in a long-distance relationship with her than none at all.

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The Silent Assassin would like to thank peanut butter and jelly. There's nothing quite like it.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Life on Europa in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #22
Arthur C. Clarke was the prophet and herald of the modern era.

--

Life on other planets?
I do often wonder why God created the universe at its infinite size if its sole inhabitants can only see a fraction of a percent of it.
What would said life be like? No idea. Probably both different and similar to that with which we are familiar.
I mean... we've found some oddly alien stuff living in our oceans...

--

Though religion defines mores, mores do not demand religion.
Stillness, decline in morality has come due to the destruction of the definition of our society's mores; and the decline will continue until our society either destroys itself or actually defines a stable set of mores.

I'd rant, but I don't feel like helping this thread go off-topic.

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The Silent Assassin believes there must be life beyond the stars.
Seriously... what kind of life is a life of stardom? No privacy, and you get criticized for throwing oatmeal cream pies at people.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Seperated from a loved one. in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #2
It wouldn't hurt to go into a bit more detail. We won't lynch you for a session of "true confessions".
Why did you get cut off? What happened? Why was there no choice? Why are you doubtful that you can recover your relationship?
All of these are factors in how you would want to approach her.

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The Silent Assassin is working on building a transmitter using wire coat hangers.
I don't know why he left all of the coats on the front porch, though. He could have left them in the closet.

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-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Video Game Addiction in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #115
My doctor is honest. He tells me what I have, what he wants to treat about it, what he's prescribing, what it'll do, why he's prescribing that one as opposed to something else, and what kind of behavior I can implement to help the healing go faster. Best part is, I generally don't have to ask.
He also tells me that I'm a moron.
I think I'll listen to him.

Of course, I'm one of those rare fools who is on a first-name basis with his doctor.
And, of course, I have one of those rare doctors who is more interested in lifestyle than diagnosis.

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The Silent Assassin prescribes two aspirin, a nitroglycerin, four crab apples, and a Jersey peach.
Toss them at your target and call him in the morning.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Project Spiderweb. in Blades of Avernum
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #80
I do think that it would be appropriate for the beast to appear, at the very least, due to Nioca's bringing it into popularity.
Maybe turn it into an animated dancing terrain piece or something.

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The Silent Assassin is a dancing fool.
So there.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Video Game Addiction in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #6
Curses upon UBB errors.
I'll have to remake this one quick.

Addiction is when one sees that an activity is becoming disruptive, wants to stop, and cannot.
To consciously skip meals, drink, and sleep for a game is not a sign of addiction; it's a sign of someone with one hell of a messed up priority list.

One hour a day, eh? On the average school day, I spend as much time sketching as a do gaming, and I definitely spend more than an hour a day gaming, if I have time (I rarely know if I can budget enough time for a book); does this make me a sketching addict?

The APA has made it clear that they officially frown upon video games, particularly anything that can be construed as violent, as they worry over the correlation between video games and high levels of aggression (though there is a minority that does not like this stance, citing similar correlations of aggression and soccer, or watching an NFL game, or shopping. Some APA psychologists go so far as to believe that regular experiences of aggression are necessary for continued health.), so I am not surprised that they have finally found a social hypochondriac label for gaming.
But really, social hypochondria is all that it is.

Everything in life is illegal, immoral, or obscene. Everything not immediately falling into these categories is fattening, violates someone's rights, or causes cancer in the state of California.

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The Silent Assassin blames the deterioration of traditional family structure.
If the radio had never been invented, society would never have been disrupted, and communism would never have come into being.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
*cough* in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #1
We've missed you, too.

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The Silent Assassin points out that hyrdocarbons can be an effective deterrant when used en masse on a wet freeway.
I don't want to know how he knows... I don't want to know...

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Vacations/trips in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #17
My sojourn in WV is officially halfway through.
I'm going home for vacation for the first two and a half weeks of August.
I miss Jersey. I really miss Jersey.

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The Silent Assassin missed Jersey, too. Instead, the water baloon hit her sister Della in the face.
I don't know how you can fit someone in a mailbox... but the Silent Assassin does now.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Happy Birthday Alorael in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #24
Weird fact... skribbane turns up 2750 references on google. Nothing one can use as a gift, alas.

Happy Birthday, Alo.
Have a new toy. Or two.

IMAGE(http://tbn0.google.com/images?q=tbn:7SGnU680JnTAMM:http://www.halflife2.net/news/1109529508_sniper_rifle.jpg)

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The Silent Assassin celebrates Alo's birthday with watermelons.
Who knew that catapulting fruit at golf carts could be so much fun?

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Hw old are you? in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #56
quote:
Originally written by adamjc:

But popular enough to have his own nickname, eh? ;)
A nickname does not evidence popularity; nor does popularity ensure a nickname. Typically a nickname is assigned due to either convenience, or endearment.
Iffy has a nickname because "Infernal Flamming Muffin" is excessive on the fingers to type and wearying on the mind to read (not to mention the need to put an end to the "flamming"/"flaming"/spamming issue. ugh.).
It is much like how Emperor Tullegolar (when is he due back?) is called Tully, or how Lenar is an abbreviation of my own original PDN (I mean, who wants to type out "The Inexorable Lord Grimm, of Lenar Labs" all the time?). It has nothing to do with popularity or infamy. It just keeps things short and simple.

---------------------
The Silent Assassin is currently recovering from injuries sustained on his last job.
I hope he's a bit wiser for trying to use a lit floor lamp as a mop.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Invading iTunes in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #1
Nice picture.

Alas, my office computer does not like streaming media, so I will not be able to listen for some time. :(

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The Silent Assassin auditioned as lead singer for a band once.
I know. I still don't get it.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Being Errorized! in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #68
quote:
Originally written by Jumpin' Sarcasmon:

Three pages, and the conversation still fits the topic.
Now that's irony.

EDIT: Chickens can be quite funny.
EDIT2: My Copyright ethics shoulder angel says that I need to cite that excerpt. It's from Frank Peretti's "A man, a microphone, and a chair."

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The Silent Assassin has been kind enough to put my office back together for me.
Witholding the shed keys does wonders. I should do it more often.

[ Wednesday, June 20, 2007 08:26: Message edited by: Lenar ]

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Hw old are you? in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #33
20.805

I do rather feel offended by the fact that twenty-somethings make up a plurality of this community, and yet the teens get more attention.

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The Silent Assassin is roughly 5205.
My math may be a little off.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Love Life Poll in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #44
First relationship at 15
First serious realtionship (realized) at 16
First kiss at 15
First time as something farther than a kiss... 17
Not married yet. We're waiting until both of us have our Bachelors' degrees.
Only been in one relationship.
And, yes, I'm quite happy with it.

Point One. There is absolutely nothing wrong with being single. At any age.
And seeing the modern style of dating, I would strongly recommend being single to anyone under age twenty...
To think that you silly little teenagers think that you understand the nature of relationships... gah...
To think that I thought I knew what I was getting into... gah...

Speaking from experience (both mine and others), one of the best ways to find that someone... is to stop looking. Seriously. Desperation leads to bad choices, and people get burned. Instead, just let relationships happen on their own. If you click with someone, and you think that it can go places, explore it... but explore it wisely.
Amanda and I started dating as a measure to explore our relationship; we were already friends (and by friends, I mean ex-worst enemies), and she was feeling the pressure to start dating. We decided at the forefront that we were going to take it slow, that we weren't going to do anything that we would regret, and that we would try to keep things at a level where either one of us could break it off without necessarily burning the other.
And here we are, six years later; three years into a long-distance relationship, having run the gamut of problems that a couple not living together can experience. We'll be getting engaged soon (she doesn't know when yet :D ); she's gone crazy about planning our wedding (no Alex, not all girls have it planned by age 7.).
The contributors in keeping a relationship stable? Open, constant, and direct communication, honesty, a devotion to the other person, and a devotion to the relationship, among others. If you can keep yourselves devoted to these, you can fight, argue, hate the other's interests, and still have a thriving and powerful relationship despite it all.

And Iffy... who and what you are will do nothing to get you into a relationship; part of a good relationship involves accepting people despite who and what they are. This counts for friendships as well as romantic relationships.

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The Silent Assassin believes that Philos is the best form of love to deal with...
Becasue Philos causes me to forgive him after blowing up my office...

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Elitist? in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #37
"Elitist" is not a bad thing, if elitist is defined as having high standards.

"Elitist" becomes a bad thing when the definition includes xenophobia, egotism, exclusivism, and the poor manners that are associated with them.

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The Silent Assassin believes that the gel pen is the new great weapon of terror.
I so cannot believe that he got unwashable hot pink streaks all over my faovrite cape...

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-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Intel & A1-A3 in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #8
quote:
Originally written by Tyranicus:

It's kind of fate that they run better in emulated Windows than in OS X. :P
FYT.
:D

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The Silent Assassin runs better on concrete than sand. He tried to find a way to run on water once.
Suffice to say, the mishap with the sulfuric acid reaction wasn't pretty.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Sanity Check in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #3
So did mine...

Hmm. I'm seeing a trend here.

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The Silent Assassin believes that polls are of teh squirrels.
Kill teh evil evil squirrels!

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Why? in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #25
quote:
Originally written by Jewels:

I They're not just games, they are creative outlets.
Quoted for Truth.

EDIT: Randomly, just for Nikki:

Kumquat.

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The Silent Assassin informs me that he has drawn much inspiration from BoA.
Particularly from the Cloud of Blades, aparrently.

[ Friday, June 01, 2007 07:12: Message edited by: Lenar ]

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Foul Hordes in Blades of Avernum
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #8
I look forward to critiquing them all in the next few weeks.
-evil smile-

...
Now, I just have to figure out how to get the new stuff over to my PC...
:(

EDIT: -Looks at tables- Ooh. Finally, another scenario for my original party to... violate shamelessly.
And I've got the transfer figured out. Tee hee.

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The Silent Assassin is off sharpening shurikens for his next job.
He's been hired to help some environmentalist group stage a protest.
Or was it stop a protest?

[ Thursday, May 31, 2007 09:16: Message edited by: Lenar ]

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
Why? in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #5
I play Spiderweb games because I like a game where I can sit back and think.
And where I can enjoy a well-thought plot.
And where the third-party scenarios don't suck as a rule.
And because I couldn't play graphic-intensive games until about two years ago, and the Avernum series had already earned itself a permanent place in my heart at that point.
And because no one doesn't like a good RPG. "Good" being the keyword.

Yes, Oblivion is one of my favorite games of all time... because it is designed to be an immersive experience, not due to any of its explicitly FPS or RPG elements.
Yes, No one cannot love StarCraft.
But Exile 2 is also one of my favorite games of all time, because it has a brilliant plot, and because I enjoy the style of gameplay. So it lacks in terms of a visual engine, so what? I love the large spell library, the cluttered item system, and the fact that Waldby might sell you a Magic Wave Blade while you're still level 1.

A GUI can be misleading. True, powerful graphics and physics engines can be utilized for great storytelling and cinematic experience; but they need a solid plot or gameplay drive behind them to make a game worth playing.
But even poor graphics can be enjoyed if the gameplay is good enough.
I mean, how many of us don't go back to old-school console games from time to time? Why are many gaming companies remaking the classic stuff?
Because the mechanics make the game.

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The Silent Assassin recently participated in a Pong tournament.
Alas, his exposure to the Wii got the best of him: he was disqualified after knocking out his opponant when he lost his grip on the paddle.

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00
The Simplest Path in General
Lifecrafter
Member # 6700
Profile Homepage #16
IMAGE(http://photos-775.ak.facebook.com/ip002/v63/66/76/141300885/n141300885_30562775_4613.jpg)

Is hereby awarded to Lone Flame.
:P

--------------------
-Lenar Labs
What's Your Destiny?

Ushmushmeifa: Lenar's power is almighty and ineffable.

All hail lord Noric, god of... well, something important, I'm sure.
Posts: 735 | Registered: Monday, January 16 2006 08:00

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