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Comment Re:The damage is already done (Score 1) 813

The small pox vaccine was an unusually aggressive vaccine giving severe complication to 1 out of 1.000.000 vaccinated (think hit by lightning). Very few other vaccines are anywhere as dangerous. I think the hepatitis vacinne is the most dangerous of the common vaccines now, and it just gives you joint-pain for a few days if you are unlucky.

When my son (now 12yo) was less than a year old, he received the usual MMR vaccine. What happened that night was the scariest night of my life. Imagine a 12 month (iirc) old baby, clenching his fists and teeth, rigid body, high fever, while screaming through his teeth. This went on non-stop for several hours. The emergency room staff could do nothing. It eventually went away on its own. The doctors later blamed the MMR vaccine and told us not to give him the next round which was due a few years later. Interestingly, he has Asperger's Syndrome. But he got that from me, not the vaccine.

Comment Re:I win! (Score 1) 645

This means that until we have a full understanding of Physics (if ever, see Godel's incompleteness theorem) then the existence of God must remain undecided.

"If you choose not to decide, you still have made a choice!" Rush - Free Will

Comment Re:Goes both ways... (Score 1) 645

In Islam, a core belief is the belief of predestination (qada' and qadar) meaning what has happened, is happening and will happen is already written. As humans we are given the gift of "free will" [......]

You're a scientist and you can't see that those two things are mutually exclusive?

Christianity is nearly identical in this respect. As a human, you have free will to do whatever you want. That thing you do may be God's will for your life, or may go against God's will and serve your selfish interests instead. And even if you do evil, God may still use your actions as part of his plan, for his glory. But God knew from the foundation of the world who you would be, what you would do, and whether you would have faith in christ.

Comment Re:Goes both ways... (Score 1) 645

Tell me, what part of your abilities came from God?

All of them. And yours too. Does the pot tell the potter that he doesn't exist? That the pot spontaneously sprang into existence and is an awesome bit of pottery all by himself?

Did he go through the years of school for you?

I would argue that the school, and the earth where it sits, and the teachers, and the people who taught the teachers back to the beginning, and the laws of physics that govern everything from the science you study to the curing process in the concrete used in the school's foundation come from God. You could use the intelligence and curiosity given to you by God to work hard and toil to learn whatever you want and earn your titles and degrees. And with them, maybe you can even do God's will and participate in God's plan for your life. But without God, it's all for nothing. Hell is full of doctors and scholars, as is Heaven. So, as it is in this world, it must not be the piece of paper that makes you who you are or qualifies you for an afterlife that doesn't suck.

Perhaps he inspired you with the knowledge of how chemical reactions work?

Thanking God for your abilities is just pushing it back a step. Instead of me disrespecting a doctor by giving God the credit instead, that's you disrespecting every human teacher you ever had.

Human pride.

If you're thanking God for the aptitude alone, thank your parents -- nature or nurture, the part you're crediting God with likely came from them.

If you're thanking God for every single event that deterministically led to you being where you are now, basically for setting the universe in motion, even if that were true, that seems absurdly far removed from what you're actually doing with medicine -- how do you know you're even doing what the creator of the universe would want?

The bible, the holy spirit, and prayer. This is probably impossible to understand without being a christian.

What is it I'm supposed to be presuming that isn't possible?

That you can save yourself.

Comment Re:Unlikely (Score 1) 535

Thus, there's more people, by far, who can easily (for varying values of easy) learn English than there are who can easily learn Chinese.

I once talked with a naitive chinese speaker about learning english vs learning chinese. The guy was very smart and had a good vocabulary in english, but he had real problems with his accent. He says that while learning to read and write chinese is a nightmare, actually speaking chinese is surprisingly easy for americans. He says the major cities are full of foreigners who can speak chinese, have great vocabularies, and nail the pronunciation, even with the crazy intonation. But they may not be able to read it very well at all.

This matches my own experience with Japanese. I'm not fluent, but I get by well. For example, on my last visit to Japan, I managed to navigate customs entirely in Japanese. I can read and write hiragana and katakana well enough. But I only know maybe 100 kanji. Speaking japanese really is not as bad as it sounds. I found it as easy to learn as french for example.

English on the other hand is a nightmare to learn to speak and to read/write. The spelling system is screwed up. There's 600,000 to 1,000,000 million words depending on who you ask. There's a dozen or more dialects, each with their own exclusive set of idioms. The south africans are almost unintelligible. We have crazy grammar rules. We have 273 irregular verbs. (only latin and italian have more iirc) And native speakers abuse the language like you wouldn't believe. Even our grandparents often use different idioms and pronunciations than we do. I'd hate to have to learn english as a second language.

Comment Re:Go electronic! (Score 2) 441

You can buy and sell things so long as you can barter with someone. Making the currency electronic and requiring implanted RFID devices to make transactions will make one's life difficult, but it won't close the barter loophole - and, as in any case of regulation, a shadow economy would inevitably arise, with its own currency (likely gold and other precious metals and stones). So you'd still need a law either way.

Yeah, this is the consensus. That christians will have to find other ways to get what they need. I suspect it will be a lot like nazi germany. There were some non-jewish germans who helped the jews. I think a black market will be a lot harder with a modern surveillance society, but certainly not impossible. The bible clearly says that there will be christians who make it all the way through the tribulation alive. This means 3.5 years on the run. They must be eating something, even if it's been provided supernaturally.

Comment Re:Go electronic! (Score 1) 441

> I believe that Jeffery Dahmer is in heaven. This is because he was saved shortly before he was killed in prison

You're assuming he actually changed and was actually forgiven - something you won't really know unless you meet him in heaven or hell. There's no faith-o-meter that can tell you beforehand which way someone is going, whether they're just saying the words or they really mean it. If there can be "bad christians", that means there can also be insincere conversions.

Of course you're right. There's no way to be sure. But I've seen an interview with the pastor who met him in prison. It was his opinion that his acceptance of christ was sincere. And I have no reason to doubt that.

Comment Re:Go electronic! (Score 1) 441

Yes, but meanwhile they are happy to wear the mark of greed.

The christian community has the exact same problems that the non-christians have. There's divorce, incest, child molestations, theft, lying, cheating... everything. If you look at the statistics, there's really not much outward difference between christians and non-christians.

There's a lot of reasons for this. There are huge numbers of people who call themselves christians, but really aren't any different from other people. Maybe they believe. But they don't go to church, and more or less behave like they're not christians. But everyone looks at people like that and says, see? The christians are hypocrites! Is this person really a christian?

Then there's the christians who really are making an effort to behave in a christ-like manner. But this is spectacularly difficult. So difficult that no one can really do this 100%. So people make their best effort with varying degrees of success. They make mistakes, some small, some big. They recognize what happened, apologize to those affected, repent, and do their best to not repeat the mistake, which sometimes happens and sometimes not. When these people make mistakes, the reaction from non-christians is the same. See?! Hypocrites! Christianity is BS! But what these non-christians should be doing is indicting the person and not the religion.

Christianity isn't about never sinning again, although that is the goal. In fact, it's safe to assume that never sinning again is impossible. In the end, it doesn't matter who has sinned how much, if this person has sinned more or less than that person who got into heaven or who didn't. In the end, all that matters is faith in jesus. You either have it or you don't.

To drive the point home, I believe that Jeffery Dahmer is in heaven. This is because he was saved shortly before he was killed in prison. Some people would react with shock and indignation to this. After all, why would someone so awful be allowed into heaven? But christians have a different perspective. If even someone as bad as Jeffery Dahmer can be forgiven, then so can I.

Comment Re:Go electronic! (Score 0) 441

Can you explain how this equates to a "one-world cashless financial system where the government can approve or deny any transaction in real-time"? It would seem to me that a much more trivial interpretation would be a law enacted such that no-one can trade with people not bearing the "mark".

I think it's reasonable to make an attempt to line up today's technology with the prophecy. If you simply passed a law, what's to stop people from circumventing the law? When it says "no one can buy or sell, I read that as no one is able to buy or sell. In other words, it's impossible.

The prophecy quite specifically talks about a mark on the right hand or on the forehead. It would seem that implanting an RFID chip into the left hand should not pose any problem to Christians.

I think christians approach this from a different angle. Rather than say that anything in the left hand is ok, I think we say that it's going to be in the right hand (or forehead) because that's what's written there. In other words, you can speculate that somewhere along the way, we might be offered something in the left hand. But I doubt that will happen at all. But this tends to be a touchy subject for most (real) christians, hence the aversion to anything that even remotely looks like the mark.

There's a lot of debate in christian circles what the meaning of the mark is. Some say it's some sort of tattoo or barcode. Others say that it's purely a spiritual mark and not really something that is manifested here in this world. But I think it would be impossible to control commerce with a purely spiritual mark. So I take a more pragmatic approach. The goal of the antichrist is to flush out the christians so that they can be killed. What better way than to deny us the ability to eat or work or have a place to live? The problem with all this isn't so much the actual mark or participating in the beast financial system. The problem is that you have to swear allegiance to the antichrist. At that point in time, you'll have to make a choice between Jesus and the antichrist. And there will be no middle ground. You're either in our you're out. And being out is really bad news for eternity.

Comment Re:Go electronic! (Score 0) 441

Not without a lot of baseless guesswork, they don't.

Revelation 13:16-17

It (the beast/the antichrist together with the false prophet) also forced all people, great and small, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads, so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.

Sounds pretty clear to me. You'll find that christians will most likely happily go to their death before agreeing to an implanted RFID (or similar) chip used to facilitate buying and selling.

Comment Re:Go electronic! (Score 3, Interesting) 441

Was. (if this idiocy is implemented)

The article basically describes RFID tech capable of being built into money. These RFIDs can be read at any point-of-sale cash register. No? Give the government a year or so, as this is the real purpose of all of this--tracking every fucking dollar spent (not to mention the person doing the spending).

As with any RFID system, use your microwave oven liberally. 5 seconds is usually enough. If enough people do this, the whole scheme falls apart as constant "counterfeits" will be a deterrent to doing business and people won't trust the RFID pass/fail determintation. Besides, what happens if your hundred-dollar bill RFID malfunctions (from, say, being crumpled up in a pocket while going through the washer?) and no longer communicates? Are you out a hundred bucks? Will the clerk waiting for you to pay for a full shopping cart of groceries care?

It isn't a collar unless you let them put it on you.

As a christian, stories about tracking purchases are very interesting to me. End-time prophecies say that we'll eventually end up with a one-world cashless financial system where the government can approve or deny any transaction in real-time. Say something bad about the government? Associate with the wrong people? Refuse to take this mark that says you agree to worship the mandated one-world religion instead of whoever you want? No transaction for you... and the police will be there in a moment. Please remain calm.

Just 30 years ago, none of us thought this would be in our lifetimes. After all, who could imagine stringing together 1,000,000 apple 2Es over phone lines to make this work? Now? I think I could design the system myself. We're not supposed to set dates. But at least this part of the puzzle can happen pretty much right now.

Ordinarily, I'd think about this stuff and feel a sense of dread. But I'll be gone when all this happens. It's you non-christians who get to deal with that mess. ;-)

Comment Re:Why trust your ears? Unless you're blind that i (Score 1) 620

The thing that floors me is that people get hit by trains. TRAINS! We're talking like five-thousand plus tons of steel rumbling down a track, and people don't notice. How is this even possible? How self-absorbed do you have to be to notice a freaking TRAIN. I used to live not far from a freight line and the whole bloody ground shook when a train went by...

I live in the chicago area. And people do indeed get hit by trains of a fairly regular basis. And I'll explain how it happens.

It's very difficult to get hit by a train at my station. My station has only one track. Farther out in the suburbs, most of the trains are inbound in the morning and outbound in the evening. There's a few places with double tracks and points where trains going the other direction can let other trains pass. At most stations, there are parking lots on both sides of the track. When my train stops, people get out, then walk behind the train, crossing the tracks, so they can get to their car. They do this with the arms down and lights going. This is arguably safe because there's one train and one track, and the train is heading the other direction. So it's impossible to get hit by a train unless the train backs up. And trains aren't exactly known for their acceleration. Of course, this doesn't stop the local police from writing tickets for this behavior. :-/

Closer in to downtown, the train stations have two or more tracks. Here's how people get hit. Their train stops and they get out. The arms are down and flashing. They cross both sets of tracks behind the train. They think it's safe because the train is stopped and will go the other way. What they don't see is the express training passing next to their train on the other track. They think it's their train causing the lights and arms to come down. Their view of the express train is blocked by their stopped train. And they can't hear the train horn because of the crossing arm bell, and the sound is blocked by the stopped train. In this way, people will step in to the path of a 50mph express train. The result is body parts scattered everywhere.

There's also the occasional suicide which can be accomplished at any station where express trains don't stop.

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