Re: the weak argument of atheism
- The default position that you must start from is that nothing exists. From there you add things to existence based on what you can verify the existence of. Once you have verified all you can, it is then natural to speculate as to what else may also exist to fit the patterns/trends you have observed. This is a very simplistic scientific method and even religion used to understand this.
- Religion was, after all, early science -- before we had the means to explain things like weather, stars, birth, and death, the best we could do is assume that it was the work of magical entities called gods, Alfar, Sidhe, faeries, Kami, daemons, spirits, et cetera. We have improved since then and we will continue to improve, no matter how much lags behind.
- It is extremely easy to make a claim that cannot be disproven. That is called unfalsifiability, and it weakens the validity of an argument or theory considerably. What needs to be done is to present a falsifiable theory and fail to falsify it. The Theory of Evolution is very falsifiable, but hasn't been falsified. That is why scientists discredit Creationism, not because of a vendetta.
- Agnosticism is not a middle-ground between theism and atheism. It is part of a separate spectrum. Everyone is either a gnostic theist, an agnostic theist, a gnostic atheist, or an agnostic atheist. For example, most Christians are agnostic theists: they do not claim to know their deity exists, they instead claim that they believe it exists. Likewise, most atheists are agnostic atheists.
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In his final years, Martin Luther King, Jr. become increasingly focused on the problem of poverty in America.
- Despite being widely known for his leadership role in the American civil rights movement, Martin Luther King, Jr. also played a central role in organizing the Poor People's Campaign of 1968.
- The campaign was one of the first to demand a guaranteed income for all poor families in America.
- Today, the idea of a universal basic income is increasingly popular, and King's arguments in support of the policy still make a good case some 50 years later.
She met mere mortals with and without the Vatican's approval.
- For centuries, the Virgin Mary has appeared to the faithful, requesting devotion and promising comfort.
- These maps show the geography of Marian apparitions – the handful approved by the Vatican, and many others.
- Historically, Europe is where most apparitions have been reported, but the U.S. is pretty fertile ground too.
For Damien Echols, tattoos are part of his existential armor.
- In prison Damien Echols was known by his number SK931, not his name, and had his hair sheared off. Stripped of his identity, the only thing he had left was his skin.
- This is why he began tattooing things that are meaningful to him — to carry a "suit of armor" made up the images of the people and objects that have significance to him, from his friends to talismans.
- Echols believes that all places are imbued with divinity: "If you interact with New York City as if there's an intelligence behind... then it will behave towards you the same way."
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