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  1. Belacqua

    Ideas and experiences in trying to help make online discussions more beneficial for everyone

    Ooh, yeah, I didn't notice that. A bit dehumanizing.
  2. Belacqua

    Ideas and experiences in trying to help make online discussions more beneficial for everyone

    The late Daniel Dennett wrote four rules that I like a lot. Maybe not the letter every time, but certainly the spirit. Here they are: The first one seems most important to me. I don't know how many times people have replied to me with a wildly distorted version of what I've been saying...
  3. Belacqua

    What is your opinion of Jesus?

    I'm going to risk sophistry here, and insist that there are two meanings of the word "believe." The one that comes to mind first is probably "assent to the truth of a proposition." So in the sentence "I believe in Jesus" the verb would have the same sense as "I believe the earth is round." I...
  4. Belacqua

    Are atheists arrogant? immoral? angry?

    I think we could make a distinction between atheists in general, and those who post on the Internet about religion every day of their lives. It wouldn't be surprising if Christians get a negative impression from the online type. No doubt we've all seen anger and arrogance. I used to have no...
  5. Belacqua

    Hello to all

    It's a painting from a medieval manuscript, showing the round earth floating in air, and some scholarly gentlemen looking on. Full version is below (if I manage to insert it correctly). Maybe I chose it because people were claiming that medieval people believed the world was flat...? I've...
  6. Belacqua

    Hello to all

    Fascinating history. I'd heard of Bleeding Kansas, of course, so the Lawrence connection makes sense. In fact now that I think of it, it's kind of sad that most people think of Jayhawks as a basketball team, rather than the very respectable history of people like Soule.
  7. Belacqua

    Hello to all

    Dare I guess that "Jayhawker" is a reference to my old Alma Mater, the University of Kansas?!
  8. Belacqua

    Hello to all

    My pleasure! Many thanks for inviting me. This looks like an active and diverse place, so I think it will be fun!
  9. Belacqua

    Hello to all

    That's interesting -- I've never read Pullman, though I"ve heard good things about his books. He must be a Dante fan. Samuel Beckett also used the name Belacqua in some early stories. Not a very admirable character!
  10. Belacqua

    How ya doin'? I signed up!

    How ya doin'? I signed up!
  11. Belacqua

    Hello to all

    How do you do. I look forward to getting to know you all. This forum was recommended to me by an on-line friend, so I hope to join in. I'm an American who has lived in Japan for most of my life. In the old days I would have called myself agnostic (since I'm not sure what The Truth is) but...