#Mithras, it’s your birthday! Happy birthday, #Mithras!

Mithras and Sol Invictus

Yes, it’s time for my sometimes-annual mockery of Christmas. The funny thing, though, is that I actually really like Christmas. No, I don’t do any of the Christ-based crap, but I do almost all of the Pagan-based crap. And in our family, it’s been tradition since I was 10 to read Chanukah-ish stories from an Isaac Bashevis Singer book, including the traditional reading of Chelm stories (pronounced with a hard “H”, not with a “cherry” “ch”). And no, we’re not Jewish. Why we read these stories is itself a long story.

The shitty part about the reading this year was that, unlike most previous years, we picked a previously unread story and it turned out to be a retelling of Lot. Holy shit, that’s some fucked up shit! I mean, seriously, I get that the people of Sodom aren’t the best, but for God to burn it to the ground?? And why today? Why not yesterday?? It’s not like an omniscient God didn’t know Sodom existed. Man, some of those Old Testament stories are such horseshit!

To you and yours, however you celebrate the winter season, deity-based or not, have a cheery one!

Mithras nekid

6 Responses to “#Mithras, it’s your birthday! Happy birthday, #Mithras!”

  1. My Uncle is a priest (I called to wish a merry Christmas
    and he left a message he is my Dad’s brother and we are his only
    family my Mother is evil.) This hyper jew bitch with a masters in
    jewish theology went to a local diner last night with her temple
    cronies to celebrate their unchristmas. My Dad was downstairs last
    night (she was in the house and my brother has taken over
    everything and is causing total destruction) I woke up and felt his
    rage and intensity seriously. This is real. So today I go to the
    local market and walking back something tells me to take a street I
    never do. Something draws me to 341 Summit Ave. Leonia NJ which is
    an abandoned fucked up albeit amazing property that should probably
    be preserved for historical reasons. Does anyone know about this
    home? Psychic stuff is real I haven’t told the whole
    story.

  2. Anton,
    Why have you approved the comment that when taken out of
    context could be construed to make me seem irrational but not approved the long detailed Wikipedia piece though one might
    doubt or disagree with the conclusions suggested by this scientist’s
    decades of clinical research involving over 2000 cases the data
    is hardly made up or anecdotal accounts. It was a
    lot more than the testimony of some 5 year olds. Whatever you think
    about these unexplained events which were corroborated with a lot
    of factual detail I don’t think Princeton, Stanford, Duke and the CIA
    have made up or are lying about the reality of psychic ability.
    You said I couldn’t produce one piece of evidence regarding
    parapsychology and I did. Your attempts to explain them away
    are not based in fact but an assumption you have made without
    getting any facts. The book review you also didn’t approve of a
    book written by an award winning journalist who was initially a
    skeptic regarding Dr. Stevenson’s (a psychiatrist) work found the
    evidence compelling. The overwhelming numbers of people
    who have reported unexplainable sights and sounds and scary
    experiences often in certain locations where these occurances
    are known to have happened to numerous people could not all
    be liars or making it up. These are mostly very mainstream people
    with no history of mental illness or fraud. The mainstream media
    has done numerous pieces on hauntings psychically gifted people
    and past lives. Do you think they would risk professional ruin
    and possibly legal action by presenting things that were made up
    as deserving consideration and credible? I am not stupid, gullible
    or a liar. While we can’t totally understand everything about this
    there is no denying something is there. People who don’t have
    heightened psychic ability (I don’t) can see and hear things in
    places with strong energies hanging around. They usually get the fuck out because it’s scary. I know firsthand stories of psychic
    events. You’re being arrogent and hostile in the face of empirical data. This is not some big conspiracy some kooks and con artists
    made up. You need to seriously research it before you can say that.

    • I don’t need to “make you” seem irrational. You’re doing a fine job of that on your own. 😀

      Two thousand people saying something happened is exactly anecdotal. What do you think “anecdotal” means?

      You didn’t produce one piece of evidence. You produced a Wikipedia article full of hearsay. I’ve not attempted to explain anything away. I’ve said that all these claims must be proved before believed. That remains true.

      That someone is award-winning is irrelevant to the fact of his claims. That he found the “evidence” compelling is his problem. Even if 100 billion people said that they’d had past lives, all that proves is that 100 billion people said it. To say “could not all be liars” is irrelevant. The claim is that psychic abilities, ghosts, past lives exist. The “evidence” is that people say so. This is no better than the “evidence” for fairies and demons. People’s lack of history of fraud or mental illness is irrelevant to the fact that the “evidence” is lots of people said something happened. The fact that “mainstream media” has covered these issues is irrelevant to the fact of them. Whether they’d risk professional ruin is irrelevant. Media companies all the time run stories which they either later retract or which aren’t necessarily true.

      You may not be stupid, but you are gullible. “While we can’t totally understand everything about this” is partially correct. “While we don’t understand everything about this” is correct. The rest of the sentence is an argument from ignorance.

      There’s no such thing as “strong energies” and those “energies” don’t hang around places.

      What are your first-hand stories of psychic abilities and how do you know they’re stories of psychic abilities rather than just stories?

      Ah, yes, the cherished “You’re being arrogant” plea. Let’s consider that, shall we? The definition of “arrogance,” per Dictionary.com is: offensive display of superiority or self-importance; overbearing pride. My display may be “offensive,” but I think you’ll agree that any such assessment is subjective, so let’s move past that. I’ve made zero claims of superiority or self-importance. I’ve claimed that unproved claims are bullshit. How about overbearing pride? Well, I’m not proud of my skepticism of bullshit claims, I simply possess skepticism. So, looks like your accusation of arrogance doesn’t fit my attitude at all.

      I am, however, hostile towards bullshit claims because they’re bullshit. I’m even more hostile towards bullshit claims that people claim to be true based on their ignorance of how science works. Or based on their reliance on logical fallacy such as appeals to popularity, authority, or personal incredulity. And I’m really hostile towards arguments from ignorance because such arguments have been used to perpetuate all kinds of fucked up things like torturing children rather than getting them proper healthcare.

      None of what you’ve cited has been “empirical data.” All of it has been anecdotal. Yes, it may have been collected by scientists under controlled conditions, but this doesn’t change the fact that it’s anecdotal, unfalsifiable, untestable, and non-reproducible. Calling something “empirical” and “scientific” doesn’t make it so.

      Yes, it absolutely is a big, fat pile of bullshit. I can say that as long as it remains unproved. Which it does.

  3. 2000 is not anecdotal it’s empirical. Dr. Stevenson’s research went
    far beyond recording the statements of small children. Names, places and facts that these children had no way of knowing were
    corroberated. These findings are very hard to explain though Dr.
    Stevenson has never said with absolute certainty that these children
    had past lives and was very quiet about his lifetime of work (also
    not anecdotal) as this subject invites ridicule and scorn. Your foray
    into the semantics of the word arrogent is ironic as you keep using
    the word irrelevant to explain away the facts and circumstances
    around unexplained paranormal events. Most of what you call irrelevant is not irrelevant and a court of law would not deem
    these facts irrelevant as they go to the credibility and possible
    motives of the declarents. You can’t claim to know things you can’t
    know with absolute certainty. That is why religion is ignorant and
    stupid. You don’t know what happens when people die. I think
    research and findings from controlled clinical testing in the labs
    of Stanford, Princeton, Duke and the CIA outweigh your layman’s
    interpretations (assumptions is a better word) of psychic abilities.
    To dismiss empirical (or even anecdotal ) observation as meaningless is not logical. The body of evidence, testimony and
    coincedence that is too extreme to make arbitrary chance likely
    is so vast and researched it is incumbent upon you to debunk and
    disprove at least a lot of it. You can’t. Facts are facts. Your mind
    is closed and you seem to have some deep seated hostility
    towords this subject. The first hand psychic evidence I’ve seen
    involved 2 good friends I know very well and both involved me
    directly and my late Father. But I believe in this because of
    events and information I’ve learned about from sources I consider
    reliable which I examined and considered. That is not ignorance.
    You are the one who knows nothing about this subject though you
    seem to think you know everything there is to be known about
    science, the universe and the nature of existence. No scientist
    would make that claim because they can’t. One of the many
    subjects on which I’m very well informed is psychology. This is
    part of the reason that unlike you I can assess a person’s probable
    credibility based on personality and circumstance. Judges and juries
    are asked to do this all the time(though they often miss the mark
    by sizing up people in a superficial way.) When someone is attention seeking or irrational there are telltale signs. A sociopath/psychopath

    can fool people with what is an act and a con though not indefinately
    if people are paying attention which they often aren’t. It’s estimated
    2%of the population is psychopathic (the number’s probably higher
    as some may go undetected but if you deal with one in more than a
    superficial way you will feel the very upsetting impact.) If the general public were to be polled as to first or second (from a reliable source)
    hand experience with paranormal occurences(not just what they
    believe) the % would be much higher than 2%. This is fact and I’m
    not ignorant. If I’m not ignorant about so many other subjects why
    would this one be different. There is so much evidence it is
    incumbent upon you to disprove it. Just because you haven’t
    seen something personally or it can’t be seen in plain sight or it’s
    not completely understood is not proof of it’s nonexistence.

    • There’s nothing empirical about the number of a thing, only the nature of that thing. As I said before, one billion people saying faeries exist doesn’t mean fairies exist. It only means one billion people claim they do.

      How do you know that the children interviewed had no way of knowing the names, places, etc.? How were they corroborated? How do you know the interviewers weren’t prompting the children? What makes a lifetime of work non-anecdotal if all it is is talking to people? Of course the subject invites ridicule and scorn. All bullshit claims do.

      Mine wasn’t a haphazard foray into the semantics of “arrogant,” it was a quoting of the definition. I don’t use “irrelevant” to explain away facts. I use it to point out things that are irrelevant–like the number of people that report something–to the evidence. Do you honestly believe that if someone has earned a PhD that his interviews with children are somehow more valid than if I were to interview the same children? The level of his degree is irrelevant to the fact that the form of evidence remains interviews. Personal accounts. Personal accounts are anecdotal evidence because people are easily swayed, memory has been proven to be faulty, and, as I cited above, the number of people claiming a thing has no bearing at all as to the validity of that thing.

      You say it yourself, “unexplained paranormal events,” except your assumption of “paranormal” is that and nothing more. An assumption. Do you thus think that any unexplained event is inherently paranormal or supernatural? To do so is the opposite of the scientific method. Science says posit a hypothesis, then attempt to disprove it with evidence. Not start with a conclusion and attempt to verify it.

      A court of law has nothing to do with so-called paranormal or supernatural events. A court of law deals only with natural, verifiable events. Murders, tax evasion, etc. And I don’t know if you’ve ever seen a movie about law, but court cases are overturned all the time. Former convicts are exonerated, even posthumously. So to use the metaphor of a court of law to justify your faith in shitty evidence is stupid.

      The nature of reality is completely indifferent to the credibility and motives of witnesses. Do you believe that witchcraft exists because the girls who accused women of being witches in 17th century Salem, MA were credible witnesses with no ulterior motives? Do you believe that Bobby Jindal really performed an exorcism on a college friend because he said he did and he has no ulterior motive? If we truly based science on anecdote, all that it’d take to establish any scientific theory would be gather enough people who honestly swore something were true.

      I’ve never claimed to know things with absolute certainty. I claim things are bullshit that haven’t been proved.

      I know exactly what happens when people die not only because of the mountains of evidence to support it, but also because I’ve seen it. When people die, their brains shut down and their bodies decompose. There is zero mystery to it.

      You keep claiming that major universities have proven psychic ability, yet you’ve not cited one verifiable fact to back this up. Please, by all means, paste a link to the results of these objectively verified studies that have proved psychic ability and a link to the listing of the Nobel Prizes won by the scientists involved. OH, and the link to the Randi Foundation Million Dollar Challenge prize they won for proving psychic ability.

      Since you’ve not cited any empirical evidence, I haven’t had the opportunity to dismiss it. Since anecdotal evidence is widely known to be the worst possible kind, I have no problem at all dismissing it completely out of hand.

      It’s never incumbent upon me to disprove anything. Look up “burden of proof.” The burden is always on the positive claim. So far, the “body” you claim there is of evidence is testimony and coincidence, neither of which is a reliable, verifiable form of evidence.

      Is your mind closed against fairies or do you automatically believe any old wive’s tale you hear about them?

      Awesome, you have first-hand knowledge of psychic ability. What was the test you set up for it and what were its controls? What were your methods? Your procedures? What was your control group? What were your reliable sources? How do you know they’re reliable? I never said your claims were themselves ignorance. I said it was an argument from ignorance to say that they were true because they’d not been proved false.

      I never said I know everything about science! I know a little and I rely on actual scientists to know the rest. It’s not my job to prove someone else’s bullshit claim or know how they should attempt to do so. It’s their problem. I don’t know how Einstein should’ve proved relativity. That’s not my problem. He was the one who came up with the theory, thus it was his problem to figure out how to demonstrate it.

      Whether someone is intentionally or unintentionally irrational doesn’t matter in the face of evidence if there is objectively verifiable evidence in addition to testimony. If that’s the case, the witness can say whatever he wants and the evidence can always be tested. At that point, a judge and jury only serve the function of handing down judgments based on the evidence, never explain away possibilities for which there is no evidence.

      Just because I haven’t seen the paranormal isn’t proof of its non-existence, but just because someone has seen it isn’t proof of its existence.

      Google “burden of proof.” Seriously.

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