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  #251  
Old 05-04-2018, 04:50 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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You ask great questions. Short answer: I don't know. Longer answer: let me think about it and get back to you.
Sure, no hurry. I like a well-thought out answer almost as much as I rambling!
  #252  
Old 05-04-2018, 05:29 PM
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You seem to have a fixation on proving someone wrong. Why? What does it matter if their beliefs are different from yours?
Look at the header image at the top of the page. Note the line below the large "THE STRAIGHT DOPE." This site attracts people interested in doing that.
  #253  
Old 05-04-2018, 05:31 PM
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Look at the header image at the top of the page. Note the line below the large "THE STRAIGHT DOPE." This site attracts people interested in doing that.
It's easier to lure people into beartraps with honey than vinegar, though.

Did I say that out loud? Whoops!
  #254  
Old 05-04-2018, 05:34 PM
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You seem to have a fixation on proving someone wrong. Why? What does it matter if their beliefs are different from yours? I'm pretty comfortable with my beliefs, which I've described to some extent here, whether anyone else shares them or not. And, like I said, if you want to find out more about this God=Life hypothesis, check out Neale Donald Walsch. Why? Because it's pretty cool, that's why.
If what you want to do is ask questions you find interesting, eventually you will have to get used to the fact that the answer to some of those questions will be "No".
  #255  
Old 05-04-2018, 05:35 PM
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It's easier to lure people into beartraps with honey than vinegar, though.

Did I say that out loud? Whoops!
What is the purpose of this thread, again?
  #256  
Old 05-04-2018, 06:07 PM
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Look at the header image at the top of the page. Note the line below the large "THE STRAIGHT DOPE." This site attracts people interested in doing that.

Those things do not appear on my phone. I'm using Tapatalk. Which illustrates once again why we can't assume someone else's experience is the same as our own.
  #257  
Old 05-04-2018, 06:08 PM
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If what you want to do is ask questions you find interesting, eventually you will have to get used to the fact that the answer to some of those questions will be "No".

No problem.
  #258  
Old 05-04-2018, 06:12 PM
begbert2 begbert2 is offline
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What is the purpose of this thread, again?
I'll just assume you're asking seriously.

This thread is witnessing.

Maybe I'm just an asshole, but I was under the impression that the social contract regarding witnessing is the witnesser gets to propose whatever ideas they want - and everybody else gets to respond however they like, up to and including debating it, refuting it, and blowing giant holes in it with a double-barreled shotgun (bland acceptance of the witnesser's ideas is uncommon at best, in these parts). And because the witnesser basically asked for it, ripping into their ideas like this is somehow not threadshitting. The only thing that's actually disallowed is personal insults - and usually shredding the person's idea isn't considered a personal insult.

I'd say it's good clean fun for all, except that as often as not the witnessers themselves are unaware of how the game is played here and are surprised to find themselves getting ripped into.

For myself I'm entertained by strange ideas, as long as they're not boring - and to me this weird soul/god/telepathy business is not yet boring. I'll not be convinced, obviously, but I'm having fun drawing explanations of this odd concept of him and seeing how well his ideas adapt to having their logical flaws pointed out. I do hope he doesn't expect to convert me or anything (and I've tried to make it very clear nothing like that will happen), but as long as he's enjoying the discussion (which he seemingly is) I don't even feel like I'm tweaking the guy.
  #259  
Old 05-04-2018, 06:15 PM
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God and Life

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What is the purpose of this thread, again?

I shared an excerpt from a book by Neale Donald Walsch that posits the possibility that God and Life are one and the same. I'm looking at the characteristics of both abstract nouns, God and Life, to see what they might have in common that could make that hypothesis true. Some would rather dissect the semantics of the words themselves, which is fine, though not what I was hoping for. Each person comes at the theory with their own perspective.

While I am quite happy to regard the God of my upbringing as obvious mythology (not that there's anything wrong with that), I am not quite ready to abandon the concept of God entirely. I believe God needs to be redefined to match with what I now believe. And this is my attempt to do that. You don't have to believe the same way I do, but if you have read anything else by NDW, I'd be interested to hear what you think about his philosophy.

Last edited by Biffster; 05-04-2018 at 06:17 PM.
  #260  
Old 05-04-2018, 06:19 PM
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I'll just assume you're asking seriously.



This thread is witnessing.



Maybe I'm just an asshole, but I was under the impression that the social contract regarding witnessing is the witnesser gets to propose whatever ideas they want - and everybody else gets to respond however they like, up to and including debating it, refuting it, and blowing giant holes in it with a double-barreled shotgun (bland acceptance of the witnesser's ideas is uncommon at best, in these parts). And because the witnesser basically asked for it, ripping into their ideas like this is somehow not threadshitting. The only thing that's actually disallowed is personal insults - and usually shredding the person's idea isn't considered a personal insult.



I'd say it's good clean fun for all, except that as often as not the witnessers themselves are unaware of how the game is played here and are surprised to find themselves getting ripped into.



For myself I'm entertained by strange ideas, as long as they're not boring - and to me this weird soul/god/telepathy business is not yet boring. I'll not be convinced, obviously, but I'm having fun drawing explanations of this odd concept of him and seeing how well his ideas adapt to having their logical flaws pointed out. I do hope he doesn't expect to convert me or anything (and I've tried to make it very clear nothing like that will happen), but as long as he's enjoying the discussion (which he seemingly is) I don't even feel like I'm tweaking the guy.


The guy does not feel tweaked. Not yet anyway.
  #261  
Old 05-04-2018, 06:29 PM
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Those things do not appear on my phone. I'm using Tapatalk.
Ah. Well, it says "FIGHTING IGNORANCE SINCE 1973".

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Which illustrates once again why we can't assume someone else's experience is the same as our own.
But we should assume that someone else's physics, biology, and chemistry is the same as our own. You are entitled to your own opinions; you are not entitled to your own facts.
  #262  
Old 05-04-2018, 06:56 PM
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Ah. Well, it says "FIGHTING IGNORANCE SINCE 1973".



But we should assume that someone else's physics, biology, and chemistry is the same as our own. You are entitled to your own opinions; you are not entitled to your own facts.


Agreed. As they say in Robocop, I'll buy that for a dollar.
  #263  
Old 05-04-2018, 09:44 PM
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I shared an excerpt from a book by Neale Donald Walsch that posits the possibility that God and Life are one and the same. I'm looking at the characteristics of both abstract nouns, God and Life, to see what they might have in common
Here is one thing that they do not have in common: one of them is not an abstraction. Life is a real, observable phenomenon that can be measured, studied and interrupted. Otherwise, you would have to say that heat, sound and waterfalls are abstract nouns when in fact those things are very real.
  #264  
Old 05-05-2018, 12:17 AM
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Look, Biffster. I challenge you in a specific way. If "God" and "Life" are the same to you, then pick just one of the words, doesn't matter which one, and promise that for five full years you will never write, type, or say the other one. Just replace both with one or the other - no explaining or apologizing permitted. Deal?

This is not for just internet discussions, but your everyday life and all of your work.

Last edited by DavidwithanR; 05-05-2018 at 12:20 AM.
  #265  
Old 05-05-2018, 12:20 AM
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So if you have an empty space that touches exactly three gods, does a new god appear? And if a god has less than two neighbor gods does it die of loneliness, or if more than three neighbor gods, of overcrowding?
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  #266  
Old 05-05-2018, 12:55 AM
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Look, Biffster. I challenge you in a specific way. If "God" and "Life" are the same to you, then pick just one of the words, doesn't matter which one, and promise that for five full years you will never write, type, or say the other one. Just replace both with one or the other - no explaining or apologizing permitted. Deal?

This is not for just internet discussions, but your everyday life and all of your work.

I think you've misunderstood my purpose in starting this thread. I'm interested in discussion. I don't believe issuing an ultimatum is in the spirit of having a discussion. No offense.
  #267  
Old 05-05-2018, 12:58 AM
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Here is one thing that they do not have in common: one of them is not an abstraction. Life is a real, observable phenomenon that can be measured, studied and interrupted. Otherwise, you would have to say that heat, sound and waterfalls are abstract nouns when in fact those things are very real.

Life is still an abstract noun. You can measure signs of life, like breathing, pulse rate, synaptic response, but these are only circumstantial factors that point to the existence of life. Life itself is still pretty mysterious in and of itself. Life pretty much means not-dead.
  #268  
Old 05-05-2018, 01:51 AM
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I think you've misunderstood my purpose in starting this thread. I'm interested in discussion. I don't believe issuing an ultimatum is in the spirit of having a discussion. No offense.
Since the original discussion as you conceived it is not at all in the spirit of having a discussion*, I figured my idea would fit in just fine. And I think it's perfectly productive for you to consider the possibility that the equivalence you're proposing is incomplete or false.



* A discussion always includes an OP who's perfectly willing to be proved wrong.

Last edited by DavidwithanR; 05-05-2018 at 01:55 AM.
  #269  
Old 05-05-2018, 02:31 AM
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Since the original discussion as you conceived it is not at all in the spirit of having a discussion*, I figured my idea would fit in just fine. And I think it's perfectly productive for you to consider the possibility that the equivalence you're proposing is incomplete or false.



* A discussion always includes an OP who's perfectly willing to be proved wrong.

Alright. I've considered it and I don't agree. Fair enough?

Re: discussion: again, it is not me you are "proving wrong," but rather the conjecture of Neale Donald Walsch that I offered up as a basis for discussion. Your preoccupation with "proving" things one way or another is your thing, not mine. I'm fine with agreeing to disagree.
  #270  
Old 05-05-2018, 07:21 AM
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Alright. I've considered it and I don't agree. Fair enough?

Re: discussion: again, it is not me you are "proving wrong," but rather the conjecture of Neale Donald Walsch that I offered up as a basis for discussion. Your preoccupation with "proving" things one way or another is your thing, not mine. I'm fine with agreeing to disagree.
I think it's disingenuous to demure from defending your position by throwing Walsch under the bus every time you are asked to give evidence in support of a conjecture you've (also) made, i.e. God=Life.
  #271  
Old 05-05-2018, 07:35 AM
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Life is still an abstract noun.
Only for people that feel that words are meaningless things that can be reframed by every individual to mean whatever they want them to mean if they don't agree with what other people think it means. It can be defined by people who don't blow off talking language.
  #272  
Old 05-05-2018, 08:29 AM
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Only for people that feel that words are meaningless things that can be reframed by every individual to mean whatever they want them to mean if they don't agree with what other people think it means. It can be defined by people who don't blow off talking language.

Can you demonstrate how life is not an abstract noun?
  #273  
Old 05-05-2018, 08:32 AM
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I think it's disingenuous to demure from defending your position by throwing Walsch under the bus every time you are asked to give evidence in support of a conjecture you've (also) made, i.e. God=Life.

How am I throwing Walsch under the bus? As I've stated many times, he's where this idea came from for me. And I think it's an idea worth discussing. I'm not sure why you're so bothered by it.
  #274  
Old 05-05-2018, 08:39 AM
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Can you demonstrate how life is not an abstract noun?
Sure--I can point out that "abstract" means "existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence."

But you have probably redefined "abstract" to mean "a type of hat."
  #275  
Old 05-05-2018, 08:52 AM
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So if you have an empty space that touches exactly three gods, does a new god appear? And if a god has less than two neighbor gods does it die of loneliness, or if more than three neighbor gods, of overcrowding?
Mongo just pawn in Game of God.
  #276  
Old 05-05-2018, 08:53 AM
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How am I throwing Walsch under the bus? As I've stated many times, he's where this idea came from for me. And I think it's an idea worth discussing. I'm not sure why you're so bothered by it.
Time permitting, I'm annoyed by discussions of nonsense. It's a personal choice, and place holder for a better hobby.
  #277  
Old 05-05-2018, 11:12 AM
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Sure--I can point out that "abstract" means "existing in thought or as an idea but not having a physical or concrete existence."

But you have probably redefined "abstract" to mean "a type of hat."


So take it one step further; life has no physical or concrete existence. We infer its existence by looking for signs of life, but life itself is a concept. So is death, for that matter.
  #278  
Old 05-05-2018, 11:14 AM
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Time permitting, I'm annoyed by discussions of nonsense. It's a personal choice, and place holder for a better hobby.


And yet here you are, taking part in a discussion of nonsense. Either you're not as annoyed as you claim to be, or this is not actually nonsense.
  #279  
Old 05-05-2018, 11:24 AM
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Here's a challenge: find a picture of life. Should be easy, right? Just find a picture of something that's alive. Ah yes, but that would be something that has the quality or characteristic of possessing life, not a picture of life itself. Why? Because life is an abstract noun. We talk about it as though we all understand its meaning implicitly, when in fact we are talking about something invisible. For me, so it is with God. I can't see God directly, but I can feel the impact of His or Her or Its presence.

And now I wait for people to tell me why I'm out to lunch. Such fun for a Saturday morning.
  #280  
Old 05-05-2018, 11:28 AM
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So take it one step further; life has no physical or concrete existence. We infer its existence by looking for signs of life, but life itself is a concept. So is death, for that matter.
So by your logic, "God" is "Life", "God" is "Death", and "Life" is "Death"? Congrats-using that same level of reasoning, because both cats and dogs are animals, cats are dogs. BTW, until Walsch pops in here to discuss his reasoning, you get to be his surrogate because you are presenting this idea to us.
  #281  
Old 05-05-2018, 12:02 PM
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Here's a challenge: find a picture of life. Should be easy, right? Just find a picture of something that's alive. Ah yes, but that would be something that has the quality or characteristic of possessing life, not a picture of life itself.
You may think that you are saying something deep and profound and interesting, but I do not share that position.
  #282  
Old 05-05-2018, 12:27 PM
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So by your logic, "God" is "Life", "God" is "Death", and "Life" is "Death"? Congrats-using that same level of reasoning, because both cats and dogs are animals, cats are dogs. BTW, until Walsch pops in here to discuss his reasoning, you get to be his surrogate because you are presenting this idea to us.


That's not what I said, but if you wish to believe that, I'll try to be respectful.
  #283  
Old 05-05-2018, 12:29 PM
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You may think that you are saying something deep and profound and interesting, but I do not share that position.

No problem. So can you produce a picture of life?
  #284  
Old 05-05-2018, 12:40 PM
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Here's a challenge: find a picture of life.
Find a picture of wind.
  #285  
Old 05-05-2018, 12:46 PM
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No problem. So can you produce a picture of life?
Let me be more blunt (pre-pun intended.) You can say the same about anything. You can take a picture of snow but not of "snow." You can take a picture of food but not of "food." You can take a picture of a planet but not of "planet." You can take a picture of a computer but not of "computer." I get what you are trying to say, I just think that what you are trying to say is really, really, really, really stupid. It is something that should only seem deep to a stoned teenager.
  #286  
Old 05-05-2018, 12:55 PM
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That's not what I said, but if you wish to believe that, I'll try to be respectful.
If you want to drop in ideas like "death" is a conception, don't be surprised if others use that idea against your argument. "Try to be respectful" is all very well and good, but it isn't exactly a response to what was said, is it? If you want to claim that "Life" and "God" are somehow closely related because they are both concepts, then bringing up the fact that "death" is also a concept is your mistake, not mine.

Last edited by Czarcasm; 05-05-2018 at 12:56 PM.
  #287  
Old 05-05-2018, 01:00 PM
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No problem. So can you produce a picture of life?
Can you produce a picture of death?
"Life" is "Death"!
  #288  
Old 05-05-2018, 01:49 PM
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Find a picture of wind.


Exactly.
  #289  
Old 05-05-2018, 01:55 PM
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If you want to drop in ideas like "death" is a conception, don't be surprised if others use that idea against your argument. "Try to be respectful" is all very well and good, but it isn't exactly a response to what was said, is it? If you want to claim that "Life" and "God" are somehow closely related because they are both concepts, then bringing up the fact that "death" is also a concept is your mistake, not mine.


Fair enough. But perhaps life and death are more closely related than we think. For animals, the difference between these two states is demonstrated by, among other things, breathing. The body is the same in both states, but in one state, the body is breathing while in the other it is not. Oddly enough, the word "spirit" is derived from the word for breath.
  #290  
Old 05-05-2018, 01:58 PM
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Can you produce a picture of death?

"Life" is "Death"!


Because two nouns are abstract nouns, like Love and Hate, does not make them the same. Same with Life and Death.
  #291  
Old 05-05-2018, 02:00 PM
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Because two nouns are abstract nouns, like Love and Hate, does not make them the same. Same with Life and Death.
Same with Life and God. That's the point.
  #292  
Old 05-05-2018, 02:04 PM
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And yet here you are, taking part in a discussion of nonsense. Either you're not as annoyed as you claim to be, or this is not actually nonsense.
False choice. Wait... now you're attempting to be discerning?

Ironic, given your propensity to conflate unrelated concepts.
  #293  
Old 05-05-2018, 02:12 PM
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God and Life

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Same with Life and God. That's the point.

Fair enough. Perhaps they are not the same, but I can sure see some similarities. Or perhaps I should say sense some similarities, since I cannot "see" either one.

Last edited by Biffster; 05-05-2018 at 02:14 PM.
  #294  
Old 05-05-2018, 02:13 PM
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Because two nouns are abstract nouns, like Love and Hate, does not make them the same. Same with Life and Death.
Ow! Some of the debris from that irony meter cut me!
  #295  
Old 05-05-2018, 02:15 PM
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Ow! Some of the debris from that irony meter cut me!

You're always good for a chuckle, Darren.
  #296  
Old 05-05-2018, 02:21 PM
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Fair enough. Perhaps they are not the same, but I can sure see some similarities. Or perhaps I should say sense some similarities, since I cannot "see" either one.
And no matter how many similarities there are between cats and dogs(they both have an average of four legs apiece, they both have heads and tails, they both have eat food etc) There are still differences between the two that cause people to use the term "Cat" when referring to cats and "Dog" when referring to dogs. The same with "God" and "Life"-you might find similarities between the two, but the only way to make the claim that one IS the other is to deliberately ignore the differences between them.
  #297  
Old 05-05-2018, 02:35 PM
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Fair enough. Perhaps they are not the same, but I can sure see some similarities. Or perhaps I should say sense some similarities, since I cannot "see" either one.
I'm so glad we had this time together.

So... same time next week?

Topic: Salt v. Pepper

Always together. Both in nearly identical containers. What is the deal?!?


Last edited by QuickSilver; 05-05-2018 at 02:36 PM.
  #298  
Old 05-05-2018, 03:29 PM
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Originally Posted by Czarcasm View Post
And no matter how many similarities there are between cats and dogs(they both have an average of four legs apiece, they both have heads and tails, they both have eat food etc) There are still differences between the two that cause people to use the term "Cat" when referring to cats and "Dog" when referring to dogs. The same with "God" and "Life"-you might find similarities between the two, but the only way to make the claim that one IS the other is to deliberately ignore the differences between them.


Though you might be hard-pressed to find a picture of Life, as opposed to "things that are alive," there is no shortage of pictures of God. And every single one of them, drawn by a human, seems to appear humanoid somehow. Can't imagine why that might be.
  #299  
Old 05-05-2018, 03:31 PM
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Biffster Biffster is offline
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I'm so glad we had this time together.



So... same time next week?



Topic: Salt v. Pepper



Always together. Both in nearly identical containers. What is the deal?!?





When I was a kid, I used to think if you put too much pepper on your food, putting an equal amount of salt would make it better again.
  #300  
Old 05-05-2018, 03:34 PM
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Czarcasm Czarcasm is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biffster View Post
Though you might be hard-pressed to find a picture of Life, as opposed to "things that are alive," there is no shortage of pictures of God. And every single one of them, drawn by a human, seems to appear humanoid somehow. Can't imagine why that might be.
We got it-You Can't Take A Picture Of A Concept.

Next point, please?
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