Sean Lally

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Member Since: 2/1/2002
Total Mixes: 135
Total Feedback: 3285
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What makes a man turn his back on God?

Artist Song Buy
Tom Lehrer  The Vatican Rag  buy on itunes
Nick Lowe  Failed Christian  buy on itunes
The Kinks  Big Sky  buy on itunes
Monty Python  Always look on the bright side of life  buy on itunes
Bob Dylan  With God on our side  buy on itunes
Jethro Tull  Hymm 43  buy on itunes
David Cross  Abortion doctor from hell (John Ashcroft bit)  buy on itunes
King Missile  Jesus was way cool  buy on itunes
Van Morrison  Precious Time  buy on itunes
The Fugs  The 10 Commandments  buy on itunes
The Clash  The Sound of Sinners  buy on itunes
Richard Thompson  Outside of the inside  buy on itunes
George Carlin  Special Dispensation: Heaven, Hell. Purgatory and Limbo  buy on itunes
Phil Ochs  Canons of Christianity  buy on itunes
P.I.L.  Religion I  buy on itunes
XTC  Dear God  buy on itunes
Bill Hicks  Dinosaurs in the Bible  buy on itunes
Monty Python  Every sperm is sacred  buy on itunes
John Lennon  God  buy on itunes

Comment:

My intention with this mix is not to offend, but rather to generate discussion:

I am an atheist, though I spent the first 20 or so years of my life as a rather devout (in my own estimation) Roman Catholic: altar boy, confirmation, the works. At some point, it all started seeming like (pardon the crass characterization) complete nonsense - perhaps it was my scientific training in college, or philosophy education in graduate school. Perhaps it was a serious relationship with another Catholic which caused me to re-evaluate the structure of these beliefs. Perhaps I was never as serious as I thought I was. I'm not sure, really. In any event, in my early 20s I began to think of most religions as questionable mythology and incorrect history, with few valuable lessons for modernity.

My current values admit that religion and faith (while clearly not one and the same) give great comfort to many, if not most people, but I can simply see no evidence to suggest that they represent reality. However, I know that it is not really their function to represent reality - that's the job ofphysics. Indeed, if there were mathematical reasons to believe that there is no creator, as some cosmologists purport to have shown, I doubt that it would affect many folks' belief. Perhaps, it is just too desperate to accept that one lives in a world without cosmic purpose, but rather ruled by entropy, evolution and quantum behavior - I understand that feeling, and I understand the desire to be part of a group with a common purpose. In any event, these are songs that reflect my feelings on life free from religion and faith - a world lived for the betterment of humanity and the preservation of the Earth and its species. Consider it a non-spiritual journey, or an anti-epiphany. Atheism in no measure means a l
ife without morality - quite the reverse, I think. It means that morality must come from the need to truly do what is the best thing - not for greater cosmic reward, nor because you are "being watched", but rather because it is the
humanistic thing to do.

There are MANY Christian songs that sum up why I am NOT a believer (see Li'l Markie, for example), but using them would suggest that I am mocking their beliefs. I'm sure that the humorous segments of this mix will probably do that - I've used humor to distill the seriousness of this topic. Actually, an honest reading of the Bible is probably the most influential assured way of fomenting one's atheism.

So there it is - sit back and discuss. It reminds me of the Simpsons' quote from Reverend Lovejoy: "Have you considered any of the other major religions? They're all pretty much the same". I know that's unfair, but on my worst days I believe that religion is largely responsible for most evils in the world - I have problems with Bush, for example, because of his anti-scientific nature (toward stem cell research, etc., which derives from his religiosity), among many other reasons of course. I have problems with the Catholic Church (and soon-to-be sainted Mother Theresa), for example, because of their stand on the use of condoms as effective prevention against the spread of AIDS. I have problems with the Taliban, for the same reasons I have problems with anyone who blows up an abortion clinic. I think you see where I'm coming from. That's it. I welcome thoughts, butplease don't pray for me.

Dedicated to Adolf Grunbaum (my favorite philosopher and a grad school advisor), and (what the heck) to Ann Coulter, Jerry Falwell and Li'l Markie.

Feedback:

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Sean Lally
Date: 10/15/2003
MANY apologies for the lack of formatting - I'm no html guru.
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Sean Lally
Date: 10/15/2003
I also realize that this rather comes out of left field - it's clearly the heaviest mix I've ever done, as I'm usually known for goofball garage and surf mixes. I hope I don't put anyone off with this, especially all of the wonderful people I've met and traded with on this great site.
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joey de vivre
Date: 10/15/2003
Quick - send a copy to the Pope before it's too late!
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[fragile]
Date: 10/15/2003
wow..
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oneloudbitch
Date: 10/15/2003
Jill Sobule is needed on this mix! (sorry, I know it's annoying when people tell you what to put an an already-finished mix!) :D looks good, tho!
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Shutterbabe
Date: 10/15/2003
awesome. I completely agree that atheistic reasons for doing "good" are by far more well-meaning than religious reasons. and mother theresa does suck - anyone who disguises being a missionary as being a humanist is no "saint" in my book.
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Bear
Date: 10/15/2003
Phew. I agree with Kieslowski- 'I despise organised religion but cannot believe there is nothing more to life than this ashtray, this table, this chair.'
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CASETTA
Date: 10/15/2003
One would think that with today's practice of freedom of religion, education, free press and the availability of the Bible to anyone, that the Bible and its history would result in common knowledge. Nothing could stand further from the truth. Most Church fathers today concentrate only on the "good" phrases of the Bible.. Many Christians find it shocking, even blasphemous for someone to point out that the Bible contains, not only errors, but atrocities that no Christian in good conscious would ever think of acting out. For example, how many Christians and Jews today would feel happy to bash a child's head against the rocks? Just such phrases occur in the Bible as well as an obession with human feces.

The fact that people live in ignorance puzzles me, but I do accept their right to live that way, provided they allow me to have mine.

Admit it; Homosapians have done a pretty piss-poor job with their time on the Earth and religion has only made it worse. If there really is some sort of intelligence guiding the cosmos, then please send another asteroid hurtling toward Earth. You did it for the Dinosaurs, it's the least you could do for us.
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malchick
Date: 10/15/2003
Sean, I can totally relate to what you went through as a child. I grew up Roman Catholic too but by the time I was in my late teens it stopped making sense to me. I would commit "sins" knowing in the back of my mind that I could always go to confession and be forgiven, ya know. The whole "mortal sin" and "venial sin" idea turned me off, too. You could be a saint your entire life but then miss one Sunday Mass and you've got "mortal sin" on your soul, and we all know what happens when you die with a mortal sin . At the same time I don't want rule out any notion that there is something out there. For me personally, it all comes down to death. What happens after we leave this Earth? It's hard to grasp the concept of nonexistence, of no afterlife. Is there a black nothing waiting for us, an empty void. Can you picture yourself not existing? It boggles the mind. No one knows what happens after we die so really no on can prove or disprove the existence of God. I guess we'll all find out the answer some day...I've lost my faith a long time ago and have no intention of regaining it or joining a different "cult" but the idea of death and the afterlife will always haunt me. One of the many burdens of growing up Catholic...Anyways excellent mix brotha. Both Python songs are brilliant takes on organized religion and David Cross is a comic genius. God be praised.
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McDonald12
Date: 10/15/2003
Sean, I can't top what you've said. If I am asked about religion, I would repeat what you have said, virtually word for word. Cassetta's words on the bible are oh so true. What makes man so blind? Someone once said that there is evidence that all the places in the bible actually existed. So what? I am sure that in 2,000 years time, there will be evidence that the Berlin Wall existed, but that doesn't mean that James Bond did. A truly great mix by the way, containing my favourite comedian and philosopher, Bill Hicks. We have to trade really soon, and I definitely want this......honest to god :-)
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Mishkina
Date: 10/15/2003
A mix with a message, skillfully executed. Well done. As for the philosophy behind it, I'm personally experimenting with abandoning humanism altogether. It's really rather fun, and liberating. And decadent. Come to think of it, though, Protestants haven't got it figured out any more than the Catholics. The idea that all men are doomed to fall, even the saintliest, means that forgiveness comes from faith, not works. (That's one reason why Protestants hated the selling of indulgences.) So, if good deeds won't get me into heaven, bad deeds won't keep me out, right? Maybe I am a Christian after all . . .
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buglady
Date: 10/16/2003
Having been raised without a religion by a lapsed Catholic and a non-practicing Buddhist, I have a hard time relating to the whole controversy regarding religions. Every time my family moved to a new town, one of my classmates would offer to bring me to their church. I've been to lots of churches, and I've got to agree with Sean, they were all pretty much the same. The Catholic church was an exception, though, I remember feeling like a sinner because I was the only one there who wasn't taking communion (I was the only one not baptized too). Today, as an evolutionary biologist, I still don't feel any void from the lack of an organized religion in my life. One thing though, I didn't believe in an afterlife until my dad died. I guess it was comforting for me to think he's "somewhere" out there...I don't know about all that heaven stuff, but he's somewhere nice, I hope. Oh yeah, nice mix!
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greaseball1
Date: 10/16/2003
o.k.....I got a lot to say and not enough time to type it. I'll come back, great mix , by the way.
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Thomas_Mohr
Date: 10/16/2003
Genuflect, genuflect, genuflect . . .
Great stuff all round (with the possible exception of Jethro Tull), and I can only agree with what you said. Before God. ;)
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Rob Conroy
Date: 10/16/2003
Jeez. Great mix, Sean... you've been contemplating this one for awhile, right? As far as the whole religion thing is concerned, you know my take on the whole thing: although I fall somewhere beyond lapsed Catholic and somewhere into the neighborhood of agnosticism, I can't accept bald atheism as an alternative, either. Granted, I err more on the side of God not existing than the side of God existing, but I think it's supremely arrogant (not you, just the idea that I'm about to present) to state with certainty (scientific or otherwise) that some supreme being does not exist. As absurd is it sounds, I think there may be a small amount of validity to the Kieslowski quote that bear provided below. As you know, my friend, I'm a man that balks at extremists on either side of the socio-poitical coin, preferring to reach a(n) (admittedly left-of-center, but not dramatically so) compromise position between both religious and political beliefs/ideologies.

With all of that said, I have no argument against the fact that religious belief has lurked behind many of the most violent, horrifying acts in history, ranging from the B.C. days to the recent car bombings.
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Sean Lally
Date: 10/16/2003
Rob makes good points, and I'm sympathetic to bear's quote below. I know it may *seem* arrogant of me to state that there is no god; I'm not sure that I actually did that, but it might seem arrogant to some. Would it be equally arrogant of me to say that Zeus doesn't exist? Odin? Poseidon? Santa Claus? The Easter Bunny? Would it be arrogant of me to state that humans will never develope the ability to flap their arms and fly? (Will these rhetorical questions never end?!?) I don't buy that it is arrogant of anyone to not accept something for which there is little or no evidence. The problem here is a historical one - we have thousands of years of worship, suggesting validity to otherwise sketchy "evidence". Of course, unlike you, I have no problems with extreme positions - when they're correct. The quantum mechanical view of the atom is rather extreme - and it apprears to be a correct characterization of the phenomena. The universe behaves as if there is no god - so it seems correct to assume that there is none. This is all beside the point of the mix - I didn't make a mix to prove or disprove any god's existence; I think that the problem of evil goes a long way toward that end, anyway. I simply wanted to describe (in music) the thoughts of one non-believer. But thanks for the comments, Rob, and everyone. I apprecaite it very much.
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Sean Lally
Date: 10/16/2003
Not that I want to split hairs but, perhaps it would be better of me to state that the dearth of evidence for a creator suggests that there is not one. But again, that's not my aim in this mix. Maybe a (philosopher and atheist) George Smith mix :-)
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Sean Lally
Date: 10/16/2003
MANY thanks to G.A.B. for helping me out with the formatting of my unending spiel above.
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valis
Date: 10/16/2003
I've contemplated a mix like this for almost two years now.., slowly gathering tracks-in my head, not written down as per usual "way I work". At any rate, blessings for making the mix and the assertions. No one seems to have come out on the side of belief in the dogma(s!) of organized religion and that may be more telling than any comments already made. The fine line semantics offers in the definitions of an atheist vs. an agnostic is one I'm willing to tread: I am firmly in the agnostic camp, "without gnosis". I no longer strive for it as I did throughout my late 20s..., if it happens it happens. I have no worries about being wrong and made to suffer for eternity because of some "arrogance" or vainglory on my part: "Hell is for those what believe in it." I do not find it disconcerting that "this is all there is". It IS what we have now. A string of finite now... I find it far more appalling an institution like the Catholic Church has stood for as long as it has, given the horrors wrought by it under the aegis of "spreading the word", etc. On the other hand, Pan, Bacchus/Dionysus, Ganesha, all excite me, as does the tenets of Manicheanism. A syncretist. Baraka Sean Lally!
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g.a.b. l@bs
Date: 10/16/2003
I was gonna' try & offer the dissenting view...but will limit to saying that my personal faith (neither Catholic, Presbyterian or Jewish---and forget about the Watchtower crowd) and value system is important to me and comes into play especially with the raising of my children & and giving them a basis for belief, from which I'm well aware they may stray.
I try not to be in anyone's face with it but will speak up when an inquiry is made or when someone is hurting for whatever reason (not so much tea & sympathy but from an empathetic perspective).

What's interesting to me is how atheists seem so preoccupied with God & religion. Sorta' like vegetarians & the "evils" of red meat...can't they just eat their rutabagas & chill, (for Gore's sake) ? But perhaps the same could be said t'other way around: that evangelicals are always trying to "save & salve the lost."

I do agree about the Cath-o-lick thang--they have perverted, distorted,
warped (and shorn) their sheep...it's really baa-baa baaa-aaad religion and I can see why a lot of folk have abandoned it.
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CASETTA
Date: 10/16/2003
I have nothing against God. I just wish folks would quit talking about his death. All this talk about Gods will. Hasn't he give you enough already?

Sorry bad joke.

I have no real beef with religion or the church at all. I think it serves a purpose and comfort to some (and I would never cease to poo-poo anyone who gains from it. When stripped of political dogma, that basic common thread is a respect for fellow man. Sadly, the church and it's long history of political grasp on the masses has perverted the core meaning.

Looks, like the start of a new Lally series: Philosphical Discussion thru Discs.
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J&C's Dad
Date: 10/16/2003
This is part 1 of my comments:

I was bound to jump into this fray. I guess I'm here to represent all the sheep still being yanked around by that pope guy. :)

As it happens, I'm a semi-practicing Catholic ("semi" because I so rarely get it right). My wife and I try to take the kids to Mass each week as a family and we recently enrolled our five-year-old in a CCD class. Between my wife and I, we logged 20 years in Catholic schools.

Having established those credentials, I'd have to say that I agree with much of this discussion, particularly the parts concerning organized religion. It's really almost too obvious a statement, that religion and its perversion has certainly been the source for much evil in this world.

Despite that, and despite my misgivings with the Church, I remain a Catholic and a believer in some higher power, though I can't precisely tell you what it is. I also can't entirely rationalize why I'm still a Catholic (I've occasionally thought about going "fishin' for a new religion (to paraphrase Arrested Development)) or just ditching the religion thing entirely, but I suppose I've taken some comfort in having a structured framework for the spirituality I do feel. The fact that my spirituality and the Church to which I belong often seem to veer off in opposite directions is a contradiction for me to work out (this is, of course, something the Church just wouldn't want to hear me say...).

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J&C's Dad
Date: 10/16/2003
This is part 2: I probably felt more of an existential crisis about all of this when I was younger, but as I've gotten older, I've become comfortable with simply not knowing with any degree of certainty whether God does or does not exist, whether their is an afterlife, etc.

I read a book awhile back, Thomas Moore's Care of the Soul. And, while I think reading too many "self-help" books simply turns a person into a self-help junkie, that book actually had a lasting effect on me, in that it's helped me cultivate the spiritual in my everyday life, even when I don't feel like I've answered the Big Questions about God, etc. And learning to do that--especially this year, with the illness and loss of my dad--has been crucially important to me. Ultimately I have found that it is my relationships with other people--my wife and kids, my family and friends, and sometimes even people I hardly know at all--that has become the true foundation of whatever is spiritual within my life.

There is more I could say here, but this has turned into an awfully long comment. Thanks, Sean, for posting this mix--it's made for some interesting conversation.
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Rob Conroy
Date: 10/16/2003
I have to say that Rich's point in his second post mirrors my position pretty well: I'm not going to know if God (or whomever) exists until I die, and at that point, I won't remember it anyway. ;-) (That's the oversimplified, cutesy way to say it, I guess.) I honestly wish I could embrace religion in some way, as it would probably transform me into being a more "positive" person. :-)
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McDonald12
Date: 10/16/2003
If I ever meet "god", I'm going to ask him/her/it why he/she/it makes it so fucking difficult to believe. look at all the heartache/agony/unfairness/misery and suffering in the world. Surely an omnipotent being would/could eradicate all that, in an instant. Make people happy, and give them something real to believe in. I'm afraid it's an insult to my intelligence to ask me to believe any of the tripe the established churches spout. By the way, the only difference between the "established" churches and cults is in the amount of real estate they own (frank zappa)
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Blair12
Date: 10/17/2003
sean, you are fucking brilliant. i once wrote my theory on god down and it wasn't identical to yours.

last time i went to church was for my grandfather's memorial and the entire time they asked me to bow my head and ask for forgiveness. i had never felt more ... disgusted. they told me to ask god for forgiveness for not being a good person or being patient. well you know what, i consider myself to be a good person. needless to say, i kept my head up the entire time and tried to fall asleep.

as much as i dont' believe, however, i do not disagree with religion. it is a crutch for people. and by god (excuse the irony), if you need that crutch to help you walk so be it.
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Blair12
Date: 10/17/2003
it WAS identical, sorry
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greaseball1
Date: 10/17/2003
I have always viewed religions in general, especially Christianity and especially Catholicism as gruesome , death cults, with a touch of the sado-masochist. I mean, a naked , bleeding corpse, or half corpse , nailed to a restraining device....people take their children to see this yet balk at a little nudity on t.v.. How any one with an understanding of the bible can look at the Catholic church with all of the atrocities it has commited since its inception, all of its gold and silk, velvet and lace, obscenely grandios cathedrals etc. and think that it, in any way, can even remotely represent the teachings of Christ, is off his/her rocker. Though all of this is not the fault of God or Jesus but their fan clubs. The bible itself is another bone of contention, here we have a book , not written by the teacher but by his disciples. We know one of those disciples had ulterior motives, maybe they all had a hidden agenda...judas did it for the money, maybe Matthew did it for chicks and booze....what I mean is , how do we know that their interpretations of what the were taught is what was intended. Now add to that the translation from Hebrew into Latin. The Romans certainly twisted the religion to suit their own style why not the writings as well, I'm sure plenty of subtle nuances were lost in translation, and than several centuries later, this latin translation is translated into medieval English. I'm sure you see where I'm going, I have no faith that the bible even closly resembles its original form. Religion is just a social tool, that changes depending on where you stand on the planet, because environment and social conditions determine religion, not the other way around. In the words of Voltaire...If there was no God , it would be necessary for man to invent one....
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sport1
Date: 10/17/2003
I agree with you completely. Like Buglady, I was raised without any kind of religion in my life.
Nice mix and discussion. I would've put Anti-Pope on here from the Damned....
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g.a.b. l@bs
Date: 10/17/2003
greaseball: you're very much on target with your comments...most evangelical Christians have major problems with Catholicism precisely because it's a man-made religion. There is no Pope, or Papacy, in the Bible, but, then again, they have their own version of the Bible: (the hierarchy of the Catholic church is totally and completely man-made, as are it's dispensations, levels of purgatory, restrictions on priests private lives and Mary-ology, the worship of Christ's mother). Many people feel that, if there's a Hell.the Pope is its Vicar, leading the charge directly to its gates by perverting God's word, and creating a man-made alter in its place.

Now, if (and I mean if) you believe the New Testament, you believe that God solved the problem of mankind's sin by pinning ALLthe sins of the world, past, present & future, onto Jesus Christ, having him die, literally descend into Hell, vanquish death, and rise again. That's another major distinction between Catholicism and Christianity: the Catholic Church still has Christ on the cross, which is a perversion; most Christians believe otherwise.
Still, I know many Catholics who acknowledge the shortcomings of their "system" yet still find most of what they're looking for through their faith.so I don't jump on the differences, simply acknowledge that they're there and try to find something upon which we can agree.

.that's my soapbox soliloquy for today. This mix has certainly provoked some interesting discussion, Mr. Lally.
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greaseball1
Date: 10/19/2003
Alot of Catholics recognize the shortcomings of their system, true, but I think alot just don't care, they are caught up in the rituals. It was harsh of me to call them off their rocker. My dad was brought up catholic and has been apprehensive towards anything that might bring pleasure, he had the shit beat out of him by nuns in catholic school, never got much of an education and has felt guilt for just about everything his whole life. I find worship of any kind to be kind of degrading, thats just my point of view. I often hear things like "religion is o.k. if it makes you a good person" or " there must be something better than all...this" and I always think...Why can't they be good people without the promise of an eternal reward? I can't trust someone who needs religion to be a good person. And frankly, what is wrong with all "this"? "This" could be paradise if the parasitic organisms that we humans are could stop killing each other over religion and pay attention to things that matter.
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greaseball1
Date: 10/19/2003
Apologies, I post comments and then read all the other comments afterwords. Thanks to Sean for starting some great conversation, and giving me a chance to make my mind puke out all this stuff. I rarely get to talk about it.



As far as "Atheism" goes...I've never been comfortable using that term to describe myself because it seems like a name created to set aside those who don't believe and that is assuming that there is a god, I just don't believe in him. As far as the question of "evil" goes...my understanding of evil is that it is the act of thinking for oneself, to really break it down, I mean, that was Satan's whole platform ,right? Think for yourself.
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Adam Bristor
Date: 10/19/2003
Great Bill Hicks and Lennon selections, among many others, and it's nice to see a thought-provoking mix. I'm kind of surprised by the way the responses came out below; it would suggest to me that either this focus group is skewed (which would make for some more interesting questions), or the church really has their work cut out for them. Anyhow, your thoughts are very well-stated, and come from a point-of-view somewhat similar to mine. I kind of like the way of thinking that "Dogma" advanced: have ideas, not beliefs; ideas are easier to change. Hey, great job.
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Craig The Elephant
Date: 10/21/2003
yeah, i guess the fact that johnny rotten er whatever was ever let near a microphone is sort of proof that there is no god!

cutting god out of the mix would certainly end all the evil in the world....rrrrrriiigggghhhhhttttt!

all in good fun and see you in hell.
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Ken Harris
Date: 10/28/2003
Wow...How the hell did I miss this one? Very provocative, Mr. Lally. You know we share a good amount of general philosophy about many areas of life. And now, apparently one more, though this subject weighs heavily on me...Will continue via email...
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Brave Little Toaster
Date: 10/29/2003
i believe in god and i believe that god created the earth. i believe that god sent his son to earth and that he died to atone for the sins of all mankind. can i prove it? nope. could i be wrong? absolutely. on the other hand, if i'm wrong, what have i lost? my life has been enriched by following the teachings of the bible. i'm 25 now and i've been a christian since i was 5. lately i've done a lot of searching and i've come to the conclusion that, though i cannot be 100% sure of my beliefs, i cannot, with certainty, know that they are wrong. just like most of you, i've been completely turned off by "the church." however, when i look at organized religion i don't see god. when i read the words of jesus, i do. when i see an act of love, i do. i sometimes wonder why god doesn't do something, some kind of miracle, to prove that he exists. then i look around and see the trees. i see the ocean. i remember that he sent his son. to die. to be resurrected. i think of the love that exists on earth amidst all of the grief that we humans cause everyday and i wonder: what else could he do to make us believe? but if i'm wrong, if jesus was just a jew who tricked many into believing he was god; if the disciples and apostles were just nut jobs who died because of their devotion to a normal man; if my parents were simply misled: what have i lost by living a life following the ten commandments? following the teaching of christ? i've lost nothing. if i'm right though. if the bible is truly the word of god; if jesus was god incarnate, who died for me, i'll spend eternity with the creator, basking in his love. i'm willing to take the risk that i'm wrong. sooo, if god is real, i hope that he touches everyone of you, and that he shows you his love, and that you accept him as your savior. if he isn't real, then you don't have anything to worry about. go back to simply existing.
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Sean Lally
Date: 10/29/2003
Thanks for the thoughts. Let me give you my reactions to your (fairly traditional, and I don't mean that in a negative way) beliefs. I know that many people *believe* that god created the earth, despite the current preponderance of evidence describing how planetary systems form (which is a rather common occurance in the universe). I know that many people believe that god somehow had a son, who was somehow condemned to death by this merciful god to atone for sins that man had (despite being created by a perfect god). How did this son come about exactly? Presumably by some NON-biological means - could be a virgin birth perhaps, though this is common in MANY creation myths, as is the death of a so-called messiah by crucifixion. Check out the stories/myths of Chrishna, Zulis, Jao, Adad, Thor, and a few dozen others. [Or look into Kersey Graves "The World's 16 Crucified Saviors", for more info.] Moreover, this is common in the so-called saviors of oppressed peoples throughout history.
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Sean Lally
Date: 10/29/2003
As for BLT's commons regarding "what have I lost" - this is a position commonly known as Pascal's Wager. If you are wrong, I would say that what you have lost is the opportunity to live in a world ruled by physical laws, statistics and your own actions - rather than one ruled by the actions of a capricious god. As for the actual words of Jesus, it is very debatable as to whether he actually wrote any, or for that matter, even existed. Virtually no contemporary historians write about him. Virtually everything we "know" about him comes from people with, perhaps, other axes to grind. Finally, I think that the prospect of resurrection is one of the worst evils perpetuated on the living. Somehow we should not worry about our current problems, as we will get our due in the hearafter. This is nonsense, and is terribly dangerous. It's also an empty morality.
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Sean Lally
Date: 10/29/2003
As for the comment about love - I certainly don't need Jesus or God for that. All I have to do is talk with my wife, friends, and family (and cats!) to know that love exists. Love, reason, and physics - that's why I believe in.
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SueEW
Date: 10/29/2003
whatever my thoughts are about religion, this is a darn friggin great mix!

but seriously, i was raised a catholic, but stopped going to church when i didn't have to go anymore (after confirmation). i sometime worry that my daughter, who's five, and not currently anything religion-wise, is missing out. but i'm pretty i'm wrong on that. i figure, when she's old enough to decide if she wants a religion, it's her choice, and her choice only.
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SueEW
Date: 10/29/2003
that should be pretty sure!, duh.
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Brave Little Toaster
Date: 10/29/2003
sean, i here what you're saying (although i won't pretend to follow all of the literary allusions), but i'm glad that you've come to a point where you can be so sure of yourself. i hope, for your sake, that you are as right as you think you are. i do want to make it very clear that i understand what you think i have "lost." although i must say that life as a christian doesn't preclude living in a world governed by "physical laws, statistics and your own actions." i'm not sure what one has to do with the other. the point i tried to make in my last point is: i'm ok with what you think i have lost. also, i don't take offense in you labeling my beliefs "traditional" although i do think you meant it in a negative way after reading the rest of your posts. happy mixing. maybe you can do one on roe v wade next just to keep things interesting. :)
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Sean Lally
Date: 10/29/2003
I know that living in a Christian world certainly does NOT preclude the existence of physical laws, but you'd be surprised how many people think that physical laws really don't matter. To some, either they don't apply (evolution, cosmology), or are capable of being superceded at a moment's notice by divine intervention. That's what I was trying to say. Thanks for the inspired discussions on my God mix. I really did not mean to be negative in my replies, but it kinda looks that way. I have a tendency to seem pretty arrogant when I discuss something I feel passionately about. Hmmm... a "Roe v. Wade" mix... Now THAT is inspired - the way things are going, RvW may not be around much longer. Thanks again.
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Brave Little Toaster
Date: 10/29/2003
no problem sean. it's been fun to chat.
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g.a.b. l@bs
Date: 10/29/2003
heh...damn it I can't resist:
if you become unhappy (or it becomes inconvenient to complete) with that proposed Roe-v.-Wade mix...even up until the 19th track...you could always pitch it (and call it "choice").
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g.a.b. l@bs
Date: 10/29/2003
...even better...here's the title for your mix:
Roe v. Wade: Choice Cuts
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Sean Lally
Date: 10/29/2003
HA! Great title! g.a.b. l@bs , I choose you.
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valis
Date: 10/29/2003
I doubt anyone will give serious consideration to reading the Kersey Graves. I almost mentioned it myself. No, I think those in the Christian camp have the "only book they need" and that is that. If it might contradict a belief, or actually show where that "belief" may have started it wouldn't sit well.....the bedrock is shale. Hmm, a "shale game"..?
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Professor Poserlad
Date: 10/29/2003
dude, finally ann coulter gets her own mix!!!! nice mix. note to self: ann coulter is a piece of worthless right wing circle jerk propaganda mistress of the damned.
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boogichild
Date: 10/30/2003
I don't know if there is a God, but if there is-he/she/it totally understands my skepticism. I can only believe in God that gets me and where I'm coming from. I do have a problem with the Jesus story, though. Why must I be born with this guilt hanging on my head that someone died for my sins. Sins I haven't even committed yet. I didn't ask him and wouldn't ask him to do that. I will take responsibility for my own mistakes, thank you. And I can't believe in a God that would ask his son to do that. Again, my God totally understands my thoughts on this. In fact, I can only believe in a God that can hear my every thought and knows my every feeling, so I totally don't get the point of praying at all.
My God sounds a little like an imaginary friend, huh?
By the way, my God totally digs this mix.
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Steiney_77
Date: 10/30/2003
I usually don't discuss my religious or political beliefs but I feel pretty similiar to what you have described above. I was raised in a Catholic household all my life and so has my wife. She can't understand why I don't go to church (fundamental disbelief in a lot of the dogma). But then I feel like that about a lot of religion. I never understood how an organization that is supposed to preach tolerance and love above all else and then preaches hates towards unwed parents, homosexuals, docotrs who perform abortions, etc. Seems to go againt the idea of all encompassing love. Just some of my many issues with religion. If it (organized religion) works for you (collective..not specifically YOU) though, great I am happy for you, just don't cram your beliefs down my throat. Thank you for the discussion and the mix.
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NeroFly
Date: 11/2/2003
Why would you not want anyone to pray for you?
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Sean Lally
Date: 11/3/2003
Hi NeroFly - that was just a bit of playful sarcasm. People are welcome to pray for me left and right, if they wish. It is interesting to note that many tests of the efficacy of unsolicited prayer on medical patients have been done in the past 15 years, starting with the tests or Byrd in the late 80s. Results of over a hundred tests have shown that sometimes it seems to work, and sometimes it doesn't - with an almost completely binary probabilistic likelihood. I believe that prayer can help the prayer a great deal. So can meditation or sitting quietly in a room with a good book. But can it actually DO anything, in and of itself? That, I submit, is very doubtful. Anecdotal evidence notwithstanding.
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Sean Lally
Date: 11/3/2003
FYI, one of my M.A. theses was on the efficacy of prayer in medical settings. If anyone wants a good snooze, I'll gladly send you a copy.
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g.a.b. l@bs
Date: 11/3/2003
Ah ha! I got the impression, early on that this was more than pure discussion.I think we're talking obsession here (obsessive/compulsive maybe even). Your Thesis, huh? Well 1st of congratulations on having a Thesis (I stopped with a mere BA in English Lit.).but, like the scene from Braveheart where the Robert the Bruce says to William Wallace: "This is looking more and more like rage", I think thatthis is looking more and more like pure rant with some barely visible attempts at emotional control.
As I stated way early in this "discussion": there is always the nagging question of why atheists should care what anybody else believes. Why should they get upset because some (in the atheists' opinions) feebleminded neighbors believe in ghosts, gods and poltergeists, global warming.or Santa?
I think the deeper issue driving this is not so much your differences with religion, but the fact that those who are religious take a view counter to yours on some of today's boiling issues, the likes of which I'll not get into at this point. But us silly Christians really seem to drive you nuts, don't they Sean?
Usually when a mix drops off the last 100 list, that's it.you may catch an additional stray post or 2, but it's over. The fact that you "resurrected" it (hmmmmmm-interesting) by bringing it to the Forum tells me a bit more about your ego.and your intentions. : )
Physics be damned."Praise Jesus".break out the asbestos underwear boys, it's gonna' be a hot'n !

To be above (with those we love)Ah ! that will be the glory. To dwell below with those we know .now that's a different story
Thanks again for the Psyche mix, buddy !
[submitted with the same humor as Mr. Lally originally intended --- let's all have some fun !]
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Sean Lally
Date: 11/3/2003
So much to say, but I fear that G.A.B. will label this a rant yet again. Ah well. Suffice to say that, of course, I have a vested interest in the topic. I wouldn't call it obsession, however. A casual look at my mixes will reveal this to be only the second of some 60 mixes with philosophical overtones. (Now 60s garage music - THAT's an obsession!) Regardless, Christians do not drive me nuts. Not remotely. My entire family is religious, in-laws as well, and I love them (well, most of them). My wife and I are the odd folks out, so to speak. Christians trying to legally force their beliefs on the public - THAT drives me nuts. THAT is why I care what others believe - there is something about many of the uber-religious (especially those in power) that so often needs to witness to everyone on their block. Examples abound: faith-based initiatives (charities that may willfully discriminate, and still receive funding from you and me), non-funding of life-saving research, abandonment of the teaching of evolution and cosmology in the nation's schools, mandated mantras in schools (Pledge of allegiance). All of this drives me nuts; moreover, it's unconstitutional, and that's partially why I posted this mix. But I'm not fascinated by Christianity, nor are (I suspect) most atheists (how many atheists are you that close with? is it statistically significant enough to make that sort of blanket judgement?) - that is projection, or wishful thinking, or something else entirely. Having been a strong believer for half my life, I know exactly why folks have these types of beliefs - I just don't share them. Also, I didn't use the term "feeble-minded" or mean to imply such. I did, however, manage to resurrect the discussion - call me selfish or egoistic. It did manage to capture the imagination and comments of quite a few mixers, yourself included. So there, G.A.B - you're now part of the problem.
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Sean Lally
Date: 11/3/2003
"ghosts, gods and poltergeists, global warming.or Santa?" As one trained in science, I feel it is my responsibility to point out that one of these really doesn't belong in that list.
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g.a.b. l@bs
Date: 11/3/2003
your parents told you about Santa ??
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GOD123
Date: 11/3/2003
HA !...m'man l@bs...such a wit!


(thanks for the HTML sheet, dude--you rool!)
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NeroFly
Date: 11/3/2003
For an atheist you seem to have a serious bone to pick with God. On a philosophical level, is this not really a fairly benign case of

Remove God=Remove Accountability

?
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Brave Little Toaster
Date: 11/3/2003
Oh yeah, and Ann Coulter gets me all hot. Especially when she talks about opposition to gay marriage. Owww!!! Smokin!
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Brave Little Toaster
Date: 11/3/2003
the answer to all questions of morality lie beyond this portal
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NeroFly
Date: 11/3/2003
On the subject of prayer, prayer is not some selfish act where to try and get God to do what you want Him to, this is a rather silly idea and goes against the fabric of what a god who is capable of answering prayer must be.



"And Digory could say nothing, as tears choked him and he gave up all hopes of saving his mother's life; but at the same time he knew that the Lion knew what would have happened, and that there might be things more terrible even than losing someone you love by death."
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The Heavenly Hostettes
Date: 11/3/2003








"Verily, Sean thou art loVed !!
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Martin Andersen
Date: 11/3/2003
Great mix. As for any religious thoughts, I have few, if any. I'm a lapsed Catholic, and I try to remain as shallow in life as possible (my work as a physician is stressful enough). My simple philosophy is Love = Freedom. If God exists and loves us, I assume He/She initiated the Big Bang and then let the universe take its own course without once interfering. As for an afterlife, I don't have any strong viewpoints. I do know, however, that some people live Hell on Earth--I've treated them: homeless drug addicts, abused women, forgotten nursing home patients etc etc etc. If there is nothing for these people after they die, I find that really depressing. Not surprisingly, most, if not all, of these patients believe in God. I guess it's easier to be an Atheist if you're middle class and secure.
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Sean Lally
Date: 11/3/2003
Nice comments, all. Nice of God to chime in, too - I was wondering when the proof would rear His face! Removing God = Removing accountability? Heavens no - only in the poorest moralities. If you require God to be accountable to your fellow human, I don't think you have actual morality. And NeroFly, I was not trying to trivialize prayer - however, I must admit, I don't really understand the point of it, if not to make yourself feel empowered (whether you're praying "for yourself" or "for another"). Seems potentially selfish to me. Thanks Heavenly H, glad to know I'm loved (Rob C., is that you?!? No wait - it's Brandt, back from beyond!). And Martin, you've raised good issues. I think that oppressed peoples have always needed the belief in God - again, to feel empowered in a chaotic ruthless universe. BUT, if God initiated the BB and let it take its course, what type of irresponsibile behavior is that?!? That's not an all-loving god, in my view. Ah, the shoutin' match goes on!
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NeroFly
Date: 11/4/2003
Without God, where ever can morality stem from?
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Sean Lally
Date: 11/4/2003
It can stem from personality responsibility toward your fellow human - toward your civilization - toward your planet. I really, really doubt that you can find consistent instances of morality in the Bible - people pick and choose (rather dramatically) the bits they like (burning bush, etc.) and casually cast aside the not-so-nice parts (stoning of adulterers, selling of children, treatement of slaves, etc.). Y'know, I don't see how God has such a positive track record on morality. I mean, God has sat idly by while the greatest horrors have passed. In law, they call this "depraved indifference". Someone should make a citizen's arrest on this God fellow. You might find a paper by Grunbaum illuminating: "The Poverty of Theistic Morality". If a person NEEDS God to be a moral person, I'm not sure that I want to be around them for long.
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Nate Gansen
Date: 11/5/2003
Wow, there is so much great discussion here. Thanks Sean.
My two (ten?) cents: There is a reason that many religions tend to be similar. Many great minds have, independent of one another, found that there are certain precepts in life that simply exist. Don't cheat on your wife, kill, etc. These ideas have become organized and most of these organizations recognize that other organizations are on the right track (a great Buddhist monk once noted that Christ's teaching were exactly what he'd been trying to communicate to his own disciples for years). This adds validity to the concept of organized religion, if only as good popular philosophy.
God is a good guy. He wants people to talk to, to relate to- hence we exist (this is merely a postulation- the reality is that I have no clue). This garbage that science has ridded us of the idea of a God is absurd. Some of the most brilliant physicists that have ever existed are currently faced with admitting that a lack of understanding of the universe may necessarily force a God (or some other "otherly" essence) into the picture ala the anthropic principle. Case in point: the lack of a cosmological constant.
The Beatles had it right: love is all you need. God, to me, is the personification of Love. You do things out of love for God and your fellow [wo]man, not because you want to go to Heaven or avoid Hell. Jesus' teachings are tell us exactly love is and how to spread it. Hell, listen to the teachings of any proven religion and you're bound to find something worth your while. Bottom line, however, is that you must look. Without looking you forget what is right and good.
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Nate Gansen
Date: 11/5/2003
Lastly, before you go bashing the Catholic church (and yes, it has it's share of transgressions, just like you) remember that it has some really nice things to offer, like the upholding of the sacraments. Marriage in this country is a joke and I firmly believe that if more people looked at it from the Catholic point of view (not that individual Catholics even do so), the rate of divorce in this country would drop dramatically. Also, the pope can eat his hat before I'll have 10 kids because I'm a horny son of a bitch, but the fact of the matter is that contraception does take away something of the transcendental quality of that ever-so perfect union between two people (speaking of perversions).
So, this is my opinion. I think I came off a lot stronger than I intended to, but my biggest point is that I think some people write off religion without understanding it, or even attempting to do so. I don't think you're too far off the mark, Sean, if off at all. I just don't think you need to cut religion out of the picture before you get were you want to go in life.
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Sean Lally
Date: 11/6/2003
I did not mean to bash only the Catholic church. Marriage? Interestingly, the divorce rates among atheists are also among the lowest. Top of the list? That would be Baptists. The "upholding of the sacraments" (the marriage is a gift from god bit, which conveniently ignores history) is also used to prevent a large group of people (gay and lesbian) from marrying and enjoying the legal and cultural benefits. I would like to think that God is a good guy. Truthfully though, it's easier (MUCH easier) to just accept that there is no god (rather than one or many). If I believed in a god, I would be appalled at his indifference toward his creations.
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valis
Date: 12/9/2003
As a man can drink water from any side of a full tank, so the skilled
theologian can wrest from any scripture that which will serve his
purpose.

Bhagavad Gita (c. B.C. 400)
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nickhalz
Date: 12/16/2003
Excellent mix, Sean, don't know if I've ever been this impressed by anything I've seen on AOTM as I am by this mix-comments-feedback. I'm obviously checking in far too late to engage in the discussion here, but since I just spent the last 30 min reading this page I will say this-- I'm a firm agnostic. I have a mildly religious background and used to worry about these topics all the time because I could never shake my feelings of skepticism. I finally decided to give up on religion when I realized that the only reason why I would ever "believe" in/worship God was fear of the afterlife--which would lead to a terribly undignified existence.

Anyway, my version of this mix would probably include some Modest Mouse songs, as well as some irreverent punk numbers. But I think its good that you left out the hardcore because sloganeering music probably wouldn't have encouraged much discussion.
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12vman
Date: 4/27/2004
I'm only coming in on this about 6 months late - but I just can't resist. The argument debating the existence of God is based on one assumption - an assumption held by both believers and non-believers - and that is that God or god or whatever is a perfect being/entity. Believers say that God is perfect but we just don't understand his mysterious ways. Non-believers say if god is so great, he wouldn't allow so much pain. But that's assuming that this supreme being has any control over the situation or can do anything about it. Quite frankly, up until Christianity, God or Yahweh or Allah or Zeus or whoever, were very powerful beings, but far, far from perfect. Personally, if this god-dude is so supreme, yet so supremely insecure that he needs lowly humans to prostrate themselves before him, I'm not so sure I want to spend enternity w/him anyway - the good news is, whether I'm right or wrong - I likely won't have to.
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Sean Lally
Date: 7/8/2004
I don't know that it's an "assumption" - is that perfection not the very definition of the traditional God?
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The Misfit
Date: 7/7/2005
Blair12: "sean, you are fucking brilliant. i once wrote my theory on god down and it [was] identical to yours." This is one of my favorite comments ever.
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FoolThemAll
Date: 6/18/2006
Nice job here and great notes. Love that Bill Hicks bit and the Jethro Tull pick. I'm pretty much an agnostic Catholic-in-name-only with heresies aplenty. Haven't ever really given up belief in God, but I have given up a belief in my own infallibility on that subject (or any other subject, of course). I could be wrong, I could just be talking to myself. But life goes on either way.

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