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About Fencesitter

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  1. Fencesitter added a post in a topic The Kite Runner (Spoilers)   


    You aren't going to leave us hanging, are you? We want to know the ending of the movie and why you thought it was Hollywood-ish.

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  2. Fencesitter added a post in a topic The Kite Runner (Spoilers)   

    And Kkirilovv, unless you're the person that wrote the first review on (in which case I'd like to hear more about your book!), you should also add quotation marks around the material that matches that material word for word which is in the middle of your post. And if any of your other comments came from other reviews, they should have quotation marks around them also.
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  3. Fencesitter added a post in a topic The Kite Runner (Spoilers)   

    Where is that quote from? Are those your own words, from the book or a popular quote? If it's a quote or from the book, why no attribution?

    I'm curious because the first reviewer of the Kite Runner on also had exactly the same words but with no attribution either. I found that puzzling.

    That's exactly how I felt. I wasn't as bothered by the coincidences, but the slapdash finish with all the ends hanging loose bothered me. I had more questions than answers when I finished it. I rationalized that may have reflected how real life is. . . more questions than answers. But it was unsatisfying.

    I don't think it was a simple guilt and redemption story. Do either of you remember the conversation where someone (can't remember who) was talking to Amir and telling him that he shouldn't feel bad for something that he did as a child? And I thought Amir said something to the effect that he didn't feel bad about it and that was the terrible part. It's hazy, but I seem to remember something like that. So that brought a whole other dimension that made it more complex but difficult to end in a satisfying way.

    The thing that bothered me about the book was the depiction of their life in Silicon Valley. Having been there, it didn't ring true for me. And I wondered if the details of life in a place where I know it aren't ringing true, then are the details of Afghanistan any more true? And when I read the third reviewer at, I didn't get the sense that it was. But I also got the sense that the depiction of Silicon Valley wasn't very real to me was because the author hadn't lived that life. For the rest of the book, the author lived the life of the protagonist pretty closely in terms of economic class and geography. But when they got to the US, that's where the author parted from his real life and that seemed less real to me. In real life, the author and his family all got to the US and they had a pretty good life where the author went to a good school and became a medical doctor (according to the back cover of the book, I think).
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  4. Fencesitter added a post in a topic The Kite Runner (Spoilers)   

    I look forward to the end of your narrative. I didn't see the movie, but I listened to the book on downloaded audio from the library. And I don't remember the end feeling that good. So either I've misremembered the end, the movie was captured differently, or we disagree about what feels good at the end of a story.
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  5. Fencesitter added a post in a topic Belief and Validating Experience   

    Great post, PoL!

    Let's turn this question on its head.
    I can indeed imagine many people calling themselves Christians who might write that. Would they be considered Christians by other Christians? Would you consider them to be Christian?
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  6. Fencesitter added a post in a topic Belief and Validating Experience   

    FoT, here are my thoughts. I have a few questions about some of your assumptions and assertions. I hope you find them useful.

    I'm not sure that I see how you're differentiating between the simple and complex. In your first set of simple examples, rocks and sheep are material and Santa Claus is a concept, so that's not the difference. Neutrinos are material while ghosts and gods might not be. Experiencing a hammer drop on your foot is a material event but the experience is not. In my mind, the first set of examples are not that different from the second set. Could you be more specific about how you're differentiating the two sets of examples?

    In our society in the US, there are scientists who are very educated who believe in God. Does this mean that the belief in God is a reasonable belief and that we should all follow suit? Miller, one of the evolutionists who wrote the text that was talked about in the Dover case is a Roman Catholic. He feels that science and faith are compatible. Another example is one of the leading scientists on the greenhouse effect, Sir John Houghton not only believes that God exists but that he has the same kind of character that we do. Since these people have grown up in the modern world with a modern education and they believe in God, is it unreasonable for other people not to do so?

    Conversely, can you absolutely prove that God doesn't exist? It's very difficult to prove a negative. Are you sure that we've done enough investigation to know that God doesn't exist?

    This is an assertion based on "feeling" or "intuition". Is that sufficient?

    You've shown the difficulty in creating such a scheme. The assumptions that one holds contributes to the scheme becoming skewed toward one side or the other. If we could agree on the assumptions, we could agree on the outcome. But since we do tend to validate our own beliefs, creating a scheme which both sides will agree on seems like a fruitless task.

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  7. Fencesitter added a post in a topic Proposal   

    Interesting site. Thanks for the link.
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  8. Fencesitter added a post in a topic Ethics, Morals, Fetishes   

    Aww, well that was no fun. It was much more fun when everyone was thinking that you were advocating the abolition of all morality.

    So, a couple questions:

    Does a moral rule ever become custom?
    Does a custom every become a moral rule?
    Is the subset of customs entire within the set of morality? Or are they separate sets that don't overlap? What's the amount of overlap between morality and custom, if any?
    If customs are necessary for the functioning of society, what do we do with those customs with which we disagree?
    Why are customs necessary for the functioning of society?

    I'll give my take on what you've written before I see the answers to my questions. I'll revise (perhaps dramatically) if your answers differ substantially from what I'm expecting.

    There is a large body of norms (call it what you will--customs, norms, ethics, morality) which generally people agree upon. These generally include (with small deviations of definition) things like don't murder other people and don't take their stuff. Within this body of norms, there's a small fraction of stuff that people don't agree on and an even smaller fraction of stuff that people disagree with on religious grounds. Generally, when people are arguing about morality, they're generally arguing about this tiny subset of stuff. And they neglect to mention the larger body of things that people do agreed upon.
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  9. Fencesitter added a post in a topic Ethics, Morals, Fetishes   

    And I would say that if you have to throw out a concept to make the other two compatible, you're not defining the terms correctly.

    In the "Art of Happiness", the Dalai Lama claims that happiness is the goal of life and knowledge plays a role in that.

    What this says to me is that we use our knowledge to determine our virtues which leads to happiness. In this snippet, he uses the example of decreasing anger as the virtue, but it applies to all the virtues, I believe.
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  10. Fencesitter added a post in a topic Ethics, Morals, Fetishes   

    As noted here, it's very important to define the term morality before making any kind of conclusions about it.

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  11. Fencesitter added a post in a topic first experience   

    That was waaaaay more than I wanted to know. I just asked because you originally posted this in a thread that had depression and apologies in the title. But now that it's taken out of context, it looks like I was asking a serious question, so just to clarify--I was not.
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  12. Fencesitter added a post in a topic first experience   

    Umm. . .huh? Did you mean for that to go here

    Or was it depressing and did you apologize after as well?
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  13. Fencesitter added a post in a topic Say what you mean?   

    I agree and I don't. I agree that there's a great cathartic healing in sharing fears/concerns with people who understand and can empathize. But I disagree that sharing one's concerns with anyone is a good thing. There's nothing more alienating than sharing a concern you have with a group of people who don't understand. And there's a great healing power in sharing concerns with people who do understand.

    For example, if you just took a trip around the world and you're concerned about the divisiveness around the world, you might share that concern with people who live in your hometown that have never left the town and would get a blank stare that could feel very alienating. But if you shared that same concern with others who have been around the world, you might get a better response.

    So while I agree that sharing is a great thing, I also think there's a better time and place than others and sharing one's concerns on camera doesn't seem like the most appropriate time and place for all concerns.

    Yes, I do believe in synchronicity. As Joseph Campbell puts it, when you are engaged in your bliss, there are invisible hands that help guide you in your work.

    Cheryl Richardson also talks about both synchronicity and engaging in more soulful discussions in her book, "Stand Up for Your Life: Develop the Courage, Confidence, and Character to Fulfill Your Greatest Potential

    I think this depends on the audience. For example, over the holidays, I decided that I was tired of people asking me whether I was ready for Christmas and would just respond with, "I don't do Christmas." It worked well with the first few people. But there were some that were definitely uncomfortable with the response, so I stopped saying it, not because I was afraid of the response but because it wasn't my intent to make others feel uncomfortable.

    I have also noticed that the more successful people are, the more willing and able they are to talk about their fears and to discuss them with you. I think this is because successful people deal with their fears all the time and overcome them routinely, so they're accustomed to talking about the experience. And since they're not afraid of their own fears, they can listen to others' fears with more tolerance.
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  14. Fencesitter added a post in a topic What matters?   

    For me, what matters is all of it. It's continually asking the questions and noticing the contradictions. It's learning to accept the contradictions or trying to find better answers. But for me, it's the importance of continuing to ask the questions and not settling on mediocre answers. It's all about the journey.

    May you have a great time asking more questions and finding more answers in 2007. Happy New Year!
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  15. Fencesitter added a post in a topic The Ethics of Troll-flaming   

    Campanella seems to agree with you. I suppose I agree with you if you say frequently. I don't know if it's always the case.

    For purposes of this thread, I'm not making the distinction, although I would have more concerns over a passive troll than an active one (by your definition) in the context of troll-flaming.

    I agree that the social dynamics of message boards pose some interesting questions. Let's hope that if someone is creating a Ph.D thesis on it, they'd create a much more impressive title for it. . . . perhaps something to do with power or cohesion or memes or something with big fancy names.
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