This is the Message Centre for bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

A chance to talk without all those silly plural personal pronouns ;-)

Post 1

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

I extended the offer for membership in my little network after billypilgrim pointed me to your page, and I noticed all the references to Wicca. One of the goals of the network is to provide information on the broad range of alternatives to Christianity, and your articles would be a welcome addition. Yourself would be welcome, as well. smiley - winkeye

Alas, however, my duties as Chairman of the network are keeping me rather busy at the moment. However, as I am able to transfer more of my duties to my assistant, Scopes the monkey, I'll have plenty of time to loll about your court and genuflect.

On a personal note: I see you've issued a call for a collaborative effort on the Children's Toys article, and Collaborative Efforts (the column I contribute to the Post) is what I'm all about . Want a write-up? Don't hold this week's column against me, usually it's quite good.


A chance to talk without all those silly plural personal pronouns ;-)

Post 2

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

Hullo, GargleBlaster!

Sorry for the delay in replying, but I have been away much of the weekend. My mother [who is 80] has been in the hospital with pneumonia. She was able to go home Saturday and as she lives an hour away it has taken much of my time getting back and forth.

Now, as to your various gracious offers.

I have followed some of the conversation in Christians on h2g2, and your posts on Atheism, in addition to my own commentary in the wiccan forum. This is how I was fortunate to have made the acquaintance of billypilgrim. You are right about my non-christian orientation. I have been a full, complete and outright atheist for many years. Practically all of my adult life, actually. Not an agnostic, not a backsliding christian: atheist. Period. My enjoyment and appreciation of DNA went up a notch when I learned that he shared this viewpoint, and I have read his commentaries with interest. I also find that I am able to follow the practice of wicca with no conflict to my non-belief in a purpose or concious guiding force for life. [See my postings in the wiccan forum for comments]

However, as the Dragon Queen of Damogran, I felt I did not want to take this viewpoint into that gracious and fair realm. Hopefully there will be no religion in Damogran...other than in the privacy of the heads and hearts of the citizens. I am sure you understand why this discussion fits on my home page better than in that fair land. smiley - smiley

Comments on the Anti-Christ's Support Network will follow. As what you are doing interests me, but I have a problem with 'Anti-christ'. Or maybe I just need to adjust my sense of humor a little. smiley - winkeye More later. Stay tuned.

The Children's Toys article had much more response in the original than in the "approved" version. There is lots of opportunity for more articles to be written on individual toys, as well as others in a broader catagory, like LEGO f'rinstance. I didnt reedit it before the article got approved, and there is lotsa good stuff that others contributed just sitting there. I invite interested parties and previous contributors to 'pick up the ball' on this topic. Especially now that I have a Queendom to run... smiley - winkeye dunno how this could be handled in the Post. Any suggestions will be welcomed.

Glad that Scopes is taking on most of the work in your forum. Hope to see you about in Damogran frequently. Please present yourself in the Royal Court and get a title that is appropriate to your standing in the community. And impressive and everything. smiley - smiley

Thanks for dropping in.
Have a fish! smiley - fish
}:=8


A chance to talk without all those silly plural personal pronouns ;-)

Post 3

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

The name for the Network is just what I happened to come up with at the time, and there's a forum attached where I'm accepting suggestions for a new name. It does reflect my own personal sense of humor, which is generally in incredibly bad taste. smiley - winkeye

I respect you wanting to keep Damorgran clear of that sort of discussion. I was just wandering around looking for a place to hail you, and I figured that I could play along as a supplicant to your court where you receive visitors. Judgement error, to be sure, and be assured it will not be my last. smiley - winkeye

As far as the Toys article is concerned, all I can do for you is advertise that you're looking for new suggestions, and maybe people will drop in and add some. I can't say for certain that it will actually generate any interest, but I've got this week's ad recipient keeping me updated. And if it turns out my column is being written in vain, as I suspect, it'll be discontinued. Which will, of course, free up more time to lounge about in your court and feed off of the fruits of the labors of your subjects. smiley - winkeye


On Children's Toys

Post 4

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

Further thoughts on Children's Toys Article:
This is an Approved Guide Entry. So isn't editing, additions, changes sorta out of my hands????

I wouldnt mind working on additions, etc., but I shoulda done that with the original article http://www.h2g2.com/A163964 BEFORE it got approved. It has lotsa suggestions already.

Right now the main things that could happen is that people could write additional articles on individual toys, or create articles on new catagories. [ie, 'modern classics, board games, etc., etc.]

I dont know how ongoing collaboration would work for articles that are already 'Approved'. If you think the topic is interesting enough for the Post [and it may be that it IS that interesting--people like nostalgia] you may have to ask the PTWVH what the best approach is.

BTW, she recalls, do you know who invented the term 'PTWVH ['cause they dont like to be called the PTB]'???? It was herself, the bluDragon. I have seen the term used here and there in the Guide and wondered if anyone remembered where it started being used. I saw a comment in a thread that either Mark or Jim [I think] didnt like being called the 'Powers That Be'. So the next time I referred to them I called them the 'Powers That Work Very Hard' instead...

}:=8


Damogran and Religion

Post 5

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

No harm done with the posting to the Damogranian Forum.
smiley - smiley
just had to make a 'formal' comment there to make the Queen's position clear. 'Specially since I didn't want to put off any Christian members of the court...

Queenship carries so many responsibilities...
smiley - winkeye

}:=8


On religion and the 'anti-christ' forum

Post 6

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

This is a somewhat more serious [and very long] post about your Forum and the name 'anti-christ'.

I think the idea of the forum is a very interesting one, but as I pointed out before, I am somewhat put-off by the name 'anti-christ'. I understand that this may not be the permanent name for the page. A different name might better reflect the purpose of the page, anyway. So I personally would encourage you to consider names that are equally humorous, but broader in scope.

Here are some thoughts on comparing christianity to other religions. First off, many english speaking countries are christian in culture and historical background. So I can understand the urge to discuss beliefs in the context of religions that are 'not christian'. However, starting from this negative point sometimes results more in a criticism of christianity rather than an exploration of other beliefs.

I, personally, am a 'recovering catholic' so I understand the urge to examine those aspects of christianity which I find to be inconsistant, uncharitable, unhealthy and destructive. But I lost the urge to do this on an ongoing basis quite some time ago. Partially because I have seen similar patterns in so many other religions as well. And partially because I find that each person must come to these conclusions by themself. Pointing out the stupidity of someone's belief system to them usually results in hard feelings. smiley - winkeye

This is sorta why I did not comment on your 'Failure of christianity to stand up to reason', or the cynic's guide to the Bible'. This is not to say I dont agree with many of your points. Actually I do, and many are very good points. smiley - smiley

I guess I just dont know where to start with articles like those. For example, the whole issue of Jesus birthday. The whole jesus 'myth' is a direct ripoff of Mithras [and others]; god impregnates woman, child is god who lives with humans, and then dies and is reborn as a god. The whole 'god as human sacrifice' concept is built into many mythologies--the 'fisher king'. As is the 'god impregnating human woman' concept. The jesus story is just a variation on the theme.

Some christians have been horrified to find out how many supposed christian celebrations are actually pagan in origin. And some have also launched a crusade to remove these pagan things from christian celebration. [there goes the christmas tree, and all kinda other stuff] The problem here is not with understanding that the origin of these things is outside christianity. It is with the even larger understanding that most, if not all, religions have some celebration at the winter solstice dedicated to the return of light to the world. All of the traditions have their roots in this need.And many of the celebrations and rituals of most religions are outgrowths of this kind of primitive need to understand and cope with the world.

And I am somewhat reluctant to enter in to a discussion that points out various historical inconsistancies in the Bible. Any historian would expect there to be many. And any christian who insists on a literal interpretation of the 'words' [whatever the translation is] is not going to be swayed by logical argument.
*sigh*
Now there may be some young [or even not-so-young] folks out there who have never considered these things, so I suppose the articles are interesting, informative, and even enlightening for them. But, for myself, I find all religious myth just that: myth. And that includes every religion, not just christianity.

I DO like the stated goals of your 'anti-christ' forum, though.
The first part is what I have the most trouble with. It is the 'anti-christ' part. This leads me to wonder. I am not sure if this is intended to be a reaction to 'christians on h2g2'. Or a support group for those who have just decided they are not christian. Or a forum to discuss all religions philosophies. Or all of the above.

If you see my point, there is a difference in reacting to christianity, and discussing broad issues of religious philosophy. I do not want to do the first, but I am very interested in the second.

The links you give in the forum indicate you are taking the broad view [exploring all beliefs] as well as the narrow one [criticizing christianity]. I think this is interesting and a good way to link to articles and discussion which relate to a topic. My Wiccan Forum is a similar attempt. I just think that your forum should either be completely 'anti-christ' or completely broad. You could still have links to the anti-christ parts if it was broader.

I know that there is a movement afoot by the PTWVH to group articles in some way, and that this reorganization will be occurring in the near future. I anxiously await this improvement. Maybe it will solve many of our organizational difficulties. smiley - winkeye

Meanwhile, please accept this as a thoughtful discussion of the anti-christ page. It is not meant to be critical, only an explanation of my views. I am all for open discussion of everything. Whether you keep the article as it is, or change it somehow, I will continue to check on it periodically. And maybe contribute now and then. But for now, I cannot really be 'anti-christ'. smiley - smiley

peace and blessing,
}:=8
PS. If you are going for the global approach, you might consider links to some of the wiccan articles [only some are mine] indexed in the Wiccan Forum. or even to the Forum itself.
PPS. Do the 'christians on h2g2 know that DNA is an atheist????


On religion and the 'anti-christ' forum

Post 7

26199

I used to put some little effort into persuading Christian friends, and people on the Internet willing to debate, that Christianity is flawed. I don't think I ever convinced one person.

I agree, then, that people really have to work that sort of thing out on their own... although the suggestion that they really should look closely at the things they believe might be a helpful one.

One thing which does annoy me, though, is when children are brought up to a particular set of nonsense beliefs... and clearly this goes on all the time. It isn't right to teach a child that the world we live in is incomprehensible.

I think I'd have been shocked to hear that DNA had any particular religious beliefs... most people with a clear view of the universe don't, in my experience.

*grin* I like PTWVH... definitely appropriate.

Anyway... must be off... my brother (26199b? *grin*) wants to use the computer.

26199


On religion and the 'anti-christ' forum

Post 8

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

The Toys thing was an offer based on the call for help on your page...but since it is already accepted, I could advertise for it, and people might add suggestions, and sometime in the distant future, the PTB (sorry, I'm not too fond of PTWVH, as they are not the only hard-workers in the world) will update the article. I've been suprised myself a few times, when innocent remarks about long-finished articles suddenly appeared on my page as approved entries, with myself as a contributor. But since it's already approved, I'll pass it by.

I appreciate your views on the subject, even if I don't agree completely with all of them. I think that if I can place a seed of doubt, someone might start thinking more clearly about their mythology (yes, I share your belief that they're all mythologies). There's a lot of us "recovering Christians" out there, and that journey had to start somewhere. Even if I get screamed at for what I say, they may start to think about it later. And if they don't, no harm done. People are constantly exposed to teachings that we clearly believe are wrong; they also need exposure to the other side, regardless of whether they choose to accept it. In short, this knowledge should be widespread, regardless of its popularity.

So now you see why I'm pooling Christian criticism. As for the rest, the more I delved into Christianity and its roots, the more compelled I was to examine other religions. I think it's a wonderful idea to share these with the rest of the world as well. I shows that, contrary to popular belief, Christianity does not have a patent on moral principles. It shows how many similarities there are with other religions. It also shows people that there are other ways to look at Life, the Universe, and Everything. It's an attempt to encourage openmindedness, and for the already openminded, it simply rovides them with more information on a subject they may already be interested in.

As far as the debates go, I'm really not concerned with success or failure. I'm not trying to convert anyone. I've simply found that debate is one of the best ways for me to discover nuggets that I hadn't previously considered. My "Failure of Christianity" piece grew by 15-20% as a direct result of the debate forum it spawned. The debates are obstensibly about me educating others, but they're really about them educating me.

As I said, I'd like for you to join in on the discussions, but I respect your choice. And, as I've said before, I'd like very much to add the Wicca articles to the link library. Cheers! smiley - smiley


On cabbages and kings

Post 9

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

Hullo, GargleBlaster
smiley - smiley
Thanks for assesment of Toy article. I agree that the fact that it is already approved changes how it should be covered. Use it or not, if you feel it is something interesting for the Post. BTW, I really like it. [the Post, I mean] I think you are all doing fine jobs. Really breaking ground as what an online community can do...I have been impressed with it from the start. I feel like I am opening my morning paper when I read it.

And I know the PTB[or whatever] are not the only ones who work hard. smiley - winkeye There are a lot of Researchers who have gone 'above and beyond' to make this thing effective and interesting. [I was only reflecting on how it was back when it was mostly fields here.]

I also share your belief that discussion allows me to learn more about topics, and also about how others with differing beliefs think. And I will certainly join in your discussions. smiley - smiley

}:=8
PS you may certainly add any of my links that appear in the wiccan forum. I would be glad to have them there. I wouldnt imagine any of the other authors would object either.
BTW, have you visited the Satanism article? That's the whole other end of the christian debate...lotta fuzzy thinking going on at that end too.


On cabbages and kings

Post 10

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Religion and fuzzy thinking go hand in hand. Perhaps that's why I'm drawn to it; it makes sense after several shots of Scotch. smiley - winkeye

I think I remember seeing the Satanism article. If it's as I recall, it was quite enlightening, and probably ought to receive a link as well. I was initially going to catalogue articles written by members only, but in the interest of balance, I probably should extend that. Especially since I'm going to list your articles, yet you don't want to join. smiley - winkeye


On cabbages and kings

Post 11

billypilgrim

Hey there, blu. I see I get to drop by without my title over here smiley - smiley.

I've been reading this post, and, as always, you make me think.... I originally started posting on Christians on H2G2 to show that, while they were all one big happy Christian family who were preaching tolerance, they were forgetting the huge portion of the population that WASN'T believing in one god, etc etc. Then I tried to show that my core belief system as an atheist wasn't so different from theirs (minus the guilt): replace "God" with "The Universe" or "Underlying Forces" and you have similar concepts. The God theory just humanizes things a bit, while my own theories tend to see things as more abstract, and see the powers as not really concerned with our individual well-being.

But somewhere along the line, my innocent intentions got a bit lost, and I started to get a bit defensive. And that's when I started to get a vaguely uncomfortable feeling about the whole thing, and realized that I was being as preachy as those I claimed to resent for their preachiness. I was just preaching a different story. Well, I suppose I can forgive myself on the grounds that I'm only 10 years or so out as a "recovering" Catholic, I haven't totally shaken that whole Catholic guilt thing. smiley - winkeye

And so I posted this in the (soon-to-be-renamed) anti-Christ forum (the name bothered me a bit, too, as I don't like to be anti-anything):

[I will now be so pretentious as to quote myself.....]

Science, faith, and religion are ALL best taught for what they are; our
feeble attempts to explain a world that is beyond our comprehension.
Our own "big bang" theory no more explains the beginnings of our
universe than does Creationism, for both theories imply that there was
something there in the beginning, and our limited undestanding
cannot grasp the concept that perhaps things ALWAYS were, that just
because we have a beginning and an end does not mean that
everything has a beginning and an end.

Christianity has its place, as do all faiths. Forcing anyone to believe or not believe a certain philosophy is a dangerous thing.


So there you have it. I think it's time for me to retire from the Christians forum, as it's distracting me from believing what I want to believe, and forcing me to go over arguments I had with myself back when I was 7 years old. It's always better to look ahead than to look behind.....


On cabbages and kings

Post 12

billypilgrim

If I may be so bold....

I would probably say that blu isn't much of a "joiner."

But perhaps I should leave that for her to answer.


On cabbages and kings

Post 13

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

And isn't it interesting how ALL of us experience distortion of reality when filtered through our own perceptions.

Almost makes you wonder how we have ANY commonality of experience to work from...

oh, my, how philosophical I am this morning...
smiley - winkeye

}:=8
ps no title, no seal, just me.


On cabbages and kings

Post 14

bludragon, aka the Dragon Queen of Damogran

Oh, and I AM anti- a few things...
like bigotry, cruelty, repression, bookburning, etc.
smiley - winkeye

}:=8


On cabbages and kings

Post 15

billypilgrim

It is one of the great arrogances of mankind that we claim science is "objective". It is impossible for us, as creatures that learn by experience, to be "objective" about anything. Science is as much colored by perceptions as is anything else. Although I'm not at all saying science is a bad thing. It has it's rightful place. It is just far from being infallible.

Interesting idea, though: DO we really have commonality, or is all of life just one big compromise. I, for instance, look at this page and call it "blue" because I've been told that light reflected in just such a way is blue. You may, however, see it as looking more like what I call "red", but, having been told it's "blue", you ALSO call it blue, even though we see it differently.

Whoa. Just a thought, but one a bit too far along the lines of the abstract for me to think about on a February evening, with spring hiding behind all this snow.


On cabbages and kings

Post 16

26199

Science may not be infallible... but there's no reason why it can't be objective. How, for instance, can mathematical theory be subjective? Is 'e=mc^2' subjective?

That said, most of science involves a definite subjective element, and in fact there is a mathematical/logical theory, Bayes' theorem (I believe) which deals with how to incorporate subjectivity into an objective investigation...

The objective/subjective colours thing is... well, it isn't exactly an easy thing to think about, is it? However, I reckon that, since colours are largely carriers of emotion, that it is the emotion attached to a particular colour which is significant, rather than the colour itself...

And since we all associate colours with the same things (pretty much) our perception of colours is going to be largely the same - in so far as it actually matters.

*grin* Someone tell me I'm not talking complete nonsense... ?


On cabbages and kings

Post 17

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Not complete nonsense, anyway... smiley - winkeye

I don't believe there are any precise sciences anymore. Mathematics is as precise as we can get, and yet it abounds with theorems, which are rules that are taken by faith that cannot be proven, simply because they appear to work. Physics is rather precise, until you reach the quantum level, at which point it all becomes subjective (hence the wave/particle theory). Then you get to some sciences which are just plain dodgy, like psychology, history, and sociology, which make broad guesses based on little available information, and are constantly being revised or disproven.

Much of science is taken on faith, same as religion. The difference is, we demand it make sense, and make some attempt to prove itself, and open the floor to questioning for anyone who doesn't quite agree with it. Along the way, you arrive at some fundamental truths that everyone can accept.

So the question is, what happens when we apply this model to religion? If we apply the same sort of discussion and investigation into theology, perhaps we can come to some fundamental tenets that everyone can live by, and we can throw the whole jihad and conversion thing out the window. This is my mission. smiley - winkeye


On cabbages and kings

Post 18

billypilgrim

Interesting, because I just posted on another forum that science is the new religion.... and don't be so certain about it's being open to discussion: many a PhD has lost his University Chair, or had funding mysteriously dry up ,because he (or she) disagreed with the current version of "the truth." We are still, after all, human. smiley - winkeye


On cabbages and kings

Post 19

Blatherskite the Mugwump - Bandwidth Bandit

Never let it be said that rednecks and Catholics hold the patent on bigotry and closed-mindedness. smiley - winkeye


On cabbages and kings

Post 20

billypilgrim

....and don't forget that religions are a product of their culture, not the other way around. So if some of them (religions, that is) are a bit narrow-minded, it is because the culture is, not the other way around.

I tend to distrust anyone who claims to know the "truth", or any science or theology that insists on its correctness at the expense of all other theories. For if there is one thing I HAVE managed to learn along the way, it is that the truth sort of depends on how I look at things. In other words, what I took to be the way of the world ten years ago isn't quite how I see things now. It isn't that I was wrong before, and now I am right. The only thing that changed was my perception.


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