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  2. They live in a country with Donald Trump as President.
  3. In recent years I have met quite a few. I think there might be some sort of upsurge in the UK. I recently went to what I was led to believe was a carol concert in Wembley, but it turned out to be an enormous evangelical event (promoting their own church), by the Hillsong group. I know people who have joined Hillsong and it seems pretty nice and I can understand why people would like it. But yes I can say I have met more religious people in the past 5 years than I did in the previous 10. I don't know why that is.
  4. Yup. I do not know a single religious person IRL around my age.
  5. 1. Atheist, I guess. I do not believe there is an all-seeing being controlling all our deeds and everything happening on Earth. If there were, they surely must have more important business to deal with than spying on me. 2 and 3. Nope and nope. I was not raised in a religious family, my parents did not even have me baptised. Some people have their children baptised "because that is what is done", but I do not believe in making children a part of an organisation before they can decide for themselves. We did go to a lot of churches, though. Only never for religious purposes, but strictly admiring the architecture/history/art history. 4. Sure, if it comes up and is relevant. I mean, it is not the first thing I would tell people about myself, but if it is relevant, then yes. I do not think being a non-believer is stigmatised among the people I spend most time with as it seems to be in some other social circles, judging from this thread. I generally assume people are non-believers when I meet them.
  6. I never said they were BFFs, but they had a relationship that went beyond just mutual respect. Barristan calls Ned by his first name Lord Eddard which implies a familiarity, instead it would just be Lord Stark or "Stark" as he refers to Brandon in his thoughts. Barristan takes Ned's side in arguments while he's Hand of the King helping Ned. Barristan, while he's a wanted man in King's Landing no less, goes to the sept and prays for Eddard Stark's soul. To me that sounds like more then just mutual respect. Do you honestly think that if Barristan thought Eddard played any part in Ashara's dishonor, or suicide Barrristan would treat him with anything more then cool courtesy? Do you see him praying for the soul of a man who was responsible for stealing a night with his beloved dream women? I sure don't. I think it was Illyrio who said "he is known as Barristan the bold not the cunning." If Barristan had a problem with Ned it would have been transparent like his dislike for Jaime Lannister. So I guess I agree to disagree.
  7. Agree. Beliefs should always be open to challenge, nobody gets to have their ideas walled off from the world and protected.
  8. I'm surprised how similar my experiences are to a lot of people here actually. 1) I would have previously have considered myself a hard atheist, I don't believe in any sort of God, I especially don't believe in any God that would give a damn whether human beings stole a sweet from the local shop or not. I would now consider myself an agnostic atheist.. mainly because whilst I still don't believe in any god, my position is that I simply do not know the truth, and nobody does, and so everybody is essentially an agnostic, anyone with any hard beliefs is fooling themselves. 2) I was raised Irish Catholic, but for some reason I dropped out of that brand of belief pretty early. Probably around 11-12 I think I'd figured that most of the things being taught to me didn't make a lot of sense and totally conflicted with many of the other things being taught to me. I don't have a great deal of respect for Catholicism which seems so ritualised to me. 3) See part 2, but I'm not sure I ever really believed, I remember church being boring and saw little to no value in it. I would say prayers because I had to, and learn about Jesus because I had to. I like to think I was a sensible kid. 4) Its not something that really comes up a lot any more. Maybe because I live in the UK where religion is basically frowned upon and generally accepted by most people as some old school superstition. I am still amazed when I meet a religious person who was raised here and isn't part of a restrictive culture. Like, why did you CHOOSE to believe in that? I mean I understand it, my mum was very devout, and at the time I would challenge her on her beliefs and think she was pretty silly to believe in all these things. But later on I realised how much comfort her faith gave her, so I just let her have it and didn't question it. Still I don't see how that is the answer to anything. I know some people who get a lot of comfort out of thinking their grandparent are haunting their bedroom or that there are fairies who help them. That doesn't mean that these beliefs shouldn't be challenged and held up to some sort of scrutiny, and you absolutely will be judged by me if you believe in things like this, I won't apologise for that. A person's beliefs should always be up for negotiation and should be constantly evolving and changing as new information comes to light, and we shouldn't be 'trusting our intuition' or our 'feelings' because those things are completely subjective and of little value. But no, I don't tell anyone because I just assume most people don't believe. I'm sure its different in the US, but I find it all a little bizarre over there anyway.
  9. Still don't want Maxwell anywhere near the test side. He always plays that one good game followed by lots of rubbish games. How quickly people forget! We don't need that shit in this current team. Australia needs stability and Maxwell does not provide that. He'd need to play well over a longer period if he wants to be taken seriously. He'd be worth a gamble if Australia actually had a reliable batting lineup, which they don't. Other than Warner and Smith, no one in that team inspires confidence. So far Marsh looks good, but we'll see. He looked good before and then fucked it up (or got injured!)
  10. The paradox of tolerance is that you can (and should) be tolerant of what other people are, but that doesn't mean you should be tolerant of what they think. All humans should be seen as equals, but ideas definitely aren't. Ideas that attempt to determine a hierarchy in humans especially should be shat on.
  11. Had a conversation about this last night with the GF (who's 100% atheist) so it's the perfect moment to chime in while it's fresh: 1) I'm an agnostic theist. I believe in God or Gods, because I doubt that humans could represent the ultimate plane of existence (i.e. that there aren't sentient beings somewhere in the universe that have powers far beyond our imagination, even if said powers are merely the result of the science and technology they developed). I also believe that our existence has meaning beyond materialism and that there is some kind of cosmic law ordering our destinies. I don't believe the two are necessarily linked though. I tend to believe that Gods don't care about humans (if they are aware of us, they have to obey something like Star Trek's prime directive of non-interference in the evolution of inferior civilizations), I very much doubt one of them created us (or our world), and I tend to believe the cosmic order is not necessarily the creation of a God but merely the hidden law of the universe (i.e. mostly determined by physics, mathematics and biology, though we are not advanced enough to understand it). 2) Yes. Though I doubt God or Gods care much about us, I have had troubling... Experiences. Though I don't think superior beings intervene much in our human affairs, I think at times they might. Or perhaps it is that the cosmic order has a way of asserting itself that is more obvious at times. Maybe it was me who desperately wanted to make sense of my life at the time, but I would say prayers and meditation (and drugs ^^) allow us to see beyond the material at times, and that a lot of answers can be found through spirituality. 3) No. My father was raised a Jew but turned Zen Buddhist. My mother was always an atheist though her mother was raised Catholic. I had lots of contact with the bible as a kid but always read it as a collection of allegories. 4) Rarely, and no. I despise religion but have the greatest respect for faith. Sometimes I get very angry at specific consequences of religious extremism though (and I'm thinking creationism or climate change denial, not just terrorism).
  12. Yeah Maxwell made runs but Marsh did a good job to settle the ship, so the selectors will feel vindicated. Overall I agree that the match is evenly poised. England have had a couple of opportunities to take the game away from Australia but each time the hosts have fought back. Good Ashes cricket.
  13. Lady Stubby is the same. She calls herself an apatheist.
  14. Today
  15. Not quite sure how this inherently proves anything. If you don't know whose alliances are where beyond the allies with you right now, and you have an army of seasick Dothraki, provided Varys has been as useless as he was in Season 7, one could conclude that landing in the northern parts of the Salty Dornish 'boot' on the east may be for the best, or even a little southern if you have fears of a Westerosi navy being close by the Crownlands. If you're sailing from Essos via the Jade Sea and whatnot, it is, at the very least, the shortest possible naval journey. Just a picture alone doesn't really prove how inherently stupid it is. I do agree with you that a Reach Landing would, if you're sure of the naval situation being peachy (for example, at the equivalent point in the books, the Reach is getting rekt by Euron's gallivanting, which would make it difficult for Daenerys to land) would be better for a starting point of all-out war with the Lannisters, but otherwise, simply landing ASAP into a place you know is allied with you might work out a bit smoother than, you know... Assuming there's no royal navy that's retaken Dragonstone. Assuming there's no royal navy that'd stop you on the way to Dragonstone. Assuming no-one will notice you've just sailed right up into Crownlands waters with a massive Tyrell-Martell-Greyjoy fleet. Assuming there's enough food on a tiny island to support thousands of Dothraki screamers and Unsullied. Assuming Stannis didn't leave behind a token force. You see what I'm getting at here? Preston's suggestion of a Dorne landing may not be ideal 'Daenerys crushes the enemy' landing material, but it at least has the benefit of making some sense from a pragmatic 'I don't know what's happening yet, let's just, you know, land anywhere and start planning' perspective. Taking Dragonstone, an island that's for all intents and purposes next door to King's Landing, makes absolutely no sense whatsoever.
  16. Obviously there is much more to the whole story that we know right now. But one thing for sure is that characters are flawed. Even Ned or Jon. All of them have done smth wrong, a bad decision that maybe they thought it was for good reason. When smb makes a mistake, takes a very wrong decision, it is also important to understand the motivation behind it. Right now Rhaegar-Elia-Lyanna story is covered in mystery. Especially the relationship with Elia, which we never get to know how she felt about all this. Not even how she felt when Rhaegar named Lyanna the Queen of Love and Beauty. I found that very curious. Personally, I don't think Rahegar was a "perfect" human being/prince, but neither do I think he was a dick.
  17. Test still looking evenly poised depending on what marsh and smith can do in the morning. Maxwell give a big middle finger to the selectors making a double ton for victoria today as well
  18. In the same scene, the thought of doing the same to Karhold and Last Hearth (ie: Destroying a perfectly good castle for hiding from the White Walkers) is considered fucking stupid even in-universe, so... I dunno, the explanation doesn't bear itself out. Honestly, I just think D&D forgot the Dreadfort exists. They've forgotten Moat Cailin exists this season too (there's a wall between us and the White Walkers, there's nothing between us and Cersei!)
  19. Ouch. Was flipping through the channels and ended up on Family Guy. It was from 2014 and Peter is in a zoo and being threatened by some lions. What does he say? "Shouldn't you be in Detroit losing a football game right now"? Too soon Family Guy. 3 years too soon.
  20. That's the kind of lines I was thinking along - as others have suggested, perhaps the Others are a lot more than icy demons intent on wiping out all warm-blooded life, and the mission of the Last Hero into the Lands of Always Winter was of a diplomatic rather than military nature. Gonna have to read up on the War for Sea Dragon Point and the Warg King before I can comment on that - sounds really interesting but my knowledge of ASOIAF lore doesn't stretch that far!
  21. Yup. Holidays are hard on me. I hate chatting with family. I also have 5 DAYS off work. I still can't remember what sleep is. Still, Fuck this bullshit.
  22. Yay! To Thanksgiving Break from school. Am I in school? No! But them busses sure are off the road. And congratulations to any teachers who may of gotten the week off.
  23. This is intriguing. I wonder if the original end to the Long Night involved some kind of truce between the Starks and the Others, mediated by the Children? This lasted for 13 Lord Commanders until the Night's King, when something went wrong. Wild speculation, could the War for Sea Dragon point against the Warg King and his greenseer allies have somehow disrupted this truce? This could have led to the Night's King and Brandon the Breaker breaking the truce for good?
  24. Is this still a thing? :quietly weeps for humanity: Also, I love X-ray. I actually keep a WWXD in my mouth and sometimes don't say anything at all.
  25. 1-Others would call me agnostic, I call me apathetic. I do not care whether there is a higher power or not. 2-I have entertained a lot of beliefs in childhood and have decided it’s just not an important question to answer in my life 3-not really. My mother is native Ojibwe so I’ve had some exposure to those traditions and my dad is a Lutheran raised agnostic (one of his parents was atheist, one Lutheran) so I’ve been exposed to that also. Neither was a part of my upbringing, but politics very much were. 4-I think people assume it generally because of my appearance, I don’t bring it up. Evangelizing any belief or non belief in a higher power is just an asshole move.
  26. Baby Jesus sits 'round my house ALL DAY LONG. Sometimes, he wipes floors. Sometimes he guilts my neigbors into some ACT RIGHT. Today he showed up here to look at you all. So seriously, look at yourselves. Do better.
  27. A little non-specific for my liking. Couldn't anyone who wins a battle be said to have broken the will of their enemies?
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