Atheist Challenge:

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Tin-Man's picture
@Cog Re: "And if he is

@Cog Re: "And if he is telling you about the alien invasion and how he once saved the earth, he is lying. It was a well flung bit of poo that did the trick."

Hey, if it's all the same to you, we'll just keep that to ourselves. Todd is pretty proud of having saved the world. He brags about it all the time. I would hate to break his heart by telling him it was all a lie. Todd is entitled to his delusions just like the rest of us.

Edit to add: Besides, I never know for sure when one of Todd's imaginary friends might be nearby eavesdropping. And I don't want to make him look bad in front of any of them. That's just rude.

Cognostic's picture
@Tin: RE: "I never know for

@Tin: RE: "I never know for sure when one of Todd's imaginary friends might be nearby eavesdropping."

Damn, he still has that problem does he? He was seeing a shrink in HS. I used to take him after school on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. He was so delusional that he could not tell which imaginary friends were real and which were not. I can't count the number of nights I woke to find him in a rage upon discovering the friend he was having sex with was not really a friend. You know how imaginary friends are during High School, raging hormones and all. Hope he is doing better. Just a quick warning. Don't let him near any small furry animals. Okay, bye for now.

Tin-Man's picture
@Cog Re: "Don't let him near

@Cog Re: "Don't let him near any small furry animals."

Oh, shit! Maybe that explains why all my hamsters keep disappearing!... *storming out of room*... TODD!.... Where are you, you little hamster thief?!?...

Cognostic's picture
Tin: Oh hell. Check in his

Tin: Oh hell. Check in his shoes. He wraps them up in electrician tape so they don't explode and uses them as sex toys.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Someone ought to go on one of

Someone ought to go on one of there sites and state the following,

"Hi I'm 'X', a student at 'random town/location' college of atheism and critical thinking".
"Part of my thesis (or, my professor has told us...…) is to meet gullible morons and ask them one simple question, why?"

:P

Rohan M.'s picture
Reminds me of when I went on

Reminds me of when I went on Conservapedia and never lasted an hour. (Which isn't too surprising, really, as that blog is notorious for its literally continent-sized range-blocks.)

LogicFTW's picture
I used to visit theist sites,

I used to visit theist sites, kind of ran through most of the more popular ones of the time. It is the same as here (arguing with theist is and realizing you might as well argue with a brick wall,) except they are very ban happy, and you all know me, I tend to be the more agreeable and polite in general, well unless I am in a mood...

Spending time putting together a good rebuttal or a new topic to only see it get deleted and/or banned got old for me real fast. I even got a couple of bodily harm/death threats. If an atheist here gets involved in this I recommend using a proxy server, just to be on the safe side, some of those folks are very sensitive about any perceived slight on their religion/god.

Plenty of free proxy servers that work just fine for this sort of thing.

cranky47's picture
@logic

@logic

Thanks for that. Have been to a couple of Christian forums . Got banned from both within about an hour. They REALLY don't like being confronted wth reason, or being asked to prove their claims -- don't think I'll bother going on any more. .

Oh, beware of Muslin sites. Fair dinkum, those bastards are nuts. Bloody death threats.

cranky47's picture
@Logic

@Logic

A few years ago, I joined an egyptology forum because I love the topic whole area of study. I noticed, but ignored that the site were in Cairo---------

All I did was to refute the idea that the Quran is reliable as history. Was not banned, but received a great deal of abuse , including death threats. Seeing as I'm in Australia It thought it unlikely anyone could carry out such a threat.

However,I immediately left that forum. I don't except common or garden variety ad hominems. Death threats are beyond the pale. Imo They suggests a person is mentally ill and/or ineffably stupid. Imo only a truly stupid person makes death threats to a stranger, at the very least.

Peripheral question for the technically savvy : Forums tend to be anonymous.(perhaps why some people behave like arseholes. ) I would think it would be hard to get a member's home address (?).

My question: will a VPN help maintain my privacy on forums? I'm seriously thinking of getting one.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Cranky

@ Cranky

I always use a VPN, when I used to be researching sensitive topics for my writing I would use a commercial grade VPN over TOR, just to save embarrassing visits from the feds. Nothing ruins a Sunday more than a vanload of heavily armed people seizing all your computers because you looked up bomb making or "how to" euthanasia because you are writing a screenplay.

I am no longer writing commercially as I retired so I just use a good VPN ...avast is the one I use as part of my security suite.

In addition a good VPN will be confidential; BUT Just as a heads up EVERY VPN service operating in Australia will pass your personal details and web history to the feds upon request.

Enjoy.

cranky47's picture
@Old Man

@Old Man

Thanks.

I've spent some time researching. I want one with port forwarding. PrivateVPN seems OK, and is on special at present. Other VPN 's charge extra for port forwarding, if they offer it all.

What do you pay for a decent VPN?.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
I pay $ 72 for a year for one

I pay $ 72 for a year for one machine. I Save by buying it for 5 machines on a 3 year
Licence which reduces the cost per machine to below 40 bucks a year.

Or you can just get Tor, military grade encryption...and it is free.

Nyarlathotep's picture
I use one called Mullvad;

I use one by a company called Mullvad; costs 5 euros a month. Seems good; but I don't have much experience with other companies to really compare.

LogicFTW's picture
Forum use is extremely low

Forum use is extremely low bandwidth. Which makes it easy and cheap. My job is cyber security, I personally mostly do emergency IR at this point.

For forum use, a free proxy server is fine. But I always recommend a decent paid vpn for internet use in general. If you have a decent modern router you can set up a vpn tunnel for all your traffic for any computer/device on the network. Not free though.

A proxy server simply redirects all your traffic through that server, so the websites you visit only sees you visiting from the big proxy server, but nothing more. However some of the more savvy forum hosts can block access from known proxy servers. Fortunately for us there are 1000's of different kinds of proxy servers. With dozens of free ones. They won't block them all.

Yes, a website could conceivably try and force a proxy server to give up data logs, to show who used it, but for something like a spat in forum over religion, the proxy server host will ignore the request, it would have to come from a state level. Before they even bother to turn over the records. There are some free proxy servers that say they do not even keep records at all.

In short, a proxy server + being careful not to give out personally identifying details = near impossible for anyone on a forum including forum hosts to actually track down who you are. Their only hope is to use some sort of social engineerings to get you to spill the goods. (Don't click on any links and the usual: do not download anything when visiting those forums, a rule that applies to any forum/ message board / internet.)

And ofcourse register to the forums with a throw away (I call it my spam emails) that also has no personally identifying information. Browse in private/incognito mode so all the social media and ad machines that follow you around collecting all your information does not follow you into those forums/boards.

TOR certainly works but its like a 10 ton hammer. And in the US, TOR use/activity does get noticed. (Not that these guys care if you are just a law abiding citizen wanting extra privacy.

David Killens's picture
I used to work for a major

I used to work for a major service provider. Of course they attempt to comply with the law, but for any requests for any customer information ,a warrant is the only tool that can force them to comply. And that same policy also applies to phone taps.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ DK

@ DK

Not true in Australia, virtually any federal (and State) agency can demand access to records which the ISP or Phone company (or any other internet data holder) are required to keep for a minimum of two years. No warrant required just a request from the agency.

Under the legislation, call records, IP addresses and other so-called metadata is held by telecommunications companies for two years. Agencies including the AFP don’t need a warrant to access the vast bulk of the metadata collected for investigations" The Guardian July 2019.

If a VPN operates in Australia their metadata is available to the feds at any time of asking.

It was revealed that not just the AFP were accessing metadata on an ad hoc basis, agencies such as the Departments of Transport, Mining, Industry etc were accessing individual records at an alarming rate.

The Minister in charge of all this at the time of introduction could not even explain what metada was! https://www.abc.net.au/news/2014-08-07/brandis-explanation-adds-confusio...

Don't we love a Tory?

LogicFTW's picture
It is a rather pointless law

It is a rather pointless law though. Anyone can use a proxy that is not in Australia. For people that have something nefarious to hide, all they have to know, is the above. But for everyone else that does not have anything to hide, just want some safety/privacy on the internet, they are sitting ducks unless they know the above.

Sure, you may not want to try to video conference over this connection, but for forums it would be no problem. And then australia would be forced to try and demand other countries ISP's to give up the information. Good luck trying to do that in countries that have ISP's that are not required to store data for even 1 second. And if Elon Musk's satellite internet becomes a thing, you could video conference with this sort of multi proxy connection easily, anywhere in the world. Sure at a state level they always have access to your data if they want it enough, but a religious organization forum host? Nope.

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@ Logic

@ Logic

True enough unless they have business in Australia that they don't want to lose....or be blacklisted...

Do not forget that there are at least three major communications eavesdropping sites in Australia alone that monitor and store the satellite communications including mobile calls and metadata.That is their only job. They are staffed by Aussies and a highly secretive lot of Yanks.
In addition the 'bottleneck'in Australia data communication is the Singapore cable, which when last damaged prevented international internet data access for quite a while. It was then discovered that the Australian Government was monitoring all data going through the server bottleneck......which was why it is still remarkably slow.

In short in Australia there is no internet privacy at all.

As has just been demonstrated by the scandal at Westpac even small bank transactions are monitored and reported to the authorities on a real time basis. The bank got into trouble because it did not monitor those transactions and allowed money laundering and child porn to transact business 23 million times in one quarter!

The lesson is if you use a VPN in Aus it is only good for preventing theft of data by non government organisations. Everything else is monitored constantly.

If you want confidentiality (but be aware it does raise flags) then TOR over a VPN is the way to go.

Mutorc S'yriah's picture
@ NewSkeptic

@ NewSkeptic
__________________

You've got the wrong version of the bible for Luke 14:26. It's all about love, not hate.

Contemporary English Version
You cannot be my disciple, unless you love me more than you love your father and mother, your wife and children, and your brothers and sisters. You cannot follow me unless you love me more than you love your own life.

Good News Translation
"Those who come to me cannot be my disciples unless they love me more than they love father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters, and themselves as well.
__________________

As @ Old man shouts put it . . .
__________________

@ New Skeptic

you've got the wrong version of the bible

LMFAO...don't that say it all.......
__________________

It's all about picking your Bible, and then your preferred Bible verses ~ ignore some other verses, or maybe pick which Christian denomination to join up with, or alternatively which religion to adopt, or perhaps which woo woo to take on. There's obviously no CLEAR message among any of those - you just take what you like, and call the rest misguided. But maybe one could choose none of them and be atheist, (and misguided and EVIL baaaah :-{ ).

Mutorc.
__________________

Nyarlathotep's picture
Mutorc S'yriah - There's

Mutorc S'yriah - There's obviously no CLEAR message among any of those - you just take what you like, and call the rest misguided.

Oh, and don't forget to demand it is objective; after you finish constructing your Dr. Frankenstein's monster from the parts you like.

TheBlindWatchmaker's picture
Christopher Hitchens was

Christopher Hitchens was right, they do appear to enjoy taking their theism à la carte.

cranky47's picture
"Christopher Hitchens was

@ The Blind Watchmaker

"Christopher Hitchens was right, they do appear to enjoy taking their theism à la carte."

From my observation, most believers do, It's only a matter of degree .

I've never quoted Hitchens, but have read "God Is Not Great". I don't quote him because in my opinion, Hitchens was a bigoted polemicist, not a philosopher nor especially deep thinker.

Rohan M.'s picture
And also don't forget to

And also don't forget to claim that, whenever they are mentioned or quoted, the verses that you don't like are "out of context".

Cognostic's picture
@ALL: I wish I could add to

@ALL: I wish I could add to those last three posts but they seem to have covered all the bases.

cranky47's picture
Apparently, I had an

Apparently, I had an invisible friend when I was three. I had forgotten, mum told me a few years ago.

Seems he was great; I blamed him for anything I did wrong. Didn't get away with that for long.

When I was five I was apparently taught by this really weird Irish nun. She told me all about the devil. So I started saying"the devil made me do it" . That was the first , but not the last time my mum had words with the Mother Superior.

I think it's fine for children between ages of 3 and 5 to have invisible friends. Apparently it's a sign of intelligence and imagination.

---after age 5, not so much. That's more a sign of gullibility

Cognostic's picture
@So I finally managed to join

@So I finally managed to join a Christian Forum. I made my first post on the forum just moments ago and so I thought I would share.

Hi Everyone,

I am so looking forward to sharing with you all.   This is my first post and right away I want to get just a little clarification.   I had great difficulty entering the site as the test question was obviously wrong.   For a test question I was asked, "How many days did it take for god to create the earth?"    Now, everyone on this site knows the answer to this question I am certain.  So, I was really surprised at the "hint."    (HINT:  The same number as the days in a week.)   HUH???   Someone has not read their bible.    GOD CREATED THE WORLD IN SIX DAYS.   HE RESTED ON THE SEVENTH. 

Old man shouts at clouds's picture
@cog

@cog

You are so gone....evangelists hate being wrong...you woulda thunk they were used to it but......

Tin-Man's picture
@Cog

@Cog

Aw, maaan! Almost wish I could jump in there on that site with you. Imagine the chaos we could cause before they finally booted us out! LMAO...

Sadly, though, from the sound of it, you are likely to get vaporized before I could even start the enrollment process... *chuckle*...

Cognostic's picture
Someone is debating me.

Someone is debating me. "There are cultures that have a six day week." according to this person. Really? I'm curious? And then I took it a step too far.

MY RESPONSE:

I know of no culture that has a six day week. Please share.

Of course I had to lie to get onto the site. Satan forced me to write the word "Seven" even though my Lord and Savior and I all knew I would have to lie to reach my desired goal. I feel so dirty! :-)

Cognostic's picture
I GOT MY FIRST LIKE!!!! WOO

I GOT MY FIRST LIKE!!!! WOO HOO!!!
"Yeah man, that question ought to be changed to something else really. Especially when you have some brothers and sisters believe the it was 6,000 years of creation. I'm sure they wouldn't appreciate that opening question!"

I didn't realise you had previously left @BeauJangles. (I HAVE NO IDEA WHAT THIS PERSON MEANS HERE. I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO THE LISTED SITE) I can't imagine this forum without you. That just wouldn't be right.

Love & Shalom

WELL THEY DID GET ONE THING RIGHT. IT WOULD BE HARD TO IMAGINE THE FORUM WITHOUT ME.

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