On Questions of Substance (cont.) Toward that, I happened to remember a fourth, along the way, so ... anyway: • And while I might be able to offer at least three other versions just off the cuff, they are not the sort of discussion he is accustomed to having. (#115↑) 1) From witchcraft: Pretty straightforward, it is one's own idol, as such; a crafted and adapted icon of reality, with which one might interact. I might reach back to 2008↗ for why I use witchcraft for the example, but, by coincidence, I happened to touch close to such functions last year↗, even if you happened to miss it. 2) From monotheism into panentheism: This is absolutely straightforward, insofar as any of us can occasionally converse with the world around us in general. Inasmuch as anyone might proverbially shake their fist at the sky, or simply observe unto the empty room some irony that annoys them, there is actually a lot that goes into this abstraction. The thing is, what makes it talking to God or not is entirely up to the individual. Then again, this version of God is not necessarily useful to you because it is hard to judge. (Note: Both these versions of talking to God are sort of a one-way conversation, but if we consider how they are not, it's an obscure point having to do with laughter being social behavior. That is, the behavior can be tied to brain function that is not necessarily unhealthy.) 3) From walking down the street to talk to him at his house: Yeah, that one's not going to make sense to you. Moreover, I haven't actually surveyed my neighbors to figure out which houses. (Note: With that being the third point, the fourth is even more so, and it ought to have been right there to mind with the other three.) 4) From Sufism: Polish your mirror until you see God in the reflection. No, really, that one is so blatant I can't believe I had to think of it later. Now, inasmuch as you seem hung up on one trick↗, consider the third point. It's not that you need to sympathize with it, but it's also a range where a certain word becomes meaningless, and the only thing that might get you stirred up is if you somehow think that godhead has anything to do with the idol you besiege. Nonetheless, it turns out the whole pretense is not far off from the fourth, and inasmuch as you might be able to appreciate that one because it works very nearly like a joke, well, right, that, too is a different discussion than what you insist on. To wit, the implications of Perdurabo having figured it out in his way remain unclear, but that's a downstream consideration, and you, as it happens, turn out to be you. Such discussions are not what you pursue; they are not the discussion you are most comfortable having; they do not serve your need, and tend to only complicate and disrupt your satisfaction. For instance— —it's one thing that you are, technically, incorrect, but quite another that you don't seem to understand what the thread is for; nor have you grapsed the relevance of the excerpt; in the end, that thread↗ is about how people discuss religion, and includes many examples, and in its way is not irrelevant to your point that we have to live alongside people who are at times irrational, belligerent, dogmatic, unreasonable, discourteous, intolerant etc. For one who is honestly interested in what makes people tick, and considers it important to understand why they are that way, the question of how we discuss religion is not irrelevant, and one might think the prospect of decades, even generations, spent disputing over the wrong question—(just for instance)—could be of interest. All of that, however, is much more complicated than mere judgment. After all, that period would include you and me, and discourse historical and political about God and religion, which point, true, is a bit subtle compared to what you do, and it is easy enough to ackowledge that countenancing certain strains of futility toward which we might have given too much effort can be annoying and even discouraging; it isn't hard to acknowledge this is less satisfying than pursuit of satisfaction. As it happens: "For some reason," you suggest, "some people seem to lack the bravery to say what they actually believe"; this is the kind of thing you like to say, but is also the sort of thing some might describe of you, too. That might be an important aspect to consider: Again, this is the kind of thing some might suggest about you, too, because it is true of many people, of many beliefs, regardless of whether or not God is involved, but such as it is, sometimes their beliefs will not attend your priorities. And if I consider a bit I haven't yet managed to put in the thread on discussing religion, an historian reflects that his perspective on matters might change as time passes beceause he knows and understands more at the end of the writing of the third book than he did at the beginning of the writing of the first. † Well, all in its order, James. You make enough of a mess that taking you seriously is in and of itself an act requiring some effort; making sense of it all does take some time. True, your response at #117↗ did make the more specific discussion of your behavior seem useful. But figuring out what to do with your mess, how to structure the response and account for what can be discerned about your reading comprehension, takes time; assembling and arranging resources is an ongoing adventure—for instance, I found the actual "one trick" post↗ along the way, while looking for something else, so not only did I need to go back and include that in the post on cyncism, it turns out this is one more thing I've discussed with you along the way. (Or, in realtime: I don't really know what to do with an old line↗ about you having encountered something, before, but in many cases there is no indication you noticed; I came across that one while writing the next paragraph, and it seems relevant per your indignance about what we might have discussed before. And in terms of things taking time, sure, rewriting it into the post on cynicism, or figuring new ways to address what has already been repeated, can be complicated, especially when you can't explain what your actual confusion is.) You might recall, or not, one of our neighbors discussing, from time to time, the Gish Gallop, and while the question of whether you've achieved that threshold can certainly remain open, the fact is that reasonably accommodating your extraordinary needs is not necessarily easy. As examples, consider a couple things that might look like you trying to be deceptive; the bit about how you "have never prevented anybody" is dubious enough, but your turn to whether "we've had a discussion about this" was shown to be inaccurate—in both cases, your self-righteousness dresses straw men, so even setting aside the inaccuracy of the point about your demands of articulation, there remain questions about the fallacies themselves. Given that we should presume, despite having seen this sort of behavior so many times before, that such convenient confusion is not actually deceptive, but instead entirely accidental, the applicable lesson here reminds that no sentence in the English language is impervious to dispute from appeal to confusion. It's kind of like your great "Meh"↗, blaming theists for your own poor performance; or maybe strawmanning↗ in order to explain why others aren't worthy of your time; at the very least, you are aware of the idea that responding to posts can take time. Meanwhile, sure, whatever, never let it be suggested you might be oversensitive about anything. As a general principle, though, we might wonder if keeping opinions to oneself only has to do with you, compared to general implication suggesting that nobody should be discussing anyone else according to some mysterious range of opinions or vectors or some such. Nonetheless, circling back: It is true, you and Arfa Brane seem to be talking about different things, and the godhead he is trying to describe simply does not fit in your little box. And no, James, that point is not any sort of bullying.