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Thread: The big question.

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    The big question.

    Gene Cafe Coffee Roaster $850 - Free Beans Free Freight
    The meaning of life used to be, to survive long enough to pass our genes on to the next generation.
    Then for millennia an assortment of priests, messiahs, shamans et al told us it could be found in the worship of their particular gods, spirits, ghosts etc.
    And now? The meaning of life can be whatever we want to make it. Life's good - for now.

    Ps just my take, fwiw. What's yours?

    Ps 2 Off Topic has been a bit quiet of late.

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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    It's 42!


    Java "Sitting by the big window" phile
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    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    Good one JP...

    Mal.

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    Senior Member LeroyC's Avatar
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    Yep. 42. Itís conclusive.

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    Senior Member flynnaus's Avatar
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    For this question, we must turn to the great philosophers of the ages:

    To be is to do - Socrates

    To do is to be - Sartre

    Do Be Do Be Do - Sinatra


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    Nope, everyone's had to find an efficiency-dividend so it's now down to 39.82 and will be indexed to CPI.

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    Quote Originally Posted by LeroyC View Post
    Yep. 42. Itís conclusive.
    I suspect 42 is code for 'unknowable'. Douglas Adams himself was a bit evasive about it, when asked.
    I like to think that the great man uncovered the secret but, it was so revelatory, he was reticent to tell us for fear of the harm it could cause.

    Ps considering his penchant for codes I wouldn't be surprised if the answer remains locked in his writings. Unfortunately, the computer needed to decipher it hasn't been invented yet.
    Last edited by OCD; 20th May 2019 at 05:53 AM. Reason: Sorry, forgot the smiley.
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    Super Moderator Javaphile's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    Unfortunately, the computer needed to decipher it hasn't been invented yet.
    WOPR solved it some time ago. The only winning move...


    Java "...is not to play." phile
    Toys! I must have new toys!!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Javaphile View Post
    WOPR solved it some time ago. The only winning move...


    Java "...is not to play." phile
    WOPR got it wrong.
    The only winning move is for all sides not to play.

    Ps good luck with that.
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    Senior Member Lovey's Avatar
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    I remember an episode of 'The twilight zone' years ago where a bloke with an incredibly blank look on his face, was walking around a town telling people that he knew the secret of life and that he would tell them if they wanted to hear it. In order to tell them, he had to whisper it in their ear and after doing so, they had the same zombie/blank look. One of the people that was told was a radio announcer and he got on the air one day announcing that he knew the secret of life, and for everyone to lean in close to their radio speaker if they wanted to hear it. Pan out to a town full of people pressing their ear to the radio speaker, then shortly after, all having the zombie/blank look. In the credits/postscript of the show their was a line, 'there are some things that people aren't meant to know'.
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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    From the earliest times, mankind has always sought to find meaning, and to explain the phenomena around him.
    Pretty well every race or people I have ever heard of had a "religion" that sought to do this.
    I have always regarded the "search for meaning" as a fundamental drive in humans.
    Not surprising then, that people will embrace even the most implausible explanations of what it is all about.
    I admit to being a bit envious of people who have a strong belief in an 'afterlife' as it must make things a bit easier when your time comes.
    Unfortunately it doesn't work for me.
    In loose terms, I think you live on through your offspring and the only rational consolation you can have is that if you do your best to 'prepare' them for life they will hopefully have a life that is, on balance, positive rather than negative.
    As to religion, I really don't mind what you believe as long as it doesn't involve aggression to others who don't share your belief.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    As to religion, I really don't mind what you believe as long as it doesn't involve aggression to others who don't share your belief.
    Couldn't agree more Rocky.

    Interesting read here https://www.dyscopia.com/files/artic...vilization.pdf from Bertrand Russell.


    “Has Religion made Useful Contributions to Civilisation?” – and Russell’s answer was an almost unqualified no. He conceded that religion might have inspired our ancestors to study the stars and compile calendars, but apart from that, he said, it had served only to throw a cloak of priestly respectability over the principal sources of human misery, namely ignorance, fear, conceit, hatred and mistrust. Religion, in short, was a world conspiracy for the propagation of folly and the prevention of progress. “The knowledge exists by which universal happiness can be secured,” Russell wrote, but the churches were not interested, and preferred to perpetuate pestilence, famine, cruelty and above all war:
    Religion prevents our children from having a rational education; religion prevents us from removing the fundamental causes of war; religion prevents us from teaching the ethic of scientific co-operation in place of the old fierce doctrines of sin and punishment. It is possible that mankind is on the threshold of a golden age; but, if so, it will first be necessary to slay the dragon that guards the door, and this dragon is religion."

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    Senior Member Lyrebird's Avatar
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    Now while I'm a bit of a fan of Bertie*, his is a terribly one sided viewpoint on religion. His great aim in life was to reduce everything to mathematical certainty until Gottlob Frege asked him whether the set of all sets that are not members of themselves was a member of itself, thereby blowing Bertie's program out of the water.




    *I was slated to do a PhD in the philosophy of mathematics until I worked out the only jobs available were teaching the very few other people interested in the philosophy of mathematics, so Bertie is a big influence. I also have a copy of his "History of Western Philosophy" which is old enough that the flyleaves were printed on the back side of WW2 military maps.

    ** This later became known as Russell's Paradox and was a seminal influence in Godel's proof that mathematics cannot be both complete and consistent.
    Last edited by Lyrebird; 4 Weeks Ago at 02:45 PM.

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    Don't expect a rational discourse with the religious. If they were rational they wouldn't be religious in the first place. If you corner them, they will refer you to some old book - end of argument. They are blind to reason. Why? WTFK?

    Ps try banging your head on a brick wall instead - less frustrating.

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    Life-long Learner DesigningByCoffee's Avatar
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    Well ................. nah. Moving on
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    The thing that really frustrates me is that religious schools receive taxpayer dollars - even more than state schools (on a per student basis) in some cases. Personally, I would be reluctant to for the government to pay more than 50% of the loading given to public schools - and certainly NIL for capital works. One NSW religious school received a capital works grant of over 50% of the entire state's allocation a few years back. Why?

    If you want to educate your offspring in fairy tales, do it on your own dime...

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    Survive, reproduce, die. The same as any other animal.

    We just have the benefit (burden?) of a greater intelligence to enhance the time in between.
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    Senior Member noonar's Avatar
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    Maybe we are overestimating the significance of "life" in the Universal scheme of things? 13.8billion years to learn from and all we can come up with is self importance? It's about us? If/when Quantum does the thinking for us maybe the answer we get given to the meaning of life will be just as unsurprising as it is surprising - eg life is insignificant? - maybe :-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by noidle22 View Post
    Survive, reproduce, die. The same as any other animal.
    Quote Originally Posted by noonar View Post
    Maybe we are overestimating the significance of "life" in the Universal scheme of things? 13.8billion years to learn from and all we can come up with is self importance? It's about us?
    I think you guys are over simplifying things a bit. No one absolutely knows the answer and I am suspicious of anyone who claims they do. in the end we turn to different sources to try to make sense of or cope with life.
    Noidle, humans have evolved beyond basic instincts and needs but there are parts of the world where people don't have the luxury of thinking beyond those needs. noonar, don't confuse self awareness with self importance but I do understand where you are coming from.

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    Quote Originally Posted by noonar View Post
    eg life is insignificant? - maybe :-)
    If! life is insignificant, what is significant?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    If! life is insignificant, what is significant?
    What would be the point of an unobserved universe? All that awesome beauty and no one to acknowledge it. Maybe that's where we come in. We could worship it, appoint priests, build churches then...

    Ps or, we could just admire it, without all the extraneous BS.

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    Life

    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    What would be the point of an unobserved universe? All that awesome beauty and no one to acknowledge it. Maybe that's where we come in. We could worship it, appoint priests, build churches then...

    Ps or, we could just admire it, without all the extraneous BS.
    It's good work if you can get it.
    All you have to do is set your handbag on fire Sundays, walk down the isle wearing a frock and mumble incoherently whilst waving your hands about.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rocky View Post
    ...I admit to being a bit envious of people who have a strong belief in an 'afterlife' as it must make things a bit easier when your time comes...
    I have no problems with my inevitable demise other than, like Woody Allen, I'd prefer not to be there when it happens. On the other hand my religious better half constantly stresses about her final destination, post life.

    Ps Rocky, don't be envious. You wouldn't be envious of Damocles, would you?

    Ps 2 isn't it enough that we were here at all without expecting to endure forever? We're not that important.

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    Quote Originally Posted by snowytec View Post
    It's good work if you can get it.
    All you have to do is set your handbag on fire Sundays, walk down the isle wearing a frock and mumble incoherently whilst waving your hands about.
    Takes me back. The incomprehensible chanting, the boredom, the endless hours spent kneeling on hard wood kneeling racks. Then, to top it all off, a vampire in a dress aided and abetted my descent into cannibalism.

    Ps none of this had the intended affect on me. Didn't even put me off meat.
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    I think the best response I ever heard to this question was this. I can't remember who said it.

    "What makes you think the universe owes you an explanation"
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    Swedish author Torgny Lindgren said something like "eventually we'll all meet in the groundwater and travel together for a while"
    Other than that, I wouldn't expect too much, but I do find that kind of comforting...
    Last edited by knastoer; 4 Weeks Ago at 11:48 PM.
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    Wink life

    Quote Originally Posted by knastoer View Post
    Swedish author Torgny Lindgren said something like "eventually we'll all meet in the groundwater and travel together for a while"
    Other than that, I wouldn't expect too much, but I do find that kind of comforting...
    I have ties older than most of you lot.

    I've been told that life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans.

    - And it's all good till you hear the banjo.
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    Nice sentiment

    Quote Originally Posted by knastoer View Post
    Swedish author Torgny Lindgren said something like "eventually we'll all meet in the groundwater and travel together for a while"
    Other than that, I wouldn't expect too much, but I do find that kind of comforting...
    Nice sentiment knastoer,
    Here's another.
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    Religion

    Quote Originally Posted by snowytec View Post
    Nice sentiment knastoer,
    Here's another.
    Meanwhile, back to the religiousness.
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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Haha... some great responses here. Loved the pic snowytec XD.

    I've been pretty committed to spiritual truth and meaning for many years now... which didn't really come about by choice and I don't think it ever does, it chooses you haha, and yeah the old view of just surviving for as long as possible and procreating to me seems pretty miserable.

    I read from many different sources from religions and spiritual traditions (which are not all narrow-minded, but simply have a different orientation or emphasis. Some traditions are for sure pretty detrimental in the 'wrong hands'...), and there is indeed from what I've experienced much more going on than what the surface level senses can detect.

    What's often not looked into is the mind and ego structure itself. Often spiritual stuff people read and latch onto, it just becoming another thing to attach yourself to to confirm your own beliefs, but looking at the way the mind operates it projects onto the world all of its conditioning, and then tries to convince others of it to confirm its reality to itself.

    But taking that backwards step, or turning around and looking at yourself, is a vital part of it, or else your just running around in circles of opinion and belief! Being ruthlessly honest with oneself shows that perception isn't reality. That's where faith comes in, because you're stepping into uncharted territories and deep existential uncertainties, it takes a real willingness and courage to deeply question the meaning of all this.

    Can understand the skepticism with all the conflicts that have occurred with religiosity, the thing is to me they were based on profound spiritual truths originally, but the mind grabbed hold of them and distorted them through perception, and hid behind them as beliefs to cover up insecurities. Using scripture to 'justify' actions shows that they weren't really understood, truth needs no proof as it stands on it's on power and merit. God doesn't need you to fight for him or defend him haha, why would He?

    Being willing to question deeply held beliefs and gently lay them to the side and enquire sincerely to me has been key.

    Just my $0.14 FWIW XD
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    Religion

    It's not really complicated.

    What's strange is that we feel the need to be anything at all.

    Regards,

    Snowytec
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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    ...the old view of just surviving for as long as possible and procreating to me seems pretty miserable...
    Me too, doesn't make it untrue though.

    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    ...That's where faith comes in...
    A few definitions of 'faith'.

    Faith is the ability to believe in something: that you know can't possibly be true.

    Faith is the ability to believe in something: just because someone tells you that you should.

    Faith is the ability to believe in something: just because other people do.

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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    Me too, doesn't make it untrue though.
    Ah yeah, I guess I was referring to the belief that that is the ultimate meaning of all life. The body/animal instinct does for sure have that drive to survive.


    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    A few definitions of 'faith'.

    Faith is the ability to believe in something: that you know can't possibly be true.

    Faith is the ability to believe in something: just because someone tells you that you should.

    Faith is the ability to believe in something: just because other people do.
    Ah yeh apologies I didn't clarify what I meant, I distinguish faith as very different to belief, just for linguistic purposes. Hard to explain, but my experience with faith is something more akin to a deep trust, something that's unshakeable within and has a certainty, like a foundation or something that pulls you, but you can't quite tangibly put your finger on it.

    Beliefs just for definition purposes are to me unstable, need constant defending and are based on perception.

    Just how I tend to make sense of that insanity

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    Quote Originally Posted by simonsk8r View Post
    ...Hard to explain, but my experience with faith is something more akin to a deep trust, something that's unshakeable within and has a certainty, like a foundation or something that pulls you, but you can't quite tangibly put your finger on it...
    If you ever manage to bottle it, save me some.

    Ps knowing my luck, it would probably be illegal.
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    Senior Member simonsk8r's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    If you ever manage to bottle it, save me some.

    Ps knowing my luck, it would probably be illegal.
    Hahaha done, I'll pop ya on a waiting list! XD
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    Quote Originally Posted by OCD View Post
    If you ever manage to bottle it, save me some.

    Ps knowing my luck, it would probably be illegal.
    I like you OCD, (not in a puffy way).

    Religion is in the business of making a very comfortable living by brainwashing people before their brains have developed.
    It infuses, (coffee like ?) a bunch of rules that are not possible for humanity to adhere too, then sells you the forgiveness and exoneration from guilt - How Brilliant !
    They always knew that eventually they would be found out, thats why they originally tried to outlaw science and regularly condemned our great thinkers to death.
    Have you ever thought how they managed to make sex, (the most common, normal, essential survival strategy for all living things) - dirty.

    At least the Internet is putting that rule to bed, (literally).
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowytec View Post
    Meanwhile, back to the religiousness.
    God.jpg
    Don't know about following a Rabbit or a Duck God but you could do a lot worse than following a Dog God.

    Dogs don't judge, don't have hidden agendas, know the true meaning of unconditional love and loyalty, give their all freely, will accept you as you are and don't ask for anything in return.

    Sounds like a good basis for a religion to me. Many humans aspire to emulate these traits but often end up as virtue signalers rather than true practitioners.

    Dog God.jpg
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    Don't know about following a Rabbit or a Duck God but you could do a lot worse than following a Dog God.

    Dogs don't judge, don't have hidden agendas, know the true meaning of unconditional love and loyalty, give their all freely, will accept you as you are and don't ask for anything in return.

    Sounds like a good basis for a religion to me. Many humans aspire to emulate these traits but often end up as virtue signalers rather than true practitioners.

    Dog God.jpg
    Must be some mystical meaning in the fact that dog spelled backward is god

    As far as dogs giving unconditional love and loyalty and asking nothing in return, pretty much on the money, however our much loved Labrador, will most certainly let you know if you are a few minutes late with a meal, food is the motivator, followed closely by comfort.
    DOG SPELLED BACKWARDS: THE GOD MYTH EXAMINED | TheDogPlace.org
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    dog

    And then of course there's Easter, we haven't done Easter yet ?
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    Easter

    Quote Originally Posted by snowytec View Post
    And then of course there's Easter, we haven't done Easter yet ?
    Lets see what we can do with Easter ?
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowytec View Post
    I like you OCD, (not in a puffy way)...
    Congratulations snowytec, you've just joined a very small and exclusive club of about four. Maybe three, I probably shouldn't have included myself - I do vacillate.

    Ps wasn't it Groucho Marx who said "I wouldn't want to join a club that would have me as a member".

    Quote Originally Posted by snowytec View Post
    ...Religion is in the business of making a very comfortable living by brainwashing people before their brains have developed.
    It infuses, (coffee like ?) a bunch of rules that are not possible for humanity to adhere too, then sells you the forgiveness and exoneration from guilt - How Brilliant !
    They always knew that eventually they would be found out, thats why they originally tried to outlaw science and regularly condemned our great thinkers to death.
    Have you ever thought how they managed to make sex, (the most common, normal, essential survival strategy for all living things) - dirty.

    At least the Internet is putting that rule to bed, (literally).
    You've been reading my mind.

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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    ...Dogs don't judge...
    Oh yes they do. Even before they sniff your butt, they've got you pretty well sussed.

    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    ...and don't ask for anything in return...
    Oh yes they do. Most humans just aren't listening.

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    Senior Member CafeLotta's Avatar
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    I saw Religion as the greatest Social Engineering tool there ever was until the Internet and Social Media came along. Putting the fear of God into people lives on regardless of which platform (or pulpit) is utilised.
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    Senior Member Yelta's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CafeLotta View Post
    I saw Religion as the greatest Social Engineering tool there ever was until the Internet and Social Media came along. Putting the fear of God into people lives on regardless of which platform (or pulpit) is utilised.
    The use of fear and ignorance, by both church and state, has always been used to control populations.

    Rome turned it into an art form.

    "There are more things likely to frighten us than there are to crush us, we suffer more often in imagination than in reality."
    Seneca.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yelta View Post
    The use of fear and ignorance, by both church and state, has always been used to control populations.
    And now it's delivered straight to your screen, no attendance required. The worst part is that the source can remain anonymous and unfiltered.
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    A while back, I was watching a nature doco. There was this wasp that invaded an ants nest and laid its eggs in the brood chamber. When they hatched they preyed on the young ants. Considering how many well armed ants there were, how was this even possible? Well, it transpires that the wasps secreted a pheromone, which distracted the ants, caused them to fight amongst each other, and even induced them to nurture the parasitic invaders.

    Ps got me to thinking about those burning handbags - nah, couldn't be. Surely not?

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    Senior Member Rocky's Avatar
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    You've probably all heard this joke but it remains one of my favourites and I can't miss an opportunity to give it an outing:

    "Did you hear about the Insomniac Agnostic Dyslexic?"
    "Lay awake all night wondering if there really is a Dog".
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    Sydney
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    Dog Gods

    "Lay awake all night wondering if there really is a Dog".[/QUOTE]

    There are signs that the "turf war" between God and Dog is hotting up.
    Dogs are slowly winning, they are a lot cuter, cheaper, do not speak with forked bark and you can trust your children to them, (even Rottweilers are statistically safer).
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    Dimal and chippy like this.

  49. #49
    Junior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowytec View Post
    "Lay awake all night wondering if there really is a Dog".
    Dog Gods being useful.

    (I think we should all turn up in church on a Sunday with fire extinguishers).
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  50. #50
    OCD
    OCD is online now
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2013
    Location
    Ballarat
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    Quote Originally Posted by snowytec View Post
    Dog Gods being useful.
    Wow! A pre-moistened toilet roll dispenser - genious.
    What will they think of next?
    Dimal likes this.



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