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Introduction and Photo of the Founder of this site

Introduce yourself here!

Introduction and Photo of the Founder of this site

Postby Scepcop » 27 Aug 2009, 05:29

Well since I forgot to introduce myself, here it goes, along with my photo below.

My name is Winston Wu. (I adopted the name Vinstonas in Lithuania cause I liked that country a lot and thought that my name in their language "Vinstonas" was cute)

I was born in Taiwan, came to New York when I was 3, and then since I was 4, grew up in the SF Bay Area of California in Fremont. After college I went to live in Washington with my girlfriend. After we broke up, I went to Nevada for a change of scenery and cause I love the desert, finding it a place of spiritual purification. Then circumstances threw me back in Washington again, against my will. Later I started traveling abroad and found myself, expanding my world view greatly. I went to Europe, Russia and then ended up in the Philippines, where I am now and live at a fraction of the cost of a Western country.

Since my early days, I’ve shown a propensity to go “against the grain” and think on my own.

For instance, during school, when all the other students judged their achievements by their grades (especially Asian students), I choose not to attach my self-worth to my grades and saw no logical reason to. Just because society, the school, or my parents told me to was not a good enough reason to convince me that grades determined my achievement and self-worth. I had a far deeper sense of self beyond the shallowness of academic scores. Thus, when I got bad grades, they never really affected me. I also deviated from my parents’ Buddhist religion at an early age, becoming a born again Christian instead, unlike most people who stick with the religion of their family their whole life, never questioning it. And when I was 14, I tried debating my church Youth Pastor on doctrinal issues (which was difficult because though I knew my subject, he had a commanding presence and daily experience as an orator while I was a shy timid boy, so I felt intimidated and couldn’t get my point across properly; today though, I’d cream his ass).

After high school, my Christian fundamentalist beliefs faded away and I gradually leaned toward more of the New Age type of thought. It was a long painful process though, due to my fear of punishment inflicted on me by my Christian beliefs. My deconversion story is painfully described here: http://www.debunkingskeptics.com/Christian_Story.htm

I've always thought for myself and wondered about many things, having a very vivid imagination. I never fit into the materialistic lifestyle or mentality nor the workaholic mentality of "living to work" Freedom and being able to enjoy life and do what I wanted were more important to me, even if it meant having to be poor. Unlike most Asians I preferred to live in an intellectual world, not a practical one which I found to be too boring. So I felt ostracized from others.

I tend to get along best with people who are open minded, non-judgmental, and have some spiritual interests or focus in life, and who are not overly materialistic. I get along least with people who are closed-minded, judgmental and overly hateful or materialistic.

I also tend to mentally connect better with people much older than me, because they tend to be wiser, more broad minded, and able to acknowledge spiritual dimensions of life, whereas younger people tend to be more narrow, materialistic and less attuned to spiritual dimensions. And since my mind has always been more broad and insightful than others my age, I tend to connect with people who are older. I guess I sort of have an "old soul".

My interests are writing, acting, theatre, meeting people, traveling, European culture/travel, photography, tennis, billiards, ping pong, swimming, martial arts, hiking, coin-collecting, chess, scrabble, history, History Channel, Travel Channel, PBS, British comedy, museums, science-fiction, cooking, cultural events, 80's pop music, watching Twilight Zone reruns, vegetarian food, metaphysics, exploring mysticism, New Age spirituality, philosophy, paranormal phenomena, and just living life to the fullest. I enjoy all styles of music except country, rap, and heavy metal. I am a vegetarian and my favorite foods are Chinese, Italian, and Vegetarian cuisine. Besides English, I speak Chinese, Taiwanese and some Russian.

I think that most of the stuff on TV today is trash, and I rarely watch network programming. The channels I usually watch are History Channel, Travel Channel, PBS, AMC, and sometimes BBC (British programming).

My sun sign is Pisces with Scorpio rising and Gemini moon (for those who don’t know, the rising influences your outer personality and the moon sign influences your inner self and emotions). And my Meyer-Briggs temperament type is ENFJ. My favorite movie is The Empire Strikes Back. And my favorite books, which I consider the most profound and life-changing, are The Power of Now and A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose by Eckhart Tolle, Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, any book or audio by Wayne Dyer, The Holographic Universe by Michael Talbot, and Under the Tree by Greg Stone.

I started this site for several reasons:

1. I wanted to make use of all my knowledge, skill and experience debating skeptics and the paranormal.
2. I knew that a demand existed for a counter pseudo-skepticism movement, which hadn't been created yet.
3. I've always wanted to have a paranormal forum, but the thing is, if I just created a generic paranormal website, it wouldn't have gotten much attention or posters, since there are already many established paranormal sites out there. So I had to do something unique and different than other sites, and this was it.

Anyhow, that's me. Sorry if this intro was too long. Here is a picture of me by the way.

Winston portrait2 (resized).jpg
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: My Introduction and Photo (Vinstonas founder of this sit

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 20 Jul 2010, 08:17

Thankyou. I am a technophobe and not sure if anything else I have tried to post has made it, except for my somewhat over the top response to Caniswales? What do you believe, not believe? forum.

I want to thank you. I found this site looking for replacement skeptics when I learned James Hogan died. You ameliorated my sorrow.

I spend my life swinging between the paradigms of materialism and mysticism. It is a fun trip, whichever leg I am currently on, as long as I keep asking questions, and listening to answers.

By the way, I found your info on NDE very disturbing. Thankyou for the chance to dream about hell again. (Friendly smile) Butr what do my preferences have to due with noumenal truth?

I also read with interest your assessments of Buddhism, which dovetailed perfectly with my first perception of it, until I encountered the dark night of the soul.

The fact that Buddhism, like Christianity and Scientology, and unlike Judaism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.
is a twelve step program for those who have come to the point where they perceive that all is sorrow, or all are sinners, or whatever it is that shorts out the reasoning capascities of scientologist. (This is not to say that other religions are rationa. They can be irrational in other ways) This is why it emphasises the perception of sorrow

As for the behavior you described, that seems to be largely symptomatic of monasticism of whatever cult.

The meditation techniques can be lifted out of the Buddhist context.

That completes what persanal opinions about Buddhism I am able to state in relation to your refreshing scanning of the subject with your BS scanner

So far I very much respect you as a skeptic. I suspect we would agree on little, except where we both agree we do not know, but we could discuss our differing conclusions and opinions amicably and amusingly, if not always rationally.

And, as Carl Jung would say, rationality ain't everything.
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
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Re: My Introduction and Photo (Vinstonas founder of this sit

Postby NinjaPuppy » 20 Jul 2010, 19:01

Welcome to the forum Twain.
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Re: My Introduction and Photo (Vinstonas founder of this sit

Postby Craig Browning » 20 Jul 2010, 23:20

The fact that Buddhism, like Christianity and Scientology, and unlike Judaism, Taoism, Islam, Hinduism, etc.
is a twelve step program for those who have come to the point where they perceive that all is sorrow, or all are sinners, or whatever it is that shorts out the reasoning capascities of scientologist. (This is not to say that other religions are rationa. They can be irrational in other ways) This is why it emphasises the perception of sorrow


How on earth do you come up with that?

There are "echoes" of Buddhist teachings in christianity as the result of two things; plagiarism and the fact that much of what JC taught actually came from the principles taught by Lord Buddha centuries prior, material he learned when visiting monasteries during those "lost years" (and there are some very sound historic records supporting this point, which "the church" don't recognize and strive to discredit ... including the famed explanation about Satan and his time machine... ) HOWEVER, Christianity (as it's become) is nothing even remotely close to Buddhism or even the auspices of Judaism (prior to the Spanish Inquisition when much of Jewish tradition/teaching was forcibly "edited" so as to fit the "Roman" storyline).

Yes, the Buddha did teach that we exist for the sake of finding "enlightenment" but not through acts of blind faith or even some kind of dedication to a mythic hero/messiah. Buddhism is exceptionally agnostic if not (according to His Holiness the Dahlia Lama) Atheist which the church obviously ain't... Buddhism is active and insists on the neophyte asking questions whereas Christianity insist on the patron turning their entire life and will over to the care of the clergy... to become subservient rather than empowered and RESPONSIBLE for one's state of existence... even Scientology "borrows" from this angle and much of the ideas found in Eastern Mysticism, Dianetics (the book/bible of Scientology) just used different terms that mean the same thing -- Hubbard 'modernized' Buddhism, I guess you could say.

Most all philosophy focuses on the issue of self-improvement, including the auspices of psychology/mental health, standard education, etc. Therefore, we are all the monad seeking to "heal" and thus grow; that's why we suck air whether you believe in some kind of heavenly pay off, reincarnation or that you're just here to fertilize the earth and feed worms... we are here to FUNCTION at the highest possible level we can personally and communally muster... that's life... and more important, LIVING!

As to Winston and this group... I was invited here by Winston because we seem to share some common ground. As crazy as he can seem at times, I like the guy and have no reason to think ill of him. Frankly, those that slam him and his character tend to be self-important schmucks and even I find myself victimized by such toilet tissue (a.k.a. butt wipes) But as one of my old teachers told me, "If you aren't pissing someone off, you're doing it wrong." ;)
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Re: Introduction and Photo of the Founder of this site

Postby Scepcop » 24 Jul 2010, 23:54

Hi Twain,
Welcome to the forum. I'm glad this site is a good balance for you.

I don't know what you're referring to when you said that my info on NDE's is disturbing. I don't think I gave anything disturbing about it. I mostly said positive things about it.

As to Buddhism, I wouldn't put it in the same category as Christianity. Christianity and Islam are fascist in nature. They seek to dominate, control and convert everyone, and wipe out other religions.

The slightest cursory glance at the Bible and Christian faith reveals that it is inherently fascist in nature. The Bible teaches that if you do whatever you want or live your life however you want, you are living in sin and rebellion against God. Throughout the Bible, the message is that if you don't obey God and follow his commandments, you will be punished and damned. The Christian message is that freedom is evil, while obedience and giving your life and will to God is good. Likewise, in fascist Nazi Germany, anyone who didn't obey was shot or imprisoned. Dissension was not allowed. Fear of punishment was the motivator. Therefore, Christianity is essentially a "fascist religion".

Christianity and Fascism share the following core attributes:

a) Obey or be punished.
b) No independent thoughts. Must think with the hive.
c) No tolerance for dissension or free speech.
d) Your God or dictator is to be feared, for fear keeps you in line and protects authority.
e) The use of fear and guilt as psychological control mechanisms.
f) The view that the individual is weak and powerless, and his/her life is without purpose, unless aligned to serve a "higher power" (e.g. God, tyrant or dictator).

Buddhism isn't like that, even though it's pessimistic (despite their denial that it is). It is far more introspective and deserves far more respect and consideration.

Now this isn't to say that Jesus himself was a fascist. Assuming he existed (which is not a proven fact), he could very well have been a well meaning person spreading a good spiritual message to help people. It's what the Church and elite power structure DID with his name and the religion around him that they established that turned Christianity into a fundamentalist religion and a fascist form of control over others.
“Devotion to the truth is the hallmark of morality; there is no greater, nobler, more heroic form of devotion than the act of a man who assumes the responsibility of thinking.” - Ayn Rand, Atlas Shrugged
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Re: Introduction and Photo of the Founder of this site

Postby Twain Shakespeare » 29 Jul 2010, 10:04

Thank you you all for your thoughtful responses.

First, to Craig Browning. No appy polly loggies needed between us, as your prof said, “If you aren't pissing someone off, you're doing it wrong."

Re
How on earth do you come up with that?
Okay. I'll plead that the twelve step program is a metaphor
As for my statements that Buddhism is premised on all being sorrow and Xianity being based on the premise that the world is unredeemable, I came by these opinions experientially.
When I was a Buddhist (albeit one who was agnostic about reincarnation) I had accepted the premise logically as expressing an aspect of experience. Then Robert Anton Wilson convinced me that “all was joy” was “equally true, equally false, and equally useful” as Tiberius said of religion (another metaphor)
When I was A Christian, I accepted explicitly that only Christ could save us, until YHWH told me I was going to hell anyway, so, as far as Pascal's wager went, I could no longer see any percentage in deforming my sense of right in order to hate fags, for example.

Re
Correspondences between Buddhism and Xianity.
Two hypotheses about how this could be so.
1.It is demonstrated that Jesus is a Rorschach in which people can see what they wish.
2.Maybe Yeshua and Siddhartha were looking at the same thing.

Re: The rest we seem to agree on, especially that “we are here to FUNCTION at the highest possible level we can personally and communally muster... that's life... and more important, LIVING!” Unfortunately I am chemically predisposed to believe that all is sorrow and we are bloody mud. It can get gloomy in this skull sometimes. I am definitely a sinner. I found out I was Jewish by Jewish law, and I celebrated by having a ham and cheese without even thinking. Show me a senseless taboo and I'll break it.

To Scecop, I find NDEs disturbing because they imply that the thing I called YHWH wasn't just a hallucination, and really can send me to Hell,. I admit, statiscally I am more likely to go to Hell for offending the Pope, but that's a given, and I've never met the Pope, I have met my friend YHWH and his Baptist brat Jesus, but I am taking my medicines now.

You don't have to tell me about Xianity being fascist. I knew that before I decided it was true anyway. (But, again, I am taking my medicines now.)

Buddhism is my favorite philosophy posing as a religion, because it recognizes theistic questions are not its subject.

Have you read Wilhelm Reich? That's one take on Yeshua. Personally I think he was closer to David Koresh. Who would Jesus bomb? Probably Rome, and teach the pedophile hypocrites a lesson for taking his name in vain, but I wouldn't want to be in Salt Lake City, or New York, or the Pentagon, or even Jerusalem. Mecca is probably safe. Unless Yeshua is(was) so crazy he thinks(thought) he was YHWH, and, having met Him, it wouldn't surprise me (Medicines, medicines)

Thanks again, all. “If you aren't pissing someone off, you're doing it wrong."

Twain Shakespeare
"What's so Funny about Peace, Love, and Understanding?"
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