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Marcus Caelius

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Everything posted by Marcus Caelius

  1. Marcus Caelius

    Pope: Other denominations not true churches

    Christianity was never one church. The very first division, during Peter and Paul's lifetimes, was between those who wanted Gentiles to become circumcised before they could convert, and those who thought baptism was enough. This was a major doctrinal disagreement splitting Jewish and Gentile Christians, and the divisions only grew from there.
  2. Marcus Caelius

    Pope: Other denominations not true churches

    Disclaimer: I'm a former Protestant, and present nonbeliever. Having said that, the Pope's position makes perfect sense to me. If you truly believe that yours is the one, true God, then how can anyone else's religion possibly be correct? The very best that you could say is that all others are mistaken, and the more they disagree with you, the more mistaken they are. Further, if you begin to compromise with other faiths, then aren't you allowing their mistakes to spread into your own religion? What bothers me is just how far Benedict is going to go. I'm not afraid of another Inquisition, but another Crusade is not inconceivable if his "reforms" continue into the next Papal reign or two. The last thing the world needs right now is the conservative polarization of yet another worldwide religion.
  3. Marcus Caelius

    Unlucky to wash hair?

    Ouch!
  4. Marcus Caelius

    Unlucky to wash hair?

    Ah. My sympathies. How does that go? Something like, "Watching your novel being turned into a movie is like watching a cow being turned into bouillon."
  5. Marcus Caelius

    Important Security Issue

    You didn't give me anything; I stole it.
  6. Marcus Caelius

    Unlucky to wash hair?

    So, I'm going to sound stupid, yet again. I'm still sorting out forum personalities and occupations and who-does-what here, but if this really is "your" TV series, why aren't you able to ask her directly for her source of information?
  7. Marcus Caelius

    Important Security Issue

    Not until you say ten "Hail Beadys."
  8. Marcus Caelius

    Important Security Issue

    Or brought to me by an e-mail. Glad you jump to conclusions. Let me rephrase: Consider it stolen by me for posting elsewhere. Lancaster's Corollary to Beady's 10th Law of Social Harmonics: "Whatever the joke, someone won't get it."
  9. On the other hand, a mere "reference to an official at the court of Nebuchadnezzar," even if it should be the same person mentioned in the OT, is a considerably long leap from parting the seas, and is hardly "dramatic proof of the accuracy of the Old Testament" as the article claims. Consider: Were the Babylonians like snowflakes, no two of them having the same name? Were sons never named after fathers or grandfathers? How do we know that the author of Jeremiah didn't need a Babylonian name for his story, heard "Nebo-Sarsekim" and liked it? Even if it's the same person, so what? All it does is provide evidence (evidence, not proof) that the Bible isn't a complete fabrication. I just don't see the logical progression from one document to the other.
  10. Marcus Caelius

    Important Security Issue

    Consider this stolen, for posting elsewhere.
  11. Marcus Caelius

    Ancient coins discovered on beach

    Stupid question: Where are the Western Isles?
  12. Marcus Caelius

    Bring back Latin to the Vatican!

    I'm tempted. If we can't ban religion outright, maybe it would help to make it completely unintelligible to the common man.
  13. Marcus Caelius

    What's the last book you read?

    Last book completed (twice in a month), Carl Sagan's "The Varieties of Scientific Experience; Reflections on the Personal Search for God." I find Sagan much more palatable (and readable) on the subject than Richard Dawkins; been painfully working my way through Dawkins' "The God Delusion" for several months. I haven't had much luck with Roman-subject novels, lately. I think Lindsay Davis has lost it; I actually gave up on "See Delphi and Die" during the first or second chapter. Volume one of Whoozit's "Caesar"(?) series almost made me physically ill. I have Saylor's "Roma" ready at my bedside; since it's a series of short stories about different eras, I'm not put off by comments I've seen about cardboard characters (that's mostly all you get in a short story). I've recently read two of John Madox Roberts' alternative history of Rome ("Hannibal's Children," and "The Hills of Rome"); I assume there's a third volume out there, somewhere. I'm a little put off by how easily the upstart Romans seem to be walking all over the established powers. Of course, they do have flying machines, so...
  14. Marcus Caelius

    Am I just slow?

    [pedant] Ain't no such thing as an arctic or antarctic hemisphere. At least, I hope not! [/pedant]
  15. Marcus Caelius

    Roman Coin Values

    Hmm... A modern US commemorative silver dollar is 90% silver, 10% copper; 1-oz silver eagles (face value $1) are 99% silver. I have an 8-real piece off a Spanish treasure ship which is 90+% silver (I'm at work, now, so can't check weight and size). This is not really pertinent to anything; just comparing. It's nice to know, though, that my Vespasian fits the definition of actual silver coinage.
  16. Look, these things are too damn good to let them go out of print. Have you guys tried some of the marketing ideas I suggested? Another possible venue might be the fan sites for the various Rome-based computer games that are out. ETA: I just posted an ad/link on a forum I've belonged to for years. If I get banned, there, I expect a certain amount of consideration, here.
  17. Marcus Caelius

    Roman Empire Wallmap

    Don't get it framed, get it mounted, then cut and mount a poster frame around the edges as protection. Don't frame it because (a) it will still wrinkle and warp inside the frame, and (b ) the reflection on the glass will make reading it just a little difficult, especially if, like me, you buy an illuminated magnifying glass as an accessory. Mounting will be more expensive, but it keeps the map flat and wrinkle free, and it's a lot lighter to hang on the wall (another hint: those Hercules Hooks, available at Walmart, are ideal for the job).
  18. Marcus Caelius

    Roman Empire Wallmap Marketing

    What marketing have you tried? What "liberties" are you afraid of? I gather there are several published authors present, here, representing a lot of publishing and marketing experience, and I can't see them refusing to lend advice. Near as I can tell, if you don't find this web site you won't be able to find the map. It's obvious that a lot of scholarship went into compiling and drawing it, and it would be criminal to intentionally keep it so unavailable. If you're worried about being able to handle distribution and legal issues, why not just hand it over to a commercial publisher? Just off the top of my head, Barnes and Noble has their own comparatively small publishing house, and would seem ideal. Let them do all the work while you take in the royalties. Mind you, I'm not envisioning a Brinks truck rolling up to your house every month, but still...
  19. Marcus Caelius

    Luke's account on Quirinius and the census

    Clarification: Is it being claimed that the Bible is accurate, or inaccurate? Whatever, it is up to the claimant to provide the evidence. "The Bible is accurate(or inaccurate, depending on your stance) unless you can prove otherwise," is arguing from ignorance and carries no weight. The simple fact is that the Bible is replete with internal contradictions and inconsistencies. The question is, how much weight should be given them? If you are going to claim that the Bible is accurate, period, it's up to you to resolve those disagreements. If you are going to allow for differing versions of the same story, then your resulting claims as to the actual facts are going to be tentative, at best. There are plenty of people who demonize the Bible, saying it's all hogwash, and there are plenty of others who claim it's all absolutely true, as written. Myself, I'm in the "Maybe" category, and any claimant is going to have to prove his case, using evidence and not rhetoric.
  20. Marcus Caelius

    "Roma," New Saylor Novel

    Just took a quick run through the site's index and didn't see that this has been mentioned, yet, so I thought I'd bring it to folks' attention. It's apparently a multi-generational story that begins with Romulus and ends with the fall of the Empire. I'm anticipating a month's idle spell shortly, and just ordered it to occupy my time. My mistake: It apparently ends with the onset of the Empire.
  21. Marcus Caelius

    the war of 1812

    FWIW, the Battle of Lake Erie, the first "fleet" action of the American navy, resulted in the surrender/capture of the entire British squadron, and led directly to the American recovery of Detroit and British retreat from southern Upper Canada.
  22. Marcus Caelius

    When republicans run your college administration this happens

    One question you haven't asked, is, "What is the rest of the story?" I'm not defending the college, but Yahoo News is not CNN, ABC or the Associated Press, and I don't always trust these organizations to get it right, either. This is the kind of story where it's all too easy to ride off madly in all directions at once, and I'm very reluctant to trust just a single source about it. Your question seems to imply that you don't consider MySpace the kind of place where a college administration belongs. It's easy to construct a logical chain of questions from there that ends up, "Is MySpace the kind of place where a teacher belongs?" Looked at another way, if there's nothing wrong with MySpace, why shouldn't the college administration go there? You're going to have problems if you try to argue that it's a privacy issue, given that the photo has been broadcast to the entire planet by the student in question. No argument, there. I know one couple where the mother used the information on her ex-husband's MySpace site as ammunition in the custody dispute as evidence that his lifestyle made him an unfit father, and won. The best way to keep your private life private, is to keep it private. Another thing: I'm a liberal, and I don't see the relevence of the thread's title to the issue at hand. College administrations are stereotypically conservative.
  23. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

    Yes and no. Yes, because there are two ends to the spectrum; there's Fred Phelps and his "God Hates Fags" church at one end, and the likes of Richard Dawkins and Stephan Jay Gould at the other. No, because it is a spectrum, and it's quite possible, as you mentioned, to fall somewhere in between. Whether you are considered, by yourself or by others, as "secular" or "religious" will depend on which side of the fulcrum the balance of your beliefs fall on. It goes further than that. "Religion," as I understand us to be using the term, here, means essentially a belief in some sort of Higher Power that purposefully influences our lives. It's when you cease to believe in this power regardless of its ability or desire to punish, when you operate more by rational thought than by blind faith or superstition, that you become secular.
  24. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

    Saying someone is secular because they are "heavily influenced" by secularism is setting up a sucker's bet; there's no way anyone can argue against it. "Heavily influenced" can mean anything at all that you want it to. The Dalhi LLama (one "L" or two?) and the Pope are "heavily influenced" by secularism, simply because they have to take the secular world into account. Indeed, the secular world is why they have jobs. I dare you to stand in St Peter's Square and call the Pope a secular leader. You might as well say I'm religious because much of what I do is"heavily influenced" by religion (I live in a heavily Catholic town).
  25. Marcus Caelius

    What Religion Are You?

    You don't live in the U.S., I take it?
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