Tom Sarbeck
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  • Yountville, CA
  • United States
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Tom Sarbeck's Discussions

Hacking Happens: Describe Life When We Have Few If Any Secrets

Started this discussion. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck Oct 18, 2016. 10 Replies

During the 1960s, we in the computer industry knew hackers would try to get access to information stored on computers. We knew confidentiality, or secrecy,  would require each pair of computers to…Continue

Tags: manipulation, blackmail, shame, control, hacking

Real Life: What We Don't Say About Politics, Religion or Sexuality Because...

Started this discussion. Last reply by TJ Oct 13, 2016. 4 Replies

...what we want to say may frighten those whose approval we seek. "What we don't talk about will be used to rule over us."I first heard those words while I was neck-deep in serious politics and…Continue

Tags: silence, sexuality, religon, politics

"It's the Best Explanation We Have." "Is It Really?" "But I Believe!"

Started this discussion. Last reply by Tom Sarbeck Jul 4, 2016. 82 Replies

Time: Ten thousand years ago. Gods are the best explanation for everything. In the day they give light so people can see what they do, and in the night gods give darkness people can rest. The gods…Continue

Tags: thought, skepticism, belief

Atheist Epitaphery

Started this discussion. Last reply by Jake LaFort Apr 24, 2016. 2 Replies

Alas, no more sex; no more beer.It's not original; a paleontologist found it in ancient Egypt.Hm-mm, if I want people to see it, I won't want an ocean burial.Continue

Tags: Humor, Epitaphs, Atheists

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Latest Activity

Andrew Brown replied to Tom Sarbeck's discussion 'Idealism. Not philosophical idealism, but children's idealism. Why does it leave? Why does it stay?' in the group THE THINKING APE
"I identify as an Idealist with a Realist perspective. Idealism to me: Define the Perfect to identify the Goal. Realism to me: Knowing the Goal, what is actually possible? Let's do that! I agree with your Totalitarianism, Authoritarianism for…"
Mar 1
Tom Sarbeck commented on Kirk LeFou's photo

God is a dick

"You guys should be convicted of cruelty to dicks."
Feb 28
Tom Sarbeck replied to Michael's discussion 'Neil Degrasse has been quoted speaking of the Universe as concieveably being a simulation. Is such a notion plausibly possible?'
"She sure as hell did!"
Dec 31, 2016
Tom Sarbeck replied to Michael's discussion 'Neil Degrasse has been quoted speaking of the Universe as concieveably being a simulation. Is such a notion plausibly possible?'
"Responding to a query in one of his many TV presentations, DeGrasse Tyson said the universe might be infinite. I heard it as his expressing a doubt in the BB tale. In another TV presentation I saw months later, which he might have recorded earlier…"
Dec 30, 2016
Tom Sarbeck replied to Mona's discussion 'Any atheists here in a relationship with someone who's religious?'
"Mona, my short reply. I went to Catholic schools and don't trust practicing Catholics to value happiness in this world. The nuns' remedy for unhappiness was "Offer it up to Jesus." My long reply is more nuanced: Catholicism…"
Dec 30, 2016
Tom Sarbeck replied to Violeta Babacan's discussion 'Atheists, help! What are the odds that this NDE is actually true?'
"Violeta, I was long ago raised a Catholic and often wondered if percentages mattered. Years after I quit Catholicism, during several months when I worked in a call center, some callers asked me questions like that one. Later in our conversations I…"
Dec 22, 2016
Tom Sarbeck replied to W1NT3R5's discussion 'PUNS!'
"Davis, was that a neutron who entered the church or a parishoner named Higgs?"
Dec 18, 2016
Tom Sarbeck commented on Chase King's blog post 'True Atheists??'
"By what measure would Chase King's "days like these" (early 2011) compare with our days like these (late 2016)?"
Dec 17, 2016
Tom Sarbeck commented on Chase King's blog post 'How irrelevant is a human life?'
"To dopamine and seratonin, add oxytocin. (I will shortly search Wikipedia for them to confirm or not.) Many interesting thoughts here, to which I add a question. What motivated the first person in human history to say objectivity has merit? It…"
Dec 17, 2016
Tom Sarbeck replied to Belle Rose's discussion 'You have faith too....'
"With my mischievous tongue firmly planted in a cheek, Reg, may I conclude that if you say "The Big Bang created the universe" you are pretending to know what you cannot possibly know?"
Dec 13, 2016
Tom Sarbeck replied to W1NT3R5's discussion 'PUNS!'
"Maybe not a pun, but... ineffable - too great or extreme for words. effable - ????"
Dec 11, 2016
Tom Sarbeck replied to Nerdy Keith's discussion 'Is this religious symbol a violation of the US first amendment?'
"Also, in a case from decades ago, the US Supreme Court told people who drive past outdoor theaters to NOT look at their screens through gaps in a tall hedge. In short, a momentary view is not important."
Dec 10, 2016
Tom Sarbeck replied to JadeBlackOlive's discussion 'A Dark Milky Way?' in the group Atheists who love Science!
"TJ, can you identify some of those "many known forces at play"? Of course the missing mass "was not the sort of thing...." The universe wasn't obeying man-made mathematics, so cosmologists "created" enough mass ro…"
Dec 8, 2016
TJ replied to Tom Sarbeck's discussion 'Do You Need The Universe To Have Had A Beginning?' in the group Atheists who love Science!
"Being an atheist doesn't mean I think anything per se about anything else, except that I don't believe that there are gods. It doesn't mean I believe in Evolution, Gravity, or Free Health Care, etc. It also doesn't mean that I…"
Dec 8, 2016
Tom Sarbeck replied to W1NT3R5's discussion 'PUNS!'
"Spreading puns merits capital punishment."
Dec 8, 2016
Tom Sarbeck replied to JadeBlackOlive's discussion 'A Dark Milky Way?' in the group Atheists who love Science!
"That is some telescope! It can see what has only been hypothesized. I will explain BRIEFLY. Newton's gravitation law requires more mass than astronomers have found. So, assume the mathematics and its use are both correct, and hypothesize…"
Dec 8, 2016

Profile Information

Your Religious Status
About Me:
Korean War veteran, was an electrician aboard a US Navy destroyer. BA in math and economics from the University of Florida. Married for 6 years to a freethinker, and for reasons too complicated to tell here we chose to remain childless. Retired from computer manufacturing. Running for election to Arizona Legislature was another education; I learned a lot but happily the incumbent won. Now living in SF Bay Area's Napa County and loving it.
Relationship Status
Why are you here?
In 1957 I chose agnosticism. In 2009 I came out atheist at a home for retired veterans. Many of the 1000+ residents are fallen-away xians; a very few are extremely conservative. About 70% are Dems. A few know I don't pledge allegiance to a piece of cloth; I tell them I will discuss the issue when they pledge allegiance to the Constitution. I enjoy the mental exercise I get in chats on atheist websites.
The religion you left
Why you left your religion.
When my parents told me I was going to college because I was too lazy to get a job, I threw them and their god out of my life. Several years later I made a peace of sorts with my parents. In April of 2012, in a Toastmasters Club here, I told of my leaving Catholicism for agnosticism and 50 years later leaving agnosticism for atheism. I tell polite xians that were it not for 12 years in Catholic schools I might still believe a god exists. To xians who try to recruit me, I say religion is the biggest fraud ever perpetrated on humankind. They stop trying.
Think Atheist Travel Network Couch Availability - Are you able to host anyone now?
How did you hear about Think Atheist?
When TA was a contestant in the About Contest.

Comment Wall (10 comments)

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At 4:33am on March 2, 2015, Mai said…

Hi Tom,

I consider myself lucky, there are a lot more people that had/have it worse off than me. There are so many societies, areas, institutions or religons I would not have liked to have grown up in, where the dogma would have completely taken over & controlled my whole life.

We are surely lucky we are out the other side. I'm even thankful, in a way, to my religious upbringing. I hated that I had to do religious education at the time, what was that qualification going to be any good for? but now I find it quite useful. It contributed to the atheist I am.

All the best, Mai

At 8:10pm on January 14, 2015, Davis Goodman said…

Great line. I think that applies even more broadly.

Humour: Start a line clearly leading to an obvious and expected conclusion and then finish it with an entertaining line that is equally plausible (or better implausible) but catches you off guard. :)

At 3:38pm on December 23, 2014, Belle Rose said…
Thanks Tom! Hmmm award winning plays, now there's an idea!
At 8:51am on August 4, 2014, Ed said…

Ah yes, we've come a long way since the Prohibitionists marched down the streets garbed in black and carrying placards bemoaning the evils of spirits

At 11:34pm on August 1, 2014, Ed said…


Napa County huh? Wine country if I'm correct. I have a small vineyard here in Arkansas. En vino veritas.

At 2:35pm on June 17, 2014, Abdulrahman Aliyu said…
That's right friend, if we can really rely on the unseenism we will be free from internet's brain damage.
At 2:25am on June 23, 2013, Karl Hanks said…

Hi Tom!  Just joined so I only have said hello!  Hello!

At 2:32pm on June 9, 2013, Simon Paynton said…

Thanks Tom.  I'm glad to hear it.  Yes I am. 

At 11:05am on December 16, 2012, Denise M. Purtell said…

Dude, all I was saying is that religion, or the lack there of, rather - has nothing to do with some nutcase and killing children. Holy rollers have been seemingly blaming the fact of "no religion in school" is the cause. It is an observation I've made. So all I was doing was trying to make a point that it is nothing to do with that and it has everything to do with the individual idiot just being a crazy bastard. 

That is all I was saying. 

At 8:42am on February 27, 2012, Robert Karp said…

Welcome to the Think Atheist community Tom! Join us in the chat on the bottom right of the screen and feel free to ask questions and get involved as much or as little as you want! If you would like to, add me as a friend and I'm also on twitter as RSAnative if you care to follow. Welcome again and make yourself at home!


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