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Yea those are the two big ones I tend to recommend outside of Steam.
The only issue I have with the article is the author doesn't provide research on alternatives. He sort of creates this narrative of how far reaching, intrusive, and evil Valve is without providing the reader with "another way." You can say Value (and to some extent Origins) is evil, but I think its beneficial to show where on the internet you can go to clear your conscience so to speak. Beyond that the article is pretty spot on about everything. Valve is definitely in this for exploitative amounts of profit.
Nah, that's not really the definition of worship. Worship is having a deep reverence or adoration for something. I have a deep reverence and adoration for most things (Or at least I try).
It's not so much the size, or even in certain situations the ornate nature of these places. In certain regards it's the location. I visited poor towns with massive cathedral's wondering why they didn't just downsize this place, and pour some of that money into the town itself. For me it's odd to see these grand structures while kids in the same town bathe in a river.
Yea, worship to me grants greater understanding of the world around me and the people in it, which in turn (in most circumstances lol) gives me the knowledge to make better choices.
A god doesn't need anything. Worship is for us. If you believe in god as some singular entity worship sounds weird. If you believe in a god as a grand all encompassing entity then worship becomes our way of attuning ourselves with the world around us. At least that's the way I see it.
This concept is actually what pushed me very far from religion. I visited Spain and France for two weeks in the summer years back for some religious thing. I visited some of the "sacred" places in the Roman Catholic belief, and it was pretty much then I knew it. You had massive cathedral in poor towns, and while the people struggled here stood these monuments to earthly things. After that I began to question why the church was so dead set on building monuments for God. God is a god, and I can't imagine there being a physical way in existence to laud him that would be sufficient. I took to the simpler forms of faith that there was prayer in good deeds, prayer in loving/respect one another (even when its tougher to do so). Community, meditation, and all of those other things have their place, but I believe there is a lot more to it. I'm a firm believer that expressions of positive emotions in our daily lives is among the strongest ways to worship God.
That is quite a high aim. I'm not sure I buy it though. As idealistic as it seems, especially when politics are involved, I just don't see it moving remotely in that direction. I'm not saying I don't think the science is correct, or anything like that. I just think de Grey glosses over way too many obstacles, but of course you always hold on to the hope of it all.
There are no good reasons from my perspective why you would be treated that way. I imagine it really had nothing to do with you directly due to the reasoning being so contradictory to the reality of the situation. Seems like they were just giving excuses, so they didn't have to approach the "real" reason they didn't want you to do anymore lessons.
Like most have said, don't let this discourage you from pursuing lecturer in the future.