Wednesday, December 26, 2007
Thursday, December 20, 2007
It's been 2 months since my last post! My how time flies. I've just not found much to blog about lately, besides I barley have enough time to read through the 400+ posts a day from the various news feeds. I think PA hammers out around 200+ posts a day itself. Really it's getting quite crazy yesterday I checked my google reader after not logging in for 3 days.... Over 3000 posts where in there. Granted some are dupes, but wow. Anyway, life is going pretty good.. Obviously getting prepared for all the holiday fun. Got a nice long weekend coming up. Looking forward to spending time with the family and maybe getting some home projects done. I think my problem with the blogging thing is the fact that I spend roughly 60hrs a week in front of a pc coding applications. Well, just figured I'd wish everyone a fun filled year end :)
Monday, October 29, 2007
Since when has reality been required for legal action?Now that's hilarious.
In Second Life, more than nine million users spend many real hours and lots of very real money to clothe, feed and comfort their avatars. According to Linden Labs, proprietors of the virtual environment platform where all this craziness takes place, users cumulatively conduct transactions totaling more than $1 million each day. That's real dollars -- the kind you can use to clothe, feed and comfort yourself in the real world.That is just plain sad. Although not surprising, so many people are unsatisfied with their own lives and feel this is a way to "Fix" that.... Instead of actually getting out of the house and making things happen or socializing with real people face to face.
Still, these virtual-world real-world lawsuits can get pretty tricky. How and to what extent should real laws apply in Second Life?Here is the simple answer, They shouldn't!! What happen? did the "Virtual" court system throw the case out? I mean if they have a CSI-NY in Second Life one would expect they have some type of justice system, right?
However, is it really surprising that people would be so obsessed with Second Life? We have millions who still believe in the invisible sky daddy... I've never played around with Second Life, but does it have churches too... that would be quite funny....
Thursday, October 25, 2007
Like we didn't see this shit coming--- Democrats worry Bush setting up war with Iran... Except now instead of claiming that they have WMD's we are going to claim that because they have the potential to have WMD's we should attack them? I posted a few months back on what I think about this shit, and it's again starting to piss me off that our war mongering President George W Bush has yet to quench his thirst for blood. I've never hated anyone in my life, but mr President you are at the top of my most disappointing people's list! Your ignorance and idiocy has put our country smack in the middle of problems that could have been avoided. In my opinion if you continue down this road this WILL start another global war. I am deeply ashamed of this country and what it appears to be turning into. The leaders of our country are acting no different than other totalitarian countries, claiming to bring freedom and democracy while destroying people's lives in the process. It's time we grow up and begin to use our heads instead of trying to prove our might. It's so damn hypocritical of us to think we and our allies are the only ones allowed to have nuclear power. This world needs to stop with the bullshit and treat everyone as allies. Course thats difficult to do when the rest of the world sees our embarrassment of a president, and the appearance that our country is a god fearing nation of christians. Why don't we just paint a big freaking bulls eye over our country? It really does not matter how much of a super power we are, if we start heading in this direction we will all loose eventually. I'm done ranting now.... Yea, this post may be one sided but just the thought that our government would entertain the idea of "bombarding" Iran pisses me off.
This will probably be a regurgitation of what others might have said, but it was something that hit me last night as I was pondering stuff while sitting in front of a nice little bond fire in the back yard last night and wanted to write it down.
I watched this debate between D'Souza and Hitchens and one of D'Souza's claims is that our morals came from christianity and that many of the great minds that founded science were also founded on christianity as well. Between this argument and a documentary that I watched on the History Channel called "A The History of God" got me thinking....
In the documentary they were showing how god evolved throughout the bible. The "Evolution" of god so to speak or if you prefer how our understanding of god changed through time. How the biblical patriarchs (Abraham, Jacob, Moses, etc..) began the transition to a monotheistic religion and how god changed from knowable to unreachable or incomprehensible. They explained how the god started as El during the time of Abraham, then transitioned to a no name god when Jacob wrestled with him and won, then turned to a deliberate vague god with Moses by answering Moses's question as to what god's name is with Eyeh Asher Eyeh: "I am what I am"; A mysterious phrase, A Hebrew idiom of deliberate vagueness. Again this happen because in those days knowing a gods name gave you power over that god. I'm not going to do a full review of this show, but my point is there is clear evidence of how god changed over time to become what we know and don't know about god. This boils down to the simple concept that no one can grasp a new idea without growing it from the old ones. Something that we see when we look at the history of god. He started as El a knowable god and ended up unknowable as well as personal.
So, as I thought about this evolving of god I thought hey wait a minute. If the concept of god can evolve over time. Why can't the same be said of morals, and values? Not only that, but if new ideas and concepts must be grown out of old ones within the same confines of the current environment or belief systems, then surly the same is true with morals and values. Realizing that god is not going to provide all the answers, and is not THE answer to all unanswerable questions forces one to no longer rely on a god, but to rely on other people. The transition to this line of thought would then force people to admit they do not know everything and through communication with other people they would learn that other people can also have value. Not to mention the morals and values that developed around the same time in other religions.
And this leads me to contemplate other issues as well. If we ideas are grown from old ones, witch is very clear throughout history. In every field of science, math, philosophy, astronomy, even theology we can see how ideas and concepts were born then evolved to what we have today from within the confines of the idea's in their own times. So, when someone tells me Einstein was a believer it really does not shock me. I would not be surprised if Einstein used wording that was vague as to his beliefs. Look at the time in witch they lived. They were trying to breed new thought from existing idea's in order for those thoughts to be taken seriously they had to find common ground with the majority. In my opinion, if any of these excellent thinkers of their times were here today it would be very unlikely they would be theists at all.
I'm sure you've heard the old adage that great minds think alike. I disagree with that statement, I think great minds simply think.
Tuesday, October 16, 2007
After my previous posts, I was doing some more thinking and it occured to me that the kirby salesman (or almost any door to door sales) and christian witnessing have a lot in common.
- They knock on your door at the most inconvenient times
- They are only there to sell you something to gain something in return
- They begin to present their case by showing you how it has helped them and others
- They will show you the dangers of not having their product
- They will sometimes measure their product against others to show how theirs is so much more powerful
- They attempt to use fear to ensure you side with them that their product is better
- They will offer you a reward by acting today
- They try to break your will to say no by continuing to stay long after they are no longer welcome.
- They will show plenty of documentation to back up what they are saying
- If by chance you do say no they attempt to influence you by saying something to the affect that your lifestyle and the way you live is completely filthy and maybe one day you will realize the benefits of their product and come back to them.
I absolutely love these stories. Read this today from "Kill The Afterlife: Atheist Turned Christian" The claim of a christian saying they were just like me an atheist! My initial knee jerk reaction is "Oh really? Apparently you were not just like me otherwise you would not have been converted?" It's always so interesting to hear their testimony on how they used to be atheist but the found god. Most of the time there was some traumatic event or instant revelation personally that suddenly caused them to loose all sense of reason thus proving god was working in their lives personally. It reminds me how kirk cameron uses this same ploy to try to convert people. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying what is or is not an atheist. What kills me is the thinking that being an atheist means we automatically share some type of bond. No offense to the other atheists out there, but if we ever met out somewhere in the real world and it came out that you were an atheist as well. I seriously doubt it would change how I perceive you. Sure knowing that would tell me we could probably have some healthy conversations, but I'm sure we would have probably already been into some type of good conversation by the time that information came to light :) Again my point is this is just another strategy of winning souls for god. It's no different than the Rainsoft salesman that walks in the door. Within the first few minutes you have to find some camaraderie, something that will identify with the "target" in order for them to let their guard down. This makes it easier to persuade them to your thinking, maybe even play on some emotions. Basic sales and persuasion techniques 101.
I'm sure everyone at some point has encountered this situation when discussing god with a believer. Especially after you've made a very compelling case against them that they are not able to ignore. Their typical reply? You just don't understand, god is beyond our comprehension, beyond our understanding, beyond our imagination. We simply can't even know who or what he is. I find this funny as hell honestly. I liken this to those discussion when you were 3.. you know the ones.. "Oh yea, well I say yes times infinity" then the friend would reply "Oh yea, well I say times infinity times infinity!" aaahh such fun..
The problem is most religions have already defined what god is and what god is not. Therefore they have already built the construct for what god must be. I'm sure it is convenient when faced with obvious facts to the contrary to say god is all things unknowable, and yet still be everywhere, know everything, yadda yadda. By bringing spirituality into the mix they are able to convince themselves that there is "More than Meets the Eye" to god. Personally, I think spirituality is nothing more than another emotional state.
To duplicate this what if I told you last night I was lying on the ground star gazing and saw the most indescribable view of the universe. The stars were unimaginably bright, the constellations were unfathomably vivid. The view literally took my breath away and at that moment I felt connected to the entire universe. In this instance you know the parameters of what was viewed, and seen, so the construct is there. The rest could be embellishment, or simply the emotional state I was in when viewing the sky. My point is together we could view a thousand other night sky's and with this definition I just gave, I could always say that this particular night could never be duplicated and you would never be able to fully comprehend it.
This may be an over simplification when it comes to god, but I don't think so. Instead of something tangible and viewable they simply replace the night sky with nothing and add stuff that we are aware of. For example relating god to the ether to explain his ability to be omnipresent etc.
My thought is that religion is simply a tool of persuasion that plays on emotions in order to bring people together for a goal. The men who created the first religions wanted to ensure their powers over others by use of something greater. Unfortunately, I think this is still the case with religion. It's a measure of control over people. Goto any church, and I guarantee you a majority if not all of the parishioners will show submission to that pastor. For that matter check out the definition of reverend when used as an adjective: worthy of adoration or reverence
Just some more of my thoughts for today... ;)
Monday, October 15, 2007
Presbyterians grapple with question: who should be allowed to join the church?
What a cool idea... I've often thought about picking a church and attending. I've joked about this with the wife often, usually on a Sunday morning around 10am I'd roll over in the bed and say "Honey, why don't we go to church this morning" .. Usually, the reply is "I'd rather stay here in bed." or just as sarcastically as I said it she will say "Sure, I'll get dress.." hehe.. Anyway, I've considered going just for the socialization.. But then I realize it would not last very long. The first time someone asked me a question, or the pastor started asking me about my salvation things might get interesting. I would find it difficult for me to respond in the manner they expect, not to say that I couldn't, but if I did it would simply be to pacify them and I'm not one that condones agreeing with someone just to keep the peace or the "Status Quo". On the other hand it would be interesting to see what types of conversations could be brought up...
I give this guy some kudos.. Apparently, not only did he attend the services regularly, but he became a member (I wonder if there was a fee?) Anyway, I was just curious if anyone else considered attending a service strictly for the social interaction? Or have you considered joining a church just to be the inquisitive mind asking the questions no one else in the congregation would dare to ask the (Sheep in wolves clothing)? And I'm not talking about the just visiting various churches, I'm mean attending regularly, partaking in the social events, etc. Where I live there is little hope of starting a successful "Free Thought" group, but there are plenty of religious organizations around here to
proselytize I mean attend :)
Saturday, October 13, 2007
Just the other day the family and I went to SAM's to pick up some supplies, as we were leaving I heard a very familiar sound.. (I tend to always drive with the window down) Anyway, it was the sound of an engine failing to have enough juice to ignite the fuel. Immediately, I stopped the truck and began looking around. Then threw the truck in reverse, slowly backing up to see if I could spot this sound and verify my suspicions. Sure enough "bingo" I noticed a red ford ranger with 2 people in it. The man already a cell phone to his ear attempting to find someone to help. I waved to the gentleman and asked if he could use a jump. His facial expression changed from disparity to excitement instantly. Since I always carry jumper cables in the truck I was more than happy to help this man and his wife. I mean hell it takes me what 5 or so min to pull up, jump out of the truck, connect the cables and BAM he and I are both on our merry ways.
In all honesty this is not really a rarity for me. Anytime I see someone on the side of the road, hood up, or someone walking down an isolated road with a gas can in hand.. I will usually give them a lift or see if they need help. What is shocking to me is the fact that so few other people put forth this simple gesture of concern for others. What is quite humorous, is that when I mention this gesture of kindness to others to those I know personally of a religious faith, their response is usually surprising. Instead of seeing the "Good Samaritan" side of this act, their initial reply would be something like, "Well, you just never know.. They might have a gun, or want to rob you". How pathetic, so they don't help people because they are afraid it's a muse? You would think their "god" would protect them... Of all the various people I've helped, I've yet to find one that was "faking" being broken down. So, if you see someone in need take the 5 or 10 min to see if you can help. I'd be willing to bet if everyone did just a little something to help others as cliché as it might sound the world truly would be a better place. We shouldn't be fearful of doing something kind.... Just some thoughts for today...
Sunday, September 23, 2007
....And why they should not be intermingled, even in a small town. This incredible display of "chrisitan" character absolutely disgusting!
City Commission Meeting Turns Ugly
They should make excellent commissioners! I just hope the citizens remember this later, and if they don't... you can be damn sure I'll still have this post around to remind them.
One of the great things I did notice about this election, is that the "Good ole Boy" network is loosing strength in this town. The final tally for mayor was only a difference of 15 votes.. 49% to 51% at least that shows that the town is growing closer to becoming more progressive. Hopefully, in another 4yrs, enough new people might move in and finally wipe out the old school of thought and actually bring about the much needed change in this area.
Wednesday, September 12, 2007
I'm posting this because I'd like to hear how others might have responded.
I recently received this in my inbox:
I found your site. Your definition of faith is flawed, because it assumes that all faith is flawed. Emotion about an irrational notion or a false notion is certainly a problem. But faith is something that you use all the time whether you are rational or not to find truth about things that are true.
For example, I have faith in the future. The future is something that hasn't happened yet, because I cannot yet see it. But that doesn't mean that it isn't real, because it will shortly present itself. And from past experience, I know that it is real, because it has presented itself previously. And it takes faith for me to believe that it will continue to present itself. And wait, what is that? Woah, the future just became the present, and I believed it would, and hey, I was right! And I just proved it. Because the future just became the present. See the mental exercise there? Faith is useful when based on the truth. A hypothesis is faith, because its hope in that which is not seen, but which might be true, and if proven, then it is true. A natural law is a proven fact that started out with a hypothesis that is now proven. Therefore your definition of faith is fundamentally flawed, because the principle of faith is interwoven with science. You just have just dismissed it entirely in the realm of religion, because you have dismissed religion entirely. If you don't believe in religion, you should just say so, but don't trash on faith. Faith is something that you can't do away with, because it is fact when it is used with something that is true.
Faith, or the HYPOTHESIS, opened the way to every discovery in science. Faith is the CREATIVITY that brought about the reason for doing the EXPERIMENTATION, that let to the DISCOVERIES in science. Therefore, I challenge your fundamental definition of faith. If you hate religion, just say so. If you don't believe in God, because you don't believe in something that the scientific method can't touch, then just say so. But you can't trash on faith, because it is the core principle behind the scientific method.
Now, how do you get to know God? Not through the experimentations of science, but through spiritual experimentation. If you don't believe in that, then it is simply because you haven't done the experimentation, and you haven't had the true desire to experiment to get the result that would yield fruit. Therefore I challenge your notion that God and religion is something deluded or irrational, because you haven't used the principles of the scientific method to prove that your assertion is so. And you can't use the tools in your lab to scientifically prove God is there. You have to scientifically pray.
A believer and knower of a scientific and rational God,
I pondered over this email for awhile and decided to respond as follows:
Thanks for visiting my site, and taking some time to send an email. I appreciate your input, however, all you have really done here is prove your lack of understanding not only in the definition of faith, but in your definition of a hypothesis and your complete disregard for the scientific method.
You are attempting to integrate faith into logic and the 2 are mutually exclusive. Time or "The Future" does not require faith. The mental exercise you so sarcastically presented really proves nothing. Why not attempt to prove this with some evidence? How could we possibly do this without faith? To begin with we would have to create a hypothesis based on observable repeatable evidence (A hypothesis is simply an educated guess based on observable evidence it is not faith) from there we could make a prediction and based on the results we should be able to share this evidence with others to verify our observations in order to validate our initial hypothesis. I'm sure you can figure the rest out.... We could use our rising sun as the basis, the fact that we grow older, etc.. So, you see no "faith" is required. Faith is never based on "Truth". It is however something required to believe in something that has no evidence.
PS. "You have to scientifically pray" is probably the funniest thing I've heard in awhile... Thanks!
I'm providing you with a few links that may clear up your understanding of the scientific method..
And now for his reply:
You sound a bit overconfident in yourself. Let me quote from dictionary.com since you reject the definition (http://dictionary.referenceMy last reply was as follows:
14 results for: faith
Dictionary.com Unabridged (v 1.1) - Cite This Source
1. confidence or trust in a person or thing: faith in another's ability.
2. belief that is not based on proof: He had faith that the hypothesis would be substantiated by fact.
3. belief in God or in the doctrines or teachings of religion: the firm faith of the Pilgrims.
4. belief in anything, as a code of ethics, standards of merit, etc.: to be of the same faith with someone concerning honesty.
5. a system of religious belief: the Christian faith; the Jewish faith.
6. the obligation of loyalty or fidelity to a person, promise, engagement, etc.: Failure to appear would be breaking faith.
7. the observance of this obligation; fidelity to one's promise, oath, allegiance, etc.: He was the only one who proved his faith during our recent troubles.
8. Christian Theology. the trust in God and in His promises as made through Christ and the Scriptures by which humans are justified or saved.
9. in faith, in truth; indeed: In faith, he is a fine lad.
Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2006.
The relevant results here for a secular definition of faith (outside of a religious context) are 1, 2, 4, 6, 7 and 9, and all back up my points in my original email.
Therefore, this refutes your argument on faith, and shows that my definition was perfectly fine. Further, reference #2, specifically backs up the fact that having confidence in the ultimate result of a hypothesis, and the proposal of a hypothesis, is indeed an act of faith. Therefore you are simply wrong. Faith is a HOPE of truth. Faith is always based on something that you hope turns out to be true, and is useful when that which is hoped for does turn out to be true, just as a scientist hopes that his hypothesis turns out to be true once tested. Therefore you are plain wrong.
Faith is a principle of reality that is based upon a guess that you hope for might turn out to be true, and if it does turn out to be true, then the faith was useful. This principle can be used in a secular context just as easily as a religious context. Just because you reject the religious context out of hand doesn't justify dismissing its usefulness in a secular context. Therefore, the fact that it is used in conjunction with a hypothesis means that it is a core piece of the scientific method and you are now refuted. Don't argue with me. Go argue with the dictionary.
Now, in a religious context, if you don't believe something to be true, and it does turn out to be true on judgment day, then you are damned because you didn't care to attempt to find out if it was true before judgment day.
Now, in the scientific method, facts are found out by the use of observation of observable phenomena. The problem with spiritual things is that they are not observable phenomena, and are usually only discernible by their effects, not unlike dark matter and dark energy. How do you use the scientific method with spiritual things? By spiritual experimentation. First, you must have a desire to know if spiritual things really do exist, and if they do, then you must want to know if God exists. If you don't care, then don't bother. But you should know first of all why it would be useful for you to know why God exists.
Many Christians are absolutely wrong about the reason for existence. Is it really to serve God as the religious people that originally indoctrinated you tried to drill into you? No. That is only something that you end up doing because you want to, that is, if you end up being happy in the state you end up being in. Happiness is the design and purpose of our existence. Misery is not.
What makes you happy right now? And what is lasting happiness? What if you die and then you haven't prepared to be happy after death? Let's say for the sake of argument that your mind is an immortal thing that cannot be destroyed, just as light is, or matter is. If your mind is indeed going to outlive your body, and is actually an independent entity that cannot be destroyed, doesn't it make sense to find out ahead of time before you can't do anything about it, and haven't prepared for the eventuality?
Interesting argument. In your honor, I will rename my "Definition for Faith" on my website to "A Religious Definition of Faith".
I still have my doubts as to your conclusion and your use of the term faith, but i have read where this argument has been made before.
Thank you for your feedback.
Now, if you happen to make it through all of that... What do you think? He brought up truth, yet I don't recall mentioning anything about truth. Any hypothesis has an equal chance of being true as it does being false prior to being verified who says the one hypothesizing wants it to be true or false? Anyway, I had so many thoughts on this that I simply didn't know where to begin, so i figured I'd share and see what others thought as well.
Monday, September 10, 2007
I really love this stuff. A new theory is always intriguing in my opinion. When theorizing on things of this scale it's simply mind boggling. This really begins to make you think we really are just a drip of water in someones cosmic sink.
Cristiano Germani Slingshot Theory
Here are some highlights that I found interesting..
"I AM a heretic," Cristiano Germani announced to an audience of
cosmologists last month. Few would disagree, as he is proposing a
radical alternative to standard cosmology: a universe with no big bang
creation moment, and no rapid inflation. Rather than a big bang, he
suggests a slingshot.
When someone claims to be a heretic it always seems to catch my attention. And oddly inspires me to at least listen to their view point as objectively as possible :)
But then Germani considered a spinning universe. "In fact, it is much
more realistic that the universe will be rotating as it drops," he
says. Something more interesting happens to a rotating universe as it
hurtles down the throat. Because it is spinning, it avoids falling
into the tip of the throat and whirls round it instead. Like a
boomerang or a stone from a slingshot, it then flies back up again.
Germani realised that the second leg of this journey could correspond
to the expanding universe we observe today.
See what I mean.... A drip in someones cosmic sink lol.... I've thought about this when contemplating the Bubble Theory as well. This stuff is way above my head, but very interesting.
Monday, August 27, 2007
So I noticed this post about Dr Craig's argument for god by Goosing the Antithesis today and it got me thinking so i wanted to jot down some things that popped in my head..
first here is the statement he lays out..
- If God does not exist, then there are no objective moral values and duties.
- There are objective moral values and duties.
- Therefore God exists.
My first thought was the term god could easily be replaced with societies.
- If Societies do not exist, then there are no objective moral values and duties.
- There are objective moral values and duties.
- Therefore Societies exist.
I think we could take it a step further and say:
- If diversity within society does not exist then there are no objective moral values and duties
- Objective moral values and duties do exist.
- Therefore diversity within society exists.
It is my opinion that morality is based on society, in addition Objectivity increases as Diversity increases. I'm glad I watched that video it seemed to open my mind as to where our morals come from.
If we look through history we know that when societies began moral values were very different than they are today. But as cultures began to intermingle, and society became more diversified, our "Objectivity" to moral values has also increased due to the increase in diversity.
What a fun little exercise :)
Monday, August 20, 2007
I've been quite busy for the past few months with some other priorities... And i must say it is quite difficult to just keep up with all post. (Planet Atheism jumping from 39 to 103 blogs! wow) However, things have somewhat slowed down. After I play catchup for the next few days attempting to read some posts, I'll be posting some new stuff. Also, you might have to bear with me but I'm planning on migrating another blog to this one. It's just too much trying to maintain 2 blogs :)
Wednesday, July 04, 2007
I was flipping through the channels tonight, when this seemed to just glare as an odd and out of place title:
** Update **
I did do some research after posting this, and the White House does in fact host many musical concerts in the East Room of the White House. Still that title just got my attention :)
Saturday, June 30, 2007
Thursday, May 31, 2007
As I read through this article I could identify with it, hell there was a point in my younger years where i would be supportive of this.. But now when i read it so many things run through my head. but more interesting was some of the comments made in the post itself.
Like some of the following:
Today Pentecostalism and related charismatic offshoots have spread across the globe and account for at least a quarter of the 2 billion Christians worldwide, according to the World Christian Database. A large part of this growth is happening in Africa, Latin America and parts of Asia. Although the movement was marginalized in the early 1900s, by the end of the century, it had made inroads in such mainstream denominations as Catholicism and Presbyterianism.Really?
Why the rapid growth?
"It's a very emotional form of worship that enables people in groups to experience ecstasy, emotional release and communal support," said Amanda Porterfield, the Robert A. Spivey Professor of Religion at Florida State University.
It also allows people to share suffering and grief, whether because of poverty and illness or social alienation, she said. And it creates community.
"To belong to a group that is the custodian of a supernatural experience," she said, "is powerful."
aaahhhh, ok that makes sense... So they are taking advantage of those suffering, in grief, poor, sick , and alienated... Yup, that's what made christianity strong in the first place.
The other thing that gets to me about this whole story is how strong the use of peer pressure is being pushed on these people. In practically every story mentioned the individuals are constantly berated and pushed.. Being told that if they don't speak in tongues something is wrong with them or they don't "Truly" believe.
In each case they end with something like this
But she doesn't need to be convinced. Her spirit has already been released to God.So in the end they finally submitted. It seems as if this a legal way to torture someone until they finally cave to the churches will. Terrible!
During my latest encounter with a couple of door to door "soul" winners from the local church... This was the statement they decided to leave me with when our conversation was over:
You know in your heart that god is real. You know in your heart that you should follow god.As if saying everyone is "Born" knowing that god is real. I happen to disagree with this claim. If you can be born knowing a particular god is real, then why does "christianity" have a specific beginning in a specific area of the world? What about the native Indians... you know those people that lived in harmony with the land before we arrived and practically wiped them out... Also, if you can be born with the knowledge of the existence of a god...... Why are we not born able to speak? or Why are we not born knowing fire is hot? Why does it have to be learned through experience?
I've also noticed that every time I encounter people on their "Soul Winning" salesman pitch, they continue to try to find what your "problem" is. These 2 constantly kept saying things like:
So your problem is with religion?It continues to get irritating. I don't mind people wanting to understand you and asking probing questions. My problem is when they try to answer themselves instead of listening to what I say. I don't see my lack of belief in a divine being a problem.
Is your problem with churches?
Oh your problem is with Preachers?
Oh you don't believe in hell, so you believe in reincarnation?
Well, I don't know what happen to you... but in my experience I found that people who don't believe in god had something happen to them or disappoint them during church.
Friday, May 25, 2007
and of course i say this with a hint of sarcasm.... checked my email this morning to find that I had a new comment on one of my older blogs titled "Do you believe" from Victoria. I thought it was kinda funny, and figured I would respond to it here. From her writing and spelling I figure she's probably still in high school.
Listen dude, God is real and if u wanna have a convo about it, i'll straighten all the insucurities u have about the bible.First let me say, I have no problems having a "convo" about it, but in all fairness I doubt you will "straighten all my "insucurities" about the bible. I have no insecurities about the bible. Calling the bible fiction and worth reading does not seem to me to be an insecurity, it's simply my honest opinion.
It is ashame that u r so stubborn and unsure about the bible as well as urself.I'm not unsure about myself.. I did not think i was being "stubborn". I'm quite willing to change my views... Given enough proof :)
No matter what u believe, I promise, u will know the truth one day, and God WILL give u a second chance.Ok? I've noticed this seems to be a common "physiological" game with those of faith. It's an interesting trick... but really does not mean much... It would be like me saying "I promise you... one day you will doubt".
U have alot of knowledge, now use it in a useful and beneficial way.Thank you for the kind compliment, but everyone has the capability to learn unfortunately many do not want to.
u probly won't listen, but at least u now know SOME truth.I have listened, but you have not provided me with any truth unless you consider your promise to be a truth. Thanks for your comment, but I won't be contacting you to enlighten me of my "insucurities".....
Tuesday, May 22, 2007
To the three women being held captive, and spoke to them God's word that one of them would give birth to a daughter that would save the Sea....
Hey, you never know... maybe god speaks to the fishes too. Too bad the young saviour was killed by a stingray, or maybe that was the sacrifice needed.. lol
Ok seriously, I came across this in "The New Scientist" about a "Virgin Birth" and I could not resist. It makes one wonder... Is it possible for humans to reproduce asexually? Sure, it probably is very rare.. but could this possibly explain many of the stories about virgin births? I mean heck... is it possible that Mary was actually a hermaphrodite? Yes, highly unlikely... but quite interesting to ponder :)
Sunday, May 20, 2007
I must admit, at first I thought this poll was pretty interesting. It was also nice to see atheists taking part and voting. However, I think it is safe to say this is no longer the case. It appears that someone is simply running a script to continuously vote Atheism "is the only rational outlook", probably with the intention of hitting 100% or at least 99% at the most. That's quite unfortunate in my opinion. I think simply by us participating in the poll whether we won or not would have said more than faking the data.
I was going to post a pic of the poll, but decided it was not worth it, since it's very obvious it has been turned into a joke. My reason for this?
1) There were at my last check 46,292 people that had voted.
2) "is the only rational outlook" was at 96%
3) Approximately 6 votes were cast every second (approximately 354 votes each min). I determined this by simply taking 2 snapshots 60 seconds apart. At 5:20pm there were 45,938 then at 5:21 there were 46,292.
4) It is simply not logical for this website to get that much participation. And if it did for real, the poll results would be much different.
Based on the above evidence, and the fact that the other poll barely hit 2,000 votes... My hypothesis is someone has turned this into some contest to brag about. Again, kinda sad. I think it would have been a more powerful message to them if we had simply participated. Oh well.....
Friday, May 18, 2007
After reading the "Christianity Today Poll" by Friendly Atheist, I figured I would participate and vote as well.... You can imagine my delight when I noticed the results as of 11:10pm May 18, 2007. I wonder if they will spin this? or simply disregard it as a bogus poll? lol you can vote/view the results here.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
I was laying in bed last night after listening to some of Julie Sweeney's clips earlier that day, recalling to myself some of the questions I had in my younger years involved in the church. I suppose it started with questions like these:
If God created Adam, did he have a belly button? (later i would here jokes saying sure he did, when God was finished he said "Pop" your done!)
When God created Adam from clay, was he standing up or lying down?
If he was lying on the ground how did God sculpt his backside? Did he breath life into Adam, then when he stood up he sculpted his backside? or did he flip him like a hamburger before bringing him to life?
If he was standing up, how was the clay strong enough to hold the weight of the clay for the upper body?
How did God create Eve from a Adam's Rib? Did he just form more clay around the rib? Or did he just grow eve from the rib bone like you would grow algae?
Why did God not want Adam and Eve to eat from the tree of knowledge? Does that mean God wants us to remain stupid or ignorant?
Why did he want us to be naked? Is God some sort of pervert?
These were questions I would ask and never get replies from. Instead, I was typically told, "Well God is all powerful, what we can't understand we are not meant to." or they would get angry at the questions I would ask.
I started thinking about the physiology in the christian faith as well. This faith developed employing some rather successful techniques. Besides the obvious believe or go to hell. One of my mothers favorites was "Be sure your sins will find you out" a paraphrase of Numbers 32:23 "But if ye will not do so, behold, ye have sinned against the LORD: and be sure your sin will find you out." At first this was a powerful motivator as a child until my first "test" of it :) I did many such tests as a kid. After not getting good answers to my questions above.. There were nights I would lay and bed asking God or even Satan to reveal themselves to me. I tried to make deals with them. I'd say stuff like ok God, if your real, if you exist, prove it to me! Show me with something tangible or personal. Honestly, I made the same offer to the Devil. Obviously neither took the challenge.
My wife tells me sometimes I'm obsessed. She will ask me if you don't believe in god why is it something you talk about or mention so often. Well, because it's everywhere!
Sorta like when you buy a new car. You love this car, and you don't recall seeing that many of the on the road. However, once you are in the car and driving around you start to notice they are all over the place. The same seems to be true with respects the christianity, once you move away from it you start to notice how intrusive into main stream life it is.
Sunday, May 06, 2007
Just finished up reading Hemant Mehta's (aka The Friendly Atheist) book "I Sold My Soul on eBay" and figured I would make a few comments about it.
First, I was not very impressed with the forward. I thought it seemed to directed towards the "Christian" majority especially when ending with "Because prophets can come from the most unexpected places, can't they?". Of course at the same time I suppose that was the point of the book, but still after reading the whole book; this seems to be in conflict with Hemant's own recommendations later on in regards to not ostracising others :). I understand it is just a forward and heck it's not even a full 2 pages, but for me it did seem to set the wrong kind of mood to start off the book.
The next thing I was slightly disappointed about was the fact there was absolutely no description about the alter calls? Hemmant, you mean out of all those churches you had nothing to say about the those very awkward situations? Have churches stopped this practice at the end of the preaching? In my experience with church service this is a very common practice, one that in my opinion would at least deserved a bit more information on how different churches handled it. There was only one reference I found, but it was more informal than what I've seen in other churches. The alter calls I'm talking about involve the preacher asking everyone to close their eyes with soft music playing and typically share some type of intimate thought to set the mood asking people to raise their hand if their not saved then offering them a chance to be saved or come forward to be led to salvation.
I know that's probably a bit nit picky, but other than that it was a very enjoyable read. Hemant has a great story to tell, and I enjoyed every page. After finishing the book my first thought was I wonder how many churches in my area would be open to the idea of an open dialog similar to what Hemant had with Pastor Tim. My next thought was should I send copies of "I Sold My Soul on eBay" to the local churches? :) . Then I started searching for atheist groups near me. There does appear to be 2 in the Tallahassee area (CFI Community of Tallahassee, and The Union of Freethinking Students). I might try to attend one of them, but that's still a day trip for me. It's about an hour 1/2 drive one way. Doesn't sound like much but 3 hours just in drive time adds up. If anyone knows of atheist groups or atheists/agnostics/freethinkers around Apalachicola, Eastpoint, Carrabelle, or Port Saint George Florida please post me a comment! or drop me an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
Seriously, I think Hemant did a great job. With each evaluation of the various churches he attended I was taken back to my younger years and could identify with everything he said. Many of the same questions he raised where thoughts I had when I was involved with Christianity. It was funny to listen to some of the sermons overviews... It was like hearing voices from the past. Since the Bible never changes, neither do many of the sermons.
Saturday, May 05, 2007
Typically I pick on christianity simply because it is the most prevalent religion here in the US, but I have to say.. I came across this site and was truly amazed at what i saw and read. I suppose it's one thing to hear and read about the muslim faith and another to have pictures of those that are actively participating in it to the extream. Something that continues to nag at me is - How the hell is this the fastest growing religion? Who the hell is converting to it and why!! To be perfectly frank, this is a truly Fucked up religion even more so than christianity in my opinion. I've done some reading that states it's a peaceful religion, but it sure seems like this beginning of the spanish inquisition but in islam form.. Again I can't understand people converting to this faith. You can't even call it a step backwards its more of a step straight into antiquity. This isn't a religion it's a Glorified Gang with a holy book. I'd be willing to bet Gang Leaders have more ethical standards compared to this religion. Ok So maybe I'm generalizing a bit too much based on just the information on this web page. And I fully admit I do not yet own a koran and have never attended a muslim service. I've read information on the muslim faith and just as christianity it "claims" to push peace even the term Islam means peace, but just as christians cherry pick from the bible... Muslims do the same with the Koran. However, In recent times you have to admit that we have not seen very many christians cutting off heads or hands of non believers. This yells barbaric, arcane, and the commitment needed to inflict that type of gruesome acts onto another human being is beyond my willingness to comprehend at the moment. Yes I understand there are somewhere in the realm of 10 million muslims in America alone and by those standards obviously not all muslims are practicing their faith as those represented in the following link. However, why are they not speaking out more openly against these extremists? Why do we not hear of some countermeasure from those "Good" muslims? Or have I just not noticed them in the news? I wonder how different America would be if the majority changed from christian to islam? Given how our government seems to lean toward the christian right would they follow suit if islam was the dominate religion? Would laws get passed supporting the islamic faith as has happened with the christian faith? Just some thoughts... I think I'm done ranting now.....
WARNING: This site contains graphic photos of actions taken by followers of Islam!!!
Seriously, this page contains a picture of a body with removed head beside it.
Middle East Info
Just to be fair, here is a link I found later providing more insite into the islamic faith.
Friday, May 04, 2007
Well I finally decided to make a move that would expose my lack of belief to those around me. I decided on a hat, since I typically favor baseball style caps. I retired my old hat for this one that I got from cafe press.
I chose this because to be quite honest I do not think those around will actually get it. In a way I suppose I'm testing the waters. My first guess is that people will only notice the cross and the start of david and figure that it is a religious hat and I'd be willing to bet that no one will even notice that is says Detox or what it is implying. Because I live well into bible belt territory, I tried to pick something subtle... Something that forced you to think a bit.. What do you think?
Today also marks the day I got my copy of "I Sold My Soul on eBay" by The Friendly Atheist and "Letter to a Christian Nation" by Sam Harris.... I'm about half way through "I Sold My Soul on eBay". I'll post a review when I'm done, but be warned I was never very good at book reports :)
God loses bank Account from Dave's Daily
"An author who changed his name to God for a book was dumped by his bank. Sheridan Simove, 35, had his HSBC account closed after changing his name by deed poll, reports The Sun. The bachelor, of Wandsworth, South London, said: "At first they told me I needed two names to have an account - so I replied that I'd become Almighty God. HSBC said he must use his original name."
Saturday, April 28, 2007
My wife found this post on the best of Craig's list. I'm not sure as to the authenticity of it, but I like what they had to say, and decided to share. Just in case the link ever gets removed, I'm re-posting it here for my benefit.
-- Full unedited Quote from the Angry Soldier on Craig's list----
From an Angry Soldier
Date: 2007-04-10, 1:00PM PDT
I'm having the worst damn week of my whole damn life so I'm going to write this while I'm pissed off enough to do it right.
I am SICK of all this bullshit people are writing about the Iraq war. I am abso-fucking-lutely sick to death of it. What the fuck do most of you know about it? You watch it on TV and read the commentaries in the newspaper or Newsweek or whatever god damn yuppie news rag you subscribe to and think you're all such fucking experts that you can scream at each other like five year old about whether you're right or not. Let me tell you something: unless you've been there, you don't know a god damn thing about it. It you haven't been shot at in that fucking hell hole, SHUT THE FUCK UP!
How do I dare say this to you moronic war supporters who are "Supporting our Troops" and waving the flag and all that happy horse shit? I'll tell you why. I'm a Marine and I served my tour in Iraq. My husband, also a Marine, served several. I left the service six months ago because I got pregnant while he was home on leave and three days ago I get a visit from two men in uniform who hand me a letter and tell me my husband died in that fucking festering sand-pit. He should have been home a month ago but they extended his tour and now he's coming home in a box.
You fuckers and that god-damn lying sack of shit they call a president are the reason my husband will never see his baby and my kid will never meet his dad.
And you know what the most fucked up thing about this Iraq shit is? They don't want us there. They're not happy we came and they want us out NOW. We fucked up their lives even worse than they already were and they're pissed off. We didn't help them and we're not helping them now. That's what our soldiers are dying for.
Oh while I'm good and worked up, the government doesn't even have the decency to help out the soldiers whos lives they ruined. If you really believe the military and the government had no idea the veterans' hospitals were so fucked up, you are a god-damn retard. They don't care about us. We're disposable. We're numbers on a page and they'd rather forget we exist so they don't have to be reminded about the families and lives they ruined while they're sipping their cocktails at another fund raiser dinner. If they were really concerned about supporting the troops, they'd bring them home so their families wouldn't have to cry at a graveside and explain to their children why mommy or daddy isn't coming home. Because you can't explain it. We're not fighting for our country, we're not fighting for the good of Iraq's people, we're fighting for Bush's personal agenda. Patriotism my ass. You know what? My dad served in Vietnam and NOTHING HAS CHANGED.
So I'm pissed. I'm beyond pissed. And I'm going to go to my husband funeral and recieve that flag and hang it up on the wall for my baby to see when he's older. But I'm not going to tell him that his father died for the stupidty of the American government. I'm going to tell him that his father was a hero and the best man I ever met and that he loved his country enough to die for it, because that's all true and nothing will be solved by telling my son that his father was sent to die by people who didn't care about him at all.
Fuck you, war supporters, George W. Bush, and all the god damn mother fuckers who made the war possible. I hope you burn in hell.
---------------- End Quote -------------
So, I opened up my Google reader this morning and was very entertained by this post from Friendly Atheist about Shelley the the Republican.
Then while perusing the STR website I found out that she has "God's HIT LIST!"
First up --- "Enemies of the homeland God’s people hitlist : God wants them dead because they harm America!" including such notable people like Barrak Osama??? who?
Next "Wrong Choices God’s lifestyle choices hitlist : God hates people that belong to one of the groups below because they harm America!" including "Linux users" and "College Professors". Looks like I make that list since I use Linux... hehe
Then there is "Harmful bands God’s music hitlist : God hates people that listen to the bands below because they harm America!" I'm surprised here... They have listed bands like Bob Dylan, and The Dixie Chicks.... but what happen to the Eagles (Did they forget about Hotel California?) and AC/DC (Highway to hell, need I say more) why didn't they make the list???
Something kinda scary about this list is it appears when someone dies that is considered a "WIN" for god... That is kinda disturbing, but at the same time brilliant. Since everything dies eventually god will always win?
I needed a good laugh this morning, and this fit the bill perfectly. There is more information about this site from Friendly Atheist here, and here that explains the intentions of this site. Still, it is kinda funny.
Tuesday, April 24, 2007
We think it's bad now with the discrimination against other races/cultures/religions here on earth..... How will religion spin it when we find life on other planets? I'd like to think a majority of people would understand and be excited and interested in such possibles, but others would just claim it is a big hoax, or simply deny it. My best guess would be that Religion would broaden it's scope , claiming we should bring the "Good News" to our neighbor to include other planets as well. I'm not sure how they will cover the whole "God created man in his image" thing , especially if we do find other human like races out there. Then there would be the question, If jesus came to earth to die for our sins, does that mean if life is found on another planet it would be more perfect than we are? Maybe without sin? hehe It's going to be an interesting ride, that is for sure.
Fascinating news: Possible Life Supporting planet found
Saturday, April 21, 2007
It's not a new theory, but something I thought quite fitting. Typically when one hears the term god used, almost immediately the first typical definition of god is an omnipotent, omniscience, and benevolent creator of the universe. (On a side note, i think using words like 'Omnipotent' and 'Omniscience' is pretty funny... Don't get me wrong I understand breaking the word down changes the meaning, but I suppose my point is that I see this done very often in preaching. Where they will break down individual words in the bible, go back to the original Greek/Hebrew meanings of the words, in an attempt to "reveal" deeper meanings. When in fact it will completely change the meaning. For example: if we broke down 'Omni' and 'potent' an alternative definition could be 'Omni' - A wicked man described in the book of Mormon and 'potent' - The Ancient name for a crutch.)
Moving on... Whilst pondering things in my head the other day; It occurred to me, instead of thinking the typical definition we should simply replace "God" with "Nothing". When this happens, now we start to see some of the "Truth" in christianity/religion. Here are some funny examples:
1) "In God We Trust" to "In Nothing We Trust"
2) "God created the earth in 6 days" or "Nothing created the earth in 6 days"
3) "I'm giving my problems to God" or more accurately "I'm giving my problems to Nothing"
4) "Only God can save you from hell" to "Nothing can save you from hell"
5) "Jesus son of God" or "Jesus son of Nothing"
6) "God is my Co-pilot" to "Nothing is my Co-pilot"
7) "The Holy Bible is God's Word" or "The Holy Bible is nothings Word"
Obviously, this could go on forever, but surely you can see the beauty in this definition of god. It seems to shed much more light into the christian faith. lol..... "God is all knowing and All powerful" or "Nothing is all knowing and All powerful"
So, my point to all this, well nothing i suppose.. Just thought it was funny. And from now on every time I hear the word god used, in my head it will probably get replaced with the word nothing, and I'm sure a hint of laughter will appear as a small smile in my face ;)
Tuesday, April 17, 2007
Lately I have been reading "The Intellectual Devotional" a book I would highly recommend as it is very enjoyable.
Anyway, on to my thought for today. I'm sure most of us have heard that the Bible is the #1 selling book. Well, according to amazon's rankings this does not appear to be true as it ranks the bible around #30,001. Of course this is ONLY one version of the bible, yadda yadda... I think they are simply wording it wrong. I have no doubt that the bible is most likely the most "Printed" book, witch I think would be a more accurate statement than calling it a best seller.
Usually though a christian will follow up with "and the #2 book is the satanic bible". Today, however, I read something pretty interesting in my devotional on the topic of Literature. It was about "Don Quixote" by Miguel de Cervantes. A work of fiction written in 2 parts, part one in 1605 and part two in 1615. To quote the book:
"It is celebrated as the preeminent work of Spanish literature and widely considered the first moder novel in any language" pg: 93
Definitely sounds like it is worth a read which is why I have added it to my wish list on amazon hehe. Anyway, what I found very intriguing in the "Additional Facts" section at the bottom was this little blurb:
"Of all the books published throughout history, Don Quixote is second only to the bible in terms of number of copies printed"
Just a little tid bit I thought was interesting enough to share today ;)
Thursday, April 12, 2007
This is a continuation from a previous post I started here about the new laws put forth by jesus in the new testament. I started in Matthew chapter 5, this is where jesus began the sermon on the mount. I'm picking up from chapter 6...
Take heed that ye do not your alms before men, to be seen of them: otherwise ye have no reward of your Father which is in heaven. Therefore when thou doest thine alms, do not sound a trumpet before thee, as the hypocrites do in the synagogues and in the streets, that they may have glory of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But when thou doest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy right hand doeth: That thine alms may be in secret: and thy Father which seeth in secret himself shall reward thee openly. Matt 6:1-4
Pretty straight forward here. It would seem then if christians followed their "New Testament" laws there would be no need for a tax right off huh?
And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly. But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Be not ye therefore like unto them: for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him. Matt 6:5-8
This was the one that got me as a kid. If we were told we should pray in silence, then why the hell do many of the preachers and in my case practically ALL pentecostals have to pray out loud? Especially in a public place like a restaurant? It's as though they feel they have to make a statement like "HEY LOOK AT ME, I'm praying over my food! I'm a christian! Don't you wish you were like me?" When personally, it's just annoying to me.
For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you:
But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. Matt 6:14-15
Sounds like a pretty simple rule to follow, and hey I agree with this one. Not because I'm concerned with God forgiving me, but because life is to short to carry a grudge.
Moreover when ye fast, be not, as the hypocrites, of a sad countenance: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face; That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly. Matt 6:16-18
Seems like this one falls under the category of no longer applies maybe? Again though we are presented with a "reward" in the end. It's almost like training a dog, always have to give them a treat....
That's 10 so far, and we still have 1 more chapter to go..... part 3 to come soon.. I should have called these posts "Review of the Sermon on the Mount" hehe
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
Saturday, April 07, 2007
Sunday My View: Why Christians celebrate Easter
While reading local news I noticed this pop up, and thought it was interesting and at the very least it's a different perspective on why some christians might celebrate easter.
Some quotes from the article:
"However, when he rose from the dead, slowly and carefully Jesus was able to convince his disciples that his death was, in a way, similar to what happened to Joseph. God had used the suffering (and, in his case, death) of one man to bring ultimate good into the world."
WOW! That's some fancy foot work there... First (And I will have to go back and dust off my bible again) I do not recall Jesus doing this convincing.... I think it actually happen later with the writings of paul, but I will have to go back and read up on this...
"This is the core of Christian faith: that divine life is given to everyone in the world from the very human death of Christ. By his death, the wood of the cross becomes for all humanity the tree of life."
So much relating, so little time... ;)
I did find this quite funny:
"The cross and resurrection cannot help but make Christians cockeyed optimists, who will never give in or give up on themselves or on their world. After all, Jesus said, “Take courage! I have overcome the world,” and he proved it by conquering death in his resurrection from the dead."
Really! I've met a whole lot of christians, and if you consider them optimists it would definitely have to be a cockeyed version of optimism lol. Besides i don't think handing your troubles off to god and believing that he will take care of everything really qualifies as optimism....
Wednesday, April 04, 2007
Since I don't have an Easter post figured I would put one up at least as a reference for future purposes. I've attempted to include definitions from both sides of the house so to speak.
Instead of re-inventing or in this case re-typing all the information here are links from the "Non" Christian side of the house, (I got most these from Beep Beep Its Me , thanks for the recent reference post :)
- How and When Easter is Celebrated
- The Pagan Origins of Easter
- Easter - Its Origins and Meanings
- The Wikipedia entry for Easter
- What is the origin of Easter
- The True Origin of Easter
- The Pagan Origin of Easter
- The conservapedia entry
Monday, April 02, 2007
Parasite hijacks brains with surgical precision - life - 02 April 2007 - New Scientist
I just thought this was a pretty interesting. Given that I am a bit of a sci-fi geek, and I do enjoy the StarGate's :)
It's always fascinating to me, when science seems to trail just behind science fiction. Almost as if we create the possibility then see it become reality.
Friday, March 30, 2007
I just read this post BBC NEWS - Faith fuels home education boom and figured this would be a good time to get my opinion out on the matter of Faith based Home Schooling.
First, let me explain my background in education. Kindergarten to 7th grade I was in public schools. When 8th grade rolled around my parents had become engulfed into the religious dogma of Pentecostal Christianity at an Assembly of Free Worship Church. For those unfamiliar, this type of church is simply one that does not want to participate with the Assemblies of God's. They hold the same core beliefs, it's mainly just a matter of politics, etc.. Anyway, since we attended this church and the church decided to open a private school it should come as no surprise that my parents quickly decided this would be a better environment in witch to raise their children. So, from 8th grade - 11th grade was spent attending said private school. Finally, to conclude my christian education my senior year was spent as a home schooled student of Victory Christian Academy. Both in the private school, and in my final year of school I was taught based on the ACE Curriculum. Personally, I liked the curriculum itself, and for self motivating students that can think for themselves I think it's a great curriculum. Of course there are things I think now that would make it more effective like removing all the scripture memorization and removing the bogus Science information about creationism. However, I can identify with this 13yrd student and the comments he made below.
Quoting the post on BBC Jake says the following:
"I like the flexibility. If an opportunity to play tennis or anything else pops up I can do it and just make up the schoolwork later. "
I said the exact same thing, the problem is it's pretty much bullshit that is drilled into the child's head by the parents in order to justify what they are doing. How can I say this, because I said the exact same things. I tried to justify my senior year of being home schooled because I was able to work during the day and still have my nights to hang out with friends or go to church of course. Another issue is what fun is it to be able to go play tennis, the movies, or anything else that "Pops" up if most kids your age are still in school? Let me tell you from personal experience, It's NOT! Sure it's enjoyable, but compared to being able to hang out with a variety of children your own age, with different beliefs and different ideas... It really isn't that much fun.
"And with the one-on-one instruction, it seems you can move ahead quicker and be at a higher level of learning."
Oh this is just dumb. One-on-One instruction? In ACE, because of the way it is done there literally is no need for an instructor. It is pretty much a self-based teaching process. This did allow for me personally to move ahead quicker, but I would not consider it a "Higher Level" of learning. I personally knew many students that left private schools and went back to public schools and found themselves grossly behind other kids their own age. I understand that there are other home school systems like Abeka that do require "Instructor" interaction and are not very similar to ACE, but there are many similarities between many of the Home School Curriculum's.
And yes, says Jack, he does socialise with other children.
"I have friends from church, from sports, and I do know other local home school kids."
Socialising with those from church, from the sports you participate in with those from church, and from other local home school kids that most likely attend the same church does not in my opinion qualify as socialising. In my opinion that is like considering your Tuesday night dinner with the in-laws is also a socializing event. To me true socialization occurs when you are in an unusual or new environment with people you either don't know, or don't know well and you can interact with them. Getting to know NEW people, discussing, and learning other points of views.... That's what socializing is to me.
"Our Christian faith is pretty strong and we thought this might be the best way to be able to pass on those values to our son."
At least with this statement they are being completely honest. This is this sole reason they open private schools, and decide to home school. They think the schools are too secular, and they are afraid their kids will learn something before becoming indoctrinated.
"Character is just as important as academics. And so what we're looking for are character training issues and we would rather do that ourselves."
Oddly enough I totally agree, however character can be taught even with a child attending a public school. All it takes is the parent spending that extra time with their kid often.
"I worry about the lack of accountability in homeschooling,"
I do too, back when I was attending... The "Instructors" at the private school were not required to take ANY training at all. All they had to do was simply volunteer for the position. Sometimes they were compensated, other times it was their "Gift" to god. Very scary!
"I worry about the lack of socialisation for youngsters outside of their families."
As I mentioned above, this is in my opinion most defiantly a problem. When you are always taught about the problems with the "Real" world, but you are always "Sheltered" from it... When you are finally forced to be part of that environment it's usually a culture shock. It was for me. It took me years to overcome the fallacies I was taught when i was younger.
"I worry about the access to other kinds of non-academic resources that youngsters have in public schools that you might not have in a homeschooling situation."
I do too! Public schools systems have the infrastructure in place and have more resources. There are simply more people that do attend public schools.
In conclusion let me state that there are situations when Home schooling is appropriate, but when you have the option of letting you child attend a public school please don't deprive you child simply based on your beliefs. Teach you child your values and beliefs at home. Your child will appreciate it when they are older. I sure wish I would have been allowed to graduate with the 100's of others that where in my class. I might seem a bit bitter towards my education in my younger years, and that would be because I AM! It took me till I was in my late 20's to learn about things that many knew back in high school it was very frustrating.
Holy Big Bible Rev. Mix-A-Lot, what the heck was that!
I was perusing through God Tube and just could not resist posting this. It's just so damn funny. I'm sure we all enjoyed the parodies by good ole Weird Al, but doing a "Christian" Parody on Baby Got Back.... That's pretty low, what's next a parody on "I wanna Sex You Up" better not give them anymore ideas. Seems they do pretty well all by themselves.
Monday, March 26, 2007
I've noticed recently a few people have had some issues embedding video's with the new blogger. From what I've seen this started because the new blogger is more strict on tags being closed. You should still be able to copy the "embed" html code and paste it in the the 'Edit Html' section just make sure there is an </embed> tag, if there is not a </embed> tag then simply put one in before </object> and you should have no problems publishing. Not completely sure why some videos would have the tag closed and others do not, but this is what I've found to be the culprit each time it has happen to me.
** Updated so you could see the tags, took a few min to figure out i had to use the escape codes for it.. if you ever need to do this they have a great list here
Wednesday, March 21, 2007
The other day I got an email from a relative inviting me to join this new MySpace knock off called HisHolySpace.com . I could get into how it's interesting that they did'nt even revamp it at all the entire layout is practically identical to myspace... One would think they would at least put some type of original twist on it, but no they didn't (typical of christianity in my opinion). There is this nice little blurb off the main page:
"HisHolySpace.com is an online Christian Community that is structured on the Core Essential Doctrines of Christianity. The Bible itself reveals those doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith. They are as follows: (1) the Deity of Christ (2) Salvation by Grace (3) Resurrection of Christ, and (4) the gospel. These are the doctrines the Bible says are necessary. Though there are many other important doctrines, these four are the only ones that are declared by Scripture to be essential. A non-regenerate person, or a false religion, will deny one or more of these essential doctrines. HisHolySpace.com separates itself from other online religious community sites, by only allowing those religions that follow these Core Christian Essentials, to be promoted on the site. Anyone from any religion is welcome to join HisHolySpace.com. But if your religion and/or your beliefs fall outside the realm of the above-mentioned Core Essentials, and it is your intention to promote your religion and/or beliefs on HHS, you may be in violation of the site rules, which could result in the cancelation of your membership. The main goal for this site is to glorify God, through Christians being able to pray, encourage, fellowship, and grow with one another. If you wish to learn and understand what orthodox Christianity teaches, and are willing to follow the rules that are set in place for HHS members, including not promoting any other faith that does not adhere to the above-mentioned Doctrines, then you are welcome here."
There are so many things I could say right about now, but I won't. I obviously would not be able to adhere to the "Rules that are set in place for HHS members" and will therefore be unable to participate in it's services. What I do find quite funny are the 3 sections they have on the main page. There are "The Men Who Serve Him", "The Women Who Serve Him", and the "Seekers of the Truth"
Anyway, wasn't sure if anyone else had noticed , but figured I would share.
I was also told they do not allow cussing.... Damn, guess I won't be joining lol
Monday, March 19, 2007
At least where I live, I'm pretty sure these folks are getting the little comments for their signs from the same place. This particular one we saw twice in the same day. The first one i didn't have the camera with me, but the second one I snapped a shot of. As soon as we passed it my wife says to me, "Does that mean Darwin Informed us?" I love that girl! ;)
This was a photo taken by me personally, feel free to repost or download the pic if you want. I only ask that you link back to this post. Thanks
Sunday, March 11, 2007
I just finished reading Friendly Atheist » Why I’m Not An Angry Atheist
and figured I would post my 50 cents :)
First let me say I completely agree with most of what was said in his post. Just the other day I was discussing this same issue with my wife. Mostly, about the same topics touched on in his post. What I explained to her, was I try to live my life by example. As a sort of witness to those around me of the christian faith that there can exists a person who can live a good, decent, and completely fulfilled life without the need of religion or god. I try to show (by example) that I take responsibility not only for my success in life, but also in my mistakes. In addition, I freely admit that I can't answer all of life's greatest questions, but that's not really the true issue is it? It's not the answer that really matters, isn't it the journey that is fulfilling? hehe. I also don't claim to know everything, quite the opposite, I admit my ignorance on many subjects. My take is, I might not know about it at this moment... but i can read up on it, or learn about it. Similar to how I do my job, I might not know how to do it, but I know how to get it done. :) One of my old instructors once said, "It's not the answer that you have to remember, It's how you got to the answer that is critical to learn."
Anyway, One point I'd like to make here (and this is only from my personal experience) is it has never been a problem for me to discuss matters of "faith" with those "intelligent" religious persons. The odd part is most of the time, those intelligent ones are the leaders of that particular faith. Pastors, Ministers, Priests, or practically any official leaders are not usually the ones that are difficult to talk to. It's the followers. Those that seem to be incapable of thinking for themselves. Those unable to accept the fact their faith is not believed in by all. These are the ones that seem to be more numerous and almost impossible to talk to. Unfortunately, my parents are such people. In discussions outside of faith they are both very intelligent, but once you cross that line that blurs into matters of morality/religion/faith an almost instant change occurs in both of them whereby they loose or forget all concept of being able to either listen or discuss matters rationally.
For the most part, I understand where this comes from. It seems they feel the foundation of their entire lives are shaken, threatened; The possibility they could be wrong surfaces and forces them to stand firm on what they believe to keep some grasp on their reality. The frustrating part, and probably one of the reasons I tend to focus on the ignorance, is because they put themselves in a situation that is bound to make them look stupid. One of the prime examples is in my previous post about Obama. Another happen tonight when I checked my email and found a message containing an email that was fraudulent. In the subject was "Powerful Letter", and it was another example of believers will accept practically anything when it lines up with their religion whether its true or not they really don't care. Here is a link to the Pam Foster letter, Just reading through it one statement after another seemed to strike a nerve with me. Maybe it was wrong of me, but I did not reply to the sender showing them this was a work of fiction because to them it doesn't matter. They have a goal, and they feel this lines up perfectly with that goal (true or not). The only thing I would accomplish by replying and referencing that it was fake, is they might get embarrassed and feel humiliated. That's certainly not my goal. In all honesty that just seems to easy.
Finally, one of the reasons I began my blog here was to give me a sort of anonymous outlet to release some of the frustrations I encounter on a regular basis. Every situation is different when discussing religion, and when possible I work very hard to communicate effectively and calmly. When the conversation begins the escalate I'll either drop it, or try to find some common ground. Rarely should it ever escalate to a "your wrong, I'm right" confrontation in my opinion. We all have different views and opinions, here I believe some sort of common ground can always be found. Probably just my optimistic outlook towards life though :)