Monday, October 29, 2007

Second Life Delusion?

Second Life Players Bring Virtual Reality to Court

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

What a freaking SHOCKER!!

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.

More Thoughts...

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

Wintessing and The Kirby Salesman

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.

  1. They knock on your door at the most inconvenient times
  2. They are only there to sell you something to gain something in return
  3. They begin to present their case by showing you how it has helped them and others
  4. They will show you the dangers of not having their product
  5. They will sometimes measure their product against others to show how theirs is so much more powerful
  6. They attempt to use fear to ensure you side with them that their product is better
  7. They will offer you a reward by acting today
  8. They try to break your will to say no by continuing to stay long after they are no longer welcome.
  9. They will show plenty of documentation to back up what they are saying
  10. 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.
That was just a few that I had come up with in the last 20 or so min thinking about it. Quite humorous lol..

Atheist Conversions

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.

Incompreisible, Unfathomable, Unknowable

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

Join a Church??

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

Good Deed/s...

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...