Tag Archives: God

I Don’t Get It

Found this article over at STRANGE NOTIONS. I was an atheist until I read Lord of the Rings.

Wait. What?

I have heard this statement before. I do not understand it. Tolkein has God, and Christianity in particular, so far buried in his tome it fails to produce even an intimation of an afterglow of the cross in one’s eye.

I never played DnD before I read Lord of the Rings. Now that is a statement I understand. I never got into fantasy before I read LOTR. Got it. I became a Christian after reading LOTR.

Wait. What?

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A Very Dumb Article

I found what has to be the one of the dumbest articles I have read in awhile titled: Religion’s Smart People Problem: The Shaky Foundations of Absolute Faith.

It does not take too long to grasp the author’s bias. It is in the title of the article, the subtitle and in the first sentence. The bias excuses the continual run of error that start on the first sentence and run to the end of the article.

The article starts out with a question: Should you (general reader) believe in a God?

Answer?

Not according to most academic philosophers.

But that was not the question the academics were asked. They were not asked whether other people should believe in a god, but whether they themselves believed in a god. That may sound like a minor distinction and a trivial one since what one believes one also wants others to believe. At least that is what we believe is the general goal of anyone who believes in anything.

I disagree with this. I can firmly state that when I was an atheist, I did not hold that therefore others should be also. And it was not a charitable stance on my part, I sincerely thought that some people needed such a crutch for their weakness, whatever that may have been. Another part of it was charitable. Atheism is grim, correction, serious atheism is grim. There is the modern eat drink and party on dude, there is no god and if your liver gives out at 50, fuck it, who cares, atheism. Brain dead atheism, libertine atheism (the atheism that serves the purpose of libertinism).

Atheism is grim for the philosophically minded, the sort of person who thinks in wide abstractions. Such a thing is for the abnormal.

And on that note, back to the academic philosophers. Why should one care what an academic philosopher thinks about the existence of a god (switching now to God)? The article presents the naked fact that, out of a survey of 931 academic philosophers 72.8% of them responded atheist. Why did they respond atheist? That is an end position, what are the premises? Simply stating that they do means as much as saying Continue reading


Bookmark

Note THIS article is something that really interests me. It kind of relates to my incomplete review of Godzilla if only remotely. I never took the resurrection of the body (as told by Christ) to be literally the actual body that one once possessed. I took it metaphorically, or, a new body, as it says.

I always assumed the resurrection of the body that they spoke of was a heavenly body, not this crude matter. I still think that is what was meant, for why raise such a body again? If it is to be the same body – literally – would it not be prone to the same failings as the original/same?

I’ll have to read the article in a more metaphysical mood. I have found over the last two years that these ideas make more sense on a certain “mental level” , or approach.

I am always leery of such trappings as attempting to bring the great mysteries into the wink of current stretchings on man’s scientific grasp. I wary of such things because I think, if we ever get to have a look under the hood of this thing called being, or existence, or Ehyeh ’ăsher ’ehyeh, no science will cover it, no human concepts will encompass it nor penetrate it. Agape, as Aristotle’s celestial bodies upon the unmoved mover will be the proper order.

I view such attempts as I do understanding heaven to be a place of harps, clouds and angels with wings. It is cute and quaint, but it is a human construct, image making – it is a tool, a map even – with the understanding that the tool is not the object and the map is not the road.

One would think that if Christ himself did not put the wonders of heaven into literal terms, how or why could we? Likewise, why assume that the resurrection of the body is literal? After all, it is a far different thing for Lazarus to arise than it is for Socrates. Or one dead for thousands or millions of years.

And, one has to wonder, why, if God made man with an immortal soul, would he have to bother with such a thing as raising an old body of scattered atoms?


Terry Schiavo

I have always had a problem with this case. The two sides to the issue fall on two extremes that I think miss the larger point. One side thinks that she should have been kept in her state indefinitely no matter the state of her brain, the other side thinks we should be able to skip out whenever.

I am not in favor of euthanasia in general for many a reason. But in cases like this I cannot side with the right to life side.

The problem is technology. We now can keep flesh “alive” where before they died as they had always died in such cases. When one reads on the extent of Terry Schiavo’s brain damage, and it was quite horrendous, one has to shudder at some aspects of our Frankenstein medicine. Yes, most of the time it gives life, it saves many, many people who would have otherwise died. Unfortunately it has the ghoulish side effect of being too good, and keeping here what has passed away.

Will there come a day when we can keep all flesh alive? Do we not play God then either? Will we not already be “playing God” at that point? Suppose we can keep alive a 95 year old man whose heart gave out, brain turned to liquid and his other vital organs shut down. In this sort of future it is cheap to keep blood and oxygen flowing through the veins and as long as we can catch them in time so that on some level the body as a whole is “living”. What would we do with such a population of zombies? How far would we let our awesome powers over physical death go before we let go?

I know no good answers to this ethical dilemma.


Showing, Not Telling in Religious Music

I follow a small number of blogs that interest me and one of them is by a Marc Barnes called Bad Catholic. Today (yesterday on all of your times) he had a post about an album by an Audrey Assad called Fortunate Fall.

Now I realize that music can be a very subjective experience so the following is with that fact in mind. I find a boring complacency in this music. There is no sense of any opposition to this music, no tension. It has all the emotion of a Norah Jones yarn about losing a boyfriend. Yawn.

If you are going to have that music and singing style, the lyrics hardly matter. It will make whatever the lyrics are that music. People nowadays seem to have this fixation on lyrics (or words) to the utter exclusion of whatever else is going on. Merely singing the praises of God will evoke the emotion of praise for God. Merely singing lyrics about lamenting God’s absence will, magically, convey the emotion of sadness or whatever the lyrics tell us we are supposed to feel.

There is a rule in fiction writing: Show, Don’t Tell.

I had a conversation with someone many years ago about Jewel’s first album which I loved then and still love now. The person thought it was odd that I, a guy, should like it at all. She’s girl music, right? I told him I liked it because she made me feel miserable. “Why the hell listen to it?” “Because,” I said Continue reading


A Nothing Something

Richard Dawkins goes against Cardinal George Pell. Here Richard Dawkins elaborates on how everything came from nothing. The Cardinal corrects him that the theory Dawkins is elaborating doesn’t postulate a nothing. Dawkins equivocates saying it depends on how you define nothing “…you can dispute what is meant by nothing”. The audience laughs, and Dawkins, unaware he has said anything funny, asks the audience, entirely serious, why they think that is funny. That part is at 12:56.

The question and discussion starts at 7:41. I have found parts one and two to be very good so far.

If there is something that is indisputable, metaphysically, it is nothing!


A Proper Study Guide

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After many failures I think I may have found an adequate study Bible. I had an uneasy feeling reading the other Bibles, their commentaries. What I was seeking was an actual presentation of what the Bible represents by people who assume, or believe, it is true. I was looking for the best argument. What I found in the other versions I tried eluded me for a time, but had an air of the familiar.

When I studied Objectivism I would use many sources but I found that many started from a premise of disbelief. They started from the premise that what they were discussing was wrong and then proceeded from there. The problem was they almost always misrepresented the arguments they would proceed to pick apart. So if the pro-Objectiivst books lacked any criticism, they at least presented the correct argument. And the non-Objectivist presentations while having a balanced criticism (sometimes) were not arguing against the actual positions of Objectivism, or, at best, a distorted statement of the positions.

While not exactly the same thing, the study Bibles I have used thus far have given me a similar feeling. And I realized why. Their starting premise is that the Bible is Continue reading


A Welcome, And Preliminaries

I welcome anyone to this site to comment as they see fit. I fear that I may have lost a reader in my move over here. But, if not, it would be appreciated if they would drop a line. You know who you are!

I am currently in the process of studying Christianity, particularly Catholicism (you have to choose a flavor, is how I’ll put it for now) so a lot of posts will be on that topic. I will do other topics as time goes by, and I hope to touch upon some of my thoughts on fiction writing, and even some of my stories.

But first this.

Despite a smattering of Christian education in my youth, I have been a thorough atheist most of my life. Of the Christian education, this consisted of Bible Camp for a summer or two, my father reading my sister and I the Children’s bible at some point, and a couple of trips to church (Lutheran). This also includes the mores of home-life that are instilled, the perspective that your parents try to have you see through, etc.

Of the atheism: this consisted of the usual atheist behavior, a complete repudiation of any upbringing (at least in word, not so much in deed) and the regarding of any non-naturalist subject as silly folly. Jesus and the Tooth-fairy are interchangeable members of a fantasy world. And, as it turns out, a complete ignorance of everything religious.

I held all the atheist-correct views such as the following: religion (and we always meant Christianity) is opposed to science. The one example, that every atheist finds sufficient, was Continue reading