October 29, 2009

Stardust

Posted in atheism, film, mythology, science, songs, soup at 3:56 pm by Jerry

So many stars have died, exploding their dust across the universe, finding homes on planets such as ours. We, are literally the dust of many stars that have mixed into a variety of shapes, evolving from one form into another over millions of years.

One form we hold close to our hearts, among the many passing forms of stardust, is a form we call “life”.

We can be myth-makers, personifying death as a thief, a thief that will soon be met with justice, our lives returned to us once again. Or we can see ourselves as stardust, changing its form from one with life into another without.

Once the game is over, the King and the pawn go back in the same box.

Italian Proverb

October 27, 2009

Mother Nature and Father Time

Posted in atheism, church, film, history, novelists, philosophical theology, philosophy of religion, science, soup, theology at 5:35 pm by Jerry

Check out this video on what kind of “God” cannot logically exist…

I remember when I wrote about these ideas sometime ago in my novel-in-progress. The end result was, however it came to be, that I couldn’t think of “God” (I was a christian at the time) as being the creator of all things ex nihilo (out of nothing), but rather the creator of all things in the sense that he/she worked with material already existing. So, “God” to me was a “God” that could NEVER have been “omni-present”, nor “omni-potent” (unless whatever is, logically, the most powerful being ever to exist could be called “omni-potent”).

These changes in my theology also included a limitation of “God’s” knowledge. I couldn’t see “God” as a supreme being living outside of time. And assuming time is never without an end, it was impossible for me to picture “God” with the ability to know the future. And so, my novel-writing process led me to re-interpret my theology into one of many “Open Theist” interpretations.

I never even considered the fact that I had stepped into a “liberal” understanding of christianity (though I had yet to see the bible as a strictly human artifact) . From my perspective, I was only trying to see God in a logical manner because I assumed he/she thought of him or herself as logical. Even when I started reading Brian Mclaren’s books while entering into the “Emerging Church” scene, I never realized that I had liberal leanings in my christian faith. Looking back, I can see now that I could have easily labeled myself a Liberal Christian much earlier than I did – which was right after I left the church for good.

October 25, 2009

Time

Posted in philosophy, psychology, soup at 6:58 am by Jerry

Time is that quality of nature which keeps events from happening all at once. Lately it doesn’t seem to be working.

Anonymous

How do you take “one step at a time” when the more you’re involved in, the smaller the steps become?

Edit: I’ve got it! Learn to rock climb. (Dammit! I hate it when i find the solution and it isn’t an easy one!)

October 21, 2009

Excerpts From An Apostate’s Letter To Family

Posted in atheism, family, history, religion, science, scripture at 4:03 am by Jerry

Dr. Sagan’s quote, that “extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence” seems to fit in here and is the sole reason why I no longer believe in a literal interpretation of the Genesis creation story, or that Earth ever experienced a global flood, or that the sun stood still in the sky, or that the Israelites wandered in the desert for forty years. There is not just a lack of evidence, but evidence to the contrary. And, as it follows, if the material claims of the Bible can not be substantiated, how am I supposed to take the spiritual claims seriously?

…Do you entertain the claims made by Mormons or Muslims or Moonies? You do not. Because there is no reason to. When you (rightly) ignore the empty claims made by other religions it is because they do not pass through the filters of reason set up by your prefrontal cortex. Of course, these other religions make the same exception you do about their inability to give evidence for their claims. You must, they say, on faith accept that Mohammad ascended into the sky on a winged horse, or that Native Americans are descendants of Israel or that Sun Myung Moon is the Messiah. Unsurprisingly, you don’t accept these absurd claims. And you shouldn’t. But consider for a moment the claims made by Christianity in light of the same standard you set for evaluating the claims made by other religions.

When you determine that the Catholic claim of immaculate conception is ridiculous, you are using reason. When you determine that the Pentecostal practice of glossolalia is useless, you are using reason. When you conclude that the Lutheran latching-on of the doctrine of infant baptism is absurd, you are using reason. How is it that the beliefs you hold are exempt from this same kind of rational scrutiny? Before you’re tempted to retreat from the question by responding, “I am able to discern truth because the Holy Spirit guides me”, consider the probability that, of all of the 38,000 different denominations within Christianity alone and of all the different beliefs, that your particular portfolio of beliefs are all of the correct ones.

Isn’t it time we recognize reason as a gift and begin subjecting our own beliefs to the same scrutiny and criticism that we use in every other area of our lives? (bold mine)

via

October 17, 2009

Trying To Be Honest With Myself

Posted in atheism, film, philosophy of religion, psychology of religion, science, theology at 7:43 am by Jerry

October 5, 2009

Emma’s Mind and Voice

Posted in culture, family, film, history, philosophy of religion, politics, psychology of religion, scripture at 11:53 am by Jerry

I’m excited about the kind of freedoms Emma will enjoy in her future. She seems to be showing signs of the kind of strengths her mother has, which makes me beam with pride. Emma has a wonderfully intelligent and articulate mother who refuses to except ridiculous cultural restraints.

1 Timothy 2:

11A woman must quietly receive instruction with entire submissiveness.

12But I do not allow a woman to teach or exercise authority over a man, but to remain quiet.

13For it was Adam who was first created, and then Eve.

14And it was not Adam who was deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression.

15But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.

I’m so happy that Emma lives in an era where a proper recognition of the potential freedoms (spiritual, political, cultural, etc.) and already existing strengths among women has improved so much. There’s still plenty of room for improvement… and yet, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if I hear from others in the future that Emma has helped them personally or professionally to embrace strengths they didn’t know they had, and live healthier lives (mind and body) as a result.

I know this is highly probable because I’ve seen examples of this kind of empowering influence demonstrated by her mother.