March 15, 2011

Baguazhang in the Movies

Posted in art, film, martial arts at 1:01 am by Jerry

Though it’s hard for me to recognize any outward appearances* of the kind of internal training I would expect in an experienced Baguazhang practitioner, I still enjoy the artistic style of the Baguazhang portrayed by the actors/martial artists (with black shirts) in these two movies.

*A strong upright structure rooted in every step with the parts of the body moving as one unit in a circular fashion. For example..

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February 20, 2011

Debating: weak without rhetoric

Posted in art, atheism, culture, psychology, religion, science at 8:18 pm by Jerry


People can google the info if evidence is their highest priority. (These people don’t need a debater.)

However, if peoples’ highest priority is wanting to believe in something they think is more worthy than believing in it’s competing beliefs, good debaters are needed.

Good debaters realize they have more to address than the part of the mind that collects and compares information. “Pathos” and “Ethos” are just as important as “Logos” when communicating/relating with others (a lesson I’ve been learning from my favorite rhetorician). And good debaters make good use of rhetoric to counter-act whatever misuses of rhetoric the opposition employs…

February 15, 2011

“My Love is Truer and Greater than Yours!”

Posted in art, atheism, fatherhood, holidays, love, psychology, religion at 10:19 am by Jerry

I’m not sure how I should respond to this pro-atheism picture.

Numerous times, I’ve heard Christians (mostly leaders in churches and bible schools) directly or indirectly quote to me 1 John 4:7-8, pompously communicating to me that God has a monopoly on love, and whoever knows God knows what true love is like.

Of course, my internal response is, “How dare you presume such elitist, exclusionary and condescending position!” Well, to be honest, that’s not exactly how I articulated it in my mind. I meant those words, but my mind used a different dialect. My thoughts actually sounded more like: “FUCK YOU!!”

And then there’s this pro-atheist picture I stumbled upon today, the day after Valentine’s Day.

My immediate response was remembering the moment I saw my little girl for the first time. It’s sappy (and subjective), but my eyes tear up every time I think about it. Much to my surprise, my first Daddy experience felt as if more room for love was made instead of sharing the love I already had for her mother. It was such a new experience for me. Various overwhelmingly emotional feelings seemed to appear in my mind out of thin air and I was a different person, a person that took some time getting use to.

So, when I think about this pro-atheist picture and the pro-Christian views of love, I can’t help but think, “No, it’s not about challenging how ‘true’ another’s experience of love is, nor about challenging how much greater another’s experience of love is. Instead of claiming anothers’ experiences of love to be a shadow of our own, maybe we should just consider the possibility that no two people share the same journey of experiencing different kinds of love… ..whether it be for ideas, people or God.”

And, it just might be a healthy exercise for all of us to question ourselves: is the person or God we love, in some way (or every way), just an idea of some kind of person or God we want to love?

February 11, 2011

Tomorrow is Darwin Day!

Posted in art, atheism, history, science at 4:44 am by Jerry

Check out the official news here and what’s being done to celebrate it here.

January 13, 2011

Piss On Death Penalties

Posted in art, atheism, culture, history, philosophy of religion, politics, Secular Humanism at 8:22 pm by Jerry

Whether they will ever empathize with their victims or not, I’d like criminals to LIVE without some of the key advantages society has to offer.

Not for an eternity. Just long enough for criminals to EARN A SOCIETY’S TRUST and keep societies PROTECTED IN THE MEANTIME.

It’s not perfect justice. If human beings COULD have protected themselves according to the wisdom (discovering what’s good and not-so-good) they’ve attained, I suspect we would have. We just haven’t had the resources to do so.

I think this approach to crime would be THE RESPONSIBLE THING TO DO, for the criminals and their keepers. And atoning for the mistakes of another? That would not be a responsible thing to do!

So here we are.

READYYYY….     AAAAIM….

BLASPHEMY!!!!


What Changes For Social Justice Are You Looking Forward To?

Posted in art, atheism, church, culture, family, history, politics, religion, Secular Humanism at 7:32 pm by Jerry

Here’s something I’d like to see changed:

December 12, 2010

This Secular Humanist Welcomes Christmas

Posted in art, culture, family, fiction, film, friends, holidays, poetry, secular humansim at 8:02 am by Jerry

Christmas can mean so many different things to so many different people.
But I think what might be the greatest meaning we can all share,
If we care to think that sharing Christmas is fair,
Was said best by Dr.Seuss in his popular book,
Listen, or take a look:

Christmas day is in our grasp,
So long as we have hands to clasp.
Christmas day will always be,
Just as long as we have we.
Welcome Christmas, while we stand,
Heart to heart, and hand in hand.

September 11, 2010

The Presumptuous “Why?”s

Posted in art, atheism, history, mythology, philosophy, psychology of religion, science at 5:26 pm by Jerry

The question “Why?” is a crafty one.

It seems to have the amazing power to take you to an understanding of another’s motivations, a primary cause, and a deep perception of reality. It can be a means to disillusionment, a breaker of personal paradigms, and a schooling of scepticism.

Can there be any questions more powerful than this one?

Way back when, questions like “What?” and “How?” always seemed too mechanical for me, too impersonal. I was looking for ‘the meaning (purpose) of life’, why we are here.

I thought, I can’t begin to explore what I’m meant to do unless I’ve at least started to seriously look into what kind of person I’m meant to be. I wanted to avoid unhealthy choices (and their consequences) by knowing what is truthful, what is right, what is life-enhancing. I remember hearing more than once among gathered christians sometime ago, “We are not human doings, we’re human beings.” And my christian self tried to make the best of this odd cliche by choosing to interpret (or re-write) it to mean: choosing righteous acts rely on having a righteous understanding of our being.

I think it’s safe to say that I made the “Why?” question the greater context where all other questions can find their answers. I made it their home. And this means that I’ve also made the ‘Why?’ question a cosmic question. I saw it as the means to the most authoritative (authoritarian?) understanding on anything and everything. This is a huge creation of mine because the ‘Why?’ question has the power to direct you to a source that is conscious, a source with intention, with personal motivations. Making it a cosmic question is fundamentally making the assumption that there is a cosmic consciousness, a personally motivated intention.

How is it that I made such an assumption? Here’s how: I believed in the existence of a personal being powerful enough to create all that is natural, including a reality that is supernatural. It is this type of perception that sees purpose and reason behind all that is non-personal. And if you feel fundamentally (existentially?) lost, it is this type of perception that assures you that you are surrounded by direction, by purpose, by insight that is all encompassing. Then, you can “know” (in your heart) that something someone (communicating from where?) far more authoritative than our unreliable humanness will take care of us. And this personal (hidden?) being is the ultimate source for finding security and significance.

BUT DON’T FORGET!!! All this personal direction is based on an ancient assumption (most likely inherited from one’s parents), an ancient assumption that a “God” exists.

I’m an atheist now. The big “Why?” questions have shrunk down into human form. Now, I wait for evidence of this supreme being before making the question “Why?” an all-encompassing, personal context for other questions like “How?” and “What?”

via

May 20, 2010

Passe

Posted in art, religion at 2:31 pm by Jerry

via

April 6, 2010

Who Knows A Kid’s Imaginary Friends Better Than They Do?

Posted in art, atheism, fiction, psychology of religion at 3:52 am by Jerry

When we find out kids have imaginary friends, are there good reasons to re-consider those experiences as “supernatural” or “mystical” instead?  What do you think? Should we interpret those experiences as so deep and profound that they are beyond any material experience happening in a child’s brain? After all, if we all truly have guardian angels and demons tempting us, who is to say that a kid’s imaginary friends are NOT angels and demons, or God(s)?

On the other hand, maybe we should just let kids have fun creating imaginary friends for themselves without us re-defining them for ourselves. And if a child recognizes similarities between his or her inner world and the inner world of some adults… I know I’ll want to hear more.

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