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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Which Way Is It?

I want to use this post to look at 2 words; Contradiction and Paradox

Why those 2? Because I have been thinking about how people often argue/debate with each other. This point holds especially true with regard to religious conversation.

What is the definition of Contradiction? direct opposition between things compared; inconsistency

What is the definition of Paradox? a statement or proposition that seems self-contradictory or absurd but in reality expresses a possible truth

Why do I bring this up? Because as you all know, I listen to too much religious broadcasting. The shows that I listen to often have guests on them that engage in debates and discussions, usually having opposing or differing views from each other. This is what I have observed-

A non-Christian can say "There are no absolutes." Then later on in the conversation they can say "1+1=2 because of the laws of mathematics." To which the Christian answers and says "You can't say that! That is a contradiction to say that there are no absolutes but that there is a law of mathematics that governs 1+1 being 2. You can't have it both ways because of the philosophical law of non-contradiction"

Then what I see on the other side is that the Christian says "God is a spirit and not a human; therefore He isn't bound to the same limitations that we are." And then later he says "God has revealed himself in Jesus Christ as God becoming flesh." To which the atheist or skeptic replies "You can't say that. If God is a spirit and not a man, then how can he be in human form? That violates the law of non-contradiction." To which the Christian replies "It's not a contradiction, it's a paradox."

So it seems that the world outside of faith is incapable of having differing beliefs/understandings/views without them being looked at as being contradictory; but inside of faith it is possible for 2 polar opposites to co-exist under the guise of being a paradox. It seems to me like the rules are being bent a little.

I guess this is the biggest bone that I have to pick against Presuppositional Apologetics with regards to the Reformed Christian faith. The main argument is that God is rational and logical and He has given man the ability also to be logical and rational. They get this information from studying the Bible. The problem that I have with that position though is that an advanced study of the concepts and actions of God in the Bible shows that God can seemingly say one thing at one time and yet do or say another thing at another time. When these words and actions are compared to our understanding of logic and the application of logical thought, the ideas don't seem to comport.

Are there certain standards that these people want to hold others to, but yet they themselves can get out of simply by semantics?

I know that it seems like an oversimplification, but really, matters of religion and faith need to be honest about inconsistencies that they have with regard to the unequal expectations that they place on those who are "outside."

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Saturday, April 21, 2007

Commentary Concerning Internet Subculture, namely

I am posting this primarily just as a talking point. The following is a bulletin that is now circulating en masse on MySpace because of a recent ABC news story. After much thought and deliberation, I will leave the message as is without editing it for the sake of my readers...[like I really have any kind of attendence here] I apologize for any offense that might be taken at some of the choice words, but again, I do not believe in editing other's works in light of points that they are trying to make.

Much time has been given to the converstaion and controversies surrounding MySpace, Facebook, and probably will with TagWorld

Is there really anything to worry about or is it all much ado about nothing? I have my own guesses but here's an interesting read.

Anybody happen to catch Nightline last night on ABC? In case you didn't, one of the hot topics discussed was MySpace. It is no secret to anyone who reads the newspaper or watches the 6 o'clock news that MySpace has been in the limelight because of "sexual predators" trying to "abduct and corrupt" the youth of the world. To this I say bull shit! I see dozens of profiles a day showing 14 year old girls dressed like sluts, wearing four inches of make up and 32 layers of eyeliner, displaying their age as 18 years old and profile lines stating "Oh, I'm So Sexy" or "Hey There, Wanna Check Up On It?" Come on! The youth of today's world are already corrupt enough due to the undying need to be "older" than they really are. I seriously doubt there are tons of people on MySpace stalking "innocent young girls" who just happen to have tramped up profiles and ages 4 years greater than their own.

On Nightline, there was a story of a 12 year old girl who was a drug-addict and attributed it all to MySpace. She claims that Myspace allowed her to easily find drug dealers in her area, as well as older men to have sex with her. Now, at the age of 14, she has been checked into a drug-rehabilitation clinic and has been away from her family for 5 months. Her parents would rather place the blame squarely on the shoulders of MySpace instead of their daughter, who even admitted that at the age of 12, had already tried weed, crack, X, and had slept with numerous guys older than herself...but of course, it wasn't her fault, it was all because of MySpace.

Once again, COME ON! When are parents and children going to stop passing the blame and grow up enough to take responsibility for their actions and the actions of their children.. Parents: monitor your children online, take some responsibility for YOUR children! Children: if a profile name sounds like something that comes out of a cheap horror movie, like "DARK ANGEL OF DEATH WHO EATS THE BRAINS OF GIRLS"...chances are you DO NOT WANT TO ADD THEM AS A FRIEND. Apparently there is new legislation in Congress now to block MySpace in all public schools and public libraries across the United States. All because little girls want to act like sluts and don't want to accept the consequences of their actions, and parents don't want to accept the fact that their "innocent little girls" are posing as 18 year old crack whores trying to buy drugs.

A 14 year old girl and her mother have filed a law suit against because she was sexually assaulted by another user. She said he lied by saying he was on the high School football team, and THAT gained her trust. Obvisiously if thats all it took to gain her trust, chances are she'll pretty much trust anybody and anyone (not really MySpace's fault). She's suing for $30 million because she believes MySpace has poor security. WHAT A CROCK OF SHIT! Myspace is not a babysitting service, take responsiblity for your own actions!!! What happened to her is a terrible thing and should never happen to anyone, period. Where were her parents? Why are they not held responsible for what thier daughter does in thier own home? Myspace has many many ways of blocking out/screening people, some are: you have to ACCEPT the person you may or may not know as a friend, as well as deny people you do or do not know, you can have certain sercurity measures added like making your profile private, or asking for last name and email address, you can block a person, you can only associate with people you ALREADY know or simply you can NOT be on MySpace if you lack common sense.

Eventually, if this continues, MySpace could be totally outlawed from the Internet. Restrictions will be put in place in order to make MySpace "safer". I don't know about you, but I use MySpace to keep in touch with my family and friends, use it for messages, and just to have a space that is my own. Just because some children want to act grown up, does that mean I may have to eventually give up my MySpace? If you feel the same way I do, please, repost this in your blogs or bulletins, or both as "STOP BLAMING MYSPACE". If enough people post this and spread the word, maybe people will get the picture and stop blaming MySpace for every little thing that their children do wrong. As a user of MySpace, we should all repost this and take some sort of action. This is not a chain letter, and nothing will happen to you if you don't repost this in 321654987 seconds. However, of all bulletins you will read today, I am sure that this one is the only one that actually has a point to it.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Tragedy @ V- Tech...Just as bad are the airwaves

Yesterday's events at Virginia Tech were a tragedy. 33 people dead and the shooter also took his own life.

Could anyone see this coming? Could the school have responded differently? These are questions that are being asked right now of everyone and no one really has a good answer for them.

What drives someone to do something like this? What was so bad in their life? What went haywire in their mind? What couldn't have been resolved in a more peaceful manner? I don't know.

What I do know is this- Christian media is way over the edge in their reaction to this.

This morning on my drive into work I caught a local program on the radio that was discussing what happened. They wanted to try and tie all of this back to the invasion of secular humanism and evolution into the schools. They claim that is what drives people like this to commit such atrocities.


What is it about contemporary Christian culture that has to take advantage of situations like this? Hurricanes, Tsunamis, Tornadoes, Floods, AIDS, Shootings, Genocide...etc. They all get picked up by the hacks in broadcasting that apparently have a red phone to God. Somehow, in their minds, all of these things come back to God getting back at people for the evil that they do. And what's worse are the droves of those who jump onto their bandwagons.

Where is the compassion? Where is the justice? Where is the concern for the innocent? WHERE IS THE SILENCE???

If anyone should learn a lesson from reading the ancient Jewish text of Job they should learn to just keep their mouths shut.

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I've been tired

I haven't really blogged in the last 15 days or so because I have either been too busy working on various things or I have just been too tired to care. So I extend my apologies to the few of you who read this.

This last weekend was bad. It was very, very, bad. I suffer from depression. It isn't all of the time, and I'm not fully diagnosed or manic depressive or anything, but I certainly know what the emotional pendulum is like.

To ward off my issues I take a combination of Valeria Root and St. John's Wort. They are natural dietary supplements and they don't cost even a fraction of what my previous prescription did. It also seems to infiltrate my system fairly quickly too, so that's a bonus to get me back on my feet.

Depression sucks. It sucks even worse when you can't really seemingly do anything about it either. Everything seems to be going fine, and then out of nowhere you are blindsided by rage, fatigue, sadness, numbness...etc. Not only do you feel bad, but it also then affects your family and friends. Thankfully my wife is understanding, and I do what I can to try and explain it to my almost 4 year old daughter. It just makes a man feel like a lousy dad.

Well, I'm back on the pills now after 3 days and I'm starting to feel better. I'm still tired but overall I don't feel like I need to be hiding out in a cave any longer. It helps to get out of the house and into some sunlight. Thankfully the weather is getting better also. That means that we can go for walks at night and the exercise also helps.

If you suffer from depression I feel your pain. Hang in there.

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Sunday, April 1, 2007

Sunday Night/Monday Morning & On The Way Out

Today has just been a day of culmination of thought for me. This morning I found myself thinking about the state of affairs that each one of us finds ourselves in everyday- capitalism and difficulties in life.

I just can't help but think about nomads and neaderthals from thousands of years ago, or even just hundreds of years ago, who really didn't have a notion of building massive societies. Life for them was simple- you live, you hunt and gather, you eat, you have a family, protect yourself and yours, and then when the time was right you died. That sounds simple enough to me to almost be too good to be true...BUT IT WAS!

When, in our social/survival evolution decide that it would be a good move to turn into what we have today? Money has no value, our stuff is just stuff, we run around in vain making better what we will lose...the list goes on and on. Is it just me or does that just seem so tiring? What did we think that we could accomplish?

On a somewhat related note, tonight I finally watched the movie 1984. It was a great movie. Very disturbing but very great. Sadly, it is an all to close to home prophetic look at what our world has tried to become. Big Brother is always trying to brainwash the sheep into believing that what he is doing is right. Why? Power? Pleasure? Just for the hell of it? Well, I don't buy it. Whether it be the pitch on why we should stay in Iraq, why capitalism is good, why we should go to church, why we should excercise...I just don't buy it. There will always be those who are part of a society who really don't belong.

If money were not an issue, I would quit my job tomorrow and [by survival instinct] I would move to a climate that was temperate year round and nail in the steaks to my tent. I would say "screw you" to this life that I now know in exchange for something simple. Maybe I would learn more. Maybe I would forget stuff. Who knows.

I know that we are evolving in some facet or another....but I don't know if we will benefit from it at all.

That's all I'm going to say right now because I'm just too tired to think about anything any more and I have to work tomorrow.