I have moved my Blog January 1, 2008Posted by sel4592 in Uncategorized.
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Please go to: http://chromalogia.com
Bear with me while I get it all set up.
“The Golden Compass” December 27, 2007Posted by sel4592 in atheism, belief, morals, religion.
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I just finished reading “The Golden Compass” and liked it much more than the movie. It does have some pretty heady comments on the value of religion and the power of an organized church (in this case the Catholic church). But more important I think are its arguments condemning poor parenting and the idea of “original sin.” Lyra’s (the main character) strength as a positive force in the story is in difference to very bad parents whose agendas go against the moral fabric of her own moral compass (interesting tie in to the title). It is because of their actions for the negative that at the end she decides to take a course to rectify things for the good.There is a direct correlation in the story to the idea of original sin as promulgated by the book of genesis. In this case the sin is directly related to the idea of puberty and the change from innocence to worldliness-or a sexual being. The idea of daemons in the book is an outward metaphor for this idea as once a child in Lyra’s universe reaches puberty, their daemon settles into one form. A direct correlation to our idea of childhood vs. adulthood. In Lyra’s world, a child knows little of sin, but once they reach adulthood and the power of the elemental particle called “dust” gains more strength, then they have become more of a sinful being. The overall search by Lyra’s father to discover the source of this “dust” is in a way a metaphor for us to find and destroy this idea of sin, an idea put forth by most organized religions and philosophies world wide.
All in all I think Philip Pullman should be commended for writing a story of such depth and insight and thinking that children are certainly smart enough to understand these arguments. I can see why the organized churches are upset–why on earth would they want children to think critically on the their own? It would be a death-knell for the church’s doctrine and hold on future generations.
The God Delusion December 19, 2007Posted by sel4592 in atheism, belief, morals, religion.
I just finished the book. Bear in mind that Dawkins is preaching to the choir here-I pretty much agree with everything he says. A salient point that he makes though, that I appreciate, because I don’t think many people have the guts to mention such things, is the fact that religious indoctrination is indeed a form of child abuse. He is not talking about the fluff here-such as follow the ten commandments or go to Sunday school, but the fact that telling young children that if they sin they will go to hell and the ONLY way to be “Saved” is buy accepting JC as your saviour. That stuff is cult brainwashing and most fundy churches do it.
The important point is that it is their privilege to decide that they shall think, and not their parents’ privilege to impose it by force majeure. And this, of course, is important when we reflect that children become the parents of the next generation, in a position to pass on whatever indoctrination may have moulded them.
I couldn’t agree more!
Advice anyone? December 15, 2007Posted by sel4592 in atheism, belief, religion.
Ok, a little background. I have an 11 year old son. I am divorced and he spends the school year with is mom in Iowa (I live in Georgia). I also see him for a couple of weeks over the christmas holidays. Now, the meat of the issue. His mother is an avid born again fundy…scary, I know. I, of course, am a militant athiest-something neither he nor his mom know (although, I think his mom probably does know, but refuses to accept.). I am beginning to think that he is of an age when he would probably understand my stance, but he has also been brought up by his mother to believe the same crap she believes. We do have conversations now and then about evolution, dinosaurs, science, space, etc. so he does know my views on these things, but I have never flat out told him-I don’t believe in god. I often view things this way-his mom programs him, I de-program him. But the god thing has never really come up-yet, but I know it will eventually. I guess my question is, to those who want to answer. Is it time that I just come out and start talking to him about what I think religion is, what god is (is not) and what my feelings are? I want to tell him (and I actually do, but I don’t know if he listens) to keep an open mind and not to be afraid to question things. Not to just accept things as he is told by the other side of his family (his mom’s mom is an even more virulent christian wacko (bring on the rapture!!!)). My side of the family is full of educated people most of whom are either atheist or agnostic or just plain don’t care. What do you think?
Religious Fascism December 13, 2007Posted by sel4592 in news, Politics, religion.
Ok, maybe I am diving off the deep end here, but I am becoming more of the opinion that this country may be on its way to becoming a fascist state. At least that is what the insane christian right demagogues want. According to the Oxford Dictionary:
fascism: an authoritarian and nationalistic right-wing system of government and social organization. (In general use) extreme right-wing, authoritarian, or intolerant views or practice.
Its the second sentence that gets me. This thoroughly defines the mind set of such wonderful loons like Pat Robertson and Jerry Falwell and all of there insane followers. My fear is that someone like Huckabee would be a tool for such religious fascists. As Sam Stein from the Huffington post stated this morning:
the Huckabee-Falwell relationship was more than just a mutually beneficial partnership. It was a shared political ethos. Both men saw a dominant role for faith in government. And while Falwell passed away this past spring (he was, Huckabee claimed “one of Christendom’s great leaders”) Huckabee has continued working to that end. Indeed, not since Pat Robertson sought the GOP nomination in 1988 has someone so emphatically religious been so close to the White House.
Am I wrong to have this fear? Will our constitution protect us from such destructive nonsense? Its hard to say since the present stupidity in the white house and many of those in congress now already try their hardest to walk all over the constitution.
This is interesiting-”Duelity” December 11, 2007Posted by sel4592 in Uncategorized.
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I came across this movie: Duelity. It is interesting from a techno point of view and for the information contained in the movie.
I am not sure what I think about it, but I get the picture, I think, that the makers are trying to pose the two arguments of creation and evolution together. it’s interesting to watch.
This might prove for some that there is a god! December 11, 2007Posted by sel4592 in news, religion.
“Led Zeppelin return to the stage.”
Sure wish I could have been there!
Mitt is still spurring me on! December 9, 2007Posted by sel4592 in belief, Law, Politics, religion.
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One of the greatest minds in American (world?) history, Thomas Jefferson, wrote the following, from the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom:
“No man shall be compelled to frequent or support any religious worship, place, or ministry whatsoever, nor shall be enforced, restrained, molested, or burdened in his body or goods, nor shall otherwise suffer, on account of his religious opinions or belief; but that all men shall be free to profess, and by argument to maintain, their opinions in matters of religion, and that the same shall in no wise diminish, enlarge, or affect their civil capacities.”
In his 1787 Notes on the State of Virginia, Jefferson stated:
“Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burned, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make half the world fools and half hypocrites; to support roguery and error all over the world…”
Is it apparent to you that given Mitt’s (and Huckabee’s, Thompson’s…) statements that neither one of them are familiar with one of the principle framers of our constitution and form of government? As would-be president’s who espouse the virtues of America’s greatness, needn’t they be well versed in the people who made the laws that govern this country?Truthfully, I guess I am still pissed off by Mitt’s speech, and I know that it really isn’t that big a deal… after all, I am sure that what he stated should have been expected. But what really scares me is that a great number of the people of this country agree with his rhetoric that religion is supposed to be a part of the political process and part of the way this country is run. They really have no idea what the founding fathers said, did, or thought, or, what’s worse, don’t care, or what’s even worse, take what they said out of context and use it for their own agenda to elect leaders who tread all over the original intent of the truly great men who designed our form of government.
Atheist Blogroll December 8, 2007Posted by sel4592 in atheism.
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I have proudly joined the Atheist Blogroll!
That Mitt Thing. December 8, 2007Posted by sel4592 in belief, Law, news, Politics, religion.
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I want to start this today by relaying a part of a conversation that I had yesterday with one of my students. We had been talking about belief (this was not a class related conversation as I teach technical theater-not theology!) and she made this simple statement:
“I believe in God just like I believe in trees…” “But,” I said, “you don’t really believe in trees, because they exist-so you know trees are real.” Long pause…”well, yeah, I suppose that’s right.”
This touches on what I think is a big problem with “believers” as they sometimes, simply don’t know the difference between belief and the reality of something that actually exists. Now, on to that Mitt thing that everyone is talking about this week:
“Freedom requires religion just as religion requires freedom,” Romney said. “Freedom opens the windows of the soul so that man can discover his most profound beliefs and commune with God. Freedom and religion endure together, or perish alone.”
Of course, I, like so many of you, find this statement derisive and troubling. I believe that freedom exists in this country because we have a constitution and a government that was designed to keep religion separate and secular. I also feel that both freedom and religion can and should exist separately. This statement by Romney points in reality to his desire to make our government a theocracy, and to trash the very system of government designed by the founding fathers of this government. He kept stating that he believes our founding fathers meant for religion to play an important part in the goverment of the country, yet (regardless of whether you believe they were theists, deists, or atheists), there is NO MENTION of God in the constitution and the first amendment, after all these years it is still pretty clear about a separation of church and state:
“Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”
In the preamble to the Constitution we are told that we are looking for the “blessings of liberty,” not the blessings of God(s). What does this have to do with my student’s statement about belief? I think that Romney does not know the difference about what he believes our constitution means and what it actually means. He wants the government to do one thing, based on his belief, but in reality it is designed to do the opposite. Lets look at another statement from Mitt:
“Almost 50 years ago, another candidate from Massachusetts explained that he was an American running for president, not a Catholic running for president,” he said. “Like him, I am an American running for president. I do not define my candidacy by my religion.”
This is, of course a hypocritical lie, as in the above statement he is making a definition of his point based in belief, not in reality. If he believes that religion and freedom cannot exist apart, he is making a statement based in his belief-therefore he is in a way already defining his candidacy by his beliefs-therefore his religion. Romney states that “A person should not be elected because of his faith nor rejected because of his faith,” but if he is using his faith to determine his stance on one of the most important facets of our government-freedom-then is he not putting faith out there as a reason to elect him? What this comes down to is that Mitt Romney is a would-be mormon theocrat, who is trying to disguise his use of faith as a means to get votes.