Seriously, think about it for a second.
Sure, atheists and agnostics tend to come off as snobby. They tend to ride a high horse about their lack of religious conviction. I’m sure I’m guilty of such shenanigans. But where does their lack of religious conviction get them? A whole lot of nowhere.
Think about it.
If you’re an atheist, and you don’t believe in God at all, what’s your only viable alternative? Science. And what does our best understanding of science say? That depends on if you’re a quantum mechanics person or a physics person. Quantum mechanics people are just plain weird. I haven’t thought about quantum mechanics in a long, LONG time, but it’s not exactly the science of happiness. Then again, I could be wrong. There’s lots of weird stuff going on there. So, let’s not touch on QM. Besides, most atheists are probably going to be physics people, as physics are a bit easier to understand.
And that route inevitably leads to the big bang theory. Which inevitably leads to the world boiling down to one giant reaction. Everything is a reaction to the Big Bang. It’s all just molecules playing out the reactions from that explosion. There’s no ‘free will,’ just an illusion of free will. Everything is basically predetermined, as everything is just a reaction from something else. A chain of reactions leading all the way back to the Big Bang, the initial cause.
So, yeah, that’s not a happy science either. What does that make the meaning of life? Pretty meaningless. Your whole life was predetermined, and is nothing more than a physical repercussion of the Big Bang. When you die, you don’t go anywhere. And your life had no point. Mmmmmm. Reassuring.
When you’re the same brand of agnostic like me, you basically admit that you can’t know the answer either way. The meaning of life is whatever meaning you can give it. I can’t seem to give my life much meaning. When you think about how big the universe is, or even how big the world is, it’s hard not to feel insignificant in comparison. And again, when you die, where do you go? You go dead, that’s where. There’s no happy afterlife to dream about, to make living through life’s pains alright in the end.
That’s why I envy you religious people. You have something the agnostics and the atheists lack: the power of conviction and faith. These are tremendous powers. Having conviction attributes meaning to your life, and can help you keep things in perspective. Your bad times aren’t necessarily so bad because you can see the light at the end of the tunnel — even if you don’t rid yourself of your earthly woes, you have your afterlife to look forward too.
Ultimately, I believe it is impossible to know whether or not God exists. Hence, faith in him is required. (Faith is, of course, belief without proof.) Religious people have the power to have faith. I don’t have that power. Their lives are better than mine because of that power.
I envy you.
I will now be basically posting the same thing, because I feel just about the same way during the holidays.
Abut 20 minutes ago, when I started writing this, I was going to catalog all the recent troubles in my life as well as the constant ones so that you’d get an idea why I don’t like the holidays.
But what’s the point?
Sharing my sadness with people has, so far, only brought further sadness. However therapeutic it may seem in the short run, in the long run I am always hurt more for it. I now prefer not to share myself with people anymore. This is better for them because they don’t have to feel bad for me, and it is better for me because… well… it is.
Recently, about three people have asked me how I’ve been. In a serious context — not a pass-me-by-in-the-hallway-and-exchange-pleasantries, but a serious “how are you holding up?” type of question. I told all three people relatively the same thing. All three people are now just kind of ignoring me and the things I shared with them. As if I hadn’t said them.
What’s the point of asking, then?
I’ll admit, one of these people, I probably would’ve been better off not sharing myself with. I don’t know this person that well. But the other two people had been supportive of me in the past… damn near receptive, even. This was when I went to them with a (in my mind) smaller problem. Now, though… what happened?
I have very few people I feel comfortable sharing with anymore. Should they ask, yeah, I’ll probably tell them what’s up. But.
I’d prefer to keep to myself from now on.
Someone might get the impression that people actually read my blog with comment counts that high. I don’t like to mislead folk!
So as I’ve alluded to previously, I think the two-party political system we’ve got here in America sucks. There’s a litany of problems associated with it. I can’t begin to rank which problem is worse than the other, so I’ll just list and describe them in no particular order:
Band-wagoning. As I mentioned in my last post, I hate bandwagon liberals. Extend this to two party democracy and I hate bandwagon democrats or bandwagon republicans. Such band-wagoning cripples democracy in the first place. It encourages ignorance. Try asking most people why they voted for Bush (or against Bush). The most common answers will either be “Because I’m a Republican,” or “because I hate Kerry (IE, I’m not a democrat).” (Against Bush: “Because I’m a Democrat,” or “because I hate Bush.”) The founding fathers knew that an educated public was key to a thriving democracy (I’d go dig up a quote right now but I’m lazy — you can trust me on this, they don’t call me Dr. Deezee without warrant!). A brainless herd shepherded by whichever political party throws more money into their campaign doesn’t seem to mesh with an educated public. But who knows, that’s just me, I could be wrong…
Corruption. The good ol’ Spoils System, as introduced by Andrew Jackson, was inherently corrupt, although I would be inclined to argue its necessity at the time of its implementation. (The public needed to get more involved in politics, and the Spoils System certainly got more people involved – but it’s been allowed to run amok, unchecked, for far too long.) There’s another kind of corruption aside from just the Spoils System, too. Contributions are made to parties which in turn influence the way representatives vote. Sure, it’s not supposed to happen, but do you really believe that it doesn’t?
Ineffectiveness. Two parties are supposed to represent all the divergent political views in the country? I guess they think that the adage “there’s two sides to every issue” is what makes the party system effective. However, in politics, there’s often many more than two sides to an issue. Two parties can’t possibly be representative of the entire political makeup of the United States — it’s simply ridiculous. The ineffectiveness of the system is highlighted by voter turnouts — which are usually pretty low, under 50% if I’m not mistaken.
So what do we do? Well, I thought about this a great deal either last year or two years ago (it’s tough for my old brain to remember). I haven’t thought about it so much lately, so bear with me. Also, this idea is (of course) crazy and you’re going to lose any respect you once had for me once you hear it.
I advocate eliminating parties as we know them. Instead, we go through a series of local, regional, state-wide, larger regional and finally national elections to decide Presidents. Essentially, a candidate will campaign locally, in a city. Accepting political donations wouldn’t be kosher. If s/he wins the local election, s/he goes on to the regional election. The regionals could just be by county. The top 4 vote takers in the regional could go on to state. Debates would be held at colleges and would be televised at a state-wide level. The money required for these debates would be provided by the federal government — I don’t think it’s unreasonable to be taxed a bit to ensure that corruption is swept clean from the government?
Once a state has elected its candidate, then a couple of states will be divvied up into regions where votes are again taken for a national candidate. Finally, national elections would be held. Again, all debating would take place at college campuses. This would be the primary way of getting to know the candidates — through debate, not through soapbox speeches where they can say whatever they want to and not be questioned.
Anywho, that was my crazy idea now made crazier because I don’t remember the particulars very well. I never thought of how candidates for the House of Reps or Senate would work either.
So, lambast away! (Thanks to Dan for the picture below)
Found this on another blog, decided to take it, relatively unsurprised:
|This Is My Life, Rated|
|Take the Rate My Life Quiz|
How’d my mind only get 3.5? That sucks.
How’d finance get so high? I have a crappy part time job.
For that matter, how’d body get so high? I’m 6’5, 150, average maybe 3 hours a night on sleep, and average maybe one meal a day. I don’t exercise.
This quiz sucks. I demand a recount.
Then I went over to eharmony and took their personality profile for shits ‘n giggles. I’m a sucker. I’m gonna copy and paste their analysis of me and then respond in italics (if it warrants response).
- Because of your thoughtful nature, you need others to express sincere interest in you or the relationship. This offers the secure feeling that you seek.
- During times of stress or tension, you may withdraw inside yourself and appear as somewhat cool and aloof. You need to be alone when thinking through projects, problems or solutions.
- You usually assume a cautious and reserved demeanor when meeting new people. Your relationships must grow naturally and in sincere ways. You will not confide in others readily because of your need for security.
- Others may see you as disciplined and self-controlled. You have seen the problems of being overly optimistic when planning to depend on others following through.
- You may be a matter-of-fact person who may be critical of the shortcomings of others who display a more emotional or outgoing side. (I do not necessarily agree with this.)
- Others showing genuine sincerity and acceptance impress you. You do not like a shallow expression of feelings or thoughtlessness of others. You will get along with most people you meet because you don’t cause hostility.
- Because of your need to be quiet rather than rambling, you are somewhat introspective about events and activities. You may not communicate readily and rapidly with others, but this does not mean you don’t support others.
- You may be somewhat reticent and retiring when with others, especially in a large group. As others grow louder, you may become quieter. You value control of emotions, and are more reflective than rowdy.
- You are usually astute in social situations because you take little at face value, will listen carefully and accurately, and will watch others carefully.
- You attempt to influence others not by showing great emotion, but by appealing to the logical nature of people. Those who are more emotional and excitable may sometimes ignore your approach.
- You may want to base relationships on a nonemotional respect for each other’s abilities, and base your level of trust on directness and straightforwardness. (Disagree, as far as partners go. Maybe with friends.)
- Some people may inaccurately perceive you as not liking people. You may be misread by others, because you approach social situations with logic and objectivity, judging others by their competence–you may sometimes be misread by others.
- You tend to listen rather than talk. You may place a premium on display of emotions. As a result, “reading” you at times may be difficult.
- You are good at making certain that even small details are taken care of. (I don’t think so.)
- You tend to have very high values.
- You are good at “troubleshooting” potential problems in a relationship. (That doesn’t meant that I necessarily adhere to that. I troubleshooted a lot of problems with Haley but that didn’t seem to matter. Blegh.)
- You tend to be the “Anchor of Reality” in highly emotional situations. (Dunno if this applies so much.)
- You tend to set and maintain very high standards for yourself.
- You are skilled at finding practical solutions to complicated situations. (Don’t necessarily agree.)
- You don’t tend to get distracted by superficial issues. (Depends on what superficial issues are.)
- You generally take pride in being a strong community member. (What the fuck? I hate where I live. I dislike my school. This came out of left field.)
Eharmony thinks I want:
- Things done “right” the first time. (Or done right.)
- Respect among peers and friends for your quiet manner. (Uhhh… what?)
- No flattery or shallow praise. (YES!!!, AGREE)
- A supportive environment where you do not have to display great emotion.
- Time to think things over before making a commitment.
- Fewer changes, if many changes have occurred recently.
- Straight talk and straight dealing.
- Freedom from pressure to perform or to act quickly without precedent.
- Recognition for your concern for quality relationships.
- Detailed information about major decisions with complete instructions.
The next bit is about things that eharmony thinks I’d like to have my partner do:
- If you agree, follow through with your end of the agreement.
- Support principles. (Ambiguous, but I have principles I think should be supported. I’ve blogged about them before.)
- Provide time to analyze the data before making a decision.
- Use a tone of voice that shows sincerity.
- Use a logical and unemotional approach.
- Take your time and proceed slowly.
- Have facts and ideas in a logical order.
- Respect quiet demeanor.
- If you disagree, organize your thoughts before confronting your partner.
- Show patience, especially when drawing out information.
Not my homework, that’s for sure.
Just for you people out there who don’t know what a typical Sunday night load is like, here we go:
AP Stats (approximately 2-3 hours worth)
AP US History (one chapter, approximately 2 hours… and two mini essays, approximately 1 hour each, maybe less)
Honors Physics (shouldn’t take too long? 15 minutes to half an hour)
AP Lang (6 chapters or so of Grapes of Wrath, plus a journal on it)
I’ll get started on it. Hopefully before midnight. (It’s 10 PM right now.) I decided that a wiser investment of my time this 3-day weekend would be to play through Resident Evil 4. It was, in fact, a pretty wise investment of my time. There’s not much else better in gaming than being surrounded by a bunch of blood thirsty crazed-villagers with axes and pitchforks, armed with only your trusty shotgun (and maybe some hand grenades). Aim high and fire!
I mentioned on my fake blog that politics in my town make me cry. I guess I’ll go ahead and elaborate here.
Bellingham is full of what I like to call “bandwagon liberals.” These people have little to no clue about what’s actually going on in politics (or the world, or anything). However, because everyone in Bellingham is a “pot-smoking, tree-huggin, hemp-shawl wearing, sandal-donning hippy queer” (my brother’s badly paraphrased words from last night’s phone conversation), being a liberal is the “cool” thing to do. These people have no idea about even the basic arguments on the Republican/Conservative side of things, either. They’re liberal, just cuz. They hate Bush, just cuz. They’d vote Kerry, just cuz. (That’s their only reason for anything, seriously.)
Not to say I’m not liberal. I took a little political test and this is where I fell:
As you can see, I’m not exactly not liberal. But I’m not bandwagon, either! Hell, most people at my school confuse me for a Republican. This is due to my tendency to take the Republican side of things in classroom debates (simply because there’s SO MANY LIBERALS). I usually end up “winning” (if you can “win” in a class debate) too. The people who are smart enough to actually ask me about myself and my political flavoring learn that I just like to see both sides of an argument before committing myself to a position.
Isn’t that what everyone should do? Whatever happened to, oh, I dunno, weighing the options before you make a decision? I guess nobody cares to do that these days. God damn it, they know what they’re talking about, and they’re right, just because, and if you disagree with them, why you must be shit-eating, stupid Republican mother fucker! Am I right? I’m so right.
Bellingham is also full of a lot of so-called Christians. I say so-called because I was born and raised Christian (currently agnostic, go read my post about religion if you haven’t already) so I know a thing or two about Christianity. When I slept as a kid, I had the New Testament read to me via a tape deck. I used to know the New Testament inside and out. Christ and me, we were like this. (You can’t see me but I’m crossing my fingers.)
So I like to pester the “Christians” round these parts. A few of them read my post about Agnosticism and tried to disagree with me on a few points. Most notably, on the point that wanting proof of God’s existence shows a lack of faith. I preached to some girl about faith, it was pretty great. Of course, I could be totally and completely wrong, but that’s for you to judge!
[21:44] [NAME REMOVED]: sometimes though
[21:44][NAME REMOVED]: it would make things easier if you did have proof
[21:45] DaMan91088: That contradicts the very notion of faith. Now, I’m not ignorant in all things Christian… born into a Christian family, was raised Christian, and at one point knew the New Testament like the back of my hand.
[21:45] DaMan91088: As I recall (I may be a bit rusty) both God and Jesus call for unquestionable faith. Hence why Jesus would make people drop all their worldly possessions, give up their whole lives, in order to follow him
[21:45] DaMan91088: (Demonstrate their belief)
[21:46] DaMan91088: Likewise God often preferred for people to believe in him rather than directly show off his power, and it can be interpreted that he’s been less active in the world because he’d rather people believe in him than directly interfere in order to command respect.
[21:46] DaMan91088: Faith is the basic tenant of salvation, as I recall.
[21:46] DaMan91088: You have faith in God, you ask for forgiveness and you receive your salvation, basically.
[21:47] DaMan91088: Calling for proof or questioning if God actually exists (such concerns as “if God exists, why do wars happen, etc”) can be perceived as a lack of faith and certainly can be the first steps towards becoming unfaithful.
[21:48] DaMan91088: (PS feel free to correct me if I’m wrong about Bible passages.)
[21:50] DaMan91088: And as I remember it, I think there was something in Revelations somewhere about how God will test everyone’s faith before the end times.
[21:50] DaMan91088: Through lots of catastrophes and such.
There’s also lots of “feminists.” But I better not get started on them. I’m going to be doing a protest project on them, so I’ll save the feminism blog (which I’ve had mulling ’round in my McThinker for quite a while) for after that project, just so it’ll be extra juicy for you guys.
And in completely miscellaneous news, I have this really great idea for telling a story. At least, I think it’s a great idea. I’d rather not post about it for all the internet to see, so if you’re interested, fire me a quick email or AIM message or something.
Here’s something to read if you want to read something (I should stop the sentence here for comedy, but I’ll continue) better than the garbage I write: http://www.rhapsodyingreen.com/id73.html