I am a spoiled, middle-class, white man. I am in good health. I am single with no children. I have a roommate, but I come and go as I please. My room is a mess and my own personal bathroom is not particularly clean. I spend all my free time doing pretty much as I please, walking, juggling, camping. I don’t have any pets. I rarely contribute to any charities, although I will donate my time and labor to friends on occasion. In 2000 in North Carolina, the median income was $37,847. I make about $19,000 as a control room operator at a TV station. My parents loved me and took good care of me. I have a college degree, but I’ve only had one job which required any college. Some Christians would say that I will go to Hell when I die because I don’t believe that Jesus died for my sins. Maybe it’s because I’ve had an easy life that I don’t cry out to God for help, for forgiveness. Maybe one day I will fall on hard times. Maybe then I will pray in ernest. I don’t know how I’ll behave until I’m in that situation.
Because words have multiple meanings and imprecise meanings we cannot reach the truth by reasoning alone. But words are what we use most often to express ideas. When we speak of truth, we are speaking of the truth of a group of words. We come up with words for things which may or may not exist, such as eternity, infinity, finite, supernatural, divine. Logic and reasoning break down when we get to the extremes of human imagination. Logic and reasoning serve us well in the here and now, but can it apply to eternity, infinity, the supernatural, or the divine?
I personally prefer logical explanations for the things I experience rather than spiritual explanations, but even logic has it’s limits.
II Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” The question I ask is what is “scripture?” Why is it that the Synod of Carthage in the year 397 listed which books of the New Testament could be read in church? Was there some dispute over what should be considered scripture?
I didn’t buy every argument he makes in his first book, but Malcolm Gladwell has some fascinating ideas. He also has a great blog. Even when I disagree I enjoy reading his words.
I fear bridge collapse, loose railings, elevator makers, airplane makers, ladder makers, tree branches, loose rocks and people standing near me that could push me over the edge.
On March 28, 2006, Dr. Craig, Research Professor of Philosophy at Talbot School of Theology in La Mirada, California, and Dr. Ehrman, James A. Gray Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Religious Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, debated the status of the Christian claim to Jesus’ resurrection from the perspective of historical data. The debate was sponsored by the Center for Religion, Ethics and Culture and the Campus Christian Fellowship.
Read the transcript.
Cars are smelly, noisy, heavy, dangerous and ugly. Even still, I drive a car just about every day. But on September 22 I will not be driving my car. People in the USA drive cars and trucks millions of miles every year. And many of those trips are ridiculously short. Most US cities are designed to accommodate cars and this sucks for people who like to walk or bicycle. Check out WorldCarFree.net.
Joseph Smith article at Rotten.com. Warning Rotten.com is not suitable for sensitive or sensible viewers.
I don’t believe in evil. I believe Hitler was a human who was following human desires. I believe he deserved to die for his deeds. I hope no one ever commits the crimes he committed ever again. I do not believe there is an absolute right and wrong. Right and wrong are concepts created by humans. Some would like you to think that a certain behaviour is wrong because “God” said it is wrong. If we want the human race to survive, we must cooperate and agree that we will not do certain things to each other. I value my freedom and therefore would like to live among people who respect each other’s freedom. This I feel is a good enough basis for making laws. There is no need to rely on laws given by any god.
My brother, Bob, asked me, “Is there anything that you are sure exists but that is not material?”
My short answer would be, “no”, but instead I replied, “I feel like everything can be put on an existance scale. On one end of the scale, say the left end, are things which I feel pretty sure exist and things on the other end, say the right end, of the scale I’m pretty sure don’t exist. This is not an absolute scale. Each thing is placed on the scale relative to other things on the scale. For example my shoes would go to the left of elves and other non-material things would go to the right of elves. So I wouldn’t say I’m sure things like ghosts, souls, angels, demons, etc. exist. I’m just less sure they exist.”
I forgot to mention to him that I think ideas exist and are not necessarily material, but can ideas exist apart from a mind? Is an idea written on paper still an idea if no one is around to read it? By the way, in my opinion the mind is a physical object made of neurons, synapses, etc.