Sunday, October 09, 2005

Is it wrong to agree with the anti-christ?

Reading George W. Bush's latest speech, I found myself in the uncomfortable position of agreeing with him:

"Evil men obsessed with ambition and unburdened by conscience must be taken very seriously, and we must stop them before their crimes can multiply."

Yes. We must.

Tags: Bush, Terrorism

Friday, October 07, 2005

A little imput is a dangerous thing

In this post, rev-ed says:
"I think I can understand... just how scary it is to try to make godly decisions when you don't know what the Bible says. With little or no input, it seems an insurmountable problem to distinguish God's will from any common thought in your head."

There is a maxim that goes along the lines of "One's confidence in One's opinion is inversely proportional to One's knowledge of the subject." Is it true here?

Consider a man who has never heard of God. He cannot therefore concieve of God's will; x/0 makes no sense.

Consider an illiterate man who has heard a single sermon. He believes what he has heard, and obeys it to the letter; x/1.

Consider a man who has read and understood the Torah & Talmud. He knows some of what has been written of God. There are times when he is unsure, but these are in the minority. He knows the rules; x/10.

Consider a man who has read and understood everything from the Bible to the works of Baha'u'llah. He knows that the prophets do not agree, and is reduced to making his own decisions, trusting that his understanding of God's will is pleasing to the Lord; x/100.

The point I am trying to make is that it is scary making decisions no matter how well you know what the bible says, but I do agree with the rev in that it is not an insurmountable problem.

In fact, the problem is easy solved. If our second man had heard the right sermon, his opinion would be worth as much as the other three's put together.

God's will is love. Simple. All the traditions and teachings and laws are like a grain of sand next to the sun of Jesus' commandment. John 3:11 is all the religous education a person needs.

Tags: God, , , , , ,

NOTE: Please ignore the headline. Damn imps.

Catholicism had me worried

Creationism and evolution can co-exist, says cardinal | The Register

Cardinal Christoph Schoenborn recently made headlines when he seemed to come out in favour of Intelligent Design. He has cleared up the misconception:
"[He said]"I see no problem combining belief in the Creator with the theory of evolution, under one condition - that the limits of a scientific theory are respected."

"He explained that in his view, those limits would be overstepped if scientists claimed that evolution proves that there could be no creator. Since science has never made any such claim on evolution's behalf, it looks like it's still OK by the Vatican."

Note that this claim is made by fundamentalists; as they cannot seperate God from the bible, they believe that by correcting mistakes in the bible we are disproving God. This is of course ludicrous; its many contradictions do not disprove God, they only demonstrate that it is not a perfect book. This all or nothing approach I intend to write about at some other time.

The Cardinal still believes in a teleological evolution, however. I am not convinced. While God must have known the results when He started the process, it does not follow that we were his intent, any more than black holes were his intent. Do they believe God is so insecure that He needed to create humans to worship Him? It was clearly not to be custodians of the Earth, as demonstrated by our apalling performance. Nor do I buy the arguement that He created all things for His entertainment.

Guessing the motives of God is for demagogues and idealogues, not serious clergy.

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Thursday, October 06, 2005

Discordianism Infects Blogistan

Not That Theres Anything Wrong With That

I am not going to post links*, nor am I going to participate*, but an very Erisian meme has spread throughout the blogosphere, and hit most of the Abrahamic blogs I read. Here it is:

The instructions:

  1. Go into your archive.
  2. Find your 23rd post.
  3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).
  4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.
  5. Tag five other people to do the same (optional).
While I certainly believe that Eris is a useful interpretation of God, I am not sure how many of the participants realise at which temple they are making this prayer.

Eris Akbar.

* Because that would require effort.

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Monday, October 03, 2005

The Ninth Commandment

20:16 Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour.
King James Bible, Exodus

Bear not false witness -- that is low --
But "hear 'tis rumored so and so."
Ambrose Bierce

As with the previous edict, I am not sure how this is any different from blasphemy. One must assume that statements in Hebrew courts were not sworn by God.

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Some things I would like to say...

before it becomes a crime to say them...

I believe any individual or organisation that takes up arms to free their nation from dictatorship or occupation is a freedom fighter.

I believe any individual or organisation that kills civilians for military or economic gains is a terrorist.

I believe any individual or organisation that breaks the Geneva Conventions is a war criminal.

I believe any individual who votes for a government with such a record has blood on their hands.

I believe that terrorists who target the west do so because of our support of middle-eastern dictatorships. I believe politicians claim that 'they target us because of our values' do so because telling the truth would lead to the public suggesting we stop our support of middle-eastern dictatorships.

Remember: A democratic Saudi Arabia would mean the terrorists have won!

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Friday, September 30, 2005

Malcolm X

Just watched Malcolm X. It got me thinking about quite a few things, but it left me with a problem. A quote:

"Islam... is the one religion that erases from its society the race problem."

I am not going to spend too many pixels arguing with the statement; it should be obvious that the Muslim world has it's own issues with racism, and none of the big five religions actively promote a race based ideology.

Heres my issue: he didn't understand! He swapped racial bigotry for religous bigotry, never appreciating that all people are equel in God's eyes, not even a recognition of the shared Abrahamic Covenant.

But...

Maybe he did. Maybe he thought that the idea would be too much for any-one. I have often felt this about prophets. What if they thought that if they had tried to shape the world in God's image the whole project would be too radical to gather any support. What if they just tried to advance the few people they could as far as they could?

There's always been a few solutions to the puzzle of why God needed more than one prohpet swimming around in my head.

* God's message is interpreted differently by different people.
^ I don't buy it; God isn't ambiguous (see below)

* God doesn't want us to have faith, he wants us to find His truth ourselves.
^ Plausible.

* The prophets lied (or at least spun things) for whatever reason.
^ Plausible, but why would God choose liars for prophets? He would have known the message they would in turn transmit, no? So it stands to reason that we still hear what He wants us to hear, thus begging the question.

* God has a master plan, different for all times and peoples.
^ Plausible. Also explains secularism.

Ultimately, though, heres what I believe:

God's message is Love. Pure, unworded, and unquestionable. What the prophet decides to do with this message of Love is up to them, and God chooses his prophets for this.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2005

Societies worse off 'when they have God on their side'

Britain, UK news from The Times and The Sunday Times - Times Online

“In general, higher rates of belief in and worship of a creator correlate with higher rates of homicide, juvenile and early adult mortality, STD infection rates, teen pregnancy and abortion in the prosperous democracies."

Is this a reflection of the strength of secular values, or of the dangers of fundamentalism? One problem I have that the study is that it
"compares the social peformance of relatively secular countries... with the US, where the majority believes in a creator rather than the theory of evolution."

The US, the only significantly devout post-industrial democracy, is also the only one without universal health care, that executes prisoners, etc. I recognise that this may be putting the cart before the horse: US christianity is significantly different to traditional christianity, as shown by the recent survey finding that 3/4 americans believe the bible says that 'God helps those who helps themselves,' but maybe not.

Maybe it is due to hypocrisy, though. Parents who don't want their children to have sex are less likely to let them become informed on the subject. And their children are less likely to tell them when they start. This carries over to all 'moral' issues; banning abortion, like drugs, doesn't stop it, just makes it more dangerous (half of all performed abortions are illegal).

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Monday, September 26, 2005

What should we do with a Budget Surplus?

According to The Australian;
"Under the Howard Government, the aid budget fell from 0.32 per cent of GDP to a low of 0.25 per cent in 2003-04, by which time it was little more than half the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development average of 0.4 per cent."
Aid agencies generally claim that the contribution from developed nations should be at least 0.7%. This leaves us with a gap of 0.45%.
According to the OECD, our 2004 GDP was A$
834.717 billion dollars.
0.45% of this is $3.756 billion.

Treasury has announced a surplus of $13.6 billion. Surely we could make the target this year at least?

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