Thursday, April 24, 2014

Oh! Hello there!

I had an idea.

I haven't blogged in a while but it's not really for lack of time or anything to say. My life is anything but boring at the moment but it's different than it was in the past. I am a suburban dad now and my plans of world domination have gone by the wayside in favour of raising a child who will crush you under her boot heels like the scum you all are!! - OK I'm kidding. (sort of)

 I like the idea of the blog but I think the focus needs to change a little. A redesign is in order with a blog renaming and a different focus as well. I had planned to do this before but I got lazy.

So, here we go! I'm pressing the reboot button now.


Dang...

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Skeptevil

Rawl's taken his blog down the deep dark hole of skepticism...I like it so I'm going to go with him.

I recently watched an hour long video on the historicity of Jesus. It was an interesting video not just because the speaker was casting doubt on whether Jesus truly existed but also because he touched on how it's possible to get history so very wrong.

I liked his explanation that Jesus was really considered an entity that was subordinate to God and that appeared, not in physical form but, in revelation to a few people and that this was a common occurrence.

For example, Imagine some dude has a dream/hallucination/revelation about another guy turning water into wine or something similar. If he tells his bros about his experience they might say something like "Oh yeah, I've heard of that before. That's JC, sending you a message. It's probably important, you should remember it and maybe tell someone at the temple and see if they can add some meaning to it for you.

Aren't we all striving to add meaning to things that occur in our lives?

So imagine in our story above, word gets around of a supernatural entity sending messages to the people of the world through dreams/hallucinations. It wouldn't take much for that to ignite the imagination of other people. They might interpret their own dreams as a revelation from a spiritual entity. They may tell other people. Eventually, as the popularity grows someone will write these stories down.

According to the speaker of this lecture the merging of Greek ideas with other other culture's ideas to create something different was a prominent trait of the religions of this time period. Another common trait was to take these mythological characters and re-tell them in the context of happening on earth as part of history. He called this, euhemerism which, is named after the guy who did this with the stories of Zeus and other Greek gods. So taking from the revelation accounts of people and their accounts with Jesus and then re-writing these stories as having taken place gives us the basis of the Christian holy book.

The speaker was pretty cool in that he indicated why he might be wrong, where people disagree with him and he also added some historical context to his argument - Knowing that a lot of the Christian gospels are forgeries attributed incorrectly to the disciples or modified to suit political aims..

When the talk was finished I though what an interesting idea...but how do we know if it's true? And that thought took me down the rabbit hole.

Is history a matter of perception? If so, whose perception? How can we really know what happened in the past? If we were not there, do we have to trust the people who preserved the story? What if these people were motivated to tell untruths by their circumstances. What about perception again? I may witness a series of events which, if witnessed by a different person could be interpreted differently. Whose perception is correct?

You've probably seen this before:

Is it an old hag or a young woman? As much as I like the idea of Jesus not actually having existed I find I can't make a definitive call on it. Very much like my atheism, I can only say that one explanation seems more likely than another. I can only really say God likely does not exist. I'm not 100% certain on this but I'm fairly sure that is the case.

It seems there are some areas of discussion where there is no room for absolutes. I think probably the mistake a lot of people make is mistaking a "leaning toward" answer for an absolute answer. All we can seem to do is collect as much information as possible in an appropriate manner to get only an approximation of truth...It's a little scary when you think about it but what else can you do? Rawl touches on this a little in his most recent post on arguing from ignorance...how not knowing is not a case for falseness or correctness but now I'm wondering, what is truth?

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Sean's Christmas Message

I love Christmas...It may be weird for an atheist to love Christmas but honestly I could care less about Jesus and God. Christmas for me is mostly about my family. I get some time off to relax and spend time with my loved ones. The presents and the lights and the food just enhance the experience. I say this every year.

It's not really Christmas for me though I suppose. Since I'm an atheist I don't celebrate "Christmas" per say, my family and I are traditionally catholics, so I suppose Christmas is a good a word as anything. Maybe next year I'll say winter solstice.. ;)

HAHA Mayans! You missed!

Try again suckers!

Here we are on December 21st, 2012 and I'm still here. I didn't really expect you to murder the world last night. Some people just got all crazy with interpreting exactly what you meant by stopping your calendar. It's OK I forgive you. In fact, I have some respect for you for calculating dates so long after you've ceased to be a major civilization. Time is eternal so you had to stop somewhere right?




Thursday, December 13, 2012

Social Media

You know, social media is an incredibly powerful tool but it's a tool that you really cannot rely on to protect your reputation or look after the impression that you may give over the internet. In a world where more an more employers are searching the internet to get an idea of what you as a person are like, People on sites like Facebook are doing their best to make you look like a big jerk...guilt through association.

For example, one of my cousins posts constantly about how abortion is evil. It's a despicable sentiment and I was constantly disgusted with her incessant posting of ill conceived, poorly researched videos and commentary, which used shocking imagery in order to appeal to people on an emotional level - as if shocking imagery is required to create an emotional response.

As someone who was faced with this "choice" I found her posts so offensive I could have spit. We chose to minimize the suffering of our child who was very sick and minimize the danger to my wife so we ended our pregnancy early. To even conceive of having this option taken away is offensive beyond all measure and anyone who thinks otherwise ought to be ashamed of themselves. I don't really care if someone does not agree with me on this. If you're one of those anti-abortion zealots then I think your position is immoral and unethical and I will tell you so in no uncertain terms.

Rather than have these posts show up when I logged into Facebook which, I rarely do anyway, I un-friended my cousin.

Strike 2  - another cousin of mine (it's always the cousins isn't it?) posted a sentimental image of text about how your cousins are the first friends you have and only they understand your crazy family yadda yadda and then tagged me in the photo. That's fine. I mean, I'd prefer not to be tagged in a picture that doesn't have me in it but it's fairly harmless. Except, another cousin of mine who was also tagged in the photo posted "F**k you!" as his comment.

So, here's the problem. I'm a professional working in the high-tech sector. I can't control what other people put on my wall and what information is associated to me on a site like Facebook. Having recently had my performance review at work, how I appear on the internet is of concern to me. I did really well this year and exceeded expectations. I was also highlighted as a candidate for future management positions...So imagine what someone looking at me as a potential manager might think of the childish information associated to me posted by my cousins or anybody really. I can't ask other people to behave themselves...it's a free country after all.

I'm not interested in hiding my opinions or pretending to be something I'm not but I also don't want someone getting the wrong impression of me because someone can't behave themselves so, today was the final straw. I deleted my Facebook account. I've been thinking about doing this for a long time.

It's not just people either. It's also Facebook itself. They're constantly fiddling with their privacy settings. I have no idea what people can and cannot see. It's simply not worth the headache any more. I hardly ever log on and, when I do, I find I really don't get anything out of it..