Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

Evacuated

Leaving the Coast at 0600 Aug 31.  Heading for higher ground.

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August 31, 2008 Posted by | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

The storm in my own head.

Maybe its the stress of the huricane comming for the Gulf. Woke up today with a pounding headache.  Took the stuff the Doc gave me to make it go away, but it didn’t so I fell back on the remedy that I used to use when I was to broke to go to the doctor.  I go to the most relaxing place in the house (the shower).  Then I rub my neck, shoulders, and head while singing quietly to distract myself from the pain.

Standing in the pouring water, singing and being in intense pain always brings me to a pretty introspective state.  I figure a stress headache is natures was of saying “Calm. Down. Now.”  So I try to think about what is stressing me and sing about it.

Oddly, its not hurricane Gustuv that has my neck knotted up.  Its my disappointment with myself.  I’ve been think a lot about my childhood since I got back from visiting my parents.  I struggle to understand what my parents were thinking.  I can’t get a bead on why they thought the world of violence and paranoia they made for us was a good thing.

But mostly I sang about being loved, or not.  I thought about two good friends I had when I left home.  One female, whom the friendship lasted a mere 6 months, and one male with whom I think the friendship is in the process of ending, some 7 years later.

As I closed my eyes and let the man made rain run over my face I thought of the the oddities of both relationships.  I realized that they were both very similar.  Both were the first close friends I had after I moved out of my profoundly sick family. Both were very emotive people, both became friends with me partly to be my friend and partly to “help” me.

Lord knows I needed some help, but what the young woman did to my body, the young man attempted to do to my soul.  Codependency is founded on the idea that your love can make someone better.  Both had different ways of showing love, but in the end, both needed me to need them.

L (the woman) needed me to need her physically.  She had been raped.  In retrospect, I think it was really good for her to have a man she could take right to the point of orgasm then stop.  It let her relive her abuse as the one in control.  But damn! Did it start to hurt me inside after awhile.  (Caused me some localized physical pain as well, but that is subject for another blog.)

T (the guy) needed to need him spiritually.  He needed me to lean on him for any kind of spiritual council.  I couldn’t deal with my hurt on my own, I had to go to him about it.  When I started to have my own spiritual journey, (on that didn’t involve following his ministry) the friendship began to fall apart.

So, both of them. Thanks. Their hearts were in the right place.  They wanted to love me, but their own issues got in the way.  Me too.  I wanted to love them.  But my problems got in the way.  It’s not OK what they did to me, but I understand why, and I don’t hold a grudge. Some of the things I said and did to them weren’t OK either.  Sorry.

Now if I can just get to that point with my parents….

Peace.

August 30, 2008 Posted by | Self discovery, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

Sarah Palin makes McCain slightly less hideous.

So, I don’t have much to say tonight.  Just my further distrust of the Republican party.

We have now all heard of The Honorable Sarah Palin.

So, let me understand this. The Republican party had a female candidate married to a minority (1/8 Eskimo) raising 5 kids one of whom has Down Syndrome, lifetime member of both the PTA and the NRA, who’s husband is an oil field roughneck and commercial fisherman.  She has a history of attacking oil companies for unethical behavior, and cutting taxes.  She is against nonclinical abortion.  She was the 2nd place in the Miss Alaska competition, and is an avid hunter and angler.  She has also possed for Vouge.

The Democrats had a minority candidate who is probably the best orator since John F. Kennedy Ohhhhhhhh no!  What could the Republicans do to counter that?  I know, lets give Father Time a chance at the presidency!  One more fat bloated white guy is sure to win over the nation’s hearts and minds.

Seriously.  In the most image dominated society in history, they actually decided to run a man that looks like a melted candle again a young, charismatic, sharp dressing black guy.  Sarah Palin was literally “Miss Congeniality” in a regional beauty pageant, for crying out loud!

We are all going to hear a lot about how she doesn’t have the experience, how she doesn’t get international politics, blah, blah, blah.  And you know what, I am sure, at least three old spinsters in Cleavland, Ohio give a shit.

This is not 1776. This is not 1876. This is not 1976. This is the 21st century.  With the exception of a few issues, American’s could care less.  People use phrases like “But what about her stance on international law?” to hide the fact they approve or disapprove of a candidate based on

(1.) Gun Control

(2.) Abortion

(3.) Taxes

(4.) Handouts.

(5.) Homosexuality.

All this talk about “Does Obama have the experience, does Palin have the experience, muh, muh, muh…” is so much verbal masturbation.

People don’t like to be informed, its far to painful.  People like to feel informed.  This election isn’t about who is qualified to lead, its about who can smile pretty for the cameras. This is why celebrity gossip gets more press than world news!   One of the most beloved Republicans of all time is Regan.  An actor.  AN ACTOR! Does no one else get this?

I am not being pessimistic, I am being real.  The presidency of the United States has always been an image job, that was the intent of the framers of the constitution.  Congress has the real power, the president is chosen to be the face of the US to other countries.  We aren’t electing a leader, we are electing a spokesmodel.  And the Republicans gave us…. McCain.

Sigh.

August 30, 2008 Posted by | Government, Politics, Uncategorized | , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Giant Swirling Storm of Death

So, I live on the Gulf Coast.  Right now, a malstrom of destruction named Gustav is pointed straight at the heart of the Gulf Coast.  Straight. At. Me.  Now this is bad for a lot of reasons.

(1.) We are probably going to have to evacuate, which is a pain.

(2.) My sister moved.  Since I can’t list my evac address there, I have to find someone to live with.  The only person available is a very long drive.

(3.) This means the international trip I was going take is probably going to go down the crapper with post Gustav clean up.

(4.) If our international trip is not canceled, we will have at least a week taken out of our too short thirty days to prepare.

Sigh.

But two good things.  One, I am getting a pretty good raise.  Two, even though I admit I am a Deist, I still view the world around me in atheist’s terms.

Why would believing that there is no God involved in this storm make me happy?  Thanks for asking.  Because there is NOTHING I can do about it.

See, before, I would have felt that there was some higher purpose. I would have thought the beautiful morsel of this oversees assignment dangled in front of me and then (probably) yanked away to break my heart on purpose so that God would have a chance to deal with my prideful heart.

Then, I will feel awful for being so selfish.  I mean a hurricane is heading straight for me and I am not even thinking about what this means.  It’s the wrath of God, you know.

I would be desperately praying that the hurricane wouldn’t hit, then praying that I would accept God’s will, and praying that God would forgive me for being so attached to what I wanted, and forgive me for setting my heart so much on this plum assignment I wanted instead of what He wanted.   Guilt.  Frustration. Fear. Self loathing.  Pretty much a whole gamut of negativity.

So, you know what I am doing now?  I am chillin’.  There is a hurricane coming and there’s not a damn thing I can do about it.  I don’t feel any guilt for not somehow relating to this hurricane in a morally correct manner.  I am not responsible for this in any way.  If it hits and destroys my apartment, it’s not my fault.  If it hits and doesn’t destroy my apartment, that’s not my fault either.

Since I don’t trust God to deliver me if I do the right things, there is no way I can “fail” this hurricane.  I have total peace with Gustav.

August 27, 2008 Posted by | Religion, Uncategorized | , , , , | 7 Comments

Behold the FUTURE!

Driving the tail end of 17 hour trip, I needed to lecture on something I was passionate about to stay awake.  I decided to make a variety of predictions about the future.  My friends know I love having an informed and passionate stance about a number of things.  This leads me to wildly swinging optimism and pessimism. Tonight, I’m an optimist.

So here are my thoughts on the future: (1.) The Internet; (2.) Cheap portable internet access; (3.) Evacuated tube transportation; (4.) Renewable energy; (5.) Voluntary population reduction; (6.) Fair trade.

(1.) So, the internet. Leslie and the LYs has a song about this called “I’m the Internet“.  The important part of the song is “I’m the internet, you’re the internet, we’re the internet, now thats the internet…”  The internet is primarily a network of people.  The amazing technology of the internet is neat only so for as it helps to connect people.  Business connections are people connections.  Even spam was written by someone (Someone evil perhaps, but someone). It connects people.  Which is going to lead us to one big McCulture.  Which is sad. But it also means the subcultures across the world can connect.  So subcultures get richer and deeper. Which is cool.

(2.) The only problem with the internet is the price of admission. To have the income to have net access and still eat, pay rent, etcetera is a privilege that at least 80% of the world cannot afford. But it is changing all the time.  Compared to a desktop computer, a cellphone is cheap and easy to power. (You can recharge it with a crank generator if you are so inclined.)  The line between mini-notebook computer and big cellphone will get blurrier and more and more people will have internet access.

(3.) Evacuated tube transport.  This is a big tunnel with all the air sucked out and the train moving through it by mag-lev.   Though the capital costs are huge, the savings are enormous.  It can be 98% efficient in energy input, then glide along pretty much without loss, and then 98% of the energy put in can be recovered at the end for breaking.  Great deal.  Will even further making the world smaller, because speed gets so bloody cheap.  You can move gigatons for pennies.  Also further links the world and blurs national lines and identities.

(4.) Solar cells make power, but they cost power to make.  Right now the payback is about 25 years.  As technology improves we might get to 10 years.  And then all the power they make is gain.

(5.) The world population is still going up, but it is going up more slowly all the time.  Its not impossible that in 100 years world population will be static or shrinking.

(6.) Countries are beginning to insist that other countries can only trade with them if they eliminate subsidization of the industries which produce traded goods.

Probably the most important is population control.  The whole world’s concept of government is based on suckers breeding more suckers.  It doesn’t matter how much of a wank your overlord is, he can trust more suckers to pay his stupid taxes next year because suckers breed like flies.  Voluntary population control is a new, and profoundly slow, if profoundly effective method of controlling elites.

Further, with renewable energy causing a net gain, rather than a net loss in the total amount of power, it will be harder to have wars about resources.  With low population replacement and “unlimited” resources, and an informed populace, it will be harder to have stupid, pointless wars.

Combine a static population with easy access to a global perspective, and stupid, evil politicians will have a real problem.

So power, and therefore materials, are cheap but labor is dear.  Which is a great position for workers.

And transportation is nearly free.  Goods, people, and information are moving cheaply.  This means workers can go from country to country easily.

Right now, agricultural subsidies are going down in Europe because it makes the market fair and undistorted for the EEC.  If this lever was placed on labor, by refusals to trade with countries which subsidize employers (by paying for the welfare of their employees), then it works to force fair labor world wide.

Sounds good to me.

August 26, 2008 Posted by | Ecology, Government, Politics, Uncategorized | , , , | Leave a comment

My Atheist claim collapses and is replaced with weak deism.

October 1949 is the official birthday of the People’s Republic of China.  Any student of history can tell how poorly planned economies work.  One needs only to look at the Great Leap Forward to see how badly planned economies can fail.  And yet, for the first few years after the Communists won, things went better. Why?

Well, it’s not that Communism is that great.  It’s not.  It’s simply that the system of overlapping warlords it replaced was so truly awful that anything, even Maoism, was a distinct improvement.  Within about 5 to 10 years, Chinese Communism had reached its systemic limits and began to deeply hurt rather than to help China.

The point here: it’s not that Communism was so good, it was that the existing system was so bad that even Communism was an improvement.

Atheism is not a perfect fit for me.  I can’t honestly say I am an atheist.  But I can honestly say that not expecting God to help me with day to day struggles and challenges has been one of most rewarding experiences I have ever had.  I am thus, presented with a conundrum: I believe that God is very likely but find the less I have to do with Him the more joy and happiness I experience.

So why believe in God at all? Why do I wish to believe in God?  Well, to be honest, though intellectually weak, one reason is because my parents do.  I’m not pleased with that as an answer, but honestly, if my parents were conservative Muslims instead of conservative Christians, my philosophical struggles would be of a different nature.   Had my dad been an astrophysicist and golfer with a penchant for tintinnabulation instead of charge nurse and Sunday school teacher with itch for IV Demerol, I would be a very different person.  So if I am going to be honest with myself, at least one of the reasons I believe in God is because I always heard it at home.  I can’t reorder my intellectual DNA anymore than could my physical DNA.

I shave the stubble of my brain with Occam’s razor.  To quote Wikipedia… “This is often paraphrased as ‘All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.’ In other words, when multiple competing theories are equal in other respects, the principle recommends selecting the theory that introduces the fewest assumptions and postulates the fewest entities. It is in this sense that Occam’s razor is usually understood.”

Occam’s razor applies to two instances for me.

The first (the objective one) is the huge amount of evidence for the big bang theory.  The big band theory is not a perfect explanation for the the origin of the universe.  It is certainly not nearly so complimentary as the idea that the whole universe is a vast and complicated diorama created with humanity in mind to help them mark the changes of seasons and draw their attention to God.  Regardless, it is the best available theory.

Its weakness is that parts of the theory seem to operate in a manner inconsistent with the laws of thermodynamics.  Matter cannot be created or destroyed, yet the matter had to come from somewhere. Until further evidence is available, I say God seems a likely candidate.   Yes, I know this is the “God of the Gaps” theory; that we invoke Gods to explain things we don’t understand and if we do, those Gods’ jobs gets smaller every year. So what?  To me Occam’s razor says, considering the evidence, there was most likely some force which existed before force existed.  That sounds like the realm of the Divine to me.

The second and final one, is an answer to a prayer I received.  I know this is subjective, but subjective doesn’t mean false, it just means subjective.  You see, after many days of some really horrible experiences that I am not going to detail here, I pulled into a grocery store parking lot.  I needed to get another week’s worth of groceries, but I couldn’t make myself get out of the car.  To me, at that moment, buying another 7 days of groceries would be saying that I could carry on for another seven days, but I couldn’t, not alone.  So I prayed for a friend.  I needed a friend whom I could trust enough to be myself around.  Someone who would love me and let me love them.   Someone I could be vulnerable with.  Someone I could hold and touch and be held and touched in return.  So I prayed for it.  I prayed for the love of a kindhearted woman.

And having prayed that, I walked into the grocery store.  And I met this beautiful checkout girl.  We’ve been together for almost 8 years now.

Now, I could believe that my subconsciousness did this and that, and that in an infinite number of universes representing an infinite set of possibilities that this is mere chance.  I asked an invisible being for something and got it 30 seconds later.  I take 3 possible routes with this.

(1.)  Pure coincidence. (2.) Invisible workings within me. (3.) Invisible workings outside of me.

I find the first to be unlikely.  So, it’s a battle between the second and third.  To me, the second seems unlikely because I have the happiest marriage of anyone I know.  I work hard at my relationship with my wife with enormous rewards, but I had worked hard on my relationships with the girls I knew before her, too, and without the rewards. My (now) wife had prayed earlier that week for a man to really love her.  It seems like this relationship was very special, from day one.  To me, Occam’s razor here again says God.

So now I must admit, I believe in God. But despite me belief in God, I believe that my life goes best when I live like there is no God.  I believe in God, yet persist that the atheist perspective brings freedom.

Well, I wrote the blog before to complain about a world of miracles.  This was the world I tried to inhabit before, a world which was influenced by my beliefs themselves rather than how my beliefs affected my actions.  It was a horrible place to live.  Everything bad was my fault, for not believing right.  Everything good was a miracle I could not claim credit for.

Every single negative thing in my life became my fault for not believing right.  Every good thing was God working.  I could not like myself for what I did right, only hate my self for my constant failure.  I wasn’t poor because I couldn’t get a good job.  I was poor because God had something to teach me.  I needed to suffer more to get enough of God to be happy.  I wasn’t unhappy because my life sucked, no, no.  My life sucked because I was unhappy.  If I had only had the discipline to make myself be happy when my world was spinning apart then my life would be great.  I would be OK that I didn’t make enough to feed my wife and daughter, because God would provide.  It would be OK that we couldn’t afford health insurance because God would either heal us or miraculously provide for us.

When I was eight I prayed that God would make mommy and daddy stop screaming, would make mommy stop breaking things, would make daddy stop hitting sister, would make mommy stop hitting daddy, would make brother stop cutting himself.   Home schooled and living in the country, I would pray for a girlfriend, so lonely for human touch that I would have panic attacks when I saw two girls hugging.  Later on, a charismatic acolyte, I prayed for a paralyzed woman. Marked her forehead with olive oil, laid hands on her and prayed she would walk.  I am to this day haunted by the vacant, pained look in her eyes as she sat and tried to get up (“Raise up and walk, in Jesus name!”) and found herself no more healed than when her husband laid her in the chair.

Researching afterward I found that God’s likelihood of “healing” someone is directly proportional to the likelihood of spontaneous remission for their particular disease.  Spontaneous remission is not the same as placebo, and is most common among “debilitating and progressive diseases such as cancer and tuberculosis.”  But totally unheard of for people with amputated limbs.  Not surprisingly there is no verifiable case of limb regeneration, leading some to ask what God has against amputees.

If there is a God out there, as I believe there probably is, he has enormous respect for entropy, physics and freewill.  Such that 99.9% of the time it’s just like he’s not there at all. I leave 0.1% for highly subjective experiences like mine, and other experiences that I have heard of from people.

But one does not dare trust 0.1% to save their life.  I don’t think God’s 0.1% miracles are enough to protect us from our own stupidity.  I don’t earn a lousy paycheck and expect God to foot the rest of my bills.  I used to.  Thats how I ended up $12 G’s in debt.  (Which I worked my ass off and repaid, btw.)

Further, if we, as a species, are looking for improvement, it will not come from any number of prayer meetings or prophecies.  They will come by working really hard for change. The early church (which changed the world) was different from today’s church, not primarily because of belief, but because of behavior.  They didn’t have canon to argue about.  They didn’t have a professional clergy sponging off the laity.  They didn’t have buildings to pay for.  In short, they focused on being loving and easy to get along with and taking care of their poor.  They were the change they wanted to see.  The early church only trusted God to take care of the poor after the the church’s money had been spent.

Now, if the world around us will not be changed despite sincerity of belief, can we ever change it?  What comfort can there be in an indifferent universe?  How ever much we choose. True, physics will not be bent for you, though you may pray frequently.  True, God either does not act or will not act (if you are are a Deist) or does not exist (if you are an agnostic or atheist).  But we choose whether we will care about our fellow man.  If the world is indifferent to our suffering it is because, by and large, people have chosen to be indifferent.

Does this mean I am saying I put my trust in man, rather than God?  A qualified yes. History shows God cannot be trusted to stop wars, famines, and plagues. Though man can be trusted to start them, he can also chose to fight them.

So, I am a weak Deist.  I believe the only sane world view to have is that God pretty much leaves this earth alone and I reserve the right to say he may influence people’s hearts once in a while.  But when someone tells me they have message from God, I will respond with Luke’s famous line to Vader in Robot Chicken, “That’s very… unlikely.”  I will not trust God to do anything for me.  I will not give him credit for the good that happens to me, nor blame him for the evil.

August 24, 2008 Posted by | atheism, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , | 4 Comments

World of Miracles

So, this is tomorrow blog today. I’ll be on the road tomorrow going from KCMO to Mississippi. I want to write about miracles tonight. Some of the people who read this blog are Christians, and for them I say, I mean no disrespect. I am not saying that I am right or that others are wrong, I merely state my confusion.

The laws which physics describes are the engine of the universe. It is these laws from which develop our concept of faith. Faith in physics in the metric for faith in God. It is because the universe functions consistently rationally that we even have a concept of faith. The fact that one second at my apartment is equal to one second at work is both why I am able to get work on time, and why my employer is able to to have the expectation that I do so. I never look at my clock and think, “Perhaps time is faster at work today than it is at home. I should call them and see if 0630 has come quicker there and I need to go earlier.” All of us human beings have such faith in the non-subjective nature of time, that we can all use schedules, send messages, use phones, etc.

Miracles are a suspension of physics. Be it the physics of water, physics of entropy, physics of time. Miracles are the laws of physics being stretched and bent.

And for whom? For God. For his designs. Through out the Old and New Testament, miracles happen to those who please God and those who don’t. Physics are bent to make a away.

I’ll be honest, I don’t want to live in world prayer changes things. Oh, sure it sounds great at first. My dad, like a lot peoples dads, is dying. I love for him to be cured. But if the laws the physics are suppended, if entropy is stopped for me, is that the sort of world that I, or anyone else, wants to live in?

I imagine 2 applicants for a job, one the best candidate, the other not. And the inept one gets the job, becase he prayed about it.

Two people work hard to provide for their families. One gets food miraculously multiplied, the other starves, because the first believed in God and the second didn’t.

This is a world hard work means nothing, and were the faith we have in physics suddenly ceases to exist. How would we work? How would we survive? How would we make it?

August 23, 2008 Posted by | Religion, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , | Leave a comment

More God Babble

So, I grew up a conservative Christian.  Recently I made the decision to live like an atheist even though I don’t necessarily believe there is no God.  I decided to not trust God to make me happy, but to make myself happy, and not trust God to take care of my needs, but to take care of them myself.

I thought at the time that this would truly show me how much I relied on God, and restore my breaking faith.  Instead, I found that I was  peaceful and joyful.  The two things I had always wanted but never gotten from Christianity.  I also found I was better father and husband, I guess since happy people are less likely to be assholes than people who are depressive and angry all the time.

Most of my good friends are Christians.  Because I love them and am honest with them, I’ve told most of the ones I really care about that I am (1.) A very poor atheist [I prayed about the decision to become one!] and (2.) That I have no explanation for why trying to live like I didn’t believe in God would bring me more inner peace, and make me a better person than than when I tried to live like I believed in him.

There answers are various.  At least 3 people have told me that this is the process by which I drop the “false religion”  that I learned at home.  I grew up in a family that was both abusive (in multiple ways) and Christian, so there is probably some truth to that.

I’ve also been told that this peace is the peace of the damned, like the criminal who stands at ease on the gallows because he has accepted his fate.

I’ve been told that before I was struggling, so now, of course, not  struggling, I feel better.  I was on the fence before, so I am more comfortable not fighting to be with God.  Of all of them, that is the most offensive to me.

I do not consider the 25 years I spent racked with guilt, tithing 10 to 30 % of income, terminating relationships with good people “lest they lead me to sin” and spending hundreds of hours in prayer and Bible study to be “on the fence”  I consider it to be the best I could possibly do to walk out my faith. I didn’t think these things earned me a place in heaven, I thought that these works were the mark of faith, the same way my helping my wife with household chores is a mark of my love for her.

Finally, last nigh, I was told that all of that was a waste, because I had been trying to get to know God by what he had done for others.  I have to meet God not considering what he has done for others, but investigate on His own, without carrying in any emotional baggage of any existing relationship.

This personal God business is a weird one.  In a bit I write more that confuses me about it, the above is just me catching up anyone who wants to know with where I am at.

August 22, 2008 Posted by | Religion, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , | 1 Comment

Explaining my atheist claim II

Published without any editing!

Dear Lottie,
  Well thank you, first of all.  As to me not being an atheist, a good friend pointed out to me that I am an even worse atheist than I was a Christian! Its true.

But I feel like atheist is more accurate than any other term because “There is no difference between a God who will not act because of his nature and one who cannot act because He doesn’t exist.”

If I call myself a theist, then the next logical question is what does this person of God want from me?  The answer I get is sacrifice. I spent the first 25 years of my life sacrificing, throwing away things and people that were valauble to me.  It was misery in the name of Joy, pain in the name of Healing, and despair in the name of Hope.

Maybe I can put it best in an analogy.  Pretend that tommorow a new best seller tops the charts, its called, I am your God by Kevin Bacon.  This book claims that I can have a personal relationship with Kevin Bacon if I just say I believe in him.  That his spirit will comfort me when I am broken and he guide my life. He is everywhere, all knowing, and all seeing.

Now, until the publishing of this book, I beleived in Kevin Bacon.  I saw him in movies and heard about him on TV.  I always trusted that even thought I have never met him in person, only seen his image in movies, that he was real.  But now everytime I meet a group of Baconites, they claim that Kevin Bacon is at there Church.  When I get there, there is no Kevin Bacon.  “He’s in all of us” they say.

Soon, people are being healed in Kevin Bacon’s name.  Other people are so upset that that start murdering Baconites in the street.  The movement grows.

Now, the most resonable belief at first was that Kevin Bacon was just an actor.  Then when absurd claims were made, the most resonable belief becomes that Kevin Bacon is a real person, who wrote a crazy book.  But there comes a point…  Extrodinary claims demand extrodinary evidence.  There comes a point when the claims of the Baconites are so aburd that the evidence of Kevin Bacon’s existence is no longer the most reasonable view.  Maybe there never was a Kevin Bacon, it must have all been movie magic.

Hmm, this has weirded me out about the legitmacy of the existence of God or Kevin Bacon so much that I think I will stop here.  This makes me see further flaws in my argument, and I’m not sure if that means the argument is wrong and thus its statement, or if it is simply a lousy argument for a true statement.

August 21, 2008 Posted by | Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , | 2 Comments

Explaing my atheist claim

To those who may have only read the last few blogs, and did not read the 2 years of blogs which detailed how I went from a dishonest, unhappy Christian, to a Christian who was still unhappy, but honest about it; then explained my struggle to not believe; then finally, how I stopped struggling to believe; lastly, I detailed how by not fighting to believe, suddenly the peace and joy I had always wanted just sort of showed up in my life.

As a person who doesn’t fight to believe, I don’t know what to call myself. Not fighting to believe doesn’t mean that I don’t believe. I still view the world through a lens of good and evil. I still believe in sin. Though, I feel I must define the terms somewhat differently than I used to.

Do I believe in God? I don’t know how to answer that.

I grew up believing that God could be your friend. That if I believed the that the Lord Jesus Christ had shed His precious blood to save me from my sins, then Jesus would accept me, and He would change my life.

Well, I did believe. I believed with everything I had. To me belief is shown in action, so I took whatever actions I could to believe. And my life sucked. Sucked hardcore.

Finally, I was living in the projects in Kansas City. My neighbor got shot in a botched crack deal. The girls two doors down were prostitutes. I woke up every day wondering what new way I could find to fail God, and suck more. I thought about suicide often.

One day, I stopped trusting God to take care of me. I got a real job. I got a house where no one was getting shot. I got a car that didn’t leave my wife stranded all the time.

Getting out of debt rather than getting deeper into. Not having neighbors who got shot. Not having to wonder if my wife was getting shot. In result, not feeling like a failure. In result not wanting to kill myself. These are good things. These are the good things that I got by not trusting God to take care of me.

I don’t know how to respond to this. I want to believe in a personal God. I want to believe that good is rewarded. I want to believe that evil punished. My life shows me that trusting God to help me made things suck, and not trusting God made things not suck.

I don’t have a problem with God, I just don’t trust him to take care of me.

Maybe He will take care of me in the afterlife? But if I believe that, then I have to ask myself how I need to act now. What actions must I take that will let me know that my belief is real? And I will end up back where I was.

I don’t know how to believe in a personal relationship with God, and still be happy.

If Christianity means believing that a person should model ones life on most of the teachings of Christ, then I am a Christian. But I don’t think thats what the word Christian means to most people. It think, to most people it means belonging to subculture. I don’t belong to that subculture.

An atheist is a person who doesn’t believe that God exists. An agnostic is someone who believes that God may or may not exist. But a Christian is someone who believes that God loves them and wants a relationship with them. And personal relationship means give and take. Communication, and prayers answered.

So with in the context of Christianity, an atheist is person who doesn’t believe in a personal, in your space, changing your stuff, helping you make it God.

And I don’t believe that God pays my bills. I believe I pay my bills by working my ass off. So I guess I am atheist. Make sense? I hope so.

August 20, 2008 Posted by | Religion, skepticism, Uncategorized | , | 12 Comments