The annual stuff-fest is underway. The time of year when you see and meet the best that's in people, and the worst that's in people. I despise Christmas. If it was a religious festival, I wouldn't mind so much. Hang on - it is a religious festival. Duh! The religion beinng the worship of stuff. How much crap is going to change hands this year? Billions of dollars will be spent. How much of that crap is actually going to be worth anything? 5%? 10%?
They say that it's for the children. Actually, it's for the retailers, and their businesses. This is the month many retail businesses do up to a half of their annual turnover. That's OK: there's nothing wrong with a person making a living. But let's not kid ourselves that Christmas has any other focus than that of acquiring stuff.
Leaping to God's defence. The news, a couple of days ago, that an atheist organisation was fund-raising to put some ads on a fewe buses was welcome. The ads are to say something like "God probably doesn't exist.. so stop worrying, and get out and have some fun". A fine sentiment. The reaction to the news was immediate, and predictable: god-botherers leaping to the defence of their omnipotent and all-knowing deity - as if he (yes, I'll stick with the masculine pronoun. It's how god is seen by his patrician creators. So I'll be polite.) actually needed defending. I would have thought that if he was almightily annoyed by atheists, he would have been getting in a few smitings by now. He didn't, so therefore he either doesn't need the defence of humans, or he doesn't care a rat's ass, or he doesn't exist.
If he does exist, he must be sorely disappointed by the level of argument that has been put up by his corner. The Bible says he exists, and the Bible was written by god, so therefore... That was a goody, and nearly convinced me. Right.
Actually, I feel the reactions (on Stuff.co.nz) from the god botherers demonstrated that god definitley doesn't exist. If he did, then he would have made sure his defenders at least knew how to spell and punctuate. It was obvious that most followers of god were, at best, semi-literate.
Probably. A lot were concerned by the use of the word "probably", and crowed mightily that atheists wouldn't just come out and say "God doesn't exist". Atheists should never come right out and say that, because such a statement is an act of faith, not of fact. It is almost impossible to prove a negative. And, as many atheists' non-belief is powered by a scientific point of view, they can't state categorically that there is no god, because it can't be proven. But a quiet stroll through the gardens of reason and clear thinking will demonstrate that god probaly doesn't exist. We can be 99.999% certain, but never 100% certain. Christians would rather be boiled in oil than have it proven that god doesn't exist.
The atheists were also castigated by their anti-christian statement. This, of course, is chauvinism, and subsequently utter tosh. The statement isn't anti-christian : it's anti-god. The whole judeo-christian-moslem god structure is built on sand. Any god will do: he just probably ain't there.
Listening to: Steppenwolf, "At Your Birthday Party". Great 1960s rock. Really great.
Reading: John Connolly, "The Gates". More on that later.
Word of the Day: Probably. A word that demonstrates the open-mindednessof scientists, the world's most valuable people. Give me a scientist over a theologist any time.
“Aye, Grampa. You did me a good deed that day.”
“But did I, boy? Did I?” the old man was earnest, and troubled. “Your parents weren’t of the Friends. They were good solid Methodists, God rest their souls. I was a friend of your Dad’s, but they didn’t really approve of me, with my Quaker ways.”
“I don’t know, old man. “ Arthur steadied himself for a moment. He looked down at his hands, still grimy from the day’s labour. He was confused, and stammered on. “You gave me a home, guidance, and love when I needed it. I am who I have become, and I’m happy with it. You taught me that killing is wrong, that to make war is stupid. As it happens, I have applied my mighty intellect against your arguments,” and he flashed a quick grin at the old man, “and I find no fault. No, sir. This morning was annoying because I brought shame to you, and for that I apologise.”
“No embarrassment, no apologies,” Grampa Smith’s voice was brisk. “Although you were a damn’ fool. You handed that blasted Weatherby exactly what he needed. But we’ll need to keep an eye on young Tim. Did you see how eager he seemed?”
The Old Man questioned himself severely every night, as he lay in his lonely bed. He cared for the boy deeply, and had treated him with great kindness. Arthur had wanted for little as he grew. He had schooled well. He was bright, inquisitive, his mind a diamond-bright darting minnow that ferreted after the truth. The old man had followed the Society of Friends’ teaching – as he understood and remembered them – since his childhood. There had been no fellowship of Friends at Northridge, but the old man enjoyed his own council, and studied the Scriptures every day.