Thursday, May 25, 2006

What Happens... Part 2

There are a lot of philosophies dealing with death.

Some believe in Heaven and Hell and that in order to choose which place you go to, you must make the right choices in life, be a "good person". In this case, Heaven and Hell can take on a variety of definitions but sufficed to say, one is meant to reward, while the other is designed to punish.

Others believe we live multiple lives, taking on different forms depending, once again, on our performance and treatment of our fellow man.

One I always found interesting is the belief that we are just annihilated at death, nothing lives on beyond that.

As most philosophies and religions teach that death is indeed not really the end, let us leave the "annihilated at death" argument and assume that while our bodies are mortal, some part of us lives on after our flesh has expired.

For the sake of the discussion, I will refer to this part of humankind as "essence" (any Emeril fans out there?).

Presumably, the essence is eternal. And specifically I mean that it lives on forever, but not necessarily that it had no beginning. The question is did it have a beginning? At conception, did we "inherit" this essence from our mother? Or did our father pass it on to us? Assuming this essence had no real beginning but has always been there, where did it come from? Did it emanate from another being, or did all of our individual "essences" co-exist together before they lived in us?

All of these questions, if we took them seriously, would profoundly affect our lives.

If we just disappear and no part of us lives on, then we really aren't obligated to be "good" to ourselves or one another except for the purely selfish motive that we want to live well while we are here. Eat, drink, and be merry, for tomorrow we die.

On the other hand, if there is a Heaven and Hell where we are either punished or rewarded based on our performance, suddenly we have incentive to act right, or as right as we know how.

What is it within man that motivates him to be kind, generous, careful, thoughtful, and all the others qualities that make us human? Is there really a "basic goodness" that we all posses?

Either we are accountable to the giver of this life, we by nature "respect" the essence of others, or we are just being good for the sake of our own enjoyment.

Do you believe in a literal heaven and hell, or reincarnation? Or maybe annihilation?

If you believe in the eternal part of humankind, where did it come from?

Are we accountable to the source of this life?

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

What Happens to Us When We Die?

This may sound like a childish question to some, but eventually, everyone ponders this thought. Human mortality is a fact of life, but do any of us really take it seriously unless it is our time to go?

This is something I never gave a second thought when I was younger. What pre-teen or teenager wants to think about dying, much less the hereafter? Part of youth is that feeling of being invincible, nothing can touch you!

For me, getting married and then having children helped to make me aware that I will not always be around. It's funny how being depended upon by others accomplishes this. I take better care of myself in a lot of different ways solely because I want to be there for the people who need me for as long as possible.

Another life event that forces you to ponder death is when you lose loved ones. For me it was grandparents, an uncle, I lost my first wife who was only 35 at the time. The relative age of those you lose affects your reaction to it. When my grandmother and grandfather both died at 84 years of age, it was very sad for those of us that could not see them again in this life, but definitely not a surprise. When someone dies at an age that is considered "too young" it is a tragedy and everyone is shocked. No one sees that coming. My uncle died after years of drug use, and it seemed like a waste that he didn't clean himself up at some point before he left us.

So the condition of the person dying and our perception of how useful their lives were all help to form our reaction to death.

How often have you pondered the question of your own mortality?

What specific events brought this to your mind?

Have you come to any specific conclusions about death, such as what happens after?

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Rant from a Disenfranchised Conservative

This is the most telling statement made by our President recently:

"The objective is, on the one hand, protect our borders, and on the other hand, never lose sight of the thing that makes America unique, which is we're a land of immigrants. ... We're not going to discriminate against people," Bush said.

Sounds to me like some fine fence-riding. On one hand, we got to get tough and protect our borders, while still rewarding those who have broken our laws to come here. NOT rewarding them and punishing them and those that hire them is apparently discrimination.

The premise that, "they are already here, so we may as well give them temporary work status" doesn't play with me. I liken it to giving 13 year olds condoms because, "well, they are curious and will probably have intercourse anyway, so they may as well do it in a safe manner."

Any reasonable person would agree that statement 2 is just a result of bad parenting, so what does that say for the angle President Bush is taking?

This is a bit of a rant, and for that I apologize. I am just frustrated because I voted for George Bush both terms and overall I am not satisfied with his track record.

Here's an interesting statement I found on Yahoo from El Presidente Vicente on the matter. Naturally, he was "concerned" that Bush was militarizing the border, as if that is in no way reasonable.

Bush also assured Fox that any military support would be administrative and logistical and would come from the National Guard and not the Army, according to a news release from Fox's office.

So we are going to have, no offense to those in our National Guard, a bunch of pencil pushers sent to the border to help stem the tide of illegal immigrants? Pardon me if I am not thrilled, but insulted at this obvious political gesture.

I have also been hearing a lot of comments around the blogosphere about Conservatives that are "deserting" President Bush over just this issue and the implication is that this is somehow disloyal. Let me make myself perfectly clear in this matter: I am not blindly loyal to ANY MAN, including our President. I voted for George W. Bush because I thought HE was conservative, but I was wrong. Big time.

I am calling out anyone who would like to show me ONE piece of legislation or spending initiative put forth by our President that shows he is a conservative at heart.

Those who would like to see this whole situation in its reality, you need a Biblical world view. Not a liberal, conservative, or independent one. If you understand the Bible prophesy about Global Governance and One World Government, suddenly all of what is happening begins to make perfect sense.

Friday, May 12, 2006

Battleground God

I was over at Cynthia's and took the Battleground God questionnaire. It was amusing at best due to the fact that it is based on "The god of Philosophy" (who doesn't exist). I didn't fair too well, due to the fact that my beliefs were not in line with the philosphical viewpoints that provide the premise for the test.

Below are some analysis of areas where I took some hits:

Analysis of your Direct Hits

Direct Hit 1

You answered "True" to questions 10 and 14.

These answers generated the following response:

You've just taken a direct hit! Earlier you agreed that it is rational to believe that the Loch Ness monster does not exist if there is an absence of strong evidence or argument that it does. No strong evidence or argument was required to show that the monster does not exist - absence of evidence or argument was enough. But now you claim that the atheist needs to be able to provide strong arguments or evidence if their belief in the non-existence of God is to be rational rather than a matter of faith.

The contradiction is that on the first ocassion (Loch Ness monster) you agreed that the absence of evidence or argument is enough to rationally justify belief in the non-existence of the Loch Ness monster, but on this occasion (God), you do not.


Obviously, I was a little biased here as I have never seen evidence of the Monster of Loch Ness, but can see evidence of God by looking out a window and observing nature.

Rom 1:18-20
18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of men who suppress the truth by their wickedness, 19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities-his eternal power and divine nature-have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.

(from New International Version)

Direct Hit 2

You answered "False" to Question 7 and "True" to Question 17.

These answers generated the following response:

You've just taken a direct hit! Earlier you said that it is not justifiable to base one's beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction, paying no regard to the external evidence, or lack of it, for the truth or falsity of this conviction, but now you say it's justifiable to believe in God on just these grounds. That's a flagrant contradiction!


Analysis of your Bitten Bullets

Bitten Bullet 1

You answered "False" to questions 6 and 7.

These answers generated the following response:

You're under fire! You don't think that it is justifiable to base one's beliefs about the external world on a firm, inner conviction, paying no regard to the external evidence, or lack of it, for the truth or falsity of this conviction. But in the previous question you rejected evolutionary theory when the vast majority of scientists think both that the evidence points to its truth and that there is no evidence which falsifies it. Of course, many creationists claim that the evidential case for evolution is by no means conclusive. But in doing so, they go against scientific orthodoxy. So you've got to make a choice: (a) Bite the bullet and say there is evidence that evolution is not true, despite what the scientists say. (b) Take a direct hit and say that this is an area where your beliefs are just in contradiction.

You chose to bite the bullet.


I chose to bite the bullet rather than agree with humanist scientists grasping at evolutionary straws!

Bitten Bullet 2

You answered "True" to Question 16.

This answer generated the following response:

You've just bitten a bullet! In saying that God has the freedom and power to do that which is logically impossible (like creating square circles), you are saying that any discussion of God and ultimate reality cannot be constrained by basic principles of rationality. This would seem to make rational discourse about God impossible. If rational discourse about God is impossible, there is nothing rational we can say about God and nothing rational we can say to support our belief or disbelief in God. To reject rational constraints on religious discourse in this fashion requires accepting that religious convictions, including your religious convictions, are beyond any debate or rational discussion. This is to bite a bullet.


Ok, the test got me here. The whole debate about what God can't do, like sin, or violate human free will; or as the question suggests, make 1 + 1 = 72, is still a little beyond me.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Legal Drugs in Mexico

According to this article on CNN's website. Mexico is a signature away from de-criminalizing several dangerous substances.

"No charges will be brought against ... addicts or consumers who are found in possession of any narcotic for personal use," according to the Senate bill, which also lays out allowable quantities for an array of other drugs, including LSD, ecstasy and amphetamines.

What is ironic is the penalties for selling these substances will remain.

It also stiffens penalties for trafficking and possession of drugs -- even small quantities -- by government employees or near schools, and maintains criminal penalties for drug sales.

Those who understand just how corrupt the Mexican government is will not be suprised by this news, while all others should pay careful attention because this is one of the countries we are planning on "joining" to become "The New America" where all of their inherent problems become ours!

Imagine how much money this new "law" will generate for Mexico as countless American college students and drug users flood the border towns looking for a fix.

The fact that we are in bed with this country in alot of ways should alarm you.