Wednesday

LIFE OF PI - Film and Book




From Yann Martel's "Life of Pi" - the book. Both film and book are well worth seeing. It is about story telling, God, humans, animals and varieties of truth.

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To choose doubt as a philosophy of life is akin to choosing immobility as a means of transportation. p. 44

... There is Brahman, the world soul, the sustaining frame upon which is woven, warp and weft, the cloth of being, with all its decorative elements of space and time. There is Brahman nirguna, without qualities, which lies beyond understanding, beyond description, beyond approach; with our poor words we sew a suit for it—One, Truth, Unity, Absolute, Ultimate Reality, Ground of Being—and try to make it fit, but Brahman nirguna always bursts the seams. We are left speechless. p. 67

Reading Group Guide:

God, survival and tiger behaviour. It’s hard to imagine a more invigorating combination of discussion topics. We hope that the following questions will enrich your reading of Pi’s fantastic journey. ....

3. In the Author’s Note, Mr. Adirubasamy boldly claims that this story “will make you believe in God”, and the author, after researching and writing the story, agrees. Did Pi’s tale alter your beliefs about God? ...

5. Early in the novel, we discover that Pi majored in religious studies and zoology, with particular interests in a sixteenth-century Kabbalist and the admirable three-toed sloth. In subsequent chapters, he explains the ways in which religions and zoos are both steeped in illusion. Discuss some of the other ways in which these two fields find unlikely compatibility

7. There is a lot of storytelling in this religious novel. Is there a relationship between religion and storytelling? Is religion a form of storytelling? Is there a theological dimension to storytelling

11. In chapter 23, Pi sparks a lively debate when all three of his spiritual advisors try to claim him. At the heart of this confrontation is Pi’s insistence that he cannot accept an exclusively Hindu, Christian or Muslim faith; he can only be content with all three. What is Pi seeking that can solely be attained by this apparent contradiction? Is there something common to all religions? Are they “all the same”? If not, how are they different? Is there a difference between faith and belief? ...

12. What do you make of Pi’s assertion at the beginning of chapter 16 that we are all “in limbo, without religion, until some figure introduces us to God”? Do you believe that Pi’s faith is a response to his father’s agnosticism? ... pp. 365 -367

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9Hjrs6WQ8M

Tuesday

SKEPTICISM (from D J Grothe - How To Be A "Perfect" Skeptic )


From D J Grothe - How To Be A "Perfect" Skeptic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3sZZ6J0QkB4
1. Skepticism is really best when used as a weapon ( on other people) and not as a shield. ... You don't need skepticism to clean up your own thinking.

2. Foster the "Mensa effect". ... I'm a skeptic therefore I'm really smart and therefore I'm right. You're all skeptics therefore you should know that I'm right. ... The skeptics best and most valuable friend. ...

3. (Use a purity test.) You must constantly be vigilant and on guard against others not being pure skeptics or letting woowoo creep into their skepticism. Do not shy away from phrases such as “you are not a true skeptic". ... make sure that your fellow skeptic is pure and not polluted by any belief that does not follow necessarily out of your skepticism that you've adopted.

4. Our enemies ... enemies of reason.... To empathise with the unreasonable, to feel for the unreasonable, to try to figure out why they are there in that place, why they have that lot in life. lowers your defences and weakens your arguments. Empathy weakens your skepticism. ... Show little mercy when it comes to those spouting nonsense. This is especially important when dealing with claims that are central beliefs and very cherished and personally deeply felt. ... As we are skeptics we don't really have any good news to spread.... "Smile. Join our throng. Everything you believe is wrong - and you're an idiot." ...

5. Eschew marketing.... Skeptics should pay no attention to their audiences but only pay attention to the facts because the facts are all that matter. ... facts are a "one size fits all" solution because ... it's the truth at all cost no matter how painful. ... If you do it long enough and loud enough people will buy it. ...

6. Become a left libertarian, vegetarian, gay activist, ... stamp out homophobia ... adopt well-being consequentialism ... like Peter Singer ... Ethical and social issues. ... Skepticism is the way to arrive at the one true answer to any of these questions. ... Tell skeptics to stop focussing on trivial paranormal matters and instead deal with other more important matters like sexual and racial inequality, poverty, class, economics, all the social issues that merit our attention much more than whether a ghost exits ... or even God ...

7. The history of the last 30 years of the skeptics movement is irrelevant and you should really not let it become a distraction to you. ... You don't need to know why ... skeptics have tried to avoid politics ... social issues which they said skeptics might get distracted and divided over. ... There's no meaningful difference, no significant contrast, between skepticism, atheism and humanism. ... they are one and the same. ...

8. Skepticism leads necessarily to atheism. ... If you are not an atheist you can't be a proper skeptic. People like Michael Gardner and others in the history of skepticism who were deists or believed in Spinoza's God or believed in panentheism or pantheism ... they were an anomaly and should not matter at all for contemporary skepticism right now.

9. Our movement, our cause, already has all the spokespeople it needs. ... You fit best in skepticism when you are a consumer of our product rather than competing with us and advancing skepticism on your own. ... If you want to advance skepticism on your own you don't need any expertise or training to do so. ... You just need a deep commitment to the truth and you need ambition and that's all. No special training. It does not take any special expertise to advance skepticism just the commitment of telling other people that they are wrong. ...

10. You are a besieged minority. ... Racial and sexual minorities have had their day in the sun ... now it is our time as skeptics.

11. Skepticism is for us. It is not for everyone. ...

12. Do the exact opposite of every single thing I've said today.

Monday

DON'T TELL ME (YOU KNOW WHAT IT'S LIKE)


My latest song "Don't Tell Me (You Know What It's Like". Listen or download as free mp3 at http://soundclick.com/share.cfm?id=12160186

Like my Facebook Muscian page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Mark-Tindall/125474904180434 and get more updates and information regarding my own original music plus music in general.

LYRICS

VS:

Endless loops of mental pain
All my whites have blood red stains

CH:

Don’t tell me
You know what it’s like

Black dog howling noon to moon
Singing dirges out of tune

Living nightmare in the dark
Getting up without a spark

Faceless gnomes gnaw away
Through the night and through the day

Lifeless eyes peek out at sky
Broken heart lets out a cry

Black dog with anxiety
Forever in my company

FOR THE FUNDAMENTALIST CHRISTIAN CREATIONIST WHO TROLLS ME



 



Every now and then some Trew Kristyun wants to contradict Jesus' command to love their neighbour and tries to mine this blog to use it as supposed evidence against me. The latest has been fundamentalist creationist.

In response to comments I made on Facebook supporting the well documented scientific theory of evolution this Christian fundamentalist creationist states the following.

My comments in *[...]

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You come across exactly like a "Scientific Fundamentalist" and that is just as bad as being the kind of "Religious Fundamentalist" that you despise. ... Your bigoted views invite insult, so you should not be shocked when you are challenged.

... I never make ad hominem statements *[BWAHAHAHAHA!!! ROTFLMAO!!!!], but in this case I'm making an exception. YOU have become the issue. From your posts, I would say you have the zeal of a religious fundamentalist in regard to science, but that is not what makes you a untrustworthy teacher and a threat to society. The thing that makes you dangerous is that you think your views are superior, but you are blind to the reality that they do not differ from that of any garden variety bigot. You are the archetype of those twisted the screws in the auto de fe, who stood hooded before a burning cross or who placed bodies in ovens. You are the dark angel of education because of your bias, intolerance and bigotry. From what you have said, you are not worthy to be a teacher. I do not require that you believe as I do, but you should understand that there are many different worldviews. You apparently don't get that, and that makes you pretty useless as an educator and as a human being.You think religion is arcane and science is absolute. That is an expression of ignorance, of course, and you only have to visit your local Phrenologist to understand that. As the Phrenologists have taught us, so-called scientific fact is in a constant state of flux, and scientists are changing their hypotheses every day. That's why your AAS Policy * [ Australian Academy of Science Policy on creationism and intelligent design http://www.science.org.au/policy/creation.html . Echoed by The Global Network of Science Academies http://www.interacademies.net/10878/13901.aspx . Neither acknowledge creationism / Intelligent Design as real science] has the unmistakable stink of political correctness about it. You and I both know that the AAS document is what we Christians would call a "statement of faith" -- and cannot be proved factually. It is just what some scientists believe today, and new scientific theories are likely to appear tomorrow. Thus, your scientific facts are like the weather and will change tomorrow, so there is no reason for you to get your knickers in a twist over them. Virtually all Christians accept most of the aspects of science. You so-called "scientists" do not return the favor. You insist on bullying others into your scientific belief system. In your educated ignorance, you have no tolerance for creation beliefs that have been around from 10,000 to "a billion" years *[BWAHAHAHAHAHA!!! ROTFLMAO!!!], yet expect everyone to accept scientific "fact" that has been around only a few hundreds years at most. You are foolish to think humans will change their belief system on your (or the AAS) say so. What gigantic egos you have. The main reason I am making such strong ad hominem statements is because I think, at the core, you are a bad person. It has nothing to do with either science or religion. From what you have said, I think you are a poser. You are not a scientist or and educator, but use them to mask your intolerance, bigotry and political bias against worldviews that differ from your own. I consider that to be shameful and have said so."

... However, because I am a Christian, I deleted my post within about 3 minutes after posting, deciding instead to knock the sand from my sandals rather than b
eing drawn into your bigoted nonsense. If it is true (?) that it appeared in your mail box, it is because someone else who agrees with me that you are a troubled person cut and pasted it, in that 3 minutes, and sent it to you. I didn't. *[ No. In fact, as is normal on Facebook, it came direct to my inbox from him.  Sent: Saturday, February 09, 2013 12:23 PM ]

... I always find intellectual myopia and blind prejudice such as that expressed in your posts to be reprehensible ...
... I have earned my living as a professional writer for 44 years, and have owned an indie publishing company for 20 years now ....

At first it appeared you were obsessed with the creation thing, and that was feeding your anti-religious bigotry. Your hatred was really the only issue with me in posts--I think it is wrong, and don't think any legitimate, self-respecting scientist would be guilty of it. Then I read your anti-Christian, anti-Semitic *[ Utterly impossible as I am a Noachide. There are no anti-Semitic posts anywhere on this blog.], ramblings at http:// marktindall.blogspot.com, and it appears your views are based more on your "deconversion from Christianity" and other religious experiences rather than anything relating to science.  ...
I did clinical training at Trenton State Psychiatric Hospital and an internship at a home for emotionally disturbed adolescents while doing my degree at Princeton Seminary ...

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He did not make a single statement relating to any science that backs up his creationist pseudo-science views in any of his posts to me. Instead he attacks me. How very Christian of him! His abject lack of knowledge about science is quite evident.

Ceationism / Intelligent Design pseudo-science is about proving bible verses not doing science.

No creationist is looking for:
- the bones of Adam and Eve
- talking snake bones
- the tree of the knowledge of good and evil
- the tree of life
- the bones of the angel who was guarding the tree of life (obviously drowned in Noah's flood).

If creationists found those items then they might have some type of case for the veracity of their absurd pseudo-science claims.Jesus stated "Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. By their fruits you will know them. Do you gather grapes from thorns, or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree produces good fruit; but the corrupt tree produces evil fruit. A good tree can't produce evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree produce good fruit. Every tree that doesn't grow good fruit is cut down, and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them. Not everyone who says to me, 'Lord, Lord,' will enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will tell me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, didn't we prophesy in your name, in your name cast out demons, and in your name do many mighty works?' Then I will tell them, 'I never knew you. Depart from me, you who work iniquity.' - Matthew 7:15-23

The fruit of the spirit are "love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control". - Galatians 5:22-23.

I'll leave it to my readers to judge whether this fundamenatlist creationist demonstrates any of the fruit of the spirit when he attacks me instead of defending his creationist pseudo-science.