Thursday, July 12, 2007

My Take on Miracles...

I had a very interesting conversation with my family while driving around Atlanta a few days ago, and I just remembered that I wanted to post about it.

My immediate family members are all practicing Catholics. My two younger brothers and I went to a convent-grade school/junior high, a Franciscan high school, and my middle brother and I are currently attending a Catholic college. I've studied my faith, its history and traditions, and the Bible fairly extensively. I'm certainly not the best Christian or Catholic ever to walk the face of the planet...but I know my stuff and I practice what I preach.

However, my family also raised me to use my brain...this sometimes can catch my mother off guard when it comes to matters of faith. She is a wonderful woman and easily one of the most truly Christian women I have ever or will ever know.

I have begun to label myself a Deist Catholic. Deism is a philosophical interpretation of God and faith applied to defines deism as such:

Deism is the recognition of a universal creative force greater than that demonstrated by mankind, supported by personal observation of laws and designs in nature and the universe, perpetuated and validated by the innate ability of human reason coupled with the rejection of claims made by individuals and organized religions of having received special divine revelation.

While I don't buy into the deist philosophy one hundred percent, I very much appreciate its emphasis on using one's own brain to figure things out.

With the background set up now, I can get to the conversation.

My mother is intrigued by miracle stories, both modern and Biblical. skeptical. The topic of conversation in the car on this particular day was the multiplying of loaves and fish (...the story would have first appeared in Mark, as it was the earliest Gospel written, so I'm going to refer to this particular version...Chapter 6 verses 34-44). Mark writes that Jesus went out to a deserted place; this means of course that he probably was out in the desert. Some 5,000 people followed him in the hopes that he would preach to them.

I don't even like to drive around for work each day without a bottle of water and an apple in the car...the idea that 5,000 people picked up and ran headfirst into the desert and then many hours later said to themselves, "CRAP! We didn't bring any food!" is one hundred percent ridiculous. The solution is somewhat less miraculous and awe-inspiring but just as important to Jesus' message.

When the people in the front of the crowd with food saw that Jesus was instructing his Apostles to share their food with those people who maybe hadn't realized how long they would be outside and hadn't brought enough sustenance, they acted in accordance with the instructions and began to pass around their own food. These acts of goodwill made their way among all the people present until all 5,000 people had enough to eat. I mean...they followed him to learn, right? The miracle story isn't about Jesus''s about his revealing man's capacity and willingness to help himself, which is a great message!

My mom did concede this particular argument to me, which is always nice.

I won't claim to have a realistic interpretation of every miracle story or a logical explanation for every religious phenomena. And I'm certainly not an authority on all things Christian...but I would implore all Christians to think for themselves once in a while. God gave you a brain so you could use it.

That's all I've got.
Peace out.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Cosmic Rays

A new study has been published that says the sun no longer causes warming...

Ok, that's not exactly a fair statement...but it is fishy-sounding

"This paper re-enforces the fact that the warming in the last 20 to 40 years can't have been caused by solar activity"
- Dr Piers Forster

You'll have to read it to get the full idea, but essentially, these scientists have taken measurements of the sun's activity over the past 30 years or so, and have concluded that the activity has no effects on modern warming...

If we can't predict the weather on a daily basis, how can we possibly figure this garbage out?

Bah...that's all I've got.
Peace out.

He's Alive

Hey everyone.

It has been too long. I hope you all had a magnificent Fourth of July.

I've been up to quite a bit lately. I spent the last week in Atlanta, GA for a wedding. I also wanted to spend some time with my mother's side of the family, as I will not get to see a lot of them for a significant amount of time. While in Atlanta, I was fortunate enough to see two very excellent movies, Live Free or Die Hard and Transformers.

Both are full of action and witty dialog. I've seen both three times trust me, they are worth the price of admission.

Die Hard focuses once again on Bruce Willis' character, Detective John McClane. Both Willis and McClane are starting to show their ages...but that's ok. It makes the action scenes, most of which are of course completely over the top, even more badass...The film is as full of hilarious dialog as it is is as good as the first movie, if not better.

Transfomers pays perfect homage to the television series. It is goofy, unbelievable, and chock full of ridiculous action. After seeing this film, my cousins and I got into our car and proceeded to look for the "turn into a giant robot button." I guarantee you'll want to do the same.

I've also been spending a lot of time with my psp lately. Final Fantasy: Dawn of Souls is a Gameboy Advance title (which I own legally for that particular system) that I have been playing on my psp. It's a remake of both FF1 and 2...tons of stuff to do, simple and enjoyable combat system...but way too many random battles. It's almost enough to detract from the game.

That's all I've got.
Peace out.