- Michael Totten goes to Kurdistan – phenomenal reporting.
- The Yazidi religion of the the Middle East, very strange and interesting.
Category Archives: Religion
Sunday round up
- An interesting look at the military aspects of social networking.
- Underwater windmills
- How we would fight China
- The metaweb/FreeBase
- Evidently February was cold
- Blurb has dropped their prices.
- Strangest suicide attempt, ever
Two Georgia men survived a gruesome suicide attempt Friday after cutting their own arms off with a saw, reported Atlanta’s Journal Constitution.
The 40 and 41-year-old men managed to remove three of their four arms, cutting them about six inches above their wrists, Atlanta Police Major Lane Hagin told the Journal.
- Baby steps to a better editorial, it’s easier to see why this one is so wrong.
- The 20 best comic book weapons.
- It’s odd seeing this already existing – I stumbled across this C.S. Lewis quote yesterday “There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, in the end, ‘Thy will be done.’ which is the general gist my future novel The Comedian.
Annoyances in the media
It’s atheism this time, Sam Harris in particular. He rapes the mirror in 10 myths — and 10 truths — about atheism. It’s a smarmy read, in particular
2) Atheism is responsible for the greatest crimes in human history. People of faith often claim that the crimes of Hitler, Stalin, Mao and Pol Pot were the inevitable product of unbelief. The problem with fascism and communism, however, is not that they are too critical of religion; the problem is that they are too much like religions. Such regimes are dogmatic to the core and generally give rise to personality cults that are indistinguishable from cults of religious hero worship. Auschwitz, the gulag and the killing fields were not examples of what happens when human beings reject religious dogma; they are examples of political, racial and nationalistic dogma run amok.
How remarkably pointless. Everything good is on his side, and everything bad, even though explicitly and actively atheist, is on the side of religion.
What does it say of people who can’t admit that their position on an has an unpleasant side? Libertarianism is unclear on Foreign Policy and weak on the mentally ill. Liberalism is weak on education, conservatism is weak on immigration (pretty much every blend of conservatism). Why not admit these things? Any internally consistent ideology or religious theory will have strong points and weak points by any objective measure,
It’s been a little while
Sorry for the light blogging.
Periodically my mind wonders back to the Mathew Paris essay “Nature Does Not Exist“, where he states that there are few meaningful differences in application or effect between religion and science. Then my thoughts turned to Alan Paulk’s line “Religion is first century technology” and how that tracks with Robert Kaplan’s assertion that Islam is an excellent religion for hard times (paraphrase).
Then I think the original (to me) thought that technology does not replace spirituality, or compete with it either, but merely pushes it back to another level of abstraction. This leads me to think that the modern conception of a distinction between the religious and the secular is probably new and not meaningful.
And that’s what has been in the back of my head for the past few days.
Nietzsche at the end of a long, poorly focused day
Today’s quote is
A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.
via the Nietzsche Family Circus
Just have to love the Germans.
Somehow I’ve let all of the tedious work that has to be done during the month have to happen today. Diagramming, estimating, writing, organizing. Humbug. Everything has taken forever today.
On another note, the photos I took on Saturday turned out well, and surprisingly Gothic and noirish. All of my more recent shots have gone in a Sin City direction. I’ll post them soon.
Classic movies everyone should see
- Ivan the Terrible Part II – Quite good, interesting insight into the Russian character and the central role autocracy has always played in Russian history. Visually it’s quite stunning too.
- The Seventh Seal – Man’s struggle with God and Death come across much more believably in subtitles.
- I Am a Fugitive From a Chain Gang – Life on the chain gang comes across as more believable than realistic, an excellent piece. The final few minutes are particularly jarring.
Well put description of our times
From Josh Trevino
In warring with a religion, decades of secularism have left us utterly disarmed. We are trained to think of faith as either irrelevant or benign: and when it is undeniably malign, we ascribe its malignancy to fundamentalism, which is (in direct negation of the meaning of the word) somehow separable or diversionary from the fundamentals of the faith in question.
On a more practical level these days we treat one’s religion as their race (which is to say involuntary and not subject to questioning or criticism), and we’re already far too touchy about race these days.
This might be worth a road trip sometime
Driving on rural Ga. 77 in northeast Georgia, you seem to time-travel across the sea to ancient Britain. What appears to be a scaled-down clone of Stonehenge rises above a hilltop.
Elbert County stonemasons, not druidic priests, fashioned this circular array of six granite slabs, but its origins are almost as intriguing.
In 1979, a mysterious stranger calling himself “Mr. Christian” commissioned the curiosity on the edge of a cow pasture 7.2 miles north of Elberton.
He reportedly told the president of an Elberton granite finishing plant that what he called the Georgia Guidestones would be “for the conservation of the world and to herald a new age of reason.”
As they talked, he admitted his name really wasn’t Christian, but he was a Christian and a patriot, who represented a group outside of Georgia with similar beliefs. Only the Elberton banker who handled Mr. Christian’s substantial deposit ever knew his true identity. He took the secret to his grave, and no one has ever identified Christian or his associates.
Things that annoy me about our modern world
At the moment, it’s the politically correct West, and their treatment of Islam. I recently came across an ad for the movie Islam: What the West Needs to Know.
I read the site and found it irritating. The phrase “religion of peace” has been repeated often enough to be ridiculous, and it is a patently ludicrous assumption. But the opposite of a falsehood is not necessarily the truth, it’s usually another falsehood, as it is in this case.
Plainly put, saying a religion is a religion of peace is about as meaningful as saying the Norelco Bodygroom is an electric shaver of peace; it’s a term that doesn’t apply. Religions aren’t inherently anything, it’s all in the practice, and that varies with people location and time. If the practice at a given point in time and place is warlike or placid, then so be it. It’s a meaningless statement. It’s like imputing anti-semitism to vegetarians due to Hitler’s aversion to meat.