Monday, November 29, 2010

A lazy blog post...

"I can believe things that are true and I can believe things that aren't true and I can believe things where nobody knows if they're true or not. I can believe in Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and Marilyn Monroe and the Beatles and Elvis and Mister Ed. Listen–I believe that people are perfectible, that knowledge is infinite, that the world is run by secret banking cartels and is visited by aliens on a regular basis, nice ones who look like wrinkledy lemurs and bad ones who mutilate cattle and want our water and our women. I believe that the future sucks and I believe that the future rocks and I believe that one day White Buffalo Woman is going to come back and kick everyone's ass. I believe that all men are just overgrown boys with deep problems communicating and that the decline of good sex in America is coincident with the decline in drive-in movie theaters from state to state. I believe that all politicians are unprincipled crooks and I still believe that they are better than the alternative. I believe that California is going to sink into the sea when the big one comes, while Florida is going to dissolve into madness and alligators and toxic waste. I believe that antibacterial soap is destroying our resistance to dirt and disease so that one day we'll all be wiped out by the common cold like the Martians in War of The Worlds. I believe that the greatest poets of the last century were Edith Sitwell and Don Marquis, that jade is dried dragon sperm, and that thousands of years ago in a former life I was a one-armed Siberian shaman. I believe that mankind's destiny lies in the stars. I believe that candy really did taste better when I was a kid, that it's aerodynamically impossible for a bumblebee to fly, that light is a wave and a particle, that there's a cat in a box somewhere who's alive and dead at the same time (although if they don't ever open the box to feed it it'll eventually just be two different kinds of dead), and that there are stars in the universe billions of years older than the universe itself. I believe in a personal god who cares about me and worries and oversees everything I do. I believe in an impersonal god who set the universe in motion and went off to hang with her girlfriends and doesn't even know that I'm alive. I believe in an empty and godless universe of causal chaos, background noise, and sheer blind luck. I believe that anyone who says that sex is overrated just hasn't done it properly. I believe that anyone who claims to know what's going on will lie about the little things too. I believe in absolute honesty and sensible social lies too. I believe in a woman's right to choose, a baby's right to live, that while all human life is sacred there's nothing wrong with the death penalty if you can trust the legal system implicitly, and that no one but a moron would ever trust the legal system. I believe that life is a game, that life is a cruel joke, and that life is what happens when you're alive and that you might as well lie back and enjoy it."
-from 'American Gods' by Neil Gaiman

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

God says, "Don't be a Dick"

This all comes out of a facebook conversation having to do with prostitution. It lead into a conversation about morality. There is a moral relativism in the secular world, and part of me understands why. We are living in a post-modern society in which absolutes are not taken lightly. While I don't like absolutes, I am not a moral relativist. I think there are good reasons we draw lines in the sand and say, 'this point is too far'. This should not be unexpected seeing as I am a Christian, but I don't think God assigned moral rules to us just to prevent us from having fun. If you look at the 10 commandments, 7 of them have to do with how we treat each other. They are there to keep peace and harmony between neighbors, and breaking them causes trouble, not just for one person, but for the whole society. We are not islands out here, we still have to live with each other, and the crappy ways in which we treat each other have dramatic affects on how people value themselves, and then in turn how they value others.
We have responsibilities to each other, and we fail, we fail those responsibilities all the time. I understand being sceptical about people who use morality as a way to feel superior to others, but that is not what it is supposed to be about. It is about saying to yourself, 'gee I would hate to be treated in this way, I don't think I will do that to someone else.' It's about trying really hard to see where someone else is coming from and then saying, 'well I am not going to add to your pain today.' No, morality is not relative, not when it is done right.