Sunday, August 26, 2007

Pseudo-atheism

The fool hath said in his heart, no God.
  -Ps 14:1 [KJV]*

'No God' symbol Public professions of atheism are becoming more common. In many cases, they are also becoming much more militant, demanding prohibitions against religious activities, the removal of religious symbols and names, etc. Moreover, a number of books have recently appeared that could be characterized as atheistic evangelism, seeking to win the minds and hearts of their readers over to atheistic beliefs and values.

Such atheistic activism strikes me as highly oxymoronic. How so? Glad you asked...

If I were convinced that God did not exist, I'm not sure what shape my priorities and values would take, but they would definitely pertain to this life on earth. I might be concerned with a peaceful home life, or a safe neighborhood. I might focus on earning a comfortable living, or staying as healthy and fit as possible. I might be interested in acquiring fame or political influence. But if I knew that God did not exist, I would definitely not be pursuing any other-worldly or spiritual goals.

I might secretly envy believers' faith, or I might snicker at their simple-mindedness. I might even despise them for their foolishness. But I can't see why I would want to bother to interfere with their religious practices. As long as I am not adversely affected by it, why should I care? Display all the religious symbols that you want, and I will happily ignore them.

And why on earth would I try to convert believers over to unbelief? What would be my motive? The motive for Christian evangelism is the hope of salvation beyond death, to avoid Hell and gain Heaven, and to help others to do the same. Without this eternal, other-worldly dimension, Christian evangelism makes no sense. Thus, atheistic 'evangelism' makes no sense, either.

Ergo, the kind of evangelism and activism we are witnessing cannot reasonably be ascribed to true atheism. Ah, but perhaps what we have here is pseudo-atheism. Perhaps what we are seeing is an increasing number of militantly active people who realize that God does indeed exist -- and who hate Him.

*The KJV actually reads thus:
    The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God.
with the words 'There is' italicized to indicate that they do not appear in the original, but were added by the English translators. Think about it.

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Billionth birthsecond

1,000,000,000
It's probably a guy thing, like watching the car's odometer roll over to 100,000 miles. But observing birthseconds is really no different than celebrating birthdays, when you think about it. Specifically, the occurrence of one's billionth birthsecond is a rather singular milestone in one's life span. It is the only birthsecond magnitude one can observe with any real appreciation. The next lower magnitude, that of 100 thousand seconds, occurs when one is just a tad over 3 years old, too young to grasp what such a number entails. The next larger magnitude, 10 billion seconds, occurs at an interval of over 300 years; no chance to observe that event.

Just shy of 32 years of age, the billionth birthsecond could be seen as a sort of coming of age. You're a complete adult now, having typically completed your formal education, embarked upon a career and vocation, fully established, experienced, and capable of assuming leadership while retaining the strength of youth. The moment marking the prime of life. Very close to a hobbit's coming of age at 33 years (ref. The Lord of the Rings).

One could also make an argument for observing one's conceptionsecond (and conceptionday), as that is when one's life really began. We are all about nine months older than our birth age. But it's difficult to determine the exact day, much less the time of day, marking that beginning. Births tend to be more public events than conceptions, and so birthdays and birthseconds are more readily observed.

At any rate, I think it a worthy and interesting subject for thought. So much so that my first foray into javascript programming is a series of simple calculators that compute the elapsed seconds between two dates and times, and so facilitate (among other things) the observance of one's billionth birthsecond. If you're interested, check it out at http://cyberjerry.net/dogpatch/seccalc.php. If you're 31+ years of age, your billionth birthsecond is near!

(I wish I'd thought of this 25 years ago, in time for my own personal odometer event.)

Note: Your browser appears to have javascript disabled. The linked page requires javascript, and will not run properly, if at all, without it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Cultivating patriarchy

At the risk of stating the obvious, I would like to fold two previous posts into a single simple thought:

If patriarchy is the cornerstone of civilization, and if civilization requires vigilant cultivation, then we ought to deliberately and patiently work to reassert a patriarchal structure for society. Feminism and egalitarianism are ideological failures.

I say this should be obvious and self-evident, but, unfortunately, many folks have not yet recognized this to be so.