October 6th, 2005

Dance

Busy and aikido

Because not everyone should have to go through Jinxmurphy's Friends list to get the article. It's actually not as amazing as people want to rave about. They're not saying the bible isn't true, they're saying it shouldn't be looked to for literal truths. It's the same thing most clergy have been saying since the Enlightenment. Gah. While religious stupidity frustrates me, anti-religious axe-grinding is just as irritating.

Today was a day of busyness. After class there was swimming (yay for another fifty laps! I'm gonna die!). Then there was a private dance lesson so I could teach lex_of_green to tango so that we can dance to "Phantom of the Opera" at Masquerade on Saturday. After dinner I watched an episode of Buffy with her, then went up to Whitewater with Buddha for an aikido class and a kenjitsu class.

The classes were good. It was more agressive than Seidokan, though still less agressive than the Aikikai aikido I did over the summer. One of the techniques was completely new to me and I kept screwing up. The other was one I hadn't done in over a year and I only sometimes screwed up. The sensei was very nice but I didn't like the way he constantly criticized Jessa as a sensei. She had her flaws but teaching was not - is not - one of them. The kenjitsu class was much better. He taught us three new stances, two new cuts, and a new technique. I regret that I may have taught everybody wrong at the katana workshops, but in my defense it seems that I was taught wrong. Buddha supports me on this one. Oh well, it's more than sufficient for larp.

I'm trying to decide if I should go up weekly. I need to talk to people in Adventure! about changing game day if that's the case. We may also be able to get him to teach a weekly class here.

That's all for now. Adieu.

Edit: Oh, no. That is so inconvenient.
Dance

Religion

Let's start with the prompt. It comes from today's New York Times and is about two different tour groups - one creationist and one scientific - going through the Grand Canyon. Because the material is freely available online I'm posting the article here.

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Everyone got that?

Here's my problem with all this shit: people are missing the point. They're treating the Bible like a textbook to explain the world. Here's a newsflash people: it doesn't matter. The central message of the Bible is not, "God created the world in seven days." It is not, "Believe in Jesus or go to Hell." It's not even, "God is good." The central message of the Bible is (and get ready for this, this is a profound theologic truth):

Be nice to each other.



This is a good message. It makes you a better person. It is not, however, dependent on believing that the world was created six-thousand years ago or that dinosaurs were killed in the flood. What does that have to do with anything now? It doesn't even require you to believe in God. There are stories of Zen Buddhist monks reading the Sermon on the Mount and assessing Jesus as "very close to enlightenment." A good message is a good message and if you need some all-powerful vengegul deity to justify not being an asshole to you, then maybe your problem isn't with geology or biology, maybe the problem is that you're an asshole.

Let's look at it another way. Take two concepts of God. One is a vainglorious figure who's primary interest is in his own worship and making sure that He is acknowledged. The other is an understanding being who takes responsibility for his creations and is interested in their betterment. Why would you worship the former? Such a being wouldn't be worthy of worship. I believe God created the world but I believe he did so out of love for the humanity he would create, not out of desire to be worshipped.

And while we're on the subject, here's an insight: maybe you weren't meant to understand everything. An infinitely powerful being (that's what omnipotent means, people) can make an infinitely complex system. Isn't it the least bit belittling to God to deny the possibility of a system as complex as evolution - geologic or biological? Don't you think God might tell you one story - perhaps in say the Bible? - to get you interested enough to begin probing deeper into the mysteries of creation so that you could better yourself? Look at everything science has done for us: knowledge, medicine, technology, social equality (it's called social science for a reason, people). It all comes back to a willingness to ask questions. God wants you to question, wants you to form your own answers, and wants you to be a nice person.

If all you know from God is how to argue about shit that happened at least six thousand years ago then you've missed the damn point.