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6th December 2005

diariasmile7:15pm: What is love?

There are two kinds of love, as in being in love. There is what my mom refers to as "the honeymoon love", where a couple just meets, and everything is fresh and new, and their cute little habits just amuse each other. You can't get enough of each other, you always want to be together. You learn about each other, you talk to each other, you try to be on your best behavior.

Then there is the after-the-honeymoon love. This is when you can sit in the room together, and not say a word for hours on end. You know the other is there, but it doesn't change that you want to figure out that word puzzle in the morning paper. You know each other's habits, and far from finding them cute, you constantly nag at each other about it. You are glad when they leave so you can have the house to yourself for a while. The only reason you would stay up past midnight talking would be to tell your partner to roll over, their snoring is keeping you awake.

While less glorious, I think the latter is the better love, and it is the one I seek. Of course to get there you do go though the honeymoon love, which I have been in, and enjoyed thoroughly. But there is more dedication in the latter. You can trust one another. If one leaves, you can always depend on that they will be back by the end of the day. While the habits may annoy you, you still know that the habits are there, and are not surprised by them. You can trust one another to not go out to do anything to hurt you, other than fart loudly around your mother. It may not be fresh and new, it may not be edge of the seat excitement, but it is comfortable and stable. It is something you can depend on. This is the love that can survive 50 years, a love that will keep holding through all the troubles. You know, that no matter how hard things get, even if the hard things are between the partners, no matter the problem, the challenge, the situation, you know that you can always turn to them when they are needed. It is a love that will be agreed upon by both partners, a relationship steady as a rock. You know that no matter what you say, they will not just pack up and leave. You know that when you are sick, they will be there to take care of you. A relationship that will not be shaken by a nice set of tits that come walking through the door, a six pack on a body-builder blonde. Because what is shared by these kinds of partners is something stronger than steal.

I have seen a lot about love lately. I have seen a pain to shake the foundations of life, I have seen a devotion that no event can shatter. I know what I want in a relationship. How about you? What do you seek?

13th May 2005

diariasmile2:25pm: We are Americans.
You are to be assimilated.
Your individuality and distinctiveness will now be molded to conform to that of the collective.
Resistance is ridiculus, can't you see we are doing what is best for you?
If you have a complaint, become one of us to file such a complaint, for if you are not one of us, we don't care to hear it.
Once you are one of us however, you will no longer have a complaint.
So we win.
We are the Westerners.
We are Americans.

I was thinking about when I was in Australia and hanging out with aboriginals for a week. I don't remember the exact train of thought, but eventually it led to me thinking about a comment I heard, about how when you move to America, you become American. To give you an example; I work in a deli where there is Chinese food served. There are three Chinese chiefs that do this cooking. They are from China, they speak Chinese as their first language (only one of them is fluent in English, the others just speak enough to get by). Their names are Robert, David, Jack. These are not Chinese names. I have no doubt in my mind whatsoever that they had Chinese names and changed to these names when they moved here to America, dispite that I never once heard them refer to their other names (neither that they have one nor what they are). When you move to America, you become American.

Do you really think that when you go to an American store and buy the premade Chinese food (as in this example) that you are eating real Chinese food? No you are not, you are eating the Americanized foods. I don't think that in China when they make orange chicken that they use Tang to make it as they do here at Safeway where I work. They change the traditional foods to make it more what Americans want so that it will sell. Someone told me that at another safeway store that they used to sell gravy in the back counter to pour over their Chinese food, which is American.

When I was with the Aboriginal tribe, my American friends were acting as if it were a vacation, they were concerned about the weather (concerned about whether they can go swimming later in the day or not), they asked questions about what events they can look forward to, focused the majority of the end of the week on the talent show that we were to put on for the Aboriginals. I would on the other hand, ask questions about their beliefs in the afterlife, what they traditionally do for marriage, what are their views on this issue or the other. I can swim any time that I want to here back home, I don't give a damn about the weather. I wanted to know about the tribe that I was visiting, I wanted to hear about a new way of life that lasted for 60,000 years (a number that I will admit is much debated). My fellow American travelers were not actually experiencing this oppurtunity, they were more doing it for some time off school and for bragging rights when they get home. Sad really.

I really don't know what my point is that I am trying to make here, just a random collection of thoughts. Mostly that I want to experience more diversity. I never used to understand what people meant when they said that america isn't very diverse or accepting of other cultures, but now that I know more about other cultures, I can finally understand. blah.

Oh yeah, to explain the line of the ...poem?... above "If you have a complaint, become one of us to file such a complaint, for if you are not one of us, we don't care to hear it.
Once you are one of us however, you will no longer have a complaint.": The Aboriginals were never recognized as having any right to the land that they had lived on for many many many generations, solely because they did not have any kind of filing with the Westerner's government. They are losing their land (partly because they don't believe in ownership of the land, partly because they aren't seen as having ever purchesed it, mostly because the government doesn't recognize any rights of the Aboriginals of having any land), and they are not allowed any land unless they buy it from the government. To do that they have to be a citizen, make the money they need (thus get jobs and any papers necessary for that) blah blah blah. And of course they have to have like birth certificates (cuz you know, if you don't have the paper saying you were born, then surely you can't possibly have been born, right?). But once they got you in a nine to five, four-piece suit, then you aren't really who you once were anyways, you have become one of us. You will be blended into the collective that is known as "western culture".

24th April 2005

diariasmile10:01am: In my genetics class we were supposed to write a paper about a moral issue that was brought up in a book that we read for the class. I thought it might be fun to see if anyone here has anything to say on the topic, so here is most of my paper.

The quote in particular that I would like to bring up, is found on pages 112-3 of the Cracking the Genome book, and it states that the
"revolutionary notion that life has three domains, not two, and that two of these domains belonged to microbes was tantamount to heresy…. He was essentially arguing that the alleged experts in the field of evolution had completely overlooked a huge limb of the tree of life",

and it was a shock to the scientific community to even consider such a possibility. To say that they had been so negligent as to miss one-third of life was impossible.

Personally, I do not see how it is possible that it can be compared to heresy at all. It is the presentation of new facts, which is something that science is all about. To claim that scientists know everything that there is to know is pompous, and close-minded. Science is about discovery; leave the heresy to the religious.

In science, there is a process of discovery, hypothesis, and testing or observation to find out reasons for why, or progressions of, the developments of the activities that go on around us. It is about ways to explain what we observe the normal processes of the world. To say that we know everything is blind, it is ignorant.

If you say something against tradition in a religion, then they will say that it is heresy, and put down what you have to say by throwing their religious dogma at you. You can to some extent challenge or interpret in different ways, the writings of religion, but there are always things that you absolutely have to take as fact. Science is not like this.

True science is about discovery, and discovery and hypotheses are subject to change. You can find two sets of data that seem opposed to each other, negating each other, but yet they exist all the same. Therefore the data has to be reinterpreted, or one set could just be an outlying member, a random occurrence. Science is flexible in that nothing is a hard fact that can't be challenged. That is the point of science; to figure out by testing and results what is implied.

To refer back to the quote, there was the fact that the hypothesis is stating that there are three sectors of life, prokaryotes, eukaryotes, and now archaea. It was once believed that all living things fell into one of the classes of plant or animal, then it shaped to the view that there were five kingdoms, and now that view is shifting again as more knowledge accumulates. To resist change, especially with phrases like "tantamount to heresy" reflects the behavior of the Fundamentalist viewpoint. I am not saying that the Fundamentalist viewpoint is bad (that is an argument for another time and place), but I am saying that it does not have its place in the society of science. Also has been debated among scientists is whether or not they should come up with a new naming system for naming every organism that they discover, whether they should go with the new naming system, or stick to the old conventional names. I think the best thing they can do is stick to the old. To come up with the new system, that is supposed to be the "true" naming system, assumes that there will be no change in the system in the future. It has had three major changes already, I don't see why there should be any reason to assume that there will be no further changes in the system.

The scientist quoted above also says that he doesn't want to concede that there are two domains of life that are designated to microbes. Basically, he is saying that he cannot see how it is possible that there could be so much diversity in something so small as one celled organisms, and was thinking that something as complex as eukaryotes should surely have more diversity than that. I see this again as being arrogant. Life had to start somewhere, and it is highly agreed upon that that was with the prokaryotes. But then there are the eukaryotes, the more complicated cell. To assume that the cell evolution went directly from a prokaryote to a eukaryote is quite a leap, and rather unrealistic. Man did not suddenly leap from being an ape to being present day man, and that is a much smaller transition than prokaryote to eukaryote. The archea is merely a lost middle step, which had been discovered recently.

It was stated that introducing the archea as some intermediate between prokaryotes and eukaryotes implies that one of the three branches of life was entirely overlooked. Again, this doesn't seem to fit in to science as I see it. Science isn't about knowing everything; it is about learning everything. There have been many times in human history where what was known to be "true" was in fact, proved otherwise. Such as when Galileo stated that the earth is not the center of the universe, and the opposition that he faced from the Church about that matter. Everyone was convinced that this could not be possible, and credited it to heresy. Now look at what everyone believes, even those within the church. Once it was believed that the earth was flat, and that one had been disproved. There is nothing wrong with having a new view on something.

What the wrong part, is the blindness of those not willing to see these new viewpoints, won’t look at the evidence, and ignore the information presented. Today, people will say how dumb the church was, and how they wronged Galileo by putting him under house arrest all those many years ago, for his views, instead of listening to what he said. Well think about it today, how many people do you know that can today show the proof that the world is not the center of the universe, or how many people could do the math behind proving that the earth is round? These are all known as "facts", but just because people have been told this for many years. Few can prove it. Well, if you think about it some more, you would see that it was by this same reasoning that the people in the time of Galileo believed that the earth was the center of the universe, they had the Bible, which they had been taught was all truth, that said so. There is more proof, from the standing position of a person, that the earth is anything but round. When you look at the horizon for example, it looks horizontal as opposed to an arc.

To state that something that seems different from what you have been told in your life is wrong, without even considering the evidence is pride talking, and pride gets you no where. The best thing to do when something is presented to you that seems contrary to what you already know is to consider the evidence, and then prove it wrong if you are still convinced that it is so. Calling it heresy and ignoring it will not make it go away, and it will certainly not prove your point. It is always best to consider the evidence, and then make a judgment.

23rd February 2005

diariasmile3:23pm: I discuss issues that are controversial and allow for a huge difference in opinion, issues that a lot of people get into heated discussions over, passionate arguments, and they often result to personal attacks on their opponent.

I have often presented my ideas in other journals and communities. Something that I keep running into is that people are very glad that I do not get upset or angry, that I do not cause offense to others holding a different opinion in the disscussion. Many times I have recieved comments from others a compliment, or a short "thanks" for not being offensive or going for the personal attacks (insulting the person with whom I am in disagreement).

I do not understand why so many people do result to name-calling and offensive language. What does it accomplish? "What, you didn't agree with me the first time I said it? Then I shall just have to say it louder!!!! Still don't agree with me, then you are just stupid and sub-human" arguemnts have never solved anything that I have ever seen, unless by "solving the problem", you mean making people angry and start hostilities (as is the goals of many politicians unfortunately).

I find that logic and facts are much more effective in getting my ideas across than screaming or name-calling. Anyone can find an insult bad enough to hurt someone if they try hard enough. Finding an argument that even your opponent cannot fight or argue is more difficult. And way more effectve. Find something that you know to be true, and that your opponent will not be able to argue against. They will have no choice but to either shutup, or really think themselves, which the latter is my goal. If they truly still believe that their view is better even after such an argument has been presented, then they have to sit and think a way around your argument to make it still fit for them. This is more dangerous than name-calling, because now they don't have to defend themselves from insults, they don't get to just shrug you off with a "ah, they're just an asshole anyways". Now they have to justify their own ideas to themselves. As I said, much more effective.

Also, if someone presents you with something that you disagree with, and then convince you otherwise, I don't see where you fail if you end up changing your mind. There is nothing wrong with deciding on a different viewpoint, there is something wrong with defending to the end a view that is dead, wrong, or going nowhere. You are causing worse harm by sticking to a bad view, then by changing your ideas, or your prospective.

By just shouting your ideas, you aren't going anywhere, you are just annoying. I was one time thanked for my view by someone that shared my view. I then read this person's response to the same comment as my own, and she was just letting out her own feelings. She was just saying "you are wrong because I say so and you view doesn't suit me", and was unable to convince anyone (course nobody ever answered me, so I don't know if I did any convincing either). But if I personally were to be presented with these two arguments, one would at most make me feel sympathy for the gal's troubles, but the other would force me to think. (yeah, I know, a biased opinion, whatcha gonna do?) But I think that it is much better to present a response, argument, or opinion in such a way that it makes people have to think about it before they are able to respond to you. If I have my ideas already in my head before I even hit the "reply to this" button, then where is the challenge? thus where is my chance to learn, grow, or gain benefit from this discussion? If I do not gain anything by way of benefits, then why pursue the conversation at all? Kinda cold, I know, but I seek to learn and I want to gain new viewpoints and ideas. If I do not get a chance to learn, I may not see a point.

7th February 2005

diariasmile8:41pm: Why is this disturbing?
I read the book, A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy several years ago, and there was this one scene that was quite disturbing, and I am not sure why.

Ok, so they are at a restaraunt, and they are looking at the menu. The waitor/waitress comes over and asks would they like to meet the meal? They said sure, and they brought out this animal. The animal was talking, and describing himself to them ("the hindquarters are meaty, I've been working on them so as not to have too much fat" etc.) and telling them about his finest bits. After describing himself to the table, he was led off to be killed and cooked. The main character in this scene declined the meal when it came to the table. I would have done the same.

I don't get it, why is this so distrubing? The meal was willing to be eaten, it was his goal in life, it is what he lived for. He was accepting the fact that he is grown to be eaten, and it proud of exclaiming his best parts. Why is it so disturbing to think of eating him? I am not a vegitarian, I will eat meat anyday. I can eat an animal that has to be lead to the slaughter, that would be much happier to be running around in a field somewhere. Why would I find it distrubing to eat something that lives conciously to be eaten?

One theory I have on the matter is that it is because he is an intelligent creature, whereas cows are not aware of their situation, as this creature was. Cows are not aware of their fates. But quite honestly, I am not sure why I find this so weird. Any ideas?

30th January 2005

diariasmile8:57pm: Lilith
Anybody ever hear of Lilith? You know, Adam's first wife, before there was Eve.

So my brother mentioned her to me (he heard about her through an anime), and she has become my recent facination, since I have never heard about her. I have researched her in all kinds of books and from many sources, so this is not a load of my imagination.

Anyways, the story goes, the book of Genesis has two stories on creation. "male and female, he created them" (Genesis 1:27). In other words, they were created at the same time, not man, and then woman. In the second telling, it was Adam made first, then Eve. Anyways, these are details in the words, and I don't know the weight of the Bible anyways in telling the truth.

So apparently as the tales go, Adam wanted to have sex with Lilith, and he wanted her on the bottom (all the stories say it in fluffy words like "he wanted Lilith to lie beneath" but I'm just going to flat out say it), and Lilith took offence at this submissive position, and refused to. Adam then tried to take her by force, then Lilith said the secret name of God, and rose into the air and left. She went to the Red Sea, where she was tracked down by three angels. God sent these angels to get her when Adam complained to God about her leaving. Lilith did not return with these angels, but promised to not hurt any child that is protected by the name of these angels. Amulets are made traditionally to give to children to protect them from Lilith engraved with one or more of these angels' names.

Lilith was basically turned into a demon, often called the wife of Satan. She is blamed for infant death, infertility (in some cultures), and for male "nightly emissions", the latter of which is supposed to be brought about by Lilith raping men in their sleep, and using their semen to create her demon children. Which by the way, I forgot to mention, since Lilith ran away from Adam, God punished her by making one hundred of her children die daily. That would really suck, firstly because that is a lot of death and hurt from death, secondly, that means that just to keep even, she would have to have 100 children a day, to create a larger population, she would have to have even more than that. That would be like a baby every fifteen minutes (actually more than that, but I am just rounding), and that is the "just to keep even" scenario.

So because Adam's first wife insisted that they were equal, Adam went to God complaining that he was lonely, after chasing off his second wife. This is where Eve steps in, being created out of Adam's rib, she is therefore dependent on Adam. She was made of him, she is just an extension of him. Thus she is submissive of him.

Anyways, just wanted to bring this to people's attention, as I have gone so long without ever hearing this story. It is so little known, I thought I'd spread the word.

19th January 2005

diariasmile9:54am: So my dad the other day was telling me about what he believed in the Bible. Eventually he came down to the statement that he thinks the main point of the New Testament is whether you accept the virgin birth of Jesus, the death and the resurrection. That is the main point of being Christian.

He explains this by saying that if you believe in Jesus being the son of God, then you will take to heart what he says and believeing what he says will be more encouraging to you to make you want to follow him. Nothing will make you believe in him more than believeing that he really is the son of God.

My thoughts are that it doesn't matter if Jesus was born of a virgin birth, whether he was resurrected, or even if he is the son of God. What I find important is his teachings. Yes, him being the son of God will be more convincing to the followers that they really should live by his teachings. But this is external motivation. I think that it shouldn't matter if Jesus was the son of God, a normal human being, or if he even really existed at all. I think what is important is what people think and act of their own accord. I do what I do because I feel that it is right, not because if I don't do it, Jesus will be mad. Internal motivation. Nothing can be more powerful than that. You may do what others want you to do, but when it come right down to it, I don't think that you will be happy, or do as good of a job, if you are doing it because you have to. If person A were to come across person B, who is in distress, then a "good" Christian will stop and help them. However if the person A will have to put their own life in danger to help person B, if you are doing it from peer pressure, I believe that you will be much more likely to chicken out and turn away. If you are trying to do it out of your own internal motivation, because you know that it is right to help this person, and to hell with your own danger, then you would be more likely to put yourself at risk to help them.

If you do good because Jesus says to, then good for you, I hope you are happy in doing what you do. If you are doing good because you say to, then this is more powerful and much more meaningful. I think this kind of motivation will get you farther.

22nd December 2004

diariasmile5:22pm: True story, though I do not know the preacher.

A preacher is telling the congregation about the bible, speaking the view of the literal translation. This means that he is telling the people about the bible and telling them that the events really really really took place. That nothing in the bible is a metaphor for anything else, that Jesus was born of a virgin, died and was resurrected, that he turned water into wine, etc. etc. etc. After the mass was held, my teacher went up to the preacher and asked if the preacher actually believed what he was telling the people. The preacher answered "no, I do not believe in the literal translation, but this is what the people want to hear, this is why the people actually keep coming back to the mass each Sunday." My professor then asked "why do you not tell them of other possibilities, why do you keep telling them this just because it is what they want to hear?" and the preacher answered "I see you are the kind of person that would steal candy from a child."

This was brought up in my metaphysics class. My response is "when are you going to let these children grow up? When are you going to let them think for themselves?" Others say that if the ends are good (that the people have something to believe in and that it helps them to be a good person) then the means are justified (that they are lying to these people, telling them something just because it is what they want to hear). There is a saying that is "if a god can be killed, it should be" meaning that if what you believe in is hanging on to being the "truth" because it is not being challenged, but if you are able to doubt your god, or belief, then maybe you should question this belief/god. If your god can't withstand questions, then how strong of a god can this be (repeat sentence with "belief" replacing "god"). If doubts are so easily raised, then should you still follow this same path?

10th December 2004

diariasmile11:12am: In my metaphysics class, I was asked to define the words faith and reason. My definitions were:
Faith: an illogical belief in the occurance of the improbable.
Reason: a logical train of thought that follows evidence.

My fear when we had to read these outloud to the class was that I would have 13 hard-core Christians on my butt mad at me for saying what I did about faith, but on the contrary, even some of the more religious members of the class said that they would probably think the same thing if they weren't so sure of their religion.

New subject:
Universalism: a religion that would combine all religions into one, a single religion that would encorperate all those that currently exist.
Pluralism: No one religion. A bunch of religions that exist, all willing to accept the differences, all saying "this is the way I live, that is the way you live, let's be happy with that".

I don't think that universalism would work to keep world peace, to keep everyone happy. To me, universalism is just another religion. A religion that encorparates all the current religions into one. But what if someone decides to have a different belief than that? If you don't believe as the majority does, then you are weird and an outcast. It may honor all religions as we know them, Buddhaism, Hinduism, Catholism, etc., but what if later on, someone decides that they don't want this common belief? This is of course, assuming that they can get past all the contradictions that combining these religions would do, like Jesus being the messiah as Christians say, and not being the messiah as the Jewish say. Even if you could get everyone to come up with one agreeable religion, it is still one religion that all have to believe in.
Pluralism on the other hand, I think that that would be much better. It allows everyone to believe what they want, and no one would be getting another person's religion crammed down their throat ("you have to believe this, you can't believe that, you have to live your life this way because my God says so"). I also believe that this is going to be too difficult for most people to accept. Pluralism would require that everyone be willing to admit that they don't know the "best" way to live their lives. There is no one good way to live your life, there is no one correct way, and most people are not willing to admit this. This would be too much for many people's pride to bear. I feel this is why so many people are trying to have control over other people's lives (pro-lifers trying to make abortions illegal, Traditionalists trying to disallow gay marriages). They are trying to get everyone to agree that they are living the correct way of life, and they are trying to prove it by making everyone else live the same way.

Pluralism is more accepting than universalism, and I feel that it is a much better goal, but I can see how universalism would be more easily accepted by the general population. I don't think however, that universalism would solve any problems, just give more athority to a certian group. The only way to make everyone (or most anyways) happy, is to not tell them how to live their lives, to let each person have their own life, and to just accept this.

What do you think, how would you define faith and reason? What do you think on the topic of universalism and pluralism? Extend beyond this post, what do you think about anything about religion? Do we need religion for society? I've heard a religious buff say that those who have no religion have no morality, and I fully disagree with this, you don't need an outside source (religion, society) to come up with a system of morals. The strongest morals a person can have are those that you come up with for yourself, because it means that this is what you truly believe, not what someone else tells you you should believe. What do you think about that? What are your thoughts on this subject?

19th November 2004

diariasmile11:44pm: So, I went to a bookstore today to just wander around, see if I can find any books that look interesting. I found two that were pretty ridiculous, one that was so much so, I had to buy it.

Living laboratories by Robyn Rowland is on the topic of any kind of artificial fertilization; more specifically she is on the morals against said topic.

In the author's opinion, this is a serious topic, and one that needs to be studied, the knowledge spread, the moralities approached. This book is on the serious crimes being committed by fertilization using any means besides procreation. She provides up-to-date (at the time) knowledge of the means of artificial fertilization of women, and provides you with lists of reasons of why these said methods are immoral. She feels that this exploitation of women's bodies as test sites for medical experimentation is a terrifying direction in which humanity is spinning uncontrollably that will only end in it's doom.

In my opinion, this book is a comedy.

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I'm only on page 6 of the introduction of this book. Methinks that this is going to be an interesting book, it will bring out the philosopher in me….

15th November 2004

diariasmile5:48pm: I think that plants can have feelings and thoughts.

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Let me know what you think on this matter.
diariasmile3:33pm: Disturbed lyrics, what is the meaning in your opinion?
Explicit content
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14th November 2004

diariasmile8:35pm: The Bible is a tertiary source, at best. Quoting the Bible to prove your point, is no better than quoting Harry Potter to do the same. The Bible holds as much accuracy in telling about the way people should live as Harry Potter does.

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You can't use the Bible to prove anything, there is no substance to it. If the Bible helps guide you in your way of life, by translating out the message that it contains, then that is all you can use the Bible for. You can't use it to tell others the "correct" way of living. There is no one correct path.

15th November 2004

ebbonygirl12:36pm: This journal is created for the sole purpose of debating. You can state any and all opinions, but there will be no tolerence of any personal attacks. I like to hear all kinds of new ideas, so anything that you may have to say is welcome, no matter how extreme they may be. You may not be able to get anyone to agree with what you may say, but if you can argue your point, and support it well, that is all that I am looking for here. I appreciate anything new that you may have to say, and all topics are up for discussion. From religion to science, from paranormal to school systems. Feel free to say anything that you want with the exception of purposefully trying to hurt someone. Ask questions that you may have, propose solutions to problems, discuss whatever topic is most important to you.

Have fun, and be ready to explain your case (though if you can't that is alright too).
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