Posts

Showing posts from March, 2014

Framework for Thinking

Observations in the search of Truth:
1. Truth is objective, understanding truth is subjective:  Truth by definition is objective, but our search for it is determine in the light of our experience. It is like searching for an object at night, we can only see what the flashlight illuminates in front of us. Nobody can claim that they are 100% objective, we just need to get over it. Believing a certain thing does not make you less objective than the person who doesn't, both people are biased in their respective beliefs. 2. Don't be surprised if you think you are right, you are not alone: Many people just feel like they are right, but that should not be surprising given that is what you believe. The fact of the matter is that we all think we are right. If we did not think we were right, that would no longer be the belief that we hold. The feelings are proper, but corresponding evidence is required. 3. Social context is a major source of assumptions: Making assumptions are good and …

Pain, Power, and Patience

In general I take a positive outlook on life. I enjoy getting up each day, going to work, and being alive. I can't remember a day when I dreaded getting up to face the world, but as I get older the weight of the pain in the world presses down on me.
There are 9 ongoing conflicts with more than 1,000+ deaths per year, and 32 conflicts with less than 1,000 deaths per year. These may not seem like huge numbers, but we need to keep in perspective what these conflicts are all about and their impact on the people involved. In all of these conflicts people are willing to kill to get what they want, or need to be killed to stop them from getting what they want. There are some people who think this only happens in non-civilized countries, but that is just wishful thinking. The reason that "civilized" countries don't get involved as often in these conflicts is because we have enough money to get what we want. There would be a lot more conflict if we had less money.
Death comes …

Zion

Zion is used numerous times in the Bible, but I have always been unsure of the different nuances. Generally, it seems to be used interchangeable with Jerusalem or the City of David, but why is Zion used instead of those names?

Zion is the first city captured by David after he was anointed King over all of Israel. He had already reigned in Hebron for 7 years and 6 months over Judah, but it was not until he was made King over all Israel, that he took the stronghold of Zion. Previous to that Judah and Benjamin had attempted to take Zion, but failed. But the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people of Judah could not drive out, so the Jebusites dwell with the people of Judah at Jerusalem to this day (Josh. 15:63).  But the people of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who lived in Jerusalem, so the Jebusites have lived with the people of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day (Judges 1:21).  The Jebusite stronghold of Zion was a fortress in Jerusalem, that the people of Israel …

Will I go to prison in my lifetime?

It is hard to believe, but at the rate things are changing today, I will most likely go to prison in my lifetime for the beliefs that I hold. In 1996, DOMA was enacted under the presidency of Bill Clinton. "The Defense of Marriage Act is a United States federal law that allows states to refuse to recognize same-sex marriages granted under the laws of other states." Now, less than 20 years later, Bill Clinton has done an about-face. Writing an op-ed in the Washington Post, he says,
"When I signed the bill, I included a statement with the admonition that “enactment of this legislation should not, despite the fierce and at times divisive rhetoric surrounding it, be understood to provide an excuse for discrimination.” Reading those words today, I know now that, even worse than providing an excuse for discrimination, the law is itself discriminatory. It should be overturned." People are obviously allowed to change their minds, but the rate and virulence at which is happ…