procrastination, heresy, and navel-gazing.

Saturday, February 28, 2009

motorcy... cle

i've had this song in my head for a while now
by Arlo Guthrie - famous for
  1. being the son of Woody Guthrie,
    and for
  2. his 18 minute song Alice's Restaurant Massacree.
it goes:
I don't want a pickle
Just want to ride on my motorsickle
And I don't want a tickle
'Cause I'd rather ride on my motorsickle

And I don't want to die
Just want to ride on my motorcy ...cle.
that's about it. he has an interesting story to explain the song, youtube clip here, one version of the 'verse' here.

just as an aside, i had a squiz at his website - he wants his church to be on some Massachusetts state currency!

it just happens he's gone and bought the church that Alice used to live in (you remember Alice?) and, keeping the name 'Holy Trinity', has dedicated it to all those around the world who believe that there is one truth and infinite ways to approach it.

apparrently on the front door his guru has written,
One God - Many Forms
One River - Many Streams
One People - Many Faces
One Mother - Many Children
this church has been re-consecrated to the service for which it was originally intended - Service to God and to all sentient beings.

never let it be said that there are any sentient beings Arlo doesn't care for.
i wonder how many orang-utans he gets coming thru...
(i still like his songs tho.)

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Sunday, February 22, 2009

MKC '09

heard a great quote up at Men's Katoomba Convention (also known as 'man-con') from former National Party leader, John Anderson. it was in response to the Humanist Society's advertising campaign (see also Faith and Theology herefor some alternate suggestions).
he's saying there's 'Probably' no God? as Australia's longest serving transport minister, what if i had told australians the planes 'Probably' won't crash! people would say - so you mean there's a chance they will?
(roughly paraphrased)
his point being, that the chance there probably isn't a God means there is a chance there is - and if there is a chance that there is a God, then we DEFINITELY need to find out to our 100% certainty whether there is.

thanks for pointing that out Professor (of Botany, wasn't it?) Dawkins.

oh, and go to MKC - there are two weekends left to go - Al Stewart and Simon Manchester tag-team their way thru Daniel. it's great.

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Friday, February 20, 2009

a wrestlin' wreview

mickey rourke - tick
blood - tick
really nice hand-held camera work - tick
some rockin' 80's music - tick

yes indeed, the wrestler was just the movie six red-blooded blokes needed to get ourselves down to on tight-arse-tuesday - and the cinema was packed!

please note - a date film this is not.

the big question this flick asked us all was, at the end of the day, what would you rather have?
  1. no passion, but a humdrum life of saturday night dinners with your over-emotional lesbian daughter and playing happy families with a worn-out stripper, or
  2. the roar of the crowds everytime you walk out - RAM, RAM, RAM, RAM, RAM, RAM...

when i paint it that way, it's not that hard to choose.
but the director Darren Aronofsky doesn't make it that easy for us. one amazing scene, we share in the exhilaration of the crowd as the Ram walks out of the ring victorious. the next thing we see, however, is the pain, the staple-gun injuries, the barbed-wire tears, the chunks of broken glass that ain't gonna come out easy - and we think - why? what for? what is the point of it all? just give it up - you might actually enjoy the warmth of family, the assuredness of knowing you have a regular income so you don't get locked out of your trailer by your landlord.

is it a question of degrees of highs? do you want the heights of ecstasy (with its accompanying lows), or a mid-range life? if you want the latter - go see Revolutionary Road. maybe Rourke did - that's why he is the wrestler.

i found this movie hard, but good. good, because i didn't want to see just any old film. (i don't know if any has ever hired Mighty Ducks out since they saw it on TV in the 90's.) because we all want to feel; sometimes it's nice to go thru the wringer of emotions - the 'cut yourself to see if your heart's still pumping' idea.

but at the end of the day, i still have to ask - what was his life for? what did he fight for? was the price he paid worth it?

what do you live for, fight for, strive for, sacrifice even your own body for? do you run 'the' good race, is whatever your life is being sacrificed for (poured out as a drink offering) what you want it to be spent upon? are you pursuing fleeting pleasures - living it up now - but haven't given the rest of your years - let alone eternity - a thought for some time?

don't waste your life.

ps a good chunk of this flick is in a strip-bar. you may wanna take that into consideration. find a spot, or something. forewarned and all that.

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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Wood - Epistemology

all grown up now - finished my bridging assignment (with a respectable 'Pass' mind you), and into Philosophy 2.

set reading: Wood, W, Jay, Epistemology: Becoming Intellectually Virtuous. Leicester: Apollos, 1998.

some highlights from chapter 1:
  • We achieve excellence in the intellectual life, according to this tradition, when we form within ourselves qualities like wisdom, prudence, understanding, intellectual humility, love of truth and similar traits—in short, as we embody intellectual virtues.

  • Your intellectual life is important, according to [Aristotle, Augustine and Aquinas], for the simple reason that your very character, the kind of person you are and are becoming, is at stake.

  • God cares about how you think, not just what you think. A godly mind is not merely one devoid of vile thoughts, nor are the faithful stewards of the mind necessarily the ones who die with all their doctrinal ps and qs in place (brainwashing might as effectively accomplish this).

  • "The good of the intellect is truth," writes Aquinas, "and falsehood is its evil.

  • Søren Kierkegaard stresses the importance of those truths that nourish the soul.

  • i think it would be really easy to just 'do' philosophy - but this collection of quotes is reminding me that that is a dumb attitude. whether Christian or non-Christian, being intellectually lazy - not thinking about what you believe, why you believe, what what you believe means - isn't really an option. this isn't to say that everyone needs to or should nerd-up (as Wood helpfully notes), but we need to be thoughtful about what, why, and wherefore.


    Saturday, February 07, 2009

    Für meine Deutsch sprechende leser!

    Sprichst du Deutsch?
    hier befindest du eine neue Bibelübersetzung!
    bei den link aufgeschlagen ist Johannes 3, da wo der Pharisäer Nikodemus den Jesus fragt was es heißt, neu-geboren zu werden.

    Jesus erklärt zu ihm,
    16 Denn so sehr hat Gott diese Welt geliebt:
    Er hat seinen einzigen Sohn hergegeben,
    damit keiner verloren geht,
    der an ihn glaubt.
    Sondern damit er das ewige Leben erhält.

    17 Gott hat den Sohn nicht in diese Welt gesandt,
    damit er sie verurteilt.
    Vielmehr soll er diese Welt retten.

    was anders ist mit dieser übersetzung (bis her nur die vier-Evangelien (d.h. Matthias, Markus, Lukas, Johannes)) ist, daß Die BasisBibel ist eine völlig neuartige Übersetzung der Bibel.
    falls du mal mit der Luther Bibel versucht hast, kansst du verstehen wie wichtig es ist mit etwas lesbar anzufangen. hier, zum Beispiel, kannst du acht verschiedene Übersetzungen lesen (BasisBibel verbraucht der Gute-Nachricht-Bibel wo ihre übersetzung nicht erreicht.)

    du kannst bei den BasisBibel Foren fragen stellen, du kannst auch dein Maus über den verblaute Wörte (d.h. schwierige wörte) laufen lassen, um eine kurze erklärung zu lesen.

    falls du eine weile schon dich nichts vom Glauben gefragt, schau mal bei Basisbibel vorbei - und sag mir wie es dir gefallt!


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    Friday, February 06, 2009

    The Case for Crock?

    i've just finished reading Lee Strobel's The Case for Easter for a webSalt review (which i'll publish here after they are happy with it).

    in my reading for it, i went surfing to see what others thought of some of his experts. i enjoyed his Christ, but felt Faith was much weaker. i was then given Creator and was thoroughly unconvinced. sadly, it seems Strobel's journalistic gravitas has given way to his bias. time to hang up his quill, i suggest.

    via Wikipedia i chanced upon, a nonprofit educational organization dedicated to defending and promoting a naturalistic worldview on the Internet. with their bias clear, i could happily read the article responding to Creator, and i saw how low Strobel seems to have sunken.

    not only is he far less selective about his experts, but he is happy to use anyone who will give his case credibility - definitely contraryto what his premise had been for all his books (hard-hitting investigative journalist, not taking anything for granted, asking the questions others never got to etc).

    so Paul Doland quotes one of Strobel's experts, a Dr. Jonathan Wells,
    Father's [Sun Myung Moon's] words, my studies, and my prayers convinced me that I should devote my life to destroying Darwinism, just as many of my fellow Unificationists had already devoted their lives to destroying Marxism. When Father chose me (along with about a dozen other seminary graduates) to enter a Ph.D. program in 1978, I welcomed the opportunity to prepare myself for battle.

    although such bias may fit with Strobel's, it is by no means scholarly.

    i'm not trying to have a go at the guy, i'm sure he's got great intentions. but there are times when what you set out to do isn't what you finish up doing. and you need to rethink things. you end up creating a god of the gaps, by only interviewing people who support your viewpoint.

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