To believe or not to believe

“The opposite of the religious fanatic is not the fanatical atheist but the gentle cynic who cares not whether there is a god or not.”
-Eric Hoffer

One of my closest friends does not believe in God, another one has completely separated himself from organized religion but both of them are very kind people that I believe can make it into the heaven that I believe in.

Recently XO has been posting about atheism in the sense that you should doubt faith, and I will put him in the bag with the fanatical atheist. I think anyone that is actually giving people information for one cause or another has taken a step towards that side and can quickly become fanatical. I am not offended by what he posts and I actually like that there are people out there challenging religion.

Part of having faith is being able to believe even when others don’t. Part of believing is knowing that it is your choice to have faith. I also don’t think spirituality should be confused with faith. While some people might not have faith in something like the thought of God, they might have faith in the goodness of people, in love or many other feelings.

Humans are capable of abstract thought, and what differentiate us from animals is that feelings can make part of our decision making progress on top of instinct. We choose to override our instincts with either morals or feelings. Society prevent us from for example taking food from one another even if we are hungry. The formation of society is what allows us to think in those terms, to believe that there is something out there bigger than us.

To actually promote that there is no god, to deny his existence is in some way an acknowledgment. I believe that Nietzsche saying “God is dead.” is a cry for help from someone that feels abandoned. To attack organized religion is one thing that I am not against, bloated institutions that take advantage of people are not good in my eyes. To attack the faith that people have on anything I believe is dangerous in the sense that you are not trying to open eyes but close them. Where once person sees beauty and comfort, someone else might see something unpleasant. I think it is important to respect what others believe, because that people that believe in nothing probably feel pretty empty inside.

Political Party

By the results from this survey, I have fully switched political party… what a difference 8 years make.

88% John Edwards
88% Barack Obama
86% Hillary Clinton
86% Chris Dodd
85% Bill Richardson
79% Joe Biden
78% Mike Gravel
71% Dennis Kucinich
49% Rudy Giuliani
41% John McCain
40% Tom Tancredo
34% Mike Huckabee
32% Mitt Romney
31% Ron Paul
23% Fred Thompson

2008 Presidential Candidate Matching Quiz

T.H. to Chuck.

Visit from my best friend

My best friend and his girlfriend just left Kansas City. They actually spent the weekend here and got to enjoy some quality time with us. We played tons of Guitar Hero and some Star Fox 64. We went to the casino to test Travis’ theory for roulette which seems to work if you have enough of a bankroll. We got to eat some awesome meals, but overall we got to reminisce. Travis and I have been friends for over 10 years now, and college seems to be further and further away this days. My 30th birthday is approaching faster than I thought it would and for the first time in a long time I am really looking forward to celebrating.

I cannot believe that so much time has passed by, so much has changed yet so much has stayed the same. Our group of friends was pretty close during the first couple of years of college, then slowly we started to lose one after the other. I was the only one out of my original group of friends that graduated. I did start hanging out with people I knew from the very beginning, but it was after my friends were either kicked out or dropped out of school.

I realize that I used to swear a lot back then, I also swore a lot this weekend. I don’t really enjoy profanity all that much, but it is fun to just let go and act childish once in a while. I also had not thought about some of the situations that we got into and out of back then. We were not criminals, but we did do a lot of things that eventually got us in more trouble than we really needed.

I also realized this week that out of that original group of friends I am the only one that ended up being a programmer. While some of my friends are still in the field in one way or another, I am the only one that actually has stayed in the software side of things. Even thought most of my career has been spent in integration and process analysis, I am back to the writing code lately and I love it.

I know most of the people that I used to hang out with back then loved computers. Liking them is not enough to be a programmer, you also have to have lots of patience and tons of perseverance. While what I do is not overly complicated and I think most people can do, not everyone will actually enjoy using logic for everything you do.

It was good to see my best friend, something that has not changed from back then is how much I enjoy his company. My wife got to see a side of me that probably scared her a little. Nothing she did not know, more like she did not know to what extent the debauchery back then used to get to. Meeting Travis’ girlfriend for the first time was also good, even though I am not sure what she will think about me now that she has met me. My wife has met Travis before, but I think this weekend was the first time she got to see how annoying we can be once we are together.

Box Office Number Ones of 2007

One of my non resolutions this year is to start reviewing movies again. I really slacked in 2007 not just on movie reviewing but also watching. We have recently found a place where movies are only 4 bucks for matinée and 6 dollars even on weekends for new movies. So here is a list that I took from the wikipedia and gave myself the title of reviewer or the number one box office hits of 2007. Somebody better buy a freaking DVD from Amazon after all the link building I did.

Read more…

Friday Feast, Better Longer and Uncut

Appetizer
What is your middle name? Would you change any of your names if you could? If so, what would you like to be called?
It is already listed in the 100 things about me, if you are really that curious look there. I like my names and would not change them, but if you please, call me ruler of the people of the hill.

Soup
If you were a fashion designer, which fabrics, colors, and styles would you probably use the most?

Putting a heavy lisp on, hillbilly deluxe lots of red flannel.

Salad
What is your least favorite chore, and why?
Probably all of them… but my all time least favorite is probably putting clothes in the hampers, I am more of a mood undresser, whatever the mood strikes is where my trail starts.

Main Course
What is something that really frightens you, and can you trace it back to an event in your life?
Flying monkeys, LOL, I am not afraid of anything that much really… enclosed spaces but I am not sure when it started.

Dessert
Where are you sitting right now? Name 3 things you can see at this moment.
On the couch where I usually sit when I blog, laptop on my lap. I can see a monkey on top of books that are on top of a chair.

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