Accused of Ignorance

I honestly don’t mind being called ignorant, in fact I love it when someone does it because 9/10 times they have no clue what they are talking about so it makes it ironic and amusing. There are plenty of things I am clueless about, but I love to learn when the opportunity presents itself. I sometimes forget about posts that caused “controversy” but a nice comment today reminded me of one of my favorites.

Look people…You need to get a life! If you don’t like the exhibit then don’t go, problem solved! Stop trying to get people to boycott or shut down the exhibit just because you don’t approve. That is completely ignorant! So to all of you out there that think this is in humane Grow Up and get over yourselves.
-Samantha

As one of the people posted, our boycott was not successful. The company is alive and traveling the country. It makes me sad that some people can put aside the fact that some of those bodies were not donated to science, but someone is commercializing what can be described as organ trafficking. Yeap, stolen bodies! that is what you are going to go “learn” from.

So to reply to my latest poster Samantha!

First, lets see… I need to get a life. Dam it Samantha! you got me, I have no life! I play video games so I am constantly told that I need to get one. Where can I buy a life? Please help me Samantha. I long for a life. The fact that I have a job and a twitter account does not count for a life. I guess maybe I will be lucky enough to some day have Samantha come back and tell me how I get a life. At least she did not call me a loser.

Second, I did not go Samantha… and neither did most of my lazy blogger friends (thanks Burro) because we took a moral stance against something most of us found disgusting and just plain evil to profit from someone’s remains which are sacred to a lot of people. Even if I was atheist, which Tim Teabow might accomplish, I still would not be ok with someone’s remains being displayed like this against their will. So Samantha, I had already solved my one problem.

Third! the definition of a boycott

“A boycott is an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country as an expression of protest, usually for political reasons. It can be a form of consumer activism.”

so sorry, but as much as you are within your right to go see prisoners plastiniced, I am in my right to try to spread the message that people should not. I find it deplorable that so many people hide behind the whole “science” and something that was just available to the “few” before can now be seen by ALL! OMG now I can be just like that celebrity scientist!

There are WAY better educational routes, and even the 1% of me that thinks that Burro made a great point saying that some kid might be inspired by seeing this is quickly overruled by the reality of how the bodies were obtained.

FOURTH! and the most important part of this whole thing… how is me wanting to boycott something that I don’t believing ignorant? I guess my inferior intellect is keeping me from understanding the magnitude that Bodies Revealed has as an intellectual tool… screw the iPad, screw google, screw computers and 3D models, screw MEDICINE… bodies revealed is all I need not be ignorant! group rates available.

Cinco! “in humane” is right, IN went the polymer into the dudes from that Chinese prison.

So Samantha, I am not against science or the study of the human body. I personally find some of this grotesque even though have seen and held human tissue in my hands for educational purposes. Ok that sounded like I was self sex educating myself, but no, what I was trying to say is that I have handled the organs of a dead body. Oh wait that sounds even worse. Ok, lets try again. I did take a physiology “honors-woot” class which included seeing a dissected human body and handling some of the preserved organs. Those bodies were donated to science and were a great educational tool. Now if those people would have been ok with being put through plastination, AWESOME… but I still find deplorable that a company uses Chinese prisoners bodies to make money in the name of science.

In conclusion, no I am not going to get over myself! I am still in love with myself and want to stay that way. I am not breaking up with myself just for you Samantha! so please quite patronizing me and tell all your friends to come read this! better yet, post it on facebook and tell them how mean I am. The more people that learn where those bodies come from the better.

Lets Talk Religion

“Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you’d have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion.”
- Steven Weinberg

Not too long ago I started the conversation about faith. From the comments and conversations that followed we came to the same fork on the road. Religion.

I actually don’t talk about religion as much as I would like to in here because I don’t truly like to alienate people based on my views of it. If you have never met me I will give you a little bit of my background with religion.

I grew up in a Catholic household with both parents being churchgoers at different times in their lives. Church was not a family affair. I also went to a Catholic high school which kind of gave me a different view on going to church and religion. Religion IS a subject down in Colombia for even non parochial schools. I have never been married in the Catholic church even though I would not mind it. I identify with the cultural aspect of Catholicism because it is very familiar to me. I have also explored other faiths specially in the protestant side of things.

I have attended protestant or “Born Again christian” churches for months with various degrees of creepiness at the end. They have always ended up the same way. First is the push for me to take more of an outreach position when they see that I can speak in front of people without much issue. Then when I decline and want to be just a member it seems like I become “one of those that doesn’t want to spread the message.” The moment I started to ask too many questions that challenged leadership in any way steps are taken to make me either follow in line or be labeled as an “outsider.” The chronology is different depending on the church but it has happened twice now.

I have always ended up in a protestant church thanks to a friend that thinks it will be good for me. I love the singing and bible studies. I love talking ideas, good, bad, salvation, sin. I love the volunteer work. The problem is that I was brought up by Franciscans and some of them taught me that religion is not what is important, that true understanding comes from questioning things. Faith is not something that you can give to others, they have to feel it themselves… its like trying to make someone happy, you can only “try” for so long. It has to come from within.

(Well known mathematician Freeman Dyson has criticized Weinberg’s remark: “And for bad people to do good things—that [also] takes religion.”)

A Franciscan monk is the one that pointed out that our history books in school left a lot of stuff out.

The problem with taking advice about religion from others is that for people like me it is a journey. If you would have asked me 10 years ago, I would have one answer. If you would have asked me during the Bears vs Broncos game, I would have another. If you ask me 10 years from now, I might have another one.

I don’t think I lack faith. I just don’t like to rely on intangibles for things to happen. That said, I have leaned on praying before to get me through tough times. Probably the reason that I could not become a full atheist because when the ship was sinking I would be asking for God. My brain, my debates with others, the books I read, all make me question the validity of both faith and religion. I don’t need it to get through my daily life, but faith is a powerful thing… like love.

The bible is a cool book, Jesus was a cool man… but there are other books and there are other great men.

A lot of horrible things have been done in the name of religion. Also a lot of good is done in the same name. I think in the end everything with an arterial motive goes back to human weakness. All tools can be used for good or evil, it depends a lot on who’s hands is holding them.

Things get a lot more complicated when you are the “Godfather” to 3 kids!

I love the honor that comes with the title. I also want to make sure that if I am ever called to answer questions about it I will have good answers. Note I did not say the “right” answer, but a good one.

Lying

I am the default person in the house to deal with telemarketers or customer service representatives. Working in conjunction with a third party collection agency gave me a glimpse at how some of those places work. People will say whatever they think it will get them a result, and in the end they end up lying.

We might not realize it, but every time we see someone else lie our trust for that person starts to diminish. What I never realized before reading this short essay by Sam Harris is that it goes well beyond that. It seems that from a psychological stand point, the person lying starts to get hostile towards the person that they lie to.

There is a saying we use back in Colombia “El ladron juzga por su condicion.” This can be losely translated without losing all its meaning to “A thief believes everyone else steals.”

People that routinely lie to themselves or others also think others are also liars. Furthermore, people that routinely lie start to dislike the people that they lie to,

In fact, suspicion often grown on both sides of a lie: Research indicates that liars trust those they deceive less than they otherwise might-and the more damaging their lies, the less they trus, or even like, their victims. It seems that in protecting their egos, and interpreting their own behavior as justified, liars ten to deprecate the people they lie to.

Sam Harris then cites the research “Deceiver’s Distrust: Denigration as a Consequence of Undiscovered Deception.”

I grew up with the notion that you should always tell the truth, but it was accentuated by the saying. “Traigame un herido, no un muerto.” That was a saying from my Grandfather, passed down to my Dad and then to me. Be honest about anything you face, if you “Bring me an injured person, don’t bring me a dead one.” That has always stayed in my head, not only to make sure that I ask for help before a problem escalates, but also to always tell the truth.

I trust people easily. I know this can be a bad thing. However, I always feel that the more you give to people the more you will get in return. People know I am blunt, trying to make that more about honesty than lack of tact. I have in recent years just told people I am not interested rather than just hanging up on them. I don’t like to lie or hypocrisy, but I think it shows more trough action than through words.

The more you build trust with people, the more powerful your words become. The consequences of what you say have a profound effect. The more you lose trust on someone, the less their words weight. I chose to see the positive in situations and people, and I have been accused by those that don’t know me of flattery. It could not be further from the truth, I honestly believe in the potential of those around me to succeed and be awesome. All my friends keep proving me right by just being amazing people, so it is not flattery if they really are that freaking cool.

The essay was an easy read, and it made me think a lot. It is good to make a commitment to yourself to always tell the truth… and also learn a little tact. There will always be someone asking you if their puppy is the cutest of them all.

STOP SOPA

STOP SOPA - PIPA

Do we need faith?

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother.
-Khalil Gibran

Notice that I did not say “do we need religion?” before you get your panties all wadded up; but I might touch on that too. So before you go any further let me explain something about faith.

Many words have tons of meanings that can be defined and interpreted differently. Take for example a color, while it is something that can be defined and classified it is a lot more than that. Blue can be your favorite t-shirt, team, car. Words carry a lot of meaning and faith, like the word love is one of the heavy ones.

How necessary is faith though? Do we need it in our lives? Is it an innate thing or something we learn?

I respect and often times admire people of faith. Some of the happiest people are those with strong faith. Then there are those that make me want to give up on faith as an idea, see “Tim Tebow” sport antics and wanting to push his agenda for Christianity and God helping him score 316 touchdowns!

Our society is losing the sense of honor and heroes. We call lots of people’s heroes, but who do we really follow or put our faith into?

Celebrity culture is yet another form of worship that some even find a mental disease associated with compulsive behavior. Yet you look at the definition for it and in some ways believing in a Kardashian (no I am not looking up if that is the correct spelling) seems no different than believing in Jesus. Same infatuation with a fabricated thing.

Yet I love Christianity in so many ways, I still feel comforted by praying “our father.”

Faith helps people get through life. It gives them energy to keep going, it gives them that sense of companionship when we feel all alone. Some would not be able to get up every day without it. So is there something wrong with those that don’t have it all?

Do we always need someone or something to worship? is it just part of the human makeup?

This topic does have more questions than answer I am afraid. One of the most important lessons I have come across in life is that to really learn you have to question. If you have faith in something, it is ok to question it… if you don’t it might not be that strong after all.

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