Monday, February 15, 2010


I got into a nice little discussion with a guy in my biology lab. He knows I'm a pre-med student, and I'm big on science and all, and wanted to know if I believed in God. Turns out he's an Atheist himself, and didn't understand how someone can balance reason and science with faith and religion. I told him that from a truly scientific standpoint (a.k.a. skepticism), one can only go as far as agnosticism, and that Atheists assume too much.

As I see it, Atheism is just another religion. There is no evidence proving or disproving the existence of any god, so all religions take an irrational stance when they claim anything about theirs, or lack thereof (even Occam's razor is a matter of probability, not certainty, if you wanted to go there).

As I've said here before, I'm at peace with this. There are so many assumptions we take for granted every day, like the nature of cause and effect, concepts of good and evil, even the existence of things seen and unseen which are alleged to make the world work as it does (just think of the four fundamental forces). Logic, it seems, can tell you things about the world only after a set of initial assumptions, albeit some come more naturally than others.

Anyway, it turns out that he can admit he has no proof against God, as I have no proof of God, and that we accept our beliefs more on faith than anything else. For his part, he says he never really got into the fire and brimstone he heard from everyone around him (growing up in the bible belt), and didn't want to accept a religion he couldn't honestly believe in. It was, I think, the best explanation I've heard from any Atheist. It's a whole lot better that the tired old, "why is there suffering in the world," bit.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Haitian Orphans

It's always sad when things that should matter all the time, only matter because of a current trend, like being nice because of the Christmas spirit. The post 9/11 patriotic surge (which had no small part in the patriot act) was one such event. the tragedy in Haiti is another.

My current philosophy professor said yesterday that he was watching Larry King Live (he claims this is not a common occurrence), and they had rich people who wanted to adopt Haitian orphans. The representative from the adoption agency said they had no more Haitian orphans, but would gladly accept support for other orphans, I don't recall if they were from Somalia, or Mumbai, or what, but the rich lady responded, "No, I want to help someone who really needs it," as if no other orphan could need help as badly.

The professor said, and he seems right, that it seems more like she'd just be embarrassed if all her friends had Haitian orphans, and hers was from the Dominican Republic, or even FROM THE UNITED STATES! One of the other students coined the term "Knockoff Haitian" which accurately describes the phenomenon.

Now, I wouldn't knock any sincere effort to help those less fortunate, but as the adoption agency said, first, there are many other children in dire need of help in the world, and second, adoption is not a spur of the moment decision based on a current trend, but something that should be planned for.

And I thought it was bad when parents got their kids pet bunnies for Easter.


In case anyone is concerned with the well-being of the silver man, I have an update. I mentioned a tall thin man, dressed in a silver bodysuit, with a white painted face (black around the eyes), and huge black boots in my philosophy class. For the first time in a while, someone knew exactly who I was talking about. This guy has seen him downtown, and it seems silver man has a silver girlfriend. I suspect now, more than ever, that they are from the future. Perhaps T-Bone (one of the bike messengers around here) finally got his KIBX (his time machine) working, and these two are the result. That would explain why silver man was hanging out at the physics department. Of course, they might be stranded, and just trying to help T-Bone get the KIBX up and running. I'll let you all know as I find out more.

Side note, the short chubby guy who stands on the corner singing and doing what looks like a blend of sign language and choreography (although I know neither language and am an unfit judge) is doing well. He's currently performing a particularly untouching rendition of Michael Jackson's Heal the World.