Thursday, March 21, 2013

No More Deep Cleanings!

DECLARATION: I shall floss religiously because deep cleanings at the dentist are torture. It's torture I paid for. It's torture where I willingly sat there while they injected me a total of 16 times throughout my mouth on two occasions.

Fuck that. (pardon my language..but seriously)
 
My Chompers
 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Non-Deist Morality

DECLARATION/OBSERVATION: I repost items that interest me: news stories, funny pictures, a few memes, and certain status messages of friends and family. I keep my lack of faith or religion to myself most of the time. If I do discuss it, it tends to be with my like-minded husband, Jarrod. Yet, I feel compelled to repost this discussion of morality because it conveys what I feel about the morality of non-deist, atheist, and agnostic people who live a life that does not revolve around worship, fear of divine punishment, and/or expectation of an afterlife.

I view morality as a human construct that stems from the avoidance of bodily or mental harm and causing bodily harm or mental harm to others. This means we know what is right and wrong because we know we would not want it done to ourselves. Those who do not develop this intrinsic sense of right and wrong have a legal system that has codified what is right and wrong. It is for this reason that the United States legal system did not evolve from religious texts, but modeled from the rationality of Ancient Rome.


Likewise, societies all around the world have a codified legal system and most are not based on religious theology.

What this image is imparting is that as a society, we understand that many of the horrible things in the Bible are not permissible today because our morality has evolved. We do not enslave humans, we do not stone adulterers, we do not force widows to marry their husband's brother, we do not make women leave their homes when they are menstruating, and we do not kill men, women, and children based on the orders of a religious figure. Our morality has indeed improved over time.

Many have said that they base their lives on the New Testament and that society in the time of the Old Testament. Well, sorry folks, it's all the same god in that book. According to the Bible, everything that happened in the Old Testament was ordered by God himself and merely relayed via his prophets.


If you want to say the New Testament is different, Jesus was quoted as saying that if your eye causes you to sin, to pluck it out. It was not metaphor nor a parable. I don't see a lot of cyclops out there. The writing is very clear. When humans decide to prosecute human slavery, religious stoning, etc., they are stating that they know better than the written testament of their faith.

As humans, most of us have moved past the low-moral standards of the Bible and live lives according to a higher standard. ...to then use this book to judge other people or to say that their are not living their lives well, is ridiculous.

Subjective Morality

OBSERVATION: Morality and ethics are subjective. Subjective to the era, to the society we live in, and unfortunately, to the predominant religion of the land. Some of these rules we had to learn, some we intrinsically feel. But the end effect is the same: we live in a society of rules where we have an understanding of what is wrong and what is right. Those areas of grey and opacity we have proffered up to our governments to adjudicate.

That being said, it is this subjectivity that causes conflict in countries around the world. Sometimes what we think is wrong is not aligned with the law of the land. Sometimes what we think is right is not either. As citizens of the world and whatever country you hail from, you speak up. You rally. You stand for your principals. Sometimes the other side has more to stand with them. Sometimes the other side will get their way. But if you don't say anything, you are complicit.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Thrill Seeking

OBSERVATION AND QUERY: Are we the only creatures on the planet that willingly risks our lives? Is thrill seeking reserved for humans?

When I look at the beauty of the world, I want to wrap it around me like a blanket and observe. When
 Jeb Corliss views the world, I can only imagine that he sees a big bouncy house that he wants to dive into and taste. I'm torn between admiration, envy, and horror. From following his feed, I know that he is highly trained. He has worked hard, sacrificed, and invested time and large sums of money to pursue his dreams. He doesn't lightly throw himself off a mountain or building......but he still throws himself off a mountain or building.

I'm not a thrill seeker. Aside from driving fast at times, I'm scared of heights, terrified of drowning, and have a very healthy fight or flight response. Perhaps one day I can cast off my base instincts of self-preservation and throw myself INTO the beauty of the world instead of just observing.
 
 
 
 
 

Saturday, March 16, 2013

My Meaning for Existence


DECLARATION: We are not the center of the universe, but the fact that we are here makes me feel miraculous. We exist in a universe so vast, we will never comprehend it. We exist amidst stars and galaxies that we can see but will never touch. And in the immensity of the universe and in our exceedingly small parking space in said universe, we exist and are able to contemplate that existence. It's a wondrous thing. A star that's millions of times bigger than I cannot ask why it exists. An asteroid belt cannot wonder why it's strung along in space. But I can ask, and I can wonder. I don't need a deity to explain my existence or an afterlife to make it meaningful.

We fought our way to the forms we are now and have evolved enough to question our surroundings, and through all this wonder and through all this questioning and quest for deeper understanding, I can only think of my sons. My life has meaning in their creation. In their creation, I am the universe and I am mother. They had no choice in the matter, as we all have no choice, but were somehow wrested from my body as our measly planet was wrested from the sun. Their minds are so beautiful. It makes being alive enough.

One day, the human race will be reduced to a column in the geologic time scale, compressed by eons of deposition, and one day, our star will explode and the rest of the universe will have never known of our existence. But for now, I am here.
I don't need anything more than that.
When I was a christian, I would read the old testament, and the one person I wanted to be like was Enoch. He was so good that one day, god took him. To be smiled upon like that was my goal. I wanted my life to make a deity happy. But I soon learned that no god can make you a better person. A man or a woman who cannot self-govern is lost. We could end up using the rest of our of paltry existence perfecting our knowledge of a religious text, but it will not make us whole or good.
I don't need religion anymore. Now, I want to smile at myself and know that I live a good life. I no longer fear a deity, I fear my own conscience. I want to look at my heart and say, this is a good woman; this woman is a good mother; and this woman does not hurt those who love her. The world was better because she was here.

I may be minuscule. I may be so tiny as to be less than a proton in comparison with the sun, but I ROCK! I love being a tiny blip. I exist and love it. Thank you universe for allowing me to be made of the stars because for a few milliseconds, I'll sparkle.

 

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Earthquakes: We're Built For 'Em

DECLARATION: Exactly two people have died in California directly related to an earthquake since the 1994 Northridge Earthquakes that claimed 60 lives. I've had friends from back east contact me see I'm alright after today's 4.7 quake in Riverside. I really didn't feel it.

California's codes and regulations for building construction and transportation projects like bridges and freeways have been modified, amended, and improved since 1994 to provide greater sensitivity to seismic issues and risk. We're not risk free, but we are 'built' for earthquakes.

Ironically, more people haved died from lightning strikes in California than earthquakes since 1994 (6 from 2002 - 2011). I think we'll be okay.

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/earthquakes/states/us_deaths.php
 http://www.lightningsafety.noaa.gov/stats/02-11_deaths_by_state.pdf

Monday, March 4, 2013

Procrastination

"Sometimes genius requires the pressure cooker of procrastination."
 
- Vanessa Hahn