A Soliloquy on Religious Integrity

I see people think they’re outsmarting religion and creating loopholes in their faith by switching over from “being religious” to “having a personal relationship with God”. They hand-craft their own moral code and argue with anyone that tells them they’re defying God’s laws by saying “My relationship with God is my own; it’s not your place to judge it.” This is nonsense.

If your personal relationship with God is based on the Bible, then every time you choose to ignore a part of the Bible, you are a hypocrite. For your basis of faith to be this book, if you choose the parts you like and reject the parts you don’t like, you are creating a Frankenstein’s Monster of a faith that is solely your own. You can’t believe that THIS is the one true god while claiming parts of the text that your faith is based on are false.

If you want to believe there’s a greater being, not necessarily the God of the Bible but some other god, and imprint upon him your values of what you think is true and just, well… if you want to create your own Build-A-Deity, that’s your prerogative. But don’t call yourself Christian.

Sins are laid out in the Bible. It also lays out that all of God’s children are inherently sinners who can only be saved by the grace of God and Jesus Christ. You cannot choose to sin while knowing that it is a sin, planning to later ask for forgiveness for your knowing and willing sin, and think that this is done in a just and loving relationship. That’s hollow. You don’t want forgiveness; you want to do whatever you like and then exploit “Jesus’s love” to save you. If any of this is true, God SHOULD turn his back on you. You don’t love him; you’re exploiting him.

If you believe that there is an all-knowing and all-powerful god who has created everything and all of his rules are final, you cannot reject any of those rules and stay honest to yourself and to your faith.

For me, personally, the more I read the Bible, the less it made sense and the more I disagreed with it, its teachings, and its god’s commandments, so I’m not a Christian. I don’t have any faith in any religious text or believe in any deity. I also don’t consider myself an atheist because that’s a loaded label; people will assume all sorts of things about you if you call yourself an atheist, and that’s just not a fight I care to take on. (I already have to deal with being an anarchist. One label fight is enough for me.) Modern atheism would be better labeled antitheism; most atheists are staunchly opposed to any possible spirituality, and I’m not necessarily, I just have yet to see any evidence.

So I really don’t care whether you do or don’t believe in the Bible. What I do care about is that you be consistent and honest with yourself and your beliefs. If you cast off part of your god, how can you not cast off the entire thing? You are only imagining a customized god.

On Feminism

First of all, on labels: I’ve chosen to identify with the label of “anarchist” despite the stigma around it. A common stereotype is that anarchists are teenagers going through an irrational rebellious phase, which, while there are some teenagers who wear a raggedy circle-A symbol on their hoodies and go around spraypainting it on things to appear “edgy”, that’s not a real anarchist. Forgive me for using the term “real anarchist”, but I’m talking about in the most basic sense that a “real” anarchist is a person who supports the abolishment of any ruling class, generally on a moral basis. The stereotype is just rebelling against authority because they feel like it.

That said, even though I’ve embraced the stigmatic label of “anarchist”, I am hesitant to adopt the label “feminist”. I thought at first it was due to its stigma, even though my values would probably define me as a feminist, but I’m not so sure that’s the reason.

Perhaps because the word “feminist” implies a preference for females, which is simply switching the paradigm into the opposite, but still wrong, direction. There should be NO gender preference, which is really what feminism is about, but I think that the word gives the wrong impression, to make no mention of the feminists who are, in fact, misandrist and would prefer women to be on top rather than to level the gender field.

As a proponent of non-aggression, voluntary interaction, a non-hierarchical world structure, and, most importantly, logic, feminism is implied by my values. Harassment, discrimination, or even simple assumptions based on any biological descriptor, including sex as well as race and age, are preposterous. Women do not exist to serve men, just as blacks do not exist to serve whites as slave owners seemed to believe. This is ancient, ignorant, presumptuous thinking.

There is certainly ancient, ignorant, and presumptuous thinking about men on the part of women as well, but not to the extent that it comes from men. As I’ve done some reading and participating in online dating websites, that’s where the disparity between sexes has become most obvious to me. It’s absurd how frequently men contact women to make crass comments about their bodies, or to tell them what they want to do to them sexually based solely on pictures posted on a website, or send unsolicited pictures of their genitalia, or, if they put on the appearance of a reasonable human being long enough to go on a date, then they often expect sex as a “reward” simply because they bought dinner and some drinks. On the other hand, about the only expectations you’ll get out of women are to open the door for them, pull out their chair, and pay for dinner, though, interestingly, feminists are often against these practices as well.

In essence, gender inequality is based in logical inconsistencies; that women, by definition of their gender, have roles and obligations to society, particularly to men. This brings me back around to anarchism, because the allegation that women have inherent roles and obligations to society implies the existence of the absurd “social contract”.

And going back to my original point, since this became more of a stream-of-consciousness rambling than anything, perhaps it’s best to coin a new label such as “humanism” or “equalism”, which may collectively oppose sexism, racism, ageism, and perhaps other -isms I haven’t thought of yet.

Or better yet, maybe I should just label myself a decent human being.

Catastrophic Twitter Entropy

I feel like spending too much time on Twitter has dulled my writing senses and I can no longer write a blog post of decent length. I would already be running out of my character limit here, and probably start looking for ways to trim the message down so I can fit a #hashtag.

I’m experiencing Catastrophic Twitter Entropy. I’m not even entirely clear on the definiton of “entropy”, it just sounded good.

On this note, somebody recently described me as “overstudied and undersocialized” after having met me about 5 minutes before. I’d say that’s pretty accurate, but is it really that obvious?

I must return to my studies.

A Rant on Nation Building and Patriotism

It amazes me every time I see a United States citizen attack another United States citizen (verbally; I have yet to see it happen physically, though I don’t doubt that it has) over a disagreement on the validity of military operations that our government is currently carrying out in multiple countries.

We are not at war, yet we have somewhere in the vicinity of 150,000 soldiers on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our military is battling and killing foreigners every day, yet we are not at war.

I understand the need, after 9/11/2001, for vengeance. It’s a natural (though misled) response to a heinous act, particularly against people to whom you feel a connection. It has been ten years since that act of violence was carried out against us, and we still have 150,000 men on active duty in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wait… Iraq? What does Iraq have to do with this?

Isn’t that an interesting question?

Saddam Hussein’s regime supposedly had weapons of mass destruction, and this apparently warranted the United States government to invade and put a stop to it. Evidently, our government has appointed themselves as the world police, with jurisdiction in any country they so choose — or rather, any country that they have sufficient military force to dominate.

How long did it take us to determine there were no weapons?

How long has Saddam Hussein been dead? Going on five years.

And we’re still in Iraq. There are still men and women who are fighting and dying on a fallacy. American people still support this, and our soldiers are even willing to die for this, because of “terrorism”.

Every time someone speaks out against the fallacy, against this chain that the government has wrapped around your neck and convinced you was for your own good, the majority has been so hypnotized and brainwashed by the fallacy that it will attack anyone who points out how wrong and backwards it is.

They have been somehow convinced that our military is “defending our freedom.” I can’t count the number of times I’ve seen the attacks consist of a phrase along the lines of, “They are fighting to defend your freedom to say these things.”

This is absolutely, 100% incorrect. In fact, as we continue to root for our troops and fear terrorism, the government pulls the chain tighter and tighter.

You have already lost infinitely more freedom to your own government than you would have if our military never deployed to Afghanistan and Iraq and left things well enough alone.

You now can’t fly without having your privacy agregiously violated. You can’t bring fingernail clippers in your carry-on bag. The police force is becoming increasingly militarized. Police road blocks are commonplace. We have to be careful what we say in public or risk being reported to the police by our neighbors. You can’t sell unprocessed, natural milk. You can’t even grow a garden in your own front yard.

Our military is not fighting for our freedom.

Our military is fighting to distract you from the man behind the curtain, taking your freedom away.

Moreover, these overseas operations continue to suck billions and billions of dollars away while our own country’s economy collapses underneath us.

Do I think our soldiers are murderers? Maybe. With 150,000 of them engaged in the fallacy, there’s no way to give an all-encompassing answer.

Do I think our soldiers are evil? Not necessarily.

Do I hate our soldiers? No. They are all, however, misled.

At the end of the day, everything that our soldiers do to make us proud is based on an enormous web of falsehoods, and is driven by powerful men who want only to become more wealthy and more powerful, and do not care about you.

Yes, I do just hate Apple, but…

I’m planning on picking up a smartphone very soon, most likely an HTC Droid Incredible, but I’m still open to input. The iPhone was never an option, even though it is coming to Verizon soon, mostly because I just hate Apple, but there are a lot of very good, logical reasons not to.

I felt like I needed to save this particular customer review on Amazon.com for posterity.

And if you need any more reasons to hate Apple

I’ve Been Too Busy With Starcraft II

It would appear that I haven’t made a post since before Starcraft II came out – I am sorry about that. Whatcha having? … Hamburgers! The cornerstone of any nutritious breakfast. What kind? … No, I mean where they from, Wendy’s, McDonald’s, Burger King? … Big Kahuna Burger! That’s that Hawaiian burger joint, isn’t it? I hear they’ve got some pretty good burgers, I’ve never tried one myself. Mind if I have a bite? … MMMM, that IS a TASTY burger. I don’t usually have hamburgers because my girlfriend’s a vegetarian and that pretty much makes me a vegetarian… but I do like the taste of a good burger.

How to Remove Gum from Carpet – For Real!

Just use Zout Oxy Foam. It comes in a purple spray bottle and it may have saved my life.

My friend stepped in some gum on the ground without realizing it, then got in the car, pressing the old gum into the floor mat. If it wasn’t my dad’s car, I probably would have just taken the lazy route and left it until such time as it caused a problem for me, but it was my dad’s car, and I therefore couldn’t just ignore it.

Going in, I had no idea how to remove old gum from carpet, so I did a quick Bing search. The most popular answer was “put ice in a plastic bag and set that on top of it, then scrape it up with a spatula or dull knife,” so I tried that.

Pffft. Yeah right.

That got me nowhere, so I raided the laundry closet and grabbed the bottle of Zout Oxy Foam, which I guess is actually intended to soak a stain before you put it in the laundry rather than use as a carpet cleaner, but I’ve used it on messes in carpet before and it seemed to work. Still, I had no idea if it would do anything to gum, but I didn’t know what else to do, so I tried it.

I gave the gum good coverage with the foam and let it sit (I pretty much just let it sit until the foam fizzed away, so 30 seconds or so) then scraped it with a knife. The liquid that was scraped up on the knife was a pinkish brown and the gum was red, so I figured I was getting somewhere. I wiped the knife on a paper towel after each scrape and pretty soon, it looked… clean! After spending twenty minutes with ice and getting nowhere, it took me about five minutes with the Zout stuff, and that’s only because the gum was spread around and stuck in four or five different spots.

Of course, then I wiped up my workplace on the dining table with rubbing alcohol and took half the rooster designs off. Oops!

I Observed Malevolence

I was sitting here at my desk at work, and just moments ago, I looked out the window. There, about forty feet away, I observed a man walking down Sailors Drive with an air of malevolence.

This man was wearing a dark purple velvet sport coat, solid black shades, and had his short gray hair swept back. He was walking with a purpose.

I feel like he might have been an assassin. Something just wasn’t right about this guy. He was looking too cool for someone walking down a side street in a purple velvet sport coat.