(no subject)

2015-Aug-30, Sunday 19:34
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
Has anyone else read Roger Walsh's Essential Spirituality? I am only a quarter through but it is most intriguing.

Premise seems basically to be [personal profile] kaberett's theory of religion as "here is what we have learned over the past several millennia, this shit is important". Walsh draws from Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism to discern what these major world religions have in common—and, surprise surprise, a lot of it looks familiar from the reading I've been doing on ancient Greek philosophy and modern Western polytheism. Walsh identifies what he calls the "seven perennial practices" as:
Transform your motivation: reduce craving and find your soul’s desire.
Cultivate emotional wisdom: heal your heart and learn to love.
Live ethically: feel good by doing good.
Concentrate and calm your mind.
Awaken your spiritual vision: see clearly and recognize the sacred in all things.
Cultivate spiritual intelligence: develop wisdom and understand life.
Express spirit in action: embrace generosity and the joy of service.
And the thoughts I wish to express are not coagulating properly. :(
alexseanchai: textbook image of the female reproductive system, caption "keep your theology off my biology" (theology biology)

Surely, Mr. Akin, you or one of the doctors you mention can get on national news and explain in detail how a woman's body, unaided by hormonal or barrier contraception, can prevent pregnancy, and why that mechanism works only when a woman is raped, not when she has consensual sex without intent to be pregnant. Explain in detail, mind, not simply assert that it happens. And while you're at it, explain how your branch of Presbyterianism can defend their opposition to contraception given that the female body has natural contraception; as Wiki assures me your college degree came from a Presbyterian theological school, I'm sure you're up to this.

(no subject)

2012-Aug-15, Wednesday 00:21
alexseanchai: Sydney Imbeau as Claire as Castiel in Supernatural, killing a demon (Clairestiel)
I'm worldbuilding what might fairly be described as a genderbent, racebent Supernatural in which nobody gets fridged and the creative force behind the project knows what 'social justice' means. (So, not very like Supernatural at all. Le sigh.) I'm currently trying to figure out whether the storyverse is theistic (Christian style, as I wish to play with angels and know the Christian mythos best), theistic (American Gods style, which does not preclude playing with angels), or atheistic (in which case, where did the angels come from?). I'm certain that my four most important characters have at least six different opinions on this, and somewhere in the course of the story they're going to find out who's right. So, in the interest of solving this mystery and figuring out what happens after, a survey:

What is your religious identity? I don't need more detail than 'agnostic', 'atheist', 'monotheist', 'polytheist', or the like, and if theist then the broadest term that accurately describes you (Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, Shinto, Pagan, Hellenic Reconstructionist, what have you), but anything you want to tell me is welcome.

If you're sure of how many gods there are, whatever number you think that is, what would convince you that there are multiple gods when you thought one or none, or that there is only one when you thought multiple or none, or that there are none when you thought at least one? If you're agnostic, what would make you sure of the number of gods, whether that number is zero, one, or multiple?

If you were so convinced, what would you do?

If some degree of publicity is necessary to convince you (which I know is true of at least some people, who say that if it can't be verified scientifically then it's not sufficiently convincing), what do you think the other witnesses, and anyone who heard about the incident from them or from you, would do?

As always, anon comments are on but screened. My usual procedure is to unscreen anything that isn't spam; for this survey, I will unscreen only those anon comments that say I'm allowed to unscreen them. If you're commenting anonymously because you have neither a Dreamwidth nor an OpenID account and you don't care to create a DW account (fyi free DW accounts don't presently require invites), rather than because you don't want me or spectators to know who you are, please identify yourself.

Thank you!

(no subject)

2012-May-11, Friday 11:06
alexseanchai: A woman wearing the Statue of Liberty's robes and crown kissing a woman with Lady Justice's blindfold, scales, and sword (Liberty + Justice OTP)
Listen, jackass who shall not be named (and isn't reading this anyway), we do not hate you for being Christian. Some of us are Christian, and it'd be damn hypocritical of us to hate all Christians.

We don't, in fact, hate you at all.

What we hate is what you are doing to us in Jesus's name. Amendment 1. Proposition 8. Shit like that.

For the record? I sincerely doubt Jesus would have had a problem with marriage equality.

(no subject)

2012-Apr-08, Sunday 12:11
alexseanchai: the back of a one-dollar bill, with 'in God we trust' blacked out (in God we do not trust)
Y'all enjoy your Easter. I'm gonna be over here trying to sleep through the excess of Christianity.

(no subject)

2012-Mar-25, Sunday 09:06
alexseanchai: young Mary from Supernatural looking skeptical (Supernatural skeptical Mary)
Greta Christina is asking everyone who was at, or who wanted to be at, the Reason Rally to do one thing for atheism. One of her suggestions is, mark out 'In God We Trust' on US currency.

Okay! says I, remembering my long-dormant wheresgeorge.com account.

wheresgeorge.com is not interested in religious or political debates. They are sufficiently not interested in such debates to censor what I put in the 'state of the bill being tracked' box. I type 'In God We Trust', they allow the world to see 'the national motto'.

Not pleased, wheresgeorge.com. Not pleased.

(no subject)

2011-Nov-19, Saturday 22:13
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
My sister, the one who's officially helping out with Sunday school but is unofficially teaching the class, is assembling a great many Advent garlands. Strips of paper with instructions on them, stapled into interlocking loops, and the kid removes one loop per day and follows the instruction. Clean your room without being told. Help your parents with the dishes. That sort of thing. And one of the instructions is 'pray for the homeless'.

Uh, sister? Sister's students? Hi, I'd like to introduce you to my UU congregation's pet project: the local interfaith men's shelter. They're looking for groups of four to cook dinner for forty several nights of the week between Christmas and New Year's, and they're looking for donated food to be cooked, and they're probably looking for new socks (because when are homeless shelters not looking for socks), and and and. And it being an interfaith shelter, the last thing they're going to do is turn up their nose at donations from Catholics.

Know what's not actually going to keep those men from being hungry and having chilly feet? Prayer without action.

(no subject)

2011-Oct-23, Sunday 13:47
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
I want to share the message I got from today's UU service, because I think it's an important one.

Isaiah 61 and a Hasidic story )

And afterwards there was Pagan Pride Day. Belly dancers, tarot readings, jewelry for sale, and not a hell of a lot else. Pretty jewelry, though. I bought a lovely pair of tigereye earrings for five dollars. I should have told the woman who made them that she's undervaluing her work. And there was this drop-dead gorgeous hematite necklace with a Tree of Life pendant that I'd really love to have, but when I asked the man who made it about it, he said the pendant alone had cost him twenty-eight dollars, and I said that means the necklace is out of my price range. I've got his business card, I wonder if it's in his Etsy shop—nope, nothing there, guess it's been a while since he renewed his listings. And his website is under construction. Beautiful necklace, though, wish I could show you.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
(Authored by the Flying Spaghetti Monster Hirself.)

1. I'd really rather you didn't act like a sanctimonious holier-than-thou ass when describing my noodly goodness. If some people don't believe in me, that's okay. Really, I'm not that vain. Besides, this isn't about them so don't change the subject.

2. I'd really rather you didn't use my existence as a means to oppress, subjugate, punish, eviscerate, and/or, you know, be mean to others. I don't require sacrifices, and purity is for drinking water, not people.

3. I'd really rather you didn't judge people for the way they look, or how they dress, or the way they talk, or, well, just play nice, okay? Oh, and get this into your thick heads: woman = person. man = person. Samey = Samey. One is not better than the other, unless we're talking about fashion and I'm sorry, but I gave that to women and some guys who know the difference between teal and fuchsia.

4. I'd really rather you didn't indulge in conduct that offends yourself, or your willing, consenting partner of legal age AND mental maturity. As for anyone who might object, I think the expression is "go fuck yourself," unless they find that offensive in which case they can turn off the TV for once and go for a walk for a change.

5. I'd really rather you didn't challenge the bigoted, misogynistic, hateful ideas of others on an empty stomach. Eat, then go after the bitches.

6. I'd really rather you didn't build multi million-dollar synagogues / churches / temples / mosques / shrines to my noodly goodness when the money could be better spent (take your pick):
I. Ending poverty
II. Curing diseases
III. Living in peace, loving with passion, and lowering the cost of cable
I might be a complex-carbohydrate omniscient being, but I enjoy the simple things in life. I ought to know. I AM the creator.

7. I'd really rather you didn't go around telling people I talk to you. You're not that interesting. Get over yourself. And I told you to love your fellow man, can't you take a hint?

8. I'd really rather you didn't do unto others as you would have them do unto you if you are into, um, stuff that uses a lot of leather/lubricant/vaseline. If the other person is into it, however (pursuant to #4), then have at it, take pictures, and for the love of Mike, wear a CONDOM! Honestly, it's a piece of rubber. If I didn't want it to feel good when you did it I would have added spikes, or something.

musing on sin

2011-Sep-02, Friday 22:00
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
Trigger warning: mention of rape.

sin is moral evil )

(no subject)

2011-Jul-30, Saturday 21:30
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
I vividly recall reading a series of PDFs on the pro-gay Catholic perspective on family members' coming out and what to do about it. There were words to the effect of "God made your child gay". I did not bookmark it. Does anyone have any idea where I might find these, or similar documents?

(no subject)

2011-Apr-13, Wednesday 00:07
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
Forty-five hundred. Not bad considering I spent the evening away from keyboard and spent most of my time at the keyboard fuming at my parents. Still have no idea how I'm getting from 'Dean and Sam are seven and three' to 'Dean and Sam are twenty-seven and twenty-three'. Though I think Sammy's a older in this last scene, he's a bit articulate for a three-year-old.

Dear world, including but not limited to everyone het up by the incident in Seattle with the 'spring spheres' aka secular Easter eggs? NOT EVERYONE IS CHRISTIAN.


Dear self? You know that bat that was flying around madly this evening trying to get away from the big threatening creatures and didn't have the sense to leave the way it came? Yeah. You have less sense than that bat. You know saying anything in response to a political rant from Mom ends badly. Stop doing it.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Big Bang 11 write bitch write)
^ [livejournal.com profile] remix_redux. Not [livejournal.com profile] spn_j2_bigbang. *points at icon*

Mom's all kinds of stressed today. Apparently Dad has no health insurance. This should not be so, given that he's a military retiree. Dear Mom, this is why I want single-payer health care.

Also Mom forwarded me a chain letter. Something to the effect of praying the rosary in the 1500s turned back an invading fleet, and imagine what would happen if a great many Catholics all prayed the rosary for peace between noon and three on Good Friday. Dear Mom, not Catholic.

Rosary. Hm. There's a thought for the Big Bang. Do we have any idea what Mary's religious affiliation is, other than one of the sects of Christianity that likes angels? Because if 'Catholic' is plausible, I could get some good mileage out of a rosary.

(no subject)

2010-Nov-28, Sunday 22:35
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
earrings in the embryonic stage

Yeah, the basement lighting's crap. That's ninety pearls each in smoke gray and light gray, plus a couple dozen earring hooks, over a hundred eye pins, six meters of wire, wire cutters, round-nose pliers, and files. So if Dad can find chain-nose pliers (don't know why he wouldn't have them, he has every other tool known to humanity except the thing to print circuit boards that he keeps saying he wants his workplace to get), that picture is of the embryonic stage of lots of earrings.

(The Pride stuff is gonna wait till I know I have the hang of this.)

(I'm actually doing this aren't I *freaks*)

Fascinating fact I'm discovering. I know there are no gods. I know it the way I know matter does funny things when accelerated to near light speed. But what's been going through my mind since it clicked that I am seriously doing this? "Oh God oh God oh God". It's bizarre and I don't like it and I want it to go away.

On the bright side, the weird new thing and a slightly elevated heart rate are the only freakout symptoms I'm experiencing, and the akathisia went away when I stopped the Abilify and hasn't come back except for an hour or so this afternoon after I started the Abilify again after three days without akathisia. So I guess I'm liking the Abilify.

(no subject)

2010-Oct-03, Sunday 13:31
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
So I worked up the nerve to visit the local Unitarian Universalist services today. (It helped that Mom was off at Girl Scout camp so there wasn't any issue over coordinating scheduling, because the service was eleven to noon and Mom does nine o'clock Mass followed by Sunday school.) I liked it, I'm planning on going back, but it really didn't help to tell Dad that the guest speaker was talking about this group going from being a community welcoming to LGBTetc folk to being a Welcoming Community (I admit the significance escapes me) and Dad's response was "probably shouldn't tell your mother that". Or, when Mom got home and went "Ellie church WTF" and "UU WTF" and read the about-UU pamphlet that's apparently standard issue to all visitors, she got to the bit about not having a creed or statement of belief and said "Oh, they believe anything and everything." With a gratuitous slam at moral relativism. Yeah, way to be encouraging, Mother. Also, don't try to tell me you attend a church that has the moral high ground over Unitarian Universalism, you're a Roman fuckin' Catholic.

(no subject)

2010-Jul-12, Monday 23:28
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
This novel of page-turning action and adventure poses the question, "If a society had no knowledge of Christianity, and then a Bible were discovered, what would happen?"

...Probably the same thing that happened when we had no knowledge of the Epic of Gilgamesh until somebody dug it up in 1849. Jack shit of interest to anyone but scholars.
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
Imagine a United States in which it is unthinkable that the inauguration of a new president not include lighting incense before a statue of Ganesha and asking his blessing on the new president's administration. )

Do you have an idea of what it is to be a Christian in that United States?

That's what it is to be other than Christian in this United States.

ETA: This rant brought to you by an argument with my mother over Thomas Jefferson. I emailed her the text of it yesterday. Her response:

Your rambling makes little sense. And while there is religious freedom, and there is not a government-established religion (though the advocates of government-established secular humanism are making great inroads in restricting religious freedom), those who choose to move here knew it was a Judeo-Christian nation. Don't move next to the airport and then complain about the planes and expect that to be changed to accommodate them.

News flash, Mother: when I came to the US, I neither knew nor cared that this was a "Judeo-Christian" nation. I am a native-born US citizen, as you know damn well, and I am an atheist, as you have known for eight years, and this is my country too.

(no subject)

2008-Nov-28, Friday 22:37
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)

I am entirely too amused by this.

(no subject)

2008-Nov-17, Monday 23:07
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
I passed along the water's edge below the humid trees,
My spirit rocked in evening light, the rushes round my knees,
My spirit rocked in sleep and sighs; and saw the moorfowl pace
All dripping on a grassy slope, and saw them cease to chase
Each other round in circles, and heard the eldest speak:
Who holds the world between His bill and made us strong or weak
Is an undying moorfowl, and He lives beyond the sky.
The rains are from His dripping wing, the moonbeams from His eye.

I passed a little further on and heard a lotus talk:
Who made the world and ruleth it, He hangeth on a stalk,
For I am in His image made, and all this tinkling tide
Is but a sliding drop of rain between His petals wide.

A little way within the gloom a roebuck raised his eyes
Brimful of starlight, and he said: The Stamper of the Skies,
He is a gentle roebuck; for how else, I pray, could He
Conceive a thing so sad and soft, a gentle thing like me?

I passed a little further on and heard a peacock say:
Who made the grass and made the worms and made my feathers gray,
He is a monstrous peacock, and He waveth all the night
His languid tail above us, lit with myriad spots of light.

—"The Indian Upon God", W. B. Yeats

(Also, judging by the weather patterns lately, this area does not in fact have the four seasons advertised. It has two. Drought and Drenched.)

(no subject)

2008-Aug-05, Tuesday 12:31
alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
This is directed at [livejournal.com profile] callistahogan in particular, but everybody else is welcome.

Imagine for a moment that you are not a Christian, that you are not a creationist, that you do not, in fact, have any opinion in any direction on either subject. Because you have no religious opinions, the Bible, being a religious document, may corroborate evidence from other sources, but is not, on its own, a valid source of evidence. Alternately, the Bible may be considered a valid source of evidence in itself, but the Qu'ran, the Vedas, the Pali Canon, the Iliad, etc, must be considered equally valid. (You have no religious opinions, remember; you therefore have no reason to believe that any texts describing the basis and practice of any religion are anything but fiction sprinkled with rules and possibly with history.) "My father says", "my preacher says", "God says", and other appeals to authority are similarly invalid, unless of course "God says" is backed up with sufficient evidence to make it clear that it is indeed "God says" instead of "somebody says God says".

What would it take to convince you of the truth of your flavor of Christianity? What about another flavor of Christianity? Judaism? Islam? Hinduism? Buddhism? Shinto? Atheism? Or would you be unable to be convinced, and thus remain an agnostic? Whatever did convince you, why would it be convincing? Why would an identical argument altered to suit another religious belief be unconvincing?

Similarly, what would convince you of the truth of creationism, or of the theory of evolution?


alexseanchai: Blue and purple lightning (Default)
let me hear your voice tonight

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