Christianity, global issues, history, politics, religion and spiritualism

“In God We Trust” – Reflections on Tiananmen Square

June 4, 1989, the communist government of China mercilessly massacred countless people (hundreds, thousands, and even 10,000, according to Sir Alan Donald), including students, residents, and even other soldiers. The events serve as a seemingly timeless testimony to the brutality of authoritarian regimes who fulfill the predictions of Orwell’s 1984 and is remembered in films like Black Night in June by Arther Kent (youtube: watch?v=hA4iKSeijZI ).

Yet the sheer reality of those horrors has escaped the minds of common individuals, even in democratic nations, where policemen argue they need facial recognition software and cameras and the legislative branch of the US government still permits the needless bulk collection of everyone’s internet communications by the NSA, all for “security” (whose?). After the Bolshevik revolution, communism became taboo in the US with the J.E. Hoover FBI squashing resistance for decades. Consequently, it has been rebranded as “social reform” and socialist policies (F.D.R., J.F.K., L.B.J. and such presidents). It’s easy to argue for idealistic systems, but people forget that when anything is put in practice, the one variable causing all of the problems hasn’t been fixed: the wickedness of a human. That brings us to an interesting point.

Standing and watching the real events take place were three “gods”. The first was the communist state, the self-proclaimed god that dictated the lives of the people. The second was the “Goddess of Democracy”, a statue constructed by the students of the protest (which survived, or perhaps as a replica). The third was the real God.

Each of these “gods” was in some way part of the events, and each one called out for action.

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science

Neuroscience, Sandberg, and the Illusion of A Better Society Through Tech

Now and then, I explore my old subscription emails to IEEE to find some nugget I may have missed out on. Recently, I ran across an article on prosthetic limbs, which was fascinating and talked about the progress in neuroscience with regards to enabling the sensation of touch in the mind of the prosthetic wearer. This led me to a couple of other articles. The first was of DARPA (the US governments military research arm) wanting mind-reading technology. The second was a Q&A session with Anders Sandberg in regards to the ethics of “upgrading” your brain. These articles are a testimony to the hope people have in technology solving their problems. However, the truth is, technology will never solve the underlying problem, and for the historically-aware, it would seem only dystopia is on the horizon. To understand why, we have to take into account historical trends, psychology, and legitimate ethics. But I’m not interested in solving the unsolvable. I’m interested in a better response to all this. In this article, I’d like to analyze the aforementioned articles and then provide my own positive response.

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Uncategorized

Personal Miracles

There’s a church west of where I live (I won’t say how far) where I’m told several people have left their canes after being healed. Online, I’ve seen pictures of the so-called “incorruptible Saints”. Off and on, it would come to my mind to want to visit those places to satisfy the skeptic in me. Even if I went, however, these things would probably seem more bizarre than convincing. For any sort of miracle to be convincing, it needs to be personal.

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unsorted opinions

Doing the Opposite of Our Intentions

Why do people say “bad” is “good”? If you ever hang out with some dudes, and they’re talking about awesome stuff they did, sometimes, you’ll heart them call it “bad”. From a dictionary perspective, this makes absolutely no sense whatsoever. But they use it for the same reason people apply cuss words in places where it makes absolutely no sense to do so: to be evocative. They want to trigger strong emotions in people, and saying something is “good” doesn’t have that exclusivity that comes with being a “rebel”. This is very ironic because being good is more rebellious than being evil – the entire world teaches you to be evil, and thus it’s defiance to say “no”.

Evoking certain emotions may be understandable, but why the inverse of the actual goal? This makes no sense. And yet, people are constantly doing the opposite of what they should already know will accomplish their goals.

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nature

October 2017 – In Love with Life

photo of looking up through branches full of red leaves at the sky

As I move forward in my relationship with God, I find myself more in love with life. I don’t mean daily living; I mean human life, animal life, and plant life – the actual state of being alive. For a short while this morning, I found myself staring lovingly at a little plant my brother had planted and dreaming of planting something myself just to watch it grow. It wouldn’t need to be a fruit tree or a vegetable producer or even flower. It would need merely to be alive.
Green is my favorite color. It is the color of life. I have read that most color that enters the human eye is interpreted as green. Perhaps God wanted us to see it more than any of the other colors. The place I live is brown and tan, sadly, so it always has a feeling of being dead. Even where there are patches of green grass, it is never rich and lush, but it is hardy. Yet even the brown grass and wheat are alive. God has blessed both of them, and somehow in the incredible heat of the summers here, they flourish for the blessing of other creatures. The brown grass looks prettiest in the fall when there are changing leaves. In this way, all of the world dies together and is baptized in the waters of the snow. And every year, it is reborn to new life even though – like humans – many trees retain the same body they grew in the years prior.
How beautiful it is that this cycle repeats year after year as a reminder that new growth always follows the coldest parts of our lives.
There is a young tree on the west side of the place I live. It needs protection from the wildlife that wants to scrap it. So far, it has managed to survive a couple of winters here and continues to grow. Such young sprouts, in contrast to their larger, more mature counterparts, invite me to think of trees as the hair of the earth. When the earth is alive and well, it grows hair and its hair grows.
As I look outside my window, I can’t help but smile at the bushy leaves on the ends of branches. When old age comes and the earth goes grey, I’ll be out with a rake, sweeping up the earth’s dandruff and thinking what a gift God has given us of life and season. And that will bring a smile to my face once again.

global issues, history, psychology, religion and spiritualism

The Modern European God

Not too long ago, medical and European ethics entered the global spotlight when a boy named Charlie was denied experimental treatment that had a possible chance to cure him. Since the boy was too little to decide for himself, the parents were attempting to take action. However, the state denied their request for treatment and even went so far as to deny them the opportunity to see their child.

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global issues, psychology

“Right” is not the right idea

An analogy I often use to demonstrate the term “rhetoric” is to say “ice cubes are cool, therefore ice cubes are awesome”. What is going on here is the alteration of an idea based on the abstracting of an original idea. Certainly ice cubes can be awesome, and the appreciation of ice cubes being cool makes them awesome (subjectively speaking), but the coolness alone does not make the ice cube awesome. Yet this change in an idea often goes unnoticed when the word attempts to describe a more complex framework. In short, we may find ourselves applying rhetoric without even realizing it. The word we are actually searching for may be more limited in scope and definition but be supported by reality. Let us start with an analogy.

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unsorted opinions

A Sign Carved in the Grave

This morning I happened to notice a bag for holding candy. On it, created with a gel pen, was the image of a scary jack-o-lantern seated on top of a gravestone with the letters “R.I.P.” – the usual acronym that has, for many years, always put a small chill in me. But in recent years, my fear has changed into more of a reflection. I’ll get to why this is in abit, but first, let’s consider this candy bag. I’m sure many people would think of the irony that scary things are now associated with candy and events to tease little kids. After all, shady activity happens around the year, so why should Halloween be special?

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