Thursday, May 25, 2006

Defining myself.

I was just drifting off to sleep and in the course of my thinking, I had some ideas about how I define myself... and I wanted to make sure I "wrote them down".

I define myself not by where I was born, or the color of my skin, or who my ancestors were...

but by who I am, and what I believe. By the content of my own mind and how I relate the the world around me as a whole.

I find that I stand in stark contrast to many people where I work, who define themselves very strictly to the color of their skin, to who their ancestors were or are... and where they live, how they grew up etc.

I find it to be very small and artificial. Like children trying to find their identity... clinging to the latest styles of clothes to be popular... watching what you say, how you dress, what music you listen to... trying to fit in.

Then you grow up and realize that none of that really matters that much. Unfortunately people still require you to dress certain ways for work, or special occasions... and these are things that I also have problems with, but in a culture, there are certain rules of social interaction etc.

The point being... you stop defining yourself so much by others as you grow up. You start defining yourself and being your own person.

I see those around me now as not really defining themselves, but playing artificial roles to try to give meaning to their lives. When really these things don't mean much, or really don't mean anything at all. Playing to ancient superstitions and to wrongs that were never done to you... taking a stand against people who never wronged you... drawing artificial lines just to have something to push against...

I thought of it today when I made a comment about how my grandfather was a dutchman... and how it made me stop to think that maybe I shouldn't have said he was dutch... because of who I was speaking to. But frankly it's irrelevant to me... it's a part of who he was.. it was a story. I'm not going to alter my story to try to make myself fit in better with those that I'm talking to, and I feel that that is what the people here do. They focus on a particular part of their lives... even a miniscule one... and try to emphasize that.

These people hang dreamweavers all over, and eagle feathers, and pictures of wolves etc... but they drive modern cars, live in modern houses, wear modern clothes, use modern medicine, work modern jobs... they are trying to maintain an artificial facade of culture to try to make themselves feel relevant... to feel part of something. Most of the people are maybe 1/4 tribal. 3/4th of their blood is European or African American etc... and they try to bury that part like it doesn't exist... like they're 100% native american... as though even THAT has ANYTHING AT ALL TO DO WITH WHO THEY ARE TODAY.

I'm half german... I don't go around trying to learn German to continue my heritage... I don't wear german clothes and hang the german flag on my wall... I don't believe in ancient germanic religions etc... none of these things are really relevant to me. They don't change who I am... and frankly, some of the older stuff like the religion etc... are simply superstitious nonsense that I have grown out of.

I define myself by studying everything around me and working for what I see as the benefit of humanity as a whole in relation to the universe we live in. I look at "race" as an artificial construct to describe arbitrary lines drawn in the sand between what are essentially branches towards speciation within our species caused by time and geographic separation. Things which are rapidly becoming less of an influence... and as a result of this, our genes are mixing more, lines blurring... both physically and culturally.

Race is an arbitrary idea that simply promotes agendas... generally detrimental ones. It's like the idea of "life" beginning at conception. The very concept "life" being used in that sense is one laden with religious symbolism. Not the scientific concept of life, which is much more ethereal, and is really something that developed over billions of years and has simply been passed on. It doesn't "begin at conception", and that very notion is simply a requisite of the belief in a spiritual soul... that God must have to pick a certain point at which to imbue this new "person" with a new "soul" etc. These are just simple minded fictional creations of the human mind and really have nothing to do with the physical reality of the process.

Race is similar to this. Sure when you consider geographically isolated groups, or more specifically, tracking the spread of mankind over the globe since our birth in northern Africa, you can see how our species has adapted to different climates, from hot and humid to hot and arid, or cold and dry.. or very sunny... or much less so... and how our statures have changed based on the food sources available, or our skin color to compensate for prolonged exposure to sunlight... as well as our eye color... or our nasal structures in relation to body temperature and air temperature and humidity.

It's like a rainbow.... where do you draw a hard line separating one distinct color from another? You can't... you have to make one up because it doesn't exist... it's just one continuous gradient from one end of the spectrum to the other... and all part of the same whole... which is in turn part of a larger whole... life on earth.

It's amazing sometimes to think how life could be if we spent our time trying to solve the greater mysteries of the real world we lived in and stopped defining ourselves by figments of our imaginations, and devoting countless days of our lives in servitude to wishful thinking no more real or relevant to humanity and it's place in the universe than the Easter Bunny.

Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Top Ten signs you're a Christian.


10- You vigorously deny the existence of thousands of gods claimed by other religions, but feel outraged when someone denies the existence of your god.

9- You feel insulted and "dehumanized" when scientists say that people evolved from lesser life forms, but you have no problem with the Biblical claim that we were created from dirt

8- You laugh at polytheists, but you have no problem believing in a Trinity god

7- Your face turns purple when you hear of the "atrocities" attributed to Allah, but you don't even flinch when hearing about how God/Jehovah slaughtered all the babies of Egypt in "Exodus" and ordered the elimination of entire ethnic groups in "Joshua" -- including women, children, and trees!

6- You laugh at Hindu beliefs that deify humans, and Greek claims about gods sleeping with women, but you have no problem believing that the Holy Spirit impregnated Mary, who then gave birth to a man-god who got killed, came back to life and then ascended into the sky.

5- You are willing to spend your life looking for little loop-holes in the scientifically established age of the Earth (4.55 billion years), but you find nothing wrong with believing dates recorded by pre-historic tribesmen sitting in their tents and guessing that the Earth is a couple of generations old.

4- You believe that the entire population of this planet with the exception of those who share your beliefs -- though excluding those in all rival sects -- will spend Eternity in an infinite Hell of Suffering. And yet you consider your religion the most "tolerant" and "loving".

3- While modern science, history, geology, biology, and physics have failed to convince you otherwise, some idiot rolling around on the floor speaking in "tongues" may be all the evidence you need to prove Christianity.

2- You define 0.01% as a "high success rate" when it comes to answered prayers. You consider that to be evidence that prayer works. And you think that the remaining 99.99% FAILURE was simply the will of God.

1- You actually know a lot less than many Atheists and Agnostics do about the Bible, Christianity, and church history -- but still call yourself a Christian