Religion is a form of Child Abuse

•August 3, 2008 • 8 Comments

I believe that religion being forced onto children a form of child abuse – I wholeheartedly believe that it is, and I am NOT alone on that one.
Religion comes with so much baggage – it’s full of dogma that forces a particular view of the world into line with other people’s view. It simply is not a case of right and wrong – we have laws for that – to which most of us believe in and adhere to. We do not need to go once a week to have those laws reinforced to us in a sermon unlike religion. For the majority of our society the following is true: We know them – we understand them – at least in principal, and we adhere to them.
Religion on the other hand is a view of the world, and indeed the universe as a whole. It can be argued that it is the opposite to the scientific version of the same. A universe where god is “universally” known to exist 100% and accepted as such, would be a radically different universe to the one we have, where only a segment of society believes this. Therefore it can be argued that forcing this belief onto a child without common cause for explanation or debate is a form of child abuse.
The baggage it contains is enormous – from intelligent design, to life-after death. It’s just not fair to force such heavily weighted opinions on a child who has no capacity to either debate or refute them.

The Dark Knight

•July 29, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Originally, I was supposed to go on opening night with a bunch of my mates, but because I had to have my wisdom tooth out, I wasn’t feeling up to it, and so, sadly I gave it a miss.

Of course I was spewing. I had been waiting for at least a 18 months since I heard it was in production. Go figure, I had to go have a tooth pulled on the day! That’s the sort of luck that I have.

So anyway, enough belly aching – I saw the movie on Saturday and I can tell you now, it was well worth the wait. The best film of the year so far, I can’t think of anything that has already come out this year that can touch it, nor anything that is due to come out…but i’ve been proven wrong before…we’ll see….

So there I was sitting in the theatre, all by myself, because all my friends had already seen it, and my wife was busy entertaining one of her friends that had come down for the weekend. I tried to convince them that they wanted to go with me – but to no avail – even when I offered to pay for her friends ticket – no go. Oh well..too bad for them!

Ungrateful little…

Anyway, I went to see it by myself, which looking back in hindsight, wasn’t that bad after all. 15 minutes into the movie, and I was sitting there stunned. Heath Ledger had made his introduction, and I can honestly say, I was blown away. It was a tour-de-force of acting ability. He held the screen to ransom. You couldn’t take your eyes off of him. He had completely transformed himself into the Joker. No traces of Heath were left behind for the nitpicking viewer to criticise over. He was the Joker.  It’s good to see an actor taking a role so seriously and having it pay off.

Anyway, needless to say, I was spellbound by his performance – and the movie wasn’t too bad either!

The Dark Knight is a great film. I don’t know if it will win any awards on its own – but the Academy would have to have rocks in their heads when March rolls around at Oscar time not to at the very least have nominated Heath. It’s simply that good. But don’t take my word for it, if you haven’t seen it, go see it ASAP. As far as a money maker goes – it’s already fasttracking itself on the road to doing what they said could never be done again – making as much money at the Box Office as Titanic did way back in 1997.

There is no comparison between the two movies. TDK kicks it ass all over the silver screen.

Well, i’ve done my part. I’ve helped cement its status among the greatest films by seeing it twice! Yes, once my wife’s friend had gone home, my wife said she would go with me. And earlier this evening  was that day. I can honestly say that seeing it for the second time, really made me appreciate it even more. I was able to enjoy it without being “wowed” so much that I sat there dumbfounded in awe.

Christopher Nolan – the man who directed it should be nominated for Best Director. He handled all the scenes in this movie with a flair that veteran directors have. He’s been around for a few years, but he has come a long way. So with any luck at all, the movie will get nominated for Best Director – Chris Nolan, and Best Supporting Actor – Heath Ledger.

I’m not sure how many posthumous Oscars have ever been handed out, but it needs to be done. His performance is simply stunning. It’s so sad to think that someone that talented will never get to show how good he truly could have been. The world has lost one of its finest acting talents, and from what I hear from his peers, a great bloke to match.

Matilda will be proud of her dad when she grows up. When she is old enough to see this movie (and not have it scare the living crap out of her), she will be able to see how talented her father was. It will be interesting to hear her talk about him 20 years from now, and what she thought when she first saw The Dark Knight.

So anyway, that’s my prediction about Oscar. Here it is, the 29th of July – and it’s going to be written in stone, once I press publish. I wonder how close I am come next March? Time will tell. I have a long string of being right in the past. I successfully predicted The Departed, and it won.

Time will tell…

Scientifically Proven that Genesis is False

•July 27, 2008 • 5 Comments

People have asked me to provide a solid piece of evidence using science that god doesn’t exist. You don’t have to look any further than the first book in the bible, the first chapter and first verse.

Genesis 1:1
“In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.”

Science tells us that the universe is about 13.7 billion years old, and that the Earth is just slightly less than 4.5 billion years old – or just less than 1/3 the age of the universe.
Therefore using those accepted scientific values we can say incontrovertibly that Genesis 1:1 is scientifically disproven because we know that the heavens and the earth did not come into being at the same time.

6000 years old ? Is that all?

•July 25, 2008 • 4 Comments

When creationists go to work, they can really do people’s head in. Many fundamentalists claim that the earth is only around 6000 years old, since if you chronicle the time line found in the bible, thats how many years you get.
It is true that many creationists don’t take Genesis word for word and literal, but many do. We have titles for them: it’s the differences between Moderates and Fundamentalists. Fundamentalists being the more extreme cases.

What creationists don’t get is that if there is a god, he didn’t just magic himself into being and then proceed to create the universe. He would have to be subject to the same laws of physics as everything else. 

A friend of mine wrote: “If indeed things were designed by an intelligent being, all that would be need would be for the laws of physics to be written, and for the matter/energy proportions laid out. Once that parts done, let the experiment begin.”

What a ridiculous theory that is! That follows a line of thought that god had to have “magicked himself into existance” because obviously before that the laws of physics didn’t previously exist. 

So what is he saying? That god existed first in nothing, and then decided that he would “pop” into being in order to create everything – to which previously did not exist? 
There is obviously a separation between moderates and fundamentalists. Fundamentalists take things written in the bible literally, whereas moderates have a more realistic perspective on what is written.
A moderate progressive priest for example might say, we don’t believe in the literal interpretation of Genesis – it clearly doesn’t hold up to widely accepted ideas of the world and how the universe began. But immediately following that sentence he might say but we do believe that Jesus arose on the third day.
My point is this: How do moderates discriminate between what they believe and what they don’t believe in the Bible? What is the criteria?

Ok, so its ok for them on one hand to think that the whole idea of the universe being created in six days being a little silly, but on the other hand it’s ok to believe that Jesus arose from the dead on the third day? How do they decide which is truth and which is fiction? How do they arrive at the conclusions they hold?

Procrastination Nation

•July 25, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I procrastinate more than anyone I’ve ever met! I always find writing on these things a little tedious at best. I mean, who logs on and reads other people’s thoughts about things? Apparently millions of people. I don’t read too many others. I have a few friends that have blogs – bobgaotu below – check it out – he is pretty entertaining to say the least and updates his blog daily – or thereabouts.

When I am sufficiently motivated, when the topic is about politics, religion, human rights violations or some other topic that I find intensely difficult to walk away from, I can write till the cows come home.

I think my problem is the whole I can’t believe someone will read this mentality – so why write it? I do write on another blog site that gets hundreds of responses to things I write. Maybe I can pull them all over here.  I don’t like my chances. But hey, you never know.

When pain becomes too unbearable…

•July 21, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I woke up last wednesday just like every other day – with one exception – my toothache which had been managable up to that point was beyond the point of no return. I had been denying the mandatory trip to the dentist for so long out of a fear of them that I was willing to put up with the pain. But all that changed on Wednesday.

The previous week, I had dug deep within myself and mustered up the courage to drag my sorry ass down and have it looked at. I was told that it needed to come out – my initial plan for a root canal was quashed – extraction was the only option. That will teach me for waiting for so long before having it looked at.

So on that visit, I was told if I could handle the pain, I could make an appointment for the following Tuesday to have it plucked. Sounds like a plan. So fast forward to tuesday morning and the phone rings. I am told that my dentist is sick, and if I can wait, I will have to re-schedule for the following Wednesday. No problem I thought. I’m not in pain anyway – and I really didn’t feel like going there this week . Somehow karma had wiggled me off the hook. I hate dentists. I was in no hurry to go back.

But that was Tuesday. Little did I know that in less than 24 hours, I would be begging them to squeeze me in for an emergency appointment.

So, here we are again Wednesday morning – all is well – NOT. I woke up to excrutiating pain in my jaw. My tooth seemed to sense that I was planning on getting rid of it and decided to throw a party. It felt like a truck had run over my face. It hurt that bad. I had felt pain before mind you – many times. And this wasn’t my first toothache – but I can tell you nothing could have prepared me for this level of pain. It was out of this world. My only salvation was cold water. For some reason – I am guessing that it numbed the nerve – cold water swished around in my mouth provided me with almost instant pain relief. However, that pain relief was short lived. I got about 20 seconds of relief per swish – or per mouthful of water. Then the pain came back with a vengeance. I had to keep swishing water because the pain was so intense that when it hit me, it caused me to go into a state of shock where I couldn’t think straight.

My wife said ring them back and see if you can get in today. I didn’t need to be told twice. I dialed the phone – and in between mouthfuls of cold water, I begged, I pleaded. I got in. My appointment was in 45 minutes at 11:30am. It was in another suburb which was about 20 minutes away, so I had to act fast and get ready. It’s not easy to have a quick shower, whilst having a travel mug of cold water with you in the shower. Yes, the pain was that bad that I couldn’t even shower without keeping my relief that close at hand. Twenty seconds of relief was better than nothing. I was desperate for any relief – no matter how small.

So, I managed to get myself to the dentist. My wife drove, because I felt that if I lost the ability of relief with the water – that I might crash the car.

In the waiting room – aptly named – I managed to wait for over 40 minutes before I was called in. Two cupfuls of water later, I was sitting in the dentist chair, leaned back and mouth opened to the world. My mug of water never leaving my hand despite the dental assistant trying to take it from me. I think they thought it was full of something a bit stronger than water, to be honest.

Now comes the numbing – the local anesthesia. What relief. Once the numbing of my mouth happened, I was able for the first time in two hours to let go of my cup and relax – except I couldn’t relax because the anesthesia contains adrenalin – and that got my heart pumping – and I started to shiver and quake. I thought I was having a bad reaction to the freezing – and I broke out into a cold sweat. Suddenly my relief turned into panic as I thought I was going to have a heart attack. The dental assistant turned on the air conditioning, and once they explained to me that what I was feeling was normal – I calmed down. The pain was gone – but my heart was pounding a hundred and fifty beats a minute. I felt like I was running a marathon.

Then I was left to my own devices as they left the room and gave the freezing more time to make sure that my mouth was indeed frozen. Ten minutes later they returned, and I was told to open wide.

I had relaxed by this point. I no longer felt as though I was dying. Being in a dentist chair is in itself a traumatic experience – the adrenalin only compounded the feeling. Thanks for the warning.

She decided that I needed another adrenalin boost – this time by mere words. “if I can’t get it out,” she said,  “I may have to split it in half and see if that helps.”

Fantastic. That’s all I need. If poking around in my mouth wasn’t bad enough, now you’re talking about splitting my tooth in half. I’m sure that will be a pleasant thing. Figures that it had to be a molar – a wisdom tooth – right at the back of my mouth. My luck.

Open wide…

Then it was over with. Just like that. Literally out inside 30 seconds. I have never had a tooth out so quickly before. Relief is just not the right word to describe how I felt – but it will have to do.

Now of course comes the bleeding. And I bled like a stuck pig for the next 12 hours or so. But surprisingly, even after the freezing wore off – I felt very little pain. Maybe it was because I had felt so much pain up to that point – that any less wouldn’t feel like pain now.

It’s been five days now. I feel a little pain – and I was worried that I had what they call “dry socket” but I am assured that if I did indeed have that, the little pain I feel would be much, much worse.

I can imagine what that might feel like. I can honestly say that the pain I felt on that wednesday morning was the most intense pain I had ever felt in my life. I never want to feel like that again. Shoot me next time. Put me out of my misery. Or maybe I just shouldn’t be so damned stubborn and get off my ass and go to the dentist before it becomes that much of an issue. I think that might be way to go.