Doubt

December 31, 2008


I saw Doubt last night. The movie was thought provoking and extremely complex. I was familiar with it’s concept going in, but I was weary about how the movie would end. A religious movie entitled “Doubt” will either end in favor of doubting religion, or embrace the faith. (Spoiler!) Philip Seymour Hoffman is a priest who acts sketchy with a vulnerable young black boy. It doesn’t look too good, but there isn’t any real evidence. One nun believes he’s guilty, one nun needs evidence (very faith vs. science). Faith wins and the potentially sketchy priest is bullied out of the Catholic school. The accusing nun draws the parallel between the acting upon the unseen in this issue and her faith in god. The movie ends with her in doubt of god. Really, really good movie.

I showed Ashley the moon last night through my new telescope. In between celestial objects we peeked in on the second floor window across the road and saw a girl pee (I saw her butt, it was cool).

Spore: The Best Game Ever

December 21, 2008

Ever since Ashley and I jumped the gun on Christmas, I have been compulsively playing Spore. Typicality, I don’t play many video game. When I do play, I rarely finish. Spore isn’t your typical role playing game, instead of leveling up your warrior with nerdy new features, in Spore, your creature evolves. You start by controlling a cell, evolving into a creature. That creature teams up with other creatures and makes a tribe. That tribe becomes powerful and turns into a civilization. Once your civilization is supreme, you move on to conquer outer space.

evolution1

The game is very fun. Entertainment value aside, the game does a great job providing an accessible vantage point at how life really works. It’s exaggerated of course, but it offers a fun explanation of the theory of evolution. Once in the civilization stage, religion does make an appearance, however it’s only portrayed as another form of technology, on par with military technology.

It’s an extremely ambitious undertaking, to offer an entertaining and playable version of evolution all the way from cell, to galactic adventurer. The game doesn’t take too long to beat. I’ve been playing for just a few days and I’m already at the space stage. A few days play might be too short for many people, but I don’t have time to dedicate to really long term games.

Anti-Spore is as you would expect, anti-it. This mom is afraid of the damage of allowing children play an evolution game. In one entry she talks about how the game actually proves creation in how the player “creates” their creature, but still, it’s too dangerous to dabble in.

Last night, Ashley and I took a trip tp the the Yaglenski Family Holiday Light Show. It’s a free Christmas light show that the family puts on every year. You pull up and every 20 minutes the computer controlled light display puts on a show to a privately controlled radio frequency. It’s cool.

mock_interiorMore then a religious bus riders will be displeased in the DC Metro area.  The AHA (American Humanists Association) is running the
“Why Believe In a God”
campaign during the holidays to inform people about the “Humanists” philosophy.  Humanist is a more positive sounding version of atheist.  They are both exactly the same thing, they believe in reason, evolving understand and all that good stuff.

Jason on god

November 9, 2008

About 2 years ago, I made the most profound discovery of my life: god didn’t exist.

All my life I was a devout Christian. I didn’t swear, I prayed every single day, I believed without seeing. It was a comforting feeling that was hard to let go of. My parents were drama queens at church so at one point we stopped going. Getting away from that weekly reminder, allowed me to start thinking for myself. When I realized there was no god, I was crushed. You go from attributing everything good in your life to this friend you have, and all of a sudden you realize the friend was make believe. What do you do when you have the daily, or even hourly urge to talk to them? I was devastated.

It was very hard for me to come to say that I’m an atheist. I don’t know that god doesn’t exists, it’s impossible to prove that anything doesn’t exist. However, there is currently nothing in the universe that suggests the supernatural. So far science has done a nice job discovering things the good old fashioned way. There are plenty of unknowns, but being unknown doesn’t equal god’s hand.

Most likely what we think of as life, is just stuff interacting with other stuff. The interactions got so complicated that it looks like life. We life in a deterministic universe, every action has an equal and opposite reaction, life is an illusion, free will is an illusion, and all of that is OK. Humans two jobs are, survive, and thrive. Do whatever it takes to accomplish those two goals and don’t do anything that hinder either goal.

We’re very lucky to exist, if even for a short while. Science will try to beat death, maybe someday that will be a reality, but until then, we just die. In dealing with the world believing in god works, but not believing in god works better.