Saturday, September 18, 2010

Social Networking/Internet Fame (and religion)

So, I know I post a lot about religion. It tends to get annoying because it promotes the stereotype that Atheists are never fine just believing in something and feel the need to prove everyone else wrong. So this will be about why I do what I do, why I choose to vent here and etc.

Religion is a huge issue, and rightfully so. What is going to happen to your eternal soul after you die tends to be a touchy subject for people, and with all beliefs or opinions there's only one way we can be satisfied with our beliefs. That is by being reassured. "If others believe what we do, then it must be right!" is the type of nature a lot of Christians take. That of course is a ridiculous claim because it is only valid in the context of your personal religion. I've been told many times by Christians boasting of the amount of Christians here in America makes it a much more valid belief. Of course it would seem that way when you live in the blanket of ignorance and choose not to look at the outside world. You are mainly christian because you were born here, for that same effect you would've been Muslim if you were born in the middle east, or Buddhist, or Shi'ite, Shinto, Jewish and so forth.

Anyways back to reassurance. The same way religions gain background and following by reassurance, so do we as individuals by using social networks. Lets face it, we all get a little bit excited when we get our first 100+ followers on twitter or blogspot. Or when we get several retweets, or likes on facebook and youtube. All examples of how others reassure us by agreeing, showing interest, or replying positive to the content we have posted. I know I went through a phase when youtube was booming that I wanted to make vlogs, or a show of some sort and become "famous" (we can see how that ended). Its not that I'm only making a blog to get reassurance of my beliefs or rants. It's nice, I'll grant you that, but having my thoughts semi-organized on the web where I can rethink them and see how I "evolved" is nice. I could, of course do this privately, through word or some program, but for some reason, when I have followers or people watching my blog(whether they choose to actually read it or not.) I feel like I have some obligation to at least update once in a while. You never know, there might be that one person who is actually interested in what I have to say.

I'll try to venture off from religion next time. Thanks for reading.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

More on Religion

So lets dive into more deep thought.

I had an interesting conversation with a good friend of mine who is religious. He is very open about his beliefs and is constantly trying to understand religion and beliefs collectively (Truly, a search for knowledge). Anyways, he asked me about how I came to my beliefs, how I switched from religions and etc.

Abridged version: I was raised catholic, my parents didn't seem overtly religious, we only went to church so often, I went to bible school, as well as a Private High school. So I spent a lot of time around Christians, specifically.

I was one of those, you know, "thinkers" and never satisfied with a general answer about the universe. My teachers didn't like that. After about a year or so of studying the bible, I decided not to identify myself as christian. Went to atheism, but I still try to look at other religions and beliefs to know more about them.

This conversation with him went on about how beliefs gain popularity, and why more often than not, people are hostile to those who don't share at least "similar" beliefs.

Here's an example: We conducted a test group of 50 people whom we knew as fairly to extremely religious. We asked them a couple of simple questions.

1. How bothered are you by meeting, or being friends with someone who you find out is Atheist?

1a. Does that affect at all what you believe or how you treat them?

For question 1, 60% of them said that they were at least somewhat bothered by having an Atheist friend.
100% of them said that they would treat them differently by "bringing their heart to god" as most of them described. In other words you are more likely to be preached to, and more persistently just for being Atheist.

The next 2 questions were the same, except the word atheist was replaced with Non-religious on 25 applications and Agnostic on the other 25.
Here were the results:

On the 25 with the word non religious, the answers were almost exactly the same as Atheist with 21 of them saying they would not be comfortable knowing they were not religious.

On the ones with the word Agnostic, 17 of the responses said that they were not as bothered knowing someone was agnostic because they at least allow some possibility of a god. the other 8 said they did not know what Agnostic meant or understood very little about what it meant.

This lead to another conversation about the stigma that Christians apply to an Atheist. For most people in America, they see Atheist as meaning "Not Christian" when really it means the rejection of belief in ALL Deities, not just the one from the Christian bible.

I feel that the reason Christian are bothered by being friends with an Atheist, is because unlike an agnostic which may leave room for the belief in a God ( It actually states that it is impossible to know whether a god exists), Atheism says there is NO god. Which leaves no room for tolerance in religion. If god is the foundation of religion, and you reject god, how can you be religious. So just by knowing an Atheist, you are constantly reminded of the doubt. Religion is almost 99% faith, so to them it seems logical to avoid those who represent the possibility of that faith being wrong.

Phew, that was a long post. If you made it through that then, Bravo!

This post leads into Social networking but I think this post is a little long I'll spread it out into 2 parts and try to finish it up tomorrow.

Note: I know I tend to be a little bit of a hypocrite by saying that Christians believe Atheism means "Non christian", yet here I am perpetuating that same idea.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

New computer

Hoo-rah. Not really a large rant or opinion based post today. I have just relieved my new computer today, and could not be happier.

Dell studio XPS 9100
9gb Tri-channel memory
Intel i7-920 (2.66Ghz)
ATI Radeon 5870 1gb Video Card

750GB Hard Drive

Also bought a nice 24" Screen to go with it. Overall it set me back $1700, but it was well worth it. I was originally planning to build a computer, but couldn't resist the $500 discount I received for some other problems I had with my dell laptop which I had been using prior.

Runs games, animation programs (Maya/3ds max) very smoothly.

That is all.