Friday, August 6, 2010

Killers Are People, Too

   In a world where people make the effort to be politically correct and be tolerant of other people's views, no matter how ridiculous they are, I'm surprised that we still haven't made efforts to give legal rights to psychopaths, to be able to kill other people without the disapproving glare of the intolerable portion of the society.

   Here's something to think about: Two days ago, the ban on gay marriage in California was overturned by a federal judge. Surprised? Dismayed? Well, you shouldn't be. Everyone knows that homosexuality has its roots in genetics and that people who are gay have no choice in the matter. We're taking steps towards positive change for one group of people who didn't ask to be born unacceptable to society's standards... Why not do the same for another?

   I know there are those who will say, "No, people are not born with violent and sadistic tendencies. Childhood environment is what decides if a person becomes a psychopath. There are even people who used to lead a violent lifestyle, but no longer are." Well, I have news for you: Those who say they used to, but no longer have sadistic desires are either outright lying or delusional. Probably most, if not all, were never psychopaths in the first place; They're just part of the hateful mob, most likely religious fundamentalists, trying to spread the grossly mistaken propaganda that psychopathic tendency isn't natural.
   I've said this before, and I'll say it again: Psychopaths can't help themselves. It's not like they want to be psychopaths knowing full well that the society will look down on them, and even hate them just because they're different. People shouldn't have to hide who they are, or be ashamed of what they're born to be. It's simply an alternative lifestyle. Why is it okay for humans to hunt other animals for sport, but not other human beings? We see animals of the same species hurt and kill each other all the time... In other words, psychopathy is only natural. Let the psychopaths come out of the basement!
   And you hateful, religious people... You speak of love and yet you hate psychopaths... You claim that God doesn't want people to lead murderous lifestyles, and cite the 10 Commandments and other Bible verses in attempt to support your misled theology, but it only demonstrates your ignorance. All the anti-killing verses are clearly in context of idolatry worship, such as offering children sacrifices or slaughtering groups of people to please gods. God doesn't oppose psychopathic tendencies, and He clearly does not hate psychopaths, so why should you? In fact, God condones hurting and killing in the Bible; He brought on painful plagues on people and commanded the slaughter of multitudes. For God's sake, He even killed His own Son!

   Now, there's one argument that frequently comes up, and I'll debunk it... yet again... here. The anti-psycho movement often claims that, unlike homosexuality, psychopaths hurt other people. To that, I say... well... DUH! And if you really naively believe that the support of the gay/lesbian movement doesn't hurt others, I don't know what to say to you. Are you so blind as to not understand that hate crimes on anti-gays, passage of AIDS, and gay rapes are all fruits of the pro-homosexuality mentality (Of course, I'm not saying pro-gay movement is the only source of these social ills, or that they're the only possible fruits)? And, more importantly, this is only a straw man argument. Like nobody argues for homosexual crimes to be accepted, people like me are not asking for psychopathic crimes be pardoned.
   In America, we believe in the pursuit of happiness, and we believe no one should take away the right of another human being from doing what makes him/her happy. So who are you to deny psychopaths their joy...? We pro-psychos are pushing for some sort of a legal outlet for psychopaths to pursue what makes them happy... to have a license to kill, if you will. Like two consenting adults who come together in a beautiful commitment to bear fruit to their gay desires, I envision a world where two consenting adults can kill and be killed.
   The world is full of people to be tortured and murdered. There are over 1 million suicides worldwide... These are potential kills, simply wasted. More people commit suicide than are killed! And think about the patients who need to be euthanized, terrorists who need to be questioned, criminals who need to be executed. Don't let an unwilling person become potentially traumatized from inflicting pain or taking the life of another... Let those who are bubbling with sadistic tendencies do it instead. Give psychopaths the chance to be openly psychopaths! After all... it's only natural.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Cruelty of Gifting Flowers

   My brother recently graduated, and people gifted him a bunch of decorative items made out of flowers. My mom commented that flowers look beautiful, but it's difficult to know what to do with them once gifted. Personally, I don't understand the continued popularity of gifting flowers. Sure, they may look pleasing to the eyes, but, for the most part, they hold no practical value. It's not like one can transfer data using the thorn of a rose. And then there's the problem of risking allergic reaction. Also, how about leaving the recipient in a predicament about how to get rid of the flowers?
   But my concern goes beyond that. I don't believe in gifting flowers because it's simply... horrific. Have you imagined the human equivalent of cut flowers?

   I rest my case.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

God's Heavy Rock

"Can God create a rock so heavy that He can't lift it?"

   I'm not sure where this question originated from, but I think it's one that most people have heard at some point in their lives. In a way, it's like a logic puzzle hinging on the question of God's omnipotence - His all-powerful nature. The interesting thing is, whatever the answer is, one is forced to conclude that God simply cannot be omnipotent:
- If God can create a rock too heavy for Him to lift because His omnipotent nature entails that He should be able to, then by creating that very rock, God displays that His power has limits.
- If God can't create such a rock because an omnipotent God simply cannot be unable to lift any rock, then the very inability serves to show that God's power has limits and, thus, He is, in fact, not omnipotent.
So, then, that's it, right? In this logic game, one has to conclude that God is not omnipotent. Right?

   Well, the way I see it, the original question itself has a big problem: It doesn't establish a consistent picture of who "God" is.
   In the first part of the question, the "God" in question is clearly the ideal God of monotheistic religions, such as Christianity, who is omnipotent, living outside any physical limitations because the very laws of physics are under His command. However, by the end of the question, with the inclusion of words "heavy" and "lift", our "God" is now reduced to a "god" of typical polytheism, in which the gods are more like super powered humans... powerful, but still nonetheless bound to definite limits, in this case, namely gravity.

   With that said, perhaps a better question to ask is:
"Can an omnipotent God subject himself to limitations?"

   The obvious answer is "yes". All monotheistic religions already have an example of this in their sacred texts. Whether it be God walking in the Garden of Eden, talking to Moses from a fiery bush, or dying on a cross, the all-powerful God unsurprisingly seems to have no problem subjecting Himself to limitations. Now, is God within limitations no longer omnipotent? Of course not. This is like a master painter who chooses to limit himself to using only warm colors instead of the full spectrum. And in this light, we can also answer the original question: Yes, God can indeed create a rock too heavy for Him to lift. But He can also just as easily turn around and lift that rock without breaking a sweat.

Sunday, December 27, 2009

A Dawkins's Delusion

*Wow... I wrote an ESSAY. O.O;; Warning...?

   I recently finished listening to the "The God Delusion Debate" between Richard Dawkins and John Lennox, a debate basically covering the veracity and necessity of the existence of God, based on the contents of Richard Dawkins's book The God Delusion. While perhaps the debate as a whole wasn't anything earth-shattering, I found one key point Dawkins spent some time on quite interesting: A sane and rational Atheist will not have any logical reason to commit "terrible deeds" (e.g. oppression, murder).**
   I found myself scratching my mind's head at this. Really? Seriously...? It wasn't even just a passing statement, but lasted for a few minutes. Lennox started to attempt to counter this, but sadly, topic of conversation was taken elsewhere. Dawkins claims that there are logical paths for religious people to do "terrible deeds" but that such is not possible with Atheism (One interesting thing to note: He argues from his personal incredulity saying he can't imagine such a scenario with Atheism, and that the only way an Atheist will commit a "terrible deed" is by the influence of other philosophies. So it's okay for him to make such an argument but not Intelligent Design advocates...?). The general idea is this:
1. A religious person is made to grow up to not question anything within that religion.
2. The religious person is taught that he/she must please God to get into heaven/nirvana/a galaxy far, far away.
3. The religious person is told that God wants him/her to do something horrible for him.
4. The religious person does the horrible deed to please his/her God to receive the desired award.
   Dawkins puts the whole blame on the religion. The way I see it, there are at least three factors in play here. I'm going to call them belief, values, and politics.
   By belief, I'm talking about concept(s) and/or being(s) people are adamant about regardless of the fact that they're not omniscient. This includes basically everything from God to no-God to gravity and black holes. Everyone believes in something, and a lot of times, the non-belief in something is also a belief in itself.
   By values, I mean what people are taught to incorporate into their normal thought processes to live in a society, including courtesy, honor, ethics, and specialized religious teachings. Certainly, if belief is a religion, it teaches its own values, but this category has more to do with the values within a society that tend to either "specialize" or change the emphasis or content of religious doctrines.
   And by politics, I am being very general and am referring to anything that prompts action in a society, such as holidays, elections, or wars. You can have belief and values but without a reason to excite the two factors, nothing can take place, horrible or otherwise. In other words, an extreme fundamental religion itself doesn't automatically mean a "terrible deed" needs to happen.
   One additional thing to note is that by "society", I'm talking about any group of people, whether it is a town, church, or a country. Now, for an illustration of this thought process, I'm going to evaluate something all too familiar:
Belief: A person is a Muslim and believes in Allah and the Koran.
Values: In his mosque, he learns to hate Jews and to respect other Muslims who become suicide bombers to kill Jews (Note that suicide bombing is not something found in the Islam religion in itself).
Politics: His country sees violent conflicts between Jews and Muslims
Action: He goes and becomes a suicide bomber to kill Jews.
   Clear enough? It's not just the religion that brings about the murderous action, but it is the values taught by the society. Let's look at another one.
Belief: We have another Muslim who believes in Allah and the Koran.
Values: In the public school, he learns that killing is bad and that suicide bombing paints Muslims in a negative light.
Politics: There is a negative perception of Muslims
Action: He voices his opposition to suicide bombers killing Jews.
   In the examples above, we have two Muslims with the same core beliefs, but with two opposite results. It isn't the religion itself that ends up producing or not producing a suicide bomber, but values, in this case specialized religious and moral teachings, that are taught alongside the various teachings of the religion control what each Muslim becomes. So, yes, religion can logically lead to "terrible deeds", but clearly, religion by itself does not always lead to tragedy. With that said, let's see if it's really not possible for Atheism to not lead to a logical path to a possible evil.
Belief: The person is an Atheist.
Values: He is taught that the world as he knows it is an unintentional result of a purposeless explosion some 14 billion years ago.
Politics: Everyone he knows is living life as if it means something.
Action: Driven to a state of depression by the notion of insignificance, he commits suicide.
   Tragic? Yes. Illogical? Not really. I'm not really sure what Dawkins is defining "Atheism" as, but it can't stop simply at the non-belief of God because that's merely a premise. A belief entails other thoughts or philosophies that inevitably follow by logic. In other words, if, say, an Atheist business owner grows up in a society that is content with sin committed outside of other people's knowledge, he/she will have no qualms about killing a worker who is bad for his/her business. Let's try another one.
Belief: The person is an Atheist.
Values: He learns that only the fit survive in the world and comes to support anything and everything that furthers and cements human survival.
Politics: His country is exterminating "subhumans" to create an ideal gene pool for a superior race of humans. He is a soldier in this effort.
Action: He helps kill millions of "subhumans" knowing that he is helping to create a better future for the human race.
   Okay, so the last example isn't likely to happen today, but something very similar to it happened during World War II called the Holocaust, right? Adolf Hitler ordered the execution of millions of elders, adults, and children in his effort to solidify Germany's future. Hitler's religious affiliation aside, if there were an Atheist soldier in the German army, given the right premises, he would have logically been content to be a part of the murderous effort.
   Now, is it really some "other philosophy" and not Atheism that would allow a person to logically take part in such atrocity? I'd say "no". If anything, it is because of Atheism that a person would likely be more susceptible to follow the lead to eliminate "subhumans" because there is nothing wrong logically. However, if we replace the Atheist with, say, a Christian, then we have a different story. The only way a Christian who tries to live by biblical principles will be willing to wipe out millions of people in the effort to cleanse the gene pool is to be illogical. In fact, the inability to logically follow such a notion was precisely the reason for the many (all?) secret smuggling of Jews out of Germany.
   With all this said, I think I need to say Dawkins isn't necessarily wrong in saying that Atheism (if simply this is a non-belief of God) by itself can't logically lead to "terrible deeds" even though there are(? Frankly, I can't think of one) religions in which what we consider horrific are an integral part of the religion itself. But, of course, this will vary depending on how "Atheism" is defined... And I think even Dawkins would agree that the religions he is fond of attacking do not lead to horrendous acts by themselves (but rather the values are at fault).
   However, even if Dawkins isn't wrong, I think the more crucial fact to be noted, and I would say this is the main gripe people like Christians have with Atheism, is that the belief in non-God becomes a very dangerous philosophical (or religious, some would argue) starting point because its establishment of relative morality opens up any logical person to commit any horrendous act. John Lennox does mention something like this in the debate, but it is shocking how an argument that should shake any logical and "righteous" Atheist like Richard Dawkins to the core is practically unnoticed. Personally, over a fundamental Muslim strapped with a bomb, I think I'd be more horrified of a depressed but logical Atheist suicide bomber. At least the Muslim won't bomb his own side... The logical Atheist has no sides.

** This argument can be heard in the latter half of "Part 2" here.

Friday, November 27, 2009

Cruelty of a Thankful Heart

   Yesterday was Thanksgiving, a day equivalent to family gatherings, eating turkeys, and ultimately, giving thanks. What does it mean to give thanks? The question asked during this time of year in various forms is, "What are you thankful for?" The person being asked then is made to reflect on what in his/her life holds high value but is frequently taken for granted, such as loved ones, home, or food.
   But what does being "thankful" entail? Who are you thanking? For people like Christians, who believe in a divine being who provides, the act of thanking is a form of worship to a higher power. If you're not thanking anyone... Uh... What are you doing exactly? I guess this Holiday's kind of pointless for you, ain't it? =)
   There's something that bothers me though. Let's say you are thanking God (Or one/some of your gods) for being able to work (Or just "being thankful" if you don't worship a god...). What happens if the job's taken away? You'll probably move onto being thankful for something else like your health. What if you are no longer a clean bill of health? You'll move onto being thankful for smaller things like being able to walk and see. What if they're gone? I suppose you can be thankful for just being alive. And what if that's gone? Well, you'd be dead... So I suppose you can't be thankful anymore... At least in this life anyway.
   It seems the unconscious thought process of thanking is to look at how life could be worse and to find contentment in not living that worse situation. When life wears down so much that one finds it immensely difficult to be thankful, he/she is still encouraged to learn to be thankful. How does one achieve this? Simple. Think about what you have and are able to do that other people may only dream to have and do. In this society, it's almost natural. When life gets hard, one looks at how other people are suffering, and find comfort in knowing there are people who are worse off. Now that's interesting... In a society where one would likely be shunned if he/she finds pleasure in another's pain, it is encouraged to have a thankful heart... Which in essence is the same thing. Oy. So all of you who are thankful... For anything at all... Shame on you for having such a cruel heart. =P