Posts Tagged ‘God’

Field Guide for Spotting the True God

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

If your god does not welcome dialogue and questioning, it is not the true god.

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Quantum Killing and Non-zero-sum Guilt

Sunday, June 6th, 2010

It’s usually through a thousand tiny cuts of reduced kindness (each one individually invisible to any but the most capital-G of Gods and the most conscientious and self-scrutinizing of saints) that a surplus workforce is driven from the fold and into the waiting arms of a war, prison, slave labor, insufficient medical care, or other population-control device.  (more…)

Donnie Darko

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Donnie Darko doesn’t start where you think it does.  It starts with the timeless question, Why do bad things happen to good people?  What good could there be, for example, in the random death of an innocent kid?  Donnie Darko tackles this question by showing us what would have happened if said kid hadn’t died.  Don’t worry–no spoilers here.  It would be almost impossible to spoil a movie this alive with weird particularity.  Too often, when we wonder about that innocent kid in the newspaper’s obit section, he remains an abstract good, his death an abstract injustice, the future he missed out on a vaguely imagined good future, doubtlessly preferable to his early end.  Not so in Donnie Darko’s universe.  Donnie’s world is full of miracles and odd homework assignments, family rancor and psychiatry sessions, strange gurus and neighbors.  Everyone in this film is the center of his or her own world, which realistic touch makes it matter all the more when we see how their lives are affected by the life and death of that innocent kid.  Donnie asks the timeless question.  God answers in a bunny costume, and shows him the answer on a movie screen.  Amazingly, the answer satisfies.

On “Knowing”

Monday, December 21st, 2009

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” –Paul

“The appearance of the wheels and their work was like unto the colour of a beryl: and they four had one likeness: and their appearance and their work was as it were a wheel in the middle of a wheel.” –Ezekiel

(SPOILERS AHEAD) I just watched the recent Proyas film Knowing again with my seven-year-old son, Hal.  Within the first 30 minutes, prior to any big-scale CGI destruction, he had it pegged as a sci-fi film, and the strange men in black coats as aliens.  Later, at the first mention of solar flares, he predicted that humanity would have to go underground to survive.  A few minutes thereafter, and well ahead of the big reveal, he spoke up again saying that the whispering aliens were moving to save a select few breeding pairs to take to a safer planet.  How Hal followed the movie so closely, says nothing of the plot’s originality (it is quite original), but much about my son, and much about the mood and logic of the time he was born into.  As the film’s final shot faded, my son sighed, “I LOVE THIS MOVIE.”  The feeling’s mutual. (more…)

What’s Memetics, Game Theory, Free Will, and Transfinite Math Got to Do with It?

Monday, August 18th, 2008

“What’s love got to do, got to do with it? What’s love, but a sweet old-fashioned notion?” –Tina Turner

I’ve previously spent a lot of digital ink exploring the nature of love. And I’m fairly confident that most of what I wrote holds together and offers a nucleus of wisdom or ethical knowledge, with a platinum and golden rule at the core. But humanity has been discussing the nature of love for millennia; the real task seems, to me, not just to establish a firm and credible and inspiring sense of what love is, but also to establish some firm theoretical connection between this wisdom and the realm of hard science and analysis and math. (more…)

Whole & One: Integrity, Intrapersonal Love, and the Two Perfections of the Lover

Monday, May 12th, 2008

“A man has to live with himself, and he should see to it that he always has good company.” – Charles Evans Hughes (more…)

I & Thou: Wisdom, Interpersonal Love, and the Two Roles of Love

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

“Love your neighbor as yourself.” –Jesus “Not Quintana” Christ (more…)

Golden & Platinum: Rationality and the Two Laws of Love

Sunday, April 13th, 2008

“Irrationality is the square root of all evil.” –Douglas Hofstadter. (more…)

Why God Why

Thursday, April 3rd, 2008

“I went with nothing
But the thought you’d be there too,
looking for me.”

–Johnny Cash, “The Wanderer”

If the garden of Eden tale means anything to me, it means that human beings are not at home in the natural scheme they’re born into. The world as it is, is inhospitable, and to survive we must imagine worlds other than the one we’re in, and weigh them, and then work toward them. (more…)

God Willing, God Forbid, and a Third Thing Altogether

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2008

“I don’t want to start any blasphemous rumours,
But I think that God’s got a sick sense of humor,
And when I die, I expect to find him laughing.”

–Depeche Mode, “Blasphemous Rumours”

Theologians call it the problem of evil, or the mystery of iniquity… if God’s all-knowing and all-powerful and good, why do things like ebola virus, the holocaust, and televangelists exist? (more…)

On Making Things in One’s Head Pt. 2 (Second Nature)

Friday, February 15th, 2008

In the Beginning was the Word, (more…)