Saturday, March 29, 2008

The self-aware elephant

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

If you pray are you less likely to confide in other people?

I've found that during the times when I had no one to talk to I got a lot more accomplished emotionally when I talked to myself instead of talking to god. First, and most important, I found people I was able to talk to by first talking to myself.

And sure, sure, when you talk to god you're really just talkin to yourself. The difference for me was that when I talked to myself I didn't have faith that someone else would work out my problems for me magically.

Also, it never prevented me from opening up to people because I was taught that god will work through other people in my life, so I was always aware of people who were willing to listen.

And anyway, there is NO community like the church community, except maybe your own family. EVERYONE at church knows all your business. All it takes is one person finding out one thing about you, and everybody knows by next Sunday. Awww man. Church is like high school on crack. I had Christian friends at school and I'd go to their youth group events and just hear gossip all night. I started preaching out against the gossip at my own church, but they fought hard to keep it by saying they didn't gossip. I starting blowing my metaphorical "rape whistle" whenever someone attempted to engage me in gossip. I was better than them.

Prayer for me didn't stop me from opening up to people. Everyone already knew my business and told me about what I should be doing different all the time. I didn't even have a chance at keeping my shit to myself. At that point it doesn't matter that they praise you for the good things you do. It's been made clear to you that an entire community of people will know and judge every mistake you make. Who cares about an occasional high-five. I will pick privacy over praise ALWAYS. Again, I think that's another point for me, the atheist.

To answer the question from a Christian perspective, it is impossible to even consider the option of not confiding in other people.

Sunday, March 16, 2008

atheists vs. christians

Here's something we can agree on

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Bible

This is all of the information in the Bible that Christians choose to ignore.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Ray Sins

Why why why why why would anyone ever say, "there is this thing called '___[insert anything here]____' that you are ignorant of, and I forbid you to educate yourself on the matter. Here is a tree that grows this knowledge just in case you're the rule-breaker I made you to be."

Seriously, was God not sure if they would choose ignorance over information? Is it possible that he could create a being that could be self-aware, but desire to do nothing about it?

Here I am happy and safe. God tells me that if I break a rule, I will learn about something new, but I will be punished. My first thought is, "what is it like to be punished?"

How do I, as a human being, learn?

The only conclusion I can come to here is that God doesn't know what he's doing. Or maybe it was the man who created God that didn't understand what he was talking about. I gotta go with occam's raisins on this one. Either way, I look good, so whatever.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

a place to chat

I'm enjoying a new group on flickr called "Do You Believe?". I'm so shaky every time I make a comment. The regulars are going to get to know me, and that's still something I'm getting used to. Coming out atheist helped me finally feel comfortable around other people. I knew if too many people found out, my mom would find out. I knew she would still love me and accept me and treat me like an intelligent person, but I also knew it would break her heart, because "what about heaven?". I didn't want to make her feel that way. I didn't want to be the cause of more sadness or worry in her life. She's had enough problems she never deserved.

You know, and just like coming out anything else, I had to be confident enough in myself to have the conversation. I had to know what I could say to her to make everything okay. I told her that I was a happy person, the thing she said was most important in life. I told her I was able to live my dreams, and they weren't evil, and they made me happy. It's the biggest motivator for me to keep up this blog, my photography (hey guys, I'm booked for a month with the e-mails still pouring in), give children the tools they need early on to find happiness (yeah, I know 'em, my mom told me). I want to make her proud, and I want to do that by doing what it takes to remain happy. It's WORK. It's hard work. I can't explain away needless suffering. I'm not that arrogant. maybe? whatever.

So I'm reading over there and it's inspiring. I love hearing the old way I thought, because it's a reminder of how much I've changed and how much easier my life is now. Not because I can do whatever I want, I pretty much do all the same things I did as a Christian. I did the best that I could, and I still do. My life is easier because I'm not sitting around all the time trying to make sense of the bible. I'm not getting glares from the parents of my friends. My husbands parents are both Christian and they adore me. I love them, too. If we had a Christian relationship they would not like me. I was an annoying Christian. It's why I'm so comfortable annoying people I like now. I'm used to it. It's comfortable.

I asked a lot of probing questions that an atheist might ask their youth pastor. Only I honestly didn't and still don't understand. I approached it believing 100% that it was all real, because why would all these people say it's real if it's not? That's insane. And when I learned something that contradicted something else I would ask a questions and everyone would get pissed off and shake their stupid, old, wrinkly fingers at me. I don't like the circular logic. I don't like how they think their history is more correct than real history. It's creepy.

Seriously? Yes.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

Natural Ability part 2: Do I have the natural ability to write a sequel?

Pay no attention to the babbling woman. She's just trying to be a scientist. Isn't that cute?

I've thought about it more. Like, neither of my parents were in to crafting like I am, but my grandparents were. Neither of my grandparents have ever been able to draw well, but my dad was an outstanding clone artist, like I sort of can be sometimes (by accident). I can sing well, but my voice is sort of boring and makes people sleep, just like everyone else who can sing in my family.

It makes my skin crawl when people (like it's just people in general? no, I'm talking about my family. They can't read stuff this tiny, though) talk about something I'm good at and say, "She gets that from her _[blah blah blah]_." Basically they are saying, and sometimes put it this bluntly, "I didn't get that gene, so I can't do that."

Whaaaaa? It is very clear to me why I like the things I do. I like crafting more than any other thing I do. More than photography. My earliest experience with happiness revolved around crafting. It was the week or two (or three, if I could convince my parents) in the summer I spent with my grandparents. Away from my father. My grandparents spent all of their spare time making art together. My grandpa is a carpenter and my grandpa paints the things he makes. Most often with the cheesy stuff your grandma buys at the local bazaar. The holiday stuff. Oh, but I didn't understand what kind of art it was, I was just having a blast making a mess and being allowed to touch things I usually didn't get to touch. I still have the first painting I made on a wooden gingerbread man. I know for certain that my grandma helped me.

This is something my grandparents made for me to keep my rings in when I was five. I had so much bling. Now it's where I keep my drug blunts. Just kidding that's not where I keep my drug blunts. The people that I felt most secure around where my family members, and I was happiest crafting with my grandparents, and I've found happiness through creativity ever since. Nature vs. Nurture: one point to nurture here.

Let's try again. How about singing? Is it genetic that I sing like my family members? Or is it because I heard them sing more often than I heard anyone else (not counting Bert and Ernie)? I learned how to sing from them. So I sing like them. End of story, jerk. Two points nurture. One point nature for affecting hearing and the shape of your throat or belly or whatever you sing out of. Vocal boards? That doesn't sound right.

As far as the identical twins having the same jobs and marrying men with the same name when they've never met... A point my husband threw at me when I was on my nurture rant. I think I'm ready to take a stab at it from my point of view. I'm not educated as well as I should be to be making guesses, so if it sounds nice don't automatically believe it, please.

It's obvious that physical traits are passed down from generation to generation, but I don't think that means that our desires are passed down in any other way than we have similar bodies. So my hands are like the hands in my family, and my eyes are, as well. I have a steady hand and I'm a spatial genius. (I informed my husband after testing that I only test above genius-level in one of the six or whatever categories, "I'm a spat-ial genius." I scored very low in Words or whatever it was called.)

Nature vs. Nuture fight: over. The two work very well together. We like to do what we're good at, and we do those things around little humans we made in our image. They see us doing it during the time they are learning what it means to be a human, so they do it, too. However, just because they have the body for it does not mean they will have the desire for it. These two identical twins figured out something they were able to do, and they enjoyed doing it because they weren't raised by anyone who restricted them from doing what they excelled at, something parents see in a child (yes, even an adopted one) and encourage early on so that they can say their child is better. Sometimes because they are loving parents doing it for the right reason. Sometimes. My entire point after all this is just that there isn't a desire gene being passed down. Natural ability means my body is better suited for this than your body, not that my brain possesses something magical that yours doesn't.

Marrying men with similar names, or the same name, is nothing more than coincidence. And there is still no creativity gene to be found. Join me later for part three when I try to figure why this ever irritated me in the first place. Oh yeah, that whole god thing. By now I hope I've at least made a good point against any ability being a magic gift from a god.

Don't Learn Stuff

I saw miracles, too! I believed they were miracles with all my "heart".

I've been sitting here deleting and retyping this same sentence, and I feel like a real jerk for saying this, but it's the truth... I just wasn't educated well enough to understand what was really happening. I'm no genius now, but I've educated myself enough to understand that every miracle I saw had a fairly simple explanation.

Here's what DIDN'T happen. I didn't lose faith and then look up information to explain the miracles. I found this information when trying to learn about other things that had nothing to do with gods or miracles or magic.

Beware: Learning has evil side-effects.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Thanks, Internet.

Can I say again that I can only speak from my experiences? I think that should be made clear, if it isn't already. Like, when I start yelling at some imaginary Christian, I usually have a Christian in mind. I've met thousands of them. I was surrounded by them for 19 years. Most of those being the typical person's observing years, when we rely on other people to teach us what it is to be human. Childhood. :o(

Sometimes I wish I had been given a choice, and then other times I'm glad to have had the experiences. As time passes I'm more likely to say I'm glad for the lesson I learned. I don't mean to yell at strangers, but this is meant to be a place to observe my reaction, for those who never left their observing years. We can still learn about ourselves by observing others, there is no cut-off age. IM HAPPEH 2 GIV BAK 2 TEH INTERNETS WUT THEY GAEV 2 ME. Sorry for that last part :o(

I hope the freedoms of the internet remain. You can get a better art education on the internet than in most public schools. I don't actually know if that's true, but it sure sounds right. I went to public school and I was taught a from a lesson plan. On the internet I can pick something that interests me and learn everything about it and see pictures of it done the right way. I learned how to make fake dred locks that look real on the internet. First of all, I found perfectly detailed tutorials with every piece of information you need, updated regularly with a comments section for strangers ideas. THEN! and this is the best part, I joined a community on livejournal where people posted their creations and I could see all the different ways hundreds of people have been creative using the basic rules. OMG I learned the process and was overstimulated with ideas all for free. Beat that, Painting 101.

I do have to give it up to high school for the awesome ceramics class I got to take and retake for three years just to throw clay on a wheel. You can't do that on the internet... Er, I guess you can if you can afford the equipment. Yay for youtube. High school still has a chance to win, though. I got to take the jewelry class and work on equipment that you can just buy and use without proper training. Or at least you shouldn't if you enjoy having hands and eyes.

The internet has taught me how to crochet, knit, make dreds, etch glass, paint on glass, create the look I want when making wired jewelry, use polymer clay, pop art, customizing a blythe doll (including sanding her face to get the right expression), and on and on and on and on.

More important is the creativity. Hours looking online at things I like. I'm totally not wasting time, I'm seeing image after image until I pull a few things together and create something new. Whoops I thought it was new. Look, there's already a site devoted to it. Sweet, they can tell me what tools are best.

Thanks, Internet.