Author Archives: archert

Blasphemy

I really doubt that the almighty God(s) will take offence if you said something that is not very nice to him/her/them. As almighty as him/her/them is/are, things like these must have been foreseen, and why bothered on such trivial stuff. Think about this, if I made a robot single-handedly, and this little shit somehow turned to me and said, “you loser, motherfucker, asshole…” I probably will laugh to death instead of crushing it with anger.

But though I assume God(s) can be humorous toward blasphemy, the blasphemy does offend some believers, and you are lucky if they just FEEL offended. If they become violent either vocally or physically, and want to give you a lesson under the name of God(s), you’d better prayer your safety. The thing is God(s) always (or in most of the cases) keep silence about blasphemy, it’s more often the faithful take the action for punishment, do they really think that God/Gods need them to defend his/her/their name(s). I would like to believe God(s), if he/she/they exist(s) is/are better or more capable than that.

The rules we follow

One thing I felt uncomfortable is that some people follow rules blindly, either they follow the “God’s/Gods’ Words” or the “Secular Laws”. We follow rules either because we have been forced to, in which we know the ramifications ensued by breaking them; or we feel that they make the right sense, in which they probably coincide with our conscience. In whichever way, WE ourselves have the moral judge before any rules tell us what should be done or what response should be made. If our moral judge collides with the external rules, it’s the time for us to think, analyse and weigh pros/cons of the two sides, then draw the conclusion correspondingly. It should not be the attitudes that looking for the God’s/Gods’ Words or the law books first, to see which parts you agreed initially and change your mind to obey those which you don’t agree at the beginning with no good reasons.

Of course, that’s all personal choice, I respect that. I only want to present a personal point of view that if you cannot give me a reason, or your reason is not conceivable, I won’t have the slightest interest to try to believe in your idea no matter how wonderful it sounds like.

And of course, there are some rules I followed but I unable to utter a reason, that when I have some secret conversions with my conscience. But do remember that’s MY conscience, NOT anyone else’s, you cannot/shouldn’t force or expect anyone to have the same sets of conscience rules as yours.

Rich Dad Poor Dad

Just finished reading this book in the last two days, easy words, but it provides some deep thoughts. I knew the existence of this book for years, but the name of this book really gave me an impression that it aims for some mindless idiots who crave for nothing but money. Well, I had to admit that  after so many years, I finally realize that I am in that category.

It turned out my financial IQ is low, I have no idea of how money works, so I hope for the next few months, I could learn something about accounting at least.

Some of the quotes below are those I found thought-provoking:

  • The avoidance of money is just as psychotic as being attached to money.
  • Remember the golden rule. He who has the gold makes the rules.
  • It is said that the fear of public speaking is a fear greater than death for most people. According to psychiatrists, the fear of public speaking is caused by the fear of ostracism, the fear of standing out. the fear of ridicule, and the fear of being an outcast. The fear of being different prevents most people from seeking new ways to solve their problems.
  • You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.
  • That’s the most common form of laziness: laziness by staying busy.
  • “Guilt is worse than greed, for guilt robs the body of its soul.” I think Eleanor Roosevelt said it best: “Do what you feel in your heart to be right — for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.”

The day we stop learning the day we die. I know that long time ago, but like most of us if not all, I need to be reminded constantly.

Some Hypothetical Questions

Q1: Do we need a God?

A1: It depends. If it is a good God, probably yes. But goodness is not an essential part of God by my definition. Besides, what does good mean anyway.

Q2: If we do need a good God, does it makes God to be true?

A2: Of course not. What you desires, no matter how strong it is, has nothing to do with the truth value.

Q3: So does God truly exist?

A3: I really don’t know. But I just occasionally bothered by this ultimate question. I live my life on the assumption that He doesn’t exist or He has no interests to interfere my life. Until now, I lived quite content with such ideas bearing in mind.

Promise

Promise to me, is an empty word. Whether you wish to keep or break that promise, has nothing to do with those seemingly divine words you said or wrote down. It’s something carving deep down in your mind or heart. So whatever you want to do or not, just carry on. You don’t have to speak it out, and even you did so, it’s not necessary to be bond to it. Things are always changing, the time when you made the promise won’t be the same when you want to break it.

I don’t take anyone’s promise seriously, and I am not easily make ones, though I have done that in my younger time. My moral standard is that if I’m going to break a promise for good, I will do it. Of course, even that standard can be changed some day, who knows.

Anyway, time will ultimately prove everything, so why bother to make promises, dumb ass?

The Spectrum of Probabilities about the Existence of God

Where does your belief lay?

  1. Strong theist. 100 per cent probability of God. In the words of C. G. Jung, ‘I do not believe, I know!
  2. Very high probability but short of 100 per cent. De facto theist. ‘I cannot know for certain, but I strongly believe in God and live my life on the assumption that he is there.’
  3. Higher than 50 per cent but not very high. Technically agnostic but leaning towards theism. ‘I am very uncertain, but I am inclined to believe in God.’
  4. Exactly 50 per cent. Completely impartial agnostic. ‘God’s existence and non-existence are exactly equiprobable.’ Lower than 50 per cent but not very low.
  5. Technically agnostic but leaning towards atheism. ‘I don’t know whether God exists but I’m inclined to be sceptical.’
  6. Very low probability, but short of zero. De facto atheist. ‘I cannot know for certain but I think God is very improbable, and I live my life on the assumption that he is not there.’
  7. Strong atheist. ‘I know there is no God, with the same conviction as Jung “knows” there is one.”

via Richard Dawkins, The God Delusion

Mine swings between 5 and 6. Don’t know if it will change after reading Richard Dawkins’ “The God Delusion” or maybe the Bible? I always struggle about the idea of God. Even if I can accept the concept, I think it’s definitely far from the description of the Bible.

Some Thoughts about Religion

The following arguments are barely my own opinions, as these thoughts are not mature enough, I may change my view in any given time.

I suppose faith is a very personal stuff, it’s not concerned on right or wrong, it’s only about what you want to believe. If anyone truly stick to his/her inner voice, then no matter how ridiculous others may assume, we should respect him/her. That’s my principal, at least. Therefore, I will never mock on people’s faith if his/her solo aim to demonstrate it is not show superiority  over others.

As for me, I still will say  that I don’t favor the religion ideas. There are several reasons for me to draw this conclusion, yet I’ll focus on only one aspect, SELF-IMPORTANCE. For example, Christianity. Yes, in Christian’s idea, human being are all sinned and Jesus is our only Savior, thus we shall humble ourselves and worship him. Which seems Christians don’t see themselves as self-importance, that’s both right and wrong. For those devout believers they genuinely devote themselves to the Almighty and not think much about themselves, especially the bodies, which is very touchy if not completely convincing . But how about seeing the big picture. Why God created us? Why He made us in his image? Why the Lord appointed us to rule the animals? All I can see here are man-made self-importance, even Christians always say that we’re all sinners not worth to be mentioned in His glory. Look at the universe, from there our planet is all but a pale blue dot. Human being’s existence could be merely a coincidence, hence anyone who think our race must be bestowed some blessings and carry a divine mission may turn out to be a false idea or illusion. What if life has no purpose? Just think of that makes me painful. But truth is not always sweet, on contrary, it stings for the most of time. We don’t know the truth about life’s ultimate purpose yet and I doubt we ever will, but if you can get through the worst (let’s say, bear the miserable life span without knowing whether all you have done is meaningful or not) then none will frightened you. It’s my approach to deal with the feeling of emptiness anyway, though it’s not effectual all the time.

Carl Sagan’s words moved me more than the verses of Bible, and I’d like to share it with you if the article happened to be read by someone like you.

That’s here. That’s home. That’s us. On it, everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives. The aggregate of our joy and suffering, thousands of confident religions, ideologies, and economic doctrines, every hunter and forager, every hero and coward, every creator and destroyer of civilization, every king and peasant, every young couple in love, every mother and father, hopeful child, inventor and explorer, every teacher of morals, every corrupt politician, every superstar, every supreme leader, every saint and sinner in the history of our species, lived there… on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam. The Earth is a very small stage in a vast, cosmic arena. Think of the rivers of blood spilled by all those generals and emperors, so that in glory and triumph they could become the momentary masters of a fraction of a dot. Think of the endless cruelties visited by the inhabitants of one corner the this pixel on the scarcely distinguishable inhabitants of some other corner. How frequent their misunderstanding, how eager they are to kill one another, how fervent their hatreds. Our posturings, our imagined self-importance, the delusion that we have some privileged position in the universe, are challenged by this point of pale light. Our planet is a lonely speck in the great, enveloping cosmic dark. In our obscurity, in all this vastness, there is no hint that help will come from elsewhere to save us from ourselves. The Earth is the only world known so far to harbor life. There is nowhere else, at least in the near future, to which our species could migrate. Visit, yes. Settle, not yet. Like it or not, for the moment, the Earth is where we make our stand. It has been said that astronomy is a humbling and character-building experience. There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.

If He’s really there, I hope He can forgive these offend words.

A Mysterious World

When I was a little boy, about the kindergarten age, I found a world of my very own. At that time, I always liked to attach my head to a desk, and there would be some vague voice come from the inside of the desk. It sounds like remote radio signals, unclear, but definitely meaningful. I would enjoy the sound for quite a long time, to figure out what they were really talking about, or think about how to get to their world. It was quite fun for me, besides I kept this as a secret, such a huge discovery should not be shared. Yeah, at that age, what else can you expect a boy do?

When it comes the day that I suddenly realize this is not a mysterious world, it’s simply the real world with some altered sound. I was very disappointed, the feeling is like a long-known friend who stabbed your back without any warning. All the fantasies faded away.

I suppose those are the growing pains.

My Childhood Playground

No matter how many pictures you take, you can never find back your childhood. Your shadow lingered in that place, you can see it vaguely, but you cannot touch it in the least. These were my childhood playground, my imagined battle field. They are quite different now, along with my friends. Apparently my childhood was already dead, I am no longer and can never be the same. What also made me feel ironic is I spent no more than an hour for cycling to check through all these areas. When I was a little boy, I thought that’s my whole world.

Artificial Limbs Project

This weekend I attended the Artificial Limbs Project as a volunteer to help to hand out the limbs.

I met Gerie and his two lovely children, Benjamin and Fiana, at 22:45 in front of the South Square, Shanghai Railway Station. And then came Lyvia, Joel, Louis and Emily in sequence. Gerie gave me the ticket, and I found it was booked by my passport number, I once afraid that I couldn’t get into the station, since I only brought my ID card with me. Of course, the moments of panic turned out to be O.K. in the end.

I changed my ticket with Gerie for he wanted to accompany his two children. I was with Louis in the same room, then Emily came in to join our talk. Another person in our room is an international student, sophomore who just came back from Wollongong, Australia. He is majored in engineering and willing to talk with us. So a group of four people began the chat restlessly in the mid night. One of Emily’s friend happened to be come from Wollongong too, so she insisted to acquire the contact information of the boy. And she kept saying her friend is very charming and very interested in making friends with international students. To me, she’s quite like a match-maker, ^-^. One thing is particular interesting that the boy misunderstood the word “faith” to “face”. And he kept talking with the wrong topic and the other two audience didn’t spot it. As for me, I asked Emily about the relationship between Jesus and Santa which obviously appeared to be a good opening thread. The talk ended at maybe 1:30 am, but I couldn’t fall asleep easily because I find it was difficult to get used to the jolt as the train travels.

The next morning we arrived Suzhou, Anhui at about 07:00 am. A mini bus took us to the breakfast. The restaurant provides everything but coffee, which made our foreign friends groan. Fortunately, Louis took two pack of instant coffee with her, and she finally decided to share with us all, ^-^. Professor Joel, Mexican, tall and with a loud voice quickly took out some sugar and added to the coffee, and murmured “I’m sweet than that”. We all got puzzled why a man would bring sugar without coffee with himself, the professor then took another bottle of lemonade and explained he could never live without lemonade, but sometimes he need some help from the sugar.

After the breakfast, we went to our final destination. Unfortunately, I don’t where it is. When we arrived there, the artificial limbs were packed in three big boxes and just be there waiting for us. Not too many things for us to do, we carried the limbs to a room with the help of other people, sorted them out and get ready to distribute these limbs to their new owner. I had to admit that the process was not so exciting, it’s quite like a routine. You gave the limbs and they said thank you, then the next. But after that, I was with Louis to talk to some of these disabled. They shared their stories and I felt the smiles on their faces are genuine.

The local government treated us in the noon. Nothing special, except that Joel taught us the tricks of two magic played by poker, very impressive.

When the trip ended, all of us need to pay 100 rmb. Apparently that because the SCF has subsided the trip. I gave 200 in the end, of course it cannot cover the cost of the trip, even for myself. But I don’t know how much that others would give, so I have no intention to embarrass the rest. Anyway, I could donate proper amount of money to the church in the future.

The link below is all the photos I took, really not a big fan of photographing, I already tried my best.

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/9pwtl29qkokvbdm/AAAbbxqCnAEmEs4cZaTcfUvWa?dl=0


p.s.: Little Fiana is so so so cute!