The Watcher behind your Forehead
August, Anno Domini 1998
Aloon 2, Par Christic
School's started, but you notice that this got written anyway. I think it's gonna work this year. College application time is coming
South Park is horrible. I used to watch it. It quickly loses it's humor to someone who actually thinks about it. How long can we be amused by the spectacle of children swearing at each other. Some of it is genuinely funny, but not enough to compensate for the overall stupidity. The spirit of christmas is really funny though. It's a short by the same people, with the same characters.
This seems like the sort of thing that can't be complained about, but I'm going to anyway. A speed limit is one more way that the government tries to protect it's citizens by infringing on their liberties. Just like with Narcotics and other controlled substances, the government is telling us that while it's a free country, there are some things that we're not allowed to do, because it might hurt us. The government should spent far more of it's effort keeping us from hurting each other and far less to keep us from hurting ourselves. It's impeding the process of natural selection. It's a necesary and good thing for the less intelligent members of society to be weeded out by the natural forces. Thus, if someone wishes to drive 110 mph, they run a much higher risk of hurting themselves, but if they hit something and die, it's their own damn fault. One could argue that they might take someone else with them when they get killed, but if these victims are passengers, they probably should have been smart enough not to get into the car with someone so foolish and if the victims are other motorists or pedestrians, they should have kept their eyes on the horizon and been paying more attention so they could avoid or dodge the incoming maniac. In addition to the darwinistic benefits, it would drastically reduce transit times for those of us responsible enough to drive safely, as we could go at whatever speed we feel confident in our ability to control the vehicle at.
Quality of the Population
Most social problems that I see come not from flawed institutions, but flawed people. There was and continues to be a trend to try and fix society by fixing the social institutions that mold and shape society. This seems like a sound idea to me, but looking at them, it seems like most of our social institutions are fine in theory, it's just that their being executed and run by incompetent people or miscreants. I look at the world and all of it sounds great in description, but when you look at the people, wow, there are some pretty lousy people around us all the time. I see virtue in everyone. There's nobody who is truly without merit, but for some people, the only merits I can think of are that 1) their mothers probably loved them and 2) when they die, their body will act as ferrtilizer and make the flowers and grass grow. Not that I think that people on the whole are bad, I'm eternally optimistic about people. I assume everyone I meet will be an inherently good person, no matter how often I'm proved wrong. I have a button on my jacket that says "Optimistic, even in the face of reality." If everyone were a better and more responsible person, how great the world would be. It seems like such a basic idea, far simpler than restructuring the IRS, but the problem is that not only do people not realize they should change, they wouldn't choose to change even if they saw the need and had the ability to change. The people I'm talking about are the ones that made "Married with Children" the most watched show ever and who now support "Home Improvement" as it's succesor (though I have to say, the inclusion of Wilson (the only really good person on the show) sets "Home Improvement" several steps above MwC. These very same people are those who get self addressed envelopes from public television networks and put them in the trash without even reading their pathetic pleas for funding. It's so sad. What this country needs is a better population. More than anything else I can think of.
And, while I wasn't going to mention it at all, I think the fact that our public wants to hear all the juicy details of the Starr report is indicative of this problem. I'm gonna go read some Shakespeare, maybe one of his comedies (I'm thinking A Midsummer Nights Dream). Goodbye.
I recommend you go see what's on PBS.
Parable par Christic #1
Two brothers were born to a simple farmer. They grew and when they were both over 18, one went to the city to earn his fortune while the other took out a loan and bought a farm of his own. The city brother enjoyed all that life had to offer. The farm brother joined his father's church and married a plain country girl. After 10 years, the city brother was an influential heroin dealer, taking in $1,500 dollars per day, living in an opulent penthouse apartment, making sure his mistress didn't find about either of his girlfriends and seeing to it that the money kept rolling in. The country brother had just payed off his loan and had a second child with his plain wife of 10 years. When the father died, he left all his lands and property to the country brother, because the city brother would have just auctioned it off, but he left his dwindling fortune to the city son, in the interests of fairness. At the funeral, the city brother stood next to his mistress, the both of them dressed in expensive black clothing. His bodyguard, a large imposing man, stood silently behind them both. The country brother stood by his wife and two daughters, wearing their fanciest black clothng, which were bought for a total of $300. Many years later, the country brother had 6 children, all of whom worked on the farm, his wife had died a few years back, and his farmlands reached to the horizon. The city brother moved 85% of the narcotics that came into his city. He had over a dozen illegitimate children and had fianlly decided on one mistress to live with, not that this kept him from screwing around. The two brothers eventually died and standing before God the country brother said "God, I have lived a good life and sinned as little as the most pious priest. What of me now?" And God said "To heaven with you, to tend your fields until the end of time." And the country brother left and spent the rest of eternity tending his fields and listening to gods praise in church. The city brother who remembered the stories of his christian youth, felt fear and awe to be in the presense of God. He knew he had not lived what his brother would call a "moral" life. God said "And you, the lotus eater, the adulterer and the corrupter of men, what have you to say?" The city brother said "I've always done what I thought would feel good. Some of it did, and some of it I only did once. I await your judgement." And God said "To hell you shall go; to sell your drugs and screw your mistresses." And off he went, to continue doing as he had done.
The question: Who was happier in the long run? (eternity is a long time)
The moral: Don't live your life as if every day was your last; live your life as if it would go on like you live it FOREVER.
Would the christian God destroy the christian Hell if he could?
Of course, the God I believe in wouldn't (see Christicisms on the Afterlife), but would the Christian God? Different kinds of christians will probably give you different answers.
The angry, malevolent christians would say that "No, he wouldn't, because if he did, where would the evil people go? They certainly wouldn't be allowed in heaven."
But this assumes that God wants to hurt some people (it would certainly hurt to spend eternity in hell). If God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son for it, why would he then want to hurt people? If you assume that there isn't a limited amount of space in heaven, and that there's room for anyone that St. Peter sees fit to admit, why don't they let everyone in? Not letting someone in is like not letting a stranger into your house when there's a hurricane outside. You know that if you don't admit them, they'll go to hell and be hurt and it will be unpleasant for them. Indeed, a decidely un-christian thing to do. Would a "good samaritan" type ever willingly commit someone to an eternity of torment? That seems like a fairly evil thing to do, certainly not an act befitting of the supreme force of goodness in the universe.
On the other hand, more benevolent, friendly, forgiving christians would say that "Of course God would destroy Hell, that way, nobody will ever be allowed to slip into the claws of the devil."
And, while I think I'd get along with these christians better than the angry ones, it seems like a pretty poorly thought out viewpoint. If Hell were destroyed, all the people previously denied admission at the pearly gates would have to be re-admitted, seeing as there's no longer anywhere else to send them*. And if everyone went to heaven, there'd no longer be an incentive to be nice and follow the rules, seeing as everyone is treated equally in the afterlife. Thus, the other answer to the question is flawed too.
There's no good answer to the question. That often means that the question is not one that can be asked or that the problem is inherent in the question, not the answers. The problem in this case is that if we look carefully at the above arguments, we see that the nature of the christian God and the nature of the christian Hell are mutually exclusive. He (God, as described by the new testament) cannot exist in a universe that also contains a Hell, as defined by modern christianity (not that the modern definition is all that different from the one of Dante Aligheri (sp?)), becasue he could neither allow it to exist nor allow it to not exist. He contains a contradiction, or maybe Hell (the afterlife that isn't Heaven) is not what the christians seem to think it is.
And maybe the christian God likes Hell. After all, fear of hell is one reason why some people choose to behave and worship him. It seems to be almost as potent a tool of conversion as the commandments or the sermon on the mount. Perhaps even more persuasive to a certain type of person; a type that seems more and more common in today's society.
* : Unless you really believe in Limbo/Purgatory. But those are almost as bad as hell. Imagine eternity in sensory deprivation. It'd be like a little slice of non-violent, but particularly diabolical hell. Certainly, the same argument as to why God wouldn't be so mean as to send people to hell could be applied to Limbo or purgatory, but both of those are fairly outdated ideas anyway. When was the last time you heard a priest talk about limbo? Some catholic priests probably mention purgatory every now and then, but certainly not all catholics now what it is.
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