Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Three Types of Religious Skeptics

I've often considered what attracts different people to religion and what purposes religion has served in society. Recently, I've been thinking of the converse: what makes people reject religion and the different reasons why people are either atheists or agnostics.

I think there are several reasons, often depending on each particular person's personality and outlook on life. A few types immediately came to mind:

First, are the scientific types, who reject religion because there is no proof as to its claims, because it defies reason and logic.

Second, are the "pull yourself up by your own boostraps" types, who view religion as a crutch and a haven for the weak who refuse to stand on their own two feet.

Third, are the hedonists and non-conformists who view religion as a series of lists with arbitrary and outmoded rules about moral behavior that are negative in nature. To them, religion can be summed up as "Don't Do This" and see religion as a way to suck all the joy out of life.

These are the three types that most readily come to mind. Personally, as an agnostic, I'm a mixture of reasons one and three. I'm not so much the second reason, because I have no problem with whatever gets people through the night, as it doesn't affect my freedom to do differently.

Feel free to chime in with more types of skeptics and unbelievers.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Tacky Tramp Stamps

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Largest Cruise Ship in the World

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Lazy Helicopter Parents

While out driving on Halloween the other night, I drove through a neighborhood in full trick or treat mode. Though a minority of older kids walked from house to house, most kids were driven by their parents to each house, getting in and out of the vehicle (mostly ubiquitous minivans) ever 25 feet or so.

This meant that the road was clogged with pausing and slow moving vehicles, which made it very difficult for through traffic to drive down the street. It also made it more dangerous for drivers like me because it made it harder to see kids on foot, and made it more dangerous for the kids, as it made it harder for them to see through traffic, and because of the unpredictable movements of the minivan parade.

I don't know why the parents of small children just didn't park their vehicles and get off their lazy asses and walk with their kids to each house. And the parents of older children should have been home giving out candy and let those kids travel in groups to trick or treat on their own. It seems to me that if you're ten or eleven, having to spend the night getting in and out of a car with your parents there the whole time would suck all the joy right out of Halloween.

Halloween is totally different now for kids than it was when I was a kid trick or treating back in the sixties and early seventies. For one thing, only the smallest children had parents going with them to trick or treat, and even then the parents walked with their kids, they didn't drive them from house to house. And from about the second grade onwards (age 8), kids trick or treated on their own in groups in their own neighborhoods and the parents stayed home to hand out candy to other kids.

I lived in a huge subdivision where nearly every house participated. My mother would give me a king size pillow case and I'd fill that up, then return to get another one to fill. Trick or treating typically began at dusk, and continued for a few hours.

It was a lot more fun for us than it is for kids nowadays and I kind of feel sorry for kids now because they won't experience Halloween like most Baby Boom era kids did.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Religion Salesman

It seems as if I have a homing device to attract the religious of all stripes. I don't know what it is; perhaps it's my air of disrepute that attracts them like moths to a flame.

Recently, they hired a new guy at my place of employment, a squeaky-clean, straight arrow kind of person. I didn't have a problem with him until he started peddling his religion on me. He'd heard that I liked music and had some formal musical training, so he used that as a way to start preaching to me. Starting out innocently enough, he told me that he was the "praise leader" at his church, in charge of providing the music for their services, blah, blah, blah.

After a few moments of this, he got to his point of the entire conversation -- he wanted to know where I went to church. All the fundies do this, as they believe it's their duty to sell their religion to one and all.

Not really caring to discuss my opinion about religion with him, I simply told him that I didn't go, hoping to leave it at that.

No such luck.

He invited me to attend his church, telling me that I could be an asset to their "praise team" with my musical training.

I nearly choked and laughed myself to death all at the same time. Hell, talk about barking up the wrong tree! I'd probably burst into flames if I ever set foot into his smarmy, fundamentalist church.

Still not wanting to discuss religion in a work setting, I merely declined, citing the fact that I'm scheduled to work every Sunday.

Fortunately, at this moment, he had to get back to work, so I was spared being more blunt with him. But I'm guessing that some time soon, I'll have to tell him to fuck off in no uncertain terms.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Four Types of Sex

As I see it, sex is a very basic, primal, and instinctual thing. For me to
be attracted to a particular partner, an emotional response isn't
necessary, though it's not unwelcome in some instances. Rather, it's a
matter of chemistry and hormonal response. I don't have this
response with just anyone, but I most certainly have it quite a bit
more often than an emotional response.

I classify sex in four basic ways:

Sex with no love and no chemistry/hormonal response
Sex with love only
Sex with chemistry/hormonal response only
Sex with both love and chemistry/hormonal response

I've tried it all four ways.

Sex with no love and no chemistry/hormonal response is mechanical
and unsatisfying. I've only done this a few times and I don't do
this sort at all anymore.

Sex with love and no chemistry/hormonal response is not sexually
satisfying, either. Such instances are a matter of trying too hard
and trying to force something that isn't there. It also has the
highest probability for emotional hurt. I also avoid these types of
encounters as well.

Sex with chemistry/hormonal response only can be extremely
satisfying depending upon the context, such as one night stands and
fuckbuddy relationships. They work best for anyone who is able to compartmentalize and see thevalue of sex for its own sake. As a libertine, this type is what is most common for me, as chemical attraction is vastly more common than being in love.

Sex with both love and chemistry/hormonal response is, of course, also
highly satisfying in its proper context, which are long term
committed relationships. However, they are less desirable when one is
merely interested in a one time deal, or a fuckbuddy relationship without
other expectations. This type tends to create complications which are a hassle in those types of relationships.

So, though I am a libertine, I am not entirely indiscriminate, as there are only two of the four types that I am comfortably engaging in.