While it is widely believed that The Salvation Army is simply a charitable organization with a commitment to giving, it is important not to forget their entire mission though:
"The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church.
Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination... The advancement of the Christian religion as promulgated in the religious doctrines . . . which are professed, believed and taught by the Army"
It just seems to me that humans are unsuitable for life on this planet. I mean, look at people. Either they are all foolish morons yelling and screaming about things they know nothing about, or they are stupidly sitting around wishing that the world would conform to their expectations.
People are, quite simply, dumb.
So we have people running around trying to force, by arms and by dogmatic assertion, others to believe in invisible gods, magic, and "higher powers". Dumb! Still others state that they support "reason", yet uphold religious morals and ideals as valid. Dumb!
Is there any intelligent life on this planet at all?
I will attempt to give you a brief summary of why I believe. Please understand that the evidence presented here is in no way comprehensive. Presenting a comprehensive argument from my perspective would take at least a book, if not an entire series. I am not saying that to reveal that I am somehow more intellectual than anyone here. I truly believe that we are all in this together. We are attempting to make sense of the world, and to understand how and why we are here. I have said this before on these forums, but let me restate it before I start just as groundwork to what I am arguing. All of us view the world through a (narrative) framework. I use "(narrative)" because most of us do not think of things in this way, but I think it is a proper way to understand this concept. Our stories are the framework through which we view the world. Our narrative framework then becomes the ever adapting, ever changing worldview through which we interpret reality. For instance I believe in the conept of "car" and understand a car's purpose based on the stories that have been told to me (other's experience), my own stories (my experience), and the interaction between the two. I am not sure if that is well explained, but I will assume most of you understand what I am attempting to say.
People cannot stand defiance. When someone is in a position of considered authority, and issues a decree, those who actively defy such decree are considered to be trouble-makers and problems.
Thus it is that those who are defiant inevitably are considered to be moral deviants. To defy from a subscribed standard is to deviate from the established norms.
This is particularly true in the modern era when speaking of sexuality. Sexual minorities are often referred to as deviants. Yet, in light of an overtly-oppressive dominating theology and legislative demands, oft times those who become part of a sexual minority are simply acting defiantly against domination and control. In effect, they are rebelling.
"What do I love when I love my God? Not physical beauty, or the splendour of time; not the radiance of earthly light, so pleasant to our eyes; not the sweet melodies of harmony and song; not the fragrant smell of flowers, perfumes, and spices; not manna or honey; not limbs such as the flesh delights to embrace. These are not the things I love when I love my God.
And yet, when I love him, I do indeed love a certain kind of light, a voice, a fragrance, a food, an embrace; but this love takes place in my inner person, where my soul is bathed in light that is not bound by space; when it listens to sound that time never takes away; when it breathes in a fragrance which no breeze carries away; when it tastes food which no eating can diminish; when it clings to an embrace which is not broken by desire fulfilled. This is what I love when I love my God."
Dear reader - I didn't have the energy to go back and edit this at all. Please try to see through the rambling and incohesiveness to my point, which is buried somewhere in here.
I had a boyfriend who once asked me if it was possible that AIDS was God's way of punishing homosexuals. I have to admit, I hadn't considered that before he asked me. So I considered it. (No, seriously, I did! Never let it be said I'm not open to considering stuff - no matter how stupid it is on the face of it; I do it all the time.) After careful (yet expedious) consideration, I decided that his thesis was rubbish. Yes, at the time I was already happily Atheist (please don't even ask why I was dating a Mormon; there is no good answer for that), but that's not the reason I discounted the notion. I discounted it because if there is a God (which there isn't, but I suspended disbelief for this mental exercise), I simply can't believe He would create something (AIDS) to punish bad behavior, but not tailor it to only punish the appropriate bad people. AIDS, even when it first came on the scene, was never confined only to drug users and gays. Assuming God wants to punish that behavior, why also punish innocent kids getting blood tranfusions, or hospital workers getting pricked by needles, or (my favorite) faithful wives who don't know their husband's on the down low?
Ok, my yearly rant on valentine's day. If I have to think of one word to describe valentine's day, it would be BULLSHIT, ok..so MAYBE that's two words, but it's the context that matters here.
Capitalist driven holidays such as xmas and valentine's day are exactly the kind of holidays that turn people into sheep. It's the idea that on these "special" strategically designed holidays that we have to worry about giving gifts or expressing love by going to the jewlry store and droppin 1/2 a grand on some diamond necklace that some poor kid in Africa got paid 2 cents an hour to mine. Or worse, that some Cinta Larga Indian in the amazon got slaughtered by some white man who's greed over diamonds has led him to illegaly mine on indian land. It's amazing how capitalism has turned some carbon based mineral into some "precious" jewel. And the irony here is that diamonds are made up of crystalized carbon...usually from organic matter. And those who exploit diamonds (such as religious institutions: Pat Robertsons diamond mines in Africa) are those same ones that tell you the earth is young....well Diamonds take a looooong time to make.. boy can you just see the greedy religoius hypocrisy here? I mean seriously, I think xtian institutions should ban diamond rings, because their existence is simply contrary to xtian beliefs.....BUT...because diamonds make money, it's accepted as being ok. Anyway...So yeah...I don't buy the bullshit. But I digress here.
When entering a foreign land, learning the native language is the easiest and most assurable method of gaining needed or desired information and services. In fact, it is more or less necessary.
Even among people who speak a common language, misunderstandings often arise. Different segments and subcultures of any given civilisation give birth to many different methods of expression. If a person who has been raised in economic disparity in a major city meets someone who was raised in an upper-class small-town area, it is very likely that the two would find a great deal of difficulty understanding each other.
Personally, having reflected on the whole idea of their being no God, I have come to the conclusion that no one is truly an atheist. Kind of a big statement to make, but hear me out.
On Intelligent Designer
by Jason Dax
The consept of Intelligent Design is supported by a notion that the Universe requires a Designer due to the complexity of structures of the Universe (from subatomic particles to biomolecules, organs and solar systems). The purpose of this paper is to compare the complexities of the Universe and the Designer and what conclusions can be drawn from them.
The model of the following comparison is the following: Lets assume the existance of two objects, O1 and O2. Lets also assume that both objects have their own complexity C and O2 is the result of O1 (O1→O2).