Forcing An Athiest to Practice Religion

Here’s what it can feel like to practice religion when you don’t believe in the common fantasy [AKA faith].

I knew from a young age that I didn’t see religion as a literal interpretation of moral code sent from God, but rather a human construct of what we (those writing holy books) wanted or imagined it to be. Being commanded to participate for years after in routine rituals is boring and felt like a giant waste of time/effort. The only consolation was that it was still time spent with family, and friends in the community sharing snacks and meals, (and a common fantasy, like the Riders having a chance at the playoffs) together.

It’s frankly disturbing to think about how writing the paragraph above would get me killed and disgrace my family, if it was any earlier point in history. Hopefully, we don’t return to those dark days.

I’m not an atheist so much as an agnostic. I accept there may be super beings invisible and unknowable to human perception, but also it’s better to suggest that you’re open to belief in the unknowable. That’s in part to calm the fears of those who recoil at the thought of atheism, and partly because I think it’s wise to realize that what never seems possible, happens all too frequently.

Tweeter’s Block

I’ve a mild case of Tweeter’s block. I guess that means I need to write on my blog instead.

What’s going on? A whole lot of nothing, and a lot of somethings simmering. My to-do list is impossibly long as usual. At least some of them I’m really looking forward to. For instance a US vacation, and even a possible trip to Calgary coming up soon if weather co-operates. I also get solar panels installed in a couple months. I need to start seedling planting soon, and plan a community garden for my condo’s courtyard (which was delayed last year on account of my premature and short-lived death, and recovery.

And people keep asking me if I’m running for City Council again, which I can say with assurance that I’m on the fence and waiting to be pushed off one way or the other. I see umpteen others give up on improving Regina and move away, and that’s not an option right now, nor do I hope it becomes one. At least there are also good people still moving to here.

I got the basement cleaned up finally in preparation for the Spring flooding/leaking. Even managed to pick up the dehumidifier we need on sale last month. A friend in the city also pounced on the same deal.

With it being 2015, and with the City and country having made no progress on reducing carbon emissions or the energy efficiency of homes or businesses, it doesn’t seem likely that we’ll be able to stop climate change. There’s probably still value in trying anyway, as a large part of the effort is in improving transportation quality, and building community, and doing those things will never go out of style.

I’ve more to say, but not sure if I want to share them with you right now.

Megamind Time Machine

We kicked off a Netflix addiction with “The Croods” [5/10] last night, and “Megamind” [8/10] this morning. At Christmas we replaced a tube TV with a more modern LED version that can get free broadcast channels and hook up to a laptop. Cutting the cable was made possible also with the prospect of Netflix, which I managed to hold off pushing the go button on until last night. My parents stopped by with some pencils for the kids, some cell phone stands for us, and some birthday cards from The White House for my Grandmas’ birthdays.

I’ve spent enough time transcribing my Grandma’s journal over the last month to get a jump start on February a little bit even. This comes at a slight cost of blogging my own thoughts, but I’m finding it interesting to learn about the mid 1980s from her perspective, and the arts and culture that I’ve never heard of in some cases. It’s fascinating to put what she was watching/listening-to on TV/radio and in theatres into Google and see what comes up on YouTube. Her journal is a perpetual time capsule set to ~30 years ago. I also find it amusing that I wasn’t the first in my family to write down which movies I’ve watched.

Fossils To Museums

I was an 8 year old awash in fossils, so I was a tad more generous than this former 9 year old PEI lad with his much more valuable fossil. I donated a lower mandible piece from a ~12,000,000 year old Saskatchewan rhino to the Sask. Natural History (now Royal Sask.) Museum in the 1980s. I too used plastic bristle brushes (AKA tooth brushes) to dust off fossils I collected from the surface of a gravel pit near Wood Mountain, SK. Many more fossils and fossil fragments from that pit have since ended up in cement in the area.

1988 Aug 16 Natural History Museum

Wood Mountain is one of two locations in Saskatchewan which weren’t significantly affected by glaciers from the last two ice ages. This left glacially tilled soil, rock, and fossil bits in the gravel pits of the area. When I was a boy, I’d sometimes play on the gravel pile my parents had brought in to make cement for our garage floor. I noticed odd rocks, and one that looked like it had teeth, so I set it aside, beside the south wall of the house. A year or two later, we took the biggest fossil to the RSM for them to look at it. They identified it, provided me with a copy of the ROM’s scientific description of the extinct animal, and accepted the fossil into their collection.

aphelops rhinoceros saskatchewan donation

A few years later I found a larger fossil from an older rhino, and they assembled it for me.

Wood Mountain fossils

UPDATE:

Cancer Time Machine

One disturbing part of modern life, is that no one will escape this Earth untouched by cancer in their life somewhere. It’s a toxic environment we’ve created for ourselves, and with lifespans well past what they used to be, cancer is most likely to catch up with our bodies.

I dare say Minister Raitt’s perspective on cancer stories is sharply modified this year, opposed to her view five years ago.

“But it’s sexy,” Ms. Raitt said. “Radioactive leaks. Cancer.”
vs.
“Transport Minister Lisa Raitt is scheduled to undergo surgery on Tuesday to remove a “solid growth” on her ovaries.” “She revealed her medical condition in an interview with Tom Clark, host of Global TV’s The West Block. Raitt, who represents the Ontario riding of Halton, says she chose to speak out to avoid speculation about her coming absence from Parliament.”

Raitt’s pleading for people to remain ignorant about their own health and treatment, should be given the same level of credence as her sexy cancer remarks of five years ago.

Dr. V. Shiva at the #UofR #EarthDemocracy

Dr. Shiva gave an interesting talk about how system we’ve built are being used to manipulate individuals in societies all around the world into valuing money over life.