Monday, November 27, 2006

I always feel like . . .

. . .somebody's fucking with me. Is it Bloglines or Blogger/Blogspot? Reading one of the blogs I've subscribed to via Bloglines, I realized that I hadn't seen new posts from her in some time, though perusing her blog, I also realized I'd missed several posts. So I did some investigating.

Turns out I've missed a number of posts from a number of bloggers. I'm really bad about not noticing sometimes when folks don't post for a while. I put people in little categories and rather than visit each individual blog, I'll just click the category and read all the newest posts by the assorted bloggers.

As it turns out, many of my favorite bloggers were not taking time off, but someone or something was. So I've gone through and unsubscribed to a few people and resubscribed hoping that will fix it. It's especially easy to subscribe to blogs now with the newest Firefox. I get a little prompt in the address bar that I click and subscribe. Ease of subscription does not lessen the annoyance of having to fix this. Hopefully I've learned a lesson about paying attention to bloggers I like and care to read.


Because I don't whine enough on this blog or in real life, I'll go ahead and share today's delight. I feel completely like crap.

Because of the rib thing that I've mentioned, I can only lay on my right side. Laying on my left side, back or stomach causes an insane amount of pain both in the rib shot area as well as in my back, directly opposite the rib thing. Today is just over a week since I got hit, and the pain is not really any less than it has been. I haven't slept for shit in a week, and it's really starting to wear on me.

The kids have been variously sick over the past week, though they seem to mostly have gotten over it. The Boy got the least of the cold, and Big Brother seems mostly over his. I on the other hand woke this morning to the usual back and rib thing as well as a lovely head thing. I feel like a sinusy cotton headed ninny muggins.

I've been a little nasaly stuffy all day, and regardless of whether I blow it out or snork it up, it sends shivers of pain through my chest. It's really pathetic, and I feel really pathetic. I know for a fact that I sound more pathetic than I feel, but it's my blog dammit.

I'm now looking forward to roughly an hour from now when I can justify drinking a beer or five. It will be close enough to pajama and bed time for the boys that I'll be okay with the drinks. I did feel well enough to cook supper, and not counting the frozen pizza from two days ago, this is the first day that we didn't have enough Thanksgiving leftovers to shirk my cooking duties.

Okay, rant off for now. My tears are drying on my cheeks, and Keith Olberman is on. Damn I want a beer, my pain med of choice.

faithful dogmatic atheists

An atheist is a person who believes that god does not exist. An agnostic is a person who does not believe that god exists, though agnostics often allow for the unprovability of a god. Though it seems like minor semantics, there really is a fair difference in that one is a belief while the other is a lack of a belief.

Faith is something that is believed, or as the Bible says, the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen, from the book of Hebrews in the New Testament. Christians often use as an example of faith sitting in a chair. According to the example, one has faith that a chair will hold their weight, but this is an inane example. One has every reason to believe a chair will hold them based on past performance of chairs, which is why it's so damn funny when someone sits in a chair that doesn't hold them but instead sends them ass over tea kettle. This isn't really the point here, but it is indicative of how faith can be seen as something that it isn't.

Some atheists are extremely dogmatic in their belief in the nonexistence of god. Dogmatic means to strongly hold opinion as fact. One could even suggest that these good people are atheist fundamentalists. Fundamentalists are people who strongly demand adherence to their belief system.

These fundamentalist atheists see the world in strongly black and white terms. To them, you are either an atheist with a strong disbelief in god and anything unprovable, and therefore rational, or you are irrational and may actually believe in gods, unicorns and farts that smell nice.

Atheism is a belief system, though many adherents would strongly disagree with this fact. I claim to be an atheist, and I may just mean weak atheist. I do believe that god does not exist in the form we've been taught generally to view him. I do believe that this stance is not at all provable or unprovable. Christians can no more prove their god does exist than atheist can prove that he does not exist. To me, this means that both views require faith. Don't tell the fundamentalist atheist this, as faith is completely anathema to them. Faith, to them is irrational, and they would not dare be irrational. Yet, as we've discussed, faith is a belief in something for which we have no proof.

Is it possible that there exists some broadly categorized interstellar entity with the power to have created the earth and the living being upon the earth? Nothing I've seen suggests that this does in fact exist, but I must also admit that nothing I've seen suggests that it isn't possible. I tend to doubt that it's likely, but I have no argument to stand up to the possibility of this. I would argue that god doesn't seem likely based on my view of the earth, and I'd further argue that the god I was taught about as a child seems highly unlikely to exist based on my understanding of the world. But however we dance around the argument, neither my stance nor that of the christians of the world are provable or unprovable.

That's what it comes back down to, proof. I don't think that there are any vampires, but if I were one, I'd not want my existence to become known as many people would likely want me dead, Anne Rice fans notwithstanding. Are there Martians? If so they too have done a great job of hiding, but again, the rover not seeing them isn't the same as the rover sending us proof that there are no Martians.

In the end, we come down to so many people are willing to strongly argue their personal convictions as fact. To do so is dogmatic fundamentalism, and I contend that this attitude is more ruinous to human relations than anything short of war. It is sad when self professed scientists argue so stridently against the existence of god when science should be expected to contain itself within the realms of things provable whether that proof is able to deny or confirm the existence. If it isn't testable, it isn't science.

Hat tip to PZ Myers since without his usually interesting blog, this subject would not have nestled in my brain as a grain of sand around which the pearl that is this post formed.