Being in a sort of grumpy, withdrawn mood, I’d like to play a game of chess right now. But not ordinary chess — some sort of chess variant. Maybe even try playing Arimaa, a good game that’s not chess but uses a chess set. Maybe a 3D variant, which is difficult if you’re playing face to face, but quite feasible via email.
Offhand I can’t think of anyone who would be a candidate for an opponent. If you’re interested, let me know.
I enjoy very much when religion is the topic of your blog. Religion, Karen, could be like a coin with two sides of the question, much like the best car being Fords or Chevys. Or, several sides where the coin doesn’t work, but dice do. There are many ways to approach the belief and non-belief issues (and I use the plural because of the plurality of how people see their worlds).
Jim, I’d be curious to know what you have been through with religion. I was playing bridge with an 87 year old former Mennonite who, like me, is an atheist. She said that if I had religious training and belief in my past, that becoming an atheist was a conclusion that had more substance. No, I do not think that this is a necessary path for everyone. There are hundreds of religions in which I have had no belief, and, yet, I have rejected them. My doctor says there is no scientific basis for chiropractic care, yet, there are people who swear by their DC’s. The Ford/Chevy argument is rampant; there are strong opinions on Levi’s vs. Lee jeans. None of these carry the import of religion, as we all know.
There are AA members who feel they could not have given up their habits without some supreme being in their lives. Does this mean they are not taking responsibility for their actions? I would say probably, but it works for them but I haven’t shared my truth with them. Someone’s child dies. They believe they will join them someday. I don’t think they will, but I am not going to inform the parent of this. Am I a two-faced hypocrite? Well, yes and no!
But what about killing a woman because she doesn’t wear a burka, or murdering cartoon artists? The whole world is telling them. I have seen the cartoons viewed in Islamic countries where Jews, with all the savage cartooning that Jew-hating can muster, are dive bombing innocent, cute, defenseless Muslims. I have seen the pleased reactions of three and four-year-old Muslims when other Muslims die and are memorialized for their sacrifice. So they grow up and bomb a market place. What do we expect?
Good religious ideas, bad ones? Ford trucks are now made with aluminum bodies that weigh 700 pounds less and haul more, while Chevy ads tout an ‘all steel’ stronger body. I wear jeans that fit, and buy them at thrift stores. I don’t think you understand an argument until you see it from the others’ points of view; and that takes a long, long time! Mike Zimmerman
I have no religious background to speak of, Mike. Nobody in my immediate family was ever religious.
If believing in a Higher Power (also known as the Big Spook, or B.S. for short) keeps people sober, then I try not to tear down their belief. There are important psychological reasons for thinking that it’s their belief itself that keeps them sober, not the Big Spook.