The observence of the true nature of things will lead us to the answer.
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
The observence of the true nature of things will lead us to the answer.
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:26 AM
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
I have listened to the Rolling Stones.. I may be Gay..
I have a new description for people like this.. Oxygen thief
Posted by James Sheehan at 3:23 AM
Why in any case is it necessary for God to intervene in human history, in human affairs, as almost every religion assumes happens? That God or the gods come down and tell humans, "No, don't do that, do this, don't forget this, don't pray in this way, don't worship anybody else, mutilate your children as follows." Why is there such a long list of things that god tells people to do? Why didn't God do it right in the first place? You start out the universe, you can do anything. You can see all future consequences of your present action. You want a certain desired end. Why don't you arrange it in the beginning? The intervention of God in human affairs speaks of incompetence. I don't say incompetence on a human scale. Clearly all of the views of God are much more competent then the most competent human. But it does not speak of omni-competence. It says there are limitations.
The Varieties of scientific experience.
Posted by James Sheehan at 1:07 AM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Our death is not an end if we can live on in our children and the younger generation. For they are us, our bodies are only wilted leaves on the tree of life. ~Albert Einstein
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:27 AM
I think this quote is important when we study all religion. All the religions that have fantastical elements to them like in western religion with Moses parting the read sea or the Milk Miracle in Hinduism....
We have never seen, in our time, nature go out of her course. But we have good reason to believe that millions of lies have been told in the same time. It is therefore at least millions to one that the reporter of a miracle tells a lie.
Posted by James Sheehan at 1:08 AM
Monday, October 20, 2008
If a Creator God exists, would he or she or IT or whatever the appropriate pronoun is, prefer a kind of sodden blockhead who worships while understanding nothing? Or would he prefer his votaries to admire the real universe in all its intricacy? I would suggest that science is, at least in part, informed worship. My deeply held belief is that if a god of anything like the traditional sort exists, then our curiosity and our intelligence are provided by such a god. We would be unappreciative of those gifts if we suppressed our passion to explore the universe and ourselves. On the other hand, if such a traditional god does not exist, the our curiosity and our intelligence are the essential tools for managing our survival and in an extremely dangerous time. In either care the Enterprise of knowledge is consistent surely with science; it should be with religion, and it is essential for the welfare of the human race.
Page 31 - the varieties of the scientific experience - Carl Sagan
Posted by James Sheehan at 12:02 PM
Wednesday, October 8, 2008
I have only briefly tried to understand Satanism.. (no not what a christian would think). But the true / real satanism that is being practiced. From what I read and understand (don't have the satanic bible) but true Satanism teaches true freedom. Freedom from everything, law, order, self respect, self control. When one goes to ponder such freedom, you would think that the natural response to such an idea would be enticing, well it does sound good on the surface, [I can do drugs and have no guilt? I can steal without thinking about what it does to others? I can sleep at night being free from the constraints of society and religion? I can lust after another? I can have uncontrolled greed? I can have free sex?]
The problem when we throw away religion is that we allow all the idiots who need those rules free roam on our planet. I would like to further develop this idea because it does fascinate me. When I was a teen I thought Anarchy should prevail and now.. I understand that I personally may be able to handle anarchy or I may be able to handle true freedom from the rules given by government and religion but there are many others who cannot handle the power and responsibility and until we are free from idiots we will have to continue to be sheep.
Speaking of sheep, I have many times called the masses, the drones, the static in my life "sheep".Well last Sunday while I was sitting in a christian church I realized the openly call themselves sheep. Seems peculiar, I do believe in god but I don't think that he wants me to be a sheep, he would want me to be the best being possible and fitting in, being a dumb sheep seems totally opposite of what he would expect from his greatest achievement (speaking of that, you ever think that perhaps god has moved on to better things?) Forgot about us since we can be a little boring? Wow a whole other topic.
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:56 AM
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
“If we find the answer [the unified theory], it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason -- for we would know the mind of God."”
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:09 AM
Friday, August 22, 2008
Thoughts determine what you want, Actions determines what you get
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:20 AM
Friday, August 8, 2008
Posted by James Sheehan at 12:13 PM
It is in our lives and not in our words that our religion must be read
Posted by James Sheehan at 12:07 PM
Monday, August 4, 2008
Do not wrestle with monsters
Lest you become a monster.
And remember, if you stare into the abyss
The abyss stares also into you.
Posted by James Sheehan at 5:49 PM
Saturday, August 2, 2008
One thing that comes up time and time again is that the bible is to be taken literally. That god created everything in 7 days, that there are no allegorical stories in the bible, (Jesus really did walk on water, Moses really parted the sea so on and so on..).
Well I have this question, If Adam and Eve were the first two people on the planet as the bible would have you believe (if you were to take it literally) then who did Cain marry? If you go on the net and look it up, you have all kinds of interesting answers but they all hold true to the fact that Cain married his sister and that because he was a pure human he would not get the effect of marrying his sister.
Come on really, you really want to believe that he married his sister? That all of his brothers and sisters hooked up with each other, then in turn their offspring "had to hookup with their cousins" to populate the earth. Seems odd to me especially seeing that god forbids this practice later in the bible (during the time of moses). Now if I understand this correctly all of us are just a bunch of inbread descendants of Adam and eve?
While researching this I noticed that alot of the christians point to a passage in Romans that talk about how only the children of Adam can be saved. Well I find this to be an odd passage seeing that WE ARE ALL FREAKING DESCENDANTS OF ADAM ACCORDING TO THE BOOK that makes this statement but who am I to question it all.. ohh wait I am a human with the brain that my creator gave me. One that demands that I question everything.
Posted by James Sheehan at 12:53 PM
Sunday, July 27, 2008
I am pretty sure that I don't need to say it, but here is an interesting video or the witnesses.. I never thought much of them but I do feel bad that there are children caught up in this mess.
Posted by James Sheehan at 4:16 PM
Saturday, July 26, 2008
A man can no more diminish God's glory by refusing to worship Him than a lunatic can put out the sun by scribbling the word, 'darkness' on the walls of his cell.
Posted by James Sheehan at 1:53 PM
This is a great video until you get to 7:19 (the point where I start to disagree)..
Posted by James Sheehan at 1:49 PM
God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him. How shall we, murderers of all murderers, console ourselves? That which was the holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet possessed has bled to death under our knives. Who will wipe this blood off us?
THE MADMAN----Have you not heard of that madman who lit a lantern in the bright morning hours, ran to the market place, and cried incessantly: "I seek God! I seek God!"---As many of those who did not believe in God were standing around just then, he provoked much laughter. Has he got lost? asked one. Did he lose his way like a child? asked another. Or is he hiding? Is he afraid of us? Has he gone on a voyage? emigrated?---Thus they yelled and laughed
The madman jumped into their midst and pierced them with his eyes. "Whither is God?" he cried; "I will tell you. We have killed him---you and I. All of us are his murderers. But how did we do this? How could we drink up the sea? Who gave us the sponge to wipe away the entire horizon? What were we doing when we unchained this earth from its sun? Whither is it moving now? Whither are we moving? Away from all suns? Are we not plunging continually? Backward, sideward, forward, in all directions? Is there still any up or down? Are we not straying, as through an infinite nothing? Do we not feel the breath of empty space? Has it not become colder? Is not night continually closing in on us? Do we not need to light lanterns in the morning? Do we hear nothing as yet of the noise of the gravediggers who are burying God? Do we smell nothing as yet of the divine decomposition? Gods, too, decompose. God is dead. God remains dead. And we have killed him.
"How shall we comfort ourselves, the murderers of all murderers? What was holiest and mightiest of all that the world has yet owned has bled to death under our knives: who will wipe this blood off us? What water is there for us to clean ourselves? What festivals of atonement, what sacred games shall we have to invent? Is not the greatness of this deed too great for us? Must we ourselves not become gods simply to appear worthy of it? There has never been a greater deed; and whoever is born after us---for the sake of this deed he will belong to a higher history than all history hitherto."
Here the madman fell silent and looked again at his listeners; and they, too, were silent and stared at him in astonishment. At last he threw his lantern on the ground, and it broke into pieces and went out. "I have come too early," he said then; "my time is not yet. This tremendous event is still on its way, still wandering; it has not yet reached the ears of men. Lightning and thunder require time; the light of the stars requires time; deeds, though done, still require time to be seen and heard. This deed is still more distant from them than most distant stars---and yet they have done it themselves.
It has been related further that on the same day the madman forced his way into several churches and there struck up his requiem aeternam deo. Led out and called to account, he is said always to have replied nothing but: "What after all are these churches now if they are not the tombs and sepulchers of God?"
Source: Friedrich Nietzsche, The Gay Science (1882, 1887) para. 125; Walter Kaufmann ed. (New York: Vintage, 1974), pp.181-82.]
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:51 AM
Sunday, July 20, 2008
Posted by James Sheehan at 2:36 PM
"There's a little fable about a Mr. Jones who dies and goes to heaven. Peter is waiting at the gates to give him a tour. Amid the splendor of golden streets, beautiful mansions, and choirs of angels that Peter shows him, Mr. Jones notices and odd-looking building. He thinks it looks like an enormous warehouse - it has no windows and only one door. But when he asks to see inside, Peter hesitates. "You really don't want to see what's in there," he tells the new arrival. Why would there be any secrets in heaven? Jones wonders. What incredible surprise could be waiting for me in there? When the official tour is over he's still wondering, so he asks again to see inside the structure. Finally Peter relents. When the apostle opens the door, Mr. Jones almost knocks him over in the haste to enter. It turns out that the enormous building is filled with row after row of shelves, floor to ceiling, each stacked neatly with white boxes tied in red ribbons. "These boxes all have names on them," Mr. Jones muses aloud. Then turning to Peter he asks, "Do I have one?" "Yes you do." Peter tries to guide Mr. Jones back outside. "Frankly," Peter says, "if I were you... . " But Mr. Jones is already dashing toward the "J" aisle to find his box. Peter follows, shaking his head. He catches up with Mr. Jones just as he is slipping the red ribbon off his box and popping the lid. Looking inside, Jones has a moment of instant recognition, and he lets out a deep sigh like the ones Peter has heard so may times before. Because there in Mr. Jones's white box are all the blessings that God wanted to give to him while he was on earth... but Mr. Jones had never asked."
- Bruce Wilkinson, The Prayer of Jabez
Posted by James Sheehan at 2:23 PM
I don't think it neccisary for me to ask you.. Are you held in place by a small rope?
When I was a kid, my school used to host a circus every summer. In the morning, I would sneak behind the circus tent and watch the trainers feeding and training the animals. That was one of my greatest joys.
I remember peeking at the elephants and noticing something that fascinated me and kept me wondering for a while: knowing how powerful an elephant is, I was surprised to see a thin rope tying the elephant's leg to a pole, and that the elephant never tried to escape even though it would take no effort to pull the rope and walk away.
After a couple of days, I gave up thinking and went to ask one of the trainers. He smiled and said:"It wasn't always a rope, you know. When the elephant is young, we put a hard chain around its leg so that whenever the elephant pulls, it would feel the resistance of the strong chain and know that how far it can go.".
"When the elephant grows up", he continued, "there is no need for a chain anymore. We just put a rope around its leg and the elephant stops pulling whenever it feels resistance. The elephant doesn't know anymore that the chain is gone, and that the rope tying it to the pole can be easily broken as soon as it decides to walk away. The only limitation that elephant has, is in its own mind."
"For the elephant," the trainer concluded, "all that remains is the memory of the old pain from the chain, and the resistance of the thin rope... The elephant doesn't know the difference. "
Posted by James Sheehan at 2:18 PM
a return to love - marianne williamson
Posted by James Sheehan at 2:04 PM
Thursday, July 17, 2008
I was recently in a conversation about my faith with a devout christian. This christian is a good friend of mine and when we speak about the subject I have to be extra careful and take into account their perspective of the issue. As limiting as this sounds it actually makes me work harder at understanding what I believe. It would be easy to just say.. I think that Jesus was just a man.. Jesus may have been a messenger of god but he was not divine but I have to keep in account that I must give reasons why I currently think this.
One of the main reasons I believe this is a question I have about children and what is passed on to them by the parents. My parents encouraged me to attend church, bible school and Sunday school when I was a child. Religion was not a major force in my up bringing but it was there. I was told that Jesus was my savior and that is that. There was no debate. He was the only answer and it was not a question.
What I took away from that experience was exactly that, Jesus was god and there was no other choice, all other religion was wrong or of Satan and all followers of other religions was doomed to eternal damnation.
My question when I was a child was... what about all those people who believe in other gods and are told by their religious leaders that their religion was correct and their saviour was the only true saviour. The answer I got at the time was, missionaries working with Jesus and God were always working their way into the lives of everyone on this planet to shed the light of Christ across the globe. This seemed like a pretty good answer to me at the time and I stopped questioning it. I figured that God created a loophole of sorts, if you had not been told about Christ and you lived a good moral life you got a pass ( you may not make it to heaven but you would not end up in hell or something like that) the way I looked at it was god would take care of it, it was not my concern.
It was many years later, when I was questioning my faith that I realized how indoctrinated I was in Christianity. How ingrained it was in everything I was. If I stole that candy bar I was going to hell and Jesus would be mad at me and I would burn in hell for ever if I failed to please him with prayers of forgiveness. It ruled my actions with an iron fist (probably saved me from getting into all kinds of trouble).
Realizing that this religion was in control of my actions, I started to think back to my childhood question. What about all the people of different religions. What about them, were they controlled by the rules instilled upon them by their childhood religion? Were they indoctrinated early in life, were they taught to FEAR that breaking the rules of their religion would be punishable with eternal damnation? Were they taught that all other religions were wrong and all followers of other religions were going to be punished if they did not believe?
I think this question lead me to understand that while I believed there was a god, I questioned Christianity as the sole religion of the world. I just could not understand how a "loving god" would allow the people of his earth to be allowed to be taught (indoctrinated) with the wrong religion, only to be offered later in life the "correct" religion. It simply does not work for me. It is not possible in my mind that he would allow this. Especially because those that die not believing in Christ are doomed to hell. It is simply not fair and while I have no right to judge the decisions of god, I think this is a fundamental problem that I cannot overlook.
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:18 AM
Sunday, July 13, 2008
Fall in Love or fall in Hate.
Get inspired or be depressed.
Ace a test or flunk a test.
Make babies or make art.
Speak the truth or lie and cheat.
Dance on table or sit in the corner.
Life is divine chaos. Embrace it.
Forgive yourself. Breathe.
And enjoy the ride.
Posted by James Sheehan at 1:29 PM
“"I think art is the only thing that's spirtual in the world. And I refuse to forced to believe in other people's interpretations of God. I don't think anybody should be. No one person can own the copyright to what God means.”
Posted by James Sheehan at 1:24 PM
Thursday, July 10, 2008
I spent a the better part of a half hour trying to find a good quote for the blog. I wanted something from Islam.. well, I am sorry to say, there really was not alot beautiful or inspiring. I will continue to look I am sure they are out there.. I did find this one.. not bad but one.. just one...
Be yourself beautiful and you will find the world full of beauty.
This is truly a quote of Islam???? come on...
Knowledge is knowing that a Tomato is a fruit
Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad
Posted by James Sheehan at 1:07 PM
Posted by James Sheehan at 11:48 AM
Saturday, July 5, 2008
I got into a conversation with someone about the origin of dance and they mentioned that there was this group of people who claimed the origin of dance was spiritual and that modern man is the one who has changed its purpose to that of attracting a mate.
I of course quickly pointed out that all kinds of animals dance and their purpose for dance is (as far as I know)always about mating so I doubt that the origin of our dance was spiritual.
Well on that note, I decided to study spiritual dance (ok watch some youtube videos) and the first spiritual dance I could think of was the whirling dervish Sufis.
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:24 AM
Monday, June 30, 2008
The following is a poem read during my Second UU experirence..
Apology for Bad Dreams
by Robinson Jeffers
In the purple light, heavy with redwood, the slopes drop seaward,
Headlong convexities of forest, drawn in together to the steep ravine. Below, on the sea-cliff, A lonely clearing; a little field of corn by the streamside; a roof under spared trees. Then the ocean Like a great stone someone has cut to a sharp edge and polished to shining. Beyond it, the fountain And furnace of incredible light flowing up from the sunk sun. In the little clearing a woman Is punishing a horse; she had tied the halter to a sapling at the edge of the wood, but when the great whip
Clung to the flanks the creature kicked so hard she feared he would snap the halter; she called from the house The young man her son; who fetched a chain tie-rope, they working together
Noosed the small rusty links round the horse’s tongue
And tied him by the swollen tongue to the tree.
Seen from this height they are shrunk to insect size,
Out of all human relation. You cannot distinguish
The blood dripping from where the chain is fastened,
The beast shuddering; but the thrust neck and the legs
Far apart. You can see the whip fall on the flanks ...
The gesture of the arm. You cannot see the face of the woman.
The enormous light beats up out of the west across the cloud-bars of the trade-wind. The ocean Darkens, the high clouds brighten, the hills darken together. Unbridled and unbelievable beauty Covers the evening world ... not covers, grows apparent out of it, as Venus down there grows out
From the lit sky. What said the prophet? “I create good: and I create evil: I am the Lord.”
This coast crying out for tragedy like all beautiful places,
(The quiet ones ask for quieter suffering: but here the granite cliff the gaunt cypresses crown
Demands what victim? The dykes of red lava and black what Titan? The hills like pointed flames
Beyond Soberanes, the terrible peaks of the bare hills under the sun, what immolation?)
This coast crying out for tragedy like all beautiful places: and like the passionate spirit of humanity
Pain for its bread: God’s, many victims’, the painful deaths, the horrible transfigurements: I said in my heart,
“Better invent than suffer: imagine victims
Lest your own flesh be chosen the agonist, or you
Martyr some creature to the beauty of the place.” And I said,
“Burn sacrifices once a year to magic
Horror away from the house, this little house here
You have built over the ocean with your own hands
Beside the standing boulders: for what are we,
The beast that walks upright, with speaking lips
And little hair, to think we should always be fed,
Sheltered, intact, and self-controlled? We sooner more liable
Than the other animals. Pain and terror, the insanities of desire; not accidents but essential,
And crowd up from the core”: I imagined victims for those wolves, I made them phantoms to follow,
They have hunted the phantoms and missed the house. It is not good to forget over what gulfs the spirit
Of the beauty of humanity, the petal of a lost flower blown seaward by the night-wind, floats to its quietness.
Boulders blunted like an old bear’s teeth break up from the headland; below them
All the soil is thick with shells, the tide-rock feasts of a dead people.
There the granite flanks are scarred with ancient fire, the ghosts of the tribe
Crouch in the nights beside the ghost of a fire, they try to remember the sunlight,
Light has died out of their skies. These have paid something for the future
Luck of the country, while we living keep old griefs in memory: though God’s
Envy is not a likely fountain of ruin, to forget evils calls down
Sudden reminders from the cloud: remembered deaths be our redeemers;
Imagined victims our salvation: white as the half moon at midnight
Someone flamelike passed me, saying, “I am Tamar Cauldwell, I have my desire,”
Then the voice of the sea returned, when she had gone by, the stars to their towers.
... Beautiful country burn again, Point Pinos down to the Sur Rivers
Burn as before with bitter wonders, land and ocean and the Carmel water.
He brays humanity in a mortar to bring the savor
From the bruised root: a man having bad dreams, who invents victims, is only the ape of that God.
He washes it out with tears and many waters, calcines it with fire in the red crucible,
Deforms it, makes it horrible to itself: the spirit flies out and stands naked, he sees the spirit,
He takes it in the naked ecstasy; it breaks in his hand, the atom is broken, the power that massed it
Cries to the power that moves the stars, “I have come home to myself, behold me.
I bruised myself in the flint mortar and burnt me
In the red shell, I tortured myself, I flew forth,
Stood naked of myself and broke me in fragments,
And here am I moving the stars that are me.”
I have seen these ways of God: I know of no reason
For fire and change and torture and the old returnings.
He being sufficient might be still. I think they admit no reason; they are the ways of my love.
Unmeasured power, incredible passion, enormous craft: no thought apparent but burns darkly
Smothered with its own smoke in the human brain-vault: no thought outside: a certain measure in phenomena:
The fountains of the boiling stars, the flowers on the foreland, the ever-returning roses of dawn.
Posted by James Sheehan at 10:07 AM
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
The United States is a nation of believers: most Americans say they believe in God, they pray, and they attend worship services regularly; they also believe in angels and demons, in heaven and hell, and in miracles.
Globe Graphic Results - religion in America
But they also say, contradicting the teachings of many faiths, that truth comes in many forms. Large majorities of Americans say that many religions - not just their own - can lead to eternal life, and that there is more than one way to interpret religious teachings, according to a massive new study of religion in America conducted by the Pew Forum on Religion & Public Life and released yesterday.
"Even though the country is highly religious . . . most Americans are, in fact, not dogmatic about their faith," said Luis Lugo, director of the Pew Forum.
Click here to read the rest of the story
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:48 AM
Monday, June 23, 2008
George Carlin Died Yesterday at age 71.
I know that George was an Athiest but he really made some good points about religion and I will miss his point of view. No matter who is right... he now knows the answers..
"I would never want to be a member of a group whose symbol was a guy nailed to two pieces of wood."- George Carlin
"We created god in our own image and likeness!"- George Carlin
"I finally accepted Jesus - not as my personal savior, but as a man I intend to borrow money from."- George Carlin
"I have as much authority as the Pope, I just don't have as many people who believe it."- George Carlin
"When it comes to God's existence, I'm not an atheist and I'm not an agnostic. I'm an acrostic. The whole thing puzzles me."- George Carlin
Posted by James Sheehan at 3:07 PM
Sunday, June 22, 2008
“Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever.”
Posted by James Sheehan at 1:06 AM
the road, and nothing more;
Wanderer, there is no road,
the road is made by walking.
By walking one makes the road,
and upon glancing behind
one sees the path
that never will be trod again.
Wanderer, there is no road–
Only wakes upon the sea.
Posted by James Sheehan at 12:44 AM
"The great end in religious instruction is . . .
Not to stamp our minds on the young, but to stir up their own;
Not to make them see with our eyes, but to look inquiringly and steadily with their own;
Not to give them a definite amount of knowledge, but to inspire a fervent love of truth.
Not to impose religion upon them in the form of arbitrary rules, but to awaken the conscience, the moral discernment.
In a word, the great end is to awaken the soul."
Posted by James Sheehan at 12:15 AM
Monday, June 16, 2008
Not to bring another dismal note into my life,
But have you been watching the news lately??
Chinese floods - 1 million people homeless
7.2 earthquake in japan
Burma over 100,000 dead
China earthquake - 60,000 dead
17The seventh angel poured his bowl into the air, and a loud voice came out of the temple, from the throne, saying, "It is done!" And there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder, and a violent earthquake, such as had not occurred since people were upon the earth, so violent was that earthquake. The great city was split into three parts, and the cities of the nations fell. God remembered great Babylon and gave her the wine-cup of the fury of his wrath. And every island fled away, and no mountains were to be found; 21and huge hailstones, each weighing about a hundred pounds, dropped from heaven on people, until they cursed God for the plague of the hail, so fearful was that plague.
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:46 AM
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
If I had to choose a religion, the sun as the universal giver of life would be my god.
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:08 AM
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:47 AM
Saturday, June 7, 2008
“He who has a why can endure any how”
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:15 AM
Friday, June 6, 2008
John F. Kennedy:
Tolerance implies no lack of commitment to one’s own beliefs. Rather it condemns the oppression or persecution of others.
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:47 AM
Thursday, June 5, 2008
“Anyone who trades liberty for security deserves neither liberty nor security”
The Founders of our Nation understood something, they understood Freedom, today the powers in charge also understand Freedom, they just don't see it as necessary.
Posted by James Sheehan at 6:56 AM
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
Here is an interesting couple of links about Copy Cat Christs.. I hate when I find "Sources" that conflict with other sources. Makes things even more difficult to figure out.
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:04 AM
“Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.”
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:01 AM
Sunday, June 1, 2008
“Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear”
Posted by James Sheehan at 6:30 AM
Saturday, May 31, 2008
Here is an interesting question... (and yes I know your answer)
Where did god have more influence? With the original writers of the books of the bible or at the council of Nicea?
Was it gods intention for us to find the nag hammadi library? Was it a test? Why, why the testing? Why create doubt, is it to weed out the "true believers" Why does he who loves us so much that he gave his only begotten son (john 3:16), so umm cruel. (by cruel I mean creating doubt, then sending us to hell if we cave into this doubt)
Here is another quote released before its time but appropriate for this topic
“You ask: what is the meaning or purpose of life? I can only answer with another question: do you think we are wise enough to read God's mind?”
Posted by James Sheehan at 5:10 PM
John J. Dunphy:
The concept of a Supreme Being who childishly demands to be constantly placated by prayers and sacrifice and dispenses justice like some corrupt petty judge whose decisions may be swayed by a bit of well-timed flattery should be relegated to the trash bin of history, along with the belief in a flat earth and the notion that diseases are caused by demonic possession. Ironically, the case for the involuntary retirement of God may have been best stated by one Saul or Paul of Tarsus, a first-century tentmaker and Pharisee of the tribe of Benjamin, who wrote, 'When I was a child, I spake as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child: but when I became a man, I put away childish things' (I Corinthians 13:11). Those words are no less relevant today than they were two thousand years ago
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:53 AM
Friday, May 30, 2008
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:45 AM
Thursday, May 29, 2008
“Be patient toward all that is unsolved in your heart and try to love the questions themselves. Do not now seek the answers, which cannot be given you because you would not be able to live them. And the point is to live everything. Live the questions”
Rainer Maria Rilke
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:02 PM
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
“Learn from yesterday, live for today, hope for tomorrow. The important thing is not to stop questioning.”
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:10 AM
Tuesday, May 27, 2008
“Question with boldness even the existence of God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason than that of blindfolded fear”
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:14 AM
Monday, May 26, 2008
Being tolerant does not mean that I share another one’s belief. But it does mean that I acknowledge another one’s right to believe, and obey, his own conscience.
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:19 AM
Sunday, May 25, 2008
You can almost feel the "Get out there and do something with your life message"
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:19 AM
Faith: Belief without evidence in what is told by one who speaks without knowledge, of things without parallel.
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:16 AM
Saturday, May 24, 2008
Relative Brain Size
Absolute brain size is important, but it can’t be the sole measure of intelligence. Small-bodied creatures such as birds have minute brains, especially compared to the much bigger ones of large-bodied creatures such as elephants. Yet in many respects birds act “smarter” than elephants, probably because the former have a lot less body to monitor and control. In fact, much of an elephant’s large brain consists of motor cortex—enormous numbers of dedicated neurons enabling those huge hulks to put one leg in front of the other without tripping. Hence the reason why most neurobiologists take as a better measure of intelligence a comparison of brain and body sizes.
Ratios of brain-to-body mass for many animals having similar overall stature show a clear separation of reptiles from mammals. Figure 7.13 shows this comparison, noting that a constant brain-to-body-mass ratio would display a diagonal line from lower left to upper right. For any given body mass, mammals consistently have higher brain mass, usually 10-100 times larger than those of modern reptiles of comparable size. Likewise, the brain masses of our prehuman ancestors (the early primates) also were greater, relative to body mass, than those of all other mammals.
The creature having the largest brain-to-body-mass ratio is Homo sapiens, namely, ~0.022. Dolphins come next (~0.016, which is also the value for H. habilis), followed by the apes, especially the chimpanzees (~0.006). The human brain is about as big as the genes can currently make it and still be safely delivered during childbirth—3 or 4 times bigger, relative to body weight, than the brains of our closest relatives, the great apes. These are data, not sociological sentiments.
Brain-to-body mass ratios then provide a useful index of the intellectual capacities among a range of animals. The systematically different ratios of Figure 7.13 virtually prove that the evolution of mammals from reptiles ~200 million years ago was accompanied by a major increase in relative brain size and intelligence. These ratios furthermore show that additional neural evolution paralleled the later emergence of human-like creatures from the rest of the mammals a few million years ago.
How Smart Are the Dolphins?
More than any property, the brain most clearly distinguishes humans from other life on Earth. The development of speech, the invention of technology, and the rise of civilization are all products of the human brain’s rapid advancement. But what about other forms of life? Are there creatures on our planet today with comparable intelligence—animals having neural capacities enabling them to communicate, act socially, or make tools?
Brain-to-body mass ratios imply that, apart from humans, dolphins (Figure 7.14) are the smartest animals now on Earth. As a numerical measure of intelligence, their just-noted brain/body ratio (~0.016) matches that of archaic humans of ~2 million years ago and exceeds that of the australopithecines of 3-4 million years ago. Laboratory tests do imply that dolphin intelligence, to the extent that it can be realistically gauged, does lie somewhere between that of humans and chimpanzees. Biologically, dolphin evolution seems not too different from ours, yet culturally they are far behind us, perhaps because they live in the water.
Dolphins were not always aquatic creatures. Along with whales and porpoises, dolphins are members of a family of mammals whose ancestors were once land-dwelling. Owing to keen competition among many 4-legged amphibians ~50 million years ago, the dolphins’ ancestors returned to the sea, possibly either in search of food or because land niches were becoming too crowded. Some disadvantages would have undoubtedly accompanied such a seemingly backward move, but that ancestral decision—really an adaptation to change—probably saved them from extinction.
Dolphins, as we know them today, are well adapted to the sea. Their exceptionally strong bodies are streamlined for deep diving and speedy locomotion. They have extraordinary hearing beyond the range of humans, as well as an uncanny sonar system resembling a kind of underwater vision. This advanced system of echo location, now being studied by human naval officials for military purposes, may employ a kind of acoustical radar to map the position and movement of objects in their watery environment.
Interestingly enough, almost every year hundreds of dolphins (and whales too) beach themselves, especially along the outward-jutting Cape Cod off the New England seacoast. Most likely, their navigational beacons go awry, causing them to temporarily lose their way. Or, just perhaps, these dolphins are trying to make their way back onto the land. Are we sure ours is a humanitarian gesture when we so quickly “rescue” them and dump them back into the sea, or are we unwittingly keeping them out of our land-based niche?
Dolphins also have a well-organized social structure. They travel in schools or families and assist each other when in trouble; females often act as midwife for another dolphin. They’re not at all hostile, being extremely friendly to other dolphins as well as to humans. Dolphins seem to be the exception to the unwritten rule that all friendly species are inherently aggressive as well—though they certainly are known to ram sharks in a coordinated way if threatened, ganging up on the predator to protect their own.
In addition to their unparalleled ability to navigate underwater, dolphins communicate with one another by means of a series of whistles, quacks, squeaks, clicks, and other noises often resembling Bronx cheers. Although we can hope to communicate with them someday, the human range of generating and hearing noise is relatively limited (20 - 20,000 Hz) when compared to the dolphins’ much wider auditory range (2000 - 80,000 Hz). They are known to be able to produce and hear sounds within our audible range, but to do so requires them to grunt and groan at frequencies lower (bass) than normal. Most of the sounds normally made by dolphins are inaudible to humans, making it improbable that their way of expressing meaning overlaps ours at all. Not inconceivable, dolphins in captivity may have been trying to communicate with us for years. If so, they must be quite discouraged by our lack of response.
Interspecies communication will not be easy, whether among humans, dolphins, or chimps. Empirical findings to date nonetheless suggest that some common ground exists for future cultivation of, especially, dolphin-human links. At the least, it seems that both parties are interested in such a collaboration
The following video shows how the animals take extreme measures to hunt for food.
Posted by James Sheehan at 6:58 PM
I think Man is quite vain, "God created man in his image", I have always felt that while we are pretty freaking amazing creatures, we tend to forget that we are not alone on this planet. We feel that we are SOOO important that god only cares about us, we are the not the only animal on his planet.
Let me share with you a question I have asked myself in the past, What if "Dolphins had Thumbs"...
Posted by James Sheehan at 2:52 PM
I've begun worshipping the Sun for a number of reasons. First of all, unlike some other gods I could mention, I can see the Sun. It's there for me every day. And the things it brings me are quite apparent all the time: heat, light, food, a lovely day. There's no mystery, no one asks for money, I don't have to dress up, and there's no boring pageantry. And interestingly enough, I have found that the prayers I offer to the sun and the prayers I formerly offered to God are all answered at about the same 50-percent rate.
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:00 AM
Friday, May 23, 2008
The further the spiritual evolution of mankind advances, the more certain it seems to me that the path to genuine religiosity does not lie through the fear of life, and the fear of death, and blind faith, but through striving after rational knowledge.
Posted by James Sheehan at 6:49 AM
Thursday, May 22, 2008
Interesting.. I really don't like picking on one faith or the other (especially if they are right) but some of the mormon beliefs are well... out there.
Posted by James Sheehan at 7:07 PM
Here is an interesting Sermon I listened to the whole things pretty interesting mix of science and religion
Hugh Ross (Reasons To Believe) offers scientific reasons/support for a Biblical worldview.
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:09 AM
If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things
Posted by James Sheehan at 8:58 AM
Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Those who believe that they believe in God, but without passion in their hearts, without anguish in mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, without an element of despair even in their consolation, believe only in the God idea, not God Himself.
Miguel de Unamuno
Posted by James Sheehan at 5:58 PM
Updated - I didn't realize this was a chopped version
This is an interesting look at the church and religion, This is a must see, I only hope that it either makes you question your faith or simply makes it stronger. Please, whatever you do, don't write this off to the work of Satan, please question your minister, ask questions, find the truth. And when you do, let me know what it is, cause I am searching myself.
Posted by James Sheehan at 5:12 PM
Posted by James Sheehan at 3:52 PM
Monday, May 19, 2008
First Post, This of course will cause some anger, but these points of view must be taken into account when formulating your beliefs
First I would like to say that I do not ask God for things, I am not saying I don't need him, I am just saying that I respect his ability to put my life together and me begging for something or heck even asking seems, well not necessary.
I only pray to thank him for what he has done, more of an attitude of gratitude (I love the way that rolls off the tongue)
Posted by James Sheehan at 9:26 AM