Stephen Kahn

What a long strange trip it’s turning out to be

In Good news on December 14, 2011 at 4:39 am

I am not surprised that the 21st Century is turning out to be very strange.

Some items to note:

We are finally realizing that we have said just about everything there is to say, we we are becoming very terse, inventing communication methods such as twitter.

We are finally realizing that everything we do and say can be held against us and will be. Obstetricians and midwives are now reading newborns their Miranda rights

We are finally realizing that money is the root of all evil, so more and more people are giving food and money to food banks, though some people haven’t got the memo yet, and are stealing food from food banks. Their more gifted siblings are starting banks and stealing from everybody else

It is my belief that religious belief is an invention. Our first drafts of empirical skills such as medicine were clumsy and painful, involving clumsy tactics such as leeches and amputations without anesthetics. Now we can transplant hearts; perhaps one of these days we will be able to transplant empathy (the basis of humane behavior) to inhumane people such as sociopaths. Which leads me to infer that we are also improving religion, moving away from stake-burnings and jihads and toward empathy, tolerance, and compassion. A lot of people who don’t really believe in God have decided to act as if He/She/It really exists and really is a Being of Love and Compassion and wants us to behave consistently with this idea. Still needs better marketing.

  1. We can now say anything we want, but we can not spell it. Just a minor note the Bible states that “the love of money” is the root of all evil, not money itself. I agree that a loving God needs better marketing in a world where people are equally likely to get a religous tattoo as a tattoo of a Disney character . . . which is not to comment on the value of one choice about the other, I just find it fascinating. My former boss said that the church should learn from Disney, because more children know Mikey Mouse than Jesus, and when I made the observation about the tattoos as a bored salesperson, I began to wonder.

  2. Waxing, I think you are one of the people moving in the right direction.

  3. if a terrorist were to manage to set off a nuclear device, would it be more likely to be a political act or religious act, i wonder.

    • joem:

      Pertinent question. Off the top of my head, I would give an ambiguous answer:

      A. If the nuclear-detonating terrorist thought he or she would survive the blast (by being far away or being safely hidden in a bunker), and then would take over what was left, that would be more or a political act.

      B. If the nuclear-detonating terrorist thought the act would precipitate some sort of Armageddon where the deserving folk would go directly to Heaven and the wicked folk directly to Hell (arrogantly concluding that God was not working swiftly enough), such an act would be more of a religious act.

      Posting this comment in honor of Christopher Hitchens, one of the noblest and most charming atheists I know of. If you share my admiration for Hitch, please observe a moment of silence, perhaps thinking of an appropriate poetic line or two. I like

      The grave’s a fine and private place,
      But none, I think, do there embrace.

      Nonetheless, send Hitch a little virtual hug.

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