Friday, March 03, 2006

"I... am enlightened."

Just a few things I've recently learned:

1. Most people would rather be shot in the face by the vice president of these United States, than listen to Cher in another one of her "farewell" tours. If you want to change my mind, click here.

2. Knowledge is power. It's funny how when you learn about something, and your view often changes. Case in point: the hole in the ozone layer of the atmosphere. As it turns out, there is no gigantic hole that is caused by my 2001 Jeep Cherokee Sport. I no longer will feel guilty as I pump fuming gasoline into the gussler I call my car, except when it comes to my bank account. Anyway, this propaganda is the result of what happens when scientists don't stick to science and merge into the political realm. This feeding of disinformation would not be around if scientists stuck to science and politicians stuck to politics.

As it turns out, there is a hole over Antarctica, but it is a natural one. It occurs only about four months out of the year when the sun takes a direct angle at the southern polar region. True, the hole when it occurs does increase - sometimes, other years it is smaller. Another claim, that environmentalists and politicians make is that it has been expaning since its creation in the '70 with the increase in use of fossil fuel. Well, true prior to the 1970's we had no evidence of a hole, but we didn't have the technology to detect them to see if there was one until the 70's. Coincidence? Also, if it's as bad as we've all been told, why isn't there any sign of a hole about the North Pole? In fact, ozone amounts have increased over some years - a shift of ozone between latitudes. Even products which are known to cause damage (i.e., CFC's) are naturally occuring on the earth.

The Point: It's not the scientists who have done the research and studied the facts that come to the conclusion that my SUV is the cause of all things evil. Since science is something I generally don't study, I was inclined to believe what others said concerning science, ozone, etc. Now don't get me wrong... I DO think that God made the earth so things are interconnected with one another. Therefore people do damage the earth. But the extreme view that all things on the earth will parish in fire and water because I use too much paper is just plain bogus. It is not the serious scientists that makes these claims, it is those armed with very little information making sensationalist claims and flying off the handle.

Much is the same in Christianity (my field of study). Scholars are some of the most humblist people I know, click here for more. Rather it is those will little information that make outrageous claims, completely unsubstantiated by the facts. Two cases: Women in the church and the Book of Revelation. Women have always had significant roles in the Church including pastoral roles, even in NT times. And the Book of Revelation is not a crystal ball through which we can see the future; rather is the a pastoral letter using the Apocalyptic genre to encourage Christians not to assimilate into the Roman imperial culture. Two other hot issues, these involving Christians pushing for legislation: homosexuality and creation. FACT: Jesus never addressed the issue of homosexuality. Yes, it is discussed in the NT and it is an important issue, but Jesus did not talk about it. However, many Christians first argument is that Jesus said it was wrong... sorry, but if one makes claims about what Jesus said, let's make sure he actually said it. Also the Bible teaches that it is not the job of Christians to make desicions on the moral choices of others outside the Church: 1 CORINTHIANS 5:12. And concering creationism: most scholars do not hold to the fundamentalist position of strict literal interpretation of Genesis 1&2. Rather, they recognize the origins of the traditions and the social contexts of the original accounts of creation. I believe, after much study and research, that the writers of the creation accounts turned traditional creation stories on their heads, proclaiming that YHWH was creator of all things. They did this using a means their audiences would have understood - the creation accounts in the Baal and Marduk cults. I do believe that God created everything, but not that the Genesis accounts are literal, nor were they intended by their writers to be. Many have said that people turn liberal when they study and go to college. But I am not liberal; I am enlightened.

1 comment:

jharslair said...

I am not liberal; I'm impressed and inspired. you rock cruz!