November 30th, 2009

Avatar dino

Anyone got a dream dictionary handy?

Any idea what it means to have a black panther in one's dream? What about a tiger? Does it say anything about what it means if the black panther has a wounded paw due to a (presumed) fight with the tiger? These two big cats were right outside my door in the dream. Well, not my door here; this dream took place in the farm house we used to live in back in Wiota, Iowa. (Glass door.)

I also had a dream with kengr in it, one I can barely remember. I remember that I thought something was after me, but everyone thought it was my imagination; even *I* wasn't sure. Dunno how kengr fit into it, but my dad was there too. In the dream I was having panic attacks and crying almost constantly, two things I rarely or never do in real life. (I don't think I've ever had a panic attack in real life.) Also, strangely, I swapped bodies with some woman in a wheelchair for some reason. Although that might've been a different dream. I didn't remember any of this second paragraph's dreams until halfway through writing the first paragraph.
Oh yeah! Dad apparently knew I'd switched bodies, as he was the one driving the handicapped-equipped van. And I remember now: it *was* the same dream, because I was having one of my crying fits in the van.

And that's all I can remember for now.
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On Thanksgiving, kengr and I went to this free meal at this church close to kengr's apartment. All were welcome, which is pretty cool. And the art they had on the walls was also pretty cool, for a Christian church. I learned two new cool Bible verses from their wall art:

1. "Stop judging by mere appearances, and judge by what is right." John 7:24 (Alternate translations)

I like this version a lot, too:
People's New Testament
7:23,24 If a man on the sabbath, etc.? The argument is this: You blame me for healing an impotent man on the Sabbath; yet you break the Sabbath to circumcise a child if the eighth day after its birth falls on the Sabbath. You say that the law of circumcision was given to Abraham, is older than the Sabbath law, and must be kept if the Sabbath is to be broken. Now the law of love and mercy is older than Moses; why find fault if it is kept on the Sabbath? They should judge righteously, instead of by outward appearance.

2. "Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres." 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

I may not like the plot of the Bible, but I like some of the things it says.


On the bus today, a parent scolded a child for chewing on part of the seat because there were germs on it. And an idea suddenly struck me. A common criticism of atheists against religious people is that religion teaches people to believe in invisible things. But germs are only visible through a tool, a microscope. And some things, like atoms, can only be seen as vague blobs on the most powerful microscopes. We have little evidence, aside from the effects, of things like electrons. And we have, as far as I know of, no evidence at all of quantum-level particles. Even if we do, if quantum physics is to be believed (and I think it is), we can't even be sure of what evidence we do have because reality seems to shape itself according to observer preferences. (Or, if you prefer another model, it can be said that we can't be sure of our evidence because our brains see – for the most part – what we expect them to see, and at any rate our brains are easily fooled and rather limited).

Before people had the tools to see germs, there were many wild theories about what caused disease. Same was true of what causes rainbows, before we had the tools to know the truth. So I wonder how anyone can discount the idea of a God/Universal Consciousness/Whatever just on the basis that we don't have the tools to see it? Given what we know of our brains, of history, and of science, I find it rather silly to assume that just because we don't have the tools to see God, that It doesn't exist. Atheism doesn't seem very scientific to me. Agnosticism, yes; in the lack of observable evidence, none of us can know for sure what God is like, we can only have ideas. All I really personally believe about God is that It exists, the rest is ideas. Maybe my ideas are as crazy as anyone else's. But science speculates all the time; for all we know, scientific models may have no bearing on reality at all; maybe the nature of our consciousness is making the universe conform (or seem to conform) to the way our minds work. Maybe we're only equipped to see a small sliver of a massively chaotic universe that only appears to have order to us because human brains are equipped to find patterns in things. There could be all kinds of things going on around us that we've no clue about because our brains either can't see it or filter it out.

So in short, though I have friends who are atheists, I really don't understand the atheist point of view. I don't think it's as big a conceit to disbelieve in God as it is to believe one knows all there is to know about God, but I still think it's a rather human-centric belief. “God can't be experienced with my limited senses, so It must not exist.” Why not remain open to the possibility?