Intersex: An essay about an unusual topic.

I don’t know if I’ll publish this, but I did some digging about a weird topic today.

A lot of people don’t know what Intersex is, but with rising Transgender movements, it’s bound to be talked about.

Intersex is a general term for a set of genetic mutations that cause either a malformation in male or female reproductive organs, or the producing of both, or sexual problems later in life like too low hormones or other dysfunctions.

Intersex people are actually mostly straight, with a small amount saying they are gay or trans or other.

A lot of them have surgery done to fix their problem, which is now controversial in practice, but many choose to keep the gender their parents chose, or that is predominant.

The LGBT community is of course using this as evidence that being trans is scientifically normal, and proven.

In America, LGBT just got included under the Civil Rights act, I am surprised more that it hadn’t happened already, I thought it was already included since people get sued all the time over not hiring someone.

With corporations, it makes more sense to insist on standards in each branch, but private businesses should have it left up to them…and quite frankly, the government is never going to be able to control them all that effectively anyway, it’s a stupid law that is likely to cause more trouble for the corporation who already hire those people than for the private businesses that don’t. Unless you can prove that was the reason, which you can’t unless they say so.

It just gives people the chance to make allegations that they cannot back up with evidence, and cause trouble for businesses. It doesn’t help the LGBT pride cause either, anyone can claim discrimination, but without evidence, the issue will not be clear, people will have their own opinions about it. That’s all there is to it.

Personally, I don’t really care that much, except to find it ridiculous that they think this solves anything.

Anyway, I found the term intersex online and decided to look into the scientific evidence for it supporting a Transgender lifestyle.

Scientifically, what is being Intersex?

I always take it with a grain of salt when people who have the LGBT agenda say these things, because obviously they want science to back up their lifestyle.

But science is a bad measure for your lifestyle for a couple reasons, unless you know some parameters for the evidence.

The first reason is if you look at science as just facts, you will neglect the cause of those facts.

Fact: Cancer cells are in your body every day, but your immune system fights them too fast to make you sick, usually.

Cause?

The causes of cancer cells are malfunctions in healthy cells, and its heightened by a lack of certain nutrients, I am not a doctor so I don’t know that much about it, but it’s not a Natural phenomenon, in the way we mean natural, that is, the way it is supposed to be for you to function healthily.

Without the cause, you may misunderstand what Cancer is, but the effects of cancer are so obviously negative that most people will not question it’s unnatural.

Another case in point, puberty is a natural thing, but early puberty can be caused by poor nutrition and hormones that should not be in your body in that amount, it can come from food, environment, genetics, etc.

Early puberty is a problem because your mind doesn’t mature as fast as your body, I believe other health problems can follow it, but the emotional problems can certainly be an issue, if you are not around a good community.

So, natural and unnatural are tricky words when we are talking about DNA. If natural means what’s in DNA, then Down Syndrome and other similar syndromes are “natural” because an extra chromosome is produced. But at this time, no one considers it the optimal state to be in, and the downsides are obvious, reduced maturity, and often a heart condition that can cause a lot of problems.

Dwarfism is the same way. Even being over 7 feet tall is bad for you because your body cannot get enough oxygen for your lungs and heart from the air. (Look it up, I can’t go into the whole process here.)

Once I read that Intersex can be caused by extra X chromosomes; I wondered if it was like Down Syndrome.

Down Syndrome is more likely to occur in older women who get pregnant; my mom was actually warned about it with my sister. But she’s fine, she did develop reading abilities much slower than me and my other sibling, but she’s perfectly able to function, it just took longer. Some kids are like that. Talking was never a problem for her.

Intersex people can be what we would consider regular, in physical terms, but have a hormone problem that causes their reproductive parts to either not develop, or not work. The reason this is not a good argument for gender fluidity is that this hormone insensitivity problem can also cause cancer or make it more likely.

That’s in the case of men usually but also women can have it. Women have testosterone, just less of it.

In other cases, the reproductive organs either don’t form or don’t finish forming or form in a weird shape that can effect fertility.

When that happens the causes can range from the mother having a tumor that produced too much of a hormone that changed the baby’s development, taking male hormones during pregnancy, a deficiency in an enzyme, or a condition that causes the limiting of reproductive hormones and can be life threatening.

Not a lot of people know this (at least from memory), but testosterone is a part of keeping more than just your reproductive organs functioning: it helps your body keep other organs going, and I believe the heart is one of them. A deficiency in it is serious.

It makes sense men have more as they do more hard labor, at least historically, but women have it too, and some have more of it–it can make them have a higher sex drive, but other than that I think it’s harmless, though there’s probably a condition of having too much. I didn’t look that up, obviously it would cause the opposite problem.

The rare case of having both male and female organs has unknown causes, but some evidence has linked it exposure to pesticides. In the past when it occurred, it’s likely people were exposed to toxic metals or plants, since all throughout history humans have used things that were toxic, like lead, in unhealthy ways, and not known it.

And yes, Inter-sexuality has been around for thousands of years. People have looked at it in many different ways, linking it to higher spirituality in some cultures, witchcraft in others (African, notably), and the Catholic church took rather a common sense approach, considering how Christians tend to treat differences, and just said to identify the person with what was predominant and called them “congenital eunuchs” probably because often they cannot reproduce.

Based on all this, I think it’s common sense to draw the conclusion that this condition is not normal, in the same sense that cancer, down syndrome, and other mutations are not normal.

That does not make anyone who has it not human, nor does it make them some kind of monster. That would be foolish.

In most of these cases, it would be simple to figure out which sex the baby was by tracing what causes the mutation, since it is different in males and females. Which is why the parents choosing the gender isn’t so far fetched; it’s sounds entirely plausible to me. Just look at what genes it started from and assume the divergence is a mutation. Saying it changes their gender is more of a philosophical question than a scientific one.

A lot of people with this condition can still live as fully functioning, sexually active people and may not even know they have it. In that case, making an issue of it seems silly.

Intersex people themselves can resent the suggestion that this makes them trans. Though it’s easy to see where the mistake comes from.

My point is, based on how this occurs, it’s a mutation. A mutation cannot prove a lifestyle is morally acceptable.

This mutation is said to be about as common as red hair. Scientifically, that makes using it to justify a moral stance about akin to the “gingers have no soul” internet meme.

It does not happen naturally, but because of outside factors that lead to a deficiency, or an excess of hormones, that cause other problems that are decidedly “not good.”

Like all mutations, it’s not beneficial in the long run. Even if it can be good in one way, it means a loss or confusion of genetic information which will lower your resistance to other problems.

There will be people who say I am saying this just to justify looking at this through the lens of my religion, and they’d be right in that I might not care if I was not a Christian, but as a Christian,  have an interest in knowing if Science truly does contradict the Bible.

And according to the research, it doesn’t.

Let me explain:

What would the Bible say about being Intersex?

The Bible teaches the in the Beginning, He made them male and female.

The Bible teaches also that the reason God did this was so that the humans would fill the earth with their offspring; in most of nature you need a male and female to reproduce, even in species with male and female sex organs, you need two of them, they can’t reproduce with themselves (ew).

The Bible says man and woman together comprise the image of God, meaning that each of us has characteristics that are more like God than the other, and fitting them together is the complete picture.

The Bible also records genetic mutations, as in the case of Giants, and having 6 toes and such, so it is not ignorant of those thing occurring.

It make no mention of Intersex that I know of, but it doesn’t really need to because the question is already answered.

In the beginning, male and female.

And intersex person at conception is male or female; the mutation occurs at some point in the development. The Bible does not teach that human genetics cannot be altered by unnatural conditions, it actually teaches the opposite. The giants were caused by that.

Just as genetics can be altered by chemicals, radiation, toxins, and any number of bad life decisions on our part.

The scary thing about human DNA is that it is human: we have the ability to effect our children with our choices, and other people can effect them also. It’s part of living around each other and having the free will to use things we shouldn’t.

Drugs alter your cells too, doesn’t make it good, and it can be handed down genetically. The good news is, until you activate it, the genes for addiction are dormant.

Another Reason to Talk About this:

I think that some people, if they find out they are Intersex, may wonder if that conflicts with their Christian beliefs, and if God has not really made them male or female.

It looks to me like the evidence is against that. I don’t believe Gender is really a choice, either biologically or spiritually, but lifestyle is. Doesn’t make it right.

People confuse choice with Good. Choice is a fact: you can choose. It doesn’t make what you choose good just because you chose it. Which is obvious when applied to any crime everyone agrees is bad, like rape, but when it’s something people want very much to justify, they pretend it doesn’t matter.

No one would be crazy enough (I hope) to say rape is okay because it was the rapist’s choice to abuse someone else’s body for their own convenience, but they will say it’s okay to abort a baby for the same reason.

There is no difference between these two things, except that one is popular to think is wrong, and the other popular to think is okay…well, that and a baby can neither defend itself nor cry for help…audibly.

I am just hitting all those nerves aren’t I?

Well, as always, I am not hating on anyone who lives a way I don’t agree with, anymore than I will hate on anyone who’s had an abortion. We are all sinners. But I do not have to pretend I think it’s okay, and I do not have to support it.

The point of this was that science still does not disprove the Bible.

Incidentally, The Bible makes clear what God’s design was, but never says it has not been altered by men, and that nature is not corruptible. It actually says that nature is affected by man and the sins we commit against it.

I am not teaching that being Intersex is caused by sinning, either by parents or children. Jesus warned us not to assume that. I think it can be caused by too many different things to conclude that.

The truth is that sin caused the production of chemicals, toxins, and abnormal amounts of hormones due to diseases related to those things, that then causes mutations. It may be no fault of the parent, just their environment that they could not control.

Unless they did that on purpose, and then, yeah, that’s wrong… sorry, just is. You shouldn’t risk messing with your kid’s DNA while you are pregnant.

Well, this was an unusual topic for me. Obviously all this is a layman’s opinion, not  pastor’s, but I am well read and in college, so my knowledge of science and theology is fairly good for being a layman.

Take it for what it’s worth, and I hope you walk away at least with the confidence that there are counterpoints to be made to the propaganda we hear and to always watch what someone with an agenda is saying about scientific evidence.

I do have an agenda, but I acknowledge their points. People would say someone like me would never admit to those extra chromosomes (in fact, some were saying that when I found this thread of info) and have an answer for it.

But I can and do, and if my God was so pathetic as to be destroyed by a few mutations, my theology couldn’t have been very good to begin with. Christian Theology leaves plenty of room for science, contrary to popular opinion, and many of the Great Scientists were and still are Christians.

If this blog ever gets taken down for expressing these views, then I won’t really be surprised. I figure it’s a matter of time before the internet limits free speech to that extent, but deleting my site doesn’t delete Me.

And even if it did, it wouldn’t make me wrong. This isn’t about me. It’s about the Truth.

Which people who don’t want to will never accept, and I don’t expect them to do so. But I don’t apologize for my beliefs.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

At First Sight–3

Okay, last couple but first, I hit 1,000 likes on this blog! (Cue trumpets and streamers).

Party Streamers Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

Thank you all so much for coming around and reading my stuff, I never knew if this was going to work out, and after about 4 years, it’s been a really fun journey of finding my writing style and interests. If I went back, I could trace kind of how I grew up through this, I started it when I was 16, and I’m 21 now. That’s an important chunk of my life and this is like a documentation of what I was into and learning all that time.

Okay, now that I’ve acknowledged that, let’s get back to the show:

Interlocking Rings Images, Stock Photos & Vectors | Shutterstock

My favorite couple was Jamie and Doug, mostly because I freaking called it, but also because Doug was just this gem of a person, and he was actually funny. No joke, he did stand up comedy as a hobby, and his down to earth approach to the whole experiment just gave it legitimacy.

If everyone who tried it had Doug’s attitude, it might be a good idea to do.

Jamie was a basket case, but no more so than I am, or anyone else who’s had a hard childhood and been left to deal with it was best as they could.

I did like that Jamie admitted her issues, and worked to overcome them. The whole thing was a trial by fire for her, she had problems with trust, and committing and feeling safe, getting married was like the “kill or cure” method for her, much like for Jason.

but Jamie was humble enough to admit she got herself into this and she needed to give it her best shot. Also, I would have been psyched out by the pressure too, so I couldn’t’ really judge her for crying and panicking, I’ve had those moments.

Like Jamie, when I’ve put a lot of thought and effort into something, I can break down when it suddenly grew from an idea to a reality. As a teen I was sometimes shy, and anxious about being away from home. I’d go to Church camp, or on a mission trip, and some break down would inevitably follow, because I bottle my emotions up and don’t ask for help till I’m so overwhelmed I get physically sick.

I’ve worked on that lately, but I sometimes still wake up and have gagging episodes of stress induced reactions. (Also allergies and environment contribute).

Or I get really drained emotionally because when I feel things, I feel them keenly. I think it’s an empath thing.

Anyway, Jamie’s reaction was too real for me because of all that, but Doug was the kind of person who would have made me feel better. Calm, not taking it personally, funny, and patient.

See, the breakdown is kind of an unintentional self-sabotage. You believe you can’t do something, so you go into panic mode to get other people to come to the same conclusion, you think they will. When someone believes in you regardless, and encourages you, it’s a bonding moment.

Like Jamie, I have trust issues and have had to pull myself together so much, I don’t really know when to let someone else help me. By the time I realize I need help, I’m really worked up.

So, again, this show was kind of enlightening, maybe the reason I am this way is like her, it’s my response to the past. Like her, I also know I am this way and want to work at it, but my own weakness trip me up.

Doug was great, he deserves respect for how much he put up with, and he didn’t grudge her for needing time. Jamie herself alter regretted being quite so challenging, but we all know, she almost couldn’t help it, she was fighting her demons as hard as she could, and she went along with the counselors advice even though she admitted she wouldn’t have been comfortable doing it if it was just up to her.

her guts to do it regardless matched up with Doug’s willingness to put in the work. They were the best match. I wondered why the experts seemed to doubt it would work out. It might just have been to create tension, bu they thought Jamie might be too mistrusting.

It’s rough because she really was struggling, but you could tell Jamie is an overcomer. She works on her flaws. It’s not always a pretty picture to do so, but life isn’t always picture perfect.

And that’s why I think maybe we can learn the most form their example.

Even assuming you find someone who is not abusive, not selfish, and not a quitter, you have to make it work. It won’t work for you by itself.

Doug expressed his attitude that it was too much to expect it to go perfectly. he hoped for the best, but he was going to give it his best try even if it wasn’t what he wanted. Jamie did end up being what he wanted, and he put work into it. Jamie kept pulling back, and then trying again, it was a long process. It almost ended when Doug lied to her.

But Doug showed way more maturity than Vaughn did, in that he took responsibility, did not justify his actions, admitted he was still working on it, but then said it really wasn’t important enough to toss the whole thing out over.

and yeah, don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.

Jamie was hurt by Doug, certainly.

The people close to you can and will hurt you, deeply, where it counts.

It’s not even because they are flawed, though that’s part of it, it’s because people are easily hurt. We misunderstand each other, often without meaning to we base our assessments of each other on assumptions.

I have friends who have triggered my abandonment issues by doing things that aren’t really that bad, maybe aren’t bad at all, but any little lack of engagement can make me feel like they are losing interest in me.

Why?

Well, I had a dad who told me he would give up on trying with me multiple times, till I could predict when he would say it. I realized it was cowardice after awhile, but also the message that I was not worth enough to him to push past his own insecurities was hammered in.

And that, by the way, is very painful.

Cinema has a habit of making insecurities and backstory justify everything, as I mentioned in the last post. But they don’t.

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I know because the people who succeed most as what really matters, they do it because they push past their insecurity.

If you know you are insecure, and you let that define your life. You don’t risk love because you  know you tend to mess it up, you don’t risk trying to win because you know you will fear failing, then you are giving in. You let the darkness win. End of story.

It will always be the end, until you yourself decide you’ve had enough of unhappiness.

In my life, about a year into being a Christian, God presented me with the challenge of choosing to heal, to lean into His love, and not let people define what I could do.

I am still living that out today. My life is far from my dream version of what I want. But, in 8 years, not everything you want will happen.

The point is, even if I’m still waiting for some things, I have changed.

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I choose to love people even though I not only know to expect hurt, I actually can predict exactly how it will come. Being an empath, I can gauge what people feel about me, and if they are really concerned about me, or themselves.

It made my past more hurtful, because I stopped being able to lie to myself about my dad. I knew he didn’t love me, I knew even, that he hated me.

Yet, I did not stop loving him. I still do.

I don’t love my dad because I get something gout of it. At this stage, it is doubtful I ever will get a thing out of it. But he is my dad, he’s a person, and I can understand him, even if I don’t look up to him.

I would want to be loved despite my flaws. Jamie and Doug’s story hit me about where it counts the most.

Before marriage, you may know the person, but you won’t really, truly know them, know what sets them off, what they fear most, what they hate, until yo live with them nonstop.

You can go into it with the attitude that they’ll help you fix all your problems and won’t ever have any of their own that aren’t minor.

Or, you can do what Doug did, and realize that no one is perfect, everyone has a past.

Doug didn’t judge, he just accept Jamie and her family as what they were. Warts and all, as the saying goes.

His outlook was that he could not be disappointed, if he didn’t put unrealistic expectations on her. He was hurt a little, but he didn’t go into a tailspin when it didn’t go the way he wanted, because he knew it wasn’t all up to him.

He knew also that Jamie was dealing with past memories and he couldn’t expect her to not react based on that sometimes, but he had to be responsible for himself.

I don’t think he’d put all this into words, it was just in his actions and manner.

 

And hey, guys, that’s all it has to be. Don’t worry about trying to say all this stuff. Just do it, and the girl will get it eventually, if she’s Miss Right.

But this can just as easily be a Man thing too.

Women have a harder task in marriage often because men will resist help even more than we will. Men get told that’s normal. Jason and Cortney kind of ran into that problem.

But, when God made Marriage, it was actually the needs of the Man he was considering. Eve was made for Adam to solve the problem of loneliness, to give him his other half, because as our modern lingo has put it “I can’t do life without you.”

Adam really couldn’t do life without Eve, plain and simple.

And men, if you’re reading this, this is great news for you. It validates the fact that you have needs, just as much as women do, and in fact, God designed companionship with that idea in mind.

It’s like Women know this more because we are made to be the answer to the problem. I mean, you’d better know what problem you’re supposed to be helping, right?

So, if the first man himself, even before sin, needed a woman, then every married couple should know that the man need his wife’s support just as much as she needs his.

(It’s kind of telling that it took God to point this out even in the first story, though. Men still don’t always get it. Until they see it.)

So, ladies, don’t think your man doesn’t need you to be patient, caring, and not take things personally with him either.

Grayhugsjuvia

And personally, I am expecting my husband to need that. In fact, I expect him to probably have less of an idea why he needs it than I do. Again, women tend to know more about this. I’m okay with him not getting it right away as long as he know sits important, and thank God women are naturally more patient then men, usually.

See, it makes a kind of sense doesn’t it?

Anyway, I think the real difference can be most women will not just be supportive silently, like men are, they will explain it. But there’s nothing wrong with that, as long as you don’t over do it.

Jason and Cortney also demonstrated this, Cortney was far more verbal about helping Jason, but Jason still did it, he just didn’t talk through it as much.

And we need both the words and the deeds, sometimes women don’t need to explain it either, other times men need to be able to explain it.

Doug and Jamie illustrate why, actually.

Now that we have a fallen world, misunderstanding is not likely, it’s guaranteed. I don’t care how in sync you are, you’ll misread each other.

Case in point, my sisters and I can guess what the others are going to say, we talk in unison all the time, some people think we’re twins (we are all at least a couple years apart and it’s weird.) Plus, I’m an empath and can read their emotions really well. And we still have miscommunications almost daily over dumb stuff. We have almost all the same opinions on things, and yet we still step on each other’s toes. And we’re all girls.

So, you can bet two people of the opposite sex who have not grown up in the same house are going to the same thing, probably way more often than we do.

It’s okay, just accept it and don’t let it get to you. I think more couples need to hear that advice.

Anyway, in summary, Jamie and Doug just basically showed how to be married, not just how to date, and be a friend. Marriage means sharing all your problems, event he ones you can’t help each other with, but you still need to talk about, just so you know it.

Glad they stayed together and got their own spin off show. Which I may watch if I can.

And so, that was my experience of Married at First Sight. Did I surprise you with what I took out of it? What I didn’t like?

My thoughts on the experiment are that they got lucky, because they missed something that the two couple who succeeded demonstrated.

You just can’t plan for this one thing: Drive.

If people choose to make it work, they can make almost anything work. If they don’t try, then no matter how compatible they are, it won’t work.

Monet and Vaughn were the most compatible by the test scores, but Vaughn didn’t know how to live with anyone.

The other two couples got that they had to make it a success, no one else could do it for them.

So, they did. Because both people were on the same page.

Marry someone you know will work at it, that’s my takeaway.

And no test can predict that. It’s a choice moment by moment, and it can be undone at any time, the person has to daily decide to do it.

So, no, I’m not about to let scientists choose my husband, but it’s also not really worse than choosing one without asking any of the real questions. It’s not invalid, it’s just risky. Better to know yourself what you should look for in a spouse.

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

Can check out my other writing on Amazon and Wattpad 🙂

 

 

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Arrival at UA by worldwalkerdj

Phil Paper: Should Intelligent Design be taught?

This is my Philosophy Paper about Intelligent Design being taught. I cut out the title page and formal argument, I figured no one would want to read that, this is just the body of the paper, and the Works Cited, if anyone wants to double check my facts. The post follows the structure of a introduction, terms defined, three premises, and a conclusion. Enjoy 😁👍

Introduction

From the late 1800s people have been debating whether Intelligent Design (ID) or Evolution should be taught in public schools, and since the 1960s, the debate has veered in favor of Evolution. Intelligent Design has been entirely eliminated from most public school curriculum.  Though not considered scientific by the majority of people, Intelligent Design is widely believed as an alternative to Evolution, and I will argue that it should be taught, and at the very least explained to students.

There are valid reasons to teach Intelligent Design. First, I will argue that teachers and school districts have the right to choose their own curriculum. Second, I will argue that many of the parents of children in the public school system do not want their children to be taught to believe Evolution. Thirdly, I will argue that since Evolution is not scientifically verified, teaching it is no different than teaching a religious perspective.

I will now begin by defining a few terms.

Terms Defined

Intelligent Design: the theory that the universe and living things were designed and created by the purposeful action of an intelligent agent. Abbreviation: ID (dictionary.com)

 Evolution: Has 6 meanings, all of which relate to my subject

 Cosmic evolution: the origin of time, space, and matter from nothing in the “big bang”

Chemical evolution: all elements “evolved” from hydrogen

Stellar evolution: stars and planets formed from gas clouds

Organic evolution: life begins from inanimate matter

Macroevolution: animals and plants change from one type into another

Microevolution: variations form within the “kind” (Creationtoday.com)

Creationism: the doctrine that matter and all things were created, substantially as they now exist, by an omnipotent Creator, and not gradually evolved or developed (dictionary.com)

Natural Law: a body of law or a specific principle held to be derived from nature (Merriam-webster.com)

Now that I have defined some of the key terms in my paper, I will proceed to argue that Educators have the freedom to choose their curriculum.

Teachers and School Districts have the Freedom to Choose Their Curriculum

         The right to free speech, or Freedom of Expression, is one of the founding principles of America as a society, and is meant to extend to all its areas of politics, education, religion, etc.  It is simply not constitutional to demand that many teachers, professors, principals, and other educators, teach as truth an opinion they do not believe in. It is in effect making them lie to their students, and denying them their right to free speech.

  Some might be skeptical that teachers really are required to teach evolution and not ID. It is true that teaching Creationism has been outlawed by the Supreme court since 1987 (Wapshott 36-37). ID has not been prohibited by the Supreme Court. However, because many people claim that ID is just Creationism repackaged, it is coming under the same scrutiny. Whether the ruling against Creationism makes it also illegal to teach ID is a subject of great debate, but it is easy to imagine how it might intimidate any teacher who does wish to present it as an alternative. 

  The problem is not in telling students that Evolution, the alternative to ID, is considered the scientific explanation for how things came to be. The problem is in refusing to allow teachers and schools to freely admit they do not accept the theory, or present any counterarguments to the theory that they may find worthy of consideration. I as a student, can freely express disagreement with evolution, but my professors are not supposed to, at least during class time, teach an alternative perspective even if they believe it.

  While a teacher may not get fired for speaking against Evolution, it can be easier to simply not risk it, and even if the head of the school might not have a personal problem with ID, they may enforce the rule anyway, sometimes because parents insist on it. I found one case that went to a federal court in Pennsylvania over the issue: “Dover’s school board ordered that a short statement be read at the beginning of biology classes, which pointed to ‘gaps’ in Darwin’s theory of evolution and endorsed intelligent design as an alternative. Eleven parents filed suit against the district, claiming that the statement violates the required separation of church and state in lessons” (Brumfiel,  607; Sparr, 719-720).  Though this is only one incident, the fact that it went to federal court meant the outcome set up a precedent for the middle district of Pennsylvania. I looked up the case results, and the judge ruled in favor of not teaching ID, which will apply to the whole middle district of Pennsylvania (Sparr 719-720). 

I found out more about this case, “By analyzing the arguments of one of the most prominent and respected ID supporters in the country, the Kitzmiller court’s opinion went to the heart of the ID movement and created an analytical roadmap for other courts to follow” (ibid). In other words, since this case was decided, it has been referred to by educators as a reason not to present ID. What’s interesting is that the Dover School District’s statement did not actually say ID was true.  “Because Darwin’s Theory is a theory, it continues to be tested as new evidence is discovered. The Theory is not a fact. Gaps in the theory exist for which there is no evidence… Intelligent Design is an explanation of the origin of life that differs from Darwin’s view. With respect to any theory, students are encouraged to keep an open mind” (Sparr 719-720). The school also left an option for parents to sign a release for their child to not have to read the statement if they did not want them to (ibid).

I am not arguing that parents should not get to object, but in this case their reason for doing so is weak. I will address the separation of church and state more in my counter argument section, but for now, I want to point out that acknowledging gaps in Darwin’s theory and supporting ID as an alternative was not bringing any one religion into the school district, but simply being honest with the students about possible problems with the curriculum and offering them a possible solution. Furthermore, it was an option, not a requirement. Encouraging the students to keep an open mind and making an alternative perspective available would be fulfilling the right to Freedom of Expression.

Now that I have defended a teacher or district’s right to choose their own curriculum, or at least express disagreement with the school’s openly, I will argue that the current curriculum does not reflect the beliefs of many of the parents.

Public Education about Evolution does not Reflect What Many Parents Want Their Children to be Taught to Believe.

I already mentioned that parents got involved in the case I detailed before, but what is notable is that only eleven parents were involved in the issue (Brumfiel  607). This case ended up in the federal court because of eleven parent’s objections, not to the curriculum, but to the disclaimer. However, is it right to assume that their opinion, in one school district and one area, represented the general wishes of parents in the state of Pennsylvania, or the rest of the country? I would say that there are some good statistics that would say otherwise. 

According to the 2014 Gallup Poll, the percentage of people nationally who believe in Evolution is now at 47%. While the percentage of people who believe in Creationism (which falls under the ID category) is at 40-47% (Bradshaw).  Also according to the poll 79% of Americans who believed in Evolution reported being familiar with Evolution, familiarity with Creationism at 76%. The results for this Gallup poll were based on telephone interviews conducted May 8-11, 2014, with a random sample of 1,028 adults, aged 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The landline and cellular telephone numbers are selected using random-digit-dial methods. The landline respondents are chosen at random within each household on the basis of which member had the most recent birthday. The samples are weighted to correct for unequal selection probability, nonresponse, and double coverage of landline and cell users in the two sampling frames. They are also weighted to correspond to the national demographics of gender, age, race. 

If we infer that these percentages represent the country with some accuracy, then it is clear that a sizable chunk of the adults (meaning parents) in this country do not accept Evolution as truth. Their beliefs are not reflected in the public school curriculum. I am not arguing that we treat truth democratically, that is what I am arguing against. We are split almost 50-50 currently in what we accept. Yet the state gets to decide what curriculum is approved for its public schools and that decision can be in the hands of a single judge, or a council. I argue that with something as important as a worldview, the state should not be deciding by itself or by majority rule what to instill in our children. This goes against the First Amendment, which is supposed to keep the state from establishing any one worldview. I would argue that the right to Freedom of Expression also means the right to not have your children be taught something you do not believe in, at least until they are old enough to be expected to think critically.

I argue that the better solution would be to do what the Dover district attempted to do, and present both perspectives. It would represent the wishes of more parents, though I think they should be allowed to exempt their children if they do not wish them to be taught both sides. Parents can opt their child out of gym for approved reasons, why not extend that to other classes? I would even go a step further, and argue that the Origin of Life would be better left out of grade school curriculum entirely. If students could wait until College to pursue the topic, they could choose which perspective to learn about.  However, I do not think that this solution is likely to be adopted, so I am proposing at least teaching a more balanced view that would better serve the needs of all the parents, not just the ones who believe in Evolution.

Now that I have argued that an exclusively evolution based curriculum does not reflect the wishes of many parents, I will proceed to argue my last point, that Evolution is not proven, so teaching it is no different than teaching ID.

Evolution is not Scientifically Proven so Teaching it is on the Same Level as Teaching Intelligent Design

 There are some guidelines that have to be met for a theory to be considered scientific, I found them in the book Are Creationism-Intelligent Design Writings Scientific? “Overton defined science as such: ‘1. It is guided by natural law; 2. It has to be explanatory by reference to natural law; 3. It is testable against the empirical world; 4. Its conclusions are tentative; 5. It is falsifiable’ ” (Overton quoted in White’s, 318). 

However, Evolution is not a proven theory by these standards, it has been tested to a small extent. For example, the creation of a few amino acids (which are the building blocks of proteins in your DNA) under highly controlled conditions that would not be found anywhere in Nature, where Organic Evolution allegedly took place (gwu). These tests did not explain how Organic Evolution could happen without those extremely controlled conditions. In the end the article concluded that Earth must have had different conditions, like no oxygen, when life originated. That is a hypothesis that has not been proven, as all testing of the air from crystallized amber reveals that there was more oxygen in the past few thousand years, and the size of the animal and plant skeletons we find also suggests a richer environment in the past (Livina 97–106) . That does not disprove Organic Evolution, but the fact remains that it is still a hypothesis. 

The only Evolution that can be proven to be guided by natural law is Microevolution; all the others are purely theoretical. To be clear, my argument is not that Evolution should not be taught; I already argued that Teachers are allowed to teach what they believe is the best explanation, and many believe Evolution makes sense. The reason I have laid this out is because Evolution is claimed to be scientifically proven, while ID is claimed to be a religious worldview ( Brumfiel, 607; Furigay; Manis). However, the evidence for ID is on par with the evidence for Evolution. That is, it is interpreting the observable things in the natural world as coming from an unobservable cause that cannot be proven, because we were not there. I define proof, in this case, as being able to demonstrate something happening in today’s conditions that would not require Man intervening in order to make it work. 

For clarity, I will give one example of the way in which Evolution and ID are equal. The foundation for Evolution is the Big Bang Theory, the theory that the matter in the universe came from a central location, exploded, and then expanded (see Terms Defined) into what we see today. The foundation for ID is that this was set in place be a designer, or designers, if you are a polytheist. Some intelligent life form, on consciousness. For many people, of course, it is God. The similarity between these two theories is this: No one knows the cause. 

If we take the Evolution perspective, we do not know where the matter came from, or what set off the explosion, or what made the laws of physics take effect. If we take the ID perspective, we do not know where the Designer came from, or why they chose to make our universe, and why they made it the way they did. All either of us have is the observable facts, and our theories. The evidence for both depends purely on interpretation of the facts. This is only one of many examples, but I am not arguing the pros and cons of the theories.

 Now that I have argued for ID being equal to Evolution in terms of proof, I will address two counter arguments to my claims.

Counter Arguments:

Counter argument #1: Intelligent Design is just Creationism repackaged, making it a religious worldview. It is unconstitutional for  government funded schools to teach a religious viewpoint. It violates the principles of freedom of religion, that there should be a  “Separation of Church and State” (Furigay; Manis).

Refutation: The words “Separation of Church and State” are not in the constitution, but in a letter Thomas Jefferson wrote in 1802 to the Danbury Baptist Association. What the constitution says is the government should not establish a State Religion. The government should not insist that any one viewpoint be taught in every public school, or rule that presenting an alternative viewpoint is unconstitutional. ID is not a single religion. It is a summary of what all religions usually claim, except for the humanist ones, such as Evolution, or Existentialism. Therefore, instructors endorsing ID cannot be endorsing a state religion, because it is not one. Within the broad category of ID you can believe in anything from Greek Mythology to Aliens visiting the planet, and it is all technically intelligent design. While it is true that many ID endorsers are Creationists, they are not all one religion. Islam is a Creationist religion, so is Hinduism, so are any number of tribal religions. ID is an inclusive worldview, while evolution is exclusive.

Counter Argument #2: ID does not represent the population as a whole so it should not be taught to the public (Manis).

Refutation: Truth is not democratic. Public opinion is not a reliable source for what is and is not right. This is an example of the fallacy known as ad populum. This is also a weak argument because plenty of subjects that are taught in public school are not necessarily representative of the majority’s opinion/knowledge, such as higher math, yet they are still accepted as accurate. Evolution was not accepted widely for hundreds of years, and statistics vary as to whether it is the most popular opinion even now. Moreover, ID is a far less exclusive view than Evolution, because ID includes any and all religions that believe in God or in gods, as part of the category, and Evolution does not. To represent the population as a whole is impossible. The only truly fair option would be to remove any explanation of the origin of the universe at all from public education.

 Conclusion

In summary, instructors have the right to present ID if they want to do so, parents have the right to choose what their children learn, and Evolution and ID are both unproven and should be presented as equally valid theories. Therefore, we should be allowed to teach Intelligent Design as an alternative to Evolution.

            

                                                                    Works Cited

Bradshaw, William S. “A Longitudinal Study of Attitudes Toward Evolution among Undergraduates Who are Members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.” PLoS One, vol. 13, no. 11, 2018. ProQuest

Brumfiel, Geoff. “School Board in Court Over Bid to Teach Intelligent Design.” Nature, vol. 437, no. 7059, 2005, pp. 607. ProQuest.

Furigay, Jane. “Pence in 2002: Intelligent Design should be Taught as Science in Public Schools.”   Targeted News Service, Aug 05, 2016. ProQuest.

Manis, Karalee. “Karalee: Should Intelligent Design be Taught in Public Schools?” University Wire,  Jan 02, 2020. ProQuest.

Martin, Daniel; McKenna, Helen; Livina, Valerie. “The human physiological impact of global deoxygenation Journal of  Physiological Science. 67(1): 97–106. 2017. Online. www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov

Simon, Neal G. “Freedom to Express Unscientific Ideas.” The Chronicle of Higher Education, vol.   52, no. 9, 2005, pp. A63. ProQuest.

Smith, G. M. “Creation and Evolution.” Choice, vol. 48, no. 4, 2010, pp. 700. ProQuest.

Sparr, Phillip.  “Special ‘Effects’: Kitzmiller v. Dover Area School District, 400 F. Supp. 2d 707 (M.D. Pa. 2005), and the Fate of Intelligent Design in Our Public Schools.” pg 719-720.   2007. Online. digitalcommons.unl.edu 

Unknown Author. “The Origin of Life.” Not Dated. https://www2.gwu.edu

Wapshott, Nicholas. “A NEW AGE OF UNREASON.” New Statesman, vol. 18, no. 881, Oct 17, 2005, pp. 36-37. ProQuest.

White, David J. “Are Creationism-Intelligent Design Writings Scientific? A Content Analysis of Popular Evolution, Creation, and Intelligent Design Texts.” University of South Dakota,       Ann Arbor, 2011. ProQuest.

Thanks for reading–Natasha.

How my Philosophy class had a twist ending.

Well it has been awhile, but I had finals last week, and spent a lot of time writing my Philosophy paper.

Interesting class.

At the end of it, I had some good conversations with my classmates, talking about our beliefs.

But the biggest miracle came at the end, and I want to share this story because I think it may encourage other people, but first I want to explain why I think it’s important.

Christians, and people of others faiths, alike, have a hard time knowing how to talk about their faith at secular colleges.

Actually, I don’t even talk about my faith with other Christians all that often. Sometimes I think the Sunday Sermon is not really conducive to starting real conversations between believers.

At college, it’s a twitchy subject. People steer away from it.

But towards the last part of class, I began researching Intelligent Design for my final paper, and I mentioned in class that I do not believe in Evolution.

My classmates were surprised, one guy asked “Why don’t you believe in Evolution?”

My professor interrupted us, so I said we’d talk about it later, and then I had the audacity to actually follow up and ask him about it.

Well, we got into it, why I don’t buy it, why he does. What our backgrounds were. Why we choose to keep believing what we do.

As I gave reason after reason I doubt Evolution, and he failed to come up with any real evidence for it, I began to question him as to why he believed something he didn’t actually know of any evidence for, as he admitted he did not understand the theory very well.

He said he did not know enough evidence to believe in God, but as I pressed further and got more into why I think religion makes sense, he said he chooses not to pursue Truth any further.

I said he probably had not found truth because he had not pursued it. At which point, he said that might be true, but he was just lazy and content with not knowing.

I was surprised at this amount of honesty, but actually, I’ve seen it before. Sometimes people really know deep down what their problem is, but they don’t want to change it. They’ll even admit that.

However, I believe my classmate was a bit more interested than he gave himself credit for, because at last he asked why I believe what I do.

I gave him the Chesterton answer, because when I read it, it seemed to sum up my own feelings on the subject..

G. K. Chesterton said that he believed in Christianity not because one or two things were explained by it, but because everything was explained by it. All moral, scientific, and intellectual questions are answered in Christianity. All our private desires, and all public concerns (see Orthodoxy.) I paraphrase.

There is no good reason not to believe in God. There are many reasons to believe in Him.

I researched a lot to find an argument for Intelligent Design, since my topic was to prove, objectively, that it should be taught alongside or as an alternative to Evolution.

(Link to my paper, https://wordpress.com/post/drybonestruth.wordpress.com/16959 –if people are interested in reading it with the sources to prove I was not making this stuff up.)

I found very few arguments for ID, because no one was even willing to consider it. The bulk of what I found was people, not always scientists, saying ID was the same as Creationism (it’s not) and accusing religious people of trying to undermine science.

They also accused creationism as being akin to Nazism (I am not making that up) and being the reason the Russians launched Sputnik ahead of us.

Sure

In Philosophy, we call that Fallacy ad hominim, or to the man. Accusation, in other words.

They say too that we have no specific evidence for Intelligent Design. That us referring to the complexity of living organisms, or DNA, or even single body parts like the human eye, is not evidence.

While Evolution has no claim to any evidence that anything can evolve. They have done experiments, but experiments, by definition, are designed, planned, and organized by human beings, who have intelligence. Thereby, making the results products of intelligent design. Nullifying any claim that it proves evolution.

If we can replicate nature with a lot of human effort and ingenuity, all we have proved is that Nature is better at functioning itself than we are at copying it, but it takes endless design on our part to even come close.

If Nature evolved, how can it be more complex than our human intelligent inventions that are just copying it? Planes were designed based on birds, that is just one instance (Google the Wright brothers.)

If then, Evolutionists turn to nature itself, and observe it for signs of evolution, the problem does not get any better. Insect colonies have a structure, animals live in groups and cooperate. But there are not set rules.

You might say a lion will always be a predator, and by natural selection, the weak will be culled. 9 times out of 10, the lions may act that way. But the 10th case, a lion will do something crazy, like adopt an animal it would normally eat, or protect a member of a rival tribe, when it could just let her get killed off, or protect a human being (look it up.)

I see odd behavior just in my pets that I can’t explain by instinct and nature. One of my cats has a propensity for feminine objects, and she will only cuddle if she’s on a bed, usually. I can’t really explain that by nature, my cat just has a personality.

In fact, the truth that animals have personality is one any pet owner can tell you, but it’s not exactly easy to explain by evolution.

After all personality is the expression of someone’s soul. Some will say we just assign certain attributes to people and pets that we imagine. But pet owners and parents can tell you, they are just reporting facts. Living things have quirks. Even plants can have quirks.

Life itself is just unpredictable, while death is extremely predictable. Evolution relies on death of the weak for progress, but death has never, that we can see, progressed anything. It was the living things that changed, adapted, and migrated.

Evolution can also not explain how we have a conscience. Just read Mere Christianity, for Lewis’s in depth explanation of how the fact that we have moral dilemma’s cannot really be explained by survival instinct.

The fact that we feel compelled to consider the truth of things, the whole reason blogs even exists, cannot be explained by survival instinct. Because truth, aside from material facts, is not really necessary to survival in an animal sense.

Even animals, however, have a conscience, that is, they can understand when they have done something wrong. Our dog used to hang his head guiltily when he’d broken a rule, and even if we encouraged him to break one (we were not very fair) he would refuse to do it.

If all a dog can understand is obedience, as some would claim, which might be a survival instinct, then why not obey us when we told him to break a rule? He refused, showing an act of actual willpower, how does a dog rationalize that he should not obey if it means breaking a long standing rule?

I cannot answer, I do not believe animals have Reason, but they seem to have a sense that we, as their owners, do. And that we do things for a higher purpose. They seem to understand hypocrisy enough to know we can go back on our own word.

Christianity would tell me it is because God made man to rule over the earth, and beasts know this instinctively, and follow our lead. Pets can reflect their owners personality. Wild animals will often not even run human beings off their territory, if the human beings don’t do anything to agitate them.

I just do not see how Evolution can explain behavior. And that is the chief thing human beings are concerned about.

So, what was the miracle I alluded to at the start of this post?

Well, when I chose that topic of ID for my paper, my professor said she thought I might have difficulty being unbiased. I thought this was unfair of her to say, and she criticized my rough drafts on that premise.

But after I turned in my final, she wrote, with a tone of some surprise, that it was objective, well researched, and she wouldn’t change anything except a few formatting errors. She also said “I learned a lot.”

I knew going in that she would be hard to convince since she was expecting me to be biased, and it amazed me that she praised it that much. I got 99 out of 100 points.

I worked really hard on that paper, and I’m glad I did. It was never a fair fight, as I had sundry difficulties finding good, unbiased sources. Plus, I had classmates who were skeptical to begin with and criticized things that were irrelevant, a couple of times. My professor also used fallacious reasoning when she criticized it.

All this to say, that I finally won out was a miracle, in my opinion.

Also, one of my other classmates said the paper made them think because they had not really considered the question before, but they agreed with my conclusion that ID should be given a fair chance.

I proved I could be fair but also prove my point. Shooting down two expectations people have of religious people.

And my classmate I mentioned at the start actually told me during our conversation he was surprised at how fair I was, that is, I stuck to my points but was not a jerk about it.

I took from all this that it is possible to talk about your faith with people, and defy expectations.

I think Christians in general accept the label that we hate science way too easily. I don’t know of many in my community who have had these kinds of talks with people. People assumed I hated science because I was religious.

I love science, actually, but not Evolution.

Anyway, I hope this post encourages you about it. If you want to know more about ID and Evolution, I recommend Kent Hovind’s seminars, and a movie you can find on YouTube called “The Atheist Delusion” despite the title, it is not hating on atheists, it’s actually very respectful. Just a play on the book “The God Delusion” (which is anything but respectful).

Until next time, stay honest–Natasha.

 

 

Bringing people back to life.

“Was it you ‘mid the fire and the ember? Were you there to bedevil and beguile?

See, your face isn’t quite as I remember, but, I know, that wicked shape to your smile.

Bury me as it pleases you, lover, at sea or deep within the catacombs,

but these bones never rested while living, so, how can, they stand to languish in repose?”

(Where is Your Rider, The OH HELLOS.)

Today I want to jump right into a rather unusual topic for blogs.

This began for me by thinking of one of the shows I’ve given my patronage too, that is RWBY.

I have my issues with it, but last year’s season brought some new ideas to the table.

Namely, one episode that raised the question: Is it okay to want people to come back from the dead?

You know, as much as people like to tell you that we’re all entitled to our own opinion, and that we don’t need to talk about it if we have differences, and that we should focus on our strengths, yada yada, I never see so much engagement online or in real life as when it becomes about a moral or religious question (if they are really different, which I doubt.)

A lot of people’s comment on this episode is that death must be accepted and why should one person get what millions of people do not get.

Some people think, it’s no big deal, can’t gods (or God) being people back to life with a snap of the fingers, why not just do it?

Some say, the person has to be worthy of being brought back. It gets real twitchy at that point.

Well, as Christian, I found this debate rather interesting. All religions address the idea of life and death, most of them address the idea of whether people can be brought back to life.

Egyptian and Greek Mythology famously contain myths about trying to bring back dead people or dead gods.

What’s funny too, is that almost every religion gives some reason why people must die and stay dead.

And most modern interpretations of the issue feel the need to justify why people must stay dead.

Even though, strangely enough, the idea that resurrecting people is possible is everywhere. Even through time travel, as the least magical or mystical way to achieve it (sort of).

Have you ever thought about it?

The great writers I’ve read have all encouraged me to think more seriously about ideas that are common to almost all people. Why do we dismiss the things everyone wants, everyone thinks about, as wishful thinking?

It would be more sensible to ask, if this desire shows up everywhere, like hunger and thirst, shouldn’t there be a reason for it?

Grief itself is proof of it’s own strangeness.

Grief is universally shocking. That’s one of the first emotions of it. When we lose someone, even a pet, even a plant, we are stunned.

Even in war times when it was likely, we are surprised.

And we wish it didn’t have to be so.

So when it comes to the idea of raising the dead, it seems to taunt us in a way.

Shows, especially anime and magic-based shows, are very fond of bringing up the issue almost in mockery of the bereaved.

Like bringing back characters who we wish could stay alive, but in ways that make it impossible to be happy. They come evil, they come back because of some terrible crime, or they come back but don’t remember who they were.

That dream of resurrections isn’t truly achieved.

And usually the other characters have to let them go back to the afterlife. If there is one on the show or in the book.

In myths, the idea of bringing back loved ones tends to backfire. Like, you’re messing with nature.

Odd, considering resurrection is actually a part of nature.

The process of reproduction is basically a resurrection in of itself. Let alone the stories all of us have heard or read of recoveries that don’t make sense, out of body experiences, people coming back to life after being declared medically dead.

Death is the most unnatural part of nature.

At least if you believe the Bible.

Skeptics might look at the Bible and declare that death is part of the ecosystem, that we could not survive as a species if we did not die, if animals did not die.

But they assume two things, one, that the ecosystem we have now is the only one we could have.

Two, that the world is the same as it always was, which the Bible claims is not true, that at one time our resources were far greater.

Lastly, though the skeptic may laugh at this, it’s a bit stupid to think that God who made all things could not replenish the earth if we exhausted our resources. He already does that.

The same with death, really. If things do get worse over time, it really doesn’t matter. The bible says God renews youth like the eagles.

So that death happens is strange. But that it is irreversible would also be strange.

Why on earth would it be?

Death, according the Bible, is the offspring of Sin. No sin=no death. The God who could remove sin could remove death also.

We still die, naturally.

Christianity, it’s been pointed out, would be a hopeless religion if Jesus did not raise the dead.

It’s odd that the thing many religions are afraid of, and modern writers tend to treat as an abomination, as a weakness of the person who refuses to let go, the Bible treats as barely an inconvenience.

In both the old and new Testament, raising the dead requires less time and effort than climbing a mountain; phases people less than the voice of God; and barely even shocks them, after the initial amazement.

Elijah raised a boy from the dead, I think Elisha did also, Jesus raised at least three on record, probably more, Peter raised one. Paul presumably was raised from teh dead by God. And Jesus Himself of course.

It doesn’t even seem to stun these people.

What’s hilarious, if you’re comparin it to how we treat the subject in myth and ficiton, is that when the dead are raised in the Bible it’s never for them. Never based on what they deserve.

Because, you see, if they were in heaven, they are far better off, and it’s ridiculous to talk of deserving to return to this messed up world.

If they were in hell, clearly they didn’t even deserve earth.

Nope, every time it’s for the bereaved. The very thing RWBY, other shows, and myths all decry as the worst reason to resurrect someone, is the only reason the Bible does so besides just straight up God-force, like when Ezekiel brought a whole valley of bones to life, and saints resurrected after Jesus died. (Google it.)

Jesus raised Lazarus for the sake of his sisters, Peter raised Dorcas for the sake of her friends, Elijah raised the son of the woman who sheltered him for her sake.

Is it selfish to wish people back from the dead then?

That’s the idea behind telling people “Why should you be any different from anyone else?”

Funny thing is, the Bible abhors that idea.

The Bible’s question to all men and women is always “Why shouldn’t you be different from everyone else?”

“All men die, few men ever really live”–Braveheart

Why should you sin, and die, like all men? Why not seize onto the offer of Christ, as anyone who reads His word is given the chance to do?

Well, the goal of Christianity is that we will all be saved and so share the same fate, but at the very least, you yourself should be saved.

When you consider that life is the normal state of things, it is not remarkable to want people back from the dead. Death interrupted them.

One zany anime has coined this feeling exactly, you probably can guess, if you’re an anime person, that I mean Dragon Ball.

Dragon Ball classically treats death as an inconvenience that is remedied multiple times even for the same character. People joke that death has no consequences on that show, like that’s a downside.

But the Bible teaches exactly that. “O Death, where is your sting?”

The idea most ridiculous to most people is that death does not have a sting anymore, that it could be a nuisance, not a tragedy.

But, hell is the tragedy. Our bodies dying is a inconvenience.

Before I end this, I suppose I should answer the question as to why people still die.

Christians, specifically, since we are the ones who claim we will live forever.

The best answer I have, and I am no expert, is what Paul says about the corruptible putting on the incorruptible.

The body, because we’ve had it while sinners, is corruptible. Many health issues come for sin, a lot of death comes from sin. Jesus, in a mortal body, died.

Mortal bodies pay the price of sin, whether it’s the person’s who has it, or someone else sinning against them.

After all, if they did not, sin would be a minor problem also, or men would at least treat it as such.

But, when we die, as Christians, the Word says we change this body for a new one. We are not ethereal spirits floating through space, we remain ourselves. Our body is a tent, Paul says, one we will upgrade eventually. The body is the last part of oneself to be redeemed form death.

The reason is, God starts form the top, Spirit, Soul, Mind, and Body is the least important part.

That’s to the  best of my knowledge.

Yet, if Jesus had not raised the dead, I’d be foolish to trust that idea. WE must know resurrection is possible before we can trust ourselves to be resurrected after we die.

see, the Faith of the Christian all comes down to this: Are we willing to be resurrected into a different world? Are we willing to leave earth and accept heaven?

It sounds like anyone would, but heaven is scary. IT’s unfamiliar. There have been christian hesitant to go there.

Some people joke about going to hell because all their friends will be there.

Well, that may be, but it wouldn’t comfort you.

Hell is as unnatural to us as heaven, the only difference (other than torment) is that Heaven is not isolation, and so we will have help. While Hell is isolation, utter and total. And if you know of people there, it only make it worse. (See the story of the man who asked Abraham to warn his brothers not to go there.)

It’s a smaller matter to be raised to lif eon earth, that’s a return to an old form, but to be raisedin heaven, it’s going to be different.

That’s why old stories and new stories often do not go far enough. They ask if we should want the dead to be raised, but they never ask if we should want the dead to come back stronger and better than before.

(Except Dragon Ball, that old show really just hit it by accident, didn’t it?)

Lastly, this is one example of a very real truth: That Christianity is not about accpeting thins as they are.

It is about knowing things are not the way they should be, and doing soemthing about it.

IT is dangerous how much the idea of acceptance has crept into the church, and the culture around it. Sure, we should accept people initially as they are.

But we should not accept that thins will never change, because they will. It’s just a matter of whether it’s for the better or worse.

Either you are moved by the world, or you move it  yourself. Archimedes had the right idea.

Image result for archimedes move the earth image

 

Until next time–Natasha.

Passengers

I just watched Passengers.

My reviews would probably be better if I saw these movies when everyone was still interested in them, but that’s what happens when you’re on a tight budget.

I find Space Movies weird. I like Interstellar, I watched Gravity one time, but there’s always a surreal feeling to it.

It’s the opposite of Star Wars, which makes space seem more normal to be in. These movies really empathize how weird it would feel to be in space.

It’s odd, because C. S. Lewis’es idea of space is that it is full. Vibrant. Not an empty vacuum.

And his idea, while seemingly ridiculous at the time, has now some scientific basis. Scientists think space is filled with kinds of matter we can’t identify. They are not sure what it holding everything together anymore. It just is.

Since they aren’t allowed to say God anymore, at least in secular textbooks.

One of the most annoying things about my astronomy class was that every time we got to something that couldn’t be explained, we were not allowed to say God.

Just like in this movie, when Jim is railing at the universe, he is not allowed to call it God.

Yet, the Universe has a sense of humor? How can a thing have a sense of humor?

You might just as well call it God.

If you look for God in nature, you will find Him. You may not find Him quite like how the Bible would describe Him, no one should take Nature as the ultimate authority on God’s character, Nature is fallen, like mankind, and subject to sin and destruction. That’s what Romans would tell us.

Christianity explains why Nature is both cruel and kind, light and dark, creative and destructive, wise and yet senseless. It’s because it reflects us, the same battles we find inside. Why we use nature for analogies, like having “stormy” feelings, or a “sunny” personality.

Space movies (and books perhaps) seem to capture the human feeling of being lost and overwhelmed by what we find around us. Yet, what we find is beautiful, terrifying, and full of wonder.

Without a personal touch, it seems empty and meaningless.

It’s not much of a stretch to say Passengers mirrors the Adam and Eve story, though it also adds the redemption story to it, self sacrifice, and the power of choice.

A chosen fate seems more bearable than one forced on us.

I don’t know if discussing Jim’s earlier actions in a moral light is what I want to do, they were bad, but not entirely unexpected. The important thing is, once he actually learned to love, he made the right choice. The same with Aurora.

The tree symbolism brings the Garden of Eden story into play too.

The message of the movie seems to be two-fold, that nothing happens without a reason, and that paradise is where you make it. That Love makes the difference between heaven or hell on earth–or in space.

I do not agree 100% with  the idea that we can make our own paradise, but I do agree that love makes even a bare spaceship into a garden of life, and that was a fitting way to show it.

It takes both the higher purpose of saving all the other people, and the smaller choice to stay with the other person to make the redemption complete.

A good metaphor for life, in it’s way. Two people united for the good of all is what marriage is meant to look like, and certainly what I hope mine will be.

It’s a sentimental movie, but that is by design. Not sure I would watch it again, I do not like sad stories, but it was worth checking out.

A closing thought from G. K. Chesterton: The only way to feel at home in the universe is to also feel like a stranger in it. (I paraphrase what he says in his book Orthodoxy.)

You could say, through this world, all of us are just passengers. On our way to either the worst possible disaster, or paradise. Our choice.

Until next time–Natasha.