Why Abraham Matters

You say Abraham, and you get “faith”… father of faith and father of faiths (plural).

Well, Abraham got me thinking and concerned…  Not because of the eventual so called “extremism” that sometimes occurs… but because the simple act of faith.  Let’s face it. God has (per biblical accounts) asked people to do some pretty violent things by faith in the past.  Aren’t we just happy that God no longer asks for that level of violence? Well, is it really the case? I find little evidence that God will not ask the same things nowadays

Let’s put ourselves back in Abraham’s family’s shoes….They did not know about Abraham’s intentions the day he was to sacrifice his son.  Let’s now imagine that somebody followed him to the mountain and see what he is about to do…. How would that person react? How would you react?

Now fast forward to the present.  Let’s say that somebody is about to carry out such an act in the name of God.  How should we react? Granted, the act was not carried out. However, we don’t know in advance is God’s plan. In addition, there is plenty evidence of God going either way, in terms of killings. So what should we do or think?

I would surmise that any sane person would attempt to prevent the act to be executed. And therein lies my first problem: a stated act of faith can look every bit as crazy as any abject act of senseless (senseless for whom?) religious violence to any body who is not privy to God’s intention. Problem? I don’t know how to make the difference between who is obeying to God and who is just a loony with a predilection for mass murder?

I say people of faith can be very dangerous bunch.

Luckily most people of faith would probably not carry an act that is clearly way out of certain range.  The reason? I would say, lack of faith.  They would not believe that God would ask them to carry such an egregious act. In fact their faith would be curtailed by reason.  It is clear that Abraham was not comfortable with sacrificing his son. The order did seem unreasonable to him. Yet his faith was able to get him over the hurdle.

In summary, if you have enough faith there is no act that you could not perform. That is the more faith, the more extreme the acts can be. (That’s why I am very afraid of people of faith, having access to weapons).

Nonetheless, as I mentioned in the very first sentence, extremism is not my main concern… 😀
Instead what has called my attention is the very fact that God would play with Abraham’s feeling just to test him. To the secular individuals out there, that in itself does not seem very loving or caring.  I would think that life is hard enough and Satan interested enough, as to provide ample means to test one’s faith without having to recourse to this kind of mental torture (Notice how Abraham lies to the Pharoh to save his butt, yet is ready to sacrifice his Son).  In fact the whole story sounds a bit grotesque… it feels crude and primitive.  A bit like the many folktales of proving “true love” by making one’s lover jump through fire hoops.

Really, can one imagine God telling Abraham; “Abby, Abby ma man, don’t hurt d child, a was a just kidding bro!”

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Travel is fatal to prejudice…. Might it also be to Love?

Coming back home, being the only one having gotten the benefit of extensive travel  can prove to be an issue…

First, we have the general Socrates’ Cave effect: For as much as travel gets you closer to former strangers, it can distance you from your home environment. For home wherever it is, means shared values as much as shared prejudices….

Second, we have  intimate repercussions: Love hopefully implies respect and esteem… How does one esteem that which one might no longer share?

It seems clear that enlightenment requires a much greater reflection and sense of self than one might originally imagine.  Otherwise one might be forced to choose between the enjoyment its full benefits  and avoiding feeling alienated from loved ones or ones that could be loved.

Traveler beware!

Die Leiden Des jugendlich CafeProz – Chapter 2, Braids and Prejudice

Saturday: I tried to go check her old address. Nothing.
Looked up her father’s name in the phone book and… miracles of
miracles he is there *and* answers the phone.  He confirms that is her father,
but does not have her contact information. All he knows is the name of the elementary school where she teaches.

Fine. I look up that school in the phonebook…. no school.
Look on line and there it is, oh precious perl of academia.
Not surprisingly, of all the schools in that city, the school is the
only one without a phone number!… Monday, I’m going to school.

I’m close (I think)…. and it is a bit nerve racking. I am almost jubilant
but don’t want to jinx it! Aaaargh. As of now I don’t want to be too happy but,
it is looking real good.

I have to sit on my hands, but my hyperactive self is on I-cant-take-it mode.
I am having all kinds of flashbacks about the things I tried to do to get
her attention… well more like the multiple ways I failed to even make a
dent in her armor.  She was a bit severe (obnoxious? stuckup? “reserved”?),
but those  2 long braids she had so often well made up for it. I loved
those braids. They were fascinating, beautiful, strong, seductive,
thick meshes of her very own fabric constantly in my sight (Naturally,
I sat the back of class… and she, in the front)

If she ever got to notice me was when, from time to time,
I would get her extremely “furax”(I am gifted like that) ….her eyes would
fire up, and launch these precision guided missiles towards me (yikes!!!)…
As I was saying, if she ever got to notice me (in a positive way) I had no
evidence of that.

Back then a couple of times I did follow her home after school
feasting my eyes on more glimpses of her (come to think of it, that sounds
either really cute or seriously creepy).  Ahhh kids. Funny enough, it
is with the same adolescent ardor that I am looking for her now.  Who
knows by now she could look like a big greasy potatoe(that would be a
downer) or maybe she’s maried, 5 kids….

I can’t help myself with wonderful idylic scenarios.  I vainly just try to
keeep in mind that no matter what it wont’ be anything like I imagine or
want to imagine… hmmm let’s see: still beautiful as I remembered her,
assertive, long braids, a nice clear forehead(I have a thing for
foreheads too), and that gleam in her eye that made me feel like
a fly getting too close to those zapping lights.

Ok, I will stop that  for now because this is silly. Sweet, delightful
nostalgic nonsense, but nonsense nonetheless!

Monday!! where art thou?

Die Leiden Des jugendlich CafeProz – Chapter 1, Collision

Why then and not at any other time is hard say.  What is certain is that
these were the days where the long forgotten utter despair from having an unexpected zit on the nose, a wavering voice pitch and a host of other gender-based embarrassments brought my well earned swagger to a screeching halt.

Sounds mysterious? Well, I am almost certain that for all those who have traveled and lived far away from the land of their youth this might sound familiar: sooner or later you collide with your past and when that happens you’re never quite prepared for it.

My own collision started with a long trip from the US to South America.  I landed on a Tuesday and, I must say, I enjoyed the benefit of no special feeling or any kind of premonition that I believe should normally precede momentous events… Nah, just your regular joyous friends and family reunion type of feeling.

To be honest, it was not the first time that I had thought about her.  I had gone back to French Guiana a couple of times in the last few years, and every time she would pop into my mind, but ever so gently…  and likewise that thought would dissipate in the effervescence of parties and excursions.

However, this time, out of nowhere, I felt the urge to check on my long lost love interest of 20 years ago (Mind you she probably never knew of said interest…).  Yes, just like that, it turned out that Thursday was the day the Lord had made for me to take a trip to where it all began: my old junior high.

Thanks to either my legendary puppy eyes, or my giant karma account I got to see records without any ID or vetting of any kind… and proceeded with my search.

Records were minimal. Nothing useful except for names and addresses of one or more parents. Good enough,  I thought. Women tend to shed their original last names after a  while, so yeah… parent info should prove to be very useful.

Ginger!  Got it. Her old address and the name of her father.  Not content just with copying down the info, I also took a photo of the page to make sure records did not disappear . Felt like a cold war spy.

Phase one: Mission accomplished! Big smile on face.

Things are looking good!

The Theory of Devolution vs Supernatural Selection

Most Biblical Type of people (I know, not a good way to start) agree on roughly 7000 years since Adam… Does that sound like enough time for us to get the way we are?

Must be… but lets consider for a minute the flood, which shaves off about 1700 years (see http://www.biblestudy.org/maps/tmelnefl.html which looks reasonable to me). That leaves us with 5300 years to to see the societies and individuals we have right now.  Meaning, humanity features races, languages, societies  that have presumably all emerged from those 8 survivors.

Obviously that’s 5300 years until now…  we know for sure  there were black people around the time of Jesus already ( how? well check the ethiopian story) That shaves at least another 2000 years.

Ok so we are left with 3300 years to go from Noah and his crew to full blown quasi the-way-we-are now… business… That is including language and societal development.

This implies that people will go from basically one culture (one race?) to a pretty diverse bunch, build a plane go all the way from South America to Papua New Guinea, swim across and hide in Japan and Australia.  Then loose the plans to the planes, so nobody (meaning no European) can find them until recently.

I think that could work!  Of course, that’s an awfully small amount of time to develop such marked physical features as well as build individually recognizable societies, languages, alphabets etc…

Either God was doing extra homework to get us people the way we are (creating races etc)… or it seems to me we are looking at a human pre-cambrian explosion in terms of evolution of mankind.  That is why suggest  “accelerated evolution”.  Since we get that accelerated evolution speed, what happened then that stymied such grandiose evolution/adaptation thingy?

Introducing: Accelerated Devolution

What’s that?  It is the phenomenon that must have occurred in order for man kind to go from 8 people to what we were by the time Jesus needed to be breastfed in a way smooth enough for nobody to ever remark.

oh… Oups sorry, I just checked, the earliest Chinese dynasties date from around 2000 BC.

ARRGGH! dem Chinese!… they are messing with my calculus. You can imagine that if they got a dynasty going on, they had to have moved there a while ago… settle the land, fight etc (or they are just the lightening quick type of political people, in which case they could have  just have decided, ok you be the king, no no you be the emperor, no you, ok, ok,  I’ll be the emperor, fine? fine!).
http://www-chaos.umd.edu/history/time_line.html

In any case, well that shaves another good 2000 years from my accelerated evolution/devolution …  ooooh It’s tight.  It’s tight…. what to do?

Man, I’m left with just 1300 years to go from Noah+7 to to a  full blown Chinese dynasty, along with culture, politics, religion and  their physical features.

Introducing super duper evolution/devolution (SDED for short)

Of course in those 1300 years they get to travel that far, settle the land all the while experiencing SDED.

I know for you critics of the holy Bible, this sound way too short. You are probably thinking of the number of generations needed to create lasting genetic adaptations in microbial cultures….

Yes but that’s a human way of looking at human history.  If the bible says it happened in that time, it must be true, therefore put your bible goggles on (faith) and believe!  Or you can just imagine that God was helping out the process and that probably explains just about everything anyway.

Which is just a another to say: Supernatural Selection.