Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Sort of like a deer, but not.

When I cross a road at night and a car comes, I look directly at the car. Every time. Why?

I think it's an inherent understanding that when they see my face they will understand and deal with me as an 'other'. Something in the way they perceive me changes when they see my face. It's my little way of demanding that their treatment of that thing in the road shift from object to other. It's basically just the creation of a moral relationship. Interesting, eh?

Monday, February 11, 2008

A funny thin happened on the way to the JFSB today...

Walking across campus, I witnessed a unique seen. A physically handicapped guy, in a wheel chair, having lunch with a slightly-less-handicapped lady. He didn't have fully developed arms and she was feeing him cucumber sticks or something of the sort. It's the sort of awkward scene that is interesting but one must hide his interest so as to not be socially "rude". At any rate, as I watched the process for a moment, I was overcome by a sort of curious jealousy. Here was a man and woman, seemingly detached from the suffocating social norms by perceived-as-debilitating handicaps, enjoying a wonderful afternoon lunch together. No pretension, no image to keep up for the sake of someone that doesn't even care. These two people were just having lunch. She seemed perfectly at ease feeding him his lunch and he at receiving it, unable to assist. Both stunning examples of attitudes devoid from the pride that seems to plague us. They've understood and enacted a good life that few of us achieve and often only temporarily. To paraphrase "Gone In Sixty Seconds":

"...they carry with them an inherent nobility, and a supreme glory. We should all be so fortunate. You say poor them? I say poor us."

Saturday, February 9, 2008


I attended the Mika concert in Salt Lake last night. It was a blast! After we waited in the cold for 1 1/2 hours, we finally got in to intermix with the teenagers. Mika's instruments and equipment was stuck in CO somewhere in the snow so we got 10 dollars back from our ticket and heard a ad-libbed concert with someone else's instruments. It was really, really good! The band took the whole thing pretty light-hearted and just had a lot of fun with the audience doing something they'd never done before. My favorite part was the 40-something black guy behind me with a beard dancing and singing along... well worth the 13 bucks! If you get a chance, go to a Mika concert. He puts on a GREAT show!

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Egocentric doubt

So some not totally thought out thoughts on egocentric doubt. This doubt, in overabundance, brings such a focus on the ego that it may weaken and dissolve the community. Although listening and accepting the opinions of others suggests a faith in one's judgments about their opinions, it does not bare the same egocentrism. This focus on the ego seems to try to destroy the views of others to replace them with your own. We ought to be willing to limit the egocentrism at times, and be willing to adopt the intellectual progeny of others (at least in an experimental sense), and work them in our lives. By subduing the ego, we may significantly aide ourselves in developing part of relationships, friendships, marriages. It is hard, this courage to accept an other's will, yet courage and faith it is, a choice to believe. This adventurous endeavor undoubtably brings either some sense of unity, friendship, love, or well... disappointment.

Animal Sacrifice

So finally, I return to posting on this good ole blog. There will be many of them today I imagine. I wanted to note down some thoughts that I've pondered on animal sacrifice. I don't understand overall why it's there. It's traditionally explained as some sort of useful memory device that pointed people to Christ's coming and sacrifice. But I don't see how that's a valid point of view. They were without Christ, just as we are now. We have our types, explanations, tools and so forth to "remember him," so why couldn't they use similar ones themselves? We don't need to slay animals now to remember. Other rituals like dances would be just as fruitful without causing suffering. So this is strange stuff.

But then I thought that of course the food was eaten by the priests after the slaying of the animals. We have to slay animals or kill plants ourselves to eat. So if the animals were going to be slain anyway for the purpose of food (in a nontorturous way), then maybe the ritual has purpose. The public killing and burning could bring a communal awareness of what must be done so that we might live as humans. This seems more humane than eating in private boneless meats and forgetting what is done for us to live. So in essence, the animal sacrifice attaches further meaning to an act we already endure. That's useful. Yet, as I'm going through these Biblical sacrifices, it seems that many animals were burned/killed without being eaten at all. This seems extremely wasteful, and contains pointless suffering. So, oh well I tried to think of a meaning for them. Only some do. Last of all, how good is the animal sacrifice for a prefiguring of the atonement? The animals are not voluntarily giving up their lives as sacrifices (not that we could no if they were or not I suppose), so it doesn't equate too well. The blood being spilt could be shown without death, but I guess death is the point. Oh well; seems like another case of human ascendancy.