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Isaac Asimov’s “The Threat of Creationism”

I came across this awesomely comprehensive article on evolution and creationism by one of the stellar figures of science fiction, Isaac Asimov. This is one of the best articles I have read on this topic.

Read it at: http://evolutionism.blogspot.com/2007/04/threat-of-creationism.html

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Obscenity

I was asked to be one of the guest speakers by an organization of Philosophy students in UP Diliman a few days ago regarding censorship.

A question was asked. As media practitioners, how do we actually delineate what is artful and what is obscene.

My reponse was, as a consumer, I take offense in the concept of the word obscene. Personally, the concept of “obscenity” makes me feel sorry for consuming materials exclusivel for my own sexual gratification. I have the right to enjoy my sexuality. This is my own body. And as long as I do not step on the rights of any other people, I can purchase materials for my own sexual pleasure.

As a media practitioner, I find it too inconvenient and at a certain extent pretentious to classify your work as obscene or artistic. One’s message should be clearly expressed whether some people find it obscene or not. Anyway, no is forced to consume my message. Why should I bother to please everyone else?

I’m Not Your Godparent

A few hours ago, I was asked by a colleague to be one of the godparents of his newborn child. And I was elated by the trust and the respect that was given to me to stand as a godparent.

But here’s my problem. I am personally against baptizing any innocent child into a particular religion. For me, a person must be old enough to decide which religion one chooses to belong to before being affiliated into a particular belief system. As a child and as a growing person, one must be exposed to different belief systems and must learn that one has a freedom to enter any religion or not.

Growin up as a gay man and as a baptized Catholic, I felt that I was given too much Christian teachings that made my gowing up years unnecessarily inconvenient — Gays are not accepted by God, Masturbation is a sin and all these senseless Catholic teachings. And instead of struggling with these Catholic teachings, I think I would be better of if I was just given introductory lessons on Islam, Buddhism, Judaism and other belief system that would make me appreciate the rich human experience.

Looking back, many of the Catholic teachings I have faithfully subscribed in, have actually hindered me from appreciating human identity and its nature. To me, they were tokens of oppression on my developing mind and being.

Given this stand, I told my colleague that he can certainly count on me for annual gifts and other “parental” support that may be needed by his son.

But no, I will never participate in any church rite to baptize an innocent mind because I refuse to contribute tokens of oppression for another human being.

About the “Holy Bible”

 

One of my favorite bloggers, Poch Suzara (http://thoughtstoprovokeyourthoughts.blogspot.com/) writes about the holy bible:

So you are proud of yourself as a bible reader and believer? You should, in fact, be ashamed of yourself. Our corrupt and rotten officials in the government are also proud they are readers and believers of the bible. So are most of the criminals in jail.
For my part, I am grateful. The bible is the only book I have read over and over again that inspired me to become an atheist. Indeed, if I never seriously read the bible from cover to cover, I probably would still be a religious moron today.
Oh yes, my dear reader. I dare you to read your bible. Seriously. Judiciously. Critically. Any of the 48 different versions of the bible sold in bookstores today. You might begin to understand how much of the hate and violence and wars in our world come from stupid messages from the stupid bible. — Poch Suzara

As for me, I have stopped reading the bible when I was 19. After studying comparative vertebrate anatomy, human evolution and Carl Sagan’s “The Dragons of Eden: Evolution of Human Intelligence”, I have joyfully and blissfully stopped believing in the Judeo-Christian God.

I Am Not a Vegetarian.

 

I attended a talk of world renowned yoga guru Dharma Mitra at the Hongkong Convention Center and he talked about why yogis should not eat meat. For him, not eating meat is a commitment to non-violence. When we stop eating meat, we end violence against animals.

I am certainly against the inhumane treatment of animals. Animals have rights too.

But there are issues bothering me as I ponder on the ideas of Dharma Mitra. If all humans decide not to eat meat, could violence in this world actually stop? Is violence simply an issue of food consumption?

I decided to ask a vegetarian friend about this. My friend claims that by not eating meat, she participates in non-vioence against other animals.

And this where my perspective diverges from them. For me, all organisms whether they belong to animal kingdom or plants or fungi or what have you, are all important in this grand scheme of life. After all, we are all essentially made up of living cells.

Hence, if we are so concerned with animals, we must also be concerned with how we treat plants and other organisms belonging to a different taxonomical kingdom. Aren’t eating plants a form of violence against living organisms as well? You may not hear them cry for help, but they could certainly be aware that their life is being ended. Plants respond to external stimuli as well know. Following this thought, if we are going to be over-protective of other organisms, shouldn’t antibiotics be banned as well because they are designed to “kill” other organisms. Bacteria may be unicellular, but they are still living organisms. And just like other vegetarian fanatics, we should also ban pesticides and insecticides as they are testament to “violence” against rats, mosquitos and cockroaches. Let these vectors of diseases be protected as we can never kill another animal.

For these very issues, aside from the fact that eating out as a vegetarian is quite expensive, I am not a vegetarian.

I recognize that I as an organism is an omnivore. And I belong to a food chain that is based on the eco-system that all organisms, no matter how many cells you are made of actually belong to whether we like it or not.

Yoga and its values represent an amazing tradition that is a landmark in humanity’s quest for a better life. And I can’t help but honor and respect this rich practice.

But if we want to live a rational life, I feel that we must see yoga with a 21st century perspective.

Living from Doing What You Love To Do

“The biggest mistake people make in life is not trying to make a living at doing what they most enjoy” – Malcolm S. Forbes (1919-1990).

If there is one thing in my life that I am absolutely proud of is the fact that I am able to live doing the things that I love to do. I teach yoga everyday. And I can write as much as I can (posting blogs, writing screenplays, writing scripts for companies). Doing these simple things are enough to keep me satisfied with my life. And the good thing is, they are also enough to pay the bills and get me a decent life here in Manila.

I am certainly not wealthy. But with majority of Filipinos living in poverty and millions of other workers experiencing dissatisfaction with their careers and their income, I feel absolutely blessed.

Don’t be afraid to take risks. Do what  you love to do. We measure the quality of our life with every single minute of our existence.