Tag Archives: blogging

Monday poem- “The Net”

The Net

Their drugs are telephone devices
And looking good
And being thin.
Their drugs are status updates
And wearing clothes
And fitting in…

But when these vapor drugs wear off
What then?

Coming down from the highs of status quos
Is not easy when you do not know
That the fickleness and tiny threads
And wickedness of this fragile web
Give them a larger phone to call from
But an even higher throne to fall from.

Formspring Question – “Why do you believe in God?”

Formspring Question – “Why do you believe in God?” (asked by an anonymous person on Formspring)

I have been asked why I believe in God a lot in the last 12 years. I have probably believed in God my whole life but it was 12 years ago that I realised that the existence of God required more than passive believe and that it was something that demanded a response from me. That’s when I eventually became a Christian, so I guess people ask it more now because the influence it has on my life is more obvious than it was before. I always answer differently depending on the person asking the question, but I’m not sure if I have ever really written down my answer to an anonymous reader before. The answer is one that has built up over years, as the default belief I once had has been reinforced firstly through critical thinking and research and then eventually through experience. I think in this entry I’ll only talk about the initial default belief as I think this is the thing that the questioner is asking about. There are many, many other reasons for belief in God. I’ll talk about how my beliefs were later reinforced in a later entry.

When I refer to having an initial default belief it isn’t because of the family I was born into was a religious one (because they weren’t), rather it seemed (and still does seem) to be a logical explanation for the world around us. Every child seems to know that something that is created and designed has to have a creator/designer. The big bang is a simple notion and it will only get you so far. One thing I wondered as a child when thinking about it was if the big bang occurred what caused it to occur. I didn’t realise it until much later but what I had adopted instinctively was a simple, childish version of “the Kalam Cosmological Argument”. The Kalam Cosmological Argument is a philosophical argument that basically says: anything that began to exist had something cause it, the universe began to exist, and therefore the universe had something that caused it to exist. In other words, as Julie Andrews sang “nothing came from nothing, nothing ever could”. So from the earliest time in my life belief in God made rational, reasoned sense.

Apart from my initial belief though, reason and science and math and logic have all pointed to the existence of God. To me looking back on my belief in God, the intricacy and order of nature is probably another thing that caused me to have an assumption there was a creator. I am still talking about an extremely young age, younger than I can even remember. I am to this day yet to find a better explanation for the intricacy of the universe than God. If we flew to Mars and found a library, and in that library were thousands of books and machines, we would logically conclude that there had been intelligent minds on Mars before us and that they had built the physical structure of the library, written the books and designed the machines. What I saw around me as a child was structure, order and design that is far more complex than the greatest buildings, computers and machines that are around today. This is another thing that caused me to believe as a child that an intelligent mind created this world.

As I mentioned before the belief in God was passive and assumed. It wasn’t until much later that I began to research the belief. Over the years I would read a lot, and learn a lot, and actually tried to debunk the notion of God. When I later saw what an important question the existence of God was I didn’t want there to be a God, but the more I tried to not believe in the idea of a creator the more evidence I found to support it. I eventually became convinced not only that God exists but that His existence demanded a response. It was after that I began looking at various religions, eventually stopping at the bottom of list with my least desired religion: Christianity. I found Christianity to be true. Once I became a Christian my evidence became more experiential, as I experienced God in ways I could not imagine, and these experiences supported Gods existence even more.

Each day of my life I have added to the evidence I have found for God existence with objective, reasonable, rational evidence as well as wonderful subjective personal experience.

To me it seems like the evidence for God is extremely abundant, and it seems to be the default belief for people in light of the evidence. For that reason the question isn’t really why someone would believe in God but why the heck wouldn’t they believe in God? There is no explanation that is more logical.

This question was originally asked and answered on Formspring. To ask me more questions on Formspring click here.

I am keen for more comments and discussion if you are willing. How do you respond to this question. Do you believe in God? Why? If you don’t believe in God, why not? Feel free to respond anyway you like, no comments will be censored but just discussed.

Thursday thought: On Time Offline

I’m a part of a generation that is wired up to everything. The generation after mine is even more wired up. And perhaps the generation after that will be wired up even more than them. TV, phones, computers are all networked up in one way or another and this for the most part is pretty cool.

For a good chunk of the year this year I decided to get away from this wiring up, and give up on using a lot of technology. I didn’t plan to, I didn’t think very deeply about it, it just seemed like the right thing to do for a while. I gave up a lot of technological tools that were networked up (mostly online but I also kept some off-line technology use to minimum).

There were a few reasons I made the decision (disillusionment, privacy, focus, time) but it was initially motivated by rereading the book “Blind Faith” by Ben Elton, which a friend gave to me. It is a novel set in near-future dystopia where privacy (and even the desire for it) is a sin and against the law. In the book the entire population blogs and uploads videos etc every single day and it is against the law to not have web cameras streaming your life for everyone to see. The public police each others lives and dob in people who don’t participate to the authorities. The main character in the book experiences a “breaking free” of this system and tries to encourage others to do so. It is an interesting book and gets the mind thinking about what our community might very well look like in the future.

Although we are a long way off anything described in the book, some of the ideas it explored made me think more analytically about internet, phones etc and the amount of time people spend using those types of things. I grew to be frustrated with it particularly social networking sites and decided to take some time to focus on art, thought, fitness, work, family, spirituality, dreaming and all this off-line stuff that we humans used to refer to as life. It was a personal decision to commit to this for a time which I found beneficial, productive and surprisingly refreshing and easy.

I spent a fair bit of time outside of work with family or alone with God and nature, and it was sometimes even lonely in a good way. It is surprising how much our social networks rely on the technological-type-of-social-networking these days. To an untrained eye, computerland, internetland and phoneland appear to be solitary lonesome activities but they are in fact a hub for community these days, even between real world friends. I guess because of the “wired-up” nature of the internet now, computer is a handy tool and also a distraction at the same time. A community hub with ying and yang like properties, benefiting us but also taking from us.

One thing I found taken away from me by the technology around me was my time. Breaking from it gave me some time back to do other things.

My break was just what I needed to fire up the creative-contributor in me and to kill off the consumer. I achieved a few things in that time that I am pleased with and that I wouldn’t have done while I was wired up. This was internal (mental, emotional, spiritual) and external (creative, relational, physical). I planned this “renovation of the mind” but not to the extent it occurred.

I do think that blogs, social-networking sites and other technological approaches to relationship and art have a place, but for me personally it seems relationships are more intimate off-line and that art is purer and more authentic. It may be harder to pursue answers without Google, friendship without FaceBook and expression without YouTube but the results seem somehow more enjoyable.

I am going to ween back to using technology again but I don’t see me using it half as much as before. I want to deliberately handwrite things, walk and talk with people and consciously live more offline. I expect to have balance now with things like time use, privacy and expression. At first it was difficult to not use computer etc and now it is difficult to use one. Now I am almost addicted to going without.

Even though I still see the web as a vitally important public space that I intend to embrace and use, I think it is important to keep it in its place and see it as one tool in the box and not even the most preferable… perhaps merely a meeting point for friendship and activity or a final destination for an expression… one room in a mansion of options.