Sunday, June 29, 2008

I have a question...

...to which I would love people to respond, I'm just asking out of interest and curiosity.



Why is it so hard for people to believe there's a God?

If we were just a product of science, an illusion or even created by our own existentialist minds then why should we even consider that there may be a God? Where could this idea have come from and what component of our assumed selves would be questioning its existence?

People saw and experienced God. If Adam and Eve could see us now I think they’d be baffled at the way people debate over God’s existence, they’d be like er… we had lunch with him yesterday, what’re you on about he might not exist?!

Someone once said (yup, no idea who) "if Jesus didn't exist, I'd worship the man who created him". Jesus' character is incredible. His answers to the questions people asked him, his speeches and teachings and his perfection. The very doctrine of his death and resurrection which fits so aptly to the need for redemption. And his humble beginnings through a virgin birth which explains so much of his character and nature. How could anyone ever concoct such a coherent and undisprovable explanation of a higher being? I don't believe human beings have the capacity to produce such things from their own minds. Otherwise there would be a new religion every week, started by another philosopher who thinks of another possible God. That's why Jesus is so unbelievable in the first place and where our requirement for faith comes from- if he was conceived through a human mind then he would fit nicely into the human mind box and there'd be no need to doubt him. The fact Jesus is external to our minds explains in itself why our minds cannot comprehend him.

Language, Geography, Maths, Science etc. Where from and why? In the sense of their complexity and composition. How can whole equations and theories be derived from nothing? There's an obvious need for a creator. Think Paley's watch (or perhaps for some 'google' Paley's watch.)

Following on from that are the qualities we have. The bible says we are "made in God's image". I find it sensible to assume our creativity comes from a creator, our ability to love comes from the God of love (1 John 4:16: "God is love"), our ability to care comes from the Counsellor (Isaiah 9:6), and our existence comes from the Life (John 14:6). The list goes on and on. Which leads to a possibly fair assumption that if God is eternal (Deuteronomy 33:27) then we also should have the capacity to be eternal. Something which science cannot offer as it is subject to it's own laws which certainly don't allow for eternity. (Laws of thermodynamics- take the 2nd law, we're losing energy therefore our universe is finite) nice site about it here: http://www.physicsplanet.com/articles/three-laws-of-thermodynamics).

Why do we have a sense of right and wrong? It's a debated subject but as we're aside from the complex debates let's just consider it for a moment, why do we feel some things are just plain wrong? There must be some moral standard we are falling short of. Leading on from that, why is anything considered good? Where does goodness come from and more to the point, how can anything be universally good? It doesn't make sense to presume that nothing motivates our morals.

This leads onto our need for justice. Without eternal judgement, we face many injustices (think how people can feel when a criminal commits suicide and so avoids a life prison sentence). Without Jesus, where is the atonement we intrinsically feel the need for?

If we are unspiritual beings, where does our capacity to worship come from?

Our existence. Why are we here, what's our purpose and why should we have to suffer if we are only here for the sake of reproduction? Why would a scientific system involve suffering. Or is that an illusion? But then why would we create our own suffering? Instead of disproving God, suffering seems to be much more likely if there is a God. This is explained particularly well in the book by Stephen Gaukroger called It Makes Sense.

Prayer. Why do prayers get answered, why do we see healings? If it's a result of positive thinking then where's this positivity coming from? A chemical reaction? Our minds? But do our mind even exist or are we purely physical. Where's the line between physical and mental? Spiritual?

Is it really possible that the majority of the world's population (lumping together all theists there) are deluded? And if they are, what is the 'truth' to which they are being deluded of? As we cannot apply our own perceptions to a universal truth. So what is the truth we are being deluded of? A non- existent God? But if it doesn't exist then that's not a truth, it's nothing. So we are being deluded of nothingness. Maybe science is the external truth of which we are deluded from. But what about the changing of scientific theories? It can't be a truth if it isn't true for all people at all times. Or were they all deluded too and it's only the modern man who believes in the big bang who isn't deluded.

The sustainability of the bible. How has it lasted so long and spread so far. A power behind it?

A great trump card for religion (not faith as Dawkins suggests, a quote I love: "sooner or later Christians pull out the trump card of faith" serious lols but that's a whole other can of worms) anyway, a great trump card is the fact it has not (and potentially even cannot) be disproved. The greatest minds, the most modern technology and the most intelligent theories cannot rule of the possibility of God. In fact some have made the possibility stronger and many even rely of the assumption of the existence of a higher being in order to cohere. Surely if God didn't exist we would have figured it out by now. To be fair we've had at the very least 6000 years to figure it out and hundreds of millions of minds to ponder over it.

And finally if all sense of reason fails, isn't it just a safer bet to assume there is a God (i.e. Pascal's wager).

And that ^^^, is why I cannot understand why people have such a hard time getting their minds around the possibility of a God. That is, assuming we actually have a mind.

I'd like to point out that I'm fully aware that there are counter arguments to all of the points I've made, some of which I've mentioned, but I've deliberately chosen to put across a biased opinion as I'm not really looking for a debate, I'm just pointing out why from one point of view it's easy to see that God exists. Just thought I'd point that out so it doesn't come across that I'm in my own little intolerant world of fantasy. :P On that note, I've read the counter arguments, I've listened to Dawkins and I've debated with many an atheist yet I'm still more swayed by the pro-God arguments. I wonder why that could be...

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Dear Mr President...

"Dear Mr President"
Pink
Dear Mr. President,
Come take a walk with me.
Let's pretend we're just two people and
You're not better than me.
I'd like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly.

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye
And tell me why?

Dear Mr. President,
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
How can you say
No child is left behind?
We're not dumb and we're not blind.
They're all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to hell.

What kind of father would take his own daughter's rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You've come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye?

Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Minimum wage with a baby on the way
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box
Let me tell you 'bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work
You don't know nothing 'bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work
Oh

How do you sleep at night?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Dear Mr. President,
You'd never take a walk with me.
Would you?


Friday, June 20, 2008

what a pity

from the director of Prince Caspian:



"My concern was [religious allegory] kind of overshadowed the film and CS Lewis and the book ...it is a relief people are just concentrating on the film and not what it means to this or that person."~ Andrew Adamson



surely that's completely backwards?

fish. a metaphor for freedom?

To be honest, this is just the old cliched woohoo exams are over blog entry.

Exams are basically a concentrated period of extreme emotions. I have categorised these emotions into 3 main... categories:

Pre panic- reality has not set in, life is good and the next exam will be fine. indicating emotions/actions include: procrastination, relaxed, sunbathing.

Panic!- reality has set in, life is one big stress and the next exam will be the beginning of the end of your life. indicating emotions/ actions include: worrying, stress, crying, moaning, tense, physically sick, scared and general feelings of impending doom.

Post panic- also known as 'past caring' you don't give a toss about reality, life just doesn't matter anymore and you don't know nor care when your next exam is. indicating emotions/ actions include: defeated, depressed, whatever, more procrastination and giving up halfway through exams.

So big thank yous to everyone who has put up with me sunbathing one minute and screaming the next. It's not me, it's the exam demon.... honest :S

Ok time for my exam reflections (yes i know that is so lame but what else do you expect from a serial blogger/ worrier/ thinker)

Probably Definitely the only thing that has got me through the exams is knowing God's got a plan whatever happens and that it is him who I'm working for. And I hope I have honoured God by trying my hardest. I'm not too sure that I will get the grades to do what I want but it's not about what I want, and I'm happy to do whatever God wants me to.

That said, I'll need it playing on repeat on the week of results :S




The most scary exam award goes to english unit 4, for being the first exam and for reducing me to an absolute nervous wreck.

The hardest exam award goes to german reading... wth?

The i give up exam reward goes to english unit 6.

The blood pressure through the roof exam award goes to psychology unit 4.

The mega cram for exam reward goes to psychology unit 5.

The stupidest exam award goes to english unit 6.

English unit 6. Last exam. Two and a half hours. 3 texts with a common theme need to be compared. And what was the common theme this year? Fish. Yup 2 and a half hours of writing about fish. I hope the examiners laugh cos I sure didn't.

But on the upside, i managed to mention feminism in all 3 english papers, even the one about fish :)

Anyway, I made it! Even when I really thought I wouldn't. So now 12 weeks of freeeeeeeeeeedom.

And I can no longer feel guilty for watching trashy tv and spending all day on facebook.

And the best thing... people will stop saying "you'll be fine". Officially, THE worst phrase ever to be uttered from anyone's lips let alone from every single person who you happen to mention the word exam around.

The End.

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

the themes thou lovest best

This is thy hour O Soul,
thy free flight into the wordless,
Away from books, away from art, the day erased, the lesson done,
Thee fully forth emerging, silent, gazing, pondering the themes thou lovest best,
Night, sleep, death and the stars
~Walt Whitman

I love this poem, totally sums up those moments when you're lying awake at night and thinking about life. I love the irony of it, how the formation of the poem contrasts with the point of it.
Beautiful.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

blogging etiquette

so, blogging being the new big thing and all, i came across an article about how to blog. now, i didn't realise that there actually is a way to blog, i just figured some people write entertaining blogs and some people, just don't. but there are professors in blogging (apparently) who give their expert advice on how to get people to read your blog.

1. Make your opinion known. Not being funny, but what do they actually suppose a blog is. It's hardly a list of facts that's for sure. Even I realise noone is going to sit and read a blog post that reads "an apple from sainsburys costs 50p. from asda it would cost 49p. but from tesco it is 30p"
2.Link like crazy. a) is my blog not good enough? b) links take time to insert... actually spending serious amounts of time blogging steps dangerously close to computer geekage... number one rule of blogging is that real life happens first c) how many blog readers actually bother clicking on links in blogs? i dont thats for sure. it'd mean what you were writing was actually compelling enough to fuel further reading, and if you ask me (slipping my opinion in there like a good girl) that's a lot of pressure for one little blogger.
3.Write less works for some. not for me. i blog because i like words, not so that i can try and use less of them.
4. 250 Words is enough i quote my dad "you could write 200 words in your sleep". why limit yourself? word limits apply to coursework, exams and stalky emails to guys you fancy. that is all.
5. Make Headlines snappy no, make your first line snappy. heck, make your whole damn blog snappy.
6.Write with passion yes, i am so passionate about my exams. my heart is ablaze with joy as pure as gold at the prospect of each glorious second i shall spend exploding my knowledge upon the clean blank slate that lays before my on the wonderfully crafted wooden tabletop. nope, i'm not feeling it either.
7.Include Bullet point lists

things i've done this week:

  • watched the apprentice (and hollyoaks, and holby blue)
  • taken some pics
  • gone on facebook
  • eaten some fat juicy strawbs from the allotment
  • drank copious amoun ts of diet coke
  • travelled to stafford and back
  • revision

done. come on now, honest opinion, was that really an amazing, blogworthy attribute to my blog? no, i didn't think so either.

8. Edit your post
dose thia realy needto go in s list£ surly youd makesure it mdae sense aynway to aviod it lookiong likethis?!
9. Make your posts easy to scan how exactly do you do that? number the paragraphs then write "if this paragraph is too boring, skip to paragraph number 6?"
10. Be consistent with your style my blog reflects my mood. my moods are not consistent. consequence- my blog is not consistent. but i'd rather it was real. and anyway it's always going to be consistent to some degree unless you happen to suffer from multiple personality disorder, in which case i'm sure youd be forgiven. but surely itd be boring if it was too consistent...
11. Litter the post with keywords ooh like subliminal messaging. buy today was fi a good day really, i went chocolate shopping. mmm maybe that's not what it means. erm... oh it's ok i just read the accompanying explanation. it's so people can search and find your blog. ok so i guess my keywords are "welcome mr weirdo stalker to my blog. glad you found this by searching for my keywords now please dont cyberrape me".


Scrap those rules and make cyberworld a better place by following mine instead:

Fi's rules for blogging:
1. Don't make spelling mistakes that are stupid enough to make your maths teacher/little sister/german penpal cringe.
2. Be funny. Sarcasm= tick. Well told anecdotes= tick. Punchy comments= tick.
3. Write whatever and however the heck you want. Don't try to adhere to a list of rules. The whole point of a blog is to be creative and the world could do without intellectual idiots curbing all the creativity with formulaic instructions on how to be creative.

good tuneage

RELIENT K LYRICS

"Who I Am Hates Who I've Been"


I watched the proverbial sunrise
Coming up over the Pacific and
You might think I'm losing my mind,
But I will shy away from the specifics...

'cause I don't want you to know where I am
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

[Pre-Chorus]
Stop right there. That's exactly where I lost it.
See that line. Well I never should have crossed it.
Stop right there. Well I never should have said
That it's the very moment that
I wish that I could take back.

[Chorus]
I'm sorry for the person I became.
I'm sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

I talk to absolutely no one.
Couldn't keep to myself enough.
And the things bottled inside have finally begun
To create so much pressure that I'll soon blow up.

I heard the reverberating footsteps
Synching up to the beating of my heart,
And I was positive that unless I got myself together,
I would watch me fall apart.

And I can't let that happen again
'cause then you'll see my heart
In the saddest state it's ever been.

This is no place to try and live my life.

[Pre-Chorus x2]
[Chorus]

Who I am hates who I've been
And who I am will take the second chance you gave me.
Who I am hates who I've been
'cause who I've been only ever made me...

So sorry for the person I became.
So sorry that it took so long for me to change.
I'm ready to be sure I never become that way again
'cause who I am hates who I've been.
Who I am hates who I've been.

Monday, June 16, 2008

my psychology essay

ok... it's added even more credibility to the claims of my utter geekage. but here is the essay that won me 5th prize in the Heythrop college psychology essay award... and yes, more than 5 people entered (i hope) cos I've heard that joke a million times since! And I won real life money which as my mum pointed out "they don't hand out with a packet of crisps". I think that might be one of her strange scottish sayings... or maybe just one of her stange sayings. So yea, im thrilled i got 5th even though it does mean 4 whole people wrote better essays :P

How does psychology help us answer the question ‘who am I’?

One of the most enthralling aspects of psychology is the never ending scope of questions which can be examined and, in our highly narcisstic society, identity is a theme to which many of these questions can be attributed. Psychological research has focused on many complicated issues such as ‘why do we get stressed?’, ‘why do we find it so hard to obey our parents?’ and even ‘why are some people so strange?’ The repeated conclusions of many studies have provided numerous biological and psychological theories to help us understand our behaviour better. These findings provide possible bridges between the questions of ‘who am I?’ and the complicated, as yet unsolved, and fragmented answers.
In order to find answers to the question of who we are, psychologists have looked at the minds and behaviours of people during their first years. This helps psychologists to find the origins of people’s behaviours which can then answer questions about their identity. An example of this is Bowlby’s Maternal Deprivation Hypothesis. He believed it was important that there is a positive and continuous relationship between an infant and its primary caregiver. In his study on the juvenile thieves (1944)
[1] he concluded that the lack of this positive and continuous relationship caused delinquency and emotional problems later in life. In this instance, psychology helps us answer the question of who we are, as we can learn about the way our past experiences shape our personalities and from there we can have deeper insight into people’s characters.
An important aspect of who we are is our level of intelligence. Therefore, it is key in self- examination to focus partly on intelligence. This is what Piaget did through his studies into the development of thinking. He proposed several stages through which each person goes before they reach their adult level of thinking. The last stage he named “the formal operational period”. Having reached this stage at around 12 years, a person is able to think logically and abstractly. This leads to a person developing their own individual morals and beliefs and therefore a person forms a strong identity. This can explain the strong presence of self-analysis during adolescence, as the individuals have entered the stage in which they learn to fit in with the world (by becoming less egocentric) and when they learn to think about their lives in terms of understanding consequences through hypothetical reasoning and so are able to make decisions on which their future is dependent. Piaget’s theory allows an understanding of why personalities can vary so much at different ages, for example why a toddler sees the world with different eyes to a teenager.
Psychology provides credible theories for why certain behaviours may be displayed in an individual. This helps a person to learn more about themselves and creates a capacity for change as people are able to objectively see what is causing their behaviour and are therefore able to makes changes at the root cause of the behaviour. An example of where psychology achieves this is the Cognitive Model of Abnormality. A psychologist called Beck believed that in order to understand behaviour the thoughts behind the behaviour must be examined. Beck believed that negative views about the world, the self and the future could lead to depression. Therefore a depressed person can be treated by appraising their thoughts (i.e. going back to the root cause of behaviour). Through this thorough therapy, a person is able to understand their behaviours in a way that other therapies, for instance drug therapy, can not achieve and therefore the treatment can be seen as more effective since the origin of the problem is eliminated, not just the consequential behaviour. This is a good example of how psychology can provide understanding of humans in a way which biology can not.
Psychology can explain how behaviour is inherited and can therefore account for the diversity among the attitudes and actions of people. Albert Bandura (1973) studied the foundations of aggressive behaviour. He proposed a theory entitled “Social Learning Theory” in which he described people’s behaviours as deriving out of their observation of others. He believed that young children would imitate observed behaviours of role models and would therefore inherit certain personality traits, e.g. aggression. Psychology therefore shows us more of who we are as we have tangible experiences to which we can attribute our behaviour and therefore gain a larger picture of our lives.
Psychology also looks at debates such as ‘is our personality a result of nature or nurture?’ This can answer the question of whether the person we are is a direct result of our genes or whether we have the capacity to be influenced and transformed by the environment in which we dwell. Through the theories of psychologists such as Watson (1914) and Skinner (1938) the behaviourist approach contested with the previous theory (as influenced by Darwin) that personality was a direct result of our genetic makeup. However, these empiricists were at the other end of the spectrum and denounced any participation of genes in the personality of a person. As a result of these conflicting views, a middle ground has been established. An example of an intermediate belief is the diathesis-stress model. This states that a person can be genetically susceptible to a certain personality trait (or disorder) but it is only through environmental occurrences that these traits are developed. We can link this back to the way psychology aids our self understanding; because of psychology, we are able to acknowledge that our personality is a result of more than our genetic makeup and this provides us with broader insight of our character.
Many psychological studies have also focussed on culture and the collective identities of people within these cultures. A good example of where culture affects who we are is the study by Ijzendoorn and Kroonenberg (1988).
[2] A secure attachment seemed to be the norm in Western societies, however Germany, for example, deviated from this norm as the majority of participants had an insecure- avoidant attachment. A reason proposed to explain this was that Germans tend to discourage the ‘clingy’ relationship present among securely attached children. The result of an insecure- avoidant relationship can be difficulty with close, intimate relationships later in life. Through this, a German who has a personality trait of distance from others can find answers to why this is, through not only psychological theory, but the discovery through psychological research shows it also has cultural basis. Therefore psychology once again provides answers about identity.
Another component of personality which has also been studied is memory and its role in defining our character. Psychology has shown us how our long term memory is of infinite capacity (or full capacity has not yet been reached by any individual) and in general stays a memory throughout life. A study by Bahrick (1975) showed that 90% of people could remember the names and faces of their classmates after 34 years. The importance of this is that, as shown by the Social Learning Theory, our experiences shape who we are and therefore our memories form part of our identity. Psychology has therefore helped us know who we are due to the way it shows memory is a consistent component in a person’s life.
Overall, if a person were to, at any stage in their life, take time to ask themselves “who am I?” then psychological theories and studies would aid their exploration as psychology provides a broad range of approaches towards the explanations of behaviours. The vast scope of psychology encompasses biological, cognitive, behavioural and psychodynamic explanations and this is integral to the solution of the question “who am I?” as the question itself elicits a multi-dimensional answer, one which can be achieved through the magnitude of psychology.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Ouch.

11:50pm. Lying in a shed. Listening to music. Facebooking. Chatting.
Oh and did I mention, Jade the sadist is waxing my legs with 99p wax strips after I made the dreaded mistake of pulling up my trouser leg. Jade's commentating on how hairy my legs are and has labelled me a lady-boy. I'm debating whether the real problem is my apparent overwhelming hairiness or Jade's overwhelming lack of it.

Jade: "have you actually shaved in the past year?"
Me: "er yea... like two weeks ago"
Jade: "ok you are officially too hairy to be my friend"

Jade's got a literal phobia of hair, and I can promise you, going near my legs is like a claustrophobic getting buried alive.

We're also having a debate about what's worse- having one abnormally long hair (see one of my past posts) or pulling out one abnormally long hair. Personally the thought of plucking it out makes me want to vomit but Jade thinks it worse to just leave it.

And I made the whole blog without mentioning bikini lines. Oops I just did.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

It's On!

So, psychology exam was this morning. Ok questions, crappy answers!

Anyway, I know should be furiously revising for tomorrow, even though I have given up hope on German.

But before I go and sit in the garden and start plowing through 25 pages of notes, I thought I'd share something that made me smile this morning. (Took a while to remember what this strange phenomenon* was, my mouth muscles were slightly confused)

It's On by Superchick

It all comes down to this
You take your best shot, might miss
You take it anyway
You're gonna make your move today
Got the will, you'll find the way
To change the world some day
Grab this moment before it's gone
Today's your day

It's on and on
It's on and on
It's on and on
Today's your day
So c'mon bring it on
It's on and on
It's on and on
It's on and on
Today's your day
So c'mon bring it on

And the view will never change
Unless you decide to change it
Don't feel like it today
Just show up anyways
And though life will take you down
It only matters if you let it
Get up, go through, press on
Today's your day
Chorus
(echo) Bring it on

And though you want to quit
Don't think you can get through it
You've come to far to walk away
It's not gonna be today
And no matter how you feel
It's what you do that matters
This is your moment to be strong
Today's your day
Chorus
And no matter how you feel
It's what you do that matters
It's your moment to be strong
Today's your day

Came on my stereo as I was trawling through my floordrobe** trying to find an appropriate outfit with enough comfability factor for my hour and a half long exam.
It's really, really what I needed to hear.
And is now crowned the official exam anthem.

*RE phen.. phenom... phem whatever, i had to look it up. Impossible to spell.
** Floordrobe- when your entire wardrobe is strewn across your bedroom floor. Got this word off Ben, wouldn't wanna pass it off as my own, but it's a great word and I do have the best floordrobe ever known to mankind.