Thursday, February 23, 2006

the magical universe

amidst all that's been going on in my life, i realized i haven't posted anything that thought-provoking lately. i thought that meaning of would turn some heads, but i guess not.

one of the things i've realized lately is that getting good conversation started on the internet is an artform in itself. and since i thrive on good conversation about stimulating topics, i guess it's one i need to refine (at least if i'm going to be a critic). i originally started blogging again because of a post on fletch's blog. he tended to ask questions on his blog, and i've realized that this is one of the best ways to start a good conversation.

so, here's a conversation starter: IS THE WORLD MAGICAL?

being at MIT for the past few years, where naturalism seems to reign supreme, i've slowly been swayed to believe that the world contains no special "magic", but instead is composed of only what our senses tell us is there. while this is a valid argument for describing what humans can actually perceive, i believe that such a view is faulty in many regards.

the primary problem i have with such a view is that it assumes that the human being perceives everything. it is this assumption that i believe to be the achilles' heel of modern naturalism. we humans do have five senses, and it appears to us that we are the supreme beings in the universes, insofar as we can tell. but, we overstep our boundaries when we start to assume that we perceive everything that is. put another way (in the form of a question), how can we know that when we look at something, we are seeing everything that is there?

there's a constant pattern throughout the course of human history whereby humans assume one thing about the physical world, only to be shown later, with the revelation of new evidence, that the previous conclusion was false. take for example a flat earth, or a geocentric universe. over time, human beings, through the tool of scientific analysis, have provided us with additional information informing us of what actually does exist, and many times these new findings conflict, or rather destroy, old notions we have about the universe.

so, back to my original question, is it possible to believe in a "magical" world, where things happen that we can't provide explanations for, and still have this view fully supported by modern science? i argue YES. and my primary supportive point is that we still don't know everything that exists. years ago, we thought that the atom was the basic unit of physical reality. now, we know that it's not. i wonder how many more layers of physical reality we'll know about in 200 years.

if we don't know everything that exists, then how can we conclude that miracles are not possible? how can we conclude that prayer is something that is completely contained inside one's own head, and that there isn't really a communication with some other form or being? to operate one's life in such a manner that we assume that we know everything is very dangerous, for it places us on a pedastal of infallibility. many people, both naturalistic scientists and fundamentalist Christians, have placed themselves in this posture, and there continuance in that manner only causes them further damage.

we have to learn to live with an openness to the fact that we don't know everything. furthermore, we have to admit that it's quite possible we (humans) won't ever know everything, because as we discover more, we'll realize that there's still even more to discover. of course, this doesn't give us excuse to dismiss knowledge that we have discovered. even though we don't know everything, it is still our responsibility to do the best with what we DO know.

so, with regards to my original question, i guess i want to ask those who are reading:

do you believe that the world is magical?

do you believe prayer works, even though you don't see any "communication lines" between yourselves and God? do you believe that miracles actually happen, or at least CAN happen? for those of us who claim to follow Jesus, do we REALLY believe that the world can support all the things that the Bible accounts for Jesus doing? do we still believe that the world is like this? i admit that i DO believe in this aspect of the world, although this belief for me is relatively young. i have a full faith that the world is magical, and i'll be happy to field any questions from doubters who might think otherwise.


Thursday, February 16, 2006

the wonders of global capitalism

my good friend jon, a.k.a. "da biggest nation", who lives in abilene, tx, presented me with a wonderful present today. i'm sure you will find it an equally inspiring piece of fine musical art: mp3 link (4.4MB)

if you want to sing ( will!), lyrics can be found here

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

for those of you who are intrigued by interesting conversations about the meaning of life, then i highly encourage taking a stroll over to they have a bunch of recorded conversations with some of the world's preeminent thinkers of science, religion and spirituality. i've only listened to a few of these conversations, so i'd love to hear what you guys have to say about other conversations there. currently, i'm listening to daniel dennett's conversation on consciousness.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

here's a simple task:

name something that doesn't evolve. name something that doesn't change with time, something that is static.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

there's just something about CNN and their subtle, sometimes dark, sense of humor. tonight's headline:

Narcs nab drug-smuggling puppies

yes, PUPPIES! i'm not sure whether to gasp, cry, or start talking in baby-voice.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

for those of you who enjoy new music...

you have to check out the following site:

if you have a favorite station you create, please share it with us.