Saturday, January 29, 2011

Stuff and stuff.

Today I have used the word 'euphemists' for the first time, ever. I'm writing a story and I have no idea where it's going, because I've only written the first two paragraphs.
This weekend I need to do two main things: research my Model UN topic and write a coherent position paper, and write a research paper on Commodus for Latin. Naturally, I'm doing neither of those things, but instead writing something which I most likely will do nothing with. I just feel like writing something amazing. Wouldn't it be nice if that were easy?
Today I had a fairly lengthy discussion on religion and law with my mom. It started because I brought up something I had heard about; an article about a 16-year-old who died because his grandparents didn't take him to the hospital. They opted for prayer, instead, with the logic being that if he died, it was God's will. If I remember correctly, they were charged with child neglect, which some people have difficulty justifying, because they believed that they weren't doing anything wrong. Because it was because of religious views that they didn't bring this young man to the hospital, where he could have received proper treatment for his illness (if I remember correctly, it was something along the lines of pneumonia, or some other mildly serious, easily treatable disease). There have been a lot of cases where this has happened, and in most, the guardian of the child was charged with child neglect. Here's my stance: in no circumstance should religious beliefs be put over the law. If it can be proven that the child had any chance of surviving, had he/she received proper medical care, and that the guardians neglected to provide this for the child, then it is child neglect. Justification on the guardian's part is meaningless: means never, in any circumstances, justify the ends. Regardless of why or how, this child died because his guardians did not provide him with medical care. If the child had wanted to go to a hospital, and the guardians refused because of their own beliefs, then it could be considered abuse, endangerment, or outright murder (although, in this case, that the minor wanted medical attention cannot be assumed).
There's a reason for the separation of church and state. If someone was murdered in the name of religion, the murderer would and should still be charged. If someone murdered because the murderer was a psychopath, then the murderer would and should still be charged. The same crime was committed, and therefore the same punishment should be given; if we make an exception for anyone, anywhere, because they believed they were justified, then we could make an exception for everyone. The only way law, an integral part of a functioning society, can be upheld is if it is, without exemption, consistent. Arbitrary law leads to chaos. Religious laws can never be held above state laws; if a person commits a crime in the name of religion, then they commit a crime, and must be punished; at least they will go to jail believing that they upheld their religious views, and more power to them--at least they will believe themselves a martyr in their own mind, while the rest of the world is freed from the wanton chaos that "justified crime" promotes.
Unfortunately, there's always the case in which people feel that crime truly is justified--such as murder in self-defense. That's why there are multiple degrees in murder, and why it's up to courts to decide which degree a person is accused of. If someone wants to make multiple degrees of child neglect, then that's an entirely different matter; until then, however, there is never justification for a child dying.

Of course we also discussed religion in general. This will be a shorter discussion, since I don't really see the point of religious debates. I consider myself agnostic, while my parents, though very faithful, or not terribly religious. I think they get annoyed, sometimes, that I have doubts about God. I'm agnostic for two reasons:
  1. I cannot say one way or another that God exists, and therefore, I will not tell someone else that their beliefs are wrong, nor will I accept a specific religion. I can never be sure. Honestly, I'm okay with that. After all, if we haven't found the answer yet, it doesn't mean there isn't one; it only means we haven't found it.
  2. I don't want to believe in God only because my parents do. This may seem like a silly reason, but I don't want to devote myself to something just because I'm afraid it might actually exist, and that I'll be punished if I don't. Other people have their reasons, but frankly, I want my own reasons.
Also, regarding religion, I find it annoying that a lot of people think science and religion are mutually exclusive. I'll quote my dad here and say that science could very well prove that God exists. However, religion and science, while not inherently disproving the other, render the other unnecessary. I will give science credit for at the very least trying to find an answer besides, "God did it," which is honestly an easy way out of actually thinking about something. I never have liked blind faith.

ANYWAY. The bus is like, 8451554359 times more fun with Ryd there. I have named him Ryd. Suck it. Also, I got an 84 on that science test I was convinced I did poorly on. So...I was right. Sucks. Although I'm not as heartbroken as I thought I'd be. Well, I never thought I'd be that heartbroken to begin with...
The semester ends on MONDAY. Oh, snap. Apparently someone thought it would be a good idea to switch my lunch and gym/health period so I have lunch third period and gym fourth. The hell.  That is awful in every way.
BUT I got gym pants, which are basically baggy black sweats (because what else would you wear??) that I am currently wearing, because damn, they are comfortable. I still do not condone wearing sweats in public. Ever. EVER. I mean, as part of a regular outfit. Get the hell out of your pajamas and into some real clothes. Jeans are your friend. Wow, I love jeans...
And now I get back to writing. Ta-ta!


  1. I'm agnostic, too.

    RE: This is kind of an old topic, but I never did answer. No, no new guy. 'Tis still my tennis lover. He and I talked for the first time in a while. We always have intelligent conversations that make me happy. :D

  2. I definitely agree with you. It is absolutely terrible for me to think about some poor 16 year old kid with a perfectly treatable disease DIE simply because someone thought that "God" would save him. I mean... ARE YOU SERIOUS? It's called modern medicine! We are not in biblical times here! If there is a God, I highly doubt he would want people to just basically let their grandchildren die for no good reason. Just.. AGHHH.

    I feel like I've said this before, but whatevs, I'll say it again. I'm sort of an agnostic-atheist if that makes sense. As in, I don't believe that one can really ever prove the existence of God so I'm not going to tell someone that does that they're completely wrong, but at the same time I personally don't believe that there is God. So yeah.

  3. Some other's quotes on the subject:

    Faith is not belief without proof, but trust without reservation.
    D. Elton Trueblood

    Faith is not contrary to reason.
    Sherwood Eddy

    Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
    Martin Luther King, Jr.

    Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe.
    Saint Augustine

    Faith means belief in something concerning which doubt is theoretically possible.
    William James

    Have faith in God; God has faith in you.
    Edwin Louis Cole

    To one who has faith, no explanation is necessary. To one without faith, no explanation is possible.
    Thomas Aquinas

    Doubt is part of all religion. All the religious thinkers were doubters.
    Isaac Bashevis Singer

    Human beings must be known to be loved; but Divine beings must be loved to be known.
    Blaise Pascal

    I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen: not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else.
    C. S. Lewis

    Religion is what keeps the poor from murdering the rich.
    Napoleon Bonaparte

    The Bible is literature, not dogma.
    George Santayana

    The Bible looks like it started out as a game of Mad Libs.
    Bill Maher