Archive for April, 2011


Dear Society (and more specifically Parents),

Stop blaming the entertainment industry on your short comings.

When I say “entertainment industry” I’m speaking of everything from movies, to games, to television, to music.  All of these things have been blamed at one point or another for the things that are wrong with society.  A kid goes crazy and starts injuring or killing people?  Blame a video game that he played.  A kid starts behaving horribly?  It’s okay.  We have rap music to blame for that.  This isn’t a one time phenomenon.  When something new is introduced into society, it becomes a scapegoat for all of societies problems.  Rap, video games, rock and roll, violent movies…this is something that they all share.

But here’s the problem with this “logic”:

Video games and movies/television have rating systems.  By paying close attention to the ratings of a movie or a game you can see the age range that it’s meant for.  G for all ages.  PG for all ages but maybe parents should go anyways.  PG-13 for parental guidance for individuals under the age of 13.  R for individuals 17 and up.  This is our system for movies.  Pretty straight forward right?  And it’s in all the commercials, posters, and ads.  So rarely do people complain about movies.  But what about video games.  Many of you may remember the “Grand Theft Auto” fiasco from a few years back.  The game became the scapegoat for violent crimes that had been reported around the same time.  And many parents were furious at sexual content that was in the game.  Here’s the issue…

Parents, it is your duty to protect your children from things you don’t want them to be exposed to.  It is your job to filter the content that your children see.  It is not the job of the government to regulate what your children are exposed to.  Nor it is a proper response (or even a rational one) to use a video game (or movie, song, book, etc.) as a scapegoat for your problems and your shortcomings.  Your child has a M rated game, plays it and you find that there are things in the game that aren’t meant for the eyes of a young child.  It isn’t the company’s fault.  They found a reliable market for a product are are trying to make money just like any other human being out there (because you know…our livelihood pretty much is defined by pieces of paper and metal).
Society, if you don’t want a product to be supported, then don’t support it!  It’s a simple solution.  If a company starts losing money, that shuts them down.  Thus the problem is solved.  No money.  No company.  Simple as that.

In conclusion, you (society) need to stop feeling threatened by fantasy and stay focused on reality.  That’s the only way the world will continue to advance.

Best wishes,

Sombra

A not-so-new realization…

It’s new for me to say it (either aloud or through writing) but here it is:

I don’t think I could be an atheist.

I’m remembering touching base on this somewhere (whether it was here or on another site I don’t remember).  Basically it took me some time to get myself to admit that.  I did spend some time considering being atheist.  I spent time being rather upset at Christianity and Christians and wanted nothing to do with the religion.  I don’t care what other people believe, but I didn’t want to be a part of the religion.  Because of my personal experiences with Christianity, my belief of devout Christians were that they were prudish and ignorant.  For non-devout Christians (IE those who believe in God but don’t particularly worship Him or believe the bible), I found them hypocritical, but miles more tolerable than those who spouted fire and brimstone or ridiculed others for not subscribing to their religion.

So for some time I wanted away from Christianity.  I stared reading up on Shamanism.  I believed (and still believe to a degree) in totem animals, spirit guides, and the like.  I wanted to find my totem animal and perhaps “learn” from it.  That was a short lived idea.  I lost interest in it rather quickly.  If I do have a spirit animal, I don’t really care to find it.  Being that I’m not much of a spiritual person, stuff about magic, energy manipulation, etc. doesn’t strike me as that interesting.  It’s not something that I care to learn how to do, though I do find the subject rather interesting.

At one point I visited a Pagan/Spiritual message board and asked for advice about breaking away from Christianity.  I hated going to church.  I really didn’t like the congregation or the pastor.  I didn’t like that stereotypical style of preaching where preachers just yell at you because somehow yelling equates to passion.  Not to mention there was no diversity in my church.  On a rare occasion you’d see one white person in there because they were married to a black woman or because they were guests of someone (in case you’re wondering, I went to an all black church).

But after about two years I’ve come nearly full circle.  Instead of avoiding Christianity or allowing negative ideas to develop about it, I decided to learn about it and engage people in discussion.  When I really didn’t like Christianity, I would easily agree with everything that non-theists would have to say about the religion.  If they said the bible endorsed rape, I believed it.  Or that the bible was against women…I believed that too.  In fact I really did tell myself before that I wanted God to leave me alone.  I was tired of thinking about Him, being riddled with thoughts and questions about him, and guilt about “wrong” things that I was doing.  I wanted it all gone.  But instead of just trying to suppress them all, I started questioning and exploring Christianity.  Now I’m quite certain that when I joined Christian related sites or talked to Christian individuals, I came across as very snappy because I was still rather angry towards the religion.  I parroted factoids that I knew nothing about because the non-theists who seemed knowledgeable to me said them.

But when faced with the reality of things, I was just parroting factoids.  Not facts.  But just blurbs.  The reality is that no matter what the position, everyone’s going to have a bias.  Non-theists aren’t going to believe the evidence that theist put forth because it doesn’t suit their point of view.  Theists aren’t going to support evidence that non-theists put forth because it doesn’t suit their point of view.  There’s points where both groups view the same evidence so differently.  There’s no winning either way.  And there’s really no help for someone like me in the middle of things.  I’ve just got to weigh both sides and see which one has the stronger arguments.  And to me, I suppose Christians do.  Really it all boils down to the creation of the universe.  I don’t buy the creation of something from nothing without some force being their to create it.  I don’t buy the redefinition of nothing.  I already touched base on that and I don’t plan on covering that again.  That and I can’t help but see something…intriguing…about this world despite my rather negative world view.

So yes…I’m an agnostic that leans more towards Christianity than Atheism.  I acknowledge the existence of God, but I don’t place faith in Him.  I don’t pray and haven’t prayed since I was 14 (at least not willingly and seriously).  I’m very much stuck as to what I should to spiritually.  A part of me wants to take a huge leap of faith and trust in something that may or may not exist.  Another part of me doesn’t for multiple reasons.

One thing I know is what I’ve been doing on my own doesn’t work.  So why should doing and believing the same thing continue to work?