Saturday, June 18, 2011

Circle of Life

You know what?

I've always respected vegetarians and certain strains of vegan - at least those with realistic justifications for their choice of diet. You know, the ones who don't get pretentious and preachy, but those who don't feel consuming or exploiting our fellow animals is right for their individual experience of life. I really appreciate the beauty in that. I do. I've long been tempted to try myself due to the unique and rich experiences I've had with so many other living beings - some of those closest to me on this planet have not been human.

I've seen depth in the minds of animals typically considered "stupid" - I've seen cats and dogs smile and cry, fear and pain in the eyes of smaller friends we often take for granted, and seen bonds closer than soul mates between man and animals of all kinds. They have truly, at least for me, often filled the metaphorical heart with warmth often deeper than human family.

The assertion by some theists that "animals" (do note I fully consider us part of that group) don't have souls is one of those things that sickens me inside. I do not take much stock in the concept of an external metaphysical self, but I am certainly open to the idea and adore the concept of a universal web of life - where all living things from bacteria to dolphins have an essence of life not dependent on standards of mammalian intelligence. I do not understand how one can have a loved dog in their lives and still say such wonderful personalities lack what they'd call a soul.

There's just one major thing that keeps me from choking down tofu burgers and eating what would probably end up being a diet of dairy, fruit, and expensive and numerous bottles of vitamin pills.

I absolutely adore meat. It's my favorite food group right next to dairy - I like fish, seafood, chicken, pork, beef. I would fight someone for a good steak or a plate of crab legs - seriously, all kinds of back up if you don't want a fork in your thigh. Simply stated, I fully accept my position as an omnivore with a carnivorous inclination. I accept that the circle of life - mother nature, biology, what have you - probably knows what it's doing and it's been working well for the planet so far. It looks that way from what I know anyways - how the Hell do I figure out if I'm supposed to behave like some kind of being separated from the wild nature of this planet? Screw that kind of guess work. We also can't deny that exploiting others was often the only thing that kept our kind surviving in the distant past.

It's also unfortunate that some studies have been done to suggest that plants also feel pain and a follower of Jainism (people whom I greatly respect) would have a thing or two to say. There is honestly no winning in this kind of subject - all you can do is realize that we all have different relationships with the planet we live on and leave it at that.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Legion of Logic Community Box #1: What Does The Term "Secular" Mean To You?

On February 16th and 17th, the Legion of Logic had their first table event during the Student Organization Fair. Overall, I feel it went absolutely fantastic. There was a relatively large group of club members who sat around socializing and we got a fair amount of attention by a lot of genuinely interested individuals. We gained a few members and somehow managed to completely avoid any serious negative confrontation (save for one alarmingly angry Sunday School teacher who wrote us a particularly unpleasant answer - see if you can spot it). While we got some unpleasant looks, they were from people who felt the need to avoid us rather than engage.

I introduced a concept known as the "Community Voice Box" . The intention of the box was to introduce a question to the public where students and faculty could share their thoughts and opinions discretely. A major goal of the Legion of Logic is to inspire communication and critical thinking; therefore this felt like a good first step towards helping people feel like they didn't have to be afraid to engage in such conduct.

This was a fascinating social experiment where we received few concise answers – it seems like a lot of people felt the question “What does the word 'secular' mean to you?” was synonymous with “What do you think of atheists?”

I've copied the responses we received word-for-word, keeping punctuation, spelling, and sentence placement intact:

  • Umm.....IDK?
  • Atheism: The belif that there was nothing and nothing happened to nothing to nothing and then nothing magically exploded for no reason, creating everything and then a bunch of everything magically rearranged itself for no reason what so ever into self-replicating bits which then turned into dinosaurs. Makes Perfect Sense.
  • Secular: the secular group of society, is one with out the concern for the group or religious,a self serving interest is secular
  • I don't know!
  • Atheism – No religion
  • they can believe what they like
  • Its your own choice.
  • We live therefore we are
  • Maybe Not
  • A dancing fuzzy bunny
  • Atheisum: people who dont believe in a higher being
  • “Secular” means “of the world” in that it emphasizes worldly immediate concerns as opposed to ideas about the afterlife, supernatural, god, and religion which are not immediately relevant.
  • I feel saddened that athists only believe in a brief lifespan. If I were athist that would be scary due to my wanting to experience everything combined with lack of morals.
  • Secular – not related to organized religion? LOL!
  • Secular = without religion “earthly”
  • Secular – non-religious, whether it be political mindset, music, or media
  • One who treats all people the same, nontheless, any difference mentaly, physicaly, past, or present. Not out of any obligation, but because of a genuin desire to do good to all people, and help those in need.
  • Secular means anything that does not specifically have to do with religion
  • cosmic
  • atheism – logical and realistic
  • people who belive that god is the procese by wich everything happens.
  • Worldly
  • Secular is similar to sacred. Minus the religious aspects of it.
  • Secular should mean that the institutions of religion & government remain completely seperate.. too bad it isn't.