Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Agnostic or Athiest?

As I stumbled through some of the "linky love" that Mixter has on her site I eventually came upon some You Tube videos, that featured the Rational Response Squad. Then I did some surfing and found that they have an actual web site with blogging.

The article th
at caught my attention, and I think that you might find it interesting too Mixter, is about whether one would call themself either an atheist or agnostic when it comes to issues of faith or a belief in god.

"A good deal of people consider themselves to be 'agnostics'. By this they mean to identify themselves as doubters on the question of a 'god's' existence. They usually hold to this position of doubt because reason compels them to doubt the existence of any 'god', yet they resist calling themselves atheists because they also want to hold to their disbelief tentatively. Their expressed reason for this is clear: while their reason leads them to doubt the claims of theism, reason also demands that they keep an open mind on the question of 'god'. If you are one such person then it might interest you to know that your doubt actually makes you an atheist, not an agnostic. Why is this so? Because the word 'theism' simply implies a belief in a god. Therefore, if you find yourself identifying yourself primarily as a doubter of the existence of a 'god', then you are an a-theist... someone who does not hold to a belief in a 'god', someone who does not accept the claims of theists. That's all the term means - a position of non acceptance, a position of non belief."

I guess, after reading this explanation, that I would classify myself as a doubter as an a-theist. I do not hold on to or accept the claims of theists. I may be tentative in this belief, but if I were to stake a claim on something it would be rationality and reason.

"But you still seek some sort of middle ground, right? Something between theism and rejection of theism. Well relax, because the atheism IS your middle ground. "A-theism"' implies everything that a rational doubter means when he declares himself an 'agnostic', for while it's a common misperception that atheism implies a denial or rejection or active disbelief in the very possibility of a god, this is not so. In fact, we require a special term for those those who hold to such beliefs: "Strong Atheism". The rest of us doubters simply don't hold the belief... we're all atheists, whether we are doubters or outright rejectors of theism. So the missing 'middle ground' that you are looking for, rational tentativeness, is already included within the term 'atheism'."

The more I read and research and watch & listen the more I find that I am skeptical and a doubter. I watched some good videos of the Rational Response Squad as they deabted with Kirk C ameron, of the former TV show "Growing Pains" and a well known christian, Ray Comfort.

And They Called it Puppy Love

Looks like we are going to get a new puppy. I had plans, when Max left for the Navy, but this option came up sooner than expected and how could anyone resist that little mug!!

I was looking for a puppy that we could train ourselves. Burt, the Beagle, was an older adult dog when we got him from the APL and we haven't had a puppy in 10 years, but with so much new time on my hands and no kid to raise I think I want something that I can dress up in baby clothes and carry around as my new baby! Yes, I am losing my mind.

This little fella is coming to us with
recommendations , from our vet, courtesy of a local rescue called Roses Rescue. So I feel good about using them. He is a Shepard-Hound mix and it looks like we are going to name him Baxter.

Casey, our Golden, is about the same age as our oldest dog was when we got her as a pup. We have also always had very good luck with the male/female combo. We have friends that have more than one dog and they are all males and their home is a madhouse of barking male dogs striving to be the alpha male and too rowdy and crazy for me. We have always had a nice mix and everyone gets along quite nicely when you do the male/female combo.

I have to call the foster mom and arrange a pick-up date. It may not be until next week due to a major winter storm that we are supposed to be getting tonight in to tomorrow. Since we will be potty training ourselves there is a lower cost than if we let them do it and wait to get him, but I have nothing but time now and what else to do. One can only blog and drink so much and the you need to find something else to occupy your time!! :-D

Yesterday was Max's last official day of high school. Wow. I can not believe that I have a kid that old. Today he will go and see his Naval guys and get some idea of how soon he will be leaving. Time to stock up on tissues and get a puppy.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Good Word

Your Word is "Peace"

You see life as precious, and you wish everyone was safe, happy, and taken care of.

Social justice, human rights, and peace for all nations are all important to you.

While you can't stop war, you try to be as calm and compassionate as possible in your everyday life.

You promote harmony and cooperation. You're always willing to meet someone a little more than halfway.

Reading, Writing, Drugs & Alcohol

USA Today had a story today about a school district that wants to require random drug and alcohol testing for its teachers. A topic that is being debated across the U.S.

Personally I have no problem with this. Having taught in an alternative, school where we tested kids once a week for the same substances, I do not see where teachers should be any different. I would have never argued the point for myself. We tested the kids because they can not learn when they are drunk or high, so how can a teacher teach who may be under the influence.

One teachers argument against was that it would pull her from the classroom when she is trying to improve test scores. I have administered these pee tests and let me tell you it only takes a few moments. After you pee in the cup you can go back to instructing. It doesn't take any major time from your class.

Those who have nothing to hide should not care at all. Those who may be abusing varieties of drugs may cry out the loudest. Whatever we choose to do in our off and private time is totally up to us, but going to work, a job where you are trying to teach and shape children, should require that you leave your fun at home.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Also Loving Life

Like my good pal Mixter I too am just loving life right now. This morning it might be -27 with the windchill, I have a stack of bills waiting for an envelope and stamp, trying to plan for Max's open house/graduation party/going away party... the list never ends, but I am loving life right now!! Thanks for making me think about this Mix!!

Yesterday I was enjoying a new beverage that was recently brought to my attention. A few girls, from work, took me out for my birthday. They bought a bottle of a Belgian beer that is infused with fruit, a Lambic, raspberries in this case. It can also be made with peaches, black cherries and apples.

Now, I am not a beer lover at all, but it looked really pretty. An awesome pink color with cool foam similar to champagne. I tried it and LOVED it! A bit sweet, but not too sweet and tasted NOTHING like beer. Only $11.00 for a big bottle. Low alcohol content so nothing that will really mess you up.

As my blogging buddy has stated, she has not been able to find anything pissy to blog about, I too have been having the same thoughts with the exception maybe the Starbucks corporate jet. I understand the timeline of purchasing one and that it is not something that just happens overnight, BUT..... when you are asking your employees to take large cuts in hours, 401K matching is coming to an end, amid lay-offs and closings...... it can tend to piss one off.

When you state that the company is going back to basics and you never get there and then you end up with a jet, in these economic times, you are just begging to piss people off. Your smiling, happy partners are going to tend to get a bit cranky and smile much less. Most of us need to keep our jobs, since they still are giving us health insurance, and tolerate the crap. We are only hopeful that it will get better soon.

If that is all I can find to complain about then I am doing well. Like Mix I am seemingly very happy right now. Strangely nice and wonderful things are going on in my life and that of my family. I am meeting and making some really great new friends, counting Mixter among them, and I seem to be finding less and less to complain about. Granted there are days that seem to go awry, but far less often and when they do I seem to have much more ability to deal with them. One thing that may be contributing is watching less news. I am reading things that are much more enriching rather than debilitating. That has made the biggest difference.

John and I are watching this excellent calming show in the mornings. We Tivo them and watch them over and over. Sunrise Earth on the Discovery channel. They are exactly w3hat you might expect, sunrises in various parts of the world. nothing but nature and water and quiet, calming sunrise. A fantastic way to start your day. Look for it if you can on your cable. You will not be disappointed. A great way to start your day with a cup of coffee.

Thanks again Mixter for getting me to acknowledge my gratitude and recognize how good my life is. It is good to be alive.

Thursday, January 08, 2009

Marriage or Motherhood?

While looking through the other blogs on my list I came across a topic that caught my attention, made me think and then to write.

Over at Dooce the topic of marriage and motherhood was the debate. Which do/did we find easier. Wow! What a topic. At first I laughed and thought,"Are either of them easy?" Then as I decided to make them part of my dialog today I looked more deeply in to both of them.

While I am currently directly involved with both of them, Max is 18 and has not left for the Navy yet and still married, I have pause to reflect upon each of them.

I was once under the assumption that as your children got older that it would become easier and far less expensive. How little I knew!! I think other parents keep this information to themselves so that others will have to go through the same experiences as they did. It must be part of the rites of parental passage. I thought that once they were through the diapers and inoculations it could only get easier. I must have been crazed as part of the sleep deprivation!

Now their "toys" are far more costly, they eat tons more food and leave bigger messes and it is FAR harder to control them and tell them what to do or what to wear. You have to repeat yourself countless times and they are far too big to put in a "time out" chair.

But...if I have to decide if it is easier than marriage......I think that I might say NO.

Trying to navigate life in a marriage can be difficult for sure, but hopefully it is with a person that you also consider a friend. Something that doesn't come with children until they are older. During those diaper years you have to be a parent and not a friend. Your marriage can be a partnership, if you are lucky enough to get to that point before you kill each other, it can be an anchor in your life.

Not always, in the early years it can be quite difficult to navigate the waters of a new marriage. I remember times when I felt like a maid until we worked our way into the niches that we have today. I think the first 10 years were the "negotiating" years. The time of feeling our way through the highs and lows of setting up a home and then you add the kids and you have a brewing cauldron of emotions!!

I don't think it was easy to negotiate with children, but far easier to do so with John. He actually worked around me and let me find myself, but there is not really any time to do that with your kids. Many of the decisions that must be made, when they are small, have to be made off the cuff and instantaneously.

When I reflect on both I know that there are things that I wish I would have done differently as a mom, but as a wife/person in a relationship I think it has been something with far fewer regrets. I have mellowed into the relationship that we have and look forward to what the future will bring. I think that motherhood was harder and has given me FAR more gray hair than anything that has come from my relationship.

How about you guys?