"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Sunday, March 29, 2009

"Education... has produced a vast population able to read but unable to distinguish what is worth reading." - G. M. Trevelyan


PPBI: the tchs/acs/ri boys joke is

if a girl and a guy walk into an LT and there is only one seat left
the tchs guy will snatch the seat
the ri guy will offer the seat
the acs guy will ask her to sit on his lap
or something


PPBI: sorry
it should be the other way around

the ri guy will snatch the seat
the tchs guy will offer the seat
the acs guy will ask her to sit on his lap

Me: gah

Someone else: you have so many blog posts tagged "sedition"
that i won't know which one to blame
the day u disappear.

Someone: nah he's terribly bust

Me: cheh I thought busty


no gabriel, no one can rival you

Someone else: gabriel
i need advice

give me 3 good reasons why you don't have a religion

Me: you don't need 3, just 2

1) there's no evidence that gods exist
2) even if gods exist, there's no reason to worship them

is a girl trying to convert you? hurr hurr

Someone else: indeed, you are quite prescient

i have less problems with reason (1.), but plenty of problems with reason (2.)

but i wonder if the problem arises due to my understanding of the word "worship". perhaps it means less of "throwing yourself at the feet of someone", but rather "to adoringly respect and honour"?

sigh, gabriel. girls.

Me: "the only folly of man is women"

Someone else: haha
what do you think of my point about "worship"?

Me: well why would mere existence require respect and honour?
and worship in the divine sense includes obedience as well

Someone else: maybe it's because God's a role model?

if we use the classic Christian framing of this as a father-son relationship?
so we respect and honour our father, and obey him because he is wise

Me: that depends on the attributes of these gods

I wouldn't respect an abusive, drunkard father
whose sole contribution to my life was spawning me

Someone else: and as a splendid legerdemain, if the message we're getting is perverse, then it's not the "true" message?

Me: that's begging the question
in more ways than one:

- assuming the existence of beings
- assuming they are good

Someone else: why not hold both to be true? from a personal perspective, they can both be valid

Me: they are theoretically possible
but we do not have reasons to believe that they are the case

it's also theoretically possible that an omnipotent but totally evil god exists
(in fact that would fit the facts a lot better)

Someone else: sigh, Gabriel. i've walked into the worst possible outcome. non-Christian boy meets hardcore Christian girl.

i'm wondering, from a practical perspective, whether the church is the best bet for long term stability

it offers you a doctrine, philosophical pondering within its parameters, a social life and support within its community, fairly sensible aspects of decency, etc

Me: well communism brought stability to the USSR
except that there was stagnation as well

almost everyone would want to know if their spouse was cheating on them
even if it is not good for long term stability

"it offers you a doctrine, philosophical pondering within its parameters, a social life and support within its community, fairly sensible aspects of decency, etc"

so does Singapore :P

Someone else: and most importantly, it offers you a girl you like

Me: also I'm not sure that one can choose to believe something
without causing cognitive dissonance
and attendant schizophrenia

this is one big reason why religion continues on
female mate choice

if she's really worth going for, she'll be able to accept you as a non-christian

Someone else: precisely
i'm trying to reframe the problem

i think that i've come across a solution
i think i believe in God

therefore, i can posit myself as a veeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeerrrrrrrrryyyyyyyyyyyyyy doubtful Christian
but a Christian nonetheless

Me: err
are you framing this just to get the girl?

muslims believe in 'god' also
but it'd be a stretch to call them christians

you could say the same (disingenously) about hindus and other polytheists, in fact

Someone else: to be very honest, it is very very tempting to collapse into religion

Me: it is very tempting to get hooked on heroin or to become a drunkard too

Someone else: personally, i think islam and christianity perfectly compatible, but that is for another day

Me: religions aren't even compatible with themselves
and certainly not reality

Someone else: how gabriel how

Me: well, if you think you can lie to yourself, you can try
but I don't think it's good for your mental health
and it's very dishonest. like taking from the church collection tray and justifying it as not theft by saying you need the money

Someone else: i know what you mena

religion does have a remarkable effect on its believers though
i'm talking about moderate, sensible believers

incredible amounts of faith and conviction, while maintaining a moderate (i.e. non-proselytising) outlook

Me: err
actually proselytisation is part of the christian's responsibility

as for faith
"A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything."

HWMNBN: apparently they kissed and made up (ie XXX and her guy)

and going from the night before of: “i feel so stupid for loving that asshole who doesn’t care of rme”
to: “i love him so much i can give up everything except him” the next afternoon

at this we can both solemnly utter in unison: “...women”
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