Sunday, September 25, 2016

Ask Me Anything! Answers Round Nine

 Quite some time ago I asked you'll to ask me anything you wanted. I suppose everyone had their chance so I this will be the final one until maybe next year. If you didn't see your question, either I somehow missed it or it was answered before which happened at least twice I think. The final ones all come from Martha except one at the end by The Happy Whisk.
 What makes you incredibly angry?

When folks have intolerance for things people can't change about themselves like race, gender, and orientation and those people who think they are utterly-superior because they belong to some special club of certain people. Despite what some people say, racism still exists in the South and it still is a problem. What also exists is religious bigotry when people think their religion is all important and everyone else's is not. Like I'm not a fan of the religion of Islam, but the hatred for Muslims in the South especially makes me wonder if these people really think human rights are negotiable when they gladly support profiling and things that are very similar to what happen to Japanese-Americans during World War II.

I'm also ashamed of how socially-conservative Christians treat people in the LGBT community. I've seen many a person claim someone can't love another person of the same gender and cite the Bible as "proof". And yet I've seen many of these people do things that are considered "non-Christian" and I don't mean the whole "love thy neighbor" thing. Two of the most hateful people I ever met were a couple in a non-married relationship with two illegitimate children. So if a guy likes a guy then he's going to hell, but if you do something bad (to the Christian God) then "only God can judge?". Many of these people say it's only because its "in the Bible" but I never met a person who said "I supported marriage equality until I read Leviticus 20:13".  It's more like "I don't like these people, let me find quotes in the Bible supporting my hatred". 

 Have you ever changed your opinion about something, perhaps something major?

I suppose the biggest opinion change was about religion basically believing in the Christian God and then not. I've always been a skeptical person, if it doesn't make sense you can't convince me to believe in it without proof of being wrong. Like the vast majority of Americans, I was raised to be a Christian. I don't remember religion being totally important in our house when I was really little. I remember a few things like thinking about heaven and a few other things about God and stuff. My dad died when I was seven and shortly afterward my mom took us to a Methodist Church. It was boring for the most part, I liked Sunday School but the sermons were like watching C-SPAN or the Weather Channel. After five minutes, it got old real fast. I also never knew the difference of being a Methodist versus something like a Lutheran or a Southern Baptist. 

I remember being about 8-10 and being taken to a church event in another city that my mom's friend invited us to. It was at night so it wasn't just another Sunday morning sermon. It was mostly like a play that was written by a religious zealot. There's always seemed to me to be like two sides to Christianity, the good things about Jesus and the bad things about everyone God hates and he's got a long list. Unlike our Methodist church, this was not something you'd find less interesting than staring at the floor. This was a huge campaign on fear of going to hell. 

Unlike the usual line of "you have to believe in the Lord and Savior to get to heaven" they focused on "sins". There was one character who was unfaithful and he was tossed into the flames. One guy gambled a lot, that also was a reason to be tossed. This went on for awhile until heaven came along. I remember them talking about The Book of Life and everyone would be good as long as your name was written on there. I remember being relieved as I was sure my name was written in those pages. But it didn't take me long to reject the notion of hell in general. 

The Bible is big on "God's love" and if God truly loved us there wouldn't be a hell. He also wouldn't have murdered countless people in the Bible for some pretty petty stuff. And if he really cared about belief, then I think he would come down and tell us right now. If the God of the Bible was a regular guy, we wouldn't let this guy have a pet out of concern for the animal. I could name countless individuals with better morals than God, and it's irrational to think a higher being is really on a lower-level than us. 

I also never believed in the Holy Trinity, I didn't even really understand what it meant until much later on. Monotheism was a pretty unique thing when almost every religion in the world had a god for everything. But the Holy Trinity basically says that God is three separate-yet-connected beings, The Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Isn't that polytheism? And do they even combine together at times like Voltron? And if so, does God still look like Father Time? And why did the Old Testament never mention any of the three except the Father? I've seen less plot-holes in really terrible movies. 

So for awhile I was a deist, then an agnostic deist, and now I'm more of an agnostic who's just a few feet away from being an atheist. I'm not saying there isn't a god, but I do believe it's very possible for there not be one too. I honestly think if there is a higher power, it might not be something that is just one being. Probably something far above our imagination. Maybe even something like The Force in Star Wars where the universe is governed by something that cannot being personified. But if there is something or someone out there, I really doubt our little lives on this tiny blue marble matter much. There's most likely much better planets out there.

 What is one thing you really like about yourself?

I suppose it would be my kind heart. Now to be honest, there are things I hate but typically it's always for good reasons. Like with people, it's your actions that make me judge and there are many people who show that not all of us are human. Like I'd really would like to help someone who is homeless and needy, but after many bad experiences and stories I've heard, I'm actually going to have to believe someone before any helping hand is offered. Or say a man who was a evil German Nazi (and never had a change of heart later in life) was hanging off the slide of a cliff. Knowing his personal history well before his bad luck, could I say I would help this man?  Probably not. 

But I do feel compassion for those truly worthy of it. I also have a very soft spot for animals which is the main reason why I'm a vegetarian. While animals can be selfish and violent, most of that is all about their DNA and their struggle for survival. Animals are almost as innocent as babies, and I would never harm the innocent on purpose. Nor do I try to be mean, I don't mind debating and I do get carried away but I never intend to be malicious 

Which person in your life do you most admire? Why?

I don't really have many role models in my life personally. I often see a person for the good and the bad. Like I loved my father, but he had his issues and did a lot of things he should have not done. Though to be fair, besides a love for using corporal punishment, most of his bad deeds were not inflicted on us. I love my mother, but there are times in my life where she failed as a parent (like not protecting me from my brother Zach) and times I could see that I was never number one and I often didn't matter. For example I was very late learning how to drive and I didn't have a permit until after I graduated high school. I failed at the written test once before and studied real hard and she refused to take me unless I knew I was a 100% sure I was going to pass. I was about 80% sure (I was never very confident in things I should have been) but this would have set her back about an hour in time and maybe a dollar in gasoline if I had failed.  It was a few more months until I was a 100% sure. 

I'd say the person I most admire in my circle is my brother Steven. He was by far the oldest brother of us so there wasn't any sibling rivalry between either of us. He was often like another parent but without the negative side. There have been some issues between us, but for the most part it's been positive. He has a master degree, an established career (and a previous one in another field he had to leave because of location), and appears to be a good father to my nephews. Though I wouldn't call him "my hero".

The Happy Whisk asked My question is why do you eat cow cheese but not cow meat?

Because you can milk a cow and it survives, all beef comes from dead bovine. I could never go vegan because I just don't see it as realistic in my life especially as plant-based alternatives are expensive. I can get a gallon of basic milk for half of what it would be if I got a half-gallon of soy or almond milk. I also don't mind eating things that are derived from eggs, they never developed enough to be a real baby-chicken away. I do wish the food industry would treat animals more ethically like milk cows and chickens raised for eggs. Even the cage-free chickens have a pathetic amount of walking room. But I wouldn't have any power to change that. But I do applaud anyone who can keep up veganism 100%, that's no easy task if you sit down and consider how many things are derived from cow milk or chicken eggs. 


Mary Kirkland said...

I'm Agnostic but it took a while for me to get there. I was raised Mormon and also went to my grandparents Baptist church with them when I was a kid.

Christine said...

Thanks for taking the time to give these thoughtful answers! Oh, and Ivy and her questions, lol.

The Happy Whisk said...

Wow, Adam. You put so much thought into these. Very cool of you. Thanks bunches and have a yummy day.

Martha said...

Thanks for taking the time to share such detailed answers, Adam. I really appreciate it. And I enjoyed learning so much more about you. I hope you make this an annual event. It's fun getting to know our fellow bloggers. I hope some other blogging friends join in!

Theresa Mahoney said...

I agree on that plant based eating as being expensive! I sometimes feel selfish for buying myself almond milk and the rest of the family has to have cow's milk because it is cheaper, but I can't have dairy often or it causes my autoimmune disorder to flare up. Also, those veggie chicken nuggets and sandwiches are crazy expensive, but I buy them anyway because I get tired of veggies and rice all the time.

Kay said...

I guess I just haven't liked a lot of the intolerance I'm seeing in some of those who practice Christianity. Many I know feel they are right and every one else is going to hell. Seriously???

Debra She Who Seeks said...

"If the God of the Bible was a regular guy, we wouldn't let this guy have a pet out of concern for the animal." This is a great line, Adam. You've got God's number alright, LOL!