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Is There A God

Today, I woke up at 1:00, moved some things at Orson Clay’s house, did a bit of yard work, played a little bit of CS, and then worked the rest of the night. So it wasn’t too eventful. Instead, you get this wonderful morsel that I posted in response to the topic “Is there a God?” on the silverfir.net forums:

People have wondered for a long time about issues such as why children in Africa starve. The thought is summed up well in this quote from a play whose name I do not remember, but the play is loosely based on the book of Job from the bible.

“If God is God, he is not Good,
If God is Good, he is not God,
Take the even, take the odd.”

In other words, if God were good, he would prevent bad from happening if he could. But bad things still happen, so he must not be all powerful, and therefore isn’t “God.” On the other hand, if God is all powerful, then he must not be “Good,” because of all the bad stuff that happens in the world.

The logic seems strong at first, but in fact it suffers from the fallacy known as a false delima. Take a college logic or philosophy course for the full explanation, but basically this means that the question presents a limited number of choices when there are in fact more choices. Another possibility is that God is both all-powerful and very good indeed, but that there are more important good things that outweigh preventing starvation in Africa.

What could possibly be more important than that, you may ask – and to that I have one word: freedom.

If there is a God – and if he is good (although I think a God who was not good would be rather pointless) – then the reason that he doesn’t prevent bad things from happening in this world is that it is so much more important for him to allow us our freedom to make our own choices – even if those choices lead to the death of innocent children in Africa, or the slaughter of millions in wars.

Anything that is more important than that is VERY important indeed, and knowing this you have the responsiblity to make your choices carefully. After all, look at the price paid for you to have that choice.

Its much more than the “freedom” puchased by the blood of revolutionary soldiers or preserved by patriots throughout the years. It is a true freedom to choose purchased by the suffering and death of billions of human beings. Use your power to choose responsibly.

Schools

Today, the official transcripts from BYU finally arrived in the mail. I put them in an envelope with the transcripts from BCC and drove to the UW to drop them off personally. Even though its almost two weeks after the deadline, the office accepted them with no problem � apparently the deadline, as with many other admission guidelines, is flexible. Of course, I suspected this, since last time I applied to the UW during my senior year in high school, I didn�t get everything in technically on time, and I was still accepted. Now it�s just the waiting game to see if they�ll let me in a second time. I think my chances are good, but then I�m ridiculously self-confident.

For a random diversion, check out this way to cook a salmon.

In photography, we did sepia toning. The redeveloper has a pretty terrible sulfurous smell to it. Glad we only had to deal with it for one day. We also did show and tell of our self-portraits. I chose the solarized shoes and the sprinkled-on developer prints because they were the most interesting, even if they weren�t necessarily the best technically. He didn�t have much negative to say about the prints, which I hope is a good sign for the grade on this� That�s one thing that annoys me about art classes – there is so much subjectivity. Maybe that�s what attracts others. It takes all sorts, I suppose.

Registration for Spring quarter at BCC starts March 2, and now I have to start thinking about what I�m going to take.

Counterstike

Today, I played too much Counterstrike. I am very tired. Goodnight.

The Return of the King

Using: Mozilla Superpig and Mozilla Spaceant

Today, after the usual school thing, dropping off my photography assignment, and working (collected about 100 vhs tapes from various lists, joy), I went with my dad, Gary, Rich, and Earl to the Cinerama to see the Return of the King. I had seen it before, at the Factoria cinema, and I actually came away a little disappointed from that showing. Tonight, I learned that it was not the film that was disappointing � it was the theater. I saw the first two Lord of the Ring movies at Cinerama, and enjoyed them both. Now I have seen the third at Cinerama, and am wonderfully wowed rather than slightly dismayed. Congratulations to Peter Jackson and the whole crew that made the movies. This movie, and the entire series, best be getting some major recognition at the major award ceremonies.

Last time I saw the movie, and even more so this time, the most powerful scene for me was the lighting of the torches that Gondor used to call for help from Rohan. It sent shivers through me again. I remain unsure as to exactly why � perhaps it was the fact that the guardians of the towers, as portrayed, spent endless days watching for the signal that might have never come � but when it did come they were ready and performed their duty. Or maybe it was something else. Regardless, that scene was powerful.

I didn�t mention last night that I had ordered some items from U.S. Bearing in Seattle � namely some sprockets which were shipped from Portland, some chain, and a shaft. Well, initial reports had the package late, and when it finally showed up, missing important items and with other items in duplicate. I was ready to write a huge rant about US Bearing. Fortunately for them, and for the robot and FIRST team 492, things conspired for our good. The missing item was found after tearing the box apart, the duplicate item came in handy when the first one got destroyed, and everything turned out happy. Way to go US Bearing!

Donniedarko.com is interesting, if you have seen the movie.

The day in review

Using: Mozilla Lightningdragon

I�m up to about 92% better now; I still have a lingering cough, but physically I�m fine otherwise. I had fun at tennis, although I arrived a little late, then talked to the woman from Poland to help her with her English, something I do maybe twice a month. Next came math (gradients!) and then I spent the next four hours in the darkroom. I now have enough pictures, I think, to turn in tomorrow. It�s just a matter of selection and touch-up at this point. Dust is still my nemesis, but I have developed some fairly good anti-dusting techniques that seem to be working. First I take a brush and quite violently chip away any deposited dust from the negative, then I brush away the finer dust, then I spay the thing with canned air all the way back to the enlarger. It works about 75% of the time. The other 25% of the time, I scream. And then repeat the process.

Tomorrow is going to be a busy day. I have school, which will consist of just a Math and turning in my assignment (I don�t know if I need to stick around), then work, and then right after work I�m headed off to see Lord of the Rings at the Cinerama. After that three-and-a-half hour marathon, I will return home, then sleep, then go to tennis where hopefully I will have figured out who, besides Michael Change, served underhand in a major tournament.

Math, Photography, Counterstrike

100/103 on the calc test. Lots of darkroom time tomorrow for the self-portrait assignment. I have dust problems. Dust, and good calc test score make me think of counterstrike. This post will be short.