This is an interesting debates where both an atheist phylosophy professor and a religious christian student go head to head. No one one win I guess. But what caught my attention is the fact that I usually hear about how flawed the christian logic of proving God existance is, now I can see some flaws in scientifical logic in proving God inexistance!
Month / June 2006
The Bird – short story about tolerance
In one of the diverse spectacular forests of earth, a beautiful bird grew up. He has all what it takes in life to make any other bird happy except one thing that bothered him since his childhood. It has caused him a lot of fear and agony through his life time.
While growing up, he has heard and taught a lot of stories and warnings of the hazards around him. His group developed those cautious warnings after years of fights with other birds of different colors on forests and territories. Their need to survive created a fence between them and whatever looks different. Stories and myths where created over the years to pass old experiences to the next generations.
It was easy to distinguish birds of different colors for him. He understands the animosity and history of wars between them. He was taught to be loyal to his group and to the forest he lives in. What he couldn’t distinguish those evil immoral birds he used to hear of. Those birds can be of any color and in every forest.
There is only one mark to distinguish them, which is they don’t have a bone in their tongue.
Awful stories were created on those birds. Jokes were thrown everywhere. Even he, in his youth, when he or his friends wanted to humiliate someone they used to call him “boneless”! It was the ultimate humiliation and degrading.
As he grew up, he started feeling something different, something weird, and so scary. He noticed his tongue isn’t developing a bone like other birds. He managed to draw the lines between what is happening to him and what he used to hear about boneless birds. He can’t be like those birds, he isn’t evil and he doesn’t behave like what he heard about them.
For years he prayed for God to grow a bone for him. He wanted badly to be normal. He couldn’t bear the idea of being one of those boneless birds. He stayed in denial for so long.
At one point he decided to face his fear, he realized that he has been born different than other birds. Some birds had their differences clear, his was only clear to himself which somehow protected him over the years. He knew the risks of being different, tried to hide it, and ignore those calls that were repeated every minute inside of him. He tried to deny his feelings, to suppress it, and live normal…
With his realization, he started perceiving things in a different way. He used to see how his group curses, attack and kill other birds that differ in color for no apparent reason but their difference! They used to call them satanic birds, most of his people believed that, except him, he understands what it means to be different, and he knows how ignorant his group are.
He wanted badly to be normal, to live normal like the others, and to find someone to love and live with. Unfortunately this wasn’t possible for him, his tongue was different than in all the other birds he knows, and it has no bone! He knows that birds with such different tongues got killed and rejected from their community. They are not considered birds anymore.
The difference in his tongue has no effect on him inside, he used to it since his birth, he doesn’t know how it is to be with a normal tongue, but what bothers him is his group look on birds like him. He wished to change himself, not because he hated himself, but because of his family, friends and other birds around him.
He didn’t know what to think, as much as he feared his group to kill him, as much as he feared his destiny after being killed, as the holy commandments written in the ancient tree at the middle of the forest state clearly that birds with unnatural tongues go directly to hell. It looks like he is doomed! He has been raised on those commandments. His parents made sure to teach it to him since childhood, especially the first one which talks about loving the others. He has been raised on love, loving himself and loving the others as well. What amazes him the most is that his group memorized all of those commandments and used every chance to talk about them while still can’t get rid of the hatred inside their hearts!
He now understands the source of his group fear of boneless birds. Unfortunately it destroyed his whole belief system. Those holy commandments were implanted strongly in his heart. The contradiction between what is written there and what he is going through is so huge. He can’t let go of all what he believed in. There is something wrong in this picture. Trying to reach a middle ground he decided to search more.
He needed to learn more about himself. He decided to go to the wise owl in the middle of the forest searching for the truth, the wise owl has been a great help for him, she helped him much to know himself better and to accept his difference. She showed him some secret monuments of some historical boneless bones. She told him how boneless birds live happily in other birds’ communities. She taught him that his difference is natural, as old as nature, and is everywhere. He isn’t going to hell. He feels much of a relief now.
As years passed by, he reached his fertility age; now the pressure on him to get a partner is growing more and more each day. He wishes that he can, he used to look in the sky, envying those love birds around him, and dream to have a lover by his own. He had someone who he really cared for, and loves deeply, but his difference permitted him of saying anything, he had to hide his love, and clear his tears alone.
His parents started pushing him to build his own nest, he knew that he cant, it is becoming an impossible situation for him, he loves his parents a lot, and he knows how much they love him, still he cant come out to them, he cant tell them that he is different, he knows that it is hard for them to understand it. It took him years to understand it himself. He doesn’t want to hurt them, he knows they would be hurt deeply of this, as they had big dreams for their son, and would think that his morals have been altered badly.
He decided that it is the right time; he believed that they deserve to know such a major thing about their son. He became so miserable, he couldn’t sing anymore, his body became weaker, and he couldn’t fly as before. His parents felt it, they wanted to know what is wrong with him.
After a lot of struggle with himself, he spoke out! It was the hardest things to do in his life, words stuck in his throat, he couldn’t breathe, and tears burst out of his eyes, he cried like a baby, in front of his parents. They panicked and screamed, what’s wrong with you! He opened his beak and showed them his tongue. Oh my God, his mother screamed in shock then started to cry, what happened to my son!! They couldn’t believe their eyes. It is a nightmare. They asked him to come close; they gave him a hug trying to figure out what is happening to their son. They didn’t understand what went wrong, but they made sure to let him know that they would always love him no matter what. They know that this is their son, and they know that he isn’t evil, no matter how many holy trees say that. They just fear other birds would know about this. They requested him not to tell anyone else and keep his secret to himself. He still has to hide it!
What a relief for him! His parents accepted him as he is, they gave him much happiness now, and he loves them more than ever, he flied ¬and flied that day, reaching new heights in the sky, feeling happy like never before and singing all day long. The night came; he went to bed exhausted, content and relaxed. Slept with a big smile on his face, and watched sweet dreams.
Days passed, and still his need for love isn’t fulfilled, he needs to search for other boneless birds, like him. He can’t do it here in this forest. He learnt that they are all hiding here. He may need to leave to another forest. There are places where birds like him can live freely, they can find someone to love, and live with, they can feel secure, and build there own family and future. It has been a tough decision for him to make. He said good bye to his parents and friends, with tears in his eyes, he left his nest, he spread his wings and flied high towards the rainbow on the horizon, enjoying the beautiful colors in front of him, and seeking his own dreams.
Before reaching the rainbow, our bird, felt something wrong, he can’t leave his nest, he decided to go back to his place, live with the ones he loves, and pursue his dream here, in the place he grew up in, and to work in helping his group see the truth…
Gossip – managing friends’ different personalities
One thing that I try to manage on a daily basis is to try to figure out what is not to tell certain friend about other certain friend, what to say, and what to hide, what is just related to me, and what is pure personal stuff of a certain friend.
Sometimes it is easy when the person confide a secret in you that is really big where you realize that importance of such a secret and dont even bother to ask if it is a secret or not. Other times you can’t tell the value of what you have been told of even if your friend insisted that you can’t tell anyone. It annoyes me a lot when I have to shut my mouth of because of silly things that I dont understand why I have to do so.
I am the kind of person who likes to gossip. When you have a chat with a friend, he/she wouldnt just ask about your news, he/she would ask about your family, relatives and other mutual or even not mutual friends. Here where the delimma comes up. Do I tell him that XXX got engaged? She told me not to tell anyone! Why? I cant understand! Can engegement be secretive? Yes, apparantly to some people!
Unfortunatly, It isnt about engagement, sometimes it is job, sometimes pregnancy, winnin money, seperation, car accident, …etc. Many many incidents, and it depends on the person it concerns. Some people are more secretive than others. It stikes me how those more secretive people are the ones who are more manipulative who do much worse things than those who are more open about their life. I percieve secretive people as a less confident people with weaker personality than the open ones.
Sometimes I can’t be comfortable even sharing my own personal stuff because it is related to another person!! But in a lot of other times, I take the risk, open up my mouth and TALK! People might get angry! They might not like to share things with me again! But this is life! Get over it people, and be more open!!!
While I grew up to learn that racism exists in every nation and every race, it still amazes when I hear certain comments from different people. It usually hits me hard experiencing it among people close to me.
Sometimes it is laughable as of yesterday while me and my friend was talking to the Egyptian guardian at the company named ‘Ramadan’. We were talking about The world-cup. It was Italy’s match yesterday versus Ghana. Me and my friend likes the Italian team. Ramadan wanted us to cheer for Ghana because. We asked him why, he said first that because it is an African team, so we said “African? so what? what does that have to do with us?” I have never thought of supporting a team because it is Asian! or middle eastern! Maybe yes for an Arabic team, I still feel this Arabic identity. We told him to cheer for Ghana himself if her like. He stopped for a moment, then said, well at least Ghana has some muslims!! I have no idea whether Italy or Ghana has more muslims or not, and I have never thought of cheering for Italy because they are mostly Christians! I am not sure whether Ramadan is aware that I am Christian or not. His comment didnt bother me for being Christian as I am not that of a religious person but it draws a smile on my face knowing how some people think.
It reminds me of an incident a couple of years ago with a dear friend of mine. We were friends for years at that time and we still are even better friends now. That is why I have never expected to hear it from her. We were out as a group, her friend has bought a necklace I guess from a Jewelery shop in Amman that is known to be owened by a Christian owner. So when my friend knew about her friend’s purchase, she burst suddenly out of no where, forgetting that I am sitting right infront of her, and telling her friend “How dare you buy from a Christian?”!! I was shocked! She apologized that she didnt mean it to sound like that, but obviously it seems to be like a hidden agreement for them not to buy from Christians, they rationalized it that Christians do the same as well. I think they are right, some Christians do the same as well.
In the same line, I didnt expect the reaction of some people towards El Zawrqawi’s death. I am well aware of most people hatred of the USA and Israel, and do understand their reasons, but I can’t comprehend how people try to rationalize this terrorist massacres towards the Iraqi’s and Jordanian’s! They either dont believe that he is responsible, or accept some death casuality in what they believe of him as a warrior against the US for the sake of our nation and religion! The support of Saddam, El Zarqawi, and other bloody resistance in Iraq have many followers of Jordanian. A big part of it goes to their Sunni faith versus Sheia one of the majority of Iraqis. It is sad, but still there are many people who practice racism even among the same sector of religion.
It is not only Muslims vs Christians vs Jews, not only Sunni vs Shei, or Orthodox vs Latin, or Jordanian origin vs Palestinian origin, or white, black, colored, tall, fat, old, poor, rich, woman….etc
Why dont we have more compassion towards each other and respect each other differences??
‘Da Vinci Code’ doesnt contradict with Islam
A lot of people have been waiting to watch the “Da Vinci Code” film after they either read the novel or have heard about it, but got disappointed to know that it got banned in Jordan because some Churches considered it as an attack on Jesus Christ.
Having read the novel, I can say that Dan Brown have not attacked the character of Jesus at all, in fact he only attacked the Church doctorine by pointing to other sources about Jesus Christ life that tell something different than what the Christian bible says.
For Christians, I do understand their disappointmend and anger on the film, but what I can’t comprehend of how Church opinion can be imposed on the major population of Jordan? Why not leave the decision for individuals to watch it or not?
The film story doesnt contradict Islam teachings about the life of Jesus Christ. It claims that Jesus wasn’t divine as Christians believe. It doesnt deny or confirm that he was a Prophet either. It just points that he may have got married to Mary the Magdeline. There is nothing in Islam that tells whether Jesus got married or not. It is irrelevent. Marriage is not a sin. There is nothing wrong with a Prophet to get married. Those religious muslims who are happy for banning the film amaze me because I know the story of Jesus Christ in Islam. They dont shy to tell that he wasnt divine, and never been shy to say that the Christian religion have been altered before. It the same claim of Da Brown.
As of Christians, they can choose whether to watch the film or not, if they have a strong faith, it shouldnt affect them, but a small minority of religious fanatics shouldnt not affect the freedom of speech of the majority!
We are Destined and Immortal!
Life is too complex. Our conscious and awarnace of things going around us dont make it anyway easier. The cheer fact that time runs too fast and that with no time we will face death like any other human being sounds scary to many of us, even people who consider themselves to be religious.
Thinking of life and death lead me to the idea of us being destined and immortal regardless of the existing of a God or not. I am not giving any proof against God existance or not here, but what I am saying that we dont have to have one in order to be destined or immortal. How?
It is the simple Newton law. For each action there is a reaction. Calculating every single reaction in atomic level, someone can predict what would happen next. It is like a chain of reactions since the big bang. In atomic level it is all about reactions. Our emotions, feelings, choices, …etc. It is all chemical reactions that are triggered from previous ones based on certain conditions.
Being destined doesnt contradict with religion at all. We as Arabs believe in destiny more than any other races. We call it “Maktub”.
Now as for this, I dont mean being immortal as of staying in the same shape we are in forever. Everything in this world changes, and so we are. Our bodies are formed of atoms that are formed in a certain shape. Another scientific rule, I think by Eineshtine is that matter cant be created or vanished, but it can turn from one form to another. The matter has been the same since the dawn of time. What forms our bodies has been there since then, and will still be there forever after we die but in a different form. We are those atoms that have always existed and will be forever.
The Alchemist: Pursue your dream
Yesterday I have finished reading “The Alchemist” by Paulo Coelho
It is a spiritual book that inspires us to pursue our own dreams. Our destinies are all set up, we just need to work in order to achieve them. He says “When you really desire something with your heart and soul, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it“
I guess, that I have a dream the same way the boy in “The Alchemist” had. He set his journey to achieve it. My journey started a couple of years ago. His journey was long and tough, mine was not easy either, and I am sure the hard parts are still ahead of me. He achieved and learnt much from his journey, I did learn much in the past couple of years. Having my hand on this book is like a good omen that I am in the right track of my journey.
The track is long and tough, but when you desire something with your heart and soul, the entire Universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. I will find my treasure.