Just Look Up

If I was an atheist, man.

Every so often, I see atheists having a bonfire party, religious people getting upset, or religious people having a bonfire party and atheists getting upset. Given my beliefs and thoughts on religion, I find this quite saddening.

A degree of understanding and respect, even for people you deeply disagree with, can be very beneficial to you. Firstly, you’ll find other views less confusing, but mainly this is a great tool for helping the people you disagree with, change themselves.

When you take the time to sit down with people who hold different views and opinions, when you seek the common values that you all agree with, and then take your time to understand the other side’s point of view, you can really make an impact.

For me, the Atheism vs Theism arguments look a bit like this:

From F7U12
From F7U12

So when I find fundamentalist/evangelical atheists getting their knickers in a twist, or  fundamentalist/evangelical religious people doing the same, I just sort of tune out…

XKCD 774: "Atheists"
XKCD 774: “Atheists”

In my mind, evangelical Atheists and fundamentalist Christians have a lot more in common than they think they do.

You may also enjoy “If I were a religious man“.

The Philosophy Professor

Stolen from Justine Hall though googleage suggests it’s been a viral doing the rounds for a long time…

A Professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

So the Professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The Professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous “Yes.”

The Professor then produced two cans of beer from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

“Now”, said the Professor, as the laughter subsided, “I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life.

The golf balls are the important things – your friends, your hobbies, your favourite passions, your family – things that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.

The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your home. The sand is everything else – the small stuff, your possessions, material things.”

“If you put the sand into the jar first”, he continued, “there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are important to you. Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Go out and dance. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your partner out to dinner. Go to the theatre.

There will always be time to clean the house, clean the car, mess around on the internet. Take care of the golf balls first, the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.”

When he had finished, there was a profound silence. Then one of the students raised her hand and with a puzzled expression, inquired what the beer represented.

The Professor smiled. “I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of beers.”