WTF Religion?

“I am against religion because it teaches us to be satisfied with not understanding the world.” ~Richard Dawkins

I would like to start this off by saying that I am by no means against holding beliefs. By all mean, believe in whatever cracked out schemes you choose to.  To do so is your right, and frankly, I don’t give a crap. An analogy I am particularly fond of goes something like this: religion is like a penis; it’s okay to have one, and it’s okay to be happy about it,  just don’t force it down other people’s throats.

Now I know what you’re going to say, “But Drew, you marvelous specimen of a man, you too are proselytizing your beliefs.” To which I will respond: “You know what? You’re right.” And if you continue to implore as to how I missed this blatantly obvious hypocrisy, I will tell you why I support an anti-religion stand point.

To start off, let’s begin with a bit of background. The first quasi religions existed as a way to explain the world around us. These sort of religions were the type we see among traditional native Americans. For the most part, theses beliefs went pretty much unquestioned; or at least there is no documentation of this. I find this completely acceptable, due to the fact that we simply didn’t know any better. As a primitive race, we were technological buffoons.

As time has gone on, as a race, we have become more aware of the facts. Science in general has taken huge strides in the past couple of hundred years. Now let me make a preface here before I address my main point. What you are about to read does not apply to every religious person. Certain religious peoples make a point of standing in the way of science, knowledge, and fact as a whole.

To hold true to these beliefs in the modern day, such as that of existence being created by an all powerful deity, is laughable at best. This is a primitive point of view. It takes quite the uneducated person to see this as fact. I believe that we should seek truth in fact, not an ancient self-avowed book. To do otherwise is to ignore the truth.

I invite you, oh my dear audience, look upon the comments section of any Fox News article online, and you will see angered ignorance abound. Here people flock like sheep, baa-ing about the United States being a Christian nation, about the rise of atheism, and about Islam (this seems to be the topic that republicans seem to be least informed about).To see this ignorance so extant in the present day is astounding. I’m blown away as to how uneducated these people are.

Now I’m aware that most people think that atheists are loud mouthed dicks, which is at least partially true; a lot of atheist’s are vocal about their stance on the issue. In defense, let me ask you a question (I hate rhetorical questions, so please, do feel free to voice your opinion here): since when have atheists, as a group, denounced the advancement of human knowledge? As far as I’m aware, this has never been the case. I believe that this fact alone is reason enough to promote an anti religious opinion.

So onto the title: WTF Religion? Why would any sound minded person do such a thing? A belief system that promotes the dumbing-down of the human race is not a good one.

In all seriousness, the sort of people who are upset about Obama not mentioning their respective gods in various speeches need to step up their game. It’s a weak move to speak so offensively when you don’t have a clue what you’re talking about.

May logic and reason prevail.

P.S. For the record, I have no support for either Republicans or Democrats, either way they’re just politicians.

Artificial Sweeteners Will Kill You

I just realized that something really irks me. Some people see sugar and corn syrup as “unhealthy,” and some even go as far as to say they are dangerous. I’m not saying that sugar  (or corn syrup, which is the same thing when it comes to digestion)  is healthy, because it’s not. It’s just empty carbohydrates. Sugars are what humans (usually) gain most of their energy. This is why the good food pyramid had the “grains,” section as the largest portion.

That being said, while sugar provides carbohydrates, it provides no other nutriment. Other than that, it’s not going to hurt you. Sugar, and corn syrup, are not dangerous. Moderation will keep you on the safe here. Artificial sweeteners are contained in products like Sweet’N Low and Equal, which contain respectively Saccharine and Aspartame. Many of the artificial sweeteners that have existed, have proven to pose health risks. Even some of the artificial sweeteners that are sill around are thought to be dangerous. Some studies have shown that Aspartame is linked to arthritis. Moderation will keep you safer with these substances, but not completely in the clear.

Yes sugar can be dangerous in excess, but that is an extreme excess.  I put, at least,  3 teaspoons of sugar in my coffee. And I drink a lot of coffee. In contrast though, I don’t add sugar to much else. Neither do I consume an abundance of sugary foods. Having some sugar is going to cause but a negligible impact on your health.

There are some natural no-calorie sweeteners. These are compounds extracted from natural sources. An example is Stevia, which is sold as Truvia (I believe). These sweeteners are no-calorie, due to the fact that they provide no food energy, and contain no fat, sugar, or protein. These are a better alternative to artificial sweeteners, as they pose less potential for negative health effects.

In conclusion, I prefer regular cane sugar, but feel free to keep sipping away at that diet coke all day. There is a truly present danger, though it may not be extreme, it is there.

You have been warned.

I Swear I’m Not Crazy

Okay, so having made this blog a good… five minutes ago, I think it’s time to make a post. After all, I did make for just that purpose. Before I begin this crazy rambling that I am about to present to you, let me assure you that I am not crazy. I, Neil Loeffler solemnly swear that I am of sound body (ladies?), and mostly sound mind (it’s been a bit softened up, you do the math).

So something that interests me is this thing called The Tarot (pronounced ta-row). The Tarot is a deck of cards not too dissimilar from the regular 52. Like your standard deck of playing cards, The Tarot has four suits; although with extra set of 22. These extra cards are called the Trumps. This deck was originally used to play a game, also called Tarot, in Italy during the renaissance. Three centuries or so later, people are using these cards to read the future, or something like that.

I don’t remember exactly where I first learned about tarot cards, but the full version of the theme song of the show Scrubs has a line that goes, “that deck of tarot cards wont get you very far.” And to be perfectly honest, I think that’s what made me really look into it.

Basically, tarot reading was this b.s. sort of thing, where the “spirit” of the cards can translate messages of the future to the reader. While I find no basis in fact for the belief that these cards can ordain the future, I do find the psychological processes and the fabled concepts behind it quite intriguing.

So after reading on what this thing was, and how people do it, I decided to get a deck. While on vacation on Cape Cod, looking for a sort of basic deck, I bought one by the name of Rider-Waite. Today I have come to posses about 4 decks.

So just earlier, I was putting my first deck in order so that I could cross reference it with another. While ordering the Trumps, I reflected on each one, and realized that the cards very loosely told the story of the process of enlightenment (according to some), and sort of ends in a pseudo-Hindu afterlife with parallels to The 5 People You Meet In Heaven.  My reflections and comparisons are as follows, in numerical order, card by card. Enjoy.

  • 0.  The Fool: The Fool represents a fresh spirit, one which is free, unawares, and aloof. The Buddha taught that the spirit comes into the  world as a being thoroughly embedded in the entropy of the world. This is where the journey starts.
  • 1. The Magician: The Magician is a man seemingly fully capable and in-control.  After growing up, and coming out of the narrow world view that is childhood, we become adults; for the most part, fully functioning individuals.
  • 2. The High Priestess: This card stands for all that is mystical. As we move into adult hood, we see that there may be more to what we can see with our eyes. We then look for more in life.
  • 3 & 4. The Empress and The Emperor: These two cards represent the older, mother & father type rolls in out lives. After finding that there may be more to life than the everyday, we turn to seek guidance from those more experienced in life.
  • 5. The Hierophant: The Hierophant depicts a Christian religious figure, but stands for knowledge,  awareness, formality, tradition and beliefs. After turning for help along the path of life, we see that there are traditions that people have set and carried forth. Most of them are crazy, might I add.
  • 6. The Lovers: The lovers stand for dilemma and choices. A fork in the road of life. After exploring the spiritual traditions that one can choose from, needs to make some choices about which road they want to go down, or even if they want to choose bits and pieces and form their own.
  • 7. The chariot: The chariot represents conquest and that which is associated with warriors. It is a veritable battle field on the spiritual path. One must make their own way.
  • 8. Strength: Strength doesn’t mean physical strength, a better word would be courage, or greed. It represents primal emotions, and the drive in a person’s life. This is the drive that will help people to the path of enlightenment. It is what will make them seek truth.
  • 9. The Hermit: The Hermit is the man who seeks enlightenment, full time. He is the monk who seeks complete knowledge. This is the stage where we seek truth as we stride along on our path.
  • 10. The Wheel of Fortune. No, not like the game show, but rather the Karmic wheel that is ever spinning. Here is the attainment that we were seeking. At this stage we are, in a sense, actualized.
  • 11. Justice. Justice stands for evaluation and adjustment. Here we see what will come of our spirit. Depending on our karmic pasts, we may or may not move on.

Here is where I’ll stop. I know I said I’d do each card, but typing this is actually taking forever. I may carry this on in another post. We’ll see how that goes. Before I sign off, remember that most of this is nonsense, but it is none the less interesting.

Thank you and goodnight.

Welp, Here Goes

So, a friend suggested I keep a blog after I wrote an essay and posted it on that effervescent social network. You know the one. Another website that spurred this on was stilldrinking.org, which is a blog by a semi-like minded fellow. So here I hope to emulate his… art.

Now before I end this entry, let me sign off with a comment. It goes thusly: “The Gorilaz are superb.” That is all.

Thank you and goodnight.