Why Do We Exist?

I am sure we’ve all been asked this question or  wondered ourselves. But have you ever heard the answers given by Buddhists? Scientists? Mormons? Taoists? Roger Nygard, director of Trekkies and Trekkies 2, took his curiosity and sense of humor on the road and asked this important question to hundreds of people. His new film The Nature of Existence tells the tale:

About the film:

I wrote the toughest 85 questions I could think of, about our purpose and the nature of existence, and then asked hundreds of people all over the globe, such as: Indian holy man Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (The Art of Living), evolutionary biologist Richard Dawkins (The God Delusion), 24th generation Chinese Taoist Master Zhang Chengda, Stanford physicist Leonard Susskind (co-discoverer of string theory), wrestler Rob Adonis (founder of Ultimate Christian Wrestling), confrontational evangelist Brother Jed Smock, novelist Orson Scott Card (Ender’s Game), director Irvin Kershner (Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back), Stonehenge Druids Rollo Maughfling & King Arthur Pendragon and many more… How would YOU answer?

I decided to take a look at these 85 questions, and I think we should all try them on for size. Here’s a taste:

  • Why do we exist?
  • What is the best thing about existing?
  • What is our purpose?
  • Should religions be challenged?
  • Is skepticism a good thing?
  • Which religion is right?
  • Do we have a need to believe in something?
  • What is spirituality?
  • Is there a God?
  • What does God need from us?
  • Who is/are the Messiah(s)?
  • How do we determine truth?
  • Where does morality, or our “conscience,” comes from?
  • Does God want to test us? Why?
  • What determines sexual orientation?
  • Why is God interested in our sexual behavior?
  • Do we have free will?
  • Is everything predetermined?
  • What is best path to happiness?
  • Does meditation work?
  • Why do we need an afterlife?
  • When does life begin?
  • What is the greatest danger facing man’s existence?

I love them all, and I think I’d like to take some time to write out my own answers in the future. What do you think of The Nature of Existence? If there’s a screening near you, will you see it?

How would you answer the questions?

Sexism in the Bible

sexism - Archie comic

From PEP #192, April 1966

The evangelical magazine Christianity Today (which I’ve mentioned quite a bit) published an article titled “Woman As Folly” about the many curious Bible passages about women as possessions, being below or weaker than men turning women away from Christianity and god:

… “I think men are more aware than women of their tendency to sin,” one of the men suggested. “Maybe they can use this wisdom to help guide their wives.”

I couldn’t believe this was being discussed as a legitimate idea.

“Don’t they understand?” I said [to my husband]. “These sort of misconceptions—the idea that Christianity subjugates women—drive people away from the church.”

I wondered what he thought was so clear—that women bear a greater burden for the fall of man? “If I wasn’t a Christian,” I said, “these comments about women would turn me away from God.”

I wanted to deconstruct the ideas that were chipping away at my confidence in the Creator, but I felt outmatched. Among the men in our group, conversations often felt like a Scripture-quoting duel. Each time a new passage was referenced, I had the same question: What’s the context? Their response was nearly always a puzzled look. It was as if I’d just suggested we tear out pages from our Bibles and fold them into paper airplanes. Scripture, they reminded me, is inerrant.

This woman is starting to see sense. You can almost feel the warmth of the light bulb glowing brightly above her head.

Could this be the birth of a feminist? A liberated woman who realizes her entire religion has been anti-woman for 2000+ years? Maybe she could actually re-consider her belief in a god who would use authors with misogynistic values to be its voice?

But no. She can’t doubt god or the Bible. She has to pound the square peg into the round hole any way she can. So she goes looking for a comforting justification for the sexist teachings in her holy book.

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California’s Proposition 8 Ruled Unconstitutional!

It’s all over the news! It’s confirmed! California’s Proposition 8 has been ruled unconstitutional, violating both the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment.

Read the entire decision document here:

Prop 8 Ruling (it will pop up, and you can expand it)

This is a tremendous victory for gay rights!

Ted Haggard “Over-Repented?”

ted haggard

Iz just kidding bout teh butt secks! lulz!

So Ted Haggard—former president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of a right-wing megachurch in Colorado Springs, Colorado—had a long-standing affair with a gay prostitute and smoked crystal meth. This was back in 2006. He resigned from his leadership positions and publicly apologized for his “sinful behavior.”

Now, Haggard is working on building up a new church which is, yet again, in Colorado Springs, CO. “In a July 2010 interview he gave to CNN, Haggard claims that his feelings of sexual attraction to other men have miraculously disappeared. Haggard now portrays his encounter with the prostitute as a massage that went awry (wikipedia).” That was one long-term massage, Mr. Haggard!

After changing his story, now Haggard claims he “over-apologized”:

It seems to me that Haggard may be back-peddling to make his sin sound less awful than he previously admitted it really was.  Perhaps he’s trying to justify his right to preach morality and righteousness. Perhaps he’s downgrading from “horrible sin” to “street cred”. Check out this article on his return to the pulpit where he explains how his public sin has become a great thing for his church.

Oh, what a guy.

August 1, 2010  |  Christianity, religion  |  2 Comments