What Philosophy do you Follow?

You scored as Existentialism. Your life is guided by the concept of Existentialism: You choose the meaning and purpose of your life.

“Man is condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, he is responsible for everything he does.”

“It is up to you to give [life] a meaning.”

–Jean-Paul Sartre

“It is man’s natural sickness to believe that he possesses the Truth.”

–Blaise Pascal

Existentialism

90%

Justice (Fairness)

90%

Strong Egoism

75%

Hedonism

65%

Utilitarianism

45%

Kantianism

40%

Nihilism

30%

Apathy

30%

Divine Command

15%

What philosophy do you follow? (v1.03)
created with QuizFarm.com

Back when I could write….

A poem from back when I could write. Written late 2002 just after settling into Sydney. I think it applies as much today as it did then.

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BLANK PAGE

It’s the first thing you see,
In history, in Life, in Love
And all George Bush’s rage.

Two verses, four words, sixteen paragraphs.
A voice on paper. Two voices to a page.
This page, your world – A library.

Take a pen and lift the bar
A vowel, a verb or a keystroke in time.
Weapons as wit or solace in sympathy.

Not every novel has a plot,
Everyone’s a star in the library of life.

Australia Day

What a day! Don’t think I’ve had a more action packed day in some time, and thanks to the many fabulous people who made it such a fantastic day! One of those days that was so surprisingly pleasing it left a warm fuzzy feeling to be home, although that might have been beer, or wine or raspberry and tonic water!

Anyway, the day kicked off at 9am with me lugging my kayak on my bike the 3 odd km down to Echo point (Roseville Bridge), setting it up and paddling the 8ish km’s to Spit Bridge to meet up with Liam, Rosie and a few of their friends at 11am. From the spit we paddled back towards Roseville to Flat Rock Beach which is somewhere in Garrigal National park around Killarney. Once we got to the beach Liam whipped out the Sunnyboys (of course!) and a few beers. The sun came out just as we finished polishing off Rosie and Liams splendid packed lunch of feta, olive and baby spinach quiche, plus roasted potatoes topped off with Pavlova, fruit salad and cream! It was amazing – and Liam had lugged the whole thing their in an esky strapped to the back of the kayak!

I had to depart the beach party a tad early to get to the Kirribilli Hotel by 3pm. So I completed the 16km round trip from the spit bridge, packed up my kayak and jumped on the bike to head up the hill to home, and the chain promptly snapped. 20 extra kilos of kayak does put some extra strain on the chain. I had little choice but to chain the bike up and leg it home with my kayak. I’ve never done this trip before without a rest for my shoulders, but I made it home in little over 35 mins. Needless to say, if I hadn’t forgotten my phone that morning, I could have simply called heath, who’d already driven down looking for me twice!

Anyway – I arrived at the Kirribilli a good hour and a half late, but since I was already exhausted and dehydrated I made up for lost time without too many problems! It was good to catch up with a few uni friends and friends of uni friends (& Nick!) but attempts to talk to everyone just resulted in me not remembering talking to anyone! Anyway – Nick foolishly made an offer for a bottle of wine which was too good to refuse (see his site for details), and we carried that into darling harbour for me and Richard to polish off in typical style. Anyone ever seen an Aussie flag used as a bottle opener?

My night concluded kinda early, about 10pm as I was completely nackered, had a little too much to drink and didn’t want to spend anymore money at Cargo bar! Thanks all for a fantastic day – and to those I still ahven’t had a good chat too (Everybody basically!) we will get around to it! As it was mentioned on the night, a lot has changed, and I can’t wait to hear all about it!

My Religion Quiz

This is the result of a quick quiz at Quizfarm.com – Which religion is right for you? – Just thought it would be interesting to see in light of recent discussion!

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You scored as agnosticism. You are an agnostic. Though it is generally taken that agnostics neither believe nor disbelieve in God, it is possible to be a theist or atheist in addition to an agnostic. Agnostics don’t believe it is possible to prove the existence of God (nor lack thereof).

Agnosticism is a philosophy that God’s existence cannot be proven. Some say it is possible to be agnostic and follow a religion; however, one cannot be a devout believer if he or she does not truly believe.

agnosticism

88%

Satanism

83%

Buddhism

71%

Islam

58%

Paganism

58%

atheism

58%

Judaism

50%

Christianity

29%

Hinduism

29%

Which religion is the right one for you? (new version)
created with QuizFarm.com

Faith, Pomo, Truth, Existence, Life, Etc (Continued)

I know it has been a while since I touched on these topics and this site was alive with debate about any particular topic (Mike, Rhian, Sze Zeng, Susy and others I need help in this department!). However as Mike and Rhian discovered some months ago (read about it here), a lot of debates return to common themes. Nick and Samir are considering the idea of a website devoted to these and other themes which I think is a totaly terrific idea.

To get back on track, a few people may remember when I made a post in comment to another Blog site operated by The Agora (Refresh your memory) and some comments by a Dr leong which made for interesting reading in regards to faith and postmodernism. That post drew some interesting comments and I have since received some interesting emails, of which I am now going to attempt to reply too – you can read the comments on the link above. The thing that most interests me in these discussions is of course faith in god, and the alternative ways of life (ie. Pomo).

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Dr Leong’s post was the origin of this debate, and as The Hedonese has suggested, his intent was to discuss ways of sharing the gospel and ’employing insights from pomo to dismantle the enlightenment project’ and then explaining the flaws of Pomo (Pomo being Post Modernism – most associated with opinions of the like of Nietszche and Foucault – See previous posts for what those views actually are!). The major flaw of pomo that was pointed out was the contention that it is ‘unliveable’.

As The Hedonese (TH) suggested, ‘liveability’ could be consider a criteria of the purpose to life or even truth. The idea being that the more ‘liveable’ an idea is, the more plausible it is as a ‘world view’. This idea is similar to that of Ockhams Razor (or however you spell his name) which is a theory applied to evaluate other theories, where the simplest theory or explanation for an observation is the best theory. By world view, I’m guessing TH means a kind of mass purpose to life – a purpose to life that can be adapted by everyone. Certain religions would then be considered as ‘World Views’ – ie Christianity.

Now I’m exposing my poor understanding of religion to take a stab at the underlying ‘world view’ inherrent in Christianity – that is very basically to get into heaven. Be a good person – go to Heaven, live happily in eternity. According to Christianity Heaven is the end result of leading a good and proper life full of servitude to God, faith and love.

So, TH (And Dr leong) claims this world view is more ‘liveable’ then that of a Pomo ‘world view’. Here we hit a problem, as I find it very hard to outline what exactly the Pomo World view is – much harder then that for Christianity. (An aside – this difficulty in itself should not be considered an affirmation that Christianity is more plausible then Pomo, its simply a lack of skill and knowledge of Pomo on my behalf).

Postmodernity is first and foremost a disenchantment with the brassy confidence of the modern world—confidence in reason, science, progress, equality, individuality, and freedom”. On this general level it seems very plausible, but when you delve into the details and the more fanatical beliefs it becomes a little more of a stretch of the imagination. For instance is Nietszches infamous claim – All claims to Truth is a will to power, then considers Foucaults claim that Truth does not exist or is too much for us to handle, and I get confused. Both of these guys would like us to live in a world of lies, to live under the umbrella of protection that ignorance can offer. Not my idea of a fantastic way to live, but their claim is that it is a better way to live then the modern way – which is an eternal search for truth and knowledge through science, reason etc.

What TH does agree is that Dr leongs argument is not trying to prove that in the event Pomo is unliveable, it “doesnt by default lead us to the Trinitarian God.” Or any specific God of any religion for that matter, but God is still an alternative. Personally I find this some what depressing, because it brings us to the crux of the discussion: Is God just an excuse? – Is God just another alternative which is provided because the existence of an omnipotent being is arguably by definition capable of solving all problems (he/she/it must be right, because they are omnipotent)?

TH and Sze Zeng both went to lengths to explain how Dr leong avoided this problem, and I’ll try to recap them now. TH explained that because liveability was a criteria of plausibility, and Christianity fitted that criteria better then Pomo, then it must be a better explanation. That seems logical to me – Now we just need to prove that it does fit the criteria better then Pomo – which is where Sze Zeng comes into the conversation.

Sze Zeng Recaps Dr Leongs definition of faith with an example “without faith we cannot live. Though you would not walk into a building you have reasons to believe is unsafe, when you do walk into one you do so by faith as you cannot be sure that it will not collapse. The same goes for the food you eat everyday, and so on.”

So Faith as I understand Sze Zens definition of it is not essetially a religous belief at all. This definition of Faith basicaly encapusulates everything we do in the existence of doubt. Where doubt exists and a person acts in the face of that doubt or uncertainty, faith exists. I disagree. Take for instance the building example – Whilst I cannot be 100% sure an unsafe building will not colapse when I walk into it, I can take precautions to ensure it does not colapse whislt I’m inside. I can have an engineer examine the building, I can reduce the uncertainty – does that reduce the amount of faith I employ?

As for the food we eat, again we cannot be 100% sure that it is healthy, but our decision (I can forsee a freedom of thought debate coming up!) is based on observation. I may have eaten food from the same place a number of times before and it was ok, or everytime I have bought green Bananas they have been unripe. Uncertainty certainly exists (Haha) and whilst Faith may be realted to it, I think a better definition of Faith would encapsulate the conscious decision required to ‘have faith,’ it cannot merely exist without conscious consent. The examples provided describe a more pesonal conviction. It is possible to convince yourself that the building is stable because you have read the engineers report, does that mean you have faith in the engineers report? Faith, Trust, Conviction, Confidence – they are all similar words, but similar is not the same. This needs more work.

The idea of existence is an interesting one and an argument that I know infuriates some friends of mine (Hi Reid, Magda!) and Sze Seng is correct, it is not a view that we can realistically live with. However, again i would dispte the definition and example of faith taht was given. When we are young it could be said we have faith that our parents are indeed our biological parents. However, when we are young and innocent – it could be said we have no doubt, doubt does not exist for the innocent. They believe what they are told.

When we grow up, innocence slackens its grip, and many people may well question their parental connection. But we do not continue to blindly (Faithfully?) believe that our parents are our biological parents, we see birth certificates, we identify biological similarities, we observe and record information in the traditional modernist way – scientifically, logically, reasonably, and some of that information is undoubtedly assimialted unconsciously.

In contrast to this – the belief that any God other then the’God of philosophical gaps’, the belief that a God of one specific religion exists is a belief based on faith, it is a belief with very little reason or observation to support it, it is a belief with a large degree of uncertainty.

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Wow – this has turned into a mammoth post – I hope somebody comments on it!

TH = The Hedonese (Profile website)
SZ = Sze Zeng (Profile website)
TA = The Agora (website)

New Phone Number

For those that haven’t realised – I’m back in Australia having arrived from Fiji on the 11th Jan. Thanks to telstra being so whacked I have a new phone number with Vodaphone:

International people: +61406760790

Locals: 0406760790

Give me a call and let me know how you are – I’ve also lost a lot of phone numbers as my old phone finaly died! I’m planning some kind of party probably mid/late Feb or after Alex arrives back from Sth America – original idea is to head off camping somewhere close. let me know what you think about teh idea and timing, as I understand it a lot of people should have graduated and be working fulltime… poor sods!

Christmas! (Was a long time ago…)

Here are some of the details of my christmas 2005, although what is written below is an extract from my travel journal written by our most gracious host Alisa Larson, cause I really can’t remember much of it… and if you haven’t seen 40 year old Virgin the movie, your not going to understand much of what she has to say! (We watched it on christmas day)

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“There’s some strange guy named Damian at the front door… should I let him in?” Clint (One of Alisa house mates) was pretty nervous when you knocked on our front door, probably because your such a dodgy looking character.

It was a balmy Friday afternoon when our paths crossed for the first time. If I remember correctly (Althought eh minds kinda hazy these days… can’t imagine why) our first trip was to the liquor store or ‘bottle shop’ as you call it [or Grog shop]. You know its going to be a good night when you leave with your body weight in Alcohol! I think it all started with your good friend Bundaberg Rum… A night like that could only lead to one place… No not Grandmas drinking Hot chocolate (Although its known to have beena pretty wild time…), you gotta love teh strippers! well in your case, if you can remember them! [Which I can’t, but apparently I had a good time].

The whole time we where there you proceeded to tell me how awesome my brother was and blah blah blah…. “I know your gay cause… hahaha… you do realize there was naked ladies there right?”

We eventually made it home and later you where found asleep in the bathroom. You can’t leave an opportunity like that unpassed… so we have many incriminating photos of you with permanent marker and shaving cream all over… and what did it say on your back? Oh yeah, ‘I Love Cock’… “I know your gay because…” That really doesn’t get old!

The next day was kinda rough, but you did find time to call both Australia and Sweden and round up a Turkey… And saved $10 when some guy gave you his phone number to use… Ok, “I know your gay because….” Haha You couldn’t have been gayer if you tried! [In my defence… The number was in substitute of the safeway card that I don’t have… and it was given to me by a safeway worker so I could get the turkey for half price! Talk about Christmas spirit!]

What a feast we had that night, there was lots of darts, a ‘little’ bit of drinking and Reid spiced thigns up a bit with a few fireworks. Watching 40 year old virgin was a great way to bring in Christmas Day… Egg salad sandwich anyone?

You know its going to be a good day when you wake up to a house full of Irish Folks [After waking up to Reid dry retching at 2am]. Lauras family entertained the hell out of us with crazy accents and MadLibs involving Michael Jackson, Lube and a boys school… Say no more.

Christmas wouldn’t be complete without a visit to Uncle Earnie’s. You know Big Earns a character when he wacks you with a stovetop stuffing box and then offers you beers and wine as soon as you walk in the door, i think he was just glad you and Alex weren’t a couple of psyuchopaths. Even though your not a Larson you did partake in the annual Christmas Hearts game… although you cheat… who am i kidding… it was me cheating and i still didn’t win!

Back at home Reid had to frantically pack up all of his crap because he decided that he wanted to catch the midnight bus back to Regina before going on home to Manitoba. On teh drive back from teh Bus station we stopped and walked through teh lights in Confederation park. Besdies you wiping out on your arse [twice!] it was really nice. The perfect end to a fantastic christmas.

One thign to remember is that every person, every moment in life changes the path that you are on and that positive people have a [positive influence on others life.

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Thanks Alisa – I had a wonderful Christmas made all the more special because it was so random and came from amazingly generous people who didn’t know me in the slightest but where totaly unperturbed by my crazyness! [I think probably because they are equally or even more crazy then I – that being a compliment ]. Thanks also to the other members of the houshold who made it so memorable, and Big Ern and his family.