Tag Archives: religion

I Won a Contest! The Jay Dee Show 4

Lots of dramatic events in the past week all captured on camera! It was an eventful week, especially on my main channel. I did get a bit behind on my vlog channel, though. But I’m catching up.

First up is my main channel. There’s a lot to see, including the return of A Taste of Japan! That series is all about places I’ve visited in Japan, and if you want to see about some famous places, then you should watch.

First video, my daughter returns to show off her library books. However, she seems to have regressed in age to be a bit of a baby.

I started a new series where I talk about important issues to me. In the first one, I talk about bullying and how I dealt with it.

And then probably the biggest video of the week was the contest I won! It was a giveaway, and I won a book. Check it out!

And then it’s my second longest video ever. Going back to A Taste of Japan, I gave a fairly comprehensive tour of the beautiful island of Enoshima, which is a popular tourist destination south of Tokyo.

And then I gave a retro review of The Reality Dysfunction Part 1: Emergence, by Peter F. Hamilton. Great book, and I hope you enjoy the review.

And finally, I talk about major influences to my writing in Authors Answer #17.

Moving on to my vlog channel, there were also some big things happening in life, from internet trouble to a trip to an observatory.

In the first video, it’s a quick one. I talked about the internet problems we were having.

Next up, we spent the day out, and we visited an observatory where I work. We also ate at a great ramen restaurant, so check out the food we ate there.

And then I talked a bit about my daughter. You see, she stole something when she was about to turn 2 years old.

And then comes a video which resulted in someone giving me a thumbs down, but no thumbs up. Probably the topic and title. But hey, I don’t like it when people try to convert me to a religion.

And lastly, something I’ve been so excited about, YouTube’s end card feature! It’s finally here, and I talk a lot about it.

That’s all for this week. You don’t have to watch every video, of course, but I do recommend that you subscribe to these channels so you can watch them as I publish them. Also, if you have any comments, I’d love to read them. What did you think of the videos?

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Controversial Opinions?

Facebook shares, news articles, and Trump. What do they have in common? A good amount of anti-science garbage. There are times when you see your friends and family sharing things from David Avocado Wolfe or Food Babe, or you see news articles about the new Ark Encounter in Kentucky or Texas school boards trying to get Creationism in science textbooks, or you hear Trump talk about how climate change is a conspiracy or that vaccines cause autism, and you just want to slap some common sense into people.

So, here it is. Vaccines do not cause autism. There is no evidence. Climate change is happening. There’s a ton of evidence. There was no global flood in 2348 BC. There is no evidence, and a lot of civilisations were around at that time with no record of any such flood (not to mention they didn’t realise that they supposedly disappeared, when they most certainly did not). Non-avian dinosaurs did not live at the same time as humans. They predate modern humans by around 65 million years. Evolution happens. Yes, it has been observed (quite easy when you look at microbes). There’s no evidence of any kind of damage or sickness from eating genetically modified foods. Remember, pretty much all cultivated foods that we eat have been modified over centuries or millennia. You can’t avoid chemicals in food. Everything is made up of chemicals. Water is a chemical. Protein is a chemical. Want to avoid chemicals? Then don’t eat, drink, or breathe.

Anti-intellectualism is incredible strong, especially in the United States. Look at the Republican Party’s candidate for President. It’s a scary situation if he gets elected. People need to be educated. Science is something that doesn’t rely on emotion. The science doesn’t change if you believe it or not. It’s still true. A ball falls whether you believe it or not. The Theory of Gravity isn’t “just a theory.” Cells exist in your body, they divide, and they have a structure whether you believe it or not. Cell Theory isn’t “Just a theory.” Dinosaurs existed and they still exist in the form of birds whether you believe it or not. The Theory of Evolution isn’t “just a theory.” Scientific theories aren’t something you can dismiss as “just a theory.” They are an explanation of observable facts. They’re not a guess.

Don’t agree with me? That’s fine. You don’t have to agree with me. The science will still be true. It doesn’t need your approval to be true.

Authors Answer 3 in Video Form!

Earlier today, I edited together my answer to Authors Answer 3. And my answer has changed from the original! The question was: How difficult do you find it to write characters who have vastly different beliefs than you? Take a look.

What do you think about my answer? Do you agree? How do you feel about writing characters of different beliefs than you?

These Protesters Are Idiots

Did you hear about the protesters in Paris calling for a boycott of Starbucks? The ones who are upset that a Starbucks in Riyadh banned women from entering the shop. You know that one?

Well, the protesters are idiots. They want people to boycott Starbucks because of this ban. Well, guess what, dumbasses. It was not their call. It was Saudi law. Starbucks is not at fault. There was nothing they could do about it, except follow the law in Saudi Arabia.

But this brings me to a related topic. Starbucks is too expensive. All I want is a hot cocoa, and they expect me to pay more than 400 yen for an average-looking sized cup? Wow.

But I do like their chocolate chunk scones.

Protest against the prices. No, wait. Don’t do that. That would be stupid. They can set whatever prices they want. Protest against yourselves for buying overpriced mediocre coffee. Don’t protest against them for simply following the law.

I don’t like coffee.

Please don’t protest against me.

Prayer in Public School? It’s the Twenty-First Century!

I read a fairly short article on Huffington Post Alberta, which I agreed with. But that’s not the interesting thing. On Facebook, there was a rather heated argument.  And I got myself involved in it briefly.

There’s a woman who was supporting the Lord’s Prayer being recited in public schools in Saskatchewan, and a lot of people argued against her, saying that the prayer infringes on non-Christians’ right to be exempt from it. In Canada, you cannot impose your religion on another person. The woman argued that since the others were asking that the prayer not be said in class, they were infringing on her children’s right to say the prayer. But that’s not what they were saying at all. They were saying that her children could pray however they like, but the other children should not be forced to do it. She went absolutely nuts. I chimed in with my own little comment:

Your kids can pray whatever they want whenever they want. That is their right. However, that prayer should not be forced on other kids who may not be Christian. It’s a public school. Atheism is not being taught. School subjects are being taught. Religion doesn’t come into it. Religion is a personal thing and should remain private. Your kids can pray if they want, but don’t make mine pray to something they don’t believe in.

You see, she claimed that her children were being taught atheism. They weren’t, of course. I presume that she believes that the teaching of evolution, the big bang, and science in general is the teaching of atheism. It’s not. She later said that scientists believed that the Earth was flat. Actually, that didn’t happen. I added this:

Late to this conversation. Judy, it’s been know that the earth is round since the times of Ancient Greece. No one suggested it was flat after that. Anyone who captained a ship knew the world was round, because they has to take that into account when calculating their location and direction.

The belief that Columbus thought the world was flat is completely wrong. He knew the Earth was round. He was trying to find a shortcut to India across the ocean. He just ended up running into a few islands in the Caribbean. But that’s another story.

Back to the original topic. The teaching of religion in public schools should never be something forced on students. If you include one religion, you must include the others. If you have prayers in class, they should be silent, and should never be forced on students. Nor should they be shamed into it. Like I said on Facebook, religion is a personal, private thing. It should never be imposed on others. And public schools are for learning the skills needed to become a functional adult in society. Leave the teaching of religion to churches.

One other thing, she wouldn’t respond to this. Someone asked her that if she follows the Bible religiously, does she obey Matthew 6:5-6? Prayer is not to be done publicly, but in the privacy of your own home. Anyway, I’m staying out of that. I’m not going to argue scripture, because I find it a pointless activity.

What do you think? Should kids in public schools have to pray? Or should religion be kept out of public schools completely? The comments section is open for a little debate. But keep it civil, please.

Mythology in Science Fiction

Mythology plays a very important part in establishing the culture and world in fantasy novels. It is often the basis for the magic system, the religious beliefs, and the antagonist. There’s often an influence by gods or other supernatural beings, and the amount of power could be limitless.

In science fiction, mythology is quite different. It may not even be present. In Star Wars, the Force is almost mythological. In Dune, the religions have changed so much that they’ve become the new mythology. In the Hyperion Cantos, the Shrike is often regarded as a myth or legend. Much of the time, mythology draws on older religions, but not always.

In my Ariadne universe, there will be a couple cases of new religions and mythologies that develop. One has an origin that will change over time as the centuries pass, but it’s an interesting mix of elemental and old Earth religion, mainly Christianity. The Christianity part fades away, but the basis is there. In the other case, Earth itself becomes almost mythological, and it’s revered by a large portion of the population.

What are some other examples of mythology in science fiction? Let me know in the comments below.

Disgusted: Paris and More

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Sometimes, it takes an event like the terrorist attacks in Paris to make people think about how completely screwed up the world is today. Paris is a reminder that this kind of thing is happening in many parts of the world. It’s not the deadliest attack by a long way, but it is very high profile, and it happened in a country where people should be safe. If it can happen in Paris, it can happen anywhere.

People are complaining that this is getting a lot of media attention while the attacks in Lebanon, Palestine, and Africa are getting little attention. The problem is, it’s always happening in those places, and we’ve become desensitized to it. When it happens in a place like Paris, everyone notices. But whether it happens in Beirut, Lagos, or Paris, all of the lives that were lost matter.

Look at the deaths due to terrorist attacks so far in November:

  • West Bank: 5
  • Somalia: 12
  • Egypt: 3
  • Lebanon: 48
  • Iraq: 31
  • Chad: 3
  • Cameroon: 4
  • France: 128+

These numbers don’t include the terrorists, only the victims. But look at October:

  • Philippines: 4
  • West Bank: 2
  • Turkey: 106
  • Australia: 1
  • Nigeria: 98
  • East Jerusalem: 5
  • Niger: 8
  • Iraq: 64
  • Yemen: 7
  • Israel: 3
  • Chad: 38
  • Cameroon: 9
  • Saudi Arabia: 7
  • Pakistan: 33
  • Bangladesh: 2
  • Afghanistan: 6
  • Egypt: 224

Really disgusting. I’m feeling pretty speechless by all of this.  It’s hard to put into words how I’m feeling.

I just wish they would stop. These acts of terrorism are done by people who have no compassion, no sense of what being human is. They have no capacity to understand people who are different than them.

And then I hear about people saying we should shut out all the Syrian refugees. That’s not going to help anything. More than anything, it’ll create even more resentment by the refugees, and will breed more violence. These people are running for their lives, running from the very same terrorists that want to destroy western civilisation. You know who most of the victims of terrorism are? Muslims. Most of this is Muslim on Muslim violence. And those terrorists are extremists. They represent such a small percentage of the population that they do not represent everyone. I know Muslims who are wonderful people.

What I can’t stand is people who are willing to discriminate against the majority of Muslims who are good people just to try to keep out extremists and terrorists. That won’t work. And I really can’t stand people who will tell Canadian Muslims to get out of our country when those very Muslims want nothing but to live their lives in peace.

Going to the even more extreme are the people who want to stop immigration altogether. Two of my grandparents were immigrants. My wife will be an immigrant. I won’t stand for that. Especially from people I know.

All I want is for people to stop their idiotic fighting and try to get along. If you can’t get along, then just don’t talk to each other and keep to yourselves. There’s no need to bother others and impose your set of beliefs on everyone. Obey the laws of the country you live in. Don’t try to impose your religious or personal beliefs on the government of the country you live in. Respect the law, and respect others’ rights to live their lives peacefully within the law. It’s actually a very easy thing to do. I don’t know why people have to make it so difficult.

This isn’t all about France, of course. This is about everyone. I long for a peaceful world where everyone can live without fearing who’s going to hate them for religious or cultural reasons. It’s a cycle that just keeps going and going. It never ends, does it?