Atheism is Null

I could go on and on about this. But in the end, it all comes down to one subject. So all I’ll say is this: To claim that there is no omniscient being requires they that claim it to be omniscient. Therefore, to deny the existence of God, is to deny your qualification to deny it.

Thank you.

Atheism is Null

Faith in Need of Suffering

On my way home today, a thought popped in my head: Living as a Christian in a place where violent persecution of your belief is rampant (such as the Middle East, and China) versus living as a Christian where there is little to no violent persecution (such as the US, and UK), is more the same than I had originally understood.

The thing is, Christianity thrives under persecution. There are more Christians in China than there are in the US. And China is diabolically opposed to Christianity whereas the US — at this point — just seems to tolerate it. But as far as keeping the faith is concerned, I would postulate that it is more difficult in the US than it is in persecution-heavy regions.

Well, that just doesn’t make any sense. How do you figure? There is only one factor that brings me to this conclusion: objective need. Think about it. In China, suffering of all kinds exist for a Christian. The need for food, shelter, and protection from persecution (be it verbal, legal, or physical) is extremely high. Because of this, the need for a Savior is really high.

Contrary to this, in the US, the majority of our populace has very little objective need. I’m talking about the same things that they actually need in China or third-world countries: food, water, shelter, health, and protection. The interesting part is that because there is a lack of need, keeping the Faith is actually more difficult.

Are you following me? Given, it is still hard to stay faithful while having to deal with the kind of persecution that a lot of Christians have to endure. But still, there is that need factor that changes the dynamic.

I personally struggle with my faith every day. And this thought gave me the answer as to why. The why being that I don’t really have any objective needs. I own my house, am happily married, have a secure job, have all the toys a grown man could want, and I have a loving and supportive family. The only need I have that could be considered even remotely legitimate is sleep. (Having a two-year-old will do that to you.) I’m not gloating here, I’m trying to prove my point.

Now, one could argue that if all of these things and people were suddenly taken away from me, I’d be in a dramatic faith crisis. Shaking my fist toward the heavens and cursing God for what He had allowed to happen. And they’d probably be right to some degree or another. But, because even the smallest amount of faithfulness remains in me, or simply that I believe He exists, the Lord would bring me right back around after I had learned what I needed to learn. And I would learn a lot about not only myself, but my faith — my identity, and what it means. My faith would be even stronger than before. I believe that.

(And to those of you thinking, Would a loving God really let something like that happen? Let me just say that you might need to redefine your understanding of what love is. I could quote First Corinthians 13 to you, but you’ve already heard that. But with that in mind, let me add some clarity: love is loving someone enough to allow them to endure a hardship in order that they learn a lesson that you could never teach them. Love is also being willing and ready to discipline and correct someone when they have done wrong. Simply put, love is seeking the absolute best for the beloved. Love is not easy. Love takes a lot of work. Sex is not love. You can show love through sex, but sex itself is not love. Love is not the warm fuzzies. That’s called attraction and/or admiration.)

Ultimately, and what many of us have lost sight of (including myself), is that fact that we all have a very desperate, very immediate need. And that is born through the very existence of sin and evil. Without an answer to this problem, we will all know what absolute depravity is like. Our tolerance for sin is undeniably, and incomprehensibly high. And until we realize the seriousness of our sin, — my sin, — we will never know what actual need is.

 

Faith in Need of Suffering

9/19 – THEN’S MAHVEL

With the announcement of Marvel vs Capcom: Infinite’s release date, I think it would be safe to assume that because it is coming out a lot earlier than many expected, this explains why SFV’s main issues have gotten little attention. Capcom is trying desperately to capitalize on the MvC franchise, and quick. I wouldn’t bet against them reallocating resources to push MVCI along as fast as possible. That including SFV personnel and profit.

I am interested in MVCI, but so far I haven’t seen anything that makes me say, “I NEED TO HAVE THIS IN MY LIFE!” And to be honest, some of the character models look kinda bad. But whatever.

At this point I’m actually more interested in Injustice 2 than MVCI. Time will tell.

9/19 – THEN’S MAHVEL

RANT | AutoDraw is AntiCreativity

Google AutoDraw

I understand the human dynamic in the difficulty of developing this, but this is just wrong. That might be a strong term to use, but hear me out: the current idea behind technological innovation has strayed from it’s original purpose. That purpose being to benefit and serve mankind.

In it’s current state, technology is now being treated as a means to think less and do less (read: lazy). The problem with this is that if you fast forward in time, eventually you have people who have no idea how to innovate further because they rely on technology too much. Hence, making the creator subservient to the creation. (This is why I am apprehensive about the development of artificial intelligence.)

Though there are people who are trying to achieve computed sentience, it will never be an adequate replacement for the human mind. With Google’s AutoDraw, there is absolutely zero skill involved. You draw a blob, click a button, you’ve got a flower. Part of the beauty of great art is that you know that it took a great deal of skill to execute. Not to mention the imagination needed to even conceive of the design.

I concede to the fact that AutoDraw in particular may have beneficial humanitarian applications. But you know that’s not what it’s being marketed for. They’re making this so Social Media Sally can scribble on the screen of her phone and pepper hearts and flowers on her selfie. She doesn’t have to even try! She could draw what looks like a butt and you would never know. If she put even five minutes into learning how to draw, she wouldn’t need this! But our society has become so lazy and aloof that an international company like Google sees a market for it. And that is what upsets me.

I would never let my son use this. Period. It would only stifle his imagination and sense of wonder. Not to mention, it’s things like this that rob us of the sense of achievement after working so hard! I will not have that for my son! I love him too much to do that to him.

RANT | AutoDraw is AntiCreativity

RANT | The Evolution of Professionalism

[ Image retrieved from Business Insider ]
There was a time when professionalism was simply defined to mean “an expert in a given field or skill.” In our time, it has had numerous superfluous social amendments that have turned it into something that rubs me in such a way, I can hardly express how much I dislike the term. Please understand that I am probably going to be making some blanket statements, but I mean absolutely no offense to anyone. I know very well that not all people fall into all categories all of the time or even at all.

“You’re not wearing that,” is a term that I’ve heard many times from my wife. Given I tend to have a more juvenile approach to style than my age might permit (I’m 33). Whenever I’m getting ready to attend a wedding or some other “formal” event, I put on my outfit, and my wife tells me that it’s not appropriate. I’ve never understood this concept. How could my comfort be inappropriate? I’m not wearing a Rammstein band tee, frayed shorts, and flip-flops. I’m wearing nice, unscathed dark jeans, a button up flannel, and all-black chucks. I’m not naked. I’m clean, groomed, and happy. What’s wrong with that? All that being said, I also pride myself in being a gentleman, and the most basic definition of a gentleman or a lady is “making sure that the people around you are as comfortable as possible,” as heard from the Brenden Fraser movie Blast From The Past. This might be a reductionist version of the official definition, but I think it hits the nail right on the head.

If that definition of a gentleman is accurate, I naturally assume that everyone else has the same goal. And how am I most comfortable? By not wearing clothes that make me uncomfortable. And if you tell me that my attire is inappropriate, that’s not very gentlemanly or ladylike, is it? Because now you’ve just made it awkward and uncomfortable for you and me. I also don’t expect the people around me to wear such uncomfortable clothing, and it even makes me feel uncomfortable being around a herd of penguins.

So this brings me to my first obvious beef with modern day professionalism. Notably, certain professions require that a uniform be worn while on the clock. This requirement not only makes it easier for people to know who you work for, but it can also be a safety issue. This is not what I am going to be talking about. I am pointing out the suit and tie corporate cultures that put way to much value in appearance. This falls into the “spend money to make money” theory. Since when does the appearance of a suit and tie mean that the person draped in such a way is a professional? A professional is defined by his or her craftsmanship, experience, skill, and results, right? Right?!

Now I know people will argue that you need to put your best foot forward, and I get that. But since when does my shirt and pants contribute to that? The shirt I’m wearing doesn’t increase my typing skills. Nor do my pants make me a better communicator.

“But, Mike, it’s about showing respect!” Did my tie shake your hand and welcome you when you walked in the door? My shoes definitely didn’t offer you anything to drink.

 

Then there’s “corporate language.” For me personally, it means more for me to refer to you by your first name than to call you sir or ma’am. And then there’s the all time classic, “It’s not personal, it’s just business.” I don’t care how much you think you can argue this, but business is personal. The business we conduct on a daily basis — regardless of the industry — grants us the ability to provide for ourselves and our families. Last I checked, that’s about as personal as you can get. This statement has become the socially acceptable version of, “I don’t care about you or your family, I’m just here for the money.”

 

What I’m getting at here is that the “corporate mentality” turns people into two-faced anti-humans. The corruption levels in this country are enraging. People don’t realize that they’re being turned because it’s considered the status quo and just accepted. I’ve always been against saying what you don’t mean. How many of us have had to bite our tongues because a customer is being a dick (another rant incoming), but we had to be “professional”? Otherwise we risk getting a write-up or even losing our jobs? That isn’t right. Just because I’m a service employee, doesn’t mean that I’m a person without feelings! And it’s my right as a human being to defend myself against hostility.

But do you see what I’m saying? From my point of view, here in America, capitalism reduces people to mere dollars and cents. It’s not that I don’t think capitalism is a good system, I just think that because people are flawed by nature, we bastardize the system and end up treating other people like property. It’s not capitalism or empathy, it’s capitalism and empathy. Get it right, America. Geez!

RANT | The Evolution of Professionalism

SFEX4

This:

UPDATE (4/3/2017): This is real. Arika is presently calling this Fighting EX Layer. They did a live stream demonstration with Kazunoko (a prominent Japanese Street Fighter player). Apparently they are looking into crowdfunding this project. Unfortunately, I think this means that we won’t be getting Kairi or Skullomania in SFV. ::sad face::

Given it’s April 1st (April Fool’s Day) in Japan right now, but I can’t help but wonder. Arika has been off the Street Fighter map for years. They had a 3DS project going back in 2011, but it was ultimately scrapped. There are two situations I can see here:

  1. Arika is in fact pulling our legs. It would be easy to take old character animations and apply them to modern looking character models that were previously archived. The stages seem like they were stolen from other games. And the sounds and music were ripped straight from the old EX series.
  2. Arika is testing the public reaction for potentially developing Street Fighter EX 4. While it could be relatively easy for a developer like this to mock us with such thuggery, it just looks a little too graphically developed to be a prank.

I only played one of the EX titles: Street Fighter EX Plus Alpha. And if I’m being totally honest, I loved the characters, but hated the the look of the character animations. I’m mean seriously! The character animations were terrible! They did not look cool at all. Their variation of the Tatsumaki was clunky and uncouth. Every character’s recovery animations looked as if they suffered from resting slouching shoulders syndrome.

Arika may have an idea in the minds that they might be able to steal away those fans that are disappointed with SFV, but still want their fix. That might be a viable plan, but I don’t think Arika should be the one to do it.

What I want is for Kairi and Skullomania to be incorporated into Street Fighter V. I would be fine without an EX 4.

SFEX4

Sports v eSports (on TV)

You know how the NFL, MLB, and NBA get limited commercial interruptions? Why can’t we do that with eSports on TV? I watched what I thought was going to be a full MKX tournament on TBS (may have been USA) last year, and at best it was just a clip show of highlights of what I had already seen on stream. Felt more like a documentary than a sporting event. (The “WTF” is implied here.)

Given, Major League Sports combine for a multi-billion dollar industry every year. But, eSports in quickly catching up. How many million dollar LoL tournaments have their been? SFV is currently in it’s second day of ELEAGUE’s $250,000 invitational. Last year, Capcom Cup had over a $300,000 prize pool. Even Rocket League is up there with all of those. ELEAGUE’s SFV event is supposed to be simulcasted on Twitch and TBS this Friday. I don’t know how it’s going to turn out, but we will see. I have high hopes, but fear disappointment at the same time.

My question is how long will it take for eSports to be recognized — and respected — as an actual sport medium? Should there be a dedicated channel for competitive eSports? Could be called ESN (Electronic Sports Network) or something. Or maybe ELEAGUE could drum up enough cash to have their own dedicated channel? It’d be a prime place for advertising games, electronics, and collectibles. I’d pay an extra monthly fee to my cable provider in order to get that channel. I’d also like to see sports bars show eSports on their TVs. If I could have a beer and pub food with my friends while watching the Overwatch World Cup, I’d be a much happier man.

Sports v eSports (on TV)