Saturday, February 26, 2011


My favorite author is Robert Heinlein, because besides interesting stories, he always includes some big ideas about politics or ethics. Starship Troopers is one of his most famous novels, and when I read it, I find that the most interesting part of the book are flashbacks of the main character to a class he takes in highschool called History and Moral Philosophy. Here is an excerpt:
But on the last day he seemed to be trying to figure out what we had learned. One girl told him bluntly: "My mother says that violence never settles anything."

"So?" Mr. Dubois looked at her bleakly. "I'm sure the city fathers of Carthage would be glad to know that. Why doesn't you mother tell them so? Or why don't You?"

They had tangled before. Since you couldn't flunk the course, it wasn't necessary to keep Mr. Dubois buttered up. She said shrilly "You're making fun of me! Everybody knows that Carthage was destroyed!"

"You seem to be unaware of it," he said grimly. "Since you do know it, wouldn't you say that violence settled their destinies rather thoroughly? However, I was not making fun of you personally; I was heaping scorn on an inexcusably silly idea, a practice I shall always follow. Anyone who clings to the historically untrue, and thoroughly immoral, doctrine that 'violence never settles anything' I would advise to conjure up the ghosts of Napoleon Bonaparte and of the Duke of Wellington and let them debate it. The ghost of Hitler could referee, and the jury might well be Dodo, the great Auk, and the Passenger Pigeon. Violence, naked force, has settled more issues in history than any other factor, and the contrary opinion is wishful thinking at it's worst. Breeds that forget this truth have always paid for it with their lives and freedoms...
This is a great thing to remember. Thomas Jefferson had similar ideas when he said "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants" People may decide to never do violence for some reason or another, but if you do not use it, even to defend yourself, sooner or later, you will have nothing, unless another uses violence to defend it for you.

In the bible, it say do not murder. It does not say do not kill. Murder is killing without reason. Defending yourself and killing your attacker is not murder, but it is still killing. If a nation is being invaded, the defending soldiers are not murderers. Should we fight a war of aggression, I do not think so, but in some cases, it can be a war of aggression in one sense, but being fought to liberate, and therefore defend, the citizens of a foreign country. Or take WWII for example. Yes, we invaded France. Yes, we later invaded Germany. However, it was because Germany had invaded first, was attacking a friend, and would have eventually attacked us. We HAD to do it, and no one looks back and says, geez, we were evil to fight WWII.

I'm not advocating violence in all situations. There has to be reason. For example, things like the Vietnam War and the Iraq War, these were situations where there was disagreement, and still is, on whether or not the reasons for attacking were justified. Violence is terrible, there is no doubt, and I'm not saying that it is a good thing. What I Am saying though, is that it is a tool, and that while there may be times to not use it, there Are times when we Should use it, when it is the Right thing to do. We cannot practice complete pacifism, or we will eventually be destroyed by someone who does not.

Violence is not evil. It can be used to evil, and for good. Force is a tool, like any other. It is up to each person on how to use it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Love is Love

No extra words needed.

Grammatical Rick Roll

I came across this the other day and it just made my day. Beautiful, just beautiful.


Sunday, February 20, 2011

Lego Printer

A black printer that uses a pen, and LEGOs entirely, no other parts.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Valentine's Day

For your entertainment, I present the ultimate Valentine's Day cards:

Disclaimer: I didn't create this, and am not sure who did. A fellow ME fan sent me the link.

Wednesday, February 9, 2011


Summer days, bees fly to you.
Summer nights, no need for haste.
Golden brown, light shines through you.
Cold and sweet, the perfect taste.

True Blood has nothing to do with this poem, but I was listening to the song when I wrote it. It reminds me of slow laid back summer nights, sipping a cold Pepsi and enjoying life.

Sunday, February 6, 2011


I was raised as a Methodist Christian, and in that faith, all sex outside of marriage is both a sin, and wrong/evil. Over time, my beliefs on the issue have evolved, and I'd like to examine the issue here.

First I'd like to say, I differentiate between 'sin' and 'evil'. Sin is a Christian concept; anything that God says not to do is a sin. One sins by breaking any of God's rules. Evil on the other hand, is a universal concept, and it's one that is hard to define. Everyone's definition of what is wrong is slightly off. Some things are considered evil by nearly everyone in a society, such as murder. Some things are considered evil by only small portions, such as homosexuality. Evil is distinct from sin because evil is governed by your own conscience, sin is governed by God. Also, there are some things that are evil but not sin, such as offering one's daughters to be gangraped, and some things that are sin but not evil, such as gambling and in my opinion, sex outside of marriage.

Lets first examine whether sex outside of marriage is sin. In the Bible, there are many occasions where "sexual immorality" are condemned, such as Thessalonians 4:3-5 and Mark 7:20-23. Source However, it isn't defined what exactly constitutes "sexual immorality", which has lead to some confusion. Similarly, Number 7 of the 10 commandments reads: "Thou [You] shall not commit adultery." It is the same in the King James version, the New International, the New American Standard, as well as all other versions I checked. Source Again though, adultery isn't really defined, and interpretations vary widely. Whether it's a sin or not is difficult to say with certainty, which is why I fall to the other issue of whether it's evil or not.

So is extramarital sex morally wrong? I personally don't think so, and the reason lies in my definition of evil. I think evil has to involve harming someone. Harm means anything that hurts or diminishes someone, physically, mentally, or emotionally, without their consent. If an action doesn't involve harming someone, I don't think it's evil. And sex between two people doesn't innately harm someone.

Many situations that involve sex DO harm people:

Rape, Forced prostitution, Women with low self esteem going out and having sex with random strangers, a man cheating on his wife.

However, it's not the sex in these situations that is the problem. With rape, the problem is lack of consensuality, similar to force prostitution. With the 3rd, the problem is the lack of self esteem. With the cheating, the problem is the lying and the breaking of vows, which can cause severe emotional harm. In all cases, there is a specific reason that sex isn't a good idea. Sex itself isn't the harmful agent.

If two people with no other commitments wish to have sex, be it a one night stand, or a couple that's not yet married deciding to play around a little early, I don't think that it's morally wrong and I don't think they should be condemned for it. I'll note that if it IS a sin, then they might end up paying for it later on, but that is between that person and God, it's not our place to judge.

That said, would I consider having extramarital sex? My answer depends on the type. I absolutely want to avoid one night stands, because while I don't think it's wrong, I DO think that sex has a large emotional aspect, and I want the person that I just had sex with to be there in the morning. If I was in a long term committed relationship, and my partner wanted to play around a little early, I might consider it, but I'd want to be sure that there is a Very good chance that this person is the one I'd end up marrying. To me, marriage the final step in a commitment, it's built on previous commitments, realization of love. We don't go from casual dating to being married all of the sudden, and so I can see lots of situations where you know that you are going to end up with someone and are both fully committed to each other, before you hold that marriage license. I therefore don't really see any problem with starting early.

However, all of the above is just conjecture. It's what I hope I'd do. The real answer is that I don't know. Many people like to talk about what they would do, but the reality is, it's almost impossible to know what one would do without having been in that situation. The longest romantic relationship I've had lasted all of 4 weeks, I've never had the opportunity to have sex, so I can't say what I'd do. What I hope though, if physical sensations don't overwhelm me, is that I'd resist.