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Chris Ruhs
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Chris Ruhs

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Dwayne Knight's profile photoLuke Shiras's profile photo
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There's just no such thing as 'science'. 
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A handful of Google engineers and designers are building a phone the DARPA way
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Can't freakin' wait! 
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Neat
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Because of my own journey, I often find myself thinking about atheists
I empathize with them. I know what it is to be confident in the nature of reality as something non-magical. To trust in the consensus of well-meaning scientists to explain the phenomena of our world. To see the universe as wonderful, improbable, and humbling, to trust that it is explainable in terms of how by observation, even if it is baffling in terms of why by natural limitation, but always, always to see it without the need to conjure such archaic and psychologically needy notions as gods or demons.

Why jump to conclusions without sufficient evidence?

And I've had my fill of debates and silly, philosophical rants with both atheists and fellow christians. I'm not interested in that here, now. However, I find myself thinking about atheists, and about myself when I was one, as Easter approaches.

If an atheist is willing to examine an historical Jesus, a man who believed he was the messiah and was killed for it (that's a big if), I cannot help but wonder what that atheist makes of Mary. Have you ever thought about it?

From the perspective of history, sans miracles and magic, who is this woman? Who is this woman scripture claims conceived as a virgin and gave birth miraculously to the son of God? Who is this woman who allegedly watched her child grow into a self-proclaiming Messiah? Who watched as her delusional son was tortured and killed for believing he was special?

Because without the miracles, what are we to assume? What mom would make up grandiose stories about how she got pregnant, letting everyone believe she and her miracle baby were something special, just to cover her own shame?

If we assume God is not real, surely Mary is the worst mother we can imagine. The history-seeking atheist, wanting to be sensitive to the stories held dear by people of faith, is left in the uncomfortable position of not wanting to say the story is wrong, but if it is, hoping that it is very wrong, hoping that we can discard any resemblance of the biblical Mary along with the obviously nonsensical claims of miracles and divinity. Because to leave Mary half-accurate is to say she got knocked up, covered it up with a lie, a big lie about divine, messianic power, and then sat by as her son lived under the delusion of his own grandeur all the way to his own tortuous death. While she watched. 

What mother...?

I don't share these thoughts to paint atheists in an ill light. They didn't make up the story, and they have no need to defend it. The same is true for the christian. I just can't help thinking that for someone who sees no need to entertain notions of God, the story of Mary and Jesus depicted in scripture must be entirely false, entirely true, or verily, verily messed up.

And I feel, for the atheist, none of these options seems very good, given the historical evidence, the nature of mom's, and the absurdity of gods.
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Sordatos Cáceres's profile photoNathan Newbury's profile photoDave Hill's profile photoChris Ruhs's profile photo
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+Chris Ruhs : 'It seems so improbable that a story like that of Jesus, as an offshoot of Judaism and in defiance of prevailing religious practices of the region, should have survived. They killed the leader and they killed his followers. Why would Jesus's contemporaries make up stories about him and pretend to believe their own made up stories? How did Christianity spread, and why were so many people fooled into discarding their own beliefs for this new one, even in the face of incredible persecution, executions, and torture? [...] The first christians, however, were all slaughtered for it.'

Well, not quite all of them, obviously. :-)

There are also some disputes I've heard of, but not researched, as to how significant the persecution of the Christians was in the early days of the Church. A lot of what we know of at the time comes from -- well, Christian writings and traditions themselves.

(Of course, Christians have done quite a fine job of persecuting and killing Christians for not being the "right kind" of Christian themselves over the centuries, sadly enough.)

One question I consider is, would an engaging religion that scratched a certain emotional itch be sufficient to create the spread of the faith that we see over time in the Western world up until Constantine, whether or not it had a miraculous origin?  Christianity had a lot of different flavors, but its argument for personal morality, removal of class and national division, common and caring living, and promise of reward in the afterlife would have attracted a lot of people, especially in an era were state religions were unsatisfying, leading to the spread of a variety of mystery cults. That might especially be true if many (or most) Christians in the early years were attracted to it as an apocalyptic cult, keying off Christ's reputed words that He was coming again Real Soon Now.

I've found Bart Ehrman's books, especially Did Jesus Exist, to be interesting in this area (his answer is "Yes, but probably not much as he appears in popular modern Christian interpretations"). 

'That's true of most bodies of literature. Our science books from five years ago are often wrong and need to be corrected, so believing that writings from two thousands years ago are infallible does require faith.'

Especially since the corrections to science books over the course of five years are often in the area of updating from new knowledge that's been gathered, not old knowledge that's been rediscovered.

'I cannot judge you, because I don't have the right, I don't know you, and I don't know your motives or reasons. All the more so, I cannot judge God. [...] The question is how can I know if God is good? Dare I judge based on my own standards?'

I think we are called upon to judge, but not judge with too much confidence or arrogance. If I read of God doing or commanding something that seems profoundly wrong to me (the flooding of the world, the killing of the firstborn in Egypt, calling for the sacrifice of Isaac, the massacre of the Midianites, etc.), then my conscience compels me to consider:  

 (a) is this a good thing simply because God commands it [working in mysterious ways, as it were], and if I don't consider it good then I need an attitude / conscience adjustment?

  (b) is this an historic event [accurate or not] offered up by the writers of Scripture using God's actions / commands as a justification for something awful that happened or that the writer's kinfolk did?

 (c) is this a parable recorded to teach some sort of lesson [closely related to (b)]?

If one takes the premise that Scripture is infallible, then (a) would seem to be the case, but I'd argue instead that (b/c) seem so likely that they argue against the infallibility of Scripture (or else argue that the standards of "good" taught by God in the OT are pretty horrifying).

For me, the role of the Holy Spirit in informing my conscience as to right and wrong seems to imply some need to judge, both my fellow humans and the God that they variously assert to be the truth.  It is to help me to discern the truth, not simply accept the truth on the authority of any person or scripture.

[I hope I haven't wandered too far afield here in your post, Chris -- some of the things you wrote obviously inspired further thought on my part.]
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Charles Butler's profile photoMichael McDonnell's profile photo
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Epic.
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Goodnight
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It's a lot to keep up with
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Redesigned Android apps in the works?
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David Junior's profile photoSaint Liam's profile photoGetulio Santana's profile photoDave Hill's profile photo
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It needs to be changed.... why.... exactly? I don't see anything amazing about the proposed. 
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If you're on a Chromebook, try ctrl + shift + / for Chromebook help and ctrl + alt + / for keyboard shortcuts
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Hmmm.. I wonder why they don't make that key binding a little more obvious.
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Chris Ruhs

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The idea of a Chromebook may be a few years old now, but it's starting to come into focus for a lot of people, even here in the Delta
The internet is where we already live our digital lives. Why should we spend thousands of dollars on local hardware that requires local care, local storage, local security, local antivirus, local downloads, and local updates? For most of us not needing heavy video editing, website hosting, or hi-res gaming, Chromebooks make so much sense, especially at $200-300.
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Story
Tagline
Still learning.
Introduction
You've decided to read through my profile. I see you like to live dangerously. Please, do come in, make yourself comfortable while I reveal my inner world. Can I get you something to drink? Perhaps a glass of wine? No? Let's cut to the chase, then. Here's what's on my mind.

Education - we should be teaching the next generation how to think, not what to think. And we shouldn't be trying to convince every single one of them that the only way to succeed in life is to go into massive debt to earn a watered-down college degree that barely prepares them for jobs that no longer exist.

Politics - let's have the alternative vote, term limits, Constitutional adherence, and lots of competing parties and ideas.

Science - tells us how the world works as best as we can discern with our senses, but is limited in scope. Science cannot tell you why you are here. That may not be a question you concern yourself with. Otherwise, good science is science.

Health - is what tends to happen when you cut back on sugar, load up on fruits and vegetables, watch your caloric intake, and exercise regularly. Kids don't get upset if you steal their broccoli, but they will downright throw a fit if you take their candy. Wait, did I say kids?

Religion - christian, the book is dear to me, fascinating, challenging, and beautiful. And though I study it often and cherish it in my heart, I'm not the better for having read it if it doesn't lead me to God himself, John 5:39-40. A God who spoke once when he was in the mood, but remains silent forever after is no god at all. God spoke things into existence. Jesus is called the Word, the Logos. The Holy Spirit teaches us all things. "My sheep listen to my voice". If you want to live the way Jesus lived, die to self, listen to the Holy Spirit, and do what He tells you.

Self - what is it? What is the intangible thing that puts tangible things into motion? How can the mind control the brain? Where and how does a thought begin?

Odds and Ends
  • Nature simulates itself perfectly.
  • Tanning beds cause cancer.
  • Telling someone your plans releases the same reward chemicals in your brain as actually carrying your plans out.
  • Sugar is an addictive, orexigenic drug.
  • Google seems like a company interested in more than money...perhaps.
  • If you spent a million dollars every day since the time of Christ, you'd fall fairly short of $1 Trillion; our national debt in the U.S. is over $16 Trillion.
  • No matter where you go in this world, people are just people.
  • If you sum together the areas of a bunch of rectangles between points a and b, where each rectangle is f(x) in height and dx (infinitesimally small) in width, it would be written like this, and it would look like this.
  • Android and iOS are both good. They're both good.
  • The GOP and Democrat Party are both run by power-hungry men. They're not worth your time, energy, or focus.
  • Fructose blocks leptin, leaving you hungry for more fructose.
  • The Constitution is worth reading, worth understanding, worth adhering to, and worth editing when necessary.
  • Study Tozer. Thank me later.
  • Is it valid to use the human brain to assess the human brain's ability to understand the universe?
  • Without a God, free will must be an illusion.
  • As well as having unique fingerprints, humans also have unique tongue prints.
  • Pumpkins, gourds, peppers, legumes, squash, nuts, grains, cucumbers, and tomatoes are all botanical fruits. Then what's a vegetable? The term "vegetable" is an umbrella term used colloquially in reference to any plant part not sweet enough to merit fruit-hood. What are called vegetables are actually flowers, stalks, roots, tubers, leaves, stems, and quite often, fruits. 
  • I have serious doubts that quantum fluctuations are truly random.
  • There are people in your neck of the woods who desperately need help.
  • Energy is equal to mass times the speed of light squared. The speed of light squared is just a constant; what this formula really says is that mass is energy. Energy and mass are the same thing. No, really.
  • There's an atom bomb's worth of energy in one gram of anything. There's enough energy in the room you're sitting in to obliterate the planet.
  • Faith and reason are not opposites, nor are they mutually exclusive.
  • Most of the dust in your home is actually dead skin.
  • Cutting a cake into 8 pieces is possible with just 3 slices.
  • The human brain named itself.
  • If you want to sign up for Google Apps, I can get you a discount, just PM me.

Diving deeper? Not for the faint of heart.

  • You should consider joining this community if you are passionate about education.
  • You should frequent this site if you love to keep up with the latest tech news.
  • You should check out this Etsy store if you want to buy my wife's awesome wares.
  • You should refer to this site if you love typography.
  • You should explore this site if you're curious about personality types--I'm an ENTP by the way.
  • You should ponder this post if you care about your health.

Still here?

You're unexpectedly curious to make it this far. How delightful. I would be remiss in failing to reward your efforts, so I present you this album of GIFs, but keep it to yourself.

I'm afraid the rabbit trail ends abruptly here. Everything after this point is an attempt on my part to preemptively protect myself, legally.

Thanks for dropping by.

Please do come again.

...

Wait, you're still here? You should go ahead and circle me now. I'm friendly :)

There's no more...I'm flattered by your infatuation, though.

Go ahead and circle me. This really is the end of my profile.

No really, that's it.

Kthxbai

(go away now)


____________________________

Notice
Posting offensive, obscene, NSFW material gets you uncircled, no questions asked.

Shares & circling of other Google+ profiles does not imply my endorsement of any user's profile, images, posts or comments. 

All of my authored images, posts, and comments are solely my own and may not be used without attribution to this profile. All other media not authored by me which may be linked or displayed, including trademarks, are for educational purposes only under fair use copyright law. 

All views are my own and not those of my employer or any other organization or individual.
____________________________

Privacy Notice
To any person and/or institution and/or agent and/or agency of any governmental structure including but not limited to ALL governments or private mediums or corporations or individuals also using or monitoring this website or any of its associated websites, you DO NOT have my permission to utilize any of my profile information nor any of the content contained herein in whole nor in part including without limitation to: my photos, and/or the comments made about my photo's or any other "picture" art posted on my profile. 

You are hereby notified that I DO NOT grant permission to disclose, copy, distribute, disseminate, or take any other action against me with regard to this profile and the contents herein. The foregoing prohibitions also apply to your employee(s), agent(s), student(s) or any personnel under your direction or control. 

The contents of this profile are to be considered private and should be treated as confidential information.
Bragging rights
I nearly died in the Australian rainforest. I have hand-picked cotton in the Mississippi Delta. I have seen the East African Rift Valley with my own eyes.
Basic Information
Looking for
Friends, Networking
Work
Occupation
Learning. Always.
Skills
Aptitude with science, love for people