When Both Religion and Science are Strong

A friend sent me this quote last week:

Formerly, when religion was strong and science weak, men mistook magic for medicine; now, when science is strong and religion weak, men mistake medicine for magic.
Thomas Szasz, The Second Sin (1973) “Science and Scientism”

In follow up, I asked the question:

The quote was from 1973. So here we are in 2010, what happen when both science and religion are strong? Guess my answer :)

My friend is very nice and played along with me:

Awww… this is like a quiz at school!>.< Ummmm ... .... Religience or Sciligion as inter-disciplinary research? .... The (Wonderful) Wizarding World of Harry Potter? .... We think we know everything but we know nothing? did I get it? I want a prize if I got it right!

The last answer came very close, so I promised my friend half a price when we meet next :) The answer I had in mind was…

In 21st century, when both science and religion are strong…
…men mistake themselves for God.

Note: God meaning the omnipotent, omniscient grand father figure in the sky, not God as in the Tao, or Brahman or what not.

Originally posted 2010-06-27 21:23:17. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Love – The Ability

I had an urge to write this entry much earlier, but between hectic schedule and laziness… I’ve been putting off writing it. I’ve also thought, “dude, maybe I’m too young to write about this, but hey, what the heck, I’ll go for it”. Perhaps you’ll see why I said that. Here goes.

It’s actually a good thing I delayed as I came across this reading from “The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People” by Stephen Covey:

…My wife and I just don’t have the same feelings for each other we used to have. I guess I just don’t love her anymore and she doesn’t love me. What can I do?”
“The feeling isn’t there anymore?” I asked.
“That’s right,” he reaffirmed. “And we have three children we’re really concerned about. What do you suggest?”
“Love her,” I replied.
“I told you, the feeling just isn’t there anymore.”
“Love her.”
“You don’t understand. The feeling of love just isn’t there.”
“Then love her. If the feeling isn’t there, that’s a good reason to love her.”
“But how do you love when you don’t love?”
“My friend, love is a verb. Love — the feeling — is a fruit of love the verb. So love her. Sacrifice.
Listen to her. Empathize. Appreciate. Affirm her. Are you willing to do that?”

As such, love becomes a word with two meanings depending on the context we speak in, IMHO. A verb and a noun. Currently, pretty much in everyday-scenario when we use or run across the word “love,” it’s being used as a noun. When people say “love”, it is referred to as a feeling. We’re told everyday on TV and Hollywood movies that such is so. That, when we love, it is this feeling within us about a special person, and that we are driving by this feeling. Because we say that we are “driven,” we are implying that there is no decision/responsibility involved. “My feeling is making me do so~~~ Love is telling me to do so~~~ I love this person so~~~” In other words, we shed the burden of “making decision” when it comes to love, but in a way, we allow ourselves to become puppets of our feelings.

Frequently when we claim that we are in love, I think we have somehow confused ourselves. That we may just be “in love” with the strong, passionate feeling itself. We enjoy the feeling that is stimulated by a particular person. The feeling clouds our visions, giving us this imagination/ideal image of the person that causes us to overlook reality… as time goes on, reality starts to catch up and lucky would be a result that this special person isn’t too far off from our imagination but otherwise, unfortunate it would be.

Whether that is true or not, I believe that there comes a time when you have to make a decision in relationship. The decision to love. This is an action, succeeding the initial feeling. The action to love, where love becomes a verb. This is where we will choose to perform the act of love or walk away because either situations do not allow or we deem not worth it.

Well, any action we take in life requires certain abilities. Then love, involves some of our abilities… and what abilities are we talking about? This is something we all have to think about. In my mind, they include… ability to be independent, ability to make the decision and commit, ability to sacrifice, ability to share, ability to observe, ability to appreciate, ability to think clearly, ability to change/improve ourselves (even in the most drastic ways), ability to respect, ability to be patient, ability to endure loneliness, ability to support each other even though the most dire time… Basically, love is such an important action that it entails so much and the list goes on and on.

In conclusion, I would say that love is more than the feeling of liking, of passion. We have to materialize it through our actions, an action that involves all our abilities. As such, love is easy to say, but can we really do it?

So next time when we use the word, why don’t we give it some thought? Can we really go one step above the feeling, to accomplish the act of love? I think that when we’re ready, when we can do it… happiness won’t be too far away. It is not love, the feeling, but love, the action, that once we hone our abilities for the act of love… at that point, we may just have the answer to all the problems to everything.

Originally posted 2006-10-28 01:46:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Gangnam Style vs. Quantitative Easing

I think a lot to try have more insight into why the current state of human affairs is… for the lack of a better word, as shitty as it feels. So I jumped over to Youtube and did a quick search for “Gangnam Style” and “Quantitative Easing,” and I took the most viewed result in the 1st page for each query.

Gangnam Style (link)
473,521,838 views

Quantitative Easing (link)
5,394,406 views

Now I laughed when I watched Gangnam Style for the first time. It’s great fun and entertaining. It even is somewhat of a satire against lavish lifestyle. However, perhaps the disparity between the view counts is a telling sign. It is almost a 100:1 ratio.

It is about right when I casually bring up in conversation with people if they know one or the other. Almost everyone would know about Gangnam Style but rarely does someone really understand what QE means. And this includes a lot of engineeers and other supposedly educated people being in the bay area.

I’m not against knowing about Gangnam Style… but should not more of us know about QE, being that is supposedly that has a much higher effect in our lives?

Is our lives consumed by too much entertainment, by the likes of reality TV and these viral videos?

Do we care too much about the wrong thing?

I know our lives’ busy and hectic and all but should we care and thus learn a bit more about the societal mechanics around us?

We always talk about voting and contributing to democracy, so what about understanding first?

I know none of these question matters because it’s so much easier to watch the Gangnam Style video. So here you go.

Originally posted 2012-10-15 20:39:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Saving On Beverage In Restaurants

When you read the title, did you think “So this guy only drink water, what a cheapo”?

Hey now! I am not gonna ask you to never order a soda or other kinds of beverage at restaurants and ONLY drink water. Let me describe what happened:

I was at lunch with colleagues at an Indian buffet restaurant. Being an engineer, I prefer to have some caffeine in my body for the afternoon (I’m an avid coffee drinker, one cup of coffee everyday is not bad for you). So I ordered a coke. To my unpleasant surprise, the glass they use is at most 6 oz in volume and half filled with ice, so I can essentially drink the whole thing w/ one tenth of a breath. I was not happy.

But here is the lesson:
Before ordering drinks at restaurants, pay attention to surrounding tables’ order of beverages. If most people don’t order beverages other than water, follow suit because something must be off. Then check out the glass size they use for non-water beverages, get it if it’s a decent size in your mind.

That’s it for the day…
Oh wait…
What did I say at the beginning?
Or rather, what did I not say?

Why not just drink water?
It’s good for your health.

Originally posted 2007-08-15 23:25:59. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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