Tag Archives: religion

The Pig That Wants to Be Eaten by Julian Baggini

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

Here’s a question for vegetarians: if a pig were raised in a comfortable and humane slaughterhouse, would you eat it? What if that pig were also genetically modified to want to be eaten – if being eaten was indeed its life’s ambition? How about a genetically modified chicken that had lost its sense of self, environment, pain, pleasure etc.? It’d be like plucking a potato from the ground.

Another one, for everyone: let’s say you’re a doctor, and you have a patient who falls unconscious while on life-support. Beforehand she asked over and over again to be taken off the machine, but to your chagrin, an ethics committee forbids you from doing so. One day a random passerby – a janitor, perhaps – accidentally knocks out the plug and disconnects the patient from the machine. You let it go and the patient fades away: after all, you took no measure in shortening the her life, you just failed to prolong it. Are you justified? Continue reading

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

How ironic that I would read The Poisonwood Bible immediately after publishing a blog post defending the merits of YA books. One individual commented about how literary fiction takes themes/motifs/messages and pushes them to the edge. I can see that with Barbara Kingsolver’s work.

Yes, the book preaches about anti-Westernization and the plights of religion. Continue reading

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

The Righteous Mind by Jonathan Haidt

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 4/5 stars.

From a psychological standpoint, The Righteous Mind: Why Good People are Divided by Politics and Religion earns five stars. The book loses some of its appeal when Jonathan Haidt veers into political philosophy, however – especially when he raises the biased question “why are religious people better neighbors and citizens?”

Let me backtrack. The Righteous Mind is split into three sections. The first focuses on how intuitions come first and are followed by strategic reasoning, the second shows that there are six moral foundations (Care/Harm, Fairness/Cheating, Liberty/Oppression, Loyalty/Betrayal, Authority/Subversion, and Sanctity/Degradation), and the third hones in on the belief that morality binds and blinds. By the end each part made sense in relation to one another and came together to pack a strong moral philosophy punch. Though the book had some dense sections – like the history and biology of moral philosophy – Haidt included interesting scenarios, research, and anecdotes to alleviate the doldrums. Continue reading

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Filed under 4 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Where Things Come Back by John Corey Whaley

Cover via Goodreads.

Cover via Goodreads.

Rating: 3/5 stars.

“It was one of those moments when you’re waiting on someone to say something important or funny or just do anything to break you away from the sad thoughts that overwhelm your mind. Thoughts like never having enough money to move away or not getting into college. Thoughts like having to come back to take care of a sick parent and getting stuck here all over again. That’s what happened in Lily. People dreamed. People left. And they all came back.”

Winner of the Printz Award for excellence in young adult literature and the William C. Morris Debut Award, Where Things Come Back didn’t blow me away. Continue reading

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Filed under 3 stars, Book Reviews, Books

Hate the Sin, Love the Sinner (AKA, Something Stupid Religious Homophobes Say)

I’m Asian. Do you know what would really suck? If someone came up to me and said, “Yeah, I think being Asian will cause you to go to hell and that you’re committing a sin that will send your soul to eternal damnation. But, I still like you as a person though!”

Good thing that’s never happened to me.

Oh wait. It has. Sort of.

Hypocrisy at its finest. Image via bp.blogspot.com.

Hypocrisy at its finest. Image via bp.blogspot.com.

I like to think that I know the intent of the phrase “hate the sin, love the sinner.” It’s saying that people should forgive those who eat in excess or those who commit other sins that can be reformed – we have the right to be angry with the actions they’re taking, but we should still love the people and help them prosper and progress. Yes, you should hate the sick things sex addicts do, but should still love the sex addict as an individual and attempt to get him aid.

However, when it comes to homosexuality, this is a phrase that is often used by conservatives/religious people to try to mitigate the harshness of their hate. Continue reading

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Religion, Homosexuality, and the Truth Behind Hate

Nothing ruins a sunny Sunday afternoon like a hypocritical hate group claiming to be Christian and corrupting the next generation of children.

When it comes to religion, I feel like choice is an important concept. You can choose to believe whatever you want to believe. It’s in our Constitution, and it’s one of our shared societal beliefs. Although I am not the most knowledgeable regarding religion, I can see that it has several advantages –¬† it can bring you closer to others, it can give you strength in times of crisis or prosperity, and it can help you find deeper meaning in life or self-actualize.

At this moment in time, I am an agnostic atheist. I don’t really believe in a higher power because in my lifetime, I have not seen enough evidence. God has not convinced me yet. Similar to Abraham Lincoln, I believe something similar to “When I do good, I feel good. When I do bad, I feel bad. That is my religion.”

But I will still let you choose. Continue reading

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Filed under Personal, Society