It is late at night and I can't sleep again. There is a lot going on and I should be sleeping, but I can't seem to nod off even though I am yawning as I write this. Things on my mind:
I ran across these pictures and I find them breathtaking:
Shuttle Launch Seen From ISS. Those pictures are taken from 220 miles. That is about 30 times higher than I've ever flown. The discernible horizon and the deep blackness of space above is amazing.
There seems to be quite a bit of furor lately over religious matters. Wired's cover article is about a new breed of atheists who are no longer willing to quietly coexist with people of faith. Here is a quote from the article that sounds eerily familiar, "Contemptuous of the faith of others, its proponents never doubt their own belief. They are fundamentalists." I recall very recently being called one of these fundamentalists. That's OK, I regularly get told that I'm paranoid and that I should be wearing a tinfoil hat. I'm used to it, but I think both are unfair. I will leave the defense of my so called paranoia for another day. For right now let me ramble on about my spiritual side. I believe that I have a soul and that by extension other human beings do too. Kind of a poor man's Cogito Ergo Sum followed by an inarticulate man's rejection of solipsism. I don't know whether our soul has any existence outside of our observable physical existence and by extension I don't know if that soul is immortal. (It is a nice dream to think about sometimes.) I believe that we are an imperfect reflection of the divine. I believe that we are capable of approaching a beautiful perfection, but due to our flawed nature we are destined to fail. What is most beautiful about our souls and our divinity is when we reach for that perfection. That brings me back to the pictures of the shuttle launch that I linked to above. Those pictures, to me, represent what is most divine about humanity. It is our meager yet triumphant attempt to reach beyond our limited environment. Finally, I do have faith. I have faith that humans, while flawed, are a reflection of the divine. Furthermore I have faith that humanity on average wants to be good and that if given the right conditions we are happy to be good and fulfill our potential. It is my sincere hope that we all work for a world where as many people as possible are given that opportunity.
There has been a lot of chatter about atheism lately. It probably has something to do with Richard Dawkins promoting his new book as well as a lot of other authors out there doing the same for theirs. Here is an interesting clip from The Colbert Report. As always, you are never sure who wins the debate in the end. Maybe that is why Colbert is so good.
On a completely tangential note, I spent most of this weekend tearing up carpet and sanding floors in the front part of the second floor of my house. It is surprising how much difference the little work we've done has made. I've probably got another couple of hours of sanding left to do, but I can already see the difference. I will post some pictures when I get a chance.
OK. I might be able to sleep now, so I think I will just run a quick spell check and hope this makes sense.