I'm doing a show Thursday (tomorow night) in Calgary as a benefit for the Canadian World Championship Paragliding Team. It's turned into a really well-organized event, 20 foot screen etc., fired up to see many friends there and meet some new people too! Some beer will be consumed, it's at Shanks in the Northwest (link to map).
Religion/faith: I've had a bunch of great email responses in response to the recent fatalities in climbing, thanks, these responses mean a lot to me. Several of them have been from various Christian viewpoints; I'm all for anyone practicing any sort of religion that doesn't damage other people. Several of my friends are fairly devout, which makes long drives more fun as we always have a "default" conversation topic that can eat up the road. I'm pretty sure most religions are fabricated without divine intervention, while most of those who believe seem positive that God had a role. I find this somewhat humorous, as the followers of each sect are all certain that the others, along with me, are doomed. From this alone I've come to the conclusion that faith is something I have little faith in. Maybe I'm just a heartless skeptic, but I have the same problem with a lot of "new age" stuff (Iridology, homeopathy, aura adjustment, there's a long list of stuff people have faith in without much in the way of evidence). I do think a more wholistic viewpoint toward physical and mental health is called for (fighting heart disease in its latter stages misses the point of why we get heart disease in the first place for example), but that's a relatively simple cause and effect relationship (whether genes or McDonalds). Anyhow, I found a great collection of quotes about religion and faith on a Craigslist site, pasted 'em here for your amusement. As always, I welcome any conversation pro or con about life, the most interesting sport of all.
"It appears to me (whether rightly or wrongly) that direct arguments against christianity and theism produce hardly any effect on the public; and freedom of thought is best promoted by the gradual illumination of men's minds which follows from the advance of science." [Darwin]
"If we believe absurdities, we shall commit atrocities." [Voltaire]
"I cannot imagine a God who rewards and punishes the objects of his creation, whose purposes are modeled after our own -- a God, in short, who is but a reflection of human frailty. Neither can I believe that the individual survives the death of his body, although feeble souls harbor such thoughts through fear or ridiculous egotism." [Einstein]
"Faith means not wanting to know what is true." [Nietzsche]
"I cannot believe in the immortality of the soul.... No, all this talk of an existence for us, as individuals, beyond the grave is wrong. It is born of our tenacity of life – our desire to go on living … our dread of coming to an end." [Edison]
"The Bible is not my book nor Christianity my profession. I could never give assent to the long, complicated statements of Christian dogma." [Lincoln]
"Religion is a byproduct of fear. For much of human history, it may have been a necessary evil, but why was it more evil than necessary? Isn't killing people in the name of God a pretty good definition of insanity?" [Arthur C. Clarke]
"Religions are all alike – founded upon fables and mythologies." [Thomas Jefferson]
"Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile." [Kurt Vonnegut]
"Religion is based . . . mainly on fear . . . fear of the mysterious, fear of defeat, fear of death. Fear is the parent of cruelty, and therefore it is no wonder if cruelty and religion have gone hand in hand. . . . My own view on religion is that of Lucretius. I regard it as a disease born of fear and as a source of untold misery to the human race." [Bertrand Russell]