Gray is the New White

As you can see, things look a little different around here. I finally got off my ass (only figuratively speaking, of course) and applied my knowledge of CSS to design a new layout for the blog. Since I tend to be verbose, I thought it would be better with a larger area for text. This also fixes the problem of how the comment threads were being displayed.

I realize the text may be a bit too small for some readers, but if this is a problem for you, you can adjust the text size from your browser, under the View menu.

Also: I am a font junky, so I like to collect tons of different fonts. Naturally, I made the layout with a specific font in mind, Baar Sophia, which you can download from here. To install: download, unzip if necessary, and put it in your fonts directory. You don’t have to have it, but I personally think it looks nicer this way. :)

I don’t have anything interesting to say right now, so how about a poll?


(Please note: I’m not saying that atheism is a religion, that would be silly. But if you’re going to have a poll about religion, you have to also include options for the non-religious!)

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14 thoughts on “Gray is the New White

    • The didactic answer:

      1. a set of beliefs concerning the cause, nature, and purpose of the universe, esp. when considered as the creation of a superhuman agency or agencies, usually involving devotional and ritual observances, and often containing a moral code governing the conduct of human affairs.
      2. a specific fundamental set of beliefs and practices generally agreed upon by a number of persons or sects: the Christian religion; the Buddhist religion.

      I’m probably going to go with one of those two, but I do see what you mean. Technically, a lot of the things I posted as choices aren’t really religions in and of themselves, but categories of religions. Or lifestyles, in some cases. :)

      I also can’t believe I forgot to list pantheism. Oops!

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  1. The purists are gonna complain about referring to atheism or agnosticism as a religion. :)

    Cool redesign! You should make the title link to the home page.

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  2. I selected ”other” because I am close to the Christian faith, but I don’t follow the bible as closely as anyone who identifys as Christian. Its written by people for goodness sakes. Since my world view is so vastly different then traditional Christianity but I still believe in God and Jesus, I selected other as opposed to Christian.

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    • Hmm, one question: what is a “Christian” world view? I’m just curious, because some of these options are such broad categories, especially Christianity. Like someone who is Catholic is going to most likely be quite different from someone who would classify themselves as Christian Not Otherwise Specified and goes to a Unitarian Universalist church. But then maybe they won’t be so different, because even within one particular denomination there is still a huge range of different interpretations.

      Of course I couldn’t possibly have listed ALL of the possible options within the categories, I don’t even know them all. So these seem to sort of work, but even then… I’ve met people who don’t count Catholics as Christians. I guess “Christian” to them means Protestantism?

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  3. Well I was making reference to my opinions on lots of things the traditional prodestant church considers sin, but I do not, such as homosexuality, smoking drinking to the point of intoxication, marijuana, using english swears and varies other things. Also, I don’t know weather or not I believe in Heaven (think of it: what better way to get people to buy into your ideas then ”well if you do… you get… heaven! yeah, heaven, it’s where everyone’s happy all the time. and it lasts for… a billion years!” it seems iffy. Though I do believe in hell.
    I think if something harms other people it’s a sin, and if something harms one’s self, it’s also a sin (though people should have a right to self-destructive behavior to a point if they for some reason wish to do so).
    So with that logic, doing ”not that bad” drugs like marry J, and drinking and slipping a few cigarettes every now and then COULD lead to what I consider sin, but in itself I don’t consider it sinful in nature. And because of alllllllll these reasons: I’m like 3/4 Christian and like 1/4 being a nice person :) [not to imply that they’re two different things ALLL of the time]
    I’m quite bitter towards traditional protestant Christianity as far as religion goes, but I place that blame on the word-for-word literal interpretation of the bible and assuming the bible is absolute truth. However I think these are all due to human error, and God just put those rules as suggestions in a way to help avoiding temptation to *true* sin. So if the bible says ”don’t get drunk” God says ”if you get drunk you might be tempted to do x y and z so proceed with caution” and if the bible says ”don’t get with the same-sex” it’s probably saying that as-in ”it’s not worth your time because your family will hate you, and also in the culture back then, women needed a husband because of the sexist culture that doesn’t allow women to do sh*t all without a husband, and how do you plan to re-produce and have kids with the same-sex?” so I think that that what christians call a sin because it is what it is, I think God advised us against it because it might be better for *us* not because it hurts God.

    Sorry that I ran in so many circles there; I’d never organized my amended religious opinions into words before :P

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    • Wow, that’s really interesting that you’re not sure about heaven! I’ve heard of people who don’t believe in hell, or believe it is not a literal place but just like a state of being cut off from God, but never the other way around! Learn something new every day. :3

      I’ve always had a hard time figuring out how both heaven and hell can exist at the same time… because if hell exists, and some of your loved ones are going there, doesn’t that mean that heaven wouldn’t really be so great? Unless you completely forget about your past life, how would you manage to stop mourning them and enjoy such a state of bliss? That was always my confusion.

      I like the way you think about sin. I think it gets at the heart of what morality really is based on… this sense of what is harmful vs. what isn’t harmful. Or is LESS harmful, at least, since a lot of times you will run into fuzzy situations where it’s kind of harmful either way, but you have to prioritize something. Some people prioritize society at the expense of the individual, which I think is what all those “family values” types are doing… they seem to think that the family will collapse if people don’t follow their proper roles or whatever. Whereas I think those roles do more harm than good, and it’s better to just let people be who they are, that way families can be more well-adjusted and not raise such tormented kids!

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  4. I think the reason that so many asexuals on the Internet are atheist/agnostic is because they have no taboos towards premarital sex.

    If a Christian doesn’t want to have sex, they can just assume that they are properly living their beliefs and not even think about it. But when an atheist doesn’t want sex … it seems odd and the start wondering “why”, leading to the conclusion that they are asexual.

    Also, accepting “asexual” as an orientation implies that you also accept homosexual, bisexual, pansexual, and so on. But when you believe non-straight orientations to be mortal sin, you probably won’t even consider your asexuality to nullify your straightness.

    But a LOT of Christians through the years seemed to have been asexual, like the Apostle Paul, Isaac Newton and CS Lewis. I think the actual amount of asexuals is the same, but atheists are more likely than Christians to embrace that title.

    Myself, I’m a “Christian” because it’s part of my cultural heritage (rural American South), but I’m a bit more agnostic in my actual beliefs. I suppose I follow a very bare-bones form of Christianity, but I’m hardly dogmatic and accept that there are a lot of things that we simply do not and can not ever know.

    I guess that’s a cop out? I don’t know. I think Hell could exist, and it could be literal flames or just darkness or a temporary sentence or total annihilation. I have no idea, and the Bible is far too vague to supply a single doctrine, assuming that the Bible is the actual Word of God or that the book we have is even the original version.

    I know what I DON’T believe in, and that’s any version of God that favors hate, murder and/or car bombs.

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    • Has the result been about the same on AVEN? *checks* Hmm, I guess it has. That’s interesting, not something I would have expected but it certainly fits your theory.

      I do find it odd though that some Christians think of asexuality as a sin, a rejection of God’s gift, etc. while others think of it as a good thing. It’s especially odd when you consider how divine inspiration/communion with God has historically been visualized as something that’s incredibly sexual—see the Ecstasy of Saint Theresa, for example.

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      • Really? I thought celibacy was supposed to be the way to God. I know that the Apostle Paul was a supporter of celibacy, and Jesus was definitely unmarried (despite what the DaVinci Code wants to claim, even the Gnostic Gospels affirm that he was single).

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        • Well, yeah, according to some. But there’s a whole lot of talk about how not having sex is a rejection of “God’s gift to mankind” (which sounds to me a lot like someone on an ego-trip about how great they are in bed, personally), and I’ve heard my own parents talk about how marital relations (i.e. sex) are supposed to mirror God’s relations with his followers, and it’s somehow bad NOT to consummate the marriage because of that.

          And even if celibacy is considered the way to go, historically there has been a lot of talk about spiritual relations with God that likens that to sex. Check out this quote:

          “I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the iron’s point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it. The soul is satisfied now with nothing less than God. The pain is not bodily, but spiritual; though the body has its share in it. It is a caressing of love so sweet which now takes place between the soul and God, that I pray God of His goodness to make him experience it who may think that I am lying.” ~St. Theresa of Avila

          So yeah, it seems like celibacy in this case is conceptualized as clearing the way for this “communion with God” which is visualized as some kind of higher, spiritual form of sex as a replacement for “the love of man/woman.” I find it interesting that physical orgasm is apparently the closest approximation of intimacy and ecstasy that many people can imagine! :D

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  5. The site looks good! I’m Jewish, although I’ve had such a long interest in the study of religions that I find beliefs from other religions tend to seep into my own. And I’m fine with that.

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