Tag Archives: Life

Guidelines Drawn in Gray – A Codex Vitae

Guidelines Drawn in Gray – A Codex Vitae

Hi Ethan and Holly,

Get some tea, guys. Find a comfortable place to sit. Settle in. This letter is serious business, and a couch and a cuppa tends to help when you’re thinking about important matters.


Let’s get going.

This letter is about happiness. Yes, that’s serious business! It’s also about living well — just being a good person, you know? — because a good life is more likely to be a happy one.

Life is hard, man. No-one escapes heartache. No-one is happy all the time. No-one has full control over the events that shape them. But happiness is attainable, despite life. Look at your mother and I. We’re happy. And we want that for you.

The principal is simple: find the things that make you happy and pursue them. But you’d be surprised at how tough the finding can be and how much work the pursuing can take. To complicate matters further, the things that make you happy can, and likely will, change over time. Some things you may choose to trade — reluctantly, at times — for the sake of gaining better ones, and others you will desire — certain in the knowledge that it will increase your happiness — but you’ll feel too intimidated or lazy to hunt them down.

Below are nuggets of wisdom. They are idealistic for sure. Failing to live by these “standards” — as we do — doesn’t mean you’ve failed. Does that make sense? Also, bear in mind that these maxims are our wisdom, gained from our experiences, which means, of course, that it may be folly for you. Still, we think this collection is a decent foundation to build upon, a useful starting point.

We aimed for brevity, so if anything is unclear, or if you’d like to know why we said certain things and not others, we encourage you, as always, to chat with us.

So, here we go. Let’s start with some philosophy…
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You don’t have the same body.

It’s changed.

Ten years ago your jeans were smaller, your breasts firmer, your tummy flatter—void of your mothers’ watermarks.

I know this weighs on you.

Undesirable. Tired. Old.

You hold that you are those things.

And I look at other women, their bodies young, and they attract me. I want to lie with them.

You’d like to look like that again, don’t you?

I do not wish for it.

Your health is my concern.

That you feel sexy and comfortable in your skin is my hope.

I want you to know that you still have that power over men, that you still command my devotion.

I see your imperfections not as imperfect but rather as a testament to a life lived.

You are a fucking lioness. A ferocious matriarchal beast. The giver of everything with worth in my life.

I desire you.

Fuck me, I want you now more than when your jeans were smaller.

Cosmically Speaking

Cosmically Speaking

I’ll tell you why you’re insignificant.

Time is old. Time is really, really old. Time, to be specific, has been alive and ticking for 13.8 billion years.

It’s tough to get an accurate perception of something like the age of the universe. Humans are bad with big numbers. I don’t mean in a mathematical sense — we’re pretty good at that — but rather, we’re poor at judging scale and perspective. Have you considered, for example, that there’s a 31 year difference between a million and a billion seconds? By the power of factors, a million seconds, being less than a fortnight, may as well be discarded.

In his book, The Dragons of Eden, and his TV series, Cosmos, Carl Sagan popularised a method to visualise the chronology of the universe. It’s simple. Take its current age, 13.8 billion years, and scale it down to a single year — the Cosmic Calendar — where midnight on 1 January marks the start of time (the Big Bang) and the end of 31 December is right now, this very moment.

The cosmic year is one to remember. Here are a few highlights…

1 January, 14 seconds past midnight: hydrogen starts to form — it’s cool enough now for electrons to combine with protons (previously, the universe had been a hot plasma of photons, electrons, and baryons)

10 January: the first stars ignite — for over 300 million years the universe had been dark

13 January: small galaxies

15 March: our galaxy, the Milky Way

End of August, start of September: our sun, the Earth, and the rest of our solar system

21 September: first life, single-cell organisms

5 December: multi-cell organisms — almost 3 billion years after single-cell organisms

14 December: small animals

20 December: land plants

25 December: dinosaurs — Merry Christmas

26 December: mammals

27 December: birds

28 December: flowers

30 December: dinosaurs die

8 minutes ago: humans

14 seconds ago: modern civilian — every person you’ve ever heard of from here on out

5 seconds ago: Jesus

4 seconds ago: Mohammed

In the last second: modern science and technology, American revolution, French revolution, World War I, World War II, Apollo Moon landing, and Donald Trump

Your life, if you are lucky enough to live to a 109, is a blink of an eye, a quarter of a second. You are insignificant in the grand scheme of the cosmos. But don’t let that get you down. You’re also extremely fortunate to have this fleeting moment in the sun. The average ejaculate has 250 million sperm cells, and you made it buddy. Best make the most of your day.

Spontaneous Abortion Argument – An Unsound Syllogism

Spontaneous Abortion Argument – An Unsound Syllogism

I was inspired to write a valid but unsound syllogism after reading an excellent paper, called: The Scourge: Moral Implications of Natural Embryo Loss by Dr Toby Ord.

Why devote the time to write an unsound logical argument? Well, I judge the premises to be dubious, but other people, such as those who are not pro-choice advocates, for instance, should accept them as true. This leads to the consideration—if the syllogism is indeed valid—of an interesting conclusion. Thought experiments are fun, aren’t they?

Spontaneous Abortion Argument

Premise 1: From the time when an ovum is fertilised by sperm (conception), the resulting embryo [a] has a comparable moral status to that of an adult human being; it has, at least, the basic human right to life [b].

Premise 2: It is immoral to knowingly perform an action that has a reasonable chance [c] of resulting in the death, natural or otherwise, of an entity with the basic human right to life.

Premise 3: The majority of embryos die from natural causes (spontaneous abortion) within a few weeks of conception [d1-4].

Conclusion: Therefore, a man or a woman who pursues conception, and is informed of spontaneous abortion, is acting immorally. Read the rest of this entry

Response To A Critique By Kevin Lane

Response To A Critique By Kevin Lane

Kevin Lane wrote a comprehensive critique on my post On How I Became a Christian, called The Fruit of Believing a False Gospel and Refusing Answers, which I encourage you to read. This article is a response to his critique. As always, if you have an opinion, whatever it may be, you know where the comments are.

Who is Mr Lane?

Kevin is a Christian with a keen interest in Christian soteriology—the study of religious doctrines of salvation—having studied the topic for the last seven years.

He is a retired Canadian Forces avionics technician, and worked on such machines as the CH124 Sea King aircraft. He is a published author, professional photographer and musician, blogger, and he is @TheWordBowl on Twitter.

Lastly, he is married to Joanne whom he can’t stop bugging at work 🙂

Kevin is a clearly a creative and smart individual. I doubt that he and I could ever be friends, but apart from his annoying usage of LOL and exclamation marks, Kevin is a nice enough guy. He is Canadian, after all. LOL!!!! Read the rest of this entry

Guidelines Drawn In Gray — The Ancestor Letter

Guidelines Drawn In Gray — The Ancestor Letter

To Ethan and Holly,

We’ve watched you grow into brilliant young adults, and that’s been a source of great joy and pride. In a couple of years, you’ll be sufficiently equipped to cast off and explore this extraordinary life by yourself. But for now, while you are safely anchored in our harbour, there is still time to prepare for your journey.

This letter has evolved over hundreds of millions of seconds. At its inception, you, Ethan, were four years old, and Holly, you had just turned one. How quickly time passes! We wrote the ancestor to these words because we realised that we had to consolidate the principles, beyond the obvious, that we thought were important to impart to you. You will recognise—we hope!—much of what is said here… Think of this as a reference guide. They are useful, aren’t they?
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