Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Interesting trends.

The worm may be turning.  Atheists are defending Christianity as "necessary." 

They're...not wrong.

Look at pre-Christian history around the world, look at the people's rights, at the governments, at the way people and nations treated each other.  There are a few, shining moral exceptions, but for the most part, history's been bloody, barbarous, and has not counted life as something valuable.

Don't believe me?

Look at Sodom.  Gomorrah.  Look at China.  Look at Africa.  Look at Egypt, through its history.  Greece.  Europe.  Look at the tribal cultures native to this hemisphere.  Hell with the tribes, look at the Aztecs: they practiced not just infanticide (Baal, Moloch), but straight-up non-voluntary human sacrifice, and did it often enough and horribly enough that every other nation and tribe in the region at the time teamed up with the admittedly horrible Spanish.

Sikhism is one of the few, non-Christian religions with morals, concepts, and a philosophy that any real Christian would understand.  There are a few revived pagan faiths that might also fit the bill (Asatru). 

But the majority--the vast majority--of world religions, historically, have not provided the societal advances pushed by Christianity. 

Christianity has produced a society--and indeed, a world--in which it can be safely repudiated.  I can't think of a single other culture/religion that has done the same.  And the world will not remain safe if Christianity is successfully repudiated...not just because it imposes an external moral scaffolding for people who don't want to think and create their own rules, but because the human animal needs to believe in something.*   And not many of the things which are competing for the faith of the modern human are as benign as Christianity. 

*Full disclosure: I am a strongly believing Christian.  I'm also a thinking Christian who is incapable of blind faith.  And this is something that I'd seen but not been able to bring into full focus until I read the article linked above.  

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Reading books.

That's what I'm doing.  I'm reading books.  And going the "wrong" way in store aisles when it's convenient.

I'm not accepting any fucking "new normal."

So.  What am I reading?  Well.  Lots of things.  I've found a series of books in KU I greatly enjoy, and a series not in KU that I very much like, and do plan to get the rest of.  Eventually.

The first series...I've read another trilogy by Marie Andreas, so when I found her Lost Ancients series, especially with the first book temporarily free (since the KU queue was full), I jumped on it.  The first book is The Glass Gargoyle, and is wicked fun.  Her faerie characters--Garbage Blossom, Leaf Grub, and Crusty Bucket--are original and hilarious, and her main character is well-drawn and interesting, a down-on-her-luck archaeologist.  Strongly recommend reading this series.  I'll be starting book 4 when I'm done with my current read.

Second series...is definitely a warm blanket with a steaming cup of coffee of a read.  The Dreamhealers series by M.C.A. Hogarth features not-quite-aliens...well, they sort of are, sort of aren't.  They're certainly not human, but that's because they were engineered and uplifted to sentience by humanity in their distant past...for nefarious purposes.  One main character is a winged centauroid, and the other is a human-cousin resembling an elf.  Both are "gifted" with strong psychic skills, and part of the book is learning to deal with them without going mad.  The book is set in a university graduate-level psychology program, and (quite honestly) feels like home, to me.  First hit's free, and I've bought the second.  I will be buying the third when I can.  These really are warm fuzzies--comfort reads.

A third series that is by turns intriguing and frustrating (on behalf of the characters, by the way, not with the author) is a book I snagged on KU on a whim: Moriarty Meets his Match.  I'm halfway through, and having to go between it and something else.  It's...a bit of a mind-fuck, and really complex with how the author is setting up the various conflicts and puzzles.  Some days, the ones really bad with the ME/CFS fog, I just can't manage it.  But the book is a lot of fun.


I'm also reading Jim Curtis's new Rimworld book.  It's fucking awesome.  I'm a quarter of the way into it, reading between going to bed and going to sleep.  It really does make putting the book down and actually going to sleep difficult, especially when pain levels don't want to let me sleep anyway.  This is an excellent distraction.

I do have others on my list, but this is what I'm reading, or have just finished, recently.