Tuesday, July 13, 2010

1 Sameul 13-17

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1 Samuel 13 - No mention of any women.

14:49-50: Saul's sons were JOnathan, Ishvi and Malchishua. His daughters were Merab and Michal. His wife was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz.

15:3 - Samuel tells Saul to attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all they have, both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.
15:33 - Samuel tells Agag, king of the Amalekites "As your sword has made women childless, so your mother shall be childless among women." And with that Samuel killed Agag.

1 Samuel 16 - No mention of any women.

17:25 - The Israelites tell David, "Have you seen this man (Goliath) who has come up? Surely he has come to defy Israel. The king will greatly enrich the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his family free for life."

My Comments

Women as prizes. Still never gets old.

I don't know if anyone has been watching Through the Wormhole with Moragn Freeman. I haven't been able to see it since I don't get the Discovery Science channel, but I did catch some of an episode at a friend's house. Oddly enough it is an episode about the question on whether there is a creator. There was a section about a scientist who is testing a section of the right hemisphere of the brain which, when stimulated, gives the impression of a presence around a the person. Similar experiences that people claim to experience when God is around. It's really fascinating. I love how so many experiences we have are reduced to simple electric impulses in our brains. And that these impulses can be manipulated and recreated is astonishing.

Maybe it's just me. I know many people are disturbed by the idea that we're only machines made of meat, where grand emotions like love or joy or hate are nothing more than neurons firing a specific way in the brain. Or it depresses people when they think we aren't special and weren't created by a higher being who loves us and protects us, but instead realize we are nothing but star dust that came to life and evolved into the beings we are today. Which I think is strange, since the more realistic scenario doesn't make us less special or unique. We are the only planet in our solar system with life as complex as we are. We may be the only planet in multiple systems with life as complex as we are. Out of all the species discovered on Earth we are the only species capable of great abstract thoughts. With imaginations that allow us to explore and discover and ask questions like "Why are we here?" We are just as awe inspiring and grand without God making us. Actually, I think we are even more awe inspiring without a creator. Billions of years of work and trial and error to come to this point in time. From primordial ooze to me sitting here on a couch of artificial leather watching people miles away from me on a tv screen while typing away on a laptop no bigger than the Bible I'm reading.

How can people cling to a God when the reality of life without God is so wonderful? So curious and awesome? Maybe I've been watching too much Carl Sagan. He's become my new obsession. I used to love reading about space and dinosaurs when I was a kid. My life ambition at that time was to be a paleontologist or an astronomer. Obviously that phase didn't last past my childhood, since I have grown up to be neither of those two, I think mostly because I didn't have many opportunities in high school and college to get into either field. But the subjects still fascinate me. Right now I'm watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos. Space is just so cool. It's so big and unfathomable for me most of the time. And yet, the vastness of space does not make me feel insignificant. Nor worthless or meaningless. Carl Sagan mentions in Cosmos that we are star stuff, made of the same matter of the rest of the universe. We are star dust studying other star dust. We are a way for the universe to know itself. And that gives me an incredible sense of peace. I am made of the same matter and force which created the sun, the moon, Jupiter, the Milky Way. We are all connected and a part of it. If matter cannot be created or destroyed then I am made of matter and energy that has been around for billions of years. It's such a feeling of connection and oneness.

There is a comfort in astronomy that I never found in religion.

If no one has ever watched a Symphony of Science video, I highly recommend it.

Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 18-25

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