Just recently my nephew Tavor was found by one of his close friends, with his head blown off by a gun. There was no police investigation, since it seemed like an obvious suicide.
Tavor was a straight A student in college, not far from graduating. None of his friends thought he had any special problems.
Tavor was good-looking, popular, talented, athletic and fun to be around. The only thing that seemed a little strange was his secretiveness, the fact that he never talked about his feelings or problems.
His mother Narcy, is my sister. I believe she would have given her own life, if it could have saved his. I believe she loved Tavor as much as any mother could love her son.
Of course I don’t believe this was in any way Narcy’s fault although she is (as her name suggests) a “narcissist.” I really don’t know what a narcissist is, but I guess I know when if I see one.
Narcy brags, a lot, about herself and about her two (now only one) kids. If Narcy ever has a problem with anyone — and that is often — it’s always the other person’s fault, entirely. The other person is mentally ill, and/or evil. Narcy is perfecly sane — those of us who know her are sure of that, because she has told us countless times.
When this happened, needless to say, Narcy was devastated, and could not face life without Tavor. She wondered if she could have helped him somehow, or if she should have known something was wrong.
A year before he died, Tavor had suddenly become extremely angry at his mother, seemingly for no reason. He cut her, and all relatives, out of his life almost completely.
His death was even more tragic because he left in anger, so he and his mother would never be reconciled on this earth.
Everyone told Narcy she was the best possible mother, and that she should not for one minute take any blame. After giving it a little thought, Narcy agreed. This was not in any way her fault. Her son must have had an undiagnosed mental illness, which he had inherited. Nothing at all could have prevented his suicide — he was genetically programmed for it.
Tavor’s biological father, who died long ago, actually did have a mental illness, which caused him to kill himself slowly with drugs.
Narcy is in no way to blame. That doesn’t make it easy, because Tavor is still gone forever. Narcy was a perfect mother to him, and all the anger he felt towards her was just the raving of a mentally ill young man.
I love Narcy very much, she is my only sister. I am glad she has found a way to place all the blame on the DNA of her poor dead ex.
But on the other hand, I don’t like explanations that are over-simplified. I feel like it has to be more complicated than that.
Not that it matters now, it’s too late for Tavor. But I still can’t help thinking about it and searching for explanations that make sense.
Of all the songs I ever heard, the one I hate the most is Imagine by John Lennon. I think the music is pretty, but the words express exactly the opposite of everything I believe.
I don’t feel like analyzing the whole song right now. But I will just point out a little of the irony.
The lyrics recommend that everyone should give away all their possessions and live in peace. John Lennon thought the whole world could get along — billions of people — and yet the four Beatles weren’t able to get along.
And I very much doubt that any of the Beatles gave all their money away. Even if they gave some to charity, I’m sure they kept enough to make sure they would always have a comfortable life.
I could say a lot more about why I hate that song. It’s stupid, and it’s wrong in every way, and it’s a naive expression of communism, a political/economic system which has failed, sometimes horribly, every time it was tried.
Well John Lennon was never expected to be a political/financial genius. But I know a lot of people who are crazy about that song and see nothing wrong with it.
We were trying to figure out the size of God, but the comments were closed. So I want to continue here.
My estimate, based on the scriptures, is that God is at least 12 hundred feet tall.
I also want to say something about the comments about having children. It is true that the instinct for taking care of children can be even stronger than the instinct to survive. But that is NOT because of Christianity. The survival of most mammal and bird species depends on the selfless devotion of parents.
The ideal of parental love has become a central image of Christianity — the virgin mother and her infant Jesus.
It’s kind of funny to me, since Jesus never even mentions his mother in the gospels, except to tell her to leave him alone. He really had no family values at all.
But the ideal of selfless motherly love is important in Christianity, since it is a religion of selflessness and devotion. So that is why I guess the other commenters kept bringing it up.
Did God put us on earth mainly so we can learn to experience the kind of selfless love that parents, especially mothers, usually feel? I think that could be one reason, but there are many other things we can learn in this life.
Isn’t it possible that we are also here to learn and create and express ourselves artistically? I value love of course but I value other things also.
I can understand why mothers would say there is nothing more important than motherly love, and it’s our whole reason for existence. But they are forgetting that different people care about different things. Men love their children, of course, but they usually also care about other things.
It wasn’t an unpopular teenage loser living in his mother’s basement. It was a straight A medical student. It wasn’t an assault weapon, or even a gun. It was a bomb made of kitchen appliances and stuff you can buy at a hardware store.
After the school shooting, my Facebook page was covered with liberals ranting about gun control and psychological profiling. The idea was that preventing angry young men from buying guns, and making sure they are drugged into apathy, would keep school children safe.
People like to feel they can do something to prevent these horrors. That is understandable. But I don’t believe you can. They don’t happen often, but they will happen. This world is never going to be safe.
All modern Americans are taught not to believe in magic. Our magicians are entertainers who do fake magic. We are told that believing in real magic is primitive superstition, and we are mucher smarter than that now.
But actually, magic is religion and religion is magic. It is that way now, and it always was.
What magic mostly involves, as far as I know, is trying to influence the world with words — magic spells and incantations. And liquids — magic potions. And animal sacrifices, usually involving blood.
Ok, well just look at our most popular American religion — Christianity. Praying is trying to influence the world by using words, just like magic spells. Jesus was the ultimate blood sacrifice, for Christians. The ancient Israelites performed blood sacrifices (animals, not human, but human sacrifice has been very popular in other ancient religions).
And the Catholics have Holy Water, their magic potion.
Am I trying to say that modern religions are bogus because they are really just magic? No, I am trying to say that magic is real.
I don’t want to make this a long post. But I want to say that, in alternative science, the idea of words and liguids having power is not ridiculous at all.
As just one example (there are many, and alternative science has a long history): One of the scientists who discovered the HIV virus, Montagnier, now does research on the memory of water: http://iopscience.iop.org/1742-6596/306/1/012007.
Montagnier is a “real” scientist, not one of the fringey alternative scientists.
I have a lot more to say about this.
Modern science and modern religion have both renounced magic. But magic is real, and real scientists are beginning to figure that out.
We do not know why it happened — I mean the school shooting the other day. There were some articles describing Lanza as being kind of strange — he was a very smart nerd who belonged to the technology club. He lived in his mother’s basement and played violent computer games. He wore different clothes than the other kids, and always carried a black briefcase.
And all this was said in a way that seemed to imply “Well no surprise he murdered 27 people — he looked and acted strange!”
I was shocked by the murders, of course, but I was also shocked by this reaction. Unpopular nerd playing violent computer games — well OF COURSE he went on a killing spree.
Can you see that there is absolutely no logic whatsoever in that line of thinking? And it’s outrageous, and insulting to every person who wasn’t the most popular kid in school.
And it’s dangerous, because people could lose their rights and freedoms, all because someone decided they were a little “odd” and therefore potentially a threat to society.
I saw posts on facebook saying that this type of kid should be diagnosed and showered with love and hugs, and that will prevent him from going beserk.
Well, for one thing, not every misfit wants to be showered with love and hugs. Being a little different is not a disease.
And there is no evidence whatsoever that I ever heard of that, if a person actually were a potential mass murderer, love and hugs would cure them.
We DO NOT KNOW why these things happen, and we don’t know how to prevent them.
I am concerned that now parents and teachers will be start rounding up all kids who are too different, or too smart, or too strange, and send them for psychiatric “treatment.” And psychiatric treatment now days means brain-numbing drugs.
I was walking through town today (Sunday) and a woman offered to give me a ride home. I said no thanks, I have a car, I’m just taking a walk. But then I went back and asked how she knew where I live. She said she sees me walking, walking, walking, all the time. I explained that I only walk a half hour before work on week days, which really is not much. I asked if she thought I was a crazy homeless person, just because she sees me walking. I said I have been walking, and doing yoga, all my life and that is probably the reason I am not sick and on drugs, like practically everyone else my age.
(I don’t usually do this, must have been in a weird mood today).
So she replied that the drugs must be doing something right, because we are living longer than ever now. She said there are lots of people in their 90s now, and there never were before.
I said first of all, there were always people in their 90s. And if you ask someone in their 90s you may very well find out they don’t go to doctors or take drugs. I said we are not being kept alive past age 40 thanks to the drugs, that is just propaganda from the drug companies, to make us think we need them.
I tried to explain that average lifespan has increased, mostly because young children are not dying anymore, thanks to antibiotics and vaccines. I tried to explain how the drug companies misuse the statistics to make us think we would all drop dead at 40 if not for them.
She waited patiently for me to give up and leave. If she didn’t think I was a homeless crazy before, she was sure of it after my lecture.
But I am so tired of hearing the same old myth.
Steven Novella, who writes a skeptic’s blog, has discovered a sinister conspiracy. The Creations have joined forces and organized and they are infiltrating our universities and scientific publications. Scary!
“… they want to change society and the nature of science itself. They want to inject supernaturalism into the process of science, so that it can be made to support their world-view and religious beliefs. They cannot do this honestly, so they do it deceptively. They are also well-funded and tireless.”
Oh my godless! The Creationists are coming and we must find a way to stop them!