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on 128 Roots

128 Comments

Forum: What is the purpose?
Burning bird
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No problem at all, there is always something valuable to take from understanding things. On a very early tangent, despite what you may have heard, many Christians these days tend to accept knowledge, at least better (I hope) than the earlier generations. Of course, the stories of Adam and Eve, with the fruit of knowledge and the creationism vs. evolution debates show some conservative stances that are still present but, globally, many more theories are being at least scrutinised by Christians rather than being immediately shunned as 'unholy'.

So, to address some things in your post, you say that you are willing to cooperate with God and I can happily say that this is perfectly in line with what I believe. However, he is indeed the dominant one and this is where his authority needs to be recognised. Imagine the creator of all existence/saviour of humanity giving you a hand. Next imagine yourself giving a hand to the ultimate being. Who will benefit more from this interaction? Well, that would be yourself if we're following our simple human logic.

The thing with Christianity is that this supreme God sent his very embodiment as Jesus Christ. And he did something unbelievable; he died for us, he saved us from our own failures. Of course, this is under the presumption that humans are inherently flawed and I'll be honest, this is also another big thing to grasp.

'Was God that stupid?' you may ask, 'What did he try to gain from doing this? Is he trying to manipulate us?'. Well, who knows really :p Only God does! But the closest thing we do believe in is that this is a sign of love. How else can we explain it? Could it be a massive prank? To come out bluntly, it could very well be. But at least, we believe that we should appreciate the really massive amount of love that he's given us and thank him.

I do believe that religion helps in our interactions with others. A prime (and debatable, for sure) example would be the way Jesus reunited the Jewish and Gentile (the rest of the non-Jews around the world) communities. There was a time when Jewish leaders mistreated non-Jews and favoured corruption in Israel. However, Jesus reminded them that God rules over all and all people are fundamentally equal in his eyes.

And one last little thing, God's 'gender' is simply a social dominance thing, I think. In biblical times and I guess even today to some extent, males are considered to be more dominant than females. If we were living in a matriarchal society, I can guarantee that 'she' would be a more popular pronoun for the Lord/Lady. ;p
Forum: What is the purpose?
Burning bird
1

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The purpose of religion as I see it personally is quite simple: to serve God. Sure, you can look at it in social, political or psychological terms but ultimately, it revolves around worship of a higher being.

So, the question now becomes:'why do it?' Does God ever listen to us? Do I get favours from him if I follow certain practices? The answer to that would very well depend on the individual's sense of hope, as you might expect. A religious person would thus have to make a leap of faith to trust the deity.

In the opening post, TheMorph asked if that was the only thing that could comfort us as religious people or could it be the only certain thing in this world. My personal answer to that is both a yes and a no. To say a few things about me, I have been trained in the way of the scientist (that sounds so unnecessarily prestigious now :p) throughout my education and I am still pursuing this passion that I have for discovering the mechanisms of the world. From that perspective, I can definitely tell you that there are many ways that is enough to comfort me at some level. For example, I have experienced, like many others, a sheer wonder of the complexities and beauty of the world in an overly optimistic manner and there are many psycotropics out there, if you know what I'm sayin'. ;)

Now, if you have experienced what I've just described, try to imagine a sense of satisfaction even greater than this. Can you do it? What was the trigger? Was it love or something emotional? Or is it a sense of peace and humility by a particular philosophy? Is it something you could describe in words or is it too uncomprehensible?
Well, the crucial point I will make here is that the satisfaction I've acquired through God feels very very undeserved. It really cannot be described by 'worldly' terms as Christians like to put it. The ways of the world/universe/multiverse cannot be compared to this 'otherworldly grace'. Indeed, I do not personally believe that God is a man-made construct, for the world cannot contain his being. I'll go as far to say that even the word God does not do him justice!

I do realise that this sort of makes me greedy. If you have all this world before you, and you're seeking even more than the world, what more do you want?! But here He is, offering himself to us and asking us to take his gift.

Before I finish, I'd like to address the hell and saving souls part of Christianity. Without saying too much, there are different views of those concepts among Christians, especially between the main (unfortunate) branches/divisions. It might seem like I'm cherrypicking on some more 'comforting' concepts for atheists and agnostics but there is one definition of hell that describes it as simply being the absence of God. That would be fantastic for atheists, wouldn't it? But of course, this is a horrifying for God's servants and I'll honestly say that it would actually scare me to live without his presence.

What I believe about the afterlife is muddy to be quite honest and I simply cannot say if I'm doing the right thing to have a place in heaven. But you know what, as long as people follow God's ways and do what is pleasing to him, they will be doing the most important thing in his eyes. And this is the reason why religion, or at least the Christian customs, exist.
Forum: Let's talk about movie(Recommendation)
Burning bird
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This is not an actual fictional movie, but this documentary caught my eye during a late night Youtube session: Oliver the Chimp ∞ YouTube ∞

Oliver is a very peculiar chimpanzee as he has adopted a distinct bipedal posture as his primary means of motion. He also has distinct facial stuctures resembling those of a human and seems to like humans more than other chimpanzees. In the 90's, he became popular as people claimed that he was the 'missing evolutionary link' between humans and chimps.
Without spoiling too much, he became the subject of a lot of scientific scrutiny and in the end, the possibility of Oliver being a hybrid was less solid.
Aspect: Pornography
Burning bird
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Cases of abuse, psychological trauma, shame, religious uncleanliness, social stigma, misogyny, misandry, asexuality, violence and others.

Personally, I used to enjoy it, I'll admit, but it turned out to be a pretty big waste of time and is draining in many ways. ;)
Forum: Pride is the antagonist of confidence
Burning bird
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This is interesting, I've always thought that the relation between pride and confidence is something that most people see, generally.

I think that you may have a less clear or a different definition of pride than I do so I can't explain my point through here. However, for confidence, I agree that perhaps there is a certain context, but what do you think about confidence in all contexts? As in, a general state of being confident. Do you think it's possible? Maybe the Fuhrer doesn't have to be confident in all contexts at the same time but he is confident in everything that he currently does.

Bradley is assumed to draw confidence in the reactions of his people to his speech or whatever actions he does. It does make him a shallow person but he's just there to help make sense of my reasoning and he's also fictional so it's ok :p

If the Fuhrer is confident in all contexts, and if he also has pride, I think that he will be less confident than he could have been without pride. And that would be the cause of expectations.
If his people has no expectations, then yes, the Fuhrer would still have the same confidence if he himself does not expect anymore from the people. For example, he could be expecting the people to listen to his speech wholeheartedly and standing in a single file but then, he sees someone miss a step and becomes embarassed. Thus, he loses confidence. But if he did not have those expectations, then he wouldn't have lost that confidence.

Basically, the pride creates expectations on the Fuhrer's side which affect his confidence if left unfulfilled. Maybe your definition of pride does not involve expectations which is why it might get confusing.

I may have poorly worded my definition of confidence, so I'll just put something from Wikipedia like a good internetizen:
Quote:
Confidence is generally described as a state of being certain either that a hypothesis or prediction is correct or that a chosen course of action is the best or most effective.


If we take the table tennis example, do you think that you could be more confident in yourself if you considered your training like you consider your math education? This question illustrates my point concisely, so read this if TL;DR.

Also, rambling is the bread and butter of philosophy, which is why it is a pain to read philosophy texts and also a joy once you finally think that you understand it (but you don't :(). So do it as much as you like for this topic!
Forum: Pride is the antagonist of confidence
Burning bird
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Hello folks! Today, I had a weird thought while idling on the bus: pride is (or can be) detrimental to the cultivation of self-confidence. This is an outlandish claim which may seem fairly novel (as far as I'm aware), or at least counterintuitive, so please bear with my pseudo-philosophical thoughts.

To clarify, I find that people who gain confidence by prideful thoughts or actions do not become as confident as they could have been without pride. I define pride as a focus on the self that empowers the subject's self-image. As for confidence, it is the person's ability to demonstrate themselves in an appealing or trustworthy/certain manner.

The crucial point about pride is that it elicits expectations from others in the subject. If the subject has pride, there could be a tendency towards assuming that onlookers have a heightened image of the subject, leading to a pressure on the subject to fulfill this image. Another thing is that the prideful subject will also expect to be treated 'differently' from others; whatever that entails. (tangentially, I think that this describes the concept of 'awkwardness' quite well, where expectations are not being fulfilled according to the person; pride may play a big role here as well)

From now on, I will be referring to 'the subject' as Führer Bradley, just for fun.

So, how does this affect confidence? Firstly, the pressure to perform may result in anxiety, thereby affecting confidence. Secondly, the expectations of others are not favourable, I find, to appear charismatic and confident. This may be my personal belief but expecting things from others is more disadvantageous than it seems.

While it does provide some 'drive' for the actions of Führer Bradley (which, in turn, fuel their pride), it ultimately leads to a superiority complex that distracts Führer Bradley's audience. Consequently, the audience becomes disinterested and begins to treat the Führer negatively. This then becomes a blow to Führer Bradley's confidence.

I should note that selfishness is a different matter that I have not considered for this thought but it could very well be relevant.

I don't think there is an ultimate way to build confidence but I'm tending towards thinking that acceptance is the way to go. If Führer Bradley could accomodate the thoughts of the audience with empathy and acceptance, he could have less problems. Then again, empathy also brings about other problems which may eventually affect confidence so, yeah, discuss that if you want!

Thanks for reading, I appreciate it in a lot of ways! ;)
Forum: The moments everyone has in their life.
Burning bird
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Try to find a part-time job or ask to volunteer somewhere nearby, if you haven't done those already. They're extremely good life experiences I find and will distract you from this existential crisis.

In fact, that's what I'm trying to find at the moment. I went through that 'blank phase' pretty recently too; ironically because I got rejected from so many places in my job applications. But anyways, an experience is an experience. You'll have a funny story to tell once things get better.

Good luck and keep trucking mate!
Forum: Regional street food
Burning bird
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Alrighty, as a continuation of that last post of mine, I will present some iconic streetfoods that you can find in the island of Mauritius.
  Spoiler for History of Mauritius (no food :p):

The beauty of Mauritius is that all those cultures that have set foot on the island (including European and other Asian traders) seem to have fused, at least on the level of the everyday life. So that is how you will find many Indian, Chinese, African and French staple foods sold on the streets! These foods are essentially the equivalent of fast-food in Mauritius while McDonalds and KFC are still considered somewhat of a luxury, although less so nowadays.

To start off, we have the 'gateau piment' or chilli cake ∞ LINK ∞ . An excellent snack for the afternoon or even for breakfast! It is basically a ball of dholl mixed with some oil, chilli and other spices and fried. This cake is definitely one of my favourites! I'm not entirely sure if it is a purely Mauritian invention but I believe that it has a heavy Indian influence.

Another item from India is the samosa ∞ LINK ∞ . It is rather popular around the world, I should say, as the taste does explain why!

I recognise some foods in Spopo's post above as many of the Mauritian streetfoods are from India (I didn't know the difference between rotis and (p/)faratas though, so I learnt something :p). So, let's switch to other cultures!

'Gateau moutail' or jalebi ∞ LINK ∞ , is a Pakistani sweet that is usually sold at the markets in the very centre of the city of Port Louis. It is VERY sweet. It is made by frying batter in circular patterns to obtain its pretzel-like structure. It is then dipped in a lot of VERY SWEET syrup and left to cool and acquire a crunchy exterior, yet very soft syrup-filled insides. It's basically a sweet tooth's wet dream :p (not one of those unfortunately; though I still like it from time to time)

If you are in the mood for Chinese food, then a Mauritian would direct you to some 'Sao mai'/ 'siu mai' ∞ LINK ∞ and 'niuk yen' ∞ LINK ∞ . They are dumplings from Southern China and are extremely popular in restaurants. Since we're talking about streetfood, the restaurants (and some merchants) often offer these dumplings and noodles as a takeaway combo. If you're eating Chinese food in Mauritius, chances are that's exactly what you'll get. As a descendant of Chinese immigrants, I don't find the lack of variety that bad actually. These foods have really become the staple of the Sino-Mauritian cuisine. :p

Lastly, as a refreshment, there is the 'alouda' ∞ LINK ∞ . A cool glass of flavoured milk with gelatine spheres that provide a nice savoury texture. It may be similar to the bubble tea, from Asia, but with a more subtle flavour. Unfortunately for me, I have a slight intolerance for milk, especially when it comes in large quantities, so I can only drink so much of it. But it is very tasty.
Forum: Regional street food
Burning bird
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Yeah, exactly! You'd think their recipes would be more well known, but nope.

Meat pies are usually mass-produced and frozen, i.e. the junk I eat, at least. I usually buy them in cardboard boxes like frozen fish fingers and stuff like that. Australia is big on exporting its meat so I think it might be possible to find them on the international market.

Or you could try this recipe ∞ LINK ∞ or this one ∞ LINK ∞+meat+pies . They look more fancy and tastier but I haven't tried them :p
Forum: Regional street food
Burning bird
4

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Down under, in Melbourne, street vendors are pretty uncommon. I think it might be because of the gardens and greenery at every street corner taking up the space, which is a shame because I think that street sellers actually add some charm to the streets. Trees get boring :). So yeah, instead we have restaurants and cafés all over town.

Popular foods, excluding fast-food megacorporations, are notably from Mediterranean, East Asian and Middle Eastern countries as Melbourne has grown with mass immigration from these regions in the past.

The Chicken Parmigiana ∞ LINK ∞ ,also known as the parma, is a variant of the Italian dish often served in bars and pubs and the like. Quite filling, it's a piece of deep-fried chicken served with chips. It is, of course, commonly served with a beer.

There is also the Pavlova ∞ LINK ∞ , named after a Russian dancer and the origin of the cake is a subject of dispute with our neighbour New Zealand. The taste is fairly mild and it isn't very filling. Nice with some tea or coffee. Not a fan of this cake, personally.

A more street-like Aussie delicacy is the humble meat pie ∞ LINK ∞ . This pastry, with its various meat and gravy filling, is easy to produce and cheap (vegetarian versions also exist, with soft/boiled vegetables instead of meat). Popular around sporting events and beer. The taste is exactly what you expect so it's a little bit boring but it grows on you.

Finally, we have the Turkish kebab ∞ LINK ∞ , eaten with bread or by itself on a smaller skewer. It is essentially the same as the Döner, described by Ribbit above. Eaten generally late at night/early morning post-'clubbing' (going to nightclubs) by the youth (and slightly older youth).

There are a few more noteworthy dishes in the Australian cuisine but I am disappointed that not many of them have Aboriginal roots. In case you didn't know, the Aboriginal people have been in Australia long before the European settlers discovered the continent and their culture is slowly being overcome by the European and subsequent immigrants even today. It is similar to the situation of Native Americans.

So, I welcome any other Aussie around to share dishes, especially if they have Aboriginal origins. I don't know of any, to tell the truth!

I have more real street food from my native country, Mauritius, to share but this post is getting huge! So you'll see it later!