Michael Battalio

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bowl Game

I am looking for a copy of the Liberty Bowl. If anyone has it, I would be much obliged to have a copy. Gracias.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

The Annual Christmas E-mail

Greetings and salutations,
Welcome those of you old and new to the sixth Annual Christmas Mass e-mail. If you're wondering how I got your e-mail, don't; it's best not to know.
I've been doing some reading over the last year on religion. My good friend Jeff Armstrong pointed me toward The Case for... Faith, a Creator, Jesus series by Lee Strobel, an atheistic journalist turned Christian. Also, I am most of the way through The God Delusion by Richard Dawkins, an atheistic biologist. I've started on Either/Or, a book on combining an aesthetic, hedonistic life view (essentially someone who just wants to have fun) with religion and ethics by philosopher, Søren Kierkegaard. From a physics standpoint I'm also looking at Just Six Numbers: The Deep Forces that Shape the Universe, a discussion of how finely tuned the universe appears to be for our existence, by Martin Rees.
I've turned to various literature for one reason. Ponder for a moment how unlikely God is. Certainly the world is complex and appears designed, but how much more complex would an omnipotent being need to be to create all we see around us? Natural selection and physics explain so much, and what cannot yet be explained can be attributed to our ignorance. Perhaps it's just the scientist in me that craves concise, concrete answers or perhaps I just more of a skeptic than I care to admit.
All of this to make a point: an unexamined religion, faith, moral compass, world view, whatever you like, means nothing. Faith isn't really faith if we aren't doubtful of what we believe sometimes. We are no better than trained monkeys if we simply go through life accepting what we are told to accept. Do not read into what I'm saying. I'm not trying to make anyone feel like a monkey, quite the opposite. Everyone at some point has made a conscious decision what to believe; going to a religious service, tossing a handful of change to the bell ringers outside Walmart, smelling the roses, all conscious decisions we make. Humans by nature are skeptical and inquisitive. We just need to remember to kindle and encourage our nature as often as we can, otherwise what's the point of being human? That for me is my purpose in life, to discover whatever the Truth is, and to have some fun along the way. I wish that for all of you as well.
For years, the good Catholic in me has ended my prayers with this: "May all who are lost find the Way, the Truth and the Light." Recently though I have begun to end with this: "May everyone find the Way, the Truth, and the Light wherever it make take them." Whether it be Christianity, Islam, Judaism, agnosticism, atheism or any of a hundred different belief systems, let people go where they need to go with the hope that eventually we will all individually find whatever Truth exists in the universe.
Enjoy the season, appreciate the little things, and take the time to give yourself some credit for making it as far as you have. Let me know how you're doing, it's half the reason I do this twice a year.
Merry Christmas,
2003-2016 Michael Battalio (michael[at]battalio.com)