Saturday, December 26, 2009

Hunka, hunka, burning love

The Sadducees were a unique religious group of Jews around the time of Christ. They also have much in common with Atheists of today. I say they are unique in the sense that they were religious and yet they did not believe in life after death. They didn't believe in heaven or hell. Or Angels and Demons. And go figure but they were a doom and gloomy bunch to be around. Some say that they didn't believe in life after death, so they were sad u see.(Sadducee)?

I was reading my Bible the other day and as I'm reading through a passage, I came across this verse (Luke 20:27) and it crossed my mind that If you only get one life, and this is it, would you choose quantity of life or quality of life?

Would you want to live the life of a Rock Star and be dead at 42 years of age like Elvis, or live a slow boring life in Des Moines Iowa but live to be 120 years old? Or live the life of a Rock Star and live to be 120 years old like Kieth Richards?

P.S. If I offended anyone from Iowa, I apologize. Peace out, feeno


  1. If my own life choices are anything to go by, I'll probably die in my 50's or 60's of complications related to diabetes and/or heart disease. Mmm... bacon...

    This seems like a thinly veiled attempt to ascertain whether the readers of your blog do drugs. I don't even know what the "rock 'n roll" lifestyle is. Which rock star? Some of them are pretty boring, and most of their legends far exceed their reality (or is that my atheist bias?).

    I would have guessed someone living the rock 'n roll lifestyle would live much shorter than 42. I think 27 is the trendy age to die, and certainly no later than early 30's.

    Interesting note: the Sadduccees acquired their skepticism from exposure to the Greek philosophy of Epicureanism.

    Also: if you only had one year to live, you should move to Iowa. It will feel like an eternity.

  2. Geenks

    Drugs didn't even cross my mind, when I said "rock-n-roll" lifestyle I simply meant lots of fame and fortune and travel etc.. But yeah sex and drugs are usually associated with that lifestyle as well.

    The Saducees were also known as Zadokites. Because the followed the order of Zadok. Zadok was a Priest back in the days of King Solomon. But your "interesting note" is very interesting.

    Although the Saducees were a dreary bunch, you Sir might be the funniest blogger of all time, and you don't exhibit any of there glum.

    As far as life choices are concerned when it comes to eating and exercise I am the worst. Maybe we can help motivate each other in 2010? I'm about 6'1" and weigh about 270lbs with gusts of 280. I'd like to weigh about 225. But I will learn to exercise before I give up eating bacon and my wife's Mexican cooking.

    I hope you don't have diabetes right now, that's can be rough. And if a sense humor makes you live a long life you will live a lot longer than 60.

    Peace, feeno

  3. What a interesting bunch these Sadducees were, Feeno.

    One very big difference between them and modern day non believers might be.The Sadducees still seemed very superstitious,seems they still made sacrifices and offerings.Id say they still struggled with such things like wondering how/why it seemed certain people got lightning bolts thrown at them from out of the heavens.Or shit like why some folks had seen or heard of extra large waves which seemed to suddenly rise up for no "apparent" reason, out of the sea seemingly with a mind of its own bent on destroying certain coastal villages (tsunami)

  4. No diabetes yet, which is good considering my intense fear of needles. Also, I now feel bad because I'm 5'11" and weigh 200 pounds. I'm barely overweight, but I have the body image of a teenage girl (though I won't touch rice cakes).

    Most Jews are not big on the afterlife in general. They lack a concept of "heaven," and largely view death as being the same for all. Once the Messiah comes (I know, I know...), they will rise from the dead and join "The Kingdom to Come" (the words of my wife, who was raised Jewish). Of course, this kingdom is only open to Jews.

    The most shocking belief of the Sadduccees was their denial of angels, because those are clearly mentioned in Jewish holy books. Their priestly line discontinued after the Second Temple, probably because they were a noble minority who lost all power and influence after being deposed from Israel. The Pharisees (their rivals) greatly outnumbered them and managed to survive the diaspora to become the Rabbinic tradition that spawned all surviving Jewish sects.

    I think the problem with most atheists is that they look up to Dawkins, Hitchens and Harris (i.e. the unholy trinity). If your idol is a bully, and you emulate them, who on Earth is going to like you? My model atheist is George Carlin.

    I can't hate religions, but I can laugh at them. And while I'm at it, I'll laugh at myself.


    Ow... my pride...

  5. In the words of William Wallace; "All men die, only some of them truly live."

    Some people are content sitting on their ass safely at home, watching TV. Not me. I have to climb mountains and jump out of airplanes, raft down rivers and swim across lakes. I don't care that there is no afterlife. Might as well have fun while I live.

  6. I don't care that there is no afterlife

    And how can you know that for sure? Check out this article from Jack Cashill the other day entitled "Yes Virginia, there is life after death" It's quite interesting.

  7. I don't think putting a time limit on life takes away from the beauty of life.

    I often like to point out that the ancient Samurai believed in the spiritual symbolism of the Japanese cherry-blossom, called Sakura. It blooms gloriously in one short afternoon, and after a few days fades away again.

    It is this pristine and brief flicker of vibrancy, of living to your fullest, and then going out like all the rest sort of naturalistic ideology which I can fully admire. Many Japanese poems, haikus, have been written about the seasonal change, but none more than the falling petals of the soft pink blossoms of the sakura.

    It doesn't matter so much to me if life is long or short, as long as you life it to its fullest, try to do as much good as you can, and perhaps contribute a little something on the side, either via creating a family, writing an impressive tome, getting involved as an advocate for peace, fighting the spread of AIDS, world hunger, etc.

    But I must say, thus far, I can't complain. My life have been a breeze compared to so many people who have it difficult. I have a stunning wife, a beautiful new daughter, and a decent job. I live and work with wonderful people, and I hope to be able to provide for my family as well as my family has provided for me. And all that other stuff, a reflection of my youth, is fun to reflect upon--but the rock star thing is just a stage. Some never get over it, but they miss out on all the more subtle pleasures living a full life can afford.

    So I guess my point is, I don't take it for granted. I know it's precious and fragile all at the same time. Just like the sakura blossom.

  8. T-Vick

    That reminds me of a true story that happened to my poor sweet Sister. She is a 4th grade school Teacher about 5 minutes from my house.

    In her classroom they had a cocoon, every day the little kids would check on it's progress. Week after week after week, until finally a beautiful butterfly emerged.

    So my Sister and her little cute class of kiddies all go outside to let the butterfly fly away, and give it it's freedom. The butterfly didn't get 10 feet in the air before a bird swooped down and ate it.

    I still laugh at my Sister every time I think of that.

    Happy New Year to all, feeno

  9. That is a tough question. I think that if you live after 30, you should just give up hedonism and live as well as you can. Enjoy it while you can, cause this is the only life that you will ever have.

  10. All philosophies are hedonistic. Some just expect pleasure after they die (silly people), or they take pleasure in longevity (boring people).

  11. The Jack Cashill column is a cute story, but it doesn't prove that his brother really reached out to him after his death. I don't know for sure that there is no afterlife, but the mind is a product of the brain, which is a body part. We know that because people with brain injuries experience memory loss and cognitive impairments. When the body dies and the brain rots away (quite a brain injury in itself), what is there to create the mind, or to hold it? Doesn't the mind need some sort of conduit or circuitry to function? I think the mind cannot exist without the body; it is a process within the body and cannot be dissociated from it. Our best hope at an afterlife is becoming organ donors. Then at least a part of us will give someone a second chance at life. Also, we can make art and write and create things, and teach other people, so that maybe a part of our thoughts will survive in other people's minds.

  12. Sadducees like atheists?! Oh boy...feeno I think you've had a little too much spiked eggnog. The Sadducees prided themselves on their religious beliefs, to an equal or greater extent than the Pharisees. The two groups were constantly arguing about proper interpretation of the Pentateuch. The only difference was that the Sadducees only believed in the inspiration of the Pentateuch (the five books of Moses) and nothing else. Just because they didn't believe in an afterlife, doesn't make them atheists!

    There are plenty of religions that didn't/don't have an afterlife to speak of. Many of the pagan religions focused on events in this life - pleasing the gods was supposed to make this life better for you. They said nothing about the next life. If you told them that God may not bless you in this life for doing good, they'd probably say, "Well what's the point then?" That's how the whole sacrifice thing got started - kill the animal that the god wanted you to in order to appease his wrath and make things okay again...right now.

    Then, of course, there are plenty of religions that have an "afterlife," but it's nothing at all like the Christian form. The Greeks spoke of Hades, but that was just some sort of shadowy world that wasn't a place of happiness or despair. You just...existed. And everyone went there, with no separation of the good guys from the bad guys. Then, of course, the Eastern religions have some form of "Nirvana" or a similar concept. But that's not heaven. It's simply being reunited with the whole. In effect, "you" cease to exist. You merge into a collective whole with the rest of the universe, and are no longer a separate "part", but a unified whole. It's something they work towards, but it's certainly not an afterlife - because there's no "you" to live on. On top of that, some forms of Buddhism have no notion of an afterlife at all.

    I could go on, but I won't. The concept of an afterlife is so much more diverse than just a simple "heaven and hell" idea, and just because a group doesn't believe in an afterlife, doesn't mean that they are in any way like atheists. Heck, even the Jewish idea of the resurrection is very different from the Christian idea.

    Anyway, I know all this is essentially beside the point, but I thought I'd bring it up anyway. As for me, I don't care whether I live a long or short life, as long as it's a fulfilling one. We all may have different ideas of what is "fulfilling" based on our goals, desires, beliefs, and aspirations, but I would rather live a short, fulfilling life than a long, unfulfilling one.