September 24th, 2012

red panda eating bamboo

theism, atheism, agnosticism

This is from a comment I made in [personal profile] xiphias's journal, where there is a discussion of the concepts "theist," "atheist," and "agnostic."

A quote I like on this subject:
For T. H. Huxley, who coined the term in 1869, agnosticism was as demanding as any moral, philosophical, or religious creed. Rather than a creed, though, he saw it as a *method* realized through "the rigorous application of a single principle." He expressed the principle positively as "Follow your reason as far as it will take you," and negatively as: "Do not pretend that conclusions are certain which are not demonstrated or demonstrable."....Huxley called it the "agnostic faith." -- Stephen Batchelor, Buddha Without Beliefs
I'm very much of two minds. Intellectually I'm scientifically oriented and don't believe in things I don't have evidence for. Emotionally, on a subconscious level, I often have a feeling that the universe is benign ("of a kindly disposition"), although I don't really imbue it with personality so I wouldn't call it belief in deity.

I've tried various ways of balancing these things. My current solution to this two-mindedness is a Buddhist practice with no belief in deity and with a goal of bringing me into better contact with whatever benignity does exist (in me and other beings).

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red panda eating bamboo

kitchen tools

via [personal profile] ailbhe and everyone else: Bold the ones you have and use at least once a year, italicize the ones you have and don't use, underline the ones you use at least once a month, strike through the ones you have had but got rid of.

I wonder how many pasta machines, breadmakers, juicers, blenders, deep fat fryers, egg boilers, melon ballers, sandwich makers, pastry brushes, cheese boards, cheese knives, crepe makers, electric woks, miniature salad spinners, griddle pans, jam funnels, pie funnels, meat thermometers, filleting knives, egg poachers, cake stands, garlic crushers, martini glasses, tea strainers, bamboo steamers, pizza stones, coffee grinders, milk frothers, piping bags, banana stands, fluted pastry wheels, tagine dishes, conical strainers, rice cookers, steam cookers, pressure cookers, slow cookers, spaetzle makers, cookie presses, gravy strainers, double boilers (bains marie), sukiyaki stoves, ice cream makers, fondue sets, healthy-grills, home smokers, tempura sets, tortilla presses, electric whisks, cherry stoners, sugar thermometers, food processors, stand mixers, mincers, bacon presses, bacon slicers, mouli mills, cake testers, pestle-and-mortars, gratin dishes, apple corers, mango stoners and sets of kebab skewers languish dustily at the back of the nation's cupboards.

The OH and I would have more of these, but we have a rule that we call "Donald." In one of Donald Norman's books (I think it is Turn Signals Are the Facial Expressions of Automobiles) he talks about how since he's a usability expert, companies send him gadgets to evaluate. His family established a rule about which gadgets he could accept. He had to be able to answer several questions about it. I'm not sure what his questions were, but our questions have evolved into:
  • How are you going to use it?
  • Where are you going to store it?
  • How are you going to clean it?
  • Where are you going to plug it in?
So the challenge to "Let's buy this gadget!" is "Doooooooooooonaaaaaaaaaaald!" And if the person who wants the gadget can't answer all four questions, they can't buy the gadget.

What languishes at the back of our cupboards are various coffee-making implements ('cos I keep trying different ones), fancy serving platters that we received as wedding gifts, nice glasses (we use plastic beverage holders for everyday because we're klutzes), and large casseroles. The bread-making supplies would languish, but they have been repurposed for other uses.

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