Jason posted a link to a NY Times article on the origins and evolution of religion, which fit in nicely with the book I am reading: A History of God, by Karen Armstrong. In this book Armstrong puts down the results of her research of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam as well as, and to a lesser extent, a few other religions and ideologies.

“The human idea of God has a history, since it has always meant something slightly different to each group of people who have used it at various points of time. The idea of God formed in one generation by one set of human beings could be meaningless in another. Indeed, the statement ‘I believe in God’ has no objective meaning, as such, but like and other statement only means something in context, when proclaimed by a particular community. Consequently there is no one unchanging idea contained in the word ‘God’; instead, the word contains a whole spectrum of meanings, some of which are contradictory or even mutually exclusive.”

She takes a pretty pragmatic approach at looking at how religious beliefs have formed and changed throughout history. It seems that humans may have always had religious feelings – an idea that may even be central to how we became human. This sense of spirit or connection with something larger than us has always driven us to wonder, create, sing, fear, and ultimately evolve our society into what it has become today.

It seems too, that religion is highly pragmatic. “…it is far more important for a particular idea of God to work than for it to be ideologically or scientifically sound.” The last quote brings to a point the problems I have always had with religion. I have always been very interested in proving that an idea was thoroughly sound before “putting my stock” in it. Much less important to me is how a particular view could make my life better, a way of living that could help me achieve greater piece. Maybe what religious folks call faith is actually just the ability to give up on finding proof and just selecting a set of rules that you can live with – perhaps not the perfect set of rules – without flaws, but a set that will no doubt lead to greater satisfaction.

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I have always thought of video games as more or less consumable goods. Some people would obviously disagree, ahem, Brent

Just because I happen to be packing my home office up in preparation for yet another move in a month or so, and I am going through all my computer games and game boxes, I decided to make this list of my 10 favorite games (ranked primarily by number of hours spent playing them). I have lumped like games together for ease and clarity. Here goes:

  1. Pool of Radiance
  2. Diablo I & II
  3. Tetris
  4. Myst, Riven
  5. Pirates, Pirates Gold
  6. Baldur’s Gate (and subsequent spin-offs and expansions)
  7. Sim City, 2000, 3000
  8. Ultima Online
  9. Madden Football (all the versions)
  10. Civilization I, II, & III

Honorable Mention: Neverwinter Nights and three old Apple IIgs games: Ultima IV, Defender of the Crown, and King of Chicago.

Please not that this list is based upon the hours I have played each game. I may, at some point, come out with a list based on what I think are the “best” games ever at some point soon.

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