02. I will respond by asking you five questions of a somewhat questionable nature.
03. Update your LJ with the answers to the questions.
04. Include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the post.
05. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.
If you'd like to be interviewed but don't want to post this in your own LJ, you can always answer in another comment. Take that, meme!
Interview by mareth_redorb
1. Have you ever been confronted with anything that has completely broken a deeply held aspect of your world-view and if so, how did you cope with it, if not resolve it?
Well, it wasn't as sudden as all that. But, basically, through an interest in popular science, I became more and more into the skeptic scene. I was soon dismissing such things as psychic powers, astrology, ghosts, and the like as baseless beliefs without evidence. However, I was still clinging to the last remnants of my Catholic upbringing: a belief in a God I had no evidence for. As a logical, clear-thinking person, I could see the hypocrisy in that. By way of resolution, I used my brain, thought deeply about the issue, and realised that deep down I knew I was clinging onto something I didn't really believe in (and in all honesty had been questioning since I was a child). Now, I'm looking forward to putting "atheist" on the upcoming census.
2. What first triggered your deep and abiding love of the Beatles' music?
I first noticed the music of The Beatles, and John Lennon, when my mother brought home the soundtrack to Imagine, the documentary about the life and death of John Lennon. Of course, The Beatles are so pervasive in our culture, that I remember siging Yellow Submarine in music class, without knowing who it was by, but the Imagine album is when I first really discovered them. However, my obsession with them didn't properly begin until I watched the Beatles Anthology documentary on television. That opened the flood-gates and I became enthralled by the music and the story of The Beatles, as well as the music and culture of the 60s/70s in general. So, why aren't I excited to learn the news that Paul and Ringo are planning a new Beatles album based on Beatles out-takes, ala "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love"?
3. Do you think your morality can be bought off, if the right price is offered? (Does not necessarily mean financial payment.)
Well, that goes to the heart of what morality is. If you say that a person's morality boils down to what they will and won't do, then it is impossible to change someone's morality. If, however, morality is what someone considers to be "right" and "wrong" the question really becomes whether I would do something I consider "wrong" for some kind of payment. To me, the definition of "wrong" is quite simply something that hurts others. In that light, I believe we commit wrongs all the time. Our very way of life is, in many ways, supported by the suffering of others. Really, it's a case of what you hold yourself personally accountable for. So, I guess my point is, I wish that I did more to alleviate the wrongs of the world.
As for whether there is any price that I would accept for deliberately and directly hurting someone else, I would say that it really depends on the situation. For instance, if you offered me 10 million dollars to murder someone, I wouldn't even consider it, but if an invading army was threatening our lives and freedom, then just give me an assault rifle and point me in the right direction.
4. Do you think it is better to have lived a life where you commit sin and repent on your death bed, or to have spent your life avoiding all sin and die without needing to repent anything?
Well, I no longer believe in the concept of sin. But, looking in the context of my last answer about morality, I don't think it's all that possible to live your entire life without commiting any wrongs. But, from an atheistic point of view, death-bed repenting is completely pointless. Which then puts the onus on you to do the right thing in this life, as there are no second chances, no-one to forgive you but the people you hurt. I must admit to a wee bit of hero worship on this point and say that I think no-one explains this better than the great man, Penn Jillette (of Penn and Teller). Please listen to and/or read his essay on this subject here.
5. As kids, were there any games lukeii refused to play with you because you would soundly thrash him every single time?
I wish. Luke has always been better than me at all kinds of games. I don't know about when I was a kid, but the one type of game I'd be able to beat him at now would be a trivia game. My mind seems to be a bit of a sponge for useless trivia.