Saturday, May 9, 2009

The Karate Kid, Part II

This is not about Part II, the movie.  This is part II of my own personal musings on the original Karate Kid.  Yes, I have spent time and brain waves thinking about the movie "Karate Kid" and how it relates to my life as a follower of God.  I do a lot of driving for work.  Also, I spend too much time daydreaming while I ignore things that I should be doing, like dishes.  One of these days maybe I will learn to daydream while I do dishes, since it is a relatively mindless task.  Then I could think profound thoughts and decrease potential mold habitats. I don't think I currently have any mold, but let's just say I need to get on it.  Soon.

Right.  Where was I?  Okay, so one of the things that I have been thinking about a lot is atheism.  I'm talking about the good kind, the kind where these people have thought it through and have made their decisions based on the evidence as they see it.  This is opposed to the bad kind, the kind where atheism seems easiest or seems smartest, so they go with it, actually spending very little time thinking about the why of it all.

Recently, I read some discussions back and forth between atheists* and Christians.  There were some really good points on both sides, and there were some really heated points, but what struck me is that what one wanted to use as "proof," the other would turn around and use essentially the same "proof" about their own position.  Confused? I was. (I think the conversation I am referring to was at theravingtheist's site.) As I composed my own brilliant replies in my head, I realized that I didn't have much to say:

Harry the Atheist: Prove to me there's a god.
Me: I can't.
Harry the Atheist: This conversation is over.

But it led down a side path in my train of thought. (Do you start to see how often my train of thought gets derailed?  The sheer numbers of parenthesis and side notes and afterthoughts on this site should be a hint.)  I realized that the reason that Harry and I can't have a conversation about God is because our approach to karate is different.  Harry wants proof.  He wants it now. He goes to Kreese's dojo, strike first, strike hard, show no mercy. (I am not saying that atheists are bullies.  Harry is a figment of my imagination, and because I feel inadequate to explain myself, I feel as overpowered as Daniel looks in the movie.)

The problem is, approaching God is a lot more like approaching Mr. Miyagi. First off, you don't meet Mr. Miyagi as a karate instructor.  He's the fix-it man.  When Daniel first asks him to fix the faucet, there's barely any acknowledgement.  Daniel then asks when Miyagi will come.  The response is "After".  

Daniel: "After what?" 
Miyagi: "After! After!" 

 I feel your pain, Daniel.  Me: "God, did you hear me?  Are you going to fix this? When?"  
God (not in so many words): "After!"          
Me: "???"

Okay.  My point for the day, really, was just going to be that when we picture and all powerful God, we often have this picture that is something like Kreese, the dojo instructor.  Strong, powerful, smashing through things that get in the way.  The reality is more subtle and confusing, but powerful in a way that Kreese and his students can't even imagine.  

That's all I was going to say about that.  But then I had to do research.  As you know, it's all about quality research.  So I watched the movie again.  As a result, I so much more that I want to say about the Karate Kid.  You lucky ducks you.

*Question.  Why are atheists called "atheists"? It defines them as people that don't believe in a god.  If there is no god, why would a god define them, even in a negative way? If atheists have knowledge that we theists do not, then why would they not be defined by that?  I'm okay with the term "atheist", because, as a theist, I feel that it is a meaningful term.  I feel like if I were atheist I would want to be defined as a gnostic, one with knowledge.  I would ignore previous heretical Christian sects that were defined by that term, because what do I care about old Christian sects in my hypothetical atheist construct?  Wow.  I can really ramble when there's no one in front of me falling asleep, or looking bored, or speaking to interrupt the flow of brilliance (i.e. drivel).

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