Sunday, March 27, 2016

Game Daze #5: "Baldur's Gate" Final Entry

I have occasionally been playing Baldur's Gate but this time cheating using a Save Game editor called "Gatekeeper".  It allows editing of stats and other attributes of characters in your party in the game.  At first, I just edited my characters hitpoints, or life, so that I could actually get into fights without getting killed everytime.  Eventually though I came across some enemies who had the ability to kill with one hit, and I realized I needed to edit my Saving throw stats so that I would not die from these attacks.  I also gave my characters the best weapons they could carry.  I have now reached a point where even with all this cheating, there is still an enemy I cannot defeat, and I have apparently edited my characters such that the game crashes when I engage in a certain battle.  I have officially decided that I am quitting this game for good, and will now give some final remarks on what I think of the game in general.

This game is far too difficult to anyone who is not very skilled at strategy and computer roleplaying games.  Even with cheating I still could not defeat a fairly early boss enemy in the game.  If you are a roleplaying game fanatic, you don't need me to tell you about this game.  You probably have already beaten it.  The story is immersive, but if you can't get into fights without dying, you can't progress in the story.  I ultimately cannot recommend this game to any one who is not  a hardcore computer RPG fanatic.  It is far too difficult and frustrating, and even when I tried cheating so that I could continue in the game and progress through the plot, it still was too difficult, and then the game started crashing.  So if you can find a way to cheat and get through the game, go ahead and try it.  In the end, I cannot recommend you spend your money or your time on this game, unless you are prepared to die a lot, and get frustrated, and are hardcore in this type of game.  The only way I would play a game like this again would be if there were a simple cheat which did not allow any of your characters to die, essentially a "God mode" or invulnerability cheat.

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Why Am I Not An Atheist?

Today I was reading some reviews on Amazon of Christopher Hitchens' booklength condemnation of Mother Teresa, called "The Missionary Position".  I frequently read books written by people I disagree with, such as Richard Dawkins' book "The God Delusion".  I was looking through some of Hitchens' other books, such as "god is not great" and "The Portable Atheist", and considering whether I should read them anytime soon.  Sometimes reading writings of people I disagree with helps me to understand why other people believe what they do, or points out flaws in my own thinking and beliefs, or the arguments I use to bolster them, or it helps me see the flaws in other's thinking in addition to my own.

So I have thought about reading some of Hitchens' work.  I have considered reading some of the writings of him as well as other atheists.  The truth is, the subject doesn't interest me all that much.  I have decided that I could never be an atheist.  In thinking about this subject, I asked myself why I could never be an atheist.  Even when I did not actively believe in God, I still had a concept of God which I had sort of floating around in my thoughts and actions.  The reason is that I believe that of all the things, persons, or beings which exist, there is one particular being which is greater, more important, more real, than all the rest.  There is some being which is always and everywhere present, has always and will always exist, and which has infinite dominion over all the rest of the beings which exist.

I also believe that everything else that exists was created out of nothing by this being, and the existence of everything else that exists depends upon this one ultimate higher being.  This being is existence itself, and out of this being which is existence, are created other beings who could not exist without a permanent eternal all powerful being whose nature and essence is existence itself.  There is a thing called existence, which is existent by necessity.  Even if I do not call this being God, it is a law of reason and logic that existence must exist.  Existence cannot not exist.  A and not A cannot both be true.  If anything exists, it is existence itself.  If nothing exists, then neither can an idea or principle of existence be real.  And even if nothing existed, the idea of nonexistence would exist, which is a logical absurdity, and a contradiction, and thus cannot be true.  We know something exists, even if it is just sensory impressions and perceptions, so we know that existence exists.  So even if I did not believe or name a being called God, I would still believe in existence or being, and the source of all being, I eventually explored and gave the name "God".  The source of all existence and being I call God.  Once I have established the basic principle of all being, in this case the principle of existence, then I can explore and investigate the nature and attributes and details of this source of all being, and my own relationship to this being.

The next reason for why I could not be an atheist is my relationship to Jesus Christ.  While I can speculate with arguments of reason, logic, and other tools available to the practice of natural religion and theology, Jesus makes the whole study of God much easier and more profound.  My belief in Jesus was more founded on aesthetic principles than just logical or rational analysis.  Jesus is beautiful.  His teaching and His life are beautiful.  His emptying of Himself, and His entrance into our world as one of us, His entering into out suffering and participating in our trials and tribulations, His offering up of Himself in the bloody Passion that was the result of our sins and turning away from God, His enduring through the same pains that we suffer and even worse, to bring us back into right relationship with our Father and Creator, these are the beautiful acts of love which drew me to Jesus and enticed me to attempt to believe in Him as the Son of God, Lord and Savior of all creation, and the source and center of my life.  All I want to do is follow Jesus, and live as He wants me to live, and to know and love God with all my heart, soul, and strength, and help all those who choose to do the same.  I can debunk atheism through natural theology, but I live my belief in God through following and emulating Christ and His love for God and for His children.  Through reason, I eliminate atheism as a viable belief system.  Through Christ, I eliminate atheism as a beautiful or even an interesting belief system.  While I respect some of the ideas, beliefs, and actions of many atheists, if I determine my beliefs merely by process of eliminating the false philosophies, I would first eliminate atheism from my list of possible principles to believe in.

For these and other reasons and reasonings, I am not an atheist.