Religion and Skydiving...

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Hal Wilkerso » Tue, 08 Jul 1997 04:00:00


To all of you that responded to my earlier post "Christian Skydivers..."
Thank you for the info. and the discussion.  In a matter of hours, the
information I was seeking was in my mailbox, certainly demonstrating the
power of the Internet, and reconfirming my belief that information
collaboration is certainly beneficial.  The posts and conversations that
followed my original post, however, have been quite interesting to read to
say the least, and have given me cause to ask myself "WHY do I seek other
Christians in this sport anyway?"  Probably the same reason skydivers seek
other skydivers... common ground.  People that I can relate to in more than
one area merely expands the commonality between me and that person or those
people... Aside from that, yesterday as I was sitting in church hearing my
preacher talk about faith, I began to realize what an excellent excercise
in faith skydiving is.  There are very few, if any other sports that take
as much faith as skydiving.  Why do we jump?  We believe that the main or
reserve (if needed) will open and carry us safely to earth.  Would we jump
out of the plane if we knew it wasn't going to open?  Certainly not!
Therefore we have faith in the the chute to carry us to safety.  More base
than that, we believe in the laws of gravity and the effect of the wind on
our canopy, for without those laws we would not fly.  Can we see the wind
or gravity?  No.  Do they exist?  Yes.  Have I seen God?  No.  Does He
exist? Yes.  In posting this question about skydivers that share my
beliefs, I was amazed at the response- no less than 15 posts concerning it
in less than 36 hours.  If the number of posts on a subject correlate with
interest in it, it seems skydivers are much more interested in a deity than
they own up to.  For those of you with constructive replies and email,
thank you.  For those of you that do not share my beliefs, yet respect
them, thank you.  Winslow, I particularly like your verbose style and
bantering humor.  For those of you that neither share nor respect my
beliefs may you ask yourself what you do have faith in the next time you
jump.  And if you are interested in my beliefs read chapter 11 of the book
of Hebrews out of the King James Bible- here's a link to it http://www.hti.u
mich.edu/bin/kjv--idx?type=DIV1&byte=5277078  Thanks for listening and-

Blue Skies to all-

Hal Wilkerson

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Peter M. Yadlows » Wed, 09 Jul 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

>There are very few, if any other sports that take
>as much faith as skydiving.  Why do we jump?  We believe that the main or
>reserve (if needed) will open and carry us safely to earth.

No, we don't. If it was simply a matter of belief, I might exit an
airplane rig-less with only a pickle in my right hand, secure
in my faith that the pickle would somehow save my life. This seems to be a
popular tactic with Christian apologists: confound the meanings of a word
like "faith" in the hope that no one will notice that faith in something
designed, tested and experienced is not the same as faith in something
completely untouchable and is or may as well be entirely a product of
the imagination.

Some Christians seem to feel a need to defend their faith by claiming
that everyone has "faith" of some kind and that, by golly, faith in
God is at least as good as any other kind. This desperate defense of
the indefensible is what gives rise to the sort of sloppy thinking
that typifies these apologetics. Were I a believer, I'd simply resign
myself to keep my mouth shut concerning the topic of religious faith.

Quote:
>Can we see the wind or gravity?  No.

Nonsense. Of course we can. Their effects can be repeatedly, objectively
measured and quantified. One needn't believe in them or even know their
names in order to experience them.

Quote:
>If the number of posts on a subject correlate with
>interest in it, it seems skydivers are much more interested in a deity than
>they own up to.

I think it probably has more to do with the contemporary socio-political
climate regarding religion in this country and the efforts of a few
fanatics who, with their many glassy-eyed followers, would very much like
to turn this place into a theocracy unfit for human habitation.

Why believe in anything? I would think that people who enjoy physical
freefall so much would enjoy psychological freefall as well.

--
Pete Yadlowsky                        | The old programmer,
Information Tech. and Communication   | Unalterably intent...
University of ***ia                | Another missed lunch.
http://SportToday.org/.***ia.edu/~pmy/ |          - after Buson

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Hookste » Wed, 09 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> Can we see the wind
> or gravity?  No.  Do they exist?  Yes.  Have I seen God?  No.  Does He
> exist? Yes.

Argument by blatant assertion. Neither honest nor convincing.

Quote:
>If the number of posts on a subject correlate with
> interest in it, it seems skydivers are much more interested in a deity than
> they own up to.

Nope. Just some of us get sick of being patronised in this smug manner,
and it costs nothing to fire off a few lines of verbiage.

Quote:
>For those of you that neither share nor respect my
> beliefs may you ask yourself what you do have faith in the next time you
> jump.

Me.

Peace,

Hookster.

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Gregg Aris » Wed, 09 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Quote:



> >Can we see the wind or gravity?  No.

> Nonsense. Of course we can. Their effects can be repeatedly, objectively
> measured and quantified. One needn't believe in them or even know their
> names in order to experience them.

> Why believe in anything? I would think that people who enjoy physical
> freefall so much would enjoy psychological freefall as well.

Just to stir this up a little, Pete. You DO believe in something. You
believe in the scientific method. It's a belief system like many others.
How do you KNOW that the scientific method always works.

Einstein (not a stupid guy) spend a lifetime arguing with Heisenberg
that the Universe was deterministic, only to eventually concede defeat
when faced with quantum mechanics.

The message here? It does take a little faith to jump. Faith in
yourself, faith in your equipment, faith in your partners. If someone
wants to take a little extra faith along, that's OK with me, as long as
it does not replace any of the first three. Yeah, I know that you don't
like the religious community hijacking words. I'd have to agree.
However, I think that part of what makes a skydiver a skydiver is their
willingness to experience the "random factor" without fear. Many people
who cling tightly only to what they "know for sure", will never jump
from a plane.

I'm aethiest, by the way. Just so that's clear. Now we've gone way way
off skydiving, so I'll shut my trap.

--
Gregg.

The NoT NoRMaL! Skydive Team can be found at....
   http://www.tec.puv.fi/~s97116

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Jeffrey Gre » Thu, 10 Jul 1997 04:00:00


Quote:



>>There are very few, if any other sports that take
>>as much faith as skydiving.  Why do we jump?  We believe that the main or
>>reserve (if needed) will open and carry us safely to earth.

>No, we don't. If it was simply a matter of belief, I might exit an
>airplane rig-less with only a pickle in my right hand, secure
>in my faith that the pickle would somehow save my life. This seems to be a
>popular tactic with Christian apologists: confound the meanings of a word
>like "faith" in the hope that no one will notice that faith in something
>designed, tested and experienced is not the same as faith in something
>completely untouchable and is or may as well be entirely a product of
>the imagination.

Good reply!

Asking a person to respect his beliefs on god is like asking a person to respect
the beliefs of a flat-earther.

I have faith that someday everyone will be able to think from himself.
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Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Winsor Naugler I » Thu, 10 Jul 1997 04:00:00

<snip>

Quote:
>I have faith that someday everyone will be able to think from himself.

They already can, but never will.

"5% of the population think, 5% of the population think they think,
and 90% of the population would rather die than think."  Taylor
Caldwell

Blue skies,

Winsor

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by enri.. » Thu, 10 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Quote:



(snip)

>  >Can we see the wind or gravity?  No.

>  Nonsense. Of course we can. Their effects can be repeatedly, objectively
>  measured and quantified. One needn't believe in them or even know their
>  names in order to experience them.

Whether the subject is faith in God and nonbelievers or skydiving
and whuffos, the same adage holds true, "For those who do, no
explanation is necessary, for those who do not, no explanation
is possible."

When asked "whuffo you jump out of a perfectly good airplane?"
many skidivers will reply with an answer that is quite similar to the
answer given by a "believer" as a reason for their belief in God.
That is, there is a spiritual element in both. Apparently for Hal, and
many others like myself, faith in God and a passion for skydiving
are not mutually exclusive concepts.

Where's Crazy Ivan and his ballyhooing about the parallels between
skydiving and the great teachings of "Swami Mama" when you need
him? ;-)

 - - - - Eric - - - -

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Tom Ayer » Thu, 10 Jul 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

> For those of you that do not share my beliefs, yet respect
> them, thank you.  Winslow, I particularly like your verbose style and
> bantering humor.  For those of you that neither share nor respect my
> beliefs may you ask yourself what you do have faith in the next time you
> jump.

What about those of us that neither share nor CARE about your beliefs.
Please leave us alone to argue about pull-outs, throw-outs, RSLs and
whether Tivas are still cool.

Tom

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Johan Conro » Fri, 11 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> Whether the subject is faith in God and nonbelievers or skydiving
> and whuffos, the same adage holds true, "For those who do, no
> explanation is necessary, for those who do not, no explanation
> is possible."

The difference is that it is possible for almost anybody to do some
skydives and experience it for themselves, while it is not possible, as
far as I could tell, to wake up one day and say: "OK, I think that for
the next week, I'll believe in <insert name of deity> with all my being,
so that I can also experience the wonder of faith in, and communion with
<favourite deity>".  

It just doesn't work like that.  If somebody doesn't believe in
something, then that person cannot get him/herself to believe without
further evidence or divine inspiration, no matter how much he/she wants
to believe it.

BSBD
Johan

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Winsor Naugler I » Fri, 11 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Quote:


>> Whether the subject is faith in God and nonbelievers or skydiving
>> and whuffos, the same adage holds true, "For those who do, no
>> explanation is necessary, for those who do not, no explanation
>> is possible."
>The difference is that it is possible for almost anybody to do some
>skydives and experience it for themselves, while it is not possible, as
>far as I could tell, to wake up one day and say: "OK, I think that for
>the next week, I'll believe in <insert name of deity> with all my being,
>so that I can also experience the wonder of faith in, and communion with
><favourite deity>".  
>It just doesn't work like that.  If somebody doesn't believe in
>something, then that person cannot get him/herself to believe without
>further evidence or divine inspiration, no matter how much he/she wants
>to believe it.

You obviously are unfamiliar with some of the better *** on the
market.

"Two hits of this shit, and you'll have a working relationship with
whatever deity is in town. Three bucks a tab."

One of the drawbacks to the Greatful Dead experience was the number of
hangers on who were initially skeptical of articles of faith that were
suspiciously similar to bullshit, but lost the capacity to tell the
difference after the 436th time they did too much acid.  

"Uh, I think I used to think this stuff was really stupid, but I'm not
really sure.  I met Yahweh after the concert in Clear Lake, and
figured I really ought to believe.   I mean it makes as much sense as
anyhing does anymore.  At least I think it was Yaweh; it could have
been a cop, or a grocer at least, but I believe it was really Yaweh,
and I was being tested.  Want some acid?"

Oh, ye of little faith!  If it hadn't been for the spiritual nature of
the Chosen, the capacity to believe ANYTHING, regardless of how inane,
the Space Ship behind the Hale-Bopp Comet would be empty now, and the
citizens of Jonestown would be worrying about School Board elections.

What the hell, it's easier to believe in Ralph the God at the drop of
a hat than, say, Richard Simmons, Jr..  It's all how you look at it.

Blue skies,

Winsor

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Tommy Dougher » Fri, 11 Jul 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

> For those of you that do not share my beliefs, yet respect
> them, thank you.  Winslow, I particularly like your verbose style and
> bantering humor.  For those of you that neither share nor respect my
> beliefs may you ask yourself what you do have faith in the next time you
> jump.

I have faith in myself & my gear.  That's all I need.

-Tommy

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Mjmo » Fri, 11 Jul 1997 04:00:00

I think George Carlin expresses it well:  "Let me make sure I understand
how this works.....There's an invisible man who lives in the sky and he
sees and hears everything that everyone does and says.  And, if you don't
behave exactly the way he wants you to, you will burn in hell
forever...because he loves you sooooo much."
(not an exact quote, but the essence of what he said)

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Jeff Coppe » Fri, 11 Jul 1997 04:00:00

Quote:

> Where's Crazy Ivan and his ballyhooing about the parallels between
> skydiving and the great teachings of "Swami Mama" when you need
> him? ;-)

>  - - - - Eric - - - -

Good question.  Anyone seen Ivan lately?  Better check the ponds and/or
the sheep pen. :-)

JC

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by Jesper Andersso » Fri, 11 Jul 1997 04:00:00

---8<---

Quote:
> Whether the subject is faith in God and nonbelievers or skydiving
> and whuffos, the same adage holds true, "For those who do, no
> explanation is necessary, for those who do not, no explanation
> is possible."

---8<---

Thank you. Wisely said by a wise man!

Actually, belief in a God is a very personal matter, and such is
skydiving aswell. If you ask 100 skydivers why they jump or what it feels
like to jump they will come up with some 100 answers, just like 100
christians will come up with 100 different answers on why they believe or
how it feels like being in contact with God.

But what I have been asking myself is this: "In skydiving - what is the
most important: Being a skydiver or being a Christian?". Of course Im
still christian, but primarly a guy who wants to become a better
skydiver.

And for all of you christians mailing me and asking: Yes. I pray before I
jump, in my solitude, maybe in the bathroom of the DZ before going up in
the plane. I dont see a contr***ion in terms being a "christian
skydiver", merely thinking about the focus of being one, and what is the
most important for me exercising the sport.

/J

(Sorry for my poor English. Again, Im Swedish)

 
 
 

Religion and Skydiving...

Post by mARCO bLOO » Fri, 11 Jul 1997 04:00:00


Quote:

>...  In posting this question about skydivers that share my
> beliefs, I was amazed at the response- no less than 15 posts concerning it
> in less than 36 hours.  If the number of posts on a subject correlate with
> interest in it, it seems skydivers are much more interested in a deity than
> they own up to.  
>...

just now, i see 15 posts under "Christian Skydivers", and 25 under
"IT'S STUPID".  i guess we are even more interested in stupidity.

Quote:
>... Can we see the wind
> or gravity?  No.  Do they exist?  Yes.  Have I seen God?  No.  Does He
> exist? Yes.
>...

have i seen the tooth fairy?  no.  does she exist?  yes.

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