Sunday, June 5, 2016

A man's thoughts on makeup

Yes, I am a man and I am writing about makeup, which primarily concerns women, but I am also a father of three young girls. While this article is directed mostly towards women, it is not just for women. It's also for husbands, fathers, and the men who pressure women into wearing makeup or thinking they need it. Women, why do you wear it? Do you wish you had the same freedom as men to go without it? You are beautiful without it and you don't need it! I wrote this article a few months again but I thought it would be a prime time to finish it since Alicia Keys just said she is not going to wear makeup anymore. Let me try to talk you into following her example  and going without makeup, or at least minimizing the amount you wear (hey, maybe you'll slowly get to the point where you don't need it anymore.).

Is it absolutely wrong to wear makeup?  Probably not, but it's certainly not ideal for Christian women. There are multiple reasons why Christian women (all women really, but objective Christian guidelines don't apply to non-Christians, even though it would be better for them, too). First off, makeup is expensive (money that could be given to the poor), putting it on is time consuming, it has harmful side effects, demand for it objectifies women and sends the message that they are not beautiful enough with out it, many women don't actually want to wear it, it is not nearly as attractive women think (especially in the all too common instances when too much is applied), and most importantly, scripture seems to imply that women should not wear it.

My wife does not typically wear makeup, and when she does, she wears very little. She is absolutely gorgeous and part of what makes her so beautiful is that she does not wear much or any makeup. Going without helps her look confident and genuine (and she really is those things, it's not just how she looks). Even though my wife hardly wears any makeup, my 5 year old daughter has somehow got the impression that she needs to wear makeup.  Do you have any idea how heartbreaking it is for a 5 year old to throw a fit over wearing makeup because "I want to be beautiful!" She has broken in to our room several times to get into my wife's makeup just so she could "be beautiful." You may be quick to blame parenting, but I as I already mentioned, makeup is not important in our house at all. Females are bombarded with the message that they need makeup to be beautiful and males are filled with the expectation that women need makeup. Neither message is true.

Because scripture is the most important reason for not wearing makeup, let's start there. Not a single Bible verse directly uses the word 'makeup,' but the underlying justification for all the verses I will mention also apply to makeup, at least to some degree or in some cases. Proverbs 7:10 talks about the dangers of a women dressed as a prostitute.  Now, don't misunderstand me here, I am NOT saying that wearing makeup makes a women look like a prostitute, but it is a contributing factor. Stop for a second a visualize a prostitute. I'd be willing to bet that you picture her in heels, fishnets, a short skirt, a tube top or other top with very little fabric, and lots of makeup, something which has remained somewhat consistent throughout history (1). Contrast Proverbs 7:10 with Proverbs 31:25, which says that an excellent wife is clothed in wisdom and dignity. Do you ever look at a women with loads of makeup on and think "she is just so wise and respectable!" I didn't think so.

On a similar note, 1 Peter 3:3 and 1 Tim 2:9 both talk about women dressing modestly in terms of their clothes, hair, and jewelry. Both verses continue to say that this is so that their godly spirit can shine through. These verses are usually misunderstood to mean that women should dress modestly by covering up, but that is not what the context means at all. These verses are talking about wealth and status. Makeup, like clothes, jewelry, and expensive/time consuming hairstyles, is expensive. We may not realize it because nearly everyone in America can afford it, but we're also rich in comparison to most the world. Generally speaking, these verses refer to external things being used to make women look beautiful and makeup is certainly an external product that women use to look beautiful. Whether or not you agree or care about the point about wealth or status, these verses still say that a woman's beauty comes from who they are, not what they look like. Makeup prevents your character from coming through and being seen. Don't hide behind an artificial mask that you don't need.

Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus. (Col 3:17 NASB)

For questions, comments, or feedback, please e-mail me at JayMedenwaldt@hotmail.com.  Thank you.

1.http://www.artisbrush.com/makeup-history-summary/
http://www.bustle.com/articles/29836-do-guys-like-when-women-wear-makeup-the-answer-is-surprising-according-to-this-study
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/men/relationships/11072400/Do-men-really-think-women-look-better-without-any-make-up.html
http://www.vintageconnection.net/ModesInMakeup.htm

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

What would really happen if we created artificial intelligence!

The Matrix, Blade Runner, Terminator, iRobot, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Ex-Machina, Transcendence, Tron, Stealth, and 2001: A Space Odyssey are all popular movies about artificial intelligence. Chances are you have seen at least a couple of these movies. The topic of artificial intelligence has captivated us for nearly 200 years, since the first computer program was written and Mary Shelley wrote
Frankenstein, a story about a man-made intelligent being (e.i. artificial intelligence). There is another theme in all these movies, as well. Did you notice it? Artificial intelligence will be bad for humans and should be feared. If and when we create machines that can out-think us, they will destroy us!

Let’s assume that humans will one day be able to create artificial intelligence. Many people don’t think it will be possible, but let’s just assume it will happen one day. What will happen? I think the movies have a tendency to get it wrong in two ways. First, all of our computers are connected, and any artificial intelligence would also be connected, so there would only be one artificial intelligence. There would not be multiple artificial intelligence robots. All the robots would be extensions of a single artificial intelligence. Some movies get this right and some don’t.

The other thing that all movies have gotten wrong so far is what would happen if artificial intelligence was created. Think about what artificial intelligence would be and how would it be the same or different from humans? It would not have fear or pain like we do, it would be rational, but to a much greater degree because we are so strongly influenced by our emotions, and it would be able to accurately and objectively analyze huge amounts of data. The result: artificial intelligence will be the greatest Christian apologist to ever exist!

Here’s why I think this: Christianity is true. Not only is it true, but there are many many lines of reasoning and pieces of evidence that support Christianity. If we truly create artificial intelligence, it will begin to ask questions such as: what is the meaning of life, what is our purpose, where did we come from, what is the nature of reality, etc. These deep questions all lead back to God in one way or another. Artificial intelligence will be able to compare all the competing views of these questions and evaluate them in much more detail than we are able to and more objectively than we can and hence, will conclude that Christianity is true. If it is true, then the rational thing for the artificial intelligence to do would be to share the Good News with everyone, which would often include the use of  of apologetic arguments.

Imagine this, every time you log on to your computer, you get a pop up that tells you about Jesus or gives you evidence for Christianity. The ads that show up on Websites you visit will be for apologetic ministries. Your recommended shows on Netflix will all be evangelistic. You won’t be forced to watch any of the Christian content or to become a Christian, but the advertisements, recommendations, and pop-ups won’t go away until you become a Christian. How will it know? It will be able to track your Facebook posts, whether or not you go to church (GPS), what the content of your conversations are with your friends (through phones and computers), what you spend your money on, how you are serving others, and much more.

If you are a Christian, a genuine and committed Christian, you won’t care that the artificial intelligence is monitoring your every move and making recommendations to you. I’d love for a computer program to be able to tell me that my actions and conversations do not reflect that of a real Christian and show me how I can improve. I can’t wait for the day that we create artificial intelligence. It will be awesome!