Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Marriage and Sex in the Bible

I want to see what the Bible says about marriage, so I hope to capture most of the message from the Bible here:

In Genesis 1:28, God says to the first man and woman, "Be fruitful and increase in number...".

In Genesis 2:18, God says, "It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him," referring to Adam, the first man. In Genesis 2: 24, the Bible says, "... a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh."

->God wants us to be married and have children.

In Genesis 24, Abraham's servant went to Abraham's homeland to find a wife for Issac, Abraham's son. Issac was 40 years old at that time. Abraham's servant bump into Abraham's newphew Bethuel's daughter, Rebekah. The family agreed, and the servant gave gold and silver jewlery and clothing to Rebekah, and expensive gifts to her brother and her mother. Then he brought Rebekah back to Issac. Issac brought Rebekah into the tent of his mother and married her.

-> In those days, the groom's family give expensive gifts to the bride's family, but the Bible didn't say what the wedding ceremony was like, or maybe there was none.

In Genesis 29:22, Jacob worked for Laban for 7 years in return for Rachel. When they were married, Laban gathered all the people of the place and gave a feast. In Judges 14:10, Samson's wedding was a feast for 7 days.

-> They celebrated the marriage with a feast.

In Malachi 2:15, the Bible says, "So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth." In Malachi 2:16, God says, "I hate divorce and marital separation and him who covers his garment [his wife] with violence." In those days, sending away one's wife without a divorce is an act of violence and cruelty because the woman would not be able to re-marry and often becomes a slave.

In Matthew 19:3-9, Jesus explains to the crowds, "... So they are no longer two, but one. Therefore what God has joined together, let man not searate." He also explained that Moses let men give wives a bill of divorce and send them away because those men had a hard heart, "... But it was not this way from the beginning."

-> Marriage is a covenant for life. Divorce is not God's way.

In Mark 10:11-12, Jesus says, "Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery." The same is repeated in Luke 16:18.

In Matthew 5:32, Jesus says, "But I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, causes her to become an adulteress, and anyone who marries the divorced woman commits adultery."

In Matthew 19:9, Jesus says, "I tell you that anyone who divorces his wife, except for marital unfaithfulness, and marries another woman commits adultery."

In 1 Corinthians 7:10-11, Paul writes, "To the married I give this command (not I, but the Lord): A wife must not separate from her husband. But if does, she must remain unmarried or else be reconciled to her husband. And a husband must not divorce his wife."

-> In any case, the Bible teaches not to marry someone who has been married once already, and divorce is not allowed. The exception of marital unfaithfulness is a point of debate, and can be explained as editing at the time of writing to fit into the commonly accepted practices of the day.

In 1 Corinthians 7:12-15, Paul writes about his own rule, "If any brother has a wife who is not a believer and she is willing to live with him, he must not divorce her. And if a woman has a husband who is not a believer and he is willing to live with her, she must not divorce him. For the unbeliving husband has been sanctified through his wife, and the unbeliving wife has been sanctified through her beliving husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy. But if the unbeliever leaves, let him do so. A beliving man or woman is not bound in such circumstances; God has called us to live in peace."

-> a non-believing spouse is not grounds for divorce. If the spouse says, "choose me or Jesus," choose Jesus, and let him/her leave. In this case it would be a separation and not a divorce.

... and about sex:

In 1 Corinthians 7:1-9, Paul explained that he thinks it is good to be unmarried, but because some people cannot control their sex energies, they should be married and the husband and wife should satisfy each other's sexual needs while not doing too much of it and deprive one another of energy to do other things.

In 1 Corinthians 6:18-20, Paul tells people to flee from sexual immorality.

In 1 Corinthians 5:1, Paul gave an example of sexual immorality: a man is sleeping with his father's wife.

In general, sexual immorality or fornication refers to sexual intercourse between unmarried persons. Adultery refers to sexual intercourse between two married persons who are not each other's spouse.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

ATI HD3870 Benchmark

I am thinking about replacing the heatsink on my graphics card with a fanless one. I think that would reduce the noise from my computer somewhat. I then realized that I did not post my 3D Mark score after I bought the new graphics card back in March 2008. The best score I got was 9752 where as other similar systems report between 8287 and 12028. This was a significant improvement over the onboard graphics that got me score of 1227.

Comparing the 3D score, the on-board graphics was 397 where as the HD3870 is 4310. I was able to play Call of Duty 4 and Half Life 2 with good graphics and pretty smooth action.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Magnetic Levitation Trains

The passenger rail services in the US is pretty slow compared to some systems in other countries. This link provides a comparison as well as the potential for maglev trains in the US.

The Amtrak line of Acela Express between Boston and Washington DC runs between 75 and 150 mph. These run on existing tracks and uses tilting to allow for higher speeds even at sharp turns.

The Shinkansen in Japan runs upto 188 mph.

The TGV in France runs upto 200 mph.

The Shanghai Transrapid in China cruises at 268 mph.

And under demonstration conditions, 361 mph is the record set in Japan's maglev train.

For comparison, a Boeing 787 would fly at 550 mph.

Maglev trains would be a move in the direction of reducing oil consumption, provided that the electricity be generated with clean, renewable sources. In short inter-city distances, maglev trains could compete well with airplanes and thus reduce the use of jet fuel. Going from LA to Las Vegas in 1 hour and 10 minutes? Wow.

The problem with maglev is that they don't run on existing tracks, so the rail infrastructure needs to be rebuilt. The cost of existing technologies is about $50-60 million per mile, although some companies like
AMT claims their system would cost $19 million per mile.

Evidence indicates that we will move to more electrical forms of transportation with electric cars and trains. Generating electrons from renewable sources is the responsible thing to do.