Archive for the ‘ Survival ’ Category

What Do You See In 2015?

This morning s I got ready for work, I stopped and stood in front of the mirror. I was there for a few minutes when I realized I was looking at myself much like viewing with a  microscope.

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Yes, waiting for the coffee to be ready I was bent over with an eye piece against the glass of the mirror… well, not really. As I stood there I realized that I look at myself with the focus of a microscope. No, I don’t see every little flaw, rather I am unable to see the bigger picture. I did not see my color, my hair, or my extra weight. I did not see my house, my car, or my wallet. I did not see my friends, my enemies, or lost loves. I simply saw me. A wrinkle growing here, an itchy spot there, a dull color to a tooth. I saw a lot of things in that microscopic-like view and yet I only saw me. I did not see who I am or who I am not. I did not see advantage or disadvantage. I saw only me.

In 2015 I hope that a lot more people in the world can be as lucky as I was this morning. That person in the mirror should not have a lot of accouterments, social or otherwise. I also hope that more people see other people the same way, in that sort of microscopic view kind of way… without the accouterments.

 

 

The Meaning Of Life

Oh, I know… 42

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Okay, maybe not. I think that to answer the question  “what is the meaning of life?” we should start with “what is life?” I’m going show you something. Something they don’t want you to see. I don’t know the future but I know what’s happening now. I know where we’re going.

I know you’re out there. I can feel you now. I know that you’re afraid. You’re afraid of us. You’re afraid of change. I don’t know the future. I didn’t come here to tell you how this is going to end. I came here to tell you how it’s going to begin. I’m going to hang up this phone and then I’m going to show these people what you don’t want them to see. I’m going to show them a world without you, a world without rules and controls, without borders or boundaries, a world where anything is possible. Where we go from there is a choice I leave to you. — Neo

From the perspective of the universe (should it be conscious) this is your life and what it means:

Watch it closely. What do you see? Give up? No idea? Remember that video as you listen to Sean Carroll explain it.

What is the meaning of life? To dissipate energy. To push the universe closer to heat death. Nothing more, nothing less. A quick ride on a burning match and snuffed out. That’s life. Enjoy it, the ride, for all you can.

Christianity Out Of Context

I’ll admit this up front, I’m going to base this post on a paragraph taken out of context from another post (read it here) I’m not even going to mention the blog named ‘Roll To Disbelieve’ or that the OP is about Ryan Bell in some way. Nope, not going to do any of that. I’m going to take this all kinds of out of context. Here is the paragraph that woke me up like a bucket of cold water. (emphasis is mine)

I should not be surprised by this comparison. She genuinely thinks that as her religion loses cultural dominance that “iniquity will abound,” and even cites a Bible verse (Matthew 24:12) she thinks props up her assertion that Christians today are living in the “Endtimes,” that mystical apocalyptic ending of the world that will involve the Rapture, then (or before or during the Rapture, depending on exactly what Christian you’re talking to) a period of great persecution called the Tribulation, and then the Battle of Armageddon and the final destruction of the planet Earth, which in the minds of many Christians like her will start when her religion experiences a great “falling away.”

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I read the above paragraph (whole post actually) and as I did it occurs to me that the belief that without religion that iniquity would abound in the world is a belief that can ONLY be held by people who are absolutely, positively, without a doubt, beyond repair, ignorant of the news.

We are living in, one of the most peaceful time in human history, but there is this:

Studies demonstrate the world is becoming less violent, and that human warfare is on the decline. There is one aspect of the human existence, however, that continues to ignite humans to commit violence and atrocities against fellow humans. A major new study published by the Pew Research Center shows that religious hostilities reached a 6-year high in 2012.

We can look at the news and see ‘random’ ‘psychotics’ attacking police officers while chanting to their deity. There are no stories of atheists attacking cops while shouting there is no god.

Then there is Evangelicals trying to kill the gays wherever they can:

The Uganda Anti-Homosexuality Act, 2014 (previously called the “Kill the Gays bill” in the western mainstream media due to the originally proposed death penalty clauses) The legislative proposal would broaden the criminalisation of same-sex relations in Uganda domestically, and further includes provisions for Ugandans who engage in same-sex relations outside of Uganda, asserting that they may be extradited for punishment back to Uganda, and includes penalties for individuals, companies, media organisations, or non-governmental organisations that know of gay people or support LGBT rights.

Do we need to look at how much money the LDS wasted trying to prevent same sex marriage in a different state?

It is estimated that the amount of money the US government loses in tax exemptions for religions could feed the hungry, clothe and house the homeless and improve our medical services every year, year on year, because the amount that religion steals from the rest of us is perhaps as much as $71 billion a year.

I’m just getting started. Do we have to mention the mess that the Roman Catholic Church has made around the globe by abusing and raping children? Do we need to put links to every Christian pastor who raped or stole? Do we have to example every mega-church pastor’s problems? I don’t think so. The news is littered with stories about the religious doing iniquities left, right, and center.

That doesn’t even begin to cover the self proclaimed religious politicians and lobbyists and their iniquity. There are more convicted felons in the houses of congress across the US than there are employees in most small businesses. Go ahead, Google that one.

Back when everyone was a ‘believer’ and religion ruled Europe they had a name for it, it was called the dark ages. Toward the end when humans began to decide that we needed a different way, one of the first was some pissed off barons who took King John out in the woods and made him sign the Magna Carta and it is these precepts of law (and others) which were spread around the world, refined here and there by various colonists as they gained freedom. Forget the believer’s god and its hell, people should be afraid of law enforcement and citizens with guns. Those citizens do not like to be robbed, raped, and treated poorly. Those citizens created revolutions across most of the globe now. While they did not choose to eliminate religion most of them  have removed religion from government… for a reason.

Before you get all huffy, from this we can easily conclude that being part of a religion (even an integral part) does not make you a good person.

Now, to say that iniquity would happen if religion disappeared is blindingly stupid. The laws don’t stop these people and religion certainly doesn’t stop them. In fact, for much of it, it is religion that makes their crimes possible or often enough the religion hides their crimes.

Why do we allow such people a public speaking post? This is exactly the kind of person that should be laughed at and mocked and shamed into silence. That one thought is so stupid it is offensive.

 

 

Christmas Ghosts

I’m sitting here thinking. Not to myself, the bottle of scotch I got for Christmas and I are having a conversation. It’s not much of a conversation I’ll admit but it is a conversation. The bottle asked me “where is all the Christmas ghosts at?” After correcting its grammar I tried to explain that this was just a story about stirring the conscience of the readers.

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So the bottle says “you have a conscience, why no ghosts?”

That got me to thinking. Why don’t I have ghosts? Ghosts are supposed to be: an apparition of a dead person that is believed to appear or become manifest to the living, typically as a nebulous image. Then it hit me. I don’t believe in the supernatural so I’ll never see ghosts. Wait. I just said because I don’t believe in them I’ll never see them.

It’s an odd way of thinking but in reality I don’t see them so I don’t believe in them is more accurate. There is also no evidence for them that is convincing or credible. Then the bottle said “but when you were a child….” and I cut it off. So what! I was a child then and I did what children do. Now I’m not a child.

https://i0.wp.com/www.apostoliclighthouse.org/Lesson8-7_files/image002.jpgYes, it’s true. When I was a child I was taught to believe that there is a Holy Ghost.

Then I remembered something:

Matthew 12:31-32

31 lWherefore I say unto you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men. 32 And whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

That’s right folks. I’m unforgiven. Never to be forgiven. The all-loving god of Abraham cannot forgive this one thing and I managed to do that one thing. There are no ghosts, not even holy ones. That childhood indoctrination was not enough, I just can’t believe in what cannot be seen – by design.

So me and the scotch are collaborating, here’s to seeing you in hell HAHAHAHAHAHA

Holy crap did they try to scare us to death. Always watching, always there. Deny the big brother of the god of Abraham and you burn forever. How can we consider people that teach this stuff to their kids as competent parents? Oh, I know they are doing what they think is right and best for their own offspring. Still, looking at it from the big picture how can we let them torture children this way. I know it’s not physical torture, but is physical pain ever the worst part of torture?

Am I saying that teaching theism to your children is child abuse? No. I’m saying it’s torture. An entirely different set of laws apply. No, I’m not going to spend 2500 words justifying that thought. Scotch says we don’t have that much time. Teaching your children something that is against all logic and without evidence and which comes with pain of eternal torture for not believing is torture of a mental kind. Sure, lots of us survived it but there are a lot of messed up people in the world and we are not trying to explain that. Just saying.

I’ve got no Christmas ghosts. There are a couple of things from my past that I don’t want to talk about, but push comes to shove I will. It won’t kill me, it’s just unpleasant to contemplate.

I start the new year like I did the last one. Confident that I did as good as I could in the last and confident I will do as good as I can in the next. No ghosts. Hell be damned. I am not guiltless, but I do not feel guilty. Perhaps this is why no ghosts visit me this time of year?

What ghosts visit you?

Faith And Violence

I know that there are many believers who think their faith is non-violent. This post is about that very point.

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I would like all and any theists to show me how their faith is non-vilent.

I get it,  you yourself are not violent. I’m asking you to show me that your sect is not violent. Show me how it is hat I should not consider your belief a part of a violent sect. That’s right, I am presupposing that your belief is violent and I’m asking you to show me that it is not so. Show me that your belief and sect has never been violent. Show me that your sect has never been and will not be violent.

 

Go on, show me

 

Something beautiful from the MNPD (Nashville) Chief of Police

I just became a fan of Steve Anderson. I’d like to see more of this… everywhere.

Progressive Culture | Scholars & Rogues

This is the talk all our police need to walk

From The Tennessean: Nashville police chief shares message, responds to questions

At least take a moment to read the email to Chief Anderson from a member of the self-proclaimed “majority” of people in Nashville (read: not, apparently) and Chief Anderson’s astounding reply.

View original post 1,576 more words

The Impotence of Atheism – A Reply

Here we go again. Poor poor atheists. They just don’t understand. God did it… in which I comment on such a post. Let me know what you think in the comments.

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Now, for the post I am talking about, shown in quotes. Not linked = less traffic for them but if you must, search for “The Impotence of Atheism” and I’m sure you’ll find that gold mine.

It’s not that atheist explanations are wrong, so much as that, qua explanations, they are simply impotent, in the final analysis. At bottom, they have no basis in necessity. So, at bottom, they end up able to say no more than, “this is the way things happened; er, that’s all.” They are descriptions, rather than explanations. Not wrong; not uninformative; often utile; but, just inadequate. Atheist explanations cannot close the deal; for, they have no ultimate cash value.

I’m left wondering if the explanation for why ice tea is brown is simply impotent. It seems to me that the author is expecting more than an explanation, setting their expectations higher than is reasonable so as to be unsatisfied by a valid explanation. I do see what they are hinting at when they call explanations just descriptions rather than explanations. Now we know that by explanation the author means: “reason or justification given for an action or belief” When we look at the two common uses of explanation we see that they are not synonymous.

 a statement or account that makes something clear.
“the birth rate is central to any explanation of population trends”
synonyms:    clarification, simplification;
description, report, statement;
elucidation, exposition, expounding, explication;
gloss, interpretation, commentary, exegesis

a reason or justification given for an action or belief.
“Freud tried to make sex the explanation for everything”
synonyms:    account, reason;
justification, excuse, alibi, defense, vindication, story, answers

When we ask for an explanation of rainbows, this author wants to hear something like ‘god made them to remind us he’d never kill us all with a flood … again’ rather than the actual explanation for the existence of rainbows.

This is why the juridical question is efficacious against an atheist. Just keep asking “Why?” Eventually, he will be forced to reply with an exasperated, “Because that’s just the way it is; there is no further explanation.” So saying, he cannot but reveal his unreason; which, as sapping the very foundations of his doctrine, so vitiates the whole structure thereof – and, could he but see, ruins it utterly. His triumph is in the undisputed possession of a castle fallen into complete desuetude, that lost its strategic value long since.

Yes, on this bit I had to look a few things up. To my  knowledge there is no atheist doctrine with foundations. I can kind of see where they are headed with the word doctrine but that technically requires atheists to be a group, organized in some fashion. (a belief or set of beliefs held and taught by a church, political party, or other group.) The problem is that saying atheist doctrine is like saying non-golfer doctrine. It is meaningless as is the rest of the straw man they are building there. The one question that bothers theists? How? Keep asking them how and they have to admit ignorance or claim magic via their favorite deity.

It may be objected that the theist foundation of explanation is in a way just as arbitrary and ‘brute’ as that of the atheist. The atheist says, “this is the way the world is, and that’s all there is to say about it;” meanwhile the theist says, “this is the way that God is, and that’s all there is to say about it.” How is one of these moves better than the other? Indeed, don’t they amount to the same thing, in the end, if God is among the things that exist, and thus a member of the world in the broadest sense?

Well, that’s a mighty big ‘if’ in that last sentence. So, if you are like me you already know that there is probably not much point in reading this authors post. It presumes that there is a extant god and that this presupposition trumps reason and science.

From our perspective, so it certainly seems to be. We come into the world and find that it is the way it is, and that God is the way he is, and that’s all there is to it. Indeed, by the definition of “God,” there can be no explanation for God, for nothing is prior to him, that might explain him.

Note that there is some less than polite discourse as to the way god is. In fact, among those that believe in a god there is little agreement at all. Sure, the adherents of one religion seem to agree mostly but this is not proof of their belief. For any religious sect, more than 60% of the rest of the world population disagree with them and many in a vigorous way. There is clearly no consensus on ‘the way god is’ among humans. As for physics and how the world is, well there is consensus on that. So to clarify this author is equating a known data set with a data set which looks to be made up by all measures and despite any claims otherwise is a hotly contested data set. Many have fought and died in an attempt to prove their version correct over all competitors in an argument which is far from ‘settled science.’ These things are not in the same grouping. There is a reason that if you go to a book store looking for information on ‘how god is’ you will never find it in the ‘science section’ of the book store or library.

Nevertheless the theist explanation of things does have one key advantage over the atheist, reductionist explanation: it completes, in the sense that it terminates upon necessity. This the atheist explanation cannot ever do. The theist ends by saying, “this, or something very like this, is just the way things must be, in logic, and by definition, and so by metaphysical necessity.” The atheist explanation terminates upon radical ignorance: upon, “no idea.” Under atheism, all and any of this might not have come to pass, and whether or not it did, there could be no explanation for any bit of it: it *just happened.*

Didn’t this writer just state that there can be no explanation for god? So the theist argument ends with ‘because god’ … without explanation. That’s not half full or half empty argument. It’s full on empty with a claim that it’s full. You  know, because god.

For the theist, everything happens for a reason, even if he can’t see it. Everything is for him therefore intelligible, at least in principle. For the atheist, on the other hand, nothing that happens bopttoms out in a reason that cannot be controverted, and so nothing can be intelligible.

So, only those that claim to know all the answers can see the world as intelligible. I believe that there is a medical term for this: delusional. Remember here that the claim of theists is that there is a god. There is no proof or credible evidence for that god and of course there is no explanation. To the theist god simply is, and from their god comes all the magic that makes the world intelligible to them. The writer here is not offering any explanation further than ‘god did it’ for anything and everything. I remember the last time such make believe was acceptable. It was back when I got 8 oz of milk and a nap mat in the afternoons.

The theist lives in an ordered world. It is ordered ex hypothesi, whether or not he can himself discern that order. The atheist lives in a world that rejects the very notion of order. The latter move is of course not something that can be rationally completed. As a motion of the reason, it is forestalled ab initio, as the antithesis thereof.

To the theist, things cannot but be ordered. To the atheist, they cannot be ordered.

Pity the poor atheists! So lost are they, and adrift! We should all pray for them that they may be relieved of their sufferings.

There it is: The world is ordered. No explanation, just the proclamation that it is so. Don’t question that or you’ll be told that you’re just not trying hard enough to see it. The non-believer does live in a world of order and can see it, look it up in books/online, and study it for themselves. It’s a world of mathematics and science. Fibonacci , the golden ratio, Pythagoras, E=MC2, chemistry, biology, and on and on. The world is ordered by the laws that govern it, from the very small to the very large. It is all out there for us to learn and discover. The theist believes they already know all the answers and do not bother to look. Sure there are theist scientists, but they are few and far between. What theists demonstrate most when talking about atheism and atheists is a complete lack of understanding and worse than that, a complete lack of desire to understand. Order is all around us, because of chemistry, biology, the laws that govern the natural world.

 

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Some Questions For Everyone

I’ve seen posts of questions for atheists and posts of questions for theists. They are entertaining to a point and I think done with honesty but I don’t think that they actually look at the world in a way that makes progress. So I’ve thought about this for a while, and then some more. I thought it useless but then I thought of it a bit more… you get the idea.

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The gist of it is this, I have some questions and I thought perhaps sharing them here would profit me some new ideas. Hopefully, dear readers, you’ll be able to shed some light on these in the comments.

  1. If evolution is not true, why do mammals all share a common body plan – five digits, tube design, etc. Did the god run out of ideas or simply not have enough imagination to make more animals like the kangaroo and platypus.
  2. I’ll ask about the flood myth but this goes for a lot of things. Why do believers have to invent their own ‘bible science’ which is in contention with very smart people that spend their entire lives dedicated to the science of understanding geology?  Why is it necessary for believers to understand the world in terms of their holy book? Can’t they simply join the rest of humanity in the search for answers and learn from what is discovered?
  3. I have yet to hear a response to the Steve Project that makes sense. Does anyone have one?
  4. Speaking of monotheism, if the god created everything where does evil come from? No, don’t bother with free will for the angels chose to disobey and they were not given free will. Which leads us to number 5.
  5.  The god of Abraham has failed at the things he set out to do in spectacular fashion. On top of that, outside of natural disasters, every time he exacts punishment on humans it is done at the hands of other humans. How is this supportive of an omnipotent and omniscient god? Clearly all that foreknowledge has not helped the god of Abraham create anything that would succeed as far as we know. The god of Abraham is a failure… which leads us to number 6.
  6. There are those that believe in gods. They have failed to provide credible evidence for their belief. What do you believe and how do you KNOW it to be true? If you can’t know it to be true why do you believe it. Those that believe the big bang created the universe are encouraged to explain their answer to this question.
  7. It appears that the human like for sweet tasting things is biological. Where do you derive your morality from? Why? What evidence do you have to show this was a correct decision?
  8. There are those that believe in an afterlife. Their world views hold that many will be tortured forever. How do you justify this belief? How do you justify the infinite torture of someone else? For those that do not believe in an afterlife, how do you justify not helping those in need? Well, even believers, how do you justify not helping those in need?
  9. Have you thought your world view out to it’s logical end point? If you have, what is the meaning of existence? What purpose does this life serve? How do you reconcile your answer to this question with your answer to question 8?
  10. What is you most favored music genre?
  11.  How do you know that the world is real? How do you know that these questions are real? How do you know that your lover/spouse/SO is real? Given the answer to this question, how can you know if the Christian Jesus was real?
  12. Given the general nastiness of the gods of monotheism, why would you worship them? Why would you worship anything or anyone? What is worthy of your worship and dedication?

I’ll stop there. That’s enough for now. I look forward to the answers, both theological and not.

 

I Am Rich

What you don’t know.
My mother was born into a family with 6 siblings. They shared a one room dirt floor shack with their parents, her father a coal miner. My mother was the first in her family to graduate college, while I was in the Navy, cuma sum laude. My siblings and I did not know dirt poor, but we also did not know what a new car was, seldom knew what new clothes were. Almost every day I acknowledge to myself that I live like a king. No matter how little I think I have, I know I live like a king.

In this time of year, consider how rich you are.

Here’s a story (true? probably) that tells what so many of us know first hand. Today we live like royalty.

While you’re reading, here’s a listen:

What If There Is A God?

There are people that do not understand my position on belief. Perhaps it is time to explain it again.

Atheism simply defined is, “Someone who LACKS BELIEF in a god or gods.”  So as an atheist I would never claim to KNOW that there are no gods.  In this context atheism is nothing more than the rejection of the proposition, “a god or god’s exist.”  It is not the positive statement, “there is no god.”

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As an atheist I agree completely. I further posit that the probability of a god is zero. Further, if a god exists and that god is like the description of the god of Abraham that god is not worthy of my desire, accolades, or worship. If there is a god that exists as described by deists it does not care what words I use nor who I sleep with and how. If a god exists and judges me by moral means then it will judge me based on the morality I know rather than that offered in the offensive books of human made religions. If a god exists and has the fortitude to judge me at all, it can judge me by my morality and treatment of my fellow animals. If it indeed has the power of judgement, it can judge me on how I’ve treated others. If indeed there is a god who has any need or want to judge me, it can judge me as I have lived or it can do as it wishes but I will not worship it. For a being to acquire my worship requires what no god of human design or understanding can do. The YHWH-ists claim their god is omniscient yet that god has failed to meet the criteria I set forth. For those that think I am not permitted to set forth the criteria I am open to them showing me their god so that their god can explain to me personally what the rules are. I’m not saying I will accept any old god and his rules, but if there is argument about my understanding it will require the actual god to explain to me the differences. Without that there is no such thing as free will and I claim my right to free will now and always. Let some god who wants to be king explain any differences to me personally. I need no middle man arguments. Any god who would deem me unworthy of such effort is unworthy of my praise and worship and will likely garner my desire to kill it. If that is not clear enough for the theist, then I can use more words.

 

 

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