Election Season In The USA … Again

As we remember the dead and the slowly dying none of us can avoid the fact that it is election season again. Here are something to think about as you spend the next months picking out who you will vote for.

Some handy rules for you:

1: Don’t listen to just anyone about the candidates. This is not about picking a burger joint to get lunch.

 

2: When candidates talk about religion or faith, keep in mind that faith and religion are not exactly winning attributes or virtues.

 

I know it won’t be easy to pick out the right candidates so look forward to nearly 24/7 coverage of all of them, what they eat, who they bedded, what their children are up to… it’s going to be reality television the way that it ought to be. Good luck.

 

Arguing religion at face value and why it’s a waste of time

myatheistlife:

If you are not following justmerveilleux you should be. This post nails it when explaining that what USA Christians call biblical marriage has little to do with their book and all to do with politics. History, sometimes it enlightens us and other times it hurts to read it. If it hurts to read about history that is called the ‘clue stick’ and history doesn’t mind hitting you square in the forehead with it. Thankfully we have those among us who can eloquently explain what we should have learned in history class but did not.

Originally posted on Just Merveilleux:

“It is the law of the brothel. This type of marriage will never be anything but an immoral and scandalous concubinage. A form of incest.”Spokesman for Catholic Bishops (El Pais archive)

On the heels of the Irish referendum, you may think the quote above was in some way related to the no campaign; so you may be surprised to hear those words were actually spoken 145 years ago.

Let me set the scene. The 1800’s are known by Spanish historians as the century of revolutions. Three monarchs were deposed, there were five civil wars, 130 governments and nine constitutions. In the specific time period I’m referring to, Isabella II had been deposed (1868) in what was known as the Glorious Revolution. She was replaced by Amadeo de Savoy as king, but he only reigned for two years. The first Spanish republic was then declared. In the midst of all of this turmoil…

View original 505 more words

Who Am I?

Those of you who have been reading here for a while know that I have a particular idea about consciousness and all that this implies. My idea is not really in line with mainstream thought and if it is true, it abrogates much previous thought on consciousness.

THIS is what I’ve been talking about.

https://i2.wp.com/i1323.photobucket.com/albums/u599/gachchy/conscious%20robot_zpsg7lg80ee.jpg

We are machines that can remember and predict future events. The ‘I’ in that situation is nothing more than being able to remember the past, experience the present, and predict the future. It’s a reference point in the machine that keeps us from dying.

Thoughts?

Screaming rants about how stupid this is?

Ideas of where god fits in that situation?

PLEASE comment. The discussion about consciousness is far more important than it is usually taken to be. I believe it is the key to understanding all the problems that we currently face as a species.

 

Thank you

where are the Christians when you need them?

myatheistlife:

I too would like to see the answers and thoughts of believers to this challenge. It’s a challenge issued long ago. The answers are always interesting.

Originally posted on Random thoughts:

I think it’s a problem that people are considered immoral if they’re not religious. That’s just not true…. If you do something for a religious reason, you do it because you’ll be rewarded in an afterlife or in this world. That’s not quite as good as something you do for purely generous reasons.

LISA RANDALL, Discover Magazine, July 2006

It has been argued, often, by the religious that, one who does not believe as they do, in an invisible overlord, has not the capacity to act morally. Many a religious apologist have filled the internet with this type of banter. Many sheeples seem to believe this as true and often ask the atheist how or on what ground does he claim to act morally.

The atheist in her defense has pointed the theist to the Euthyphro Dilemma[pdf] in the slim hope that the theist may spend a few minutes of…

View original 180 more words

A Thought On: Human Desire & Awareness

Hero4Thought wrote a post titled Human Desire & Awareness  The post starts out with

As I reflect on my continued departure from having a belief in God I’m trying to pinpoint some of the important factors that bring believers and skeptics to diverge where they do.

That got me thinking the way that lots of things do. Cogito ergo sum

https://i1.wp.com/kdfrases.com/frases-imagens/frase-cogito-ergo-sum-traducao-penso-logo-existo-fonte-principia-philosophiae-rene-descartes-133937.jpg

The only thing that we can truly be certain of knowing is that we think, and therefore we somehow exist. We can be certain of no other thing. As children we learn about the world we are presented with and how it works. Empathy ensures that we like to see fairness and good outcomes, even for others. Of course, when you compare your feelings about those in Nepal recently you may feel no honest pity for them because their plight has not activated empathetic simulation of their condition.

The reality is that all we know of the life of another is merely a story being told in the simulation of the world that runs in our brains, and in that simulation the same nerves that interpret pain signals from our body are active when we see others in pain. In a way, all that is input to our brain is as real as anything we experience via our nerves.

The cut on your finger is not real, the sensation that you feel is merely electrical impulses sent to your brain to be input to the simulation. There the pain registers because your brain tells you that that set of signals causes pain and so other parts of your brain react to those signals in your brains simulation. It is theoretically possible to cause someone vast amounts of pain simply by inputting the right signals to the brain.

The reality is that nothing is real. Every last bit of it is reduced to electrical signals and input to our brains for the simulation. The tight connection between our nerves and senses and our brain gives us the illusion that we are part of a world that is outside and bigger than that of our body.

There is a confirmation bias at work. If we can appear to witness good things and justice happening for others, then in this world we seem connected to it must also be possible for us to experience both justice and goodness. Conversely, experiencing it vicariously drives a need to want it as a first hand experience.

When the rules we use to understand this impossibly unreal world are examined and compared to all the knowledge we have acquired in any way or form, our brains do the math to calculate outcomes of cause and effect scenarios. This is done in the simulation, or at least we are only self aware of the stuff that happens in the simulation. We stop being believers when we are forced by some knowledge to admit to ourselves that the math does not add up any more in consideration of gods and the supernatural. Then we use every tool available to square the problem to get the math to again work out right. Induction, deduction, anger, frustration, even fear. Then we eventually work out that if there is no god the math begins to work out again.

Knowledge is what makes us different from the believers. Not simply possession of that knowledge but the willingness and ability to apply it to the simulation of the world that we run in our heads. Believers don’t want to learn about biology, physics etc. To do so would cause pain, actual pain. Rearranging the rules in our simulation activates those bits which register pain from our nerves. In our heads both a paper cut and changing the rules around register as pain. Pain is bad and to be avoided. When you stay on the straight and narrow path you avoid the pain. The road less travelled is the one laden with pain brought on by new knowledge.

For me, this is where believers and non-believers part ways.

On Beauty And Where We Find It

… hitherto we have been permitted to seek beauty only in the morally good – a fact which sufficiently accounts for our having found so little of it and having had to seek about for imaginary beauties without backbone! – As surely as the wicked enjoy a hundred kinds of happiness of which the virtuous have no inkling, so too they possess a hundred kinds of beauty; and many of them have not yet been discovered.

from Nietzsche’s Daybreak, s. 468, R.J. Hollingdale transl

What is your favorite scientific beauty?

Color Outside The Lines

If there is something that Laci missed in her video I’m not sure what it is.

Color is not something, in this case, that should be kept in neatly arranged lines. There are a lot of non-black people that don’t understand what Laci is talking about and I’m not sure I have the credentials to explain it to anyone but there are a few things I can relate from my own experience.

I don’t like to see my friends have to put up with an attitude from a white person who makes them feel second class. I stand up and call out white people who do that so that they’ll know next time.

I don’t like to see men in the grocery store where I shop looking at me with trepidation, we should be able to meet in friendly ways on the street but black people have learned to be extra cautious, to the point that it ruins opportunities for us all. I try to change that one smile and ‘hello’ at a time. It’s been so noticeable at times that I want to wear a shirt that says “I’m not a  cop”.

We all judge people, it’s a human thing. I try to remove any racial qualities to my judgements. This is specific to me because it changes how I think about other people. It has not been an easy task.

Everybody you know or see is fighting their own battles. Try to be a nice person and not give other people yet another battle to worry about.

 

We all have a debt to society. It’s up to each of us to do our part to make our society the kind of society that we would like to live in and to make people feel welcome there. Yes, a debt. Especially in western societies.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 879 other followers

%d bloggers like this: