Sunday, December 27, 2009

A.I vs. A.A.

I had a flash of brilliance this morning, but how to put in this blogpost in a way that is intelligible, interesting, makes some kind of point, thought-provoking, commentable and/or funny(at least to me)

As with all my flashes of brilliance, this one is likely just 'new to me', so feel free to say, "Pfft, I considered, and rejected that when I was like seven, you moron!", any response is better than no reponse at all.

It must have been wondering through my brain cells for a month or two, my considering Pliny's, what is it, 'idea?', 'notion?' of how artificial intelligence would boot-strap itself up from 'nothing' to avoid problems of biased thinking.

I can't imagine how a Pliny intelligence would operate though, because one of the prerequisites for intelligence is, as is my understanding, awareness. I mean, how does an intelligence solve a problem or avert a crisis if it is not aware of said problem or crisis?

Seems to me that there'd be a hierarchy of nature regarding this, I'll just make one up off the top of my head, why not.

Material. :- rocks and such, completely dumb, unaware, unintelligent.

Simple life. :- micro-organisms with no awareness at all, perhaps fungi, like yeast, barely living at all.

Plants. :- are aware of sunlight, grow towards the sunlight. Some have rudimentary awareness of insects. Venus fly-trap for example.

Fish, animals, birds and insects, which show a variety of awarenesses and quite a bit of intelligence, if intelligence is defined as problem solving.

Seems to me that humans would be on the top of the scale here only if we regard problem solving to be the ultimate in awareness.

There's a good case to be made for that actually. We are aware of our limited awareness and build tools, such as microscopes and telescopes to overcome those limitations. We can't reach out with our minds and 'grok' the stars and galaxies of stars, so we build tools to bring the stars into our field of awareness with photos and such.

Two points here. What is Pliny's intelligence without awareness, if that's what he's saying? What is awareness of the spiritual, what is the spiritual and how is it that quite a lot of people seem to be aware of it?

On the first one, it seems to me that, when trying to build artificial intelligence, we need to build an artificial awareness and that is exactly where bias is going to creep in, the intelligence is biased in favour of it's own awareness because it is not aware of anything outside it's own awareness.

On the second one, I think that spirituality is a confused collection of ideas where we try to imagine that we are aware of something that's just not there. (any ideas on that oneblood?)

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Just a story.

It was bitter cold out, and I was watching T.V., playin' around on the computer when I felt the freezing draft hit me. Emma's son had been over to give her a couple of gifts for her birthday, a little calender that you rip off the pages/days as they go by and a snowglobe that you put your own picture in.

The draft must have been hitting my leg for a few minutes before I became aware of, then concerned by, it. "Wonder what's goin' on?", I said, mostly to myself, "The front door must be open."

Sure enough the door was half ajar and I cringed to myself at the bitter, bitter cold that was the night 'out there' while feeling that good warm feeling of knowing that the solution to all my problems was 'just that' simple, and I closed it and locked it.

"Josh didn't close the door all the way, I was catching a freezing draft on my leg, it's bloody FREEZING out there!", I told Emma taking another look at her new picture-frame snowglobe thinking, "Wonder which dollar store that came out of?"

The night went on as usual, Emma called through that Fred, my deceased wife's dad had died. Not that Emma 'usually' calls through that Fred died, of course, just that she'll tell me 'things of interest' if and when they pop into her mind, and such. Old Fred was a nice guy and we had a 'history' quite a while back but I'd mostly lost touch with him over the years. He was one of those guys who was always old to me. He was old when I married his daughter, old when she died about ten years later and old when I'd see him on very odd occasions after that.

I thought about Emma's story about how her dad said that when he died he was going to come back as a crow and watch out for her. We'd laughed about that the odd times we'd walked past a couple of crows sitting on the wires.

The night rolled on as usual, "I'd have a drink for the memory of poor old Fred!", I called through to Emma, although it wasn't usual for me to drink to the newly dead Fred, I will respond with something from time to time. Emma wasn't taking the bait, no rum for me 'tonight'.

It was getting late so I settled Emma in for the night, which included picking up the bird from his make-shift perch, a fan, in her room, to put him to bed, and a glass of ice water for her, not from the tap, but from the cooler.

Prettyboy Floyd, insisted on riding on my shoulder to assist me getting the water for Emma but suddenly flew off, round and round the rooms finally settling on his cage and peeking out the door shaping himself in that banana shape that cockatiels get when they stretch their necks to peek.

I closed Emma's door for the night because she likes her thermostat set to "July", when we'd finished marvelling at how the bird gets scared by nothing at all, silly bird.

Off to bed for Prettyboy Floyd, he gets on his perch next to his favourite mirror image, blanket over the top, but I don't close his cage door, I figure bird-brain or not he knows whether he wants to be in there or not as he is not shy about 'telling me' when he wants to be to bed sometimes.

So, I'm laying in the dark, the monitor glowing and the television flickering eerily as it is wont to do and the matress dips slightly, something has climbed on the bed with me.

"Oh, Prettyboy what's wrong with.. ", I started, turning towards what I imagined was going to be the bird and as I swung round from the monitor to face him my hand went around and touched what I still thought was him, except it felt a little too big to be him.

I don't think that you can imagine how surprised I was when I looked down at a cat! When I looked down at a charcoal grey cat with silvery tip ends like something peeking through the mist, in the flickery light of the television.

I scooped him, I'm calling it him here, I scooped him up in the blanket that he was laying on as if he were MY cat, or as if I were his owner and took the 'bag-o'-cat' I'd made and asked Emma if she could guess what I had.

After I'd popped him back outside, we chatted about how strange that was.. now I wonder if his name was Fred?

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Learning to love WRATH?

One of the principal reasons that I do not believe in the existence of the God of the Bible is that He is a paradox.

We hear about 'the Wrath of God' perhaps in the same sermon as the 'all-loving God' and this, to me, is not consistent, a conundrum, a paradox, two puzzle pieces which don't fit.

No amout of looking hypnotically into the distance and repeating, "We cannot fully understand the mind of God." or somesuch can possibly mesh the ideas that God is all-loving and God can be wrathful for me.

There's certainly no getting away from God's Wrath in the Old Testament, the foundation documents for Him.

I recall broaching this subject with a nice elderly Jehova's Witness that used to come by of a Wednesday morning. "Why is it that God seems to change from the Old Testament 'full of Wrath' to the New Testament 'full of Love', then at the last chapter, back to 'full of Wrath' again?"

I forget the word for word response, although it must have been some classic Orwellian double-speak, double-think, 'We cannot know the mind of God' stuff. What else could it have been?

But what kind of rebuttal or apology can we expect from anyone on this logical, defining argument against the God of the Bible, that He cannot possibly be all-loving and wrathful?

Seems to me that 'you'd' have to back into it and spill a cartload of bullshit on it right away and THEN 'speak to it' as if it had already been defeated, thus:-

"Well, of course, you WOULD say this kind of thing, being that you have obviously turned away from God, accepted 'the god of this World' as your leader, allowing you to continue sinning in your lustful, cheating, stealing, perjurous ways!"

This may be preceded with, "You seem like a very insightful and intelligent person but.."

I think that perhaps this kind of 'treatment' is to demonstrate how the apologist 'can be' both loving (patronizing actually) and wrathful(disdainful actually) at the same time, 'proving', in a way that the anger/love thing is at least possible? (Just throwing that out there.)

This paradoxical idea that a being can be all-loving yet wrathful(all-wrathful?) is so obviously bullshit that one cannot even begin to demonstrate it, not for the historical lack of trying on Jews, Christians and Muslims parts, without coming across as batshit insane!

Biblically, "I LOVE you! And if I don't feel the love coming back to me in the required way(which you may or may not know), I'll have my 'people' exterminate your 'people'!"

Do you feel compelled to look off into the 'distance of your mind' and say something like, "One cannot know the mind of God."?

Well, do ya... punk?

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Rum powered rant!

Thought I had a few things. Oh yea, I think that it's funny how atheists imagine that life's only reason is to produce more life, and that devout Catholics/pro-lifers seem to want to take that reason 'beyond' reason while denying the reasonableness of that reasoning.

Ummm.. a good apologist is a wordsmith. "Why is material reality any less dogmatic than religious dogma?"

We say, "You're just making shite up!", and they reply, "Isn't what you think you know just 'made up shite' too?"

Well, of course language is a 'made up' thing and we need to express material reality in language, and the good apologist knows that there's no getting around this, so he(or she) is going to use this against us. "Material reality plus(plus spirituality) is shite you say? Well material reality is a cartload of shite, isn't it?"

Well, no. There is a consensus among us that material reality is 'real' to even have the conversation!

"Ahh, but among the majority of people there is a consensus that spirituality is real too!"

But the majority of people, seems to me, are looking for an 'Easy button' when it comes to questions like, "Why are we here?", or, "Why am I here?", or, "Why is here, here?", so they would tend to jump on the "Easy button" bandwagon rather than go on the "Hamster-wheel" of infinite regress that atheists get dragged onto by well meaning(?) or, at least, well versed apologists.

If atheists are those willing to go against the religious flow and theists are those wafting the flow along, the apologist would be those fighting turbulence and blockage caused by atheists and even non-theists.

I think that the flow needs impetus and that impetus comes from the desire to live forever. But that can't be the end of it surely? "Jesus saves, thank you very much, see you in the next life, have a good one!"

No, it can't be that because that wouldn't take up a half-hour class for one school semester in grade school for everyone, never mind four years of college for the theology inclined!

No, what I think is going on is the same kind of force that drives bubbles and crashes in economies, swings of public opinion to the left or right in politics and that kind of thing.

While everyone is claiming to WANT a stable predictable economy and a 'central' government, economies and governments just don't work like that. Same with religion. It isn't WORKING if it's not stirring up crises, dragons to slay, enemies to crush, reasons to be victorious.

Much like the weather, which we wouldn't notice if it weren't changing all the time, we wouldn't notice the economy(or care about it) if it were stable and we wouldn't notice(or care) who is in government if there weren't constant crises(real or imagined), we wouldn't notice religion unless there were the controversy and the demonizing and the hate-mongering and the unsolvable, immovable lines drawn in the sand which, if you're not on my side then you are just some sub-human-monkey's-uncle-that's-all.

They don't want us to stop and think, "What is this drivel that they want us to care about now?", no. They want to keep juggling them three balls constantly, politics, economy and religion, 'cos there's nothing else.

"They're trying to steal Christmas from us!"
I suppose when it's down to that, atheists are supposed to say, "Dear Lord help us!", and then they can say, "I knew that you believed all the time, I knew it!"

Monday, November 2, 2009


It popped into my head that we're all, more or less running off scripts. Depending on your age and circumstance your response to any given situation is predictable.

I was busy with 'morning' and realized that I'd hoed this row before and will no doubt do it again and it's pretty much scripted in our minds our roles, where we ought to be at a given time etc.

If I put some thought into it, I could give a 'rendition' of what the regular commenters on this blog are going to say in response, given that we've all come to know each other's scripts.

I wonder if Pliny has anything interesting to say about artificial intelligence and if an intelligent machine would need to follow 'mental' scripts as we do? I am absolutely positive that he does, it'll be very interesting and it'll call into question the nature of intelligencc itself!

Stacy is going to say, "Hmmm.. you made me think again! (secretly:- Darn you!) ((just kiddin' Stacy!)

I could make up stuff for other commenters like a comedian making up 'Bushisms', but to get to my point, I'm thinking that the ladies realise how scripted and self-scripted our lives are a lot better then men do.

It's just 'there' though and not examined for what it is, more used as a tool, a way of being 'mysterious' and such. I think, where a guy might be trying to make a point, the girl is trying to find out which script is being played, perhaps trying to cut off scripts that she doesn't like, off at the pass, perhaps trying to guide the guy into a script in which he is 'out of his league', that kind of thing.

Brian, with his big brain 'theory', seems to be a script to me. I play my role as the total skeptic and he dodges and weaves, seemingly determined to keep pushing the idea that there's more meaning to this universe than we (want to?) think.

I know that there's been books written about this, "What do you say after, "Hello!"?", which brings up, I wonder what our scripts are about the 'question of scripts'?

Does it interfere with our notion of free-will?
How much scripting is involved with religion?
Is something necessarilly less 'free' if it is TOTALLY scripted?
Isn't a job just a physical manifestation of mental scripting?

Now I can imagine some of you(you know who you are) thinking, "This is totally, totally Ian! That last post was odd, but I 'get' this one!"

Monday, October 26, 2009

Life as a virtual business

Okay, I don't know you guys. I mean I know what you think of the stuff I write here and a bit about your senses of humor and that kind of thing, but I don't know what you do, mostly. (Pliny is a doctor, he writes doctory stuff)

Anyway, what I want to do is explain my idea and see if,

a) you give a poop
b)you have any one time suggestions
c)you'd like to do some contributing
d) add a 'd'?

Here goes. We hear about people making money on the 'net all the time with sites they create, basically selling information, the 'best' thing to sell actually. It's practically like getting people to throw money at you.

Then there are the sites which get advertisers to throw money at you for entertaining people or informing folk. (or is that 'informing people or entertaining folk?(I get 'folk' and 'people' mixed up all the time.))

It all good, either way the money goes 'towards' you, which is a plus, no?

Okay so, "Make a site."(step one) Well it's a virtual step one now, in our minds, right?

Step two is making the site about 'something' interesting to attract 'lookers'.

This is all very basic and I'm sure that it's a 'row' that's been 'hoed' to death, so this part is like the set up steps, and if I'm missing anything and you think it's important you could suggest improvements to this part.

There are several 'aspects' to this proposed site. (or modules if you prefer), the first being 'your life'.

Let's say we have some kind of questionaire asking people what they want, perhaps to lose weight or to organize their affairs better, essentially to get their 'shit' together.

They'd do the questionaire, perhaps find out crap about themselves that they'd like to, let's say, "minimize" and things that they want to bring out in themselves. We could let people log in and find out how they're doing towards self-regulation.(even coming(going) to a site to write out what you had to eat that day(if you're on a 'get fit' thingy) would lend focus to their purported aims, right?

(of course, not just losing weight, but maybe quitting smoking or getting out of debt or .. (suggestions?)

Another module might be virtual modelling of a proposed business. Let's say that you want to start a business. You split the business down into components. Buying the parts that you intend to add value to (that's what a business does, right?), then a 'miracle' happens, then selling the product that you dreamed would make you a profit.

Now I don't mean the usual 'small business tutorial' thing. They want to explain stuff like, "Is your business a limited partnership or an Evil Dick Cheney type conglomerate, and they get way into drivel like this, practically begging you to go to sleep or find an online 'Asteroids' game to play.

The point would be to make the title, "Life as a virtual business." mean that in as many ways as possible, and modularizing(if that's a word) everything, from 'givens'(You ARE breathing) to the processes, (You took that 'one-a-day' vitamin, right?), to summaries(You blithering idiot, keep this up and you're gonna DIE very shortly!(no more plans for you))

I think that there are some business-wise tips and tricks that might benefit most people thinking of their lives AS businesses.(the business of living)

Comment with suggestions, modifications, models to emulate, models to avoid(praying to be thin through a mouthful of cheese-cake), add-ons, add-ins, start-ups, details or generalizations.

Basically, what I'm saying is that if you don't know the rules, you're gonna lose the game, and 'theeee' game seems to be a mish-mash of politics/business/religion and manipulating peoples' ideas concerning that mish-mash.

Knowledge dispels fear.

(please, no comments like, "I read as far as 'X', it was boring, could you summarize so I can get some 'closure' and dismiss the summary as the drivel it surely is?")

Sunday, October 18, 2009


I'd like to continue the theme of 'words' here.(maybe I'll get a little more agreement from a certain 'oneblood', who shall remain nameless)

We can see how easy it is to use words to trick each other by using some examples of how religious people trick themselves.

Sometimes it will be a lack of words that is the trickery, an overgeneralzation, meant only to make the comment concise, taken at precise value to undermine the entire meaning of the comment in contention.

Case in point. Someone might go ahead and say, "You're so full of it Ian, I'm a Christian and I NEVER trick others with words or trick myself with words, EVER!" This in itself is a favourite trick of debaters(debators? Looks wrong.), someone makes a general statement and the opposer points to him/herself as an example of how that general statement is false.

Seems we have to be very, very careful to say, some, or , a lot of, but even then, we might expect denial from someone trying to take the legs out from under an argument or point.

The word 'supernatural', I think is misleadin, to say the least, when it is combined with the notion that God created everything. Seems fairly obvious to me that anyone(everyone?) using the argument that God created everything, is dismissing the notion of 'natural' as opposed to 'supernatural' all together, just without 'saying so'.

To say that God created everything out of nothing or out of God-stuff, is to say that everything STILL IS made of God-stuff and we just call that particular God-stuff 'natural' to differentiate it, somehow, from other 'nothing' or 'God-stuff' that hasn't been 'transformed' by God to be 'the world around us'(I guess).

The 'design' argument is implied, and put forward as indisputable, right off the bat, as if THAT is any kind of fair argument to make.

As in, "God made everything. You can see, feel and touch everything. Therefore you must believe that God made everything."

But, of course there MUST be a certain percentage of devout, faithful believers 'out there' who can see that this is a circular argument and therefore no argument at all.

Then there's the other twist that the word 'natural' can simply mean, 'not man-made' which can be used to dither over, because on the one hand that makes all the materials of a man made object still natural, and it's just the manipulation OF these objects, BY people, somehow 'artificial', which we can STILL use as examples of 'creation', and on the other hand a completely DIFFERENT process, supposedly used by God to create everything out of 'nothing' or 'God-stuff'.

We can go on and on, spiraling backwards never admitting that we are just waffling. For example:-

"God made us those beautiful mountains. When I look at them they make me feel so spiritual."

But the mountains are made by the natural process of erosion.

"Why, God invented erosion!"

STFU! Wind and rain, snow and ice act on rock to make the mountains just like that, nothing to do with anything supernatural at all!

"But, God made the wind and the rain, the snow and the ice!"

Rubbish, the wind and rain etc. are caused by the Sun warming the planet during the day and the seasons etc.

"But God made the Sun to shine down on the Earth!"



But this is just a word-game, trickery. If your premise is that, 'God did it!", followed by any argument which concludes that, "God did it!", that's no argument at all.

Of course anyone pointing this out to a believer is likely to be stepped along to the next 'argument' in this chain of 'non-argument', "But you need to have faith!"

Straight out of one set of ill-defined words, and on to the next, keeping in mind that the first 'argument' is taken to be at least a 'draw', if not in fact a 'win' for the religious side, and can be refered back to at any convenient time.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What's in a name?

There are five separate individuals named Jesus in the Bible, which is not such a wonder since Jesus is the Greek version of the Hebrew name Joshua (please revert to that name for etymology). The most famous Jesus, of course, is the semi-biological son of Mary, son-by-law of Joseph and monogenes Son of God (see our article on John 3:16). Other men named Jesus in the NT are an ancestor of Christ (Luke 3:29), Joshua (Acts 7:45 and Heb 4:8), a fellow worker of Paul named Jesus Justus (Col 4:11) and a Jewish magician that Paul and Barnabas meet on Cyprus, named Bar-Jesus (a Greek transliteration of the Aramaic for Son Of Joshua). The name Jesus means Yah Will Save."

Yea, well, they seem to be twisting things a bit here. The name Jesus isn't Greek, the Greeks don't have a, "J". Seems to me that the name Jesus is Latin.

Funny thing about Latin names, they have a 'us' on the end to differentiate between males and females, kind of like the 'the's of Romance languages 'le's and 'la's denoting male and female objects. Julia would be a girl's name and of course Julius would be a dude.

Not only are Christians seemingly confused between Greek and Latin, they refuse to notice the similarity between the words "Deus", "Zeus", and "Jes".

Taking the 'us' ending to mean 'the man', and 'Jes' to be a cognate of the Greek and Latin words for 'God', we come up with 'Jesus' or 'God the man'.

But I think that Christian scholars are deliberately trying to lead us away from idea that the name 'Jesus' is actually just a title, because that would make the 'Christ' part a second title.

Christian scholars might tell us that 'Jesus' is equivalent to 'Joshua', or in Hebrew, 'Yeshua', but some others will say that Jesus' actual name was 'Yehoshua', adding a little more to the 'confusion'.

I think that the reason for this other source of the name Jesus(Yehoshua), is that one meaning of the name Joshua(Yeshua) is "Savior" and harkens back to the Old Testament Joshua and the idea of a warring Messiah who conquered Palestine for the Hebrews we hear.

Seems to me that the derivation of the name Jesus depends on how deep you are into Christianity. If you aren't a Christian you get this semi-confused etymology but if you ARE then it is perfectly reasonable for the name to mean different things depending on the situation.

For example, when talking to a Christian I mentioned that the name Jesus the Nazarene could very well be interpreted as, "The Savior, The Branch!", and I was surprised by the reaction. His eyes lit up as he said, excitedly, "Exactly!", which to me, meant that he 'saw' the hidden meaning of the Hebrew word for 'branch' which is changed to be Nazarene(coming from Nazareth) when THAT suits them.

That Christian and I both knew of the Old Testament prophecy that the Jewish Messiah would come from a 'branch'(i.e. be a decendant of) Jesse!

Jesse? Jesus? Nothing like each other at all, right?

But it is supposed to be a puzzle, hidden in plain sight, for those of 'wisdom' to 'divide correctly'.(which apparently means to see one meaning when that 'works for you' and an entirely different meaning when THAT fits.

I LOVED the "son-by-law" workaround(from the quoted passage), where Joseph 'gets' to be Jesus dad, but only when THAT suits them. What a laugh!

Son of God, well yes. Son of Joseph the Carpenter, well yes. Son of BOTH apparently.

It's all about eating your cake and having it too, all of it.

Monday, September 21, 2009

How unUnChristian of me.

I can't believe that a month has gone by without me writing something unChristian on this blog. My, how time flies.

I want to say what I think should be obvious to everyone, including Christians themselves, but which I don't think IS obvious to them.

As one is growing up, it is obvious that one knows very little and has to be coached by a mentor or two mentors or more, the more the merrier, I guess.

These mentors, mom and dad, grandma and that smelly old guy, mean older brother and/or sister(s), all seem to collude to teach you that you are you in this structured society and they are them. Generally they will teach you that you ought to listen to them because they know more than you, they can beat you up, and they can 'get you back' for knowing more than them.

We can extend that structure back in time or on 'up' through society in general, it doesn't matter, either way we realise that the older one is, the wiser one is/was supposed to be, and that they are supposed to have some tangible evidence of their wisdom, namely money, property, good advice and the ability to punish you for stepping out of line.

Stretching the notion of the structure or heirarchy back through time leads to the notion of gods, or A God, while stretching it up through society does pretty much the same thing, eventually supreme power is delegated to one or more supreme beings.

How can anyone NOT believe in the local religious wisdom when, here you are, stuck within that heirarchy whether you like it or not?

After all, we're told repeatedly, that we want to grow up like US and NOT like THEM!

One very wise Christian once said, "Give me the child until he is seven and I'll show you the man.", implying that our values are instilled in us, become ingrained in us, when we are quite young, by teaching and by example.

I'm not sure if that same Christian realised that HE ALSO had been 'brought up' to be HIM, that HE TOO didn't have ANY choice about how he turned out?

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

God, the unGodly.

In instance after instance in the so called 'source book' for God, we find God commiting genocide, judging unfairly, being guilty of favouritism etc., pressing home the point that our standards of goodness and fairness pale in comparison to God's.

But with a little smooth talking this can be explained away from every and any point of view that you might take. The stories are not exactly as happened due to mortal influence of misinterpretation, stories being altered to the 'best fit' of a different language and interpretation from language no longer fully understood etc.

We can use double-think. Feeling smug that God, who we praise and worship 'showed them who is boss', while being willing to turn-tables on the gist of the story to allow a benevolent God.

E.g. In the story of Moses, we are encouraged to enjoy the come-uppance of Pharaoah when, powerful as he(as man-god) is, Yahweh, can bring him to his knees. If it's pointed out that this is a cruel story, the emphasis is changed to the benevolent God setting some rules and the evil Pharoah just being evil.

Seems to me that since God can do anything, He could have, instead of hardening Pharoah's heart, instead of getting in a 'cock-measuring contest', he could just as easily have softened Pharoah's heart to just let the Hebrews go. Same result, but hardly the propaganda message, to the Hebrews, that Yahweh was more powerful than even Pharaoh.

We are told that free will is a notion that we cannot live without, if we can only know all our options, a good person(or any intelligent being) would pick the best one.

If I, a lowly human being can see an 'option B' where God sends Pharaoh a dream instead of bullying the Pharoah into 'letting HIS people go', it puts apologists in a position where they have to try to explain God's carnage(as it is written) in human terms while they are trying to explain that God's reasons CAN'T be explained in human terms.

But I think that 'the religious' use the same tactic in politics too, where they, the Godly can excuse themselves of completely lacking goodness either because their example, 'God's Biblical deeds', is a shining example to them, or, because as in their understanding of the Bible, they can switch point-of-views on themselves thereby fooling themselves that their selfish reasoning is, if not 'good', then at least Godly.


"Dropping an atomic device on innocent people is evil!" Yes or No?

(If we imagine the hated communist regime of the 20th. Century, we'd have to say 'YES', and that is why we need to have an appropriate, devastating response to this kind of threat.)

"Torturing people is evil and we ought to hunt down perpetrators of such heinous crime and bring them to justice!"

(If we imagine being incarcerated in some backward and/or evil regime for breaking their unjust rules, we would certainly hope that anyone torturing us would get their come-uppance, right?)

But the Godly can agree and disagree. Taking their example from the 'Good Book', they can hold their heads up righteously and say, "YES, dropping an atomic bomb on innocents is evil, unless WE'RE doing it!", and, "YES, torture in inhumane, unless WE'RE doing it!"

... and just as the Bible explains that whatever God does, is Godly, whether it would be unGodly if anyone else did it, then whatever they do is Godly EVEN IF they think that it would be unGodly of someone else to do it.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

The POWER... compels you.

One of the things people need to learn as they are growning up is how to manipulate others.

What works for one person may not work for others. We have various tools to manipulate others, brute force, humour, logic etc.

What I think it boils down to, is that we are stuck here, not only in the confines of reality, things are what they are, but also within the confines of our perception of ourselves and others, as in, "Who is the boss of whom?"

You might not ever verbalize, or even run it through your streaming consciousness, "Who is the boss of you and who are you the boss of?", but you know, you have a good bead on what 'kind' of person, what 'category' of person that you're the boss of, and of course what kind of, or category of person is 'the boss of you'.

Never mind the supposed ultimate question, "Why am I here, why am I alive?", the question that we're all trying to answer, all the time, is, "Who is the boss of whom?"

This 'real' question has no answer. Well, it's being 'answered' all the time, but it's all a matter of persuasion, self-image. It IS the spiritual, the unknowable puzzle that we strive to solve from the day we realise it exists until the day we die.

We have the power of money, the power of brute force, the power of guile, which is like 'Rock, Paper, Scissors'.

Is there such a thing as free will, or are you compelled to be you by the powers which you perceive yourself to have, or to lack?

My pet bird gets up in the morning, sings his morning song, which, sadly, sounds like a deafening squeeze toy, then proceeds to acknowledge us and to re-establish his dominance over all the mirror images of himself in the house. He has a couple of favourites, the one he sleeps beside, the bathroom one, and some he loves to hate, the one on the headboard of my bed, the one in his 'basement'(under his cage).

I say that we are just like him, we get up in the morning and play exactly the same games as him, but with our family, our bosses etc.

Short of becoming a hermit or committing suicide, there is no escape from our condition, it's what we 'really' are.

Monday, July 20, 2009


I've been caught up on the web game Evony lately.

In this game we build cities, armies, fight and trade. I got used to it fairly quick and saw how to get 'large'. There are Alliances, where we ask and answer questions about what to do, pass time waiting for goals to be accomplished, that kind of thing.

Players will ask me, "How did your cities get to be so large?" and I tell them, it's not a secret, it is formulaic.

I've given these strugglers large amounts of 'gold' to follow through on their plan to make their cities larger and their characters more powerful in the game.

But it is a study in human nature. Since it is a war game, the natural thing to do is to build an army, which uses resources to build and 'food' to maintain.

But, if you build your population, you can tax them and use that to build an army.

Simple. Well no. No sooner do these folk get a large donation of 'gold', they decide that I'm not 'right' with my silly idea of 'growing the city', they build an army instead.

So now, I'm like the dad who explains the value of money to his children, gives them starting money, only to see them squander it.

It's hilarious because it's not real money, the game is only fun if you play it and are having fun, but it is my nature to think of them as ingrates, squandering the chance that I gave them.

They, in turn, act like bratty kids who imagined I was going to watch them squander the 'gold' and give them MORE, me thinking that sooner or later they'd get it right.

Now it's down to a question of the 'value' of what I gave them. I said it was not a big deal when I gave it to them, why shouldn't they do their own thing? If it doesn't work out for them(never will), they'll just whine a little to daddy and HE will cough up some more.

This is very strange because, while trying to tell them how to play well and giving them a boost, they are teaching me that it just won't work. Everyone thinks they know better and welcomed help becomes expected, in fact I'm being mean if I quit supporting them in their bad habits!

I'm left learning that you can't help a new player to help themselves, they want YOU to help and help and help.

Human nature, I suppose.

Evony... where life lessons costs virtual gold.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Cunning linguists.

There's been some good stuff on the blogs in the past couple of days which finally gave me an idea for a rant.

It's about logic and objectivity.

Logically we are all stuck in our own minds, making every thought, experience and feeling that we have, subjective. No matter how many subjective minds, living or dead(through recorded media) agree that certain things are objective facts, there is no absolute certainty that anything is objective at all.

For two examples, it is just as possible that there is a God as it is possible that you are a brain in a bucket, dreaming the entire world.

It is all more or less a consensus on our parts that objective reality exists at all.

I just read a comment, in which, the commenter(duh!) was saying that atheism runs into trouble when it comes to to the question of morality.

" I think that the biggest question concerning the moral argument is not the question of the morality of atheists or believers, but rather the existence of an objective morality, and our recognition of the need for moral norms.", says he.

But if morality is just another consensus, by us (subjective minds) that some deeds are 'good' and some 'evil', how would it ever be possible to even have 'objective morality'?

He goes on, "I think that atheism faces its greatest challenge in this area when it is forced to give an account of the objective grounds for our moral behavior."

I thought that the religious philosophical view was that we have no objective grounds for anything at ALL really and it's THAT that gives their entire philosophy, which denies materialism, it's 'in', in the first place.

Correct me if I'm wrong, but to give God a big 'in' by denying objectivity while giving atheism the boot on the grounds that IT is not objective enough seems to me to be very disingenous word-play.

Something similar came up with a cosmological 'proof of God', starting with the question, "Is there such a thing as absolute truth?", and of course everyone is steered to say, "YES!", because to say, "NO!", is to invite the question, "Well, is 'no' the absolute truth?", and since saying 'yes' to THAT is a paradox, well, we can see how we are 'trapped' there.

Once again, we can see that this is very disingenuous. Simply by showing that a paradox is created by that question, doesn't mean that everything has an absolute truth to it, now does it?

The question of tolerance is similar. If we advocate hundred percent tolerance then we ought to be tolerant of intolerance, right? Or to put in in the previous terms, "Absolute tolerance, must, by definition tolerate intolerance.".

No? Well, you're not 'absolutely' tolerant then, are you?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Clash of the Wills

"Don't read this, if you're not going to believe it!"

You're probably thinking, "Old Ian has gone off the frickin' rails, again.", and, "Is he evar(heh) going to get off this 'horse' about 'will'?"

Well, I think that I have something new(new to me anyways) to say about it, but it's a half formed glob of ectoplasm in my mind right now, which I just HAVE TO get rid of , so I thought I'd dump it into YOUR mind and let you deal with it!

I know, I know, you're thinking, "Lucky me!", but it's my will against yours, or it's my will to say something coherent, or it's my will against reality, or something.(Shut up! Voices in my head!)

Where was I? Oh yea, that silly sentence that the top comes across as me willing you to react somehow, but the instructions are impossible to follow.

As a human you take in information and process it trying to make sense out of it, and as another human, trying to impart information, we have a kind of contract. We don't think of it like that though but that's just the way it is.

Imagine, you're a baby, you look up into mom's eyes. Mom can either smile or give you a stony look, maybe turn her head away. By looking back and smiling, mom is fullfilling her part of the contract and you smile back.

I don't imagine that I have to drone on example by example, it's obvious that every interaction cascades down from that.

Jump to you and I right now. As you are reading, I am saying, "If you are like me, you'll understand, you'll 'get it' , if you have read this far and see me as 'weak', you'll be reading this and plotting how you can best tell me that I am incoherent, perhaps stupid, never seem to make any sense, perhaps 'embody' everything that you find dispicable in people of my 'ilk'!"

Of course there are many shades here, including a very neutral one where you are willing to suspend judgement depending on whether I can remain focused or I ramble on incoherently yadda-yaddaing, 'putting-you-to-sleep', 'you-got-better-things-to-do', or 'whatever'.

Example: It's interesting to note that if we add one to fourteen thousand, one hundred and nineteen we conclude that the answer is fourteen thousand, one hundred and twenty!

Well, no. It is actually NOT interesting at all to go on explaining something to the point where you, the reader, feels like you are the 'dead horse' being 'beaten', is it?

So it's kind of a 'test of wills' where, if I want to hammer home a point, I have to be very careful to not just be grating on your nerves and still try to lull you into reading crap(if it's what I'm trying to do) that MUST be true by dint of, "It must be true!", because it, of course, must be true,(You just keep getting that impression right), kind of thing.

But, I would never do that to you, my good buddy, mypalmychum-myfriend, you have to believe that.

Hey, if you don't go along with my little plan for you, I'll kick and scream and cry and pout and hold my breath 'til my face turns blue AND when that has no effect, I'll try to persuade you with scarcasm, reverse psychology, examples of 'how I'm right' and how you, my little pawn are constrained to move only one square forward(two if you're on the beginning square) and only attack one square on the forward diagonal! And you do this only when I tell you, got that!

But now you're thinking, how come I'm all of a sudden playing by YOUR rules? Who makes up these rules? Who died and left the rule-making chair empty and who says that you were dancing closest to it the last time the music stopped?

Aha! I've GOT you! If I can persuade you that it's a puzzle really!(It's really a puzzle!) If I can persuade you that I know that puzzle.(I know it's a puzzle.) If I can persuade you that I have that puzzle 'in MY pocket'.(pfft!) If I can persuade you that I am THE(or one of THE) Puzzle-master(s), THEN I have your attention, your focus.

If I can make you believe that I can pass this knowledge on to you by various means, parables, fables, multi-level ideas which can only be understood step by step, then, I've got your mind by its balls.(wrap your head around that one 'padiwan'! HAH!)

Seems to me that it's only a question of how determined I am to plant my flag of 'my will' into your 'new land' of 'your will' as painlessly(or painfully, if you're stubborn) as I can!

But now, I'M thinking, wait a nano-second here, how do I know that someone didn't do THAT 'thing' to ME?

Oh JESUS! There they are, all these little flags of other people's wills all over my nice clean will.


(Tell me that I won this round, but, "you'll be back!"(and you'll bring re-inforcements next time!)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Free will, God's goodness and sociopathy.

Free will, God's goodness and sociopathy.

As you probably know, I am not a believer in free will. I base this on the idea that Decartes, "Cogito ergo sum!", is WRONG because it was already implied that he existed in his first word, which is doubly, just 'implied' by the Latin.

'Cogito', means 'I think'.The 'I', implies his existence. Long boring story short, I'm sure that Decartes didn't look at a rock and imagine, "It thinks therefore it exists!"

So, I think that we need a more pragmatic 'beginning' for our philosophy. I think, therefore I am a streaming consciousness which percieves my material body and other material bodies, with my senses, through time and space etc. etc.

I have come to the conclusion that our mind is our streaming consciousness together with all the information that we have stored since we were born which makes up a model of reality which is our memory and that we operate within THAT model comparing incoming information to it.

This explains the 'buffer' between the input from eyes, ears etc. and what is actually happening in the world.("I thought I thaw a puddy tat!)

I think that my 'model' model goes a long way to explaining religion, historical ways of thinking etc. AND sociopathy which I'm going to get to in a minute.

The question whether if God is good why did he create evil, or why did HE give us the freewill to BE evil becomes moot if we don't believe that there ARE gods and we don't believe that there is such a thing as freewill.

Still, I believe that God, goodness, evil, and freewill are incorporated into the majority of people's model of reality. I think that it would be impossible to escape growing up without having to deal with these ideas.

I think that, in sociopaths, all the way from the toddler bully up to the most heinous criminals(Hitler and Stalin jump to mind) came/come to be like that, not from any inate, freewill EVIL, not from any free will 'causa sui', but because their model of reality had/has been damaged, broken, fucked up, however you want to say it.

I believe that this kind of thing is BOUND to happen and the only way to fix it is to understand what is going on.

Imagine that you're in pain. There are only so many ways to deal with it. You could take medication if it's available. You could distract yourself OR you could try to pour THAT pain all over someone else. I think that we ALL do a bit of all three sometimes. (e.g. "I'm sorry I 'bit your head off', there.." Follow up with a description of the pain you were in.)

So, you see, you can entertain a cartload of drivel in your model of reality and project YOUR "failings" and/or pain onto others as part of your EVIL freewill, you know, if you're a sociopath, or you can deny the mountain of drivel which we pick up in our experience of life, admit that there is NO FREE WILL for anyone.

This doesn't make anyone at all less culpable for any crimes that they commit or any less culpable for bullying or gassing six million Jews, but it does give us some license to view them as 'damaged goods', a little(or a lot) fucked up in the 'head'.

Hey, maybe the religious message that you ought to give your freewill over to your favorite higher power is supposed to 'work' BECAUSE you only imagine you have it in the first place, and the pastor/minister/guru/or whatever ought to know better than you what to do(give HIM your extra cash, for example.(hehe)).

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Exercise your free will NOW! (read this)

I occasionally get asked about how my idea that we all have a Model of Reality(which is our memory) which makes us us, precludes the notion of 'free will'.

What happens is that someone will ask a question regarding it, when it comes up in our ongoing marathon here:-

then I'll explain how 'free will' is an illusion.

Then an interesting thing usually happens. Sooner or later the commenter will have a comment which pointedly states that he/she uses his/her 'free will' in some way or other. (Proving to him/herself that there is such a thing because it can be 'brought up' I imagine.)

I'm not trying to say that I am in some kind of better position to understand reality than anyone else, after all, I just have a 'model of reality' myself.

Still, I think that this is a helpful idea in several important ways.

Admitting that your mind, right now, is a model of reality that you have built up since you were born and will continue to build on throughout your life gives us answers to philosophical conundrums such as the notion of solipsism, 'Brain-in-bucket' thought experiments, "Who are you?" type koans and things like this.

Who am I? Well I am the streaming consciousness having the accrued model of reality which no-one else has or could ever have.

Why does this obliterate free will? Well you were born a blank slate and at THAT time you could be said to have a free will or no will at all.

Excepting some instinctual needs which are exactly the same for everyone, we are born into a situation which we must learn to deal with.

We must learn to communicate, which means building a model of reality.

Even the most vociferous opponent of the 'model of reality' can't say that babies through several years have any meaningful options concerning who their care-givers are and what the care-givers education, financial situation, physical location etc. including what their 'model of reality' is.

I'd like to hear from some proponents of 'free will'. Exactly when, in a child's life does he/she attain this state of having 'free choice'?

When did you start imagining that you have/had free will? Did someone tell you that it was something that you had?

I'm thinking that if you are a proponent of free will, you have no choice but to believe you have it, BUT do you have any rationale for your belief of free will, or is it just part of your model of reality?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Just another rant.

Seems to me that Christians in the USA are quite willing to be total pricks when they gain the political majority BUT the instant that they lose that political majority they start crying that they are the popular majority.

One minute it's "all" support 'our' president, even if you loathe him because he is a complete moron, can't even read a speech off a teleprompter, believes in magic and expects everyone else to believe 'the same' magic as he does.

The 'goalposts' for the word 'majority' are shiftable, that's true, but "come on", let's be real here, how slanted do we have to imagine 'popular opinion' is to assume that the latest President is 'trying to fuck us up' with his 'diplomacy' and 'reasoned judgement' and such?

Close your eyes for a second and try to imagine if you are one of the hard working, generous people that you assume the majority of Americans are, or are you just using that image as a propaganda tool?

I, personally don't believe that we have free will. I'm NOT a compatibilist. I believe that each of us are burdened with an individual model of reality that we cannot help but be influenced by and that the future is too complex, too chaotic from an individual's perspective to work out, but, we are set in our ways, beings(I hate the word 'creatures') of habit, meaning that we resist personal 'change', even though (and if we even realize) that change is inevitable.

I think that G.W.Bush was basically an idiot who actually believed his dad's and Reagan's propaganda, which is a giant FAIL by the way, and that he was propelled into the Presidency by other 'believers'(in virtually governmentless capitalism) who are under the delusion that 'GOD' is 'in control'.

My mind 'boggles' to think that the World gets to be influenced by people who think that there is a supernatural 'being' letting them know what to do.

I can't believe that some people are insisting that the Bible is a book explaining the goodness of God while explaining how goodness is what God did which isn't what any reasonable person might expect even a good PERSON to do.

Seems like these people are trying to tell us that we don't know 'good' when we see it.

Add some years of booze and cocaine abuse to this 'scenario' and we have a born again twat who imagines that he's gonna be considered the bestest PREZ every-dever.

What's 'free' about that? If we think that everything is just opinion, of course things are going to turn out batshit crazy, of COURSE!

Sunday, May 3, 2009


Choices, choices choices.

What do you want to pick?

a) reason
b) unreason

...if YOU picked (a) then continue!

Must GOD(if HE exists be...

(a) reasonable

If you picked (a) then continue!

God created HELL because

(a) Satan was jealous
(b) ...

If YOU picked (a) continue.

It says in the KJV of the Bible that God says HE is..

(a) jealous
(b) imaginary

If you picked (a) continue..

Jealousy is ..

(a) a sin
(b) a banana split(don't they get smaller every year, what, are they 'breeding' small bananas or what?

If you picked .. never mind, if you're not catching my 'drift' or are willing to cavil or quibble about previous choices(i.e. you're a Catholic), just 'never mind'!

Just remember, a person's choice counts for 100% more than a not-person's choice.(which a not-person can't have duh!)

Monday, April 27, 2009

Swine Flu FAQs

"Will my non-swine flu vaccine work on the swine flu?

NO! Shut your hole, don't be so fuckin' stupid!

"Is it okay to eat bacon?"


"I have some pork-belly futures?"


"You know how some men are just pigs..?"

Oh man. Selling tickets to Euthanasia ought to be legal! I swear!

"I have faith that disease is caused by demons, will that help?"

Shut yer HOLE!

"Hey, it says in the Gospels.."


"One time Jesus cast demons into pigs, waitwaitwait, AND the Jews won't eat it! Co-incidence?"


Friday, April 24, 2009

Reflections of your mind.

See comment section.

I'm too lazy to reformat this cut and paste drivel.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Word

In the Beginning was the Word.

I think that here's a clue to the real meaning of religion that gets lost in the shuffle.

Two thousand years ago(a little less) the story of Jesus was a great leap forward in thinking.

As always, there are 'forces' allowing progress and 'forces' holding us back.(but from ''what " though?)

That's it though isn't it? We all live in the present and can look at 'mankind' or society through the eyes of an author of some book.

The forces keeping us back(from what?) are parental, the early mind-model that your mom and dad taught you. (Basically, 'here are our mind-models, slightly used, but servicable'.)

As you 'grow', battling through the 'hormone stage', being an organic 'model' too, with IT'S wants and needs, your streaming consciousness has to weed out the insane from the even more insane (sometimes such is 'free-will').

Think of it, if we imagine all the 'thoughts and ideas' of EVERYONE, what a stinky soup of boobs and cocks and hatred, lust and calculus and Jesus and magic and.. everything all mushed together.

In your streaming consciousness you, only you can make the decision to put all your money in an envelope and send it to me! (you have the ability!)

No, what I mean is that only you 'get to' build your mind-model as progressive, hopeful, forward-looking OR parental, harking back to mythological 'good ol' days'.

What I'm trying to say is that evolution has gone 'mental'(not insane) and 'the Word' is how we are trying to infect each other with the 'virus' of magical thinking or evolve our mind-models to embrace 'beyond religion'.

The Word, i.e. communication beyond 'mama said "be careful out there", is how we're evolving NOW.

But I think that the message from the past, the Old and New Testaments are crippling remnants of parental guidance gone wild, the path of the theist is a dead end, stuck in the duality that parents NEED to use as simple explanation to their children. A voice from the past.

If that means anything to you.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Spirituality EXACTLY = Mumbo Jumbo

I commented this piece to a Creationist who felt the need to call all 'seculars' hypocrites for not being religious yet being happy to take the day off, 'their' day off, to celebrate the birth of their Savior.

"You gripe about non-Christians commandeering your holiday for Jesus while denying that Jesus represents an abiding faith in God.

Hey, Jim, the Winter Solstice was celebrated since humans looked up at the sky and noticed that the Sun rises in a cyclical pattern ending/starting(or dying and being reborn), a natural end to the natural year followed by a natural beginning to a new year.
If people attributed this to an otherworldly consciousness and gave it spiritual meaning, Sun-worshippers(and I don't mean beach-goers) marked the occasion by feasting, celebrating the end of the natural new year(Solstice) and perhaps praying that the Sun would climb back from it's low points on the horizon, beginning a new year.

The Sun ALWAYS started it's climb back towards summertime BUT the Sun-worshippers didn't know that, they felt that if the Sun kept getting lower down, it would eventually disappear and the world would come to an icy end.
Every year, the Sun-worshippers' prayers were answered and the Sun climbed higher in the sky, starting it's 'journey' from farther north on the horizon.

This, after three days of no apparent 'movement'.

And you think that just because early Christians hi-jacked the Winter Solstice, the natural New Year, to celebrate, not the Sun's rebirth, but your Messiah's birth instead, that we ought to just take your word that Christmas ought to be celebrated by everyone who ought to acknowledge your Messiah?

Then you, being totally ignorant of the Sun's apparent movement at the horizon, dawning at a different location, in a cycle, EVERY MORNING, you feel you have a right to call us hypocrites?

Well, I guess your religious brain-washing is complete if you have no idea of the importance of the Solstice to 'early man' as an unexplained natural phenomenon promising another growing season.
So, you see, it's not so much that people are 'hypocrites' as much as you are ignorant.

But, since you read this, you're no longer ignorant, are you? You can put it down to 'you learn something new every day' and throw the 'Christmas hypocrites' argument in the toilet. "

Anyway it got me to thinking that there were likely people celebrating the Winter Solstice putting perhaps a much MORE religious spin on it than others and some who were actually just in awe of nature and the inexplicable Sun cycles of the World (the cycles are created by the motion of the planet).

For some it would be a grand feast with a primitive lesson in astronomy for the children to pass on generation after generation but for others it would be thought of as communication with the gods, pleading for the Sun to bring the World back to life, a very spiritual thing.

Using the spiritual idea to their advantage, shamans, priests, religious leaders would tend to control their flocks by persuading them that they were in communication with the spirit that controlled the apparent movement of the Sun through the year.

They would ritualize the Winter Solstice celebration pretending (confusing themselves?) that THEY, the priests, were in communication with, controlling the gods/spirits/God, or at least attempting such control, when IN FACT they were actually controlling their population, convincing their followers that THEY(the priests) had occult knowledge/spirituality.

Christians were well aware of the power of spirituality to control the population/pray to God.

Priests were the keepers of knowledge and the arbiters of goodness in a largely ignorant World and they could hi-jack natural phenomena to their advantage disguised as spirituality.

(Say, "Hi!", to God for me oneblood, wherever you are.)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Spirituality equals Mumbo Jumbo

I'm thinking that if you're a bullshitter you don't like to be CALLED on your bullshit.

"Spirituality, in a narrow sense, concerns itself with matters of the spirit."

Oh, well, guess that clears thing up. LOL

The English word "spirit" has many differing meanings and connotations, but commonly refers to a supernatural being or essencetranscendent and therefore metaphysical in its nature.

Really? I can't make up my mind if I'm being 'dazzled' or 'baffled' here.

Metaphysics, a branch of philosophy dealing with aspects of the ultimate nature of reality

Oh, I see, 'they' pretend to be doing a little dazzling AND a little baffling here, because following the word-trail Spirituality had to do with Metaphysics which is 'really' the study of spiritual things, isn't it? Let's see.

Metaphysics investigates principles of reality transcending those of any particular science.

So, spirituality is looking for a deeper understanding of reality, going beyond science then? How would one go about that?

Cosmology deals with the world as the totality of all phenomena in space and time.

Here we seem to be drifting away from spirituality all together.

Ontology is the study of the nature of being, existence or reality in general, as well as of the basic categories of being and their relations.

This branch of Metaphysics seems like a better lead to discover what spirituality is all about, yes?

After much hemming and hawing, ontologists ask, "Why does anything exist rather than nothing? (This overlaps with questions in cosmology.) "

But where is the elusive spirituality?

This drivel about cosmology and ontology seems to be going nowhere.

Let's backtrack.

Spirituality apparently concerns the supernatural which pertains to an order of existence beyond the scientifically visible universe.

Concepts in the supernatural domain are closely related to concepts in religious spirituality.

I see, so spirituality is a concept closely related to the supernatural and the supernatural is closely related to spirituality.

Ah yes, I see now, don't you?

Saturday, March 28, 2009

The 'thing' is...

The thing that I detest about the Bible is how it is used by the wealthy by the church to maintain their wealth.

Whether there is a 'baby' to 'throw out with the bathwater', as far as 'the spiritual' is concerned has NOTHING to do with the wealthy and the church 'scratching each other's back'.

The Bible tells two stories. The first is about how the status quo came to be and ought to be maintained by religion.

The Jews trace their heritage, their ownership of their land back to the beginning of time through their God, who is the ultimate owner of everything. HE had, and still has the right to give and take away. HE gave the Hebrews, the Israelites, the Jews that land and only HE can take it away.

This is the Conservative Christian rant. Thoughout history, monarchs have been saying that God gave THEM their kingdoms for them to do with as they pleased.(with HIS guidance, of course.)

But EVERY Conservative Christian has 'the right' to THAT rant, everyone has the right to stand tall and say solemnly, that God gave him/her everything that they own and that only God has the right to take it away.

The Old Testament is that story of God's Chosen People and their trials and tribulations to aquire and sometimes lose the land that God gave them.

The 'thing' is, that it is just not true. I'm not denying the fact that Israelites owned that land for a period of time. I'm not denying that their stories are based on historical truth, as they remember it, when it comes to owning and losing control of that land.

What I AM denying is all the magical thinking that interweaves the stories, justifying genocide of the other inhabitants of that land and justifying their never ending ownership of it, whether they control it now or not.

Here, it is obvious to me that Christians adopted this magical thinking attitude towards any lands and wealth that they have owned, own now, and any that they may own in the future.

"God gave us this land!" (implying that as God ordained land owners they ought to 'call the shots' for everyone ON that land.)

It automatically excludes all non-believers from calling the land, or any part of the land 'theirs', obviously because if God gives and takes away land then unbelievers have no rights to it!

As the New Testament story 'testifies', the Jews God-given land is under the iron grip of the Roman Empire and the believers in Yahweh have not been able to control their God-given land for hundreds of years, the Jews have to have gotten something wrong if God is not willing to send a Messiah to cleanse their HOLY land (which God gave them) of these hideous unbelievers.

The thing is that reasonable people, kings(politicians) and priests alike can see that the only thing they can do is allow the invincible Roman Empire to rule through THEM, trying to keep their culture alive.

The priests might preach a coming Messiah because religious hope(magical thinking) is 'undying' by nature, but that Messiah BETTER ACTUALLY have GODLY powers, not just powers of persuasion which might get the Jewish nation 'put to the sword'.

Still, the priests could not stop itinerant preachers from convincing some of the population that they had magical powers, in fact 'THE POWER OF GOD'!

The New Testament is the story of one such iterinant preacher who had thought it throigh that owning a piece of land could not be the magical-thinking reason for the religion since, while they were still religious, while they sitll had God's promise, they hadn't actually owned the land for hundreds of years. Jesus made the 'move' from God's promise being an actual piece of land to a promise of a spiritual kingdom that could NEVER be taken away.

This is what makes religion palatable to the masses. The poorest of the poor can believe that they have God's kingdom in their hearts.

The wealthy can, with the masses appeased, and the collusion of the church, believe that they have rightful authority over God's land, their land, given to them since the beginning of time to do with as they wish.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Once upon a time..

Once upon a time there was a God who wanted to be worshipped by everyone.

HE chose the descendants of Abraham as his vehicle to enter into the minds of everyone in the world.

HE gave Moses the LAW, the first and foremost being that Moses people should not worship any other gods on pain of death.

Moses people believed God and would put any of their people to death for not worshipping the one true God.

When Jesus preached that he was the Son of God and allowed people to worship him, the priests of God convicted Jesus of blasphemy and had him killed.

The people who worshipped Jesus said that the priests who had Jesus killed were wrong because God had just forgotten to mention that He was more of a 'three-in-one' God.

God tricked the descendants of Abraham's people into thinking that HE was just the one God when HE was actually a 'three-in-one' God and used HIS chosen people to sacrifice the Jesus part of HIMSELF to show that HE was not just God of the Jews, but God of everyone.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


I'm trying to convince Observant and Man_In_Wilderness that the Garden of Eden story is flawed.

The facts.

"Eden's location remains the subject of controversy and speculation among some Christians." (This is straight from Wikipedia, hence the link.)

"..some Christians see it as metaphorical."

I cannot understand how they could do that. Does that not make everything in the relationship between Man and God metaphorical?

If that's it then isn't 'God' just a metaphor for 'goodness' and they are essentially saying that if you're not 'good' then bad shit will fall on you?

I'm disputing the story of the Garden of Eden with it's two magical trees which God sets up as the de facto 'temptation' .

In the story, God LIES to Adam and Eve, telling them that they mustn't eat these fruits because they will 'surely die!'

Apparently God has fooled Satan into believing that the fruit has the power to make humans into Gods or at least knowing things that only Gods ought to know.

When Eve eats the apple, she wants Adam to share the blame for disobeying God. At this point the only thing that the fruit has done for Eve is to make her feel guilty about eating it.

It didn't kill her as God had promised, but it didn't give her any knowledge meant only for Gods or any Godly powers.

The only thing that Adam and Eve 'get' out of eating the fruit is the 'knowledge' that they ought to be ashamed of their nakedness. (But no they don't.)

Seems to me that the Bible could make the opposite case. Adam and Eve being the perfect, and only, human specimens could easily have shed their clothes and God could have come for a look and chastised them for NOT being ashamed of their bodies.

I think that there are a LOT of Christians, Jews and Muslims who would agree.

We can only imagine that the Serpent was feeling a tad 'gypped' too unless he also knew that the fruit had the one purpose of exposing God's lie that Adam and Eve would surely die if they ate of it.

If the story is metaphorical, in that it's a kid's story about how they ought to listen to their mother and father even if they suspect, or are even outrighi TOLD, that mom and dad are LYING to 'protect them' from mom and dad's WRATH and that, by the way, is a totally unforgivable breech of trust.

I'm not sure how Christians could slough off the story as a metaphor when that suits them then use details of this story to explain the entire basis FOR their religion when THAT suits them.

I'm sure that their doctrine is that God wouldn't lie, so any evidence that HE did lie has to be downplayed as metaphor, or the subject has to be changed to Jesus on the Cross but it's all part of the same story to me.

Jesus died on the Cross for our sins. We are all sinners because of original sin. The original sin was NOT BELIEVING God's lie that by eating the fruit, Adam and Eve would surely DIE!

I suppose that, speaking metaphorically, every absolute authority figure from drill sergeants to Stalin to the Pope would naturally be furious at being caught in a lie.

They'd all likely explain by PUNISHMENT that if you had only 'believed that lie' then they wouldn't have to be punishing you.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Stem cell HORROR!

Here's part of a comment by MIW from here:-

"I mean this murder of the innocent child being born, but not completely out of the mothers womb and then stick a needle in the back of the child’s head and suck the stem cells out and still call themselves a human being much less a Christian."

Okay, MIW and whatever emailed drivel he's reading, is conflating 'stem cell research' with 'brain stem cell research'.

Brain stem cell research is where evil doctors suck the cells out of partially born babies' brain stems. It stands to reason that stem cells have to come from somewhere, right? They MUST come from babies' brain stems.

The horror story that they have concocted is delicious in it's evilicousness. Where are all these would-be mothers who are willing to carry their fetus to term only to have an evil doctor suck it's brain stem cells out?

Can you not picture that horrific scene? The mother is puffing away and squeezing the baby out and the doctor says (as they are prone to saying, "Stop pushing, I see the head!"

He gently reaches down under the sheet and shuffles around. The mother is curious, then shifty-eyed, then a little scared. Suddenly the doctor brings up a gynormous hypodermic dripping with tiny crawly brain stemy life, and the mother screams!

The doctor laughs, "Obamas new rule! We can save some good socialist lives with your baby's brain stem cells. Don't worry, you can have ANOTHER baby!"

The mother passes out as the doctor pulls the dead baby out and tosses it's lifeless (and stem cellless?) little body through a basket-ball hoop and into a garbage bucket, shouting with glee, "Three points!"

Those evil abortionists! MIW is being quite righteous spreading this lie. Abortion is never mentioned as being part of God's plan.

Definition of stem cell research:= cytoblastphemy!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Strawman atheist or what?

Brad says, " I believe he said one who (i) makes a truth claim about there being no consciousness after death, yet (ii) holds proof as the measure of truth and thus required in any truth claim, is acting hypocritical for making a truth claim that necessarily can't have any evidential basis in this world."

Well, that is your straw-man. Who, in their right mind would wiggle themselves into a situation where any claim they make is a particular 'truth claim' that REQUIRES proof in situations where proof is impossible?

cl might wiggle a 'theoretical' atheist that he is 'challenging' into such a situation though, right?"

Monday, March 9, 2009

The Challenge!

Public Challenge To Atheists: Why Believe In What Can Only Prove False?

Every now and again I meditate on the fact that the atheist / naturalist / materialist position cannot be empirically vindicated. By atheist / naturalist / materialist position, I mean the Epicurean idea that death entails the complete and final cessation of consciousness - that after we die, there will be no more thought, no more experience, no more anything.One of the many disadvantages of this world view is that no other option can potentially befall it other than falsification.

That is to say, even if this position is correct, we can never prove it, for how could we ever be conscious of the cessation of consciousness to prove that such was indeed the case? You need consciousness to prove anything, and indeed, the atheist / naturalist / materialist position cannot be empirically vindicated. It can only prove false, because if even one iota of consciousness continues in any form after death, the idea is effectively bunk. And so the challenge is for any atheist, naturalist or materialist to satiate my curiosity by reasonably or at least politely answering the following questions: Why believe in an idea whose only possible empirical verification is disproof? What of the hypocrisy in committing yourself to a position that claims to rely on proof as the highest measure of truth when the position itself cannot possibly be proven? you go, 'cl' is challenging you to prove a negative, and he's calling you a hypocrite TO BOOT!

Sic' em!

Saturday, March 7, 2009


Existence! What does it mean to you?

I always supposed that this was an easy one that we could all agree on. Turns out that there is a crucial difference between what we imagine is plainly obvious when we're talking about things such as tables and chairs, plants and animals, rocks and air and other 'stuff' that can be said to exist..

How about space though? And time?

Most folk will agree that existence is a state, as in the sixth definition of the word here:-

6. form: any form or quantifiable condition in which a physical substance can be, depending on its temperature and other circumstances.

Trust me the other definitions have to do with land boundaries and mental and physical messes.

But of course we'd be comparing things in a state of existence with things that used to exist which would make the existence of particular things a process, a process that ends.

And there's the other option of comparing things that exist to things that don't exist at all. Non-existent things still kind of exist as ideas, characters and objects in books and such.

That's where things take a sharp left into the Twilight Zone. That's where, if you are a Christian, you can go to a church meeting and swear that you saw Jesus, four hundred feet tall, standing in a field telling you that you must succeed in your effort to collect money for some project and the people listening to you HAVE TO believe you!(at least in their capacity as Christians they do.)

Common sense can fly right out the window at the drop of the proverbial hat. Their God exists through all time yet outside of all time, which is a special meaning of the word existence reserved for non-existent things.

Now, if you are a religious philosopher at heart you will no doubt have your special meaning of the word which CAN include the gods or the avatars ot 'the God' that you believe in. No doubt you'll be screaming 'red flag' and 'epistemological nightmare' and drivel like this even though you'd laugh with me at the idea of a four hundred foot Jesus!

Can we really know things? Can we be certain that we can't be certain of anything?

I think that we can be certain of quite a lot of things. Just right off the top of my head, I am certain that I am going to die, I will one day, in fact, cease to exist.

When I started following the arguments set out by Dinesh D'Souza's allies and other Christians using his blog for their own agenda I was sure that there were two words with two meanings. Existence, what we all know about things inside our Universe, and existance, everything including imaginary realms that we can never 'get to' at least while we're alive.

But no, it was just a misspelling, an alternate spelling.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

What I believe.

(This one's for oneblood, who has somehow managed to not notice me ranting about my beliefs before.)

I believe that I am a streaming consciousness. My streaming consciousness tells me that I am a human being. I believe that my streaming consciousness is connected to my body via my nervous system and my conciousness of my body and it's surroundings is created by my nervous system as multiple feedback loops from my extremities and my senses.

I believe that if there were no consciousness in the universe it would keep doing what it is doing and that processes in the universe were responsible for all life including mine.

Space, time or space-time, matter and energy or matter-energy are what we call existence(in general) and any space and/or matter exists in this existence, space, time and energy ALWAYS being present whether there is matter filling a particular space at a particular time or not.

I believe that there is no space with exactly no time passing and with exactly no energy passing through it.

I believe that the universe is OBJECTIVE REALITY, no being is 'thinking' this universe 'subjectively' into being or ever 'thought' this universe into existence.

I believe that I exist as part of this REALITY and I will continue to exist as a body until it decays, is eaten or is burned.

I believe that my streaming consciousness will continue to exist until it dies.

I believe that my brain is equipped to operate feedback loops, memorize and recall them and build a conscious identity, me, which includes all my internal feedback loops and all incoming senses, in the sense that I KNOW that I am hearing something, or seeing something etc.

This includes knowing when my nerves are misfiring in my ears(high pitched note) not from an external source, or when my feedback loop to my eyes is projecting a 'random' image on the back of my eyelids.

I believe that I learned to interact with my guardians and siblings experimenting with language etc. in several stages called 'growing up'.(write that down).

I believe that when we are very young we learn that we have some trivial choices.

I believe that we learn from our environment (parents etc.) that other people are devious and that we are easily tricked, if only by learning humor and how we can be surprised by 'disappearing' objects, words not meaning what we expect them to mean, being talked down to, being fooled in general, being misled and outright lied to.

We are given clues to be shy about the mysterious 'adult only' things like sex, drinking, drugs and taught to be disgusted by bodily functions and local taboos.

It is in this environment of mysterious taboos, mysterious purposes and mysterious meanings that we learn about the ideas of spirituality and religion.


Monday, March 2, 2009

The Ungodly Evil Temple of Evil

All liberals, socialists, atheists, agnostics ought to join a Temple of Evil!

There are no gods to worship!

We could pretend to drink Unholy blood!(actually it would be wine!

We could pretend to eat Unholy flesh!(pizza!)

Drink Unholy PEE!(beer)

Sing favorite Unhymns by classic rock bands.

Sacred Unholy smoke! (Don't tell me you don't know what I'm getting at!)

We would proselytize small business, encouraging them to hire temple members and trade each other's services!

We would make it a POINT that Godly people can just FUCK OFF!

In fact our motto would BE, 'FUCK OFF, Godly people!

We'd need to convince the Godly that they're not welcom by giving ourselves Ungodly names, like Brother Baal, Sister Morlech and suggesting that a right of passage into the temple was to eat an unborn(a raw egg!)

Who is there to tell us that we do not have epistemic warrant?

PLUS, atheists always seem to have the 'herding cats' problem!

Well, no more! Create an Ungodly Evil Temple of Evil and PARTY ON! (tax free)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Apologizing for(or with) science, now?


"Point is, there's always been far more to reality than we imagine. Instead of producing insurmountable discontinuities, the horizons of human knowledge and objective reality tend to expand astronomically. We used to think this world was all there was. We were wrong. We used to think this solar system was all there was. We were wrong. Some of us think that this universe and this existence are all there is. Especially in light of emerging evidence combined with past tradition, isn't there a reasonable chance that they, too, are wrong?
Of course the following is not infinitely extensible, but the truth is, often when we try to set a limit on what Nature can do or has done, it is us who ends up looking the fools."

Okay, baby steps now.

"Point is, there's always been far more to reality than we imagine."

I guess we are talking 'reality' that DOESN'T include all the gods that even you or I can think of that used to explain 'reality' to so many people throughout time. Traditionally, all we HAD was our vivid imaginations.

" Instead of producing insurmountable discontinuities, the horizons of human knowledge and objective reality tend to expand astronomically."

I suppose we are being constrained to imagine the exponentially larger our universe seems to be 'getting' the more we look out at it? And here I was thinking that the TRADITIONAL explanations were at least part of the problem. (consider 'Intelligent Design' in the 21st. Century.)

" We used to think this world was all there was. We were wrong."

So all traditional astrologies and what-not including Stonehenge, the pyramids, Sun-worship etc. can be dismissed from this discourse due to their dismissal BY modern science then?

Fact is that we NEVER thought that the world was all there was, but we were totally wrong about the conclusions that we came to.

" We used to think this solar system was all there was. We were wrong."

Really? We didn't notice all them little lights that we call stars now?

" Some of us think that this universe and this existence are all there is."

Here's a giant leap. He seems to be implying that since science has brought us out of our traditional godly explanations of the heavens, that doesn't give us license to dismiss ALL traditional godly explanations.

" Especially in light of emerging evidence combined with past tradition, isn't there a reasonable chance that they, too, are wrong? "

BOOM! Having completely demolished our new GOD 'Science', showing us how 'HE' changes through time, we can now 'reasonably' still use science and combine THAT with Jesus rising from the dead to save our souls, to form our reasonable religious worldview!

- from here:-

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Imaginary imagination.

Is God real or imaginary?

If I imagine God with my eyes closed tight shut and I 'see' him in my 'mind's eye' is He then 'real' to me?

Can we say that the image that I have in my mind is real? Surely if we CAN say that then we can say, that for us who are imagining God right now, he is real.

But what if I'm just imagining imagining God? This is like the turtles that hold up the world now. "It's turtles all the way down!"

But religion is constantly asking us to imagine a Hell-hole of a World without God. Is the imaginary Hell-hole of a World then real?

Imagine a USA that is NOT a Christian Nation? Imagine a USA without morals and values?

But Christians would dismiss the notion of imagining the people sharing the world and imagining there's no Heaven out of hand.

"It's ridiculous to imagine all the people sharing the world because someone would cheat!"(They know for sure that THEY(or at least some of them) would!)

Imagine living a Christ-like life, giving away all your possessions, relying on the Godly nature of people to support you? Imagine that it IS easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than it is for a rich man to get into Heaven.

What's the point of being rich? What's the plan? Is the 'rich man' imagining that 'he' is going to debate God at Heaven's Gate and claim that he did'nt imagine himself as 'rich per se' or that he ought to be 'allowed in' because he DID imagine living a Christ-like life and it was a REAL mental image?

Stacy points out that I 'sound' like I'm stoned or something. That's fair enough.

But, I put it to you, that you HAVE to imagine ME imagining something, because there's just no way around that.

EEG's can tell us that the person being tested is imagining SOMETHING! But exactly what a person IS imagining can only be left to your imagination.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Much older universe?

If you squint at the Sun on a bright day you'll be seeing the light and feeling the warmth of it from eight minutes ago.

Since the apparent movement of the Sun is actually the movement of the World turning we can point at the Sun. If the Sun was moving around the World then we'd be pointing at the place that the Sun WAS eight minutes ago.

Okay, how can we know how far more distant stars and even galaxies are? For the closest ones we can use parallax.

If we take a picture of part of the night sky in June and map that on to a picture of that same part of the sky in December, very close stars will seem to move compared to distant stars.

It's like if your nose was our Sun, the Jnne picture was your left eye, the December picture was your right eye. If you hold up your finger to represent a close star and 'wink' back and forth, your finger seems to move relative to objects on the wall.

Astronomers can calculate how near close stars are by knowing the distance between the summer and winter pictures and how far the close star seems to shift compared to far background stars.

But the point I'm trying to make is that, just like the light from the Sun is eight minutes old when we see it, the light from a close star is a few years old when we see THAT!

If we're talking about the closest star, we're talking FOUR YEARS ago. We can't say that Alpha Centauri is four light-years away, we can only say that Alpha Centauri WAS four light-years away, four years ago!

So here's where I start scratching my head. If astronomers are acurately telling us that the light that comes from the farthest galaxies is about 13 billion years old then THAT doesn't tell us where they ARE NOW, it tells us where they were THEN!

I think that speeding galaxies might have 'moved' a bit in 13 billion years, don't you?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Tangled Web we Weave.

Seems to me that theists are the one's with a story. Of course it's stories within stories but the point is that it is their story and the onus is on them to back it up.

Their main tactic is to simply repeat portions of the story which seem to fit the situation. For example, talking to atheists, there is a very short story dismissing them entirely with the, fool, who says, in his heart that there is no God.

I think that if we were talking about any other piece of literature, we'd all recognise that as a slogan. Actually I think that most people still do recognise it for what it is, but of course 'Bible-studiers' won't talk about what a great slogan that is, no, they are simply enlightening us as to the obvious 'truth' of the Scripture.(and 'happily' calling anyone who disagrees with it and them 'fools' in the process.)

Unhappily, if a person doesn't believe that the Bible is a special book with supernatural truths, he or she is unlikely to be impressed with this slogan and can see it is obviously just tit for tat, you call me a fool for being a magical thinker and I'll quote my magical book telling you that YOU are the fool! Ha!

Of course if you do 'study the Scriptures' you'll notice that it is chock full of characters having Godly experiences. I think that sooner or later you will have to come to the conclusion that it is drivel OR start wondering when YOU get to have some personal Godly experiences of your own.(not to mention seeking out Godly experiences of everyone else.)

The efficacy of prayer, the spiritual contact between a person and his/her God, is neatly circumvented by the idea that God has the option of fulfilling your wish, dismissing your wish or postponing(indefinitely) your wish.

In other words, if you believe that God is 'there', then he must answer prayers but(sadly) the answer comes in the form of a fulfilled wish, a 'hit' or an unfulfilled wish which is either an out and out miss(Grandma died) or perhaps not yet a hit(Grandma isn't getting better 'yet').

Pointing out that the efficacy of prayer would be the same no matter which God one prays to, or if prayer is directed at an inanimate object like an empty jam jar, is insulting.

Did you get that? The plain truth, the plain facts of the matter are an INSULT! Of course other Gods reference was insulting enough but the 'jam jar' thing was total sarcasm, insulting, demeaning and an attack on their spiritual/supernatural beliefs.

God is no better at answering prayers than an empty jam jar. The truth of this is lost in, and denied with, a hurricane of affront and loathing.

Seems to me that if an appeal to God is deemed necessary then 'things turning out alright' is deemed 'personal experience proof positive' that prayer IS effective. But the opposite isn't true. If things don't 'turn out alright' then God is forgiven. Did you get THAT one? God gets forgiven for not using his awesome powers to 'make things alright'!

The reality of God(in believers' minds) only depends on HIM occasionally 'making things alright' and the non-reality of God is exposed by 'things turning out alright' for people of differing faiths AND for non-believers too!

This obvious fact is COMPLETELY and WILLFULLY ignored by all true believers.

Monday, February 16, 2009


I think that morals, scandal and hypocrisy go together like bacon, lettuce and tomato.

Watching a show late last night/early this morning I couldn't help but notice the constant commercial interruption for 'Girls gone wild!' videos and 'Extenze' ad nauseum.

What's the connection here? Are there horny old toads who can't get it up by watching eighteen year old chickies showing their boobies? Are they thinking, "If only I bought some pills to give be that big boner, I could beat the meat while watching that video of girls who are way too young for me, but I can DREAM, can't I??"

But I DO remember when I used to hang out at the bar, sitting with this seventy year old dude, "Gus", and his one purpose in life was to screw the youngest crack-whore that he could lay his grubby mitts on. I thought that he was disgusting and yet fascinating. I'd bike over to his house occasionally, for exercise and to shoot the shit with him and his wife and a couple of times he practically accused me of ratting on him about the sex thing to his wife "June".

It seemed to me that June was really lonely, sitting in her kitchen playing solitaire, day in and day out, while Gus was hitting the bar, day in and day out, doing his 'thing'.

It never occurred to me to rat him out to June, she seemed happy enough with the situation. Gus used to hire a couple of bar-bums that I knew to house-paint etc. for him, sometimes for beer, and hunting them down or helping them do 'a job' was Gus's excuse for being 'out' a lot.

Eventually things went 'south' and Gus was busted for drinking and driving then June sold their houses out from under him and SHE 'went south' too! I'm not sure if it was co-incidence or not but at about that time, those two bar-bums turned into crack-heads and one of them was found dead in his house. This happened to be the house where Gus took crack-whores to too. Now that I think of it, Gus used to take crack-whores to the other guy's apartment too.

The whole thing was very sordid and they kept that part of their lives separate from me but it kind of leaked out, as these things usually do, over a couple of draft and an 'amazing tale' here and there.

The strangest thing, to me, was that everyone seemed to have a similar story as to how 'into it' they were. I'm sure that, when they were talking to me, they imagined that they had the wool pulled right over my eyes but it might be that they had the wool pulled over their OWN eyes. Each person talking to me, whether bragging or complaining, wasn't 'like THEM'! They knew all the stories and were happy to relate them to me with the 'caveat', "... but I'm not like them, I'm not the scum of the Earth!"

I remember being told by this German guy that it was like I was from another planet and I took that to mean that he supposed I didn't know what was going on around me. This from a guy who couldn't get through the day without smoking pot like Cheech and Chong.

I guess to them it DID seem like I was from another planet because I wasn't 'into' the pot or the crack or the crack-whores, "What the fuck was I doing there?"

The point that I think I'm making is that we're all hypocrites, we're all deceitful little animals scurrying in circles, deceiving ourselves that 'we're not as bad as 'them'', we're not as bad as those 'hardcore' self-deceiving hypocrites, rats etc. who are 'in the know' precisely because 'we are'.

If you're an exception, you're not to be trusted, you're 'bucking' the societal mores, you're the immoral one.