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.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

More, please!

What does life 'want'?

If the smallest, most insignificant life forms could be said to 'want' anything, they'd want more. More of whatever feeds them to make more of themselves.

Birds want it, bees want it, even educated fleas want it, MORE!

Let's call this a basic axiom. Any life form wants more of/for itself.

But, what do you do if you are thinking beings and you have enough safety, enough food and your population is expanding with no limiting factor in sight?

Well, you still want more, right?

Perhaps you want life itself to be more. Perhaps you want more for yourself. More money, more power, more followers, more certainty more meaning, more of something, anything!

I read up on the effects of the naturally occurring drug DMT(apparently 'gives' you your dreams). If taken in sufficient dose for 'recreation' one is 'propelled' into a 'spiritual realm' where there are beings who replicate 'crazily'(?), and they tell you to do what they do! Apparently it is a very profound experience and the 'message' is that, in short, we want more!

I think that this yearning for more can be seen in every addiction from food to booze to cigarettes to sex, from coffee to cocaine to heroin, from television to video games to business to politics and religion.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I want you to try a couple of exercises to determine who you are. Write down your most precious positions that you take on subjects that are important to you.

Now, ask yourself why you take that position. When you realize that you 'take a stand' on a subject, it is because someone influenced you to take that POV, try to ask THEM why they feel that way.

oneblood says, "I kind of treated the will to choose like it was a lark, a given, natural, like there was no system in place to maintain the pre-existing construct."

I think that most people treat the 'will to choose' exactly like that, something that is just 'there' and not part of their training, the sum of all the influences of their upbringing.

I think that this is odd if you have ever dealt with children because as a guardian you automatically try to steer the young ones away from bad influences, and there ARE bad influences, it must be admitted.

I don't think that there are trivial choices inasmuchas one has to choose based on experience. What I mean is that you have to recognise that a choice IS trivial THEN go ahead and pick 'the one on the right' or whatever.

I think that this 'choosing', which we feel is automatic, is ripe for manipulation by influencers.

e.g. I'm trying to influence you right now! You have 'on the fly' choices to make. Your mind is busy 'doing what it does'.

Your mind is doing what it does based on your experiences, your influences right up to this moment, but it is evolving. I'm not saying that you are necessarilly progressing in any way, perhaps you are just a tiny bit surer of what you have always thought.

" Long-term memories, .. are maintained by...stable and permanent changes in neural connections widely spread throughout the brain.

These memories are generally about what someone said or wrote, how they said it or wrote it and how we felt about it at the time.

Come on, 'fess up to yourself here! When you were a kid, who were the important influences in your life? Did they bribe you to agree with them or did they cow you into 'going along' with them? Probably a mixture, right? Did they sandbag you, promising things that they had no intention of delivering? Did they gaslight you, persuading you that their POV had to be the only sane one, otherwise the world, your world would become a madhouse!(They would MAKE your world a madhouse, punishing you for not knowing things that you have no experience of, for example, or playing drill sergeant, "Everything you do and say is wrong!(until you can automatically repeat my POV, then you're cool!)

Child abuse or discipline. It's an invisible line, isn't it.

Point is, when do we get handed this miraculous 'free-will'? When can we say, "Well, I certainly believe that of my own free choice!"?