Friday, December 31, 2010

It's a small World, but....

So, it's New Years Eve, many moons ago, and my Ma, Da, two sisters and I are 'bringing in the New Years' at midnight.

Ann was about 14, which would make me(Ian) 12 and our little sister Valerie about six years old.

Me and Ann were given some booze, for the first time ever, to toast the New Year in, and when the 'clock struck' everyone hugged and kissed and that and my Ma and Da started singing, "It's a guid New Year."

Here's the tune:-

And here's the lyrics:-

And this is what they sang:-

"It's a guid new year to 'e'en' an' a' ..An' mony may ye see, An' during a' the years to come, O happy may ye be... "

Then everyone noticed Valerie because she was crying really hard! When my mother had calmed her down enough to find out what the problem was, it turned out that Valerie was very unhappy to not be included in the song.

You see, she 'heard', "It's a guid New Year, to Ian and Ann.." and of course she thought that if someone was going to be writing a song for New Years, they really ought to have included her!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

The coherent argument.

I've often heard the philosophical types come out with the 'coherent argument' thing. So I decided it was time to have a look at it. Should be simple enough, you'd think, right?

I look up 'coherent argument for God' and up pops a page telling me the ins and outs of why we have to take for granted the possibility that at least one God(if not 'at most') exists, right?

Well, it's not as simple as that. Google has many pages on this kind of thing but each one is either trying to get us to accept a specific argument as coherent or reject it as incoherent.

It gets worse. From here, There are two distinct types of coherentism. One refers to the coherence theory of truth. The other is belief in the coherence theory of justification—an epistemological theory opposing foundationalism and offering a solution to the regress argument. In this epistemological capacity, it is a theory about how belief can be justified.

Now every time I read, 'coherent argument' I'm going to be wondering which kind of coherence they are talking about, since this is usually meant to be a conversation stopper, as in, "We have a coherent argument.(Therefore, you can shut up now.)"

If they are refering to the second kind it seems, at least at first blush, that they're saying that their argument is good because that is what they believe, which seems a bit devious to me.

"One way of explaining the theory of justification is to say that a justified belief is one that we are "within our rights" in holding." This seems to be what the Christian philosophy dudes and dudettes ARE saying. I've noticed that the 'coherent argument' thing is usually preceded by 'epistemology'.

Are atheists so cowed by $50 words that they just 'shut up' when faced with this 'big sister' "'cos I say so." argument meaning, basically, "I have reason to believe in God because it is one of my beliefs."?

I'd like to hear from anyone at all on this, perhaps explaining, why what I just said is wrong, how it is wrong, and at least some kind of conversation 'unstopper' to this, "Well, it's my epistemological, coherent-argument-style beliefs that stump them atheists all the time.", because it seems to me that we are arguing AGAINST those exact beliefs in the first place, aren't we?

Is this the philosophical equivalent to, "God said it, I believe it, that settles it!"?, "coherent argument" being the, ".. that settles it!", part?

From here:-

we get this wonderful apology, "In this paper I do not seek to prove whether God exists or not, because I don't believe that's possible.", putting the onus on non-believers to cover all possible wordplay and perspective proving the incoherence of God as defined by theists themselves.

Seems that once the 'God genie' is out of the bottle, it's just too big to pop back in, no matter the historical, evolutionary, social, or whatnot reason for popping the cork in the first place.

"We were simply attempting to understand the sky and gain some control over it/find some way to appeal to it!"?

"Over-ruled! We have a coherent argument! There's a mysterious 'baby'(Jesus?) in that bathwater!"

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Sympathetic magic ramblings.

In this post I want to say that the religious are putting the cart before the horse, in a manner of speaking.

I'm thinking 'phenomenology' in a popular sense, if not the philosophical sense (shrug) inasmuchas we were all newborn babies at one point struggling to understand our world and how we relate to it. Seems to me that to study how it is that we get from there, knowing nothing, running on 'empty' as it were, to here, thinking in sentences, or at least composing thoughts into sentences.

Okay, so we maybe don't not know anything at all, but that's just part of it. How much can we be said to 'know' without the means to express it?

What I'm trying to say is that we must see things from a very personal perspective when we are very young. Simple things, like whether we are warm, or thirsty or unsure etc. obviously affected us much more than we are willing to let on now that we are older.

Guess I'm trying to get you to empathize with a baby, see it from a baby's point of view and see if we can agree that, at least for awhile, everything that happens, from the baby's perspective, is just different feelings of the baby, kind of 'directionless' 'stunned' wonder about what the heck is going on here.

At some point, the baby has to move on. Don't know about you but I still feel a little 'stunned' every now and then. Nevertheless, I suppose as the baby is developing it's sense of self and so on, it's going to be making some 'Custer decisions' about whether it enjoys the company of dad as much as mom's company, and so on. I'm gonna make a guess that the development of the sense of self is connected to the sense that there are others, and that some of those others are not familiar, and so on.

Still, not to belabor that point, but we certainly are born knowing how to be babies, having some sort of sense of what makes us feel good and what does not make us feel good.

More to my point here, I think that we grow up learning cause and effect rules for different scenarios. Drop a toy and it will fall down, throw a toy and someone might pay attention to you, kind of thing. I think that we are easily confused by cause and effect sometimes, because sometimes things are not quite as they seem.

An example relating to farmers might be that when a certain constellation is rising in the in the East, it might be time to harvest the crop. Playing the part of a wise man, I might say to a youngster, "I see Leo is rising in the East, the farmhands must be out in the fields gathering the the harvest. Why don't you go to the country and ask for a job?"

The youngster might be quite skeptical about this. What makes grandpa(or the shaman or whatever) so smart that he thinks the plants know when to be ripe by looking at the sky?

I'm sure that there are thousands of examples like this where cause and effect, when not really understood, can be understood in terms of sympathetic magic, or at least what 'signs' seem to portend what 'effects'.

Not being able to say, "The seasons are caused by the Earth revolving around the Sun, the North Pole being inclined towards it in the Summertime, on a tangent with the orbit at the Equinoxes and inclined away from it in the Wintertime.", doesn't mean that we cannot see the various constellations rising in the different seasons knowing the season from that, seemingly disparate information.

Seems to me that this is, very simply, the beginnings of the notion of sympathic magic, a hidden, or occult knowledge, which at times might have a connection like the night stars and the seasons and might just be a few coincidences together with a vivid imagination. Kind of, "We've noticed that there are significant patterns to the workings of the World therefore every pattern that I see is significant."

Seems to me that this is not too difficult to understand but that the religious rail against this, refusing to see it by means of definitions of words.

Try saying 'magic' to a Christian and he/she will automatically be affronted that you should 'accuse him/her' of 'believing in that'.

Their word for it is 'miracle', BUT, their definition of 'miracle' is 'wonder', so something as trivial as a cheque arriving in the mail when you 'need' it might be seen as something of a miracle, and is EXACTLY equal to sympathetic magic, but they are constrained to NOT equate the two in their minds.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Obama the Dino.

Yea, I said it. Obama must be a Democrat In Name Only, the way he suck-holes to the Republicans, in the face of the abuse he gets from them.

He has to fight tooth and nail for projects which save the economy, catch up to the rest of the Civilized World as far as freedom is concerned, get his people into office and even deal with common sense oversight of the Russian nukes!

Why Obama hasn't clued in to politics of this is beyond me, unless that 'chess game' he's supposed to be playing is against the left. Unless he's willing to say to us that, sure he'd have done 'something' but the right just wouldn't LET HIM, presuming that the left have to vote him back in to be defeated by the right for another four years.

If I were him I'd realise the lost cause I'm in and just let the tax thing run out for everyone. Even if he gets what he wants, what with all this falderal, he's not gonna be getting ANY credit for it at all, ever.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Thought police.

I just watched a commercial which gave us statistics on what percentage of men arrested for pedophilia had pictures of children aged 3 to 5 on their computers.

I don't know about you, but I feel that this is a wedge issue. We're willing to call these men criminals because they look at photographs. It's certainly a slippery-slope 'crime' inasmuchas the 'perpetrators' are kind of being linked to the people who took the pictures, being likened to 'the kind of person' who would take pictures of this kind and distribute them if they could.

I just don't see a line that we can draw on this issue though.

"Laws have been enacted to criminalize "obscene images of children, no matter how they are made," for inciting abuse."


If I draw two stick figures 'doing the nasty' and one is, say, twice as big as the other, this could be interpreted to be a man abusing a child, and I could be arrested for inciting abuse??

Apparently, I'm breaking the law, here in Canada for peeking at this website.

Given this law, I'm thinking that I would really be committing a crime if I were to have a Shirley Temple movie collection, because there's is no doubt in my mind that she was a bit of a sex symbol pandering to men's lust for the 'forbidden' as much as our(everyone's) love of humour and such.

"The definitive Supreme Court of Canada decision, R. v. Sharpe, interprets the statute to include purely fictional material even when no real children were involved in its production."

There may well be 'something wrong' with grown men who are obsessed with sexually explicit stories or pictures of children, but I think that there is 'something just as wrong' with people obsessed by imagining that these men ought to be imprisoned for it.

It seems to me to be 'the seed of a crime', and taken to it's most ridiculous, we really ought to be arrested for admiring something we cannot afford to buy, since we could only be thinking of stealing it. After all, 'thou shalt not covet!'

I want to add that since those moral people seem to know exactly what is allowed and what isn't, what if there is no crime, but it looks like a crime.

For example, women all have different faces and bodies, some look very young for their age. What if I had a sexually explicit picture of a 21 year old woman who just looked like she was underage(as defined by them)?

If I share this picture, am I guilty of something because of her looks now?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Time is not like that.

Humans learn about time when they are about five years old from the monster that lives under their bed.

Actually, I think that we piece together our idea of what time is, as we are developing, from the days inexhorably going by, birthdays, christmasses, thanksgivings and so on, corresponding to an opening up of our minds, an expansion of personal possibilities, down to time to get up, eating times etc.

We learn to look forward to, or dread an event by counting down to it, as if it were, because it is, in fact, a kind of prediction.

But what is time? What is time like? When we reach a certain state of education we learn that time is not as straightforward a process as we have, up 'til now, imagined.

We are told that time is relative to movement. For example two clocks set to the same time, if one is accelerated relative to the other one, the time-frame will change, things happen slower for one, or less time goes by for one, depending on the perspective you want to use.

This is a kind of useless fact for most of us. I hardly think that I'd be willing to be accelerated around the Sun in order for less time to go by in comparison to everyone else.

Nevertheless, in thought experiments about this phenomenon, we're inclined to be puzzled about the idea that, if we get in a vehicle that accelerates away from the Earth, we can come back, "in the future".

I think this puzzlement is, while an honest and fair reaction, a mixing of the idea that one is 'travelling' and that one is returning to a planet where more time has passed.

Simply because we ALWAYS live in this one time-frame, it is very difficult to imagine that there are countless time-frames 'out there', each relative to ours, depending on how fast the object in question is accelerating compared to us.

Basically, time is not a thing. Time is not lack of a thing. Time is simply the rate of events going by, in the local environment.

When we treat fairly steady events, such as a clock ticking by or a body ageing as the basis from which we measure events, and we've learned to do this since taking our first breath remember, then we imbue time with an essence that it does not have, universally.

Or to put it another way, time does not have a universal rhythm, just a relative rhythm.

I'm wondering what this means for the ideas that the universe is 'so many' billions of years old, but that's a question for another day, boys and girls. (Won't you be my neighbor?)

Friday, October 8, 2010

Philosophy is drivel.

This is an exerpt from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy here:-

"Like many philosophically interesting notions, existence is at once familiar and rather elusive."

No. No it's not, you pompous ass.(Well it is if you want to include God as 'existing', which you do.)

"Although we have no more trouble with using the verb ‘exists’ than with the two-times table, there is more than a little difficulty in saying just what existence is."

I don't think that we do.

"Existing seems to be at least as mundane as walking or being hungry. Yet, when we say ‘Tom is hungry’ or ‘Tom is walking’, it may be news to those not in Tom's vicinity, whereas ‘Tom exists’ would be news to no one who knew Tom, and merely puzzling to anyone who did not."

Keep in mind that there's a supposedly, really fuckin' smart guy behind this entry into this encyclopedia! Nevertheless, it seems obvious to me that, "Tom exists." could be an elliptical, implying that he 'still' lives and such, so used in that manner it WOULD be news to anyone who knew Tom but wasn't sure about his state of existence. Similarly, it might be clarifying to someone that didn't know if 'Tom' in a story was real or fictitious etc.

" Again, we know what it is like to be hungry or to walk, but what is it like to exist, what kind of experience is that?"

Once again, 'Who are these people?'

" Is it perhaps the experience of being oneself, of being identical with oneself? Yet again, we can readily indicate what is meant by Tom's walking, but surely Tom's existing is not something we can indicate to anyone."

REALLY? We cannot 'indicate' to anyone that Tom exists because you, you pompous ass think that you have frittered away any meaning in the sentence, "Tom exists."???

" On the face of it, there would seem to be no way at all in which we can explain what existing is."

Bullshit! Existing is being, and includes a lot of implication. For example Tom, is usually the name of another human being, likely a male, and emphasizing that he 'exists' is saying that he's not imaginary or fictional.

"It may be tempting to think that ‘Tom exists’ means merely ‘Tom is real’. In fact, this could be distinctly appealing, for ‘real’ is what has been called an ‘excluder’ predicate, meaning thereby that it attributes nothing positive to Tom, but operates in a purely negative fashion simply to exclude Tom from being imaginary, mythical, fictional, and the like."

Okay, shithead, fine then. That would make 'exists' an 'excluder' predicate meaning etc. etc. no?

" To say that ‘exists’ meant ‘is real’ would be to say inter alia that it attributed nothing positive to Tom; and that would do much to relieve our frustration at being so fluent in our use of ‘exists’ despite having no idea of its attributing anything positive to Tom."

I'm thinking that since we think, in what i call 'thoughts'(write that down if you have to) and these thoughts don't necessarilly correspond to facts and reality, to communicate that something 'exists' certainly does attribute the positivity of Tom 'existing'.

"It would be a relief to discover that ‘exists’ attributes nothing positive to him at all."

This is following your other reasoning which I already disagree with.

"Unfortunately, this won't do; for among all the negatives that ‘is real’ might be applying to Tom would be not only ‘not imaginary’, ‘not mythical’, etc., but also ‘not nonexistent’."

Not nonexistent = not unreal. (simple)

" Now, suppose a seer predicted that in two years that a son would be born to Bill and Mary, and that he would be called ‘Tom’. When the prediction was finally fulfilled, we might imagine the seer announcing triumphantly ‘At last Tom exists, exactly as I predicted he would’. If ‘exists’ were an excluder like ‘is real’, then the seer could only be understood as excluding something from Tom; and in this case it would be non-existence."

This is what I'm talking about. This fuckin' jerk-off can't 'figure' what 'to exist' means but he's introducing stories with 'people who can foretell the future' now, as IF they exist outside of fiction, as if they are REAL??? What is this guy's agenda here?

" As said by the seer, therefore, ‘At last Tom exists’ could only mean ‘At last Tom is not-nonexistent’. And if he really were to mean that, we should be entitled to ask him just when Tom could ever have been said to be nonexistent, i.e. never to have existed. In fact, before he existed Tom could never even have been referred to, and hence at that time nothing at all could have been attributed to him, not even the property of being nonexistent."

Now he's denying the entire idea of predicting the future which he himself brought up in the first place!

" Promising as it may have seemed, therefore, ‘Tom exists’ is not to be understood simply as ‘Tom is real’."


"Of course, the failure of attempts to understand ‘exists’ as ‘is real’ leaves plenty of room for other suggestions, each proposing to substitute one or more terms for ‘exists’, and thereby to show why our original disquiet about it and existence has been sadly misplaced."

Now follows a list of alternatives, we'd be disappointed to learn, NOT!

" If one thinks that ‘exists’ is readily dispensable in favour of some other (less troublesome) expression, then there will be no difficulty in dismissing the thought of there being some such property or attribute as existence."

It's a wonder this jerk can communicate anything at all as he has no trouble using words like 'is', 'being' and 'existence' as though they are well understood to us.

" Alternatively, if one thinks that ‘exists’ is not to be dispensed with in this way, then one might be inclined to continue pursuing the puzzle of just what existence is."

There's no puzzle! You just invoked a puzzle by spouting this half-sense drivel.

"It is probably now reasonably clear that the question of existence is inextricably intertwined with the question of ‘exists’."

Well, you could have knocked me over with a non-existent feather at this point!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Panache! (no substitute for evidence)

Some Atheistic Arguments Answered
By Wayne Jackson

"In establishing the case for the existence of God, we attempt to present clear reasoning that will lead to a rational conclusion, namely, that the universe, mankind, etc., are not self-explanatory. Rather, logical minds must conclude that a Supreme Being exists. In our approach, we are affirming a proposition for which positive evidence exists."

We have our main points, 'Case for the existence of God', 'Clear reasoning' and 'rational conclusion'. That rational conclusion being that a Supreme Being exists!

I'm not sure of the significance of the 'self-explanatory' bit is though? Is a rock self-explanatory? I think that this might be a bit of rhetoric, implying that atheist 'doctrine' is that the Universe is self-explanatory, perhaps.

"Atheism, on the other hand, is a totally negative system."

I think that this 'point' would be just as good a place for old Wayne to tell us 'case closed' and be done with it, as any other point, but we'll move along.

" It denies much and affirms nothing."

Atheists deny the existence of gods and that's that. What Wayne seems to want is an affirmation of God.

" It robs one of hope and offers emptiness in exchange,..."

As an atheist, I'm hopeful of different things, but once again Wayne seems to be thinking of some kind of 'fullness' which he feels that only God can offer.

".. asserting that there is no transcendent Cause for the universe, and that man is a fortuitous combination of molecules."

Sounds bad for atheists until you 'remember' that he's just defining atheists at this point, painting them in a dismal light.

" Morality does not exist..."

Ahh, now a lie, an outright barefaced lie.

".., or if it does, man, as his own god, determines its nature."

Followed by other horn of a false dilemma. Apparently there either is no morality OR man is 'being god'. Certainly men determine the nature of morality, but Wayne slips in that we need to be in 'god mode' to do it. He sets it up that Either God defines morality or 'man in god mode' defines morality, distancing morality from being a set of customs for the benefit of society.

"Atheism is a philosophical system of contradiction and confusion."

Bold statement. How does 'There are no gods.', become this system of confusion etc.?

" Atheists do, however, attempt to argue their case."

I thought Wayne said that he was going to prove his case. Now he seems to be taking his 'case' as a 'given', 'proven'?

"In this article, we will analyze two of the popular arguments employed in defense of atheism."

Wow, Wayne is setting his bar as low as he can go here, proving to his own satisfaction that a couple of atheist 'attempts to argue their case' don't measure up to his standards.

"Non-Design Negates God?"

Atheist, we 'hear' in this three and a half word sentence attempt to disprove the tautology of 'Designer therefore design, design therefore designer.'

"In contending for the existence of God, theists utilize the design argument, which postulates that where there is purposeful design, there must be a designer."

Panache anyone? I feel as if I'm being panache-pied in the face with all this 'contending' and 'utilizing' and 'postulating' of a silly 'definition' argument(purposeful design implies designer).

"That this type of reasoning is valid is not in doubt,..."

Rolling on the floor, laughing my fucking ass off. A word game, 'design' therefore 'designer'.

" especially for those who respect the authority of the Scriptures (which an atheist obviously would not)"

Paint your opponents as disrespectful and anti-authoritarian, WHILE painting the Bible AS a respected authority! (double whammy)

".., since it is employed by an inspired writer. Paul, in his epistle to the Roman saints, declared:
For the invisible things of him since the creation of the world are clearly seen, being perceived through the things that are made, even his everlasting power and divinity; that they may be without excuse (1:20)."

But this is an appeal to authority and hardly the logical evidence that Wayne was touting earlier.

"Thus, we may argue logically:
Premise #1: If the universe evinces purposeful design, there must have been a designer. "

Indeed if anything at all 'evinces' purposeful design, it must, BY DEFINITION have a designer. But you are simply posing the question AS the answer.

"Premise #2: The universe does evince purposeful design."

No, it doesn't.

"Conclusion: Thus, the universe must have had a Designer."

Wayne is simply repeating the word game, 'purposefully designed things have a designer', when the question of whether the universe IS designed IS the question. No God, no design.

"The basic point of contention, from the atheistic vantage point, would be the minor premise."

PANACHE alert! Waynes couches his second premise as 'minor', as if we've already proven from the tautology, "Purposefully designed things have a designer!", that the Universe IS purposefully designed!

" The infidel denies that the universe reveals purposeful design."

More panache! 'The infidel' no less! What a joke. And of course he finally reaches the nub of the argument. No, Wayne, you don't 'get away with' saying that there must be a design because there's a God, and there must be a God because the Universe is designed by HIM, and try to pawn that off as logical evidence.

"He feels that he can reverse the argument and make his point against the existence of God."

Why would anyone feel the need to reverse this circular argument?

" He would reason (incorrectly) as follows:
Premise #1: If the universe evinces traits of non-design, there is no Designer.
Premise #2: The universe does evince non-design.
Conclusion: Thus, the universe had no Designer."

What? Why would any atheist try to reverse a circular argument?

"The atheist’s argument is invalid for several reasons."

I'm thinking that Wayne has said 'atheist' when he's meaning 'straw man' here.

"In arguing our case for design, we are not obligated to show obvious design in every single feature of the universe."

Wayne wasn't obligated to write any of this drivel. Looking at some exact opposite ludricous point of view and claiming that this is(must be?) what atheists think is devious because Christians are likely to agree that Wayne's 'opposite' argument must be what 'the atheist' thinks, and we can all laugh at 'the atheist's' silly point of view now.

"We need only a reasonable number of sufficient evidences to establish design, hence, a Designer."

We haven't been exposed to ONE in this monologue.

" Here are two vital principles that must be kept in view:
It is possible that an object possesses purposeful design but that its design is not recognized by the observer. "

Are we down to asking ourselves if it's 'possible' that there 'might' be a God now?

"It is possible that an object once clearly reflected purposeful design, but that through the process of degeneration, its obvious design has been erased. "

Wow! Wayne seems to be readying an escape hatch against any evidence of anything that, if designed, are BADLY designed!

But, there was truck-loads of panache, and disdain. Not so much 'proof' though. No doubt 'faith' steps in to pose as 'proof' later in Wayne's "Case for the Existence of God!"

Saturday, June 19, 2010

The wall.

Seems to me that they have a wall of defense, ranging from the ludricous, "We speak in tongues, science is the Devil's tool!", to, "Christianity is philosophically correct, how can we NOT believe?"

Now while most do not care for the first argument(rolling eyes), most do not try to understand the second one!

Seems if one is smart enough to defend the philosophical arguments made over the millenia, one is also smart enough to use every trick in 'the book' to defend them.

Mostly, I'm thinking, it's diversion. Move the argument away from itself, so to speak.

Which philosophical religionist among is isn't willing to settle for a draw? You can't PROVE me wrong and I can't PROVE you wrong, therefore my position is as valid as yours! On the other hand, we have a couple of thousand years of 'the best minds' on our side, the ontological argument, the teleological argument etc. etc.

Even supposing that each one isn't a 'proof', let's say that they're 99% convincing(to me), then 3 X 99% is 297% convincing, isn't it? (Well, no.)

This is the wall. If one argument doesn't seem to be 'standing up', don't worry, it's not a brick wall, it's more like a force-field! If in doubt, simply accuse your accuser of being unintelligible, if not least because your sources are genius!( and who 'doesn't know' that geniuses are always right!?)

But we don't see these geniuses arguing against their own reason and logic, no.

Why ISN'T the World the Centre of the Universe like religious logic dictates??(It MUST have to have been considered TRUTH for so long, right?)

Guess the reason they took so long to come to a conclusion was not just to put the people they burned well into the past, but also to put that 'irrefutable' logic which they used to burn people, 'well into the past'' too! If we put the irrefutable logic that the World is the Centre of the Universe, 'in context', back when we were all 'morons', then that about covers it.

BUT, but at the same time we can still use that EXACT SAME logic to govern our beliefs now! JUST NOT the 'Earth centrist thing, that is bullshit!"

But while all this is going on, some theists also take the far right religionist positions, running interference for the so-called philosophical, sophisticated arguments, which by and large are the same old, "You can't PROVE we're wrong!", shit, that they've always been spouting, 'genius' or 'no genius'.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Flowers for Harry C. Pharisee!

(ahem)... Flowers!

I remember sitting in the bar one day, having a beer with Kenny and Dennis. I had been studying Spanish for a bit so, out of my mouth came, "Hey, Kenny, you're from Flores Island, did YOU know that that means 'Flowers' Island!?"

Kenny was a pretty tough kind of manly man, with a heart of gold, but his expression said, "If you weren't my pal, I'd punch you on the nose for saying that!"

Dennis spotted that too and decided to 'back Kenny up', "You are WRONG, because Flores Island was named after a Spaniard named Flores!"

Dennis considers himself a bit of a brain, which is cool 'cos we've had some good conversations, you know, for 'bar conversation', and he was sure that he 'had me there'.

So, not even having to think about it, I piped up, "Well, HIS name was Mr. Flowers though, so it's STILL Flowers' Island, right?"

(YES! Two points for Ian, YAY!)

I was wondering why anyone might consider it 'sissy' to have been brought up on 'Flowers' Island'?

Would Kenny have prefered it to have been named, "EvilBastard Island", or "Ironman Island", or like THAT, perhaps in Spanish?

We just don't know!

Happy b'day Harry!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Emotion = Magick

Seems to me that people are the same in one regard World-wide, from the tiniest baby to the oldest 'fossil'. Emotion. We delight in the delight of others and are horrified at the horror of other and we can delight in the horror of others and can be horrified at the delight of others.

I think that the terms 'spiritual', magickal and emotional are 'inter-confused' very easily and that we are more or less willing participants in this self-confusion and confusing of others.

I wonder if it is true that whoever makes you feel bad is evil, or at least being evil?

Is anyone that is making you feel good a good person or at least doing good?

I'm not sure if the story of the Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the 'greatest story ever told' but it certainly is constructed to invoke as many emotions as we have, deliberately(?) mixing emotions, mixing the idea of spirituality and emotions.

Jesus body, we hear, after being horribly tortured to death(sadness, anger, sense of unfairness etc.) is brought to a nearby tomb(sense of decency, right thing to do etc.) and the disciples are worried(aren't you?) that something might happen to it.(the body)

The solution is to have it guarded by some unbiased, unimpeachable 'policemen' of the time, Roman soldiers!(law, order, strictness following orders to the letter etc.)

During their watch, Jesus rises from the dead!(wonder, promise of dreams come true, justification of belief, we WILL meet our loved ones again and forever etc.)

((This doesn't necessarilly follow really, depending on whether you imagine another earthly life and not some kind of other-dimensional plane kind of everlasting life.))

But the Roman guards are bribed to lie about it. (disappointment, betrayal etc.)

At this crucial moment in the Christian faith, in this particular version, the guards are to be thought of as unimpeachable, unbiased witnesses to one thing(Jesus' body BEING there) AND impeachable, biased, easily corruptible, lying scoundrels when it comes to seeing Jesus' body come back to life! Or is it being accurate in their statement that no-one came took the body?(well, the essence of evil really.)

Are we encouraged to feel mixed emotions towards the only ACTUAL witnesses to Jesus' physical ressurection? Of course we are. Are we supposed to NOTICE that we're being encouraged to have profoundly mixed feelings towards those guards?

Well, I think that we're supposed to find spirituality in this mixed message, somewhere in this mix of feeling(that KNOWING) that authority is unimpeachable and that authority is(the KNOWING that authority is), at the exact same time, an illusion really, only as strong as the weakest link, men's avarice, in this case.

Meh, I dunno.(sadness)

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Politics in the U.S.A.

I haven't involved myself in the day to day minutia(sp?) of politics. From what I gathered growing up it seemed more like controlling people's attitudes than anything else.

I believe that in general, people, the majority on the bottom of the heap, lean, at least slightly to the left of centre. No matter how many businessmen or right-wing academics or pundits claim that the capitalist system will look after them, time and time again we've seen that the 'haves' tend to look after themselves and completely ignore the 'have-nots'.

I have been watching the political news on television lately, noticing what a drama it all is.

Passing the health-care bill is hailed a giant success for the people of the U.S.A. who, according to (at least) right-wing pundits isn't going over well with those people who stand to gain from these new rules.

Anyway I feel that there is a big picture here, where the control of the U.S.A has been compromised by corporations who hire ex-government employees for large dollars to help them control overall outcomes. I understand that it is dynamic, situations are mobile and such but it seems to me that Bush and his gang got in and rolled over the 'will' of the American people so hard that they got themselves booted from power.

Does this hobble the corporate interests? Not in the least. Seems the the left can be kept in check AND pushed to aquiece(sp?) to their agenda by simply paying right-wing extremists, propagandists and media to help block any forward movement of government while ALSO having watered down, right of centre bills passed and being hailed as great victories for the left.

Seems to me that part of PNAC's agenda was, and is, to bankrupt the U.S.A, a libertarian agenda, where they deliberately bankrupt the government, fulfilling their own prophecy that 'government' doesn't 'work'.

Apparently NOTHING has changed, in this regard, after a solid year of the new, so-called left-wing majority in the three branches of government in the U.S.A.

The new POTUS seems to be prepared to give lip service to the coming environmental catastrophe likely due to global warming, while 'negotiating' using environmentally risky ventures, for the sake of bipartisanship? Bipartisanerry? (Don't know, who cares?)

But trying to please the libertarian agenda of NO government is ludricous, isn't it? There is no middle ground. There's either good government or bad government, not some good government and some no government.

Obama is a fool for trying to compromise on an issue that has no compromise, on an issue where there IS NO compromise to be had.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The slippery slope.

How easy is it to imagine this train of events?

Since corporations can now give contributions to political parties for their campaigns we can see that it would be easy for giant companies to insert their candidate greased with big bucks to run for a particular party.

When all the right politicians are in place it would be easy to start changing the rules ever so slightly towards a more orderly and moral society. Perhaps we might wake up one morning to the news that it is no longer permissible to work on Sunday, or, in other words, everyone deserves a day off, these evil corporations have had their way for far too long, forcing secularization on the public at large like this.

Fundamentalist Christians would be dancing in the streets! The right wing media would be ecstatic, claiming peace throughout the land, one step closer to a right and moral society with good values.

A few more obscure laws and abortion suddenly becomes unconscionable, a disgrace, murder even!

Now, not only Fundamentalists, Catholics would be on board, one more step towards ALL admitting that life is absolutely sacred and holy and ought to be revered at least in principle, above all but God.

The next step is to encourage people to see that we are ALL servants of God. We are all here to do HIS bidding after all and the law of the land really ought to reflect this.

At this point the government has been filled with like-minded individuals and it is suggested that, although the Holy Bible is an inspired book it is not the last inspired word of God, obviously, because it seems to cause so many schisms.

The only thing for it really is to change calling yourself a servant of God to plain Muslim, which means the exact same thing after all.

Those who refuse? Well, there are, shall we say, methods of persuasion and the plain facts of the Quran as written by the last Prophet of God, Muhammed, peace be upon him, isn't there?

What do you say? Could NEVER happen?

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Can't 'really' know anything...

I'm arguing my point of view with a good man, a nice man, a man who feels like he knows where it's at.

But he seems to think that he's not just bandying words when he says, "I can't 'really' know anything at all!", then I point out that he is not being truthfull here because he obviously 'knows' that he is right about that. Then he goes on, "Oh no, YOU'RE being disingenuous because now YOU'RE using words in a way to mean what you want."

I admit that words are easy to twist. One of my main objections to philosophy, especially the theistic philosophy of Plato on through Descartes IS that the things they say, the conclusions that they come to don't mean a damned thing although they sound reasonable because they take both sides of the argument.

I think therefore I am, could mean that consciousness is like a first cause kind of thing, that it had to be before space and matter could exist OR it could just mean that the only way you can know that you exist is that you are a thinking being and thinking beings are the only 'things' that can think this.

I'm skeptical of this first view because saying that it is 'correct' seems to imply the supremacy of consciousness much as religion needs to and seems to be tending to confrim religious thinking. Having the second view of this statement seems to deem the statement unnecessary. So what if we are the only things in existence that 'know' we exist? Doesn't mean a damned thing right?

Still, convincing me that you 'can't know anything' seems silly because there doesn't seem to be nowhere to go there but to slyly take that all back then convince me that you know a helluva lot more that you're claiming in that 'first philosophy' of yours, yes?

Then if you start getting into 'first causes' and/or 'quantum physics'.. then you're REALLY calling yourself a total bullshitter, if you TRULY believe that you can't KNOW ANYTHING AT ALL.

Friday, March 5, 2010

What's going on?

I'm very suspicious by nature, so when I started getting those 'Forbidden' ... Access Denied 'things' instead of my favourite blogs, I naturally assumed that someone was out to 'get' me.

It's funny, but these things seem to come in waves, or you happen to change one thing and another thing 'just happens' to be starting at exactly the same time, much like Brian's Big Brain Synchronicity stuff.

If anyone is having a problem with this and can't access their own blog, I've found that searching for blogspot then signing in seems to get you to your own blog.

Has anyone figured this out yet? Perhaps you could comment with 'the' solution?