what a fool believes

I use the term “fool” loosely and only to bring to mind the lyrics of the song by that title:

But what a fool believes … he sees
No wise man has the power to reason away
What seems … to be
Is always better than nothing

Here’s the thing: sometimes, and often as a coping mechanism, a person can believe what’s easier to accept; not necessarily what is true. We can lie to ourselves (or choose not to see) the affair our partner is having, the drugs our child is doing, the poor decisions that we have made for ourselves, et al.  When it comes to religion, people become sheep of unyielding, blind obedience.  I especially question those that are scholarly (Mayim Bialik) or that are well-versed in the psychology of Man and how ideas impregnate and propagate; how history is edited and “facts” are created, yet continue to worship the elusive Supreme Being.  We’ve all played the game of telephone and possibly believed that someone deliberately altered the story for it to have been so inaccurate by the time it reached the other end of the line.   When it comes to studying for the sake of worship, once experience, science or common sense have debunked even 3 of the ideologies or “facts” this doctrine perpetuates, that should offer enough reasonable doubt to stop defending what one clearly does not understand.  Allow me to enumerate some pretty basic precarious proclamations:

The Bible pretty much starts off shaming women for their menstrual cycle.  I knew a female growing up, that was not [permitted] to go to church while menstruating, as she was considered impure.  The Bible explains that the pain of childbirth and the menstrual cycle are a punishment for the misdeeds of Eve in the Garden of Eden.   So women have to blame this this pseudo-ancestor for the horrors of childbirth and menstrual cramps and, provided that Eve has been dead for 6 millennia, there’s no chance of her repenting, so this is a cross women are to bear.  Then, what happens when you go to school, take health and biology courses and learn the function of the menstrual cycle?  What happens when you find out that dogs also have periods?  What happens when you take into account that the Bible was written at a time more than a thousand years before for The Plague that took out 1/3 the population Europe–the Plague that was essentially ‘cured’ with hygiene?  What then, do you do when you take into account that not up until the late 1800’s  (in the United States) was public education available for girls.  So many years after the Bible was written, edited and, until the past 50 or so years was interpreted exclusively  by men, blind sheep pride themselves on being such avid, unwavering, faithful followers.

There is episode of Family Guy that addresses the ironic and somewhat comical and arbitrary rejection of advanced technology in the Amish community.  The purpose is to not be seduced by the luxuries and temptations of the “outside world” that may lure them away from their Amish family, community and beliefs.  This is ironic because the Amish do utilize some extent of technology, only it’s the technology that was available during the lifetime of it’s founder.  This is to suggest that what was considered too luxurious, too distracting from worship was relative to the technologies available at that time.  The question then is, if the religion was founded in Medieval times, would the Amish be allowed to ride bicycles? For the Amish, when it comes to such concepts as food storage,  in many cases (depending on how orthodox one may be) one must decide whether to get an ice box (and regular ice deliveries), pitch-in for community storage (minimized use of electricity), get a gas-powered refrigerator or break down and use electricity.  Living a simple life is commendable–they are a close-knit, private, self-sustained community.  The problem is that should one decide that they seek more out of life (such as furthering their education), they risk being shunned.  Again, a religion that teaches temperance and love of thy neighbor fails to teach tolerance and frowns upon educating oneself.  The religion is not about the individual, but sustaining a community and passing on a heritage.  Cool.  As it so happens, it doesn’t appeal to most people.

The Bible says that God plucked a rib from Adam to create Eve.  While the sentiment is sweet, a couple of biology and history courses should clear that right up.  For, we find in nature that opposite genders are an attribute of species that practice sexual (as opposed to asexual) reproduction.

We are told that all was well and all were nude in the Garden of Eden, but as part of the punishment, they became aware of their nakedness and felt a new sense of shame.  Well, when it boils right down to it, every culture treats nudity and sexuality differently.  Throughout the world, most civilizations cover, if nothing else, their genitals. This has everything with preserving your ability to procreate.  Every life form seeks to replicate itself.  Men cover these parts so that they are not vulnerable to injury, an enemy (one could cripple their opponent by rendering them unable to reproduce), to keep their testicles warm and to even the playing ground when seeking a mate (as opposed to being chosen based on size alone).  Women cover their genitals for practically the same reasons.  Additionally women cover themselves to thwart advances, not for shame.   The shame that we feel is something that we develop during adolescence.  Toddlers do not have such shame.  The shame stems from standards of beauty imposed by society that we may not live up to.  The embarrassment of being seen naked is more of a feeling of vulnerability.   When we are naked, it’s like letting the table see your hand.  We are not ashamed to be naked when it is by our choice or to our benefit.

One of the most disturbing tendencies of theists is their assumption that they are morally superior. It might even be cause for alarm, that people rely on pious rhetoric as their moral foundation. Perhaps theists simply don’t realize that many of the most revered individuals throughout history have been nonbelievers and morally upstanding citizens all at once. Religious folk tend to spend more time trying to appear holier than they are or ever will be.  These religious folk have great nerve to speak of love, all the while ridiculing the fornicators, the gays, the unwed mothers, the prostitutes, the foreigners, etc.  The Ku Klux Klan are, typically, Southern, white, God-fearing Christians.  KKK often doesn’t have to answer to local authorities because they ARE they local authorities.  Notwithstanding that killing is illegal, it’s one of the Ten (pretty simple) Commandments.  It goes to show that not even they believe the shit they preach: we are all God’s children. These people go out of their way to distance themselves from what they deem morally inferior, all the while shoving their own skeletons back into the closet. There are pastors screwing members of the congregation, priests raping or molesting boys, preachers that publicly denounce homosexuality up until the moment they’re caught bent over with their pants down. There are places in the world where a female pregnant out of wedlock is expected to kill herself, rather than bring shame on her family.  Although that expectation is based in culture, as opposed to religion, the people that uphold these traditions are worshippers.  On what moral ground does the father stand that lets his daughter kill herself for after impregnated out of wedlock, even if she was raped? Had it not been for disbelief and dissidence, civilization would be stuck in the Stone Ages.

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what it’s about

what it's about

hdthefog; dark energy matters references dark matter and dark energy in the universe.  Neither of these “dark” elements were have known to exist a hundred years ago and are not visible.  As it pertains to the question of whether there is a God or Supreme Being, dark energy matters.

Because the image is hard to read, this is what it says:

Dark Matter is matter that emits or reflects minimal to no light, but does have a gravitational influence, Evidence for dark matter appears to be present in

  • the motions of stars in galaxies
  • the orbits of galaxies in galaxy clusters
  • the temperature of intracluster gas in galaxy clusters
  • the gravitational lensing of distant galaxies

Some possible types of dark matter include:

  • Massive compact halo objects (MACHOS): these are large objects like brown dwarfs and jupiter-sized planets that exist in the halos of galaxies.
  • Weakly interacting massive particles (WIMPS): these are subatomic particles that have extremely small masses, but exist in great quantities. Neutrinos are an example of such a particle.

DARK ENERGY is the term used for a possible unseen influence that may be causing the universal expansion to accelerate. Recent observations of supernovae have produced a value for an acceleration that implies a universe that is about 70% dark energy.

We are in a new age of exploration.  The discovery of dark matter and dark energy is relevant to understanding what propels the universe; what inherent forces influence the activity that creates planets, stars and ultimately resulted in the formation of what we call “life”.  We don’t think about the unseen forces that propel life and how interdependent these forces may be.  For instance, we do not think about the role that either gravity or electricity play in blood circulation throughout the body.  There are atoms that combine to make molecules, e.g. O2 and H2O, these molecules are essential to life.  Organisms are composed of cells and if a cell is deformed or malfunctioning, the development of the organism will be compromised e.g. an extra chromosome during fetal development = Down Syndrome.  There are contingencies and natural algorithms that conduct the world that we observe around us and these phenomena occur throughout the universe.  As more information is gathered, continually unraveling the mysteries of the universe, we are finding answers to questions that many never previously thought to ask. Whether one chooses to believe that it all started with “a big bang”, it’s quite apparent that the milky way and the numerous other galaxies are not the work of a anthropomorphized floating entity that concerns itself with the daily goings-on of the 7 billion people on Earth now and the billions of people that have lived in the past.

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and that is??

and that is??

This was in my newsfeed on Facebook. I wanted to ask the poster, “and who would that person be?” Certainly you do not suggest the hand of God wrote the excerpts carefully selected to be included in the Bible. And the Lord, Jesus, didn’t write any of the books in the Bible. And in fact, every chapter in the Bible is written by a different person.

the chicken and egg

Which came first: the chicken or the egg?  If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?

My take:

The chicken came first.  The tree makes a sound.  These are not mysterious to me, although philosophically stimulating to many.  I say the chicken came first because something had to incubate the egg.  Adaptation and evolution would explain the disparity concerning origin, because as each generation of species adjusts or adapts to their environment, the offspring evolve.  Thus, the offspring possess traits that the predecessor does not.  This is to say that the chick that we know today is not the same as the original offspring.  Therefore, over the scope of time, whatever would have been born of the organisms that originated in the oceans, including chickens, would have to be the product or offspring of something else.  The fact is that all organisms have to go through an infancy and then a reproductive phase as a fact of life.  In order for an egg to exist, it would have to come from something that reproduced (re i.e. again and produce i.e. create) a virtual copy of itself.

As for the tree in the forest: I get it. If no one is there to receive the vibrations, is there a sound?  Similar to Schroedinger’s theory of the cat being both dead and alive, as it is neither until it is observed and declared to meet the criteria of one or the other.  The thing is, the definition of sound is independent of human observance.  I realize that even time is a human-conceived concept, but it is based on observable scientific law.  I would liken this  question to be equivalent to asking whether time passes if you aren’t looking at the clock.   There are pre-existing criteria that define both “time” and “sound” that are met whether there is a human to observe and acknowledge them.

How do the bugs get into the ceiling light?  I never looked it up, but I would imagine that since bugs are attracted to light, and heat is used to incubate eggs, and light produces heat, that insects are laying eggs in or near the lights that eventually hatch.  I could look this question up to find someone else’s answer, but that one satisfies my common sense.

My point is that it can be that simple to come to a reasonable explanation without listening to and spreading the dogma of whichever doctrine to which one subscribes as opposed to simply being true to oneself and recognizing that many of us take for granted that what we learned growing up is the truth–simply because it’s what we were taught.  We take for granted that, no matter what extent, a good amount of what we believe is what was recited to us and committed to our memory over time.  Unless you stop, question, identify and test what you have come to believe, you will continue to believe what is most familiar or comfortable but not necessarily what makes sense.

Aside

Sometimes less is more.  I saw the Jim Beam’s “Devil’s Cut” bourbon commercial in which the gimmick is that they have devised a way to extract bourbon from the saturated wood.   I wondered what possessed them to try to extract the bourbon from the wood.  I suppose that it’s supposed signify the degree of potency, aroma or woody flavor.  But who is to say that that would make the bourbon taste better? On the part of the manufacturers, this may be a business-saving measure, necessary for the sustenance of their enterprise; or on the more likely end, it’s one more way to sell a product to people by making them think it is something they have been missing [and therefore needing] all the while.  Next, in considering the potency factor, it’s called The Devil’s Cut. The title is a blatant acknowledgement, if not association with the potential negative effects of alcohol.

There is Belvedere vodka commercial that says, there are only 93 summer nights–shows people with clear liquid in glasses, toasting with a bottle of Belvedere between them at which time the narrator continues provocatively: make each one count.   It would seem as though this commercial condones, if not encourages drinking vodka on a daily basis, notwithstanding the long term and short term affects of alcohol use, abuse, and overdose.  Even if you do not abuse alcohol–perhaps you have one drink per day for 30 years, there is a risk of dependency.  Of course, most people do not use alcohol in such moderation over extended time.  Most people that have had alcohol, have found themselves accidentally drunk and subsequently embarrassed.  With alcohol there is risk of overdose, risky behavior, poor/lapse in judgment, fighting, erratic or exaggerated emotions, incidence of physical, sexual or mental abuse, rape, domestic violence, black outs, life-altering consequences, hangover, vomiting, hepatitis, pancreatitis, cirrhosis, gout, high blood pressure, jaundice, vitamin deficiency, ascites, encephalopathy, seizures, delirium tremens, tremors and death (pardon me if I’ve left out something)

That said, when it comes to what is being marketed, which is implicitly acceptable, I am disappointed that there are those that can ignore all the aforementioned in the defense of the War on Drugs and other determinations made be the FDA, ATF and for that matter the NRA and all the other bureaucratic agencies on the pay roll behind the scenes unaffected by and unyielding to the laws they impose.

what they’re selling

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perspective

perspective

because I lived through a recent fire that consumed almost all of my possessions, many people sought to be encouraging by telling me that it was a sign that God is not through with me. Someone told me that it proves there is a God. Really? And what of the people that don’t live through fires, that get raped and murdered and dismembered, that are victims of natural disasters, congenital diseases…
Clearly a matter of perception