Tuesday, June 9, 2015

So, you think I'm going to hell?

So, you think I'll go to hell?  For disbelief?  Am I a bad person?  Have I raped or murdered anyone?  No.  I'm a good man, a loving father and husband, and a productive member of society.  Yet a child rapist need only repent in his final moments and, providing it was sincere, gets into paradise forever while I receive untold tortures for eternity?

  It should be painfully clear that such an idea lends nothing to a real conversation on morality.  There is nothing immoral about my dismissing your god as easily as you dismiss Allah and Zeus.  And any god who would send millions upon millions of good, honest people to hell for disbelief, or holding the "wrong" belief, yet lets child rapists and murders in to heaven having just come to Jesus on their last hour would be a god with such a poor sense of moral importance that it may be worth resisting him if it the Bible were true.

However, I'm 99% sure that if there is any sort of creative intelligence, it doesn't map on to any of the thousands of obviously man made religious books read today in languages they were not written in, having been translated and edited by the ruling class.

And I'm about 85% sure there is no creative intelligence at all because a creative intelligence would be more complex than the universe itself and would then require its own explanation that would then be more complex than itself, and so on, ad infinitum.  It is an infinite regress that increases in complexity forever, which makes no sense physically or metaphysically.

And again, back to the accident of geography, what makes YOU so lucky as to have been born into the correct religion?  "Believing" in the religion to which you are born has nothing to do with choice or morality or logical use of your intellect, and its nothing to be "proud" of.  You can't be "proud" that you're 6'2" or that you never bald or don't need glasses.  You didn't earn any of those things through effort and intentions, they are just accidents of genetics.

So ask yourself, then: what kind of monster creates the circumstances for billions of people to be born and taught the "wrong" information, and then orchestrates an endless punishment for them?

Kinda insane.

Saturday, June 6, 2015

And now, back to our originally scheduled program...

There are people alive right now who think there is some sort of magical cosmic battle playing out for which they are on the correct side of, due to nothing more evidence based than the accident of their birth to the correct geographical area to have been indoctrinated into the correct doctrine, despite the simple fact that had they been born elsewhere, they'd believe something entirely different.

This is the age of information.

There is no evidence that any one of the hosts of iron age books was the product of an all knowing, benevolent power.  Most of the holy books even get the answer to the question of "should we keep slaves?" wrong.  How can moral perscriptions be drawn from any book that gets one of the most easy moral questions of civilization wrong?

How can a book that spends pages upon pages detailing how to burn animals as a sacrament but never takes motions against rape or slavery possibly have any relevance to the lives of enlightened human beings in the 21st century?

How does anyone accept the idea that any consciousness able to create the whole of the cosmos would do so just to demand that one species of primates on one lonely planet amoungst a billion-billion planets be required to burn certain animals as a "sweet savor"?  What kind of simple, boringly brutish and all too human megalomaniac would burst into existence an untold billions of stars and galaxies just to make a world where he can angrily punish certain sexual activities of one type of animal on one of the galaxy's billions of planets?

And how does one religious group dismiss another's truth claims?  Which word-of-mouth, hyper-edited, contradictory set of stories passed down by illiterate iron age goat herders do we believe?

Even Pascale's wager fails here.  If one were to believe in a god simply to be "safe" from some sort of damnation just in case there is a god, then how does one go about deciding which of the 500-1000 different currently worshipped gods to believe in?  Or what if one of the thousands of dead gods from mythology was the correct one, and everyone now has it screwed up?

Or what if the Scientologists are right?

Scientology and Mormonism only seem to sound more ridiculous than other religions because they don't have the obscurance of time covering up their obvious nonsense.  Oh, but place some weird sounding text in the first century, and it all makes sense.  The writings of men who knew nothing of the germ theory of disease.  Who thought the sun, moon, and planets circles the ealrth.  Who thought epilepsy was a manifestation of evil powers because they did not understand neurology.

  If any one book was written by an omniscient being, one would think this would be the best possible book on any subject.

But the saddly, the best advice most of these supposedly divine books can muster is little snippets like "do unto others..." or "there is no compulsion in religion" buried within page after page of who to kill, when to kill them, how to kill them, how to subjugate your wife, how to abuse your children, when it's okay to commit genocide, when it's okay to rape the women of conquered peoples, who can be taken as slaves, how to appropriately abuse your slaves...

The Hubble telescope has shown us images of unbelievable beauty.  Stars exploding.  Galaxies swirling into each other.  A billion billion planets wrapped in the heavens of a billion galaxies in our own observable universe.

I can't believe for a moment that if all this has a creator, he could find no better use of his time now then to hate fags, damn people for their accident of birth, win highschool football games (for the team that prays the hardest), and find middle class white american women's car keys, menwhile allowing a generation of AIDS babies in Africa to grow up without parents.

Just think about this: at some point in the next hour or so a child is going to be raped.  A child.  Raped.  Every hour or so.  This happens every day.  If god does not stop this right now, he is either impotent or evil.

  Yet one of the biggest scandals in one of the biggest churches is child rape.  From the same church that preaches the sinfulness of contraceptive use in Africa where AIDs is killing off a generation of people.  Apparently, AIDS is bad, but contraceptives are worse, because they can ruin your after life!

There is no afterlife.  Our brains are just material.  And if there was an afterlife, I have no interest in spending it hanging around with a violent megalomaniac who makes his existence ambiguous while demanding worship and allowing sectarian violence to engulf a world he supposedly created out of love.

That is a made up god.  If there is a real god, she is not a meddler in our affairs; rather a grand mover.  She is probably just the laws of physics and need not be personified.  And I say "she" because this thing would have given birth to the universe.  What's a guy gonna do, blow it out his dick?  Talk about a big bang...

Joking aside, if we were to grant even a grand mover, we'd still be left wondering what created the creator.  Something complex must come from something more complex.  It creates an infinite regress that can't be reconciled.

We are not in a cosmic war.  Stop wasting your life by placing all your bets in one of a thousand baskets.  We will not create a truly pluralistic, peaceful world until we shed old dogmas and embrace the reality that we are all in this together, and this is the only chance we get.  

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

A Simulation of Self

Sometimes I think the I is a me, but it's really just a me I see in me that's not a thinker of thoughts, but an observer of what is a me;

so, occasionally, I'll forget that and see a will that's free of the me in me, although that me is a simulation of free and I can only be the me that's me.

Neurology can't be free of the me that I see and think is free; that me is just an endless sea of all the things caught inside of me that I've seen or heard; the life of me that makes the I a me from which I cannot be free; and who's this "I" I speak of so freely?

I don't know and can't account but by anyone's count I could have been another amount of thoughts that bounce around the house of a head so full of thoughts and doubts that it's about to blow; a mind so full of thoughts I just about have to shout to hear the me I think is me over the constant sounds that drown me out.

Maybe I can make a copy of me; just a CTRL C of an identity to paste on a different entity.  Like software running laterally to the reality of a mentality that fools a brain into the normality of duality.

Leave the creatures empty; the ghost in the shell is but a clever thought; the sentiment of an entity that doesn't grasp that sentience is not agency but an illusion of the laity to personify so selfishly and imagine a universe so sadly tiny that your center is the priority of a consciousness much more than thee; an authority so shallow and petty as to care who you fuck or what days you eat spaghetti.

This is a failure of your cognitive capacity to learn and use your thoughts compassionately; ignoring all the words of rationality while you indulge your race or nationality as if this is some crass reality where your luck of birth in actuality determines your worth or the factuality of your beliefs and commonalities.

Free your illusion from this delusion of selfish indulgence and focus annulment to all the false consoling you received from the alter of mindless contrition; make it your mission to live lives worth living and shed off the fear of a life of oblivion.    

Death erases only minds;

Our stardust exists forever.  

Thursday, May 29, 2014

"No Crimes Allowed" Sign Fails To Stop Crime

Every time we are confronted with a tragic mass shooting, most of the left and some of the middle light up with cries for stricter gun control.  But just what is "stricter gun control"?  And could making it “more strict” have helped stop any of these mass shootings?

First, let’s look at the facts.  In this latest shooting in California, the guns used were all purchased legally in a state that has some of the strictest gun control laws in the country.  They have bans on high capacity magazines.  They have “assault weapon” bans.  They have bans on most small handguns that could be easily concealed.  Each firearm purchase must be made through a Federally Licensed Firearms dealer, and the purchaser must submit to a thorough county, state, and nation-wide background check.  The purchaser must wait a ten day waiting period, as well as pass a written test on firearms safety.  These are most of the “stricter gun control measures” that the anti-gun crowd wants to see imposed, nation-wide.

And they didn’t work.

Harsh gun laws didn’t stop the shootings in California.  Or Connecticut.  And the state with the absolute most restrictive gun control laws in the country, Illinois, is also the home of the gun-murder capitol of the country, Chicago.  The laws don’t help there.  And why is that?  Well, simply put, criminals don’t follow laws.  That’s why they are criminals.  And insane people have this disturbing ability to act normal in public; often times charismatic.  You don’t know they are crazy until they start shooting people or setting off fertilizer bombs full of nails at marathons.

So, what additional gun control do these anti- gun-rights folks think is going to end mass shootings?  Well, so long as people have a way to buy guns, then, unfortunately, a crazy person is bound to get their hands on one eventually.  Whether they purchase the weapon legally themselves, have a friend purchase it legally then give it to them (a straw-man purchase), steal the weapon, or buy the weapon illegally on the black market, they will still get their hands on the weapon. 

The only way to stop just MOST of the mass shootings is a complete ban on legal guns.

This will never happen in America, nor should it.  My point is only that an absolute ban and forced confiscation of all legally owned guns would be the only way to make mass shootings less likely, and even the most ardent anti-gun people aren’t even suggesting that.  Besides, here’s the rub: mass shootings are the least common type of gun murder, or murder in general for that matter.  You are far more likely to be stabbed or shot by a street criminal than gunned down in one of these rare but shocking and sad mass shooting events that garner national attention.  Last year, Chicago had 100 gun murders by the end of April… more dead in four month, in one city, than by all the mass shootings in the rest of the US for the entire year combined.  And that’s in the city with the most stringent “gun control” measures in the entire country. 
So, while mass shootings might have a serious decline in the face of a total ban on legal firearms, this would have little effect on the real violence problem in America: the street criminals and the gangs.  And these criminals would still have access to the tens of millions of illegal guns on the black market.  Also, disarming the population would be an open door for an increase in personal, violent crimes.  Mugging, assault, rape, home invasion… the less concerned criminals are of meeting effective opposition, the more brazen they become.  You are 300 times more likely to be physically assaulted in Great Britain than in the US.  Their street punks and hooligans know they can attack people without fear of armed opposition.       

So, what can we do?  What will make the mass shootings stop?  We need to recognize that mass shootings are a uniquely American problem.  There are other countries with high levels of gun ownership that don’t have citizens losing their shit and killing classrooms full of children several times a year.  There is something wrong here.  Is it media?  Mental health?  It can’t just be “access to guns”, or else Canada would have just as many mass shootings as we do.  I don’t know how to keep mass shooters from getting guns.  But I have some ideas of how we could all be safer.

Concealed carry permits and “gun free zones”                      

California is a “May Issue” state, meaning you can only be approved for a concealed carry permit by your county’s Sheriff by proving “good cause” for needing one.  General self defense is not recognized as “good cause”, so basically, most people are denied a permit.  But if someone does manage to get a permit, they are then hampered by “gun free zones” all over the place.  Concealed carry could and should operate as a deterrent to criminals.  But, rather than allowing licensed people to conceal carry their legal guns where ever they like, we instead put up signs literally announcing to criminals and would-be mass shooters that every law-abiding citizen under the imaginary reach of the sign is sure to be unarmed.  Gun free zones are an illusion of safety.  Whether it is a campus, an office building, a military base, or a park, the only people who will follow the instructions of the “gun free zone” or “no guns allowed” signs are people already obeying the law.  They are not the people causing the trouble.  But they are the people who will die defenselessly if a mad man with a gun shows up. 

Now, I do believe that getting a concealed carry permit should require a more serious show of proficiency with a firearm than they do now, at least from my experience with CCP classes in North Carolina.  And, like police, permit holders should have to qualify at a shooting range once a year.  But, if a law abiding citizen does choose to become a concealed carry permit holder, they should be allowed to carry their concealed weapon wherever they want.  Period.  This hasn’t been tried yet in modern America, but it worked in the old days.  The “wild west” wasn’t really that wild.  Everyone carried a firearm, so you didn’t just ride into a town and start shooting people in the street.  The entire town would shoot back.  Could any of the 900+ lives lost to mass shooters in the past 7 years have been saved by an armed CCP holder?  We don’t know, because almost every one of these shootings took place in a “gun free zone”.  So much for the efficacy of signs and laws.   

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

two choices...



And the State of things is set
for yet another broken machine to be repaired by a broken machine.
Lined up from here to eternity; some maintenance required.
And we don’t see the meat and malice
that keeps breaking the robots of social control
and making us the repairmen
Of our own demise. 
And they are getting fatter and fatter
Each time we lay down arms and minds
And run to the aid of our electric masters
In towers like white gods.
To request the privilege of our temporary satisfaction.
Nothing is pretty in this world when everything is for sale
An arms race to browbeat the banal
And exalt what’s still less than extraordinary
And fill the insides with sugar and despair,
And sell us our happiness an hour at a time.
Life passes with time, and time is money,
so money is life when time is spent on things less perfect. 
Yet I am pacified. 
Crime and suffer, time and pay, cower and fear, repent and pray.   
They get you in the end,
Either way.
Doesn’t it make you feel better?

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Natural Laws?


What is natural about law?  The idea of laws defies nature.  You want to hear a natural law?  Gravity.  That’s a natural law.  But when it comes to laws we have in society, such as laws against murder, rape, and theft, there are certainly not natural laws.  Nature is rife with murder, rape, and theft.  Some entire species of animals completely depend on theft to survive, like scavengers that wait for the apex predator to leave their kill alone for a little too long and then swoop in and chow down.  Many animals use rape as the only way to spread their seed.  Tree frogs that don’t have an alluring enough croak to obtain a mate, for instance, will lurk around a very strong, vocal male and when the ladies come a hoppin’, the weaker males literally jump on them and go to town.  And murder; do I even need a description of all the murder that takes place in the wild?  Lions kill zebras.  Snakes kill bunnies.  And, most notoriously, homo-sapiens kill each other.   

So much for “natural laws” keeping us in check.  Now, there is some evolutionary reasons  that we know it’s wrong to kill other members of our tribe.  Survival of the individual is contingent on the strength of the group for a pack animal like us.  But as we can see throughout history and prehistory, “thou shalt not kill” only seems to apply to “us”.  The same courtesy need not be applied to strange tribes.  In fact, evolutionarily speaking, there is an argument to be made that being too altruistic in tribal times could have been a weakness that would cause a tribe to die off at the hands of more ruthless tribes, therefore ending the more altruistic tribe’s genetic effect on the human population.  

There are no natural laws that say we shouldn’t kill.  Hell, in nature, you can die the moment you are born; eaten by a wolf for instance, and there is no great arbitrator that is going to punish the wolf for breaking a “law of nature”.  As a matter of fact, that wolf may live on to become stronger because of that meal of an infant animal, and father a litter of strong cubs that will one day kill other cute baby animals as well.  In effect, nature rewards the wolf for devouring a baby.  It sounds awful, but that is the reality of nature.  I am glad we are an advanced enough animal to realize that nature is cold, morally neutral, and rarely fair, and so we make laws and ideas that keep abusive people in check and try to create some sort of fairness in the world.    

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Burning fossil fuels to find a place to hike


The monsters are here and we are programmed to be one of them
To breed and then tell our creatures who they are. 
The truth we choose not to understand can’t save us now…
Make up a fable to ensure the future is one where they have to look up
To our faces and praise. 
We need devotion because we can’t become frail
Without hook line and sinker sunk to protect us
From new ideas of temporary discomfort.
Demand devotion and consume the land with fire
And the air with smoke.
The acrid sting is so far entwined it becomes honey and wine
to noses less animal and more human than humane. 
Understand this: nothing else will do.
No new act can be performed.  This repetition must be maintained
Because we were never wrong. 
Don’t show us who we really are.
Why would we want to see?
What good is shame?  Or starting again?
These towers keep us in, where we can be safe from the things that want us dead.
The monsters are here,
And we are them. 
Don’t change a thing, you beautiful disaster.