It’s dots all the way up, and turtles all the way down.
Inner space is as infinite as outer space.
Where there is life there is hope.
Religion is a box; spirituality is a golden spiral.
Get over it. The world you thought was real is a total sham. Most of what you see is a tiny fraction of what is there. Even worse, you repress your own basic needs as well as your own potentially boundless creativity, understanding, and desires at the behest of community, commercial, economic, religious, societal, and/or state institutions rather than to make the life of your fellow man better. That doesn’t even count the actual oppression, which usually doesn’t need to occur because we’re so darn good at being repressed!
The reality is that the entirety of the universe much less our planet and even our society are still beyond our scope of understanding by a factor of 10 to 100 or more than we naturally assume after watching a TV program explaining scientific facts, reading a book by a leading author on a subject, taking a class, or even getting a major with a teacher at the top of their field. Once you get to the end of the line on a journey of known scientific thinking you can suddenly peer out over the edge and notice what a flimsy little raft of understanding we are standing on.
We’re trying to imagine moving beyond our solar system, which is great, and I encourage this; but we barely have the first clue as to how the deepest bottoms of our own oceans work yet. That does seem like it should be of equal priority, and sadly, it basically is. They are both of little or no priority. It’s a good thing corporate America is here! They’ll pillage any landscape no matter how pristine in search of the almighty dollar. Who knows, there could be oil down there. Wouldn’t that make some money? By all means lets accelerate this environmental catastrophe by allowing the pursuit of tangible things attached to intangible ideas like money for other intangible ideas like power!
Well, let’s not ruminate too deeply on how completely upside down the world is. How about instead we just start being a bit more critical. Yeah, same old thing, same old application. Ask more questions. Doubt more often. Stop overlooking things and try underlooking them. Maybe slide past things in an especially cool looking matrix-like manner occasionally, you know, just for a goof. Life can still be fun, even when you’re fighting the greatest attacks on personal freedoms since the end of feudalism!
So, on to the good stuff. I propose a new law.
The Law of the Unknown:
Most of what there is to know is yet to be discovered.
- This law will enforce humbleness upon science – something it has yet to learn.
- This law will be a challenge to defeat – how do you disprove something that we haven’t proved exists yet – a limit to what we can know.
- This law will encourage us to think of new questions rather than always merely questioning old questions.
Of course, we should still remember to question the answers to old questions too, as well as the old questions themselves – that’s just fun anyway isn’t it. Yeah I know, I’m weird. ^^
All I’m essentially saying is what Giordano Bruno said, but I’m trying to extend it to all gods, science as a belief system, the state as a god/belief, capitalism as a belief/worldview, democracy as a belief/worldview, etc, ad nauseum is simply this: “Your God is too small.”
Aw what the hell, I’ll go ahead and fill in some blanks. Your ‘Physics’ is too small. Your ‘Biology’ is too small. Your ‘Chemistry’ is too small. Your ‘Quantum Physics’ is too small. Your ‘Equality’ is too small. Your ‘Capitalism’ is too small. Your ‘Democracy’ is too small. Your ‘Communism’ is too small. Your ‘Socialism’ is too small. Your ‘Economic Model’ is too small. Your ‘Liberty’ is too small. Your ‘Social Model’ is too small. Your ‘Knowledge’ is too small. Your ‘Morality’ is too small. Your ‘Universe’ is too small. Maybe even your love is too small.
Your ‘Ego’ is too big. It’s OK. Mine is too. Well hell, honestly, how do I know that all of this of mine isn’t actually all too small for any of you? I don’t. I’m sure it is for some if not all. That relieves me. It seems like not enough people are growing. Society is certainly trying to keep us as as small as possible isn’t it? I thought I’d better get it out there before the thought police come along. I’m off to frolic for a bit.
P.S. Yes I just watched Cosmos.
P.P.S. I just like writing P.P.S.
P.P.P.S. I don’t believe in scientific laws.
A rigorous study has shown that when congregations of people pray for an ill person and that person is told about the prayers of the congregation they die more frequently. Apparently “God” hates it when we nag him.
We obviously have no time for logic here, but the logical answer is that all those people knowing about the situation stresses sick people out. The pudding in that proof is that when strangers pray for ill people there is no difference in their survival rate.
I recognize that this is “old news” but people still don’t understand this simple truth.
I’m off to go pray for Dick Cheney’s health and then send him a personal letter telling him I’ve prayed for him. Afterwards, I will send a letter to his congregation asking them to do so as well. I’m sure they’ll take care of making sure he knows they prayed for him, essentially doing anything short of actually taking any action to help him. Actually, now that I think about it, the study was about people with heart problems. I’m pretty sure Dick doesn’t have his own heart, he has someone else’s heart, so perhaps none of this applies to him.
Of course, I jest, I don’t wish death even for sociopathic mass murderers. Even without a religion, for some reason I’ve put this silly idea in my head that all human life is should be respected, if not sacred, and not taken by each other. Of course, it could be sacred, as long as we can acknowledge it’s a completely made up self-serving concept.
This is an ancient rant by Joe Rogan on some radio show. Back in the days of The Man Show I thought Joe Rogan was just another comic, and of less than average intelligence. I was wrong.
This debate is required viewing for anyone who appreciates the work of either of these two great minds. It takes place in 1971 as the war in Vietnam rages on. They discuss their respective specialties, human nature, the direction of society, society’s institutions, class warfare, capitalism, Marxism, anarcho-syndicalism, and much more.
This article from Roar Magazine (which claims a share of the credit for translation) about the debate adds some interesting background information and contains a full transcript of the discussion.
There is also another complete version that doesn’t appear to omit anything except the additional commentary; though most would probably benefit from the clarifications of the commentator included in the first video.
It feels good to believe things. It is nice to not have doubts. The world is so full of doubt. Belief systems take care of so many doubts. They make us feel secure. That said, I’m fairly certain that any type of true security is an illusion. Worldviews are quite close to beliefs in that they are like filters that we see our world through, but unlike beliefs they are theoretically changeable through rational discourse or scientific evidence.
I find it unfortunate that many people make their worldviews into beliefs. The best example is the worldview of an extreme political partisan such as a Democrat, Republican, socialist, or communist. Other examples of worldviews that often turn into beliefs include realism, idealism, conservatism, liberalism, and even atheism.
Even if people reject beliefs we still seem to have a pervasive need to attach some sort of spiritual significance to our lives. Perhaps this need exists in the human psyche because we still have more questions than answers and it makes us feel insecure. I am no exception, which is why I try to keep myself from being a believer by reserving 1% doubt about any idea. A lack of belief in ideas is what I think I need to keep from getting pulled into a cult. This is because I’m rather gullible at times, and I have been in two “cults” before. Specifically, I was a Lutheran and a Democrat. I know calling Lutherans cult members is an extremely unpopular thing to do in a Christian nation, but bear in mind that most Christian denominations consider any sufficiently different variation from their religious beliefs in another Christian group to be enough to make it a cult. For example, the church I was a part of until I was eighteen taught that the Mormon church is a cult. The idea that a political party is a cult is pushing the boundary of the word a bit, but partisanship in America has become so extreme in recent years that it is an accurate description of adherents.
I have also noticed that spirituality, beliefs, and religion have been subtlety inserted into our self-help groups and legal processes. All the chemical dependency and mental illness facilities/groups I have ever heard about encourage, if not require, people to find a religion, spiritual path, or at least a “higher power.” Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous are largely voluntary and free examples of such groups. There are other programs and facilities that people are forced to pay for under the law, after getting a drunk driving ticket for example, that require such thinking too. As you might guess, it deeply disturbs me that the state in any way requires or endorses spirituality or religion.
I support everyone’s right to think whatever they want to; yet I encourage people to not believe each other, but rather believe in each other (a subtle difference). Let’s retain the wall of separation between church and state. Let’s erect a new wall between spirituality and the state. Let’s remember what the nature of a cult is. They pull people in with comforting dogma that answers unanswerable questions. They fill people’s heads with silly beliefs like the holy trinity, totally equal distribution of wealth, or trickle down economics. While believers may feel safer, get to drink some tasty Kool Aid, and wear some nice Nike shoes; in the end people usually die because of a lack of rational thought. Political believers are not an exception.