9.13.2004

God, Coffee, Japanese War Lords

I don't know if there is a God or not but I think it's human nature to want to believe in some greater order of things. That idea of intelligent design is at odds with my belief in evolution and the fact that our brains are made of chemicals which are subject to the laws of physics. There is a PBS show called the Sacred Balance that I identify with because it explains our existence in relative terms. We're not an island unto ourselves according to the narrator, we're all part of one interconnected planet. It seems to have some Ludditite undertones which I'm sceptical of.

Emergence sums up my take on why I'm sceptical of the existence of a soul.
"According to an emergent perspective, intelligence emerges from the connections between neurons, and from this perspective it is not necessary to propose a "soul" to account for the fact that brains can be intelligent, even though the individual neurons of which they are made are not." Ironically it's the same theory that leads me to believe that someday I might accept some kind of spirituality in my life. "Emergent structures are patterns not created by a single event or rule. There is nothing that commands the system to form a pattern, but instead the interactions of each part to its immediate surroundings causes a complex process which leads to order... What distinguishes a complex system from a merely complicated one is that some behaviours and patterns emerge in complex systems as a result of the patterns of relationship between the elements."

So what about the preceding quote appeals to me? Well, the maddening complexity of the interactions that are abstracted from the relative simplicity of the laws of physics that govern the components of the object in question, the mind in this case. It's a loophole in my argument against dualism. The coffee is wearing off, I guess you could argue that a lack of caffeine lowers my ability to think by an order of magnitude because the components of the brain increase by at least an order of magnitude by virtue of the fact that there may be some truth to the idea behind the butterfly effect. Coffee being the butterfly in this case. I have a good book called the Essence of Chaos I bought a long time ago, interesting read if you're into this stuff.

I saw The Last Samurai last night. It got pretty bad reviews but I liked it. Now I'm not sure if it idealized their way of life but if not, that life seems pretty close to perfect. It's hard to have guilt and no one repent to. I wonder if Japan will ever ease their immigration policies. I'd like to find a job that encourages tellecommuting so I can live in a small village in Japan with a good Internet connection and wise old people to keep me in line.


58 Comments:

Blogger GovernmentBAAAAAADGovernmentGOOOOOOD said...

Obviously religion was first created to explain the crazy world everyone lived in. The sun, the stars, night, day.....and that jazz was so hard to comprehend that it makes sense that they would make up stories to explain it without any evidence.

I think death is the main reason why we still have religion today and why it was first started. Explain and dealing with death is the most important function of religion. Think about how much easier it is for people who lose loved ones to imagine that they are floating on a cloud in a better place. Also it helps ease the fear of death. I don't know what the world would be like if everyone suddenly believed that when you die its like a light being switched off and you no longer exist on any level. It would be a much scarier world.

I don't think I believe in an afterlife.......I wish I did but I just can't believe in it. I think its typical of the human mind to be so pompous to think that we have an afterlife. The reality is each one of us is so insigificant. The world, the galaxy, the universe are so vast and so much is going on and has been for SOOO long and will for SOOO long that to think that we are special at all is just unrealistic and it shows humans inherent arrogance. 90 years? 90 years is nothing. I don't think our brains are even complable of making a comparision of 90 years versus the life of everything.....the earth, the universe.....even since man was first on this planet shows how insignificatn individual life is.


Life has never really meant what it means now until the emergence of the modern western world. I should correct myself. I mean a life or individual lives. In most underdevloped countries, i.e. Iraq, you can see the lack of respect people have for life. Can you imagine walking down the street and seeing a dead person just lying there? How horrible! People wouldn't sleep for weeks in the US if they saw this! In underdeveloped countries this is common. War torn regions of the world produce humans who view life as nothing. Before we had it so easy here in the western world life wasn't aynthing. Now that its so easy to live, and we don't fear much, we suddenly view strangers lives as the most precious of things. I think this is strange. Maybe its good but maybe its bad.

I think in the past when people viewed death and loss of life as a bad thing it was simply because they lost someone they loved, cared about or depended on. Strangers just didn't matter. Do you think people in the Sudan understand the idea of a life as we do in America?

Now bring back to religion. I used to think religion was a good thing. It gives people down on their luck hope, it makes people feel good, it explains death. Recently i've realized I hate religion. I think there is a big difference between believing in god and believing in religion. There could be a god but there is unequivolly not a correct religion. One is just as made up as the next. They have no connection to a possible god. All these religions have ended up doing/ causing most of the trouble the world as ever known. Look around the world....every major conflict is happening because of religion(mostly islam). Think about all absolutely horrible stuff that has happened in the name of religion. Because of religion I think the value of a human life has become nothing. It is because of religious wars and intolerance that we had and have created large ammounts of people who don't value life. This plays right into the hands of religion. Most religions play down your importance. You are to think everything is about your god. Please you god. Live for him. I hate this.

I think the best thing that could happen to the world is if we collectively just stopped believing them. Believe in god. Believe god wants you to be the best person you can be. Try and be that person and then relax and enjoy life. I think the world would be a beautiful place without religion.

3:46 PM  
Blogger Anonymous Person said...

I don't think religion, god, and spirituality are related in a very deep way. I also think people's need for religion is more about life than death. People see the harsh realities of life and want to believe that there is justice, equity, etc. The reason there are so many Islamic extremists is because they look at the huge gap in standard of living between us and them and they believe that in a just world this wouldn't be the case. The LA riots were based on the exact same principles except there wasn't an easy target in Islam to blame.

Just because you see a dead person lying in the street outside your home doesn't mean you have a lack of respect for life. Have they been desensitized to violence? Sure. If anything they have a more profound understanding of life because of what they've witnessed but accept apathy as a defense mechanism.

I think we all have much more in common, even with different cultures and religions than not. You really can't blame Islam for the problem, in fact, it's a fairly peaceful religion. You can blame human nature subjected to a brutal set of circumstances. Look at the crusades, watch the movie Bloody Sunday about the Catholics and Protestants. Terrorism, violence, are the result of inequity and human emotion not religion.

5:07 PM  
Blogger GovernmentBAAAAAADGovernmentGOOOOOOD said...

You think Islam is a peaceful religion? Have you read anything about the history of Islam and how it started? Have you noticed that the past 50 years Islam has cause more death than any other religion? Do you know that in most of Islams fundametal text it advocates violence against those you don't follow their religion. Yes it seems like a peaceful religion because it conveys that because its a calm and somewhat intellectual religion. I want to go on record as saying I think Christianity is NOT a peaceful religion either. I am not attacking Islam from a christian point of view.

After 9-11 I was swept up in the sentiment that you heard on tv that said oh Islam is really a peaceful religion and its just a few people how have strayed and formed some kind of cult like organization. I believe taht because it seems like a peaceful relgioin when you just observe people praying and practicing it. I encourage you to actually research this religion. BBC has a really good documentary that details the beginning of Islam and I think you would be suprised how it started. Also I encourage you to find writings about Islam that talk specifically about what Islam is all about. I grew up in DC with a lot of Arabs. One of my best friends is from Iraq and most of them do

Also as far as people growing up in a society where death is common and you see it everywhere I think you do become desensitzed to it. I think that you can't help but value like differently. Life of all kinds....not just human life. Do you think there are very many animal protection groups in africa or the middle east? My major argument before was not that these countries are bad because they are desensitized to death but maybe life isn't how we value it. My point was that I think that indivual life truly is insignificant. Maybe the third world has it right.....if strangers die some place maybe its not a big deal. People wrongfully die all the time....all over the world and throughotu time.....its the way it is.

9:32 AM  
Blogger Anonymous Person said...

My point is this. If you agree that both religions are bad and that both candidates suck why do you pick on Islam and Kerry? Why not just say that you have problems with religion and Democracy?

9:44 AM  
Blogger GovernmentBAAAAAADGovernmentGOOOOOOD said...

I pick on Islam because open your eyes and look around at what is happening to the world right now. If this was 1180 I would be attacking christians. Sudan, Pakistan/india, bosnia, iran, iraq, israel/palestine, somalia, afganistan....etc.....look at every major conflict in our life time and tell me that Islam wasn't directly involved. Right now this is the religion that is causing problems. If Buddists were cauing conflict all over the world then I would by all means be complaining about them.

I hate all religions. At any time I'm sure any religion could become what Islam is now and what Christianity was in the past.

11:09 AM  
Blogger GovernmentBAAAAAADGovernmentGOOOOOOD said...

Both candidates are bad? No I never said Bush was bad. I said Bush is not perfect. I don't like a lot of w hat he has done but I also do like a lot of what he has done. I think that in his second term he is going to push a lot of true republican issues that I care about that he had to neglect in his first time so he could get re-elected. I think Reagan would have done the same if he hadn't been old and tired.......he planned to but it never happened.

So I think Bush is a good President but not a great president.....I think Kerry would be a HORRIBLE president. I think Nadar would be worse. Why don't you try and find some information on Nadars past as a "consumer advocate" and some unbiased or maybe even some biased writing against him.

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