Saturday, April 30, 2011

The Repetitive Nature of Dogs (And Humans)

I had wondered, until very recently, why dogs are so intensely interested in the SAME blade of grass seemingly EVERY DAY.....then it occurred to me.....what must Roxy think of my obsession with the daily paper? Surely, to her, it is the SAME "blade of grass" in which we invest OUR interest in for hours at a time.....

But we all know that a newspaper is NOT the same every day.....being a cynic myself, I will say it gets progressively worse as the days pass.....but DIFFERENT nonetheless.

To a dog then, the same blade of grass provides a plethora of experiences each and every day.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Symmetry Of Space And Time

Classical theories on physics are all fine and dandy.....until one seriously ponders physics at its QUANTUM level.....

Something has been bugging me as of late. Although the speed of light (186,000 some odd miles per SECOND) seems very fast, what puzzles me more than this "quashing" of speed we pathetic humans could ever dare comprehend is the ramifications this has on SPACE ITSELF!

According to Einstein's theory of special relativity, as one approaches the speed of light, time dilates.....in other words, when compared to another body closer to "rest", time for the body moving very quickly transpires more slowly.*

But because Einstein's theory of special relativity creates symmetry between space and time.....space ITSELF actually shrinks along with the slowing of time!

So to reiterate, as one approaches the speed of light, time dilates and space shrinks.....but perhaps most interestingly, as one ATTAINS the speed of light, time ceases to tick at all and space shrinks down to a singularity! Perhaps OMNIPRESENCE is theoretically attainable at the SPEED OF LIGHT?

In this case, could it be possible (OR PERHAPS OBLIGATORY) that ONE photon of light explains the WHOLE universe? For if SINGLE photons of light can FOREVER travel at the speed of light and at this speed time COMPLETELY dilates, would it not seem a SINGLE photon could be EVERYWHERE simultaneously and hence explain the WHOLE of the universe?

Could this hypothetical "SINGLE" entity be GOD? If so, what would this GOD look like?

IF this God constitutes EVERYTHING, perhaps God is "ALL OF US AND EVERYTHING"? Pardon the offense, but this would include CHILD MOLESTERS, FECES, RAPISTS, AND EVERYTHING WE HUMANS ASSOCIATE WITH "TERRIBLENESS"! Don't forget that this would include all that is considered DIVINE as well! 



*Of course the dilemma in determining which body is moving faster is entirely dependent on the chosen reference frame. For example, imagine Johnny is running toward the back of a train moving at 80mph. Further suppose his none-to-pleased father is resting comfortably in his seat. Who is moving faster? If one's chosen reference frame is the train, clearly Johnny is moving faster. But if one's chosen reference frame is the ground, clearly his father is moving faster.

Friday, February 11, 2011

What Is The Real Deal With Divorce?

Why is it often claimed that the divorce rate among religious people is approximately equal to that of the non-religious? Presumably because it is true. 

Why would this be the case? Because religious belief, or any belief for that matter, is ultimately of no importance in maintaining a strong, healthy marriage or any other kind of relationship.

Now what somebody "believes" might influence his behavior, but it is ultimately behavior that determines the direction of any relationship. Of course there is no guarantee belief will engender the required behavior and this is the problem with belief itself.

If somebody “needs” to believe "this" or "that" to behave "accordingly", then certainly believing is a wise path to follow. On the other hand, there are people who need not believe anything to behave in a way that lends itself to success in marriage.

It might seem apparent that people with “strong” religious convictions have successful marriages because of their convictions, but this is naive. I will guarantee you the common link in their marital success is that they follow principles which lend themselves to such success!

What would prevent a couple with no religious convictions from experiencing a very rewarding marriage? Nothing, and it happens all the time!

The bottom line is that people of all religious and nonreligious persuasions will both succeed and fail in marriage and countless other things solely based on their behavior and the principles they follow, not the principles they merely believe or at least claim to believe.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Self Defense?

What is self-defense?

Clearly, if some crazy bloke was running me down with an 8 inch blade, I would be justified in defending myself by killing him in any way available to me.....

But what if said perpetrator was running me down with a voodoo doll? Further suppose I was naive enough to believe in voodoo, in which case I would likely feel justified to defend myself by killing him in any way available to me.

Am I committing felony murder OR could this be construed as a case of self-defense?

I guess it depends on the justice system under which I commit said action.....But still, what do YOU think.....more importantly, what might GOD think?

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Let's Just Cut The Crap.....

Incentives, incentives, INCENTIVES! Will you please give me more incentives to do the very things I claim to value so highly? If this is how we think as a society, then we value nothing but reward and recognition.

This is a tacit admission that we do not value the very things we claim to value. Rather, we value predominantly, perhaps only, reward and recognition. Not that this is wrong or bad, nor particularly right or good either. Apparently it just is what it is.

With this in mind then, can we cut the crap about claiming to value things in themselves and realize that what we are ultimately after is reward and recognition? Examples follow:

- We need to offer children incentives for working hard in school!
- We need incentives to compel people to better care for themselves!
- We need tax write-offs for charitable donations (to our selfishly selected causes)!
- We need God (or at least belief in Him/Her/It) in order to compel us to be compassionate and merciful
- We need belief in reward and punishment rendered by God to compel us to seek virtue and avoid depravity
- We need others' approval to validate our beliefs and actions

Counterpoint: we shouldn't NEED any of these things if we value, or at least claim to value the underlying values themselves!

My own suspicion is we do not value the values, rather we value only what benefits can be had (if this isn't selfish, what is?) through the practice of said values.

In the end, if society takes an honest account of what it actually values, I'm afraid INCENTIVES are a necessity. For if there were no incentives to do the things we claim to value so highly, I can only imagine the result: a totally self-absorbed society devoid of feeling or sympathy for anything outside of selfishly chosen causes.

What's doubly alarming is that oftentimes the practicing of our selfishly chosen causes is ultimately at the mercy of incentives! Which implies we value very little other than reward and recognition via incentives.

For atheists, this comes as no surprise and is logically concluded. For theists, on the other hand, an account must be made of our ultimately selfish behavior.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

True Perfection Equates To Lifelessness

So much for the idea of perfection.....one of the fundamental reasons we exist at all is due to imperfection.

Imperfection in the way the early universe was able to coalesce non-uniform aka "imperfect" pockets of gases such that stars and planets and eventually LIFE could ensue. If perfection existed, the matter in the universe would have been "perfectly" uniform precluding any tendency for  matter to clump together at all. In this way, the universe would be lifeless. Hats off to imperfection! It is the unsung hero of reality!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

How Do YOU Derive Meaning In Life?

Ultimately, existence could be seen as pointless regardless of what is believed or not.

If one who would otherwise be bad is good simply to meet the demands of God, it could be construed as meaningless. This is merely bribery or manipulation.

Alternatively, if one is terrible only because he believes God's grace will suffice, it could also be construed as meaningless. This is sheer arrogance!

Or if one is terrible only because he believes nothing, this could be viewed as meaningless too. If there is no God to appease, his only “hope” seems to be bettering himself at the apparent expense of everybody else. There is just something “cold” about this.

On the other hand, one who believes nothing but is nonetheless good could be viewed as meaningless as well. Why be good if it precludes him from maximizing his own desires and ambitions?

And last, one could be good independent of his belief but believe anyway. This could be seen as meaningless because why would he believe if he was already good? Possibly his only reason for believing is that he genuinely believes it to be true as opposed to believing only because he thinks great benefits will ensue and/or he will avoid eternal judgment.

Refer to my discussions on the nature of belief and it will reinforce my argument that belief's only worthwhile contribution is that it can, not necessarily will, make otherwise bad people good or at least relatively better. The reason I say it can as opposed to will make people good or better is because some people systematically become worse through the use of arrogant self-righteousness.

My point here is not to sow hopelessness. It is to demonstrate that because we are all different, there are numerous ways to find meaning in life.