Friday, June 16, 2017

Why is not being an atheist my fault?

I work hard to get more educated in math and science and fail time and time again, while I see other people going to college at age 14 on full scholarships, seemingly with ease. My brain is just not as large as theirs, period. Nature favors them. So if being smarter than a normal person is a requirement for being an atheist why is it my fault that I still believe in God? Will not believing in God suddenly increase my mathematical ability? I doubt it. And would the atheist community respect me more if I expanded my mind by studying mathematics more without dropping my faith, or if I just said there was no God and gave up studying math altogether? I'll admit that the stereotypical person that follows religion has a lazy attitude towards increasing their scientific knowledge, but I haven't been one of them. For the past three years I've struggled to improve, and I think I have, but I've got a long way to go, and I do not think I will stop any time soon because I've found a lot of beauty in the truths of mathematics, just as atheists have.

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Justification

Scientists should have this problem more often than they actually have it.  A person with little scientific background due to lack of opportunity says, "Hey, how does gravity work?"  The scientist says, "The curvature of space-time causes gravity to work."  The person replies, "Wow, that's neat.  Can you give me more detail?"

The scientist gives more detail, in layman's terms.  The person seems skeptical and wants more justification.  The scientist gives a full justification with math that's well beyond the layperson's capabilities.  The person is faced with the decision on whether or not to trust the scientist's work without actually being able to understand it.  Most will.  But what if instead the person said, "I'm sorry, I just can't see it.  Can you make this justification any easier?"

What does the scientist say then? "Just trust the experts"? Trusting authority figures isn't scientific proof of anything.  But clearly the layperson doesn't have the luxury of going to school to understand the curvature of space-time due to other preferences and responsibilities.  The layperson could still say, "I'm sorry, that all looks like jibber jabber to me.  As far as I can tell, space-time curvature and gravity may have no relation whatsoever because that justification means nothing to my limited mind."

Is this person entitled to such an opinion?  I would say so, even though it's most likely a foolish opinion to have.  The layperson's only other option is to research the topic of space-time curvature in their own spare time, if such time is even available.

It's just not good for scientists to get into the habit of saying, "Trust us, we're the experts.  We have data to back it up too, even though it may look like gibberish to you."  Politicians do the same thing. 

How Easily Progressives Are Swayed

If you would have gone to a progressive back in 1999 and asked, "Hey, is it okay for a man to simply claim he's a woman and go into a woman's restroom?"  The progressive would have said, "Oh, heck no!"  But a short time later the opposite is said simply because the progressives are so easy to sway.  They have NO anchor or foundation.  They go wherever the wind blows.

The progressive might make the excuse, "Well, I wasn't as enlightened back then as I am now!"  But of course that's not it.  The wind wasn't blowing that way then.  They go where the wind takes them.

Is it better to never change or to change every 20 minutes?  Neither is the correct answer obviously.  You need a good balance.  Still, I tend to lead towards the reluctant to change side because at least then I LOOK like I have some kind of foundation.

Sunday, February 26, 2017

The Bible May Be The Least Racist Book Ever

There are quite a few instances where God orders the genocide of a particular group of people, but it is NEVER based on their skin color.  It is always based on behavior of some sort.

You really have to look hard to even find a reference to skin color in the Bible.  I'm not sure I ever found one in any of its 66 books or thousand plus pages.  In fact, Revelation makes reference to people from every nationality and language being present in heaven.

Friday, February 17, 2017

We're Not Trying To Set a Survival Record Here.....

Why do we evolve?  Do we evolve merely to have a better chance for our species to survive as long as it can?  Yeah, probably, but I think there's more to it than that.  Much more.  We evolve to see and experience beauty.  Our desire to experience and understand beauty is more than a survival mechanism.  Much more.  Evolving is about more than survival.  It's about an attempt to become closer and closer to our imaginative ideal.  We want to be like God.  And God gives us a heck of an opportunity to explore his creation so that we can strive for that ideal.

Animal Racism

I wonder if I would get in trouble with PETA if they found out I was racist against certain animals.  I think there's a silly word for it called "speciesism" or something like that.  I'm particularly racist against frogs and ducks.  Like I think if they go to a movie theater they should get worse seats than people get.  But I really like cows, so I'm fine with cows getting better seats than people.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Why Is The Goal Important?

A lot of times I see people working frantically to promote or denounce ideas like they're the most important thing in the world.

We need faster computers!  We need longer lifespans!  We need less pain!  We need more people to know the truth!  We need less people to disagree with us!  We need less manual labor!  We need our species to continue indefinitely!

All of these ideas are well and good.  But WHY are they good?  Ecclesiastes teaches us that despite all of our hard work, the universe is going to carry on regardless.  Did the universe NEED life to survive during its first however many billion years?  Nah.  So why does it need life now?

The list of needs I described above are actually really nothing more than preferences.  I know I certainly want a longer life for me and my friends where we aren't suffering crippling diseases.  And I would like to think that my life will have some small positive influence on humanity for generations to come.  And most sensible people would feel the same way.  But the cold hard fact is the universe doesn't need it.  It doesn't need us to have utilitarian laws that will be better for the prolonging of our species.  It doesn't need intelligent life or protozoa even.  I imagine it's fine just being floating rocks and gases.  Or even just a plain old big crunch singularity.

Once we recognize that all of these things we are being pressured to achieve are really just preferences more than necessities, the urgency behind them is no longer quite so urgent.  They're not really urgent at all on a universal scale.  Only a preference scale.  This revelation has some liberating properties but it is also accompanied by a lot of emptiness.  It's easy to feel worthless when you realize you aren't needed.

Some people accept that nothing we ever do has any inherent worth, but I think most do not.  I think most people either turn to religion or try to plan out how our species will continue to evolve into more complex lifeforms that will survive forever, perhaps even preventing a big crunch.  The latter seems sillier than the former to me, but that's just a personal preference.

I've often questioned the goal of evolution.  Why the drive to survive?  Why the drive to procreate?  Why adapt to anything when the universe doesn't need you to do it?  I believe these important questions are usually left unanswered.  They are certainly outside the realm of science because all science can do is draw conclusions from fossil records.  But why get so concerned about finding the truth if all it does is lead you to an unsolvable axiom?  Are you seriously not going to ponder that axiom at all?  You REALLY want to discover the exact details about how life formed over the centuries, but never get the least bit curious about why the universe set this evolution of more and more complex lifeforms in motion to begin with?

I study physics all the time and I still ponder over and over again why something can move indefinitely without energy unless a force stops it.  Granted it doesn't make me much money to do so.  Still, I can't help being curious..