The Concept of Goodness… May 28, 2019

As atheists we sometimes overestimate the inherent goodness of human beings. It seems we suggest that if only religion were eliminated that a kind of utopia could be established. What we need to recognize is that though the concept of goodness may be within humans, humans do not inherently possess the quality.

In fact, that concept itself may not be in total agreement between groups of people. For example… for some, the Death Penalty is a barbaric holdover from ignorant times. For others it represents justice. How can we establish a good and moral society if we cannot agree on what is good and moral?

The book I am reading “Atheist Overreach” by Christian Smith asserts that many atheist authors assume a naïve notion about human goodness. These authors express a “faith” in human goodness that is unwarranted. I agree with this assessment.

How can we live good lives if we hold to the assumption that though we possess the concept, we do not possess the quality? The only way I can imagine is that we should hold that concept in the front of our minds and measure everything we do by it.

Christians have that bothersome god hovering about their heads, to reinforce their religion. It doesn’t always work, many of them still act as if no one is looking as they commit horrendous acts of treachery. Nevertheless, many also profess to striving to “live in the spirit”. They attempt to keep their focus on their religion measuring everything they do by that standard. Granted that the Bible is not exactly something that contains concepts that would all pass muster as good today. Yet, that is how many live their day.

Atheists must also strive to establish their concept of “goodness”. Fundamental ideas about right and wrong. Many are doing so. As in the way of the Christian atheists should strive to keep those ideas forefront in the mind and measure what they do by them. In my opinion, atheists would have no problem establishing ethics that infinitely better, more moral, than any in that barbaric tome, the Bible. How do atheists do it? It won’t be easy establishing rules of behavior when so many disagree between what is good and what is bad. Even a majority would leave the individual wondering, just as there are many cults of Christianity, there would develop many groups of atheists that hold to different standards.

Seems an impossible feat. Yet… should we not aspire to improve ourselves? We can only try.

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The Human Atheist

If you have ever been a member of a group you know that each group has a certain list of things you must believe in. Sure, many claim that your total adherence is not required, however, your success within the group depends how well you do.

Membership or non-membership in a group does not change the fact that you are an atheist. Atheist means only that you do not believe in any gods. It does not mean that you must support every “liberal” or “leftist” ideal or belief. In fact it does not mean that you have to support anything other than atheism.

Groups of atheists who do support everything put in front of the group will no doubt label you with degrading names. They will label you a bigot, troll, racist, sexist, etc… and you aren’t any of those things. You simply have your own mind and will only support that which you feel comfortable with supporting. Nothing is required of  you beyond the simple support to further the acceptance of atheism. Even that is not a requirement, you can be an atheist by your lonesome.

By what authority do I make these statements. I am a human, what do I have to be? How else does one resist being controlled by others?

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My Perfect Vision… March 4, 2019

I’m so very sorry, but you simply do not fit the criteria.

You claim to be normal, and merely a part of the greater whole, but from my perspective your mere existence is disturbing. You do not fit my vision.

Over time I have come to view only certain traits, behaviors, and appearances as being of normal nature. Those things that do not fit, are not classified as normal. You do not fit.

Do not be alarmed, I have no animosity, in fact I have tried very hard to simply accept your aberrations. The only time I become incensed is when you make a claim of normalcy, when we both know, yes, even you know, that you are not. I sometimes feel it would be better for my vision if you simply went away.

It doesn’t matter how much you rant and rave, march up and down, and get in everyone’s face… I will never accept that you are normal. Again, I have no hatred, no animosity, no violent intent… I simply would rather you were not. That you are, is out of my control.

So as long as you do not attempt to make me accept you, make me be your friend, make me serve your odd and strange desires, toleration will be given. However, if I seem to ignore you, know this: it is for both our sakes that I do so.

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S.T.E.M. … January 23, 2019

Often these days the cry is heard that “women are not in the stem fields”. They lament that women do not dominate there, as they dominate elsewhere.

There has never been an impediment, no fence, no block, no glass ceiling for women in Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics. Women have simply chosen not to go there.

There are those few, well-meaning, but wrong-headed bunch who would take the ability to choose away from women… and make them do what they think they should do instead.

You know the type, those politically correct, “progressive”, SJW types who want to control what you do, hear, say, and even think. They are so set in thinking they know what is best for you they will punish you into doing it. They will shove, push, nag, you into conforming to their thoughts, their rationale. After all, if you don’t obey their directives you are standing in the way of their imagined utopia.

No, I am not a right wing conservative nut case. I am not a left wing nut case either. I feel free to choose from all the issues what I am convinced is right and good. I like to call myself a centrist, but they are probably dead set in their ways, with solid ideology that does not bend or waiver either. I guess I am a free man able to decide for myself. I examine the claims of people, and if their claims seem just under scrutiny then I adopt those claims. Groupthink is not for me. Groupthink compromises everyone.

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Just Animals… January 1, 2019

Humans really do not like the idea that they are just animals. They go to elaborate means to ignore that fact.

They invent gods that consider them the favored life on earth, in fact, the reason the earth was created. Humans being the reason god created the universe, why be surprised that humans consider earth the center of the universe.

Those humans that dwell on religious ideals fail more than most because they deny their animal heritage. Humans are so closely kin to chimpanzees that it is possible to procreate with them. There are animal species though only related, sharing much less DNA percentage-wise than humans and chimpanzees, they can produce young.

It is so obvious even to the very dense that Chimpanzees and humans share a common ancestor not all that long removed.

Yet… humans consider themselves so very special, so special that god cares only about them.

Human societies suffer greatly because of this denial. Those in charge create laws but those laws are looked upon as a challenge by many humans, a challenge to break.  If some advantage is to be had by doing as one pleases rather than doing what is right, that human will do as he/she pleases and everyone else be damned.

The ideal society would do what is right without considering what is wrong. The wrong would never enter their heads. Laws would be irrelevant and unnecessary. Everyone would have the welfare of everyone else in mind whenever any new idea emerges.

The ideal society is very unlikely anywhere in the universe where life emerged and is subject to evolution. Perhaps this is why the religious so vigorously deny evolution. Denying evolution being yet another game they play in the continuing denial that they are only animals.

The only society that might be likely that would approach the ideal is one that arose independent of evolution. That society would have to be artificial. That society would be one created by a life form, programmed by that life form, with care taken to remove the primal desires like greed and envy. Empathy and compassion would be appropriate. All the immoral thoughts would not exist. Advantage would only exist in context of the whole, and only to the extent that it could be exercised without harm to anyone and anything. The only society I could imagine like this would be android.

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A Different Year, A Different Course… December 31, 2018

New Year’s resolutions are always a difficult thing to consider, unless of course you just go with the old standards like losing weight, giving up this or that habit, being kind, etc.

I believe I will try another this coming New Year.

Starting January 1, 2019, I will no longer acknowledge any negative thing I have done or said previously. I will go forward into the New Year without the baggage retained from the previous decades. I am no longer guilty. I am no longer the same person where these specific negative issues are concerned. If asked about them my answer will be… I do not remember any such thing, or saying any such thing. If they persist I will have to suggest to them that they see a psychiatrist, or perhaps consult some physician to see why their memory is defective.

On the other hand I will remember the good things that happened, the good things said and done.

I shall also remember all the negative things other people have said and done, especially those that caused me harm, physically or mentally.

If they tell me that they are also not going to remember all the bad things they have said and done… together we will remember all the good things, and forget the bad things.

 

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Why Relent? December 17, 2018

I see no evidence, no indication, anywhere of any sort for a god of any kind. Why should I allow even an iota of a possibility that such an entity may exist then by stating like an agnostic that I do not believe there are any gods rather than plainly stating that there are none? Why equivocate on the matter of the correctness of evolution by staying silent? For that matter why entertain pseudo-science of any form, or not speaking against same, thereby allowing people to assume agreement on various quackery?

Yet, it seems this is what the AAAS is advocating in order to gain influence among those in the church that prefer to remain ignorant of evolution and other science based concepts.

As long as concepts from a barbaric time retain influence in modern times there will always be division and turmoil.

Is this what must be done to gradually drag the believer into modern times? Stay silent on some things in order to advocate others? If the ignorance is still taught in churches, will that not win out in the end, since this attitude of staying silent has indicated that the ignorance of the church cannot be overcome in some areas? Doesn’t this still give the leaders of the church too much power?

Why relent?

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Global Warming is a Killer… December 16, 2018

In the January/February issue of Skeptical Inquirer Amardeo Sarma founder and chairman of the German skeptics organization GWUP has a short piece that is critical of the new IPCC report on Global Warming.

The report is available at http://www.ipcc.ch/report/sr15/

The report indicates that past emissions are already adequate to cause a rise in global temperature of 1.5.C. ( about 2.7ºF) To stay at that predicted rise, and rise no further, the report says emissions that lend to global warming must be reduced to zero by 2050.

By limiting the warming to 1.5ºC it is hoped that the severe effects of a 2ºC rise will be avoided. Those effects are severe rises in sea level, loss of marine life, ocean acidification. Other risks to be avoided would be risks to health, food supply, and water supply. An ambiguous reference is made also to other problems.

Sarma reports that the shortcomings of the report include a failing to address that countries trying to lift their citizens out of poverty will not follow the recommended guidelines. In other words, it does not adequately address the Sustainable Development Goals. I refer to this failing as human inertia*.

Another failing of this report hinges on technology, specifically bio-energy with carbon capture, which is presently in its infancy. Commercially it is unviable, as capitalism will not support it.

This report is also biased toward renewable sources and has an unreasonable bias against nuclear power sources. France and Sweden achieved fast decarbonization rates through increased use of nuclear power. Meanwhile, the IPCC has not commissioned any exclusive reports on nuclear power as they have for renewables.

*This human failing I call human inertia is responsible for many of the failings of human species. There are so many groups of humans separated by country that to get behind any idea, even one that will save the human species, is impossible. As a result, nothing gets done. The status quo continues. In this instance the status quo will result in the extinction of life as we know it. Until this human inertia problem is solved all the reports in the world will not mitigate the continued rise in emissions.

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No, No, No… to Islamic Law… December 6, 2018

I am critical of Israel because of the military might they use on their neighbors, and the fact that before 1948s violent and aggressive insurgency, there was no Israel. However, I assert that the country called Israel today has nothing to do with an ancient Israel, including the makeup of its people.

Despite my critical perspective on Israel, I despise Islam to the nth degree and do not condone its obvious hatred of anyone that does not bend knee to it. I am alarmed by its present form of conquest, a quiet mass immigration to countries, where, when they get enough numbers they attempt to instill Islamic law. These Muslim immigrants do not immigrate seeking to fit in, they immigrate carrying all the emotional and religious baggage they had in their old country. I do not support any Muslim mass immigration to any western nation. I oppose such immigration.

Christianity is not benign and causes human misery everywhere it goes. However, it is in a passive phase now where its members are not actively agitating the general population, trying to control it. Not saying that it does not in the end control, it does… through politics.

Islam is in its violent Dark Age. There is much murder and bloodshed worldwide. There is much anguish and violence caused by Muslim populations in western nations as they attempt to control everyone, make everyone heed their religious dictates. Islam is presently the world’s biggest threat.

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For Humans the Future Does Not Matter… November 21, 2018

robot profile 9The human population continues to expand. As it does all available habitats are being taken for human living space. Many cry about the extinction of numerous species but are powerless in the face of greed and apathy.

The issue that has prompted this post is that of the illegal ivory trade and animal parts trade. There are species that are on the brink and those in the illegal trade are actually betting on their extinction by buying every available piece of ivory or animal part they can lay their hands on. Once the animal becomes rare or is extinct, as is their hope, they look forward to the collection they have accrued becoming even more valuable.

So the future is forfeit. People of the future will not see a Rhinoceros, or a tiger or many other species because of greed… and apathy. All we will have is wall to wall people, war, and famine.

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