Archive for November, 2010

Remarks

Posted in Primary on November 27, 2010 by RWZero

I have a smattering of observations about a smattering of recurring themes among a certain subset of the population.

“Iron-Age Mythology.”

Well. I dare say that a religious tradition that runs back into human history will seem more credible to people than one that is recently invented.

Rationality! Reason! Reality! Science! Superstition!

Considering that the use of these words is often completely unnecessary, I entreat their users to stop puffing up their chests, fanning their tails, and massaging each other’s sensitive areas. The most rational thing to do is to convince the other person of what you are saying, rather than bolster your self-esteem and group identity through the use of buzz words. Most of the major decisions you and I make in life are not rational or based upon reason, you have no idea what reality is, you only know a tiny little bit of science in relation to the whole body of knowledge, and the word “superstition” should rather be reserved for beliefs of a far more credulous in nature than those concerning our very existence. Calm down.

Atheism

If the entire world were populated with atheists, and belief in God were surgically erased from history, this word would not exist. Atheism is not a religion, and does not imply any particular set of beliefs, values, or metaphysical assumptions. Ask yourself what yours are, where they came from, why you have them, and why so many other people do not share them.

“Delusion”

It undoubtedly makes one feel good to explain the perceptions of others as delusions. Perhaps they are.

But notice that every day, you wake up in a world filled with billions of people, under the impression that you have a solid grasp on reality. Stop one single stranger on the street, and search out all their strongly-felt opinions about everything in the world. Notice how many things you disagree on. Notice that they generally do not succeed in changing your mind about anything, and that in those matters upon which you disagree, you are content to respect the other person’s opinion while retaining your own view. Notice that some people suggest that “the beauty of it all” is that so many different people have so many radically different opinions, but that these people nonetheless have their own. Notice that every day you see thousands of people, objects, and events, and that you have a perception of the significance of these things that is completely unique to you. Yet you are very comfortable with this. Odd, isnt it?

Morality

“If there were no God, I would just go around killing people. Why not?”

“Whoa! That’s unbelievable! Well, I guess it’s a good thing that you have your religion keeping you in check. The rest of us don’t need a God looking over our shoulder to be moral.”

This exchange occurs often. More often than one might expect.

Think harder about this.

Rationality, Reason, Reality, ScienceAthe
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Branding

Posted in Primary on November 25, 2010 by RWZero

Skimming through hundreds of forum posts by lay Internet users, I am shocked at how many people appear to have been born into atheistic existentialism, and have never found out that they are existentialists.

Cessation

Posted in Primary on November 22, 2010 by RWZero

In addition to the fact that I do not have much else to write, I will not be posting anything here for the next little while.

If you have ever experienced severe existential distress, I’d be interested in talking to you. Drop me a line.

I have started up another blog, corresponding to a writing project that I have meant to work on for some time now. It is essentially a collection of the unrelated ideas that I have stumbled upon over the course of my life (and as a result of insomnia). They are primarily feelings, or connections between perceptions that I have found interesting.

http://fluidabstraction.wordpress.com/

Forgiveness over Time

Posted in Faith and Science on November 14, 2010 by RWZero

I can think of only one way in which the concept of remorse, even restricted to its human implications, can be integrated with the seemingly insoluble problem of personal identity; that being, that the person at each and every moment has a disposition towards his or her actions in the present and in the past, and this disposition is a fundamental condition of the person. If it were possible for such a disposition to be sustained over time, or to become an ongoing or permanent part of the person’s identity, then this person could be said to be someone different than they might have otherwise been.

Depersonalization

Posted in Faith and Science on November 6, 2010 by RWZero

I have decided that there is no reason to ever willingly accept that you are just watching your actions happen.

Even if you believe, in that moment, that you have seized upon an awareness of the deterministic “kernel” of your actions, you have not. You cannot seize upon this because at each moment there is a detached awareness that you associate with your highest choice, or a decision to accept that paradigm; even if you are running like a clock, “you” can never be aware of this, because it is not possible for there to be a “you” capable of observing from a distance.

Hallowe’en

Posted in The Narrow Path on November 1, 2010 by RWZero

Some kids are prevented from going out on Hallowe’en for religious reasons.

I feel ill when I think about this.