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Friday, April 30, 2010

Predestination Makes No Sense!

Predestination is the belief that everything is preplanned by a god. The belief is usually mixed with popular sayings like "God moves in mysterious ways" and "God's ways are above our own". Problems with predestination are both existential and logical.

Predestination destroys you! If every action is caused by God, then I do nothing. If I think; therefore, I am. If God thinks; therefore, I am not. It is like God is playing ventriloquist in my brain. Where is the moral agent, where is the thinker, and where is the I? Am I some puppet to teach another person a lesson with?

Predestination makes God a sadist! When God punishes people with Hell for not being a particular faith, God is damning them for what it did to them. This is what sadists do! Have you seen Hell, it is not pretty?

Predestination makes God the only sinner! If God is the one committing every action, God is responsible for killing people, for terrible diseases and for the Holocaust. Don't even tell me God never promised that bad things would not happen (C. S. Lewis) or it is the gays' fault (Pat Robertson). Well, God can just write off himself by redefining what good and bad are. Some Christians believe that God changed the law after Jesus died, but that does not mean the old laws are not reprehensible and God's fault.


The GOD fallacy

In this post, I will cover why a god is not a good hypothesis for this world. The following are to save me time until I am done:
1) Reasons for not believing presented in a video by healthyaddict: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TUYCiSGdIpk&feature=channel
2) 80 problems atheists commonly find with the Christian god from a Wadsworth: http://richarddawkins.net/articles/5481#482570

There are three major fallacies used in arguments for a god's existence:
1)Argument from ignorance- This is to put a god or miracle in a gap of your knowledge in order to explain a phenomena. A theory should not be based on lack of evidence because theories by definition are based on a lot of testable data. "I do not know how this occurred;therefore, it was a miracle "
2)Fallacy of Composition- This is attributing qualities of the parts to the whole unjustifiably. "Every painting has a painter; therefore, the universe has a creator."
3) Special pleading-emphasizing favorable details and ignoring that unfavorable details. "Look at how times prayer worked, and ignore the misses." Also, it is creating special rules that make ones hypothesis possible. "Everything has a cause, except god."

1)Cosmological argument-
Premise 1: Everything has a cause
Premise 2: The universe had to start sometime (a big bang)
Premise 3: The only thing that could have been the first cause is something that is outside the chain of cause and effect
Premise 4: God is outside cause and effect
Conclusion: God created the universe

Problem 1: It would be a fallacy of composition to say everything has a cause. For instance, most events, especially quantum events, have a random component.
Problem 2: Even if the universe started with a big bang, it does not necessarily concludes that was the real beginning. There could have been a multi-verse.
Problem 3: There is no evidence that the universe cannot exist on its own. If there is no god, it could exist on its own. Also, imagine a scientist created a mini-big bang in a laboratory like the scientists at CERN are doing. Our universe could just a tiny one inside a larger universe necessitated on the scientist experiment. Because time is just the order in which events occur (our thoughts not being excluded from that), all of history could be contained in one minute of this larger universe's time. This scientist is not god, but our universe is necessitated by an experiment in a larger universe which is not necessitated on anything else.
Problem 4: It is special pleading to make god excluded from cause and effect, an earlier premise.
Problem 5: It is multiplying variables beyond necessity to create this new entity in order to explain what is in this universe. It is even necessary to add powers and supernatural characteristics like a floating will that is not sustained by physical processes like human wills or being able to affect the physical world without being physical. Occam's Razor makes god unnecessary to explain the universe. It is very dubious to add all these variables that it makes a god more and more unlikely for all the powers that would have to be attributed to a god to make it able to even know what it did.

2) Teleological argument:
Premise 1: The Universe has order. The particles move. Laws govern that movement. Evolution occurs. Earth is in the ideal place for life. The universe is fined tuned for life. (These are various versions of the first premise.)
Premise 2: Everything in the universe is governed by these laws.
Premise 3: These laws must be sustained by something outside of it or these laws would not exist.
Premise 4: Only a god exists outside the laws of the universe and has the powers to manipulate them.
Conclusion 1: God sustains the laws of the universe.

Problem 1: premise 3 and 4 both assume things that are unprovable; therefore, they can be eliminated.
Problem 2: Saying that the universe is finely tuned assumes a n conscious entity actively tuned it. This assumes complexity must come from more complexity, which is not verified. There is evidence that unintelligent, simple things can produce complex results. For instance, most living things are mostly four elements. Computers work on a binary system and do not literally understand math yet can do it. It is not necessary to have intelligence or to be complex to create more complex things. For instance, most things are made of parts. A single zygote divides and builds a human body.
Problem 3: Evolution has led to more complex lifeforms in a slow process. Evolutionary Neglect is the negative traits that get passed down because there is not enough pressure from natural selection to remove them. For instance, the human heart has the some of the same weakness as a fish heart. There are genetic diseases like aggressive childhood leukemia. For more on this subject: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p_nqySMvkcw

3) Argument for a deity of divine justice
Premise 1: People do good things and bad things.
Premise 2: There is a justice in the universe that causes bad things to happen to bad people and good things to happen to good people.
Premise 3: There is a previous life and after life system.
Premise 4: Only a deity could bring this kind of justice and order.
Conclusion 1: All bad things that happen to people are deserved because of this justice.
Conclusion 2: There is a deity from whom all justice flows.
Conclusion 3: People who suffer without committing evil deeds in this life are being punished for past lives or original sin.
Conclusion 4: People, who do not get punished during this life, will be punished in the next.

Note: This is more of theology than an argument for a deity. But it is important to note that this argument is a blend of the argument for morality and teleological argument.
Problem 1: Premise 2 is too strong. There is a tendency for bad things to happen to bad people, but it does not seem absolute.
Problem 2: Without evidence for premise 3, the argument falls apart. There is no conclusive evidence so far for an afterlife, though many claim to have it from near death experiences.
Problem 3: Premise 4 has the problem as the teleological argument had.
Problem 4: It become difficult to tell the difference between someone doing an evil deed and someone being punished indirectly for their bad karma.
Problem 5: This also leads to interpretation to why things happen in a supernatural sense rather than a natural sense (i.e. as science would describe it).

I know i need to edit. It is still in its rough stages.
As you can tell, I am not yet done, but bare with me. I will be after a short break. Other things to cover: more deductive arguments, predestination, impossible qualities of god, inductive arguments against god, where is the evidence?, and arguments against belief. The structure against religion can be argued somewhere else in some other post.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

New stuff

What is a Becoming?

Eric Stockhausen

A being exists for a moment. A Becoming lasts forever. A being is a state. One is never in the same state. Something always changes. This change is produced by motion. Every Becoming has motion and exchange.

A being is a thing. A Becoming lives. A person is neither the matter nor the state. A person is not erased by change but is the change, for without change, there is no life.

Motion can be outward and inward and inner. Outward is the motion a becoming puts out into the experience. A becoming delights in the power it has in affecting the experience (aka the perceived the world). I also called this outward motion dedication. A becoming dedicates itself to an outside becoming (beings are but dust in the wind). An outside Becoming can become a book or another person.

Inward is the motion brought to the Becoming from another Becoming. Light can affect a Becoming’s eyes. This affects in an endless chain of chaotic becoming. I call the inward force loyalty because of the expectations and patterns that exist in the experience.

Inner motion defines self-organized thought. Some believe thoughts hover in a metaphysical state above matter because it is sometimes difficult to imagine inner motion becoming thought. A becoming has no borders and can even translate the chaotic environment into organically organized cognitive processes.

A Becoming becomes a living thing only because there is motion that has organized it. Living Becomings can share bits on their personalities with each other. Therefore the borders between two or more can be very thin. I call this multiplicity of becoming. We live as part of each other. This is not a mystical thing but a literal thing.


Eric Stockhausen

Some believe that the meaning of life or “Why live?” comes only from the will to live and to reproduce. It is true that those things play a roll but only at a lower level.

I believe meaning comes from exchange. A being moves in order to become. Becoming something is life for me.

Both self-originating motions and received motions produce the living experience. The self-originating I call dedication, which can be for a project and people. A being dedicates itself to a motion which changes its experience. For every push into the world there is an equal and opposite push backwards. This is the exchange of meaning.

The received motions produce loyalty which is inner emotional understanding of non-self-originating motions. One may have a loyalty towards an idol or a parent. Books can provide a sense of loyalty. One can even be loyal to an understanding of words and grammar.

Motions become emotions. All experiences change. The changes are the motions, which are colored by emotions. My meaning of life comes from these emotional motions which start it.

Communities must recognize those on the margins of gender and address the problems of gender- and sexuality-based discrimination. The people on the margins of gender include but not limited to homosexuals, transgenders, asexuals, and intersexed. The government policies will not immediately or effectively reduce the stigma they receive from society. This stigma is very dangerous because the hate-related violence and dysphoria that develops in those of this marginalized group. Lives could be saved if communities addressed the unique needs of this significant minority. Schools must give youths of this group a safe place to be educated and form social connections, which are crucial for their emotional and mental health. This must happen in order for society to become healthier. This must happen because Americans do not deny anyone equality. This must happen because these are human beings who matter.


The community must recognize the diversity of those on the margins of gender. The diversity of homosexuals, for instances, includes the degree of homosexuality and the type of homosexuality.[1] Scientists of gender studies have actually advocated for the term “homosexualities” instead of the singular in order to accurately emphasize diversity.[1] Because of this diversity that appears in varying magnitudes in each group, gender and sexuality becomes very personal and identity-oriented. The recognition of these differences allows for the addressing of the specific needs of each individual who identifies themselves somewhere on the margin of gender. Gregg Colschen, who has been “principal of The Woodlands High School since July of 2002”[2] said in an interview November 10th, 2009, that those “outside the mainstream” feel this disconnect between them and the society that misunderstands them. Also important to realize that some on the margins of gender need recognition and civil equality like homosexuals, while others need parents to be aware of them and better medical treatment like transgenders and intersexed (note that needs are not restricted to anyone group). The diversity of needs also make this a family and community issue.

Though schools are effective in bringing about awareness of other kinds of lifestyles and are integral to the community, the problems of gender-and-sexuality-based discrimination must be address by organizations and grassroots activists. Principal Colschen explained that schools social issues are not the main purpose of schools and that this type of discrimination is not specifically address in school policy. He also mentioned that some legislation of what should be taught in schools is difficult to put into the circumlunar because discrepancy of which class the subject should be taught. Significantly, he mentions, that personal issues like for instance religious ideology are personal matters over which schools do not have jurisdiction.

Because schools teach to policy and mostly for the sake of education and critical thinking, the responsibility of facilitating social change falls to those directly affected by its problems, in other words, every individual member of society. Because of the dignity of every human being, society must allow greater openness of what people where and do now than we did forty years ago. This is what Principal Colschen called the “liberalization” of society. The change in openness will fall upon every person, and even if they do not admit it, they are being changed. Always in the civil rights movement, be it in the last century or before it even was called civil rights, grassroots protesters have been crucial. The Ella Baker’s participatory democracy emphasizes the significance and necessity of activism done on the local level in a radically democratic fashion.[3]


The religious ideology that does not accept those on the margins of gender and discriminates them is incompatible with democracy and civil rights. Every parent has the chance of giving birth to a transgender child, and to use unhealthy, misconceived ideology like “God created her or him in a special way, and God chose her or his gender” can kill this child. Not providing proper care for children with Gender Identity Disorder (GID) can result in self-mutilations, depression, and possibly suicide.[4] Though often God is often invoked to prove the opposition to accepting the inner identity of those on the margins of gender, the secular document, the constitution, upholds the human dignity and inalienable rights

[4] From “A Boy’s Life” Atlantic Magazine by Hanna Rosin in the November 2008 issue

of every human being. Other aspects of religion that was incompatible with civil rights like the ideology that blacks are inferior to white have changed and had to change; the same must be said of ideology that makes homosexuals shameful and hell bound. Churches must become more accepting of those on the margins of gender because churches have the responsibility as the foundations of many communities to be significant promoters of human well-being.

Communities must change by recognizing and accepting those on the margins of gender in order to achieve the ideals of democracy and make a healthier society. The diversity of those on the margins of gender proves that gender and sexuality is very personal and individualized. The government influence, specifically in schools, is not the major facilitator of civil rights. Because of this, the responsibility of social change in communities falls upon the citizens. For the sake of their lives, those marginalized because of their gender or sexuality must be accepted.

An old essay of mine on the meaning of life



Life as Storyteller

Universals:

Life and its meaning: Life cannot give itself meaning without it being shared with other lives. Like how a statement cannot be its own proof, a single life depends on other lives to give itself meaning.

Why I tell stories: Stories are living things. They share with me the human condition, the anchor of my existence. Some may say my view of stories is fanciful, fake, deluded and unprovable; however, stories contain the realm of memories which gives our life perspective. A life without memories, for example, would not know what it is and what it should do.

Stories can be shared with others: When one shares a part of his life with someone or something, he is anchoring his life in another being. This shared life connects the other person to a perspective including that person.

People carry other people’s lives: By giving one’s life to another, one makes room to let in more of other’s lives into him. When a person dies for instance, the life one gives him dies but the deceased person’s life, which was given back, lives on.

A good story: A story that lives has the impressions and emotions and philosophies of the person or thing giving it. A fictional novel may share much of the author’s and his friend’s lives but it will take on a life on its own and share that with its reader. A bad story does not live and leaves the reader unchanged.

A full life: To have no life is to abandon one’s emotions, impressions, and desires. This person cease to be a person, and it is hard to say that person lives beyond the scientific definition. To have half a life is to either share everything one feels but reject everything given back or to share nothing but only borrow from others. The first is empty and self-centered because he is centered on what he can give and lets nothing into himself. The first needs something or someone to give is his inner world substance, a fixture, an anchor. The second is full and nowhere. He carries the burden of all the things they have taken but is unwilling to share it. By this, he is left with an ever increasing desire to give up on his burden in a reckless way, namely suicide (read Myth of Sisyphus for more details). The full life is the middle path. It shares but not with absolute dedication to only giving and receives likewise (study Buddhism for more details about the middle path).

Ignorance: It is possible to be ignorant of what the full life is and still have it. Many people have a full life at least for a good portion of their lives, but some imbalances may occur to make hidden prejudices, depression, and anxiety (maybe even Angst). It is helpful to know the full life and understand how to think critically about oneself, actions, and desires so that the full life may be maintained or re-attained.

Dedication and Loyalty: Though the definitions of dedication and loyalty overlap, they represent part of the two half system of a full life. Dedication represents the reason that makes something or someone important, or weighted, in one’s life. Dedication can be for a task or profession. It really has to do with what gives your life importance. Loyalty is the part that ties one to life. Loyalty can be towards a person. Responsibility to one’s life and close ones is a by-product of loyal reasoning. Both reasonings reinforce the other and allows for the two-half system to work.

Fiction: a written work of fiction both includes the life-emotion of the writer and a unique life-emotion of its own. This allows a work to share this force with others and inspire new works.

Particulars:

Why I wrote the Indistinct Emotion: I had been reading Pluto which had many characters who were expertly portrayed with immerging emotions and conditions who dealt with sorrow of others and learn sorrow for themselves. They dealt with hate, learned it, wanted to know if their hate would ever go away, and conquered it. They dealt with Post Traumatic Stress from fighting in a war.

To make this clear, Pluto, the story I read, had a life of its own because it was a good story. The characters’ lives all contributed to the story, each in their own fashion. I shared the emotions of each of the characters who were seeing and learning certain strong emotions for the first time. What I absorbed in totality was the story. This story gained a life of its own inside of me and inspired the work Indistinct Emotion, which is about that life-emotion I felt from that story.

Emotional Education and State of Mind: Aristotle thought educating the emotions meant having the right emotion for the right situation, for the right person, with the right amount and so on. I would disagree with such “education”. I would say translating it as education is wrong because it is training. The difference between education and training is that education moves you out of ignorance to a broader understanding, while training reduces your actions to the prescribed. My opinion is that people learn new emotions for new states. Because circumstances for new emotions come from unique points in people’s lives, rationally trying to act in the most virtuous manner is impossible until they are changed by their emotional education.

I generally seek out adults because they have that changed-ness of having emotional education that I haven’t had yet. I read books because some of the authors know things none of the adults in my life know. This passion for emotional education has brought me great change, so that I act in the way I understand as acceptable.

I use the word acceptable because I am often not concern with good and bad as I am with not causing harm. The good and bad come only as an after-thought of trained responses. For an example, spankings and brief alienations have instilled fear into my inner selves (I will cover my multiplicity of being later). Connecting with others is my means for sharing life-emotions and developing new inner selves who guide and change me. Compunction at causing harm comes from a sensitivity to pain it causes our inner self of our shared life-emotion connection. Also, for those I have made little or no connection, the life-emotion of all my sharings has developed sensitivity to strangers, people of the past, and hypothetical people. Therefore, I am not in the sway of moral training in my interactions as I am reverent towards to the understanding of others.

Introspection and Maturity: I spend much of time study myself, speculating at the great questions of being, and synthesizing what I have learned. Often, through introspection, meditation, and meta-cognition, I test my fabricated inner voice against the faculties of doubt and its ever changing voice. I test my feelings against rationality and my theories against axioms.

Through such activities, I passed questioning my role in society, having found the presence of mind to change it when necessary. I have met the questions gain and growth, having developed the power to put my will behind what I truly choose. My ego was inspected from all sides; questions of death and decay suited as starting points of development of a sense of self. I once had a great fear of the lost of self that would occur if I lost a bit of my brain or ability to use some of my faculties. I question the meaning of living if I was going to die and all my labor would be eventually erased. I compared the deep understanding and Angst of the mortal to that of a hypothetical immortal’s ignorance.

In order to pass such difficult questions of ego integrity, I spread my sensitivity to very air around me during my introspection. My body became both vessel and expresser. I became something little concern in the sense of being because I was less tangible and more here-and-there. Now I developed multiplicity of being. I could make multiple voices speak in my inner world and my vague self could embrace the voice these egos. Through multiplicity of being, I had freedom of being. I could be change through my own will.

I had such an inner culture that during pep rally I was able to stand with people yelling around me tranquilly. I was in repose. I could work hard. I could find peace and rest with my own will in my mature life.

My life is no longer just about the great questions but about searching or waiting for those emotions I have yet had. I await happiness, love, sorrow, and fear. In my vague self, who transcends personality in times of introspection, I can emit a strong presence. This strong presence is a skill or development of my frequent self-study. My present concerns are what I wish share with those who can appreciate them or to those I respect like my teachers. Even though I am very sensitivity to the life-emotion and its ebbs and tides, I am seeking for great emotions like happiness to originate in myself.

I want the great feelings of life-emotion to originate inside me because I want to be changed by them. I seek out others and offer my passions for this endeavor. However, my multiplicity of being creates a gap of misunderstanding between others and me because I lack the same “practical concerns” like death or benefit. I can intellectualize most of what happens into my expanded sense of self. I know not what is to be feared in the external world of individualists. Death and benefit are but finite things that ignore unity and infinite expanse of self-meaning.

While wanting this connection to be made with more and more people, I am bombarded with accusations that I have my head in the clouds and that pondering things too esoteric leaves one without food and family. I am ambivalent about these accusations because first I do not know what to think about food and family in the sense of practical necessities and second I feel at distance with the person who made the accusations. I have on these occasions tried to either meet them halfway and provide them a way to better understand that “what is practical” is an enigma or I listen, absorbing the feelings of sincerity in their argument no matter how big the differences in our certainties.

In the end, I am not sure if maturity is the act of taking less and less for granted or finding one’s multiplicity of being. I am not always very esoteric, though I sometimes want to be more. It is by sheer multiplicity that I have inconsistencies day to day.

If this portion is inconsistent or confusing is because it is hard to explain my sigh of existence and the very distinct aspects of mature vagueness. It is also possible that I may be deluded for some psychological reason, but maybe my understanding may change so that I will know that.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

The Etiquette of Happiness

Eric Stockhausen
Too often we forget gentle breeze and the light between shadows is missed. Why have we forgotten that love of nature? Why have we lost the gentle happiness of peace? Definitely you know, you have done something haven’t you?
You have watched the television recently. Do you notice something? They are telling you to buy something or that something is wrong! The sunlight is free and economies need to sell expensive things. Go inside all day and watch television. Go to the dark movie theatre, for this is what society has built.
We have forgotten how to make ourselves happy because we have become complacent to modern consumerism to make our happiness dependent on something. Is it God? Is it results? Is it watching our favorite television?
Well, you probably heard similar complaints before from other critics of the wretched state of our shopping madness. It is not stuff that is the problem, but the abandonment of wisdom. The wisdom of the gentle hand of happiness is my philosophy.
To smile when seeing another do likewise and to laugh with the children on the playground is an age old tradition. Remember other people’s happiness, for the emotion impact of others is important to you and the world. Remember not only to push for what is right but to make people happy also. This is a moral happiness.
Remember that contact with other people is a way of exchanging emotions and hopes. There are no enemies for those who share the dream of happiness with the whole of humanity. But there is fear, there is weakness. Only a fool would not be concern with the faults of society and the individual and the self. Understand fear without being corrupted by it. This is the Lotus which comes from the murky water and rises about it. This is life emotion transforming.
My favorite philosopher, Albert Camus once wrote that “A taste for Truth is but a passion that spares nothing.” Never become so obsessed with being in the right that you become an unjust judge. No one has the right to judge others unless they have been given that power. No one voice has the right to dominate the majority and, with human values in place, the majority will be restrained from a tyranny of its own making. One must learn to move the world with a gentle touch in the right direction. Peaceful protest and suffering unjust judges are the sacrifices the followers of gentle happiness take in the dark times.
It is wise never to drown oneself in any emotion to the detriment of reason and consciousness. One must be aware of their purely physical state. One can crush life so easily, and with that realization, become mature. Death is something to treat seriously. Death is a matter to not be completely happy about when unnecessary death occurs daily. But a funeral can be an occasion for happiness, for death cannot erase the fact that those who lived good lives existed.
Accepting these winds of life and death, darkness and light, and truth and emotion, one can roam reality with a gentle touch of happiness. The gadgets of any era may help provide abundance to many, but they do not replace traditional happiness. It is a future in which progress is in happiness and truth for which is most dreamt. Seek it, push it, and make it. It is all you and the fellow peace dreamers.