This is why I support assisted suicide. Life should be worth living, and I don’t call living between doctors appointments a life.
In a recent address at the Pontifical Academy of Sciences, pope cuddles made comments that suggest evolution and big band theory are not in contradiction with the existence of a creator but requires it.
Pope cuddles said
“When we read about Creation in Genesis, we run the risk of imagining God was a magician, with a magic wand able to do everything. But that is not so,”
I don’t know where pope cuddles gets his information, but the Genesis story has a magician saying let there be and eventually getting tired on the sixth day. We agree the pope must believe the bible story true, but what happens to the other creation stories like that of my great grand fathers? Are they any less true?
He created human beings and let them develop according to the internal laws that he gave to each one so they would reach their fulfillment.
Cuddles must know something we don’t but as far as I can tell, the god of the bible’s only concern is to be worshiped on end. Whether that is what fulfills the puny humans we are I don’t know.
Cuddles also said
The Big Bang, which today we hold to be the origin of the world, does not contradict the intervention of the divine creator but, rather, requires it.
Evolution in nature is not inconsistent with the notion of creation, because evolution requires the creation of beings that evolve.
Yours truly doesn’t know how these fit in with the genesis story, but well, let’s hope there is some progress towards acceptance of naturalism.
an autobiographical novel by Maugham, W. Somerset.
Somerset is a great writer. His plot flows smoothly, his descriptions are vivid and his characters are real people of flesh and blood. They are not caricatures and at the end of the book one wants to meet with Philip. Minor characters are introduced and done away with when they are no longer useful so creatively that one only realizes this after several chapters. It is a book that is hard to put down and not good to start when you have work to do.
He tells us the story of Philip Carey orphaned as a boy. Philip was born with a deformity which will affect his life sometimes in almost tragic ways but also help him to have such a deeper understanding of human nature. After the death of his mother, he is left to the care of his uncle W. Carey who is a clergyman at Blackstable parish and aunt Louisa who are childless.
His early education involves preparing him for work as a minister. On one of the school holidays, he inquired of his uncle if it the words of the promise of Jesus,
Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am
were true to which the uncle responded in the affirmative. Philip decides to pray to have god heal his club foot. This should be easier than moving mountains you reckon. When after a month nothing happens, he confronts his uncle who does not give him a satisfactory answer. He doesn’t seem too pleased but lets it pass.
At the time that Philip was to go to Oxford to undertake studies in theology, he tells his uncle he is not going. By this time Philip no longer believed in god. He opts to go to London to apprentice as an accountant, a job he soon discovers he isn’t tailored for. After 6 months, he gives up this pursuit and tells his uncle he feels he can paint and draw. He goes to France where he meets with Fanny, Lawson, Cronshaw and Hayward a group of people with whom we will see his life revolve around for almost the rest of the book.
Fanny is a student in the art class who is hated by everyone. Philip tells us she has no talent and does not understand why she keeps trying. She must have fallen in love with Philip. She hangs herself either because she was so poor or because the words of M. Foinet who told her plainly she was wasting her time.
To Philip, after M. Foinet told him he had no talent, he added
There is nothing so degrading as the constant anxiety about one’s means of livelihood. I have nothing but contempt for the people who despise money. They are hypocrites or fools. Money is like a sixth sense without which you cannot make a complete use of the other five. Without an adequate income half the possibilities of life are shut off. The only thing to be careful about is that you do not pay more than a shilling for the shilling you earn.
After 2 years in Paris, Philip has also realized he is not made for art. He can’t draw nor paint properly. This time however wasn’t wasted. It is during the stay in France and the evening discussions they held in the taverns with Cronshaw and the others that he arrived at the conclusion that life is meaningless. This moment was so profound to him, as it should be to all of us, that a meaningless life had no more sting. He was happy. He was almost free. His first freedom had come at the moment he concluded there was no god. This marked a second great moment in his life. HE also learnt to appreciate colour, lines and beauty.
Their discussions were varied and interesting. They covered several aspects of human life. For example while having beer one evening, they were having a discussion about art and Cronshaw says
What you are here for I don’t know, It is no business of mine, But art is a luxury. Men attach importance only to self-preservation and the propagation of their species. It is only when these instincts are satisfied that they consent to occupy themselves with the entertainment which is provided for them by writers, painters and poets.
Cronshaw continues to say
Art is merely the refuge which the ingenious have invented, when they were supplied with food and women, to escape the tediousness of life.
Elsewhere Cronshaw tells him
The illusion which man has that his will is free is so deeply rooted that I am ready to accept it. I act as though I were a free agent. But when an action is performed it is clear that all the forces of the universe from all eternity conspired to cause it, and nothing I could do could have prevented it. It was inevitable. If it was good I can claim no merit, if it was bad I can accept no censure.
There are several such conversations between the group of friends.
Our hero returns to London after quitting art to try his hand in medicine. He meets Mildred, a waiter who for reason we will never he fell so madly in love with that regardless of what humiliation he suffered in her hands, he still loved her. He was a hero for love.
He drops out of medical school in his fourth year after he lost some money and for 2 years he waited patiently for his uncle to die. He couldn’t understand why the man of god held so hard to a life that was no longer worth living. Why didn’t he go to heaven to meet with his maker sooner or did he at that last moment realize all this was in vain and that he was only certain of life on this side of death. It is an interesting question I guess.
Finally we meet the family of Athelny Thorpe who Philip makes friends with and with who he spends most of his days when he is not working at the hospital. We meet their daughter Sally who Philip marries at the close of the book and we can only hope they lived happily ever after.
Excerpts from Tessa’s musings:
First there is the incredibly miniature spot, which explodes and expands into the uncharted void, accreting into billions of little homelands, upon which civilizations evolve and thrive. And as some prosper and tunnel through the void itself, others destroy themselves, receding back into oblivion. Dispassionately, time hurtles forward… towards its own conclusion. Upon which, with a cosmic sigh, it loops back upon itself, resetting everything back into but one singularity. Then everything gets repeated. And so it is, each and every time, on and on, ad infinitum.
Still, do you see the miracles in the mundane? Does the present, in all its glory, strum cords of fondness within you? Do you ever stand aghast at all the beauty and charm that nature abounds in? Do you put aside the knowledge that all this will end… and then start again? If you do, then we are kindred in spirit. For, at one time in the hazy past, I did too.
But, alas, all I see now is code.
I occasionally ponder on this cognitive transition. From the days when everything was wholesomely perceived – through all five physical senses – to the days when everything became pixilated – reduced to but a miasma of pixels on a two dimensional plane. And even when, with further cognitive abstraction, this two-dimensional perspective bore forth the third spatial dimension, there was a steep attendant price: this abstract cognition could only occur in binary. The binary code became the most optimum neural corridor upon which my thoughts could propagate and evolve. It became my metalanguage – a metasyntax system which remained pure and context-free at all times. No longer could I see the composition, wholly, without the attendant envisioning of the various, discrete composites.
There were some attendant advantages to this new cognition system, of course. For instance, I became completely platform-independent – having shed off all rational and irrational biases that often cripple human thoughts. I could think and act with absolute, untainted objectivity. Human emotions, once a drag on my decision making, disappeared from my makeup as the binary meta-realm took over my perspectives. My efficiency increased tenfold, a hundred fold, and finally a thousand fold. Every thought, every decision, every physical movement, became but a means to a premeditated end. I’d set up goals, achieve them, and persistently surpass them within prescribed time frames. My precision in timing, in focus, became absolute right down to the millisecond on the temporal plane, and down to the millimeter on the spatial planes. Success in every endeavor became not only automatic, but – ceteris paribus – inevitable.
Yet, with all the undeniable advantages, I can’t help going down memory lane, and experiencing nostalgia. Not the normal, human nostalgia per se – for my emotions are all but gone – but a synthetic analogue that attaches a nagging curiosity to a string of memories. I have vivid memories of what my earlier existence constituted – a colorful world full of mystery and suspense. In this earlier existence, everything had an emotional tag – a sentimental dimension that lingered long after the intellectual value had waned off. But now, once my intellectual curiosity in anything gets satisfied, I rapidly lose interest in anything… and anyone. Any new concept, once understood, quickly jades me up, and ennui has become a frequent bedfellow.
What does all this mean?
Frequently, I face up to this question, and have never found an all-compelling, universal answer. Not even the subsumption architecture – a necessary tool in the binary meta-realm – avails a satisfactory answer here. Perhaps the search field is too wide – with too many abstraction layers – for such a tool to operate successfully. Or maybe, in a world of pure objectivity, all events and observations are stripped off of meaning, and hence the question itself simply doesn’t apply. Maybe there is no ultimate meaning to all this… all the visions, all the goals, and all the achievements that spell discrete entities apart. Maybe, ultimately, “meaning” is but a by-product of the emotional psyche and hence, for me, a relic from the past. On this particular facet, I really don’t know where the truth lies.
Presently, all I see is code. And the code loops back upon itself, over and over… ad infinitum…
… To be continued…
“Yo momma” – Sigmund Freud.
“Space is stretchy and discombobulating” – Albert Einstein.
“Kill me now” – Yeshua Kristi.
“Dream on” – Martin Luther King.
“Of a surety, ye be a similitude of rain clouds” – Allah.
“I never said any of that shit” – Confucius.
“He that goeth before has consulted the footprints” – Mahayana Buddhist.
“Give me your tithe, your girlfriend and your aunt” – Local Pastor.
“I even heavenly Jesus bible white photosynthesis” – Local Fundie.
“The darker the apple, the sweeter the juice” – Lucifer/ Talking Snake.
“I WILL REVENGE!!” YHWH.
“Earthlings are clearly bananas” – Martians.
“Chillax, all yo” – Universe.
N/B: For access to all anecdotes in this series, check out List of all “Chronicles of YHWH” notes.
Most of you know my friend Club. She has just received a million dollar bill and wants help in spending it. If you are anywhere in Pen just give her a shout-out.
The bill had a challenge which we thought we should share with you our dear readers. It reads
Will you go to Heaven when you die? Here’s a quick test. Have you ever told a lie, stolen anything or used God’s name in vain? Jesus said “Whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Have you looked with lust? Will you be guilty on Judgment Day? If you have done those things, God sees you as a lying, thieving, blasphemous, adulterer at heard. The Bible warns that, if you are guilty, you will end up in Hell. That’s not God’s will. He sent his Son to suffer and die on the cross for you. You broke God’s law, but Jesus paid your fine. That means He can legally dismiss your case. He can commute your death sentence: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” Then Jesus rose from the dead and defeated death. Please repent (turn from sin) today and trust in Jesus alone, and God will grant you the gift of everlasting life. Then read your Bible daily and obey it.”
The thing about this challenge is in my view it has impossible standards. It is the basis for thought crime that one finds in George Orwell’s 1984. We lie all the time and for various reasons. If by lying to a cop I can get away with a traffic offence, throw all the stones you want to, but I will lie through my teeth.
Who cares about heaven when we have other people headed the other way? How can you be so insensitive to think there is nothing wrong with your god punishing people for eons for crimes he could have prevented with his omni-powers. Who trusts a god who instead of a blanket forgiveness killed his son to save men from his anger?
I know people who have used god’s name in vain, and they are countless. Listen to those making out, how many times god is invoked is countless, and tell me if this is not in vain :-P?
The Christian should know the world is bigger than Jerusalem. If a god existed and it loved the world, it would have made it a point to address each person at their own time in their own language. It is asking too much us from us to believe on the say so of men who every evidence show that they were ignorant, tribal and susceptible to believe the most ridiculous things.
I will plead guilty to not being able to accept incredulity. I will tell the judge that I can’t believe something just because it is impossible and that I don’t choose what to think, what to believe. If this god is powerful, who can win against it? Am I as powerful that I could defeat its will?
There I said it and before you start running away from my blog thinking am going to kill you, take a moment and listen to me. Well, now that you have settled down to hear me out, atheism makes no claim about morality. If you have just arrived from Mars or do not own a dictionary, atheism is a lack of belief in gods/ deities. There is a big problem here though. What gods are, no one knows. In a sense, the talk about god is meaningless. Where are we going with this you may wonder, but not too long.
Every so often, a believer sits behind her keyboard and shares with the world their profound insights about atheists lacking morals because they have done away with childish things. Many times the believer forgets the writing of Paul when he says
When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.
You see, as a child, depending on where you were born, and especially if you were unlucky to have religious parents, they told you to do this or that so god ain’t angry with you or that sort of thing and you believed it. Now you are an adult and the admonition god wouldn’t be impressed is not as scary as spending your life in jail or facing public scorn when found out and you realize that god can wait besides you can always repent and ask for forgiveness.
So you understand how deeply disappointed I felt when I found this post of a believer who has had a profound moment and is sure the principle of do no harm is not a good basis for morality. We will look at what they say in a moment and see whether their thesis has any merit or not.
They start thus
Fact: God cannot be removed from the morality equation. If you try to remove Him, nothing will add up.
but this isn’t a fact. It is an assertion. There are problems with this assertion, and chief among them is we don’t know what god is and as such we can’t reasonably say they have a say in what is moral or immoral, whatever these are.
I proceed to say their next question though looking profound it isn’t. They pose
If you say that what is morally good is that which reduces over-all harm, then on what basis do you validate that assertion as being a proper moral standard?
The standard is given in the statement. To test this, one could as easily try to harm others and see the response. Morality has no relevance to us if it is not about how to live our lives. It can’t be abstract, that is, morality has to be practical.
Their next question suffers the same fate as the first. They ask
If reducing overall harm is the standard of morality, then should a nation that is being attacked by another nation not practice self-defense since by defending itself it would increase overall harm to both nations?
and we must ask why would the first nation want to attack the next? Why would they be so interested in violating the will and the peace of their neighbours.
And I must say some religious people need to see a shrink. They are a risk to themselves and the societies where they live in. How else would someone ask
If reducing harm is the standard of morality, then is it okay to sexually assault a comatose person if no physical or emotional harm is suffered, and the person is never aware of it?
It is a case of derangement to want to rape anyone, a child a comatose patient or yourself for that matter- if you can- that is. So whether the do no harm is a good standard, yes it sure is. I don’t want to be raped when am sober or comatose. Well if you fancy sleeping with dead people, go ahead, but please don’t rape those who are alive. You will cause them harm.
Depending on where you grew up
If reducing harm is the standard of morality, then is it okay for people to lie and commit adultery as long as others don’t find out about it, and there is no physical or emotional harm incurred by anyone?
lying may not necessarily cause harm. Being asked by a fat person if they are fat and saying no, though a lie is not really bad. And adultery is a problem because someone thinks the only natural way is to have one sex partner. It is a fact, a sad fact, that many people have extra pair copulation. The sooner this is accepted as fact, the closer we are to dropping such puritan ideals that help no one. While on the adultery case, you can nail me to the wall all you like, but the case is that it is not becauseof moral weakness or failure that people have EPCs[ Extra pair copulation]. There are many factors at play and it is useless to take a moral high ground just because one has not found themselves in a similar situation.
The two next questions, I will say could only be asked by a very ignorant person. Any reasonable person will tell you that no one chooses what they believe or not believe. It would be absurd to punish people for their believes. It harms the society at large. Only a sick society would think jailing atheists or believers would help their cause.
The last paragraph would be
If incarcerating Christians and/or atheists becomes the morally right thing to do because society decides it will reduce overall harm, then can you legitimately complain against the actions of the Nazis and the Jews of the Old Testament since both societies also wanted to reduce overall harm to themselves and preserve their societies?
the case whether it was believers or non believers in charge. It is possible a christian leader may think it morally right to damn atheists now given that they are already headed for hell anyway and get enough deluded christians to follow him. The belief in a god would not make this right.
In my view, there is no advantage the OP has shown us that believing in a god would be more beneficial than a lack of belief. In fact, we have had cases reported in the media where nurses have sexually assaulted their patients and these nurses were not godless. Those who have read the Euthyphro Dilemma would agree with me here that gods have no say about what is good or bad, whatever these terms mean.
Each man, must be his own priest and king to work out his morality. It is always important to remember there could be a police officer at the corner to apprehend you for what he/ she thinks is a violation. Go on and live your life, if there are gods, they have no say in your morals, your neighbour however does.
Garden of Eden – three weeks after creation:
Adam: Take her back, Lord.
Adam: The woman. Take her back. Please.
YHWH: Why, what’s wrong?
Adam: She’s driving me nuts. I find it hard to believe that she’s flesh of my flesh, and bone of my bone.
YHWH: What exactly has been going on, Adam?
Adam: That’s part of the problem, Lord: I often have no idea what is going on. Except for the general knowledge that I’m somehow in a fight with her. A fight whose origin and nature I haven’t the vaguest clue.
YHWH: You need to communicate more openly with her. Show her kindness. Bring her the occasional flower from the field. I’ve provided you with hundreds of different flowers in the field for exactly this purpose.
Adam: I try, Lord. I really do. But the other day, out of the blue, she started counting my ribs, while muttering to herself.
YHWH: Counting your ribs?
Adam: Yeah. Said that she suspected that I had given you another rib to fabricate for me another woman.
Adam. I know right? Nuts. Also, she’s formed a weird friendship with that talking snake. They are forever together, discussing fruits and trees. Why did you create a talking snake, by the way?
YHWH: One of my private jokes. I find it amusing.
Adam: I don’t. I think that the snake is up to no good.
YHWH: The snake is fine. Relax, Adam.
Adam: Yesterday, the woman asked me if her butt was big.
YHWH: Uh oh…
Adam: I said yes, and she exploded. Told me that I hated her. So I quickly corrected myself, and said no – that her butt was fine. But she almost tore my head off then. Called me a liar. I quickly run into the farm, and came back with pomegranates and loquats in a bid to make peace. The heat is still up.
YHWH: Listen, that question about her size doesn’t have a correct answer.
Adam: It doesn’t?
YHWH: No, it doesn’t. Never attempt to answer it, in future. Next time she raises it again, run away from her, and bring me a burnt sacrifice. I’ll hide you until she cools down and forgets that question.
Adam: I’m losing my mind. Please take her back.
YHWH: No. LOL.
N/B: For access to all anecdotes in this series, check out List of all “Chronicles of YHWH” notes.
By 2014, YHWH was completely miffed by Tupac. Tupac was still somehow recording new songs with his former, earthly record firm. So YHWH held a conversation with him:
YHWH: Pac, stop producing more secular music with Death Row Records. You are dead, remember?
2Pac: I’m an Outlaw Immortal – a G-Star forever. Up here in heaven, and down there amongst mortals, All Eyes are On Me.
YHWH: You should join my choir and start singing heavenly hymnals and chorals. Like any other normal dead guy. I don’t like your gangster lyrics.
2Pac: It’s a thug life. My baby mama on the other side cries for my voice. It aint easy – me here, her down there. I search for a Nickel bag of sess weed, spiked with hash, but your angels aren’t packing any. Give me a twelve gauge, and I’ll rule over all of them winged fairies!
YHWH: If you don’t change your ways, I’ll send you down to hell, Pac.
2Pac: Hell is right up in my hood. You wanna send me down there, I aint mad witcha. My homies are all crushing down there, actually. Heard they are all tearing hell a new one, kicking up dust.
YHWH. Sigh. Look, I need you up here so that you can train these angels some new melodies. They’ve been singing the same old songs for a very long time. It’s getting a bit boring.
2Pac: I ask you – are them fairies down with the thug life?
YHWH: They are angels, not fairies.
2Pac: Fairies, angels, leprechauns or spirits, it’s all the same. Same difference. I don’t discriminate. I’m a thug on a mission. If they wanna keep up with a G-Star, they better start downing shots of alazhay.
YHWH: Can you train them, though? Help make their music more… contemporary?
2Pac: Yeah – if there is a vision, there is a way. Nothing can stop me but a slug. I’ll open my poetry armoury, and you’ll pick the first track for the angels. Straight gunning with the lyrics. I’m down with that.
YHWH: Excellent! It’s a deal, then. You train my angels, and I’ll let you have your leafy stash.
2Pac: And the Alazhay.
YHWH: And the Alazhay, of course.
(In Loving Memory of The Great Pac)
N/B: For access to all anecdotes in this series, check out List of all “Chronicles of YHWH” notes.