I am thinking of a title for this post

The last few weeks have been interesting. For some inexplicable reason, time seems to be moving faster than usual and catching up with my favourite blogs has been in the back burner. I wanted to say life has happened but I realise even blogging and reading the different blogs engaging with different people and thoughts is part of that life.

This year has been interesting. I discovered I could listen to podcasts. Strike that. I can binge listen, if that’s a thing. I have found a few podcasts that are just the right length and with content that I like which makes me wonder I didn’t start this much earlier.

We don’t have control in this life and I think this is quite freeing. You can eat healthy, exercise, manage stress and still fucking get cancer. This is not to say we shouldn’t try to live healthy or make plans but to be open to these plans and goals being upended when life serves you a curve ball.

Make plans, set goals but don’t be fixated on achieving them. Allow yourself room to miss these goals, to fail, even to do something different. Most of all, enjoy life. We are here to be a happy. If what you’re doing is sucking happiness out of you, maybe you should quit and do something else.

Happy weekend everyone

Oscar Wilde on life

He writes

Actors are so fortunate. They can choose whether they will appear in tragedy or in comedy, whether they will suffer or make merry, laugh or shed tears. But in real life it is different. Most men and women are forced to perform parts for which they have no qualifications…..the world is a stage, but the play is badly cast.

Oscar Wilde in Praise of disobedience

10th Anniversary with WordPress

Today I got a notification I have been flying with wordpress for 10 years now. To celebrate, I will share links and a question.

First, the question. On the abortion debate, is it possible to make an argument for personhood and when it begins without making a religious argument? What is life, when does it start?

On links, the first one is on history. The post is quite long but is worth a read. The comments are also quite good.

The last link is from WEIT on god and mathematics and maybe Neil will have something to say as he is this site’s to go mathematician.

Tell us your thoughts.

In sensation and sex

Plutarch argues only three things are eternal

  • Atoms
  • Empty space- it remains untouched and unaffected by any impact
  • The universe- no available place surrounding it into which its matter can disperse and disintegrate

He the continues to argue against the idea of an eternal spirit since it, among others, may fall prey to the mind’s own specific afflictions, madness, amnesia and plunge into the black of waters of oblivion.

Following this argument, then, he concludes that death is nothing to us and no concern of ours since our tenure of the mind is mortal.

And in a formulation of the argument that we were dead for eternity and it didn’t bother us, he writes

If the light of life were given to us anew, even that contingency would still be no concern of ours once the chain of our identity has been snapped. We who are now are not concerned with ourselves in any previous existence: the sufferings of those selves do not touch us.

So my friends, fear not death, it is nothing to us the living. It awaits us at the end of life. Harbour no fear for torments after death. All your torments are this side of the grave. Don’t multiply them needlessly.

here is something I like

even if you don’t read the whole blog, this alone I find is quite good

In conversation with a believer

To be clear, I do respect anyone who does believe with integrity. Who does treat others with respect, those who do not share into the same belief. Or those who do not want to believe at all in any form of a higher being. Because, without that principle in place, the believer will not receive the respect he or she is craving.

I do not believe in any higher being or deity, nor do I adhere to any mystical belief system.

For me, the adherence to a “believe” is an absolute private matter! And in my opinion, has nothing to do with any religious affiliations. As I understand if a person needs the embrace of a religious group, there must be doubts about the validity of the held beliefs. If one is convinced that there is a deity in existence, then there is no need for spiritual support of that conviction. One is free to worship on one’s terms!

To me, a belief is personal, and like our imagination, are emotional responses of the individual. As far as I can count, there are currently around eight billion individual emotional responses possible on this planet.

As an atheist, I take responsibility for my entire existence!(Here is where we say AMEN-my own) I alone must account for my actions and my thoughts, including my demise into nothingness. For me, life is a one-off experience, and I feel lucky to have that experience. There is no one to blame for my bad choices, but myself. I am aware and respectful to the fact that I am part of a universal cycle; consequently, I treat my life with the utmost reverence. Of course, we all make mistakes and fail in our quest on occasion. There may be one religion I would call myself an adherent to, and that is the religion of universal love!

I am suspicious of people who are in need to convince others of the righteousness of their beliefs. To me, it proves they lack convictions!

On a more general note, if we human beings had decided a long time ago to adhere only to one single belief system, we would have died out by now! Because only through the challenges and variety of conflicting ideas has the human mind progressed to this day.

On religion

by Kurt Vonnegut

Palm Sunday is a collection of some interesting essays by Kurt Vonnegut that I would recommend to any one as summer, winter or whatever season reading. They are full of humour and every once in a while something to make you think. One of the essays is titled religion and I want to just share some passages that I found to be quite good.

His uncle Clemens, he tells us wrote

whoever entertains liberal views and chooses a consort that is captured by superstition risks his happiness

and I think this is true for both men and women.

The portion I liked best is this farewell from the same uncle addressed to friends and opponents & to next of kin present to deliver his body to the earth

Do not mourn! I have now arrived at the end of the course of life, as you will eventually arrive at your. I am at rest and nothing will ever disturb my deep slumber.

I am disturbed by no worries, no grief, no fear, no wishes, no passions, no pains, no reproaches from others. All is infinitely well with me.

I departed from life with loving, affectionate feelings for mankind; and I admonish you: Be aware of this truth that the people on this earth could be joyous, if only they would live rationally, and if they would contribute mutually to each others’ welfare.

This world is not a vale of sorrows if you will recognize discriminatingly what is truly excellent in it; and if you will avail yourself of it for mutual happiness ad well being. Therefore, let us explain as possible, and particularly at the departure from life, that we base our faith on firm foundations, on Truth for putting into action our ideas which do not depend on fables and ideas which science has long ago proven as false.

We also wish knowledge, goodness, sympathy, mercy, wisdom, justice and truthfulness. We also strive for and venerate all of those attributes from which the fantasy of man has created a God. We also strive for the virtues of temperance, industriousness, friendship, and peace. We believe in pure ideas based on truth and justice.

Therefore, however, we do not believe, cannot believe, that a thinking being existed for millions and millions of years, and eventually and finally out of nothing – through a word- created this world, or rather this earth with its firmament, its sun and moon and stars.

We cannot believe that this being formed a human being from clay and breathed into it an immortal soul, and then allowed this human being to procreate millions, and then delivered them all into unspeakable misery, wretchedness and pain for all eternity. Nor can we believe that the descendants of one or two human beings will inevitably become sinners; nor do we believe that through the criminal executions of an innocent one may we be redeemed.

Quoting Bertrand Russell famous declaration that in case he met god, he would say to him, “Sir, you did not give us enough information” that he would, “All the same, Sir, I’m not persuaded that we did the best we could with the information we had. Toward the end there, anyway, we had tons of information.”

On the White House prayer breakfasts (and now we have our own version of national prayer days) he writes the

lethal ingredient in those breakfasts wasn’t prayer. It was a virulent new strain of hypocrisy which did everyone in.

And I agree with him when he writes

I don’t think anybody ever dreaded hell as much as most of us dread the contempt of our fellow men.

To end this already long post, I will add one last thing, about community. He says if you are going to be a leader with a mission to help us find an amazing future, then you should consider helping us find an intelligent and imaginative way back to some of the more humane and comforting institutions of the past. Say extended families for example. He argues the nuclear family doesn’t provide nearly enough companionship.

So, my friends, go and be lonesome no more.

Happy weekend everyone.


and while we are still here, I hope no one who reads this blog also believes in this

A tribute to old friends

and those we have lost along the way sort of.

as i was going to bed last night, it occurred to me there are bloggers who have disappeared from our lives quietly without a trace. What happened to them? I will just name a few that I can remember off head.

There was Jericho Brisbane and his beautiful wife. Does Nate still blog? And Victoria (Neuronotes) last Swarn (?) wrote about her, she was planning a move or something. Then there was Daniela of Lantern Post. One very lovely person from New Zealand (I miss her 😦 ). There is Holly, the other V and Silence of Mind- what happened to him? Did he get arrested or something? I never met a person so repulsive as he was. And then there was Emmy of unbuttonedorundone what happened to her? And where is Ruth? Sonel, her of great south African photos and sites (Ark is no match for hers 🙂 )

I still miss myatheistlife who left us too soon. He was such a brilliant young man.

Most of all, I miss archaeopteryx1 that old fossil who could not be persuaded to move his blog to wordpress even when the site that had been hosting it before was no longer active. This fossil was a kind man, sometimes acerbic and I know he could get into people’s nerves but he was the first person who I had lengthy conversations with once I started writing on this spot.

And finally, to the friends new and old who grace this humble spot, gracias.

I think I should schedule a post to report my demise, you know the way Moses writes of his death and burial in the bible. Something in that class.

Happy week everyone.


In other news, a friend shared this link with me this morning. The similarity with Christianity is unmistakable.

Is death bad for us?

Epicurus would say no. In one of his famous letters, he writes death is nothing to us, for when we are, death is not with us and when death is come, we are not. Lucretius is of the same view; before we were, it didn’t bother us, after we stop being, it should likewise not bother us.

I generally believe death, sometimes, is a great good, for it is a release from suffering. For example, for those terminally ill and in pain, death is a release, even though most people even in such circumstances want to prolong their lives.

Benatar, in Human Predicament, argues that there are ways in which death is not a good, to the person who is dead. Death, he writes, deprives us of meaning, if for example, our life had meaning because of our associations or the projects we were doing.

Death, he adds, is also bad because it obliterates us. Annihilation that comes with death is a bad in the whole. It is here also that he disagrees with Lucretius. The argument by Lucretius proposes a symmetry between not having been and not continuing to being. He says the two are not symmetrical. Not having been born doesn’t cause you harm. But to stop being, as a result of death, is not a good for one, it deprives you of possible goods you would have continued to experience, among other things.

Is death a good or a not?