Posts Tagged ‘skepticism’

I was performing the blasphemous act of listening to Richard Dawkin’s book “The God Delusion” on my way home from work the other day, when I found I was thirsty.  So as soon as I got home, I grabbed a glass and filled a pitcher of water.  I threw the headset on while getting out of the car but was only half paying attention now as I noticed something in the glass of water.

marked water glassI quickly grabbed for the sharpie that I use to mark my CDs and DVDs with and put a line at the watermark in the glass.  Then I went into the bathroom across the hall, drained the pitcher and promptly poured the water in the glass into the now empty pitcher.  I shook the glass real good to get as many drops as I could then poured the water back into the glass.

I was amazed!  The water came up to the same mark!!!  I repeated this procedure at least a dozen times and despite a few droplets that could easily be accounted for after spilling onto the sink or the floor, the water line was identical to my original mark!

I was no longer listening to that goofy Dawkins fellow as I was bearing witness to the substance of divinity here in my little water glass.  Despite the chaotic nature of the universe, regardless how many times I attempted to re-arrange the molecules of hydrogen and oxygen, upon pouring them back into the glass they inevitably settled to the same level in the glass.

This cannot possibly happen by mere chance,‘ I thought and repeated the experiment three more times just to be certain.  No, it was definite.  Not only was there an obvious hand of a designer at work here to make the water and the glass and the pitcher, but the very presence of God himself had to be in the room with me!  How else could all those molecules fall into place ‘just so’ every single time I tried to disturb them? The holy one himself must have been moving them about as I poured them such that they would all settle in the glass to achieve the same level EVERY SINGLE TIME!

I quickly ran upstairs and out into the street where I ran up to anyone nearby showing them my miraculous discovery.  “Look!!!” I exclaimed, pouring the water back and forth before their eyes.  “The same level!” I would exclaim.  They would just look at me with an odd expression, one woman told her kids to go into the house, following the statement with a rather stern ‘NOW’ and at least one other guy grabbed the glass with a ‘thank you’ before taking a large drought.

Foolish non-believers!  They couldn’t see the hand of God at work.  I have determined after my mandatory meeting with the county mental health examiner next week, I am going to look for other proofs of the almighty in my fruit loops!

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Originally posted on Facebook Notes

OK, in case you haven’t figured out by reading my other notes, I love cosmology and ontology – i.e. philosophy. Question everything! To quote Aristotle, the “unexamined life is not worth living”. A subject that seems to keep getting bounced off me as of late is the concept of power, who has it, how they get it and what they do (right or wrong) with it.

One of the things that keeps bringing it up is the obvious, politics. I tend to examine just about everything and anything by breaking it down to basic truths. I tend to think it is a basic truth that any form of governmental control attracts and/or breeds within it power hungry people. And as they say, power corrupts. It’s just the nature of the beast. (although I am prone to disagree with this on face value.  Instead I think ‘the nature of power attracts corruptible men’.  And by consequence, ‘corruptible men should be granted as little power as possible’)

This led me to consider the nature of power and then in turn led me to the following conclusion:

No man has power over another without it being granted or taken and allowed.

Let’s start with the second part because the two concepts really have to go together. Once someone has power, the most likely means to get more if they are corrupt is to take it. If they have no power in the first place other than what was granted to them by someone (or a group of someones), then the only way they can take power unwillingly from one of those someones is for the rest of the someones to ‘allow’ them to get away with it.
But of course the easier way to get power is to have it given to you. This led me to another consideration. What is the easiest way to get someone to give away power? There’s one simple answer that repeats itself throughout our society and history:

convince them that there is something greater then themselves or their own self-interest

Without drawing specific conclusions on whether each is right or wrong, good or bad, we can see examples of things deemed ‘greater than one’s self’ in everything from religion (god) to environmentalism (earth/nature) and even collectivism/marxism (the state).

As a note in conclusion, all of this sounds kind of selfish – well guess what? it is! But it does not have to be a denunciation of the things we find good in any or all of the above. After all, ideas do not gain support if there is not some truth or good in them.
So how can you put your own self-interest before everything else and still exist in society? Simple! Simple because it is in our self interest to maintain and improve our environment, it is in our self interest to be on good terms with our neighbors and for our neighbors to share a similar social and financial status (not identical, but similar). I could go on, but I think you get the idea – self interest does not preclude being a good citizen, good neighbor or good patron to our world – but denying self-interest is the quickest way to grant someone else (potentially tyrannical) power over you.

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