Showing posts with label philosophy. Show all posts
Showing posts with label philosophy. Show all posts

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Why Bad Things Happen to Good People

The apparent paradox as to why bad things happen to good people puzzled me, coming from a Christian background. Often in the media, one finds this question being posed by traumatized people who have lost a loved one. At an early age, I learned that God runs the Universe, and God is omnipotent and omniscient, and God is Good. Why would such a God allow bad things, such as death and suffering, happen to good people? This does not seem reasonable.

I believe the only way to resolve the paradox is to depart from Christian thinking and to accept that our lives do not have quite as much significance as we think they do. Perhaps they are not altogether meaningless, but we are expendable, and I think that is self-evident, with an overwhelming abundance of evidence. All of us die. Our species could fairly easily be wiped from the planet altogether, perhaps through self-destruction, as seems likely at this point, due to our propensity for tribal warfare and our advanced military technology. Would that we had remained with bows and arrows! Think for a moment about the many species that preceded us. Where are they now? There has been a lot of bloodshed and a lot of death to get to us through the long process of evolution. There were a lot of false starts.

If there is such a thing as God, then he has demonstrated utter indifference to our fate throughout the course of history, and why should he not? Our lifespan is brief, and we are fragile and succumb to a myriad of genetic abnormalities, microbial diseases and accidents that have no relation to our moral conduct. From our design, we are meant to be temporary, disposable, expendable, and readily replaced. Those who do not accept that are thinking in childish and selfish terms and can be excused for doing so, because of course, we all would prefer to live forever without pain and suffering. I don't think that God condones death, pain and suffering. I think instead that he is removed from the equation. Those things are not considered important or are a part of the cycle of life.

The idea of living creatures as temporary avatars of the One Unifying Force appeals to me, although I don't know how it works exactly, but computer games offer a glimpse into the system. To think that all matter, everything we see and everything we are, derived ultimately from stars is a deep thought. What naturally follows from that is the observation that everything has a sameness about it, being constructed of the same material and coming from the same origin. The atoms of my body could have, but for random chance, composed one of the many layers of the Sun or the Moon. In our lives, we express a consciousness that may exist only as a potential, dormant and unexpressed, in inanimate things such as the Sun or the Moon. In time, we too lose our consciousness, and our atoms become like the Sun or the Moon, incapable of giving voice to ideas or thoughts. Our atoms are only capable of consciousness for a very brief amount of time, and for the rest of eternity remain silent as the grave, unless they become absorbed into another living being--much recycling takes place on this Earth. Why should mankind be so different, so divorced from nature, from the cosmos? I think instead we express cosmic forces that already exist in the universe, and that darkness and light, good and evil, destruction and rebirth, are expressions of those cosmic forces.

To speak of things in metaphysical terms is to simplify and concentrate the accumulated hard-won knowledge of science, in all its complexity, but we should always stay grounded in science, lest we stray into error. Scientists such as Feynman scorn philosophers in general but perhaps reserve a special scorn for those that stray far away from physical science. I would not say, for instance, that there is a God that will intervene in human affairs, because I have not witnessed that, and it seems to me if there were such a God, he would have intervened long ago to stop various atrocities and right all of the things that are wrong in the world, from North Korea to Iran to Russia and even here at home in the United States. Surely a just God would not have suffered countless injustices to go unpunished upon this Earth, were he at all concerned with the doings of humankind. There are many paradoxes in the mainstream religions that remain unresolved and point to their falseness. Also, I would not say that we have eternal life in Paradise awaiting us, because I have not seen this Paradise, and all the evidence of science points toward the cessation of consciousness at death; therefore I believe, for now, that my consciousness and individuality will be annihilated at the moment of my demise. Although that is a point of intense regret for many people, I am philosophic, because it cannot be helped, and because everyone else in the same boat, and after all, wasn't I lucky even to exist in the first place and to survive for as long as I did? Isn't it ingratitude and selfishness to demand more from the Universe? Even a moment of consciousness is more than many collections of atoms ever experience. All the atoms of the Sun--when have they possessed a single thought? Yet the atoms of the Sun outnumber the atoms of the Earth, as we have been told by our scientists. Others will inherit the earth, and let us hope that they improve the condition of the ones that follow them, as we have tried in our own ways to improve conditions in our times.

Saturday, December 20, 2014


Death places a halo on the head of the dead, because they are blameless. To blame them is as pointless as blaming a rock, tree, or river--they are inanimate. Only the living may be blamed for the problems of today. With the dead, in most cases one thinks, they did the best they could with the resources at hand. Indeed in some cases, it is fantastic they could do what they did do, while laboring under such tremendous handicaps. It is important to forgive and forget whenever possible. To brood upon the past makes us vulnerable to the powers of darkness that are so eager to gain a foothold into our world. Some of those on the global scene that brood over the past are those Republicans who want to do no trade with Cuba, even though our dispute with them is fifty years old, and Cuba is no worse than China, objectively--in fact, China is far more a threat to us. North Korea and Iran brood over the past. Putin broods over the past. Those who idealize the Southern Confederacy, they too brood over the past too much. Live in the present.

Although forgiveness isn't necessary, by any means, I do forgive my dead father all his real or perceived faults without exception. He was more than good enough. He was wonderful, judged in the context of his burden, and that is the only way we should judge other people. It is easy for strong people with sound minds to be proud and powerful when put to the test. They do not have to make as much effort. They do not suffer as much. To be mentally ill is a tremendous burden. Just imagining it is frightening. Living it is worse. I read the list of side effects for his medicine the other day and that helped me understand a great deal.

The reason I have never taken acid or any powerful drug is that I fear the loss of control, the giving of the self over to the Random, to evil spirits, psychosis, or self-hypnosis, or whatever takes its place. This is also the reason that other people abstain from powerful drugs--and also heavy drinking or heavy pot smoking, because even the milder substances, when taken in great excess, can impair our sense of self-control. We do fear the loss of control and are wise to do so.

My father had many good qualities, and most importantly, he intended to do good. Conscience was  powerful in him as it is in me, and this, I think, is the seed of goodness, for without conscience, what guide have we? There is no invisible guardian standing ready to cast black magic upon us, should we do ill to others, although I think there should be. We refrain from evil not so much out of fear of the law or of societal disapproval or for our own insignificant lives, but rather out of fear of committing Sin, which alienates a human being from communion with the consciousness that pervades all things, the Force, as Obi Wan-Kenobi and Yoda described it in "Return of the Jedi." Perhaps that is indeed what God is, rather than a single being. And, perhaps we are not single beings either, and individuality is an illusion, but we are all avatars of the One, and all of us are interconnected, whether we know it or not. Those that are evil delude themselves in thinking they are separate. They are wholly sold on the illusion of individuality. After the brief span of a man's days, the illusion is dispelled. What remains of an evil-doer's savage individuality is a rotting corpse, food for worms. Those that are good perceive, maybe dimly, but they perceive an invisible network connecting all living beings. They exist not only for the benefit of self, but for the benefit of others as well, because the self is transitory, and others will inherit the earth.

Friday, December 19, 2014


I hate when good people squabble for silly reasons. Mainly due to miscommunication, I think. Tribalism, racism, homophobia, sexism, politics. It makes me sad when they cannot get along. I haven't the power to make them. If I had the power, I would make them. I would bring their heads together like in the Three Stooges. Clonk!

Would that Jesus had summoned the Host and ruled the world as Emperor eternal, wise and just. I always thought the crucifixion made no sense at all. I cannot accept such a sacrifice. Better by far to remain in the world. To ascend into Heaven and sit on the right hand of the Father is laziness. We needed you, and you left us. How is that right? So I do not believe in any of that.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Into the Calm

The best advice an old friend ever gave me was about self-control. He said if one is aware of a fault, that is, one that cannot be entirely eliminated, then besides reducing its frequency, for instance by abstaining from alcohol, there is yet another trick. When the inner eye observes the faulty logic executing, much in the same way an anti-virus would apprehend malware, one seizes the runaway process and stops it. "There I go again, so unnecessary and pointless," was the phrase he used. I find this an effective technique to defuse anger, for instance, which is such a negative emotion of limited utility in our modern world, although it may have had a purpose long ago. There are individuals that try their darnedest to provoke us into anger, because they feed upon that much as the dung-beetle feeds upon its chosen meal. I think avoidance of these types of people and ignoring their provocations may be the best strategy. When they do not get any notice of their remarks, then they do not get any satisfaction. The entire reason they provoke is to receive drama that is lacking in their lives, because no one with any sense wants to be around them for any length of time.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Don't Have to Be Perfect

Accepting that one doesn't have to be perfect is key to mental health and avoidance of depression. When I notice a fault, I try to find the humor in it rather than getting down about it. In the first place, being aware of a fault is a positive and should not be interpreted as a negative. At least awareness opens up the possibility of addressing or compensating for known faults. But people who just constantly pick and find faults in other people are unpleasant, and one doesn't wish to be around them.

I don't think a complicated top-heavy animal (big brain, frail body) can be perfect. There are going to be limitations, particularly in the functioning of the brain and personality. One isn't going to meet the standards of everyone one encounters. But all of that is OK, for the simple reason everyone is in the same boat. Since everyone's headed to the boneyard, even if there are some geniuses or strongmen nearby or out there in the wide world, as they age they will lose, one by one, in stages or suddenly, those gifts they once had, so in a way, we're all equal, except for very, very brief spurts of activity. What are 1 - 100 years in the cosmic sense of time, which is measured in billions of years if it is measured at all? Some say the Universe begins and ends, and others say it regenerates itself, and there are other theories, but the consensus is that the Universe is around for a length of time unimaginable to our brains... billions of years. So man is a flash in the pan.

I mean, all humans are doing pretty well compared to the ancestors, bacteria or amoebas or whatever, pond scum floating around and soaking up cosmic rays until random mutations led to us.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014


Arrogance amuses me.

The tiniest frog in a small pond croaks loudly, announcing itself as the ruler of the Universe. So many tiny frogs!

Meanwhile, real genius plods along quietly, without the peculiar need to trumpet every little triumph.

And what is Man after all but a slightly evolved primate? Should we be so proud, truly, when suffering and Death claims each of us so soon? When problems intractable beset ourselves and our society? When our very race is ever on the brink of self-annihilation? Bah!

Saturday, November 15, 2014

ISIS -- Ambassadors of Islam

We are fortunate that ISIS has appointed themselves the ambassadors of Islam to the modern world. No more effective method could have possibly been devised to convert Muslims into atheists. That ISIS is a group of savage, barbarian murderers is clear to anyone with a rational mind. Every time that ISIS does something repugnant, stupid, and ugly, they are making the case for atheism better than any atheist.

The fewer Muslims in the world, and the more atheists, the better the world will be. It is time for the human race to move away from primitive, nonsensical cults of violence and inhumanity and embrace science, philosophy, and education. Islam was never helpful to the world, and the sooner the Muslims themselves recognize it as a problem, the better.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Religious Fascists

Religious fascists wasted no time condemning a young woman's choice of suicide over daily suffering with a terminal illness. They want to put people like her in jail. I think she was right to make the choice that she did. Culture of death, my foot.

I think that religious fascists are the ones that belong in jail, or at any rate away from civilized society, whether they are Muslim or Christian or whatever that makes them want to interfere in other people's lives. They suffer from a severe mental illness, the compulsion to control other people, and need to be treated psychologically. One doubts that traditional educational methods would work for the religious fascist. Electroshock therapy, administered daily, simulating the pain and suffering the young woman above experienced, is just the thing to get them to understand that sometimes, people want to die and that they should have that basic human right.

We as a species are moving away from a culture of darkness and death, which is religious fascism, and toward a culture of reason, which is aligned with all that is good in the world. The religious fascists know that they have lost. They know they are on the wrong side of history. Some of them even know that they are wrong and that they serve the darkness. They are in it because religion is easy money. Not much work involved, is there, honey?

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Good for the Bishops

I'm pleased the Catholic bishops nixed welcoming gays in the Church. Anything to decrease the number of Catholics, I'm in favor of. Don't stop there, bishops. Please alienate more minority groups. Lack of social skills, social awareness and basic intelligence is the main reason that the Catholic church isn't what it used to be, and that's a good thing, because the Catholic church is a bad thing. Anytime someone with a little bit of brains tries to do something good in the church, the overwhelming majority of nitwits will veto it, because that's what Catholicism is all about, being a nitwit. The non-Catholic countries are all doing better in every possible way than the Catholic countries and have done so for a very long time. Perhaps having fundamentally the wrong idea about human existence has a catastrophic effect on a lot of other things in a society as well. Having a good philosophy has a lot of benefits--measurable benefits.

Monday, October 13, 2014

I Credit the Pope for Brains

The Catholic Church certainly seems to be acting in its own self-interest to stem the bleeding of numbers. Yes, Pope Francis, play nice with the gays and quit the quibbles over contraception. Then the Church might, might just, be able to stem the tide a little bit.

Once a soul has been disenchanted with the Church, pretty much they are free forever, shod of religion altogether, in my experience. There was a long, long horrific period when many churches pretty much declared themselves the enemies of gays, for no scriptural, moral or rational reason, but for pure prejudice and ignorance, which was stupid. Result? A considerable percentage of gays are atheists, agnostics or at least non-traditional in their spiritual beliefs. Thank you for that. That was a gift, the liberation of many minds, including my own. Who knows, I might be tithing otherwise. Now that the Church is getting intelligent for a change, the atheists are going to have to step up their game. It used to be that atheists had to do nothing to make converts. The Church made converts to atheism on its own.

In the future, we will see, but my money is still on the atheists and the spiritualists. The Church always seems a generation behind the times, doing the right thing only when it doesn't matter anymore and their position has already become irrelevant.

The Goddess just laughs at all of this drama.

Friday, October 10, 2014


Pakistan is populated by savages, if this story is any indication of the general mentality. Why is Islam such an evil cult?

At least the noun makes sense in English:

Is • lam(e)

The minute someone reveals their muslimitis, or infection of the brain by Islam, their estimated morality plunges below average.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Good Memories

When a loved one dies, whether friend or family, one remembers the good days, the Spring, Summer and Fall, but not the Winter of life. The same applies as when savoring a pot of tea--can it be judged by the dregs? I cherish the good memories, but dismiss the last stages of decline as being irrelevant, other than providing a lesson. I will probably want to skip the very worst stages of decline myself rather than endure them, because I don't really see the point, all things considered. I don't put any stock in religious notions of leaving existence "in God's hands." I will place my own existence in my own hands, thank you very much, and keep the change. Indeed, we are the hands of God.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014


Even when immersed in the darkness--do you know? or have you forgotten again?--even then. . . thou art cradled in the arms of the goddess. The light surrounds you, and no harm can come to you. Thou art joined to the light and become that light that spans alpha and omega, so there is no beginning and no end. When one story ends another begins and so on forever and ever.

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Right Abideth

Right is what matters. Only the good can see that. Their Eye sees that which is hidden from the wicked, a secret path. This is a great gift denied to those that are evil.

The wicked, seeing only the obvious, assume that only they matter, but their understanding, like that of simple creatures, is not necessary.

Right abideth

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Not a Big Fan of Islam

Islam has gotten the worst reputation of all religions in the world, but the cult deserves that reputation. I think there is something wrong with a cult that holds sway to varying extents over a billion humans but has contributed little to the fund of human knowledge outside the 16th century. Other than terrorism, Al Qaeda, ISIS, and billionaire and millionaire sheiks jet-setting around the world doing their whoring, gambling and drinking away from the eyes of their people, it is not clear what Islam contributes to the modern world, if anything. Had there not been such a heavy concentration of Muslims on oil-producing regions, then we would not be hearing about Muslims at all. The superstitious Muslims believe oil was given them by Allah as a reward for stroking his beard. They seem to pour all their money and energy into building grander mosques and launching so-called "holy" wars of one sort or another. I don't think a war could possibly be holy. Maybe childbirth is holy, because it is certainly miraculous, but not war. War is ugly business, and ISIS has waged the ugliest kind of war seen since the Middle Ages Ancient times. I struck out the Middle Ages, because people of the West in the Middle Ages were a little bit more civilized and advanced than the ISIS fighters, who are evil incarnate.

Tuesday, June 24, 2014


Retirement from the dating game and everything that goes along with is pleasing to me, particularly when I observe the shenanigans that others get up to.

I kissed a lot of frogs before I found my Prince.

Wednesday, June 4, 2014

Nice Guy

There's nothing wrong with having a reputation for being a nice guy. Some people think it is without value. Some people prefer to boast or use humor or sarcasm. I think that the brand of nice guy is easier to maintain and more effective in the long run. Perhaps it just suits my nature more than the alternatives. The corollary to this rule is that one must be assertive about one's needs and desires in order to achieve them. There is such a thing as being too nice. There is also the danger of people taking advantage of one's good nature. I've become pretty good about detecting cheaters. About the only people that can deceive now are those that have become close to me for one reason or another. They can deceive me, but only because I have allowed them into an inner circle of trusted people. If they do deceive me, they will only do so once. My memory is long and precise in such matters.

Sunday, May 25, 2014


Death can be a useful device. The worst that can happen, after all, is death. If one accepts and fully embraces the possibility of dying, to the extent that is possible, then what more is there to fear? Of course, to be fearless, yet not foolhardy, is good, because courage allows one to seize opportunities and do what is necessary in the moment. Courage is the stuff of heroes. Should one be afraid of standing up in front of an audience of ten thousand and giving a speech? Look out into the sea of eyes and imagine them a mere two hundred years from now. Imagine empty eye sockets, skulls, skeletons, because they will all die, as will you. Life is just a brief moment. One might as well weave a good story rather than a bad one. Who wants to watch a bad show, let alone perform in one?

The thought of being afraid becomes preposterous and even amusing in comparison to the absolute certainty of death. Therefore I find death useful as a reminder and a guide in life. I like to go for walks in cemeteries and read the names and dates and mottoes on tombstones and imagine the people that were here before me. I like to carry death around with me, a little shadow imp perched upon my shoulder, scythe in hand, as a reminder of what matters, to help in distinguishing what does not matter. What does not matter is so much of the nonsense in ordinary life that spins our wheels. We are temporary, here for just a moment, and then we are gone, and it is as if we never were. I am not really sure what can be considered important in the cosmic sense. Perhaps principles are important. Decisions are important. At least to us they are important, to our society, and perhaps they are also important to those who watch and listen.

The Supermind

Everyone is wrapped up in their busy personal world. No one would be an exception to that, because it is the human condition. We have one pair of eyes, two ears, one brain, and so on. How often do we give a thought to what our neighbors experience? How often do we look at the "big picture?" There is a danger in getting tunnel vision, in living too close to the fire that consumes.

I find value in imagining the supermind watching all from a high level. In this respect, she is like the god of my ancestors, but is my own conception, independent of ancestral theology, and what I imagine is only an avatar and not the actual entity. She observes and is amused.

Not all may observe events from a remove. Some have chained themselves to the material world of cause and effect. Some conspire with their captors to remain locked within the material world. Theirs may be an interesting world imbued with drama and meaning. If that is so, perhaps they enjoy this drama much of the time. On the other hand, their world may be depressing and bleak. In such instances, it is most helpful to transcend, to attempt a glimpse, however imperfect, of what the supermind perceives. Some have tried and failed. Some are still trying.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Don't Look Back

One of the most difficult things in life is to accept the dissolution of a friendship or a closer relationship. When blessed/cursed with an analytical mind, one ponders all the whys and wherefores and tries to determine whether the relationship can be rekindled by some clever strategy, as in chess when one can convert a lost position into a winning one through skillful maneuvers. The answer is an emphatic No, ninety-nine times out of a hundred. People have their own reasons that make perfect sense to them. People are seldom open to changing their position, unless you are gifted with amazing charm and powers of persuasion. I am not. I have found that decisions about terminating a relationship tend to be final and not open for negotiation. Trying to rekindle a dead relationship is like sorcery. It just doesn't happen except in fairy tales. Nevertheless, conscientious people tend to be disturbed by losing friends or family. The verb "losing" illustrates the problem. One feels a palpable loss, as of a limb. Our friends and family to a large extent make up our own self-image, bolster our confidence and give us a reason to get up in the morning. Their absence or their disengagement is felt profoundly.

I have learned a useful trick. I will engage in post-relationship analysis for a long time like any other fool. I will wonder what happened and why and try to determine whether there is any possibility of salvaging whatever remains, begging the question of whether anything remains at all. Perhaps nothing remains that is worth salvaging. I reach the end of every logical path and find that further analysis is pointless. I am simply spinning my wheels, each time arriving at the same conclusion, that I am better off without Mr. X or Mrs. X because of X, Y, and Z, not to mention Q, R, and S. In most cases I find that I have more to offer Mr. X than Mr. X had to offer me, and that therefore they are the loser. This is because I am good and ruled by ethics, while their other friends may or may not be, so they must take their chances and throw dice with their destiny. Perhaps they will be lucky, but their fortune is no longer my concern.

I wish to know what is real and what is not. I do not want to be deceived, but want to know the truth. To stop thinking about people from the past who must remain in the past--a practice also known as brooding--I use a trick. I like to visualize a glass vase falling from a table and shattering on a floor into a thousand pieces. In the case of long-term friendships, the vase is instead a glass chess piece, a King, signifying resignation from a long and complicated game. Sometimes I imagine a baby crying and then ceasing to utter any sound and becoming still and cold. These images position me firmly in reality and remove me from nostalgia and sentimentality. This visual technique helps me to break away from interminable analysis, from pointless and pathetic thoughts. When a player knocks their King down, the chess game is over. That's that. Time to move on to another game.

Some relationships have a firm foundation based upon mutual interests, mutual needs, trust, and real regard and affection. Other relationships are based upon such things as convenience, locality, opportunity, and temporary, material or bodily needs. Those relationships tend to be transitory. Such "friends" come and go, but mostly go. It's good to recognize who your real friends are and stick with them. It's also good to recognize who are really not your friends and never were in the first place. Sometimes it is humbling to realize how many of our assumptions are based upon falsehoods, but the reason is that many people have no problem with lying, or have set up various parameters within their ethical code that justify lying. Such people do not possess a legitimate sense of honor. Such people can't really be friends to anyone at all. Losing such "friends" is really a net plus. One gains a greater amount of trust in one's personal sphere by discarding the deceiving entity or entities or at any rate being rid of them altogether.
techlorebyigor is my personal journal for ideas & opinions