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#OccupyLiberty

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Ron Paul is the only Republican that I will vote for in the 2012 presidential election.

Ron Paul is a very strong Christian who is capable of separating his religious beliefs from his understanding of liberty, to a degree above the rest of his party. He is the only federal politician in DC who has consistently stood up for the Constitution and liberty.

Fortunately for Americans, Paul has managed to cherry-pick the libertarian aspects of Jesus out of the Bible, and recognizes the importance of liberty to the human individual.

I am not worried that he will slip into the murky waters of the deep, brown tea.

Dr. Paul has shown us that he can work with Barney Frank, whenever Frank falls on the side of liberty.

I would rather have 100% of my Federal Reserve Notes taxed, than to have Michele Bachman as our president. Social conservatives, like her are anti-liberty, and Johny-come-lately, whining, cry babies.

The deep, brown tea party is full of murky, dangerous ideas, right out of the bronze-age.

Ron Paul is in favor of a new idea called “liberty”, an idea that is not much older than Darwin. The experiment, is a political one, and therefore is imperfect, but would be self-correcting, if the authoritarians would stop interfering.

In order for the experiment of liberty to work, we need everybody to be permitted to own their bodies and the fruit of their labour.

The Constitution is the compromise! The authoritarians have proven to us time and again that they do not know what they are doing, when it comes to foreign or domestic policy. They have no plan or practice that defends liberty.

This writing does not attempt to defend anarchism, libertarianism, or authoritarianism. Freedom is independent of, or may be spoken of independently in all three environments, if the authoritarianism is of the mild form found here in the California portion of these United States, then it is plainly true. We still have freedom of speech, for the most part (not completely, though We still have the FCC, and people can get into trouble for screaming things that are essentially negligent and put fellow human being’s lives in immediate danger. Causing unnecessary panic, is something that most humans understand and know how to avoid). People can of course take care of such outrageous outbursts by fining the person responsible. The theater owner, for example, has an implicit contract that you agree to whenever you enter his theater. By now, there should be no need to write it down. The “guest” or customer must agree to their side of the two-way agreement. All they need do is pay the agreed price, and behave themselves during the show or performance.

I am not going to even attempt to prove the existence of natural rights. I can tell you that I have a strong desire to live my life as my own. My brain wants to be the brain that tells the rest of my body what to do. I recognize that there are other similar entities called “my fellow human beings”, who roam around on the surface of this same, little rock, orbiting the sun. It certainly feels natural to me that at least some percentage of these other humans are truly sentient, freedom-loving individuals.

However, other individuals remind me that we are the 5th ape. They are the authoritarians, of which there are two basic types.

One: people who don’t know better, and can barely survive on the slice of pizza they just stole from a street vendor. I am speaking here, not of bully teenagers, but of some poor guy down on his luck, through a series of circumstances. Perhaps he was a farmer’s son, and they had no crops, because of 5 years of drought. You would want to offer him some water, if you saw him. Surely, charity can handle these extreme cases.

Two: People who should know better, but apparently need to be told anyway. They include common criminals, of the violent kind; and people who support authoritarian laws that violate other people’s individual liberty.

Limitations: My liberty to move around on this planet, make my arms, mouth, lungs, stomach, penis, legs, and other parts do, is limited by other person’s liberty to do the same. If somebody tells you to not touch them, in fact, the default is, don’t touch them.

Real estate property rights are not absolute. Property rights end at the point where a human’s life is in danger, and that human can increase her chance of survival with minor inconvenience to your real estate property. Suppose you have a water well, and someone really needs a drink. If all they do is get a drink, and they do not willfully contaminate your water, you have no right to stop them. All real estate was obtained initially through rather dubious means. Ownership of it is slightly random. You have a right to own it and use it, up to a limit of where your use of it interferes with the survival of another, within reasonable boundries, as agreed upon, by the immediate community within. The community may do nothing that infringes upon the individual who remains on public or unclaimed real estate. The killing of an individual, merely for the theft of a few personal items or electronic gadgets is an example of a violation of individual liberty. You have a right to capture them, hit them, or do whatever is necessary to get your property back – short of killing them or using excessive force.

All trades have come with an implicit contract. What I tell you this object is, or what it does, it is. Obviously, it is a good idea to put your statement in writing, post it, or hand it out to everyone. If it is a common, standard item, such as a currency, then the contract is already stated on the note or implied in such a way that is well understood by all who participate. “Food that looks good, and the seller accepts your currency, then you will not get food poisoning resulting directly from the consumption of the food, if properly prepared, in a manner that is acceptable by the community.”- could be a local standard, to avoid putting everything in writing. You can eat a raw egg, if you like, but don’t complain, if you get sick. Your coverage would then become between your and your insurance company. Your freedom to consume whatever food or herb you like would not be diminished.

There is no place for a DEA agent in a free society.

There is no place for laws against prostitution, drugs, or gambling, in a free society.

In a free society, people may behave as free traders without fear of arrest or outside interference. It is already implied that no fraud is to be tolerated. No additional regulations are needed when two adults are doing the trading. We no longer have a need for big brother to google that for us. I can read about the products that I am considering to purchase on my own. Plenty of Consumer Reports-like web sites are available for me to choose from. If I so desire, I can pay for others to do the research. That is what Consumer Reports is for.

In a free society, banks and other failed businesses don’t get bailed out. Other businesses buy up the remains, and life goes on. It’s all pretty seamless for the consumer, except a few will luck out and won’t have to make any additional mortgage payments.

In a free society, individuals ultimately decide what to do with their own lives, their own liberty, and their own pursuit of happiness.

There can never be a military draft, in a free society. This amounts to involuntary servitude (or slavery), only it is much worse than slavery. The individual is forced to kill or be killed, in the service of a mob of people, calling themselves either a Republic or a democratic society.

The stated purpose of the establishment of the US federal government was to defend individual liberty, not to destroy it. Yet, time-after-time, the authoritarians raise up their evil, collective head, while wrapped in a bloody flag, and carrying a bloody cross. They symbolically eat flesh and drink blood. They are dangerous. They teach that rational thought is a sin, as their favorite forms of cult activities and faith-based thinking directly and quite deliberately interferes with rational, scientific thinking.

A free society cannot have a basis in a primitive belief structure that was invented before modern concepts of liberty, science, art, music, architecture, beauty, civilization, or morality.

We are limited by our nature and the laws of physics only. Artificial limits that go beyond absolute necessity are not needed. Laws that infringe on our liberty violate our nature. Sometimes the alpha makes, in a group of apes (and we are the 5th ape) has an authoritarian nature. Human beings should be able to rise above their flawed nature, in this one case. Natural leaders will be followed in natural, voluntary ways. If I am sick, I know enough to see a doctor. If I fail in my life, I know enough to ask for help. If I become wealthy, I know enough to share with my family, friends, and those in need. I am free enough and lucky enough to have been able to learn these things.

Many people need help with many different things, from research, to helping the poor, and so forth. It is up to everybody to give what they can and help out in the best way that they know how. It is not up to a mob of people to misuse the government, designed to defend individual liberty, to force others to give to others in ways that THEY feel is best. One can convince others that it is their duty to help, and these people are well within their rights to refuse service to purely selfish people, if they want. Would it not be better to simply take N% of your earnings, and apply those funds to your favorite charities instead? That way, hundreds or thousands will donate to your cause, much like a government tax would do for followers of the late Ted Kennedy, or the Tea party.

Your favorite charity does not have to occupy other countries as a side-effect. It probably could not if it’s members wanted to. Your charity might turn out to misuse funds, but they are not likely a terrorist organization, unless you are.

iPhone app, from Starbucks on Hawthorne and PCH.

Jonathan: “Hello, my name is Jonathan, and I am a young-earth atheist.”

Suzy: “What do you mean?”

Jonathan: “I believe the Earth is five point seven thousand years old, but I do not believe in a personal or theistic god or gods. Not any sort of god really.”

Suzy: “What do you mean?”

Jonathan: “In the beginning, the earth formed itself through natural processes that are yet to be completely determined; although scientists have some good ideas about much of it, and much research is being done. Then, the animals all appeared out of the earth, including humans; except the first humans were a tiny-bit ape like in the beginning, for the first century or so. All of this can be explained without any need for an intervening agency.”

Suzy: “Explain more please.”

Jonathan: “The first ape-men, pre-humans migrated from China to Greece, where Plato was born. Plato started a rumor that a man named Homer wrote a book called The Iliad and another called The Odyssey. Those ape-men who stayed put, slowly evolved into Chinese and other Asians. An unknown man from somewhere in China made up stories about an ancient man named Confucius.

The rest is history. For example, Alexander the Great was of course a real man, as were  Julias Cesar, Richard Nixon, and  Jesus.”

Jonathan gazed into Suzy’s eyes and she melted. She did not understand everything Jonathan was explaining to her, but she knew he must be very intelligent – perhaps he was a genius.  After all, he knew so much about Plato and Confucius.

He seemed to know so much about absolutely everything! Besides, she thought to herself, look at those dreamy eyes and big, strong hands! His voice was so pleasant too, she realized and openly smiled at him.

Suzy made love to Jonathan that night. Eventually, Suzy and Jonathan got married and had eleven children together – seven girls, three boys, and an unusual apeish-faced,  hermaphrodite name Abraham Gail was the youngest.

Suzy decided not to bare any more children just shortly after beholding Abegale. Abe-Gale was the nickname that everyone called “it”; except for the youngest brother Josh, who called it Hermy when no one else was around – this always caused Abraham Gail to laugh in a weird high-pitched nervous laugh, followed by a queer looking grin-frown.

Jonathan did not seem to care one way or another about having more children.  He neither loved nor hated any of his children really.  He was always so busy “getting ready” for his classes.  Jonathan taught a history class at the local community college and pretended to always be busy preparing for the next week’s lectures. He would lock himself in his office each evening, but he never would discuss what activities he did there.

Jonathan always owned the very latest high-tech laptop.  The computer’s screen was ultra thin, detachable, with hi-resolution.  The screen was not always utilized away from the office, since it had projection capabilities built into the main unit.  His newest laptop had a small quantum processor built in, along with a grid of  thousands of nanoprocessors that seemed to do that job very well. Without the screen, the device was fairly small, and could be detached and stored inside two vest pockets, if desired. One thin pocket for the power supply and one for the device itself.

He owned the latest true-surround-sound, noise canceling, yet tiny,  and wireless headphones that formed a seal around the outer curve of each ear when worn.    Jonathan had a second and third pair for any “guests” that may come into his office.

Included in his office were the very latest multiple ultra-high-definition cameras that were mounted all over the office room and barely visible to the human eye.  Each camera contained a processor within it and would cancel itself  out from the other cameras, so that they did not appear in any images or videos taken from within the room.  The cameras were tiny.  High-definition, three-dimensional imaging was possible with this arrangement, and Jonathan did occasionally show this off to his family.

No one outside of the family was ever permitted to see Abegale, so Abegale spent a great deal of its time reading books in the dimly-lit basement and surfing the Internet – with good two or three-year-old workstations discarded into the basement by father. Abraham Gail had learned to read adult-level books by age three and enjoyed being by “herself” most of the day (Abraham Gale looked “boyish”, was rather chubby, and yet preferred wearing pink colored, feminine clothing). Abegale especially enjoyed reading and learning all about the sciences of cosmology, biology, chemistry, and nuclear energy.

Abegale loved networking the old dicarded workstations together to create very powerful machines.  After many years, as an early teen, she had networked five of her father’s old machines with eleven others from her sibling and mom’s old machines.  She managed to get free time sharing on hundreds of other machines while they were not in use.

Abegale grew up very quickly to become a great, albeit secretive self-made scientist. Abegale invented a time machine that made use of certain network looping within a cluster of quantum processors and utilizing complex self-modifying software code. Abegale entered the time machine when she turned 17;  going back five point seven thousand years in time. Abegale took cells from each sibling, from skin cells she discovered on her pink poodle skirt that had just been returned from the dry cleaners on the thirteenth, and from several (seventeen) animals before departing. No one ever saw Abegale nor the machine ever again.

In time, even Abraham Gail’s own mother, father, and siblings had mostly forgotten about their youngest sibling. From time-to-time, Josh would whisper a rhyme he had long ago made up about Hermy

Hermy the Gale, looks like a male whale…

….but even that was forgotten by Josh by the time he left home.

Young, eleven-year-old Jacobal Lectomen set the still crude Child’s Toy prototype down and the story abruptly came to a halt. However, Jacobal accidentally started up the music mode (the controls were still not optimally designed for the boy’s young hands).

Suddenly music began playing in his head. Startled by the unexpected, high-decibel event, Jacobal’s heart momentarily raced due to a brief and minor adrenaline rush:

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D ‘n A Mutations I 12:07

{Opens in a different window or tab so you can listen and continue reading}

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The exhilarated Jacobal mentalmarked to the toy’s lead engineer Francis:

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Very impressive intelligent toy for an alpha version, but obviously it needs work! The story is a bit odd for a young child and I can see how some parents may take offense if they misunderstand or take the story out of context. I am not sure they will like it or pick up on the irony. It did make me laugh though! 🙂 Perhaps you can find a way to adjust the levels for the owner’s age?

The devise seems better at music and poetry. Perhaps you can leave out the story-telling with the first release.

I nearly had a heart attack when I set the thing down. Music started playing in my head (presumably it has the standard wireless protocols). It should not play anything until the users makes the request! I do like the fact that it does not require headphones, assuming you have reasonable head gear implants – which everybody over seven has – hmm, except for those kooky Luddite kids of course, and kids whose parents can’t afford this type of toy in the first place.

On the other hand, the music is interesting, but needs a little work in the transitions, it is a little long, and it ends oddly. I appreciate the DNA pun in the title, given that the music is mostly “played” in various D and A scales and that the music gradually changes over time. It never ceases to amaze me that machines can create music, stories and poetry – all from scratch (all be it still a bit too crudely for my taste).

The interface is still not working for me. It would be really cool if your partners could come up with a way to economically improve the interface so that it neatly fits anyone’s hands as soon as they pick it up. I have seen that there are some newer and better techniques for doing just that- I read something about it in the SciNet News site, but I did not get a chance to view the technical details on it.

When do you think you will have these bugs fixed for me to try again? It’s cool being a beta tester. I love this new technology! I want to work with artificial systems like you when I finish up school … if I can ever get myself motivated to study … heehaw

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Francis responded after a few moments:

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Great feedback – as always. Please let us know if you have anything else to add. Do you know if you pressed any keys before the music started? I have never seen that happen before.

For your efforts, we will continue to send you more free stuff to play with. Remember not to show anyone these prototypes. Spies are everywhere 😉 Some of our competitors hire kids like you to spy on us…Seems that everybody is doing that these days … take care good buddy…oh, and we deposited your bonus today, for your previous excellent “work”, into the account you sent us.

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Related post not listed in the menu:

screw-the-authoritarians

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Telepathy Verses Cell Phones

Why are some people so interested in telepathy? We already have cell phones and they work fine for just about everybody. If telepathy works (which I doubt), then only very few people can make use of it anyway, and even those people more than likely have cell phones of their own so they can contact their friends that do not have telepathic abilities!

Suppose scientists discover telepathy is real. Chances are pretty good that the telepathic signals are normally very weak, otherwise they would be much easier to detect and telepathy would have been both discovered and confirmed by now. This means, for the general public to take advantage of telepathy, they will more than likely need to purchase some sort of telepathic amplifier gadget from AT&T, Apple (the iPathy?), or some other company, and the service will probably be more expensive and less reliable than ordinary cell phone service.

Meanwhile, there is already much research in neuroscience on devices that work with thoughts alone. For example, there is a paralyzed man who uses thoughts to move a cursor. In other ten or twenty years, perhaps everyone will be able to use their thoughts to activate wireless communication devices, including cellular or other technology. We could even be sending mentalmarks to other people within the next couple decades.

It almost seems like there is some sort of bias by many spiritual people against electromagnetic waves, ordinary energy and ordinary matter and in favor of so-called supernatural forces or objects. This bias does not make any sense. Suppose God really does exist (which I doubt), then surely God created electromagnetic waves, atoms and all the rest. If God created telepathic energy, where is the evidence that it is something God favors over everything else? If God exists and made everything, why did he make ordinary matter so much more obvious to us than all the so-called spiritual or supernatural stuff? Why belittle stuff that God made so obvious? Why do some spiritual people assume that any supernatural forces exist even if it is true that God exists? If supernatural forces do exist, for what reason is there to believe that these forces are superior to any of the natural forces that we already know exist in the ordinary material world?

I personally think atoms and rest of the material stuff we observe in our universe is extremely amazing and wondrous. We ought to enjoy the world that we are living in right at the moment! We should enjoy all that we can see, hear, taste, touch, and smell with our five ordinary, natural senses.

If supernatural objects or forces do exist, there is no reason to believe they are especially important or useful either to humans or to God. If God exists, perhaps he, she, or it is made up of ordinary atoms or ordinary energy or both. Perhaps the supernatural stuff is the wasteful toxic bi-product of the Creation and that is why God keeps it hidden from us in the first place. Furthermore, the iPathy device, if it ever exists (which I doubt), will probably turn out to cause brain cancer, mental retardation, or worse!

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Every person, no matter what their opinion is, consistently follows the laws of nature, whatever those laws turn out to be. At this fundamental level, we are all consistent. We all must follow the laws of physics (or nature), because we have no choice – whatever nature is, we are a part of it. We just don’t know what those laws are.

In my opinion (at the time of this posting at least), the Universe and everything in it, including all the people living in it, are made up of matter, energy, and within the framework of causeless spacetime, where a state of nothingness probably never existed. There are many possibilities of “true reality” that fall within this general theme. This view may be considered as a Materialists point-of-view (if one is permitted to include in this definition energy, space and time are a part of the overall fabric), but the term “materialist” can be misleading (it does not mean that I value material possession over love of my family, or that I believe everything is made up of very tiny little pebble-like bits). In any case, it is my considered opinion that what we think of as atoms and sub-atomic particles are highly underrated and under appreciated by the majority of my fellow humans.

Still other people have multiple variations on the opinions or belief that there is another, supernatural aspect to life and the cosmos that somehow exists outside of nature.

Many people hold beliefs that on the one hand embrace the more-or-less materialist viewpoint, but to some degree hold onto the Dualist point-of-view. They hold onto a kind of middle ground, if you will, between the realm of the spiritual and the material. Usually this middle ground involves a spirit or soul that somehow effects human beings and possibly all living things, but not inanimate objects.

Not all of these opinions can be correct. Some people may not agree with the statement just previous to this sentence.

Regardless of where the ultimate truth may be (I was tempted to say use the term “lie” here instead of “be” but decided against it), it seems to me that there must be a single, underlying foundation, a single law or set of laws that can describe the entire universe, even if we never fully understand what those laws may be. Of course, those that believe that each of us make our own reality will not agree with the me on this point. If the laws are never discovered, does it follow that the laws do not actually exist and is this merely an argument over semantics?

If the current understanding of the laws of the Universe can be bent or changed, or in some way altered, then we have yet to discover the fundamental laws. The laws that are altered, must not be the entire story. It may be the case that the fundamental laws can never be discovered by humans, but we should never give up trying.

By “The Universe”, in this context, I very roughly mean that part of the Universe that most physicists believe to be about 13.7 billion years old and is commonly believed to have “started” with a big bang (probably much bigger than the Hubble Volume, but no one knows for sure). Explaining what I mean here is but one example of where talking about “beliefs” can rapidly become very fuzzy and difficult to accurately discuss. The meanings of many words are ambiguous. The everyday use or missuse of words tends to increase the ambiguity of words (Is there such a thing as language entropy and does my very reference to the word entropy in this metaphorical context further contribute to it?). 

Our “understanding” of what the Universe “is” is even more ambiguous, given that the nature of science itself is a dynamic process, and there are various competing theories, none of which are completely worked out. Most people (and I include myself) do not understand much beyond the high-level concepts described to us by scientists (and most of us can forget about ever understanding the mathematics involved) to really understand any of the details. On the other hand, I think that those that side with the Supernatural camp have much much bigger hurdles to cross, and they must admit that they at least have hurdles of similar magnitude.

Perhaps we can all learn from each other, and try to find the positive aspects of the opinions of others. Everyone’s opinions (or set of beliefs, or worldview) must be based, at least in part (even if the Dualist point-of-view turn out to be correct), on their previous experiences, and ultimately the initial state of their entire set of atoms and energy, and the state of all their surrounding atoms. At least to a certain extent, people really cannot help what they believe. Furthermore, natural human language has far too many ambiguities built into it to for any lay person to fully and completely describe their beliefs accurately to another human being.

To make matters worse, I would wager that most or all people would have a difficult time explaining their own beliefs to themselves in a completely consistent, non-dynamic way that does not drift at least a little bit from day to day and from one emotional state to another. We each think we know what our beliefs are, but when we delve deeper into our own thoughts we run into inconsistencies, ambiguities, doubts, and other forms of uncertainties. We change our minds in subtle ways that we may not always be consciously aware of.

When we are sad or frustrated about our own life, we may begin to doubt some of our own beliefs. When we are on top of the world, and everything is going our way, we are often so certain that we know what we are doing. Even those that have dogmatic beliefs (as seen from the outside by the rest of us) and can recite their beliefs word for word from one book or another, or perhaps from memorization will inevitably run into ambiguities in the very words they speak. They will realize (or they should realize) that they do not understand everything they utter or think or pray with one hundred percent understanding.

I was just lucky enough that “my” particles, or rather my patterns (life is more like a process than a thing) collided with other particles in such a way that my opinion turned out to be the more or less correct one! I can’t help it if I’m lucky! I cannot help it if I think that I know that I am mostly right, at least in the bare-boned essential fundamentals. You probably feel the same way about your opinions. You think that you know that you must essentially be correct about what you consider to be important. Of course, you and I are probably wrong about many of our personal beliefs. There is a good chance that we both are missing more than a few important details about the reality of this Universe. You probably believe know a few facts that I do not know and some of those facts may be important insights that I am missing. On the other hand, you are most likely missing bits of information that, if you knew them, might alter your view of this world in some very radical ways.

As an example, most people are in denial about how much their own political opinions have changed over time.

As another example, most people are in denial about how much their personal viewpoints have changed after they fall in love. Compromises inevitably take place. New ideas and concepts are learned from your partner. We fail to see flaws in the person we fall in love with. That is a part of the nature of falling in love. Many (or most? or all?) people had doubts about the existence of the kind of love they experience only after falling in love (which is of course at least somewhat different than the love we feel for our siblings, which is different than the love we feel for our parents, and the love we feel for our neighbors, our friends, and chocolate). Most people do not want to make love to a piece of chocolate or to their parents, for example.

Beware, here comes a tangential point (or is it a fuzzy wave? or both?):

I could not resist creating this post. Of course, I created this post because I wanted to create this post, but I did not create it on my own free will in the traditional sense. If free will did exist, that would imply that I could choose to do something other than what I want to do.

I am certain that other’s do not agree with this post. I am reasonably certain that my opinion and understanding of the world has already and will continue to change over spacetime. I am certain that my opinions are not made very concise or clear in this post. I have changed this post several times already today, and it is still not written down to my complete satisfaction. New ideas and variations on ideas keep popping into my consciousness.

I believe that story telling is one good way that people can learn new ideas, explore beliefs, and be entertained at the same spacetime.

Using logic and rational discussion is another way, but consider the following bit of simple logic:

A is A.

In one sense the above statement is true. It is the Law of Identity first described by Aristotle and seemed to be one of Ayn Rand’s favorite statements. However, the moment we try to apply this simple bit of logic to any entity in the real world, even for this most simple fundamental truth in logic, it does not absolutely apply in all instances.

Here is a silly example of what I am (not) talking about, but it does give a point of how confusing even simple concepts can become misunderstood: In the real world, that first “A” exists several pixels to the left of the second “A”. The statement “A is A” above is located on your computer screen at time X, while the same sentence is located on my computer screen at time “Y” (and it looks different inside the editor than it does to me when I save and post again).

Suppose instead, as was presumably intended by both Aristotle and Ayn Rand, we take “A” to represent an entity. In that case, the second “A” can be said to represent the same entity as the first “A”. However, in the real world, both the laws of thermodynamics apply and time exists. Real entities change over time. In the real world entities do not have precise edges on them, even if we discount quantum theory. Atoms constantly break away from the outside edges of physical, material entities. Electrons move around, jump from one atom over to another, absorbing light that came from other places, both from outside and inside of the entity.

Suppose we take the word “is” to apply to entity “A” in a single instance of time. In the real world we cannot freeze time at a single instant.

Suppose we could freeze time at a single instant, and the variable “A” represented the single musical note “A” (at 440 cycles per second). In this case, the note would vanish, since frequency implies time.

Instead, let us suppose that “is” is taken to mean “to exist”. If I play A-440 on my piano, by the time I tell you about this note, it will have faded away. What is meant by “to exist”? Does a musical note traveling through the air exist in the same sense that a solid rock exists?

If “A” stands for “apple” and I tell you “this apple is delicious”, that could mean that I ate the apple and found it to be delicious, or that I ate a similar apple, perhaps from the same batch of apples at the store. It does not mean that “apple” and “delicious” are two words for the same entity. It does not mean that all apples are delicious. Yet I said:

apple is delicious.

In this sense of “is” we do not mean equality, but we mean that a particular entity (an apple) as a specific attribute (delicious). It gets even more complex, because the attribute “delicious” is subjective. It is a matter of opinion.

Furthermore, your tongue may have superior taste buds to mine, or your neurons in the taste sensory section of your brain may have superior synaptic connections, and you may sense a bit of bitterness in the apple. Your sensors came up with a different answer.

If I did take a bite out of the apple to determine that the apple is delicious, the apple is no longer a whole apple anymore.

I dare say that the most experienced logician will have a difficult time explaining to a layperson (and perhaps to their selves) how and when or if logic every really does apply to the real world. Is logic merely to be taken as an academic subject, as a kind of model of the real world? Is the real world logical? Is logic logical?

Everybody misunderstands everybody else to at least some degree. Even the best of philosophers have changed their own minds over time. Whenever a person learns more about the nature of his or her world, that person will change in subtle or not so subtle ways. Even mathematicians do not agree completely on what mathematics is?

I do not mean to imply that life is meaningless. And please do not take my one remark about mathematics, or my statements about logic or science out of context. It is my opinion that science with math, logic and rational thought are the best and most effective ways of discovering the truth about the universe around us.

On the other hand, “truth” is not the only game in town worth pursuing. What is “true” or “false” about music, art, poetry, literature, or love? Is the music of Bach “true” and the music of Miles Davis “false”? I don’t think so. Perhaps religion is like music or art for some people. A lot of people probably enjoy a nice religious service.

Perhaps my previous statements about music are somehow wrong or misguided, or perhaps a particular musicologist has an opinion that I am somehow not understanding or listening to music properly in some respect, and if I would only learn what music was all about I would understand that my taste for music was poor and silly and stupid. On the other hand, perhaps the musicologist does not understand properly how the musical notes of a piece of music stimulated a set of neurons in such as way as to cause a cascade chemical reactions that resulted in part of the pleasure zone in my brain to light up making me feel good.

What I am arguing is that we should listen to one another and not use violence against those that do not agree with our own point-of-view. I prefer having the freedom to decide what the meaning of life is for myself. Is it not written the you choose your own path? (now it is written)

Live and let live. If your beliefs lead you to think about flying an airplane into a building full of innocent beings is good, or that dropping bombs on innocent people, in the desperate hope of perhaps killing some of your enemies is just, please take another look at your beliefs. I was hoping this post will get you to change your mind.

Avoid becoming dogmatic in your beliefs, whatever they may be. Consider the possibility that you have no idea what you are talking about. Consider the possibility that people you look up to admire, and respect are perhaps even more confused and misguided than you are. Consider the possibility that much of what you believe is essentially correct, but that you are mistaken in some areas where you might least expect.

Belief in Einstein’s equations did not cause lunatics to fly an airplane into an office building, but neither did belief in Mohamed’s philosophy make the atom bomb possible. Stalin was an atheist, but Adolf Hitler was religious. Terrorism is evil, but so is a misguided foreign policy.

Blaming 9/11 only on religion, without considering the political and the economic components, as some prominent scientists and philosophers seem have recently done (some that I admire and respect in many other regards, and as a fellow atheist, at times I find myself sympathizing with their points about religion and do not completely disagree them on this matter – I am referring to Richard Dawkins, Daniel Dennett, Sam Harris, and Christopher Hitchens ), makes little or no more sense than blaming the bombing of Nagasaki and Hiroshima completely on Albert Einstein. Such thinking can lead to dangerous ideas.

It was Albert Einstein who persuaded Roosevelt that the atomic bomb was not only possible, but that the Nazis were developing one. Einstein later regretted sending that letter to the president. My feeling on the 9/11 terrorist situation is that Ron Paul, a Christian, has a much more clear understanding of foreign affairs and American foreign policy than any of the above mentioned atheist, scientist, or philosophers. Although I do admire and respect their work and feel that have important comments to consider on this topic as well. If the pro-Iraq camp has a valid point, they certainly have not presented their case very clearly or accurately (see: this, for example – or this). Is it oil, or weapons of mass destruction, or terrorist, and how many innocent lives and how much tax payers money is justified in this fuzzy pursuit, and what about a Declaration of War, and on and on.

My opinions are definitely not 100% correct and your opinions are most certainly not 100% wrong. There is probably exactly one reality, but there are more than six billion perceptions of that reality. The scientific method is designed to be unbiased and self-correcting, but in practice, there will always be politics. Religious institutions promise hope and love, but often promote fear and death.

Science does not have all of the answers, but that does not imply that other institutions have any real answers to any questions. It may be true that science and religion are mutually exclusive, but that is not necessarily the case. No one knows for sure.

If truth is beauty and beauty is truth, then in that sense, music is beautiful can be true for me, a religious sermon may be beautiful and true for you, and a mathematical proof may be beautiful and true for another. Is one person’s pleasure center more true than anothers? Are you arguing with the laws of physics? The particles in your brain followed the same laws of physics that my brain followed.

At the moment, both the religious and the authoritarians have been a lot more successful at passing both their genes and their memes along than either the atheists and the libertarians. If you want to change someone’s opinion to be more in line with your own, then try to have a little empathy for how they got to where they are. Remember how lucky you are that your particles and patterns happened to collide in just the right ways to give you your the intelligent, rational, and objective insight that you believe you have.

 

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PhilosophyMonty Python style … I Kant understand it. It’s all Greek to me.

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…but when you observe something, don’t you have to shine light “photons” on that something, so the electron would “know” it is being observed, right?

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The Dawkins Delusion

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Beyond Uncertainty

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Climate Catastrophe Cancelled

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Why Do Atheists Care About Religion?

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Peace Train

Lovely song, but on the other hand:

http://www.debbieschlussel.com/columns/column092204.shtml

… but is that really how he feels (and do people change over time?)

http://www.foxnews.com/story/0,2933,237698,00.html?sPage=fnc.entertainment/music

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Morning Has Broken

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Bach – Glenn Gould talks about Art of fugue

 

 

Wayne Dyer: Power of Intention … some of this sounds nice

It’s nice to have an optimistic outlook on life, but doesn’t luck have something to do with it? Do the children starving in Africa not “intend” or “think positive thoughts” hard enough? …. Does Quantum theory really say anything about macroscopic objects?

field guide to quackery

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George Carlin on Religion

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The Sistine Chapel

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Bach – Matthaus Passion – 52. Aria A – Koennen Traenen meine

Was Bach thinking of the bad bits of the Bible when he wrote this? I doubt it.

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https://upgrade01a.wordpress.com/links/

Not Exactly God Videos

… but Christians are not praying with the hateful side of the Bible on their minds are they? Aren’t they mostly pretty nice people who want to help others? Answer: Some are and some are not.

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I like much of what Ron Paul has to say… but he is a Christian and I am an Atheist…

I agree with Richard Dawkins that atheists in America should come out of the closet. He has written many wonderful books explaining evolution (I recommend “The Selfish Gene” and “The Blind Watchmaker“, but I think politically he is a bit too “left leaning” when it comes to centralized government, and government spending. Maybe I am wrong about that.

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http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Buddha

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Islam

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atheism

 

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Nothingness Probably Never Existed.

Nothingness cannot have an Attribute. If Nothing had an attribute, it would be an Entity. An Entity is the same thing as a Something, which is the opposite of Nothing. For example, Nothing can neither have nor be: a shape, color, velocity, mass, or time.

Nothingness is the lack of anything at all.

There could not be more than one Nothing, otherwise there would be a difference between any two “Nothings”. To show the difference between two concepts of nothingness, there must be at least one attribute associated with at least one of the concepts, therefore that concept must be an Entity. Hence, there can be at most one Nothing.

Something exists now. We call this something the Universe. The Universe is an Entity (in this sense it is the Entity containing all Real Entities other than itself – sometimes referred to philosophically as The World) with many Attributes (infinite attributes?) including Space and Time.

If Nothing exists, then there would be no Universe, therefore Something exists Now.

Some theologians claim that God created the Universe from Nothing, but that cannot be the case:

If God is Something then God is not Nothing. If God is Something, and can create Something from Nothing, then Nothing must have attributes from which something could be made, so Nothing must be an Entity and therefore is Not Nothing. Therefore Nothing does not exist.

If God is Nothing, then God cannot have any attributes, so God is not an Entity, therefore God does not exist. Therefore Nothing is created.

Something does exist, we call it the Universe, so God did not create the Universe from Nothing.

Physicists have shown that empty space is not Nothing, since it contains small amounts of random energy known as quantum flux arising from Werner Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle. Quantum fluctuation can be defined using at least four Attributes (variables and constants): time, energy, Planck’s constant (h), and another constant (2×pi):

\Delta E \Delta t \approx {h \over 2 \pi}

Since space contains quantum fluctuation, and quantum fluctuations are random bits of energy over time, space itself is not Nothing. It is worth mentioning for consideration and emphasis that the random energy fluctuation resulting in the temporary creation of energy is considered a causeless event.

Nothingness seems to be nothing more than the logical opposite of Something. Nothingness has no real existence on its own. If it there where ever a time where there was Nothing, then there could not have been time itself, for two reasons:

(a) time, according to Relativity, cannot be separable from space, and

(b) Time is an Attribute – turning Nothing into a Something once again.

If Nothingness did somehow “exist” before there was Something, then Nothing must be highly unstable. There can be at most one Nothing, and an infinity of possible Somethings.

Nothingness must be highly unstable.

Suppose instead of Nothing, there has always existed at least one Something (a minimal Entity with minimal Attributes approaching Nothingness in some sense perhaps), possibly quite different from Space as we “observe” it today in “our” Universe (as far as we can say we actually are observing space). Perhaps a primordial form of Time (or Space) itself may have been its only Attribute. It may have, perhaps, then become possible for a primordial Space (or Time) instantaneously creating a more modern day Spacetime with both a Planck Length and Plank Time (or visa versa with space appearing first). Perhaps other different “sized” bits of information (different sizes or possibly different attributes completely alien or incomprehensible to our human understanding) appeared as well, but were either very short lived, or continue to exist, but do not affect “our” Universe.

Another possibility to consider is that two or more primeval spaces, times, spacetimes (or something completely different) with different laws (perhaps one would call them Planck-like spacetimes), somehow collided to form the spacetime that we human entities live in.

Perhaps time itself is simply one dimension of space rolled up in such a way that in our sector of the Universe, matter and energy can only travel in one direction “though” it.

Perhaps space, time, or spacetime consists of something even more basic. A single, fundamental, perhaps highly unstable primordial Entity consisting of zero Attributes. We may be tempted to call this Entity The Primordial No Thing. This “initial” Entity would have an energy level as close to zero within the limits of the uncertainty principle.

The Primordial No Thing, if it existed, must have been both mathematical and unstable in its nature and eventually randomly mutated into a set of one or more entwined self-referencing, fractals or fractal-like Entities with the probability of barely less than one of exactly repeating itself. One or more branches of this increasingly organic-like, statistical fractal set collided with itself over and over again, until one event important to us occurred, spontaneously creating our known Universe, with its own set of so-called Natural Laws.

Note: “A fractal is an object or quantity that displays self-similarity, in a somewhat technical sense, on all scales.” – from http://mathworld.wolfram.com

Nothingness: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/nothingness/#WhyTheSomRatThaNot

Did I already include this link?  Why not Something rather than nothing?

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