Ayn Rand


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.

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Shame on those of you who support The War on Drugs. To be equivalent with the liberty that you would have taken away from those of us willing to try freedom out, you authoritarians would have 100% of your Federal Reserve Notes taken away, or your freedom of religion revoked.

Some of you support, and get farm subsidies, and continue to support outlawing the growing of hemp. I know most of you do not bother to read books, or bother to google, so I will explain to you that hemp is not a drug. It is useful for making many products that are greener than, and compete with many of your financial backers. It is because they are anti-free-trade; they hate the fact that people can just grow it, and make bio-degradable plastics, superior paper products, and durable clothing that they outlawed it to begin with. The first draft of the Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper.

How dare you start whining about your precious freedoms being taken away by Obama. Many of you support anti-free-market, pro-group-rights, Corporations. This is especially evident in the local areas where your philosophy tends to be popular. Mall stores get local officials to regulate away competition. Many of you support the Military Industrial Complex at the Federal level.

You claim to care about life, but quickly dismiss the death of innocents as “collateral damage.” Those of you “Atlas Shrugged” fans should read from the author on her thoughts on how your “means” are another person’s “ends”, and cannot be justified, if you maintain the premise of individual liberty. Get it through your head that occupying another country, and not getting a formal declaration of war from Congress is anti-free-market, anti-life, and un-Constitutional.

You are not pro-life. Nobody can take you seriously, outside of your cult-like circle. Would the Jesus zombie grin and gloat after bin Ladin was killed? Would he love his enemy?

What about the collateral damage from all of the non wars? Is that what Jesus calls it when innocent lives are lost? Does he really want our foreign policy, even at the expense of his own teachings and the Constitution?

You are not pro-free-market. You are the enemy of freedom. You are the worst kind – wrapped in a bloody flag and carrying and bloody cross, while symbolically eating flesh and drinking blood. You are willing to tread on other people’s freedom for your own gain. You are gangsters and profiteers willing to fill the prisons with your freedom-loving enemies at the expense of going after those who commit rape, theft, and murder.

You are hypocrites of the worst kind. Many of you cherry-pick the Bill of Rights. You ignore “and to the people”, and are very selective when it comes to states rights. We should not be surprised by now, as cherry-picking is what you live by. No wonder sound bites are so effective.

Yes, many liberals do the equivalent. This letter is not to them. One fundamentalist right, does not make it okay, in order to have a “fair and balanced process.”. Remember that two “wrongs” don’t make a right. I am sure you have valid points about them, but muddled in with plenty of nonsense, no doubt, on your blogs.

Many of you are intellectually lazy, with an anti-science attitude. Of course Al Gore is a politician and cherry-picks his science, but ordinary people in your gang cherry-pick your favorite science fiction book, where a zombie, with super powers, comes back to life to save the people. That is the reason many of you support the anti-free-market practice of supporting Israel through Federal Government subsidies.

Some of You want to be nice to the Jews only so your terrorist god can kill them off for you in the end of days. There is simply no need to pick up a science book on “the selfish gene”, or “climate change.” So many of you remain willfully ignorant, when it comes to science, philosophy, the arts, and mathematics.

Some of you justify occupation in foreign lands and occupation of individual liberty at home for pure, irrationally, selfish purposes. What I should do is take every opportunity to tell your little kids sitting next to me at Starbucks that your mommy and daddy are lying to you about Santa, the Easter Bunny, God, and Jesus. They need to be liberated from your tyranny. You are occupying their little minds with rubbish.

You are insisting upon broadcasting your crazy, bronze-aged concepts, and then expect the rest of us to believe you when you tell us that you believe in limited government and States Rights.

Freedom is a new idea, that you plainly reject. You deserve to have your notes become worthless, because you are clearly a pack of insane, anti-free-trade, anti-freedom, authoritarians, living by standards that were created by ancient, bronze-aged men who were of course ignorant of modern science, or modern concepts of liberty.

You who gloat at bin Laden’s killing, then mumble and chant prayers about turning the other cheek on Sundays cannot be taken seriously.

You have proven time and time again that you cannot keep it in your own pants, when it comes to your authoritarian teachings. Your sick, immoral, faith-based thinking process ejaculates all over the rest of us.

Economic freedom is a good idea, for those of us who actually practice freedom. You whining cry babies deserve whatever happens to your wealth that you clearly care about.

Why should anybody listen to a bunch of whining, Johny-come-lately cry babies, just now crawling out of their rotting woodwork to complain about Obama?

Now, the Ron Paul and the libertarian wing – I am not talking about you as much, obviously. This Tea Partty group is perverted and distorting any ideas they can get from libertarians.

However, your zombie worshipping ways are worrisome. Fath-based thinking is dangerous. Yes, Gore does it too, as do liberals, and those in the middle.

We have respected your legal right to believe whatever crap you like, and regardless of the brainwashing. It’s a disgusting practice, but that is a part of the price of freedom. Isn’t it high time that you return the favor to those of us who are brave enough to actually attempt to practice being free for a very long time? The chief DEA officer, since Bush, and now under Obama wants to return to alcohol prohibition. We would have even more gangs, more drive-by shootings, and more people would die from drinking bad alcohol impurities. Once again, candidate Obama lied to those of us voters in California and around the country. Obama is not big on telling the truth, nor on supporting States rights.

I have no real beef with those of you who simply want to live a socially conservative lifestyle. Don’t tread on me and I will not tread on you. I am not asking you to apologize. I am telling you to legalize freedom! It is something that is to be taken by demand, when it is not offered, or even on the table to be considered. Only power shifting is ever truly discussed anymore. That is because authoritarians from all sides rule the day.

Written on iPhone app in Starbucks in Palos Verdes 🙂

If Congress has a debt ceiling, then its members must have known what that was, and should never have borrowed beyond that limit in the first place. They bail out banks and big-wigs in government-created organizations like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, blame private industry for messing up the economy, and yet they cannot even follow their own rules. Our government is not too big to fail. It deserves to fail, because it was created by a bunch of greedy idiots and supported by mob rule, where the mob is brain-washed into thinking that what they say has any bearing on anything that goes on at the federal level whatsoever.

They, the mobs and their leaders, pray for solutions while they prey on the innocent tax payer. They do not ever open up their rational, objective, thought processes. At least, there is no evidence that any of them do. Instead, the put their “faith” in faith, and they manage to twist that into irrational, greedy, short-term-gain brand of selfishness. They are not behaving in a rationally selfish (self-interested) manner, like a proper, moral human being should behave. There is looking out for number one, then there is sticking your head up your ass. Sadly, so many go for the head gymnastics. The kind of “sport” that leads to pushing other people around like a brute or a bully. Sadly, so many people consider this type of behavior to be patriotic and the equivalent to freedom. Freedom and responsibility is so easily replaced by fear, ignorance and punishment to those with different beliefs and behaviors.

Not all politicians are criminals, but virtually all politicians at the federal level are beneath criminals on any moral scale that anyone can come up with. Most of them don’t think twice before taking money that does not belong to them and giving it away to their friends. Most of them do not worry about the fact that the US troops needlessly occupy so many foreign countries and destroy so many innocent lives, yet they worry about a single, domestically born or unborn child. Obviously, they only pretend to care about children. Many of them use faith-based “science” and “logic” to run their insane lives where they actually believe that telling other people what to do, at threat of fine or prison, is just peachy. They pretend to care about individuals and families, but one look at the prison population proves otherwise. Another look, and we see some of them signing documents that are racist in nature, so either they cannot read or are incompetent leaders, because they cannot pick literate people to help them with their campaigns (Google the news, if you don’t understand the reference).

Actions speak louder than words. The ends can never justify the means, because your means is another person’s end, in any situation where the “plan” involves so many other people without their consent. That is the nature of government. It does stuff to people (or for people) without their consent. Voting is not consent. Voting is simply the result of a brainwashed mob believing that they are achieving something that is positive. People living in the occupied countries don’t even get to vote. Mob rule has led to filling the prisons with marijuana smokers and while murders, rapists, child molesters and bank robbers go free. Drug lords, prison builders, and a lot of delusional Jesus Freaks and other religious zealots, both on the left and right seem to love and support that. They support the “War on Drugs” (war against individual choise and individual responsibility).

They don’t care about America or the American people. Tea-baggers – I am talking to you too. Arrogant lefties and idiot tea-baggers want to spend all of our money on the one hand, and tell us what to do with our lives on the other. They are both faith-based ideologies with little grounding in objective reality. Irrational selfishness on both ends is what I see. The left and right are both speaking out of the wrong end of their bodies, and it really stinks. If we really care about other people, then why get so upset when people outside of the USA get jobs so that they can feed and provide shelter for their families? Nobody is “taking away your job.” It’s not your job to begin with. Grow up, become an adult, and create your own job. Oh, I forgot, you regulated yourself out of that possibility, you stupid idiots! Hey tea-baggers – read a science book, you faith-based hicks! Nobody will take you seriously outside of your tiny group. Ayn Rand was an atheist you religious freaks! Of course, you read Atlas Shrugged in the same way that you “read” the bible – cherry pick, and don’t actually every really read the thing, but let some talking head authoritarian read it too you in bits and chunks, and often out-of-context, so that it sounds better than it really is.

Of course, government always grows until it collapses under its own weight. Government is Entropy at its best! The laws of the Universe conspire to maximize entropy. Life was the first step, but that was nothing compared to the destructive power of government. The best you can do is to bitch about it, or hope to speed up the process. People who like small government don’t need to worry, because the system will collapse. Conservative tea-bagging just slows the process down and makes it more painful for everybody but the rich, Christian rulers (and their Jesus Freak mob following) of this Corporate Oligarchy of the United States. The crazies on the left are just speeding up the process of ultimately shrinking the government, but in no way that anyone ever intended, except perhaps for a handful of terrorists and possibly one or two score of anarchists.

Good and bad intentions pave the road that leads to hell whenever government is involved. Tea-baggers, go read a book about science if you ever want to be taken seriously! It is not the liberal media that makes you appear ignorant and stupid. If we had a free market, we probably would still have a liberal media, but I doubt that we would have 12 billion Christian channels like we do today. Then again, maybe we would – it seems that there is a big mob of people who would still rather cling to that garbage rather, instead, of simply reading a good science book (oh, so germs are causing that and not the devil? – wow, I never knew that! Oh, so there really are dozens of ways of measuring the ages of rocks – and not only that – they overlap and agree? Wow! Cool! The earth really is billions of years old! Wow, so GPS depends on science? I always thought that there was a little Jesus-Prayer-Unit [JPU] inside of my cell phone, and that it always sends prayers to Jesus for the current location. DNA melting point? What’s that? Duhhhhh! Doh! Why does this stuff matter? I don’t understand why people don’t listen to me about economics and government …. ????). Gawd, you are a dumb lot! So sad!

What is one kind of school worse than terrible US government schools (public schools for those of you who do not know how to Google)? The selfish-based, faith-based, private schools that you all went to; learning how to justify steeling and grabbing up all of the valuable property by using government for your own selfish ends, and taught denial of any scientific facts that dissagree with the bits of the bible that have been cherry-picked (I dare you to follow the Ten Commandments – stone your teenagers to death if the show disrespect and dishoner to their parents – oh yeah you forgot to read that part, because you don’t know how to or refuse to actually read anything all the way through because you are lazy or just want to live in your own fairy-tale world. How can the commandment be true, yet the punishments just be some kind of bizzare metaphorical statement? hmmm?). That is not free market. That is not logical, rational thought. Faith-based thought is only useful for those folks who happen to already be rich and in power. They actually believe it is their faith, the free market, and not their guns and bloody theft that put them in power and provide wealth. Pure evil, with a faith-based foundation is all that they follow.

Ignorance, evil, selfishness, and stupidity all worked together to create the problems that we have with have with the economy and foreign policy today. The loonys on the left and the tea party idiots on the right are just marching in step. One should not be surprised by this. Those in the middle are doing the same thing, only “moderate” in their approach (whatever that means). The squeaky wheels on the left and right get all of the grease, even though we (net) tax payers do not necessarily even want the vehicle on which the wheels are attached. … Wait a second – we tax payers are the same people that make up the mob that votes … hmmm…

Is it any wonder that if you put so many selfish idiots in power that government will just grow out of control? The bureaucrats will simply vote for politicians who will increase their budgets. Defence contractors will continue to push for more war. Oil companies will continue to push for more subsidized freeways and will of course side with war contractors, because plenty of fossil fuels can be sold to the military and to the military industrial complex that makes the weapons.

People generally speak out of both sides of their asses. The difference with the left, is that they think they are being rational and objective, and so it is okay to tell everybody else what to do and what is best for everyone. This is usually attempted be redistributing wealth in truly idiotic ways. All you have to do is look at the crack houses where Urban renewal was intended. You idiots forgot that you subsidized the freeways so that the white middle class could move to the suburbs on the backs of the poor (the poor in the cities still have to pay taxes for freeways that they hardly use).

The mob at all extremes (not just the far left and far right) keep forgetting that you can’t have your cake and eat it too. The moderates are not all that much different either. Humans are the fifth ape, and the earth really is the planet of the apes.

Perhaps that budget can be ballanced and the deficit can be cut, if we would all stop taking ourselves so seriously, and listen to other points-of-view. I predict that that will never happen. Government is doomed to grow until it collapses one way or another. Do you want to have it collapse quickly or slowly? Vote or don’t vote accordingly. Read a good science book every once in a while. You might learn something useful. The odds are, if you are reading this, you probably will not go out and read a good science book, but I hope I am wrong about that!

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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