A question to ask…

So I have posted quite a few essays about religion and am slightly interested in who actually reads the essays.  I have been using christian beliefs as the foundation of what I talk about but that is only because I have studied Christianity more than other belief systems.

So let me know the beliefs that you have.

BIGFIX01

Published in: on August 4, 2009 at 8:33 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Society is Alone

Loneliness must be one of the worst emotions a man can feel. The feeling of having nothing, having no one, it really can dig into someone. To wonder where this emotion comes from is something I have been thinking about more and more. Working more than half our lives away, just to make a living, how do people find the time for themselves? Find the time to find someone, and to give that person everything he/she deserves. It seems to get harder and harder the more “advanced” we get as a people. Hence loneliness sets in on people. So with this I want to talk a little about society related to “loving partnerships” and why loneliness is something that is felt today but will be felt tenfold in the future if we keep down the path we are on.

Society in general tells us that we must be coupled with someone, but doesn’t give us the time we need to nurture those relationships correctly. Society then reacts to this foreseen consequence by making the divorce socially correct. Over the last 30 years the divorce went from something that was shunned from society to something that we deal with on a daily bases. The average time span for an American couple lasting is at the lowest it has been in the countries entire history. This is something that is not seen just in America but in most industrialized countries. Is it the freedom of choice now that we choose more than one “permanent” partner?

Of course this is not the reason but if we look deep into our society the reason that divorce has moved into the mainstream is because the time is not there, the time to spend building a true permanent relationship. Some say that humans were not built to be monogamous creatures but this is something that has been overstated and for the wrong reasons. For all the science stating that humans are not meant to be monogamous something quite important is missing. The human brain. We are self aware creatures who think very logically and who have the ability to do whatever they set their minds to. We choose to build relationships with people; this is something we have moved to from thousands of years of evolution. We no longer are driven totally by instincts, and with this gift we have choice. The real underling reason for issues points back to society. So when we build a relationship that will not last we then feel an emotion that no one ever wants to feel…loneliness.

Humans in general are social beings but with that our social behavior is shaped by other social beings. So society plays a huge part pointing us in certain directions, even partnering up. In general social beings will pair up, but will not always stay partnered up. Humans though, being aware, make long term, strong, partnerships and bonds, and in our current environment this is a very good thing. It is much easier to get through issues with someone rather than alone. Something that society is, again, familiar with and has pushed partnering up as the general solution to problems. Something is wrong with a person if he/she does not get married. Society has been putting more and more emphasis on this practice. In the mean time society has also been taking personal time away from these people so that they can do more work, ask fewer questions, and become “droned”. The side affect of all of this is that we as humans can no longer make strong bonds with other humans. No longer can true partnerships be made so partnerships break up and people start to feel lonely.

When humans make poor partnerships, or partnerships that will not last, the human is apt to make mistakes in future partnerships or will choose not to make new partnerships in the future. When a person does not make new partnerships loneliness will slip into that person’s life. With the emotion loneliness comes other emotions as well. The emotions of depression and self hatred can follow loneliness. These emotions can have terrible side effects on the person feeling them. The worst of these are suicidal thoughts for the extremely depressed person. When a person acts on suicidal thoughts they push the proverbial game over button. Studies have shown that when depression sets in based off of loneliness suicidal thoughts skyrocket. And a society of depressed, lonely people cannot be good for our future. Along with the emotional problems that loneliness can cause, children born into bad partnerships are apt to have just as many emotional problems as the partnership they come from. Those children, if they get out of the partnership unscathed, are likely to make poor partnerships in their own lives and the cycle continues. Only second generation issues tend to be worse than the first generations. This can point us in the direction that after many generations of poor decision making and societal pushes toward bad relationship practices we may come to a point when the human race no longer makes partnerships. Losing some of the best and worst of the “Human” way. Society pushes partnering and then breaks the partnership, only to push another partnership. To compare this to metal if a piece of metal is bent back and forth over and over sooner or later that metal will finally fall apart the same can be said about our society.

Humans cannot get as close to other humans and loneliness begins to set in. Even humans in partnerships based on “less free” time feel this loneliness because they cannot bond with their partners correctly. So our current way of life can only point us to being a “lonely” society, among other things. Unless society changes its way and gives people a better quality of life, being that it gives people more social time to make the correct partnerships, we will be a very lonely society, or possibly a society of broken people.

BIGFIX01

Published in: on May 15, 2009 at 6:17 pm  Comments (2)  
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Back To Science

For this post I would like to come back to a paper I wrote quite a while ago. I think this relates back to my first post on the philosophy of science. I find this paper interesting because it helps illustrate some of the points with real world examples.

Why is something either considered science or not science? There are different ways of looking at a topic and deciding whether it is science or pseudoscience. What we can know for sure is that there will always be competing arguments. In the following I will look at two different topics and decide for myself whether they are science or pseudoscience. The two topics I will be looking at are life after death and the Bermuda triangle. I will start by explaining each of the following topics starting with life after death.

So what do we mean when we explain life after death? It can be summed up in the following question. Is there anything after we die, or does the spirit of a human being live after the physical body dies? Another area is reincarnation, or if the spirit of a human takes residence inside another object when the current resident passes away. They both deal with the spirit leaving the body after it dies.

The area that believes in life after death will make the claim that the spirit lives on after death. They then support this claim by pointing to a few personal experiences. The first is ghosts and poltergeists. They use the logic that if the spirit doesn’t live on then how do we explain ghosts, ghosts being the spirits of the dead. The near death or out of body experience is also used to support life after death. An example of near death experience would be a person who is clinically pronounced dead, but then is revived to explain seeing a great white light and running to it.

Near death experience is used as one hypothesis to explain life after death, so let’s find an opposing hypothesis that doesn’t support near death experiences. One hypothesis that comes to mind is how the brain works. It can explain things like floating out of your body and seeing a white light at the end of a tunnel. Our brain, as it loses oxygen, misinterprets the signals that the optic nerves send back. This is how we explain kids who perform huffing.

Now I would like to explain my next topic which is the Bermuda Triangle. The Bermuda Triangle is a strip of ocean that has been responsible for a large number of ship and plane disappearances. It is claimed that the Bermuda Triangle is directly responsible for the disappearances of these objects. This claim is supported by the fact that this area has a mysterious way of losing ships and planes. A famous example that is used to keep the mystery in the Bermuda Triangle is the disappearance of Flight 19. Flight 19 disappeared in the triangle in December of 1945. Before the disappearance, the flight crew reported that things were not right. The sea looked strange and the sun was invisible (Hines, 226).

How can any of this be explained? Both sides have their theories. A theory from the weird side is that there is a magnetic field that transfers these ships and planes to another dimension. Another more logical theory is that the Bermuda triangle is set up in a volatile weather area. The weather in the triangle can change quite quickly from being perfect to the perfect storm. It is also in an area that is quite dangerous for ships. There are rock formations and reefs that can easily damage the hulls of ships beyond repair. Both of these theories have their believers.

After researching these topics I looked at each of them to find out if they were scientific or just bogus. In both I will use the ideas of Kuhn, Popper, and Lachatosh to explain if they are scientific or not. I wanted to start with the Bermuda Triangle because I think that one is a little bit clearer to define. In my opinion the Bermuda Triangle myth is just that an unscientific myth.

So how did I come to the decision that it is a myth? Looking at the facts about the Bermuda Triangle, there isn’t anything that would point me (for the weird theories) in the direction that there are scientific parts about it. To start out, looking at the so called unexplainable disappearances of aircraft and ships, we see that most of them (contrary to belief) can be explained. Some are blamed on bad weather, others on the cargo that the boats were carrying, and lastly the disappearances can also be blamed on inexperience in the area. There really is not that much mystery in the Bermuda Triangle. If we were to just look at these ways to explain the triangle then I would say that it is scientific. We use this method to find ships all over the world, but this is not the myth of the Bermuda Triangle.

The Bermuda Triangle’s weird believers don’t use scientific means at all. They make up a hypothesis, but that is it. They never really try to prove it. The believers use after effects to try to prove there hypothesis, but after effects prove little to nothing. Oh, a ship has disappeared there must be a magnetic field involved, or aliens. That’s all these people say they never even try to turn up evidence to prove their hypothesis. Poppers point of a hypothesis being falsifiable proves quite useful in this topic. The reason that people never turn up any evidence is because their hypotheses are not able to be proved right or wrong. I also have my own little theory about proving if this is a science or not. I call it the “dig yourself deeper and deeper into a hole theory.” It starts out with a hypothesis, and then when someone asks for the holes in the hypothesis to be filled, the person fills them with another improvable hypothesis. That hypothesis will also of course have holes in it and this will go on forever. The so called science will never get anywhere.

What about the life after death topic, can this one be considered a science? I would consider this a pseudoscience. It falls into many of the same traps as the Bermuda Triangle. The first trap life after death falls into would be that it can not be realistically proven. Even if we could kill a person and then bring them back from the dead we still are faced with the dilemma of taking a first person account. First person accounting has been proven quite inaccurate of the centuries. There is yet another problem that is bigger than just being able to prove life after death. The domain of science is targeted at the natural world. Life after death is in no way pointed at the natural world, it is quite the opposite. Life after death is looking at the surreal or supernatural world.

Both of these topics looked at closely would have to be considered not science. There are both similar and different reasons why they are not science. To just look at the similarities we see that both life after death and the Bermuda Triangle can’t be proven. Another similarity between the two is how we try to disprove them. Both of the topics are being disproved by science, real science. I like to look at how the theories are disproved because it can really contrast the weird theories. Just for example, when we explain ship disappearances the scientific way, finding evidence, looking at the area, proving rational hypotheses, it is the complete opposite of how the Bermuda Triangle group goes about solving ship disappearances.

The topics are different in a few respects also. The Bermuda Triangle has parts that look at the natural world and the life and death crew has nothing to do with the natural world. The major differences between the two are really in the way they go about proving their hypotheses. While the Bermuda triangle group doesn’t really try to fix the holes in their hypotheses, the life after death crew really does. They are always trying to find new methods of explaining and documenting where the problems lie. I also feel that they use the scientific method to look at their problem. That’s why I would consider life after death a fake science rather than no science at all. There is justification behind it, rather than just a whole bunch of made up explanations.

Both of these topics have a long way to go if they ever would hope to become a reputable science. While I will always believe that there is no way either could become a viable science, there is no telling what other people will believe.

BIGFIX01

Published in: on February 23, 2008 at 6:56 pm  Comments (3)  
Tags: , , , , , , ,

The Science of Science

For this post I would like to stray away from religion and freewill and examine something more down to earth…science. So who gets to decide what science is? This is an age old question that most people do not even look at anymore. What is science? What makes something science? These are real questions, but these questions get asked less and less now a days. If someone with a doctorate tells us that this is science a lot of us just go along with it. He knows what he is talking about.

Please remember before we get to far into this post we have to take a couple things for granted. To even be able to discuss the philosophy of science we have to believe that there really is something to know. We have to believe that there are laws that the universe is bound to, and we have to believe that we can know what these laws are. If we do not believe these requirements then science as we have come to know it cannot exist and this question is null. So….

How many people that are not religious buffs think evolution is a science? The fact of the matter we really do not have solid 100 % true evidence that evolution is real. There are many different things that point us in the direction of evolution rather than creationism.  What about string theory? If anyone has had the opportunity to read string theory I am sure they have asked themselves the question if this is real science. String theory in its most complex theories is extremely out in left field, but if you ask someone on the street they will probably tell you it is science. Why? So the question is, what defines science? Well, that my friends is just one segment of philosophy.

The problem with this question, like most other questions in philosophy, are there are many different answers. Realists have one answer, metaphysics’ have yet another. The only real concrete answer is with the one who is defining science for themselves. The answer lies with your own beliefs.

Science is defined as knowledge attained through study or practice. A system we use to gain knowledge. The fact of the matter is that this can mean absolutely anything. So if we take this definition what gives us the right to say that someone researching a hollow earth is not doing science. Someone chasing Bigfoot or believing in astrology is not practicing science. Based on this definition we do not have that right.

But astrology is not science right? Well the scientific community does not believe the stars have anything to do with our futures, and in truth astrology is not science. It is not, but why? A certain group of people would say it doesn’t follow the scientific method, others say it doesn’t have laws, and some others say it does not have a group of experts that agree on the basic set of what astrology is. These are all examples of tests that philosophers use to gauge out a science from a non-science. But lets say for a second that it does have laws and it does have experts. Then is it science? A realist would say of course not the fact still remains that the stars have nothing to do with our future. But does that make it right?

There must be a true answer to this question sense we have scientists and we study things like chemistry, right? Well that is up to you to find out.

BIGFIX01

Published in: on January 21, 2008 at 10:07 pm  Comments (4)  
Tags: , , , , , ,