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  
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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)  
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Time

Time you are an evil devil.  Aren’t you?  Why do we as a society put so much value on the definition of time?  Why is time almost always in the center of everything we do?  Truth be told time doesn’t really exist does it.  We measure time in hours, days, years, decades, but what does this all mean?

Time as we understand it is all focused on earth’s rotation around the sun, moon, and stars.  We base one of the most important things in our society on how long it takes a celestial body to rotate a star.  That seems kind of far fetched.  So what is the connection between time and the rotation of stars in the sky?  Well there isn’t one.  Actually, the “time” it takes for the earth to rotate around the sun is always changing.  So we are actually basing a way of life on something that never stays the same.

Time does exist though.  If it didn’t life wouldn’t exist.  Everything would be in a state of suspension.  Still, time as we think of it really does not exist.  For example I can walk to the end of the street in 10 minutes, those minutes are units of measurement based off of…what?  Are these units of measurement constant?  I hope you didn’t answer yes.  These minutes may be timed out to be the same, yes 60 seconds but in the long run they mean absolutely nothing.  They have no basis.  We made it up.  Minutes, seconds, hours change based on how we as a people need them to.  Leap year for example.  We just add days, or erase hours to match what a star is doing.  But that star is totally random.  Our unit of measure for one of the most important things in our entire society is actually totally random.  Wow.

So what I would like to say is what would happen if we took all this value away from time, because it is something that is always changing.  Wouldn’t this make our lives more meaningful.  The area of space which we take up from one point to another point is not always constant.  Lets not focus on it.  Death, aging, these things are actually a random part of our lives.  Parts that can actually be manipulated and changed.  Aging is not based on time.  It has nothing to do with time.  It is a natural thing that happens when cells do work.  If we are able to change the way our cells work, lets say, fix them so they do not break down while they do their work.  Then why would we measure age?

You see we are not infinite beings.  The reason focus is placed on time is the fact that we are all finite.  It is a philosophy that most of us live our lives by.  It is a way of life many of us our pushed into.  Think just for a minute what life would be like without the “TIME” thing hanging over your head.  The stress would just fade away.  It is a way of life that some people still follow today.  Not hunkered down by time.  A come and go lifestyle, definitely a different way to look at life.  The reason I bring this up is the fact that we are only on earth for a finite period.  Even though we always have this thrown in our face we still don’t live our lives to the fullest.  People who don’t obsess over this fact seem to live a more relaxed, fruitful life.  Interesting, maybe they know something we don’t.

BIGFIX01

Published in: on July 5, 2008 at 10:13 pm  Comments (2)  
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The Ethical part of Ethics

Could this post be about ethics? Well, yes. In philosophy ethics are a giant umbrella of ideas. Medical ethics, personal ethics, ethical treatment of animals, and many many more. What I would like to focus on is how we use ethics and if they really mean anything at all. The ethics of ethics…

So do ethics hold any bearing on our decision making, or really should they hold any bearing on our decision making. This is a question we can only answer when we have made up our mind on a couple key questions. The debate is probably over if you do not believe ethics are a human creation. If you believe full heartedly in an all powerful Being then the will of god should take precedence of ethical belief.  God’s “will” is always ethical, no matter what. That means you really take ethics out of the equation. As long as what you do is in God’s “will” it is always correct.

Now, if we throw out the all powerful being then we can truly look into ethics. There are so many different kinds of ethical belief systems. Pragmatic ethics, Utopian ethics, Kantian ethics, etc. Being that there are so many ethical systems how do we know which one to follow, or should we follow any at all? In this question we can see why I titled this post the ethical part of ethics. With so many choices why should we believe any ethical system?

Ethics is a way we live our lives. It is how we make decisions that affect our lives as well as other’s lives. The argument I would like to make is that we should not base our life on any ethical system. The reasoning behind this statement is the fact that ethics are a belief system made up by man. There are so many different ethical beliefs how can we put our life behind any of them? Men have tried to create systems to base our society off of for the best possible outcome. What we have seen from the past is that most all encompassing ethical systems fail because we cannot have an answer for every logical question. In Utopian ethics we see that the wellness of the masses is much better than the wellness of one person.  One big problem with this system is that we take away the rights of the individual.  In Kantian ethics Kant tried to fix some of the major issues with Utopian ethics but still failed. So how do we make decisions without an ethical system?

Well, we do have somewhat of a system of ethics. It is based off of society. Our decisions are made based on what the masses do. In fact in the US the supreme court actually makes almost every decision based on what our society thinks is right and wrong. Only in extraordinary cases does the supreme court rule against society. These are times of cultural change.  Our system of decisions is always changing so can we say that our ethical system is ever ethical?

I do not think we can. 150 years ago it was OK to enslave blacks, to buy and sell another person for a white person’s personal gain. How is that ethical? Well by todays standards it is not, but in the past in most cultures this was quite alright. So how can ethics ever be ethical if they are always changing? They cant, right?

Ethics are a funny thing. Really they are a dream thought up by man. Something man can use to make decisions, but not only to make the decisions but to prove that the decisions they make are correct, backed up by facts and solid ideas. In truth, the decisions man makes will always be unethical. This is quite a statement. Every decision I make can be considered unethical. How is that possible? It is possible because there are an infinite amount of ethical belief systems. Because time is infinite there will always be a different ethical system and in any one of those ethical systems I could be wrong based on the system. I am always unethical no matter what.

So then the only truth I can know is that any ethical system is, in reality, unethical. This point is easily seen by looking into our past. Many decisions we made believing we were in the right, by todays standards are unbelievably wrong. They are wrong in every respect we can think of. So then how do we make decisions? How do we know what to do, what is right and what is wrong?

This is a question we cannot answer. Today society makes our decisions for us. Whatever the masses believe is what we believe is correct. If you disobey society they throw you in prison.  Different societies have different beliefs, and different beliefs, as we see in history, start wars. There is no way to get around the fact that people will always believe different things. A vary unsettling fact, that there is no correct underling right answer. Maybe this is why people argue for an all powerful being. To bring order to chaos.

BIGFIX01

Published in: on May 30, 2008 at 6:52 pm  Leave a Comment  
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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)  
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