Sunday, March 29, 2009

Humans behave like individual heard animals. Superorganisms, like termites, ants & bees, function as one entity (Eurekalert). But humans know the difference, so they have the capability for altruistic sacrifice. The problem is probably lack of identity with the society that claims to represent them. i.e. Soldiers don't usually fight for political ideals, they fight for the friends in their platoon.

Meanwhile, in America:
What happens to madmen when they die? does jesus forgive them? (of course) what if they were evil? (then no) How does a madman know right from wrong? How does anyone prove they are not mad? That's a bottomless question, better to pass the buck instead & not look. Governor George Wallace paid some shrinks for a certificate that said he was sane. He framed it, but said he had no illusions about it's value (several thousand dollars).

Learning How to Think. Also Religious advice parallels financial advice (Wired)
5 things you'll need if you go homeless
Selecting for "Tameness"
"Most religious leaders are fools" (bbc)
If Atheists ruled the world (YouTube)

Friday, March 20, 2009

That the church doesn't present a community that's acceptable to everyone could be expected, there's a lot of variation among people. That it doesn't address reality is a side effect of faith. If my friend, call him Joe (story posted below: Thursday, February 26, 2009), had consulted the church about his experience, he could have been admonished about the hubris of bragging about miracles, or told that what seems real to one person may not seem so to another, or advised that it was a sign from god & to pray for guidance, or recommended to drug rehab. (depending on how sane he appeared to be). I find it refreshing though that they probably wouldn't have accused him of lying, just because they don't expect to be lied to (though that makes them pretty gullible targets for anyone w/ a profit/power motive).

So when cultivating miracles, one doesn't just resolve that one will occur and then label something odd as miraculous. Oh no-no-no! One must The Force generate. That's no shit.
One must self discipline have:

  • Have you ever wondered why Monks or the Catholic clergy are expected to be celibate? It's a time honored method for cracking loose of convention, selfish or otherwise. The sexual imperative is a real motivator of perspective. You can either go with it & become it, or use it as a reminder that there's a kind of parallel universe that has no use for it. I admit I have no idea how they use the energy they accumulate, there are more and more rarified levels of bureaucracy in the church, each w/ it's own arcane rules. My suspicion is that they've inadvertently messed up the natural course for dealing with it, what w/ angles and devils and permission from higher up the chain of command, and then there's the Sith & all those alter boys... I'm pretty sure though that it's not just grandstanding for the sake of the rustics, they must know something's going on. My guess is they've forgotten that a lotta sex depletes personal power, and some folks that are required to be celibate, for bureaucratic reasons, maybe shouldn't be teaching children.
  • Fasting works.
  • Scheduled meditation (a kind of prayer), say at 8 PM every day. Randomly, maybe not so much.
  • Running, Jogging, walking, crawling, etc.
  • Regular cold showers. (hair shirts?)
  • Gypsying, Walkabouts, Pilgrimages.
  • Other cultures have other methods that I can only guess at. Nomadic people have ritual dances & songs for locating game, only performed when food is short and there's no other option (see #2). Joe had some experience with ritual dances, and songs, they're usually private intellectual property. They work, but one needs permission to use them. For example, the Hopi Rain Dance.
All evoke a greater or lesser degree of controlled desperation, and beg the question "why am I doing this?" The answer should be "for my people", anything else will develop into a distortion and Sasquach you will become. Countering the influence of witches was the churches defining project for at least several hundred years, what w/ "the horned god" & all representing evil.

So this is Joe's recipe for what to do when you're stranded in a strange town w/ no money or contacts. Before you go door to door trying to sell your body or your $300 camera for gas money: fast for 3 or 4 days. Something will come up. Works every time & saves on food too.

See, all this assumes personal power equals faith, so faith can corrupt perception because events may be expected to accommodate needs. (i'nish Allah). Then when an evidence based event occurs, such as through scientific procedure, it can appear to be irrelevant or even inimical to faith. With that perspective, the church would be wise to organize the freelance shamanistic tendencies of the parish to preserve some semblance of peace & sanity. But to declare it all evil if it contradicts ecclesiastic policy is hypocritical, it's a human birthright, get over it.

Ok, now the point: Say there was a group of people that became so fluent with the exercise of their personal power, that they could exist outside of society. They would have to either look like everyone or else avoid people altogether (or both) kind of like the illumanatti (this would explain the hairy 8 foot tourists in bermuda shorts). But say this group split off thousands of years ago & never bothered to keep up holiday cards w/ the Muggles. It's said that a society of Big Foots couldn't exist because the scattered gene pool, (based on "sightings") would make sexual encounters virtually impossible. Whoever presented that argument has obviously never tried celibacy for very long, or considered the area that could be covered by a person w/ motivation and a 6 foot stride. True believers will now go outside and howl for 5 minutes.

Are You Friends With an Atheist? An American profile
The State of Atheism Address
There’s a new power in America - atheism
How to Spot Atheists and Report Them to the FBI
"I don't know that Atheists should be considered as citizens, nor should they be considered patriots. This is one nation under God."
-President George Bush (aka "a Uniter, not a Divider")
symptoms of schizophrenia
Religious majority doesn't understand atheist views (Michigan State Univ,
New Research Suggests Key to Happiness is Gratitude—and Men May be Locked Out (George Mason Univ.)
Seattle's Version of the Atheist bus projects (

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

The church has pretty much failed to do what it claimed, which is to provide shelter and comfort to people in need. Instead they get indoctrinated. There's not much comfort in that unless you're really desperate, it's more like a community of idiots w/ patronizing jailers. The whole thrust of the church is business and indoctrination with fixed forms. "Of course we're open to all suggestions, but if you want salvation, ..."

What exactly is salvation? it's a state of "grace" (bliss, happiness, contentment, satisfaction, having confidence in the future, etc.) It's achievable by "faith" that is, believing something is predominantly important (even if it isn't), such as the church community and belief system. That's not so rare, I mean that's the final hook offered by any religion, call it what you like.

Here's "Bill's Religious Method For Getting Shed Of Your Load Of Earthly Care" (shortened to BRMFGSOYLOEC):
Stay focused on anything which doesn't require another person's input, till it becomes more important than anything else, such as running from a forest fire. The forest fire isn't necessary to achieve the result, it's just an example of the ideal commitment. When your thoughts wander, just redirect them to the original point. Sounds Buddhist doesn't it? It is, and BRMFGSOYLOEC gives you the Cosmic Power to ignore bullshit, however it's not as easy as letting someone feed you a special piece of cracker & tell you you're saved, but it is more convincing. You aren't required to offend anyone by being a missionary, and your sister won't get stoned to death for going outdoors without a mask.

The coming evangelical collapse (Yahoo news)
Most religious groups in USA have lost ground, survey finds (USA today). This is too bad really, but a million smiling hypocrites vs instant public scrutiny, I guess it's inevitable.

Dear fellow atheists. Lets piss off the world and claim the '@' sign as the official sign of atheism. (self.atheism). It'll never happen.

10 Most Revealing Psych Experiments

Univ. Toronto Researchers find brain differences between believers and non-believers (eurekalert), 1. Stroop effect 2. Stroop test

Pride: The 7th Sin

Given the differences in cultures, the Large Hadron Collider is basically looking for the same thing that Thomas Aquinas defined as god: 5 arguments for the existence of god the Quinquae viae. The main difference is in how it's represented. It's the writers opinion that neither one is practical for achieving it's purpose, but the 5 arguments define the problem and the LH Collider is a serious effort in that direction.

One of the things that bugs me about the church is the ambiguity of terms and methods between sects. If one of them had more credibility than another, maybe word would get out. Instead it's a race to scrape the bottom for something new. Like programming commands, calling it logic doesn't make it logical. You'd think something as personal and inherent as ones relationship w/ the world would have a default form, where a priest/shrink interpreter isn't mandantory. Everybody has teachers but it gets so formalized, like Tenure, Church and the Crips all require commitment and fidelity in exchange for a sense of security. For professional advancement, members learn a more and more specialized perspective, till the they only think in those terms. When your only tool is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. A self limiting philosophy.

The Named is the mother of all things. Language shapes perception it takes 200 milliseconds between when an observation occurs and when it's internalized verbal description is formed. During those 200 milliseconds, the "meaning" is fluid. it could be anything.

15 quotes from famous Atheists w/ comments

Dr Jack Horner (Paleontologist): "Religion is about faith, not evidence. Comparing science and religion isn't like comparing apples and oranges—it's more like apples and sewing machines." Horner wants to retro-engineer a (small) dinosaur from a chicken, partly for the scientific knowledge to be gained, and partly because he likes dinosaurs.