Posts Tagged ‘philosophy’

DOES LIFE EXIST BEYOND OUR SOLAR SYSTEM?

October 3, 2014

What is required for life to exist on our planet is extremely complex, intricately balanced and fine-tuned in relation to the size and position of the earth, the sun and other planets, size and position of our moon, our planet’s magnetosphere and various atmospheric layers, the abundance of water, various oceanic and weather patterns and even the temperature, size and properties of the earth’s inner core.  And, this is only a small fraction of the balanced complex reality necessary for our existence.

Because of this, some scientists still insist life may be extremely rare in the universe.  But it appears exo-planets may far outnumber the stars and today, many if not most scientists believe life is probably abundant in the cosmos.  Perhaps few of us stop to consider how truly different, diverse and complex life in the larger universal reality, may in fact be.

Most books and films featuring aliens assume beings more intelligent than ourselves would have superior technology and travel in advanced starships, which isn’t necessarily true.  They are often portrayed as creatures prone to violence and oppression like ourselves, which also isn’t necessarily true.

Human technology arises out of our specific needs for survival. While other forms of life on earth build webs, nests and some even use sticks as tools, what is called “technology” is essentially viewed as being unique to humans. If food was easily and readily available and there was no violence or daily struggle to survive, human technology might not have ever arisen on earth.

Where there is no farming or struggle to eat, there may be no concept of a wheel or plow.  Where there’s no hunting for food and no war, there may be no concept of a knife, spear, bow and arrow or other basic implements at the root of our technology.

Would forms of life more intelligent than ourselves necessarily have any concept of science and education? Would they wear clothing or need to build structures to protect themselves from the elements in a perhaps far less hostile environment?  We can’t even begin to imagine what life would be like without violence and a daily struggle for food, shelter and protection.

At least one scientist has proposed life might exist on giant gas planets, hovering in the atmosphere with no need of a solid surface.  We often assume far too much based on our own tiny window of experience.  The experience of intelligent beings on other worlds may be far different than our own.

We know life on earth is incredibly complex and diverse, even among microbial kingdoms. We can only wonder what it might be like to live on a world far less violent and prone to disease, starvation and death than our own.  Given the abundance and complexity of life on earth and the size and scope of the universe, we can only marvel and remain in awe of the infinite possibilities.

Perhaps a better question is, what might life elsewhere be like?

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IS ATHEISM SCIENTIFIC? [ Plain English Edition ]

September 21, 2014

Historians say no one knows for certain who designed Stonehenge or exactly how it was constructed. However, scientists have long assumed someone created Stonehenge, rather than proposing it randomly appeared. This is the most likely conclusion based on the observable evidence. Historically, what science “believes” is what appears to be true, unless and until proven otherwise.

Descartes first principle of philosophy, science and reason states: “Accept nothing as true that is not self-evident”. And, the history of science tracing prior to ancient Greece on into the present, clearly represents a history of belief based on self-evidence. What humans call “science” when applied correctly, remains what is evidently true based on the known evidence.

Just as all known evidence indicates for every action there is a reaction, all known evidence indicates no action occurs by it’s own volition. All known evidence indicates a universe filled with energy, light, motion and “zillions” of complex parts within ever greater complexity of parts, containing intelligent finite beings of conscience and conscious awareness, requires Primary Cause and Creative Intelligence.

Supporting evidence is required to overturn previously held positions by the majority of scientists. Thus, the correct postulate of true science remains “Eternal Creator(s)” until proven otherwise.

Pretending “science” is somehow different than belief in God is an obvious lie. Just as scientists “believe” in black holes and invisible light based on mirrored evidence, much more so mirrored evidence of our Creator is overwhelmingly self-evident. Just as the burden of proof remained on Copernicus to overturn what otherwise appeared to be true, the burden of proof remains on atheists, as all known evidence indicates the opposite conclusion.

Basic to wisdom, education, reason and survival itself, is to try to understand and separate what is really true, from whatever fiction the cultures and religions we are born into claim is true. As Jesus implied, if we don’t know what is true, we have no hope of being free.

What we believe does not dictate what is true. Rather, what is true about how the universe and life came to be remains the same, regardless of what we believe or, fail to believe. And whether we label it “science”, “religion”, “philosophy”, “education” or something else, what is actually true remains the same.

Some claim to be “agnostic”, as if this insulates them from providing evidence. Those saying there is no God, probably no God or might be no God, are trying to sell the rest of us the greatest of all human superstitions, that the universe either did or could have magically randomly appeared. Such positions, however far-fetched, require supporting evidence, the same as any other claim.

A virus is several powers of ten larger in comparison to us, than we are compared to just the known universe. Pretending there is no God is like a virus inside of a microbe hiding under a microchip inside of an ivory computer tower, pretending the computer magically randomly appeared and self-assembled, only infinitely more preposterous.

Is atheism scientific? You decide.

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ARE AMERICANS WELL-EDUCATED?

January 11, 2014

Albert and Agnes attended the same American Elementary School in Anytown, USA. From the first day, they were both taught to study hard and get good grades, so they could receive a scholarship, attend college and earn more money.

They weren’t taught to treat other people like they wanted to be treated, a theory long censored from American classrooms. Nor were they taught education should be focused on learning what is true so we can be free, rather than being focused on money, another theory long forbidden in American schools.

Albert’s wealthy parents had paid for him to attend a private preschool. He now attended public school because his father believed it was good for him to associate with “regular” children. Agnes’ parents were poor and poorly educated and thus, she was already far behind a learning curve Albert easily adapted to without hardly trying.

Though rarely paying much attention, Albert received mostly A’s throughout his American school experience. Several times he was caught dealing drugs and was twice accused of treating Agnes inappropriately. But his wealthy family hired an expensive lawyer, who convinced a friendly judge to keep his record clean.

Agnes tried hard to learn, but her grades remained poor and she fell behind a year after Albert forced an unanticipated pregnancy. Albert was taught from an early age he was smarter and better than most of his peers. Constantly applauded for superior intelligence, he became president of his high school science club and won two state spelling bee championships.

Agnes was ridiculed by other students for being the plainest, poorest and mentally slowest student in class. Her teachers told her parents she meant well while insinuating she wasn’t exactly born to achieve intellectual greatness.

Albert went on to graduate from an expensive American college and an even more expensive graduate school. He was hired by the American government to design advanced weaponry, lived in an expensive American home and drove several expensive American cars. He joined the Mensa Society and helped design an IQ test excluding any notion of intelligence in relation to helping other people.

Agnes went to work in a garment factory, where she helped organize a sweat shop union and consequently, lost her job. She tried to read the Bible but reading wasn’t her best subject and, her strange archaic English translation was difficult to understand and relate to. Nevertheless, soon she moved to one of the poorest slums in India and founded a mission without any money or religious organizational backing.

Agnes remained very poor throughout her life but, by an incredible twist of fate, she eventually became one of the most famous people in the world. Rock stars and presidents waited in line to meet her. Because of her example, missions to help the poor were established all over the globe.

Agnes ultimately helped raise billions of dollars to aid the sick and poor and, will long remain an international inspiration for generations to come. Are Americans well-educated? You decide.

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DOES SCIENCE REALLY KNOW WHAT IS TRUE?

November 26, 2013

Less than 600 years ago, the vast majority of scientists believed the sun goes around the earth.  Even after both Copernicus and Galileo died, many scientists still insisted the old Ptolemaic model was correct.  If we examine the evidence with any fairness at all, what humans call “science” has a historical track record of constantly changing it’s mind regarding even the most fundamental of concepts.

According to historian Will Durant, medical research was set back several decades because scientists refused to accept basic evidence for human blood circulation.  Until very recently in historical terms, most scientists believed disease spontaneously arises.  Two decades into the 20th Century, the majority still believed in an eternal static universe containing a single Milky Way galaxy.

Since the mapping of the human genome and other recent evidence, today there are major revisions taking place in biology, astronomy, physics, quantum mechanics and virtually every other field imaginable.  Many if not most scientists today believe life existed prior to the earth itself.

Emerging theory among various astrobiologists goes something like this:  What causes life came out of the big bang, is refined in stars, is constantly re-seeded from supernovas and other cosmic events, finds it way around accretion disks of newly formed stars and from there, ends up on innumerable planets and space-rock debris.

Then, as conditions allow within newly formed solar systems, life probably arises on untold zillions of planets, most likely in many exotic forms unknown to us.  At least one scientist has proposed exotic forms of life may hover on giant gas planets, needing no solid surface to survive.

Additionally, many geneticists have begun to openly challenge fundamental natural selection theory, contending that reproductive survival is only one of several reasons why living forms change.  How to define “species” is still debated; the term itself is a human construct, part of an invented system artificially classifying life according to our very limited view and understanding of a much larger cosmic process.

The modern evidence is overwhelming that all of life is created to adapt and change within an ever changing grand design Cosmic reality, very far over our collective heads.  And, though what we define as “species” arise and die out, life itself marches on, in spite of great cataclysmic events here on earth and, much larger and far more destructive events within a space/time continuum called “universe”.

On the other hand, today there is zero evidence life ever has or ever will “evolve”, in the sense life somehow magically self-designed from scratch.  According to the Encyclopedia Britannica article “Evolution”, modern science doesn’t know how, when, where or why life first arose on earth, or what form it took.  Life adapts and changes in reaction to ever-changing universal environments and, that is all.

For all we know, life may have existed prior to the universe we live in.  And, life may continue to exist forever and ever, long after our current universe passes away.  Does science really know what is true?  You decide.

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IS THE GOLDEN RULE REALLY THE BEST IDEA?

May 28, 2010

What is today known as the “golden rule”, is found in similar form in at least 37 often non-connected cultures.  Thus, the laws of God are clearly written on the conscience of humanity, as the Bible claims and as Jefferson echoed in the Declaration of Independence.

According to Jesus, “Therefore, whatever you want people to do to you, do also to them, for this is the law and the prophets”.  The added, “for this is the law and the prophets” in the society of Jesus, meant similar to as if today someone said, “this is the foundation of human rights and the sum and purpose of all reason, wisdom, philosophy, science, education, morality and ethics.”  Is this really the best idea for achieving human rights in the modern age?

Upon closer examination, most of the so-called “golden rules” found in other societies, including the one attributed to the Jewish teacher Hillel, are considerably different than that taught by Jesus.  A similar one to Jesus is found in a saying attributed to Mencius.  But unlike Mencius and all of the other known sages of history, only Jesus gives this positive, pro-active version the all-important status of being the foundation for all that matters towards positive human enlightenment and achievement.

So-called “golden rules” found in most societies instruct us not to harm others as we do not wish them to harm us.  But Jesus teaches us to reach out and help other people, even if they do not first help us. Consider how much less effective it is to tell a child not to harm someone, than teaching the same child to pro-actively treat others as they like to be treated.  For example, is a homeless widow better off if someone just doesn’t harm her or, if someone provides her food and shelter?  Isn’t it far more effective to teach us to help each other than just saying we should do no harm?

Some modern intellectuals claim we should instead, treat other people as “they” wish to be treated.  This supposed “improvement” contains at least two significant flaws:  1) It is rather difficult to know how another person wants us to treat them unless we first befriend them as we wish to be treated.  2) If we treat others as they wish to be treated without any measurement against our own well-being, we will soon be extremely tired, penniless and destitute.

Today, the term “empathy” is favored by many, apparently because it is less religious sounding than the idea of loving our neighbor as ourself.  Although it is a good idea to empathize with others, is this idea really an improvement over teaching us to pro-actively love our neighbor as ourselves?

Is the Jesus version of the golden rule the best idea?  Does anybody else have a better idea for curing what ails a race called “human”?  Do we want less than the best for our children?  You decide.

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