REAL WORLD EVENT DISCUSSIONS

Random Life Observations

POSTED BY: ROCKETJOCK
UPDATED: Sunday, June 6, 2010 04:28
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Thursday, June 3, 2010 4:59 PM

ROCKETJOCK



In my fifty-odd years of life upon this globe, (and some of them have been very odd indeed, ) I have reached certain conclusions about the human condition. Apropos of absolutely nothing, I hereby offer a few of them.

1: Most people not only do not enjoy thinking, they actually find the process painful.

2: The average person prefers rules to morality, because you don’t have to think about rules.

3: Faith is an intuitive process, rather than a rational one. Thus, there is not now, nor has there ever been, any religion with a rational basis. (Note: I include my own religion in this assessment.)

4: If the only reason you do good is fear of punishment, you’re not doing it right!

5: Some fools think it’s possible to have a moral system without faith in a God who defines what is right and wrong. They probably think it’s possible to run a country without a divinely appointed king as well. Poor deluded bastards.

6: The vast majority of human beings follow whatever religion they do for the same reason they speak whatever language they do: because it was the first one they were exposed to. Relative merits have little or nothing to do with it.

7: The least untrue thing you can say about what comes after death is this: It’s going to be a surprise.

8: Everyone’s an asshole sometimes. Some of us just admit it.






"Sin is cruelty and injustice, all else is peccadillo." -- Robert A. Heinlein


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Friday, June 4, 2010 7:30 AM

DREAMTROVE


1. I know it happens, I don't know if it's most people.

2. Not where I live, but that might be an exception

3. I would agree on most religions, but not so sweeping, especially in the past. My chosen Tao te Ching is fairy rational, as are the vedic texts and Mayan codices. There's little reason in western religion, or indeed, most religions. The Christians of the post roman period, particularly monks, were very rational, so it's not a prohibition, it's just a style that does not fit ignorant masses.

4. I fear a world that thinks this way. I just was reading arthur brooks on charity and he makes the point that people lean towards positive productive behaviors early on in life, and family is the strongest guide towards that end, because of the immediate consequences apparent to not helping others.

5. Sorry, I have no god, I think he was created by religions that wanted to claim supreme authority by making god a member of their church, and then posting a bogus claim that he had created the idea. On the second part, I concur, a monarch is a better form of govt. The more that rule changes hands, the more the scum will float to the top. Keep those sands sifting real slowly and you stave of the ultimate Nietzschian dystopia.

6. Yes, and it goes further than that. They also adopt the first political perspective. 90% of politics is inherited, and most of the rest comes from teenage rebellion or a weight education system, which all falls unr either the second thing they encountered or the first well presented system they encountered. I'm an exception to this one, as a taoist rural farmer with a fifth grade education.

No argument on 7&8

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Friday, June 4, 2010 7:31 AM

DREAMTROVE


Pouble Dost

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Friday, June 4, 2010 7:40 AM

MINCINGBEAST


Either you are wise, or cunning enough to pass for wise, which is the same thing as wise because surfaces are the only thing that are real.

I do, however, dispute #1. Nobody thinks, ever, especially those who claim to. People feel, and react, and call it thought. Its not.

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Friday, June 4, 2010 7:41 AM

WULFENSTAR

http://youtu.be/VUnGTXRxGHg


In my limited time alive I have made a few observations that I hold still to be true..

1. People is stupid. A PERSON can be smart, but as a group? No.

2. A person can be great, kind, etc... But people in general are cruel, selfish, and misguided.

3. Religion and Science CAN co-exist. However, trying to prove or disprove God, is only for the greatest of idiots. Faith is faith, and thats the end of it.

But I would argue this: If YOU had to go back in time, and explain the atom bomb, computers, or how a cell phone works... how would you do it?

Now lets say you were the Creator and source of light in the multi-verse... How would you explain it to people who still struggled with farming?

Big Bang = Let There Be Light.

Just an idea.





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Friday, June 4, 2010 7:49 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


If god did not exist, it would be necessary for Man to invent him.
- Voltaire.

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Friday, June 4, 2010 7:51 AM

WULFENSTAR

http://youtu.be/VUnGTXRxGHg


If God did exist, man would learn to recognize Him. - Wulf

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Friday, June 4, 2010 7:59 AM

DREAMTROVE


Wulf

If you see idiots, look harder.
Sure, collectively, the people are confused because they don't communicate. They are beinng encouraged not to communicate. In this vein, television is the most insane invention outside the bomb. Inside the bomb, its too dark to read...

3/4 of people will help given a chance. This means some places are pretty fucked up.

Blind faith was sold by the people who patented god, to prevent god from ever being questioned. Our god was originally called the unnameable, a name which continues. The owners of god did not want to share the marketplace with other gods, or to have their god be under another god in a pantheon, the easiest way to do this was to stop calling god by name, then the followers could be led to believe that the god they worshiped was the unnameable god, and the owners of the unnameable god could then take them over. Now everyone worships him. The word God as such is Norse, and I suspect it is the same word as Goth, as D at the time was th in Norse, and the god were travelers from afar who came from the land of gods. Directly probably gothland Sweden, but originally I suspect Greece. Bunt the unnameable god has had many names, before he was represented by the tetragamon he was called Sin, and Sinai is named for him. I view this as more of a long term marketing campaign than an integral part of the universe.

The big bang is a creation myth. It has many patches so people csn pretend that it happened, but really it's the same creation myth, the old unnameable god is sick of being a religion, and wants to become a science, and perhaps a social science,

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Friday, June 4, 2010 8:04 AM

WULFENSTAR

http://youtu.be/VUnGTXRxGHg


You've been reading too much Neil Gaiman.

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Friday, June 4, 2010 10:07 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


1. I agree, tho’ I, too, wouldn’t say “most”...tho’ that may be my own unwillingness to believe that.

2. Again, I agree but wouldn’t say “the average person”; I would say a lot of people, and most of them high RWAs.

3. Definitely agree, and it explains my dislike of organized religion. Buddhism is a philosophy, not a religion, tho’ it’s treated as such, and requires no “faith” in a deity; ergo, it works for me.

4. Absofrigginlootely. Again, Buddhism has no “punishment”. We believe that if we’re self-aware, we KNOW what is right for the most part, and do it just because it IS right.

5. Leaving out “divinely appointed”, I disagree wholeheartedly. There is a vast difference between a “god” that rewards and punishes and a “king”. Not everyone wants to be self-aware and honest with themselves, or possesses a belief in behaving decently to others. That creates a necessity for laws and leaders. What we believe for OURSELVES and how we act out of those beliefs does not mean we don’t recognize that not all people share the same motivation, and that society needs to be protected from same. If people believe their king is “divinely appointed”, then I agree with the entire statement.

6. Far too often true, sadly. In this case, I DO agree with you about the word “most”, also sadly.

7. Absolutely.

8. I would say rather “everyone CAN BE an asshole”, we all have it within us. Some are strong enough to THINK assholish things but not act on them; in that respect, I agree with your last statement.

As to what others have said:

I agree with DT on #6 as to politics, and agree if it is categorized under “most”. I would add that political beliefs can be modified in time by learning and life circumstances, as I believe the exception to the “most” are people who change to another party (given the two-party system), but some go on to reject either party (or any other) as they grow and learn. One only has to look at the people on this forum, and my own example. My parents were Republican; what I saw was wrong to me and I became a Democrat. What I saw wrong with that “party” was wrong and I changed to Independent, yet what I have learned here has shown me I may have the most in common with Libertarians. It CAN be an evolution, when we choose to think and learn.

I disagree with Mincing. I think the CHOICE can be made to go beyond feelings and reactions, and some of us even find it enjoyable to do so, to share, be challenged, learn, debate, etc., all of which require thinking.

Wulf, I agree with you to a point...and IF there were a Creator, his trying to explain to us would be like (to take your analogy one step further) trying to explain a fountain pen to an ant.

Mike’s got it, in spades. There was a need for someone or something that would explain the mysteries early man encountered, make him feel someone or something beyond him was watching and would protect/reward/punish, in order to avoid the effort of self-knowledge, and would make him feel less vulnerable to the vagarities of life.

I agree with DT that
Quote:

Blind faith was sold by the people who patented god, to prevent god from ever being questioned.
; to go further would be wordy and include my own bias against organized religion, but I disagree with him on some of what else he said.


Hippie Operative Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
signing off


To our President: “Mr. President, you're a god damn, mother fucking liar. Fuck you, you cock sucking community activist piece of shit.... oh, go fuck yourself, Mr. President” ...Raptor

To Anthony, unquestionably the most civil person on this forum: “Go fuck yourself. On this matter, make no mistake. I want you to go fuck yourself long and hard, as well as anyone who agrees with you. I got no use for you. ...Raptor

To Frem: “You miserable piece of shit.” ...Raptor

To Niki: “My guess is it won't just be your ugly face you dislike.....Well, it's true......if you had a soul.” ...Raptor

...Remember, remember, the ugliest member...

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Friday, June 4, 2010 4:40 PM

ROCKETJOCK


Whew. What a great batch of responses. For those who agreed with me, thanks for the ego boost. For those who didn't, thanks for expanding my horizons.

One thing. I was too clever by half in the way I phrased #5, and I clearly forgot that there is no "sarcastic voice tone" font.

Thus, for the record:

I believe that it is perfectly possible to construct a positive moral system without a belief in a God or Gods. The idea that there can be no morality without a voice from above laying down a list of "do this/don't do that's" should have been left in History's ashcan a long time ago.

And as for the divine right of kings, I recall what a character in Leonard Wibberley's The Mouse that Roared had to say on the subject, to wit, (and not an exact quote): "I have seen no King placed upon a throne by the hand of Almighty God, but I have seen many ascend upon a mound of broken skulls."

"Sin lies only in hurting others unnecessarily. All other "sins" are invented nonsense." -- Robert A. Heinlein

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Friday, June 4, 2010 4:47 PM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


Quote:

4: If the only reason you do good is fear of punishment, you’re not doing it right!



And if the only reason you do good is hope of reward, you're still not doing it right!

Mike

On this matter, make no mistake. I want you to go fuck yourself long and hard, as well as anyone who agrees with you. I got no use for you. --Auraptor

This vile and revolting malice - this is their true colors, always has been, you're just seeing it without the mask of justifications and excuses they hide it behind, is all. Make sure to remember it once they put the mask back on. --Fremdfirma

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Saturday, June 5, 2010 7:31 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Well said, Rocket. However, if by "voice from above" you mean a leader, king, president, etc., I still believe it's necessary for humanity at the stage we're at now. If we ever evolve past this stage, tho'...

And by the way, I ADORE Mouse That Roared. I'm kind of a big fan of British humor, sometimes so subtle that many miss it, sometimes so blatant that some dismiss it. That was a perfect example, and I've never forgotten it!

I also agree with Mike on #4.




Hippie Operative Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
signing off


To our President: “Mr. President, you're a god damn, mother fucking liar. Fuck you, you cock sucking community activist piece of shit.... oh, go fuck yourself, Mr. President” ...Raptor

To Anthony, unquestionably the most civil person on this forum: “Go fuck yourself. On this matter, make no mistake. I want you to go fuck yourself long and hard, as well as anyone who agrees with you. I got no use for you. ...Raptor

To Frem: “You miserable piece of shit.” ...Raptor

To Niki: “My guess is it won't just be your ugly face you dislike.....Well, it's true......if you had a soul.” ...Raptor

...Remember, remember, the ugliest member...

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Saturday, June 5, 2010 8:48 AM

ROCKETJOCK


Yeah, by "voice from above" I mean some kind of God, Angel, or other hypothetical divine being handing down a list of things that are either forbidden or compulsory with no better justification than "Because I say so", no debate possible.

I got very tired a while back of some folk on this very site stating blandly that an Atheist can't be moral because we poor mortals can't know the difference between good and evil without God spelling it out for us. I've known some Atheists in my time, and most were quite upright, moral and ethical. (Some assholes too, of course. See #8, above.)

It struck me that the sort of person who believes you can't suss out right and wrong without a a voice of authority spelling everything out isn't so much worried about what is or isn't good or evil as they are about being safe, obeying the rules. That's what #4 (and Mike's corollary to same) are all about.

Putting it plainly, while I think I would trust the voice of God (or The Gods) if I heard it directly, what I've always heard in this world is the voice of mortals claiming to speak for the divine. If you buy into that, history shows that you're setting yourself up to be led into some pretty dark places.

Myself, the first building block I'd use in building a personal moral code is what L. Neil Smith calls the "Non-aggression Principle." Paraphrased, this states that no one has the right to initiate violence--but that once violence has been initiated, both the victim and any observers have not only the right, but the duty to respond in kind. To do otherwise is to encourage aggression and gives the initiator the upper hand. Not perfect, and not complete in and of itself, but a decent starting place, IMHO.



"Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent." -- Robert A. Heinlein

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Saturday, June 5, 2010 9:07 AM

NIKI2

Gettin' old, but still a hippie at heart...


Oh, Rocket, you just pegged in a few sentences why I have my bias against organized religion. Bang on.

I agree with the last two; my moto tries to be "Harm none, do as ye will". Hard sometimes, but it's what I TRY to remember!


Hippie Operative Nikita Nicovna Talibani,
signing off


To our President: “Mr. President, you're a god damn, mother fucking liar. Fuck you, you cock sucking community activist piece of shit.... oh, go fuck yourself, Mr. President” ...Raptor

To Anthony, unquestionably the most civil person on this forum: “Go fuck yourself. On this matter, make no mistake. I want you to go fuck yourself long and hard, as well as anyone who agrees with you. I got no use for you. ...Raptor

To Frem: “You miserable piece of shit.” ...Raptor

To Niki: “My guess is it won't just be your ugly face you dislike.....Well, it's true......if you had a soul.” ...Raptor

...Remember, remember, the ugliest member...

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Saturday, June 5, 2010 11:07 AM

HKCAVALIER


Quote:

1: Most people not only do not enjoy thinking, they actually find the process painful.
It pains me that this sort of thinking is so common. At best, I see this as a half-truth. More precisely, I believe it isn't the process of thinking that causes the pain, but the subject matter, a.k.a.: reality. Yes, people avoid thinking to avoid pain, but the pain comes from encountering reality on its own terms, and thinking/reasoning is our principal interface with reality. It's how we encounter reality as such. As long as happiness is equated with comfort, or "feeling no pain," people will avoid pain by avoiding interacting meaningfully with it (a.k.a.: thinking).

It's ironic to me that folks who say that "most people are stupid" and the like, are really suffering from the same trouble you describe here. Thinking about other people's lives thoroughly, seeing the whole picture of what they're up against, how they suffer, how they've been damaged, is too painful--much easier to just write them off as stupid, not worth one's concern. Judgement is a favorite method of stopping the thinking and feeling process dead in its tracks.

The truth is: we all find thinking deeply, thinking seriously, thinking unjudgementally a painful thing to do. Some of us, poor deluded bastards, just choose to go ahead and think anyway.

Quote:

2: The average person prefers rules to morality, because you don’t have to think about rules.
Pretty much the same deal as #1: Morality is a way of thinking about reality and rules are a way of side-stepping reality in favor of someone else's thinking. Much easier and quicker to just follow rules than to take the time to determine whether or not a given rule squares with the dictates of reality. Also, adhering to rules avoids doubt and anxiety, two MAJOR consequences of critical thinking.
Quote:

3: Faith is an intuitive process, rather than a rational one. Thus, there is not now, nor has there ever been, any religion with a rational basis. (Note: I include my own religion in this assessment.)
I gotta quibble with the use of the word "intuitive" to describe faith. It's your intuition that tells you the seemingly "harmless" man asking for help "finding his dog" is not to be trusted. It's not mumbo-jumbo, it's just processing an unbelievably vast amount of input subconsciously and registering it consciously as "get away from this guy!" It's not deliberative, but it's not irrational.

Faith, on the other hand, is specifically non-rational or anti-rational: despite the information of my senses to the resoundingly contrary, I will have faith. Put it nicely and you might call it "wishful thinking" but you could just as well call it "denial." It's tricky, though, 'cause you wanna be optimistic, but you also want to be discerning. It's a balancing act. In my experience, "intuition" is definitely on the "discerning" side of the scale. The major religions, for whatever reason, oppose discernment in matters of dogma and tend to label individual "intuition" heresy if its conclusions don't coincide with "God's word."

Intuition helps us navigate ambiguous circumstances, whereas faith drives ambiguity out of the equation.

Quote:

4: If the only reason you do good is fear of punishment, you’re not doing it right!
Indeed! Punishment and reward are fundamentally disempowered, childish motivations. Someone "up there" is gonna give me a cookie or give me a spanking. But for truly bad men that spanking never seems to come and for a lot of us fighting the good fight, that cookie is long overdue!
Quote:

5: Some fools think it’s possible to have a moral system without faith in a God who defines what is right and wrong. They probably think it’s possible to run a country without a divinely appointed king as well. Poor deluded bastards.
Hear, hear. I think it's kinda inneresting that you invert this one in sarcasm. I think you're voicing a way of thinking we all find within our own minds at one time or another. How often have you called yourself a "fool" for sticking to your own sense of right and wrong?
Quote:

6: The vast majority of human beings follow whatever religion they do for the same reason they speak whatever language they do: because it was the first one they were exposed to. Relative merits have little or nothing to do with it.
This is a very sad truth, among sad truths. I've come to realize that breaking with tradition, whether it's painting Easter Eggs or beating your wife and children, is an act of heroism and more than I can ask of anyone, really. Heroism is applauded and we all marvel at it when we see it in others. But if you're in a situation that requires heroism just to be a moral person, if your circumstances are so brutal and demoralizing, how can I judge you for making the safe choices that ensure your survival? No one became a brute without being brutalized, one way or another. When people look for comfort above all else, then they will make even safer choices and recoil more and more from anything that would move them out of their comfort zones let alone anything remotely heroic.
Quote:

7: The least untrue thing you can say about what comes after death is this: It’s going to be a surprise.
The same could be said of life, if we all paid attention and chose truth over comfort.
Quote:

8: Everyone’s an asshole sometimes. Some of us just admit it.
This sounds a little too complacent on the face of it. "Hey, everyone's an asshole, so what's the big deal if I squash a few folk?" Everyone, has been, at some point, an asshole. Everyone has impulses to engage in assholery, but everyone has the capacity to choose not to act on such impulses.

But yes, it's crucially important to mental and spiritual hygiene to fess up when we've been an asshole, so our inner-asshole doesn't get the wrong idea about who's running the show.


Thanks RocketJock, for choosing to share your thoughts with us here, and not being an asshole about it.

HKCavalier

Hey, hey, hey, don't be mean. We don't have to be mean, because, remember, no matter where you go, there you are.

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Sunday, June 6, 2010 4:28 AM

KWICKO

"We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false." -- William Casey, Reagan's presidential campaign manager & CIA Director (from first staff meeting in 1981)


More Life Observations:



Mike

On this matter, make no mistake. I want you to go fuck yourself long and hard, as well as anyone who agrees with you. I got no use for you. --Auraptor

This vile and revolting malice - this is their true colors, always has been, you're just seeing it without the mask of justifications and excuses they hide it behind, is all. Make sure to remember it once they put the mask back on. --Fremdfirma

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