Friday, December 23, 2005

The nature of nature.

Looking up into the depth of the sky I am forced to reminisce my own childhood. To my young and developing consciousness the sky was always a sight of beauty and majesty. The piercing blue of the sky the billowing puffy white clouds rolling overhead, shape shifting; the random flock of birds flying in an effortless phalanx, the sense of something wonderful, powerful, and majestic; the sense of nature.
I have always sensed the power and majesty of nature. I have never sensed super-nature as the theists claim. You can see nature, you can feel it, taste it, smell it, and revere it. Super-nature is unseen, not felt, tasteless, odorless, and unbelievable.
As a child nature is seen as something outside of comprehension, it eludes the child. The child asks, “Why is the sky blue?” “What are clouds?” “What is beyond the sky?” “What is space?” The child is a natural philosopher using the scientific method and inquiring into the nature of existence. The child is the epitome of scientific reductionism, they ask “What is a cloud?” when they receive the answer in some degree they ask “Why?” The child, like me, is attempting to understand the nature of nature, what is the nature of nature and why is the nature of nature.
The only difference between me, a child, and a theist would be in what way we conduct our inquiry into these matters. The child utilizes elder authority and knowledge, I utilize the scientific method and the various scientific fields, and the theist utilizes religious doctrines and dogma. I inquiry into the nature of nature through nature, using nature to help explain itself, the theist intercedes super-nature to explain nature. They compound the questions, “What is super-nature?” “Why is super-nature?” The theist is misguided and confused, the nature of nature isn’t super-nature it is nature.
Why is the sky blue? Because of nature. What are clouds? Nature. What is beyond the sky? Nature.
When looking at nature, its mysteries, and its complexities do not heed the urge to swallow easy, hollow answers. Do not fall for the theist’s magic trick; fight the ‘transcendental temptation’. When attempting to understand nature use nature, then and only then will the true beauty, wonder, and majesty be revealed to you; only then will you be able to comprehend the nature of nature.

Sunday, December 18, 2005


I recently came across a question regarding N.D.E’s (near death experiences).

“There have been people who die but then get their heart beat shocked back with shock paddles right? Well do these people know what happens when you die or is the mind still temporarily going and it turns out to be like sleep?” – Monko

My response:

“It is highly improbable that what these individuals claim to have experienced i.e. “seeing the bright light” or “seeing dead family members” is actually realistic. When a physical body dies, the heart ceases to pump blood to the brain hence the brain ceases to receive oxygen and then literally begins to suffocate. The brain under such duress will function for a while before it completely “dies”; this is one of the reasons that people can be brought back to life by having their heart electrically pumped back into action. While the brain is still “alive” it is under immense duress from the lack of oxygen and is subject to fairly bizarre phenomena; it is known that a lack of oxygen to the brain produces a sense of “transcendence” and that one will see a world of explicit bright light, ask anyone that has been on one of those space shuttle force simulators. After death there is ample evidence to believe that existence of self ceases to be. Consciousness seems to be intrinsically bound to the physical realm through the functioning of the brain, after death the brain will cease functioning and will decay altogether consciousness following suit. There can be no afterlife with out a physical body based on the current evidence and research produced by modern science through fields of psychology, physiology, and neuroscience. In short the brain will continue to run for a while after the heart has ceased pumping blood through the body; much like when you cut off a large electronic item quickly and the electric charge remaining within the component runs the item for a short time before finally running out of electricity and shutting down completely. So the mind still runs for a time after immediate death, however, any claim made by the individual after such an occurrence that they saw the bright lights of heaven or their dead loved ones should be considered the delirious superstition being ascribed to the trauma of a suffocating and dying brain.”

Monday, November 21, 2005

The soul and the spirit.

My definition of spirit and soul in people is as follows: the spirit is the inspiring principle or dominant influence, always natural in my view. The soul as I see it is roughly defined as the “inner self”, the “private I”; the soul is the emotional part of an individual or the essential part and is really an extension of ones conscious awareness and personality. I find inconclusive evidence of a “spiritual” part of a person in the sense that the soul or spirit is a phantom like specter that inhabits the human body and upon physical deterioration and death is then released into the spiritual world of either heaven or hell. Understanding these two words as I have laid out there is no need for a supernatural existence to justify them, you can understand them in very natural and humanistic terms; or if you wish you may also define them as very miraculous, unearthly, and supernatural, but taken as they are defined in the English language one is not forced to do so, one may even be led to the more naturalistic definition; for influence is found in the “real” world, example: when one is hungry one is then influenced by physiological urges to eat and nourish themselves, when one is poor one is then influenced by society and a demand of decent living standards to acquire a general education equipping one with the knowledge and capability to produce an increase in revenue. The soul and the spirit are items found exclusively within nature and can be seen as material, there is no necessity to ascribe supernatural attributes to these two items.

Is Atheism Dangerous?

A large number of people claim that atheism is damaging. “You must accept god!” they shout, “Without god, there’s debauchery.” They maintain that atheists are the pariahs of society intent on its destruction. In their eyes “godless infidels” are attacking government, religion, education, and the culture, hence the “culture war”. According to these views atheists are only content when actively destroying and manipulating all the over bearing goodness that religion has created. Do these claims coincide with reality? Do they have bearing in truth? Of coarse they don’t. Atheism is simply the belief that there is no god, and/or no supernatural entity. I claim there is no god, the religious cry “heresy” ironically enough heresy literally translates into “choice”. Having a choice is engaging in free will, do not the religious believe in free will? Having a choice has never hurt anyone, making the wrong choice is what causes damage. Atheism is merely the choice to posses ones own belief that there is no god. Not believing in the supernatural won’t hurt you, it won’t hurt others, and it won’t deter progress; as far as I’m concerned it is progress. So is atheism dangerous? I say no more than theism.

Friday, November 18, 2005

Why does religion prevail in the age of science?

It is now almost 2006 well into the new millennium and religion appears to be as strong as ever, certainly stronger with regards to religious extremism; christian fundamentalists like Pat Robertson, Jerry Fallwell, and James Dobson, or the plethora of muslim extremists seem to be on the rise. Presumptions and prophecies that religion would die in the age of reason and rationalism have obviously been mistaken. Well, why is this so? Why does religion persist despite having been proven wrong time and time again with regards to it’s inherent supernatural explanations of the universe and life? Along these lines and inquiries Richard Dawkins wrote an essay with insightful observation. In it he asks why religion has evolved with humans and persisted through out the generations.

“My specific hypothesis is about children. More than any other species, we survive by the accumulated experience of previous generations. Theoretically, children might learn from experience not to swim in crocodile-infested waters. But, to say the least, there will be a selective advantage to child brains with the rule of thumb: Believe whatever your grown-ups tell you. Obey your parents, obey the tribal elders, especially when they adopt a solemn, minatory tone. Obey without question………Natural selection builds child brains with a tendency to believe whatever their parents and tribal leaders tell them. And this very quality automatically makes them vulnerable to infection by mind viruses. For excellent survival reasons, child brains need to trust parents and trust elders whom their parents tell them to trust. An automatic consequence is that the “truster” has no way of distinguishing good advice from bad. The child cannot tell that “If you swim in the river you’ll be eaten by crocodiles” is good advice but “If you don’t sacrifice a goat at the time of the full moon, the crops will fail” is bad advice. They both sound the same. Both are advice from a trusted source, and both are delivered with a solemn earnestness that commands respect and demands obedience.”

So as Richard Dawkins illustrates in this small excerpt from one of his essays, religion persists as a sort of adaptive survival quality misfiring.

Evidence for Evolution

Evolution 1) is the gradual process by which something changes into a different and usually more complex or better form.
2) a) the process of developing b) gradual development
3) a) change in genetic composition of a population during successive generations, as a result of natural selection acting on the genetic variation among individuals, and resulting in the development of a new species. b) the historical development of a related group of organisms; phylogeny.
“In biology evolution is the process by which populations of organisms acquire and pass on novel traits from generation to generation, affecting the overall makeup of the population and even leading to the emergence of a new species.” –

I was intending on writing specific evidence for evolution that I have read, studied, or come across but I don't really have the time plus I found a great piece on the evidence for evolution on wikipedia and I’ll just use that for now to read use this link:

Opening statement

Religious faith and belief have a weight and substance that requires intelligent comprehension, understanding, and an obligated examination. One purview of this blog will be to interpose the various subjects related to religious faith and belief. However, the design of this blog will not only be offering the skeptics challenge to religious views and belief but offering a perspective from a secular humanist viewpoint and perspective. Following this statement is a greatly elongated “essay” on my individual humanist beliefs; I would greatly enjoy any response to it, however brief and hasty. I ask that you read through at least one of the points in it to respond, I dare not request the reading of it entirely.