MENTAL EVOLUTIONfrom turning Christian in early 1971 to the present
After I turned Christian, my thoughts were jumbled and irrational, because rationality was the enemy of my faith. It remained like that until I started learning critical thinking from Christian apologists.
|1972||He who is not grounded in the Word shall be floored in the fellowship.|
|1974||Some truth is not worth the price of understanding it.|
|1977||Formality for the sake of appearance is hypocritical. Formality for the sake of obedience is not.|
|1978||Is there a place in the Kingdom of God where questions don't exist? Would I be allowed to live there? Would I like it if I did?|
|1978||I would rather die with unrealistic ideals than survive in a meaningless reality. But to go on living with unrealistic ideals is intolerable.|
|1982||The Kingdom of God is built out of the ambitions of forgiven thieves.|
|1982||The most blatant of all liars is he who believes his lie to be for the glory of God.|
|1985||The pretense of knowing God. Is life worth so great a lie? Or is life doomed without it?|
|1986||Nothing produces spiritual changes faster than the anticipation of death.|
|1986||Spiritual growth is fastest in an atmosphere of uncertainty.|
|1987||Bullshit is anesthetic. Without that anesthetic, the horror of reality is unbearable.|
|1987||Spiritual maturity is getting your priorities straight and keeping them straight under pressure.|
|1987||Better to adopt those values which will ultimately lead to satisfaction, and allow yourself enough hypocrisy to live with them, than to adopt those values which will ultimately lead to torment, and adhere to them with perfect integrity.|
|1987||Christians love to admit they are sinners, but hate to admit they are selfish.|
|1987||Requirements of God must take precedence over requirements of personal integrity. Otherwise intelligent beings would annihilate each other over conflicting ideologies.|
|1987||Better to be in God's will and unhealthy, than to be out of God's will and healthy.|
|1987||If you act in accordance with what you believe, you will find out if what you believe is true. If you don't act in accordance with what you believe, you may go thru your entire life believing lies and never know it.|
|1987||When God chooses to communicate, any idiot can understand Him.
When God is not communicating, many idiots will put words in His mouth.
|1987||The only religious act I can perform without hypocrisy is service.|
|1988||PRIME OBJECTIVE: to find out from personal experience:
1. that God pays off on His promises.
2. that life is worthwhile within the perimeter of His rules.
|1988||Submitting to the lordship of Christ is like submitting to brainwashing. Truth, reality, and sanity are being redefined.|
|1988||The only way universal peace can be established is by voluntarily submitting to whatever government has the most legitimate claim to supremacy.|
|1988||Most scripture was never designed to guide the spiritually minded, but to restrain the carnally minded.|
|1989||You don't read a billboard with a microscope.|
|1989||Nothing is so obvious that it can't be ignored for the sake of sound theology.|
|1989||Life is not worth living in the kingdom of any god who doesn't make life worth living.|
|1990||Being right is not enough. No matter how obviously correct I am, people will ignore the truth of what I say unless they see benefit in it for themselves.|
|1990||Are they truly seeking answers? Or are they just reciting ritualized questions for the sake of religious catharsis?|
|1990||They said, "you can't out-give God." Bullshit! God can be out-given by anyone who is fool enough to try.|
|1992||Tip to rescuers: A few people stay rescued after you rescue them. Most just keep coming back for more rescuing.|
|1992||I can live with a God who is a benevolent liar. But I can't live with a God who is an honest slave driver.|
|1992||If you have to become what you hate in order to get what you want, even if you get it, you paid too much.|
|1993||If you "seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness," be careful. There is no marker at the point of no return.|
|1994||Anyone who thinks submitting to a spiritually tyrannical God will save your soul doesn't know soul from Shinola.|
|1994||Socrates once said, "The unexamined life is not worth living." The bastard never told us the examined life isn't worth anything either.|
|1994||Consistency is a hobgoblin only to small minds.|
|1994||A change of spiritual location is often accompanied by illness.|
|1994||Apparently God can live with all manner of repentant scum, but can't tolerate honest disagreement on matters of principle.|
|1995||Christianity is submitting to voluntary slavery for the goal of a satisfaction that may not exist, but sure as hell doen't exist anywhere else.|
|1995||When one is logically forced to conclude something intuitively unacceptable, one must either conclude that a premise is incorrect or abandon common sense.|
|1995||God has a long established tradition of doing what He's never done before.|
|1995||There is no such thing as liberty and justice for all. Liberty for all means some are deprived of justice. Justice for all means some are deprived of liberty.|
|1995||It's more honorable to go to hell with integrity than go to heaven without it.|
|1996||If I can't talk straight and make it in life - fuck life.|
|1996||The purpose of theory is to explain experience, not to force a reinterpretation of it.|
|1996||Don't ask me who I'm voting for, when I don't even know if I'm voting for God.|
|1996||Familiarity breeds contempt only when at least one of the parties is worthy of it.|
|1996||I'd rather be a happy dog than an unhappy god.|
|1996||Mercy is a counterbalance to law, not to justice. Mercy is necessary to achieve justice, only because law is imperfect. When justice is perfect, mercy is unjust.|
|1997||Talking straight attracts the people I want to attract, and repels the people I want to repel.|
|1997||Truth seekers always clarify issues. Salesmen & lawyers clarify when they are right, and obscure when they are wrong. Politicians & theologians always obscure, because anything they say that's clear can be used against them later. Professional philosophers complicate issues in order to expand simple statements into books.|
|1997||What is a man profited if he gains the whole kingdom of God and loses his integrity?|
|1997||I was at a Unity meeting. They sang, "Let there be peace on Earth and let it begin with me." I thought, "Let truth prevail if it kills every one of us."|
|1997||No matter how obviously right I am, people rarely agree with me. But they often end up saying the same things I say, as though they thought of it.|
|1998||I fear God, but not as much as I fear the possibility that God may be unjust. An unjust God is not worth fearing, even if He roasts you in hell forever.|
|1998||Spiritual pride is an unavoidable consequence of the knowledge that you are doing your best. If you're not proud, you could be doing better, and you know it. (But if you are proud, it may be for dumb reasons.)|
|1998||Admitting evil, no matter how dishonorable, is more honorable than masking evil.|
|1998||Any God salesman is probably a liar. Even if he is honest, his God is probably a liar. But you either trust God, and risk being cheated, or make the best of nihilism.|
|1998||The only pleasure that doesn't cost more than it's worth is food - unless you're fat.|
|1998||Faith is not the substance of anything. It is the simple decision to gamble. It is identified in what is bet on, and measured in how much is risked.|
|1998||How typical of Biblical inerrantists to deny the existence of common sense, non-statistical probability, and burden of proof! Do they plan to spend eternity evading the obvious in favor of conclusions logically forced from their fear based premises? How I do hate living in a world where such people are the most logical company I can find!|
|1998||The church encourages Christians to lie. e.g. to sing words they don't mean, to claim knowledge they don't have, to pretend to think what they don't think, to express emotions they don't feel, and to justify it all under the banner of attitude. Yet somehow God seems to prefer their lies to my loveless honesty.|
|1998||"I can't possibly be making a bad argument, because I've stated many that I'm opposed to bad arguments." (This is satire, in case you haven't figured it out.)|
|1998||If eternal damnation were just, why would God create a world full of creatures who all think it's unjust except for a minority of those who believe Him? Why would He create us with values which are in conflict with His own?|
|1998||Theists are likely to be more honest than atheists in business because theists fear God. Theists are likely to be dishonest about their experience of God for the same reason.|
|1998||Science is neutral. It takes a religion to oppose a religion.|
|1998||Exceptions don't prove rules. Exceptions prove exceptions.|
|1998||When appearance conflicts with revelation, I can choose to trust revelation, but I cannot help thinking that appearance is probably correct.|
|1998||EGOCENTRIC GOLDEN RULE: Behave in a manner that makes you worthy of the life you want. If there's justice, you'll get it. If not, nothing matters anyway.|
|1998||Despair is better than futile hope. Why? - because it kills you quicker.|
|1998||No one can be trusted to tell you the truth about God - no man, no institution, no book, not even what appears to be God Himself. You either find out by personal experience, or remain ignorant.|
|1998||I cannot be what I think God wants me to be. I can fake it, but I can't be it. I think God wants me to fake it. And I'm refusing without apology. I will not build my eternal life on a lie - not even a God-authorized lie.|
|1998||There appears to be a serious conflict between the God who created my concept of good & evil and the God who reveals Himself to me. If no actual conflict exists, I pray for correction. If the conflict is real, I choose the former God.|
|1998||Truth is nobody's primary value. Worthwhile life is everybody's primary value. Truth matters only in so much as it is necessary to get to worthwhile life and stay there. Let anyone who claims to love truth acknowledge that this is truth.|
|1998||Seeking truth is different from defending what you believe to be true.|
|1998||He who loves lies. He who doesn't lie doesn't love. God is no exception.|
|1998||Faith is perception distorted by emotion.
Faith at its best is inductive reasoning based on data selected by emotion.
Faith at its worst is assumption based on emotion.
Faith is training wheels for those who haven't figured it out.
Faith is a condom for horny minds who fear catching nihilism.
|1998||If a principle you assert belies a principle by which you operate, you are either asserting an untruth, or behaving hypocritically or both.|
|1999||There are no divinely authorized lies. But there is a divinely authorized church which authorizes lies.|
|1999||Where truth is terrifying, the pursuit of truth is social exile. Truth ceases to be frightening when one realizes that fearing it is stupid.|
|1999||Eternal damnation is no reason to fear an unjust God. But fear of eternal damnation is the greatest blessing a world of criminals could ask for.|
|1999||A just God would never punish anyone for what he believes or fails to believe, but neither would He allow into a community committed to justice anyone who is not committed to justice.|
|1999||If you seek a righteous God, then act in a manner worthy of a righteous God.
Only those who are willing to defy an unrighteous God are worthy of a righteous God.
[Oct. 2010: I now believe the second statement to be wrong.]
|1999||The God of an inerrant Bible cannot possibly exist, because he inspired the appearance of errors, but is not the author of confusion.|
|1999||When the truth or falsity of any given proposition is discernible by personal experience, the contradictory testimony of other people, no matter how great their number or credentials, is irrelevant.|
|2000||The only necessary trinity: Creator - middle management - us|
|2000||The Kingdom of God is like a sausage. If you want to partake of it, don't ask how it was made.|
|2001||What kind of God would program noble values into a person, and then bully him into sycophancy?|
|2002||Only an evil god would allow his creation's good & evil evaluator to become corrupt and then judge him by an uncorrupted standard. A righteous god would judge his creature by the creature's standard, and change that standard if he doesn't like it.|
|2002||KNOWLEDGE: that faculty by which a mind accepts the existence of truth, and its own ability to distinguish it from non truth.|
|2002||Humility is not a virtue. It is a social expedient to facilitate solicitation.|
|2002||Believe the lies that feed you? I prefer to starve.|
|2002||The God you serve is the God you deserve.|
|2002||The most popular compensation for lack of integrity is a good attitude. I don't do attitudes; I do ethics.|
|2002||Emotional attachment to the truth or falsity of any proposition hinders ones judgment of the truth or falsity of that proposition.|
|2002||Optimism and pessimism are both deviations from realism. And realism is the only ism that's realistic.|
|2002||Truth seekers never complicate issues. If in any dispute, you find that you are introducing unnecessary complications, you are not seeking the truth in that issue.|
|2002||Knowledge of truth is frightening. If you don't desire it more than you fear it, there is no reason to pursue it.|
|2002||Context according to inerrantists:
You have to look at enough of the context to allow enough ambiguity of the passage in question to permit the possibility of the desired interpretation.
|2003||No matter how stupid their faith is, if you kick the props out from under it without offering something better in its place, you're just a child molester.|
|2003||Part of being a good philosopher is refraining from the pretense of knowing more than you know. But if you do that, you will never get a job teaching philosophy - in my opinion.|
|2003||The main distinction between a truth seeker and a religionist is that when a particular truth cannot be known, nor statistical probability ascertained, a truth seeker will choose common sense probability, and a religionist will choose to err on the side of perceived safety.|
|2003||Nothing is so clear that a good philosopher can't find a way to misunderstand it. If I speak clearly enough for anyone with common sense to understand me, they will object to some vagueness or ambiguity in my terms. If I define my terms and speak precisely, it will be so tedious that no normal person could understand me, much less a philosopher.|
|2003||Philosophy is the effort to discover truth. It is achieved by applying critical thinking to personal experience. The effort to figure out what other philosophers are saying is philosophy only if it is an effort to figure out if they are right, which is achieved by critical thinking. The effort to be conversant in the opinions of philosophers is meta-philosophy.|
|2003||If you have to pretend to be what you're not in order to sustain a relationship, it is only a matter of time before that relationship costs more than it is worth. Relationship with God is no exception.|
|2003||It is evil to create evil. If you create free will beings, some of them will become evil. The only way to create free will beings without becoming evil is to influence them such that the good they do outweighs the evil. Such influence will necessarily be in the form of reward & punishment.|
|2003||Logic cannot tell you that logic is reliable, because logic tells you that circular reasoning is unreliable. You need common sense to tell you logic is reliable.|
|2003||Communication about objective reality is possible only within that set of parameters on which the communicants agree.|
|2003||Personal beings are all by nature frustrated. They want more than they have. The Supreme Being is no exception.|
|2003||There are some things so obvious that only a fool or a philosopher can fail to see them.|
|2003||The right to do any particular thing implies the right to do anything that is necessary to do that thing. But it does not imply the right to do similar things, greater things, or even lesser things.|
|2003||I was conversing with my ass this morning. Once again it reminded me that despite my lofty ideals, I am still basically a digestive tube.|
|2003||"Sinner saved by grace" is a decent way to begin an eternal life. But no God would finance it, and no sentient creature would want to remain in it very long. Christianity may have been designed by God to be intellectually repugnant, so that intellectuals would outgrow it.|
|2003||Principles necessarily come into conflict unless prioritized. Even then they sometimes produce unjust results unless tempered by an outside factor such as common sense.|
|2003||There are some who measure faith by the stupidity of the belief rather than the amount invested in it.|
|2003||A person who is offended by the non-threatening content of another person's honest expression deserves to be offended.|
|2003||Any truth, no matter how obvious, is easily obscured by one whose world view is threatened by it.|
|2004||I have never liked being alone. But if I must be alone, I prefer to be alone by myself.|
|2004||I? Swallow a camels? But look how many gnats I've strained!|
|2004||The fact that your worldview gives you a knowledge claiming license does not imply that you actually know what your worldview allows you to claim to know.|
|2004||A philosopher's best friend is his most competent opponent.|
|2004||There ought to be a connection between "is" and "ought", but there isn't.|
|2004||If your quality of life is better than you deserve, you will adjust to it either by losing your undeserved benefits, or losing your taste for justice.|
|2004||The vagueness of a category's boundaries does not negate its existence. Vagueness merely raises a question as to the inclusion or exclusion of some things as members.|
|2004||When the truth or falsity of a given proposition cannot be known, and there is insufficient data to judge probabilities, and you must act as though it is true or false, then its truth or falsity should be judged pragmatically.|
|2004||The truth or falsity of any given proposition is:
1. totally independent of the purpose for which it is said.
2. unaffected by the consequences of saying it, no matter how pleasant or unpleasant those consequences may be.
3. irrelevant to those whose decisions would remain the same either way.
|2005||The God who created you is at least as wise as you are. If you find yourself worshipping a God who is not as wise as you are, assume not that you should dumb down to accommodate Him, but rather that you should wise up.|
|2005||To have faith in a proposition is to abandon the effort to seek the truth of that proposition.|
|2005||The truth or falsity of any declarative statement remains unaffected by the purpose for which it is made.|
|2005||When God Himself appears to be challenging your theological premises, He may be trying to correct them, and He may be testing your resolve. You don't know which. The Bible tells us to hold fast to what we have been taught. I say it is better to admit what you honestly believe, pray for correction, and see what happens.|
|2005||Nothing is so epistemologically inescapable that it cannot be overruled by emotion.|
|2005||Faith in any lie is better than nihilism, but only until its falsity is exposed. Faith in an exposed lie is worse than nihilism.|
|2006||I really enjoy doing righteous stuff that doesn't cost me anything.|
|2006||The best literary criticism is not necessarily the harshest, but it is almost always the most irritating.|
|2006||I hate being a Christian like I hate being a Republican. In both cases, they are just the least disgusting of the available options.|
|2007||There are two kinds of people in the world - those who divide the world into two kinds of people, and those who don't. If you deny that there are two kinds of people in the world, you may be rational. But if you deny that people can be divided into two categories, you're wrong.|
|2007||We all act in our own self interest. Our only moral differences are in what we believe to be in our best interest, and the amount of delay we are willing to tolerate before gratification.|
|2007||Love and loyalty are often euphemisms for an exchange of unjust favors.|
|2007||I can become a good person simply by choosing to. But to remain a good person without becoming a sanctimonious asshole is beyond my ability.|
|2007||I can be tortured into the pretense of loving my torturer. But until then, I am resolved to talk straight and take what comes of it. I have yet to see a God I love.|
|2007||About 3 decades ago, I adopted a policy of, "talk straight and take what comes of it." If I had not adopted that policy I never could have written Abram. Now that I've written it, I don't intend to abandon that policy in order to sell it.|
|2007||Abram: Saying something that people don't yet know they need to hear. I'm trying to sell a cure to people who don't know they're diseased. It's hard to persuade people to take a step toward sanity when they think they're already sane.|
|2007||In politics, when you find all the parties disgusting, you can always register as an independent. In religion, I have not found God to be so accommodating. For this reason alone, I'm Christian.|
|2007||I'd rather be sanctimonious than unethical. I've found no third alternative.|
|2007||For all I know, there may be people living today who like Shakespeare. But I am certain that there are people who pretend to like Shakespeare just to impress other people who pretend to like Shakespeare.|
|2007||If you think you probably should do X, then you necessarily should do X, even if the end result of X shows that you should not have done X. Epistemological "should" is unrelated to ontological "should".|
|2007||Failure to do a sufficient amount of good deeds makes you feel evil. Doing a sufficient amount of good deeds makes you feel righteous. Exceeding that amount makes you feel stupid.|
|2007||My regret at offending those who don't deserve it is generally outweighed by the joy of offending those who do.|
|2007||Switched from Republican to independent. I just wish God offered such an option.|
|2007||I'm a Goldwater Christian: I'd rather be right than saved.|
|2007||The 2 basic choices of sentient life are nihilism or non-nihilism. Morally conscious persons prefer non-nihilism, which requires faith in a particular explanation of how it is the case. But once a morally conscious person figures out that non-nihilism is the only sensible bet, no faith is required to bet on it and all of its pre-requisites - primarily a just God. Faith in a particular explanation is epistemologically unnecessary, but so far, I've found it spiritually necessary. i.e. Refraining from commitment causes unacceptable stress.|
|2007||Allying with a faction requires either a lot of moral certitude or a lot of self interest.|
|2007||Faith in any particular thing should be a theory to be tested, not a lifetime commitment to be clung to regardless of its consequences.|
|2007||Rules don't bend. People bend in order to break them without calling it what it is.|
|2007||Religion at its best is a search for the least stupid alternative to nihilism.|
|2007||Never put anything in your shirt pocket that will cause you distress if it falls out when you lean over to flush a toilet.|
|2007||There is an important difference between truth seekers and lie exposers. Truth seekers look for truth. Lie exposers look for lies.|
|2007||Truth seekers, question lovers, and argument lovers are all separate categories. When they overlap, it is only coincidental.|
|2007||It's not easy to overcome one's fear of an evil God, and still maintain proper respect for the God with whom one must deal.|
|2007||No need to argue. Just get right, stay right, keep saying right stuff, and wait till people catch on.|
|2008||A less correct theory that you can relate to is often more beneficial than a more correct theory that you can't relate to.|
|2008||A man once told me he was trying to understand my position. But our discourse revealed that he was just trying to fit it into a category he already understood, even after it was shown to be outside those categories.|
|2008||Any creature that is going to be rewarded or punished for its behavior has an inalienable right to have its behavior corrected if it asks for correction.|
|2008||The kind of men who say, "all men are pigs," actually are pigs who try to justify being pigs by saying all men are like them.|
|2008||Proven existence of a pattern does not prove it continues beyond where it is proven to exist.|
|2008||If I did everything I should do before starting, I could never start.|
|2008||I will not be bound by the childish concept of God required by my ancestors, or by any of the adolescent attempts to upgrade that childish concept. My Creator designed me to think, and I will think without apology. But there remains that invisible line, the other side of which is error, and some errors are costly. I need correction from outside. I assume that asking God for such correction is sufficient. It appears to have worked so far.|
|2008||Possibly I'm prejudiced, but it appears that among all the Semites, the Jews are the only ones with a sense of humor.|
|2008||If doing good does not ultimately benefit the doer of it, there is ultimately no reason to do it.|
|2008||Justice is, and should be, dependent on economics. No person, community, or nation should be required to grant any individual more justice than it is worth to those who pay for the legal system that provides it.|
|2008||Nothing screws up a person's sense of justice more than faith in an unjust God.|
|2008||The worst thing about being perfectly correct is that by the time the world figures it out, you'll probably be dead.|
|2008||Most people start out as truth-seekers. But they drop out one by one as they see what it's going to cost them.|
|2008||People who want to know truth can learn to figure out anything figureoutable. People who don't want to know truth cannot be forced to recognize even the most obvious elements of it.|
|2008||No one would ever be disillusioned if lying bastards didn't fill them full of illusions in the first place.|
|2008||Nothing is more expensive than integrity - mine, not theirs.|
|2008||If you desire a better deal than you deserve, then you deserve to live in a world full of people who desire a better deal than they deserve.|
|2008||Scripture is necessary to tell us that there is historical evidence of a God. But faith in that God does not imply faith in scripture as the inspired Word of that God.|
|2008||Existence is ontologically more important than justice, because justice needs existence in order to exist. Justice is axiologically more important than existence, because existence without justice is worse than non-existence.|
|2008||Sincere believers in God must learn to interpret scripture such that they are not obligated to do the evil things scripture appears to be telling them to do.|
|2008||I don't talk about the Quran much because there are too many fools who react irrationally when the Quran is talked about rationally. Any Muslim who reacts irrationally to that statement proves it.|
|2008||I don't care what you think unless I think you can help me think more correctly - or unless I think you have the sense to let me help you think more correctly. That means I don't care what most people think.|
|2008||Conservatives confuse tradition with ethics and law with justice. This causes liberals to put equality above ethics and love above justice.|
|2008||I can live without love a lot easier than I can live without justice.|
|2008||"Seek, and you will find," is necessarily true. "Seek X, and you will find X," is not necessarily true.|
|2008||My message is anti-bullshit. And I can't find anyone to help me sell it except professional bullshitters. They keep offering me advice on how to be a better whore.|
|2008||You can't know more than your epistemology allows you to know. The best epistemology allows you to know all that is knowable without allowing you to think you know anything you don't know.|
|2008||August 18: Jesus has just told me to shift my focus from correctness to cooperative effort with other Christians. This will be interesting because other Christians are so terribly incorrect.|
|2008||I can't make anyone more correct, but I can help them become as correct as they want to be. Of course, if they are already as correct as they want to be, there's no point in talking.|
|2008||Wrong beliefs are challenged by circumstances more often than correct beliefs are challenged.
Stupid beliefs are challenged by other people more often than intelligent beliefs are challenged.
|2008||There are no levels of honesty. There are, however, levels of dishonesty.|
|2008||The only requirements for human knowledge to exist, and logic to be reliable are a Supreme Being in whose mind knowledge & logic reside, and that this Being is either identical to or in agreement with the God who created mankind, and that the God who created mankind jumpstarted the connection between brain cells and knowledge.|
|2008||Two kinds of people are worth my social time: those who can teach me something, and those whom I can teach something.|
|2008||There's a big difference between knowing truth and learning to parrot authority figures. Most people learn to parrot authority figures, and pass it off as knowing truth. Truth is known by applying critical thinking to personal experience.|
|2008||Blacks are the new Jews. Hispanics are the new blacks. Women are the new men. How come white men are still the assholes?|
|2008||If you want truthiness, nothing feels truthier than Gospel Truth. If you want truth, forget about how it feels.|
|2008||I would rather deserve good things and not have them, than have good things and not deserve them.|
|2008||All emotions and emotion based mindsets impair probability judgment.
Emotion based mindsets include: optimism & pessimism, faith & cynicism.
|2008||You cannot be liked and right in the land of the wrong.|
|2008||There are people who know how to talk integrity, but don't recognize it when they see it. I can only hope I'm not one of them.|
|2008||Evidence of a possibility doesn't imply evidence of a probability.|
|2008||It doesn't matter what the meaning of life is. We can't possibly know it, so we have to place a bet. I choose to bet on justice, not because it appears to exist, but because life is disgusting without it.|
|2008||Prov. 14:12 There is a way which seems right to a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death.|
My response: If, in order to live, a man must abandon what seems right, what good is living?
But I admit that the best philosophical position may not be in one's best interest.
|2008||Don't read between the lines until you've read the lines.|
|2008||An ideal world can exist only in the realm of idea. Even God can't make one in extension.|
|2008||All other things being equal, it is moral to kill one person in order to save two people. Morality is subject to arithmetic.|
|2009||Humor is an alternate way of looking at what would otherwise be stupid, tragic, or disgusting.|
|2009||If I read something about God, I won't know if it's true until I verify it by experience. So I might as well just experiment.
If I read some convoluted reasoning, I won't know if it's true until I figure it out. So I might as well just figure stuff out.
|2009||Relationship with God starts with religion. But it doesn't stay there.|
|2009||Tell them what they want to hear, and you get rich.
Tell them what they need to hear, and you get ignored.
|2009||Under a just system, worthwhile life is possible only for just people.
Under an unjust system, worthwhile life is possible only for unjust people.
|2009||When a paradigm makes no logical sense, there's a wrong premise, either in the paradigm or in my mind.|
|2009||When two descriptions or definitions differ only in precision, the more precise is the more accurate. But precision itself does not imply accuracy.|
|2009||When failure to make sense is the point of the joke, and the joke is funny, you are not far from nihilism.|
|2009||Statements exist that are perfectly clear and obviously true. But no statement is so clear or obvious that it cannot be challenged by someone who wants to challenge it. Such people will surely challenge any defense of that statement, and are likely to do so ad nauseam.|
|2009||Failure to be believed is no reason to quit speaking the truth. But it is sufficient reason to abandon a stupid audience.|
|2009||Truth seekers pursue conclusions. Truth avoiders pursue tangents.|
|2009||If you'd rather be safe than right, you're neither.|
|2009||I don't need to know what a person deserves in order to know that I want him to get what he deserves.|
|2009||A Christian friend once asked, "Why are Christians stupid?" I propose it's because God designed Christianity for stupid people, knowing that the smart people would figure it out.|
|2009||Philosophy has been hijacked by theorists, and must be taken back by truth seekers who just figure out what's true and don't need to justify it with a theory.|
|2009||No person, including me, cares intrinsically about truth and/or justice. We all care about getting what we want. Those of us who care about truth and/or justice care about it extrinsically, because we believe we can't ultimately get what we want apart from the confines of truth and justice.|
|2009||Good & evil are not hard to figure out once you decide to figure them out rather than let other people tell you what they are. Good & evil exist subjectively and objectively.
Subjective good is pleasure; subjective evil is displeasure.
Objective good is disserved pleasure and disserved displeasure.
Objective evil is undisserved pleasure and undisserved displeasure.
What is disserved is that quantity of pleasure or displeasure that one expected to cause by his willful actions.
|2009||I do not believe scripture (Bible or otherwise) to be inspired by any deity in the sense that everything in it is true, or that the directives are applicable to all generations following those to whom the books were written. I do, however, believe scripture (at least most of the Bible) to be inspired by the God to whom mankind is accountable in the sense that the directives were applicable to the generation to whom the books were written, and to a limited and/or diminishing sense applicable to succeeding generations. I also believe scripture (at least the Bible) to be inspired in the sense that God inspired men to leave a record of their efforts to understand and communicate with God, so that succeeding generations can learn from the successes and failures of their predecessors. I think this position is not only more philosophically and pragmatically defensible, but also more scripturally defensible.|
|2009||An author may not mean what he says. But he damn well says what he says. And what he says means something, whether the author meant it or not.|
|2009||Once you admit that you don't believe bullshit, being classified as an atheist comes with the territory.|
|2009||If you accept gifts from an unethical person, it's only a matter of time before he asks you to do something unethical in return.|
|2009||Without justice, love keeps things alive that would be better off dead.
Without love, justice cannot sustain life.
|2009||It has been my experience that "seeking first the kingdom of God and his righteousness" leads to a disgusting quality of life, with little in return but the promise of doing well on Judgment Day. But then I haven't asked for much more than to do well on Judgment Day.|
|2009||If a creator (Supreme Being or otherwise) does not provide worthwhile life to those members of his creation who prove worthy of it, then that creator is evil. Proving worthy of worthwhile life does not imply never erring. It implies trying not to err, and trying to correct errors made.|
|2009||If God provides revelation, and doesn't make it look like revelation, He can't expect people to believe it was revelation. And He can't rightly punish a person for disbelieving that it was revelation. But a person can rightly be held accountable for obeying what he believes to be revelation. Divine revelation is relative to individuals. Any statement or set of statements is divine revelation if believing it would cause a person to conform more closely to God's will. The same statement or set of statements ceases to be divine revelation when believing it no longer has that effect.|
|2009||Most people have a disgusting habit of calling things what they are not. This is to be expected when they are selling stuff. But sometimes it's just to muddle issues.|
|2009||Indiscriminate correction of errors can itself become a moral error, because often people's errors are all that keeps them out of nihilism.|
|2009||A truth seeker is always on the edge of nihilism. All that keeps him from falling over that edge is an assumed connection with an assumed personal Creator who is assumed to be good.|
|2009||Some pain is necessary. Some pain is beneficial. And some pain is there to tell you you're doing something wrong. Only experimentation can teach you which is which.|
|2009||Any time you say, "X is possible," you risk being accused of saying, "X is true." If you say you believe X is true, you risk being accused of saying you know X is true.|
|2009||If you don't understand what I mean, I may have said it wrong. But if I said it right, and you don't understand it, you're not listening.|
|2009||A righteous God may require you to lie to the Gestapo, but He will never require you to lie to Him.|
|2009||If God loves sycophancy more than integrity, I don't want God's love.|
|2009||Morally correct behavior can't be overdone. But some particular morally correct actions may be done to such an extent that they are no longer morally correct. And some morally correct principles may be overdone or applied in such a way that is not morally correct.|
|2009||The purpose of law is to achieve justice. It doesn't always succeed. When law fails to achieve justice, one of the few people in a position to do something about it is a juror. A juror should strive for justice even if he has to violate law.|
|2009||The Golden Rule can be overdone. I prefer that people talk straight with me without regard for ego. Most people don't like me to do that with them.|
|2009||The stupidest part of a human being is ego. All of its efforts to feel superior become counter-productive when you realize that only a low self-esteemer would do that sort of thing.|
|2009||Never accept the necessity of illusion. Or if you must, then strive to need less of it.|
|2009||If you're blatantly right, the religious establishment will generally admit it - after you and everyone who called you a heretic are quite dead.|
|2009||In general, accuracy is more important than clarity, and clarity is more important than precision. But a less accurate paradigm that you can understand is often more beneficial than a more accurate paradigm that you can't understand.|
|2009||There appears to be a great difference between what is true and what I want to be true. But there is no conflict between what is true and what I want to be true, only because I choose to keep those categories separate - despite social pressure to let them merge.|
|2009||I would rather live in a dangerous place and enjoy living, than live in a safe place and not enjoy living. But I don't need danger to enjoy living. I do, however, need some things I don't have presently.|
|2009||Yes, I'm self righteous. I wish everybody were self-righteous - as long as they're righteous.|
|2009||The concept of infinity implies logical conclusions that violate the law of excluded middle.|
|2009||Some physical phenomena can't be explained without either violating the law of excluded middle, or conceding that no physical thing is what it appears to be.|
|2009||There's real morality and bullshit morality. Real morality excludes those actions which adversely affect the ratio of pleasure to displeasure in the universe. Bullshit morality excludes those actions which offend the prevailing power structure.|
|2009||I no longer care about liking people and being liked by them. I care only about helping people and being helped by them. This feels like dangerous ground. I may be going too far. I will experiment with it and find out.|
|2009||The fact that you can imagine a category doesn't mean you can imagine anything in it.
A category exists called paradoxes.
The category of paradoxes includes all and only those things which are irrational.
Some imaginary things exist in the category of paradoxes, e.g. irrational numbers.
It cannot be known if any non-imaginary thing exists in the category of paradoxes, because anything non-imaginary that appears to be a paradox may be a rational thing interpreted incorrectly.
|2009||It is always better to help (i.e. improve) a person than to be liked by him.
But some people won't let you help them unless they like you.
Though a principle may be clearly correct, the application of it may require trial and error.
|2009||Hell is a place where people reproduce in order to outpopulate their enemies.|
|2009||Intelligent company may not make you more intelligent, but rational company will make you more rational. Conversely, irrational company will make you more irrational.|
|2009||Complexity is often a euphemism for inconsistency.|
|2009||I know that I know some things. But I don't know how I know anything, because I don't know the mechanism by which stuff is known.|
|2009||I think thoughts beyond my pay grade, because my Creator designed me to think them. I owe Him no apology for them.|
|2009||When the odds appear to be in your favor, bet as much as you can afford to lose. When the odds appear to be against you, don't bet any more than you must. But when there is only one chance of winning, bet all you have on it regardless of odds.|
|2009||Heaven and hell are places to meet others of your own kind.|
|2009||Any community of people will evolve sub-communities whom the majority would be better off without.|
|2009||When I speak normally and say things they don't want to hear, they either misunderstand or ask for greater precision. When I speak with enough precision to eliminate all ambiguity, they accuse me of double-talk.|
|2009||Better to be a servant in a just world than a king in an unjust world.|
|2009||Justice exists as an abstract concept. General rules exist that tell us how to achieve justice. But any set of rules, followed to the letter, will produce some cases of injustice.|
|2009||I don't give a damn how I'm remembered in this world. I care how I do in the next one.|
|2009||I'm arrogant. I became arrogant when I learned critical thinking. And though I try not to express myself any more arrogantly than necessary, I would rather be blatantly arrogant, than humble but misleading.|
|2009||Fuck ego. Mine as well as yours. It's the basest of all motivators, it's socially destructive, and it hinders truth seeking. Ego is an enemy of correctness.|
|2009||If the quality of your eternal life depends on believing things that appear improbable, then the creator of the system is evil.|
|2009||You can read books all your life, and never know if you've been told the truth.
Do one experiment, and you know more than you knew before you did it.
|2009||The suppression of justice by tradition rarely lasts long once it is recognized as such.|
|2009||If you find truth insulting, you deserve to be insulted.|
|2009||Errors warrant correction, however unpleasant it needs to be in order to correct. But the only behavior that warrants punishment is failure to do what one believes he should do.|
|2009||Survival of the fittest does not imply survival of those people who believe truth. It implies survival of those who believe whatever is most conducive to survival.|
|2009||Don't allow yourself to want something that you probably won't get unless you pretend to be what you're not.|
|2009||Duty is a socially imposed concept that is linked to morality only in some particular instances. No one is morally obligated to acknowledge duty as binding.|
|2009||After you have pushed the envelope so far that it no longer envelops anything, you must either make another envelope or accept nihilism.|
|2009||If you do what the Bible tells you to do, you will eventually acquire enough personal experiences that those experiences will be more reliable than anything the Bible tells you.|
|2009||The moral purpose of law may be to achieve justice, but the effective purpose is to benefit legislators. Only when legislators see justice as beneficial to them will they make just laws.|
|2009||Just as objects are attracted together, so are soul/spirits. The difference is medium vs. message. Objects are attracted by physical forces: magnetism, gravity - the medium. Souls are attracted by intellectual understanding of experienced reality - the message. Bodies of scripture are soul-magnets.|
|2010||A question is epistemologically unanswerable if it is illogical, unclear, or based on a false premise. Refusal to answer a question for any other reason is emotionally motivated.|
|2010||Reality can't be taught. It must be figured out. You can help a person figure out only those parts he wants to figure out.|
|2010||A spiritual error can cost years or even decades of wasted time.|
|2010||DO NOT CARE about arguing well! Care about being right.|
|2010||God designed our recognition of math, logic, probability, justice, and ethics. Though this recognition may be eclipsed by social programming and/or emotional greed, God would not design us to think one way, and then tell us to think contrary to it. If a conflict exists between what we are designed to think, and what God appears to be telling us to think, we can't be mistaken about what we are designed to think, unless we have allowed social programming and/or emotional greed to eclipse it. Otherwise we must be mistaken about what God is telling us to think. God may, however, tell us to do something we don't want to do, even though He designed us not to want to do it.|
|2010||Talking about a question doesn't mean you've answered it.|
|2010||My dreams have proven that I am basically an immoral being coerced into moral behavior by fear of punishment. I'm not ashamed of this fact, because I've no reason to think anyone else is a bit better.|
|2010||I can be coerced into behaving other than I now behave. But I can't be coerced into thinking other than I now think. That requires either new data, or a change in my processing ability.|
|2010||To have the option to terminate existence, or not to have it: that is the question.|
|2010||A thing cannot precede (logically or temporally) the parts of which it is made. Therefore the Supreme Being either has no parts, or is not made of His parts. It should not be hard to figure out that the latter is correct.|
|2010||A perfect worldview cannot be recognized as perfect by a finite mind. Any worldview held by a finite mind is necessarily imperfect. The best a finite mind can do is to adopt that worldview which appears to have the least amount of epistemological defects. This worldview will not necessarily be the most comfortable, or even life-supportive, because life may in fact ultimately cost more than it is worth. Worthwhile life, if it exits, can be found and sustained only by continuing to adopt that worldview which appears to be the least epistemologically defective. The least epistemologically defective worldview should be adopted even if it kills you.|
|2010||Living an ideology is not the same as living as a salesman for an ideology. There will be times when a salesman will have to either fake the manifestation of the ideology he is selling or lie about its benefits.|
|2010||I've never liked being alone. I just like it better than stupid company. And I've gotten terribly used to it.|
|2010||To deny the existence or efficacy of a category that is part of your own operating system is an error -- specifically a hypocritical error.|
|2010||If the principles by which you judge the truth of scripture are more lenient than the principles by which you judge the truth of other ancient literature, you're not looking for truth; you're looking for faith.|
|2010||Truth seekers are people who want to push the cutting edge of their understanding of reality. Truth seekers are not faith seekers. But truth seekers don't object to faith where truth can't be known, and faith offers pragmatic benefits.|
|2010||A finite mind can only tolerate a certain amount of truth at any given time. But that amount will increase if, when you are able to tolerate more, you try to find it.|
|2010||"That which should be" is an imaginary state of affairs that resides only in a mind. If there is no objective mind, there is no objective "should".|
|2010||Recognition of truth happens one step at a time. If you tell someone something that is perfectly true, but more than one step ahead of what he already knows, he won't recognize it as true. Better to find out what he already knows, and help him figure out the next step.|
|2010||I could never make sense of the Bible until I figured out that it doesn't make sense. Then it all made sense.|
|2010||All willful activity is an effort to get what you want. All social activity is an effort to get other people to do what you want. The only social system that will not ultimately self-destruct is one in which the participants want justice.|
|2010||Romulans vs. klingons, predators vs. aliens, vampires vs. lycans, republicans vs. democrats. Good vs. evil at least made some sense. Evil vs. evil is not interesting.|
|2010||Humility should not be used as a general guiding principle. It causes people who are right to defer or apologize to people who are wrong. Ethically, a person who thinks he is right should not defer or apologize to a person whom he believes to be wrong even when that person has clobbering power. Also, if a person places value on humility, every time he says something humble, it is more likely to be a lie than if he did not value humility.|
|2010||Saying things more precisely helps you understand truth and reality more correctly. But speaking with maximum precision is not always expedient for communication.|
|2010||Faith in the power of God (any version of God) to do miracles does not imply faith that any particular miracle attributed to that God actually happened - unless of course that God is defined as the God who did that particular miracle - which is possible for some versions of God, but not necessary for any version of God - unless that miracle necessarily happened in order for present reality to exist.|
|2010||Seymour was quite proud of his vision, having never seen what he was missing.|
|2010||If any two parts of a theory or worldview are inconsistent, that theory or worldview is necessarily incorrect.|
|2010||Emotions are incorrigibly greedy. Nothing can be done about it. You can't repent of it. It's pointless to apologize for it, and stupid to be ashamed of it, because we are all designed that way. The best you can do is to refrain from acting on emotions when doing so appears to be stupid or immoral.|
|2010||In a just system:
1. every person gets what he deserves, and is able to act so as to deserve enough of what he wants that if he gets it, he will want to exist.
2. unjust people may exist, but when they get caught, they will be appropriately punished.
3. all unjust people will get caught, but some may avoid capture for a long time.
4. the effort to catch and punish unjust people will cost the public no more than the majority is willing to pay for.
|2010||Once a unit of matter can be made to feel pain, it can be coerced to do anything it is able to do.|
|2010||I'm not trying to be understood by the most people. I'm trying to be understood by the most rational people.|
|2010||You always know what you want to do, unless you want to do what you should do, and you don't know what you should do, in which case you don't know what you want to do.|
|2010||A logical possibility does not require evidence. It requires lack of contrary evidence.|
|2010||Jesus said many stupid things because those things communicated effectively to his ignorant audience. That fact does not require him to say the same stupid things to us. Nor does it require us to feign ignorance, much less stupidity, in order to submit to him.|
|2010||If God wanted you to believe stupid stuff, He would have made you stupid.|
|2010||Illegitimate concepts exist: e.g. square circle.
Impossible hypotheticals exist: e.g. illogical universe.
The existence of people who propose illegitimate concepts does not make those concepts legitimate.
The existence of people who propose impossible hypotheticals does not make those hypotheticals possible.
|2010||Evil creators may exist.
An evil creator is one who does one or more of the following:
1. compels a member of his creation to exist after that creature desires not to exist, and:
a. that creature has done nothing deserving of punishment2. promises reward for doing things deserving of reward, and does not pay up
b. that creature has already been justly punished for infractions of justice
unless that creator adequately compensates that creature for undeserved grief, such that the creature becomes grateful for the sum total of its existence up to that point
Any non-omnipotent emotional being has motivation to be evil.
Only the Supreme Being can possibly be omnipotent, but He is not necessarily omnipotent.
It is possible that our creator is not identical to the Supreme Being.
Though our creator programmed knowledge of good & evil into us, he may still be evil.
|2010||Unpleasant thoughts can be blocked temporarily by faith in pleasant hypotheses. But unpleasant thoughts keep returning until they are worked thru and resolved. Once a thought is resolved, the pleasant hypothesis is shown to be true, false, or irrelevant. Therefore faith in it becomes obsolete. Though faith is necessary to keep minds out of depression and nihilism, it is a stop-gap measure at best, and should not be cultivated as a way of life. Figuring out truth should be a way of life. If truth does not support sentient life, then sentient life is stupid to try to preserve itself. "The just shall live by faith" only until they figure out that justice is necessary to worthwhile life whether faith - in justice or anything else - exists or not.|
|2010||If your reasons for faith are themselves faith-based, then you have no reason for faith. You only have faith, however decorated it may be with circular reasoning.|
|2010||Arrogance can be either voluntary action or an involuntary self-opinion.
As self-opinion, arrogance is an unavoidable side effect of:
1. understanding critical thinking in a world full of people who don't.
2. knowing what you're talking about.
Arrogant speech is justified when its benefit to its target audience exceeds its annoyance to its coincidental audience.
|2010||Christian bibliolatry is a theological error, the existence of which necessitates a counter-error, which is provided by Islam.|
|2010||Creeds pressure people into pretending to believe things they don't believe in order to be accepted by a community who appears to believe them, and/or by a God who appears to require belief in them. Creeds also cause people to believe that the pretense of believing things they don't believe will eventually cause true belief.|
|2010||If there is an afterlife, and it is managed justly, there are 2 kinds of wealth not lost at death: deserved reward for good works and eternal knowledge, such as math, logic, and spiritual matters.|
|2010||Getting to your destination as quickly as possible in the physical world is helped by surpassing those ahead of you. In the spiritual world, the effort to surpass those ahead of you causes delay.|
|2010||I have no confidence in my own political opinions, because they are all borne from other people's testimony. Most other people are liars. Even when they think they are telling the truth, they are likely to be wrong, or missing relevant parts of the issue. I prefer to focus on that truth which I can figure out or discover by experiment.|
|2010||Justice is not hard to figure out, once you abandon the idea that God is necessarily just.|
|2010||Justice (that which is deserved) is consistent with grace (unmerited favor) if and only if those who ask for grace are made to live in community with others of their own kind, until they get sick of it, and ask for what they deserve, so that they might live among others who want only what they deserve.|
|2010||Civic duty is subordinate to moral duty. This does not imply that all civic duty is moral. Moral duty may require disobedience to civic duty.|
|2010||Emotions are so stupid that they try to make you act contrary to their own best interests.|
|2010||A creature is able to deserve reward or punishment if, and only if, it has free will and knowledge of good and evil.|
|2010||A God who compels the existence of creatures that don't want to exist and don't deserve punishment is an evil God.|
|2010||If you think a personal God exists, you may be insane. But if a personal God doesn't exist, nihilism is true, and it doesn't matter if you're insane.|
|2010||The fact that I believe in God and Jesus does not mean I believe in Christian bullshit.|
|2010||If heaven is accessible only by children and gullible people, then if it exists, its inhabitants are probably being cheated.|
|2010||Critical thinking is composed of six parts:
1. understanding of logic
2. term/concept distinction
3. disambiguation of terms
4. identification of concepts and categories
5. recognition of the three categorical relationships:
separation, intersection, hierarchy
6. recognition of proper categorization of conceptsAssuming that a person has no intellectual defects, his chief obstacle to learning and applying critical thinking is emotion, i.e. emotional preference for the truth or falsity of a particular statement.
|2010||Probability judgment is more likely to be correct when it is made without emotion or willful choice.|
|2010||Telling a person to get his head out of his ass does not make him more likely to do so.|
|2010||Trying to conduct a philosophical discussion with people on this planet is like playing chess with someone who acknowledges no obligation to either make a legal move or admit defeat.|
|2010||Truth insults no one who doesn't deserve it.|
|2010||In most fields of study, he who has read the most understands the most. In philosophy, he who has read the most may intimidate, but he who understands critical thinking the best understands reality the best, and can be most helpful.|
|2010||If you must ignore truth in order to satisfy your emotions, it is only a matter of time before that satisfaction ends up costing your emotions more than it was worth.|
|2010||That which is beneficial for the human race is not necessarily that which is beneficial for any subset of it.|
|2010||That which is ultimately beneficial is not necessarily that which is immediately beneficial.|
|2010||The only moral principle universally applicable to any sentient creature is that he should always do what he thinks he should do. If other universal principles exist, they cannot be known, much less articulated, by anyone but the Supreme Being. Moral principles generally applicable to persons and communities exist, and can be known and articulated, but always carry exceptions to the rule.|
|2010||There exists a set of statements that is universally true. That set begins with math & logic, but extends beyond math & logic. Some of those statements may be unknowable. It is beneficial to any sentient being to know as many of those statements as possible, because all of his knowledge rests on those statements. Next after math & logic follows an elucidation of the types of knowledge.|
|2010||Mental conversion is not the moment when probability judgment changes. It's the moment when that change overcomes emotional resistance.|
|2010||The ostensive purpose of sacrament, ritual, and liturgy is to serve as physical illustrations of spiritual realities. It cannot be known if these acts have any real spiritual benefit. But they definitely have emotional benefit to some people, in that they offer trivial and easily obeyed directives to those who want to feel God-compliant, while ignoring God's more important and costly directives, such as those that interfere with one's pursuit of happiness.|
|2010||I'm pursuing happiness as fast as I can - just not in this life.|
|2010||There is a big difference between a question-lover and a truth-seeker. If you just like asking questions, say so, and I'll quit trying to answer them for you.|
|2010||A question-lover is, at best, a fledgling truth-seeker. If, after finding some truth, a question-lover refuses to graduate, he becomes a phony truth-seeker.|
|2010||Intuition is not categorically opposed to reason. The degree to which intuition has proven reliable is the degree to which it is rational to rely on it.|
|2010||Figure out what can be done, and quit trying to do what can't be done. Care about only those things that end in results you care about, and are affected by being cared about.|
|2010||They ask me, "Whose side are you on?" Answer: "The side of truth and justice, to the best of my ability."|
|2010||Minds are finite. They can handle only a finite amount of truth. Even if that amount is constantly increasing, it is forever finite. Minds stuck in bodies can handle even less truth. The learning process causes stress, which if overdone, damages bodies.|
|2010||Even if I fade into oblivion, my thoughts will re-emerge, simply because they are more reasonable than those of tradition.|
|2010||Honest self-expression is evil, if and only if, it influences people to do more evil than good.|
|2010||Any set of beliefs which shows visible benefits to believers will attract hypocrites who pretend to believe them and don't.|
|2010||You don't need one bit of faith to bet your soul on a righteous God once you figure out that the only alternative is nihilism.|
|2010||If you are forgiven as you forgive others, it doesn't take a genius to see that the way to beat the system is to cheat more than you are cheated. Paul's attempted rebuttal (Rom 6) is an emotional statement of how things should be ideally. It does not refute the logic of system manipulators. Considering all the monks and clergy who have ever lived, surely some of them must have seen this. Yet I see no record of it. That frightens me.|
|2010||If you believe in God and Jesus, but don't believe everything the Bible tells you to believe, I can help you. If you have a satisfactory system that allows you to believe everything the Bible tells you to believe, then ignore me.|
|2010||The Nuclear Age cannot afford any religion that promises reward for killing people who do not believe in that religion.|
|2010||I don't like being a spiritual hermit, but it's better than conforming to a pathological society.|
|2010||Truths can be learned in the wrong order, and thereby cause confusion. Remember this when God refuses to answer your question, and when people fail to see your obvious correctness.|
|2010||The purpose of scripture is to get people connected up with God. It must be simplistic because people are ignorant. It must be assuring because people are frightened. It must promise condemnation of disbelievers, because if your scripture is correct, disagreeing scripture must be incorrect. After scripture has accomplished the connection, it has no further spiritual value. All subsequent spiritual progress comes from personal interrelationship with God. Scripture then becomes the refuge of those who want justification of ignorance and reassurance of safety without further spiritual maturation.|
|2010||The scripturalists' hidden creed behind their stated creeds:
|2010||You owe God no apology for being what he made you.|
|2010||It is not possible to create a creature in a state of deserving punishment.
If it were possible, only an evil creator would do it.
|2010||Every community has the right to define itself - as long as the terms of its definition don't violate the rules of the greater community of which it is a part.|
|2010||Integrity and community are necessarily in tension. Every point by which a community is defined is a point at which integrity will require some persons to depart from it.|
|2010||Absolutists don't hate relativists. We just hate contented relativists. We really enjoy watching relativists try to make sense apart from an absolute.|
|2010||All worldviews contain blank spots caused by lack of data. Those blank spots are rightly called "mysteries". But if known data conflicts with your worldview, that conflict is no mystery. It means your worldview is wrong.|
|2010||When social status in a community depends on commitment to the community's ideology, zealots rule, regardless of merit.|
|2010||I assert that there is no such thing as an irrational possibility, but I can't prove it.|
|2010||Truth is indifferent to life. Some truth supports life. Some truth kills. An indiscriminate truth seeker is dangerous to himself and others. An indiscriminate truth publisher even more so.|
|2010||When a truth seeker over-doses on truth, but still hasn't found the truth he needs, his only choices are faith or nihilism - the same choices he had when he started.|
|2010||You think it's morally good to save the life of a starving child, even when that child is likely to grow up and produce more starving children. That's stupid, and you all know it. But you pretend not to know it because the Bible tells you to. And you think the Bible is the Word of God. If the "Word of God" exists at all, it's what God tells you to do now, not what he tells someone else to do, much less what he told other people to do 2,000 years ago.|
|2010||If it eats, it shits. Minds are no exception.|
|2010||When life imitates art, both get stupider.|
|2010||When confronted with any proposition, an epistemologically based mind asks, "Is this statement true (or probably true)?" An axiologically based mind asks, "Should I believe this statement is true (or probably true)?" My mind is epistemologically based. I think epistemology is the only correct or even "good" base for a mind. Therefore I think my mind should be epistemologically based. But it has not led to worthwhile life. Therefore I must admit that I may be somehow wrong.|
|2010||If another Reformation is coming, it won't be from people who pretend the Bible doesn't say what it obviously says. It will be from people who admit they see what they see, and think what they think, and reject any authority that tells them otherwise. Just like the protestants short circuited the pope by going directly to the Bible, the next wave will short circuit the Bible by going directly to Jesus.|
|2010||You can cover up what you are with lies, but you can't repair it with lies. Lies will change you, but that change will not be healthy.|
|2010||Amenities serve little purpose but to generate the illusion of obligation to return the supposed courtesy.|
|2010||Even if you can't tell it like it is, you can at least admit it appears to be what it appears to be at least as much as you can get away with without getting punished for it. If you don't do at least that much, you have no right to claim any integrity at all. I wish I could say more.|
|2011||Any given law is good if and only if the justice caused by it exceeds the injustice caused by it. Any law may be good for a time (year, century, millennium, etc.) and then turn bad.|
|2011||Loving people muddles your thinking especially your priorities. I'm glad I love nothing but truth and justice.|
|2011||The world is made a better place by the fact of certain people being offended in certain ways. I try to commit such offense whenever convenient. I think the good caused by this effort outweighs the harm caused by occasionally going over the line.|
|2011||Faith is not the only alternative to nihilism. The simple decision to bet on the possibility most likely to offer worthwhile life doesn't take a bit of faith, and it provides a firm foundation on which to operate, without any false knowledge claims.|
|2011||Santa Claus teaches children an important lesson you can't trust your parents to tell you the truth about reality.|
|2011||Perfect justice may be impossible to achieve, even for God. But the effort to approximate justice within the confines of one's budget is perfectly realistic for any sentient being or community.|
|2011||I have a dream today. I have a dream that I will one day live in a world where the truth of statements will not be judged by the credentials of their conveyor but by the correctness of their content.|
|2011||I don't know for sure that miracles don't exist, or that none ever happened, or will happen. I don't even know that I've never witnessed one. I only know that I don't remember seeing any event that could not be explained otherwise.|
|2011||There are many people in the world mostly old men who truly want their lives to be worth something, but have failed in that effort. So they come up with theories of how the world or the nation might be saved if everyone would but listen to them. I greatly fear becoming one of these old farts or possibly having already become so.|
|2011||A mortal creature cannot be tortured forever, and can therefore choose martyrdom.
An immortal creature can be tortured forever, cannot choose martyrdom, and therefore can be coerced into doing anything its creator wants, including lying to mortal creatures in order to sell them immortality.
|2011||A living being having infinite power can do anything it wants to do.
Only an evil being wants to cause undeserved displeasure.
Therefore a living being who causes undeserved displeasure is either evil or does not have infinite power.
|2011||Committees don't produce the best ideas. They produce the ideas least objected to.|
|2011||When truth is overwhelming, confusion is protective.|
|2011||Most people don't have a coherent worldview. They have disassociated pieces of worldviews. Once a person sees the necessity of a coherent worldview, he works toward a stable worldview. A stable worldview is emotionally acceptable and lacks unignorable epistemological inconsistencies. Epistemologically stable worldviews exist on incremental levels rather than on a continuous gradient. e.g. Aristotelian, Newtonian, Einstinian. Once a person is forced to acknowledge an error in a stable worldview, the whole thing collapses, leaving him in crisis until he is able to either adjust to agnosticism or work his way up to the next stable plane. This is unpleasant and time consuming, which is why people are so resistant to acknowledging even the most glaring error in a comfortable worldview.
Faith is useful as a safety net to keep a person out of nihilism while his worldview is either not yet formed or under reconstruction. When faith is allowed to be a component part of a worldview, it will continually conflict with epistemology until that worldview is abandoned, or until epistemology is thoroughly subordinated to faith. Only a worldview gambling on a just afterlife, while admitting ignorance of its existence can keep a person out of nihilism without faith.
|2011||After four decades of talking straight, I can testify that integrity feels great. I love integrity. It bothers me, however, that I may never know if it has been worth all the nooky I missed.|
|2011||Problem of the one and the many: Either I don't understand this problem, or it's a bogus problem created either to sell a bogus solution, or just to sell books on the problem.|
|2011||The existence of wrong people is no reason not to say right stuff.
The existence of improbable theories is no reason not to say probable stuff is probable.
|2011||The effort to be right will not only make you more right than you would have been otherwise, but if pursued it will make you more right than anyone on this planet who doesn't also pursue it. There is amazingly little competition.|
|2011||I'll sell truth if I can think of a way to sell it. But if I can't sell it, I'll still state it to the best of my ability, even knowing that it won't sell, just to have it on record that I stated it.|
|2011||A person seeking truth has no reason to care about the opinions of those who aren't.|
|2011||The world is benefitted by both vigilantism and laws against vigilantism.|
|2011||Humility coming from me feels either phony or sarcastic or both.|
|2011||Ego masturbation feels the same as integrity when engaged in it, but they can be distinguished in retrospect I hope. Ego masturbation stops working once you catch yourself doing it.|
|2011||If you make up your own term definitions, don't be surprised when nobody speaks your language.|
|2011||Paul said, "Be followers of me, as I am of Christ."
I say, "Be followers of Christ, as you think Christ wants you to follow him."
|2011||Do not fear your own mind. Your Creator designed you to identify truth, whether or not that truth makes your Creator look good. Fear your Creator only if you are willfully disobeying him.|
|2011||For some people, the right to resist the coercive force of truth is more important than accepting or even identifying truth. Exercising this right is detrimental to one's epistemology.|
|2011||Neither monism nor dualism can be proven or disproven. Dualism carries a vast array of arguments, none of them conclusive. Monism carries no arguments. It simply declares itself, and then either reiterates the same declaration or shuts up.|
|2011||If God is just, he will give you what you deserve whether you believe in him or not. If God is not just, he will screw you over, unless you happen to be a competent enough sycophant to get on his good side.|
|2011||I care what Plato thinks is true, because his thoughts are milestones in the evolution of truth seeking. I care what you think is true only if you are seeking truth. But I don't care what you think Plato thinks, because that is tangential to truth seeking.|
|2011||There is a serious difference between understanding something and knowing how to talk like you understand it well enough to fool anyone who understands it less. I despise people who do the latter, and hope to never become one of them.|
|2011||You have the right to throw off the shackles of logic. But you will be smarter if you let them bind you.|
|2011||If you are designed by a creator, then you think what you are designed to think, and you owe him no apology for thinking what you think. But if you pretend to think what you don't think, because you don't like where those thoughts take you, then you deserve punishment.|
|2011||The way to get what you ultimately want is to do what you think you should do, even when it doesn't get you what you presently want.|
|2011||If you're able to understand something, and don't understand it, then you've chosen not to understand it, in order to preserve the apparent benefits of ignorance.|
|2011||There is no way to compel a chronic point-misser to get the point. Once I recognize a person as such, I simply quit talking to him.|
|2011||All minds are finite. They all have areas where they are looking for more truth, and areas where they've got all they can handle. A truth seeker in a social situation will look for either people who know something he wants to know, or those areas where people are looking for more truth.|
|2011||Truth will keep biting you in the ass until you accept it. So you might as well turn around and confront it, and either eat it or be eaten by it.|
|2011||Unless you have found rationality to be always reliable, it is irrational to assume it's always reliable.|
|2011||I refuse to use the term miracle, because I've never seen an adequate definition of it. But unless it is taken to mean doing the impossible, I cannot rule it out.|
|2011||Worship is something that unrestrained egos require of other egos when they have the power to require it. Certainly the Supreme Being would have no use for it. Nor would any deity unless he were in competition with other deities, which doesn't happen in monotheism.|
|2011||Voluntarily divulging information may be rude even if true. But answering a question truthfully is not rude. Any questioner who is offended by a straight answer deserves to be offended.|
|2011||A truth seeker is open minded until he has found truth, and closed minded afterward. It is the closed minded non-truth seekers who are the assholes.|
|2011||The best philosophy doesn't come from reading philosophy. It comes from experimenting and critical thinking.|
|2011||When I talk straight, I sound like a pompous ass, because I am one. This is no reason to not talk straight. I wish I lived in a world where everyone talked straight, regardless of how it sounds.|
|2011||An emperor of India named Asoka ruled c.265-232BCE. Early in his reign he conquered the neighboring state of Kalinga. 100,000 Kalingans died, 150,000 were driven from their homes; more died from disease and starvation afterward. Asoka felt so bad about it that he turned Buddhist, a little known sect at the time. Asoka then became one of the most moral rulers the planet has seen. He built hospitals and herb gardens, forbade killing animals for sport, encouraged education of women, in opposition to the Brahmin aristocracy.|
|2011||Justice includes compensation to those who have received undeserved displeasure, and punishment to those who willfully cause undeserved displeasure.
When a deserver of pleasure receives pleasure, that's justice. When he receives more than he deserves, that's beneficence.
Beneficence is granting undeserved pleasure. Beneficence is good only when it occurs after justice has been achieved, and only if the beneficiary proves deserving. A beneficiary proves deserving only when he pays the beneficence back, or pays it forward.
|2011||Logical precision can cost more tedium than it's worth value, in this sense being determined by a person employing logic for the purpose of understanding and/or communicating a concept or concepts the greatest value being the clearest understanding of, or communication of the concept or concepts in question, and tedium being a negative emotional reaction to a perceived excess of data, which can, in fact, diminish the understanding of, or communication of, that concept or those concepts.|
|2011||All scripture is sanctioned by God, and is profitable as a record of both good ideas often made obsolete by better ones, and bad ideas worthy of note lest they be revived.|
|2011||I will not bore God by stupidly repeating the mistakes of my predecessors. If I must make mistakes, they will be fresh ones.|
|2011||The stupidest of people are those who fear to get beyond bullshit, because they don't know if there's anything on the other side.|
|2011||Everyone is primarily a happiness seeker. Truth seekers are the ones who think truth is necessary in order to sustain happiness. They seek truth even when it makes them unhappy because they think it's the best way to get the kind of happiness that doesn't end up costing more unhappiness than it's worth. Truth seekers are theory testers. They are theory defenders only in opposition to less probable theories.|
|2011||There necessarily exists a mental faculty apart from logic by which logic is recognized as reliable for determining truth. That faculty is probably identical to the faculty that recognizes patterns, but this has not been proven. It has no name that I'm aware of, and is popularly lumped together with either intuition or common sense. Rather than being a subset of either, it is probably a superset of both.|
|2011||When your worldview is rationally coherent and not improbable, you don't need faith to believe it.|
|2011||I don't want to get comfortable where I am. I want to get to where I'm comfortable.|
|2011||I know how to be right, but I don't know how to love because I don't know if life is ultimately worth what it costs. If it's not, then the most loving thing one person can do for another is kill him. Love has a nasty habit of keeping things alive that would be better off dead. I may be one of those things.|
|2011||The optimal spiritual path is narrow, but it's not straight. It zigzags. It alternates between tightening and loosening.|
|2011||An ethical system is not a game strategy. When they overlap, it's coincidence.|
|2011||Anti-war quotes sound cool, but most are oversimplifications at best. Some wars are justified. That's not cool, but it's true.|
|2011||If there is an afterlife, then there are a potentially infinite number of afterlives. In every one there will be people telling you both truth and lies about God. Therefore decide here and now to bet your soul not on what you have been told, but on what you know to be right. When you don't know what is right, bet on what you believe to be right, and ask for correction if you're wrong. If your Creator is righteous, he will approve of this behavior and reward you justly. If not, then your existence is an unfortunate but rectifiable accident.|
|2011||Don't follow me. Surpass me. If you can't surpass me, improve me. If you can't improve me, add to me. If you can't, add to me, criticize those who claim to surpass, improve, or add to me. Judge me all you like. Just don't misrepresent me.|
|2011||I enjoy playing philosophical chess, but only with people who know the rules and follow them.|
|2011||It's good to play philosophical chess with God. Win or lose, you learn something - most importantly that some games are winnable.|
|2011||"What is X?" is an ambiguous question. Are you asking what the term means or what the concept is? i.e. Are you asking:
Of the concepts conventionally labeled X, which one do you mean?
What are the boundaries of concept X?
|2011||I would not have remained Christian if I had not explored all of the alternatives before becoming Christian.|
|2011||Individual rights vs. national security is rarely a clear moral issue. The manifest displeasure of individual rights violation must be weighed against the potential displeasure of damage to the state. I see no way to judge the problem in principle.|
|2011||Knowledge is always claimed far beyond what the evidence warrants, and people get rich and respected for claiming it. The ever present temptation to join them diminishes with age.|
|2011||The Bible is a record of man's failed effort to create a Bible.|
|2011||The Golden Rule is a great ethic, but a bad social policy for anyone who wants straight talk. If I talked as straight with other people as I wish they would talk with me, I would be considered rude.|
|2011||Rules of grammar standardize communication. But adherence to a standard does not always facilitate communication.|
|2011||If humanity is to survive, it must be saved from both nihilists and monotheists who serve an evil God.|
|2011||There is no practical distinction between a known truth and a necessary assumption. But this does not diminish their epistemic difference.|
|2011||The probable truth of any premise is judged by its compatibility with other premises assumed to be known. One false premise in an epistemological foundation nullifies the reliability of all probability judgments built on it.|
|2011||Conflation of concepts causes confusion. "Conflating concepts causes confusion" is cleaner, but less clear.|
|2011||Starving child on a dirt street trying to sell a piece of junk. For $10. a month I can save her life, so she can grow up and reproduce. That may have been a moral act, before I did the math.|
|2011||If believing in a particular version of God saves your soul, I see no way for your God to be just, or for you to have much of a soul.|
|2011||Art doesn't have to be uplifting, but it shouldn't be downpulling.|
|2011||If your method of interpreting scripture incites the less intelligent to religious violence, you cannot expect to be allowed into a "heaven" where people are expected to be beyond that crap.|
|2011||I really enjoy offending those who deserve it. But that's a dangerous pleasure to indulge in, because it makes me likely to offend those who don't deserve it.|
|2011||I didn't become a truth seeker to call myself a truth seeker. I became a truth seeker to find truth. Now that I've found some of it, I refuse to pretend not to have found it, so I can call myself open minded.|
|2011||Rhetoric is the merger of epistemology with politics. It makes good politics, but bad epistemology.|
|2011||The premise that anything imaginable is possible results in epistemological nihilism.|
|2011||If a hermit is murdered in the forest, and no one is displeased by it, was it evil?|
|2011||Seeking truth increases your comprehension of reality. Defending a worldview retards your comprehension of reality, even if your worldview is essentially true, because all worldviews created by finite minds have unessential and incorrect parts.|
|2011||Being offended by profanity is not a natural repugnance like the stink of shit. It is an acquired taste passed down from parents to children for the sake of conformity to a herd.|
|2011||Having a dirty mind is not about profanity. It's about bad logic and epistemology.|
|2011||No matter how obviously true a statement is, a volitional agnostic cannot be forced to understand it, if he doesn't see a pay off for doing so.|
|2011||If you're walking the walk, you don't need to talk the talk. But talking against the walk, is not part of walking the walk. If you're talking against the talk, you may or may not be walking the walk, depending on what version of the talk you're talking against.|
A self referential statement may be:
|2011||I'd rather be happy where I am than fondly remembered where I'm not.|
|2011||Ego, stupid ego. I see how stupid you are. They see how stupid you are. Why do they not see how stupid their's is?|
|2011||You cannot be loyal to both principles and persons. That includes the person of Jesus Christ.|
|2011||Love may or may not be an irresistible force, but truth and justice are definitely immovable objects. I choose loyalty to truth and justice, and shout my identity into the void. If there be no echo, I will remain alone.|
|2012||Human language evolved primarily for solicitation. Communication is a sporadic and irregular side effect, often undesired.|
|2012||There is a maximum speed at which a mind can pursue truth safely. Exceeding that speed will cause stress, which can damage you.|
|2012||I can't be sure I'm totally free of illusions. But either I'm more free of illusions than anyone I've ever met, or I'm totally insane.|
|2012||There are certain facts which should be blatantly obvious, but which are not recognized as facts because they are being blocked by emotion usually fear.|
|2012||There exists a faculty not of mind, but of biology, whereby living creatures are forced to want to continue existing, often despite gross unhappiness. That faculty appears to be necessary in order for life to exist at all, though the cause of that faculty appears to be evil beyond description. For truth seekers, this is the axiological equivalent of the black hole in the center of the galaxy, which must be discovered, and then pulled away from, to go in some other direction, remembering, but ignoring, the fact that it will eventually swallow you.|
|2012||Evil exists for no reason but to be conquered, and will continue to exist until then.|
|2012||I don't want to be harmful, but I don't care if I'm hurtful.|
|2012||The fact that some people make no distinction between sophists and philosophers does not obligate me to ignore the distinction.|
|2012||FREE WILL & OMNISCIENCE: Let's say you (or God) have all the info necessary to accurately predict a persons choices 100% of the time. That in no way diminishes the person's freedom to choose. Ability of person A to choose is unaffected by person B's knowledge of what A's choice will be. An imaginary paradox is generated by the question, "does person A have the ability to choose something other than what omniscient person B knew he would choose?" The answer is no, but that in no way diminishes person A's freedom to choose, because choosing other than he will choose is outside the realm of possible choices. Omniscient person B is likewise unable to know person A will choose other than what he will choose.|
|2012||A masochist is a person with a sense of justice who has done bad things, and hasn't figured out that redemption comes by doing good things.|
|2012||Who is worse, welfare leeches or corporate plunderers? if they both act within the law? Without proper legislation, either set will destroy us.|
|2012||If you're seeking truth, I can probably help you get to the next step. If you're seeking comfort or faith, I have nothing to offer you.|
|2012||Faith is not a spiritual ladder. Faith is a safety net for when you fall off the ladder. The ladder is the decision to seek truth, regardless of where it takes you, and the decision to do what you think you should do, regardless of unpleasant consequences.|
|2012||Not all questioners are truth seekers. Some are deliberate obfuscators.|
|2012||You can't think any more precisely than your language allows. Every ambiguity of every term is an obstacle between you and truth.|
|2012||A lie is beneficial if it helps you learn more truth than you would have learned otherwise. Believing a false paradigm (e.g. the universe consists of earth, air, fire, and water) can help you learn more truth than a person who has no paradigm. But if you keep discovering truth, a lie or false paradigm will become a hindrance.
A dirty operating system (DOS) is better than no operating system. But after the world is hooked on it, programmers will find it easier to sell upgrades to DOS than to sell a better operating system. But once another operating system is proven better, the world will be better off if it switches as quickly as possible.
|2012||Even if all Christians committed heinous crimes, those crimes would still be in violation of their claimed philosophical position. Even if no atheist ever committed such a crime, there would be nothing in their claimed philosophical position to forbid it.|
|2012||It's easier to be productive now that I'm not so distracted by testosterone. But it's also harder to remember why I care about being productive.|
|2012||The fact that you force me to wait does not mean I'm patient.|
|2012||In an over-populated world a Christian gay-basher or abortion clinic bomber would be more beneficial to God if he were an atheist.|
|2012||Fear of punishment can be used to teach morality, but it can also be used to teach any arbitrary system that is sold as morality. True understanding of morality must evolve beyond fear of punishment.|
|2012||The fact that you can't choose what you won't choose doesn't mean you don't have free will to choose what you will choose.
The fact that my choice is known prior to making it doesn't constrain my ability to choose otherwise. It constrains the ability of the knower to know otherwise.
When knowledge of a future event exists, the knowledge depends on the event, not the event on the knowledge.
Epistemology always depends on ontology, never the reverse, even when knowledge of an event precedes the event.
"Whatever will be will be" in the sense that everything will be something, but not in the sense that whatever particular thing something will become is the only thing it can become before it becomes it. Linguistic description doesn't affect ontological reality.
"A" will keep on being "A" in the future, even after some particular "A" in the present changes to a "non-A" in the future.
Unchangeability of eternal reality does not preclude multiple possibilities on the cutting edge of temporal reality.
|2012||To think you know what you don't know is a mistake.
To pretend you know what you don't know is a lie.
|2012||It is objectively good to willfully oppose the God to whom you believe you are accountable, if he appears to be evil, according to the sense of good and evil programmed into you by the God who created you.|
|2012||Scripturalism is like trying to learn the most recent version of a computer program with an outdated manual. You need it to start with, but if you try to do what it says, you will find things that make no sense. If you learn the program by trial and error, you will find errors in the manual, and eventually have no use for it.|
|2012||People who are happy thinking what they think have little reason to think beyond it, no matter how wrong it is.|
|2012||The truth of a statement and the consequences of thinking it true are two separate issues.|
|2012||People who believe in a just afterlife have more reason to behave morally than those who don't.
People who believe in an unjust God have less reason to behave morally than those who don't.
|2012||If you say you don't know anything, you are a liar. That statement will only offend those who deserve it, because if you know what I said, you are a liar. And if you don't know what I said, you won't be offended.|
|2012||Minds need time to adjust to reality. A mind that is rushed will likely react angrily.|
|2012||Rhetoric is a euphemism for sophistry, which is a euphemism for bullshit.|
|2012||It is hypocritical to join children in their naοve expressions of faith. But when such faith is all that keeps them out of despair, such hypocrisy is the lesser evil.|
|2012||Begin statement. I think the more dependent we become on computers, the more we are going to talk like them. End statement.|
|2012||You can never get what you want by doing things that cause you to become something you despise.|
|2012||If you gain a reputation for humility, then every time you say something that sounds humble, people will wonder if you're talking straight or talking humble.|
|2012||Freedom to be wrong doesn't interest me. I would rather be right at the cost of such freedom. But I don't want more rightness than my spirit can bear. I want to be right, at the cost of temporary unhappiness. But the only reason I care about being right is that it appears necessary in order to get to lasting happiness.|
|2012||Which is more important to you being right, or the right to be wrong?|
|2012||The more I break free from illusions, the more I wonder if illusions are necessary to keep a person sane. But if that is true, then sanity itself must be an illusion.|
|2012||If illusion is necessary in order to make life appear worthwhile, then life is in fact worthless; and we are all fools for hanging on to it.|
|2012||Even if there were no scriptures, or pretenses thereto, critical thinking alone would compel the possibility of a personal Supreme Being, a personal Creator, a Being to whom mankind is accountable, an afterlife or afterlives, and a Judgment Day or Days.|
|2012||You should do what you think you should do, even if you're wrong, because if you don't do what you think you should do, you'll never know what happens when you do it.|
|2012||I think abortion, euthanasia, and eugenics are moral concepts that can be taken to immoral extremes.|
|2012||Actually the world is made of 2 kinds of people. In fact everything is made of 2 kinds of things: X and not-X. There are, however, many different kinds of 2 kinds of things.|
|2012||When I was a kid, we weren't supposed to say the "f" word. Now we're not supposed to say the "n" word. It will probably go back to "f" word. But it will stand for faggot.|
|2012||One thing theists and atheists agree on is that future scientific discoveries will prove them right.|
|2012||Believing that you are created by, and accountable to a personal Creator does not rationally imply a belief that any set of scriptures is his word, or even remotely represents him.
Accepting Jesus as your spiritual sovereign does not rationally imply believing everything, or even most of the things the New Testament says about him.
Believing that your Creator is Allah does not rationally imply believing everything, or even most of the things the Quran says about him.
The effort to comply with your Creator as you understand him is all he could possibly want of you.
Such effort will necessarily cause your understanding to evolve and increase.
|2012||Some ends justify the means to attain them. Some don't. The only way to judge is hindsight.|
|2012||If entropy is a measurement of randomness in a system, then any increase of order is a decrease of entropy, even if the order produced is cancerous to the system. To assume otherwise makes entropy a paradoxical concept.|
|2012||I can think of no reason to dislike nihilism. I appear to dislike it only because my emotions are programmed to dislike it.|
|2012||I'm the most honest person I know, and I will lie to you any time I think it's in my best interest to do so.|
|2012||If a particular race is known to exhibit a particular ability, inability, or behavior more than other races, then I will acknowledge that fact without apology. If that makes me a racist, then I'm a racist. I'd rather be a racist who admits it than a racist who denies it.|
|2012||If you believe that anyone who doesn't buy your religion is an enemy of God, then you deserve to live in a world where others believe the same of you.|
|2012||Tech support people: Never ask a person to think of a password when he's angry.|
|2012||I'm not voting for persons in this election, much less promises. I would like to vote against evil. Currently it appears to me that the crooks at the top constitute a greater evil than the scum at the bottom. Therefore I will probably vote for Obama.|
|2012||When someone is more confident of his political position than I am, I never know if he knows more than I do, or if he just believes more shit than I do.|
|2012||Emotion is so stupid that if it likes a particular ideological community, it will allow that community to tell it what to feel, and then either feel it, or feel guilty for not feeling it.|
|2012||Real men don't give a shit what real men don't do.|
|2012||A particular desire is an unpleasant emotional state, relievable by either getting what is desired, or outgrowing the desire.|
|2012||The only thing restraining me from evil is threat of punishment. It's not that I enjoy evil. It's just that I dislike the inconvenience of having to avoid it.|
|2012||It's good to play chess with God, because you learn the game better whether you win or not. It's dumb to play poker with him, because he knows your cards.|
|2012||I figured Christmas would be a good day to do laundry because the laundromat would be less crowded. Lot of people think that.|
|2013||Acts done for the purpose of impressing are made less impressive by the awareness of that fact.|
|2013||Thinking outside the box doesn't imply ignoring what's inside the box. It just means refusing to be limited by the box.|
|2013||Even if your understanding is defective, it is good to help someone who understands less than you do to understand as much as you do.|
|2013||A truth seeker should invest more time in a laboratory than in a library.|
|2013||I can't say I'd never sell out. I've just never been offered enough.|
|2013||People don't want moral clarity. It denies them the ignorance excuse.|
|2013||If I speak in generalities, you have the right to demand specifics. But if I offer specifics, and you prefer generalities, you cease to be worth talking to.|
|2013||We all see some things that most people miss, and miss some things that most people see. Unfortunately we are only aware of the former. That's why most people look so stupid.|
|2013||Sometimes you know who not to trust, but you never know who to trust.|
|2013||When you see a metaphor, ask "What's the meta for?"
i.e. Why didn't the author just say it outright?
Here are some possibilities:
2. The author didn't want to say it outright,
a. because something bad might happen if he said it outright.
i. because he could get in trouble for saying it outright
ii. because people could see it was bogus if it were said outright.
3. The author couldn't say it outright,
a. because he had only a vague idea of what he wanted to say.
b. because it couldn't be said outright.
i. because it was bogus.
|2013||Many terms, phrases, and statements don't really mean what society has agreed to pretend they mean. The more you notice that, the more you despise the pretense.|
|2013||If you disagree with me, but can't articulate a logical disagreement, what you call a disagreement is merely emotional dislike. You willfully refuse to agree with me, because it would cost you your defective worldview.|
|2013||A competent hypocrite can do much better in society than a person of integrity because a competent hypocrite appears to be a person of integrity, thereby reaping the rewards intended for persons of integrity.|
|2013||Many hypocrites call themselves truth seekers just to wear the title.
Incorrigible agnostics call themselves truth seekers while denying their ability to recognize truth even if found.
Relativists may call themselves truth seekers while denying the existence of absolute truth.
Epistemological coherentists call themselves truth seekers, meaning only that they are consensus seekers.
Politicos and religionists are truth seekers. Sure! They seek whatever truth supports their conclusions.
Lie exposers are truth seekers - when they are not seeking more lies to expose.
No truth seeker is also a faith seeker, but some truth seekers may have faith.
|2013||Immanuel Kant was able to bullshit western civilization by giving it what it wanted - the illusion of a basis for morality while neither relying on a Supreme Being nor admitting atheism. He achieved this by asserting a sacred value of human beings without ever stating why that value exists. Furthermore, His supreme ideal of duty without selfish motive is impossible. One's only reason for even trying to attain it is selfish.|
|2013||If there is a God, we must all learn to distinguish divine communication from simple fear.|
|2013||Ultimate justification for epistemology is impossible, because the effort to tie up the loose ends creates more loose ends.|
|2013||Collective wisdom is the collective decision to brand certain ideas orthodox.|
|2013||If there is an afterlife, it too will probably be full of people who don't know what the meaning of life is.|
|2013||Every time you say, "Fine thank you. How are you?", you condescend to the corrupt value system that puts formality above sincerity.|
|2013||Though I'm a monotheist, I'm glad atheism is gaining ground. Despite its inherent nihilism, I think atheism is less socially toxic than any scripturalist religion, and has been so ever since the fall of the USSR, and especially since 9/11. Why else would it take the pedophile priest scandal over 1,000 years to break? Of course relative toxicity may change. But until the world wises up to the merits of non-scriptural monotheism, the best we can hope for is balanced copouts.|
|2013||Commitment to any worldview retards mental evolution and discovery of truth, even if that worldview is correct.|
|2013||If I get what I want, but dont deserve it, I wont feel right about it. And feeling right is part of what I want. So I cant get what I want without deserving it. Therefore I want only what I deserve.|
|2013||A man expressed an opinion, and I told him that he was correct. He didn't like it because I declared an objective standard of truth on something which he considered a matter of opinion. I further claimed to know something that he considered unknowable. But in fact I know that his opinion was objectively correct. So fuck him.|
|2013||Scripture based religions cannot keep up with the changing moral needs of a now overpopulated world.|
|2013||If you're going to tell me what I should do, first tell me why I should think you understand "should" better than I do.|
|2013||Once you admit you're in a particular category, people expect you to defend that category. And depending on how the category is defined, it may have subsets which don't apply to you, and which you have no intention of defending. But once a category is sufficiently defined, anyone with integrity will admit he is inside or outside of that category.|
|2013||It is reasonable to assume that your Creator wants you to exist, and will keep on wanting you to exist for as long as you are useful to him, and will want you to stop existing when you are no longer useful to him.|
|2013||When one doesn't care about being liked, one can expect to be disliked for no reason other than that.|
|2013||Truth seekers ask what is true. Truth evaders ask what is truth, figuring that since the question can't be answered without circularity, they cannot be bound by it.|
|2013||I'm socially retarded. I only talk when I have something to say.|
|2013||True is that which is. Good is that which is liked. Ought is that which causes the greatest good. If a thing is liked, but ultimately causes more of what is disliked, that thing is immediately good, but ultimately bad. An error may be immediately good, but ultimately bad, and vice versa. True is not related to good or ought.|
|2013||A creature that feels emotions deserves happiness only after it has willfully caused happiness. It deserves unhappiness only after it has willfully caused unhappiness.|
|2013||Philosophy is truth seeking. It is not reading something written by an assumed truth seeker, and saying spiffy things about it.|
|2013||Philosophy is about being right, not sounding smart. Rhetoric and sophistry are about sounding smart.|
|2013||The difference between you people and we people is that we people don't give a damn if you people call us you people.|
|2013||The reason why I'm so much "righter" than everybody else is not because I'm smarter. It's because I'm not afraid to be right.|
|2013||Absolute good is a meaningless term. Good relative to me is the only good that has meaning to me. Good relative to X is the only good that has meaning to X.|
|2013||A perfect circle can change in size, location, color, etc. and still be a perfect circle, because the perfection of a circle is relative to its shape. If a perfect circle changes shape, it is no longer a perfect circle. If you say God can change and still be perfect, then what do you mean by perfect? And in what does his perfection reside? If you say God is perfect in "Godness", you have destroyed any possible meaning of perfect. Any value of X is perfect in "Xness". If you say God is perfectly good, then what do you mean by good? And how can the world we see have been created by a perfectly good being?|
|2013||Love appears to be a very small baby in a lot of bath water. Herd mentality has gotten that water very dirty. But people are afraid to dump it because they might dump the baby. I'm not sure where the line is either. In fact, maybe the alleged baby is a fiction created to keep us out of nihilism.|
|2013||Learning true things in the wrong order can be harmful. Therefore it may be harmful to publicly state true things indiscriminately. We can all handle some truth, but no finite mind can handle all truth. '|
|2013||Anyone who drops a philosophical email discussion without stating a reason for doing so admits defeat.|
|2013||Any number of paradoxes can be imagined by looking at a set from a perspective containing fewer dimensions than the set implies.|
|2013||The Golden rule is a good general rule for most people. It is NOT a good universal rule for most people, because some people can't handle what most people can handle. And it is not a good general rule for all people, because masochists, for example, shouldn't be treating everybody like masochists want to be treated.|
|2013||Hope is good only if that which is hoped for is attainable, and doesn't cost more than it's worth.|
|2013||If you're designed to be a sheep, then by all means be a sheep. If you're not designed to be a sheep, then there's no point in trying to be a sheep much less in faking it. If you're designed to be a wolf, then you have a license to kill and eat sheep. But if you're designed with a sense of morality, you're not designed to be a wolf. In fact you have a license to kill any wolf, that's threatening a sheep.|
|2013||When a liberal says he likes a particular piece of art, he means he likes its esthetics. When a conservative says he likes a particular piece of art, he means he likes its values. Scarcity of conservative art makes conservatives eager to praise any they can find.|
|2013||God will correct your errors only if the God you've chosen corrects errors, and only if you ask for correction.|
|2013||I am something that has the sense to evaluate its own existence, and the guts to admit it in the presence of things that don't.|
|2013||The child-killing gods of Canaan were defeated by the child-rescuing God of Abraham, who was codified into the law-giving God of Moses, and hijacked as the genocidal God of Joshua. Because humans were stupid enough to accept Joshua's God as Supreme Being, the God of Muhammad became an inevitable antithesis. The necessary synthesis is non-scriptural monotheism.|
|2013||Helping other truth seekers find truth is all I'm socially good for, and all I want to be socially good for. If, however, you want to prove you can evade truth, don't waste my time. Any child can evade truth.|
|2013||We all deserve to be reborn into a world filled with others of our own kind, until we either love it, or hate it enough to change.|
|2013||Talking straight means never having to say you're sorry, unless you are.|
|2013||A thing is good because it is liked, not liked because it is good.|
|2013||The God of the Bible is totally specio-centric and largely ethno-centric both of which are qualities lacking in a universal God. Islam exists because one ethno-centric God deserves another.|
|2013||I'm just going to have to get used to the fact that the few people on this planet worth talking to have better things to do.|
|2013||You can't be right and be happy on this planet. Anyone who disagrees hasn't gotten right enough to see it.|
|2013||Low self-esteemers like to think anyone who doesn't think he's a low self-esteemer is a closet low self-esteemer, who lacks the integrity to admit it.|
|2013||Usually when I say something I later regret, it was belligerent.|
|2013||When freedom means freedom to cheat with impunity, I no longer want freedom.|
|2013||The only difference between panentheism and monotheism is the location of the Creation inside or outside of God.|
|2013||Defenders of privilege and defenders of justice are rarely on the same side.|
|2013||Won't let me register, because I'm already registered.
Won't let me log in because my password didn't match.
Won't let me change my password because I'm not logged in.
Kill them all!
|2013||You people with lives are so out of it. Don't you realize that television is passing you by?|
|2013||I might be a team player if I could ever find a team I'd want to be on.|
|2013||Even when I prove I'm right, people don't admit it. Better to just sit around being right, and wait until they figure it out.|
|2013||Believing something in order to gain reward or avoid punishment is something that can't even be done by a person of integrity.|
|2013||There was a time when I wanted to be married before I got a good look at marriage. Now I'm glad I missed it. Gladder still that I never procreated.|
|2013||You don't go straight to the G-spot if I remember right.|
|2013||Television has gotten so stupid that there's nothing to do any more but go to the computer and download porn.|
|2013||The judicial system: You raise your right hand. You swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, all with your left hand on a book that tells you not to swear. What the fuck?|
|2013||Gifts are for children. Adults gifting adults always expect something in return.|
|2013||Common sense is obviously defective. Logic has no defects. But most people's understanding of logic is defective. To the degree to which your understanding of logic is less reliable than your common sense, you should rely on your common sense. But common sense should also tell you that you should learn logic well enough that your understanding of logic becomes more reliable than your common sense.
No authority can be shown to be without defects. To the degree that a particular authority is more reliable than your common sense, you should rely on that authority. But if that authority conflicts with logic, common sense should tell you that authority is unreliable, and you should learn logic well enough that your understanding of logic becomes more reliable than that authority.
|2013||If the pope shits in the woods, and nobody smells it, do guns kill people, or just make them stronger?|
|2013||General vs. particular is an either / or distinction. General vs. specific is a matter of degree. There are degrees of specificity, but no degrees of particularity.|
|2013||Humans are addicted to truth killers, especially when they can justify that addiction with a prescription from any convenient authority.|
|2013||Maharishi asked, "Why are you leaving?" John Lenon answered, "If you were so cosmically conscious, you'd know." Maharishi could have said, "I asked the question not because I don't know the answer, but because I wanted you to answer it." But Maharishi didn't think of that response, which means Lenon was right.|
|2013||Threat of eternal torture may be sufficient reason to worship someone or something. But it does not make that person or thing worthy of worship.|
|2013||I pledge allegiance to truth and justice as I understand them, and nothing else.|
|2013||It's only a matter of time before religious terrorists make the evils of scripturalism obvious enough for moral theists to abandon scripturalism.|
|2013||Legislating morality can make acts illegal, but not immoral.|
|2013||The only reason any living thing does anything is to feel better, either immediately, or in the future.|
|2013||Arguably, the favorite of all human errors is the conflation of true and good.|
|2013||It's always morally correct to have morally correct opinions. But it's not always morally correct to express those opinions, because any moral principle can be taken to an immoral extreme.|
|2013||Don't bother putting on cosmetics for someone who has already seen you naked.|
|2013||I'm very grateful to Jesus for being there when I needed him, for pointing me in what appears to be the right direction, for teaching me what he had to teach, and then for getting out of my way.|
|2013||Truth is learned one step at a time. If you show someone a truth that's two or more steps ahead of him, he won't be able to see it. He may believe it, but he won't understand it.|
|2013||Bullshit is socially legitimized when a proponent wins a defamation suit against someone who called it bullshit.|
|2013||Most people are not worth talking to. Those that are worth talking to are worth it only up to a point.|
|2013||If you make a clear statement, and somebody misunderstands it, no point in trying to correct their misunderstanding, because your explanation will be more complicated than the original statement.|
|2013||The degree to which you care about truth is the degree to which I care about you.|
|2013||One of the most insincere things a person can do is to try to cultivate the appearance of sincerity.|
|2013||Logic, unlike the Bible, can be trusted to keep you sane. But obsession with logic can also make you autistic.|
|2013||Ontologically correct decisions are those which get the best results. Epistemologically correct decisions are those which insure the best chance of success, based on available data.|
|2013||The fact that one has multiple motives for a single act does not mean the baser motives are dominant or sufficient.|
|2013||Few have integrity. Even the most honest change over time. Long term commitments should be avoided.|
|2013||I'm accused of either being imprecise or convoluted. Everyone's Goldilocks zone is different and often doesn't exist.|
|2013||History is a cesspool of ego vs. ego, with an occasional glimpse of honor.|
|2013||Christianity is good, in that it keeps many people out of nihilism, and offers them as much of a connection to the Supreme Being as they can handle. But it was never designed as a permanent spiritual residence. The only people who stay in it are either weaklings who need to be continually re-forgiven, or dummies, who never caught onto logic, or logical people who threw out common sense, and with it their God given sense of justice, which had to go in order to justify a God who dispenses unjust punishments and unjust rewards for unjust reasons.|
|2013||Now that I'm accustomed to unhappiness, it's not all that bad. So once again I don't know what to say when people ask how I'm doing.|
|2013||Accepting my own mental limitations is even more difficult than accepting yours.|
|2013||I see no reason to convert a moral atheist to Christianity. But if a Christian is only moral because he's a Christian, I'm glad he's a Christian, and any atheist should be glad he's a Christian.|
|2013||I find few people worth talking to. Of those, few realize that I'm worth talking to. And of those, few have the time.|
|2013||When observed phenomena have an unknown cause, and a hypothesis is proposed which explains them, that hypothesis is epistemologically probable to any mind that can't think of a more probable hypothesis. Offensiveness does not make a hypothesis less probable. Any mind that rejects a hypothesis for offensiveness, but can't think of a more probable hypothesis, makes an epistemological error. Any mind that allows emotional preference to affect its probability judgment makes an epistemological error.
All of this remains true in retrospect even if the original hypothesis is later proven incorrect.
"Someday science will have a hypothesis" is not a hypothesis.
|2013||It has proven best for me to move slowly with new people. Too much of me at once can cause them to form erroneous conclusions.|
|2013||You deserve what you deserve now. But you don't necessarily have a moral right to it now. You have a moral right to what you deserve eventually.|
|2013||Thoughts once scrambled by an erroneous worldview cannot be unscrambled until that worldview is updated to accommodate them.|
|2013||The "problem of the one and the many" is a result of failure to recognize the ambiguity in the term "one". It is used to label 2 concepts:
1. indivisible oneOnce this ambiguity is recognized, the problem disintegrates.
2. divisible one
|2013||As a non-scriptural monotheist, I can sincerely say, thank God for Bill Maher.|
|2013||Esthetic consistency is often a hobgoblin to small minds. Logical consistency is a hobgoblin only to small minds.|
|2013||Christians have a corrupt concept of justice, caused by the effort to justify a God who does unjust things. This cannot be proven for lack of an authoritative definition of justice. But it can be illustrated by pushing their concept to its various logical conclusions, until its absurdities become unignorable.|
|2013||All forms of scripture are to your Creator as manuals are to computer applications, except that they don't teach you how to operate him; they teach you how to be operated by him. At first, scripture is helpful. But the more experience you have with him, the less you need the manual. Eventually you discover that the manual was poorly written, and full of errors.|
|2013||Minds, if designed by a Creator, are designed to learn and evolve. That purpose can be thwarted by willfully clinging to what you've been taught, as is advocated by Paul: 2nd Thes 2:15, 2nd Tim 1:13, Col 2:7, Tit 1:9|
|2013||One set of scriptures will necessarily contain the least erroneous approximation of truth. That doesn't mean it's true.|
|2013||The law of entropy can be interpreted such that life is, or is not, a violation of it. The latter interpretation requires some convoluted effort.|
|2013||Being right is more important than being influential up to a certain point. Once you're right enough that your influence on your community is beneficial, it becomes more important to be more influential than to be more right.|
|2013||If the greed of the rich is not checked by laws, a revolt of the poor is unavoidable. Justice is more important than freedom.|
|2013||Faith is an epistemic bastard conceived by the fornication of probability judgment and trust in the brothel of the human mind.|
|2013||If Wycliffe and Huss had said, "If I can't be Luther, forget it," Luther would not have succeeded.|
|2013||I make a big deal out of admitting my errors because I want to show other people how it's done.|
|2013||If proposition X is true, but can lead to moral errors, then it is morally wrong (or at least dangerous) to believe proposition X until one knows how to avoid those errors. Therefore it is morally good for some people to believe proposition X, and bad for others. In 2013 it is morally bad for most people to believe non-scriptural monotheism. But that will change.|
|2013||For the purpose of truth seeking:
1. precise terminology is always preferable to metaphor.
a. but comprehensible approximation is preferable to incomprehensible precision.
2. less ambiguous terms are always preferable to more ambiguous terms.
|2013||I'm not exceptionally intelligent. I'm just highly evolved as a truth seeker, because I don't have significant others to slow me down. When others depend on you to keep on being the person you always were, it makes you resistant to change.|
|2014||I'm here to be helpful, not to win arguments. If only my stupid ego could remember that.|
|2014||People tell me my social skills are shit. But what the fuck do they know?|
|2014||When you know the difference between having fun and looking like you're having fun, you don't have much fun.|
|2014||If you know you are doing your best to comply with your Creator, you have no reason to care what the rest of the universe thinks of you.|
|2014||Nothing is more "word of God" than logic. And it's sharper than anything in the Bible.|
|2014||Non-scriptural monotheism is not a religion to be believed. It's a set of conclusions to be figured out.|
|2014||Argument From Insufficient Stupidity: Unaided matter is not of itself stupid enough to bind together into self replicating units that end up being more irritable and frustrated than their component parts. That appears to require an external will forcing it.|
|2014||Argument From Existence Bias overriding Intellect: How is it that I am both smart enough to figure out the Argument From Insufficient Stupidity and dumb enough to not consider suicide. That appears to require an external will forbidding it.|
|2014||Human interest stories don't interest me and I'm glad of it.|
|2014||If God creates a free-will creature, he has lost control over that creature for as long as he allows it to exist.|
|2014||Reason is not needed to assert a possibility. Reason is needed to deny a possibility.
A logical possibility does not require evidence. It requires lack of contrary evidence. [corrected 2016]
An ontological possibility cannot be known to exist without evidence.
|2014||Calling bullshit on something does not compel the opposition to admit it's bullshit, or even help a neutral party see that it's bullshit.|
|2014||If a principle you assert negates your own epistemology, you have no epistemic right to assert it even if it's perfectly true.|
|2014||A person who can't respond to an argument often demands definition of the terms in it ad infinitum.|
|2014||I'm a truth seeker, not a lie swatter. Both swat lies. But truth seekers look for more truth, and lie swatters look for more lies to swat.|
|2014||Mechanical how = mechanical why. But mechanics don't explain motivation.|
|2014||I never do anything that doesn't appear to be in my best interest.
There are people who claim to do things just because it is the right thing to do.
That means either I am morally defective, or they are suffering from delusions of righteousness.
|2014||A person who sacrifices his life for the sake of another does so because he would rather be dead than live knowing he could have helped that person and didn't.|
|2014||According to The People's Chronology by Trager, watermelon was cultivated in Africa c. 2000 BCE. Is that fact racist? Is Trager racist for reporting it. Am I racist for asking these questions? Frankly, I don't give a shit.|
|2014||Some errors are more easily seen after they are made. An honest mistake is more honorable than cowardice, but may also be more costly.|
|2014||There is a conspiracy among those who control everything to create more conspiracy theories to camouflage the real conspiracy.|
|2014||"I don't like X," states only the absence of a particular emotion. "I dislike X," states the presence of the opposite of that emotion.|
|2014||The ultimate atheist/theist compromise: Shit happens for a reason.|
|2014||There is no logical connection between "is" and "ought".
Maybe there ought to be, but there isn't.
That ought to be blatantly obvious, but it isn't.
That ought to go without saying, but it doesn't, because people ought to keep their emotions out of their epistemology, but they don't.
|2014||Most atheists are smarter than most theists, because most theists believe what they are told. Most atheists take the time to figure out why they don't believe what they are told.|
|2014||If divine economics requires two units of unhappiness to create one unit of happiness, then the whole set of things that feel happiness and unhappiness should not exist.|
|2014||Between a finite number and an infinite number exists an incalculable number.|
|2014||An apparently sincere question from a person who has already proven to be a game player is just part of his game.|
|2014||I'm not here to dazzle kids with spiritual radiance. I'm here to help truth seekers get to the next step on their own trip.|
|2014||If your God is inconsistent with your experience, you have the wrong God. If his alleged word is inconsistent with your experience, you havent gotten the word.|
|2014||I know I'm a person because I have access to my thoughts. But nobody else can know if I'm a person or a robot who talks like one.|
|2014||Theism is beneficial to philosophy because it gets people trying to figure out meaning. Tradition (theistic or otherwise) is detrimental to philosophy, because it makes people afraid to examine unapproved thought lines, except in effort to prove untraditional lines wrong. These frightened minds seek to resolve the flaws in approved reasoning by constructing external rational scaffolding to prop it up. The more flawed the reasoning, the more elaborate the scaffolding necessary to prop it up or just mask or camouflage its flaws. The greatest scaffolding-makers are applauded by tradition as the greatest philosophers.
Theists who engage in this sophistry generate atheists. Worse yet, they generate an aversion to philosophy among both theists and atheists. This creates theists who base their worldviews on tradition and scripture, and atheists who base their worldviews on science, without ever examining the impotence of science to discover meaning.
|2014||Being forgiven relieves legal debt but not moral debt.|
|2014||Tradition will admit that understanding of God is progressive, but then disallow any progress beyond what has already been made.|
|2014||The "problem of the one and the many" is a mind trap that demands a choice between infinite regress and paradox. It demands a unifying force behind any two things, but can't identify such a force that doesn't consist of more than one thing. Homogeneous substance can't do anything, let alone unify anything.|
|2014||Theism and atheism are both efforts to stay or become sane in a world that doesn't make sense.
Some people are better off as theists.
Some people are better off as atheists.
The world is better off if some people are theists and others are atheists.
If there's a just God, it doesn't matter which you are, as long as you behave morally.
If there's no God, it doesn't matter which you are, whether you behave morally or not.
Problems arise when atheists figure this out, and when theists assume an unjust God who tortures people for believing the wrong scripture package, and allow this belief to overrule their natural sense of morality.
|2014||Tradition rejects ideas and statements on grounds of heresy, rather than falsity or improbability. Therefore tradition is detrimental to truth seeking.|
|2014||Normal and ordinary mean denotatively the same concept. Yet everyone wants to be normal, but not ordinary.|
|2014||Theism as a thesis does not automatically generate the antithesis, atheism at least not a popular and powerful atheism. It is only after theism has been corrupted by scripture and centuries of theological tradition that Hegelian dialectic generates a popular and powerful antithesis which atheism will soon become, if it has not yet arrived. The necessary synthesis is non-scriptural monotheism. You are looking at it on the horizon.|
|2014||If an African American is cheap, mean, miserly, parsimonious, and stingy, is he therefore niggardly?|
|2014||If a thing is good, then it is necessarily true that it is good. But if a statement is true, it is not necessarily good that it is true.|
|2014||The biggest philosophical copout of the N.T. is that love is the greatest value i.e. greater than justice that it somehow justifies all manner of unjust shit.|
|2014||I assume I've been put here to learn things. So I try to figure out what I'm supposed to learn, and then learn it. I can't say this assumption has produced pleasant results.|
|2014||The least illogical explanation is necessarily the best epistemological explanation, but it may contain an ontologically false conclusion, because one of the premises may be false. If one of the premises is inconceivable, a valid syllogism containing it will yield a logical conclusion of unknowable truth value.|
|2014||Mental gravitation flows toward rational acceptability, but is resisted by emotional unpleasantness caused when previous reference points are exposed as unreliable.|
|2014||Spacetime consists of dimensions which exist in straight lines, each orthogonal to the previous. The next discovered dimension will probably, but not necessarily, be likewise. That dimension may be mind.|
|2014||A theist says, "I exist. Why?" He then proceeds to speculate on answers, and then bets his life on one of them.
An atheist says, "I exist. I will continue to exist until I don"t exist. And that is sufficient."
It is clear why theists want to talk to atheists: They think they are doing good, and will be rewarded for it. They have both altruistic and selfish motivation.
But why do atheists want to talk to theists? They could say, "to persuade theists to either deconvert, or quit doing things that make atheists" lives unpleasant." An alternative answer is that existence alone is not sufficient, and they have not escaped the "why?" question.
|2014||If God creates something, then either he wanted to create it, or it's an unwanted but necessary side effect of another action. If God is omnipotent, there are no unwanted but necessary side effects.|
|2014||Theologians are smart enough to know that nothing can come from nothing, but too dumb to figure out that something that has no parts can't do anything.|
|2014||Some things can be defined only in terms of what they are not. If something is defined in terms of what it is not, the definition is sufficient if and only if there is nothing else that is not those same things.|
|2014||Religions have proven that psychological stability can be achieved by constant repetition of a sufficiently popular set of lies.|
|2014||Religionists can be taught in large groups. Truth seekers must be taught individually.|
|2014||People who care more about the appearance of intelligence than being right are unfortunately the best company I can find on this planet of apes.|
|2014||Another tip to rescuers: Helping someone get on his feet is a moral act. Helping someone delay bankruptcy is a waste of money.|
|2014||There is no point in advising a man to bet his life on an improbable something until he has had his fill of nothing.|
|2014||Fear causes religion.
Emotional reaction against religion causes atheism.
Rational reaction against emotional reaction causes non-scriptural monotheism.
Abandonment of all emotion causes nihilism and mental annihilation.
|2014||If morality could be acquired by magic (or miracle), there would be no reason to have to learn it.|
|2014||It is more moral to bet on justice and lose, than to bet on injustice and win. Either this planet of apes will evolve enough soul to see that, or it will self-destruct in a squabble among unjust Gods and atheists.|
|2014||A democracy can't rescue a nation from chaos. That takes a tyrant. A democracy can rescue a nation from tyranny, only when a strong middle class is present.|
|2014||There is no being, created or otherwise, who will say other than what he believes to be in his own best interest. Trustworthiness is a separate issue. A being is trustworthy only if trusting him is in the truster's best interest. Trustworthiness cannot be known even in hindsight, because past reliability may have been a set up. Therefore, never agree to an eternal contract.|
|2014||Truth is always learned in finite segments. The order in which those segments are learned can cause happiness or unhappiness, wealth or poverty, life or death, etc. A truth seeker has a right to discriminate.|
|2014||If any essential part of the universe were otherwise, the universe would not exist as what it is. There is no part of the universe which can be shown to be non-essential. Therefore asking what would be the result if some part of reality were otherwise is illegitimate.|
|2014||Except for the purpose of exercise, any time spent learning or playing a game would be better spent learning or doing something useful.|
|2014||If a tree falls on George Berkeley in the forest, and nobody cares, would he still say, "to be is to be perceived"?|
|2014||Bad teachers will be quickly out-thought by their students. Good teachers less quickly.|
|2014||Emotional preference is always detrimental to the correctness of a probability judgment. A set of probability judgments based around an emotional preference could rightly be called a mind virus. Any mind with such a virus is retarded relative to the same mind without that virus.
However, emotional preference is quite appropriate when placing bets, because the soundness of a bet is not based on probability alone, but also on risk to reward ratio. Risk to reward ratio is a value judgment made subjectively by emotion to determine the most desirable of realistic possibilities.
That which gets you what you want on the short term is likely to be different even antithetical to that which gets you what you want on the long term. Emotional economics should be sufficient to tell you that long term is more important. The longest term encompasses the total duration of your future existence, which may or may not end with the termination of your physical life. There is no way to judge the probability of the total duration of your existence. All attempts to judge probable duration of existence are emotion based, and can result in mind virus.
|2014||A kid makes a stupid mistake, and it ruins his life.
To redeem himself, he writes a song about it to warn other kids not to do likewise.
The song is so beautiful that it inspires kids to want to write songs like it.
And the only way to do that is to make stupid mistakes.
|2014||I don't belong in polite society, because I'd rather talk straight than be polite.|
|2014||A thought experiment that treats hypothetical concepts as necessarily existing concepts, or vice versa, is a bogus thought experiment.|
|2014||Committing yourself to a particular worldview as an experiment to see what comes of it, is a sensible and honorable thing to do. Committing yourself to a particular worldview because you dislike all the apparent alternatives is flat out stupid.|
|2014||Now that I've had a good look at normal people, I thank God for Aspergers.|
|2014||The fact that something is made intentionally does not imply that it is made without mistakes, or that it couldn't have been made better with a little more effort. It only implies that its maker is neither omniscient nor omnipotent.|
|2014||If statements are inspired by God at all, very few of them are inspired in the absolute sense - i.e. that they are objectively true universally and eternally. Most of them are inspired relative to particular recipients - i.e. they accomplish something God wants to accomplish in those recipients. The same statements may not be inspired by God relative to other recipients - or even to the same recipient at a later time. If a particular statement accomplishes something God doesn't want to accomplish in a particular recipient, then that statement was definitely not inspired by God in the absolute sense.|
|2014||Faith is for children, and others who lack the critical thinking skills to get to worthwhile life.|
|2014||Two guys arguing over what a 3rd guy said can be profitable only if the 3rd guy didn't say anything ambiguous. Two guys arguing over what a 3rd guy meant by what he said is a waste of time.|
|2014||The problem of the one and the many (pom) is not resolved by saying the Supreme Being has no parts, because something that has no parts can't do anything.
The pom is resolved by saying the SB is the sum of his parts, and is not in back of the sum of his parts, and by abandoning the erroneous idea that any two things must have a separate unifier behind them.
|2014||Knowledge and morality may be nothing more than necessary illusions. i.e.
Knowledge is necessary for a sentient being to operate.If knowledge and morality exist objectively, a personal Supreme Being in which they reside is necessary. (TAG & AFR)
Morality is necessary for sentient beings to operate in community.
Atheists can claim to have knowledge and know morality as necessary illusions. But once they figure out that they are operating in a state of illusion, they can be held accountable for willfully choosing illusion over objective reality - but only if objective reality exists, and can be shown to exist.
|2014||Truth does not make anyone free.
Some truth makes you more free; some truth makes you less free.Knowledge of truth does not make anyone free.
Some knowledge makes you more free; some knowledge makes you less free.Freedom and obligation are held in balance at every level of truth knowledge.
Increased knowledge shifts the balance, sometimes one way, and sometimes the other.
Knowledge of truth doesn't come by believing truth; it comes by testing apparent truth by experience, and processing experience by reason.
|2014||If there's a scary thought in the middle of the Yellow Brick Road, you can't get around it. You're going to have to think thru it - unless this life is all there is, and you can go think other thoughts and die first. Otherwise that thought is going to keep coming back.|
|2014||Monotheism itself is not stupid. All institutionalized forms of it are stupid because they contain stupid parts - mainly their interpretation of scripture.|
|2014||All roads toward God start at wherever you are. Therefore there are millions of them. Many of them bottle-neck at Jesus. But there is no reason to think they all do.|
|2014||Nobody wants to be dumb. But many people want to hang onto beliefs that make them dumb.|
|2014||It's OK to start with the fear of an unjust God, but if you stay there, you haven't been paying attention.|
|2014||Objective good and evil require an objective judge of good and evil. Justice, however, is that which is deserved. A given crime deserves a proportional punishment. A given quantity of charity deserves a proportional reward. These are arithmetical equations, and remain objective regardless of the opinion of any judge. Justice remains constant, whether any judge gets it right or not.|
|2014||Though Berkeleyanism cannot be proven wrong, it is demonstrably groundless. There is no property of perception such that it can affect an object perceived. If an object is affected by a perceiver, either that perceiver did more than perceive, or the object perceived the perceiver.|
|2014||All belief systems in theology and politics are subject to dialectic process, because they improve previous systems, but they all become corrupted.|
|2014||I'm a racist. I don't like being a racist, but the fact is, I prefer my own kind, whether I like it or not. That doesn't mean I have to act racist.|
|2014||If you don't surpass your mentor, one of you hasn't done his job.|
|2014||The greatest lie of scripture is that love justifies injustice.|
|2014||Why did the terrorist fly the plane into the building?
Because he didn't have a nuke.
|2014||That which is true and that which should be said are not identical categories, because life is fragile, but truth isn't. Life cannot handle all truth. Any truth seeker will necessarily discover more truth than he can handle. At that point he will either learn to handle it, or cop out and join the rest of the human race, or die. Truth will eventually kill everyone who doesn't learn how to handle it. And maybe that's a good thing. Maybe we're all fools for hanging onto it.|
|2014||Sometimes you have to break rules in order to discover why you shouldn't have done so. This is knowledge that's likely to cost more than it's worth. A truth seeker should not seek it.|
|2014||Moral rules should not be broken. But human society generates counterfeit moral rules that should be broken.|
|2014||If there were no people ahead of their time, their time would never arrive.|
|2014||Emotion doesn't like moral clarity, because emotion wants happiness for self. Moral clarity favors happiness for the entire set of things that feel emotion, does the math and accepts the conclusions.|
|2014||The people who deny that Jesus ever existed have arguments similar to this one: The story of George Washington cutting down the cherry tree is bullshit. Therefore George Washington didn't exist.|
|2014||If there's an afterlife, I know exactly what I'm going to say when I get there: "Are there any non-scriptural monotheists here" If yes, "Where are they?" If no, "How do I apply for termination of existence?"|
|2014||Reality is that which is.
Truth is a verbal description of reality.
Propositional knowledge is recognition that a particular statement either could not be true or could not be false.
|2014||Why don't I read? I do; I read history. Why don't I read philosophy? Because I have no respect for people who, when they can't answer a question, refer to some person or book that allegedly answers it.|
|2014||Politeness is no substitute for integrity.|
|2014||When the purpose for which you were hired conflicts with the orders you are paid to obey,... Sorry. That's as far as I got.|
|2014||The atheists, with their totally groundless morality, somehow have the moral sense to reject an unjust God, which most monotheists, with their logically grounded morality, do not have, because most monotheists are scripturalists, and the God of all bodies of scripture is unjust.|
|2014||Christianity offers forgiveness to everyone. That includes:
1. those who will use it as another shot at becoming moralChristianity also tries to sell forgiveness to those who don't need it.
2. those who will abuse it to remain immoral with impunity
|2015||Helping truth seekers is a moral endeavor. Even trying and failing is moral. Bantering with non-truthseekers is a waste of time, and I'm done with it.|
|2015||I would rather be right on an island with nothing but my own echo, than wrong with all the company I could possibly want.
I would rather be right in solitude, than wrong in community.
|2015||You can't get a denier of obvious reality to admit he's denying obvious reality by confronting him with obvious reality. You just have to wait until he gets tired of denying obvious reality.|
|2015||The effort to make a statement more precise often increases its complexity, thereby decreasing its clarity.|
|2015||Tattoos are for people who don't know they're going to change.|
|2015||Unlike most people, I have my shit together - which makes it all the more clearly shit - but still better than muddled shit.|
|2015||Plausible deniability is for lawyers and politicians, not truth seekers.|
|2015||A blurred line may be evidence of bad vision, or just a blurred line.|
|2015||You are never totally honest with someone from whom you wants something - unless you want the apparent rewards of honesty more.|
|2015||When a person persistently misunderstands you, or pretends to, there is no point in talking to him, unless it benefits other people listening.|
|2015||Good philosophy, like good science, doesn't have to be correct. It just has to be one step closer to correct than the competing theories.|
|2015||I don't care if you're a theist or atheist. I care if you're a truthseeker or non- truthseeker, and rational or non-rational.|
|2015||I'm not aware of anything that I'm not aware of. But I'm aware of the category of things that I'm not aware of.|
|2015||If Islam doesn't police its criminals, the world will criminalize Islam.|
|2015||I may not be right, but I'm as right as I can be.|
|2015||I'd rather be right than be useful to God. But I'd rather be useful to a just God than right.|
|2015||If a valid argument might be sound, it should not be discounted on grounds of heresy.|
|2015||I believe the Bible is inspired by our Creator in the sense of being expedient to get people connected up with our Creator. I do not believe the Bible is inspired by our Creator in the sense of telling the truth, because people are too ignorant, unintelligent, stupid, and frightened to handle the truth.
Also, our Creator may have inspired people to write things which were useful for a time, but then remain codified as scripture after they have outlived their usefulness. When this happens, the same Creator will necessarily inspire people to figure it out, and reinterpret their scriptures.
|2015||The only good scripturalist is a hypocrite.|
|2015||It doesn't matter what other people think. Other people are full of shit. What matters is you being right or wrong, because that's what determines your future happiness. Other people's thoughts are relevant only proportional to their ability to help you get more right.|
|2015||A set of scriptures gives people the "blessed assurance" of being on the same side as their Creator, when in fact they don't know that to be true.|
|2015||Though I'm no longer a Christian, some of my most significant spiritual steps seem to occur at Easter.|
|2015||I, like everyone else, make unsubstantiated assertions every day, and also in my polemic material. If anyone denies my unsubstantiated assertion for that reason alone, let him propose what he considers a more reasonable alternative, or admit that my unsubstantiated assertion is the most reasonable alternative he can think of.|
|2015||I always have been socially immature for my age. Now that I'm 69, that's finally starting to work for me.|
|2015||I'm logically consistent, but not politically consistent. I agree with Bill Maher and O'Reilly about 90% of the time. And I like them both.|
|2015||One of their favorite dumb rebuttals: "There's more to it than that."
Yeah. There's more to anything than anything. What more is relevant?
|2015||Never argue against mathematics or logic. Don't bother arguing against fools who do.|
|2015||I'm no good at speed-thinking. I care about being right, not quick. My first drafts suck.|
|2015||When circumstantial adversity happens more frequently or intensely than usual for no apparent reason, it can be attributed to 1 of 3 causes:
1. coincidental bad luckAs a theist, I assume #2. This assumption has definitely not gotten me to worthwhile life, but it has put me on a path which will necessarily lead to worthwhile life, if worthwhile life is attainable thru willful effort.
2. attempted correction by a benevolent external power
3. malevolence by a sadistic external power
|2015||Either the set of all things is the only thing outside of the set of all things, or a set can be a member of itself or there is no such thing as the set of all things.|
|2015||Assumption precedes knowledge.
Assumption is the epistemic starting point of all finite minds.
The foundational assumption is baseless.
We all assume that we know despite inability to define assumption or knowledge without circularity. This cannot be proven to anyone who doesn't see it. It simply must be figured out. It is figured out by trying and failing to think of an alternative. Epistemic inescapability does not prove ontological truth, but it's as close as any mind can get to such proof.
|2015||Don't waste time proving fools wrong logically. They won't admit it. Just keep speaking logically for the benefit of logical people.
Don't waste time trying to talk common sense into fools. Just keep speaking sensibly for the benefit of sensible people.
Atheists can be pushed into abandoning logic. Christians can be pushed into abandoning common sense. Non-scriptural monotheists cannot be pushed into abandoning either.
|2015||It's going to take a lot of philanthropy to offset the grief caused by the Dirty Operating System Bill Gates sold to the world.|
|2015||Once people know you have something to say, they'll talk to you about anything but that.|
|2015||Most people evaluate what you are saying not by its rationality, but by the number of their friends who agree with it.|
|2015||Mistakes are forgivable. Lying in defense of family and country is at least understandable. But willful disseminators of false info for ideological reasons deserve to have their noses rubbed in it.|
|2015||The world has an optimal number of people for their optimal collective happiness. When that number is exceeded, voluntary abortion is moral.|
|2015||My opponents say, "That's all been addressed." Yeah well, address it now, or admit you can't, and I'll do the same for any point you make.|
|2015||Common sense (in addition to being consensus of opinion) is a mental faculty we all use every day in every area of life, except when we willfully chose to overrule it with faith.|
|2015||I think the effort to defend wrong thinking contributes to senility. But if I start getting senile, I'll probably change my mind.|
|2015||Possible and probable are distinct legitimate concepts. Plausible is a term which serves no purpose but to ambiguate them. Nuances of meaning are for prose & poetry, not philosophy.|
|2015||Sometimes people argue with me when I'm obviously right, just because they didn't think of it first. It may be best to lead them to where they will think of it, let them say it first, then agree with them. Shit! I just now figured out that's what women do.|
|2015||Accidental events cannot have intended parts. But intentional acts can have accidental parts, as well as accidental side effects and consequences.|
|2015||Anyone who thinks a just God would damn someone for calling someone a fool is a fool. (Ref, Mat 5:22)|
|2015||In my opinion, Judaism and Christianity improved the thinking and morality of the worlds in which they originated. Even Islam improved the Arabia of its time. The next step is long overdue.|
|2015||The fact that you have a moral right to do something doesn't mean it is always moral to do it. I have a moral right to say nigger, but it's not always moral to say it.|
|2015||I don't know that I'm sane. But I know I'm trying to be sane. If God himself accuses me of not trying, I accuse God of lying.|
|2015||If we are created for a purpose, part of that purpose must be to teach us to overcome the forces that would try to make us insane. Some of those forces are clearly represented in the scriptures this species has been dumb enough to create.|
|2015||Bill O'Reilly, Bill Maher, and me: We're all right and we know it. Strange that we can't just get along.|
|2015||I have never experienced an Earthly pleasure that can drown out the philosophical background noise.|
|2015||I'm tired of listening to people talk about race, so I must be a racist.|
|2015||Truth seekers don't have leaders. Nobody can guide anybody. But we're all catalysts to each other. We help each other get to where we're going sooner.|
|2015||I think Socrates, Plato, Aristotle, etc. would be proud to have inspired people who find and point out their errors, and ashamed to have inspired people who agree with them because of their status.|
|2015||People trying to act morally deserve respect, even when they act immorally.
People not trying to act morally deserve no respect, even when they act morally.
|2015||It's called overcompensation for historical oppression. When I was a kid, it was love Jews. Now it's love blacks, and Hispanics. Gays are next.|
|2015||A person who rewards you for trusting him is encouraging loyalty, possibly to give you more responsibility, and possibly to set you up for a sting.|
|2015||After dedicating my life to a righteous God, I've become so fucking righteous that I can't begin to tell you how much I impress myself.|
|2015||If you make a point, which you got from a book, don't tell me I need to read the book before I'm qualified to refute the point.|
|2015||You can compare apples and oranges. They're both fruit. But if you compare apple pie and oranges, you've jumped some categories.|
|2015||People who think with their emotions are worthless for discussing truth and probability.|
|2015||Analize your emotions. Don't emotionalize your analytics.|
|2015||No one would pledge allegiance to anything if they took pledges seriously.|
|2015||Is it immoral for the poor to steal from the rich? Yes, if the rich got rich morally. Otherwise no.|
|2015||Theists behave morally to get a better reward in an assumed afterlife. Atheists behave morally to prove they don't need that sort of thing. Those who behave morally because it feels good do so only when it feels good.|
|2015||To say that every act of God is purely intentional, and has no accidental parts or consequences, is to affirm determinism.|
|2015||Any reasoning based on a Berkeleyan view of reality is of unknowable truth value, even if otherwise flawless.|
|2015||Religion is necessary because people are stupid - so stupid as to think atheism is the only alternative.|
|2015||Many people start in a logical direction, find the conclusion unpleasant, and swerve off to settle for a good attitude.|
|2015||Keeping it real implies changing as particular experiences of reality change.|
|2015||When a person claims not to see what any fool can plainly see, that person is no longer worth talking to on that subject, even if he has proven worth talking to on other subjects.|
|2015||The core difference between theists and atheists is that theists perceive a need for an objective epistemic anchor point in order to operate epistemically.|
|2015||To say that a fiction is untrue because it is a fiction is incorrect, because a fiction may be accidentally true, entirely or in part.|
|2015||Scripturalists interpret scripture by whatever interpretation best allows the possibility of its being true.
Non-scripturalists interpret scripture by whatever interpretation best accounts for its existence.
|2015||It's hard enough trying to figure out what is true without trying to figure out what some other person thinks is true.
When discussing reality, it's hard enough trying to figure out what we think is true without trying to figure out what we think some 3rd party thinks.
|2015||Inexpensive philanthropy makes me feel good. Expensive philanthropy makes me feel stupid.|
|2015||Self interest is primary. It includes morality and philanthropy only inasmuch as those things appear to benefit self.|
|2015||The "inerrant autographs" defense is the reverse of a strawman argument.
A strawman argument is an easily refuted argument that's irrelevant to the point being defended.
The "inerrant autographs" defense is an unassailable (though unprovable) defense that's irrelevant to the point being defended - which is that the Bible contains no errors.
It serves 3 purposes:
1. to give young or stupid Christians the illusion that the Bible contains no errors
2. to give smart Christians who know the Bible contains errors an unassailable defense
3. to give those smart Christians a badge of legitimacy in the eyes of the young or stupid Christians
|2015||I want to be disillusioned. I wish I were never illusioned in the first place. If life can't be made worthwhile without illusions, life shouldn't exist.|
|2015||You know you've been philosophizing too much when you throw the dirty towel in the toilet and piss in the clothes hamper.|
|2015||The whole world is morally retarded, because after procreating, we have to justify bringing another person into a shitty world.|
|2015||Wrong spelling and pronunciation can become legitimized by tradition. Wrong ideas remain wrong despite tradition.|
|2015||Any time you say or sing anything in unison with a group, you're either lying or being lied to or both.|
|2015||I can't boast that I force people to see the wrongness in their thinking, but I do make it more difficult for them to ignore it.|
|2015||Two truth seekers can help each other. One truth seeker and a worldview salesman can be beneficial for the truth seeker only if he has not already heard what the worldview salesman has to say.|
|2015||Don't even bother trying to sell a person green eggs and ham, until he's already tried everything else on the menu, and found it lacking.|
|2015||Correlation does not imply causation.|
|2015||A sane person will never sign his name to anything he doesn't understand, much less anything he hasn't read. We are all insane.|
|2015||Integrity is expensive. The more of it you have, the less you have of anything else.|
|2015||Making sense does not guarantee that you will be agreed with, or even understood.|
|2015||That which appears to be God has convinced me that it is in my best interest to remember that I am here to help truth seekers, and not to challenge truth fearers - unless they ask for it. I was once such a truth fearer. In my early years of Christianity, I actually had to ask God to numb my mind, because my thoughts were more than my faith could handle.|
Human life necessarily starts at conception, because that's the only logical demarkation point. Screw common sense.
Mat. 5:30 "If your right hand offends you, cut it off" needs to be interpreted with common sense. Screw logic.
|2015||It's always OK to think outside the box. It's not always OK to act outside the box.|
|2015||If something exists, it's either caused or it's eternal. If you say you have no belief that A causes B, but B exists, then you necessarily believe that B is either eternal or caused. If you believe B is eternal, admit it. If you believe B is caused, state your opinion as to what caused it other than A. If you refuse to do either, you are too full of shit to be worth talking to about the existence of A or the possible causes of B.|
|2015||If you claim a particular authority to be a legitimate establisher of behavioral guidelines, then stay within those guidelines. If you won't stay within those guidelines, then you in fact acknowledge a higher authority while refusing to admit it. Your ultimate authority may be nothing more than common sense. The fact that your claimed authority forgives you for disobedience does not change that fact.|
|2015||The Bible says, "Do this list of things, and never do this other list other things". The Holy Spirit says, "Always do what you think Jesus wants you to do". No matter what items you include on the lists, if you say the lists never conflict with the Holy Spirit, you are either a very new Christian, or you're lying.|
|2015||If a person ignores obvious truth, it is morally good to offend that person in such a way as to clarify the fact that he is doing so. However, the habit of acting on this principle makes a person likely to offend unjustly.|
|2015||There should be a state tax on water consumption relative to income and/or net worth.|
|2015||If there is an ultimate purpose to the universe, that purpose must be the accumulation of knowledge - specifically knowledge of how to get and keep happiness. If that knowledge is continually forgotten, and has to be re-learned, then the universe has no ultimate purpose.|
|2015||Scripturalist thinking: When the Bible gets something right, it's because it was inspired by God.
When it gets something wrong, it's because words meant different things to the authors.
|2015||Scripturalist thinking: The Sumerian Enlil may have become the Akkadian Elil, which may have become the Ugaritic Ilu, which may have become the Canaanite El. But El Elyon, El Olam, and El Shadai are totally unrelated. They're all Yahweh. And the name Yahweh is totally unrelated to the Akkadian Yah, much less the Sumerian Ea, even though Hebrew names refer to Yah. And the name Yahweh originated with Moses even though Moses' mother had a name that means "Yah is great".|
|2015||A sense of entitlement is not necessarily unjustified.
A justified sense of entitlement is not unrighteous, despite the possible unpopularity of one who has that sense.
|2015||Laughter is often a good political weapon, but in philosophy it can't hide the lack of a counter argument.|
|2015||Pew-sitters don't like profanity, but the Bible doesn't forbid it, so they expanded the definitions of swearing & cursing to include it.|
|2015||It is possible to behave in such a manner that if you are not morally right, then moral right does not exist.|
|2015||I'm just here to be right. Others will come after me who will put a happy face on it.|
|2015||Moral conscience is an expensive piece of software. If there's no afterlife, there's no reason to buy it. There is only reason to pretend to have bought it.|
|2015||Life is about realizing that you're an asshole, and then either turning it around, or becoming a bigger one.|
|2015||If you want to clarify your position, I can help you. If you want to remain in a nebulous position, I can't force you out.|
|2015||The Supreme Being is that which created the first created thing.
An omnipotent being is able to do anything - or anything logical - or anything power can do.
If there is an omnipotent being, it must be the Supreme Being.
But there is no reason to assume the Supreme Being must be omnipotent, by any definition of omnipotent.
|2015||I've never had any use for kinky sex. But then I've never had enough straight sex to get tired of it.|
|2015||"Question everything" is good advice for the purpose of finding answers - not for the purpose of proving you can question everything.|
|2015||The fact that some people find bullshit comforting doesn't mean everybody should condescend to bullshit. But neither does it mean bullshit should be banned. Minds need to evolve.|
|2015||Common sense and intuition both denote basic ability to understand, and judge things without conscious reasoning. Whereas common sense implies a widely held ability, and intuition implies individual ability.|
|2015||You can't prove anything to a person who either refuses to submit to logic, or refuses to use common sense.|
|2015||Children don't need to be taught simplistic lies. Parents need simplistic lies to offer as place holders for unknown answers.|
|2015||Logic is among things that are prescribed, but it's not prescriptive, because it doesn't prescribe anything.|
|2015||Christianity has never been more than plan B posing as plan A for a world full of stupid frightened liars who can't handle plan A. Plan A is not Judaism. It is the simple honest effort to find truth and be righteous, despite living in a world full of stupid frightened liars.|
|2015||Possible & impossible are ontological categories. Corresponding epistemological categories are conceivable & inconceivable. In the conceivable category are certain & uncertain. In the uncertain category are probable & improbable.|
|2015||Inheriting stupidity does not justify bequeathing it to your children.|
|2015||Most people don't want to see more truth, because after you see more truth than you had seen before, you can't go back and be the same person you were before, without knowing you're a liar.|
|2015||All minds must pass thru a period of infancy, in which they simply believe what they are told. If a mind is born into a society where infantile thinking is the norm, that mind may never grow beyond infancy.|
|2015||When something new is discovered in the laws of physics, it may create a new paradigm that totally replaces the old paradigm. But when something new is discovered in the laws of logic (such as Boole discovering the null set), nothing already known is replaced. The new discovery just adds more info.|
|2015||All epistemic theories ultimately self-stultify, leaving us to choose between epistemic copout and epistemic nihilism. There remains, however, a best epistemic theory; and it is that which allows us to know the most of what is knowable, while forcing us to admit we know the most of what we don't know.|
|2015||Math is that subset of logic that pertains to quantities. To assume logic is a subset of math leaves one with the impossibility of describing how they relate.|
|2015||There is a point at which one must compromise his values to survive. Some values are worth martyrdom, and some aren't.|
|2015||If a person denies the existence of objective truth, or the possibility of knowing objective truth, he sure as hell isn't going to find any objective truth, and he's not likely to say much that's objectively true.|
|2015||When you're as right as you can possibly be, everyone who isn't hates you for it.|
|2015||There is no such thing as a perfect definition of X such that everything in the universe is either X or not X, with no borderline cases.|
|2015||Gather pieces of knowledge and store them in a box that doesn't leak, and use them against the question monster.|
|2015||Legal guarantees have value, but promises are made only by children and liars.|
|2015||The first step in battling evil is to identify it. That is achieved not by believing what you are told, but by experimenting and observing results.|
|2015||Fighting bullshit with counter-bullshit may feel good, but it's ultimately self-destructive.|
|2015||Philosophical truth can be learned by critical thinking alone, without reading a single philosophy book. The only reason to read philosophy is to learn the history of it.
Likewise, relating to God (if there is one) can be learned by experimentation alone, without reading any religious literature.
In both cases, reading can be helpful, but it can also get you sidetracked, depending on your motivation.
|2015||Ability to describe reality clearly improves with practice, and atrophies with disuse. Describing reality more clearly causes one to see reality more clearly. They are mutually reinforcing. Social considerations inhibit clear description of reality. The most detrimental social consideration is ego - other people's as well as one's own. Defending one's ideology and/or reluctance to offend others inhibits clear description of reality.|
|2015||Better to confront truth head on than to have it keep biting you in the ass.|
|2015||Both scripture and the church have served their purpose. They have shown humans how to connect up with their Creator. The only reason they are not spiritually obsolete is that humans don't want to connect with their Creator, because it's scary, stressful, and costly. Humans will gladly settle for the illusion of connection, which is readily provided by some form of idolatry. Ecclesiolatry or Bibliolatry serve that purpose well, while mildly suggesting that people move on to actual connection, at least as a side trip. Muslims are more connected to their scriptures than Christians are. So Christians will have to show Muslims how to get beyond it.|
|2015||A creed says, "I (we) believe X".
Scriptures say, "God says X".
So any non-scriptural monotheist (or group of them) could legitimately draft a creed. But no nsmist (or group of them) could legitimately claim his (their) creed to be the official one for all nsmists.
|2016||All justified assertions ultimately rest on unjustified assertions, which ultimately rest on common sense.|
|2016||I don't know if it's possible to get around Jesus or not. I couldn't. I had to confront him head on, and be consumed by him, and wait impatiently until he shat me out.|
|2016||Fear of insanity does not make you sane; it only makes you normal. Sanity is attainable by overcoming fear. Fear of God is overcome by becoming righteous. Righteousness is attainable by persistent effort.|
|2016||When figuring things out brings you into conflict with your current concept of God, it's not time to quit figuring things out. It's time to figure out what's wrong with your concept of God.|
|2016||Don't even try to say things as correctly as possible, at the price of being misunderstood. Say things as correctly as is expedient to communicate.|
|2016||Don't impose any epistemic restriction on your opponent that you don't impose equally on yourself.|
|2016||Atheism is an overreaction against the many stupid concepts of God based on faith in dogma, rather than philosophical necessity & probability. There's nothing intellectually or morally repugnant about the concept of a Supreme Being before people start attaching dogmatic attributes to it.|
|2016||Truth seekers clarify issues. We don't bury them under a heap of extraneous complications. If a clear explanation appears wrong because of unconsidered data, then state one stand-alone piece of that data for processing. Referring to a book that allegedly contains that data is not a legitimate rebuttal.|
|2016||Morality is not part of my identity. I behave morally only for fear of punishment. This is proven every time I dream of behaving immorally.|
|2016||My biggest mistake may have been the effort to get right with God. If that was not a mistake, then my biggest mistake was over-estimating human willingness to admit obvious truth.|
|2016||Christians think they can get right with God without getting real with God, because they have been taught that God wants to be worshipped.|
|2016||Once you are certain about something, the only people worth talking to about it are those who either agree with it or are able and willing to learn it.|
|2016||From what I've seen of God so far, I can't blame anyone from cursing him and/or trashing the very concept. But having also drunk my fill of the nihilism that logically follows from atheism, I'm sufficiently motivated to stick with God, and try to work things out. I've made what appears to be much progress. But I've yet to see sufficient reason to want an afterlife.|
|2016||Which do you want more?
1. freedom to believe what you want
2. mental restriction to cause you to believe only what is true
|2016||The fact that I'm grateful to the Jesus I've experienced does not mean I owe any respect to the Jesus of other people's testimony.|
|2016||Survival of the fittest implies:
competition between individuals,Any individual or group may be beneficial or detrimental to the group in which it resides, and likewise either beneficial or detrimental to the group in which that group resides, etc.
cooperation within groups,
more competition between groups,
more cooperation within groups of groups,
Ultimate good implies being beneficial to the ultimate group - specifically the ultimate group of things that feel emotions and want to exist. Morality (objective of course) is the willful effort to benefit the ultimate group of things that feel emotions and want to exist.
The Supreme Being trumps the set of all created beings that feel emotions and want to exist. But the Supreme Being is objectively moral by definition even if it creates nothing but unhappy creatures that would prefer not to exist. Therefore created beings have no reason to care about objective morality, unless it benefits them, and no reason to serve any God (Supreme or otherwise) that doesn't provide a degree of happiness to its creatures (taken as a set) sufficient to cause them to want to exist.
|2016||What do inerrantists and agnostic atheists have in common?
Both have redefined the philosophical meaning out of their positions, in order to retreat from indefensible ground, while still waving the flag to which their dumber but more zealous partisans will rally.
Presuppositionalists and anti-theists have done the reverse. They have advanced to ridiculously indefensible ground to the embarrassment of their colleagues, like the Monty Python black knight, who continues to challenge after his arms and legs have been cut off.
|2016||Assuming a God who created us for a purpose, I think part of that purpose is to instill in us an internal sense of justice and morality that is stable enough to resist challenge by any claimed external authority, including challenges by agencies that claim to speak for God himself.|
|2016||In the Nuclear Age, the idea most dangerous to civilization is that authoritative commandments of God are written in a book.|
|2016||A creator of X creates everything X creates. But if a creator wants to create X, that doesn't necessarily mean he wants to create everything X creates.|
|2016||If X is a vague category, there is still a distinction between X and not-X, but the dividing line is arbitrarily assigned.|
|2016||"Plausible" is a philosophically worthless term that serves no purpose but to ambiguate the categories of possible & probable.|
|2016||The probability of randomly drawing the ace of spades out of a deck is 1 out of 52. This probability is both ontological and epistemic. If a billion decks of cards are mixed randomly together, and 52 cards are randomly extracted, the probability of randomly drawing the ace of spades out of those 52 is still epistemically 1 out of 52. But the ontological probability is indeterminable. The deck may easily contain no aces of spades. It may also, but not as probably, contain all aces of spades.
Probability judgment is always epistemic, is subjective when statistics are unknown, and can be based on nothing more than a few past experiences, or even hearsay.
|2016||Better to serve than to soar - if there's justice.|
|2016||You think what your Creator designed you to think. And it will change as your Creator designed it to change - unless you willfully try to think otherwise.|
|2016||It's politically good to admit your faults openly, because people are more likely to believe you when you deny an accusation.|
|2016||Figure out what's true if you can.
If you can't, then figure out if you should believe an authority.
If you figure out that you should believe an authority, then figure out which authority to believe.
If you can't, then figure out which authority you should probably believe.
If the authority you believe tells you that you've figured out something wrong, then go back and figure it out again.
If you figure out that you don't have enough data to figure it out, then continue to believe your authority.
If you figure out that you do have enough data to trust what you've figured out, then figure out that you should quit believing that authority, and go believe whatever authority looks most believable.
If it's a spiritual authority, then do what it tells you to do, because if you don't, then you may never acquire enough data to figure out if you should keep on believing that authority.
If you do what your authority tells you to do, and you don't get the results your authority said you would get, then that data should cause you to figure out that you should quit believing that authority.
If your authority tells you that you shouldn't figure this out, and you choose to believe your authority anyway, then you do so because you fear your authority more than you want to know truth - which is stupid, even if your authority tells you he will torture you forever for not believing him, because your Creator, who designed you to figure this stuff out, will let you remain in one of the many asylums for stupid believers of wrong authorities, until you figure out that you don't belong there.
|2016||Be circumspect, but stay focused. That was a joke - not funny, but still a joke.|
|2016||Prayers are soul guiders. At any given time, there is a set of prayers that will best guide you in the direction you should go. But there is no set of prayers that will always guide you in the direction you should go, because your location and situation changes. Even the best set of prayers must be periodically updated.|
|2016||The best way to get better ideas is to act on the ideas you already have.|
|2016||The God who created bonobos with a sense of justice has the right to hold accountable any philosopher who claims not to understand it.|
|2016||Sanity can be overdone. The more sane I get, the harder it is to tolerate insane people, and the more insane people I notice.|
|2016||There is only one moral principle that is always applicable:
Do what you think you should do.If you think you should do what some agency or set of rules tells you to do, then you should do so until you see the moral errors that come of having done so.
A theist should do what he thinks his God wants him to do, up to the point that his God appears to want him to do something that appears immoral. A theist should then recognize that his concept of God is in conflict with the moral values programmed into him by his Creator, and should at that point revise his concept of God.
|2016||The biggest problem I have found in discussing God with both theists (nearly always Christians) and atheists is the stubborn equation of the existence of a personal Supreme Being and the reliability of scripture (nearly always the Bible).
Atheists: BibleGod doesn't exist, therefore a personal Supreme Being doesn't exist.
Christians: A personal Supreme Being necessarily exists, therefore the Bible is reliable.
This is a stupid error, probably caused by 2 millennia of church indoctrination, and should have been corrected long ago.
|2016||You don't need to know something is true, or even be convinced that it's probable, in order to be convinced that you should assume it's true or probable.|
|2016||Religions are beneficial to most people because they find the pretense of certainty preferable to honest uncertainty. They would rather plant their souls firmly in a chosen dogma than tumble thru nihilism. But there is a third alternative. You can plant your soul in a logically necessary possibility. Afterlife and no afterlife are both logically necessary possibilities. A just afterlife with appropriate rewards and punishments gives life and moral behavior objective value. In fact, it holds the only possibility of worthwhile life to humanity - unless you happen to be among the lucky few who enjoy your present life without doing things that are likely to get you punished later.
Note that betting on a possibility does not imply the pretense of knowing that possibility is correct. Betting on a just afterlife does not require any pretense or dogma at all. It does, however, imply betting on all the necessary preconditions of a just afterlife. The only rational bet in that category is non-scriptural monotheism.
|2016||Life should be about learning how to balance ethics and happiness, not about how to win games and accumulate power.|
|2016||If there is evidence for X, and evidence for not-X, the probability of X is subjectively determined, as is the legitimacy of the evidence.
If there is no evidence for X, and no evidence for not-X, the probability of X is indeterminable.
|2016||Don't bother explaining to a person something he has emotional reasons not to understand.
Don't even bother showing him something he has emotional reasons not to see.
Don't expect him to follow your logic. He has his own logic with which he is comfortable.
If a person is not seeking truth, waste no time on him.
If he is seeking truth, ask for one clear statement that he believes to be true.
If it is correct, agree with it and move on. If it is ambiguous, ask questions that force him to disambiguate it. Continue to ask clarifying questions until he either states it correctly or sees the error of it. Either way, you have helped him along his own path of truth seeking.
Also, offer to make statements of your own in case he wants to do the same to you.
|2016||Everyone is worth talking to about some things, but no-one is worth talking to about all things.|
|2016||They say the Exodus never happened because there is no anthropological evidence of them wandering 40 years in Sinai. Is there any evidence of any nomads wandering thru a desert 4,000 years after the fact?|
|2016||Psychological stability is so important to people that they will believe anything to achieve and maintain it. Once a foundational belief system is chosen, it becomes resistant to change proportional to the amount of identity and resources invested in it. People who have much to lose are seldom worth talking to. The sanity of the world depends on children being taught critical thinking as early as possible.|
|2016||I'll vote for a lying bitch or even a goddamn socialist in order to vote against a megalomaniac.|
|2016||If a person has nothing but faith in X to preserve his psychological stability, and you demolish his faith in X, he'll just slip back into it unless he sees an alternative to faith in X.|
|2016||Skepticism can be nothing more than faith in a doubt.|
|2016||The fact that a statement is objectively true doesn't mean it's objectively good to say it publicly.|
|2016||Fear of God causes most people to behave more morally than they would have otherwise. But it causes some (e.g. Muslim Fundamentalists) to behave less morally than they would have otherwise. Atheism causes people to behave with default human morality, unless they want to prove they don't need God to behave morally, in which case they will behave more morally than they would have otherwise.|
|2016||Part of spiritual evolution is to figure out that no God worth serving would want you to pretend to believe what you don't believe.|
|2016||A just social system is the only system that's not run by people who know how to beat the system.|
|2016||You can catch more flies with a drop of honey than a gallon of vinegar. However, if you're looking for truth seekers, they don't give a damn about your fuckin honey.|
|2016||It's always good to be right, but it's not always good to assert your rightness.|
|2016||It has been said that justice entails correction of criminal behavior, but not vengeance. That's not necessarily correct. If correction includes full compensation of the victim(s), then correction is sufficient for justice. Otherwise justice requires vengeance.|
|2016||Possibly the biggest hindrance to spiritual/intellectual evolution is the presence of significant others who are counting on you to keep on being the person you were.|
|2016||Arthur Conan Doyle could have caused Sherlock Holmes to believe in free will, but could Doyle have actually given Holmes free will?|
|2016||You become what you need to be in order to do what you need to do. If you don't want to become an asshole, don't take on a job that requires it.|
|2016||No matter how many times logicians tell ue that there is no logical connection between is ans ought, moralists will keep on trying to connect them.|
|2016||"God of the gaps" is a bad argument only when a more probable naturalistic explanation is available. When a gap in knowledge cannot be explained by anything more probable than a God, then a God is the most probable explanation. (as in duhh) Though scientific discoveries continue to eliminate knowledge gaps, "God of the gaps" is still more rational than "someday science will find an answer", which says nothing more than "anything but God". Until science explains everything naturalistically, there will only be theists and closet-theists calling themselves agnostics.|
|2016||An agnostic atheist is a closet theist hiding in the epistemic darkness of a non-position.|
|2016||At least 2 kinds of people are not worth talking to about the sensibility of their worldview: obnoxious people and stupid people. I know because I've been an obnoxious atheist and a stupid Christian.|
|2016||Some people need an objective criterion for knowledge & morality, and some don't. The ones that do become theists - specifically monotheists; the ones that don't become pantheists or atheists. When any of them claim to know more than they know, they make a religion.|
|2016||Neither theism nor atheism is inherently a religion, but either can be made so by the pretense of knowing more than one knows. Religions are not about determining what's true. The anti-rational basis of religions is evidenced by the stupidity of 99% of their defensive arguments, and the truth-obstructive tactics of 99% of their defenders. Religions are about making a psychological adjustment to an apparently absurd existence in a world full of crazy people. Such adjustment is unpleasant and time consuming, and therefore, once made, is resistant to change. Another reason for change resistance is the presence of significant others who count on you to continue being what you always have been. The only possible cure is to learn critical thinking - early.|
|2016||Discussing philosophy and/or religion with most people is like trying to play chess with someone who either doesn't know the rules or refuses to abide by them.|
|2016||It's not necessary to justify what you're saying when you're only talking to people who have the sense to either see that it's true or offer a more sensible alternative.|
|2016||A truth seeker may embrace a religion, but only as an experiment to see where it goes. And when he reaches its end, he will admit it and move on.|
|2016||When ideas can be expressed in terms easily understood by your audience, there is no reason to use other terms, unless your intent is not to communicate, but to impress.|
|2016||Concrete can refer to events as well as objects. e.g.
"Tomorrow" as an abstract, is always a day away. It never arrives.
"Tomorrow" as an concrete, is only a day away. It always arrives.
|2016||Monotheism is a sound philosophical position made to look ridiculous by religion, thereby inspiring atheism, an unsound position, abandoned by its own smarter adherents to the safer non-position of agnosticism, while still calling it atheism in order to oppose religion.|
|2016||An atheist lives on the stupidity of others. He needs a steady supply of stupid ideas to laugh at in order to distract him from his own lack of a reason to exist.|
|2016||The best discussion groups are in homes. Next best are in restaurants. Next best are in public buildings. If it meets at a golf course, you know it's full of shit.|
|2016||Kids think life will be good as adults.
Adults think life will be good if they have spouses.
Couples think life will be good if they have kids.
Parents know life sucks, and try to keep their kids from catching on.
|2016||I seek truth seekers, ignore truth ignorers, and obstruct truth obstructors. I serve a God who does the same whether that God exists or not. Unfortunately, truth alone is insufficient to generate and sustain life. Love is necessary for that. Unfortunately, love is unjust. It favors the loved at the expense of the unloved. Justice is also necessary, or life sucks. There must be a resolution of truth, love, and justice, or life would be better off not existing. Truth and justice never conflict, but both often conflict with love. Love must take third priority, contrary to scripture.|
|2016||Learn to operate within the rules imposed by God.
Learn to recognize the rules imposed by men in the name of God.
|2016||If a false paradigm does more good than harm because it is believed true, should you expose it as false? No - unless you can offer a true (or at least less false) paradigm that will produce the same or better ratio of good to harm.
If a lie does more good than harm because it is believed true, should you expose it as a lie? No - unless you can offer a truth (or at least lesser lie) that will produce the same or better ratio of good to harm. A bigger lie that produces a better ratio of good to harm is better than a lesser lie that does the reverse.
Honest people are trustworthy, even if believing them kills you, but you're more likely to survive if you trust benevolent liars.
|2016||Non-scriptural monotheism is a philosophically and spiritually stable position. But only those who are sufficiently uncomfortable with scripturalism will be motivated to work their way to it.|
|2016||Obama may be incompetent, but he appears to be the last American president to give us any claim to moral high ground.|
|2016||Non-scriptural monotheism is the part of monotheism which is philosophically necessary and theologically relevant without dogmatic assertions such as the ideas that faith is necessary or that authoritative messages from God are written in a book.|
|2016||I've been accused of hating God. I don't think I hate God. But if you think I hate God, I sure as hell hate your God.
If my Creator is just, I love him; if he's unjust, I hate him. That's how he designed me.
|2016||Atheists are floating in nihilism, denying it, and pretending that their made up values justify surviving and procreating, while betting against the only possibility of true justification.|
|2016||Scriptural theists and atheists are both denying truth for emotional reasons - theists because they fear an unjust God; atheists because they hate an unjust God.|
|2016||Minds have an approach/avoidance conflict with truth. They know they need it to be happy, but it keeps making them unhappy.|
|2016||I had a brush with Christianity in high school, rejected it, and turned atheist. As an atheist, then pantheist, I was a nihilistic, immoral, obnoxious asshole. After about 8 years, that quit being fun, so I looked around for something else. Christianity appeared to be the only thing I hadn't fully explored, so this time I did it right. Personal relationship with Jesus transformed me into a dogmatic, sanctimonious, stupid asshole. Decades of critical thinking again transformed me into a philosophically brilliant loser with a message - non-scriptural monotheism.|
|2016||The greatest appeal of fanaticism is its moral clarity. You simply have 1 moral principle to which all else is subservient. There's nothing inherently wrong with that, unless a dogmatic statement is chosen as that principle.|
|2016||You don't need faith to bet your soul on an afterlife. The mere possibility should be enough to convince any rational person to prepare for that possibility by at least minimizing immoral behavior. If you deserve reward, you don't need faith to bet your soul on a just God. You need only reason, because a just God is your best chance of worthwhile life. If you happen to deserve punishment, and you can't or won't do enough righteous stuff to change that fact, then you don't need faith to bet your soul on Jesus. You need only reason, because Jesus is the option that offers you the best deal - even if that deal pays only a fraction of what is advertised. You only need faith if you're too young or dumb to figure this out, or if you want the illusion of knowing what you don't know. And even then, faith in scripture should be kept to a bare minimum, because scripture contains factual and moral errors, which can be intellectually corrupting, spiritually distorting, and socially destructive.|
|2016||You always convert from a worldview with known defects into a worldview with unknown defects. The greatest defect of a worldview is irrationality. After you've explored your worldview enough to know that it's irrational, you either look around for a potentially better worldview, or remain in your present worldview as a stupid hypocritical asshole.|
|2016||A truth seeker connects the dots to see if a pattern emerges.
A faith seeker imposes a pattern over the available dots.
Theists & atheists can both be faith seekers.
A pattern is evidenced by predictability in places not yet examined.
|2016||Just because you have faith in a rational link from faith to justification doesn't mean there is one.|
|2016||The fact that you've made an absurd statement does not mean that you've created or demonstrated a paradox.|
|2016||Faith doesn't justify anything; it doesn't even justify faith. Justification by faith is unjustified. It is based on faith in an unjust God who shifts the criterion for justification from just behavior to faith, and sold to unjust people who want to feel justified while behaving unjustly. If you believe in justification by faith, then your concept of faith and/or justice has been warped by faith in an unjust God.|
|2016||The main attraction of fanaticism is that it simplifies morality so that any fool or child thinks he understands it.|
|2016||Some lies cause some people to behave more morally than they would have otherwise. It is good for those people to believe those lies.|
|2016||Faith is an honorable alternative to nihilism, but a dishonorable alternative to truth seeking.|
|2016||If there somehow exists a Being inside or outside the universe who deserves to be worshipped, that Being would have his head on straight enough to not want to be worshipped.|
|2016||Any legitimate philosophical concept can be expressed in high school vocabulary. Science requires a big vocabulary because all the parts have official names. Philosophy does not require a big vocabulary. The big vocabulary functions legitimately for brevity between philosophers who understand it, and illegitimately to confuse and overawe those who don't.|
|2016||X is an ontological possibility only if it doesn't violate any logical laws, or physical laws of the universe in which it is declared possible.|
|2016||I have reoccurring dreams about trying to find my way home thru a land of irrationalities and crazy people. All my adult life has been like that. I've been thru the lands of money lovers, lotus eaters, nihilists, and truth fearers, and there appears to be nothing left but more of the same. Still, I don't want to die and get out of this asylum until I have accomplished what I was sent here for.|
|2016||Metaphor, poetry, symbolism, hyperbole, and sarcasm are used legitimately only when the target audience knows they are intended as such. If an author intends for his target audience to take a statement literally (or close to literally), and the statement is later shown to be erroneous in the sense in which it was originally intended, it doesn't then become metaphor, etc. It's simply erroneous.|
|2016||Basic Algorithm of Sentient Life:
|2016||Agnostic atheism is epistemically indistinguishable from non-scriptural monotheism. Both assert the possibility (but not probability) of a personal Being who created us for a purpose and may interact to affect that purpose. The only difference is what is bet on.|
|2016||You can't objectively define a subjective concept.
You can objectively define an objective concept, but you can't compel an incorrigible subjectivist to admit that any particular concept is objective, or that an objective concept even exists.
|2016||Atheists have no epistemic anchor point, not even logic, because they have no reason to assume logic connects them to truth - only that it has survival benefits. And they have no reason to prefer survival, unless they happen to be lucky enough that their happiness outweighs their unhappiness. They have only survival instinct.|
|2016||A mind is a location in space-time that wants, and wants to quit wanting. It has no internal reason to exist, and must be force to exist by something that wants it to exist. There must therefore exist a mind that either likes existing or doesn't know how to stop.|
|2016||Contradictory: A = B; A doesn't = B. If one is false, the other is true.
Contrary: All A = B; All A doesn't = B. Can both be false; can't both be true.
Subcontrary: Some A = B; Some A doesn't = B. Can both be true; can't both be false.
|2016||For every person there exists an optimal set of values. It consists of whatever is most likely to give you the greatest ratio of happiness over unhappiness for the duration of your existence. So everything depends on how long you exist. If there's no afterlife, it's easy to figure out - just go for whatever does it for you, and when it stops working, suicide out. If there's an afterlife, everything depends on whether or not it's just. If it's just, then do whatever causes you to deserve what you want. If it's unjust, then everything depends on what set of unjust bastards is running the place.|
|2016||Time exists wherever anything happens. If something happens, a time existed before it happened, and a time exists after it happened. The Supreme Being either exists in time, or time exists in him, because there was a time before he created the first created thing - unless time was the first created thing.|
|2016||Wisdom and sanity are denotatively the same concept. Wisdom is the high end of sanity. Sanity is the low end of wisdom. Both mean knowing how to get what you want without doing things that will get you more of what you don't want later.|
|2016||There are only 3 epistemically legitimate answers to an epistemically legitimate yes or no question:
Yes.Any of these answers can legitimately be elaborated on, but only as an addition to the answer, never as a substitute for it. Such an attempted substitute is an evasion.
I don't know.
Of course some yes or no questions are epistemically illegitimate. If anyone asks me a yes or no question, I will answer it with either yes, no, or I don't know, or I will refuse to answer it and state why I am refusing. But I will not evade. Those of us who are right can afford this boast.
|2016||There are few jobs that can't be done more efficiently after emotion and/or ethics are suppressed.|
|2016||People who are just trying to sound intelligent waste a truth seeker's time.|
|2016||If your God wants you to think what your Creator never designed you to think, then your God is not your Creator.|
|2016||The only epistemic value of an unanswerable question is to figure out that it's unanswerable and why it's unanswerable, and move on. To dwell on it until its entertainment value wears off is a waste of time.|
|2016||The only truth anyone has any reason to care about is pragmatic truth. Ontological and epistemic truth are irrelevant. People who think they care about such truth for its own sake have pragmatic reasons behind it, which they choose to ignore. Those reasons are either ego masturbation or a desire extrinsically forced on them by a Creator who may or may not have their best interest in mind.|
|2016||Mentally complacent people seem to die sooner than truth-seekers. If I die soon after writing this, you may assume that I was wrong.|
|2016||I've been accused of argument from ignorance when I say "A probably = B, because I can't think of any way A could not = B." But... FALLACIES ONLY DISPROVE LOGICAL NECESSITY. THEY DON'T DISPROVE PROBABILITY.|
|2016||Once you deny knowledge by intuition or common sense, you can't even claim knowledge by logical necessity, because logic can't prove itself. If you know logic is reliable for determining truth, you know it only by intuition or common sense - or some mental faculty indistinguishable from intuition or common sense. Yes logic is infallible, and common sense is not. But you can't claim to know that except by common sense.|
|2016||The only pragmatic value of epistemology once you transcend pragmatics is to bullshit sincere truth seekers who haven't yet seen the full circle.|
|2016||A possibility is not proven by evidence or even lack of contrary evidence. It is proven by lack of contrary proof. [correction of a 2014 post]|
|2016||You can fight monsters and die, or you can become a monster and die. If there is no reward/punishment after death, the monsters win.|
|2016||By the strictest definition of knowledge (impossibility of the contradictory) nothing can be known by a finite mind except facts pertaining to its own existence, because it can never be known that nothing exists beyond what is known.
By the next strictest definition (inconceivability of the contradictory) some things can be known by a finite mind.
e.g. Truth exists.
Some of it is knowable.
Logic is reliable for knowing truth.
False knowledge claims exist.
e.g. Claiming to know a particular religion is true Claiming not to know 2 + 2 = 4 is true
By the next definition (imperceivability of the contradictory) the existence of the external world can be known by a finite mind.
By the next definition (irrelevance of the contradictory) a difference that makes no difference is no difference.
|2016||Spiritual progress formula:
1. Keep asking for correction.
2. Keep admitting that you think what you truly think, even when you think God doesn't want you to think it.I know from experience that this produces spiritual progress, but I can't claim to know it's progress in the right direction - or even if there is a right direction. I only know that if it's not the right direction, I can't imagine what the right direction could be.
|2016||Some terms have singular definitions; some terms don't. Terms that don't have singular definitions can have a range of popular definitions from broad to narrow. Unless a term is ambiguous, there is only one broadest definition of it. There are many narrower definitions depending on context and need for specificity.
Religion has a range of popular definitions. The broadest is "any worldview or set of ideas that is acted on". (You don't need to look it up; you can figure it out.) You can add qualifications to that definition to make it as narrow as you like. So can anyone else who wants to make it mean something else. If you try to make any definition the official one, you are just trying to sell a dogma.
Atheism originally had one definition: "belief that a God (or gods) doesn't exist". Actually that should have been called anti-theism, but unfortunately atheism (the term) caught on. Now many people have figured out that atheism can (or should) mean lacking belief in a deity, like asocial means non-social, not antisocial. A-privatives can mean lack as well as opposition. Of course there are counter-examples: Atypical means the same as anti-typical.
The effort to sell this new definition of atheism as the official one is just as futile as similar past efforts have been. In order to call atheism a religion or not a religion, both terms must be disambiguated.
|2016||Sin, by its broadest definition, is offence against a deity. It begs a question atheists have already answered.|
|2016||Seeking truth does not make you popular, rich, or happy. It just makes you a competent truth seeker.|
|2016||According to the rules made by whoever makes grammar rules, the following is correct punctuation:
Joe said, "Hi."Punctuated logically they would look like this:
Joe said, "Ouch!"
Joe said, "WTF." or Joe said, "WTF?"
Joe said, "Hi.".I assert that grammatical correctness is logical - not obedient to self-proclaimed authority.
Joe said, "Ouch!".
Joe said, "WTF?".
|2016||You never know if you're going to sell out until you either do it or die without having done it.|
|2016||If attempted cooperation with your Creator doesn't get it, there is no it to get.|
|2016||Nothing says, "Let's all bullshit our children," more than Christmas music.|
|2016||All spiritual tests are to see if you do what you believe you should do when you want to do something else.|
|2016||[revision of a 1987 post] Spiritual maturity is getting your priorities straight, keeping them straight under pressure, and revising them when a better system is recognized.|
|2016||Once you recognize a principle as defective, you're going to discard it eventually, so you might as well discard it immediately. Emotional attachment to any defective principle is detrimental to your episteological health. Better to admit error sooner than later.|
|2016||People who need people need people to sing songs about how lucky they are.|
|2016||There is no sound argument made with philosophical jargon that can't be made more clearly (though possibly not as briefly) without philosophical jargon.|
|2016||Pantheism taken to its logical conclusion denies all logical conclusions.|
|2016||You know what justice means when you're on jury duty. Its meaning doesn't change when you discuss theology.|
|2016||Weak thinkers and defenders of weak positions often tell me to go read a book, rather than engage.|
|2016||If it were such a wonderful life we wouldn't need to be reminded of it every damn Christmas since 1946.|
|2016||I'd rather you make an argument than refrain from it while remaining argumentative. Being argumentative doesn't mean you've made an argument.|
|2016||Praying what God doesn't want you to pray can be dangerous. Therefore this tactic:
God, if you want me to pray X, then I pray X.
If you want me not to pray X, then I don't pray X.
If you don't care either way, then I [your choice].
|2017||Dishonest people who admit they're dishonest like to think everyone is dishonest, and that admitting dishonesty is as honest as anyone gets. Though no one is perfectly honest, that doesn't mean everyone is equally dishonest, or that those who admit dishonesty are more honest than those who don't. If you know you're more honest than most, then it's honest to admit it - even to brag about it.|
|2017||There is no moral principle that will always produce moral results when applied logically without common sense.|
|2017||You can't possibly get what you want until you first become worthy of having what you want. It has been proven to my satisfaction that I am not worthy of having what I want, and my best efforts to make myself so have failed. For that I need outside help. I believe that a just God is the only possible source of it.|
|2017||Everyone is worth talking to about some things; but no one is worth talking to about everything.|
|2017||Your Creator designed you to be in personal relationship with him. If you choose to believe what other people tell you about your Creator rather than find out for yourself by personal experience, then you deserve all the consequences of that choice.|
|2017||"Greatest good for the greatest number" is ambiguous.
Does it mean greatest possible good that can be attained for everyone, or the greatest number of people who can attain the best possible good?
|2017||What Bronze Agers thought about God should be no more relevant to us than what Bronze Agers thought about science.|
|2017||Respecting a person does not require respecting his erroneous beliefs. All minds have a right to periods of infancy and adolescence. Some take longer than others to grow out of it. Others grow out prematurely for erroneous reasons, and fall into counter-errors - possibly even greater errors. Honest errors should be tolerated up to the point that they harm other people. Diversity of evolutionary paths should be respected.|
|2017||A stable epistemic foundation is always built on logic rather than authority. It is always figured out rather than believed. I'm not asking you to believe that. I'm not even asking you to figure it out. I'm saying you will figure it out whether you believe it or not.|
|2017||"Don't you... forget about me." I remember the tune and the lyrics, but I've totally forgotten who wrote it and who sang it.|
|2017||If people call something what it isn't for long enough, they will think it is what it isn't.|
|2017||The only people worth my time either have something to say that I haven't thought of, or want to learn something they haven't thought of.|
|2017||If you just talk, "this guy says this," "that guy says that," you're not doing philosophy. Philosophy begins when you say, "this is right because...," "that is wrong because...," "this can't be known because...".|
|2017||Once you deny an epistemic axiom, you deny your epistemic grounds for saying anything based on that axiom. A statement is axiomatic if no counter-examples can be shown to exist.|
|2017||An obvious perception may have a counterintuitive cause.|
|2017||It's not important for me to prove I know stuff. It's important for me to shut up until I have something helpful to say.|
|2017||God of the gaps is no worse than science of the gaps.|
|2017||Religion started as a licensing agency for kings, and remains as an afterlife insurance agency without a claims department. Having paid someone to deal with your afterlife consequences, your mind is free to focus on earthly goals.|
|2017||From the point that you willfully deny logic, you deserve all the confusion that comes of that denial. Same is true of common sense.|
|2017||If only one possibility can account for the existence of something that obviously exists, that possibility is necessarily true, even if its own existence cannot be accounted for.|
|2017||If only one possibility can account for the existence of something that obviously exists, that possibility is necessarily true, even if its own existence cannot be accounted for.|
|2017||Every step into the unknown is dangerous, and should be followed by circumspection.|
|2017||Pascal was on the right track. But he sold out to the religion of his culture rather than take it to its logical conclusion.|
|2017||You know you're old when you have to budget your semen.|
|2017||If you get what you want without first becoming worthy of it, you will either lose it, or be stuck with it after you stop wanting it.|
|2017||Existence of the supernatural is necessarily improbable to any person who has never experienced anything that appears supernatural. No amount of other people's testimony makes it probable, because, as we all know, other people are stupid liars.|
|2017||Classic atheism: God doesn't exist; and he's an asshole.
Agnostic atheism: I have no belief in a God; and he's an asshole.
Scriptural monotheism: The God of my scriptures exists; and he's good - despite everything.
Non-scriptural monotheism: A rational God may exists; if so, he may be just; and both are worth betting on.
|2017||Theists and atheists both ignore obvious truth for emotional reasons.|
|2017||Truth is correspondence to reality. The "coherence theory" of truth is not a competing theory, but a plan B to fall back on when correspondence can't be known.|
|2017||I can see in retrospect that my sense of morality has evolved toward greater correctness, but also that it has warped around my desires.|
|2017||I can believe God inspired Christianity for the sake of those who know they deserve punishment, but then couldn't restrain their egos from claiming everyone deserves punishment.|
|2017||I don't care if you have 10 PhDs and an IQ of 200. If you're not a truth seeker, you're not worth my time.|
|2017||Atheism can never be more than a minority opinion, because having some idea of why you exist feels better than having no idea. That remains true even if that idea is obvious bullshit.|
|2017||There are few stupid fucking assholes. Stupid assholes and fucking assholes are generally different assholes.|
|2017||I would rather lose as Spartacus than win as Crassus.|
|2017||Ego, while facilitating survival of the individual, is detrimental to the welfare of the community. The collective ego of a community likewise facilitates its survival, while being detrimental to the welfare of surrounding communities.|
|2017||I'm not here to compete; I'm here to help.
Wish I could fuckin remember that in discussion groups.
|2017||Physicists think formal logic is unreliable on the quantum level.
I think physicists are unreliable on the quantum level.
|2017||How many nihilistic theories do you have to examine before you decide to either become a nihilist, or assume objective morality exists with all its necessary preconditions?|
|2017||Until the Supreme Court has a legal definition of human being, it can't rightly assert a legal definition of abortion.|
|2017||Assuming a Creator God, any religion is Godly which takes a person closer to the will of God than he would have been otherwise. The same religion is unGodly relative to any person who is already beyond it. It is safe to assume that in the Stone Age, just about any religion was Godly relative to most people. Bronze Age: henotheism was Godly, then monotheism more Godly. In the Nuclear Age, atheism is more Godly than most religions to most people.|
|2017||If a scripturalist believes his scriptures to be more reliable than his God-given sense of morality, and he's wrong, he doesn't deserve retributive punishment. He deserves correction, even if that correction is punitive. If he believes killing his theological opponents is moral, he deserves to live in a world where other scripturalists believe the same of him, until he figures out his error. That error may be an erroneous interpretation of scripture, and it may be a perfectly rational interpretation of erroneous scripture.|
|2017||Theoretical possibility does not imply ontological possibility.|
|2017||Theists fall back on attitude games; atheists fall back on ridiculing attitude games; and nobody moves forward.|
|2017||Two values corruptions of the NT:
1. Love is better than justice.
2. Glory is better than happiness
|2017||Definition of insanity: defining insanity the same way over and over again, even though it's obviously incomplete.|
|2017||Assuming a God who created minds for a purpose, which is more likely?
1. He created minds to live by faith in what he tells them. But it's not at all clear what he tells them; and if they guess wrong they get punished, after it's too late to change their minds.
2. He created minds to figure things out, and to use faith only as a safety net to fall back on when they can't figure things out.