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Archive for February, 2008

The beauty of science is revealed to us via the patient pursuit of evidence. The more we investigate, the more wondrous our universe seems. However, there is no evidence for the events in the book of Genesis. It is a storybook, not an actual record of events.

If you find you have a mission…well done! Maybe 2% of us get to make money at something that completely fulfills us. If not, don’t worry about it too much. Simply dealing with life with a modicum of tranquility, acceptance, and self-awareness is enough of a challenge. Tolle and Oprah shouldn’t make us wade through hundreds of pages of BS to get to these simple truths.

Sigh. Iraq, unbelievable as it is, looks like Viet Nam in slo-mo, without the draft, and with a lower body count. But at this rate, how long will it take before this war and the resulting terrorist acts tear America apart, put severe pressure on the politicians, and convince American leadership that world empire just isn’t worth it?

It took about 12 years for the entire arc of the Vietnam debacle. Say….35 for Iraq?

What’s so bad about promoting the oneness of humanity? We are genetically one species; we don’t even have Neanderthals to kick around. This fact, to a Humanist, is far more important than our different colors and stories, over which people kill each other. I think Jesus, if he existed, would agree with that.

I can only guess at the deep psychological and existential needs that motivate believers to cling to their religious fantasies and rituals, but as long as they do cling to them, they will continue to threaten the very intellectual foundation of our civilization…and to drag us backwards to the days when heretics were tortured and burned (that’s what they would like to do to us today, but they have to settle for anger — and taking over the government and the schools).

I’m sorry, folks, we have the wrong guy playing Ron Paul. Maybe Romney should play him. Maybe Tom Cruise or Tom Selleck should play him. Maybe Fred Thompson should play him.

But it’s too late — Ron Paul is already cast as Ron Paul. The closest we can come would be to have Clint Eastwood run, because Eastwood is a bona fide libertarian, and he would have the star power of Schwarzenegger, if not more.

But we are stuck with Ron Paul. Does he look exasperated or amazed (another knock)? Perhaps his eyebrows do seem a bit high. But so what? Maybe Ron Paul IS amazed — at what his country has become.

The scientific point of view is true by virtue of reason. The creationist point of view is true by reason of faith. It’s your mind. How do you choose to believe?

Idiocracy II: the sequel

Let’s say, in a country that thinks no deeper than advertising slogans, a competent candidate presents himself for President. In a society where identity and gender politics have run amok, an articulate, competent person can rise to national prominence if he/she is the right gender and color, and this fellow certainly is: he is — get this — not even African-American.

Not in the usual sense, anyway. He is LITERALLY African-American. He is half-white and half-African. Now is that high-concept, or what?

In this Idiocracy of the future, the same can be said of the mega-talkshow hostess who decides to support his campaign. She gets lots of points for being the right gender and color. If she were white and male, she would still be a competent newscaster.

Though my life has been insignificant compared to his, I will never have to deal with the kind of guilt that must weigh upon Colin’s shoulders. I too consider myself an American patriot. And I will never let my country down the way he did on that shameful day.

The goal is understanding: What possible good can it do us to keep spinning out stories of comfort, deliverance, and salvation at the hands of mysterious nonentities? What deep human needs – to belong, to exclude, to find (or invent) meaning, to explain the unexplainable, to face death, and many more – must drive otherwise intelligent people to construct such elaborate, fantastic rationales for their faiths and fears?

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