Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thoughts for the day.

In the immortal words of John Lennon-
Half of what I say is meaningless; but I say it just to reach you.
And that is for you my dearest reader(s). As the winds tear across the desert, whipping sand and chapping lips, I have become contemplative. Sadly, my mind can only reach focus for what seems like only a microsecond. It seems as if my brain is too tired to churn up anything interesting- much less present you with any creative material. I haven't felt like playing guitar, talking to friends, riding my bike, or studying. I feel like rationalizing. And as I sit here, listening to the harmonica solo in The Beatles' "Little Child" I can't help but try and make understanding of the world around me.

Last night I had a friend over, and was once again reminded about the varieties of human experience. I believe that in daily life we take for granted the complexities of human relationships; whether they be human-human, human- nature, or human-thought/beliefs. I wanted to become a psychologist because I wanted a firmer understanding of behavior, thought, and the underlying processes of those dyadic interactions. I wanted to understand how we process the world; yet I now wonder if the world we exist in is unprocessable? (I am 99.8% confident that I made that word up.)

Take a look around, what do you see? Do you see the workings of a finely tuned universe, whirling harmoniously and glorifying its' own necessity in creation? If so, how I envy your naiveté. This thought is antiquated- stuck between the realm of ignorance and make-believe. We do not live in the best of all possible worlds, we live in a universe in which there is no direct cosmic predetermination, and the human condition is purely a result of our own doing. We do not owe our triumphs and failures to gods on mountaintops; the course of our lives are not divinely shaped.

We live in a mad universe that is much too queer for any individual to completely comprehend. The vastness, the intricacies, and the subtleties lead cautious men to yield pursuit of knowledge for mere assertion of creation. Yet we do not live in cautious times, the moments we live in are imperative.

Staring into to the abysmal universe and surrendering all false notion is a noble task. To simply turn your back on this great wonder and dismiss it as creation does a disservice, not only to the natural world, but to humankind itself.  Scientist painstakingly study every dark corner, firmly evacuating the demons and replacing them with beacons of light. Perhaps the most demon haunted realm exists not in the cosmos, but in our own mind.

To quote Bertrand Russell:

What we need is not the will to believe, but the will to find out.
What old Bertrand is talking about, is the underlying motivation for science. Through a scientific lens, humanity can better understand the intricacies that underly our existence. We can discover solutions to the very problems that undermine us. The idea that a benevolent God is watching and intervening strips all meaning off of our current situation. This gives us satisfaction with ignorance, and negates our motivation to understand and our push to become better.

From chaos, every living thing, every bit of matter, has sprung into existence and evolved. There is no cosmic dictator, no supreme judge that vanquishes evil. We assign our own meaning to life. To have a mind rely on a benevolent supreme being to explain every situation in the universe is to cede all will to explore the universe. To say that a supernatural being will return and 'fix' things is a surrender of all culpability in the matter.

My understanding is thus:

We are our own measures of judgement. There is no passing the buck. I see murder and rape and genocide. These are incompatible with the existence of a just and loving god, we are solely accountable for this. I see the height of human progress and the depths of human ignorance; one corresponds to Russell's will, and the other to the forfeit of thought in lieu of a deity. These are my thoughts, indeed.

11 comments:

  1. Good read mate, interesting stuff

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  2. I'm scientific person too but I think we need something else in our lives too. Not saying you have to believe in god but just keep your minds open.

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  3. For every moment where you question your motivations and what makes human so human, you will have 40 moments where you focus on how silly hats are and how great riding a Unicorn would be.

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  4. Lennon was such a great man. Taken from this world a little too early. He should have shot Ringo instead.

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  5. there is some good and bad in the world, that is something we'll have to live with.

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  6. Interesting thought. i enjoyed reading it

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  7. //we take for granted the complexities of human relationships; whether they be human-human, human- nature, or human-thought/beliefs.//

    I'm rather upset that you neglected to add "human-horse."

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  8. great reading, i really enjoyed it. keep it up

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  9. "We do not live in the best of all possible worlds"
    actually we kinda do if you believe in the multiverse theory. perhaps there are countless billions of other universes and ours is one of the very few that has conditions right for life - the charge on the electron, the number of spatial dimensions, the value of pi... if any of these were different we wouldn't be here!

    no post in almost a month - hope you haven't given up, tis good to find a fellow cycling heathen, lol. if you are a psychologist you might find some of my posts of interest...

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