Sunday, December 23, 2012

Proof of Panpsychism

Energy can be neither created nor destroyed (the First Law of Thermodynamics), emergence is impossible because something cannot arise out of something which did not already contain its characteristic (“ex nihilo, nihilo fio”) - true “wetness” cannot arise from the same elementary building blocks as true “dryness”, and so, conscious life cannot arise from material and unconscious existence, and entropy (the Second Law of Thermodynamics) states that converted energy will escape and be unrecoverable, and also that it will tend to be less orderly, yet life (specifically human) multiplies despite its need to consume life; therefore, consciousness must be arising from the energy already contained within the universe and that energy must already hold the quality or characteristic of consciousness, in some form, within it unless both energy and consciousness are being introduced from outside the system.

In other words, consciousness must have always been in existence as long as physical existence within this universe and been part-and-parcel to it in every instance, or there is another, likely intelligent force manufacturing both energy and consciousness from somewhere outside of our universe. Despite the possibility of multi-verses or deity, there is still the problem of creation from nothing, for both deity or randomness (“ex nihilo, nihilo fio”), meaning we are created essentially “ex deo” (despite one's definition of deity or otherwise as the building blocks). This means that panpsychism is not only the most logical assumption, but that it is the only logical option despite its seeming conflict with what is known as “common sense”, since common sense (and logic) both dictates the two main points of the argument set forth, and common sense, and therefore its physically verifiable assumptions, are also based upon physical perceptions which are predicated on the assumption that all which exists can be observed mainly via visual or auditory measurements (specifically via the scientific method) – certain forms of common sense can be manipulated by invalid assumptions.

A must always be the equivalent of A, B cannot arise from A alone, nor can A become multiples of A, yet A is both B and multiples of A; therefore A must be more than was assumed or an outside force is adding to A (in violation of the first premise); therefore, the answer must be that A is not perceived correctly, or the first premise is entirely wrong – either way, the first premise must provide both A, B, and multiples of A in itself and that would mean a complete rewriting or understanding of everything – like it or not.

Consciousness must necessarliy coexist with matter from the beginning.  God is not dead – we just have always looked too shallow.

Peace. Alraune.

Friday, November 9, 2012

On Society and Authority

Today, I watched as a young child, perhaps three of four, took a stick, which he had found, and began beating a bush with it. This made me think: if many would think this action wrong due to the unnecessary effects to the bush and owner's property, or if others would call this unnecessary violence, then how can any say we are born naturally peaceful or innocent? Furthermore, how do we know the child is wrong in what he is doing and we are correct in our assessment, and furthermore in correcting him? Finally, what does the act of the child (and therefore other acts which are deemed wrong or immoral) mean concerning the many beliefs of the afterlife and judgment if his actions are not learned, but natural?

Surely the child was only “having fun” and he was also driven to improve his motor skills, and likely he had no intentions of harm, but how can we know? If he did or did not have intentions of harm, would this mean that intentions and not actions are the fulcrum of judgment, or is it that our actions have consequences regardless of our intents and these consequences teach us right from wrong? And if proper actions must be learned through consequence or taught, then how can any say that humans (or any living thing) are inherently good? And if some would say we are born inherently bad or sinful, then from where does our goodness and morality emerge, for “from nothing, nothing comes”, and goodness and morality cannot come from badness, immorality, or indifference.

When I was a small child I got into a lot of trouble one day because some friends and I decided to build a fort in a neighbor's tree without their permission. We cut many branches in the tree and damaged it badly for the sake of fun. I learned this was wrong, and I even got to be a very scared five year old being interviewed by the state police. This happened because our society said it was wrong, but where did our society get this idea from? Was it learned through consequence? Did it emerge from a deep recess? Was it inherent, yet denied? Or was it created by the wrong, for the wrong, for all the wrong reasons?

I did not get into trouble for what I did to the tree, but I got into trouble that day because that tree was the neighbor's property. As a child I had no concept of anything like owning a tree. I had learned one can own a house, a toy, a car, furniture, a bed, and even a pet, but "owning a tree" or the very earth everyone walks on had never crossed my radar. The key phrase here, I think, is "I had learned".

There was nothing "naturally" wrong with what my friends and I did to the tree that day, in fact, any animal or natural force could have done the same and no police would have been called. Had an animal built a nest in the tree, insects come and devoured the tree, or a lightning strike or whirlwind come and destroyed the tree, no police would have been called despite the owner's belief that they "owned" the tree. So what is the difference between natural forces and the actions of a few small boys? The answer, I believe, is simply that small boys are humans, who are a part of a human society which invented the idea of "ownership", and thus, as small boys we were expected to learn the necessary and entirely created moral concept of recognizing and respecting "ownership". What we did was not inherently wrong, it was socially wrong.

This revelation, if true, leads to many other questions: Do social wrongs trump natural actions? Is there such a thing as a natural right or wrong? Can a social system be considered natural, since for instance, humans are a part of nature and humans are inherently social creatures? Is human society natural to the whole, or is it only natural to humans and, if so, are its moral guidelines and boundaries only applicable to humans? How can invented social standards justifiably override natural human actions, and where does this authority come from? Who decided that artificial social standards trump the concrete and natural? By what natural element is the idea of social law and acceptable behavior derived which allows for the artificial and often varying social standard to be elevated above the natural standard and still be rationed from out of the natural standard which is the only concrete point of origin from which one can begin to reason?

The problem here is very simple, yet not entirely obvious as to how it can be resolved, if it can even be resolved. Simply put, the social arises from the natural, yet it appears to turn the philosophical concept of superiors and inferiors or greater and lesser things on its head. How can the child come from their parent and justifiably claim to have a superior origin? What sort of reasoning is being used to assert the power of social law over what is otherwise deemed to be natural?

Is it that human social standards are not claiming to have a superior origin, but rather these various "systems" are claiming to have a superior future? If this is so, by what rational basis is this assertion being made? By what measure can one claim they are better, superior, or more pleasantly evolved other than by pure arrogance?

Society is a very complex structure, but the justification, and therefore necessity and purpose for it, lies in the answer to this problem: From where does it come; from where does it derive its authority; and can it justifiably claim both superiority and authority over its origin?

Finally, if social law is derived from the consent of those it governs, how can the governed be expected to consent to unnatural standards such as not stealing when hungry, the institution of marriage, peacefully accepting one's own offspring being taken by State institutions, consenting to the restriction of movement, the honoring of borders, and other social laws and customs which are nowhere to be found in nature? How can humans be expected to do what is not found in any nature, let alone human nature? What sort of madness is this unless the idea is to "change" human nature?

In my mind, most social laws and customs are entirely artificial, derived from nothing but human imagination, and therefore have no moral imperitive outside of human society. Some social laws and customs may indeed be based upon a sort of natural law which presides as an undercurrent in all things, but a very large portion of social laws and customs are as unnatural as a fetus in the womb of a male mammalian – they are insanely derived with highly unreasonable expectations, and it is quite probable that all social ills and problems can be traced to such unreasonable and unnatural expectations.

The only reasonable conclusion I am able to come to concerning the creation and implementation of seemingly unreasonable and unnatural social laws and customs is that they are intended to change human nature, but for whom or what, for what end, by what authority, and in accordance with what manner of reason? The answer may be pleasant or it may be too scary to face, for the only time humans try to change nature is when they intend to control it.

The purpose behind all social law and custom is control, this is obvious to anyone and agreed to be necessary by most; however, actually altering human nature rather than merely managing and containing it is an altogether different and potentially dangerous or disasterous undertaking. As individuals we owe it to ourselves, our environment, and our neighbors to question the wisdom of such an undertaking and to postulate not only the end result, but the "who", "what", "where", "when", "how", and "why" which lies beneath the surface of this undertaking. Altering human nature, if even possible, is something which should not be taken lightly, and we need to have an open discussion about it.


Thursday, November 8, 2012

In Defense of Idols: Neopagans and Idol Worship

When pagans, heathens, and wiccans place images of a deity or several deities upon their ritual altar outsiders, particularly monotheists, atheists, and agnostics, might be compelled to think that they are worshiping a material object, but this is not so. The reality is that neopagans use idol images to enable them to better conceptualize their deity in much the same way that monotheists utilize their sacred texts to conceptualize the attributes of their deity, or in the same way anybody uses mathematical symbols to represent mathematical concepts.

Math, art and language are not all that different. A work of art is created by combining various symbols in a single space to create a single work of art. Like art, all language (including the language of math) is comprised of sets of symbols, and like those who utilize the written language contained in their sacred books to envision the nature, character, and attributes of their deity, neopagans utilize idol images for much the same ends. Pagans, like everyone else, believe in the power symbols have to call to mind the various concepts and attributes which are intimately connected to those symbols.

When heathens, wiccans, or other neopagans erect idol images they are not, as many might suppose, worshiping the image, rather they are revering the Platonic "forms" behind the image which comprise the attributes of a deity, lesser deity, nature spirit, etc. Since this is the case, it must be noted that one simply cannot grasp the purpose of idol images unless they first grasp Platonic philosophy and the concept of Plato's "forms", especially given the fact that most all of modern Western neopaganism has been heavily influenced by Platonic philosophy, particularly Plato's doctrine of "forms".

For instance, in Christian Theology there are both divine attributes and a divine essence. The divine attributes are derived from both reason and Scripture (both being communicated using a rational set of symbols called language), and are defined as those attributes which define who God is, while the divine essence is God. This theological framework is not all that different from what a pagan is intending when they set-up an idol, in that, the idol image serves as a visual representation (the means of communication, rather than language) of the divine attributes which define who a particular divine essence is. In other words, a pagan kneeling before an idol is not worshiping a vain image, but rather, he or she is attempting to invoke the attributes of their deity to gain a closer relationship with the essence which is that deity; frankly, this is no different than a Christian reading their Bible in order to call "God" to mind.

With this in mind, it only stands to reason that if a neopagan can be accused of worshiping "graven images" then a monotheist is equally guilty of worshiping their sacred text and not their "God".


Monday, January 2, 2012

Why I Am a Cynic

Statue of the Unknown Cynic (public domain)

Why I Am a Cynic
By Alraune

I'll readily admit that I have entertained the idea of anarchism, but I will also admit that after following those thoughts through I quickly realized that true anarchism is a breeding ground for all sorts of evil. In an anarchist society (with humans anyway) the crazies and the truly evil are going to take over and enslave everyone to their society - it's just a matter of time. I'd even go so far as to suggest that the civilization arose from the minds of crazy and evil people who took the first leap to bring it into being and point to history as my evidence, particularly the form of governance known as the State, if it wouldn't get the lovers of society so riled up they would miss the point of this post.

Laws, laws, laws! That's the problem and the joke. We don't require so many and we all know it, yet we find ourselves living under more and more. Sure, we require some laws or else we'd have anarchy, so rather than throwing the baby out with the bathwater I'd like to just take a look at laws and bring to your mind what I mean when I say they are the problem.

Who makes laws? People. And in a democratic society who makes laws? The people (supposedly). And since laws are nothing more than universally accepted decrees by people how does one go about making a law that is accepted by the majority? You change public opinion. So essentially society is governed by a set of agreements on things called "laws" that are decided by public opinion which can easily be influenced, changed, or altered by nothing more than a seemingly convincing arguement, or a couple billion dollars and a huge media operation. Does this realization make me bad for declaring myself a Cynic?

But let's look at the core of society and civilization and ask ourselves...Why do we need laws? We need them because the crazies and the truly evil will hurt us and rule over us without them. So we need government whether we like it or not. If we don't have some form of governance a form will be given to us by the crazies and the truly evil.

So, with that in mind, what sort of laws do we really need? And here is why I am a Cynic...We only truly need a handful of laws - that is it. I'd think 99.9% of people would agree we need a law to say "This is our form of governance", another law forbidding murder, one forbidding all forms of rape or forceful and violent bodily harm, one forbidding theft, one forbidding swindling, one protecting the planet from being raped, and that's about it. The rest can sort itself out in anarchist type fashion without turning into Hell on Earth.

Plain and simple. We only need a handful of laws that cannot ever be changed or altered, which are absolute and eternal (unlike other laws), which require no interpretation. If a jury of peers says it happened, it happened - end of story, and they even get to create the punishment to fit the crime.

Yeah, you're still going to have wrong-doing, but at least you won't have anyone telling you what to put in your own body, to wear your seat belt, or to please stand over here while you protest (such laws are put in place to prevent death and harm, supposedly, but personally I'd rather take my chances at being self responsible and responsible for my offspring, as well as responsible for whether or not I kill or hurt anyone through my actions than have more laws telling me or anyone else what to do. Unlike some, I have faith that in such a society common sense will eventually win out and be a dominant trait rather than nonexistent like it is in our modern society.

Some might cry, "But what about equality? How would we guarantee all people are treated equally?" To that I answer, "You can't do it. We can't even do it in this hellhole we call modern society." It's not laws that make people equal - it's morals. So long as murder is murder and harming others is seen as one of the universal laws, that's about all that "government" can and should do - the rest is up to us. Less laws and more self involvement through responsible action and moral integrity - that's the ticket!

And still some would say, "You said theft should be outlawed, but how would we know what belongs to who without more laws?" A jury of peers. Your neighbor isn't going to want to see you lose your property anymore than you want to see him lose his, and if dishonesty emerges, everyone will understand that what comes around goes around, because some day it will be your turn on the jury deciding your neighbor's fate, which promotes honesty and integrity.

In my humble opinion, life is complex and hellish because we have so many complex and hellish laws and hoops to jump through and sort out in the name of "safety and security" - it is always in the name of safety and security. All of this forced prevention stuff has to end and we have to bring back self responsibility. For example, we have to make people not want to drive drunk and kill people (through the creation of moral integrity, a reason to live, and maybe even wanting to live sober, as well as have self responsibility) rather than forbidding them to drive drunk, which then brings on checkpoints and all sorts of ridiculous laws which invade our privacy, our lives, and our peace.

And forced preventitive "pre-crime" laws are just one category of laws destroying society rather than helping it. Basically, in my opinion, if it doesn't land under one of the handful of necessary laws I suggested - it is unnecessary and tyrannical. Educational laws and tax laws would be two other forms that simply shouldn't be, in my opinion. Who's going to build the roads then? Whoever the hell wants too. And how are we guaranteed a right to use that road? You're not, but you would be guaranteed you couldn't be killed or beaten or swindled for trying.

We need to simplify. It shouldn't be illegal to counterfeit, rip-off people, or sell worthless junk, and have all the laws that come with those decrees, it should just be unlawful to swindle others - one law says it all. Let a jury decide if any instance amounts to swindling. Don't allow government or some agency to interpret the law - let the people do it, and only let the people do it in small numbers on a case-by-case basis!

So why am I cynical of society besides some of the reasons mentioned above? Because you can't drive 65 in a 55 because it is unsafe, but it is perfectly safe for a cop with flashing lights to drive 80 in a 55 just to catch up with you to pull you over and give you a fine - it makes no sense. If the point is that you might kill someone by driving at such an unsafe speed, then why is the cop driving at an unsafe speed and potentially threatening lives just to pull you over? Yeah, he might be taking more precautions, but for what? The presumption that you "might" kill or hurt someone? It's kind of stupid when you think about it, especially when you realize that people still speed, so all the speeding laws are really doing is placing double the lives in jeopardy for a pre-crime concept, and of course, generating money for the criminal State. Maybe more people would drive safely if more people cared about life, and maybe more people would care about life if they had more self-responsibility, and maybe more people would be responsible if they had more self-responsiblity on their plate and less laws made by the State to provide them with "safety and security"?

So, I am an extreme minimalist on many levels, and one of them is when it comes to laws and governance. In this society, the one we have, I am a Cynic. I laugh at it and see it all as one huge joke. Like Diogenes of Sinope, you might think of me as a dog or a poor and lowly creature for not loving this magnificent civilization, but like Diogenes, I think the dog a nobel creature who needs but a few rules to govern his life, a life with more dignity and care for the self and others than any so-called civilized society in existence on this planet. Sure, a dog might do some pretty disgusting things, but then again...who decided those things were disgusting - it wasn't the dogs. But don't worry, even if you happen to think your dog does some disgusting things he'll still greet you with enthusiasm and love when you return home after your most recent outing in this magnificent hellhole we call modern civilization, and be there to remind you that someone still gives a damn and he (or she) didn't need any damned laws to teach them how to love others.