Mysterious ways

The recent death of my local street cat, Meow, has made me think a lot about things I already tend to think about, but slightly more.

In particular, the lack of a God, and even more particular, the lack of a god worshiped by humans thus far. I know this is about to be a long winded approach to a very simple concept but hell, get used to it.

I mean, from the get go it’s pretty obvious that humans have just been worshiping themselves in disguise this entire time, but what’s to say there isn’t some god we have been too innately selfish to recognize; an asshole god?

Who are we to decide what God is like? Why should a god be all loving and forgiving (lol)?

Meow, as an example, was a lovely, loving, social, friendly fun cat. She was raped by a big mean cat. 2 months later she went through what is probably the worst type of death since the movie Se7en. I’d challenge anyone reading this to imagine giving birth, only to release one dead, and have perhaps 6 more inside, dead or dying.

Then imagine the situation being stuck like that for another week while you constantly try to push and fail from pure exhaustion and pain, to the point that you’re unable to move, react or eat. Finally, on the last day, without any understanding as to what’s going on, your body has already stiffened from death, but you’re still barely alive, twitching and shaking in agony until the second you die, babies still within.

Now I want you to apply that kind of pain to literally millions and millions of people. Nice, innocent people.

I say people  because I understand that people don’t relate to the plight of animals in the same way myself and others do, but the outcoming question is the same; why?

I know the answer, unfortunately. There is no why, there is no because. One could (and One’s do) argue the rhetoric ‘God works in mysterious ways’ (You can tell I’ve watched Se7en recently) which is another way of saying ‘I can’t explain it but I’m smart enough to be able to say something un-falsifiable in return’.

With that in mind, if I was forced somehow by fear or another person to believe in a God of my choosing, I would choose a vengeful, wrathful psychotic god who was really quite unstable. If I was to apply human values in the same way all the current gods are, I’d say he was pretty depressed that his girlfriend goddess dumped him for the long-haired, sporty PHD god down the road, and he needed to take it out on someone.

We all know that humans are awful and evil. But we also all know that humans are wonderful and kind. I understand from the Great Bastard that filtering out who is good and who is bad can be tricky, given that each individual may be both evil and wonderful, and there are many gray areas in which a person cannot be defined as either, but you’d think it would be in the nature of a supreme being to figure out a working system to fully justify in an equal and fair matter.

Not the Great Bastard. His mind is clearly to focused on how best to stalk his ex to research the most effective tactics to win her back. He clearly took a quick look at the world, got confused and frustrated and just sprinkled an arbitrary and random array of pain, suffering and joy across the globe and is probably on his way back to see what happened. Of course, in the cosmic time period that could be millions of years from now, so I’d sit back and accept the plight of life as it is, embrace your emotions and otherwise do whatever the hell you want.

I still miss you, Meow.

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The Cave Pt II

Phraya-Nakhon-cave-Thailand

Convex walls, rising up through the dim, blue light. Mosaics created from scraps of failed crafts plastered the sides of the temple, while the front was embellished with reflective metals mined from the cave’s precious foundations.

The benefit of mining, one scholar once explained, was that their very home expanded over time as they became richer in commodities. Everything had been discovered to have a use; rocks for weapons, farming and building; metals for decoration and culinary experiences; soil for gardening and glow worm breeding – which had proved to be outstandingly unsuccessful.

Many believed Alaff was displeased by the idea of exploiting the glow worms to such a degree. The intellects tried to teach that it was simply the altitude the worms were not comfortable with mating in, but nobody was honestly quite sure. Either way, the intellects assured they were making progress on ways to simulate higher altitudes. In the mean time, the village had to stick to the rapidly declining stock of roof-worms, while accepting that their life would be lived in darker and darker conditions.

When it came to food, the village thrived quite comfortably on a wide diet involving largely meat and fish, but many delicious fruits and vegetables managed to survive without the sun. It was noted years before that the inexplicable glow emanating from somewhere around the centre of the cave seemed to boost crop yields, and there was in fact a specific ratio described by mathematicians on exactly how much energy appeared to exude from a particular level of brightness. The glow was steady and somewhat limited in distance, extending just a few hectares from the brightest point, but it was enough.

Needless to say, it wasn’t long before the temple was surrounded by crop fields, tightly packed and blooming taller every year as plant adaptation allowed for more energy efficiency and tolerance for short roots. As population increased, the more rugged plants were cast to the outer edges and given more space to grow. with growing population, farms and ground space, the only resource on the decline was light.

——–

Alaff was in a grumpy mood. Some people had sinned, and although it was none of Alaff’s business really, Alaff felt disrespected. The worms Alaff placed among Alaff were a one-time offer to show Alaff’s altruistic backbone. Alaff did not expect the people to start utilizing ‘science’ in order to basically learn to take Alaff’s kindness for granted.

Alaff wanted to do something about it, but Alaff was in a good place right now, just like everybody else. At the very least, Alaff had no intention on replenishing the clearly dying breed of worms. They could figure it out themselves. Alaff didn’t require lighting as the humans did, Alaff created Alaff’s own, blue-lit gas after indulging in Alaff’s favourite offerings from the people. The glow would linger for millenia if need be, but the humans were gracious and kind, so Alaff would usually allow a steady stream to float down, directly below Alaff’s usual upper-rung hangout, above the temple where Alaff felt most at home. Alaff was unaware that humans could even sense Alaff’s light, let alone utilise it.

——–

As time went by, crops were yielded, homes were expanded and families were enlarged. Darkness came to be at a rate rapidly enough to think about, but subtly enough to ignore the smart people’s desire to do something about it.

Doing things about stuff seemed like effort for most people, and so in a world of plenty, doing stuff was the black sheep. It was better to live in the shade and work on how to get more shiny metal.

Some architects argued that reflecting the dimmer light with shiny metals could enhance the overall glow of the colony, even reaching those far-off corners. Other figures of importance pushed the increasingly popular idea that figures of lesser importance should move into the darker areas, leaving the brightness to the brighter minds.

Hierarchy was on the return.

——–

To be continued…

The Cave Pt. I

Concave walls, towering impossibly into the miraculous light above. Their very peaks lurched over, acquainting each other in the middle.

Below this natural dome, darkness ruled. The light above served as a beautiful monument of nature, and increasingly frequently, a delicacy. But when it came to lighting their way, the people had to consider other methods.

Using a lightly sewn wicker-style jar, the glow worms were transported around the village until their light died out, at which point they were swiftly thrown into the nearest stew.

Getting the glow worms in the first place was an achievement to behold. A member of the village would, over time, carve a ladder into the walls straight to the top. The higher the rungs climbed, the more hooked the carvings became, allowing a person to grab and hang from the acutely angled tops with relative ease.

Of course, anyone who has ever tried such rock climbing would know it to be easier said than done. Those permitted to climb for glow worms were trained and tested, ritualised and awarded the rite to the right to the harvest.

Money and trade were not significant characteristics of this secret underworld civilisation; all commodities were considered to be in abundance, and so all could take whatever they wished – if they had the know-how.

As centuries passed, knowledge spread exponentially. There were once rules to prevent this progression in a desperate attempt for hierarchy, but in a world of plenty, hierarchy is the black sheep.

Needless to say, it wasn’t long before every wishful thinker was clambering up the rungs, higher and higher until they either fell to their deaths, exhaustively climbed back down or achieved their goal of a handful of worms.

But worms could only breed so quickly. They rapidly became scarce, the pseudo stars above started to fall into darkness.

—-

Below, hues of dark blue penetrated the central setting from an unknown source. This led to the village’s natural inclination to a higher power, and they had thus constructed a majestic temple directly in this navy glimmer.

The walls of the temple opposed the cave. Slightly convex, they could be slotted perfectly into the segment of cave wall they were facing. This slightly eggshell design was built to withstand forces believed to be pressed upon the people by a vengeful God – the same God that had forced them to retreat into the cave in the first place and now struggle eternally with ventures into the outside world in case He had some free time to slaughter the slightest sinners.

The villagers hadn’t a name for Him, but they had a name for their protector, Alaff who, to be honest, didn’t do a great deal. Any day that went by without incident was generally assigned to Alaff and the village pretty much settled with that.

Exceptionally, praise for the plethora of food and abundance of water in such a drab, dark location was given to the people, the workers, the architects. Those who sat down and furrowed their brows until something sustainable came to mind. Needless to say, Glow worms were also praised for their inevitable involvement.

——–

Alaff looked down on the villagers from some disused upper rung, idly ‘keeping watch’, protecting them all from whatever they pleased. They didn’t really expect much of Alaff, so it never did any harm to take a break here and there.

Alaff knew the other guy was weak. The very thought of entering The Cave spelled certain doom, because Alaff was bigger and more suited to the darkness. Should He threaten The Cave and cause the lights to go out, Alaff will assure a final breath from Him.

Alaff knew he was an effective bluff. And that was more than enough. 

——–

To be continued…

Is religion damaging?

Yes.

Not only that, but it’s dangerous.

In a very general sense, I have no qualms with the majority of religion. And by religion, I mean organised religion, but this can mostly be applied to any form of belief in supernatural beings.

Religion has its benefits; it forces people to abide to their own morals that much more, it brings people together in amicable terms, it has beautiful architecture, it gives a sense of inner peace to those in need of it, and religious people mostly don’t affect my immediate life, bar a few people, say, in Korea, who would march around the subway system dressed in a sign informing me that if I don’t repent and believe right now, I will definitely go to hell.

But just a few seconds of thought brings me to the opposite conclusion. Religion brings about ignorance, denial, ostracism, war, abuse and fraud.

  • Ignorance and denial.

    Well of course. Anyone who looks up history can see that religion and supernatural beings arose out of ignorance. Although this may not necessarily be the actual, 100% functioning switch that turned on a global desire to believe, it seems quite intuitive and blatant to me that the human urge to ‘know’ simply forced our minds to resolve via preternatural means  that which we cannot define with our fundamental senses.

    The Sun God came to be until we understood what the sun was. We were the centre of the Universe until we understood what the universe was. Earth was 6,000 years old until we understood what geology, biology, well, science was.

    The God of the Gaps is a term used precisely for this. The less we know, the more we assign to Godly circumstances. This being said, we are in the age of information and we are knowing more and more every single day, and this has been a pattern for centuries. Now that information is online and readily available to almost everyone on earth, it stands to reason that ignorance is simply a choice, and beliefs in the untrue will quickly fade.

    Why hasn’t it? Well, religion. Religion creates a set of mostly unchangeable rules. Set in stone. Final. If science contradicts it, science must be wrong because… because.

Even if you feel much of science is falsified, you cannot deny that Science is a self-correcting mechanism. The process of science requires many people from all angles to peer review, test and retest a theory. If the theory succeeds, it is a fact. It is a fact until that theory falls flat one day, which is usually does. Then the world has learnt something, and the science is corrected.

Religion does not have this mechanism, unfortunately, and it leaves an uncomfortable percentage of the world (I think I heard 70% of Americans believe in a Christian God?) in darkness.

The world is so bewilderingly astonishing and, to be honest, much, much more exciting and wonderful than all the books of ancient times describe, and those who follow religion are left without ever having the chance to appreciate it.

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  • Ostracism and fraud.

    A belief system of any kind really can be seen as a kind of racism. I know more people than i’d like who are firm believers in Astrology. The very premise of Astrology is that people who are born at certain times are directly linked to various arbitrary star combinations in the sky, which, under know logical course or system of proof, directly affects your personality throughout your life.That being said, does that mean I am born with all my personality traits waiting to develop, and there is nothing about me that is unique, and nothing in the environment and society around me contributes to who I become?So when I meet a Leo, I am not compatible according to the stars, we shouldn’t be friends. The girl seems interesting enough, with a lot in common with me. But that which we have in common must be a lie and I should stay away.Maybe she was my dream girl!

    There are so many occasions where people will go and get their star signs read to them, and they believe is so heavily that they will break up their relationship or make wild, stupid decisions based on the results.

    This seems ridiculous to most of us but it’s very real, and don’t think your religion is excluded from such things. If you are Muslim, you stay away from the Christians. If you are Christian, you stay away from the Muslims. You cannot marry each other, and for the most part you cannot even hang out with each other.

    Of course this is speaking generally, and I don’t think it’s a written rule, but the fact that these divides exist causes a large trench between the two ‘races’ of belief; they are two totally different species.

    Surely it makes much more sense in this world to just accept we are the same species with a lot more in common with everyone than we realise?

    Churches, palm readers, Homeopathy ‘doctors’, they all get $$$ in an uncounted proportions for this gigantic collection of lies. homeopathy is even funded by the NHS in Britain. A treatment which is completely reliant on the Placebo Effect – Something which is actually illegal in the rest of the world of proper medicine.

    People have years and years of training in Acupuncture, learning and memorising the Chi points, locations in which the needles should be poked. yet proof has repeatedly confirmed that what little effect acupuncture does have on the body is indistinguishable from applying needles in completely random positions over the body.  Again, this process mostly relies on the Placebo Effect, and in many cases, it’s actually less effective than a placebo.

The false nature of Acupuncture, Astrology, Homeopathy, Dowsing etc… has been repeatedly proven for years, yet people need
to believe it. People have practice these things for decades, completely oblivious to the fact that it doesn’t work because

A) They want to believe, and those occasional coincidences confirm their beliefs.

B) There is a lot of money in it, so even if, deep down they know full well 
it’s fraud, they like money more than truth.

  • War and Abuse.

    War is an obvious one. Religious defenders will argue immediately with the words Stalin and Hitler, atheists who created two of the greatest atrocities on earth.Myth: Hitler was an atheist.
    Hitler was a catholic, and although he may not have practiced it to the extend of a fully fledged pope, he often spoke and wrote about it.

These are defunct arguments. Why? Neither started wars because of Atheism. Their
goals, ambitions and ideals were not remotely related to atheism. Yes, Hitler ran
through what you could argue as a Darwinian process of selection.

But Darwinian isn’t Atheism, it is a scientific process. And I don’t think any sensible
person  of any belief or non-belief would seriously suggest a Darwinian style society,
which would of  course bring mass death and suffering around the globe.

No, there is no person that comes to mind that created war and death in the name of
Atheism. Religion? Well, I don’t even need to discuss those examples.

But Religion doesn’t only work on such an obvious scale as war. It has a more subtle
approach to destroying civilization.

When religious families bring a child into the world, this child is immediately religious. They are stamped as religious in their birth certificates, they follow their families to their churches or cult gatherings or whatever, and they grow up with a set of lies embedded into them, before they even knew how to doubt what their parents told them.

This use of authority to brainwash a child is a form of child abuse if you want to put it bluntly. You are denying the child a right to think for itself. Sometimes those children can, over time, pull out of it, much to the shame and disappointment of their family. Leaving ones religion is called apostasy, and  I can think of one religion that would sentence those poor fellows to death:

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A child is forced, against its will, to follow the will of an authority. Why not let the child grow up first, and allow it to learn about the world and make its own decision? Perhaps because these organisations know that the child will not join their cult, will not pay for their gold plates and cathedrals, ceremonies and bullet proof cars, instead preferring the direction of truth.