Archives for posts with tag: life

I’ve seen my share of references, so I assume you’ve seen the headlines too.

Pope Francis is reported to have said those who refuse God eventually disappear. Official sources clarify that the report is exactly that, a report, not a quote. Given the Pope’s penchant for unorthodox views, I wouldn’t put it past him, but this ancient reporter seems likely to have added his own slant. I’m not sure why the Pope would interview with someone who is known for overt agenda, but oh well.

Apparently, it wasn’t supposed to be an interview at all. “A recent meeting between Pope Francis and Italian journalist Eugenio Scalfari, 93, was a “private meeting for the occasion of Easter, however without giving him any interview,”” … “Scalfari, a self-proclaimed atheist…”

I pulled from the Catholic News Agency, CNA news report here.

Regardless of what the Pope may think, Jesus had a few things to say about hell, and folks talk about translation and context, which is certainly needful, but Jesus didn’t pull any punches here: http://biblehub.com/matthew/18-8.htm What might he have meant by fire that endures the ages if not a fairly conventional definition of hell?

There are limitations to the information we have, and there is even more limitation to our potential to understand. Our understanding is truly finite and limited.

What a conundrum we have when we consider time.

If we exist, there is time. It exists as sure as anything.

Time is hardly more than the running down of our universe. Sure, we can complicate, and when we must consider the things that time affects, we must be more precise, but I consider here time of itself, moreover, eternity.

If time exists, eternity must. Time began with the universe. Time is a property of the universe, the space-time continuum, we correctly call it.

Eternity is without time; there is eternity; eternity is.

See? Eternity is not a long time. Eternity has nothing to do with time. Time is what you have when you do not have eternity, or rather, when you are limited and expiring.

Can we accept eternity as a foundational, fundamental, encompassing premise? I assert we must. We know time is finite, at least as it pertains to our existence, our reality. If time is finite, must there not be more, something beyond time, something that has nothing to do with time, something for time to happen in? How can we be reasonable if we reject the notion.

How can we reason at all if we assume that all that exists is finite? Accepting nothing beyond the finite defies meaning as a premise. It reduces all to fundamental happenstance with no intent, no direction, no meaning, no reason. I hold it unreasonable to assert there is no reason. I hold it meaningless to assert there is no meaning. As has been rightly observed, we act as though we believe in reason and meaning. We act as though we mean something when we say it, as though we are reasoning when we suppose something.

Let us agree on eternity as a foundational premise.

Now, is eternity divine?

That is a question that seems certain to have two, and only two, possible answers, yes or no.

A religious view would probably shun the notion of eternity as the divinity, but can it not be fundamentally divine? Yes, it can. It is also possible that it is not. If not, we are looking again at utter happenstance with no possibility of meaning.

Still, blatant finitude, absolute meaninglessness, is a possibility we cannot disprove. Yet, if there is infinity, eternity, and it is divine, we end up assuming some divinity, some ultimate divine, eternally existent, infinite (not finite in any way) being. Well, hold up. Not necessarily a being. Still, something ultimate, infinite, unlimited, unbounded.

Shifting from the external and ultimate, let us look within. We do not, and perhaps cannot, understand consciousness. We have working models—workable, useful tools, but no understanding. We act as though we have a soul, but we explicitly denounce the soul as unknowable, unverifiable. We treat each other as sovereign souls (at least ideally–we know we should), as entities embodying the divine, the image of God, be that defined as it may. We, at least ideally, act as if it is so. If we act as though we have a soul while discounting it, what can we surmise as basis? Can we suppose that there must be something divine, eternal, within? Is there some attribute and capacity of ourselves, our consciousnesses, that is actually and truly eternal? It seems a reasonable assumption, a justifiable premise.

If we accept eternity, and we assume we are, at least in some way, part of it, then ultimately, we will exist long after the universe, long after world’s-end. (There I go assuming time again.) Fundamentally, the worthwhile possibilities for consideration are only two: With the divine in eternal existence, or without the divine in eternal existence. Unbounded existence with God, or without God. Regarding this latter, what more definition of hell might one propose?

I find it an undeniable possibility that there be no heaven, but if there is heaven, there most certainly is hell.

Micah 6:8

 

Here is a hard thing. “The only way to grow out of the state is to not treat it as an alien “other” but as a reflection of a violence-addicted culture.”

We, you and I, commit violence against others with our laws, with our regulations, with our prisons.

You and I have blood on our hands. Our lawmakers ensure it.

For every evil a state-enforced regulation alleviates, it perpetrates more, maybe many more, maybe many times worse. You and I are responsible.

When one causes suffering, that one is responsible. When our government, our state, our laws, our police cause suffering, we are all responsible. All of us have the blood on our hands.

“Don’t be evil,” the saying goes. What is evil? It is at least the causing of suffering unnecessarily. Do our prohibitions cause suffering? Yes. You know our drug laws, our prostitution laws, our petty prohibitions of this and that, our requirement of this or that, they all cause suffering. They all result in harming people and families in prisons and other obvious harms. Why continue?

“I would rather be exposed to the inconveniencies attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.” Thomas Jefferson, Philadelphia Dec. 23. 1791.

If we live to “protect,” how? How can we protect anyone older than about six years? We can only protect people by imposing on them. Coercion is evil. Coercion is always evil. Why commit evil to protect? There is one reasonable justification: when the evil prevented is obviously worse than the evil imposed by the coercion, when that evil prevented was clear, present, and imminent.

Coercion, imposition of law, needs to be stripped of its layers and accoutrements, especially the pretty ones. We pretend our laws are for the good, but what good? Strip the law down to its ultimate: Every law has you, ultimately, holding a gun to someone’s head and saying, “Comply or else!”

You scoff. You recoil. You would never do that. Heck,  you may even protest you own no gun, you may even claim you’ve never held a gun, but did you vote? Did you pay taxes? Don’t you sanction the police, at least when you need them? Did you cheer when the law passed? “No more texting and driving,” you cried in triumph. Yet, what of the young person who does so anyway, who is seen, caught red-handed, by an officer of the law? Who, when the siren sounds and the lights flash, refuses to submit? What then? High speed chase? Property damage, injury, loss of life? All because you insisted on assigning enforcement, the guys with the guns, to enforce your coercive, self-serving, even narcissistic and egotistical, will.

You! You supported that. You are responsible. There is blood on your hands.

We must change our ways. We must change our laws. We must abandon punishment in our civic culture. We all know what harm is. When there is a responsible party, intentional, negligent, or something similar, we understand justice. We understand the harm, the wrong, must be set right in some way. Punishing the responsible party is seldom warranted. Locking the person in a cage, how have we remained so evil so long?

When someone is harmed, we must find ways to set it right, ways that may involve substantial hardship for the responsible party. We can be reasonable, merciful, and still see justice done.

The old rule of eye-for-eye and life-for-life may need to be applied on rare occasions, but we normally have much more rational, even more effective, options.

Imposing harm willingly is the height of evil. Yet, we do it every day.

We harm those who violate our laws daily, and we harm those who love them or depend on them. We cause the harm, and we know it! That is the evil of our society, not supposed slights and unconscious bias.

Our laws need to focus on harm done and reparation. We must abandon punishment in most civil and criminal matters. We must figure out how to stop locking up all but our most dangerous fellow humans.

Here is another idea we must internalize, “There, but for the grace of God, go I.”

I am the monster. You are the monster. Our society, our laws, our enforcement, our systems! We are the monster! “There is none righteous, no not one!

Think, are you not frightened whenever you think of doing something out of the ordinary? Don’t you wonder if it is illegal, if someone might call the police, if the police just might show up for you? Oh, what evil we have wrought! We live in a society where the sensitive among us live in fear of the police, the state. Why?

When we impose regulation on children, on parents, on education, we are restricting, coercing, demanding what is not rightfully ours.

For many thousands of years, we have made do just fine with no imposition of regulations on parents. How can our hubris reach so high as to think this or that rule improves the human lot? Nemesis visits us already. Her reminders to return to humility, to minding our own business, are not usually extreme, but they will become so if we continue our imposing, coercive ways. It is simply the nature of existence. TANSTAAFL and “Mind own business.” That is the existence we have. It is what we should celebrate. We can only have the best when we all trust one another to the good, to be honest, to accomplish our own necessities. Our meddling only, almost always, increases suffering more than necessary.

I allow for the needs, for the necessities, because nothing is ever perfect, at least not in the existence we live.

I want less government, less law, less meddling, less imposition, less coercion. I’m not advocating for overthrow. No! What we have works pretty well. Let’s not blow it up. But, we can start restricting it. We can start repealing laws. We can start lowering budgets and eliminating programs. Such is the road to less harm and more general welfare.

There are no government programs that don’t cause harm. Get it? All government programs, all government action, causes harm. Government programs and actions harm some, some individuals. In many instances, the government action is causing more harm, more human suffering, than it alleviates, even when the best of intentions are legitimate and even when well supervised.

Government causes harm. It is inarguable. Freedom is better. Of course, there are those who will take advantage when opportunity arises, and that is why we need the sanctioned violence, the enforcement, the police, the guys with the guns. Yes, we need them. (We also need to be able to defend ourselves from them.)

However, we need less than we have.

Our needs our meager when it comes to government, yet we surfeit! Why?

Why is government excess the one excess we revel in. Is revelling in excess not sin, simply by definition! Of course, it is. Let us stop insisting on continuing this sin.

Less government, and let’s start with less laws.

 

 

 

Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest

BEARTOOTH LYRICS
“Beaten In Lips”

Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest
Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest

Will the story end
Will it ever change
I never knew a person could be so deranged
Does it make you feel good
Do you feel strong ruining the lives of everyone you love

As if life isn’t hard already
Add it to the list of things to forget
With one chance to define ourselves
We’re gonna keep on living
Keep on living

This is for the kids with the beaten in lips
Whose parents try to shut them up using their fists
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

This is for the kids with a soul like mine
When people tell you living is a waste of your time
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

Pull the plug with a single decision
Your way of life is a contradiction
Go to rehab celebrate with ketamine
Mend the wounds and light it with kerosene

Light my wounds with kerosene

As if life isn’t hard already
Add it to the list of things to forget
With one chance to define ourselves
We’re gonna keep on living
Keep on living

This is for the kids with the beaten in lips
Whose parents try to shut them up using their fists
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down
This is for the kids with a soul like mine
When people tell you living is a waste of your time
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

Listen to the sound of your children revolting
Listen to the sound of the lives you’re ruining

This is for the kids with the beaten in lips
Whose parents try to shut them up using their fists
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

This is for the kids with the beaten in lips
Whose parents try to shut them up using their fists
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

This is for the kids with a soul like mine
When people tell you living is a waste of your time
Keep living loud and proud
They never can hold you down

Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest
Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest

 
“Go Be The Voice”

Go be the voice of god
Go live the life putting death to shame

I wasn’t force fed what I think
And I don’t care if you think I’m brainwashed for what I believe,
but it sure wasn’t from people reminding me that I’m still a
failure every Sunday morning

It’s my fault
It’s always my fault
Every time I have a problem that can’t be solved

Tell me I’ve made progress
All I want is to make you proud
Are the lungs in my chest still working
Cause sometimes I wanna shout where’s my savior now

Life and death is all perspective

Just don’t give up you know it’s not worth it
Life and death is a matter of perspective
Give in you know it’s your purpose
Even if you know you’ll never deserve it

God where are you
God where are you now

There’s no substance
Nothing’s real anymore
But I’m still swinging
Fighting like never before

 
“Body Bag”

One life, one decision [x3]
Make sure it ends with you still living

(1…2…1 2 3! Go!)

How does it feel at the bottom of the barrel
All your friends don’t care no your friends don’t care at all [x2]

Rejected rejected
You’re never gonna be the one respected
Infected infected
This is the way that every life is ended

No, no this life won’t swallow me whole [x2]

If I could set the clocks back
I wouldn’t be headed for a body bag
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living
Feel like I’m on the fast track
To laying face down from a heart attack
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living

One life one decision [x3]
Make sure it ends with you still living

You’re never gonna touch the surface
I sure hope it’s worth it
You can lie to everybody around you
But you can’t lie to the hole inside you

No, no this life won’t swallow me whole [x2]

If I could set the clocks back
I wouldn’t be headed for a body bag
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living
Feel like I’m on the fast track
To laying face down from a heart attack
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living

One life one decision [x3]
Make sure it ends with you still living

If I could set the clocks back
I wouldn’t be headed for a body bag
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living
Feel like I’m on the fast track
To laying face down from a heart attack
One life and one decision
Make sure it ends with you still living

————————–

This is the internet. Look it up. I recently stumbled across Beartooth. Awesome!

Everything that I say won’t mean anything less
When I’m down in a grave
And you’ve put me to rest

I posted the following on Facebook in response to an article. It seems appropriate to record it here.

For me and my wife, we faced the question of prenatal testing a couple of times with our children. With our first, we were pregnant at the same time as a friend-couple. They were having some difficulties, and the doctor recommended some testing for them. The tests included information on Downs and a couple other genetic factors. “All was well,” per the tests. My buddy suggested we test also. I asked why, stating it wouldn’t matter to us. We resolved to the outcome when we chose to become pregnant. It was that simple. God had blessed us with a new member of our family. Boy, girl, perfect, or flawed, just didn’t matter. Not at all. We were pregnant, come what may, and it was a blessing. We had a child who didn’t make it past the first few weeks of gestation. With that exception, all of our children have proven “normal,” even beautiful and bright. We are extraordinarily blessed. The thing is, I cannot imagine feeling differently with different results. Sure, there would be pain associated with difficulties, defects, chronic disease, and death, but I’d be no less blessed. (You cannot tell it, but I’ve teared up at the moment.) I’ve known several people with Downs. They have all been, even are, blessings to know.

I find it a sad statistic that 90% of women who are given test results that their unborn child has Downs abort. (That is what the aforementioned article was about.)

This Easter, reviewing Facebook items, I came across many comments celebrating Easter and life, and also the 19 April 1995 bombing here in Oklahoma City, and a couple of comments from our Oklahoma Blood Institute, to whom I donate regularly.

I wanted to specifically point out a comment from a friend, an Oklahoma State Senator (State House), Kyle Loveless.

He wrote (he makes boots and leather goods):

I was at the family business when we felt the explosion.

I had just got back from an errand and later found out had I been late I would have been cut up by broken glass of the store I visited.

We have a machine that literally weighs a ton, it shook and moved at the vibrations of the explosion of thee bomb at the Murrah building.

We went outside and thought a building gas line had exploded and it wasn’t too long before we got the news.

I remember getting the call from OKCPD asking of we could provide some leather for the search and rescue K-9 units because the rubble was too harsh for their paws. We stopped everything until we had the stuff they needed – my dad and I went down and delivered – I will never forget what I saw, what I smelt, what I witnessed,

I will never forget.

I’ve met many who helped that day. My family had not moved to OKC at that time. We were affected though, then and on to today.

Let us celebrate life. Death is always near. And, keep perspective: We all die young.

Fox News carries this pedestrian press release with no information for figuring out more: http://www.foxnews.com/science/2013/11/05/at-least-88-billion-earth-size-just-right-planets-found-study-says/. It blabs about the latest observation-based estimate of the number of likely planets, around Sol-like stars, with, perhaps, potentially liquid water. The assertion is at least one of these planets will be within 70-trillion miles, or about 12 light years, which is a distance we will traverse eventually.

The article blubs, “And that’s just our galaxy. There are billions of other galaxies.” Of course, but we don’t have to worry about that. It is unreasonable to suppose that we will travel to other galaxies (or vis versa). No amount of time can overcome those distances from the perspective of humans. Not even Star Trek assumes so. Stargate does, but wormholes don’t work that way.

I managed to find reference from PNAS’ facebook to WaPo, http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/health-science/kepler-space-telescope-finds-earth-size-potentially-habitable-planets-are-common/2013/11/04/49d782b4-4555-11e3-bf0c-cebf37c6f484_story.html.

““Earth-sized planets having the temperature of a cup of tea are common around sunlike stars,” said planet hunter Geoff Marcy, a Berkeley astronomer and a ­co-author of the study.” Is it just me, or is the statement inane?

Reaching, “The analysis does not prove that any of these “habitable zone” planets resemble Earth. The report states only that they are roughly the size of our planet and are not too close or too far from the star for water — if it is present — to be liquid at the surface.”

“If the new estimate is correct, there should be about 25 billion Earth-size planets in habitable zones in our galaxy, by Borucki’s calculation.” 8.8 billion, 25 billion, whose counting?

Then there is some drivel about Drake and SETI. Oh well.

The WaPo article is just as devoid of useful information and references.

After some significant effort, I found the paper on the PNAS web site, here: http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2013/10/31/1319909110.abstract?sid=2e11b5e2-b622-4ede-83b9-631aea93def8

The “Significance” statement sets off my skepticism warnings. They say they injected synthetic planets into Kepler to calibrate their findings. Go figure.

The articles indicate 22%. The abstract states 11%. WUWT?

There is this:

Freely available online through the PNAS open access option. [end quote]

I don’t know what freely available might mean, but when I try to get the article it wants me to pay. Truth in advertising? The information I’m finding is confusing and contradictory, both in the assertions and in access to the information. I found: http://www.pnas.org/site/subscriptions/open-access.xhtml, but it doesn’t seem to help. Perhaps it isn’t there yet.

Most of all, SETI is a waste. We simply cannot find anything by looking the way we are even if it is there. Second, if THEY are out there, where are they? If there should be a possible civilization out there no more than 12 million light-years away, why have they not yet wandered by?

No, they ain’t there. Quit worrying about it. Once we’ve built multigenerational ships capable of sustaining several thousand of us indefinitely, we will go. Then we will know for sure.

I’m confident we will find things we will call living when we walk on planets that have significant amounts of liquid water, but it is unreasonable to suppose we will ever call it intelligent.

Interesting Science Daily article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/09/130913185848.htm

They indicate these researchers have found ‘Molecular Fossils’. Uh, whatever. Not fossils.

The molecules found are believed to be very primitive. That is, rudimentary and possibly about the same as the first self-replicating chemicals on earth. Lots of assumptions here.

The article should provide plenty for those who wish to fight biological evolution. Of course, this is how science works. You look at it, figure out what is wrong with it, and try something else. These researchers seem to be finding significantly more than we’ve known before, and they say there is even more to figure out.  Read the rest of this entry »

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