Thursday, May 10, 2007
The most endearing, frustrating, and horrifying attribute of the human race is the search for easy answers to complex problems. Whether it is the easy answer of "kill the Jews" for the complex problem of Germany's poor economy in the 1920's, or the easy answer of "kill the abortion doctors" for the complex problem of abortion, or the easy answer of "conquer their countries, kill their leaders, and convert them to Christianity" for the complex problem of maniacs running airplanes into skyscrapers, Mankind will never stop searching for the winning lottery ticket in the answer sweepstakes.
But sometimes there aren't any easy answers. Sometimes there aren't even any answers at all. Why did my father have so much sorrow in his life, and such a horrifying end? Why do some men turn to lives of violence and hate? What is going to happen to me in the near future? The easy answer, "it was God's will", is just that -- an easy answer. The universe is infinite, and the notion that we meat animals with our limited grey meat brains are capable of comprehending more than the tiniest part of the infinite is so staggering an act of hubris that it is a wonder that the Creator does not just strike us all down with a blazing series of lightning bolts.
Back to thinking bloggers. This is It may be a blog by a sloppy dog lover, but that's okay, this cat lover reads it anyhow. Why Now gives a nice perspective on the news. And then, hmm... ah yes. I suspect I need to narrow down a representative of that mighty supervillain The Gay Agenda for the final candidate, but which one? A distressing number of blogs on my right margin are created by The Gay Agenda with his evil gay ray gun of gayness that, like, shoots out of television screens and TURNS OUR CHILDREN GAY !!! OH THE HORROR!. Shall it be Mustang Bobby? 42? Hmm...
But there are, unfortunately, several bloggers who have fallen prey to the easy answers fallacy who have fallen off the list of thinking bloggers. There is one ornery old coot who goes around snorting "Who cares, it's all monkeys." Yes dear. And you're a monkey too. What's your point? More distressing is a blogger who is a co-blogger of mine at another site who is much more thoughtful person, except he is always falling for easy answers too. Autism on the rise? Easy answer: It's the vaccines! The 9/11 attacks were awefully convenient for the Bush Administration? The towers were brought down by explosives! Early-onset Alzheimer's runs in the family? Here's some magic herbs that'll stop Alzheimers! Sadly, his once-vibrant blog has become almost unreadable as his quest for easy answers to complex reality removes all skepticism and willingness to consider alternative points of view.
Which reminds me of another young man. This youngster has fallen for easy answers also. He spouts the easy answers given to him by his elders, generally in the form of a simple statement that over-simplifies a complex issue and a scattering of Bible verses that "support" that simple statement, yet refuses to consider the wonder that is the Infinite. He, too, has fallen prey to the fallacy that there are easy answers to life. In his case, the easy answer is to accept Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior, at which point everything becomes simple and you do not need to consider the complexities of the Infinite any longer, you simply act as a soldier of Christ bringing a scattering of simple statements issued by your elders ("the Truth") to the rest of the population. But the Infinity that is the Creator is far vaster than the contents of any book written in human language. The notion that the bags of water and meat called "humanity" could begin to comprehend more than a tiny portion of the Infinite is such an absurd notion that it doesn't survive the giggle test. One day this young man will find out that reality cannot be encompassed by easy answers. One day this young man will discover that what he thought was "The Truth" is just a small part of the Infinite, and that the faith that he professes encompasses only a small part of the infinity that is the Creator. Then what? I don't know. What, you thought I had easy answers too?
- Badtux the Not-easy Penguin
Labels: culture, life, religion
Posted by: BadTux / 5/10/2007 10:04:00 PM
Thanks for all the shout outs lately. I'm honored to be recognized by someone whose opinions and thoughts have often made the voices in my head shout back me, "He has valid point, dumbass".
Indeed. I'm always looking for simplicity in my life, aren't we all. In fact that is a great weakness of us apes, is the craving for convenience and simplicity in a complex world. Sometimes there isn't any solution to a problem, we have to adjust.
Then, sometimes we find that the easiest solution, forgiveness, is the hardest to find. Ask Jesus. I'm not one of His followers, but I understand what he was trying to teach us, at least I claim I do. I wish his followers would try to understand his ideology instead of idolizing the man.
Just rambling, blah blah blah
# posted by niCk (Mem Beth) : 11/5/07 6:19 AM
"The Truth" is just a small part of the Infinite -
You are so right...
... the human race, no matter how much we try, will only ever know a small speck of a fraction of the infinite "truth". God is one of the simple answers to the complexity of the universe. In my view, God will remain undefined, because it is not possible to know, so why be wasting my limited time on the words humans use to define something that can't be defined.
# posted by niCk (Mem Beth) : 11/5/07 6:30 AM
Of course I'm a monkey, an evolution, I've made that clear all along.
If mankind doesn't evolve into being God spiritually he is doomed.
Nick is wrong, well, Nick is also crazy, doesn't want to be a part of God, and loves dogs more than people, but the concept and the word God is never going to go away.
It will be one of the last words you think of as you die, mark my words.
Yup, I am an old coot, billions of years older than you. And I get cranky because mankind isn't evolving the right direction.
# posted by BBC : 11/5/07 7:33 AM
You know, Badtux, I think I've been looking for easy answers to the complex problem of my respiratory illness - and you're right: there are no easy answers.
But, today was part of answer - I can breathe better - a major goal.
And, I'm not sure that God or Jesus or the Holy Spirit have the answers that will work on solving the complex problems of the world or of individuals. Living a life of ....of what...following Jesus' footsteps. Hell, I don't want to be crucified, though I have metaphorically been crucified many times. And, I don't want to ride a donkey; damned uncomfortable things.
But, I guess the forgiveness and watchfulness and maybe even the love are good things. I'm a professing Christian heretic; so I think God will be what God will be, and, if there's a life with God, then maybe, just maybe, I'll know a little bit of that.
Meanwhile, I'm just thankful that I can breathe.
# posted by Share Cropper : 11/5/07 10:13 AM
When the Bible was written, the Creator said "Dog", but the writers of the Bible were dyslexic and wrote "God" instead.
Okay, maybe not. But I suspect Nick would agree that it's how it SHOULD have gone down...
# posted by BadTux : 11/5/07 11:09 AM
Tough love man...no mention in the thinking crowd, but instead the mention with the easy answers? I should probably freak out or something, huh? *rolls eyes* :P
See I would agree that there are simple answers, and there is even a simple answer to what you were striving for in this post.
God has revealed himself in the Bible, and in his infinite (there, I used the I word...brownie points?!) mercy made it easy for us to know him, and accept him. The hard part is living that lifestyle consistently.
But my point would be that even in the toughest, "what-is-the-meaning-of-life" type of questions, God has revealed an easy to understand answers, so that all would know him! I am glad that I can worship God and know that he has taken the time to walk in my shoes and show me how to live.
We as humans try and make things more difficult. But then faith, yes the very same faith you referred to in relying that God is infinite despite your own knowledge and brain capacity, steps in and allows us to accept that things can be simple and that we can know God.
Oh, and the other cool thing: once we understand what God's word says, we can attempt to understand more and more the crazy complexities that can seemingly never be completely understood. Isn't it amazing that God has put so much out in front of us; so much that can easily be attained!
Nice post, by the way. :D
Oh, and I want to clear up one more thing. I don't mind getting ragged on, its fun and its part of blogging. But don't say that I just take in babyfood information from people around me. You don't know, you haven't been there, and I have. I am proud to have my own faith that isn't reliant on a pastor or a parent. So I would appreciate a LITTLE leniency on that one. Thanks :)
# posted by Jonathan : 11/5/07 1:24 PM
What ?? -- I can give you citations on the herbs, Tux.
# posted by Scorpio : 11/5/07 7:15 PM
Silly than went round a corner. I just read *very* widely, and amass thousnds of facts, many of which do not please people.
# posted by Scorpio : 11/5/07 7:16 PM
Fuck the bible, anyone that reads that piece of shit and believes most of the crap in it is a fucking idiot.
I'm God and I don't even believe that crap. I don't own a bible and I destroy every copy of it I can.
If you don't believe in God and don't want it mentioned shouldn't you be the first to stop bring it up?
Yeah, don't talk about God anymore, I will go away. LOL.... In your dreams.
I motorized a bike today, I will post about it in the morning.
# posted by BBC : 11/5/07 7:40 PM
If life were easy what would be the point?
Life is easy for sheep, they have someone to tell them what to do. It's the "free will" bit that causes all the problems, because it means that we have to take personal responsibility for our actions. "I was only following orders" doesn't make the cut, and it doesn't make any difference if the orders come from a god, a leader, or a voice in our heads - we decided to follow them.
I use the resources I have to make the best decisions I can, but things don't always turn out as I would like. I've made some great decisions and some really awful ones, but I have to continue to the end.
The only "pearl" of wisdom I would add to the discussion, is that there is nothing inherently wrong in holding off making a decision until you feel that you have enough information, but there will come a point where that becomes a de facto decision.
# posted by Bryan : 11/5/07 10:21 PM
Hello, Mr Penguin.
I believe this phenomenon you describe is that disconnect which Ouspensky refers to as "the pleasure of activity."
Human beings are capable of nuanced conceptualizations; and yet to approach an issue, the matter of simply dealing with it, it needs to be broken up into smaller steps.
It seems that some would get caught up in working through those smaller steps, and lose sight of the larger context of activity.
Then again, others are just simple-minded.
Now, I see a lot of this thing going on where people object to religion of any sort, or deride those who would adhere to some form of faith.
Usually, upon further inquiry, it is revealed that those who would do so are angry; further, that anger is usually directed at either evangelical protestants or something that the pope had said or done.
Which reminds me of Gandhi's statement, that he thought Christianity might be a good idea, and that perhaps we should try it.
Then there are the psuedo-scientists, who are unable to reconcile evolution theory with faith.
Yet, as we see here, such things do not appear to be irreconcilable by their nature. And numerous other examples abound, such as Einstein, Tesla, and Darwin himself.
And with that said, I don't really understand 'worship.' I fail to see how worshipping could be considered a productive behavior.
# posted by Progressive Traditionalist : 12/5/07 2:15 PM
God hater here...and I love cats and dogs. Do I get any points for that? No offense of course J. but if God has revealed himself in the Bible...why isn't the world a better place? It's a simple thing for man to read it...and he can comprehend it...so why are people Godless if he has revealed his plan to man? Because...in simple terms...there ain't nuthin' there. Nobody is revealing anything to us...we are on our own...! And I'd hate to think what our world would truly be like if people didn't have their religion to sometimes fall back upon as an excuse...we as humans would be truly screwed. There is at least a semblance of order with organized churches of guilt...it keeps some in line you know.
# posted by sumo : 12/5/07 9:19 PM
"No offense of course J. but if God has revealed himself in the Bible...why isn't the world a better place? It's a simple thing for man to read it...and he can comprehend it...so why are people Godless if he has revealed his plan to man? Because...in simple terms...there ain't nuthin' there. Nobody is revealing anything to us...we are on our own...! And I'd hate to think what our world would truly be like if people didn't have their religion to sometimes fall back upon as an excuse...we as humans would be truly screwed. There is at least a semblance of order with organized churches of guilt...it keeps some in line you know."
I think you hit exactly right. Why don't people read the Bible more? There is living, breathing proof walking around everywhere that shows the life changing affects of the Bible. Whether you choose to ignore that or not is fine. But how does personal religious ignorance disregard the existence of God?
Interesting that you think we are alone. There are so many things that cannot be explained through the senses and sciences humanism relies on, yet you would rather hold to that view? Is it really teh logical, thinking concept to believe we are alone?
Do you not realize that your concept of our "aloness" is still belief?
# posted by Jonathan : 13/5/07 12:36 PM
I see no evidence to suggest that it would be better to read the Bible repeatedly than to read it once only, then spend time in contemplation of it.
If it is true that God is in any way a contemporary rather than historical figure, it would do us well to concern ourselves more with what He's doing now.
Further, if God has demonstrated the capacity and predilection to reveal Himself by virtue of scripture, then He would in no wise be limited by having been previously published.
I find that reductionism, positivism, and materialism frequently lead to fallacy.
No need to concern yourself with such things, other than to recognize from where the error comes from, and so to avoid it yourself. It serves no other useful purpose.
For example, following the logic of the statement cited (in your comment)--
Light, having existed at the very beginning of the Big Bang, should have revealed the photon to Mankind well before the 20th century.
Perhaps photons are not real; that is, not really real.
Perhaps it was that Science pronounced photons into existence in the early 20th century, and they did not exist before that time.
Perhaps it is that photons are very tricksy and mischievous little critters. Maybe photons plot against me when they think that I'm not around.
In the end, Science has disproven itself time and time again, throughout the centuries.
Science is not "the Truth," but an approximation of the truth, always subject to constant revision.
That is, in our generally accepted "Science," there will always be those elements not only of the unknown, but of falsehood.
More properly, Science is a method, and not a body of work. It is a search for the truth, and not the truth itself.
It is a journey, and not a destination.
So much for positivism....
# posted by Progressive Traditionalist : 14/5/07 4:52 AM
It's easy to believe in God. The rest of the details are all someone else's baggage, really.
The easy answers revolve around unconditional love and true stewardship of this planet and its creatures. Love everyone unconditionally - and if everyone could do that, all of our problems could go away. Unfortunately, it's a terribly unrealistic answer and isn't very practical.
# posted by georg : 14/5/07 8:07 AM
I'm certainly no philosopher, neither am I a great scientist and oh my certainly NOT an expert on religious matter.
Here's what I do know : Nobody knows the truth, how can they? Right and left speculations, that's all they really are. Your reality is certainly NOT mine or anybody else's.
My elders have thought me to be a good girl otherwise I'd be going to this hot place down below.
They have also thought me to feel guilty about experiencing pleasure.
They have also told me to love unconditionally and to turn the other cheek. Sorry elders, no can do on those.
Oh and there is a certain person who thinks he's the almighty and has told me that I'm a spoilt brat for spoiling myself.. guilty as charged... ;-) oh! and in his opinion men are so much better without me... perhaps... ;-)
Ok I'll stop my babblings for now.. ;-) Interesting how some people think that if you don't follow their beliefs, you're just not worht anything... ok fine. I'll just continue doing my own little thing and try to be the best person that I can be and yeah.. piss off a few people along the way... ;-)
# posted by Nancy : 15/5/07 5:04 AM
- Name: BadTux
- Location: Some iceberg, South Pacific, Antarctica
I am a black and white and yellow multicolored penguin making his way as best he can in a world of monochromic monkeys.
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