Friday, April 15, 2011

Atheism, much too radicalized

Alright, I will admit I use the stumbleupon application a lot. And I have a good number of topics which I am very interested in. Religion is one of these many topics. However, it seems that of these religion sites I get, the most common ones are of atheism.

Now I believe atheism is too misunderstood to have so much attention, and it always has. No one has ever understood the reasoning for or the belief of atheism. I hope that this post will enlighten a few people about some belief systems and their implications, at least as far as I know them.

Now some people have this belief that there is either science or religion. Science, things like evolution and physics and archaeology, are concepts which are based off of what we call scientific data and analysis. Tests have been performed over and over to find out the amount of truth value for these theories. This is the basis of science as we know it. Religion is no based on these values. Religion is based on faith and tradition. Religion is just another way for people to explain things.

Now anyone who has read some of my past blogs should be aware that I believe strongly in science. I am not a person big in faith for anything other than science. However, I do not believe that religion is wrong. I believe that science is my faith system. I do not have much of a religion system though.

Atheists and non-atheists of the internet both have the same idea of atheism. They will not admit this but they all believe exactly the same thing. Atheists of the internet are the same as theists of the internet. They openly discredit and denounce other religious beliefs and they attack those who aren't "enlightened" as they are.

I will just say that I don't believe that atheists are necessarily wrong in their ideas, but they are certainly wrong in these attacks. That isn't to say that theists are not wrong as well for the attacks they deal. No one is right for attacking another person when they have no idea themselves as to what the correct answer actually is.

Overall the concept of atheism is not only used to denounce other religions but it is also used simply because only the basic ideas are understood. Most who have atheist websites and other webpages use the ideas of atheism incorrectly. This, to me, seems to an incorrect way to believe in something. These people should stop wasting their time posting incorrect ideas and start researching what real atheism is.

Atheism is not the belief in science. It is not the belief of anti-Christian/Jewish/Islamic/etc. ideas. Atheism is the system of beliefs that there is no god. It is not a group of religion haters. It is a group of people who do not belief in a deity. There are both theists and self-proclaimed atheists who think that atheists believe in science and "know" based on science that there is no god.

Again this is simply a misunderstood and misused belief system. It is used by outsiders as a scapegoat for religious wrongs. It is used by radical believers as a way to rationalize their being "right" and everyone else being wrong.

Overall, atheism is overused and abused by those who misunderstand. I hope that people realize these things and I can stop reading about how wrong everyone else is who believes is anything. There is no reason religions and belief systems need to attack one another. No one really knows what's going to happen thus there is no true answer. Why can't people just see that?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Humans' Problems

Well obviously I have been neglecting my blog for quite a while. I suppose some of my current thoughts should be written down though.

These thoughts have mostly been brought on by the anthropology class I have been taking this semester. I am sure it will seem quite stream of consciousness because some of the ideas have been dormant for a little while now. But the main thought I wish to convey, while I sit in the cool breeze and warm sunlight and listen to the birds and construction around me, is that humanity has far too many problems. And as far as I can see there is only one solution: catastrophe. The human species has "progressed" to a point from which there is no turning back. We as Homo sapien have come to a cross roads. Do we:
1. continue to destroy the home which we need so much
2. attempt to fix the problems we have caused, with little chance of success
3. halt all immediate "progress" and correct the wrongs we have committed
4. create or await a catastrophe which will assist us in starting over

This is a choice that cannot be chosen by a select few. It must be a unanimous decision and one in which all who exist must partake. Now it seems fairly obvious to any reader that I am making such bold statements at this point in time, but for what reason, what are these problems of which I speak. I will tell you now that there are far too many for me to summarize in one sitting, probably more than I could summarize in a single lifetime. So I will just speak of the ones that come to mind while I write. And of course, since I am little aware of many issues outside my own home, I will probably not be discussing many foreign ideas, mostly USA-domestic concepts.

I shall begin with a few subjects brought to my attention recently in my anthropology class. The first is our complete ass-backward sense of criminal justice in the USA. The US has likely, the worse prison system in the world. It costs $65,000 for every criminal in prison. The US also has one of the highest imprisonment rates in the world. Approximately 1 in every 99 people in the US is in prison. That is over 1% of the population and at the cost of $65k per criminal, that's a hell of a lot of money. How are these prisons run? They are essentially 2-3 star hotels. They are fed and have TV and don't have many worries. Compared to many of their normal lives, they are more than content with being in prison. Not only that but they are around other criminals as well and these people learn from each other. They can learn skills and other things from the veteran criminals. These skills will help them become better at what they do when they leave the prison. And how is anyone being helped by the prison system? Well the private agencies who own the prison get all that money that tax payers pay for the prisons. The prisoners learn to become better criminals. And the other people of the country get to pay those bills just to have a never ending process of criminals being put into prison and going back on the streets a few years later to just return to doing what they do best.
The proposition from my anthropology teacher and a book we have read on the subject is to teach these people. Teach these criminals useful skills (such as finding a decent job to benefit society), give them some help if needed (such as psychological treatment for any mental disorders they may have), give them a decent education which many criminals do not have. We need to help them, not simply punish them and not tell them what they should change. And this leads to a connection and where I wish to lead to next. Corporations and organizations that own these prisons and almost every other industry in the US and the world.

This concept in and of itself should be a crime. Corporations and other large companies are not an area which I know a great amount about, but from what I do know this concept sounds like a complete sham. These companies have immense amounts of power and they are able to do essentially whatever they want. For example the prison system is in the shits, so why hasn't it been fixed? That's because these private owners, these companies, make a crap load of money. They don't want this system to change because they are making more money than most of those people who pay these expenses can even dream of. This is not only the case in prisons in the country. This also has a huge impact in our foreign policy. We have corporations who basically own entire countries and peoples. For example the people of Puerto Rico are and were being forced out of their own home because of the corporations who own land and plantations there. These corporations are running the lands ragged until their will soon be no nutrients left in the soil and nothing will be able to survive. The same is true of the oil in Trinidad. The people living there have so much oil they do not even realize how rich they could be. Unfortunately, due to the English colonization and the US continuation of these ideas, the Trinidadians have no ownership of their own resources. These corporations have all the power over the oil in this region and the riches of it are obtained by the upper 1% of the population (much like the riches of the USA which I will get to later). Not only are corporations influential in foreign topics and in the criminal justice system, they are also very persistent in domestic politics. These corporations have to save themselves, they have to make sure that the people who run the government will not turn on them. Thus they need to "donate" to their protectors, not to those who will make a better society. These corporations are criminals whom no one will ever convict because they have lots of power. These corporations have all the money in the world and people have been taught the mindset that money is everything. Which brings me to the next topic: money.

Money is the root of all evil. This statement makes itself clearer and clearer everyday in my mind. I, as a minimal materialism type of person, try to avoid the concept of money as much as I can. For as long as I can remember, I have had a problem with the "capitalistic" system. It is highly overrated, especially since people do not seem to realize, it really is not all that capitalistic anymore. For whatever reason people always seem to associate socialism and communism with "un-American." And yet we still systems like social security and welfare to assist those who cannot survive themselves. People are confused. Of course, I too have minimal understanding of all these concepts (hell I can't even do my own taxes completely, my dad still does them). I just do not feel that capitalism is all the people think it is. Money is just pieces of paper and metal now. There is no longer any gold backing up the system anymore. There is too much money in circulation to be backed with gold; it cannot be mined fast enough. And where does all that money go? The 1% of people who possess >70% of the power in this country. "What life is this we live?" I could not have chosen a better url for this blog. But I suppose this is the concept that we consider the American way, huh? Seems pretty sucky to me.

I was going to go into another concept which is blinding us, but I feel like there will be another time and place for it. I will briefly state my opinion on it though. Religion vs. Science. I have written about it several times but I do not think that my point has been on the mark yet. This is officially what I believe at this time and it truly makes the most sense to me now. There should be no battle at all, these concepts are completely separate. There is no one true comparison between the two. Religion was created on the basis of faith , whereas science was created on the basis of multiple trials and testing theories and trying to find some explanation for what happens around us. These are no longer conflicting in my mind. I will discuss this more at another time I am positive.

Nature is the only true asset we have on this planet. Why do we insist on destroying it? I understand using assets to our advantage, but the rate at which the advantage is taking is also of importance. See people do not seem to realize what limits there are in nature. There is only a limited amount of resources we have available. Not only that but people also do not seem to realize how much we are using these materials. I cannot even begin to discuss all the uses and purposes we attach to certain materials. There are so many things that are being done by humans that discussing all of them would take another lifetime. However, my major intention here is to bring to your attention the destruction that is occurring and has been occurring of the plant and animal life of the world. This needs to be reversed quickly. There have been more endangered species to come about since the beginning of the industrial era due to human over-indulgence than species that died off at the K-T mass extinction. (I will admit that this may be a bit of an exaggeration but it is not all that far fetched.) We need to conserve our resources, if not so that we can live a bit longer, at least so that we are able to looked at the majesty and beauty of nature.

And one last topic I have thought of that has been a major pain in my side for a lengthy time. The overt maelstrom of ignorance that people have and they are presented with in today's society. There is so little necessity in these distractions that are presented. Celebrities are my biggest pet peeve. Celebrities are one of the biggest problems with today's society. It is a complete nuisance. Why must we know the latest sex scandal of one or another person? (Many of these ideas can also be applied to politicians). Is there any reason for that? Why do we have to know about this famous preteen youth who does drugs in her spare time? Is there any significance in our own lives? No, not really. If anything this just makes it impossibly harder for people to live decent lives. Looking at these actors and actresses, sex symbols, and musicians as role models is destroying individuals. These obsessive people and other relatively average people look up to famous people as if the famous life is the only thing they need. Thus they follow in the footsteps of some "famous", but truthfully normal, person. Celebrities are not any better than anyone else. They are normal people who are able to play music or imitate someone else. They have very few special skills and they, for the most part, have no real benefit to society, other than providing a distraction from reality (which I am proposing is a bad thing). Not only this but going back to the money issue, these people possess more money than any one person who has actually done something of importance to society, I am 90% positive of that. There are millions of other distractions that this society has which are awful for civilization as a whole. Things like videogames and entertainment TV are awful, but I will not deny I partake in them more than I should. There are far too many distractions in this world for anyone to be able to concentrate on the true issues.

These are the problems of society. These are the things that need to be changed. Now going back to my proposed solutions.
1. continue to destroy the home which we need so much
2. attempt to fix the problems we have caused, with little chance of success
3. halt all immediate "progress" and correct the wrongs we have committed
4. create or await a catastrophe which will assist us in starting over

Number 1, is not a solution, of that I am convinced. That is just continuing what we are doing now and not helping anyone. With that option we will all be dead before the end of this century.
Number 2, that is what we are lazily attempting to do. We have a few minute initiatives to fix a couple of our minor problems. That is not going to help much, we may make it out of this century but not much further than that.
Number 3, this sounds like a decent solution to me. But looking at the current record of society, there is approximately 0% chance of that seeing the light of day. I guarantee that none of you would stop watching your favorite celebrity shows on TV and start looking into ways to fix our economy. I guarantee that no one is willing to stop researching things that will make them money, and start researching things that will actually fix our interactions with the environment. These types of changes are not characteristic of humans.
Number 4, this is the only option I believe will work with a group as stubborn as Homo sapien. As implausible as it is there is little choice in the matter. We need to do something. My proposition is a worldwide EMP. This will not only stop our technological progress but it will set us back a few generations. Of course this will not help much once we rediscover electricity but it may assist in slowing us down to a point at which we can actually stop and think.

Society is moving too fast, that is the major issue here. And that is what needs to be solved. If we can fix this, we may be able to fix ourselves and survive for a bit longer in this existence, not as individuals but as a species. Of course this concept of backing up would result in many moral problems, like mass deaths, but my question about that is: Is that really a problem? Overcrowding is a major problem as well. A few deaths for the benefit of an entire species. As the Christians say, "What would Jesus do?" Or perhaps it is more appropriate to ask, what did he do?

Just more thoughts on my mind. Criticize all you like. Perhaps you too will teach me something as I hope I may teach you something.