Sunday, September 20, 2015

Human Animals

Are we social animals or a group of individuals who realized that we could do better in groups? Group sizes have grown to country size. Every now and then, a country size group decides to split and expel part of that group from the area. Civil war, but the split is usually ideological, even religion is an ideology, even if the religious have different name for it. Ideology is just plain stupid to kill over, for it is not real, but a concept. If you do not follow my concepts, I will kill you thinking. Control freaks of the highest order.

In reality, there is the world we live in, nature, and then there is the human animal. We are animal first, with our triune brains. We are big groups of individuals, each with our own ideas. There are those among us that try to sell us on belief systems, become a follower and stop having to think for yourself type schemes. We can be part of these and not even realize it. We can be born into one of these groups, grow and flourish in them, die, and the whole time not even realize this basic fact. That is the sad part of religions. In principal it sound great, but now we have a number of such schemes at odds with each other. We have religious wars mixed with Civil war in Syria and it is a mess. It is time to give up religion. Period. What else is there to do? Learn to live well and rationally, without religions. And stop killing each other.

We have reached a state of local overpopulation, and have been doing this for the last 100 years, resulting in migrations from political/religious oppression. In historical times it was more often food/water/economy type migration forces. In general, our world has become overpopulated in larger portions, and now much of the US and Canada are overpopulated, that is more people than the country can support. We have vast tracks of land where few can make a living in. Those that do live like the human animals that they are, not the economic adapted peoples of the world, but basic hunter/gather, but they also want the benefits of modern urban populations, yet are unable to generate the revenue required to buy those services from there undertakings, expect for resource extraction. OH well, this is Canada, and we in the South support the north, and natives, and welfare, and the health industry, and the processed food industry, but not the farmers.

But then what do I know?     


Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Yah But

A bit of exchange between myself and laurainman got me thinking.

The difference "what people could be" and "what humans are" explains a lot of failure of philosophy. Communism for example. Give to the state in accordance with your ability, and take from the state in accordance with your need, but greed takes over and there is nothing left. This is similar to some of our native Indians today in Canada, but I digress.

People could be much more compassionate, but with the present greed culture, compassion is not a characteristic of the self sustaining person. The compassionate are overrun, and used, until they are poor or wise up. Just try being a landlord, and here the whining about the rent, the hardships, and they live in a bigger, nicer place than I would afford myself. My needs are simple. Compassion is a nice characteristic, but just not practical in so many places.

I had an old buddy that owned a sawmill. He always need labor on the green chain, cleaners, stackers, etc. Low skill, outside work, live in the dry camp, room and board. Anyone begging he told they could have a job if they wanted, all they need to do was show up for the company buss at the weekly shift change. He said he never had one show up in twenty years of offering. Compassion yes but they need to make an effort first.

Compassionate is a virtue that is easy to over do. My mother and sister would do anything for anyone, as long as they were not family. Oh well. Mother died alone and my sister and I exchange perhaps 4 short emails a year. The Buddhist push compassion, and I thing it is a great virtue where no one has much anyway, but it can get out of hand. I need to be able to survive for perhaps 25-30 years on savings after retirement, so compassion only goes so far when I see waste and lack of effort. Compassion for those who need it is a different issue.

Now consider the Religious Wars of the middle east. Religions in general are irrational, but some more so. Would I reach out to anyone who is possible dangerous? Not likely. Children and family's who are willing to give up their religion are worthy of help, anyone else is for other to help. It must be something that I am comfortable with. If not, it has nothing to do with me. We must realize that religion is the cause of the war, all religions.

The other issue is control of people and dictatorship of ideas. If they do not agree with my ideas, they can believe what ever foolishness they wish. I will not have a dog in that race. What people could be is an idea, but when we consider what they actually are, it is a different story. We live in a community that has become a group of individuals, not a society in the old sense, where everybody knew everybody. Transportation and communications have changed all that. We have not yet worked out how to live in this new reality. We see the results of local overpopulation, either economic, food supply, water, energy or political/religious where a group of people are pushed out to fend for themselves, elsewhere. Some chose to leave on their own, aka refugees. It is still overpopulation, and we, here are already overpopulated.

It is my prediction that I may live to see the next major die off humans, in evolutionary terms. (say the next 25 years). The population if no die off occurs will need to address the rate of growth soon, else difficulties will be more common. In twenty five years, the population will double. Can you live with double the population? Can the middle east or Germany? Africa? China is not a problem, they addresses the issue with one child policy. India?

How does compassion fit in with a major die off? Well we all go down or will we save ourselves? We can see this coming, for those who do not act, how much compassion should I show?

But what do I know?

Sunday, September 13, 2015

Stoic Buddhist?

No god, so now it is up to us to live right and get on with building community, spreading wisdom and the like. No god places the responsibility for living rightly, by virtue in stoic terms squarely on us humans. We need to live within what nature throws at us, and be content with what we have. Now what if we could merge Stoic thought and Theravada Buddhism?

Last day we say the second noble truth exposed as Stoic, more or less. The fourth noble truth is indistinguishable from live by virtue, for the eight fold path employs virtue, but without naming it.

The Buddhists place right knowledge first in the eight point path to the good life, while the Stoics name the path living in accordance with virtues and nature. If we do one, we do the other. Wisdom or prudence provide the knowledge and intent; we require the courage, temperance, and justice to do the remaining six: speak, action, livelihood, and to look after our mental self through effort, mindfulness and concentration. The emphasis on what is being taught or described is just different, but combined, these similar, if not identical philosophies, provide a more detailed path to a better life. It is what is considered to be more important that differs, by the ancients, and by the modern teachers. Mediation, to the Stoics was not a field of concentration, but it is for the Buddhists, while ethics was big for the Stoics, it was reduced to prescription through the precepts and other concepts in the Buddhist tradition. There are a group to concepts that are held in common. Impermanence v. constant change, and that all stressing issues are the result of wrong though, delusions of what life should be, v. opinions in our own mind that we have power over.

So what am I saying? After one strips away the language of the system, a sage would be enlightened or enlightened would be a sage. The sage must cut wood and haul water as well.  Nothing about that changes. There is this old story of "what does a monk do before enlightenment? He cuts wood and hauls water. And after enlightenment? He cuts wood and hauls water.The Theravada Buddhist will spend more time meditating, while the Stoic will spend the time in analysis and consideration, and both will act with confidence that they are doing right for the right reasons. The Theravada are not as much into mediation as the Zens. They rely more on the prescriptions found in the writings, rather than developing everything from first principals. In the end, after achievements are totaled, I doubt that the result would be distinguishable in many cases. Both would spend there lives tranquil, without hurry, and make about the same decisions. Both would sit likely at sunrise and watch the show, content with what the day might bring.

But what do I know?

Others view on this very subject:
  Karma was a prevailing concept accepted by Buddhists. In a small community, it has some truth to it.   Buddha was silent on 19 questions asked of him. Karma and God were two of the questions.

What is "I" is the discussion that leads to the illusion statement. In Stoic terms, "I" is the facility of reason, the part that holds opinions, makes judgements, and does all those things "I" has  power over. So is "I" real or an illusion?

Friday, September 11, 2015

What is Stocism

There has been much written on subject of stoicism, and much misses the main point. It is not suppression of emotion. It is about understanding the source of the mainly negative emotions, and the causes. The positive emotions are good. Once we understand the cause of negative emotion, it is our choice to get anger or use the negative emotion or see the cause, eliminate the cause, and move on. Some things are up to us, our opinions, our beliefs, our values, our judgements. Live by nature, and to do that we must understand our nature. The product is understanding of our behaviors and thence to have a choice.

It is a form of consequentialism.

There is no reason to get mad at inanimate objects, it is not there fault. They have no intent, no purpose other that which we paint on them. They are a collection of atoms, nothing more. Perhaps the do what we expect by habituation, perhaps not. It is not there fault, they have no intent. It is all in our mind, our intentions, our expectations, our delusions of how life should be, our attachment to a mortal or a thing, or the opposite, our aversions. It is all in our heads.  It has nothing to do with the object, it is all us and our mind. In Buddhism, this is the second noble truth.

Now people are just like inanimate objects, but they do form intent, but usually we do not enter into the consideration. We are just moving objects without significance to most others. That is the way we treat many people in the cities where we know few of the surrounding people.

Nature has no intent. It just provides an environment for this opportunistic species, of which we are part, to flourish. There is no plan. Man has created an intent or purpose to develop, a outlet for our natural desires. Directing our desires is man made. Controlling ourselves is good; controlling others leads to resentment, rebellion, resistance, over through, and similar distress.

We need a common goal, often taken to be development of a cosmos, or a flourishing society.  Anything that leads to, aids in, supports, sustains, such development is taken as purpose, and is in the right direction.

But what do I know.  

Wednesday, September 9, 2015


Clarity is the state of resolution when we come to understand. It is the process of realizing we have arrived at our destination, without knowing what our destination was or is. If we do not know where we are going any path will lead there; All we need do is stay on our current path and we will arrive.

It is that moment that we have, late at night, when the brain fog and distraction of the day have gone, when we know what must be done next, why, how, and the like. 

I have been examining "wheels of life" to see what areas I could work on, and to reevaluate where I would like to be when I die. and I am more or less there. Marcus Aurelius reminds us that life is a choice. As George Eastman said "My work is done." Now I have time to do an encore, if I desire, or not. I could just keep this place ticking over, and live out the remainder of my life. It is a time of great clarity, and a time of indecision. It does not matter, nature does not care what I do, or do not do.

Coming out as a non-theist has been interesting. Family has all but cut off any incoming contact; it is only me reaching out to them that occurs now. Oh well. Or is it just my bad attitude about some of this other shit that I do not want to know about? Or is it just the dull conversation that I usually go quiet and shut down, or is it just my attitude about sugar, starch, and sugar binges? Oh well.

It is clear to me that I need to get involved in something bigger than myself, that is engaging, has meaning, and a chance of achievement if fate permits. But what? That is the question. It should have a social component, perhaps something education for the youth. Perhaps a bit more archery coaching. I do not know.


Monday, September 7, 2015


Live in accordance with Nature is the stoic first statement. What does that really mean?

We all have a basic understanding of what nature, the whole of nature is, but what about her rules? Notice that I used the female pronoun to describe nature. She is a bit moody, so that may be appropriate. Nature is the totality of all that is, including man. How is it possible to live not in accordance with nature?  We can easily live not in accordance with man's laws, but how about natures'? Can we defy the law of gravity or the attraction of electrons to neutrons? or the laws of chemistry or of biology? Not so much.

The stoic describe a bunch of beliefs that they attribute to nature, and some are hard to agree with, while others are difficult to disagree with. Man has been given desires to reproduce, to eat, to move some, to desire a easier way of life, to think, to desire anything with utility or beauty or novelty. Some feel the pull strongly to some, others to other desires. I have a strong desire to understand the truth, food, and novelty of thought.

Nature does not care what happens. There is no plan beyond that. It is all just a wild biological science experiment, species evolve, those that survive reproduce. Humans have had a mind to adapt the environment to something we can survive in, flourish in, and as a result have populated most regions of the earth, and have overpopulated many regions. Overpopulation is when an area cannot support the number of people living there, either through food supply, economically on in non-compatible belief systems. We have prospered and figured out how to prosper better, how to keep the infirm alive, how to grow the ungifted, and how to support all these through a finical system that is causing wage slaves to think they are free. We can see the deep divisions in our culture, and yet the government will not acknowledge these divisions. Clearing of belief systems is the simple solution to all this strife.

Our beliefs have become an division between we humans. We are Christian or Muslim, Buddhist, Hindi, Tao, or whatever because we were raised that way, and have never looked at our beliefs. It is time we take a look and understand that, and understand that belief is just concepts not real. Nature is all that is real. There are no gods. Those are all human concepts to soften the reality and provide guidance to the next generation. It is not reality. To get along as a flourishing population, we must all cooperate, and become one large 'cosmos' or population. The problem is, I believe, our population has exceeded what the world can support long term. We are due for a major die off.

Flourishing required positive emotion, engagement, meaning, and if nature permits accomplishment. This provides satisfaction, joy and more positive emotion. Religion is not necessary, but is a quick way to train the unconscious automatic  mind. It is time to create or revive a belief system based on the rational mind again, as Stoicism was.

The first rule must be that nature is all that is, and if it is not nature, as a belief system, it may be suspect. The study of nature, and all that is natural can go a long way. Things that we can produce from nature may not be suitable for uses as intended. There may be downsides.

How far are we willing to bend to support others? Short term is wildly different than long term. I am not willing to support natives long term, it is time they become self supporting. Same with welfare, not the sick or infirm; we will need to support them until they die off, but the level of support should not be better that we, ourselves live. I live in a small old house because I was raised cheap, frugal, and self sufficient more or less. Most on welfare live better than I do. After the government takes there cut, this is what is left.

But what do I know? God is just a human concept, they do not exist. We need to cooperate to survive.


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Coming out as a Nontheist

Religion is for those who cannot handle the truth. Starting at man and nature exist, where does that leave religion? Untruth? A belief system based on some supernatural concept? A comic book? All the religious texts are hear-say, or historical story's which may not be true, but may have shreds of truth interwoven. That is not to say it is all wrong, but there are bits of untruth.... so how do we separate the truth and untruths. It always seems to come down to separating right from story. The story does not matter.

This is the first and only time I am to pass through life and there is no clear instruction book for the non theist. Atheist are against theistism, and I am not against them, I just do not care about them any more. They can believe what ever kind of foolishness they like.

When I look at the likes of Spinoza, who equated god to nature and then talked of god to not offend the religious and did not like to be called an atheist, for that was considered to be offensive. If god is equal to nature, why be obtuse and call it god rather than nature? Nature is real, is easily understood as all that is real and all that is, what is the problem to say it is our nature to seek simplicity, truth and understanding. It is our first time through life; we will make mistakes, so what? Get on with life.

Religion have long been used as the soft approach to life and death. If you cannot handle the fact that one day you will die and be no more, just as it was before you, well religion has an afterlife. Can't handle a deprived and irrational parents? We have religion. No wait, those parents have religion, WTF. Can't handle reality? We have religion and hope. Religion does not teach self sufficiency, learning to live with what is. It teaches to live in dream world, with what might be in a dream state. Surrender to that which we have no control over. Bullshit. We have no control over many things, and we have control over some things. There is no need to surrender to anything that we never had control of, only the delusion of control. The world has run over us one more way; it is just more that is beyond our control.

At death, we end. If we wish to pass something on, we should do it while we are alive, and that should be a truth seeking philosophy. I wish to live in a real world, not a fiction world. Those that wish to entertain and create an imaginary world are welcome to do that, but I will avoid that as much as is possible. That is what I see religion as, as an imaginary world.

As Musonius said, if you want immortality, carve your name into a big rock. That is about the most immortality the average person can hope to achieve. There will be a few that do better at achieving immortality, but that is largely luck, providence, fate, and for a few skill, combined with luck, fate, the times, events, etc. 

Bullies bully, that is there nature. Many religions are bullies, and use bulling tactics, ostracization. (How christian is that.) Bullies do not like to bleed.  We can verbally attach them. We can use truth against them. We can use their beliefs against them, but wait, they do not believe strongly and only when it is convenient. They are not into self reflection except through there rose colored filters, so that is pointless. It is just best to ignore the religious and carry on. What is important is to teach the children truth, and the next generation will be on the right track.

Social skill are important for civilization, and I am concerned that all this electronic communication and isolation are eroding the skills of some, just as the isolation imposed of some in the past has caused slow development and social anxiety, as it is now described. But is it social anxiety, or is it just silence to the noise of bullshit. Ignore the noise and pass through without needing to sort out any truths is the path of least resistance. 

But what do I know?

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Reconstruction - coming out as an atheist or nontheist

There is no god, just man and nature. Accept that, if you can. It is not a belief, but rather an non-acceptance of other people's beliefs or concepts. Along the way other logic must be placed in where previous concepts existed.  

In the ongoing change process, it has become evident that man is real, nature is real and religion is not real, and is therefore bullshit. These videos raise some questions that Marcus Aurelius answers.

The first is what is our purpose on this big rock. Purpose is a man made concept. We can ask the question, but that does not mean it has a true answer. Nature is not forward looking beyond giving us each the desire to survive and reproduce. Marcus says lesser species are here to serve the upper, and man is here to serve man. We do better if we work together for the common goal of survival. Some of us do not like freeloaders, and we wish to give our offspring a advantage. Others just want to reproduce, and not take responsibility for there offspring. It is all just a numbers game, good offspring with a potentially good start in life, v. many offspring.

Morals is one area the religions claim to have superiority over, but that is untrue. It is just right to do right. Do to others and you would like to be done to also goes a long way.

Truth is the first fundamental of life. So if there is no god, how truthful is religion. If there is a god, it is up to them to prove it, for it is logically impossible to prove that something does not exist. Non belief does not require proof.

Being an atheist in this time is difficult. Family will stop calling, and some friends will avoid you and me. Oh well. It is difficult to listen to some religious people with there concepts of afterlife, hope, doing good for a later reward and the like. The big one is that earth was created for humans... bullshit. Earth happened, it was suitable for life and humans evolved and flourished. It is all about a flourishing population, without a purpose. But we humans need to apply a purpose, a reason for everything, and the most fundamental of beliefs must be true to flourish.

We humans are about 7.5 billion strong today. Somewhere between 100 and 115 billion of us have existed and returned to the recycle carbon system. Oh well, does it all matter?