Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Methodology of Truth

You will receive many messages in life. Some of them will be entirely true, some of them will be partially true, and some of them will contain no truth at all. You will receive some messages accompanied by an assessment of the truth of the message. Some messages will be of uncertain authorship. We see then that both the source of a message and any existing assessment of the truth of a message have no bearing at all on whatever truth is contained in the message. At the end of the day, you will have to examine the content of the message and if truth is found, it will be authenticated and proclaimed as truth by you.

Sometimes, you proclaim what you think is truth, only to discover a mistake. You make your corrections, proclaim your new understandings of the truth, and go on in life. The longer you live, the more time you have to discover and correct any mistakes you might have made. We all die however and so any corrections to the truth of the messages you left will be made by those that follow. They cannot do their job if they think they must honor you without question. They must examine the things you said and if indeed they wish to honor you, they must make the corrections that you will no longer be alive to make. The same holds true for the things that have been written in the past. If truth was their intent, and if honor is ours, we must examine what was written and make the corrections where necessary. And you must afford my writings the same respect, correct the things I might have misunderstood and proclaim as truth the things that remain.

You have a job to do. You have been given messages. Some of them have been proclaimed as truth. Some of them have been given to you in a sociopolitical climate that would act to restrain your right to examine and correct the messages. Some of these messages are considered to be sacred writings of your forebears, be they religious or political documents. You might have to be judicious in the timing and methodology you use to ensure that the truth is published.

For centuries, nations and cultures have enforced noncritical belief by eliminating, ostracizing or imprisoning those that objected.  Such practice can have a physical evolutionary effect. By the removal of minds prone to rational objection from the gene pool, slight gene mutations resulting in physical brain structures conducive to noncritical belief can be selected and become more numerous in the population. The relative quantity of those with structures conducive to critical reasoning will decrease.  Today more and more people spend their time mindlessly repeating what has been written, refusing to accept any assessment other than that the writings are infallible truth, without examination. They are not evil people: they are ill, they are lost, and some of them are trapped. They are unable to engage in rational methodologies conducive to discernment of truth.

There is a cure for this condition. It is education. If you believe you are prone to this form of thinking you have only to find and read as many books of science that you can find.  There are many like you in this world. Some of them are very young however, and such books are denied to them. Some of them are very old and as such well comforted against the fears of doubt. They might be unable to change. Some of them are between,some of them  leaders on the sociopolitical scene, mindlessly determined to increase the population of noncritical believers with whatever violence may be required. Some of them, and the generations younger than them, are capable of recognizing their mistake, and they do so, internally, only to then understand that they are trapped. Having previously committed with their group of leaders towards violent repression, they find themselves surrounded by these very same people who have proven their readiness to cut down quickly any source of objection.

Sadly, all of them might be ready to change, but none of them dare to raise their voice for fear that the others are not ready and so without regard to the number of them that are ready to change, they are all well and truly trapped into reproducing brains suited towards mindless belief and conscienceless violence.  The mindless beliefs, possibly supported by physical brain structures, operate like beaver dams, sealing off the flow of reason in the brain, creating a stagnant pool of fear. The end result, the most prominently visible phenotype of mindless belief, is a world where millions of children are denied rational, uncensored education in the accumulated knowledge of man.

There is a clear path to follow to escape the trap. It will take courage and time. It begins with the education of children and that begins with the recognition of the human rights of children.

Those of you who are leaders, whether or not you find yourself trapped, you can make gradual inroads in ensuring the secular education of the children of your culture. You must teach your children to love knowledge, to become brilliant. You can declare that your cultural and religious beliefs, and the documents on which they rest, are strong enough to withstand secular examination and that to prove this you encourage the fullness of secular education for every member of your culture, male and female. You must be willing to send them abroad for education when young. You must free your children.

The rest of the world can assist. We can recognize and declare the human rights of all children born into our world and that among these rights is the right to a complete education in the collected knowledge of man. And then we have but to create the schools and staff them with dedicated professionals who wish to change the world to one of global peace and prosperity.

If the whole earth had fallen under ancient Egyptian rule and stagnated, perhaps the great lot of us would be bonded together in the relatively useless enterprises of building pyramids, there being no greater work envisioned by our leaders. But we ourselves are the leaders today, it is not pyramids we build, we build cities and schools, we clean the earth, we educate the children of man and we populate the cosmos with our art and beauty. We have a planet of plenty, we can control our population, we can share resources, and we can return trees to the emptied forests.

Buried in mans ancient writings is the idea of a hideous god that burns people forever in hell, an entity that orders the slaughter of men, women and children, an angry hateful being that commands solitary abject worship for eternity. This idea, this ancient fable hardly worthy of a comic book, has become entrenched, replicating from generation to generation, crouched beneath the surface of the stagnant pool in our minds, rising like leviathan to roar out fear should any doubt be entertained. Its nemesis is truth; it is helplessly vulnerable to our courage and our reason. It shall be remembered as yet another mythical god in the ancient myths of man.

That raging god of the bible and the Quran has never existed. The scriptures are wrong. They have always been wrong. Our ancestors meant well but they were mistaken and they are no longer alive to lead us to the truth. We will have to crawl out of the abyss ourselves, in courage with one another, into the light of reason. We shall dissolve the damming structures in our minds, knowledge and truth shall flow freely. We will know each other as the great family of man we have always been, bringing art and science to one another. We shall be welcoming each child into the world, acting as repositories of trust for truth.  We shall educate them with love and care and they will usher us to our peace in their responsive beauty.

Some of you will be troubled by these writings. You will have spent a good deal of time believing in God, wishfully ignoring the unpleasant passages in the bible and the Quran that suggest such hideous qualities of the God you would rather learn to love. For those of you I can say that you do not have to give up your concept of a benevolent God, you have only to consider that the scriptures were sadly mistaken as to the character of God and then observe the universe, the creation if you will, to use your own mind to try to learn the nature of the one who you believe created you.

For after all, she might very well exist, and if she does then you can learn to love her by loving the things she loves. And you have never needed a book of scripture. You can see with your eyes the decisions of God. She has today created thousands of newborn babies and entrusted them to us, she has never stopped her creative ways. She is expressing faith and hope in us, waiting patiently for us to accept the beauty of the creation, to accept the beauty of each other, the same beauty she saw with cornered diamonds in her eyes when she last kissed us and placed us sleeping in the womb. We can love each other as we have been so dearly loved by our beloved God.

And if she does not exist at all, it is natural human expression to sometimes wish she did, if only to have somebody to thank for the beauty of the beckoning cosmos, the ecstasy of the evolving life we see, surrounded as we are by each other, mischievous, twinkling, singing, sharing Venus above the moon.

That will be you someday, there in the future. You shall be reborn as one who travels, you shall be alive on an orbiting moon, and there in your lover’s eyes you shall see the rings of Saturn.

Friday, March 1, 2013

The Evolution of Knowledge and Belief

Thousands of years ago, man observed the great forces of nature and wondered if their was agency behind them.  Thunder sounded like roaring expressions of anger from somewhere on high. He formed his theories  God and began to think that God had an angry character.  These original oral traditions were passed down through the generations until they became written. Eventually, these ideas of a raging God formed the underlying theory for the God described in the religions based on the Old Testament writings. Christianity, Islam, and Judaism are all based on this ancient concept of the God who seethes with anger towards man, to the point of creating hell as a place of eternal torment for those who do not believe in one scripture or another.

As time passed and man began to seek ways to build a world of peace, his religions evolved towards ideas of a generally more benevolent God. The idea that God would burn people eternally began to be seen as just another of the plenitude of mans fables that have been passed down over time. Nobody takes Zeus seriously anymore, and as man becomes better educated, fewer and fewer are taking that old fire-and-brimstone angry God of the bible, Torah, and Quran very seriously anymore.

While it is true, many people today maintain a fear-based belief in the perfection of the scriptures and its fables of the angry God, those numbers have also been declining. The scriptures are now seen as a mixture of fable and history, punctuated by opinions as to the nature of God. At times man seemed to coerce his idea of God to support his endeavors in war, going as far as declaring that God had told them to attack and slaughter the men, women, and children of neighboring villages and states, the very men, women, and children that the God they professed belief in created.

Believers today are evolving their understandings of God. God is seen to be overwhelming benevolent towards man. While natural disasters and accidents of fate continue to trouble believers with respect to understanding the nature of a creator who would allow such things to happen, people are beginning to look at it from God’s point of view. For example, if you were God, alone, and it was your desire to create thinking beings that were free to express themselves and to think as they pleased, but who were free to choose death if they could not bear to live, and taking everything else into consideration, you might start to come up with a design not wholly unlike our world today. While there remains much to be discussed, the discussion is fully engaged and lively across the world. Religions and systems of belief are evolving before our eyes. We understand now that if God exists, God is very beautiful and loving towards man.

At the same time, the rationality of atheism is becoming evident for a growing number of people. Believers themselves are admitting that even if God exists, such God places no constraints on belief and has no objection to atheism.

God is no longer seen to be afflicted with the traditional human character defects of jealousy, rage and narcissism described in the fables and scriptures. People understand now that if God exists, and has existed for the great expanse of the eons of the universe, his wisdom must be overwhelmingly beautiful to behold, if one could but behold it. If God exists then everyone can see the decisions of God, the decisions that God makes every day, the decisions to create life in the form of newborn children and entrust them to humanity for raising. God is seen to be expressing great faith and hope in us in these daily decisions.

There are still countries in the world where belief in the fabled raging God is enforced with corporal punishment by state and local governments. This is very sad for those so enslaved, especially for the women and girls who are often denied education. The boys are also restricted as to the content of the classroom material, the government or culture requiring that any scientific material that is in disagreement with the scripture be forbidden or corrupted in some manner to come into agreement with the fables. This is true even in the free states of the world, where fundamentalist believers try to deny rational scientific education to their own children.

But today, these children who are fortunate to live in the free states have the internet. As social networks expand they are finding that they have each other. They are in discussions and learning to understand that their parents mean well, trying to hide scientific knowledge, but that their parents themselves grew up a bit confused by the fables of the angry God.

The youth of today understands that it is not an easy for parents to leave their lifelong beliefs, no matter how irrational they are finally seen to be. Once one has been forced to believe in the raging God, a fear based psychological state can set in that is very difficult to escape. The escape for fear remains the same path that it has always been: become educated, read, and learn. There is nothing at all to fear. If God exists, God is quite beautiful and benevolent; we know this by observing the decisions of God.

We are humanity. Created by God or evolved from the cosmos, we are standing beautifully in courage. We speak the truth today. We examine the scriptures of our ancestors and we teach our children how these fables began and how the world is changing towards a more rational state, where human knowledge is expanding around the world. Some day all men, women and children will be free, with rights and accessibility to full educations in the arts and sciences of man. Some will remain believers and some will be atheist but all of us will have reached a common ground of understanding. We can live in peace, and together explore the cosmos, if we can learn to be repositories of trust for one another, to be our brother’s keeper.

The next generations of man, who have yet to be born, will be born into a beautiful world of peace, because today, we, their ancestors, worked hard to make it happen. We began to bravely speak the truth to one another, to put away our childish fears, to stand courageous to ensure liberty for all people for all of time.