theses on humanity
i cannot claim complete originality with any of these ideas. these short statements comprise my general worldview after a humble thirty-one years of existence. i post them here to invite comment and also to clarify and systemize these thoughts for my own convenience.
1. everything that a human is capable of exists in him already: just as matter can neither be created nor destroyed, no part of human nature can be created nor destroyed. external stimuli may serve as catalysts, though said stimuli will not be catalysts for the same reactions in all humans, and in many humans said stimuli will not be catalysts at all. these reactions are possible to predict only in the most general way, and even that only after great effort and with no small measure of talent. regardless, at base, every human is capable of every possible act.
2. nothing is more important for the greater part of humanity, subjectively speaking, than preserving as much human life as possible. there being no more logical standard of determining "right" and "wrong," this standard is the most expedient to adopt.
3. clarity in communication is the most important factor in moving toward a world that is generally more tolerable. it is also difficult to obtain because it requires a great deal of both effort and humility, two things of which humanity is in chronically short supply.
4. there is no ground of being, there is no center, there is no indivisible particle, there is no ontology. complexity always conceals greater complexity. this makes the human mind responsible to nothing but itself, and leaves the human mind nothing to blame but itself.
5. "rights" do not exist.
6. no abstract idea is worth even a microbe's life, much less a human's. to die for the sake of the formulations of our psyche is the utmost absurdity. no idea is more dangerous than when it is the only one a person has.
7. extremity in anything inevitably leads us further from equilibrium in everything. that being said, only an approximation of equilibrium can ever justifiably be expected by even the most moderate human.
8. until humans learn to deal with individuals and only individuals, with individual occurences and only individual occurences, putting aside the notion of categorizations as reliable indicators, they cannot be taken seriously when they talk about "truth."
9. absolutely everything is relative. absolutely everything is equally relative. there are no absolutes, not even by degrees (a paradox, anyhow).
10. we are never right. we are only more or less accurate, either by perception or inference, in a given situation.
11. objectivity does not exist.
12. there is no fundamental problem of existence. everything exists precisely as it should, precisely because "should" is meaningless.
13. "big questions" are what make us human. answers to these questions cannot exist because they would mean the negation of humanity.
14. you must accept humans as they are or cease to live with them.
15. everything we can say about the idea of god we can say about ourselves. the very fact that we can conceive of god's cruelty proves that that cruelty exists in us. in this way, the ontologicsal argument is true. god exists; god influences us--just as our own compulsion to scratch an itch or swat a fly exists and influences us. it's true that no man can see god's face and live, because no living human has ever turned completely inward, into that great infinite depth that resides in all of us, and remained among humanity. if you truly want to escape god, blow your brain to bits--or meet god, and request a leave of absence, but only a very few have the strength for that. ramana maharshi was one, but only due to some psychological anomaly.
16. the rational human is an anomaly. that is why humanity has a horror of him. his kind has no more evolutionary hope than the albino or the mule.
17. consistency in a human is the surest sign of a dangerous psychosis.
18. my atheism has made me love god more than i ever could before.
"I have never felt comfortable around people who talk about their feelings for Jesus, or any other deity for that matter, because they are usually none too bright. . . . Or maybe 'stupid' is a better way of saying it; but I have never seen much point in getting heavy with either stupid people or Jesus freaks, just as long as they don't bother me. In a world as weird and cruel as this one we have made for ourselves, I figure anybody who can find peace and personal happiness without ripping off somebody else deserves to be left alone. They will not inherit the earth, but then neither will I. . . . And I have learned to live, as it were, with the idea that I will never find peace and happiness, either. But as long as I know there's a pretty good chance I can get my hands on either one of them every once in a while, I do the best I can between high spots."
--Hunter S. Thompson
Favorite oxymorons: Gospel Truth, Rational Supernaturalist, Business Ethics, Christian Morality
"Theology is now little more than a branch of human ignorance. Indeed, it is ignorance with wings." - Sam Harris
The path to Truth lies via careful study of reality, not the dreams of our fallible minds - me
From the sublime to the ridiculous: Science -> Philosophy -> Theology