Wednesday, December 13, 2017

I'm not angry with religion. I understand it.

Marxism, Leninism, Stalinism, Maoism, and Nazism are all dogmas centered around very specific sets of principles. Some of these systems discourage religion (Nazism was a heavily Christian motivated system). With systems designed to control populations, it is natural that the central underlying principle disallows any competing authority figures. This system of gvt is replicated in many ways and takes many forms throughout the world including totalitarian gvts, dictatorships, military regimes etc. This isn't about being secular, it's about getting rid of the competition.

I care about many issues and post about them periodically. I've post about feminism issues, racial disparity, gun control, climate change, nuclear proliferation, and sexual abuse to name a few.

My biggest issue with religion is it's significant restraint on scientific research. How can we advance scientific discovery if we're constantly encouraging children to distrust science?

Science uses a carefully reared protocol of developing it's facts. The hypotheses that are developed are tried and either proven or disproven. Cures for diseases are produced. Airplanes and cell phones are invented. Science has enabled us to have light and heat in our homes. Refrigerators and microwaves. Science has brought a forseeable end to world hunger. It has obliterated the once common, mass disease epidemics.

What has religion produced?

Religion has produced willfull distrust of a system that checks and balances itself through rigorous procedures and peer reviewed qualitative research. Religion has produced a society that is willfully ignorant of issues like climate change and sexual health issues. Religion has produced a society where 59% of public school biology teachers avoid teaching evolution as fact in order to avoid controversy. Religion has produced a culture of regressive sexuality which arguably has lead to harmful and dangerously deviant behaviors. Religion has produced a society that barely bats an eyelash at horrendous mysgonystic patriarchy.

There's no question that religion has also produced good things. Religious institutions are overwhelmingly involved in charity work. They've produced great works in many art forms: paintings, music, poetry, etc.

Religion also produces a state of comfort. The adage "ignorance is bliss" couldn't be more accurate.

A common theme I encounter in my regular conversations with religious apologists is that they don't need evidence, they have faith. You only need faith if you really have to force yourself to accept something as true without evidence. Effectively, one with faith is pretending to know something they don't know.

I don't have faith. I don't need faith. I have evidence.

Evolution is not a theory. Evolution is a fact. This isn't a question. This isn't an opinion. It's a fact.

Evolution is the premise for our entire ecological system, our climate, our physiological anatomy, our nervous system, our brain. By circumventing this fact, we lose the ability to use that knowledge to our advantage. There are animals that can regrow limbs. There are animals that have supersonic hearing. There are animals that live hundreds of years. We can harness that knowledge. We can make human beings live longer - live better.

So it comes down to this: if you are training the minds of future generations, the only way to to inspire is to intrigue. We are curious creatures. We are always striving to learn so it's critical to gain necessary information at the most ideal periods in our brain's development.

The formative years of the brain take place during adolescence (12-18). That's when the amygdala (or reptilian part of the brain) begins to process stimulae and stores that information in your developing prefrontal cortex. After 18, most of the neural pathways in your prefrontal cortex have been mapped and are fairly concrete. This means the ability to change those neural pathways, which are basically information data blocks, gets harder and harder.

It isn't fair to the future generations of the world to begin the advent of human rearing by saying, "I have a story, there's no evidence for this story, but it is true. The majority of the world disagrees with the factual basis of this story, but it is true. Nobody has been able to verify the details of this story, but it is true. We are the chosen people. We are superior all others. Our ideas are better than everyone else's. Don't listen to anyone elses ideas, they are not true. Don't listen to science, it is not true. Trust me, I'm an authority figure and I know this story to be true so you must too, know this to be true."

So to provide an alternate response to your question which you presciently answered, religion is causing harm. It's causing harm to future generations and to society as a whole. It's stunting the progression of science and thus, to the progression of humanity.

I have witnessed a number friends remain adamantly in denial about serious substance additions; I've possibly even suffered from some myself. I've helped a number of friends seek professional help for these issues. But there is no professional help for the addiction of religion. This opiate can only be abandoned through education and enlightenment. So no, I do not have anger towards religion. I understand and recognize the problem from a very unique perspective and I think I may have some of the skills necessary to combat it. And combat I will.

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Yes, I am a vegan.

It'll never stop there though.

Yes. I am vegan! And I'm sorry it took so long.

I am proud to be vegan. I get to be proud too. I climbed out of one the deepest, nastiest pits of confirmation bias that 95% of people still cling to longingly if not, lovingly. I love meat. I love burgers. I can't imagine giving up steak. Dude, ribs. We all are, or were, experiencing that desolate pit.