Saturday, August 30, 2014
Many schools of thought, both practical and metaphysical, mix factual information with superstition. This creates confusion in the student who earnestly attempts to unravel fact from fiction and those ideas which are useful from those which are not.
Some people swallow all teachings of a given school in one gulp, thinking illogically, that if part of it is true then all of it must be true. Such unquestioning obedience to authority and dogma creates a situation where outsiders tend to view believers as deluded and the whole school of thought as invalid, due to the perceived blind adherence to superstitious thought.
This is a shame because many useful facts and ideas are contained within many of these schools of thought, if only they can be sifted through and found. But for this to occur we must have an open, inquiring mind, and not be subject to slavish adherence to tradition and the edicts of authority figures.
If humans have free will then the problems we face on earth are man’s doing, not those of a creator god. Conditions on earth are, in general, highly favourable for leading a healthy and productive life. We have all the requirements needed to keep the body healthy and the mind and spirit active and engaged. What man chooses to do with these conditions is up to him. He can live peaceably and productively, multiplying the bounty of the earth, or he can wage war on his neighbour, reducing life for everyone.
To blame a creator god for starvation, wars and even disease is to ignore the role man’s use of free will has in these matters. Man’s conception of himself is all important here. How he sees himself will determine how he expresses himself and what he strives towards. And although there are streams of thought that exist that, if believed, would lead man to view himself as unworthy and inferior there are also patterns of thought that stress the value and nobility of the human life. In our case we are free to believe as we wish and we are responsible for how this plays out in our own life.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
The only sin, as I see it, is interfering in other people's business when you haven't been asked. I include in this category the action of government agents as well as private individuals. Any use of force is a form of thuggery and is a violation of the free will of those being acted upon. If only people minded their own business and didn't act from fear to attempt to control the lives of others there would be far less social problems and far more happy citizens!
Monday, August 25, 2014
Image: Sharka Todd
Our choice of belief in the materialistic hypothesis or the spiritual hypothesis depends on which of the two has the greatest ability to explain our own experiences and the experiences of those we know.
If we experience an event that is outside the bounds of possibility for the hypothesis we hold then this hypothesis is automatically rejected and we are left to create a broader world view!