The wise men look no more toward the star;
Sunday, November 29, 2009
The wise men look no more toward the star;
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Monday, November 23, 2009
Thursday, November 19, 2009
If there is a supernatural element to our universe (or beyond), how could we possibly know it?
1. I often use the term “intangible naturalism” as it could refer to something wholly natural that is beyond our current ability to understand - whether because of a lack of knowledge or because our brains are not made to understand it. An example would be electricity. Now it is considered a product of the natural universe, but perhaps sparks and electric currents were examples of “intangible naturalism” 1,000 years ago. Anything “supernatural” or “intangibly natural” at this current point in time are indistinguishable. Perhaps we will discover how the “intangibly natural” fits into the chain of cause and effect in the future. Perhaps we will not. Where would one decide to call something currently not understood supernatural? The transition from “intangibly natural” to “supernatural” is not one that we are equipped to make.
2. The only difference between natural and allegedly supernatural elements of existence is predictability. Once again, think of electricity. It is natural since it predictably acts certain ways given certain causal elements. But think about what it does. Things move without being pushed, visual sparks shoot out of our hands when we touch, lightning splits the sky - this is the stuff of fairy tales. Except that we can predict it.
3. Anything supernatural that acted predictably would not be supernatural! It would be natural. Another way to think about this besides predictability is connectedness. Everything natural is affected by other natural elements and affects other natural elements. It’s all a dance of cause and effect played out in motion through time. Supernatural elements are disconnected from this. If they were not, they would be natural. Evidence is based on the connections of cause and effect, so we cannot use any natural evidence to support supernatural conclusions. The supernatural will not obey our attempts to observe it or else it would be natural, therefore there is no way to prove whether supernatural elements exist or do not exist.
4. It makes no sense to complain about a lack of proof for the supernatural. However it also makes no sense to put forth specific supernatural explanations for anything as that would require many wholly arbitrary presuppositions about the supernatural. For instance if we say that “God cured my sickness”, then why not say “God created the memory in me and others that I was sick, but I never really was.” Why is the first more plausible than the second? If it’s because of less supernatural involvement then, as I’ve argued elsewhere, why not assume there is no supernatural involvement? Also, if we are describing supernatural in terms of quantity, where do we get those ideas of quantity? We get them from the natural world which the supernatural does not have to resemble in any way. Which is easier for God - to cure a cold or to create 1,000 new universes? So to argue a supernatural explanation, whether God or anything else, is to place many assumptions on to that supernatural hypothesis.
5. But once again, to say there is no such thing as the supernatural because of a lack of evidence is also problematic. Reliable evidence would make it natural!
Conclusion - there could be supernatural elements of our existence, but we can never know it. It would lie outside the realm of evidence, so we cannot complain of a lack of evidence for it. However, to put forth specific ideas about supernatural explanations, and to insist they are right, makes even less sense.
Friday, November 13, 2009
he took a hard look around
He saw people were starving all over the place
while others were painting the town
The public spirited boy
became a public spirited man
So he worked very hard and he read everything
until he came up with a plan
There'll be no exploitation
of the worker or his kin
No discrimination 'cause of the color of your
No more private property
It would not be allowed
No one could rise too high
No one could sink too low
or go under completely like some we all know
If Marx were living today
he'd be rolling around in his grave
And if I had him here in my mansion on the hill
I'd tell him a story t'would give his old heart
It's something that happened to me
I'd say, Karl I recently stumbled
into a new family
with two little children in school
where all little children should be
I went to the orientation
All the young mommies were there
Karl, you never have seen such a glorious sight
as these beautiful women arrayed for the night
just like countesses, empresses, movie stars and
And they'd come there with men much like me
Froggish men, unpleasant to see
Were you to kiss one, Karl
Nary a prince would there be
Oh Karl the world isn't fair
It isn't and never will be
They tried out your plan
It brought misery instead
If you'd seen how they worked it
you'd be glad you were dead
just like I'm glad I'm living in the land of the
where the rich just get richer
and the poor you don't ever have to see
It would depress us, Karl
Because we care
that the world still isn't fair"
Monday, November 9, 2009
Here it is.
Thursday, November 5, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Monday, November 2, 2009
LITTLE DRAGON INTERACTION number one
“Hey, LD, what’s going on?”
“Not too much.”
“Are there any new songs you want to work on?”
“Yeah, this one!” (starts to strum “Blue Eyes Crying in the Rain”)
“Oh wow, what made you think of that?”
“I got to see Willie Nelson play live over the weekend.”
“No way! Did he play around here?”
“Yeah, he did. I got to meet him too.”
“Are you serious? That is seriously cool. Where did he play?”
“At my Grandpa’s birthday party.”
“At first he said no, he doesn’t play private parties. But then he changed his mind. It was awesome. He is a nice guy.”
Wow. I suppose everyone has a price - even iconic American singer/songwriters.
LITTLE DRAGON INTERACTION number two
LD : “Do you ever watch the show Glee?”
“No, I haven’t seen it.”
“Yeah, it’s pretty good. They mostly do old grandma music from the late 70‘s/early 80’s, but it’s awesome.”
OLD GRANDMA MUSIC from the late 70’s/early 80’s? Huh?