Wednesday, August 15, 2012

To Live For

So much to live for.  That's what they say.
What, exactly, is there to live for?  Further disillusionment?  A slow fading of mental and physical faculties as the body takes what vitality it once gave?
Perhaps it's the future atrocities the human race will commit?  The idiotic rhetoric of future pundits as they debate future decisions?

Why is it that the beautiful produced by humanity is the product of minds most in anguish?
Beauty is born of suffering.  Is beauty composed of suffering?
All things have their opposite: for joy to exist sorrow must be known.  Does that mean joy is meaningless without suffering?  That we must inflict suffering on either ourselves or others to know what joy is?

What are joy and happiness but moments of amnesia as we hurtle toward death through a world built of suffering and violence?

The empty promises of Heaven ring hollow in churches built of mud, and the empty promises of mortal joy fly impotently in the inexorable faces of disease, cruelty, and death.
Everywhere are claims of happiness and nowhere are admissions that happiness might be nothing more than a phantom reflection of our lust for relevance, flickering ever before us but never within our grasp.

So much to live for.  Consciousness is fleeting, and so ought we not observe keenly the horrors around us?  Ought we not strive, through the sweat of our brows, to make something with out short days?  Never mind that any sandy palaces we build will soon crumble beneath the waves of time.  Never mind that all our knowledge and wonder, accumulated carefully, will be eaten by insects like any other piece of rancid flesh.

I occasionally doubt my ability to make a better world for my children to die and decay in.

Monday, August 6, 2012

A Numbers Game

I occasionally go poking around Conservapedia to see what the crazies have been up to.  Tonight I eventually encountered some "Question Evolution" blog with literally dozens of links to articles and posts about how Biblical Christianity is on the rise and atheists' numbers are shrinking, etc.

What strikes me is how silly this all is... do you think it proves you right if more people agree with you?  I'm afraid it doesn't.  I mean, I doubt the accuracy of your sources as well, but that's beside the point.  Even if these all-caps claims of yours are true, so what?

No matter how many people agree with you, it's perfectly possible for everyone to be wrong.  Maybe evolution and creationism are both wrong, and some other origin of life is the real fact, but no one has even suggested it yet!
No one is suggesting that Christians aren't the majority in the U.S.  No one is suggesting that atheists are not the least-trusted demographic.  We all know those things are true.  I'm confused as to what you're trying to prove with your numbers.

The LDS church is guilty of this, too.  While always carefully pointing out that it doesn't really matter, church leaders love to say "we're 14 million strong!"  Like that changes anything about the veracity of your doctrines.

I guess I'm guilty of this stuff too, though.  It seems somehow significant to me that an overwhelming majority of anyone who has (actually) studied living things in depth supports the theory of evolution, religious or not.  But I should really let the evidence speak for itself, I suppose, and not play the silly numbers game.
Thank you, crazy people, for inspiring this opportunity for self-improvement!