Target Fixation

How focusing on the problem enlarges the problem—the art of letting go

Humans have a very narrow range of conscious attention that we allow to define us. Based on our personalities and what values (rewards) catch our attention, it begins to define us as a person and collectively as a specie, while the rest of life passes by—often a very good life that is all around, yet unnoticed.

Target fixation is an attentional phenomenon observed in humans in which an individual becomes so focused on a hazard, that they inadvertently increase their risk of colliding with the object. In such cases, the observer may fixate so intently on the target that they steer in the direction of their gaze, which is often the ultimate cause of a collision“.

The human neuron is already very much like radar, always scanning the horizon for trouble. When we stay focused on danger, a type of neurosis sets in and we miss the good, open waters through such myopia. When this evolutionary mechanism of protection is embraced as a value, another mechanism engages—tribalism. Then when evidence is gathered to dismiss such behavior, humans employ a final, last ditch defense against reason—the backfire effect, which describes how individuals, when confronted with evidence that conflicts with their beliefs, come to hold their original position even more strongly.

As our christian dominated culture continues to fixate on the apocalypse, that somehow they can win with this mindset, we may just be bound to bring it on. But really they may have to wait a while, because actual life is petty damn good. Not that anything really matters when its all just a part of evolution. Our only chance of survival is to stop fixing everything before we blow it up by taking sides—or is that natural natural selection too?

Weigh some witches—2020

Why Religion Endures

One is not compelled to test—only to believe. Until it is tested it will endure.

Spiritual disciplines, prayers, meditations, faith, songs, yogas, biblical study, and all forms of scripture, are ways of persisting in folly—doing over and over what you’re doing already, will eventually make you…wise? Yes, but it’s not how you think.

To exhaust all attempts at spiritual knowledge is to finally see the absurdity. Adherents need at last, to take this belief seriously. That is the only way out, as evidenced by those who have already left.

It is akin to convincing a flat-earther the world is round—you must let them walk, due-west as far as it takes for them to see it on their own—when they wind up right back where they started. Field test the words, live it, I mean, finally give it your true attention and quit dabbling in commandments and guilt, and you will see if for what it is—it is nothing at all but a donkey following a virtual carrot. It will last forever because no one takes it seriously.

Every church or religion has established itself by pretending some special mission from God, communicated to certain individuals. The Jews have their Moses; the Christians their Jesus Christ, their apostles and saints; and the Turks their Mahomet, as if the way to God was not open to every man alike.
Each of those churches show certain books, which they call revelation, or the word of God. The Jews say, that their word of God was given by God to Moses, face to face; the Christians say, that their word of God came by divine inspiration: and the Turks say, that their word of God (the Koran) was brought by an angel from Heaven. Each of those churches accuse the other of unbelief; and for my own part, I disbelieve them all
”—Thomas Paine

The appeal to faith was a masterful play on the foibles of human psychology. One is not compelled to test, only to believe. Until it is tested it will endure.

Those who are weak in their atheism aren’t much different—believing the experts and catchy memes is no foundation to shout about either. I am mostly convinced that the two questions are wrong, but I know not what they should be.

God Has Spoken—Volumes of Silence

When and how much is enough?

The example is set—intermittent millennia’s of silence, mixed with an occasional oddball, prophetic utterance of ambiguity, god has spoken by not speaking. The last few prophets, David Koresh, Marshall Applewhite, Jim Jones, and Joseph Smith, met their fate and still—the absence of gods will being done on earth as it is in heaven; or maybe this is it.

We are on our own here—and no amount of prayer or belief is going to change that. If there is a god who is a wise father, we would sleep in the beds we have made until every last human is wrung out with foul starvation and exhaustion. Extinction is after all, the final tally as the earth is “rolled together like a scroll” and the lights shut off.

If we are to survive (whether man made warming or not) when she starts to burn you better have a plan B. Where do we go, underground, underwater, or leave this rock for another?

This will be different than the ice age survival. Cave paintings from the period show hands with missing and shortened fingers suggestive of frostbite. This time it will be drawings of desertification, cracked soil, flames on already scorched earth scratched into the walls with animal rib cages, carcasses, and withered corn.

This is what the Christians pray for—thinking they’ll escape the trials through another man-made disaster (the rapture) while the heathens burn on the hell they’ve helped create with overuse and carelessness. There is no reason for an omnipotent rescue. None. His total power is never wielded for our benefit, only for his pleasure, or our demise, “if” there was such a thing as a god he’s liking what he sees. It is good…very good.

What shall we eat or drink when the flies and carcasses litter the parched earth? How will we grow food for 8 billion people on a The new Sahara’s of our world. The arctic region is having record fires. Billions of pounds of stored carbon being released from the massive peat bogs and forests on fire! Is this not a concern?

unFaithing—Saving Humanity

It begs the question—what if there is no god?

The biggest regret of humanity—examining what we have done and how we have behaved after realizing there are no gods. This regret is typical of de-converts even now.

The earth is in turmoil—they do nothing but wait..for a supernatural…solution.

Life on earth is a race of beliefs—to appear correct (and word it just right) and accumulate enough stuff before we die, before there is no more—like a gas tank on empty, we press the pedal irresistibly harder. Maybe with enough speed the roads of overuse and will converge only after we’re done here.

Life non-earth—after the resurrection and the world is led by Jesus, we will no longer need this physical world—I guess it makes sense to trash it now. But this begs the question that Christianity loves to pose—what if you’re wrong? What if there is no god? Maybe we should err on the side of caution and be a little kinder.

Panama Apocalypse

It happened again. A 5.7 quake in Los Santos Province of Panama near my home there. The world is ending and god is coming to wipe out the sinners and wrap the believers in his arms for eternal hugs and stuff like that. My evangelical neighbors down there are hoping to be alive to see it all play out. And they hope its soon and they will be lifted up in rapture to god while massive bloodshed and revenge and vengeance for all those wicked homosexuals and atheists unfolds. Not sure why they want to be around to see all the carnage other than the mind of a blood-cult, pious, holier-than-thou baptist saint shouting out SEE, SEE. We told you so!

I think if god existed he would judge Christians for the way they treat gays and unbelievers and other faiths. One of their core tenets is that in the end god is coming to destroy all of us. They pray for it. They welcome it. It’s in the doctrine. Meanwhile nothing gets solved while they sit and wait behind a line of piety drawn in the sand of self righteous racism and bigotry. They fight every social advancement and scientific progression. That’s who they are. That’s why I write!