The Element of Illusion

“Everything we call real is made of things that can’t be regarded as real”—Niels Bohr

First let me preface, I am an atheist. There are arguments for “something else”, but I don’t know what that means. I am not protective of my atheism (finding what people call god would be a prize winning effort) but I do struggle with the term and how it’s been defined beyond the reach of understanding.

Life itself is some type of illusion (deceived by our own relativity?) What you see on the surface seems so real and tangible (mass) yet is hardly anything tangible at all but energy (what is that?) and According to Einstein, energy and mass are equivalent (that’s the message of E=mc2) But our interpretation of how solid an object is purely relative. How would we know any different than what we are relative to our surroundings (insert puddle analogy) It seems so “there”, but is only a form of energy, which we know little about.

In physics, the kinetic energy (KE) of an object is the energy that it possesses due to its motion. KE= 1/2 mv2. In emergency medicine, we alway want to know how fast the car was going, etc, so the severity of injury and patterns can be predicted. Stopping that motion releases a lot of joules, and how quickly it stops is the difference between life and death.

Earth is energy in form, hurling through orbit at 66,000 mph and spinning—and the energies accumulated to reach that speed it still possesses.

Ideas on the other hand, have no energy. Life has evolved into the lazy mans game, gaining 90% of our knowledge by opinions and papers, instead of experience. There is little horse-sense applied to solving problems, but persuasion turned to belief rules the culture. While utility inspired the idea, now the idea has a life of its own. Man, now disconnected from his environment lives in a life of barriers—and through opinion develops ideas on how to master that environment.

Since the idea has no mass, the end of arguing over beliefs would drown without a whimper—no explosions or mass casualties. It would be like cancelling church during a pandemic. Would anybody have even noticed if it weren’t for a few showmen insistent on keeping there ideas alive for cash flow?

Anyway, Christian influence has the world at odds—because of belief (everyone is compelled to take sides) The appeal to faith also uses no energy, but is the path of least resistance where belief now trumps utility—now the way of the world. The nature that evolved the man no longer exists. There were more sustainable philosophies, but it appears to be too late for that. We are now in the puddle of belief, and for most of the world it’s a perfect fit.

Anosognosia and Religious Certainty

How the epidemic deficit has become our normal existence—the benefit of belief

Anosognosia is a neurological deficit in self-awareness, a condition in which a person with a disability is unaware or in denial of its existence. This disability we are addressing today is belief—regarded as personal achievement or a high mental destination, where “I believe” has become the pinnacle of religious thought. But what is belief other than a set of imaginations that have been carefully honed to pacify existence? There’s no substance to it at all.

Scientific beliefs are corroborated, falsified, tested and reviewed, then applied to produce a result or technology (we have satellites in orbit with these ideas) that actually produces something.

Religious beliefs are simply compared imaginations with other hopefuls for the mere sake of believing. And today, religious belief of any kind (even strictly opposing views) are respected for the simple fact they believe something, or anything at all. Certainly any belief is more worthy than unbelief—at least they have a chance, right?

Yet, belief is nothing more than a set of ideas that may sound really neat (or morbid) but is simply wishful thinking—assigning it some strange importance that will outwit nature does not make it real. But, we’re sticking to it against all reason, turning the mere idea into defensive pride, renaming it faith (which is the arrival at what?) all the while these fascinations do nothing to transcend humanity from this long monotheistic stall.

Anosognosia is a lack of ability to perceive the realities of one’s own situation. It’s a person’s inability to accept that they have a condition that matches up with their symptoms (1) These religious beliefs occur despite significant lack of evidence or the predicted outcomes.

Go to, thy faith hath dug you a hole”.

Aphorisms on Faith

Can mankind transcend the limitations of religious belief?

Faith is an attachment to formative persuasions—an idea anchored by self doubt initiated by that same persuasion.

Faith is being directed into contemplating an idea, simply from hearing the questions.

Faith is pride in self deprecated belief absent of independent thought.

Faith is a solidified by the hormonal response, comforting human insecurity and the propensity to be easily deceived.

Faith is a comforting hope that elevates esteem without intellect.

With faith we build barriers between exaggerated reaction syndrome and acceptance. It allows us to blend rather than confronted with raised eyebrows—A state of beliefing though verbal and superficial physical obeisance. The idea of obedience supplants behavior.

Faith is merely stubborn pride repackaged as a virtue. Thought convictions played on insecurity without substance. Really nothing to fight over, but since beliefs are now the pinnacle of human intellect, challenging belief has become an affront to character.

Faith is a tightly held imagination your hope is true—then defending that right to hope with an argument.

Faith is what you resort to when you can’t reason your beliefs.

Faith is a state of mind that allows mediocrity to supplant achievement.

Faith is the result of fusing human limitations into cultural mediocrity. Since there is nothing a believer can do to un-fall this fallen world. Acquiescence defaults to hope.

Transcending belief mode and its limitations will be the key saving humanity. Faith allows the world to end on hope where action is needed.

By choosing a prearranged faith, dogma substitutes authenticity with platitudes.

Faith in your belief turns hope into intellectual and spiritual starvation.

Faith is the evidenced in human stagnation—clinging to the past and the failure to live in self confidence

Mule stables, Fort Spokane—1880

Where Thoughts Come From

Where thoughts originate that direct our investigations

It takes a long time to sound like yourself—Miles Davis (then it may take a year or two to get used to it)—Jimoeba

I have to wonder if any of my own ideas are mine, minds, or an amalgam of the matrix. Here’s where the dividing line emerges between acceptance or rejection of a thought—heavily influenced by religious and politicus “men of words” and passionate believers in belief. How do we break from traditions of old to think for ourselves? By unbelief…

Is an idea mine, or submitting to authority of a majority influence? Was the idea put there by an unknown source, or a known source? As Dan Dennett might say, who has hijacked your mind? Who have you allowed to influence you? Either by passive learning, genuine curiosity, or indoctrination, we acquire information, often through chasing rabbits, but the thoughts we nurture or entertain—initiated often by suggestion from an unknown, is our choice. Where we go from there is up to us.

Trying to go somewhere while focusing on the past, hoping the future ends, leaves religion in a muddle of mediocre progress. It hasn’t gone anywhere, produced any results, or fulfilled its promised bliss—ever. We’re still waiting

Scientific studies of natural history and origins is used to advance the knowledge base, while religion seeks a beginning to justify current and past behavior—then clings to it. All the answers sought by religion have been answered quite nicely. Only by faith—the absence of knowledge, can belief thrive or is considered. The greatest challenge to modern belief is the greatest of all time—to continue faith in the face of fact.

The most important kind of freedom is to be what you really are. You trade in your reality for a role. You give up your ability to feel, and in exchange, put on a mask”—Jim Morrison

Your own thoughts often come out of the blue, even if our core is in disagreement with those thoughts. This Psychology Today article offers more to ponder. Who you allow to have voice in your life certainly influences you’re decisions, but also much of religion and racism is based on evolutionary defenses.

Whether an idea is yours or not, one big idea can change the course of humanity. Waiting for god to return to fix our problems is a free pass from acting responsibly now.

Fostering Ideas—Free Will

How to dodge free will to filter good and bad ideas

Having thoughts come into your head by a long chain of incidental contact, can give one the strangest ideas, sometimes harmful, sometimes brilliant. It is then our responsibility to either foster the idea, or reject it. How do we do that if free will is at such a premium?

Is it a good idea to foster an idea that has no proof in reality, but is seen by many as an overall benefit to the species?

Religion is the idea that keeps giving (and taking) with unintended outcomes, that, not only don’t work for the skeptic, but they don’t work for the believer either.

  • There are no miracles
  • Prayer is never answered by a god
  • The idea of peace on earth has never materialized even with a majority citizenry and leadership.
  • Love is still at a premium
  • Where’s the bliss? Isn’t it time to show me the money, after taking so much of mine for so long?

Collaboration outside of your circle of belief is critical to sound reasoning. Occasionally I’ll throw out an idea to the group to get validation. Sometimes the post gets a lot of comment, but nothing directed at the idea itself (you’re all too kind sometimes) but when that happens I go back to the drawing board to adjust my thinking.

We may not have the free will to generate our own ideas, but do we (I hope) have the ability to foster them, or filter them? Do we have that choice? Is this filtering ability the difference between a skeptic and a true believer—or psychopath?

Recalling, computing, pondering, is overwhelmed by the datas you foster. Those conscious choices, what you read and watch, have a profound impact on our output. One can rarely consider something they’ve never heard of. Choose wisely my fiends.