Sunday, January 1, 2012

Some things to think about...

So, it's 2012. Last year was a crappy year for many it seems and with the upcoming Mayan apocalypse I thought it might be an ideal opportunity to talk about things that distract me from everyday life. 

I read a report recently that said people with the same beliefs as me are regarded by the general public as untrustworthy as rapists and murderers. At first I was really upset by this, disturbed even, especially as I go out of my way to literally avoid hurting a fly. I thought about it for some time and then it started to dawn on me what's going on. I believe people were judging me by their own standards and behaviour. Apparently as an atheist that has no belief in God, no fear, then he is free to lie, rob and cheat with impunity. As any of my friends will tell you, that's just not me but I think it says a lot about the general public. Without a book giving them the rules they have no moral compass of their own and therefore presume that the same thing would apply to me. But I do have a moral compass, I do things not because someone's watching over my shoulder but because it's the right thing to do. I don't need anyone to tell me what's right or wrong - I know already. If you feel that you would be bad without a threat over your head I find that pretty worrying. To be a human being Free Will must be involved. I do as I please it just so happens that's usually the right thing. 
My reasons for not believing are pretty simple and logical and come mostly from my love of animals and nature. I find evolution very inspiring and I think it's wonderful that all life on the planet is connected and I do find it difficult to understand why others would not find happiness in this. We know that the earth is 4 billion years old, that it is not the center of the universe or even our own solar system. I figured if the Bible gets these basic scientific facts wrong then it's logical to assume that there is reasonable doubt. If sometimes I get a bit shouty on the subject it's because I seem to know what's in the book more than the people claiming it as their religion. You believe what you want, but I think it's your duty to be informed about exactly what you believe in. There are just too many inconsistencies. I often ask people what year was Jesus born? The Son of God, the one you believe and pray to - it's kind of important. The Bible mentions his birth twice in Luke and Matthew, but the dates they talk about are literally years apart which means logically either one of them or both of them are wrong. An event as big as this seems to me would be on the tip of everybodys' tongue. But no, everyone just read or heard the cliff notes version without investigating further for themselves. As I say, you're free to believe whatever you want I'm just giving you a few reasons why I don't. It's impossible to say if there is a god or not. I personally find it unlikely but I do allow for the possibility of a supreme being but I know it's not the one made up in the middle east 2000 years ago. A chocolate fairy living on Mars would be pretty damn difficult to prove or unprove but you can say with a reasonable amount of certainty it's not there. 

There is a way to allow for the possibility of a creator which I've thought about a great deal.
Do you remember the Dire Straits video "Money for Nothing"? And the computer graphics involved? And then take a look at "Avatar". It is reasonable to assume with molecular computing around the corner that at some point in the near future we will be able to create images completely indistinguishable from real life. Now assuming that is possible and in fact probable and let's say add 500 years of technology, who is to say that we not all in fact in a giant video game? A hyper real Sims. If that is the case, or something similar, then indeed there would be a creator who made us all. So the possibility of God can't completely be ruled out. 
Quantum mechanics is the study of the very small subatomic particles. Once you get down to that size the normal rules of physics seem not to apply and it has been shown time and time again that these particles can indeed be in two places at the same time - but the strangest thing of all is the act of human observation on these particles. They are in chaos until we look at them. Stephen Hawking has been trying for years to find an equation that fits everything but the problem always has been on a quantum level where his equations stop working. Until recently we had thought that these actions only happen on a quantum level but recently physicist Andrew Cleland super froze a chip made of atoms and with some very fancy equipment again noticed that the actual act of observation changes the reality of the object. It's really hard to grasp hold of. Scientists are now starting to believe that what we perceive as reality is in fact windows into parallel universes, an infinite multiverse where every possibility of every action is and has taken place. It's somewhat like that old saying "If a tree falls in the forest and there is nobody there does it make a sound"? As crazy as that sounds it is in fact a viable question which then questions our very perception of reality. If quantum rules apply outside in the mass of the real world then it is indeed possible to will events into place. 

It sounds nuts but some very smart people are taking it very seriously. So I figure if I think hard enough about it we will get to see some aliens. The problem is enough of you don't want it. So do me a favor and give it all a few minutes thought will ya?