Reexamining Convention: Addendum Two – Utopia and Societal Improvement

•October 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Perfection is unattainable.

Yet, we live on. Accepting this, how should we act?

Apathy is simply surrender to the status quo. It is, contrary to popular belief, not the lack of a statement, but the ultimate expression of conservatism.

So, clearly apathy is among the worst of our options, and we can do much better than it. Our only real alternative to apathy, or directly destructive behaviour contributing to problems in ourselves, our views, and our societies, is the perpetual striving for betterment.

It is all we can do. It is all we can do to support progressive causes in our society, discuss different viewpoints with others both with a thoughtful mindset and on a regular basis, and set realistic goals for improving our own behaviour and character. But we must never lose our inner desire for utopia, despite that it may never be totally satisfied.

It is this desire that should provide the driving force for our society. Not profit, not redemption, not debt, not division, but a common desire for betterment. It is possible to form a society around this concept, as others have been along the others. The only difference is that this, as opposed to the others, will provide a more perfect humanity.


Reexamining Convention: Addendum One – Freedom and Responsibility of Thought

•October 12, 2009 • Leave a Comment

It is necessary for the clarity of this essay to address another issue that goes beyond directly examining society, and ventures into the treacherous waters of individual thought.

Among the most treasured of our precious liberties, freedom of thought must never be infringed upon. Each individual must come to his or her own conclusions of their own volition, and be given all ease possible in attaining evidence and information pertaining to these conclusions.

At the same time, with this right comes responsibility.

Several, in fact. For one, the responsibility to continually reexamine one’s viewpoints and conclusions on a frequent basis, as impartially as possible. Without this, our opinions quickly become obsolete and irrelevant in our changing, advancing society.

Second, we must engage in a measure of debate with others who hold different opinions than our own. This second measure reinforces the first with exponential force. This is already practiced extensively in the scientific community with respect to their pursuits, a testament to the usefulness of this strategy.

Third, we must always strive for greater truth. Sometimes, this is not easy. It is hard to admit you are wrong. To ease this, we as a society should erase much of the stigma that revolves around being incorrect; in reality, admitting a wrong is only a positive step, and should be encouraged thusly.

Other times, it is difficult for a different reason. Our opinions often, if left untouched, under glass, and regarded as sacrosanct, they become comforting. Opposition to outside ideas emerges not out of intellectual dissent, but an emotional reflex towards ‘protecting’ the familiar, comforting, old thoughts. If shared between a whole people, they become traditions.

These must be challenged.

In reality, we protect nothing by isolating logic from an opinion. It achieves absolutely nothing besides intellectual stagnation. There is nothing to fear from new thoughts based on rationality, logic, and the application thereof to new and relevant information. In fact, it is a moment of greatness unrivaled by few other events in the human experience.

Traditions must be challenged, but not reflexively rejected; this is merely the same reaction as the one the traditional itself likely originated from. Not all traditions are false; they are simply old ideas that must be examined with all the skepticism that would be given to the most outlandish new idea. They should thus be given respect, but not deference.

Without challenging these traditions, we doom our opinions to unnecessary obsolesence, ourselves to perpetual ignorance, and our society to equally unnecessary and vast ignorance. Therefore, we must question everything.

Reexamining Convention: Part One – Personal Outlook

•October 11, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Section One – Logic versus Anti-Logic

When humanity first ventured into the river valleys, began to farm and become sedentary, create cities and societies, they also invariably created inventions to make their lives easier. Some of them are easily recognizable, common amongst all those disparate societies, and permeate society to this day. We’ve heard of most of them: The Wheel, Irrigation, Masonworking, and Religion.

The purpose of an invention is to fulfill an end. It is usually, but does not have to, make the life of the user easier somehow. They also must be examined periodically, and replaced if deemed obsolete. The principle exception to this trend is the Scientific Method. This invention is unquestionably the most unique, and certainly one of the most significant of the last several thousand years. Its potential uses are broad. Its current primary use is finding the most accurate truth possible, given known facts. When applied by millions of scientists worldwide, simultaneously, it yields a truth-finding mechanism unrivaled in the rest of human history. It can be applied quite successfully to decision-making as well, although this use has not been explored yet much. The Scientific Method is the product of thousands of years of logical and scientific progress, and has upheld its reputation as the best way humanity has at understanding the universe for hundreds of years with solid, and improving, success and consistency.

Religion, to the contrary, is not based on science or logic. The most fundamental concept common to all Religions is the idea of Faith. Faith is acceptance of tenets or ideas without proof. This is the antithesis of deductive and inductive reasoning, and logic as a whole, which represents the foundation upon which the Scientific Method is built. Justifications for and defenses of Faith usually incorporate a sort of perverted “innocent until proven guilty” concept: that something is true until proven decisively otherwise.

This logic fails within the circumstances for a number of reasons. First, nothing can be proven completely true in Science, largely the real-world application of Logic. Science is, by definition, constantly reexaming itself and its own theories, conclusions, laws, and facts. Things can be proven to be almost certainly true, like Gravity, but still they are not considered beyond reexamination; we continue to preform experiments with modern technology, such as satellites, lasers, and robotics, to review Newton’s several hundred-year-old theories. In fact, to dispel all doubt regarding anything, you would have to possess complete knowledge of everything in the Universe, something already being accepted as utterly impossible by recent advances into quantum physics. Nothing is considered sacred, above question, in true Science. This is part of the reason why it is so consistently successful; it takes nothing for granted, and is arguably the humblest of all human pursuits. It is ironic at first glance, but profound and impressive upon further examination, that in the most anal, precise, and calculating of all human activities, nothing is ever considered certain.

Second, the idea of accepting truth until it is proven false is the complete opposite of Science’s basic principles. Facts must not be accepted until proven true, and supported with more evidence than any other potential explanation; even then, they may be unseated from their throne of being the accepted truth, or rearranged into a more comprehensive, complete, and true worldview at any time, pending further research and discovery.

Hypothetically speaking, if Faith and the Scientific Method arose simultaneously in human society, culture, and consciousness, it is quite possible that Scientific Method would have emerged the dominant concept and means by which we explain both the most mundane and extraordinary phenomenon in everything from our daily lives to the strangest aspects of the far-flung universe. As it happened, however, Faith achieved a foothold that is only now being slowly, but steadily beaten back by Logic and Rationality’s finest champion.

Now, we should proceed to examine, armed with the Scientific Method (it being the most powerful tool for rational discernment currently available to us), what the majority of humanity believes, who have used Faith to explain phenomena and events in their lives.

Section Two – Theistic Tradition

All religions are based upon a belief in one or more gods. A god is a very old way of describing natural forces that, on the invention of this concept, defied all explanation. Literally, it is the manifestation of one or more natural forces. Attributing the unexplainable to a god, or multiple gods, is the simplest, oldest, easiest, and least scientific way of explaining natural phenomenon.

As humanity developed methods of determining how the world worked around them, through progressively stronger and more reliable science and scientific instruments, the study of theology developed as a way to explain why proof of these rather powerful entity or entities rather didn’t show up in any in-depth search whatsoever. A sort of arms-race developed, with Science not so much trying to disprove God as merely reporting its findings, and Theology trying, progressively rather desperately, to justify why a god hasn’t shown itself in the face of hundreds of years of scientific measurements, or ever had any reliable testimony to its existence as opposed to the usual sensational, unfounded claims and assumptions common of all religions.

Science as a whole has not tried to disprove theistic traditions on the whole. There has been no systemic analysis of the subject, ever. The vast majority of scientists are atheists or agnostics, but on the whole have made little attempt to spread their beliefs. Atheism is the fastest-growing ‘religion’ in the world, make up close to a fifth of the United States’ population, and yet do not send missionaries on their behalf. Despite this, many religious adherents, in particular Christians, have grown increasingly alarmed at this news and redoubled their efforts, as a system, to reaffirm their basic tenets. Thus, the relatively recent reemergence of religious fanaticism in Islam and Christianity over the past few decades.

Imagine how these theistic traditions would react if atheism acted like they have done over the past millennia. If they sent out missionaries, centralized, indoctrinated billions of children to (in this case, not) believe.

The fact is that there never has been, and there isn’t, any significant proof for the existence of any deity. The belief systems that affirm this belief in spite of this complete lack of evidence exist only for two reasons. First, they have simply existed for so long, and have been passed down from generation to generation by essentially manipulating childrens’ natural openness to ideas and trust of their parents, that they have stuck. But even this would not have been truly sufficient without societal intervention. For the second reason religion has existed for so long is because it is a vital part of a larger system: society.

This is not to say that society could not function without religion. It is certainly possible, and perhaps far easier, to run a just, peaceful, and kind society without religions. Religions are used to divide and unite people on essentially rediculous, arbitrary distinctions the same way race and nationality are; in addition, all three are also destructive human inventions that society would be far better off without.

What role does religion serve in society? Its function is to organize the collective morality of a group in ways that benefit the society. From this we get some beneficial shared morals, general rules like not to kill or steal. However, this is not all a religion does. It also plants psychological cues, enables appeals to irrationality that may override all other reasoning. This is evident from the various crusades, holy wars, and general ‘special’ circumstances in which the usual laws of morality are completely subverted under direction from the institutions which provided them in the first place. Finally, the last major ‘contribution’ that religion has given to society is the dilution and compartmentalization of logic. Through its sensationalism it works to disassociate rationality from individual’s opinions and perceptions of society. In this way it is extremely similar to the way capitalism’s inevitable and excessive materialism functions in society. The irony is that the two systems are often at loggerheads; which only serves to further distract people from important issues, which is simply the shared purpose of both subsystems. In this way, they fulfill their function, purpose, and niche within society as a joint unit: a rarity in the natural world.

Section Three – Concluding Thoughts about Morality and Logic

God is Dead.

These are the words of Friedrich Nietzsche. To many, shocking and vitriolic despite its brevity, its simplicity. It has been repeated often by many, too many of whom do not understand what meaning they were intended to convey.

The phrase does not intend to impart the belief that a literal God had existed, and now has died; rather, the implication is one of a serious, yet momentary moral crisis that all those who reject theistic tradition generally face. He means to say that now that religion has served its purpose, and has become obsolete, we now must find some other source for our morality and sense of purpose. This temporary confusion inevitable from any major values shift is often cited by the religious in order to casually dismiss the rejection of their value system as patently ridiculous.

However, that choice remains as serious, legitimate, and possible as ever.

Despite scare tactics and claims to the contrary, it is an achievable, and even necessary, goal for every individual to separate their own morals from any unnecessary and useless societal controls like religion. Such controls are used by society to manipulate personal convictions, and thus public opinion, to positions that will promote the society’s interests. Unfortunately, this usually does not coincide with the best interests of the majority of individuals in that society. This will be explored in following essays with greater detail.

Now, allow me reiterate the conclusions of the following chapter:
All theistic traditions are outdated belief systems that have been, since their inception, used by societies to control and conquer hearts and minds. This turns thinking individuals into unquestioning believers, flocks of sheep with subliminal and emotional triggers that may be invoked to control them.

Knowing this, it is unavoidable that we must confront the problem of morality in an non-theistic mindset. Morality must be based off of certain basic principles; that much, society may and must provide. This includes basic things like a certain respect for living things, teaching not to steal or kill, and a desire to do no harm. However, beyond these principles society must not indoctrinate or train its citizens, especially children. It may and must educate, but only with a cautious air and constant encouragement of free thought at all times. Children are most susceptible to indoctrination; their minds must be protected from authoritative learning environments of all kinds.

So, morality should take the form of a few basic principles, necessary for societal preservation and individuals’ safety, and many subtle ones, which individuals are free to decide for themselves without any social pressure whatsoever.

This is only possible in a society without mainstream religions, nation-states, and capitalistic economies. Even then, it will require diligent vigilance on the part of its citizenry.

But we can do it.

Section Four – Exhortation to Moderation

There has been some deception in the above essay.

I do not wish to use secrecy or deception to get points across, so I will be open with you. Let me show you at least some of the biases in this paper.

Faith is not an inherently bad thing. In fact, it is necessary to function in society. Without it, we could not get beyond Rene Descartes’ conundrum; how do we know what we sense, exists? We cannot; thus, we take it on faith, and function in the world based on that fundamental leap.

However, beyond that initial leap, faith is unwarranted unless backed up by evidence. It is impossible to know everything about the universe, or even a particular situation, and all too often not even enough to make a confident decision. However, we must minimize how much faith we use in all circumstances. Unnecessary faith is the crutch of intellectually dishonest, weak cowards. Some faith will always remain; and that is acceptable. Nothing is entirely certain; but that must not dissuade us from the pursuit of knowledge and rationality, despite the impossibility of total certainty.

We must not be driven from the pursuit of perfection, merely because the ultimate goal is unattainable. The path is its own reward.

Hello world!

•October 9, 2009 • 1 Comment

Welcome to This is your first post. Edit or delete it and start blogging!

A New Kind of Union

•January 1, 2009 • Leave a Comment

Here’s another UYA piece.

In the late 1800s, workers in many industrialized countries began to organize to better their terrible working conditions. They were able to organize because of the very thing that gave them their terrible working and living conditions; the factory. It was a new concept born in the efficiency-driven gilded-age mindset of that time. The Unions were able to change a great deal. Not everything; there were compromises made. But where they left off, we can continue.

This world needs a new kind of Union.

Let the history textbooks fifty years from now read thus; That in this new millennium, with it’s consumer culture that supposedly sedated America, this sleeping giant arose again; That the consumers, lead by the youth, organized to better their own lives, countries, and world; that they used the very things that bound them to their circumstances, the internet and all their electronic communications, to organize themselves into a fierce consumerist economic-political machine; That in this decade, century, and millennium the masters became the servants, the new surged past the old, and the Youth were the ones to teach their elders.

Welcome to the United Youth of America.

Youth United

•November 13, 2008 • Leave a Comment

I’m back!

Sorry I haven’t posted in awhile. Been busy with other issues and things. Anyways, I have something to bring your attention to.

Have you ever noticed there’s tons of special interest groups all over the place; There’s the NRA for gun-owners, for example, and various lobbies for corporations. There are also numerous political parties, although we all know that only two really dominate the political landscape.

In any case, I noticed this. And I thought to myself; So many constituencies are represented, and to the point that many are vastly overrepresented (Generally depending on the wealth of said group). I was thinking; What if I started a “lobby”, an organization, dedicated towards representing those under 18?

Hold on now. It should sound crazy to most people, but actually this could work. Consider this:

  • Most who would be interested in such an organization will be involved in the next presidential election that ever rolls around, and if not, definitely the one after next. They will also be involved in the next Senatorial election that comes around, and in the 1st to 3rd House elections from now as well. Thus, if we organize, those under the age of 18-20, we will have a considerable impact on any election if we organize.
  • In troubled economic times such as those we see now, it is those under 18 who will have a surplus of income to spend freely, or not.
  • Although many would say that we, the youth, cannot focus on anything important, and should be left out of politics, I feel strongly to the contrary. There are many intelligent, involved people under the age of 18 who would love a greater say in politics.

As a part of a larger drive to organize the Consumer base through organizations like Carrot Mob, this new conciousness could have a huge effect on politics, for the benefit of the middle and working classes. We recently elected a candidate based on the idea of change; but really, if we’re going to make change, it’s us who have to organize, we who must march in the streets, we who must rally our political and economic power. We must have a new kind of Union, one that spreads across the consumer base which is now the new frontier for unionization. And we can start that by organizing what may seem like the most unlikely group of history-makers. Until you realize that we are, quite literally, the future.

Our potential is to shape not only the political landscape, but also the economic one. We can, if we gain signatories, not only send letters to our Presidents and Congresspersons and Justices, issuing our statements and positions, backing them up with a reminder of our influence in the coming election(s), but also do the same to corporations, demanding equal rights for the workers, cleaner methods put in place, and remind them as well that we have the power to choose not to buy at their stores, and the organization to enforce that. The possibilities are purely endless.

All of our potential power is sapped unless we have an organization, however. And to resolve the absence of unity, I have started a fledgling organization to get the ball rolling. We should rally around this institution, and remember that division will not empower us. Check the site out, become a signatory at the Registar section, and invite your friends. Spread this virally throughout the internet. Take this into the schools, the churches, the households of this great nation. You and your world stand only to gain from this great and noble undertaking.

Here’s the site:
Youth United

To Live by Life…

•October 22, 2008 • Leave a Comment

Another Essay. Enjoy.

“A vita Habitare”: The System
Let me begin my monologue with a few postulates.

Life is a chemical reaction. Humans, as with all other forms of life on this planet, are not isolationist creatures. We are, through our existence, part of a most awe-striking larger existence. Our purposes in this short tenure of reactions that we deem “Life” is not to indulge ourselves outrageously, nor serve a “higher manifestation” of life. They are not to control others, or to be controlled ourselves. On the contrary, our chief purpose in life is to create or further a society that holds these four goals.

First, to assure the individuals right to contribute to the whole, and to himself. Second, to use the profits of the whole Society’s labor to further each individual’s, and equally the Society as a whole, well-being and even more importantly: their knowledge. It’s comprehension of the Universe as a whole through Mathematics and the Sciences, to the Arts’ and the Society’s Culture, to Human History and what we may learn from it, and finally intertwining all of these above into an unshakable fabric of human intelligence, are all topics of furtherment. Third, the entire entity must strive to be sustainable, as indefinitely as possible. Fourth, to ensure that peoples’ liberty to do as they please, so long as it does not infringe upon others’ health or liberties, is not infringed.

Now, following these four indispensable goals, you can begin to see that no Society currently holds this tenets, and any Society that follows this would be infinitely superior than any current one. Being inquisitive Humans, we are inclined to ask why such an unfortunate state of affairs would exist, as our first question. The reason for this is that Societies are inherently flawed. A spiderweb of institutions that are built by and for an established few are rarely overthrown; and when they are, another established elite will take over in the previous’ stead, or the “Revolutionaries” will merely become superficially changed versions of the previous oppressors. Thus, we begin to see the process of the Free Market, and its results; this shall be explained and discussed later.

One of these institutions of oppression is Religion. Many are blind enough to support what amounts to eleven millenniums of slavery, so evidence must be presented as clearly as possible as to what the truth is. Thus, I will do my best to do justice to the truth, and present it in the purest, most honest form I may manage.

Religion, in the clearest, “Western” sense of it, is the idea that an all-powerful force, personified usually in a form that can be easily comprehended by the average person, rules over and is dominant over a specific part or the whole of Humanity’s involvement in the world. These Deities are appealed to by their believers to aid them in whatever personal needs they wish fulfilled. This part is key, as it forms the core of the appeal, and what is “bad”, not to be ironic, about Religion and to a lesser but still significant point, Organize (or Enforced) Morality as a whole: It provides comfort in an uncertain, changing, terrifying world where Humanity feel powerless.

Religion is a negative influence on Humanity because it asks us to surrender all of our belief in the self to Society and a hypothetical figure(s). The mere belief in a God is a neutral thing. If it had to be defined, it would be only drifting towards a positive effect, as it provokes them and other who hold differing beliefs to prove their ideas with facts and evidence as per the Scientific method. However, the belief in the power of God, the fact that there is a higher plan, and that we should submit to this hypothetical, theorized concept (Often personified/simplified to an identifiable physical figure for the masses) is negative, because when they are held onto and become institutionalized, they become means to disarm the average person and unbalance the very state of society, in that the balance between individual liberties and the whole of Society is thrown drastically towards Society. This is done in the simplest, most efficient, and yet most difficult way: Every person willingly gives away part of their liberties and intelligence to whatever opportunistic or deluded leaders establish an institution of this kind. This is because ancient many were intimidated by our comparative initial ignorance of the Universe to its obvious vastness, and so not knowing any better, early man tried to explain it through metaphors that remained in cave-man simplified format to this day, more or less. All knowledge poured in through these types of institutions, and they naturally and quickly had merged with the Government. Religion was thus controlling Commerce, Government, and Information; the trifecta of points that make up any nation’s livelihood. What are important to realize is two things. One, that this elite which keeps the population powerless is also the elite that benefits from this process. Two, that this system has perpetuated itself for years.

What is also very important to note is that because of the latter aforementioned point, the only people who know the truth are almost always those who are working to subvert the system. Those who work for this spiderweb, even the elite that controls it, is inevitably blind in some respect as to what they are doing, because the tale has gone on for so long, with so many different spiderwebs competing and overlapping with each other, that any notion of the truth is generally small and confined to a smaller part of a bigger picture for everyone who takes part in it, if that much. It is just natural process that over time, as the institutions are passed on for generations, they become diluted as to what their purpose truly is. And that’s not to say that the initial founders of these movements even knew themselves fully; it is all a process, not a conspiracy. It is people working from a set of detrimental and self-propagating circumstances, largely for what they perceive, lacking any other input of priorities, is what they are told is right and is in their and their families’ interest. They tend to be wrong, but this is hardly their own fault.

But a disclaimer must be made. If everyone “woke up” unanimously to the truth, I cannot guarantee that no one would want to keep perpetuating the system; after all, it is working quite well for a large minority of people. (These people are the upper to middle classes of the industrialized countries of the world; the elite shares it’s power with the middle class to use them as a buffer. The People’s History of the United States has further insights on this point) Not everyone would want it to end.

But the vast majority would, and due to that a movement to cease this system would manifest itself in at least moderate success. An example of this is Russia’s 1917 revolution. However, as long as the present Society exists, this corruption and these institutions will continue to exist unless there is a unanimous awakening to the truth and the embracing of a new Human Conscious, no matter the scale of this cleansing from any partial-awakening. Our Russian Revolution metaphor seems to be working, so let us continue to use it. When the Bolsheviks took power, things immediately went downhill, and within 20 years the Iron Curtain was being drawn up, and the exact circumstances which lead to the revolution in 1917 were in place, only made worse and so the People could not take drastic action. This is because of the fact that although a reaction was made to mismanagement by the system, it did not oppose the actual system itself necessarily. Thus, it was prone to re-manifest itself.

This is why I write this; to begin the awakening of which I speak, and to do so in the right way. Articles, Films, and other media that proclaim “the truth of the matter”, such as “Zeitgeist”, for instance, are heading in the ballpark. However, what is evident from them is this: Though they aim for noble goals, they are manipulating the populace into achieving them. This is evident through many hypocrisies throughout the movie. It claims to speak of a “New Human Consciousness”, but dangerously manipulates people into supporting it through typical nationalist fervor in Part 3. Throughout the film, there are intentionally deceitful conclusions made, and little evidence cited to back them up as such. This allows people who are still controlled by the system, to fall back on something concrete that justifies their disbelief (In this case, the manipulation in the film), making it that much harder to get them to see the big picture; the real “truth”. This is similar to 1917, and we should not ignore the parallels.

Through our realization of the system’s inherent evil nature, as Human Beings we should be compelled to act. Anything to the contrary is various aspects of the System’s psychological influencing on us. In the end, the logic is inescapable: The System must be fought, and ended. There is no alternative. In it’s place should be a society where first the whole of Humanity, and eventually all of life, is embraced as having value in their separate individuals. There shall be no more slaves, nor more killing of thinking beings. In other words, Sustainable Humanity.

Thank you for reading.