Gaian Ethics



Ponderable Aspects of God

While in a classroom with other students, I made a statement the ensuing argument prevented me from setting straight. The 40% tolerance for accuracy I quoted for carbon dating tests (1/6/76) was arrived at as follows: I have read literary arguments presented in several articles and books by various authors, stating tolerances as varied as anyone could imagine, anywhere from 10 to 40%, depending on the writer. (I am also under the impression that newer techniques have been devised with something like +/- 15% accuracy, depending on materials and circumstances). Paying attention to publishing dates, and making an effort to discern an author’s viewpoint, were items I had not yet learned to regard as important.

Now: to reject a scientific concept—one approved by actual scientists—without learning as much as one can about it and trying it out however one can, seems to me dishonest. So, just because it seems questionable to certain people (as all concepts seem questionable to somebody, really), and because no testable, better alternative has ever been announced, I felt the most honest approach would be to accept the loosest tolerance as valid for my own considerations, since it would include the others. I would, by effect, understand the tightest tolerance as “pro”, the loosest as “against”, and the middle as “cautiously noncommittal”.

Choosing the most honest approach should, arguably, yield results closest to trustworthy, which is what we should desire. So, is a 40% tolerance too loose to be useful? The honest approach requires us to try it out instead of poo-pooing it with no kind of test. What, after all, do we have to fear? Is the possibility that we might learn something that much of a threat? Why be dishonest?

(Ref: www.bradshawfoundation.com/herto_skulls.php ) If the oldest human skull has been aged at 160thousand years, how far wrong can that be​? Pondering it, I used the loosest tolerance to figure a range of 96 to 224thousand years. If science ages the Earth at 4.5 million years and the universe at 12-13billion years, but my religion tells me the whole shebang was created 3,400 years ago, how do I resolve that? Even if I decide that Eve and Adam (or, Lilith and Adam) stayed clear of the Tree of Knowledge for 13billion years (or, 5.2billion at minimum) so they could live that long, from where can anyone concoct even a hint of substantiation?

My teacher makes a habit of demanding proof that what we say in class is true. This puts the would-be speaker in a dilemma if “proof” requires equipment or materials beyond his means, or he talked about his subjective concerns. The subjective, being about the contents of our own minds, cannot be made available as objective “proof” beyond the fact that he was talking about it. That gives us firsthand information that always requires verification; it must never be accepted as proof.

Proof is “that which convinces”. Taken to their roots, no concepts are ultimately provable. They can only be validated with evidence or inferred. Because science makes no claims beyond the measurable and ponderable (scientists and publicists are not “science”—beware your sources!), science makes no determinations about abstract ideals or beliefs.

While those schools of thought we refer to as “religious” do deal with with the imponderable and immeasurable, they also claim divine right to determine the concrete nature of existence. To claim divine right, they are saying, “God has spoken and determined this: [‘What a god named God is said to have told someone.’] Being immaterial, God has no demonstrable, ponderable existence. Still, can we not ask, “What of the soul that is the self within us? Is that also immaterial? We know it exists. Everybody recognizes it within themselves and others as being their own unique selves among others much the same.” I have arrived at a conclusion that a soul separate from the self obfuscates the issue and fails to support all claims on life beyond the grave. Beyond that, I find it easy to agree with the many depictions in the Bible of the spirit as “the breath of life.”

For whatever it’s worth, science finds its own immaterial god in mathematics. Among the many differences that make science’s the superior god are:

  • Universal direct interpretation between cultures.

  • A powerful god all can follow with no need for threats.

  • Built-in methods of verification.

  • Easy to understand basics eliminates need for dangerous priests.

  • Does not require missionaries to make its value obvious.

  • Requires no preachers to keep the flocks in line.

  • Honored by all levels of society.

Yet, by any believable standards for existence, numbers, the stuff of mathematics, being immaterial, do not exist. From my own viewpoint, considering everything else I have done, I do not think I am being ridiculous. It seems plain that, since all of humanity harbors their own beliefs about gods while maintaining reasonable consistency in mathematics, that all of us are polytheists, blasphemers, or heretics. The important difference between gods and numbers is that which gives numbers their power and defines the weakness of gods, that disparity in calculating numbers can be resolved by finding a mistake, whereas no gods have ever been found to direct uniform arrival at a resolution. God-speak stays open to interpretation and tampering, spawns apologia, which spawns new cults, which become the basis for new cultures and subcultures. That shows why god-speak became divisive and weakening (divide to conquer) while mathematics enables stability and solidarity (unify and activate to strengthen).

Written entirely with OPEN OFFICE.

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The Evolution of Evolution

Evolution presents a basically simple subject tainted with prejudicial and illogical equivocations and denials. The denials, whether from scientists or the religious, are expressed about whether we feeble-minded humans can understand certain aspects of how the universe developed, whether the Big Bang actually occurred, whether outside influences were involved, the age of whatever process(es) brought it about, conflation of some elements of it with others, the right to express an untestable guess and pose it where it can be compared to the grandfathered-in untestable guesses… on and on and on, the argument itself evolving with whatever wicked new hoax can buy its way in. Evolution is about one thing: development. Whether mechanical, cosmological, biological, anamorphosis or any other specific category, evolution is about the development of that subject within the confines accredited to it, perhaps relative to other categories but not to be conflated with them.

Conflation: Conflation results in equivocation, where data from one argument gets used to advance the other in an attempt to treat them as the same. Does not the greater portion of the disagreement cackled over evolution involve apparently purposeful equivocation between biological and cosmological evolution? “God exists; God created the heavens and the Earth” is a subject different from the development of biology. Whether a god named God yanked out Adam’s thirteenth rib to create Eve is a different subject from the Big Bang. To bounce back and forth to toss in arguments about both is conflation, that is wrong, and it happens from both sides. It happens on the religious side because they fear to not involve the god named God in their posits, and because some ancient guy thought the Bible recounted every single year of Earth’s history. It doesn’t. It only goes back to about when people figured out how to write, and how to make something other than a cave wall to write on. I suspect it doesn’t even go back that far.

Human behavior is as easily understood as observable events and processes as is anything else, and as subject to variable conditions that can be (have been) recognized and given data values. Desire, taste, pleasure, pain, stress due to imbalance, and any other sensory or emotion-based perception is as much a part of that as any other kind of stimulus. It is the results and the intentions that make something moral, immoral, or inconsequential. Rather than making contradictory statements, show why that one is wrong. Otherwise, accept it, draw some inferences from it, and then find some way to show them true or false. Don’t do like a dog chasing a rabbit around and around a tree. Stand still, and you will eventually “get it.” Stop, think, and the rabbit will run up your back.

As an evolved socially oriented species, we humans arrived in the present with intact, highly developed moral instincts that have become misdirected by powerful influences that have learned to turn us against our own best interests. We have been taught to suffer guilt and shame for innocent and innocuous actions and thoughts for which we intended no actions. We overpopulate our planet while millions starve to death for lack of sustenance because we inherited creeds that trample our innate sense of propriety to death. We have learned to reverse our understanding of good and evil and make it stick. We have learned live in ways that overwhelm the natural processes that govern biological support on our planet, so now we put ourselves at risk of environmental changes may go beyond our range of adaptability. That is a predictable result of global warming. When that occurs, the creedents will have lost the argument, but nobody will win.

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