Thursday, November 20, 2014

Terra Nostra

I recently performed Part I of a newly composed Oratorio called Terra Nostra, by Stacy Garrop. 
She selected an interesting collection of creation myths to introduce her Oratorio:   
(KJB) In the beginning, in the beginning,
The earth was without form and void.
God said, Let there be light, and there was light.

(India) This universe existed in the shape of Darkness.
Then the divine Svayambhu appeared, dispelling the darkness.
With a thought, he created the waters, and placed his seed in them.

(North America) All the earth was flooded with water.
Inkonmi sent animals to dive for dirt at the bottom of the sea,

(Egypt) I am he who was formed as Khepri.
When I formed, only I existed.  Everything was formed after me.
Numerous are the forms that came from my mouth.
(Walt Whitman) A blade of grass is the journeywork of the stars.

The idea of a creator seems universal. From the old myths from around the world to the atheist Whitman.  Science seems to support Whitman as all the elements needed by a blade of grass were created in the early universe stars and novae.

I found it to be an interesting collection of creation myths.

If, as Heinlein's Stranger in a Strange Land asks:  What if they are all right? Are we the ultimate creators?  Is Ouroboros the right analogy?

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Moral Development at Different Levels of Society

It is important to understand that moral behavior is not necessarily "good" behavior.  Morality is simply the selection of behavior that agrees with the infant's genetic sense of good and bad.  

If a very young child is abandoned and survives, moral actions are those that promote survival.  Society may judge those actions to be dysfunctional and control them but that has nothing to do with moral development.  See Bloom et. al. 

A child brought up by members or a member of an identifiable social group will associate behavior that promotes the welfare of the group with "good" and that which is contrary to the welfare of the group as bad.  The morality so developed may or may not be judged moral by a larger society, but ultimately it seems that compliance with face-group standards is the natural morality of humans.  

Moving up the chain to associations of face groups, either religious or secular, commandments, laws and rules of behavior are established to define minimum standards of behavior that promote the welfare of the larger group.  These commandments, laws and rules are not to be confused with morality, as frequently these commandments, laws and rules will conflict with the genetic sense of what is good and what is bad as it relates to the face group.  The face group at that point may withdraw to the extent possible from the larger group.  See the Amish and other Anabaptist groups who live by their own moral standards ignoring the laws of the larger society except where there is unavoidable conflict. Or they may be forced to withdraw from the larger group as the Native Americans were.  Again, nothing to do with the morality of the larger society, simply rules to make the larger society work. One could make a strong case that the laws of society are by definition immoral as they force compliance with activities that may be against the morals of individuals within the larger society.

Once one gets to the Nation or Religious entity morality is simply treason or heresy. 

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Global Citizens in a Cosmopolitan Society


He is not saying that globalization of society is preferable, but that breaking out of the tribal/national box is desirable.  Considering oneself a "global citizen" in a cosmopolitan society is an ideal.  Imposing globalization on idiots is impossible.  Some people cannot see beyond their sect/tribe/nation/God and half the time crap on people slightly different from the norms of the tribe.  In general social Darwinism (natural not imposed) will eliminate the worst excesses of tribalism. But evolutionary time scales are generational not annual.  Since the major threats to human survival are global, it may be a moot point whether globalization will even have a chance at working.

I am optimistic, humans have survived greater threats than these current ones, but the process will certainly not be pretty. "'I'm learning Chinese' says Werhner von Braun."

Live a Life Worth Dying For.

Good Bible quotes for Atheists
Ecclesiastes 9 -
5 For the living know that they will die, but the dead know nothing, and they have no more reward; but the memory of them is lost.
Good old Ecclesiastes: Probably the first atheist. How he got into the Bible is still one of the great mysteries of life.   

I would, as an atheist, modify 9:5 ... they have no reward but the memory of them in those they have affected. 

Forrest Church is remembered and probably will be long remembered for, among many other things, "Live a life worth dying for."  Even special animals can live on if only as an abstract in fiction:  Balto the sled dog IRL and Lassie representing all working/companion dogs. 

Geometry and Truth


Abstractions don't work in reality. Hence neither do Euclidean plane figures, Euclidean solid figures, pi, or numbers. They're all mental constructs with no real counterpart.

True.  Nonetheless they work just fine to navigate and calculate your way around in local two/three dimensional space. The transept in 3 dimensions is 90o to the 2 dimensional plane reality.  (Even though it really isn't.  Your 100 story building will stand just fine using that mental concept.) 

In the same way truth, beauty, love, empathy and even God work just fine in the real social space of tribal humans.  Until global social space must be considered. There other concepts of human living come into play. 

Jesus came close to how to live in the global space with "Love thy neighbor" [with all thy heart, and mind] no matter which tribe or culture hesh is a part of.  

Thursday, November 13, 2014

SSG Heirarchy

There is no real hierarchy.  At whatever level the threat is presented the moral human will react to minimize or eliminate the threat.   Ideally the God/secular leader will never threaten the community, but the history of both religious and secular nations is local revolution against the oppressive/corrupt leadership.  The Lutherans against the Church, the Americans against the King, etc.  Occasionally, actually frequently these days the face group will withdraw from the denomination or city to create a de-facto separate community with a different moral paradigm.  Gated communities on one side of the aisle and rainbow congregations on the other.  In most cases the larger moral entity will ignore the smaller, but revolutions are made of active repression of different moral paradigms.

The Fundamental SSG


The facegroup, the tribe, parish, village appears to be the fundamental social unit.  Perhaps because the indoctrination of the conscience is strongly influenced by this group.  Also this is the group where reciprocity and trust is up close and personal.  Mrs. Grundy is always watching and gossiping, so no facegroup activity is unnoticed.

And yet, morally, people will go against this fundamental social unit at times.  Therefore, morality is something outside of these social units.

I have yet to hear of a serious breach of facegroup morality that was not met with disfellowshipping, shunning, expulsion, incarceration,  or worse.  Think about gays in most communities especially religious ones or dark skinned people in hoodies in a gated community.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Relationships and Getting Fucked

I think that far too many women hold grudges when personal relationships fail. They, in a sense, remain emotionally attached to the failed relationship. I also think that far too many atheists hold grudges against religion. Even after years of separation, many seem permanently attached to the failed relationship.

What else can one expect from religious misogyny and misanthropy?  God and the man demand a relationship, when in reality all God and the man care about is dominance.  Is it any wonder that one promised a relationship and discovers that all that is happening is that hesh is getting fucked holds a long lasting grudge against the fucker?  And then tells the world to beware of fuckers?

Morality might be defined as warning the world about fuckers.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Moral Reconditioning


Don't get me started on the Harvard Moral Sense Shit.  Trollies have nothing to do with morality they have to do with killing people. 

The older one gets the harder it is to change moral precepts. It is not impossible, and it seems that moral reevaluation is a natural stage of development past puberty.  But it does take intensive conscious effort to affect an adult conscience. 

The stages of moral development are more cultural than individual.  See Cruz père and Cruz fils.  If mom and dad are at a higher stage of moral development their children are likely to be as high or higher. 

Conditioning the Conscience

We certainly make moral judgments immediately by necessity.  Many moral decisions are made under extreme stress.  There is no time to reason out a moral response.  

However, it does not follow that conscience is an intuitive function of the mind/brain.  The conscience is almost certainly conditioned over time most strongly influenced by family and preschool caregivers.  And, per Robert Fulghum, the kindergarten teacher.  It is ultimately a subconscious conditioning which can be consciously reconditioned later in life if necessary by training and indoctrination.  As an example military training is retraining the conscience to view "the enemy" as less than human and therefore not subject to the conscience's morality toward others in the tribe.  

The conscience cannot be ignored.  You can consciously override it but it will feel wrong if you do.  It will also take time and effort that may not be available under stress.  This is why the conscience can be reconditioned with difficulty as an adult. 

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Moral Evolution

I am not jumping to conclusions.  I have presented on many threads and on this one clear evidence that morality coevolved with modern humans.  That social moral nuance is taught like language is clear, but like basic grammar, basic morality is an evolutionary, that is genetic property of the mind/brain.  One might argue with one of Blü's moral imperatives, but in general they are the source of absolute morality, not some sky god.  Sky gods can and do influence the social moral nuances for believers, in some cases quite strongly, as the follow the leader basic imperative is strongly reinforced by vuvuzelas in fancy dresses in over decorated balconies telling believers what God wants as to morality, but it is moral only for believers whether it is hate fags or love your neighbor.    

Mariology Explained.

Matthew 28:18 has the post-mortal Jesus say, ἐδόθη μοι πᾶσα ἐξουσία ἐν οὐρανῷ καὶ ἐπὶ τῆς γῆς - "All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me."

So that leaves Yahweh and the Ghost with no authority. Ain't no Trinity notion thar, just a sentimental retrospect for his pa and his uncle, two former board members who've now retired. 

Finally an explanation for the importance of Jesus and Mary in Catholicism and the de facto separation of the Trinity in the Mass.  All authority including judgment of those worthy of eternal life is thereby vested in Jesus.  And who would have more influence?  Dad who hung him on the cross or mama who took him down?