Letter to a Theist

Dear Readers,

Today as I was reading The Common Atheist’s post on 2.4 Billion and 1.6 Billion and no Bliss, I came across this posting on Three Paradoxes of Atheism by Neil Shenvi, or NAShenvi, as he calls himself.. He is a Chemical Theorist, and quite obviously, a theist. I was intrigued. You know I HAD to read that post. Not only did I have to read it, within just a few lines I HAD to reply to it. Only, there was no place for commentary. So I went to his attached website, and still had to search for awhile to find a way to contact him. You know, of course, I am not computer literate. Even moreso, I am NOT WordPress literate. But eventually I came across his email address, and following is, almost word-for-word (I corrected a few small errors I missed while proofreading):

His full quotes are in red, his broken into pieces quotes are in magenta:

Dear Neil,
May I kindly enquire why it is you have a website and a blog on Word Press, yet you choose to make claims that cannot be publicly addressed since you do not leave a space for comments. You have an idea of “atheists” in your mind, obviously, yet you seem to know little about who atheists are. I am one. I have my own idea of a cosmology that does not include a superbeing of any kind, but does include a very strong spirituality that connects all living beings together. Yet, as I say, I am an atheist. How can this be?
It is mainly because we are not a group, nor a club, and especially not an anti-religion. NO TWO ATHEISTS think the same. Yes, there are those who try to stand up and speak for all atheists, but they can only represent themselves. NO ONE ELSE! Does that surprise you? It should, because like most people who are not atheists, you are likely so bound and boxed into having strength in numbers, you have probably misplaced the knowledge that the strongest number in the world is 1. No two atheists think alike, or even pretend to think alike. Atheism is a belief in one’s own cosmology, and no one else’s, therefore you are misled from the get-go. You cannot truly fight atheism as long as you believe atheism is a quantitative philosophy. IT IS NOT!
Yet you say we believe… Please allow me to correct that statement, because WE do not believe anything. The best that can be said is “I believe!”, or “in my opinion (IMO)…” Had you looked at who you are really dealing with, you would have known this. But it seems you have taken the easy way out. As a chemical theorist I would have expected more of you, but maybe you are too busy with chemicals to understand what words mean, and who people are.
But please, let me answer the charges you have levelled against atheists, such as “it is very hard for atheists to explain why seeking the truth is intrinsically good or why we are obligated to seek it.” My first thought is, why would I try to tell anyone “seeking … is intrinsically good,” when “seeking” is not something everyone does, so it is not “intrinsic” to anything. Millions upon billions of people on this earth seek, or rather desire (which is the correct verb in this instance), to be left alone, to live their lives as they see fit. No one, as far as your argument is concerned, has proven seeking to be intrinsic to anything. It is but an unproven assumption, intrinsic to nothing. But allow me to expand your statement one step, “the truth is intrinsically good.” Goodness has its root in the word “god,” so to a believer such as yourself, the truth is intrinsically god-like. Don’t  you think that is a rather fatuous statement? You are applying your belief system where there is no call to do so. God has not been proven yet, though nor has he been misproven. The point is moot. For now we will have to agree to disagree, because we are getting into an area that has absolutely no meaning in my vocabulary, so again, IMO, I cannot argue for either side. So, let us expand your statement once more, “seeking the truth is intrinsically good.” This, I presume, is part of your argument, though it is stated as an “a priori” truth,  or “truth is truth.” But is it? My truth is not your truth, and your truth is not my truth. So, either truth is relative to the beholder of the truth, or it is non-existant. There can be no “truth” when two people hold the same “truth” to be different. Truth either lies in between the two positions, or it lies nowhere at all. You can expound your belief all you want, that is your privilege. I won’t bother expounding anything because, as I said previously, the words are meaningless to me. They are beyond argument.
Ah, at last, we come to the crux of your statement, which is “it is very hard for atheists to explain why.” I could rejoin your argument with its counter, “it is very hard for a theist to explain why,” but why bother. Ring around the rosy, a pocketfull of posy, husha, husha, we all fall down! Not I fall down, not you fall down, but WE fall down. We fail to make headway from either side to the other side. We both end up looking like (biblical) asses. Yet you seem to think you have scored some points… And you may have, if like Trump you believe all you have to do is state an assumption is true and it will become truth. But that is not how the real world works. You must either prove your side, or disprove mine. You can do neither. For my part I just ignore the entire claim as meaningless, though I feel it is my duty as a living being to point out your so-called “facts” are fantasy. You really ought to check them before you try to make them true.
And finally, “or why are we obligated to seek it.” You may be obligated to seek out truth, I am not. If I choose to seek out truth, relative as it may be, I do so for my own edification. And when I find my version of truth (I much prefer understanding to truth, it is so much more meaningful to me), I may tell it to some others, but I do not offer it willy-nilly to everyone, but to only those who are looking for it. And, I ask deliberately that no one believe anything I say unless it is meaningful to them in some way. I will never again say, “Here is truth, believe me when I tell you. I KNOW WHAT TRUTH IS!” I do know what “my” truth is, I have no idea what your truth is.
So why do you feel obligated to find out “why?” Why is such a spurious question. Any two year-old understands that. At first s/he really means it, but soon the child learns it irritates the adult, and so continuously asks “why?” There needs to be no why. Because it is there. Because I made up the question. Because I want to learn. Because I want to understand. Take your choice. But that is what why is, a choice to know or not know, to understand or not understand. You ask, Why? I answer, Why not? I could tell you why if I wanted. I doubt you could tell me why not.

“The paradox of atheism is that the atheist, while usually committed to living a life consistent with reality, cannot bear reality as he believes it actually is.” Say what? To transliterate from theist to atheist language: the self-contradictory absurdism of atheism is that I who am living a life consistent with reality (as I find it), cannot bear reality as I believe it to be.
Oh, my. Oh, my. Oh, My! I must shorten that statement to make it even pretend to be understandable: I CANNOT BEAR TO FACE WHAT I BELIEVE IS REALITY? Please, give a person some intelligence, even if only that of a two year-old child. Since “what I believe to be reality” is something that I choose it to be, why would I construct a reality that I would not want to be in? The insanity of that thought is incredible! My reality allows me to be joyous, to smile, to laugh, to cry, to scream “I am alive! And I love it!” My reality does not require that I suffer, that I be in constant pain. My reality allows me to be in control of life as I know it, not to exist at the whim of some other being. Truthfully, Neil, you think an atheist cannot bear to live? I am appalled. I am human. Why would I want life to be anything but what it is? I, for one, do not want any other life. Thank you for asking.

“I am not asking whether atheists can do good. Rather, I am focusing only on the impact that atheism has on our moral motivation.” Dear sir, it is no wonder you do not understand atheists, in particular, this atheist. What have I to do with “moral motivation?” Morality is for theists. I am an atheist. I have no need to be moral. I have no need for motivation. What I am is responsible to all living beings. What I am is self-obligated not to intentionally hurt anyone, not to take life needlessly or frivolously. To help they whom I see need help. To soothe those I see are in pain. To succor those who are destitute, and I can give help to.
And I do this not through motivation, or through any sense of morality. I do it because I care. I do it because I can. I do it with compassion. And I do it because “I CHOOSE” to do so, not because I am told to do so.
What you call morality I want no part of. No one but me can tell me what is right or what is wrong, because there is no right or wrong. There is only life! And life is what I share with every living being, including you.
But I don’t believe you will care about me, because you have no duty to care. You might care about my soul, but believe me, you would be wasting your time. I have no soul. All I have is me, my life, my spirit, and Life itself. And that, sir, is why I am writing you today, because I care that you are working with fallacious facts, unbelievable understandings, and a need to be correct in whatever you write. Be honest with your readers, Neil, they deserve nothing less.
Thank you for your time.



A Philosophy for All Living Beings (the NEW Part 2)

“Like social workers, people from all backgrounds, all races, all nationalities, all physiologies, all psychological types, all social communities, and all spiuritual communities, or lack of any acceptance of all or any above states and biologies of being, may choose for themselves what they want to believe, or even not choose to make a choice. All reactions are welcome, and all choices are acceptable. There is no right or wrong. There only is.” (quoted from the end of Part 4, or the real Part 1)

But, is that true just for humans? I must ask you, Do you really thing we are the only beings who count in our portion of reality? What about the whale, we know not it has sentience–or consciousness. What about the orangutan, possibly humanity’s closest relative? You will give me those, maybe, but certainly nothing else! Why not? Our scientists appear to have proven that the octopus, that alien creature that lives in the sea, with eight legs just like a spider, can have some sort of sentience. One octopus can watch a fellow octopus find its way through a complicated maze, making all kinds of mistakes, until she completes the maze, just once. The second octopus seemed to know she was in a maze, because she kept fighting to get out. Now put the first octopus in a second maze exactly the same as the one the second octopus went through. How many mistakes do you think he makes before he escapes the maze? Ten? Twenty? Thirty? How about, not one? He watched the other octopus just once, making all kinds of mistakes, yet he zipped through the maze like he had done it a hundred times. Will this count as sentience for you. The first octopus had not only to learn what a maze was, but also learn how to escape it, by watching his fellow octopus find her way. I don’t know exactly what that says, but it sure says something. Most adult humans would not  remember the correct way through a maze by watching one other human try and try again to get out. Are octopi smarter than humans? Apparently, at least at mazing running.

But, is sentience really a requirement to know how to live, how to be alive. Please allow me to take you on a long ride backwards in history. So far back the only history we can read are the fossils that tell us what life was like, say, 4 billion years ago. Can you even think that far back? 4 billion years is a long, long, long, long, lllooonnnnggggg time ago. The earth was still being formed, it was mostly water, and the crust of the earth was so thin that the heat from the center of the earth probably boiled the water in some places. And in that ocean, so old we called it primordial, or basically “existing at or from the beginning of time,” (Well, actually, it missed the beginning of time AND the beginning of the universe, which has been mearsured at 13.772 billion years, give or take 60 million, or any portion thereof.)  we will just say our planet, Earth, had been around only half-a-billion years when living beings began to show up. But, decendants of those early one-celled lifeforms are still around today. They live deep in cold oceans, yet even deeper in warm oceans, but where they live doesn’t matter. New lives are forming every day somewhere on Earth. And they can trace their biology back to the very first one-celled beings that came before them. In fact, every living being on Earth can trace its ancestry back to those unicellular beings who came to life (we do not know how) 4 billion years ago. But how is not important to this philosophy, but who is!

The first unicellular beings had no real building blocks of life, no DNA for certain, but probably no RNA either. Yet through the next 500-or-so million years they learned how to make RNA and DNA, and they were happy little beings. Without going into the history of one-celled lifeforms, allow me to say eventually they became two-celled lifeforms, then three-celled lifeforms, and so on until they can now be as large as hundreds of quadrillions of cells in one lifeform, the blue whale, which is not even the biggest lifeform on Earth. No one knows how many cells are in the largest lifeform, a fungus growing in Western Oregan and British Columbia. We humans are so much smaller than either of these humungous behemoths at an average of only 37.2 billion cells.

But are you seeing what I am seeing? Every living being on Earth has one physical thing in common: From smallest to largest, all lifeforms are made up of cells, the very same cells that lived in the primordial ocean 4 billion years ago. I think that is amazing! Do you?

But let’s look at this sameness a little closer, because now we know all lifeforms, no matter who, no matter what, no matter how, are all related. I always say, never believe anything I say, unless it works for you. But this is the one exception to that insistance, please believe me when I say, “We are ALL related!” Because we are. It may not seem like it, especially if you believe humans are the superior form of life on this planet, which  may or may not be (I do not think we are) true, but then so is every other species of life, be it viral, bacterial, plant, animal, or something we have not yet discovered or labelled. When we get right down to basics, “We Are One.”

And this is why I say, the philosophy I believe in is “A Philosophy For All Living Beings.” We are all made of exactly the same stuff as formed the first types of life on this young planet about 4 billion years ago. That same stuff still makes all of us up today.

On Capitalism, and the RC Church

In my opinion, the Spirit of Capitalism is greed, no matter how you cut it. Exactly where it came from I cannot say, but certainly one of its roots was Ancient Greece, and another was Christianity. Neither of these roots started out as greed-obsessed qualities, but it did not take long, historically-speaking, for either one to honour the possession of goods and money above all else. Ancient Greece started with a polity, an organized society with a structured form of civil government, where all male citizens could vote, while women, children, slaves, and foreigners living in the polity could not. Christianity, which at the time was defined only as Roman Catholicism, started as an underground political rebellion in Judea, where supposedly the religious teacher Jesus Christ was co-opted to be the real King of the Jews instead of Herod. According to ancient history the rebellion was put down and Christ was killed. His followers spread out across parts of the Roman Empire, since the Jewish people did not believe Christ was a prophet from god, and spread his teachings among the poor and unhealthy. From these humble beginnings Christianity grew to overtake almost the whole of the European-influenced world. The Roman Catholic Church became the richest single entity in the Western sphere of influence, and capitalism, the pursuit of land, goods, and money, became its creed. Government and religion came together to make a centuries-long unbreakable union, with the rulers being (almost exclusively) male members of the aristocracy and the priesthood (clergy), working together to make the rich richer and the poor poorer. Laws that were made fairly arbitrarily still reflected the ten commandments of Moses (a biblical character from the Old Testament). The lines between political ethics and religious morals blurred until they were virtually indistinguishable.
Money, otherwise useless bits of metal, was made to represent value, all of it owned by the nobility and the Church for the longest time, represented power, and until a middle class started to develop in the Middle Ages, only the most exceptional, and/or vicious, of men could raise up from the lower classes to the upper classes. Women were chattel, belonging to the men, as were their children, and they took their position in life from their fathers and husbands.
Capitalism was still suffering its growth pains at this time, and was not yet a factor in the Western world, or anywhere else, for that matter. But as craftsmen began to join guilds, more money was leaving the coffers of the rich, and being transferred into the hands of certain groups of society. The middle class was emerging from poverty to monied. It was a slow process, almost invisible to the aristocracy. As for the Church, as long as the money kept coming in, they did not care where it was coming from.
At this point in time, though there was infighting and bickering between members of the aristocracy, and between certain levels of the clergy, society was still mainly group-centered. People were individuals, surely, but they were treated as communities, so-to-speak. Killing a peasant was meaningless to aristocrats, they made no real distinction between members of the lower classes. As for those peasants, or even slaves, there was little difference between members of the ruling classes. Some nobles or monarchs might be less vicious than others, but all in all the poor lived at the mercy or vanity of the rich. Who killed them, or stole their few belongings and food, did not matter. There was little to choose between one ruler and the next.
But those in the middle class were not only gaining in money owned, they were also gaining in distinctiveness. First came pride in being a craftsman, second came pride in how much they were earning as opposed to what their fellow guild-members were making. And certain guilds were earning more money than other guilds, and all these things started to distinguish one group from another, and one person from another. Thus individuals were gaining fame and or notoriety, and capitalism had the foothold it had been looking for to grow and take over our society. Individuality blossomed, and the groups or classes became less important, while the individual grew in importance. And the Church, no longer a monopoly, but still the most powerful single entity in the world, praised the individual. Its monetary base grew exponentially, from classes of people, to groups of people, and now to people themselves, apart from almost all others. (Families, as in the nuclear family, would give as a group, but the group was small, and was guaranteed to create more individuals, and then more family groups. Jumping ahead for a moment, when the Church saw that planned family size was looming on the horizon, when it became possible to actively prevent pregnancies, and then to stop pregnancies, the Church responded quickly by preaching against the preventing of lives, or the ending of lives before birth, so that the number of their adherents would continue to increase, thus keeping the money flowing in. What the Church did not foresee was that ultimately this move would drive more people away from the Church than it provided, but in for an ounce, in for a ton. The Church cannot suddenly break faith with their adherents by proclaiming the advisability of planned families, of the use of contraceptives, or the legalizing of abortions within the religious laws. What was done can never be undone!)
I quote, “capitalism was ‘the most fateful power in our modern life’. More specifically, it controlled and generated modern [culture], the code of values by which people lived in the 20th-century [European-based world]–some ideas of Max Weber. I can agree with these ideas to a point, capitalism certainly had a huge effect on our present Western culture. But when he says something like “public behaviour was cool, reserved, hard and sober, governed by strict personal self-control” I think he goes too far. There are so many laws, secular and religious, that govern self-control that few individuals have the opportunity, or desire, to decide what personal self-control is. There are those (whom we call criminals) who deliberately break such laws of conduct, and there are those, whom we call mentally ill, whose inability to cope with the life required of them by capitalism literally cause them to lose their self-control, and then there are the few, known in psychological circles as self-empowered or self-actualized (see Abraham Maslow), who demonstrate self-control totally on their terms without advice from any laws, but I don’t see any of these groups or quasi-groups exercising hard and sober personal self-control, except possibly the self-empowered.
Capitalism is a lot of things, few of them good for humanity or for life itself, but it is not a power to itself, not in my mind. But, I could be wrong…

Humanisn vs Spirituality

I just read a post on the WP blog “ANTILOGICALISM” at https://antilogicalism.com/2018/05/15/the-problem-of-atheism/. It is a fairly philosophical post, but I enjoyed reading it quite a bit, and enjoyed responding to it even more. So, I keyed on a certain 2 quotes from this post, and here is my response…

Keiji Nishitani — “The seriousness of this new humanism is that such a restoration is possible only through a denial of God.”

rawgod — In my philosophy, although the concept of a god, or gods, or a super-being, or super-beings, is something that can be spoken to, a denial of same is absolutely not necessary to speak of life. Since all above concepts are inventions of humans, they will, like all human inventions, eventually pass into non-being, and there will come a time someone reading such a composition will have few points of reference. To deny something is to give that something value, but I personally see no value in any of these concepts at this time and in this place. I am an atheist, I do not accept the beingness of the objects of these concepts, and this is the total of my dealing with them.

However, I am not just an atheist, I am a spiritual atheist. I personally am aware of other states or planes of existence, forms of beingness that do not and cannot exist on this plane, or in this state. Some are places for After-Death, which can be equal to places Before-Birth, when contemplating thoughts about life and being on this worldly, or even universal plane. Others are states or planes of existence that could pre-date our plane, but definitely there are planes that post-date our plane. But I am not about to deal with them here, since the subject of the post is life on Earth, so the commentary should focus on life on Earth. To wit:

One of humanity’s biggest problems is that it sets itself apart, for the vast majority of humans, from all other forms and species of life. This gives rise to the idea that all other things, living or non-living, exist only to serve the purposes of humanity. The writer, Keiji Nishitani, has offered up some Buddhist principles to help differentiate certain western ideas from other ideas, hoping to widen the field of play to incorporate other ways of considering the world. They may or may not accomplish his goal, that is not for me to say. However, I prefer to widen the field of play to incorporate other ways of considering life. Humanism is only one part of life, albeit I am human. Before being human, I am a living being–no species necessary.

Keiji –“Involved in the problem of the essence of human being are the questions, “What is a human being?” and “By what values should one live?”

rawgod–Being human does not mean to individualize humanity to all other living beings, but rather to find where we fit in that order, if there were such a thing as order–I do not believe there is, except the order to which we try to force life into. We are a very egotistical species, we who call ourselves human. We look at all other forms of life, and judge those lifeforms in human terms. This is not a long-viable approach to life. It has lasted for thousands of years, I grant you, but thousands of years are not even a blink in the eye of Earth, and much less in the eye of the universe. If you can consider the cosmos at all, thousands of years are not even a microsecond in our concept of time. To have value to the cosmos, humans must successfully exist for at least millions of years, but this is not assured.

Therefore, let me move on to the second question asked above, “By what values should one live?” This question pre-supposes the concept there is a way that we “should” live.” Should is a loaded word, full of obligation, and refers to an attempt to make life orderly. Life is not orderly, and never has been, though many believe it can be made that way. Order precludes accidents, and accidents happen all the time. By their very definition, accidents are things “not expected to happen, not part of order.” If there were a way humans should live, we should not ever have accidents. But since we do have accidents, there can be no order, no matter how much we try to make life so.
So let us reword the question to “By what values will we live?” The word values is also a loaded word, but not in the same way as the word should is. Values also implies an attempt at order, but this word is not so absolute. Using the plural word “values,” we are not restricting the possibilities of how a being will live, but more “hoping” a being will live by values that have a positive affect on oneself, as well as others. But again, humans being who they are, generally only want to apply any such values to human life, and to hell with any other kinds of life. Human life is the only kind of life that matters. But human life cannot exist without other kinds of life. Life feeds upon life. Humans need food to exist, and except for vitamin pills and mineral pills, and suchlike man-made foods, humans exist and survive on the carcasses of once-living plants and animals. All life, except some of the most basic beings in the world, survive to some extent on what was once living matter. The higher up the food chain one goes, the more true that statement becomes. But this only speaks to values in an indirect way. We value other living things by the matter they leave behind when they die, OR ARE KILLED.
Let us look at other types of values, in general, rather than in specifics. How we treat others, respect, compassion, empathy, love, hatred, bigotry, murder, infliction of pain, healing of injuries, and oh so many more, these are values that we use in our relationships to others, and with others. Generally, we feel it is important to treat others as we wish to have others treat ourselves. But how often do we throw these values aside according to the time and place of where we are, or where we recently were, or where we want to be. Values are easy to talk about, but they are very difficult to live by. What is even the use of having them in the first place? Because we want to feel superior to those who do not act in ways we feel our values give us precedence for having. But yet, one of the values many of us have is the value of all being equal in our basic being. Equality, while possibly real in certain ways, is a joke in most ways. What is the value of being equal if we do not live equally? We do not live equally! There is no value at all!
The same can be said for almost every value humans can think of. Values are merely concepts of ideas of actions we would like others to take so as not to hurt us.

But those values, worthless as they are, are seldom put into play when thinking of other species, or other lifeforms. Remember, we are the top of the food chain. Right? Wrong! Our dead bodies are eaten by all kinds of insects, bacteria, viruses, and especially maggots. There is no top of the food circle, biologically speaking. It goes round and round and round.

But were we to look at our spiritual beings, that which exists inside of us, but outside of physical reality, what would we see? Again, humans like to see themselves at the top of the spiritual ladder, if they even entertain the concept of a spiritual anything. But we are again not at the top of anything. Because, spiritually-speaking, all living beings really are equal. They have what we call the spirit of life, and because we are all alive, we are equal at our deepest cores. We are not the only beings on Earth, in the universe, or as part of the cosmos to have spirit. Life is spirit.

Remember, I changed the original second question above from “By what values should one live?” to “By what values will we live? I made this change because the verb should is basically meaningless. Life knows no order, and all attempts to impose order are, for the most part, useless. Accidents happen. Next, I challenged the use of the words values, and turned them into meaningless phrases that are only paid attention to when useful to the holder of said values. So where does that leave us?

We are left the the signifying verb, will. I am not using the word will here to discuss mental power, as in having the will to quit smoking. I am merely using the word will to express future action, as in, we will live however we want to live, or, we will go to the park this afternoon. It is an intentional verb of sorts, but really it only gives the possibility of intention, making it conditional on future events. So, when I ask the question By what values will we live? I am asking if, assuming everything goes according to our plans, how will we respond to them. So, if we were to make a list of values we perceive as meaningful to our lives, will we live by them? Based on humanity and the way it acts as we presently know it, the easy answer is, No, most will not. We may want to, we may try to, but situations will always come up where we will act against our best intentions. Mothers will defend their babies to someone’s death, even their own, if a perceived threat becomes potentially real. They see their child walk close to a wild bear, and they go on full alert. They remember their value, do not do any harm to anyone, but this is not an anyone, it is only a bear, and it is threatening my baby. This woman is a member of the American NRA, she will have a rifle ready, even if her only purpose of having it is target shooting. As she goes to get the gun, she is not thinking, My child was not supposed to go near bears, so it is his or her fault for disturbing the bear! No, she is thinking the bear might harm my child. Now she has the gun, loaded it, and readies herself to use it if necessary. Then she sees a bear cub come out of the bushes on the other side of her child from the bear. She knows bears will hurt anything that comes between her and the cub. She gives no thought at all to the idea that if the bear were to do anything, it would just be defending her own cub as best she knows how. Nor does she take into account most wildlife, even bears, realize that babies of any species are not generally threats to anyone. No, she will only remember hearing a story of a bear hurting a baby, and as soon as this bear takes one step towards her own cub, which means a step towards the woman’s child, she fires the gun, killing the mother bear, and orphaning the cub. But does she yet care? No, all she cares is her baby is safe, and she has to get away from this place of danger. She grabs her child, and drives quickly away.

Despite the woman’s value of not hurting anyone, she intentionally killed a mother bear. The bear did not even threaten the baby. All it did was take a step towards her own cub. But the mother did not see any of that, she thought only of protecting her child. She threw away her value for what she thought might happen, whether it might have happened her not. She will not live by her value. And neither will most people, not even in a potentially dangerous situation as this.

So do we humans forgive the mother for unnecessarily killing the bear? Most humans do. I will not. She had other choices, like making loud noises to chase the bear away, distracting the bear to lead it away from the child, walking up, without fear, picking her child up, and backing away, just for starters. But the mother is not thinking, she is acting on the same instinct the mother bear might be acting on. Does any of this absolve her of guilt? No! But most humans, as I said before, will look at her humanness, and forgive the killing of a non-human. This is unacceptable. The bear has as much right to life as does the mother, or even the child. In fact, in this situation, the bear has more right to live. The woman, though acting through instinct as is the mother bear, is awake, sentient, and able to reason, all she has to do is shrug off the instinct. The bear, as far as we know, is awake, is possibly sentient, but as far as we know, not able to reason. But now we can never know, the bear is dead. The cub has no mother to teach it. Chances are good the child still being a baby in looks, would have been by-passed by the bear, there was no visible threat as far as she could see. We again will never know. The bear is dead. She cannot be brought back to life…

Will we act according to our values? Now we get to the we. The original question used the singular pronoun, one. One individual might be able to live by a particular value, maybe even two individuals might. But unless the above mother is one of those individuals, which she obviously was not, the bear might still be alive. But does talking about individuals really answer the intent of the question, “By what values will one act?” By referring to the previous question, “What is a human being?”, it could appear Nishitani is asking, “What is one human being?”, but really he is asking about all human beings. Human beings are all alike biologically, and according to some psychologists, even mentally. So “What is one human being,” can easily be understood to be, “What are human beings–all human beings.” After all, “We’re all one.” So this now changes the second question to, “By what values should all humans act?” All humans includes all of us, living, dead, or still to live. So, the 1st person plural pronoun we can easily replace the third person singular, one.” Having already changed the obligation-loaded verb should to the futuristic form of “be,” will, the question in its simplest term becomes, “By what values will we live?”

As I have shown above, we likely will not live by any values if the opportunity to not live by those values forces itself upon us. Why not? Because we are human. We think of our selves first, or extensions of our selves such as children, maybe spouses, other loved ones. Anyone else is, first by virtue of not being connected to the self, next by not being human (in whatever way you choose to define human), not worthy of our consideration. Does this really make us human? Is this what humanism (that which constitutes the essence of the human, by species or by individuals) is all about, being better, more important, than anything or anyone else? If it is, I want no part of it. I may be human, but I am no more important than the fly that lays the eggs from which will hatch the maggots that would eat my dead body, were I not intending to be cremated.

All life is equal, in my opinion.

All in all, the questions asked at the start of this comment by the writer, Keiji Nishitani, may be important, but to me their importance lies in the difference between humanism, and spiritual atheism. I cannot, and do not, speak for anyone else. For myself, humans are but a link in the endless chain of life, and values need to be something you cannot only believe in, but something you can and will abide by. Otherwise it’s value is zero.


A Philosophy for All Living Beings (The NEW Part 1)

From the time the term came into my mind, “A PHILOSOPHY FOR ALL LIVING BEINGS,” upon which I posted 3 entries on my blog during February of 2018, I was completely dissatisfied with my writings, they were not a dissertation on my philosophy, but turned out to be more of a “How To…” discussion on to to become a self-aware, self-actuated or self-powered, spiritual being, providing you were human, and able to read English. These posts were so bad (as they did not relate to my philosophy hardly at all, though they were decent renditions of what they really turned out to be) that I developed a writer’s block that lasted many months. Where did I go so wrong? I might not be a talkative person, although that is in the process of changing, but when I pick up a pen, or sit at a keyboard, I usually have so much to say I cannot keep focus on what I am trying to write about, even as in this very minute. I love to explain, and even more I love to digress. And digression led me away from my original purpose in Part 1 of my earlier attempt. So now, if I may be so rude as to repeat myself, I am going to quote a few of the paragraphs I wrote in Part 1 while I was still trying to stay on focus, then go on from there. My sincerest apologies…

Sanity is a condition of life that LOCKS us inside a universal (or should I say, at this time, planet-wide?) shared concept of what reality is. Insanity, in its turn, appears to mean something like unable to live in that shared reality that sane people exist in. But unsanity, as I use it, means able to go beyond the shared planet-wide concept of reality without losing that concept of reality. “I feel like I am unsane because I can see through the veil of reality while still being able to live in that shared reality without making other people think I am insane, or unable to cope with that reality in some way. As I see myself, and the reality around me, I am not locked into that reality, but able to transcend it whenever I see or feel the need. Therefore I am more than sane, I am unsane.” To wit, I am unsane enough to believe I can write a philosophy for all living beings….

“…I did not start out to discover a philosophy for all living beings, because to even have had that concept before I stumbled onto it would have been insane, even to me. All I was looking for was something I could live with, a thought or idea or maybe even a purpose about my life, or for my life. You might say I was adrift in a sea of concepts, all handed down to me from the people whom I thought understood the world into which I had been born. Yes, I believed what I was told, for maybe the first 10 years of my life.” But then I started to grow up…

And lastly, “Reality on Earth is many things, but is not always the same for all people as one would think it would have to be if there was nothing beyond reality.” — rawgod (Feb. 2018)

But there is something beyond our shared concept of reality, at least in my opinion. In fact, I have experienced things, drug-induced, to be truthful, under the influence of LSD, that turned out to be very similar to Near Death Experiences (NDEs), only my experiences were not induced by life threatening accidents, or even intential suicide attempts, or Out-Of-Body (OBE) events, they were induced by taking LSD caused by my hope to discover if there was anything beyond our shared concept of reality–beyond sanity.

If you care to stop reading right here, that is your choice, I will not hate you for it, but I am going to keep on writing, even if nobody but me reads my words. Please remember, however, everything I am about to say is “in my opinion,” or “from my personal experience,” or arrived at through long consideration by my mind or by my spiritual self. To go on…

There is life beyond the reality we see around us every day. Mostly, no one gets to see this other Reality-Beyond-Our-Reality (RBOR), or (“arbour,” also “arbor” like a group of leafy trees designed to create a shelter), or (a place to rest unseen due to blocking of penetrating vision–rawgod) except those who have died in this perceived shared reality we call life on Earth. “Death is the ultimate trip,” hippies were wont to say back in the 1960s, but even we did not see how close we were to RBOR. Close, but yet so far, because for most living beings in the after-death, a return to life is barely an infinite blink away. But, what can occur during that infinite blink!

The body dies, and the mind detaches from it. A door opens inside the mind, and as mind dies the spirit flies through the the door. A tunnel leads the way to a shining welcome. There are no eyes and yet the sense of music of the spheres. There are no ears, yet notes and chords are brought to notice with more colours than are in the rainbow. There is no nose, and yet the communication of telepathy . There is no mouth but yet the warmth of sharing. There is no skin but yet the beauty of being. There is no me, but yet there now is us. A movie reel (real?) starts and runs from birth to death, yet no judgment hammers the view. Then all is all there is, yet is becomes, and life is formed and sent to start anew. A womb or egg or seed or spore or splitting by mitosis is chosen, spirit is set in life, and reality closes the door, and us is back to me…

Poetic, don’t you think, in every sense of the word. But this is death in my experience, or as close as I could come without dying, and bringing back with me things I did not know were attached. It has taken me 50 years and more to move from delight to insanity to fear to confusion to maybe to possibility to finally a sense of undertanding. But understanding is not yet complete, and may never be, unless I live another 50 years or more. There is so much beyond the capacity of even spirit to hold while on this realm, this plane of mainly physical being. Social workers, of which I once was one, now retired, have a word for life on earth, biophysicalpsychlogicalsocialspiritualbeing. Not all social workers ascribe to this or similar views of life, but that depends on many factors, including the willingness or unwillingness to understand life as a spiritual experience. Like social workers, people from all backgrounds, all races, all nationalities, all physiologies, all psychological types, all social communities, and all spiuritual communities, or lack of any acceptance of all or any above states and biologies of being, may choose for themselves what they want to believe, or even not choose to make a choice. All reactions are welcome, and all choices are acceptable. There is no right or wrong. There only is.