How far have we come
in this thing we call life?
(Top Posts - Distance From Belief
in theism - 080901)
those of faith who try to associate god with good things
at events such as a crash or a disaster ...
Reference - a recent crash for which some might desire to
assign the phrase "miracle" or "thank god" ...
A Week Without God ...
Top 10 Post-Crash Pictures
Cautiously, I offer the following. Many folks wish to continue
pleasantly forever and have been told, often times from a very
young age, that god belief is the one and only way to do so,
to be immortal. Add to that all the social/cultural constructs,
the threats regarding disbelief, the disquiet regarding non-ex-
istence, and therein you have the basis for "goddifying" events
like the recent crash my daughter and I were involved in which
seem to offer the opportunity for some to do so.
Some folks of faith tend to reach into these events to try to
manifest or justify that desire for validation of god/faith, calling
events miraculous or implying an event such as crashing near
a hospital is somehow god-impacted. Often, it's as normal for
them to do so, free of doubt, as it is for them to accept most
of what they have been taught in their churches.
A naturalistic explanation does not promote or elevate any
human or humans as special or important or blessed by the
supposed almighty creator of all that was/is/ever will be. No,
instead, it examines events in a naturalistic continuum and
reveals our common humanity, our common destiny in a
world of physics and reality which knows not of superna-
tural intervention/interest of any kind.
That reality, that naturalistic explanation, cares far more for
the facts and the verity of being than it does for the emotional
journeys into self-aggrandizement/self-importance/seeking of
immortality that are the psychological underpinnings for crediting
supernatural intervention/miracles being at play in events such as
this which presented the chance for death or harm.
The temptation, for those of faith, to reach into the supernatural
at times like this, must be enormous. If I were of faith I would
likely be thanking god over and over for every single non-harm-
ful event which occurred, ignoring all the harmful/death-risking
events which occurred as if they didn't matter. Why? That
immortality-ticket, that self-importance ego trip (god choosing
to save *me* and *my daughter* ... wow, what an ego trip),
all of that would be at play.
Of note, the facts are thus ... if not for the rollbar, my daughter
and I would be almost certainly dead. If not for the humans
who invented the air bag -and- later, the humans who lost their
children and labored to have warnings placed in cars so that
children would not be placed in front of air bags at risk of their
lives, my daughter and I would be seriously injured or dead.
If not for those humans who labored long ago for safety of the
passenger compartment and for seat belts and shoulder restraints,
my daughter and I would be dead. If not for that f******* (no
offense to the fireplug, but it was most unfortunate that it was
located in the path of my Mustang), there would have been no
rollover at all.
Yes, the facts aren't nearly as appealing as are imagining god
intervened and elevated me and my daughter as some kind of
special god-buddy immortality-destined blessed beings, but
those are the facts and such is the reality of our being natural
beings in a natural world. To those who appreciate verity, the
facts would lead to promotion of rollbars for all convertibles,
perhaps, or elimination of all obstacles like fireplugs, near
freeways, perhaps, or erecting barriers alongside freeways,
to prevent such freeway exits from occurring, perhaps. Such
is the way in which the devices which saved the lives of my
daughter and me came about ...
Perhaps, 'tis wise, the consideration of natural law and the
focus on taking responsibility for making this one sure life
experience as best as it can be. That's what saved the life
of my daughter and me and, if carried forward towards a
cure for the underlying cause of this accident, the type 1
diabetes I've lived with since the age of 5, that's what will
lead to an absolute elimination of any chance that one's
insulin treatment (24x7x365) might lead to premature death.
--- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- --- ---
How far have we come in this thing we call life?
Where did we come from, where are we going, and how do
we stand as compared to what has come before?
In our closest relatives, the chimpanzees, you can see that
which we may likely have been 6 to 8 million years ago. You
can see the ability to think, empathize, search for food, social-
ize, care for young, get angry, attack, harm, in essence, all the
wide range of emotions we observe in humans today.
Even today, humans still think in terms of survival, us vs.
them, possessions, protection of those most like us, exclusion
of those unlike us, not all that unlike a group of sophisticated
chimpanzees with the burdens of that which is the nature of
life, that being survival.
- - -
It would be a challenging task, perhaps all-but impossible, trying
to assess pro-human and anti-human behavior in a somewhat
mathematical way, creating a test by which humans over time
could be accurately judged, applying the test in a mathematical
model, and comparing the results.
Point in fact, our sampling methods are hampered by our
decreasing knowledge the farther back we go in time, and
our bias in favor of our current-day models of human behav-
ior would make it quite challenging for us to objectively com-
pare the current day to times past.
Certainly, being that we know more about bacterial infections
and parasites and how to prevent harm from them, one might
argue humankind is more pro-human now on that basis alone.
However, our vulnerability to such things (the Spanish flu,
for example, killing over 20 million a little over 80 years ago
and the current plague of AIDS) makes one wonder if we will
be able to conquer the next 'global killer' should it erupt with-
out care or concern as to the dire consequences to humanity.
The same forces that caused millions to be murdered in World
War II still lurk as a danger in the current age. The nuclear genie
is out of the bottle, agents of bacterial warfare exist, and only
our ability to avoid major conflicts will enable us to avoid a
return to horrors like those of the last world war.
On the other hand, life expectancies are much longer than they've
ever been, our ability to feed and take care of vast numbers of
people is greater than it's ever been, and technological advances
hold both the promise of greater longevity/quality of life as well
as the risk that such technology may be used against humankind
on some intentional or accidental basis ...
And, there remains the possibility that some kind of biological/
robotic symbiosis may raise/alter the experience of life in ways
that are now difficult to conceive / even more difficult to predict.
And recently, we've discovered that global killers (asteroids
and comets) lurk as an ever-present danger and only technolog-
ical detection/efforts at avoidance would save us if that were
to occur (certainly, our ability to save ourselves, if we are able
to do so in that unfortunate circumstance, would have to place
us as being more humane now than we've ever been, in that
All in all, the same drives/forces that cause mass genocides
are still there in each of us and in large social/cultural/national
systems, and only efforts towards pro-human endeavors, the
presence of adequate resources, systematic efforting towards
noble measures to raise the quality of life for all humans, and
preventative measures to hold hatred/anti-humanism in abeyance,
offers us, as a whole, the opportunity to become one with the
best that humankind can be.