By the time you read this, the Boston Marathon Bombing may have already become history, but we’ll be putting the pieces together for some time. As of this writing, what do we know? Two small bombs went off four hours after the race began. As of this writing there are three reported deaths, while the number of injured has risen into triple digits. Over twenty-seven thousand people ran that day. Goodness knows how many well wishers and sports enthusiasts there to cheer them on. When you do the math, it’s still a tragedy but it coulda been a lot worse. One could argue we were lucky, but we’re more lucky every day that this doesn’t happen.
We don’t know who did it, but we know where it happened. We know what it was, and we’re putting together the hows and whys. We got people working on it. Hard working people we’ve come to trust when it comes to this kind of thing. First responders. Analysts. Investigators. Anyone from a good Samaritan to the president of the United States. All kinds of resources are coming to bare on this tragedy. We’ll get to the bottom of this one way or the other. It just takes time.. or so we are led to believe.
Was this event a one-time thing? Not hardly. We’ve been down this road before and we’re picking up steam. Newtown. Columbine. Virginia Tech. Oklahoma City. Nine Eleven. This is fast becoming The New Normal, and some of us are acclimating to it faster than others. We can’t be bothered breaking our arm patting ourselves on the back for acclimating though. This has been going on in other countries forever. Senseless bombings. Pointless fear generating more pointless fear through childish cowardly acts of aggression.
The idiot who did this, the coward who did this, does not see himself as either an idiot or a coward. Odds are this person sees himself as a hero in some twisted way we may never fully understand. This person probably believes that history will pain him a hero, after all the facts (as he spins them in his head) are in. When the smoke clears, he will be revealed triumphant.
The bastard thinks what it did was heroic and necessary and when this is all over and the smoke clears that monster thinks history will paint it in a positive light. You don’t do this kind of thing because you think its awful. You make the bomb and you plant it and you set it off cuz you believe in the plan. You feel senseless violence matters. You feel it will somehow change things. It doesn’t. It hasn’t ever before. Madness is doing same thing over and over expecting a different result. This is a virus of minds. We don’t need it here in America. We need to stop beliefs that perpetuate violence. We need to nip them at the bud. People are not properly educated on how to defend themselves from behavioral conditioning that leads to this. I’m not talking about “thought crime legislation” cuz that’s just MORE behavioral conditioning and George Orwell demonstrated in 1984 that even with the best of intentions on the outset, behavior towards conditioning is double plus ungood, no matter how you slice it.
I’m talking about educating everybody on how to use reason and stuff like The Scientific Method in our every day lives. We can’t control each other’s thoughts, but we can all get better at thinking, and understanding consequences.
At any time, any person can take any belief and twist it into something monstrous and deadly. This is indicative of why I say over and over that belief is broken. It does not matter what you believe. The problem is that you believe in it. Faith is a fail. The act of blind faith without some kind of checks and balances leads us down the primrose path to nasty clown carnival death from which there is no escape.
Faith has no built in defenses against con men and scam artists. There are no checks and balances in faith. Any foolhardy fanatic can spread his own diseased thought processing to other gullible minds and before you know it you got a cult of people who convince themselves they must commit suicide the next time a comet flies by the Earth so their souls can hop on board and surf the universe. Don’t believe me? There is documented proof this has happened, and there’s no reason to believe this can’t happen again.
Notice how I worded that. Don’t believe. There’s no reason.
It’s like a computer that has no third party antivirus protection. Perhaps you believe any software that is Microsoft Compatible cannot possibly be dangerous (don’t giggle. this is just an example.) Maybe you feel all you have to do is hate Apple Macintosh and think Linyx is evil incarnate and you’re safe. Others may try to educate you but you shout over them and turn a deaf ear. Then later you act shocked when your computer behaves as if it’s demon possessed, and you will blame everyone but your own willful ignorance.
Some beliefs may be fact checked, but a belief doesn’t have to be confirmed by external means in order to be used as if its acceptable. A belief does usually have to accommodate and reinforce previously accepted beliefs. This gives the illusion of protection, but if you didn’t use any external means to verify the authenticity of your first beliefs, why would newer beliefs be any more valid or consistent with actual objective reality (if there is such a thing but I don’t wanna tackle that right now maybe later). As we often see with news nowadays, that’s no deterrent for crazy beliefs being entertained, leading to dire consequences.
I’m sure whatever your personal beliefs are, you’d never use them to commit violent acts upon your fellow man.
Notice the above sentence? Does that sound rational or reasonable to you? How could I possibly know who is going to read this blog? Perhaps I do know you personally. Maybe you are a complete stranger surfing by on the Web. I can’t possibly understand your entire belief system. Perhaps I am simply being hopeful, catering to your better nature. Presuming that if you took the time to read my words, you must share aspects of my better nature, and I would never harbor beliefs that might lead me to commit violent acts upon my fellow man. Present company accepted. I’m not talking about you and me. It’s THEM that WE should be worried about.
Do you believe all that? Well stop it. Haven’t you been reading anything I’m saying? Do you believe me? WELL CUT THAT OUT!
Let’s say you have been friends with someone for years and you trust this person implicitly. You two have been through good times and bad. You have fond memories and would like to make more with this person. You’re both agnostic, or maybe actually you just personally have never thought about gods or other myths it just never came up. You have no opinion either way, let’s say.
One day, your dear friend meets you and tells you he’s recently been converted to some new belief system. Doesn’t matter which one, for purposes of this thought experiment. Whatever it is, he won’t stop talking about it. He feels you should now believe as he does.
He has no proof to the validity of the claims of this belief system he’s embraced. It just makes him feel better. He’s obviously happy. He wants you to be happy too. You believe this person. You trust him. He has not steered you wrong in the past. You have many pleasant memories with this person and you’d like to continue cultivating new memories with this person. Can you accept this belief system, just on your friend’s word?
Should you? Maybe you fear if you don’t believe as he does, the friendship will dissolve. Perhaps you fear if you do accept this belief system, you’ll both later discover it’s bull shit. You can’t prove it, but you also can’t disprove it, and it seems to make him happy. Could it hurt to give it a try for awhile? See how it goes?
What if this friend of yours isn’t talking about a religion. What if he’s talking about something that sounds like a science? Scientology for example, sounds really convincing to some people cuz there’s science IN the name. How could that be a fail? And then they get told about the engrams and the aliens from the distant past possessing our bodies and Xenu and.. woah.
I’ve noticed that many people believe in science. They use science the way others use religion. If they hear something is accepted as a scientific fact by the generally accepted mainstream scientific community, that’s good enough for them.
They don’t actually corroborate the scientific findings. Neil Tyson says Pluto is not a planet. Never was a planet. We called it a planet, but it’s really a dwarf planet which is not the same thing, and there’s this think called the Kuiper Belt..
Personally, I’ve never even seen Pluto in a telescope, and if I did it’d probably just look like a dot in the black. I don’t know what I’m looking at when I stare at stars. They’re pricks of light on a pitch black background. I accept that Pluto is there though I never seen it. I accept that stars aren’t pinpricks in a velvet background that’s only a few hundred thousand miles from where we stand. That’s what it looks like, but I’ve been told our sun is a star that’s about 8 light minutes away. It takes 8 minutes for light from the sun to reach Earth. Most of those other lights in the sky are like our sun, but they’re bigger or smaller or different in color and they’re all several light years away. Some of those lights are actually entire galaxies that are millions of light years away.
I don’t know if any of this is true. Sounds legit. *shrug* it’s as good an answer as any. Better answer than what I’ve read in the Abrahamics or other mythological tomes of ancient times. The velvet backdrop with pinpricks in it.. that theory doesn’t hold a lot of water under close scrutiny. The current sciences of astronomy and astrophysics seem closer than anything else to actual objective reality, but we could still be wrong.
I’ve never seen a Higgs Boson particle. I never stepped foot in a Super Colossal Super Collider. Heck, I never even seen a single water molecule all by itself. I’ve been told they exist, and the water I see is billions of these suckers and they’re really tiny and they’re all inside that glass there. And that glass is made up of molecules too. Though it’s transparent, there’s things there so tiny they let light pass right through them. I’ve been told about atoms and subatomic particles. I’ve been told they exist. There’s been countless experiments scientists have checked and double checked that reinforce these theories they have about things so small we can’t see them but they must be there.
Sound familiar? We can’t see em, but they’re there. Atoms. Gods. Same difference.
Well not exactly. The difference is religion doesn’t have The Scientific Method. There’s no checks and balances to verify these claims that religion makes. Science doesn’t make claims. It makes observations based on how our universe appears objective to behave, given our admittedly subjective perception of reality.
These observations lead to more experiments which lead to more observations, and then later laws, theories, principles, etc., which lead to breakthroughs in multiple disciplines and many achievements in a broad spectrum of sciences and industries.
I haven’t done many of these experiments myself. I’ve observed some via Youtube, but videos can be faked. I can’t see microwaves, but I eat food from a microwave oven. I understand from a layman’s point of view why I put cold pizza in the microwave and push a couple buttons and a minute later i got hot pizza. I have taken advantage of the scientific achievements mankind has made, even if I don’t fully understand them. The study of microwaves have been instrumental in both cosmology and quantum physics, and I doubt a day has gone by since I was like four years old when the first microwave oven arrived in our house that I haven’t eaten food from one, which probably means I’m gonna die of cancer soon but let’s not go there.
Anyone who prays when others are in pain, but pops a pain relieving pill when in pain oneself, really believes in science more than religion. They just don’t believe they do. The proof is in the pudding.
Both religion and science can be used as belief systems. If you personally don’t use The Scientific Method as an arbiter, and do some of the fact checking yourself, believing in what scientists tell you blindly is not any different from believing in priests.
And if you still harbor a belief system, but you don’t believe what I just said, then you just demonstrated why faith is a fail, and belief is broken. Congratulations. If you don’t believe what I just said merely cuz I told you not to believe, you again just demonstrated why I say belief is what’s broken.
You might be right. You might be wrong. I don’t know. What I do know is, believing in what you know does not make what you know any more right.
Don’t believe in science. Doubt science at every opportunity, and if it is still right in the face of your doubt, then except it tentatively with the understanding whatever you accept will possibly get proven wrong in the future. If it works, run with it, but don’t be surprised if one day it stops working, or the reason it does work turns out to have nothing to do with your presumptions.