Thursday, December 31, 2015

Investigating the World

Today, this blog is as good a place as any to jot down an idea that is probably in the foundation of any religious person's world view. I 'm presuming that to be religious in the way that I once was decades ago, one has to accept the following premises:
  1. There is a Supernatural component to reality
  2. The Supernatural contains entities that can affect our existence
  3. Humans have souls
  4. The Supernatural realm has some relationship to the soul.
  5. Supernatural entities have some effect on human souls
  6. Humans should think and behave in a way that is most likely to bring about the kind treatment of us in the physical world ... and/or ...
  7. Humans should think and behave in a way that is most likely to bring about the kind treatment of our souls in the supernatural world

Obviously, the religiously and/or philosophically inclined might find more or less about this brief brain dump that they'd include in the consideration of the world - whatever they conceive it to be - but it seems like a good place to start the investigation.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

How's Your Soul?

I’m sure that there are other concepts of religion, but the ones that most of us think of (Muslim, Jewish, Christian, Hindu, etc) include some idea of a soul and an afterlife.

When was the last time you had a soul check-up?

I bet if you went to the doctor and asked for a soul check-up, you’d be told politely that they don't do that.

Try a chiropractor. Or a dentist. Don’t laugh - a dentist is a perfectly sensible choice to check your soul, given that we don’t know where a soul might reside. Maybe your opthamologist knows. Maybe not. A palm reader? Maybe they’d take your money. Your pastor? You never know, but he or she might offer to pray with you about the health of your soul.

Try an auto mechanic. Or a appliance repair man. I bet these guys don’t know soul from shinola. Nor do I. Which brings me to my point:

Shouldn’t we stop being touchy-feely-spiritual procrastinators and get that soul check up right away? And shouldn’t we stop worrying about it after the verdict comes back that souls are bronze-age fabrications?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

String Theory is what?

String Theory is - as a theory - a topic of controversy this week, as articles by Ethan Siegel and Sabine Hossenfelder attest. I recommend reading both posts and following links within them for a full morning's reading!

What does it mean for the working stiff?

Physics still explains all of the fundamental features of reality that affect us.

Do I care about features that are smaller than protons, electrons and neutrons? Intellectually I do, but practically, not so much.

Do I care about features that are larger than our galaxy? Intellectually I do, but practically, again it has little meaning.

So why do I even care enough to write a few words about it? Because I still think that experiencing life as fully as I am able is one of the driving forces of my human existence. And the work of the theoreticians and experimentalists helps me to expand the scope of what I consider conceivable, and thus expand the scope of what might be experienced.