I was surprised after watching a excerpt of the Daily Show online that the Confederate flag still flies publicly in the South. Jon Stewart chose not to do a comedy episode but discuss serious issues related to the Emanuel hurch shootings. What is the meaning of this flag to different people? I am trying to see it from both sides. Why does the flag still fly, high and proud? White Southerners claim it is due to the pride they feel in history of their ancestors who fought and died in the civil war and has nothing to do with racism. They display it outside their homes and on their license plates; some even paint it on their cars. The majority of Black Southerners, naturally, hate or fear the flag since it is a symbol of the war, supported by people, who if they had won would probably still be keeping African-Americans as slaves in their homes even today.
One of America’s main themes is the right to free speech. If flying the flag is an action that is not hurting anybody, and Americans deserve the right to free speech, is there any reason for it to be taken down? And what does it mean when the State Capitol building in South Carolina flies the flag? I do not understand it when the Stars & Stripes was flown at half-mast after the church shooting but the Confederate flag remained flying high. It implies being a part of the Confederacy is more important in the South than being a part of the USA.
Can we truly say that flying the flag is not hurting anybody? From the little I read online, it seems that the majority of racist shooters are white males. To be honest, while there have been many African-American shooters, I am aware of none, and certainly no majority, that did it with a racist agenda, shooting only white people. This shows a grand disparity in the concept of racism between black and white people. Dylan Roof said he felt “blacks have taken over the country”. Perhaps he felt that jobs he could have got had been given to black men instead. Also, it turns out that his unrequited love interest was dating a black man. What happens when a white child sees the flag in their home and asks about it? Does the father simply mention pride in their ancestors or pride in what they fought for? I doubt we will ever know the truth. Southerners displaying the flag may say one thing in public and another in private. I seriously doubt any loving parent would actually tell any child to go out and kill blacks due to fear of the legal repercussions but they may encourage hate towards the black community. Even if the parent does nothing to encourage hate towards blacks, the child learns that the flag represented a war against emancipation of blacks.
Personally, while I have no positive opinion of the flag, I have few major negative ones either. I am an Indian and it has no real meaning for me. If Southerners want to display the flag, let them. But certainly not flown on government buildings which should represent the nation as whole. However, by itself, I don’t think it is a symbol of hate though it can be mistaken for one. After all, I don’t think Germans display the swastika as a symbol of pride in their Nazi ancestors. There is even a black man, Byron Thomas, who displays the flag in public and is pro slavery! While he says he understands why his fellow African-Americans don’t support the flag, he says he does because he had an ancestor who fought for the South and has pride in him and, slavery is the reason he is an American today. I wonder if Byron truly knows why black troops fought for the South and what the slavery of his ancestors would have meant if the South had won. Both the North and South needed troops and granted the lure of emancipation to blacks so they would enlist. I am guessing temporary emancipation in the South since that was what they were fighting against. This also implies that displaying the flag is probably mostly a symbol of patriotism rather than hate. But I also believe, in the South, it means patriotism for the South and not the entire USA. The US flag has been burned by both blacks and whites in the South, the Confederate by blacks. I believe this IS a symbol of hate — from both sides. And hate only breeds more hate.
Okay, this is going to be my shortest post yet but it may lead you to something interesting. I have posted my first video in Youtube: Digital Roots, Science & Spirituality. Please don’t be too quick to dismiss this as numerology as I make no divinations or predictions and HAD to use digital roots as I could think of no other way to reduce text to a number. The video is short and has no audio since I couldn’t sync the audio in my first attempt. It is just text messages but I hope it interests you. Let me know if you think it needs fixing.
I have never been a strong supporter of the Ontological Proof of God even though I am now a theist. While I don’t believe it proves God, it may make a good case for the real possibility of the existence of God. I will try to make a stronger case using essentially material aspects or scientific data. The ontological proof is automatically accepted by strong theists and automatically discarded by strong atheists. Strong theists or atheists are simply the opposing sides of the same coin. Both claim to have knowledge about God’s existence in a place where, currently, only belief is possible. Strong atheists have closed their eyes to all aspects of what they associate with religion while, I believe, strong theists have closed their eyes to science. For example, we currently have Flat-Earthers who believe the world is flat and the sun revolves around us! I think even if they validated this by what they think they saw, they possibly got their ideas from weak verses in the Bible.
But we are not here to discuss the Bible. If you wish to learn more about the possibility of God, there are a few questions you must answer yourself first. Starting with, will you accept the possibility of God? Not a strong possibility but just a possibility? If yes, then your eyes are open and I may be able to show you the evidence that makes God a very real possibility for me. Second, are you willing to search for God? This is hard if you are short on time, but at the very least be willing to look and peruse the info in the links provided in this post before dismissing them outright. I believe there are many ways to God but their nature is like the difference between guides and maps. One can take you to your destination without any thinking on your part while the other has to be followed and may lead you off the path if you make mistakes. I believe the signs to God are more like maps, not guides. Third, and perhaps most important, do you WANT God in your life? I do not believe anyone NEEDS God but finding him can lead to greater peace in a harsh life and some who have not found him and do not believe he exists may want him. I think most atheists have found a peaceful life without God and more power to them! Some ,however, may want to know him and this post is really for them.
Let me state my ‘logic’ as the following points:
- Order cannot come from nothing
- Order in both material and immaterial is known to come from our consciousness
- There is incredible order in the universe that we did not manifest
- There is physical evidence of consciousness beyond the material self of man
- This may be an immaterial, universal consciousness present manifesting order in this universe
- There is the beginning evidence of such a consciousness linked to the global mind of man
- But order was there in the universe before man was conscious
- So this consciousness is could possibly be linked to the universe and not just man
First let me define what I call God:
– An infinite self-aware immaterial Consciousness that leads to order
– A finite manifested universe of duality, part of the Infinite Consciousness, that is either itself aware or that the Infinite is aware of
I believe God is both these things at the same time. The paradox of infinity means everything including finite. It may mean existence as well as non-existence too, but in any case, the former is more real that the latter if both are true at the same time. Those are my strong beliefs about God. The following ones are mostly weaker. Note I do not think God is a judging, interfering entity, who for example, answers your prayers. I realize there seems no point to believing in this God. But, if I can give you examples that this God leads to order in the Universe then there is greater hope, not guarantees, that if there is current disorder in your life, it will eventually reach order. Just a God of hope, nothing more. And order and peace is what we all seek regardless of our beliefs. For me, the finite aspect of God is in a state of Being, an evolving entity watching himself unfold from a state of entropy to a state of symmetry.
A known material aspect is the symmetry in the structure of every organic or inorganic molecule. All molecules have SOME level of symmetry when looking at the whole picture. There are molecules that are asymmetric when just looking at the molecule alone but that molecule will also have another molecule called an enantiomer that mirrors it’s shape. Don’t know how science explains this. Maybe say this was chance or needs to be investigated further. And if science investigates, the majority will only look in the material and that is like looking only in one field for your lost toy when you have been playing in two. There is a 50% chance you will never find anything. But is not chance another name for God? Lady Luck? If it was truly random shouldn’t there be at least one completely asymmetrical molecule? Basically, science seems to be saying order came from nothing and I am saying order came from a consciousness. You don’t HAVE to believe in anything beyond the order-from-chaos theory but, if you WANT to, you can see signs of consciousness beyond the material. Which seems more likely? Order from nothing or order from something? Ofcourse, this always devolves into the question of where did the order for the ‘something’ come from? And I have no answer for this. I do not know. But I think I can present possible evidence of the existence of the something below. And it is up to you to decide if this something was in existence since the beginning of our universe.
One thing we do know is that WE are self-conscious. And that this state can manifest in the physical or immaterial through creativity or imagination. So it may be our consciousness is the only existing one that can do this or there is super-consciousness that is manifesting both material and immaterial aspects of the entire universe. But can our consciousness be explained purely as coming from a material source? Science has long claimed our self-awareness to be an element of the brain. Initially thought to be from a localized source(disproved by Patient R) and later from the non-localized brain(disproved by hydrocephalics). So, where is this consciousness beyond the physical mind of man coming from? I think there is a universal consciousness in this universe. There is some evidence for this in the recent research by the Global Consciousness Project undertaken by IONS. They are currently laughed at as pseudo-science by the majority of science but then science has always been slow at accepting anything that challenges their existing dogma. The current view seems to be if you can’t understand it and if you can’t find a materially-based theory, there is no need to look into it. Instead of automatically believing others who claim the significance of IONS’ results is nothing more than chance, view the results yourself to decide. From what I see there, they are showing repeated change in normally random data, usually a single repeating pattern, closely associated with times when global consciousness is affected. This is evidence of our immaterial consciousness affecting something on global physical level. I believe this global immaterial consciousness is our link to God. Almost all of science and most religions today will not like this idea for different reasons: associating material and immaterial and associating humanity with the divine. But we don’t have to just associate it with Man. Science knows order was here in the universe before Man. So, this immaterial consciousness is linked to the universe of which Man is a part.
You may also wish to look into the following:
- Golden Ratio
- Fractals in Nature
- DNA Structure from Primes
- Behavioral Evolution
I find animal behaviors really interesting since I know of no known explanation for this. I am not talking of primal instincts but how the spider learned to spin a web or the boa learned how to constrict its prey. I don’t think we can ever prove God to the world. It would be like an eye trying to see itself without a mirror. If everything in this finite universe is God, then God would be trying to see himself. But I think if you want to believe, there is solid evidence out there to support the theory of order from an universal consciousness. That is all I have to say.
I believe Man has two main gods in this world. Not each man but two types of men with differing beliefs. The theist believes in a God with awareness, usually personified, while the non-theist believes in Luck or, Chance, may be a more accurate term. Both types use their version to explain the ultimate Whys of existence. We can technically ask whys into infinite regression but both types generally stop at their God. For theists, God always was, or is outside time so there is no need to go further. For non-theists, chance just happens without order so there is no need to explain it. Maybe skeptics would disagree with me but I am not saying this is a god they worship. It is an explanation they believe in, without proof, for questions they cannot currently answer.
Of course, by non-theist I mean the part of the world that sees the material world as the only reality. I think materialism is too one-sided. While it is true that natural laws explain much of the reason for order in the universe, and order increasing in complexity at that, there is no explanation for how natural laws evolved out of chaos. It just did many say. The more honest ones say we don’t know why and most are not interested in looking further. Natural laws cannot explain the symmetry of both organic and inorganic molecules. Why did the elements bond this way when they could have any way by true chance? I wonder if the probabilities of this have been calculated. Maybe the problem is too hard. But science will explain the hexagonal structure of the snowflake by pointing to the structure of a water molecule. I don’t know if they question further. Maybe answers can be found at atomic or subatomic levels. Perhaps this is what quantum science is trying to answer.
The fact is that symmetry seems to exist at all levels from bottom to top. And the symmetry seems to increase as you go higher, the highest perhaps being the evolution of conscious life forms with naturally symmetric bodies from a single cell. Is everything completely symmetric? No. Take plants for example. They grow every which way. But the leaves, flowers and fruits are.
And I see order increasing as time passes. Even at the societal levels of mankind. We went from being warring groups to forming the United Nations. Order has increased but not become the only reality. But I believe we are moving towards perfect order since order increases. Perfection implies there must be a final point, not infinite evolution…a goal if you will. And that implies a higher entity to me. Not necessarily intervening but probably conscious.
My concept of God is an entity that came into existence, though that implies time and I am not sure about time, and realized it had both positive and negative aspects, since it was infinite in nature. I assume it associated with the good and wanted to manifest only those. So it manifested as a finite universe with both concepts and in complete disorder. But its goal was to let these negative concepts exist and then die so it could carry on the good as well and thus reach a goal in a finite future. I don’t see God as intervening directly. More like an infinite Watcher manifesting a finite self and giving attention to the good. Love leads to order, fear and hate lead to disorder. So maybe we can say God has been increasing in love. Maybe there truly is a perfect heaven in the finalization of our future.
Not a big believer in the Law of Attraction(LOA) but starting to more. Just had a dream that implied it and am a big believer in my dreams. I realize that is not at all scientific but I also now realize science is not the end-all and be-all of understanding the world. Especially the immaterial world. Skeptics who believe only in the purest scientific method are unlikely to believe in paranormal experiments that prove true. All scientific experiments that have proved it have been laughed at, ignored or called pseudo-scientific by the majority of scientists. The majority of skeptics are pseudoskeptics. All psychics are not necessarily at a good skill level. So repetition of a result is not guaranteed. And large scale repetition is critical to the scientific method. Geller was one who could repeatedly produce results quite well and there are scientists who were convinced by his demonstrations. The Stanford Research Institute tested him under laboratory conditions, found him convincing but was unable to convince the scientific community.
Also if LOA is true, scientific experiments of skeptics vs psychics have a lot of unbelievers vs one believer. This will most likely fail due to increase in negative vibes. The best way to see if you have any psychic skill is to conduct an experiment by yourself to prove to yourself first. Maybe it won’t work if you don’t have the skill or not open-minded enough. And maybe you won’t be able to repeat a successful result. But if it works you will know some positive result is possible for you. What we have to understand is that psychic ability is possible, not guaranteed like a natural law.
That is what happened with my telekinesis experiment. I was able to move a psi wheel approx. 120 degrees by just staring at it and believing it would move for 20 mins. I was not able to repeat this but didn’t pursue it further since I had proved what I wanted. I now know it is possible to move matter with the mind. Something most of science does not yet accept as true. If you want real proof of an ability you will have to experience it yourself. A scientific paper or video demonstration does not work for most pseudoskeptics.
Maybe one realistic way to test psychics is have one skeptic in the lab with a greater number of well known psychics. For example, ones known to have skill with psychokinesis. Have cameras on all to observe what happens. The skeptic scientist can verify no cheating is going on. Thus you reduce the negative vibes versus positive vibes. Also, just look for evidence of SOME paranormal activity not necessarily repeatable. The cameras can show what happened. But I doubt this would be scientific enough for the majority of science’s pseudoskeptics.
Came across something that befuddled me today and thought I would make a quick post about it. Turns out that the herbivorous panda has a carnivore’s stomach and digestive system. And it’s not like it eats any plants, it eats only bamboo most of the time. But they have been known to eat meat when they find a dead carcass in the wild, for example. So, in truth they are omnivores just like other bears. So the only possibilities are they are too lazy to hunt, they lost the instinct to hunt or there is no game to hunt.
The first seems unlikely because that kind of laziness is one that would go against the needs of the hunger instinct and is assigning human aspects to an animal. Loss of instinct may be a genetic possibility but also unlikely since the only animal to lose its instincts has possibly been the human. Even animals tamed by humans to live in society regain their wild instincts if released into the the wild. If they ever lost it in the first place. Lack of game seems the most likely possibility and I did ask question regarding this on Biology StackExchange but the question got downvoted. No explanation was given why. Even lack of game does not seem to be too probable since there must be other smaller creatures existing in the same environment. So let us consider the panda:
- Eats only bamboo most times
- But is an omnivore
- If it diversified eating, would not be endangered since human deforestation is what threatens it
- Has been known to kill poachers when threatened so still has wild instincts
- Females are fussy when mating and will only select one male and have unique weaknesses to reproduction
- No matter how many cubs female has, will take care of only one and usually lets the other die
- While endangered, population does not always decrease
- Has existed for 2 million years
This is just my opinion but what I gather from this is that there is more to evolution than natural selection. The pandas natural traits are a selection of attributes that should have lead to it becoming extinct but has managed to survive for 2 million years. Many aspects of the panda imply it should have died out long ago, but it didn’t. Even it’s population taken from a 2014 census over the last decade show it INCREASED by 17%. Not much, I know, but still pretty hopeful. I think pandas in zoos eat foods besides bamboo when not given a choice so maybe when all the bamboo disappears from their habitat, wild pandas will diversify but the current consensus that that they will starve if that happens. I see an Awareness behind the evolution of the panda but that is just my belief. Not necessarily a completely kind or a completely hateful Awareness. But one with a bit of both. I’ll understand if you don’t. Or maybe it’s just proof that “Survival of the Fittest” is not a hard rule in Evolution. Sometimes the unfittest survive too.
I believe our lives will be better if we can see the whole of the finite picture. Skeptics turn away from the concepts of God or spiritual teaching because they find it has a negative aspect and dismiss the whole thing without looking at its positive aspects. For example, they say religion is wrong because of the evil acts of the Inquisition. But is it inherently wrong? Religion, believing in it at least, has brought peace to the lives of many people and still does. Neither is skepticism wrong. A skeptic’s questions have furthered science and lead us to a greater understanding of the finite material world. In the end, you will find peace in life if you can be what you want to be and accept what you can’t be.
One interesting thing that came to me after my Just Be experience was that the Hindu Word for realizing God was AUM which is like AM with U at the center. So it is another manifestation of the Just Be philosophy. Of course, if you think of the word as its OM manifestation then this won’t be relevant.
What determines our reality if anything does? Our beliefs? Our actions? Don’t our beliefs determine our actions? While I am not a strong supporter of the Law of Attraction, I support the idea that our beliefs determine our inner reality, not necessarily our outer one. Millionaires have become homeless and homeless have become millionaires so I don’t think our present situation in life can determine our future reality.
What do I think I will be after this finite existence? I believe my consciousness will survive. But will my knowledge of my I-ness survive into the next existence whatever form that will take? I believe it will. It is something I want to experience, There are fears associated with this. What if I reincarnate in a life of suffering or as a grain of sand? However, I currently believe I can find peace in any form of existence, material or immaterial, no matter what. I won’t know if this belief is true until I actually experience it. My current life is easy. Let us see if I, as I am in my current existence, can hold up to a harder one. The material probability is low since no adult currently exists who remembers a past life. Children who remember them forget by age 6. But anything is possible.