07 January 2010

An Excellent Explanation of why we Deceive Ourselves with the Belief in an Eternal Life

This excellent explanation[1] should be sufficient (but it won't be):
Well, you've hit the nail on the head as to the very "inspiration" for the invention of religion, fear about our ceasing to be.

When we are healthy, mentally as well as physically, it is natural to want to continue being, existing, living, "forever and ever," as the prayers put it. When we become desperately unwell, that powerful desire weakens.

It's not surprising that religion, its gods, its heavens, its hells, its eternal life, evolved from ancient times when illiterate people who were still healthy were scared about losing their own lives when they observed others devolve into illness and death, into non-being.

In their imaginings they created the notions of religion, and the idea of living happily forever was part of that. It was comfortable, but it was false comfort. There was no reason to it.

Still, it lingers. It's like a virus. It's contagious. In spite of all scientific discoveries, in spite of any lack of supportive evidence, only "faith and hope," people continue to subscribe to the ancient feel-good notions precisely because they make them feel good--until they become so sick that they tire of the struggle of living. There are innumerable examples of that.

It's natural to want to keep living as long as life is good, or ok, or if we can hide in booze or drugs, or other deceits like religion. As Frank Sinatra once said, "Whatever gets you through the night, a song (his preference, of course), a prayer, or a bottle of Jack Daniels." There are other saner, more realistic, healthier choices.

Why should we fear nothing? And our observation of all the life on this planet proves that the end of life means nothing to that life. The inventions of religion are selfish conceits falsely placing us above all other living things.

A good Christian bishop, John Shelby Spong, puts it best: "Live fully! Love wastefully! And become all that you can be!" I will add, "While you live."

[1] See the comment by "gilhow" on 2010-01-07 at 5:00.

08 December 2008

Peter's Birthday Wishlist 2009

I need a place to put down some ideas for when someone asks me what I'd like for my birthday. Here goes...

Book: A Patriot's History of the United States: From Columbus's Great Discovery to the War on Terror

10 June 2007

Kassandra Rides her Bicycle - on her own!

Today, Kassandra, after many weeks of avoidance, decided that she wanted to try to ride her bike (without training wheels). I held the saddle while she rode up and down our street a few times. Then Tanja, our neighbor from up the street, suggested that we try it on the road by the track (the "Schleife") because it is level there. Lo and behold, after holding the saddle for only one stretch, on the return stretch, I let go, and Kassandra rode on her own!

By then Lisa and Lilia were there too, and all of us were thrilled. We carried the bike down the steps, and Kassandra rode up and down our street several times - on her own, of course. The smile on her face, as she passed me, was one of complete satisfaction and pride.

What a great day!

08 January 2007

Liberals: Well Intentioned but Dangerously Naive

Below is my response to what I consider a typical well-intentioned but dangerously naive liberal view of world politics:

The article is here (read before continuing): Can't Tell A Koran By Its Cover

My response to the editor:
You are (willfully?) overgeneralizing. You find *some* obscure (and to me, suspect) examples of Buddhists committing aggression and equate it with the vast amounts of (murderous) aggression committed by Muslims. Then you draw the (obviously) false and dangerous conclusion that a person's religion tells us "nothing" and is thus irrelevant. *Every* datapoint we have (even the "laws" of Physics) are only an imperfect approximation of reality. We still need these datapoints to make judgements about every-day decisions ("do I buy skim- or whole milk?"). We must make decisions with limited data. That is our reality.

I will say that there is the real danger of taking too few datapoints (when more are readily available) and making life decisions with them. Unfortunately, you don't take this viewpoint and chose to be as extreme as the right-wingers you so despise.

BTW: Why doesn't TomPaine.com allow publicly viewable comments on their articles? Are they afraid of contrary viewpoints? It wouldn't be the first time.

PS. I am probably going to unsubscribe from their newsletter. They simply publish too much oversimplified one-sided junk. Too bad, because the left needs intelligent and articulate representatives - like Keith Olbermann.

Test Embedding of Photo Album (from Picasa)

Peter Lairo's Family 2007-04

05 January 2007

Internet Explorer users 31 times more vulnerable than Firefox users

Question: "For how many days was I at risk from a published exploit to a known bug?".

Answer: In 2006, the score was:

  • Internet Explorer: 286 days (78%)
  • Firefox: 9 days (2.5%).
Found at washingtonpost.com via Hacking for Christ.