Tuesday, November 18, 2008

21.01 - Self-Repairing Metasystems

We reflect to solve problems. To solve the problem, you have to know what the problem really is. But to know what the problem is, you have to know what questioning is. A question is a system of ideas that is trying to fix a problem in its own structure. Questioning clarifies the problem to figure out how to solve it. Once the system of ideas is as complete as we can make it, we can construct theories. The more complete the system, the more the solution is better, easier, and faster. Wording the question well is part of the process of answering it.

Very few can or do truly think. Many minds wander from the subject in hopeless reverie or they just get bored. They can't think about ideas. They may be tired or distracted or just not interested. Or they may be over-emotional. They might be insane, or just plain wierd. These things we pass by. They distort and disrupt by breaking in from the outside.They have an importance, and some thinking is at the mercy of those factors.

But thinking can can never surrender itself completely to the control of the subject-matter and it can be objectively logical, even though it can be influenced by instincts, desires, and feelings. If that were not the case, one could not know that fact, much less state it. If all thinking is governed by non-logical factors, then that statement itself is also governed by those non-logical factors, and that statement has no more claim on our acceptance than any other non-logical factor. If we can't solve a problem, it's because of a lack of knowledge or lack of creativity or the will to inquire.

Free Yourself

The opinion that everyone must sacrifice themselves for everyone else, is assumed to be both true and beneficial. It’s repeated often and never questioned. But it's unnecessary, causes bad attitudes, involves conflicts that have nothing to do with you, destroys natural incentive, is logically and practically self-contradictory, and it harms those who are supposed to be benefited by it.

Consciously question those assumptions. They are no longer obstacles. The methods you choose will get rid of restrictions without as much pain and effort as might have been thought. You focus on the methods and the steps .

You maintain control when you focus on the positive as well as thinking out alternatives to the negatives. You control your situation because you know your alternatives.

Knowledge works by merely having it.

Becoming free is simple. It doesn't depend on the support of others. I'm not urging you to accept these ideas.

You’re not obligated. You don't have to change society. You don’t have to convince anyone of anything. You don't need my support of the support of the public.

These ideas depend only on you. If you were the only person who knew about them, they would still be useful. Whether they work for anyone else is irrelevant. You decide whether they can work for you.

You have to make the decisions. I can't tell you how to live. I'll point out alternatives and techniques. You’ll decide which ones to use.

Only deciding everything for yourself produces the purpose and conviction necessary to live freely.

You decide what, how, and why. Otherwise, your hopes, plans, and enthusiasm will cave, once there's interference. I'm not telling you how to live. You have to decide how to live. You have to decide what to do with these ideas. I’m not demanding anything from you. You decide everything for yourself.

Assumptions and restrictions accepted without challenge are often empty once examined closely. There are many specific ways to free yourself from complex problems and perpetual burdens. These techniques for changing to a free life are not some ideal image. I'm not trying to make you conform. They work, if freely chosen and tailored to who you are, what you control, and what you want.

You don't have to accept obligations, liabilities, and demands that others may try to hand you. There's a better way. You are about to discover a fascinating world of naturally motivating and sustaining opportunities.

The Meaning of Life

If there is no God, then what is the meaning of life? Maybe what God supposedly wants or plans is just as unimportant as the possibility of being run over by Santa Claus or being kidnapped by the color green. But this does not diminish the meaning of life. Giving gifts is just as meaningful as ever, even though I don't believe in Santa Claus.

Why am I here? Why do I exist? Atheism has no answer only because the question assumes there must be a reason envisioned by some purposeful God.

It's not a limitation of atheism. The question is similar to "When did you stop beating your spouse?" assuming that the person being addressed has been beating their spouse. If they never beat their spouse, then technically they simply cannot answer the question. (52. Jerome Shaffer, Reality, Knowledge and Values (New York: Random House, 1971), pages 104-105.)

The theist must prove the existence of God. The theist offers an explanation of existence and must give reasons for accepting it. This also applies to the most basic assumptions of atheism, but more about that later.

If the reasoning for belief in God is faulty, then it can't support the claim that God exists. Ignorance of alternative explanations doesn't justify belief in God. Only knowledge justifies beliefs, not ignorance. We cannot cannot merely assume what we're trying to prove. And because we have to start with premises, it is impossible to prove God's existence.

So there is good evidence against the existence of God, generally as a good creator and specifically as in an ultimate personal mind.