Thursday, June 30, 2005

Stolen Music

One day he offered to crystallize his love disguised as pain onto a flat disc. With such timid eyes and anime smile he spoke of the mountains and valleys, and streams and rivers, and cascades and lakes, jolted alive by the beats of his viscera -- rhythmic, pulsating, modulated vocal stresses that named the emotions gone unspoken. He gave it to me. I held it for a few moments, contemplating all that this flat, round piece of plastic contained. I was distantly shocked at the brutality of such a manifestation: of seeing all that is so pure, and so benevolent, and so profound, being bound and burned on this disc. Nonetheless, the moment I pressed a little button, it all gushed out with the force of a storm and assuredly subsumed my being. I sat looking at nothing, but looking still, staring... like as if I saw those mountains and those valleys and those streams and those rivers, and those cascades and those lakes... I saw them all before me. And he stood above them all, like the glory of a messianic second-coming, he stood -- his hair still a moppy mess, his anime smile and timid eyes. I wondered, is this possible? I know its not a dream because I'm not asleep! I know its not real because I'm here in my home. But what is this state of membraneous time warp I find myself happily trapped in? The vision lasted for as long as I could hear the sound of his love. What does love sound like? Like this, I thought: Like the sound of his heartbeat in your ear even when he's not around. Like the whisper of his breath that you can hear even in the midst of a storm. That is what love sounds like. Soon, the vision was blurred until it fully disappeared and I was transported back to my drab living room couch. I turned to see who was sitting next to me, and I saw a different person. He sat perplexed and enraptured, like as if he had witnessed the exact same things I did -- or did he just see them reflected in my eyes? In any case, he must have felt some enchantment from that experience within himself, for he slyly paced around contemplating what his next move should be. He waited stealthily and patiently in the glare of bright daylight, for he knew he shouldn't be so obvious of his intentions by lurking in the dark shadows. And when the time seemed right to him, he grabbed the rivers of melody with his bare hands, shrouded the radiance of its tormented love, and left without a word; Stolen forever... mountains and all.

The Dream -- by Daniel Olvera

I had a dream Of a dark and cold place Where every word that was spoken Would freeze in mid air And fall into a million pieces A place where the floor Was a mass of tattered hearts Each beating its own story of pain A place where children's eyes Have been sewn shut Only to be ripped open By the "truth" of the world This place so horrid, so cruel This place so seemingly far away Is where I live when I awake If I awake...

Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Non-existence

It is bad enough to be hated by someone. It is worse to have your presence not even acknowledged. But it is devastating when your presence is acknowledged but it doesn't matter.

Deafening Silence is Death

Empty vessel Sound of a hornet Weeping tears of silence Fiery flames of a flamenco THUDD... THA THUDD... THA THUDD... Like seconds, water drips Moments pass Into bleak oblivion Clinging, crying, hoping for survival I remember, beyond the miles Distant screams of stinging pain Approaching quiet thunder Shudder... Shudder... Life slips, it slithers away Like a wretched snake Hissing... whispering... "Death. O Death. How imminent, O Death!"

Thursday, June 23, 2005

To make the point clearer:

A concept is an integrated, subsuming whole that describes an entity... it could be thought of as a genus, while a definition could be considered as differentia within the genus. Thus, the concept GOD could include all of say, W, X, Y, and Z. Now, among all that we understand the concept of God to be, we believe that there is nothing greater than the concept of God. Thus, we already know that the differentia W, X, Y, and Z are all the greatest, best, perfect, and ultimate ideas that represent God. In other words, Y is part of the concept of GOD and is understood to be perfect. Y is perfection manifested in God. Thus, the argument follows: God should have W, X, Y, and Z, and all of those should be perfectly in God. Because they are perfect and manifested in God, like Y is perfect and manifested in God, God should have Y; just like He has W, and X, and Z. That is the essence of the circularity of Anselm's Ontological Argument.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

A German Socialist Quote

"The superstition that a belief based on faith is different from a superstition is the GREATEST superstition of all!"

Ontological Argument

Since this is quite a fascinating discussion, I've decided to continue it here as a separate blog. For those of you following the posts on this site, this discussion is continued from the comment-posts under the blog "Anselm's Ontological Argument". First off all, I DO NOT question the parallels between a priori statements and Ontological arguments. I understand that ontological arguments -- by the nature of what they are -- are based on a priori statments. What I disagreed with you was the characterization of "GOD" and the concept you associate with that Being, as an a priori, and asserting it to be analogous to the a priori of a geometric figure - circle. I am not convinced that "God" can be treated as an a priori. Even any concept of God requires precedence. It is entirely possible to have your entire life lived completely without ever having thought about the concept of "God" or even having any need for that "God" to exist. A circle (or a triangle) has an a priori property of existence. This existence is derived only from our understanding of such a figure. A circle exist as is. It does not objectively and independently exist in the physical world unless it has been recognized fully to have existed in the metaphysical world -- in the world of ideas and forms. That existence can be manifested in reality. You said, "If you do NOT understand what is meant by the term "God" then you cannot deny the existence of God, because the word "God" has as much meaning to you as the word "AEFQF." -- But this is not fully true. Just because I may not have a concept of "God" does not mean that I simply cannot deny the existence of God. I can do this: I can refuse to accept any premise that basis the existence of an entity that I am not aware of based on a concept of that entity that I am not aware of. This simply does not mean that I am NOT AWARE of an objective entity and so is my failing... it purely means that there might be an entity, or there might not be that Entity, either way, I am oblivious to its existence or Non-existence. It becomes contingent upon you to convince me to ACCEPT your concept of God (as you say, God is this and that, but what if I believe that God is really this and not that). Thus, the proof of the Ontological Argument is contingent upon my acceptance of your concept of God, and yet, if I refuse that concept, I am not necessarily speaking of an objective Entity... because I may be speaking of a non-entity, or an unknown. You have to demonstrate to me that you somehow "know" this Entity and the qualities it possesses. All a priori statements a irreducible definitions of concepts. Your example of the twins uses TWO different a priori statements, thus obviously fusing the knowledge of the two to arrive at a new conclusion. However, using a singular statement of a priori and then beating around the bush and using different words to define the same thing over again, that is question-begging, and that is what the Ontological argument does. Let me show you how: You claim (controversially, ofcourse) that your concept of "God" should have all the highest and greatest qualities, and that is an a priori. This is your first premise. Implicit in this first premise is also your argument that since existence in reality is greater than existence only in understanding, God should have all those greatest qualities and therefore should also have the quality of existence in reality because it is greater... What you have done is you have merely RE-STATED YOUR concept of "God" in different terms, thus repeating the premise, and thus trying to pass off your conclusions as proof supporting the premise. Take this for example: One of the concepts of "God" would include Omniscience -- a great property of being transcendentant, everywhere always at all times. Then you say, it is greater have the property of Omniscience than to be physically bound to the grid of time and space. Then you conclude that since God has everything that is the GREATEST already, He should have the GREAT property of Omniscience. Do you see how your premise is essentially just one a priori (so you argue) premise... and that your argument is question-begging? And finally, just because YOUR concept of "God" has the quality of existence in reality (which again, you controversially claim is a "greater" quality than existence in only understanding) DOES NOT NECESSARILY FOLLOW that your GOD (not the concept, but the ENTITY) is EXISTENT in ACTUALITY! For example, I could conceive of Superman having the QUALITIES of super power, X-ray vision, real existence, whatever else... but those are merely CONCEPTUAL IDEAS, QUALITIES -- DO THEY NECESSARILY TRANSLATE OR MANIFEST IN ACTUALITY? Do they have a necessity to exist OBJECTIVLY? NO! A concept of a superman does not give rise to an objective existence of Superman. A concept (that you believe) of God having such and such properties as existence, DOES NOT give rise to any necessity of that concept's objective existence.

Friday, June 17, 2005

Understanding Human Existence

Merely having life and therefore existing should not be a cause for much awe and wonder. Though it definitely is a valuable thing - to have life, there is something immensely more valuable than living: Being radiantly aware of your life. What is having life? Animals have it. Even plants have life. Animals and plants live. We are a kind of animal. And as such, we can exist as mere animals, living our life away, simply waiting for life to pass because that is what animals do. Or we can LIVE LIFE like HUMANS. The subtitle to my blog, my personal credo, and the quote of Ayn Rand is "Living life is not the same thing as avoiding death." Just the mere act of breathing and living is not worthy of much praise. Dogs do that, and the trees do that. The scientific definition of death is not just the stopping of the heart, but also the ceasing of the brain waves. Technically, a human being could survive with just a beating heart and no brain activity. Infact, I would go so far as to say that there are millions on this earth who are doing just that: living as creatures that breath and have beating hearts. The difference worthy of all awe, wonder, and praise is the witness of that Human who not only demonstrates a clear evidence of life, but also a celebration of that AWARENESS of LIFE -- manifested in his/her productive and rational achievement. The awareness of life by the faculty of self-consciousness that is ONLY possible to Human Beings, not to any other creature on this earth, and therefore differentiates a self-conscious THINKING Human from any other creature (human or animal). It is only proper for a human to think. To use his/her faculty of thinking and intelligence to enhance his/her experience of living. Anything less is not good enough.

Thursday, June 16, 2005

Anselm's Ontological Argument

Here is the essence of Anselm's Ontological Argument: Assumption One: God (or the concept of God) is something than which there is nothing greater. Assumption Two: That which exists in reality is greater (or better) than that which merely exists in understanding or imagination. Inference One: Based on assumption one, God is something greater than which we cannot conceive, because there is nothing greater than God. Inference Two: But based on assumtion two, it is greater to be in real existence than to be in just imaginary existence, therefore that concept of the greatest must include the attribute of real existence to be fully great (or perfect). Conclusion: Therefore, the concept of God being the greatest must possess the attribute of existence to be complete and therefore God must exist. =========== My rebuttal: The entire argument has atleast (that I can think of) TWO major problems. First, this argument is begging the question. It basis its definition of God as having all the attributes of perfection, including the attribute of existence. But that is the very point of contention that needs to be proven. So it starts out by saying that the GREATEST BEING should possess existence, and then concludes that because it should possess it, it infact DOES possess it. God exists because He should EXIST. This is a begging-the-question fallacy. Another BIG problem is with the assumption that "existence" is necessary for complete perfection. Why is the attribute of "existence" necessary for perfection? Why is it greater or better for something to be existent than for it to NOT be existent? Is it greater (better) for EVIL to be existent? Can I conceive of anything to possess existance and call it perfection or good? No. This ontological argument is a farce.

Monday, June 13, 2005

Values and Choices

THis is going to be a very sketchy, underdeveloped expression of my entire analysis. I am thinking about Values and Choices... similar to my blog "God's life must be very boring." WHat is "Value" -- something that has some importance or significance, has some worth. Nothing can have any value unless there is someone to endow that thing or that experience with some estimate of value. In other words, money would be useless if there weren't anybody living on this planet who could use it. Thus, all things that attain value, do so only because of the actions of others upon it. Some things have value and then they lose all their value. Some things begin with tremendous value and then slowly deteriorate and lose some of their value. Some things are valued indirectly because they are the means to procure other things of value. Nothing can be of value intrinsically, i.e. for its own sake. Value is always contingent upon the existence of a Valuer. How do we deem what should be valued and what should not? It is completely dependent on the subject. Different people have different things that they value. What makes a thing valuable is the fact that a subject is willing to strive towards achieving that product or thing or experience for his/her own reasons. Thus, a value is something that you work to achieve and possess and keep. Now, by the very concept of the word "value", we must easily understand that in order for somethings to be of any value, there should be somethings that are of no value. Similarly, if there has to be things of differing levels of value, there should also be things of differing levels of non-value. Thus, the act of endowing certain things with value (like gold, or cars, or money) and not endowing other things with any value (like pebbles, or a leaf, or a strand of hair) requires atleast three things: A clear recognition of all the options available to you, a recognition of a personal faculty to choose, and some idea of why you desire to attain that certain object or experience from among all other choices available. Without choice, there can be no value. Without any options to choose from, nothing can be deemed valuable. There always has to be an alternative to all things that can attain any value. Humans, by our most essential nature, are endowed with the faculty to choose. We are volitional beings. The fact that we live, and work to live is a CHOICE we make everyday (conscious or subsconscious) because we are also fully capable of CHOOSING to kill ourselves and die. Thus, we live only because we CHOOSE to live, and not choose to die. So, choices are so fundamental to our nature. Because of choices, we are able to speak of responsibility, morals, culpability, and values. Without the recognition of choices, we cannot speak of any of the other concepts just mentioned. Choice endows value. The absence of choice strips away all value from everything. Thus, loving someone is clearly a matter of choice, and therefore the object of that love is of immense value to the subject. If one chooses to love someone exclusively and monogamously, one has engaged in a CHOSEN mode of behavior with a clear recognition of the fact that there are alternatives to monogamy that one rejects. Thus, that person has endowed profound value to their monogamous relationship and to the object of that love, in the face of many other alternatives (like open relationships, breaking-up, divorce, affairs, etc.) Now, suppose that all other possible alternatives were DENIED to that person. There were no possible choices left. THe only act one could engage in would be to get into a monogamous relationship (monogamous because there are no other options available at all) with one person for the rest of one's life. The only alternative here would be to either remain single (not in a relationship at all) or get into the relationship and follow the rules of that game. THe problem with this latter option is that it is an "automatic", "by default" option. Since no other options are available, one has to just follow the one prescribed, automatically (prescribed by who? Good question. Someone other than the one trying to make the decision). The nature of human beings to seek intimacy, love and social visibility will compel the human to become obedient to the rules of the game in the face of no other alternatives. The human will engage in the monogamous relationship purely because it is the automatic thing to do.. there are no other choices left to the person that would lead to the desired level of intimacy and love. The rule is: either receive love and intimacy in the context of a monogamous relationship, or forfiet all rights to those intimate emotions within a legitimate relationships by being single. Forcefully engaging in an alternative behavior to monogamy (like affairs, multiple partners, etc.) would bring that person much condemnation, disdain, and probably even criminal charges for deception, cheating, immoral conduct etc. Thus, in the face of these undesirable consequences due to social dictum, the person can do nothing else but follow the proprieties of society. With the lack of free, legitimate choices then, comes the lack of value. Thus, the relationship that has been created out of automatic monogamy due to conventional rules lacks a pure sense of value and love. One is sentenced to remain in the relationship exclusively or get out of it. Thus, the relationship either becomes a compromise (because of shared assets, children, etc. etc.) or the relationship ends in messy divorce and/or embarrassment. There is no pride, no value, no worth in any of this.

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Artificial Intelligence

The contemporary debate in some American schools is whether or not to teach the "Intelligent Design theory" alongside Evolutionary theories in a science course. Besides the fact that this concept of "Intelligent Design" being paraded around as an alternative scientific hypothesis is absurdly insane, there is a much more important issue at the heart of the debate. Regardless of one's religious or scientific beliefs, there are many who accept the idea that there is some kind of inherent order and logic in the way the universe works. It is as if the Universe "knew" what it needed to evolve to what it is today. It is as if plants "knew" how to create chlorophyll the right way in order to survive. At one point in my life, I too subscribed to this notion of a conglomeration of elements by random chance that gave rise to an extremely improbably, nonetheless very REAL, ORDERLY Universe. However, learning and growing intellectually in Rationalism and Objectivism, I have come to understand that all the Universe is, is just Reality. It exists as it is. It has always existed as is, and with the necessary logic of its own nature, it will evolve into that which it will be. The so-called "order" or "intelligence" we see in the Universe is actually a projection onto it of our own rationality and tendency to make sense of the world. Gestalt Psychology talks about the principles of the human brain. The human brain seeks to make sense of the world around it. The brains seeks to rationalize, analyze, and utilize all the information it receives and creates a paradigm that we subscribe to. Upon receiving knowledge through observation, experimentation, and indoctrination we adapt our paradigms, adjust our ideas, discard false notions and understand the truth others. For example, color. We look around us and we see color. This screen is black, the words are white, the pen is blue, etc. At first, we tend to believe that these elements objectively in and of themselves possess the pigmentations of those certain colors. However, with further scientific knowledge we come to understand that the phenomena of color is merely a perception of our brains as the eye feeds it information on different light wavelengths that emit different colors. So, objects in and of themselves do not have the color pigmentations but they are endowed with colors by the reflection of light at various wavelengths that are perceived by our brains as those colors. Similarly, the Universe, and all the elements in the Universe. There is no inherent, essential, objective, independent "order" in the Universe. According to Randian metaphysics, there is no Artificial Intelligence that exists outside of us humans - we are the only verifiable, objective intelligent consciousness on this planet. It is the PROJECTION of our own rational intelligence with which we study this Universe that allows us to make sense of this Universe. We are concerned with only our consciousness of intelligence because it is purely our own personal experience of the Universe that we are placing under scrutiny. If there were absolutely NO rational intelligent humans on the planet, assuming that we were all apes and animals, then would there still be any "Intelligence" in the Universe? Absolutely NOT! A dog perceives no intelligence in its life or in the things around it. The very assertion that there is "Intelligence" inherent in the nature of the Universe is to REQUIRE that that INTELLIGENCE be perceiveable. Without a consciousness that is able to perceive any order by the virtue of its own faculty of intelligence, there can not be any ARTIFICAL Intelligence in the Universe. Thus, the splitting of cells makes sense, the character of DNA strands make sense, the production of chlorophyll makes sense... yes, all of these things make SENSE because WE INTELLIGENT HUMANS exist to MAKE INTELLIGENT SENSE out of what we see! It would be absolutely impossible for a hippopotamus to perceive that "sense" in all of those things. On a side note, I'd like to point however that I am in no way advocating a Kantian view of transcendental idealism with respect to our perception of the Universe. While (I assume, though I may be wrong) Kant would say that the inherent characteristics of our thinking minds, i.e. adherence to chronology based on space and time, ACTUALLY MAKES the Universe intelligent(i.e. external forms have to fit internal criteria of the mind, the Copernican Revolution), the point I am trying to get across here is that the REALITY of the Universe AS IT IS (A is A) is perceivable to our minds and we are able to discover and study the laws of its mechanisms because of our faculty of reason and intelligence, thereafter which we mistakenly assume those properties of "intelligent knowledge" as being a character of the object being studied rather than the subject doing the studying. This is all I shall of this.

About Faith and Reason

"An error made on your own is safer than ten truths accepted on faith, because the first leaves you the means to correct it, but the second destroys your capacity to distinguish truth from error." -- Atlas Shrugged, Rand. [My discussion with the very intelligent and interesting Sasco D'Agostino] Me: Well, you have made two different statements concerning our efforts at understanding God. First you said, "one can rightly NEVER say ANYTHING of God..." Then you say, "we can never FULLY get at the essence of Him, we can merely come to a continually greater awareness of Him." THe two statements have very different implications. Initially, I used your first statement as a premise and logically built my argument. By the first statment, one can NEVER say ANYTHING rightly of God. In other words, one ALWAYS does say WRONG things about God...(OR, whenever one makes an effort to say ANYTHING about God one is ALWAYS WRONG). This is the implication of your first statement. The second statement now allows more room for discussion. It says that one can say SOME things rightly about God, but NOT everything TOTALLY. I fully and clearly understand this view and subscribe to this perception assuming the existence of a real God. Thus, as a scientist would try to understand physical experiences in increments, I try to understand (as much as is possible to my weak and finite brain) the concept of God in little increments of logic and rationality. THe reason I use logic and rationality as my method of investigation rather than acceptance based on faith is because I believe (similar to what Aquinas believed) that any concept of God SHOULD BY DEFINITION include the attributes of a perfectly Intelligent, perfectly Rational, and perfectly Logical Being. THus, a potential Being possessing such infinitely beautiful logic, infinitely profound intelligence, should atleast in some tiny and small way be perceivable to us by our serious attempts at being rational and logical to understand that Being (or come closer to an understanding of It). Contrary to popular neo-didactic thinking that Rationality and Faith do not necessarily contradict but are complementary, I believe that right from the most basic premise, rationality and faith enter into major conflicts. The essential core of the concept "Reason" and the concept "Faith" enter into a contradiction. According to the Principal of Non-Contradiction, A is A. A and non-A cannot remain without conflict. In other words, Reason (A), which is a faculty of knowledge based on evidence, demonstration, axioms, and logic cannot in any way complement Faith (Non-A), which rests on an acceptance of ideas without any need for demonstration, logic, proofs, or axioms. Reason (A) and Faith (non-A) MUST by necessary logic exist in a contradiction with each other. Another way to explain this is to look at how we gain knowledge through science. The basic and fundamental first principal of the Rational (or scientific) method is to assume a hypothesis and work towards disproving or falsifying that. One can never begin a hypothesis of negation and then prove its veracity, i.e. prove something is not true by showing that it has no evidence of being true. As a concrete example, I cannot assume that God does not exist and say there is no proof of God's existence and therefore He does not exist. This is wrong. I have to begin with a positive hypothesis and then DISPROVE or FALSIFY it. Thus, I begin by saying, Assume God exists. Therefore, going by what the definition of such an entity is that does exists... He should be this.. He should be that... He should whatever... Based on the first principal of positive hypothesis, you build a coherent, logical, rational argument derived from self-evident truths, apriori elements, axioms, or verifiable evidence. If all of your arguments lead you to a hypothesis contrary to the one you started out with, then you MUST DISCARD the initial hypothesis and revert to the Null hypothesis. Thus, a logical analysis of the concept of God leads me to major contradictions and therefore I must reject the hypothesis that God exists and accept the null hypothesis, or I must reject my essential definition of God. Now, Faith. Faith is the exact opposite of the rational method I just described. The method of Faith begins as such: Believe that God exists. Then show that God exists. Then express wonder at the fact that God exists. Then admire the fact that God exists. Faith starts out with the hypothesis that needs to be proven and assumes it is already TRUE! The first principle according to a faith-based attempt at rationality is this: assume the conclusion and then provide rationalizations for assuming the conclusion. Aquinas, among other doctors, displayed this appalling laziness of thought. In their effort to reconcile faith with reason and put on a facade of intelligibility upon mysticism, they propagated this false notion. THe method works as such: Faith -- God exists and He has created this Universe (That is the assumption of the faithful). Then "rational proof": This Universe is so intelligent and orderly, surely there is an intelligent God that made all of this. THerefore, God must exist because the universe that we just assumed is so orderly and that we just assumed was made by God is the proof that God made the Universe and therefore must exist!!

Friday, June 10, 2005

Long Branch Musings --- by Sasca D'Agostino

Long Branch Musings (email excerpt) >whereas, if you are just a passenger you can watch the >world go past and i have always felt, since i was little, that the >car is actually not going forward but the world around you is >actually speeding up and going past the car and that you are >actually just standing still...lol...funny five year old musings...i >really enjoy being the passenger because i always feel like that is >such a peaceful time to pray or think and everything...and i love >having all the windows down and feeling the loudness of the wind >consume ..of the four elements: earth air fire and >water...i don't think i cold choose a favorite between fire water >and air..they are each so fascinating...and the sky...its like a tortuorously beautiful enclosure --as if we are all >under house arrest and cannot ever break out, like an enormous trumann show where we all need to find reality 'til our true native land we see... >Sincerely, >a prisoner of earth... posted by Sasca D'Agostino at 4:40 PM

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Dreams

People usually say that dreams are so fascinating by the fact that they allow you to have experiences that sometimes are just plain impossible to be manifested in the real, physical world. Dreams are liberating, "they" say, dreams are unbounded, without any horizons, infinitely capable of anything. Dreams allow you to have an unbridled experience of your deepest fears, your darkest secrets, your highest aspirations, your craziest imaginations, and so much more. And I did believe in that perspective too -- until I woke up this morning. After having had a crazy wonderful dream that I cannot remember at this point anymore, I woke up feeling so annoyed.. and frustrated... almost profoundly disappointed! And then I realized that the perspective that dreams are unbounded and free and have no horizons and are so liberating is actually mistaken -- atleast in my opinion! I felt so greatly limited by the fact that what I had experienced was a dream! THe moment I woke up, I had lost it all. I was left with the coldness of reality. And I realized that dreams are infact definitely bounded, limited, unfree. They are prisoners, lost in the murkiness of our brains, locked up forever inside the hard walls of our cranium. They are there all day, everyday of our lives. It is so disappointing to know that the experiences you have in your dreams are stuck inside the cavity of your skull, and you can't somehow manifest them into your real world. So, dreams... they aren't really that liberating, because after every exciting dream of the night, you inevitably have to face the sharp limitations of the physical world when you wake up. And even while you are dreaming, you are still unable to manifest that experience of freedom from your dreams into your physical existence... regardless of whether you're awake or not. It is amazingly ironic to realize that all of that rampant craziness that occurs in dreams are so perfectly and assuredly controlled by the very origin of those dreams -- the brain inside the head.

Thursday, June 02, 2005

Morality of an Atheist

Assume the following: God exists. This is an objective fact. The religious and the holy people all believe and have faith that God exists. The atheists of the world live their lives believing fully and truly that there is no God. My declaration is: A good and moral atheist functions at a higher level of morality than a good and moral religious believer. A fully moral person who is religious and believes in the existence of God is still lacking in a complete sense of morality and falls below the level of righteousness than that person who is also fully moral and righteous, but is an atheist. A person who believes in God believes that only God is truly, fully and perfectly moral. It is only possible to God to be consistently and perfectly and omniciently moral at all times. Such a totality of morality is not possible to any moral human, and therefore (a religious person believes) one can only strive to come close to that perfection in morality, though one will never attain it. Hence, a religious believer sees God as his/her standard of morality and all their sense of right and wrong is derived from their sense of what would be the will of God -- for them, morality is derived ultimately from God. They view themselves, mortal human beings, as incapable of originating any immaculate sense of morality and righteousness. All good and all judgments of good come from their inspiration to be God-like, to act God-like, to choose and will like God would wish, to exist in manners consistent with the wishes and morality of God. Thus, their entire locus of morality is really OUTSIDE of themselves and exists INSIDE their idea of God. On the other hand, a righteous and moral atheist has no supernatural or superphysical reason to be moral and righteous. He or she is moral because s/he CHOSE to be moral out of their own free will. The entire locus of morality is situated within their own beings and arises from withi themselves. Moral atheists do not view humans as mere mortals incapable of originating any sense of right and wrong or good and bad. A moral atheists reveres the power and clarity of human rational intellect that fortifies their decision-making ability with well-guided reasons and rationales. They view themselves as volitional beings fully able to engage in moral or immoral activities, make good and bad choices, and they never escape from the responsibility of their actions which sit squarely on their own lap. The responsibility to lead a moral life, to an atheist is a strict necessity because an atheist cannot share the burden of the consequences of their actions with any other entity (supernatural or not), but must always face up to the reality of life as it presents itself to them. An atheist has to construct a system of morality and principles of morality fully and completely from the rationality of their own intellect. They view themselves as rational and intellectual power-houses fully capable of producing a system of morals that rational individuals can live with and follow. They clearly recognize the dignity and value of each human being as rational beings because they do not see any other source (supernatural or not) by which humans can derive their sense of worth, dignity, rationality or morality. For an atheist, all of those attributes are generated from within their own self. The entire locus of morality, since it exists within an atheist as opposed to outside of them, they are truly and fully more moral than any religious person. In short: An atheist is moral for its own sake, for the sake of living a moral life. An Atheist is moral for they see the immense value and rational logic of living a moral life -- without any anticipation of reward or fear of punishment. Morality springs from within themselves. A religious person is moral primarily because they believe they HAVE TO BE moral -- it is a condition forced upon them if they desire to share in the love of their supernatural entity. For a religious person, reward of a blissful afterlife in exchange for their morality or fear of punishment in eternity are strong motivations to lead a moral life. Morality does not spring from themselves, but is derived upon from their idea of perfect morality in God.