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The Case for Atheism May 20, 2010

Posted by olvidadorio in Me.
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Those who know me might find this post odd, as I usually defend myself from saying most anything definite on religion whatsoever, a la ‘How dare you call me an agnostic. I can’t tell whether I don’t know.’ Well, I don’t really break tradition in the end, but I just showcase an argument that I find compelling and at some level deeply culturally relevant.

The Good old epicurean argument slightly rephrased:

  • Is God willing to prevent suffering but not able?  Then he is not omnipotent.
  • Is he able but not willing?  Then he is malevolent!
  • Is he both able and willing? Then whence commeth suffering?
  • Is he neither able nor willing?  Then why call him God?

I guess a lot of religious people from our cultural setting will say that he is able and ‘kind of willing’, but that he prefers to give us our freedom so that we can show whether we love him out of our own free will. But what kind of self-serving approach is that, to put us through our misery only to see whether we’re ‘good’, whether we ‘love’ God? And if God is omnipotent, why can’t he make us be free, without suffering? All of this sounds to me more like a sadistic game than benevolence. But what if suffering is just an integral part of our existence? What if we can’t be ‘us’ if we do not suffer? What if our personality, our self essentially hinged on suffering? I personally could not agree more, the question however is how this plays out in the mainstream monotheistic religions; So the idea would basically be that for God to make us be us we would have to suffer. But this directly contradicts the idea of redemption and eternal glory. If the afterlife is – unlike in Greek mythology – more than just a pale aftershadow of this life, and instead a life of sufferingless bliss promised to the people of this world, then how in hell do we get there, being ourselves, assumed that suffering is an essential part of us? Now even out of this argument one could still weasel out by saying that it is essential to us to be part of a process, from suffering to non-suffering. Which is interesting and I currently have no retort to that. So in the end I guess it just doesn’t make sense to discuss religion. You believe it or not. For my own part, I disbelieve words. But religion isn’t just words. There’s a lot of BS.

But to make one thing perfectly clear, I despise most Atheism, with all its scientifico-centric rationalistic hogwash.

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It’s only After Dark January 23, 2009

Posted by olvidadorio in Economics, Humans, Me.
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After quite a hiatus (but after all, it was vacation), here are some reflections (warning: glumness may follow):

  • I have become slightly more aware of the importance of organization for social prosperity. It is really of utmost importance. It’s what seemed to me to be #1 reason why Nicaragua is 3rd world.
  • I have been touched by what I saw on TV, watching President Obama’s inauguration. It is impressive how such sentiment can be connected to a leader. I believe they call it hope, but they gotta pry that from my cold, dead lips. 😉 [read a blogpost]
  • Living in US suburbia brings to mind the expansiveness of the US-American middle class as a mass of people. People used to such grand life-styles!

On Laziness There is not very much room for laziness in the industrial nations I know. Even the easygoing US. Easygoing here sometimes seems to translate into extra work to be extra nice. (Not that I wouldn’t try to be nice!)
I’m quite lazy — that’s what was so neat about the time I spent in Costa Rica and Nicaragua: I was in a really tight financial situation. But being lazy was a sensible choice there. It saved energy, so I needed to eat & drink less — and I really enjoyed the tropical weather and living outside. Is it sensible here too?
All those nice appliances, gadgets and amenities of industrial life! For example these Computers. All built on this baffling machinery of modern society. It blows my mind again and again, that all these ghosts are alive and moving in such admirable concert. All this system of interdependency sometimes eats on my mind! If something were to go wrong — and I suspect it will, the fear I have is that folks will hurt. (In another only slightly related news, I have been thinking of how the Israeli people are running into pain, I fear — in the long-, the geo-strategic & demographic run.)

Oh, how glum all this is, I do apologize! Very! I am still quite concerned that this or that might collapse at some point, but maybe it’ll take a bit longer than feared, and come more gradually, so we’ll hopefully have plenty of room to wriggle our way through the crisis while having a gratifying life.

But for the proponents of the “people will come up with something, people have always come up with something” thesis: I totally agree. But it’s not at all guaranteed that what they will come up with will resemble our current lifestyle, even in some of its most fundamental amenities. On the other hand, I do not suggest a doomsday scenario, well I kinda suggest it, but I do not expect it. Our lives and our expectations will change, which is just absolutely normal. The difference is simply that I often times live in expectation of social change. You know, it’s change we can believe in… dollars… yeah right.

On a more personal note I notice getting a bit older again. I accustoming myself to my mid-twenties and am nursing some chronic bodily weakness, most vividly present in my everyday life for half a decade now. My hope is very much to get myself on a track of recovery from pain by setting myself up in a more regular life-style now. Please bear with me in your thoughts, that I may.

My aunt has an ant-invasion going on in her house, and she’ll be calling the terminator. At the family I stayed with in Nicaragua this was a non-issue; they had a dirt floor. Ants simply were present.

Information Warfare: Opinion-Spam August 17, 2008

Posted by olvidadorio in Advertising, Humans.
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This is the first time I’ve seen something like this; I received a spam-email (in German) that didn’t want to sell anything, it wanted to shape my opinion:

Ein kleines Mädchen spricht die Wahrheit über georgische Angriffe:
http://youtube.com/watch?v=H8XI2Chc6uQ
(YouTube manipuliert den Aufrufzähler und lässt dieses Video nicht populär werden)

2000 Tote innerhalb von 2 Tagen durch georgischen Angriff – RIP
Für alle Kinder, Frauen, Männer die durch georgische Angriffe umgekommen sind starten wir diese Aktion.

Wir sind gegen Propaganda in deutschen Medien!
Wir sind keine Medien-Marionetten.
Wir wollten die WAHRHEIT! Wir sind das Volk!

Verbreite diese Nachricht wie ein Lauffeuer! (Emails, Blogs, Foren, ICQ)
Zusammen sind wir stark.

English summary: “A small girl speaks the truth about the Georgian invasion; Atrocities by Georgian military. We are against propaganda in German media. Spread this news like wildfire!”

I guess that someone who’s strongly interested in promoting the Russian government’s views just bought a list of email-addresses off some spam-base. The fun thing is that I personally actually don’t need to be convinced to view the Georgian version rather critically. Incidents such as these however do underline the creepyness-factor of the Putin-controlled aparatus.

Has anyone had experience with this? Maybe it’s connected to this Botnet-buildup?

Propaganda party.

Times of Declining Energy June 16, 2008

Posted by olvidadorio in Earth, Humans.
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David Holmgren really spells it out: PERMACULTURE & PEAK OIL: Beyond ‘Sustainability’ (youtube video).

He talks about some of the basic facts: that we soon will be having less and less energy available, that there will have to be other methods to adapt to this situation. In a thoughtful, realistic and kind manner. I am highly impressed!

I am poor June 4, 2008

Posted by olvidadorio in Economics, Humans.
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I just realized that compared to the world’s per-capita yearly income (statistics from 2000), and considering my current steady income of 177 € per month, that I’m by now most probably living off less than many humans around the globe have on average. Nowadays I should be somewhere right around average. If you through in price-differences between countries, well I’m not exactly well off. But am I truly poor? Don’t really think so.

Update: The DFG(German Research Foundation)-sponsored project I had a little job working for has abruptly been panned, so after end of this month I won’t even be able to rely on the above 177 euroquid. However, my dad mentioned that he’ll be keeping me from starving until my thesis is done… Then I can starve… ;-}

Cheating May 26, 2008

Posted by olvidadorio in Advertising, Economics, Humans, Money.
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A subject close to my heart.

I recently watched two boys fooling around in the water while relaxing at our near-by swimming-pool’s jacuzzi area. The two of them were playing this age-old game of who can stay under water for a longer period of time. Now, one of the boys had good (naive) lungs, the other was a smart cheaty little bastard. Guess who won…

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I Love Amsterdam May 6, 2008

Posted by olvidadorio in Humans.
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Am here in Amsterdam, with Nic. We are coding away at our super-sexy funtcha-project. It’s highly enjoyable.

If only I were a rich man – and could afford those exorbitant housing prices around here. I’d move in!

Some pics follow (partially by Nic)..

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Vengeance April 25, 2008

Posted by olvidadorio in Humans.
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I read an anthropological article Vengeance is Ours (from THE NEW YORKER) about vengeance among natives of Highland New Guinea. Just read it.

I don’t know Jack about the Middle East April 22, 2008

Posted by olvidadorio in Humans.
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However, I somehow was touched by Jimmy Carters mission to the Hamas, recently. So I tried writing him a letter. I doubt it actually reached him, so I’ll at least post it here.

Mind you, this is a very personal thing, so don’t take any part of this personal. Or as an official endorsement, that is.

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