I grew up on Warner Bros. cartoons.
I once heard that the older ones weren’t actually created as entertainment for children, but as shorts to precede feature films.
I remember one bit in particular that evaded me as a child. At one point, Elmer Fudd forced Bugs at gun point out to the end of a limb and then sawed off the limb. Once it was cut through, the limb remained aloft and the tree crashed to the ground with Elmer in it. Then, Bugs broke the fourth wall to say, “I know this defies the law of gravity, but I never studied law.”
The six-year-old me knew that the law of gravity and jurisprudence differed from one another, but I couldn’t fully appreciate the humor. I get it now. Through this shtick the geniuses at Warner Bros. invited their audience to laugh at human arrogance. For all of the time, money, and energy our species spends on legislation and litigation, not a bit of it has an ounce of power to affect actual events. We simply do not have that kind of authority.
What if we found evidence of legislated reality? What would be the implications of discovering that nature obeyed a seemingly prescribed limit?
Maybe you’ve heard that time slows and then stops the closer one gets to the speed of light. In a recent study I did, I was surprised to discover why that happens: Speed is a function of space over time. The speed of light is a constant in the universe. When a vessel nears the speed of light, the light inside has the potential to double that speed as it is carried along in the vessel. To ensure that the constant remains constant, time actually dialates. Since light can’t travel faster than 186000 miles/second, the second expands to enforce the speed limit. Clear as mud? Here’s a video to make it clearer.
So, I wonder about that. Why would impersonal universal forces obey a speed limit? Could it be that someone with authority over nature set that limit and prohibits it from being exceeded?
photo credit: waycoolpics.wordpress.com
No person should be allowed the luxury of holding a belief while ignoring its implications. Why? Because the implications of today’s prevalent beliefs shape the ethos of the next generation. For instance, suppose I had been born into a culture which had been largely shaped by the belief that the ability to overcome a rival tribe was conferred on me through a rite of manhood. Obviously, I would go through that rite. After several defeats I might come to question the effectiveness of the manhood ritual. I might come to believe that the rival tribe’s practice of cannibalism made them more powerful. Since cannibalism had not been part of my cultural ethos, I would probably find the idea of eating another human to be distasteful (pardon the pun). For me, eating another person would be hard, but propagating my ideas would be easy. Suppose I convince others in the tribe of my position and after another defeat at which I get killed, they decide to eat a couple of the felled rival warriors. What if after that, my tribe won the next battle? My tribe would most likely continue to dabble in cannibalism. Within two generations the buffet would be open.
Lately, I’ve encountered some pretty aggressive anti-theists. The messages coming from that camp are fraught with what I would label, “ideological dissonance.” So, just to do my part to help everyone come into personal harmony, I present this atheistic ontological syllogism for review:
P1- Meaning is an interpretive construct of a sentient mind.
P2- Sentience requires interplay between evaluative consciousness and memory.
P3- Consciousness and memory are products of chemical processes in the human brain.
P4- When the brain is destroyed, consciousness ends and memories are erased.
C1- Relative to the deceased individual, regardless of the details or duration, the life that he or she lived becomes retroactively meaningless.
P5- At some point, all brains and their products will be destroyed.
C2- Human life, regardless of the details or duration, is utterly meaningless.
P6- Resources invested in something which is utterly meaningless are wasted.
C3- The attempt to survive or accomplish anything is a total waste.
If you disagree, please tell me why. If you agree but still choose not to commit suicide, then it’s because you fear the only certainty of your existence. In short, your life isn’t advancing the human condition or accomplishing anything noble; you are just procrastinating. So, the most consistent atheist ethic would be “die today” or “eat, drink, and be merry for tomorrow we die.”
If you are living in the West, then you were probably raised with a value system which says that you should value human life. The basis of that value is, “all men were created equal” or some similar formulation. Your heart is trying to retain a borrowed ethic the basis of which your mind and mouth deny. So, feel free to keep going where you’re going, just please admit that you are going there.