Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Back to Reality

Linked Here is a NYTimes Lens article about a photo album from the early forties, chronicling a few events that were happening at the time. Its one of those things that makes you feel real~ because you know what happened after that photo was taken, how things would end... Those are real pictures from a time before PhotoShop, before a time where I CAN create a convincing photo of my son as an astronaut~ the only thing that separates us from that moment of time is the camera, and that feeling of being so close to the tragedy and importance of the people in those photos is addictive.. I recommend it to anyone who has a minute.

Monday, June 20, 2011

How Do They Do It?

New pictures of Centaurus A from Hubble's Wide Field Camera 3 have given us an incredible view of another galaxy~ I can't help but wonder how those people who think the actions of any one person have a cosmic importance to the 'creator' of the universe can keep thinking that when seeing these pictures...

The answer is easy, really; they DON'T see the pictures. They don't understand the scale of these things, of how truly microscopic our existence really is, and how powerful this human imagination and lust for information and discovery really is. I don't think they want to.

When one begins to understand what 'cosmic' really means, how vast our universe is, and how small we are in relation, the real question for the religious should be "why would it care?" Do we take notice of that individual grain of sand somewhere in the beach? That individual grain is everything we've ever known, every human who's ever lived, every dream that's ever been dreamt.. Our entire existence is that single grain, a single drop in a cosmic ocean, and truly we never take heed to such an insignificant thing.

"but god DOES care!" they will say~ but why? What justification is there to care? Surely when you paint, you must focus on a single pigment, right? It's arrogance, not faith, that drives this notion of self importance~ It's fear, not love, that perpetuates this ignorance.

Accept the truth. Accept that we are only significant to ourselves, and not to the cosmos. Understand that when one stands at the level they prescribe to their god, that we aren't even noticeable~ we blend invisibly into the larger picture, and even that is an understatement. We toil and spend our lives doing things confined to this rock, things that will NEVER have consequence (at least for the foreseeable future) on a level as small as our solar system, let alone our galaxy~ or the hundreds of billions of galaxies outside of it. The door to our human imagination is only open once we discard these trappings of self importance, once we discontinue the inane act of observing ourselves in relation to our superstition, and begin to focus on the world around us, and the reality in which we exist~ there is so much there that I suspect there is no room for the supernatural...

When confronted with pictures of other galaxies, images of something so mind-numbingly large that we have no physical way of truly comprehending it, believing in a self-importance that extends beyond those things is truly the height of arrogance~ an arrogance disguised as pious humility.


A Dish of Irony, Anyone?

How strange it is that members of our military (of which I am one) swear an oath to defend the Constitution from all threats, foreign and domestic, and yet we STILL have sectarian religion INSIDE of the military. Graduating from a course on leadership (WLC) I had 2 prayers in the graduation itself, both 'praising jesus' and making sure everyone remembered that it was THAT god that was protecting us, not our knowledge and diligence. Yes, that doesn't defeat the purpose of working hard and learning from experience~ no matter what we do, GOD gets all the credit in the end, and we're merely his marionettes.