Tuesday, December 29, 2009
I follow the Non-religious nerd's blog which is a relatively new blog documenting one person's struggles aganist the bindings of religion. This guy is like an extreme atheist, sacrificing alot of comfort within his family and friends to struggle aganist the irrationality that is religion. I admire him and agree with him in some way, this is a stand that dictates to the world that it can and should immediately abandon all vespices of belief in the supernatural. This is the basis for the universal atheist argument, Abandonment of beliefs in supernatural due to illogicality and disparity to science present in these arguments. However such a level of atheist activism is fundamentally incompatible in my life. My family is Kenyan and there religion which in our circle is Christianity is highly integrated to the social identity and dynamic. Do not get me wrong, Far from implying that America is perfect. I am saying that America is more open to secularism than the third world is. In Africa, a change in religious stand is almost always guaranteed to end some friendships, increase tension in close relationships like family or kin ,start some feuds which might be bloody in some cases and generally become a big negative point in your social life. These events would be less likely in the educated, secularly organized and more stable state society of the U.S.A . However there are still quite alot of religional social structures that have a great deal of control with varying ranges of importance and influence in America and in the world which can be observed in personal philosophies and with communal ties and also even governmentally.
I recently was able to attend a newly formed church named New Life and it was quite different from the regular church that my parents take us to i.e. baptist church. The most obvious difference was of course the amount of resources and funding involved in both church. The baptist church is about 6 to 10 times larger than new life with adjacent facilities like a gym and a basketball court, meeting halls e.t.c. also it has much more sound and lighting equipment than new life. In contrast, the new life building was a single building with a small parking lot. The other noticable difference is in organization, while the southern baptist church is quite organized, new life church is disorganized and highly anarchic. The church members were doing all sort of strange things, running, babbling nonsense,doing the egyptian(literally!), waving their arms e.t.c. The thing that worried me were the children attendants. Since new life did not have a dedicated child care center, Toddlers less than five were being essentially left to their own devices running around the church playing with anything they could find. One of these kids was able to get a hold of a severed curtain rod with a silk cloth attached called the 'Spirit Flag' which is used by the church for its praising and worshiping liturgy. I watched with horror as this kid ran around with this deadly hazard while fully functioning adults did nothing but continue with their stupid praise ritual of doing the Egyptian with their eyes closed. When I contrast these two religious organization's place in the local community , it brings to light some of the invisible sway of religion on the state of society.
When I saw this kid's behaviour and surrounding reaction towards it, I thought of the higway that religion has built to lead the child or other children from their innocent and curious play to the hippie like belief state that leads people to go to church to do the egyptian, or babble like madmen expecting reward. Innocent but unhelpful behavior like the spirit flag waving in church is reinforced and the child is conditioned to do this, maybe with attention or praise or other emotional need from parents or other church members as a reward. Later on the child looks for reason or thought behind action, and the church being the 'helpful' guardian that it is uses emotional manipulation to encourage the child to adopt church ideology. It might for example scare the little guy with hell, or it might prey on emotions in social dynamic like fear of alienation or disgust at strange or unfamiliar attributes,conducts or traits or yearnings for friendship,communion and even companionship to woo the kid into Christianity. In general, The religious community will exert its accumulated influence to modify this kid's mindset little by little shaping the resulting adult human into a cog for their respective religious structure. This theory seem non-representative of the espied role of the church and counter-intuitive to common logic of causation but it is important to analytically think about these organizations not merely believe common logic. It is also important to note that most psychological theorems agree,social forces might be triggers but they usually are not usually causal agents. We can more accurately observe and account for the efficacy relation in social forces with a perspective of correlation. In this case, The parents of this kid were staunch christians who encouraged the kids playfulness instead of discouraging it for obvious safety and civil reasons and furthermore would undoubtedly reinforce church theology irregardless of observed logical fallacies . The pastor who had observed the behaviour of the child, rather than stopping the kid from playing with dangerous objects(spirit flag) used this event as an opportunity to call the parent infront of the church to point out some obscure "truth" about god's will he had seen in the child's eyes. It is kind of ironic and sad at the same time since the pastor seemed to care more about to unraveling estoric truths from the little kids eyes rather than helping protect them from the danger of being impaled by the spirit flag the kid was holding, all the while responsible and grown human beings around the child became nothing more than safety hazards doing their crazy dances with closed eyes.
As such we can say that in general, religions specifically in our case christianity has a considerable amount of power or influence in the individual lives of its followers, at times being agreeable but sometimes not. It is undoubtedly correct to say that the people who take advice from the church are somehow manipulated for the churches benefit with and without their knowledge. In today's society, American Christianity fosters in church going individuals opposition to evolution ,reprogenetics, rational study of the cosmos and many other things, in general the scientific spirit or basic scientific tenets . The religion also promotes certain political and cultural veiwpoints, the church for example is a key player against homosexuality and abortion and safe sex and promoting homophobia, sanctity of life and abstinence. Christianity is also pointed as a quick fix for many issues, Pastors and preachers all over America hail their christianity to be able to heal relationship woes, mental sickness, disabilities or illnesses whether curable or terminal. The power of this religion in individual lives is terrifying!
In this particular service, a teenage boy was being prayed for because of a medical issue. There were others like a woman with knee problems or a guy with financial troubles but the young mans case is more analogous to many christian believers. Dozens of people surrounded the boy and masked him with their hands. One of the older men got hold of one of the dangerous spirit flags and started waving it around presumably collecting the invisible holy ghost for him and they then proceeded to ramble quite loudly herded around this young man. Thinking of the expectations ,fear,hope and confusion surrounding this young man and his family was saddening, how would it affect him when the supernatural beliefs fail him? How was he feeling then and how would he be feeling after the inevitable letdown he will experience? It reminded me of another time when my parents took me to a church which was resided in an african american community in Mobile. The pastor of this church being more socially vocal of his beliefs than I was used to insisted on laying his hands on me for whatever the reason, which I refused since I was a professed atheist and it made me quite uncomfortable. The pastor then took it upon himself to come to my seat to do his mumbo jumbo for me! He purposefully ignored my wishes just to probably increase his influence in the church, I was so angry at this pastor guy, annoyed at being at the church, paranoid and fearful that I might be doing something sacrilegious that might offend the church and my parents at the same time ,my brother was seated next to me laughing his ass off! The encounter was vexing! Trying to wisely and analytically solve your personal issues while dealing with the frankly irrational atmosphere of the yelling, preaching and dancing of the egyptian that is religion and coming up with a logical solution is quite difficult and takes a negative toll on ones good spirit and happiness. It is sad then for me to point out many people are only doing this dance (of religion) because of the manipulative and bordeline portentous powers that Christianity or religion has in their individual life.
If religion has this much influence in our individual lives, how much power does religion have in society? There were three schools of thought in classical sociology, each led by its own influential philosopher, each with their own view of religion role in society. Karl Marx was arguably the most known of the three philosopher, known more for his controversial theories of class struggles he however had dedicated himself to "doing morally-neutral sociology and economic theory for the sake of human development" to aid the upheaval of capitalism, he subsequently made postulations on religion to aid the revolutions he saw as inevitable. In this framework of mind, Marx viewed religion as a tool capitalism used to mollify grievances of economic and social inferiority from the common man by creating different dimensions albeit imaginary that the poor guy could compete if not defeat the rich guy i.e. spiritual riches. This sentiment of religion being used quite often in individual life as a tool to assuage perceived problems,injustices or distresses is widespread in the atheist realm. One of Karl Marx famous lines used repeatedly in many secular publications reads "religion is the opiate of the masses" hinting that even in sociology, religion is thought of to an extent as a delusion useful to some.
Many sociologists however were less concerned with the mindset of the individual or the thoughts or forces bringing about religious belief but more with the functions of religions in general on its respective societies. Emile Durkheim, one of these early positivists insisted that religion is not restricted to the imaginary. Religion according to him was an expression of society. After studying religion in primitive Aborigine societies, he postulated that beginnings of religion was when "We perceive as individuals a force greater than ourselves, which is our social life, and give that perception a supernatural face." Durkheim's Ideas are hard to grasp at first since his ideology and wording terms society as collective conscience and includes complicated ideas of moral, economic and labor regulation but his ideas are easier to see in practice. He links the complexity of religious structure in society to the complexity in society for example While primitive tribal societies usually have totem-like animistic religions, Complex societies i.e. State societies are usually dominated by highly complex more universal religions usually deisms. Even in singular cases, if we were to define what church or personal religion means to the individual, the most important and visible tie probably would be in regional,state, social lines rather than universal absolutist terms . Durkheim never set a rigid definition of religion though, causing subsequent sociologist to use his ideas for behavior surrounding civil religions i.e. fans of automobiles or music or movements or even sports teams and emotions like patriotism e.t.c.. His ideas however have have alot of credit for shedding light to the obscure role that religion many times usually occupies as the effective face and identity of society.
All these analyses major on looking for general truths in many religions, however it is more likely to find specific truths about a religion by studying each specific religion individually. The great antiposivist sociologist Max Weber pioneered this systematic study of religion, he did not believe there was alot of causation in relation with these social organizations rather more in coorelation as such rather than look for hard social facts, he looked for links, list of events, cummulative sentiments, emotions or other factors in history by following past,present,communal and environmental trends.He postulated that one must examine each religion to find the distinct forces behind it to fully understand it. This philosophy is more famous under the german term that he used "Verstehen" or a more ambigous term i.e."Methodological Atheism". The basic tenet established by Weber is to make religious sense of each religious sentiment, motivation or action in its own context. He reasoned that due to the many various influences on religious theology through individual, communal, communal and maybe even primal forces, The architectures or articles of truth of the many religions of the world are virtually impregnable to sweeping simplifications of causes,belief structuring or systematized continuation epistemes like the ones presented by many sociologist. In the process of leading by example, Weber researched and wrote alot about the world religions in his time; Hinduism, Buddhism, Puritanism(and its Influences on capitalism); however his research is not really in use today. It is mostly only his ideas that have survived.
As such religions role in society is usually quite wide spread and hard to determine in each case. To muddle the scenario further, There is alot more modern and raw data that are produced on this subject by modern anthropology than there is by sociology, in fact most of today's research on religion is conducted in the field of anthropology but due to the many intersections to other studies is used in other fields. There have also been influential thoughts presented by anthropological sources contained in many ethonograpic studies, comparative religion study,phenomenology of religion ideology,the rational choice theorem where religion is veiwed as a system of bodies of language and practices that compensate for some physical lack or frustrated goals and alot more ideas that assists in the understanding of the subject, however the efforts in this essay have limited goal of just understanding religions place in individual life and society. The ideology in anthropology are also much harder to grasp and do not expressly concern themselves with understanding religion in society unlike ideology in classical sociology.
According to all these sociological theorem, Religion's role in society has alot of groundwork in fundamental nature of individual human being. My own personal opinion of religions role in society is the same as the way i view a series of controllers. The life of a person is a great experiment, From childhood, people are generally pushing button and observing reactions. Children being motivated by curiosity are the greatest button pushers. They will experiment with anything, from two cups and a string to their mothers wellbeing and sanity for any reaction they can get. Then as they grow up they learn certain niches or vices or routines of buttons they can use for their own specific purposes like how they can exert influence on other people for their distinct aims using these buttons. There are many devices to be used in this nature finances, emotions, physical objects e.t.c. But religion is one of the greatest tools known personally and socially that can be used to acheive these type of goals. The fundamental nature of religious beliefs or faith by definition almost always implies certitude even where there is absence evidence or proof. As such an individual follower of a given religion is unlikely to question his or her religious doctrine on a given view the same way he or she examines normal veiws making it possible that in an aggregate sense religion can be and is used as a sort of manipulator, An ordered set of knobs,buttons and switches used for many purposes whether personal,national or any other goals in any other category.
In todays society, we see various uses of religion. For example, many people agree that Religion has great use as a mode of relegation of culture. Rituals, ideas, views, words and text are usually passed down from generation to generation with religious context before gaining a place in secular society. In other cases religion can be used to encourage, defend and justify almost anything from negative sentiment to questionable action (Religious terrorism). Religion has also had extensive use in politics For example, there has been no outright non-Christian american president, and even though there have been some atheist and Muslim(Keith Ellison) senators, they have been in the minority.In speeches or public forum, prayer or religious language is usually used(Obama's Afghanistan Speech, Bush's War On Terror speech). It has been in great agreement that there have been many regimes that have used religious argument for control historically that jewish kings doctored religious text to increase their dominion on their subjects, also there have been and still are a number of religious states.
After the visit to New Life, my parents have gone back to the local baptist. I am as such able to compare these two churches in more detail. While the atmosphere at New Life seems more young and vibrant, the future of The southern baptist group is more brighter.This is due to the organization present in The Baptist Church. For example Last sunday when we went to the baptist church, we were ushered into their youth program for bible study. Then instead of normal bible study, the teacher decided to read us a christmas story, A really heartwarming story about a given woman benefits from philanthropy during christmas.It was really a touching story but its content has nothing to do with the point i am trying to make. The story being told in the baptist church is one of many examples of a tradition being relegated. Even though the teller of this particular tale and other similar tales might give personal and religious reasons for it , Max Weber would probably say that we can analytically surmise the purpose it has and see that it is a component or one of the tools used to create comfort, warmth and good cheer in the church to lure and insulate attendants away from their seasonal difficulties, be they winter blues,yearly or monthly financial difficulties, new year worries and/or the general commercial atmosphere that currently surrounds x-mas. There can be no analogue group session in New life for there is no bible study and the whole church is relatively new and non-denominational as such there are no agreed upon tradition or set procedures to use in this holiday.
This difference in organization is not only seen in tradition and theology, but it is also present financially,physically and communally. The budgets at the baptist church would seem more balanced and rigorously checked than in new life to the casual observer. The seating arrangement present and also buildings are better at the baptist church as compared to new life, The baptist church has even hires police officers on sunday to help cross the road. The baptist church has a notably well organized online community with myspace and facebook chapters as well as sponsoring various community functions while the new life church probably can't even compare. I could further illustrate my point by comparing communion in the two churches, In The baptist church communion is a highly scripted event. Each usher knows where and when to pick up what plates, where to pass them and when to pass them and when to receive his communion. In new life church the ushers were fumbling and almost tripping over each other taking over twice the amount of time ushers at the baptist church take to collect the plates from the pastor, My parent got the bread plate about five times without receiving the wine plate at all which was midly disheartening and confusing, during actual partaking of communion it could be noticed that the choir at new life had very poorly tuned instruments since even when the choir members stopped playing their electric pianos, a preset echo feature kept producing sound for about 3 minutes afterwards.The same could be noticed from other facets of their organization i.e. we had to remain outside in the cold till the beginninng of the service due to tardiness of the ushers,the toilets were not that clean,the power point presentation in new life church seemed of poor quality e.t.c. As such it is easy to point out which church is part of a 42,000 church Christian denomination and which is a non affiliated singular entity.
If we step back and look at the dynamic from a wider lens, it is clear that religious structures have alot of influence in their enviroments whether tribal, communal, national, continental or any other body that shares religious organization. Religion in way can be veiwed in a general sense as this mass of interests and/or conglomeration of emotional energy that has the will and power to affect human society positively or negatively. Christianity is the greatest of modern religions and as such it can also be categorized to be of this format. I wish to point out that this religion has had great consequences good and bad on the world and that its function and role in our society will continue to grow and change in the near future. If we examine the southern baptist convention's place and history within america, It is amazing to point out that Bill Clinton,Al Gore, Mike Huckabee and Jimmy Carter are well known southern baptist members. It is also interesting to view the relationship between political leadership and the Southern baptist leadership. Billy graham, A key southern baptist leader and founder has had a personal audience with every sitting United States President from Harry S. Truman to Barack Obama. He has also been instrumental in some of these political candidate's election and re-election bids. His most notable influences was with president Nixon where he was an official advisor, and even once being offered an ambassadorship position.His son has also been widely recognized in political circles while also being criticized for having a role in violence in Sudan's Darfur conflict by defending proselytism and refusing to aid peace negotiations. There have been other great church leaders that have been recognized politically. There have also been a great many state governors that participate in or at least take advice from the southern baptist convention. Barring direct political involvement, the Southern Baptist denomination is a great lobbying force aganist abortion, homosexuality and immigration legislation and uses its power with word of mouth and in the fourth estate(press) for these purposes.It is only in the last weeks of 2009 that the southern baptist convention is officially apologizing for endorsing slavery in the past.
This level of influence is present throughout the history of religion in this case, christianity and its many branches. The Roman catholic church, undoubtedly the greatest religious force to date has had a historical cornucopia of activities in this aspect. It had great power in the roman empire, retained alot of this power throught the ages in many of the western states, was key in the inquistions, witch trials, great exploration e.t.c. It still fully controls a country, and retains alot of influence in other countries. The East orthodox church has had a similar history and probably even greater since it is older and arguably more spread out in the world than even the roman catholic church. We can trace similar patterns within Anglican, Apostolic, Oriental and other church Denominations.
The purposes and aims religion seems to entail then are mixed. Even though beneficial actions that can be derived out of the good that is referenced by religious thought, It can be noted that sometimes with good wills and intents we find ourselves using religion for morally disagreeable goals and intents or sometimes bad and outrightly sinister sentiments and emotions have been used to lead the world forward.This is referenced in Durkheims who says that religion is a view that gives light to the elements of society with a supernatural face. It is therefore imperative to thoroughly examine and not ignore proof whether scientific, social or simply logical in respect to religion since it is possible for religion to have influence over you, the individual or us, the community that you would not want it to.
Saturday, December 5, 2009
This tool was and still is a really helpful service for me in my fledgling days of my veiws and also in my day to day life when i want to fabricate or express a particular veiwpoint.
Friday, December 4, 2009
From "What is the atheist's cure for mans suffering?"
Now that minds have debated for long the theist's reason for disasters and suffering of mankind in the world i think its only fair that we also hear what atheist's solution is for the human suffering on earth.
The great religions of the world have already found the solution to it all.
You have not mentioned even a single solution from Atheists perspective.
What in the world do you theist want? The religious christians who asked this question probably grew up hearing that God or Jesus or Santa will wipe away the tears of each and every person in his fancy skyland with personal baby cribs and pacifiers for each and everyone of us and he will personally build dozens of angels to sing to us and rock us to sleep!. My simplication simply does not do this Philosophy justice, it is beautiful! I too want to escape from all the worldly worries and problems like war,poverty or disease to be comforted by Beautiful angels with Big Bobbies but it is unlikely to happen!!
Secular Humanism Does not Build these whimsical metaphorical castle in the sky, so people view atheism, agnosticism, skepticism and related philosophies as cold uncaring nihilistic bleak outlooks to life. But democratic secular humanism builds on ancient philosophies like Confucianism (a secular Buddhist like philosophy advocating building our heaven on earth)or Carvakan ideology to advocate free inquiry,separation of church and state,ethics based on critical intelligence,religious skepticism and human welfare
I view this as an assertion of rationality. Religious theorems are not as coarse and chaotic seeming as secularism,However The most reliable and powerful attribute of humanity is not blind dogma, illogical emotionality ("The greatest thing in this world is Love" ) or elusive supernatural beings.The most reliable attribute that humanity has is Reason, Our ability to rationally think about each and every facet of our lives including problems,ethics,religion,disease,poverty,race,the darkness of skin or of mind e.t.c.
There is this Guy On the Forum named JackOfHearts who i kinda agree on about his veiws on theology and philosophy
I'm not sure you're in the right philosophical realm. Atheism holds rational thought as its highest authority. Here, you're holding your 'feelings' as your highest authority and subjecting your rationality to your 'feelings'. You're still religious.
I think you are falling into the trap Atl often complains about and attributing one forced philosophical system on all atheists, there's similarities but also differences. Recognizing "feelings" is not irrational, in fact "feelings" may be considered an intrinsic component to human survival that evolutionarily developed for our common protection.
These "feelings" may be an evolutionary development not easily dismissed by a contrived rationality that is strictly "survival of the fittest". As an atheist, I'm not so arrogant to assert that I can fully rationally understand all the mechanisms that led us to survive thus far. Feelings may be a huge reason why we survive (even religious feelings that I deem false), our survival is not solely dependent on our rational scientific understanding of all there is; if that was the case we'd have died out as a species long ago in our muddled superstitious past, or even before we had the mental capacity to create such superstitions
However I sligtly disagree with his opinion of feelings in role of feelings in human intra-personal and social dynamic, a point i try to clarify in my other post
Moral philosophy along with the main cognitive emotions are portrayed by many Ideologies to set us apart from the primal and animal life. Alot of Religions and modern esotericisms build their theologies linking this difference in Morality and Rationality to the Superiority of Human beings mentally, physically or corporeally .This superiority is clear within the mental plane but it is not in the physical realm and to be frank, it seems borderline egotistic in corporeal dimensions. This is clearly seen (as can be argued by some) in ideologies of religious nature which usually have a ridiculously benign mythological construct who built humanity with an internal happy o-meter(soul) for some secret purpose which only they seem to know, which is obviously preposterous!
But the idea of moral philosophy together with cognitive emotions setting us apart is not that ridiculous, I even agree with it. As said before part of the rise of altruism in human society can be attributed to evolutionary advantage however alot of theories in play in the psychological and anthropological fields agree that the rise cognitive emotion and Moral philosophy is somewhat or somehow correlated with the rise of selective evolution i.e. These things (cognitive emotions, morality and superior intellect)could have led to where humans have a selective breeding capabilities where we could theoretically can select traits, trends and qualities we want in ourselves to breed. As such we are somehow superior to other animals but it is not due to some installed property i.e. soul, spirit(Holy spirit) or demons, it is most likely due to the human race in near literal terms wrestling control of breeding away from the process of natural selection to selective evolution
Friday, November 20, 2009
If one was to show the evolution of societies, one would see a basic directional evolution. All organization begins with the simple group(family,clans,clicks,sets,gang) with little needed to bring this type of group together other than common interests whether safety,monetary, friendship, blood ties e.t.c. We then move on toward the tribal society which is an aggregate of people united by ties of descent from a common ancestor, community of customs,traditions and maybe religions, common language and adherence to the same leaders. The societies above the tribe are characterized by an increase in complication and stratification, the only similar group in Kenya that have this level of organization are the Nandi who center their spiritual leadership, civil administration and army around a single person i.e. the Orkoyoit leading to great administrational organization as noted by arabs scholars even before colonization. The most complicated form of social and political organization so far recognized is the state society characterized by a strong centralized government with little or no individual regional independence, socio-economic class divisions , a market economy and large populations. This type of social structure distinguishes itself by centering around political structures and having ways of national self regulation i.e. standards for stuff(foods,roads e.t.c.), architectural discipline, education, law enforcement and many other methods of catering for the irrational individual.
Knowing this if it was asked “Is bigger really better ?”,what would the non-laudatory answer be? As much as I would like to rail on imperialism, The precept state model set by the western countries like U.S.A , the Euro-union, China or even USSR seems to be the winning design. Huge democratic or even communist countries with a minimum of disparaging elements and tightly controlled will or really limited choice in terms of government. The key beneath the power of these body-politics always being size. The USA is the most successful example of this with a choice of only two political parties, the country has little range of choice in direction of policy and with such a huge population it has morphed into a major power player economically, militarily and culturally. It is as such obvious that in todays current social-political climate, this model has the most advantages. These power blocs have solidarity and power in their wills, clear direction in policy and big huge armies to fuck their enemies up with. They do have various disadvantage. For example, it is theorized by many political scientists that their instabilities either economically like in the case of recurrent economic slumps and depressions(Keynesim) or in terms of political and catastrophic bedlam towards social agenda and concentration of power i.e. The USSR, The second and third Reich are inherently predisposed. However the benefits seem to be much greater than the disadvantages.
Even though the current political makeup of systems in Africa is currently inferior to the state society, it is disadvantageous and virtually impossible to establish a state archetype of government. The continent is populated with thousands of tribes each with their own sometimes conflicting interests, cultural and social dynamic and prevalent history. Beyond this level of organization, there is a different type of organization. Colonization and western expansion into Africa imposed structures of nations and sentiments like national pride onto this social dynamic, As Such the imagined united African state will never exist not because of the unwillingness of individual African governments, but due to the conflicting and individual but seemingly malignant interests of tribal sentiments of the voters that predominantly govern candidates chosen with little consideration of anything else i.e. unity of country, concerns about other regional areas e.t.c.
It is why we see ideas like Majimboism or political devolution spring up. The viewpoints that advocates increase of consideration and power to the tribal organizations that predated the national divide of Africa. The role of any government is to foster safety and public order within its controls by building systemization with a prescient of using present organization not the castle in the sky one wishes to occupy. If Kenya or African countries are highly tribalized, it seems unreasonable to maintain a government that constantly works against this organization. Modeling today's politics in Kenya, we can see it is comprised of a lot of politician using tribal sentiments to run for office, an epitome of the type of politics that have displeased the people so much. However most of us look to the politicians we voted for to improve roads in our towns or cities or to help with farming difficulties in our region. This is not a sign of weakness. This is common in almost all forms of government. Regional interests being different from national interest and in need of observant care and deliberation in terms of crafting solution i.e. individual attention.
A lot of the segmentation mentioned is political and The best course of direction would be more power towards tribal structures, However the concept of Majimboism is flawed. Political devolution would mean segmenting ruling power around tribal lines, however today's Kenya is not primarily tribal. The birth of the country after our independence in 1963 brought together the different regions and tribes giving way to the gentrification of predominantly tribal Kenya to a Kenya today that has quite a lot of ethnically mixed areas and regions. Political devolution would be quite similar to ethnocratic gorvenment which is known to increase tribal strife and maybe brew conflict, increasing vulnerability to incidents like the civil conflicts of 2008 after the election. I do not want to be unfair but the few examples of ethnocentrism in gorvenment like Uganda under Idi Amin or even South africa's apartheid are not that great. Political devolution also would be intrinsically complicated and unfair. Bigger tribal structures would gain more power and might not put this power to best of uses. i.e. unfair dividing of resources between regions, like natural resources, rivers,minerals e.t.c. or even more land disagreements. This type of organization is also redundant since such specific organization within government already exists in the name of chiefs, D.O's and D.C's of Kenya who are primarily there to cater to specific regions and their demographies.
What is needed is Economical organization for tribal structures i.e. economic deviaing up. Does it not irk any person out there that religious structures that are largely here to organize people by sponsoring irrationality (supernatural bullshit) and non-profit organizations here to give people useless paraphernalia like poor quality clothing and limited food supply get to pay no taxes, yet the structures who do have the power to ebb social ills i.e. the tribe has very little or no economic leeway. When the white guys give you their stupid bibles and used underwear you (Kenyan Government) give them a free pass on taxes however the gueth makech or the coinage set forth by western society is taken away from the Luo people so they have nothing to contribute to private sector efforts like Aga Khan hospital enterprise in Kisumu or Nyanza's healthy water project which have appreciated impacts on health and poverty. Is it also not possible for the Kikuyu people to make their own contributions to improving cattle breeds or increasing distribution of fertilizer and pesticide with a little bit of leeway from the KRA?
It is imperative that the Kenyan or more to the nub African governments take an active role in fostering the organization and growth of our tribal structures in the only field that has measurable bearing in todays society i.e. standings in the market economy. Without this, it is hard to be optimistic for the future of the African tribe. I do not know about you guys I do not want the Kikuyu language and culture to be a relic of the past. I am sure all of you guys would say the same for your particular tribe, as such we must get merchantilistic organization in place for the underlying tribal structures in Africa countries from our governments in our case being the Kenyan coalition government. If not there may not be a Kikuyu or a Ja-luo or a Kalenjin culture or any other tribal culture to talk about in 2309.
This is also the only realistic way we can expect Africa to unite. Under the common interest to prosper the next step for Africa would be to build a continental economic body that could not only regulate and encourage trade but make groundwork for a collective African identity as such striving forward to a more rational and understandable human identity.
P.S: participate in the forum discussion
also check out the gerbil below!
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
However there is also the flip side of the patent system where it regulates effectively. I had recently bought After market control arms for my acura which was a big deal for me. These front upper control arms for my Acura integra would offer quick change camber capabilities which are approximately worth 0.05 to 0.1 g on a lateral skid pad and worth about 3-5 seconds on a well suited 2 minute track.This is alot of promise for a car like Mine. However due to stupidity and lack of money, I decided not to buy a brand name item and instead buy a cheaper imitation item that offered similar capabilities. Taking great pain and effort, I installed these arms on my car, I had to borrow jacks and working space from a friend, skip school and deal with many other quibbles during installation but I finally did it. However the problems that cropped up afterward were so tiresome and seemingly unsolvable that I got fed up and six months from purchase I had to remove and discard the arms. First there was not ample suspension play room, this was due to the inferior design of said product i.e. placement of quick change camber adjustment screws was in the wrong place, so I had to increase the front ride height at the expense of my struts. Second there was irreparable damage to my drive shafts during installation process which caused me to shell out a considerable amount of cash for repair of said shafts, all due to no installation procedures from control arm manufacturer. Third the product itself with its flawed design was not built up to its own flawed specification. So the screws, built out of very malleable that did not have needed holding capabilities required to function consistently as such when I set the camber required for daily activities the screws holding the product slid and setting was lost in about 2 days time.
These problems had been solved by the brand name manufacturer's product due to regulations in patent system that made manufacturer accountable for his or her product. Sadly the product I bought was from a Taiwanese imitation manufacturer who used a loophole that did not require following the actions required by the regulation body for regular car parts manufacturers. These imitation companies are forcing real brand name companies with quality products like TRUST a.k.a Greddy (which went into bankruptcy this year) and HKS(which in 2009 is still going at a loss) out of business with their cheap imitation products.
As such the real situation is much more complex than imagined, Of course one could say that maybe one of these categories is wrong and the other is right, but using moral opinion into solving this calamity is hard. If we look at the situation analytically, The bad guy in the each situation is still the good guy in some way, I am sure in Hollywood there are some Movies that went bust and/or some people out of jobs because of torrenting and I am also sure that this number is increasing almost exponentially due to growth of the P2P scene. It is also valid to assume in concern with performance market that if there were no imitation products, the brand item products prices would be much more higher due to absence of competition, I bet if the Patent law was patched right to disallow foreign cheap competition right now the prices of aftermarket performance parts would most likely rise even quadruple and stay there, like in the 1990's when the sports car imports from japan first became popular.
I am sure the Patent law system will likely continue evolving and engineering the market so that entertainment can be cheaper for consumers and the market for after market performance parts will be more promising for the earnest businesses and consumers. However the girth of this essay is to point out the unapparent complexity of the situation in today's day to day living, and to advocate analytical steps into each and every cause or trend a person is associated with.
Wednesday, October 7, 2009
An ode to boobies, Strangely it was only in america that they morphed into desirability.
My brother, He is only input I have on my blogging. Even though he think this is pretty stupid, an opinion that sometimes crosses my mind, I still go on posting stuff.
Another ode to the greatest internet meme ever, The Almanac of fail
FIA GT Championship race cars, can you identify them?
-Aston martin DBRS9
-Nissan GT-R(even though this is from the japanese GT500 category, there is going to be a GT-R in Le Mans next year)
Bench seats!, the best automotive feature that was killed. Imagine the possible things that could have happened with those in todays cars!
This is a Poster of a Microsoft game; Rise of Nations. To me the poster was a window to humanities fears, social organization and mostly unyeilding determination found with the living's Espirit de corps
Sunday, October 4, 2009
" Dear Mr. Ashbee
I am not a Christian. I was raised as a Christian by my parents, and I was quite devout for a long time and this did quite a number on me! Christianity is way different in Kenya or other third world countries than it is here. One might follow a religion here as a matter of choice or due to other private personal causes, but back home the sophistication that has characterized religion in America to freedom was entirely absent. The whole community was Christian and if one wasn’t aligned with Christianity, one wasn’t part of the community. Anything vaguely non-christian in the community was in a devil worshiping and witchcraft category and the religious influenced mob killed many people i.e. suspected mungiki, suspected homosexuals, thieving homeless kids(we called them Chokoras) e.t.c due to this. A Mindless drove that brought the civilized world to the demogery that characterized the early church; The crusades, instances of witch trials, stoning e.t.c. I too was infected with this virulent behaviour, I was supposedly speaking tounges and had visions in form 1(the equivalent of 9th grade in U.S.A.).
America is the land of freedom, and literally for me it was freedom. When I first went into school here in 2004, there was no religious pressure, religion for the first time was just a sideshow or sometimes a prop used by kids as a personality feather. No reports of Mob violence due to religious pressure, Slander was not prohibited. No corporal punishment by teachers and community, It was freedom! Even my stout Christian parents were confused and shifted from church to church trying to regain some lost element in their Christianity, until they finally gave up and started going to the churches that had people they knew. This caused a change of attitude and a re-examination of many things, for me one of these things being religion. For a young man like me who was growing into adolescence, religion was a way for me to move away from the umbrella of my parent’s house and tutelage. So I devoted a lot of attention to it.
The human being has two analytical engines; the rational mind and the emotional system of sorting things out (EMO for short).Religion as I saw and now see it is a self sustaining conglomerate of interests and emotions. Bearing in mind I am no expert in this area, I do have some postulations. As the rational mind falls prey to paranoia and other problems, so to does the EMO. Without a useful outlet for its work, the EMO system will push for something, and it is likely to be the wrong thing. I have tried to read some various psychology books and as I came to interpret it. Emotion or the collection of things I have termed EMO system is a basic drive in human life.As an example, anger is an emotion that can be used to drive or act as a throttle for great things, but without usefulness it is dangerous and harmful. Religion, in general will use such properties of the EMO to sustain itself.
We can construct a simple working model of how religion works. Using fear, Religion brings in the ignorant flock, using other emotions tied to the flock the church attains the monetary assets and support to sustain itself and using its influence on the mind to make the flock scorn anything the church sees as threatening. Albeit this is a crude Model of my theories but I think it conveys the bulk of these postulations on religion as I saw and now still see them somewhat i.e. Religion is a sort of social organism that survives on the cumulation of irrationalities found in The EMO system, the irrational parts of each and every one of us. "The tendency and leaning that humans have to act, emote and think in ways that are inflexible, unrealistic, absolutist and most importantly self- and social-defeating and destructive". Such a brash and cocky theorem was bound to rustle some feathers and get me into some trouble.
I was a stupid and rash Adolescent and I wanted to test my ideology, You would think that I would go to some theological discussion in Murphy high and camly lay out my philosophy to be revised. No sir, I had to be Mr. Know it all and tell my parents about it, And to top it all off I was expecting some sort of 30 minute philosophical discussion to sum up the matter. Not surprising to say I was wrong.
My father did short of disown me, he would repeat the statement “No son of mine can be a Devil worshiper” for a number of times. My mother wept and kept her distance and left my dad to do the heavy underhanded theology pumping. For hours, each week, months in a row till was 18, We used to have the preaching sessions in my room. Every week, there was this yell from mum “Njagi, Dad wants to see you in your room” then for hours without end my father would talk about some cosmic spirit you can feel that guides everyone to happiness, I could not reply for that would prolong the misery of the talk and we couldn’t get into any sort of philosophical debate because my Dad was dogmatic in his religion and I was a flippant adolescent who knew everything so I would rebuff him in my head.
“I heard this feely stuff somewhere else, Guess where? In the Toilet when some guy was reading a comic!”
My actual thoughts were more perverse but I solder on to press a point.
“There was this guy who said he could feel bullets as they bent the time-space continuum, he tried use this ability to act as some kind of super hero, Guess how this hero died? He was shot at point blank!! , …dramatic pause….. in the face!!!!!.”
Which looking back, always was and still is my main point. As nice as these religious theologies are they ultimately are illogical, Implausible, unreasonable and are often hindrances in real life.
Seeing as the loud Preaching sessions did not work, My father tried a number of other tactics before referring to Dr. Richie, a good family friend for advise. Dr Richie then helped me get into contact with you, Mr. Ashbee and I was told I was to have a meeting with you to talk to you. You know Uncertainty is brought by many things but mostly uncertainty is brought about by fear of the unknown and unknowable. My dad being a mechanical engineer prided himself with being a scientist and he passed that pride to me. Pride of the scientific method, pride of being part of the rational movement, proud of not being an irrational or more accurately disdain of romanticism. As such I viewed myself a rational man, objective in my vision and computer like with my analysis. As soon as I was told to meet Mr. Ashbee, a little bit of Uncertainty creeped in so I solved it by being overly brave. I was gong to reason with you and show you the error of your ways, I was going to challenge you to a philosophical debate and I was going to win, to finally once and for all destroy the irrationality that had plagued me for 18 yrs.
So we met at your house and it was all very anti-climactic, You offered me tea, We talked and chatted about some few things before moving on to our main subject. To be honest I was expecting it to be like a war; you would be in armor, like armor of god with the sword of truth, belt of righteousness or faith, the whole thing and rebuke me for my insolence and I would be on the other side with my computer and geeky glasses, knowing your questions and answering all with rationality, genius and smugness. It wasn’t to be so, In fact it was rather the opposite, I was the staunch unreasonable one.
Religion strives in a non-logical mindset, This does not say anything about the context of religion indeed some religions like Christianity and select others have very rational belief structures. However in preaching and other religious discussions, method of delivery varies from a scientific debate or educational lecture. If I were to compare a physics lecture to a sermon, the physics lecturer would state the theorems he wants to convey, then provide a derived proof for this theorem and then list the application. The preacher or believer would state his theorem, but other than relying on the bible which is an invalid axiom, there would be no quantitative proof in his arguments, he would reference feelings, moral opinion and other EMO tools to persuade people to his side of the argument.
Take for Example Evolution, there is more than enough evidence to show the maturing of life over 3000 million years, the variation of genetic material throughout this time with a clear fossil record for at least 500 million of these years. There is a vividly discernable pattern in present day biological life, that points to common ancestry. Geological evidence points to Earth being about 4.5 billion yrs old. These are tenets that have been achieved by scientific research and logical and rational discussion without prepositions in thought and mindset. When I was talking to you, at the time I did not have the factual base I now possess and my thought. But even then there was no logical argument, you simply used the same tools, Exploit an EMO aspect, in that case being fear to try and bring me to the Christian side of the argument.
I do not mean any offence, But that is generally what happens in most of the conversations pitting my belief in Evolution against Theology.
“I think Evolution is a valid theorem”;
“Ohh! ,You Believe you are a monkey”;
“Of course We did not come from monkeys, We are special!, We were created by paranormal being (X) for (Y)&(Z) reasons.”
The Goal always being to create uncertainty and using that to create fear or manipulate one using some other EMO tool. I was given a book called “Too much faith required to be atheist” or something to that line and as I was perusing it I came across the Evolution section. Instead of providing evidence for the Creation theorem or Intelligent Design or whatever the name is. They were listing the probability of life spontaneously 'popping up' , using factor thought needed for evolution to calculate probability of evolution. In probability, real life problems are analyzed in models with mutually exclusive and independent events not a simple list of numbers. It is fundamentally impossible to create a 100% accurate model of such a complex real event. Even when they got their false result, it is a useless number since the event in question occurred.
Pascals wager is another example, Are they (believers mainly Christians) using a tool to help one come to a logical conclusion? No, they are trying to spread uncertainty creating fear pushing people to make an unnecessary decision unwillingly, Never mind there are hundreds of other religions that could use the same argument, thus proving the invalidity of such an argument. Christians reference Einstein in their arguments, in a sort of who's who comparison of beliefs with an argument following in the line of "Yes!, even Einstein the greatest scientist in the 21st century was a believer in God!" It seems borderline silly to reduce a rational argument to name bragging, bearing in mind the scientist had a pantheistic atheist belief towards god.
When I look back at my teenage time of indecision, I only see a single figure standing as the representative of Christianity which would be you. In writing this I hope that i will rid myself the uncertainty towards the beliefs of Christianity and other paranormal belief systems by putting into light the workings of religion. The decline of the rational movement and the rise of romanticism stuttered the trend towards discovery of irrationality in human society, And the biggest irrationality that has persevered to date is religion.Gaining wings with the mindless emotionality and directionless cognition that has characterized the world after the rational movement. Religion still grows by taking advantage of the shortcomings of the EMO system to control the individual and as such religion has continued influencing the world in terrible ways till today.
P.S. I was hoping to post this letter on my blog
I also wanted to post a reply in the blog but his reply did not have any substantive points or arguments in it. If there is a quality argument, i will post it!
Sunday, August 9, 2009
The global warming crisis for example is hogwash perpetuated by this complex. I do not claim to be an expert or even that knowledgeable to this subject, but there are many fallacies in the theories and action related to global warming. There has been extensive research documenting an increase in atmospheric temperature coinciding with an increase in carbon dioxide. Wikipedia graphs plot global surface temperature increasing in a logaristical fashion, while carbon dioxide increases likewise in a approximately linearly.This data has prompted many studies and due to all this frenzy, the global warming theorem has been created and the cause has been attributed to technology.
The component that is supposedly causing this increase according to this theorem is excessive Co2 . First there are other theorems that attribute this temperature increase to solar flaring and other things and regard increasing carbon dioxide as a bi-product. They have been ignored in light of global warming. Regardless If carbon dioxide is the culprit, the man-made output is estimated to be about 26 Gt. Output and most of this is attributed to heavy industry, Energy production not light transportation or residential output. The natural carbon dioxide cycle involves about Terratones of Co2 . Expending magnitudes of effort saving a few megatones in personal transportation while barely monitoring Heavy industry seems illogical.
Secondly when any positive action to solve the problem is set in progress it has to cuddle these fears instead of directly dealing with the problem. Restricting emissions and complicated taxing ventures to curb emissions seems fine to most, but concrete measures like cloud manipulation and iron seeding receive staunch resistance. As such, the ruthless use global warming as a vice while the scientific community is left to try and solve this illogical problem with fart cans(mufflers) and spray restrictions
Undoubtedly this has been more about global warming than elaboration of Asimov's phrase Frankenstein Complex, but as another great science Frank Herbert fiction writer said “Fear is the Mind Killer” . Is it not better trying to solve this bungle with a clear mind than to muddle through the problem like society has done for the last three decades
my sources are Wikipedia and some other obsure site
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The Political structures in place in the world are systematically taking to account the individual in their workings. The law is moving from a shepherd of the illogical human flock to a huge direction pointer in the irrational individual. Giving examples with current situation in homosexual policy in governments, the government has abandoned its way of slowly directing population count, opinions of general public and using other such mass manipulation techniques that discourage homosexuality and such other behavior that increase trends of aspects that are not necessarily seen as helpful in general human populace . Now the governing bodies in place are slowly embracing the wants of the individual, catering for homosexuality and other such things as feminism, current regulation in areas to do with safety, morality, Demands of social nets(public health care), disability care, and many more things.
This is partially due to the power of the individual. The onset of the Internet and other related devices and services connecting the individual to the world, the press , the amount of firepower the individual can possess and amount of damage the individual can produce to todays fragile society are great powers. As such the ruling structures in todays world are now vying for more power on the individual. Freud gave great insight in the individual drive, but the greatest truths about the human being came from John Locke who theorized the individual generally is a tabula rasa, a blank slate at birth whose venerable mind could be fashioned in any way or form if a great enough force is exerted. As such the individual today is subject to screaming mainstream media that usually promotes the ideology of the ruling structure , Overbearing Law enforcement of the current day that discourages wavering from accepted dogma and generally micro manages the individual , biased and harsh law system that prunes any unwanted part in the general populace.
As such the opinions and problems in the government have a disturbing part in the people. Racial prejudice, capitalist agenda , religious leanings, ethnic hatred, political ideology and other such things have effect on the individual. They are smeared on anything in the media, used to influence the law and percolate in anything and everything around the individual. It does not matter on the form of government; dictator, communist or even democracy. In the United states, We have the infamous Fox news :the republican mouthpiece , MSN: a staunch democrat supporter and various other biased standings in the media. The 'Popos' are a hateful and racist organization and the policy of the law system over here is three strikes and you are 'out ' as I heard. In the face of such an overwhelming force, I the individual must push back must take my stand.
As I see it, this ideal civilized lifestyle that has overtaken life in America is an all too ugly facade designed as a brainwash and leash . The kindness and lovey duvey shit of their so called civilized world is purposefully aganist the grain of the base order of humanity, I am an animal, a selfish and sadistic asshole, uncultured with powerful and uncontrollable sexual urges, I need to let out and bring forth these things not them brew behind this 'gentleman' label. These ideologies are the things that have given birth to the homosexual hippie like atmosphere that surrounds philososphy in America.
There is also an avid aversion to Disagreement that at times seem downright ridiculous. Disagreeing with a person in america is like trying to shit an unsliced watermelon, Either anything meager degrades to mindless violence or your disagreement drives the other person away or into some sort of coccoon mode. In any other place, disagreements are part of life and if violence is needed most nothing turns into a crapshoot as fast as in america.
Gangstarism as i see it is a resistance to this 'civilization' of oneself. An accumulation of philosophies that force you discard the love and need of comfort for surrounding community and society in the face of the urgency and seriousness of one's own need. whether Worship of violence, Worldly Comfort and sexuality or resistance to the Law, Need for Money and Need to hump something however you might put it, As i see it these need have outweighed any concern about the world ten times over. That is why i Say my world is Gangsta.
p.s. The word Gangsta has many violent connotations, Each has his own so do not go associating me to some obscure italian mafioso. No sir, i deeply resent that.
p.p.s I also don't sell drugs