Sunday, April 3, 2016

Agnosticism is bullshit (by anon)

Agnosticism is an intellectually lazy/dishonest view, not to mention it is literally contentless (or arbitrarily contentful) when taken seriously. 

There is nothing wrong with doubting things. I doubt things all of the time, like if I locked my door, if I will get into Stanford, if you will read this post charitably, etc. However, if I claim to doubt, on the basis that I do not have the resources to verify one way or the other, the existence of something as polemical as fucking GOD, what exactly is it that I am doubting, or relegating to the realm of “the unknowable”, and why do I care to proclaim such a neutral-sounding judgment about this entity in the first place?

Agnosticism is (according to the Google dictionary) the view/belief “that nothing is known or can be known of the existence or nature of God or of anything beyond material phenomena.” In short, the agnostic thinks it is impossible to know whether or not God exists, thus they suspend judgment, and inevitably concede to believing that God might* exist.

Now, what does it mean to believe something like this? It goes without saying that there is a plethora of predicative concepts that could saturate the subject-name “God”. We might be talking about any one of the religiously affiliated or otherwise mythical gods across the entire cultural board, from ancient times to present. We might be talking about god in a Hegelian, transcendental way, as simply “The Absolute”, “Spirit”, perhaps “Nature”. We might be talking about a new age, quasi-scientific conception of God, such as “Energy” or “Universal Force”. We might be talking about personal gods (yes, people, even smart people, admit to having these). So, when an agnostic says, “God might exist, I can’t know”, what are they really saying?

Let’s say we choose a specific conception of God, which has specific properties, and attempt to claim that we just can’t know whether this God exists. The problem here is, I can come up with a million different entities, with all kinds of specific properties, which “might exist” (if only I had the supernatural resources to find out…), entities in which one might say I have no reason not to believe, as they lie outside of the material world and are immune to scientific investigation, and thus I ought to suspend judgment. But just what is the point of being skeptical about something that we have no good reason to bring our attention to in the first place? I may not know whether or not I am a brain in a vat, but who fucking cares? Granted, we are in a time where culturally and historically speaking, it is within a broad tradition to consider certain supernatural entities as (at least possibly) existing, but this is no reason to feel obligated to give two shits regarding the status of anything we might call “God”. 

A point here is just that if I’m agnostic, what I am actually claiming to be uncertain about could be virtually anything. If I let it be the case that any particular conception of God is unknowable, can’t I then say that any particular instance of any supernatural entity is equally unknowable, and thus I would concede to saying there might be angels, devils, ghosts, demons, fairies, trolls, quantum snakes, parallel universes, and whatever else I care to dream up? Why concede to a view that allows for this kind of explosive arbitrary content? A worse problem is that under agnosticism, any supernatural entity eventually starts to look more and more like just that which is unknowable in principle, and if I claim to not be able to know anything about said entity, which is by definition, unknowable, then, haven’t I just stated a tautology and gained nothing?

Here is my view. I am an atheist. I do not doubt whether or not any god exists, not because I lack spirituality, or because I am a crude, arrogant materialist, but because to invoke any belief concerning “what might exist”, I’m going to demand specific content, and good evidence for that content. Sure, all metaphysical claims are at bottom, unknowable, but at least they can be evidenced and well argued for. Since the existence of any God-like entity is always poorly evidenced at best (and never well-argued for), I find that "God" is not even a subject worthy of a skeptical judgment, much less a positive one. 

Do I have a metaphysical view? Absolutely! Can I know this view is correct? No, of course not. But is it necessary for me to suspend judgment then? Fuck no. I can give evidence for my metaphysical view, and I can argue for it. This, I don’t think agnostics are ever willing to figure out how to do. In fact, their passivity seems to be a requirement of the position they're in. What's worse is that at bottom, it seems that agnostics clearly just want to keep the possibility open that something beyond them is out there. But I wonder about what really motivates this idea, and whether or not agnostics will ever admit that their stance is merely a bullshit guise for nothing more than shallow, wishful thinking.

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I'm a hippie and I'm proud! (by anon)

What do people even mean when they call me a hippie?

Yes I am deeply spiritual, yes I speak of and feel vibrations, yes I wear crystals. But only because this is what works for me.

My generation needs a new mantra. We need to keep reconstructing our society to make it a more comfortable place to live. Sure, we are an incredibly diverse population and everybody fits into their niche, but it is possible for everyone to be a hippie at heart. Let me explain.

To start, we do indeed need to become more aware of the food we’re eating. Do we even realize how much processed food we’re in taking? Does anybody else feel like a total robot eating plastic food off a belt-line?  Is it a surprise that we develop some type of cancer by the time we’re 50?

And then we have the athletes who work out religiously and eat “healthy,” yet they consume pre-workout and protein shakes. I dare you to read the ingredient label of a typical brand of workout formula. Can you pronounce half of the ingredients? Do you know what a third of them actually are? When did this become okay? I won’t try to convince you to turn vegetarian or vegan, but we need nowhere close to that amount of protein whatsoever. Why are we obsessed with having huge muscles anyways? Before we over-exercise our biceps and triceps, let’s work our brains a little bit more by actually reading a book.

We need to stop declaring to other people how we’re vegetarian and vegan. If that’s how you live your life, do it and don’t discuss it. It IS something to be proud of, but you look like a jackass or a brat when you press it upon other people and they don’t inquire.

To touch on this GMO-organic debate. Yes, I know what GMO stands for. Yes, I understand that some of our vegetables wouldn’t exist without being genetically modified, i.e. broccoli. I realize that they’re not immediately killing us. But if you’re buying bananas at the grocery store, and half of them are labeled organic and the other not, why would you not choose to eat organically? They’re a tad more expensive but why would you pay less for chemicals? Eating organic isn’t “hippie” it’s reverting back to what is natural. Being natural is HUMAN, let’s not forget that we are HUMAN.

We need to be more concerned about recycling, or at least become aware of how we use our resources. For a while, I didn’t believe in recycling or sorting through my garbage before I threw it away. Think of how much garbage we produce daily and weekly, where does it all go? We have to have some sort of cycle that rids our garbage and it somehow all works out in the end.

But that’s not entirely what it’s about. It’s about only using as much water as you need. Whether brushing your teeth or taking a shower, washing the dishes…only use what you need. Turn off the lights or electronics when they’re not in use. We should simply aim to be more conservative, and use things purposefully.

Hippies get teased for believing in rocks and crystals. Um, it’s about time we start cherishing a rock other than a diamond! A diamond is completely corrupt and should lose all of its worth, along with gold. Who started this?? I understand historically that that’s what our currency was backed up with, but now a days, you cannot even turn on the radio without having jeweler commercials nagging you to spend thousands on diamonds because it’s engagement season. Does anyone realize that it’s always engagement season? Do you realize how DEAD the concept of marriage is?

A crystal is timeless, and will never lose its worth to those that acknowledge it. They are valuable because they emit vibrations and frequencies that can be soothing and even healing.

There, I said it: vibration. VIBE. I used to get SO utterly peeved when somebody would say, “Sending you good vibes J” or “I’m getting bad vibes…” Whatever the case. Then I realized, I just have to bite my tongue and not get ticked because vibrations do exist; they’re perpetually all around us and we cannot escape them. I mean, what else is enjoying good music?

But seriously, please stop saying “vibe.”

Yes, good music does exist outside of music festivals. Yes, I love a good music festival. But I will never ever pay hundreds of dollars to go to an over-commercialized event. That is total non-sense. There is more to life than electric music, dubstep, techno, trance, drum and bass. Music festivals are an important part of our expanding generation. They are more than an open field for hippies to go and do a bunch of drugs and roll around in the dirt. It’s an event that like-minded people go where they can enjoy hours of live music night and day, where they can dance fiercely, and express themselves freely.

There’s art being sold and produced around every corner. There are people doing balancing acts, playing with their flowing toys, giving light shows, spinning fire. These things take a huge amount of talent, and/or a countless amount of practice hours! You can dress in the most obnoxious costume or the most fashionable clothes, and you are only there to be accepted and enjoyed.

A hippie enjoys. They are simplistic, they are optimistic, they are happy. They create their own happiness, they are content and confident within themselves, and they want what’s best for everybody. They make choices that help better nature, our planet, our creator. This is something vital that we can all attain.

Don’t you want to?

Sunday, December 13, 2015

The Promise of Freedom (by Rebecca Tutcher)

The drums have sounded in the empty sky
Where ash has bled from the wound of Time.
The war then began with our battle cry
And our Rights are here, just by our side.

The streets have lost the will to move,
The blood is now on our hands.
The world has stopped and we consume
The safety we risked for Freedom Land.
But safety came in a dangerous package
And we sought to unwrap that dreadful gift.
Knowing now it’s the cause of the wreckage,
But the mistake we made we can’t uplift.
The children now rest in silent coves,
Victims of our world they merely lived in.
Innocent numbers, murdered in droves,
As we fought for our right to kill them.

The drums have sounded in the empty sky
And ash burns red with the blood of the lost.
The lives we had sought to save now die
And Hope is gone, stolen by Fire and Frost.

Love is taken and horded for the prestigious few,
The others must simply want in their privacy.
We forbade them any peace and harmony too,
Instead we give them persecution and lunacy.
But the righteous are worth more than lesser men
And the benefits show their place in Freedom Land.
We rose up and took their Rights from them
And kept it held tightly in our worthy hand.
So they shrivel and die in their lack of love.
They wilt and we find from that satisfaction.
We are better, after all, an Eagle to a Dove,
And studiously ignore our own contradiction.

The drums have sounded in the empty sky
Their steady beat now too loud to stand.
Have we done it all, does the end draw nigh?
Have we sacrificed enough for Freedom Land?

No, we have our Rights and the passage was set,
Foregoing sanity for the blissful sense of Freedom.
Our women rose up, but now we forget
The ways in which regulations destroyed them.
A resounding echo of newborn cries
Sound in the fading daylight of memory.
Forced to be born while the mother dies,
Ignoring that conception was done criminally.
Oh, but at least they live, as only one can live
When one resides in a broken home.
At least they live and they have lives to give,
But what is living when we are all alone?

The drums have sounded in the empty sky
Their rhythm broken and dismally haunted.
The drums now beat with a sickening cry,
But, after all, isn’t this what we wanted?

Saturday, December 12, 2015

Shut your political pie-hole, professor! (by anon)

Let’s say you enroll in a class where the professor has a DEFINITE political view, either to the right or to the left, AND is not shy about letting it be known.  The professor is not really interested in having his or her comments debated; they are just meant at jabs and snickers against the opposing party.  Is this right?

I have found, in general, that there are two camps of responses. (A) Students find this deplorable.  They believe that professors should remain as neutral and balanced as possible because it is not their job to try and sway students with their allegiances. (B) Students find this acceptable.  It is not the professor’s job to coddle and protect students from strong, opinionated views.  It is the student’s job to learn how to think through one’s position in light of this challenge.

Here is a student post in line with camp (A).

I am normally not one to complain about politics because I believe that an individual will believe what he or she wants to believe and will not have their mind changed by someone ranting about how much they hate the opposing political party. The reason as to why I am bringing this up is due to the fact that I am currently in a class with a professor who constantly makes sarcastic remarks and jokes about a certain politician and the political party as a whole, but if I or anyone else would do such a thing it would be greatly frowned on. It is one thing to have a stance on either side, whether it be the democratic or republican party, but it is going too far when you bash a political party in front of your entire classroom. I just feel that something such as a political stance should be kept in closed doors unless the right place or time comes up. Politics have just always been an argument starter in my opinion, you either are into politics and are sensitive about the subject or you do not pay much attention to it at all. Like I said earlier I am normally not one to complain about things like this but when it is taking from my time to learn in class about a subject I actually enjoy, then it does become an issue for me. If it is such a big deal to talk about religion or other sensitive subjects in class that are considered “offensive” to some people, then I think that it should be against school policy to try and persuade students who to and not to vote for in the next election. In all reality by the professor constantly pushing his thought into our class session, it actually makes me want to vote for the opposite party; let school be a place for teaching the subjects we pay money for and the political debates be left outside the classroom.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

THIS JUST IN! Donald Trump’s Campaign Slogan is: “I’ve Got a Big Dick!” (by anon)

Donald Trump is changing his campaign slogan from “Make America Great Again” to “I’ve Got a Big Dick!”  Ok, not really. But semi-believable, right??  Are you really shocked that I would write that as a possibility?  With all his hyper-self-promoting-pandering-to-the-masses rambling bullshit, nothing is off the table.  Here are some other possible campaign slogans that wouldn’t surprise me:

“Me Me Me”
“I’m white and damn proud of it!”
“Let me show you my money”
“I’m hired!”
“I’m an asshole and you love me for it!”

[Full disclosure: I’m feeling absolutely sick to my stomach writing a post about Donald Trump and his presidential run. I’m throwing up. not joking]

I’m absolutely baffled as to why ANYONE takes this buffoon seriously.  Here are just some highlights of his idiocy from both his current and previous runs for president:

a. He promises to use swear words when negotiating with foreign countries.
b. He’ll serve McDonald’s at state dinners for those countries he feels are being unfair to the US.
c. Trump credits China for coming up with the concept of global warming to fight US manufacturing.
d. He accuses Mexico for deliberately sending over rapists and killers to the US.
e. He championed birtherism against Obama (and still does).
f. He freely calls all our nation’s leaders (and everyone else) “stupid.”
g. He claims that his activity of renting and selling properties counts for more than enough foreign policy experience.
h. Trump affirms that if his policies on immigration were implemented, he would have stopped 9/11.
i. He wants to prevent all muslims from entering the US.
j. Trump has called numerous women “fat pigs,” “dogs,” “bimbos,” “slobs,” and “disgusting animals.”

Points d, e, and i are just covert ways of being racist.  A while back, Bob Schieffer of CBS’ Face the Nation said that Trump’s suspicion over Obama getting into Columbia University is “just code for saying he got into law school because he’s black.  This is an ugly strain of racism that’s running through this whole thing.”  Right on Bob!!  Call it like it is.

But why does this racist goof get any traction!  Is our nation that racist?  I guess so.  Is our nation that stupid to pay attention to this crap?  Yup.  Is our nation that fascinated by pontificating, immature, shit-faced egomaniacs?  Of course it is!  Remember Charlie Sheen!?  There was a media blitz around his own on-air self-destruction a few years back.  BUT everyone saw Sheen as precisely what he is – an egomaniac with extreme delusions about himself.  So why does Trump get traction where Sheen just slides out of the spotlight??

Let me repeat for the sake of emphasis.  Donald Trump and Charlie Sheen are practically the same person – meat heads, with lots of money, big mouths, and ideas fit for a donkey’s ass.  But Sheen was ridiculed and rightly so.  Why isn’t Trump?  Is it because of his racism adored by so many Americans?  Is it that Trump packages himself together just a little bit better than Sheen?  Is it because Trump links himself with a presidential run and the other Republican hopefuls are just that pathetic?  Granted, many people do not take Trump seriously and they do lump him into the same category as Charlie Sheen.  But there are many others who really do esteem Trump and think that he would be a great president! <holy shit, just kill me>  How is it even possible that this is a serious possibility???

Donald Trump embodies almost everything wrong with this country.  He’s an arrogant, cut throat capitalist, sexist, egotistic, ignorant, racist, man-whore, double-shit who makes his living off of financially screwing other people.  The more this guy gets into the spotlight as someone we should care about listening to, the more we should be punching ourselves in the faces.  Someone should punch me now for even writing a post about him.

“I’ve Got a Big Dick!”  It wouldn’t surprise me one bit if he ran on that.  Hell, I bet he’d even make Charlie Sheen his VP.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

This isn't high school anymore (by anon)

To be quite frank, the most promising part of coming to college was the fact that I would be escaping my hometown, where over half of the student body has absolutely no regard for the education system. My friends and I would complain everyday about the disrespect that we were surrounded by and literally counted down the days until our graduation ceremony. When I was accepted to the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, I thought to myself, “This is a chance to be surrounded by people with different ideas, but share one common goal, take education seriously and be rewarded in the future because of it.” Although the classmates and friends that I choose to surround myself with absolutely share the same goal as I do, there are a select number of individuals who act with utter disrespect towards their professors and this college in general.
          One thing that I absolutely cannot stand is academic dishonestly. In my Statistics class, we had an exam that we took over the course of two days. The exam happened to be found online, so many students who most likely would have never gotten high scores, ended up cheating and spreading the news around that the exam was found online. My teacher realized what had happened right away, thus, everyone was required to take a new exam. This made me extremely angry, because although it is fair that everyone should take the same exam, why should the students who were academically honest have to be punished as well?
          Another student I know in the class talks over the professor during the lectures, and make snarky comments directed towards the professor. Our professor has an accent, which can be difficult to understand at times, however if you pay attention and remain focused, it is not hard to understand what his main points are at all. At the end of the first two class periods this student claimed that our professor does not know how to teach properly. NO! He knows how to teach and it’s not hard to understand him either. The reason you have no idea what is going on is because you are making fun of his accent all class, and are disrespecting his profession and life’s work in mathematics.This is not high school, and I don’t know why such people think that since they are “adults”, they can be so arrogant and condescending towards those who are only trying to help them become functional adults.

          Another type of student that irks me is the type that does not bother to show up to their classes, and attends school mainly to party. I have met multiple students who do not seem to care about the money that they are wasting by not attending class. It’s not my money that is being wasted, it is theirs, but it bothers me to see how they simply do not care. The significance of going to college is to do well and learn in order to get a decent paying job and to live comfortably. What they do not realize is that they can fully dedicate themselves to learning as well as have fun. That’s why weekends were invented, guys! The fact that makes me more irritated is that some of these students will either drop out or be academically suspended because of their lack of attendance affecting their grade point averages. This means that scholarships, grants, and loans are being wasted on these students because they did not care enough about their education. In college, you cannot have your mother call in sick for you if you do not want to go to class.  Some of us will never grow up or move on from our teenage selves, but it is time to assume responsibility.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

If I had a crayon (by anon)

If I had a crayon, I’d draw a box.

That box is my life; it is me.  It is square, predictable, proportional, with boundaries, a square.  The inside and the outside seem well-defined, but in all honesty, as I am inside, the outside isn’t all that clear.  It should be clear because it is my job to think outside of it.  But it is not.

There are times I believe that I am sitting on top of the box or at least pacing back and forth upon it trying to determine what this box really is, where this box truly resides, why it is here in the first place, and what would it mean if the box disappeared, but those are all fantasies.  I am the box and nothing more.  I am inside, an infinite inside pegged within an infinitely finite casing, but I know it is a casing, a crushing casing. There is no understanding it, nor the entirety of the square, as there appears to be neither beginning nor end to its existence, though I know they both exist.

I want to scream at the box because it is so predictable.  I don’t want to die predictably, I don’t want to live predictably, but I fear that that is my lot.  I don’t want to be predictable, but that is predictable given my personality, and the more unpredictable I aim to become, the more predictable I get.  I am in my little box.  I don’t like my little box.

I want to eat the crayon and destroy my box, but then I would be no more.

I love my little box.