Thursday, March 15, 2007

Rethinking childhood...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Quotes from the Great Lumberjack, Eric B from Montclair

  • Death is just God's way of killing you.
  • You can forgive someone, and there's not a damn thing they can do about it.
  • Have a nice day... unless you have other plans.
  • I'm learning to get drunk without drinking.
  • I don't recall stopping drinking... but one day, I just didn't start.
There are a lot of other Eric one-liners, but Eric has been able to manage many years without a drink AND without a "program". I don't know about you, but I don't like the idea of being programmed. Thank you, Eric, for your strong sense of fun... it taught my jihadist to laugh instead of rail. I still don't have it down.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Why Grace is Bullshit

Many people think that Outer Space Dude guided them through a series of potentially fatal experiences and smiled lovingly upon them, at last bringing them into the rooms of AA and arranging a series of kind tricks which allowed them to get sober.

Often acknowledged but overlooked are the good and worthy people that Outer Space Dude seems to have ignored. Maybe Outer Space Dude disliked them, or maybe they said something mean about him when they were in second grade. I don't know... I guess Outer Space Dude needs like LOTS of validation. But it's obvious that Outer Space Dude didn't feel that the people who were born before the 20th century were worth saving. Obviously, he let those drunks die without a "program" that might have helped them. The pre-cure victims of any disease are just out of luck - that's the inscrutable mystery of the love of Outer Space Dude.

The more I know about Outer Space Dude, the less I like him.

Yes, coincidences are Outer Space Dude's way of remaining anonymous... but death is Outer Space Dude's way of killing you.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Why Reincarnation Is Bullshit

Many people believe that there is a soul which is separate from the body, and this soul is the true identity of a being. The body is an accidental form that that the soul has inhabited. To this soul, some attributes are attached, including some sort of memory and ability to reason, learn, and make decisions. The separation of the soul from the body allows for the soul to reattach to another body. So many people who believe in the disincarnate soul also subscribe to the notion that the soul survives through various incarnations, even across species. The same soul can have lived as a Egyptian pharaoh, a Jewish slave, a tiger, a lamb... a tree, a flatworm, a bacterium?

In 1900, the world's human population was about one billion; in 2000, this had increased to about 6 billion. That means that there are now over 5 billion souls occupying human bodies that were housed in other species at the turn of the previous century. This would work if there were roughly the same number of living organisms, but organisms have increased due to the peculiar way that life turns lifeless materials into organisms. The number of organisms increases until an extinction event such as the asteroid which wiped out the dinosaurs 65 million years ago.

The current working theory of evolution posits that there was an original unique ancestor cell from which all carbon-based life forms emerged. From this original cell, sprang many trillions of living beings. Of these trillions of organisms, science estimates that 20 billion of these organisms have been Homo sapiens. If this is true and reincarnation is fair, the most human lives that someone could have lived would have been 4 but more likely 3. (20 billion divided by 6 billion is 3.33.) These lives would have been scattered across a million years.

If there are more organisms now than there were at a previous time, where did the new souls come from? Were they waiting in heaven? If there are trillions of souls waiting for bodies, what makes us believe that we will get another chance at being reincarnated before the souls that haven't had a body get their turn? How many souls are there? All I want is rough estimate.

Perhaps the souls come from another planet's extinction? Perhaps we have lived on other planets, in other types of universes? But if evolution is correct, (and I believe it is) there was only ONE first organism. All other posited souls would have to be waiting in the wings. We have no idea how many souls there might be, or why we would get another chance before all the waiting souls have had a chance to occupy an organism at least once.


Unlike animals with a lesser ability for abstract thinking, humanity's ability to conger up possible worlds introduces all of us to a constant state of worry and fear. What if there is a tiger in the cave? What if another asteroid extinction is on the way? Religion and poetic reasoning are valued for their ability to calm our troubled minds. So I can't do anything about fucked up childhood? I'll pick a better childhood next time. So I can't help do anything about the living conditions of the poor? I'll take care of it in the next life.

Like I've stated before on this blog: I have no problem with lullabies... as lullabies. I just worry when people start making real decisions based on lullabies. Soothe your mind, but allow yourself to ask the valuable and value-giving question: What if this is my only shot at life? What is important to me now? Anything that can be put off for the next life can be put off forever. Deal with things TODAY.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Stop marginalizing atheists. We're more honest than you.


Madeline, a new AA trustee and speaker at PRAASA in Portland, just said that she was raised religiously and spoke like someone who believed, but if you followed her around, she behaved "like an agnostic."

What do you think would have happened if she had compared her alcoholic behavior with black people or Spanish speaking persons? What sort of outcry would arise? Madeline, how do agnostics behave? How about atheists? What are we to do with the fact that most of the most horrible atrocities are carried out by religionists?

I am so fucking tired of AA's stupidity. Why must we perpetuate this fabric of lies, quasi-religion, and bad (if any) science? Why can't we look at what really works? Why can't we introduce some education, some sophistication, and some book learning in with our bullshit steps and "program"? Alongside the bullshit, why can't we teach observation, hypothesis, prediction, and testing? Why can't we explain Ockham's razor when telling the newcomer about choosing a higher power and "to keep it simple"? Why can't we talk about double blind studies and the logical fallacies of begging the question, fat ox fallacy, ad hominum, improper appeal to authority, and biased samples? Would it be so hard to teach people how to think as we teach them how not to drink?


Why must people who think for themselves and choose no-god continue to be marginalized by AA? I think it has a lot to do with substitution of addictions, probably arising from the same motivators as does AA's de facto eucharist of coffee and cigarettes. These enter into "recovery" as lesser demons useful to our salvation from John Barleycorn, the ONLY demon AA is supposed to have an opinion about.

The fear of such purposeful stuck-on-stupid ignorance was probably the reason that the Fifth Tradition left some wiggle room by stating that an AA group's PRIMARY (not "single") purpose is to help alcoholics. Often noted and ignored is the original draft of the Twelfth Step which encouraged AAs to carry this message to OTHERS, especially alcoholics.

AA's history Pass It On suggests that some of Bill Wilson's dissatisfaction with AA in late 1950s and 1960s resulted from his desire to take the group therapy and moral suasion insights gleaned from AA's experience to help victims of other "neuroses". But he was hamstrung by the lowest common denominator of the exclusionist alcoholics who felt they could not (read: “would not”) help addicts of illegal drugs, feeling they would be stained by association with "criminals".

Stay tuned for upcoming topics:

My favorite e e cummings quote (at this moment)

I will not kiss your fucking flag!
from "I sing of Olaf, glad and big"

People of AA, the United States and its fucking terrorism are OUTSIDE ISSUES!!! Tradition Ten.

No! I will not have a moment of silence for the United States, its idiot unscrupulous President, and its murdering troops or paid terrorists. Please, speak up when you hear this bullshit in an AA meeting. You have my sacred promise (sacred because it it MY promise) that I will not let this jingoism go by without my strenuous objection.

People of Iraq and throughout the world, forgive us for the apathy, stupidity, and fear that have allowed this murder and horror to happen. God, help the people who have made their homes over mineral wealth that the industrial world covets.