2010/06/17 – The Imaginary Universal Book of Everything

I received an email from an old girlfriend of mine where she asked me a series of questions from an imaginary “Universal Book of Everything.”

The book asks: If a Spaceship lands next to you, and in it you find The Universal Book of Everything and then you are told that you are being given a bonus just for fun question. What is it?

Then it goes on to ponder the following:

Well, first I would ask for “a little help, here?” I mean, what the fuck? Why haven’t you and the Pan-Galactic Alliance of Light Weenyism Planets sorted out this world? You could bring the cure for disease, poverty and war and you just let us languish in our own stupidity and abusiveness? And all you have to say for yourself is you brought this stupid book for me “as a bonus? Oh, alright. Since yer here…

Have you hijacked your own search for the truth?

YES, i have. I have taken my search for truth hostage. It’s laying bound and gaged in the cellar. It had to be done, thanks to two philosophical positions that were all the rage in Athens 2500 years ago. (1) Protagoras claims that ‘truth’ is just the measure of one’s belief while (2) Gorgias stated that no ‘truth’ existed at all – we can only state that ‘which appears to be so.’

The Uncertainty Principle (physics) states that the momentum and position of a particle cannot both be precisely determined at the same time. Richard Rorty came to the same conclusion that “the truth is always made, not found.” Now, That’s the kind of philosophical skepticism one can hang their hat on!

What does spirituality mean to you?

Enlightened, fluffy, magic-unicorns-flying-in-the-sky-dressed-up bullshit. Spirituality is a lot like that famous American dish, liver and onions. Awful stuff – even if the liver is coated with breadcrumbs. I mean, I know it’s still liver under there. Blech.

My religious beliefs have been formed by the post-punk New Wave band, Ohio’s own Waitresses: “My goal is to find a cure for irony and make a fool out of God.” Well, I’ve moved on to making a fool out of spirituality.

What is the difference if any between a dogma and a natural law

Wow, I was just presenting this point in my latest video on the Secrets of Metaphysics with the sophists, who were very interested in this distinction between dogma (or convention) and ‘natural law.’ Dogma (obviously) is an agreed-upon, intellectual, codified and ‘official” belief system that the um… believers can’t deviate from or question. Natural Law is that which appears to be so in nature; gravity, the color red, things grow from seeds. Thales and the Presocratics imagined that the universe was ‘mechanical,’ which I suppose could be a philosophical outflow that resulted in the conception of natural law. Again, we can’t really say for sure, only offer ‘reasons’ why.

What are the dogmas in your own life?

Let’s see… well, for one, I have no skills with dealing with women, I don’t believe in the Hallmark Greeting card sentimentality of ‘love,’ people for the most part mean well, but really, they are deceptive, manipulative, murderous, spiteful, abusive and selfish assholes. Oh, and everyone thinks I’m ‘negative!’

How do they govern how you percieve yourself and reality?

Like that line in the Waitresses’ song, They’re All Out of Liquor, Let’s Find Another Party’ –  ‘trust no one and always insist ‘why.” There ya go.

Do you use the scientific method in your own life?

You mean the systematic observation, measurement, and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses? No. Well, I guess I do ‘test’ myself and experiment with ‘radical honesty’ and ‘self-perfection,’ but the results have been mixed, so far.

How has the split of science and religion affected your life?

Hm. Not much as I can tell.

What is the difference between science and religiion?

They are essentially the same, as they both arose from the human consciousness to explain its relationship to the world.

How has dualism affected the way you perceive yourself and reality?

Dualism is a mental construct that separates things into Either/Or – in other words, an equation. Is the universe mathematical, or just the mind?

Do you live your life as separate from nature and everyone else, or do you feel  truly connected?

Nature could only be a mechanical system like Thales, Anaximander and others have said. I feel a connection between myself and my G4 Powerbook laptop, so I guess any connection to anything outside ourselves is ever-present. Even though I am working to “un-separate” myself, it’s extremely hard. The sense of isolation can become narcotic after awhile, and comfy. But this results in the world becomes smaller and smaller as we diminish to the end. Unless there is some other unknown process at work, this means our life begins like it ends, alone. This shows me that life has no intrinsic ‘meaning.’ It’s here, however. Maybe it’s how we live it that gives meaning TO our living and dying. We might come back here, we might not. I will live under the assumption that I will come back, thus I have to do my part to make the world a better place. Finding my connection, making it real, and work towards the benefit of all are the only ways I can make this happen.

How often do you feel like a lizard? Can you grow a tail?

That’s really none of your business.

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