ATHEISTS DO NO EVIL
As I put my new homemade bumper sticker on my little blue Aspire (128,000 miles and counting), I thought of all the poor people in the world who still live in their old world order of evil and good. “Those poor Christians, Jews and Moslems who live in a world filled with evil,” I thought. “My heart goes out to them.”
Imagine! To live in a world full of evil and terror! Wow! No wonder the religious are always shocked and puzzled by the activities of the living world. I was once like them, uncomprehending, seeing bad everywhere I looked, until one day I entered the evolving and natural, modern world. Now, where I once felt despair and hopelessness, I feel positive and believe that some day we’ll create a better world where superstition and religion are conquered.
What does my new bumper sticker say? It reads, “ATHEISTS DO NO EVIL”.
Leaving the “evil” world behind every thing makes sense once we accept that what we’re witnessing is an animal becoming human rather than an evil-born human failing to act transcendentally. With luck someday those who see evil everywhere and create trouble wherever they go will lighten up and quit doing destructive things. Instead of decrying the evil behavior of others, they’ll become positive, understanding, accepting and constructive Darwinians. We can hope so anyway.
ARE WE FREE AGENTS?
“Determinism is the thesis that ‘there is at any instant exactly one physically possible future’ (Van Inwagen 1983, p. 3).... First, many thinkers assume that determinism implies inevitability. It doesn’t. Second, many think it is obvious that indeterminism—the denial of determinism—would give us agents some freedom, some maneuverability, some elbow room, that we just couldn’t have in a deterministic universe. It wouldn’t. Third, it is commonly supposed that in a deterministic world, there are no real options. only apparent options. This is false. Really?” (from Dennett’s “Freedom Evolves” on p. 25.)
Again, I’m firing at you some passages from Dennett. I find this stuff fascinating, for I’ve been ready a long time now to accept that I’m just a complicated robot. As you can see from the passage above, Dennett won’t quite grant me this freedom to be unfree. His arguments don’t always convince me, but I find his complicated logical sequences to be refreshing to my old clunky mind.
IN LOUISIANA WITH THE MEN AS THEY TELL IT
This guy comes onto a job site I was working at over in Belle Chasse. He claims to be able to run a dozer. So the foreman hires him ‘cause we really need some guys at the time. So the guy climbs up into the seat and gets a load of dirt and goes to dump his bucket into a truck. Only he misses and drops the bucket onto the cab of the truck. Lucky, nobody was in the cab at the time. Everybody stops to watch what happens next. There’s a long pause, then guy in the dozer grinds some gears and tries to jockey the dozer but nothing moves. Then he just climbs down out of the seat—he ain’t saying nothing—and walks off into the distance. Whistling.
"There is no cure for birth and death save to enjoy the interval." —George Santayana