Monday, November 24, 2014

True Equality

Hello everyone,
    Sorry for writing this late. This last week, I was watching the Legend of Korra tv series on Nick and something about the villains struck me. Each of the four villains claim "equality" as their goal in some way or shape. When things are equal, they are supposed to be in balance, which happens to be the title of the final season. So it will be interesting to see how it ends up.
    Something we as a society seem to have trouble is recognizing what true equality is. Some people think they need everything someone else has. If everyone is given the same things, then everything is equal, right? Actually, no. In fact, to do so would lead to absolute inequality.
    Let's consider a shopping cart. You can fill it with different combinations of different items and end up with the same total cost as someone else who is buying fewer, but more expensive items. The value of the items inside the cart are equal, but they are made up of different things. These different items could be virtues and talents. It also can be circumstances which change how we view something. A dollar given by a rich man does not carry the same meaning as a dollar given by a poor man. The value of the dollar might be the same, but the sacrifice is completely different. The latter man is the one more worthy of praise.
    No matter what, we will always have different needs and circumstances. Perhaps the first place we should have looked was in the family, where we have both an idea of equality despite knowing inequality. If you have siblings, then you know you always see inequality even though the parents might see true equality. The youngest may be considered the most spoiled because of all the attention he may get, but if he's only 3 months old, then he requires the attention, while a 8-year old sister can play with her friends. Of course there will be situations that will feel unfair, but we also always tend to look at only the small details, not taking into account the larger picture, part of which is the number of siblings you have change as you gain another.
    To be honest, I can't tell you if my parents have their own favorite child, because we are so different. We have different attitudes and occupations. We each our able to do different things with our parents so it's fairly difficult to compare. However, I believe that we are each loved equally because of that uniqueness. It doesn't matter if one is given more money, because it's probably because he or she needs it more, or is thought of to use it more responsibly. We are different and are given different things, but in our parents eyes, we are equally loved, and that is what matters.

With Love,
N. D. Moharo

Friday, November 7, 2014

Concerning the idea of a god

Hello all,
    While I tend to avoid religious discussion, there is an idea that was floating in my head that I wished to explore. In today's world, some people try to be very tolerant of other people's beliefs. One of the results of this is the idea that there is "One God, and it's the same God for every religion." The idea that is floating in my head says, this is absolutely false.
    I can tell you that the idea of "One God, and it's the same God for every religion" is one that makes it easy for Atheists. The reason is because they need only to disprove one concept of god that people believe and they win their argument. However, if you hold that everyone does not believe in the same god, then there's more work to be done.
    I'll even go as far as to say that people within the same religion don't believe in the same god. If you think that a god is someone who answers your every wish, you are probably missing a lamp or that's not true. If you think that god is someone that was created and then created people and the world, then you are like the Ancient Greeks (except for some like Aristotle). If you think the idea of god is someone's body that we are currently living on, then you are like the ancient Babylonians (or playing a game called Xenoblade Chronicles). The problem is that the further into these ideas you go, you realize they are mutually exclusive of each other. To say that all of these notions of a god are the same shows that you don't have a clear understanding of what being a god means.
    If you have a firm belief in what a "god" is, then you would see that the whole world does not believe in the same god. If you have a definition like, "A supernatural being from which everything was made," then that would exclude any notions that "god was created."
    Part of the reason why I have been thinking about this was hearing the argument that "God, as the first mover, created everything" being countered with "well, who created God?" Such a response demands a question "Do you know anything about logic?" If the idea of a god is that it is the first mover, by the definition of first, that means there was nothing before. So to ask "who created God?" is an invalid question because it is arguing against the definition of "the first mover." If someone insists in thinking that absurd question is a valid point, there is no point in talking anymore. You can't argue with people who are illogical.
    The other reason why I am writing about this is because I am wondering what exactly it means to be a god. You can't say that there is no God if you don't even understand what it means to be God. What we can do is bring up ideas of gods and then refute them one by one until we come to a clear understanding. However, I don't have the energy to do that right now so let's focus on one idea and then what it means.
    Throughout history, it appears that one common idea of god is that a god does stuff for you. If you need water, you perform a ritual and rain will come. If you desire a good harvest, you sacrifice a tenth of your wheat and it will multiply. These ideas seem to be common in a lot of religions. I want to look at the idea that goes against this notion; the idea of fatherhood.
    This idea is mostly popular with the rise of Christianity, though it appears some Christians think of God as someone who does your bidding if you ask. Sounds like a supernatural butler to me from which I then wonder how is that any different from magic? Of course, we have muddled our idea of what magic is, so that will have to be another topic for another time. The reason why I'm interested in the idea of God as a Father is because it goes against the idea of a glorified butler and actually looks better.
    Think of it this way. Do you know of any master that truly cares about his butler? The butler is meant to serve you as the most important person. The idea that a supreme supernatural being is inferior to us is just horrifying and makes no sense. However, a father who listens to the requests of his children does make sense. There's something weird that happens when you grow up. you realize that things that used to appear so important really don't matter anymore. So what if I didn't get to sit at "my desk" in that "one class"? Does that matter now compared to "How am I going to afford to repair my car?" We consider the things that we see right now as the things that are important. As we grow older and realize there are far more important affairs, we can see farther and better organize our priorities and anticipate what is necessary. I think we can easily prove that there is no god that is just like a supernatural butler, but to disprove that there's a god who's like a father is much harder. This is because instead of saying, "right away, sir!" we might hear, "wait a second." Even then, a good father normally would look and see if the request is good for his child ad answer accordingly. A 14 year old might ask for a car, but a good father would say, "You're not ready. Wait until you are older and have experience driving." If we were to say which concept is more likely to be true, I would argue in favor of the "father."
    Now there is more to discuss, but I can't think about it anymore for today. Perhaps I shall visit this topic again another time, but I will likely wait until I have a better grasp of the various ideas before doing so. Until then, I hope that you at least realize that we need to be careful about our definitions of things that we take for granted, such as the concept of a god.

N. D. Moharo
Update: J. D. Nyle wrote a piece on magic a while back. Since I don't have anything to add, I'll share the link here: