Thursday, June 28, 2007

Welcome to Complete Materialist

During my several decades of life, I have never experienced, nor have I witnessed in others, any phenomenon one could consider supernatural. Like most people, in my childhood I was surrounded by adults who had been taught that supernatural explanations - religion, psychic powers, card reading and the like - were to be accepted right along with the naturalistic explanations of science. Those same adults, having no sense that their supernatural explanations were in direct conflict with the world at large and the conduct of their own lives, no doubt expected that I, too, in a childhood act of follow-the-leader, would embrace as true those implausible inconsistent explanations.

As I matured I realized that people accepted those sincerely-held supernatural explanations for all the wrong reasons: tradition, authority, personal revelation, ignorance of the natural world, lack of understanding of coincidence and probability, among many others. For most people, I'm convinced that they consciously choose the path of lease resistance, the easiest row to hoe, the path of ignorance.

On this site I'll explore some of these ideas in more detail. I'll look at consciousness, spirituality, religion and other aspects of the human experience through a lens of reason. Rational thought, the fruits of science, and reasoned argument will be the tools of choice here since humans and all they experience are the products of natural processes which, by using the tools of reason, man more fully understands every day.

Some of what I consider here will be theoretical, in the scientific sense, with strong evidential footing - evolution, germ theory of disease, atomic theory - while others things will be more speculative, more hypothetical - consciousness, emotions, chemical communications, memetics, morality. Sometimes the ponderings will be right on and sometimes they will be full of holes. Those holes will provide opportunities to exchange ideas that might fill them in.

I don't fear the unknown. I'm not afraid of being wrong. I'm a fallible human who makes mistakes. I enjoy civil exchange of reasoned ideas with those who view things differently. By exchanging ideas we can each improve our understanding of the world.

I'm looking forward to sharing with you why I'm convinced that supernaturalism, in all its guises, debases humankind. I'm looking forward to exchanging ideas about making the world a better place by considering the human experience from a 100 percent supernatural-free perspective.


12 comments:

Fiery Ewok said...

I don't fear the unknown. I'm not afraid of being wrong. I'm a fallible human who makes mistakes.

I think that is one of the greatest strengths that rational people have. The ability to adjust their thinking and knowledge of the world as new information presents itself.

Much better than the dogmatists stance of head in the sand, hiney in the air.

I love that you've started your blog again. Excellent first post!

Poodles Rule said...

It was so great to see a new Russ blog that I almost wet myself.

Russ said...

FE,

Thanks for the words of encouragement.

It's great! I even have poodles rule almost wetting herself.

I don't know how to do this, but I'm gonna give it a hell of a shot.

And, FE, thank you. You're making this transition to blogger a more enjoyable one.

PS: I promise I'll respond to PMomma's tagging soon.

Atheist in a mini van. said...

For most people, I'm convinced that they consciously choose the path of lease resistance, the easiest row to hoe, the path of ignorance.

I totally agree. I think religion, for the majority, is less about a conscious choice than it is about conformity and a need to "fit in". It's easier to follow the herd than it is to think for one's self.


On this site I'll explore some of these ideas in more detail.
I can't wait!!!

I'm so glad to see that you've started a blog.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Russ,

I will also echo the point that PM has highlightened. It was like you were reading my thoughts or I had the same thoughts but not phrased them so elequently.

This blogging stuff is addictive ;)

Russ said...

Atheist in a mini van,

For me the whole conformity thing is a very real philosophical struggle. The mass embrace of ideas always seems to be buttressed by some necessary evil that must be part of the package. Religions come bundled with dehumanizing original sin; capitalism is bound up part and parcel with economic injustice. Here in the US, capitalism's inequitable distribution of resources has religion itself as an add-on: victims of economic injustice often turn to religion to find support among similarly victimized minions.

Peering in at conformity-mongering groups like religions(and political parties), the ill-effects of the mindgames they use to induce compliance to dogma and maintain conformity just glare out at me.

I despise religions, but I love many of the religious. I despise the mindset that drives many to adopt religious notions, but I support their right to do so.

Quandries abound.

Fiery Ewok said...

Well thank you very much for your kind words Russ!

I haven't been blogging long, but I have come to treasure the experience. Being an atheist puts you in a very small group of people. I now have friendships developing with people in Texas, Utah, Australia, and a variety of other places around the world. How cool is that?

Your blog will deliver what you put into it. Treat it like a conversation- viola conversations develop friendship emerge. Treat it like a place to rant, and people will gather from around the world to watch the show. :-D

YEAH BLOGGING!!!!!

And it's addictive too. Wonder if there is a Bloggers Annonymous blog yet? lol

As for And, FE, thank you. You're making this transition to blogger a more enjoyable one. My shy side has no idea how I have helped, but is honored that you think I have. My Fiery side is thrilled and says, "Hey, any time! Let me know if there is anything else I can do!" :-D

Poodles Rule said...

Well, almost... I agree blogging can be horribly addictive. I also find that it keeps a running history of your thoughts, ideas and even life. I know a diary can do that too, but it doesn't come with a linking program or spell check. I have been blogging since 2001, even though my atheist blog has only been up since earlier this year. But I can look back and see entries from when we bought our house, when we got our puppies and when my father died.

Enjoy the ride.

Ginny said...

Hi Russ, I hope you don't mind me crashing the party. I have been reading your comments on Pmomma's blog for a while now and always like what you have had to say. Glad to see you've decided to do some blogging. I look forward to adding it to my daily read.

Russ said...

Ginny,

Thanks for stopping by.

The blog is back, but now, I need to establish a pattern that will get new content on it on a regular basis.

I'll look for you under a leaf, Ginny.

tina said...

Hi Russ, got here through "Sean the Blogonaut." I was reading your comment on the festivals in Michigan, the gizzard festival?? Never heard of that one. I live right by the renaissance festival, and I do agree we have a lot of festivals in Michigan!

Russ said...

Tina,

Sure enough there is a Gizzard Festival! Google it. There is actually more than one, but the one I'm most familiar with is celebrated in Potterville, MI.

As I mentioned at Sean's, my daughter's flute group will be performing at the Michigan Renaisance Festival several weekends this year, so I'll be there, too.