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HomeSpunô Publishing

Escondido, California

 

That Little Hardback

Copyright © 2007 Chuck Borough

All rights reserved

 

No part of this book may be reproduced, stored in

a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means

without the written permission of the author

ISBN: 978-0-9779708-0-3 (hc)


 

That Little Hardback

Fifty years of free thought from an old physicist

 

Chuck Borough

 

Married to a woman who encourages thinking, and living in the USA, I speak freely.

Thank you, Leona, and our country, for that inspiration and liberty.

 

 

 


 

 

 

That Little Hardback

 

Dedicated to our Children and to our Grandchildren, and to our Great

Grandchildren, yet to be born.

 

 

 

 

 

Email: ckborough@aol.com

www.GoAskGrandpa.com

The photographs are available for download at:

www.ThatLittleHardback.com


 

 

 

*   Contents    *

 

Thoughts

Numbered from 1 to 876   - - - - - - - - -  8

 

Essays

What We Must Own to Exist  - - - - - -  245

The Real Beginning   - - - - - - - - - - - -  251

Kick a Rock  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  256

Santa Claus   - - - - - - - - - -- - - - - - -  278

 

 

(In this book, the thoughts have been kept, as much

as practical, as they occurred and as they were written

down at the time, from teen years to the present.

Some thoughts do not include what we have come

to expect regarding "politically correct" usage. It is

said that, in polite company, religion and politics are

not discussed. Plenty of both are found here.)

 

 

When thoughts or pictures are from other than

the author, the names are included with them.


 

 

 

 

 

 

* 0 *

Please enjoy the thoughts that follow, and think

with the complete freedom that we all deserve.


 

*  Thanks   *

 

This book probably would not exist were it not for

the encouragement and prodding of Benita Silas, of

Canada. Sometimes people we have never met apply

influence enough to get real jobs done. Thank you,

Benita, for a little shove, and for believing in having

these thoughts exposed.

 

The following editors graciously read through the

manuscript for this book to suggest changes. They

have made the book better. Thank you to:

 

Leona Smith - Heather Campagna - Benita Silas

 

Professional file format editing by David Jess Borough

 

By the efforts of these editors and the use of modern

editing tools, there have been corrections of grammar,

spelling, punctuation, format, sentence structure, over-

used words, and a list of other things beyond the author's

scope. There were a few changes in the interest of

better taste and more than a few changes to make things

clear. For a physicist, writing with clarity is sometimes a

challenge. There was concerted effort to keep meanings

unchanged.


 

* Introduction   *

 

These are the thoughts more of a man than of a physicist. There is no

calculus here and little reference to such a language. I am free. I may

think and speak critically, and some of that free speaking is

"That Little Hardback." The earliest thoughts came from age 13,

found in the essay, "Kick a Rock." There is no intent to induce any

reader to agree with anything, with one exception: each person should

be in charge of his or her own thoughts and beliefs; we should not let

other people determine what we are to believe. All our other freedoms

are made possible by having freedom of thought. There is an intent to

stimulate thinking and debate, which, for me, are useful and enjoyable.

Younger, I thought I knew many things with certainty. Having grappled

with physics for more than 50 years, I know how little I know. I will

never again believe that my opinions establish facts.

 

They are points of view.

 

Each thought is given a number and space enough to write notes.

Controversy is not unfriendly just because both sides are heard,

but when someone


 

wants only one side to be heard. Friendly controversy is one of

our most valuable tools.

 

There is a little sarcasm in these pages, but not much, and there

is a little devilís advocacy, but not much. Though these thoughts

often run counter to the mainstream, they are nonetheless actual

houghts, not insincerely contrived. Some will be ideas repeated on

other pages, in different words. Others appear a contradiction to

some other, and they probably are. The book is not laid out

chronologically. The order was determined using a computerís

random generator, with only a few then re-positioned to fit a

picture, or to make repeated ideas not too near each other.

 

Since boxes of books like these sometimes end up in authorsí

garages, they may be handed out at my funeral. I would like

that better than any stone.

 

Do as I have done, and write your thoughts down. Journals,

diaries, or thoughts put in writing, are more valuable than we

know. If not a single copy of this little book is ever sold, it

will be worth it to have it for my own family, including those

not yet born, and for friends.

 

 

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv


 

 

 

 

 

 

* 1 *

If we spend our lives silent or lying about

what we believe, then at the end, there will

be too little time left to tell our truths.


 

 

* 2 *

Sometimes I call two opposing arguments

counterpoint. I like the word, because counterpoint

in music is when one melody is complemented by another

entirely different melody. Both are heard while still

harmonious. Both sides of an argument and

harmonious? What a nice and useful thing. Note that

the word is singular, while including both melodies.

 

* 3 *

No government is "of and by the people" while a

more powerful government is keeping secrets from

the people. How can the people rule when they do

not know the whole truth? The power to classify is

the power to take government away from the people.

 

* 4 *

Peace is comfortable. It's not hard to recognize. A coiled

and ready snake is not at peace, even if nobody comes by

to disturb it. Peace is not only quiet, but also includes an

expectation that the quiet is not threatened.

 

* 5 *

Much truth is reasonably feared, but science

values truth too much to fear a search for it.


 

 

 

* 6 *

When things are true, we may find evidence enough to

bring belief in them for us. This does not work the other

way around. Believing a thing does not make it true.

 

* 7 *

The only truths that matter are those we can deal

with, either by being able to use them or adjust to

them, or by being able to change them. If we are

wrong about other truths, how can that matter to us?

 

* 8 *

We know practically nothing past our adjustment to

the environment. These adjustments are made just

as well by beings as dumb as germs and insects, and

some of these have survived a hundred times longer

than we. Our knowledge has made our individual lives

longer, but may shorten the existence of man.

 

* 9 *

For our intelligence to serve us, we must

give up many unfounded security beliefs.


 

 

 

 

* 10 *

Whether we know the truth or not, she will deal with us.

 

* 11 *

Teach children to be their own bosses at a young

age, and they will not follow every little boss

they meet on the playground. Be generally their

advisors, almost never their bosses.

 

* 12 *

With the wonderful restoration of the ancient truths

of science, we again know that the Earth is the center

of the universe, around which the Sun rotates, and

that we can make mice by putting wheat and rags into

a barrel. Some restorations remove progress and

return us to a less knowledgeable day.

 

* 13 *

Faith is the engine we cannot drive without.

Doubts are the brakes some do drive without.


 

 

 

* 14 *

Betty told us about her serious heart attack.

She wrote, "It was a blessing. All of my

grandchildren came out of the woodwork to

visit me." She had nothing for them to inherit.

This was just the grandkids expressing real love

that is often neglected for too long. Loneliness

is far more painful than a mere heart attack.

 

* 15 *

Evidently, "The Last Days" last and last and last.

 

* 16 *

We learn far more from debate

than from testimonial or sales pitch.

 

* 17 *

Death: When life ends permanently. People

often hope there is no such thing as death.

 

* 18 *

If breaking a law or laws makes a person an illegal, then we

are all illegals, for we all break laws when it suits us.


 

 

 

 

* 19 *

There is a time of departure and independence.

It is not reasonable for a grown man to continue

to blame his parents for his lack of progress. There

is a time when he must take responsibility for

himself. The same is true of us and our God.

Bill Snapp


 

 

 

* 20 *

Rover's discoveries show that Mars

once had water. There will come a time when

Earth also will have once had water.

 

* 21 *

There is nothing true about a language. English is

not true. Neither is the mathematics of physics.

These languages are invented tools, like screwdrivers

and paint brushes. Tools are not true, but useful.

 

* 22 *

The lack of a thing is not the thing's opposite.

"Not very good," does not mean "very bad."

 

* 23 *

If someone does not care about the math,

the logic is not worth considering.

 

* 24 *

We each refuse to be under the other,

and that gives us the chance to accept

being beside each other, as brothers.


 

 

 

* 25 *

Scientists are not immune to hope. They often hope

for particular results. Sometimes this leads to research

with pre-determined conclusions. These conclusions

are unlikely to find acceptance. Other scientists in

the community will keep them down by many challenges

against each claim. If the claims survive these tests,

they may become accepted, but there will always

remain the option for further testing.

 

* 26 *

Commonly, we try hard to hold onto things

that contradict our intelligence.

 

* 27 *

Evolution does not play the lottery. Evolution

runs the lottery. It pays a winning mutation

now and then, among millions of losers.

 

* 28 *

Just before you die, you might as well burn

up your awards, diplomas and degrees, but

if you have written, that can continue on.


 

 

 

 

* 29 *

We, like snowflakes, became what we are without

being made. This may be the greatest of all

miracles, all that is, what has become of matter.

 

* 30 *

I did not learn how to curtsy or kneel or bow,

nor to need anyone to do these for me.

 

* 31 *

To veterans, on the whole, our society does not

respond as if we were responding to heroes.

Many veterans are not as well off as they would

be if they had never been heroes. Football,

baseball, basketball and movie heroes, on

the other hand, we treat with awe and money.

 

* 32 *

Does God take time to stop and smell the roses?


 

 

* 33 *

Our freedom exists only while there are reasonable

restrictions. The lion must have some freedom to eat

gazelles, or the lion must perish. Gazelles must have

some degree of safety from lions, or the gazelle must

perish. Each fails without restrictions on freedom for

the other. A people with too high a degree of both kinds

of freedom, freedom from attack and freedom to attack,

would destroy the freedom of the world, including even

the freedom of their own nation. The world is lucky

that all nations will always be vulnerable.

 

* 34 *

Worthiness? Why that's just a matter of doing

what one is told by the one who is measuring it.

 

* 35 *

We have a round dining table. Our little boy

hit his glass of milk reaching for something,

and the milk fell right off the edge.

 

* 36 *

Thereís a little bit of snooker in every game.

Kennard Borough


 

 

* 37 *

I know things I would be better off not knowing, but

I often argue against secrets, and if nature shares

with me, I cannot reasonably complain. I find myself

sometimes unwilling to share what has been shared

with me, causing me to question my arguments

against secrecy. I am not absolutely sure that my

positions and beliefs are ok. Silence feels selfish,

but broadcasting appears a dangerous wrong.

 

 

* 38 *

If we are able to accomplish it, making it possible

for someone to be happy is the most effective

punishment of all. Happy people are the most likely

to live responsibly. Even for the most heinous of

criminals or enemies, this is the most likely cure.

 

* 39 *

Whatever is, is, and except for our reseeding of

the random generators, we have extremely little

to do with it, and we possess absolutely no definable

control over it. This is with regard to the universe

as a whole. Over the Earth, we are a little in control,

over our town, a little more, within our families,

more, and over our own selves, quite a lot.

 

* 40 *

We think we are wise to take risks as we calculate

the odds to be enough in our favor. The process of

evolution is risk after risk without any consideration

of odds at all. The odds, factually, are extremely

poor, yet the risks have led to the greatest

progress of which we are aware.


 

 

* 41 *

One of the most significant lies we are told is the

one that purports, "It is the principle and not the

amount that counts." This is patently untrue. The

amount counts. The product of the importance

of the principle times the amount might be used as

a better measure of how much something counts.

The error causes obsessing over trivia.

 

* 42 *

Measure fitness rather than worthiness, just as

nature does. Select a surgeon, for example, based

on his history with that operation, rather than a

surgeon who is privately what we want him to be. The

same principle applies in selecting political leaders.

 

* 43 *

When many people give exactly the same answers

to complex questions, a reasonable assumption

is that they are sharing answers, and that

they have not done their own research.

 

* 44 *

Those who lack honest faith are without an engine,

and those lacking honest doubt are without a rudder


 

 

 

T-Top Ice  David Kennard Borough

 

* 45 *

We think of "making" ice cubes, but most frozen water

happens without a designer. Water, rather than being

made into ice, becomes ice by responding to the

environment. Most of what we see around us

became so without invention or intervention.


 

 

 

 

* 46 *

Control over one's own life, we call freedom.

Control over other's lives, we call power.

 

They, freedom and power, can be in conflict.

 

Power to control others may come by many

different levels of influence or force.

 

When the power comes by lies or secrecy, such that

the follower does not know why he follows, or when

it comes by threat of loss or pain, such that the

follower follows out of fear, or when physical force

is used, such that the follower has no choice, then

only the power remains, and freedom is gone.

 

When the control is by way of respected influence,

wherein the other person follows by choice, having

been inspired by logical and honest data or by

example, then freedom is preserved.


 

 

 

 

* 47 *

Ultimately, love, truth and justice will prevail.

Peace of mind, now. This wisdom is our joy.

Rex Borough

 

* 48 *

Do I fear truth? Likely I do, with all the

secrets I keep and all the things I resist to know.


 

 

* 49 *

When others are quiet, will I try to find their wisdom?

 

* 50 *

If He didn't know it was good for us, no loving god

would employ any devil to tempt us. Even among seniors,

we know now that resistance exercise is beneficial.

 

* 51 *

Itís easy to win a war when one is powerful and

not required to identify the enemy. Bombing

whole cities is a snap. The winnings are whatís

left, and thatís not much. The gains most certainly

are not worth the cost of all those innocent lives.

 

* 52 *

Plenty of people will accept

the absurd, if absurd enough

to be far outside their experience.

 

* 53 *

Who was more intelligently designed, Neanderthals,

Cro-Magnons, or we Homo Sapiens? Or perhaps it

was the developing amphibian finding its way to

land, or the first tiny bit of pre-DNA?


 

 

* 54 *

I should love animals and people, not stuff and things.

 

* 55 *

Two Step diet:

 

One: After each bite, decide if reasonably comfortable.

Two: If the answer is "Yes," thatís the last bite.

 

* 56 *

Many know that man made the creeds.

Maybe they are good inventions, when

inclusive and used well and with care.

 

* 57 *

Honoring the non-existent seems an awful waste of

time, unless we understand that worship is valuable of

itself and for its effect on our own self-concept.

Were we to worship knowing this, that might be

labeled something it is not: hypocrisy. Are we aware

of how often and how long this secret is kept?

 

* 58 *

Sometimes we get so excited about

making money that we forget our goals.


 

* 59 *

Once free-path discoveries are made, this is

soon enough to subject them to the logical process.

 

* 60 *

When our beliefs are formed wholly or partly by way

of our emotions, they are probably not data-based.

 

* 61 *

For science, faith is a supposition. Something

is thought possible, and the supposition will be

tested and argued. For religion, faith is an

affirmation. Something is known without doubt

to be true, and the sure truth will be broadcast.

 

* 62 *

While we are growing, we are over our parents, who

are our foundation. We hope to grow enough to find

ourselves beside them, and as a foundation for our

children. Further along, We may grow to be under our

parents, as a foundation for them in their old age.

Our children will come to work beside us.

 

* 63 *

Our actions are our professed beliefs. Other

forms of speaking are comparatively unreliable.


 

 

 

David Kennard Borough

 

 

* 64 *

Science does not request evidence; science demands

it. If evidence is denied, science withholds its conclusion.

"Scientists," however, do not always do science.


 

 

 

 

 

* 65 *

We can respect a church which teaches love and no

harm to anyone here and not to a single one hereafter.

 

* 66 *

Pride is not love.

 

* 67 *

It is not about bossing and obeying.

It is about love and inclusiveness.

 

* 68 *

She didnít pick stocks based on their

likelihood of going up. She supported them

for their potential to give service.

 

* 69 *

The more capable the steed, the more

aware and careful the rider must be.


 

 

 

 

* 70 *

If something almost happened, it's really just

something that did not happen. (There are

millions of these near events we never become

aware of.) If we learn from the near event, that

is its only value, and there is no negative value.

 

* 71 *

Religion should not be about proving

that God favors some above others.

 

* 72 *

How do you communicate with someone

who tells you what you mean?

 

* 73 *

Those who vote a straight ticket form two fixed groups,

say 30% for one party and 30% for the other. Because

their thinking does not affect their vote, they mostly

cancel each other out. The decisions are then made by

the flexible. The fixed 60% will yield to the 40%.


 

 

 

* 74 *

A lie feels no need to be proven, and thus

may be shared with great efficiency. Truth is

shared more slowly, and thought is encouraged.

 

* 75 *

If he does not agree, then he is judged

not listening, nay, though he turn his

head and cup his ear with sore intent.

 

* 76 *

Having become afraid of controversy, they came

more and more not to discuss things. They

settled for unity and discontinued progress.

 

* 77 *

Why would God provide help for the strong to win a

war, when the strong would prevail without help?

 

* 78 *

The best voyages through lives are not made on

a single prefab ship, but on one and then ever

another, continually designed and improved.


 

 

Leona Smith

 

* 79 *

No one comes into this world alone.

No one should leave this world alone.

Leona Smith

 

* 80 *

The IQ of evolution? Zero. Yet more is accomplished

than by all the intelligence of humanity all combined.


 

 

* 81 *

We must hurry! We must waste no time getting

ready for eternity! Why? With an infinity of

time, why must the readying time be limited?

 

* 82 *

This word, "instantaneously," requires the possibility

of an infinitesimal event. If each event takes a quantum

of time, then we are limited to the speed of light for

the travel of information as well as matter.

 

* 83 *

Most murders are committed by steely quiet.

 

* 84 *

No need for a diet program. It's a

decision. Many things work this way.

 

* 85 *

Don't let fascists teach you about freedom;

they want to dictate. Don't let coyotes teach

you about cats; they eat them. Don't let the

superstitious teach you about science; they

are threatened by the methodology.


 

 

 

* 86 *

What is, is, regardless of our inability to understand.

 

* 87 *

They held to the thing not because they thought it

was true, but because they desired that it be

true. They confused belief with hope.

 

* 88 *

Keep a journal, for your thoughts are

valuable long after your life is over.

 

* 89 *

Unfortunately, those who stir and last may eventually

be honored and credited for the progress that

consequently comes by increased natural activity

and selection from among the random results.

 

* 90 *

Studies indicate that, on average,

conservatives are happier than liberals.

Still, the highest happiness is not available

to those who, to conform, cede their liberty.


 

 

* 91 *

One cannot learn how giving a person

is - if things are taken or promises extracted

before the chance for free giving occurs.

 

* 92 *

Believing that something is true is not the

same as believing in something. I may believe

in Santa Claus without believing the chubby

little fellow actually exists. I may speak of

his attributes and name his reindeer without

a hint of hypocrisy. Can we see how this

works regarding other impossible things?

 

* 93 *

Stirring has no moral, but is change for change's

sake. Add adaptation and selection among the

stirrings, and more gets done than all the

engineering we can muster all of us together.

 

* 94 *

When these dear Alzheimer's patients

learn computers and email, we get to laugh

at the same good jokes over and over.


 

 

 

 

 

 

* 95 *

Given an eternity, everything will happen.

Fred David Borough


 

 

 

 

* 96 *

Regarding something that will go to waste;

is gleaning a virtue only for the poor?

 

* 97 *

To get out truth is of utmost importance.

Equally important is to promptly publish

error, for that also is truth.

 

* 98 *

What is spoken is soon gone, unless hurtful.

What is written lasts, good or bad.

 

* 99 *

Will you live in fear? Or will you be heard?

 

* 100 *

Sometimes, when nobody is listening, I sit at the

piano and pretend I am a concert pianist. The

risk improves my ability a little each time,

though the pretense is undeniably unreasonable.


 

 

* 101 *

By some process we decide which of God's examples we

may follow. We cannot kill the firstborn of our enemy, but

we can forgive our neighbor. We cannot ask our son to kill

his son to prove his love for us, but we can do good unto

"the least of these." How do we decide those acts we

cannot rightly emulate were good for God to do?

 

* 102 *

True stories are often used to tell lies, when

the stories support the rare side of a statistic

and are then used to deny the statistic.

 

* 103 *

If one is frustrated by the unknown, then he

is doomed to be so with a vigorous constancy.

 

* 104 *

Words have only two definitions that matter. One is as

the speaker or writer intends, and the other is as

interpreted by the listener or reader. Communication is

aided when the definitions become about the same.

 

* 105 *

Being unhappy can be plain and selfish

and generally gets one nothing.


 

 

 

 

* 106 *

Donít miss a perfect

opportunity to say nothing.

Valťria Jones

 

* 107 *

Get it out.


 

 

* 108 *

There is not a trillionth part of the universe

where one might stand with our most

powerful telescope and see the Earth.

 

* 109 *

When Democrats regulate or block change,

they are the conservatives. When Republicans

try new ideas, they are the liberals.

 

* 110 *

Without doubt as a tool - we'd

just follow every little wind.

 

* 111 *

If we already know that it is not about

humans, how could it, by any stretch

of the imagination, be about money?

 

* 112 *

Miraculous as we are, we are limited creatures.

 

* 113 *

All failure is temporary.

(It is unfortunate that temporary can last so long.)


 

 

* 114 *

It's simple; I want a god who's

example I can rightly follow.

 

* 115 *

A weapon well chosen gives its holder a significant

advantage. Handguns do not qualify. They bring unintended

results far more often than intended results.

 

* 116 *

Harmony is better than Unity.

 

* 117 *

We donít learn much if all the information is outgoing.

David Kennard Borough

 

* 118 *

Giving is best when the recipient is unexpectant

and does not know from whom the gift comes. The

world will be appreciated, rather than the specific

agent, and both the giver and the receiver grow.

 

* 119 *

When we are called "Sodom & Gomorrah," will we

become so or more so to spite the awful accuser?


 

 

 

 

* 120 *

Tolerance is learned and produced by

our attitude toward others - not by

trying to get others to tolerate us.

 

* 121 *

We either know or do not know something;

this is not always in our control. We either

acknowledge or do not acknowledge that we

know or do not know; this is in our control.

 

* 122 *

A blank piece of paper - Not a coloring

book. Better is the poor practice of

creation than the good following of lines.

 

* 123 *

Failure is almost always a zero. It leaves us where we are,

but does not set us back. This is why those who try often

are those who succeed. They lose little or nothing with

each failure, and have the successes to show for it.


 

 

 

 

 

* 124 *

They say that absolute power corrupts absolutely?

The only one I know of who has absolute power is

God Ė and I see what they mean - as He has been

described, He most certainly is absolutely corrupt.


 

 

* 125 *

Something fantastic is going on that we don't

understand. The key to maintaining humility is to

openly confirm that we do not understand, and to be

unsupportive of groups that claim to know the details.

 

* 126 *

If not operating in both directions, it is not

a worthy principle. Orders come from above,

but good principles come from the side and operate

both up and down. Obedience is not a good principle.

Respect is. Worship is not a good principle. Love is.

Obedience and worship are unidirectional.

Respect and love are bidirectional.

 

* 127 *

Lincoln was a little proud that he blacked his own boots.

We've lost something in that. People who excuse

themselves from mundane tasks are then free to do more

important things, but they lose some of their humanity.

 

* 128 *

If I listen to a nag, and consider only the issues

themselves, and not the delivery or the attitude of

the speaker, I may get some valuable information.


 

 

 

* 129 *

What makes a sick gambler is

the confusion of hope with belief.

 

* 130 *

If I am a fly, the spider is my enemy,

but it is not wrong for her to be my enemy.

My moral judgment of her is useless.

 

* 131 *

You know that shoes are not clothes.

And fish is not meat.

You know that secrets are not lies.

And that smell is not my feet.

 

* 132 *

Expecting to understand everything by

way of science is unscientific. Science

reveals that we can't; it's in the math.

 

* 133 *

Death's sweet sleep is independent of

whether or not there is an afterlife.


 

 

 

* 134 *

What we earn is almost infinitesimal compared with

what we accept without earning it. We need oxygen, the

Earth, the Sun, and much more, just to stay alive. If

we feed an "undeserving" man, he receives a little

without earning it, but we donít lose much, and the

man receives a real need. Furthermore, we act just

as nature acts in giving us almost everything we need,

which is virtually infinite, and entirely unearned.

 

* 135 *

If the delusions or the paranoia are socially

supported as truths, then a small level of

disease will bring acceptance of them. Entire

large groups of people often do this. They

may believe they are the only ones who know

the truth, or that the world is soon ending.

 

* 136 *

Liberals will vote for less taxes for guns and

walls, but will vote for more taxes for food

and education. Every administration asks for

more taxes than the last, regardless of side.

What differs is what they want to buy.


 

 

 

* 137 *

My common sense tells me that what's good for humanity

is good period. This is founded on the superstition

that humans are what the universe is about.

 

* 138 *

Someone who drives to the beach and then will not swim

because of the possibility of sharks, has not figured

out that driving is a thousand times the danger.

 

* 139 *

If the possibility for disobedience is not

clear, then obedience is not possible.

 

* 140 *

Non-conformance requires no anti-social

disease when the motivation for conforming

has gone away by way of real data.

 

* 141 *

We may go from risk to risk and live.

Or we may seek safety and not live at all.


 

 

 

 

 

* 142 *

In the scheme of the entire universe, we are no more

important than that spider. When we divide anything by

the infinite, we always come up with zero.


 

 

* 143 *

The combination of fundamentalism and atomic

weapons might be the setup that destroys humanity.

"We are right, and everyone else is wrong,"

is the most dangerous of all thoughts and beliefs.

The weapons multiply that danger.

 

* 144 *

I feel certain that I know nearly nothing. Is this

humility? I am proud that I feel certain that I know

nearly nothing. Is this the opposite of humility?

 

* 145 *

Many of our beliefs are engineered by other people.

 

* 146 *

"Give without remembering," but

if you do, there will be no tax deduction

and no proof of worthiness for the church.

The rules tempt us never to learn real giving.

 

* 147 *

Doubt and faith are the eyes of research; both are

needed for a reasonable process. There is not one evil

and the other good; they are both good, when not blind.


 

 

 

 

* 148 *

The whole idea of worthiness is a human

invention. Nature disregards worthiness

entirely. Nature measures only fitness.

 

* 149 *

Dreams are good for people,

even if they don't come true.

 

* 150 *

True guilt does not come from error, but from will.

 

* 151 *

Our knowledge does not make us functional. We are

functional because we developed evolutionarily to fit a

complex environment. It's an environment that could

not have been figured out with anyone's mind.

 

* 152 *

Are we happy that God loves sinners,

while we hate them ourselves?


 

 

 

* 153 *

We think of growth as upward, as with limbs or fruit,

but growth is just as much downward, as with roots.

 

* 154 *

If I were a good king, would you want me

for your king? - - - - - I didn't think so.

I don't want you for my king either.


 

 

 

* 155 *

A Roller Coaster - no matter how much safety

data I understand that puts me in the way of

knowing that it's safer than my car - still feels

dangerous. I'm aware that the danger is just

fantasy, but my fast heart rate down the big hill

tells me that I donít fully believe what I know.

 

* 156 *

Listen, Christian warriors. We

are not David. We are Goliath.

 

* 157 *

I find it difficult to believe that a loving god is

going to be angry with me for carefully considering

data or for drawing conclusions responsibly.

 

* 158 *

Our planet is a smaller part of our

galaxy than a tiny grain of sand is

part of our planet, and our galaxy is

an even smaller part of the universe.


 

 

 

* 159 *

Humility is recognizing that we are more powerful

with the help of others. Alone, we are relatively

weak. The more humble we are, the more powerful,

for we tap the power of the world around us.

 

* 160 *

The best is honest faith uncertain,

with an open and logical mind.

 

* 161 *

Princely? Royal? Noble? Regal?

Such are awful things to be.

Power by birth should not be legal,

Not here and not across the sea.

 

* 162 *

Knowing the wars we've fought as humans - knowing the

names of human leaders - the towns they've named and

settled Ė is altogether the smallest part of our real

history, which is replete with so much that is not human.

Much ingratitude is born of this ignorance and this pride.


 

* 163 *

Many organized atheists doggedly do not believe

because they have agreed not to believe. In this way, the

non-believing becomes much like a creed. Believing or not

believing should be based on data, not on agreement.

 

* 164 *

Happiness is Fattening.

Cosette Tessier

 


 

 

 

 

 

* 165 *

The relatively weak, if willing to risk or sacrifice

their lives, become strong against the more powerful.

If those in power are to continue in peace,

their treatment of the weak must be caring.

This is not only a duty, but a necessity, for both

the welfare of the weak and of themselves.

 

* 166 *

I am free to speak my view of the truth, except when

I am at church. There, any differing view of truth is

received with fear and angst. If you would like to

experience this, go to meeting and express gratitude

for all the life forms that were our ancestors and for

the selection and speciation that made us possible.

 

* 167 *

Do not explain your motives to a

paranoid. He already knows.


 

 

 

 

* 168 *

What am I? Well, I find it impossible to believe

that a person made the universe, so reasonably, I

am an atheist. I know something is going on that is beyond

my comprehension, something far more than myself, so

evidently, I am a believer. I do not think anyone is capable

of knowing the details about what is going on, so obviously,

I am an agnostic. I am all of these at the same time, all

the time. I am not one of them in a foxhole and another

when secure. I am an atheist agnostic believer. If I were

to select a single label, agnostic is the least incorrect,

but that label fails to explain much of my life.

 

* 169 *

The only real doctrines are those accepted by

the group and applied in their lives. The myriad

of inapplicable doctrines are no more than a game.

 

* 170 *

To me, what is sacred are the arms and legs of little

girls and little boys, not the cloth flags of nations.


 

 

* 171 *

We played backgammon that night. We cannot be sure

whether there is any link to cancer. The data is not

clear enough to be absolutely certain, and insufficient

funding is available for the necessary testing. We

know that some players get cancer. (That bump

in my cheek is just a large tumor, most likely benign.)

 

* 172 *

The notion that we may in some small way be

important to the universe is not so unreasonable

as the illusion that the universe is about us.

 

* 173 *

A certain amount of hypocrisy appears reasonable and

kind. Agreeing with a child, who really is incorrect,

may be good for the child and also for the Tooth Fairy.

 

* 174 *

Being the king's son or the bosses son or the

president's son or God's son does not make one

good. Goodness comes not by birth, but by living.

 

* 175 *

Want to make baseball more interesting? New rule:

On a walk, a batter with no strikes walks to second.


 

 

 

* 176 *

To reduce crime and wrong-doing, first

achieve understanding and encourage change,

all along with the intent of forgiveness and

befriending. Effective punishment is about

fixing and improvement, not about revenge.

No person is punished well who is not loved.

 

* 177 *

A book cannot be minus one inch thick. It cannot be

published tomorrow and burned up yesterday. Dimensions

of time and of thickness, of width and height, are all of

this same character. Their least value is zero.

 

* 178 *

The mistake that people make, who wish to

be effective in the world, is that they

believe in defined and concerted effort,

when stirring would do immensely more.

Stirring, however, gives them no credit,

which may be what they want. Those who stir

may be treated only as trouble makers. Fair

enough; troubling and stirring can be synonyms.


 

 

* 179 *

Which children to love?

That's easy, the ones who like cookies.

If you can find one who does not like cookies,

Oh well, love that one too.

 

* 180 *

Restoration (Regaining old - Reactionism)

Cooling (Slowing down - Regulation)

Stillness (Keeping peace - Conservatism)

Moderating (Considering Ė Openness)

Changing (Moving - Liberalism)

Stirring (Accelerating - Activism)

Creation (Making new - Radicalism)

--

There are things that ought to be restored.

There are things that ought to be reduced.

There are things that ought to stay as they are.

There are things that ought to be considered.

There are things that ought to be changed.

There are things that ought to be accelerated.

There are things that ought to be created.

--

We need every kind from reactionaries to radicals,

but we need them to be caring and responsible.


 

 

 

* 181 *

There is no way to know whom the next warrior

will be. That is why they cannot be defeated by

fearful preemption. The fight must be against

the motivation for new warriors, whether or

not that motivation is reasonable.

 

* 182 *

If you were all alone in the universe and had the

power to do anything at all, would you create equals

and have the pleasure of good company, or would

you create only inferiors and consider them all fools?

 

* 183 *

If a country has many religions, none forming a

majority, free speech is likely to develop. Other

countries may only pretend such a freedom.

 

* 184 *

There's only one Universe. There's only one "All

That Is." Things can all go in any of infinite ways, but

once the past is laid out, that part is a done deal.


 

 

 

* 185 *

Would we be wise to follow God's example? He does not

worship us; He loves us. He does not obey us; He respects

us. He does not pay to us; He shares with us.

 

* 186 *

Does good prevail? This is one of those ultimate

questions the agnostic believes has no answer. Is

our ultimate significance one of amplitude only?


 

 

* 187 *

One should not bow down to truth. One

should use truth. The worship of truth

is just as silly as any other worship.

Truth does not care; it only is.

 

* 188 *

This is not a war against the disease of hate and fear.

This is a war against those who suffer the disease.

Supporting such a war, one catches the disease.

 

* 189 *

In attacking the wrong enemy, we destroy

even more innocent people, and thus become

ourselves more like the violent people we fear.

 

* 190 *

Tools are not beings with thoughts and feelings.

Their enslavement is reasonable.

 

* 191 *

We need fair-minded conservatives.

We need caring-mind liberals.

We do not need cruel-hearted conservatives.

We do not need bleeding-heart liberals.


 

 

 

 

* 192 *

Take considered risks. With logical means to

consider the odds favorable, take the risks.

 

* 193 *

Why suicide bombers? Because dead men do not regret.

To rue the day, a new day must come.

 

* 194 *

The emotional process put against the logical process

is often as a match put to a report. The match

prevails, but it tells us nothing at all about the report.

 

* 195 *

Caring is not difficult.

It is as much habit as attitude.

 

* 196 *

To know more good is not the need. It is what we

care enough to do that matters. Every one of us knows

enough good to keep us busy for the rest of our lives.


 

 

 

* 197 *

The paint was out of control on my canvas. As the

colors ran together, I came to realize that the resulting

complexity was far greater than I was capable of

designing myself. The impressive patterns did not

come from me; they came from God's nature, but I saw the work and appreciated it, and so it became beauty

for me, and I felt included in the process.

Bryan Borough


 

 

* 198 *

She is truth, and science is attracted when she teases.

 

* 199 *

Even released slaves sometimes longed for their masters

and a simpler life. Do we sometimes want our kings back?

 

* 200 *

There is no history of the future, for it is not

laid out that it may be written. We have only

limited short-term predictability, variably

reasonable imagination, and fiction.

 

* 201 *

Retire from the goal of making money.

That's real retirement.

 

* 202 *

Sure, believe in obedience, as it is chosen, but not as

forced, not coerced, not rewarded, as one trains a puppy.

The best obedience is not caused, but may be inspired.

 

* 203 *

Patience is not lazy, not afraid, and not inert.

Patience waits like a cat.


 

 

* 204 *

You can be out of touch with reality while deeply

involved in a good novel. When the book is put down,

one must get back in touch. Religion should be this

way also. The illusion of eternal life can be most

refreshing. We may escape and rest from our

greatest fears. After resting, we must wake up.

 

* 205 *

We are far too confident in

our ability to know ultimate truths.

 

* 206 *

It's not about being right. It's about thinking.

 

* 207 *

John Lennon said, "And no religion too." It's only

the exclusiveness, and not any of the loving and

caring, that needs to go. It's folks thinking they

are the only ones or the chosen ones or the

special ones, and viewing all the others as inferior.

 

* 208 *

Please do not press me to be your king. There are many

addictions both more pleasant and easier to escape.


 

 

 

 

* 209 *

They were both born in America. The difference

was that she was glad to be a citizen, like it was

her good fortune, while he was proud to be a citizen,

like the accident was somehow a credit to him.

 

* 210 *

If there were ever a time when nothing existed,

then it would be the same now. The possibility for

it to become what it is now would need to have

been there, and possibility is more than nothing.

Possibility is made up of conditions.

 

* 211 *

An air of unfriendly controversy enters a discussion,

not when both sides are presented, but when

someone wants only one side to be heard.

 

* 212 *

If we cannot do fractions, then we might be tempted

to buy more lottery tickets than just one for fun.


 

 

 

 

 

 

* 213 *

Just because someone is blind doesn't mean

they can't see where they are going.

Sean McPherson


 

 

 

* 214 *

The history from which we came includes our escape from

kings and queens, princes and princesses. Do we remain too

attracted to these? We would not honor "Der Fuhrer" of

the senior prom. We would not call our little daughters

"Tsaress." We would not worship "The Pharaoh of

pharaohs." How did we not learn from our escape? Do we

believe in our principle of no monarchs, or are we still

attracted to kings and their unquestioned power?

 

* 215 *

If I tell lies or stay silent to keep acceptable, I

may eventually be called a hypocrite. That would, of

course, be a correct call. If I tell the truth now, I

may immediately be called a trouble-maker. This

would also be a correct call. Which is preferable?

 

* 216 *

Do not choose beliefs for their attractiveness.

Test them for validity, and then accept them if

you are convinced, and never become unwilling

to consider the results of continued testing.


 

 

* 217 *

It's easy. At eight or so, a child can see there is no living

being who can fly with reindeer. At not much older, one

can easily realize that there is no living being who

organized the universe. One is not given permission to

admit the latter. He is called evil for speaking or thinking

this way, or warned he will be severely punished forever.

How mean and cruel. They threaten no punishment,

but only revenge, for they have no goal of correction.

 

* 218 *

If you want consensus, testify to your

admirers. If you want debate, share

the tools of thought with the curious.

 

* 219 *

We are not an empire, but it is only because

part of us stop the other part. A government

by the people makes this possible.

 

* 220 *

Sometimes $uccess is just messed-up $pelling.

 

* 221 *

We just get up and do what best makes sense to do.

Then worry has no purpose.


 

* 222 *

Dragons in love do not have hair in their ears.

When amorous, there is always that little fire.

 

* 223 *

Not all thought is voluntary.

 

* 224 *

Soldiers do not speak of failure; if one does and wants

to go home and do something he believes is more

productive, he may end up in prison or worse. A manly

father teaches that boys do not cry; if one does, he

may end up with a good strapping. Honesty is not

popular among those who value such false courage.

 

* 225 *

Tasers and nets are usually about defense and

getting the job done. Handguns, nightsticks, and

fists are usually not about defense; they are used

for conquest and enjoyed too often for revenge.

 

* 226 *

The species that makes the creeds also wants to

make the rules of the universe - but those rules were

firmly in place long before there was any living being.


 

 

 

 

* 227 *

The best way to get out of a war is not to get in one.

 

* 228 *

When the hot chocolate is missing in the morning,

and there is a note thanking us for its deliciousness,

we know. When a tree grows and there are poems

telling us who made it, we know. Such trickery

may be pleasant or useful, but it is not science.


 

 

 

* 229 *

There's another kind of foreplay too, at the

gym, the walking route, and when the eating

is decided. It shows the caring that was

there long before the moment of passion.

 

* 230 *

The anode of it is the love of knowledge, while

its cathode is simply questions. Connected, the

circuit is an engine of wonder and discovery.

 

* 231 *

We sometimes hear it argued that the minority is

usually right, but there can be any number of

minorities. There is always either no majority or

just one. If a majority exists and we do not follow

it, which minority shall we follow? The smallest?

 

* 232 *

Judge what is to be gained or lost, but in general,

do not be afraid to speak exactly what you think.

That shares the real you with the world around

you. There is nothing greater you can share.


 

 

* 233 *

The rattlesnake in the yard is in far more danger from

most of us than the gopher snake is. Toting his weapon

puts him at extra peril, regardless of his shy intentions.

 

* 234 *

If we choose our beliefs by their attractiveness,

what assures their correctness?

 

* 235 *

Contradictions before which our logic is

helpless can force us to a permanent humility.

 

* 236 *

I do not want a damned king; I want a brother. If that

brother is wiser than I and willing to teach, all the better.

 

* 237 *

When we are awed, but wise enough to

know it does not imply knowledge, we are

motivated by the awe to search for knowledge.

 

* 238 *

There are too many things we know,

which we still do not believe.


 

 

 

* 239 *

Man will clone man, but it may occur first in

a country that has, with regard to its laws,

freedom not only of, but also from religion. Once

the competition becomes obvious, the countries

lacking this freedom will overcome their piety.

 

* 240 *

When men do not succeed, it is not usually because

they don't know how, but because they don't do it.

 

* 241 *

Money does not care about us.

 

* 242 *

No person or group teaches giving

while requiring that they be the

recipient. This, by example, teaches taking.

 

* 243 *

Each individual fly dies exactly

once, just as all living things do.


 

 

 

 

David Kennard Borough

 

 

 

* 244 *

By faith, we take a leap. By doubt we test the leap.

It is best when we can do the testing before the leaping.


 

 

* 245 *

Without its impossible and supernatural, without its

dogma and unbelievable stories, what is left of the

church? It is all the social. It is helping one another. It is

caring about the children as they grow. It is support and

love. It is the beautiful weddings and funerals, the

parties, the ballgames, the hugs. It is all this, even if the

untruth of doctrine is recognized, that is of great value.

If no person made the universe, ordinary people, who care

and work together, still make real miracles happen.

 

* 246 *

What I saw was an amazing competition

among denominations for the love of God.

 

* 247 *

If we have learned to fear and hate, we have

not won the war. The war has won us.

 

* 248 *

It's easy for him to believe in torture. His

ministers have taught him all his life that almost

everyone will be tortured forever and ever in a

burning Hell just for getting technicalities wrong.


 

 

 

* 249 *

Smoking causes about 440,000 deaths a year just in

the USA. In an average year, less than 1% this many

deaths are caused by earthquakes, for the whole world.

 

* 250 *

No other creature knows death exists.

Humans know it, but have practiced not believing it.

 

* 251 *

This is a country where even a scientist may

freely speak what he believes, except at

church, or while running for political office.

 

* 252 *

They are both suckers for a higher price.

They think you get what you pay for.

 

* 253 *

Would we like a personal relationship in which one makes

all the rules and gives all the advice, while the other

listens and obeys? It's not one I want. I want a give and

take relationship, in which each regards the other as an

equal. Capable of that, God may inspire me.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 254 *

Truth is discovered, not decided.

 


 

 

 

* 255 *

How do we get rid of the privilege of birth? Mostly,

especially in our half of the world, we are free of

kings. What of a little baby born in a war-torn

or poverty-stricken country? As that little person

becomes adult, why must he remain there? Letís

develop a world system such that every baby

born is a citizen of the Earth, with the right to go

and develop anywhere. And what of inheritance?

Wouldn't it be better if more went unearned to those

in need and less unearned to individuals by birthright?

 

* 256 *

We move unjustified and too easily from hope to belief,

finding ourselves then on a popular superhighway leading

to libraries and churches full of magnificent fiction, and

to fun zones, but which cannot lead to knowledge.

 

* 257 *

Regarding one person's attempt to affect the spiritual

health of another, if it is not easy to do, it should not

be done. Agency is more important than conversion.


 

 

 

* 258 *

Ask a hundred sports fans if their team will win the game.

Some will say it's sure. Others will say the record

indicates it has a likelihood of some fraction. Some choose

their beliefs based on their hopes, while others believe

based on the data. Grouping only those people who

answered as they believe, when the team does not win, the

first group will be disappointed and confused. The second

group will be disappointed, but not confused.

 

* 259 *

Societies are made up of numerous series and parallel

systems. When a series system is considered, the

strength is best measured by its weakest constituent,

as with the links of a chain. When a parallel system is

considered, the strength is best measured by the

common strength of the constituents, as with the

stakes for a tent. Individual strong members, though

they contribute well to the average, are not a reasonable

measure, on their own, of the success of the system.

Neither any one strong stake nor any one strong link

means much to the whole. The strongest members in a

society mean little to the strength of the society, but

the weakest members reflect and are its failings.


 

 

 

* 260 *

"Research indicates that it is probable that - - - "

or, "It is written, and thus we know that - - - "

It is logic versus superstition.

 

* 261 *

Where winning one's case has anything to do with

how skillful one's lawyer is, there is little justice.

 

* 262 *

Mothers give us so much, but they do make

some difficult requests. Mine wanted me

to believe that a person made the universe.

It was hard not to pretend it for her.

 

* 263 *

The near past is just as cast as the far past.

Reasoning, it should be as easily forgiven.

Forgiving is often supported by reason, while a

failure to forgive is usually ruled by emotion.

 

* 264 *

Only one species among millions can glimpse beyond what

is known to what might be, what could be, what awes.


 

 

* 265 *

It is tragic, in pursuit of the perfect, to lose the good.

 

 

 

 

 

* 266 *

Do I want to escape indoctrination? I live where

I am free to accomplish it, if I will conquer fear.


 

 

* 267 *

The more intelligent the paranoid, the more creative

in determining that your words or actions are an indication

of your intent against him. A highly intelligent paranoid

cannot be lastingly convinced you are his friend. The less

you try, the better. Be kind and quiet.

 

* 268 *

When about to do that thing you are least proud of, take a

moment to think of what you do that you are most proud

of, and do that instead. By replacing the worst with the

best, the value of temptation is maximized.

 

* 269 *

If we think we can effectively punish someone

we do not care about, we are whistling Dixie.

 

* 270 *

We ask God, but it is men who must do the

answering, especially the ones doing the asking.

 

* 271 *

When it becomes another person's business,

giving is no longer possible, only taking or

paying. Real giving is unadvertised.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 272 *

My Daddy may be hurting when he dies.

He may even be afraid.

But he will not be feeling lonely.

I will be holding his hand.

  Leona Smith


 

 

 

* 273 *

Kill all you want in war, and the fear remains.

When fear is conquered, negotiation, even with

the hated, is easily seen as superior to war.

 

* 274 *

For each lion's meal, a gazelle dies,

and the lion is a slave to the need.

 

* 275 *

Can we possibly believe that a being who lived with no

environment, then made it all and made us? The

primitive theory has survived to rule our modern day.

 

* 276 *

Sometimes powerful and responsive

cars are not as safe as moderate ones, even

when driven by the same drivers. Power is

not a vector; we must add the direction.

 

* 277 *

If we cannot bring about penitence, is there

some other purpose for the penitentiary? What

is it? What should we call the place instead?


 

 

 

 

* 278 *

If I choose to follow the rules of the church or

family, it may be real obedience, for I may be free

to choose otherwise. This is not true for the city

or state or country, which are swift to force.

 

* 279 *

Almost all peoples are brought to fear to the point of

being stifled. Those who are not stifled, and who act

out, are the little kettle called black by the great pot.

 

* 280 *

When a law is not just, one still has a legal responsibility

to obey that law. He may, at the same time, have a moral

responsibility to disobey that law. It might be well to

measure which has the greater weight between how unjust

that law is and how likely is disobedience to alter the law.

 

* 281 *

Our existence is absolutely impossible. The existence

of any matter at all is absolutely impossible. Yet - -


 

* 282 *

Would you like to grow more in a year than you ever have?

Do something good every day that you are afraid to do.

 

* 283 *

Organized beliefs are sometimes like

schizophrenia. If mild and inclusive, they

may function well enough. When extreme

and exclusive, being out of touch with

reality is serious disease.

 

* 284 *

When beliefs are fragile, they may be swept away

by a puff of science or a tittle of logic. When they

are not fragile, you will be required to present a

compelling argument to change them. If it is the

believer rather than only the belief that is fragile,

you may not be able to alter the belief with any

amount of data, no matter how compelling the

argument, and no matter how fragile the belief.

 

* 285 *

The older the data is, the more it is trusted by religions.

Among scientists, it is the opposite. The newer the data,

as it meets scrutiny, the more trusted. Both of these

systems of thought and inquiry require trust. What

differs is what is trusted and why it is trusted.


 

 

 

 

Jonna Wilson

 

 

 

* 286 *

If we divide the Earth into even parts for all of us,

each of the six billion of us will own approximately

one trillion tons of it. At just one dollar per ton, it

would take 1000 billionaires just to buy your portion.


 

 

 

* 287 *

Is it possible that the greatest influence one

can apply to the all of all is to act randomly, as

evolution does? Is stirring more effective than

building? Nature appears to believe so. Plants

are a far greater influence than automobiles.

Termites affect far more than machines can.

 

* 288 *

The measure of us is not what we are taught is true,

not what we believe is true, but what we want to be

true. It's what would be true if we were in control.

 

* 289 *

You purport that the physical is an illusion? It is more

likely that spirits are illusions. I'll invite every ghost

to haunt me, every god and devil to torture and kill

me, and you invite me to punch you in the nose, and

letís see who has the more real experience.

 

* 290 *

How can anything be called "un-natural,"

when every wonder, beautiful or awful,

common or rare, is part and parcel of nature?


 

 

 

* 291 *

If the universe has no purpose and does not in any

way matter, then what possible purpose would

there be for convincing anyone that this is true?

 

* 292 *

Make a camera like the Land Polaroid, and in 17 years,

anyone may make one. Make a song, and 50 years later, the

grandchildren are still charging royalties for its use.

 

* 293 *

A Private is usually a young person who fights for

freedom while having none, and who has no privacy

at all, and who, if quits the job, will be thrown in jail.

 

* 294 *

If he becomes willing, we should

negotiate even with the Devil.

 

* 295 *

All adjustment to reality is learning, whether

conscious or not. Natural selection leads to

an evolving not only of physical assets, but

also of increased knowledge for living things.


 

 

 

 

* 296 *

With science, first comes assertion, and then comes

proof or disproof or acknowledgment of an unknown.

Without science, first there is assertion, and then

come testimonials, which are repetitions of the

assertion, and the rest of the process is missing.

 

* 297 *

People often intensely want us to believe something

when it seems it would be right to want it to be

true, but wanting does not justify believing.

 

* 298 *

The success of a society is sometimes measured

by looking at its greatest citizens, but it is

better measured by its leasts, how poor and in

how much pain they are allowed to remain.

 

* 299 *

It is not anyone's business to tell you what to

believe. Others may give you data, but the

processing and conclusions belong only to you.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 300 *

Ignoring data we do not like wastes the mind's life.


 

 

* 301 *

It does not matter whether it is a dictatorial monarchy

or a working democracy. If the country has a heavy

majority in one religion, that religion will run the

country. Even a president is unelectable without

either being or claiming to be a follower of that religion.

 

* 302 *

Feeling certain and being certain are not the same.

 

* 303 *

A naked canvas has all the potential for

all the marvelous paintings that ever

could be, yet it costs only a small sum.

 

* 304 *

The existence of an actual living god

may eventually go past vision with

testimonial and become science with

demonstration. If so, current believers will

be elated, and non-believers will be awed.

 

* 305 *

It is not spoken wisdom, but applied

wisdom, that makes a difference.


 

 

 

* 306 *

If a pool shooter prays that his ball will fall

into the pocket, is that cheating the same as if

the shooter had asked a friend to blow on the ball?

How would we know if the prayer was answered?

Would asking be cheating regardless, even if

his friend did not comply?

 

* 307 *

If I believe I can untangle the Christmas tree

lights by shaking them, that may be reasonable.

I would not believe I could throw scrambled eggs

and the crushed shell against the wall and expect it

to bounce back to me a perfectly good egg ready

for a hen to warm and capable of becoming a healthy

chick. But if I believe in the unexplained restoration

of a decomposed human body, I am an inspiring

believer who is appreciated by the hopeful.

 

* 308 *

Gods are probable phantoms,

while people are as real as rain.


 

 

 

 

* 309 *

The obligation of any great power is to support the

interests of all people, not only those of the country

holding the power. No lone Super Power has made good

on this obligation for long, and it is not likely one ever

will. As two roughly equal competing parties are a

blessing for honesty within our country, so two roughly

equal competing powers are a blessing for our world.

Existing for too long as the lone super power will

eventually corrupt us, and it has begun. Were the

Soviet Union still to exist in full form or any other

power perceived as roughly equal to our own, we could

not attack others with such assumed impunity. When

we do attack, we do so with the approval of both of

our internal political parties. They help protect us from

ourselves, but they do not protect other countries from a

power free to do virtually anything its people approve.

 

* 310 *

Let us speak our thoughts and write them down.

Let us all be heard.


 

 

 

 

 

* 311 *

We get from the past, knowledge, from the

future, opportunity. In the present, we live.

 

* 312 *

Among hundreds of denominations, most

find it easy to look at the data and conclude

that all the other denominations are faulty. Why

can't each look at the same data and conclude

the same for their own denomination?

 

* 313 *

Intelligent design? Of course! Natural selection

and environmental fitness bring trees,

galaxies, bugs and us. Then we bring to ourselves,

by intelligent design, miraculous things,

tools, language, watches, airplanes and gods.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 314 *

Iím just not very interesting,

unless itís uncalled for!

Becky Wren


 

 

* 315 *

If we start by assuming God is good, kind, loving, helpful,

forgiving and sweet, then some of the writings about Him

come to be questioned. Using the other popular

assumption, that what is written is correct, He becomes a

terrorist and many other horrible things. Assuming His

goodness, we may then judge what people write by that

foundation, and reject writings which make Him awful,

regardless of what book they are written in.

 

* 316 *

I love to hear what offends me. The ludicrous is only silly

and does not offend me. What is crude is far too simple

to make offense, much as a child's humor. What I hear

cannot offend me if I am not interested in it. To be

offensive, it must be something possibly true and an

argument against my current held position. This pushes my

thinking and is only good for me. It may be correct or not,

but it will force me to consider a change in my thought.

 

* 317 *

Who are these kings over which reigns

the "King of kings"? Who are these lords

over which rules the "Lord of lords"?


 

 

 

* 318 *

Some practice of religion is not designed to care for

"leasts," so much as for "greatests." It is aimed at

"worship" more than at "love." It subscribes to a god who

requires only subordination, while those who merely do

good and love one another will fail the test.

 

* 319 *

Whatever country you are from, when you return

from war and tell the truth about your experience,

you will be accused of treason if that truth

reflects badly on your country's position.

 

* 320 *

A stick, when broken, has not obeyed the one who breaks

it. A child, when broken, has not obeyed its parent.

 

* 321 *

We think with language. Consider one who knows

something which "cannot be explained in words." How

did he think it out when he came to "know" it? Without

language, he should never have known more than the cave

man knew, yet he uses this language in an attempt to

explain that this thing he knows cannot be put in words.


 

 

 

* 322 *

Do not take a job it's a crime to quit.

 

* 323 *

You and I are not the only ones who need to be loved.

 

* 324 *

Being natural does not mean that something meets

with our approval. Evil is just as natural as good, the

rare just as natural as the common, what is thought

ugly just as natural as what is thought beautiful.

 

* 325 *

The proof we accept as adults is often no

more scientific than the hot chocolate trick

used to prove Santa Claus really came.

 

* 326 *

The far future is soft and pliable. The nearer

the future, the more it has hardened. The

present is on our workbench, and as it passes,

it becomes the past, and is instantly rock solid.


 

 

 

* 327 *

Ex-generals and ex-presidents are usually wiser than

generals and presidents. From their experience they

become more in tune with the real needs of humanity,

and they live past their exaggerated desire for power.

Those who find such wisdom earlier in life do not

become generals and presidents.

 

* 328 *

I think Santa Claus is much cooler than God. Rather

than worship him in awe of his knowledge and fear of

his power, we love him for his kindness and good nature,

and like to laugh with him. We spell his "he, his, and

him" with lower case letters. As a grandpa, I want to

be like him, not like God. I own a nice Santa Claus suit. A

God suit would just embarrass me. Maybe God does not

like the suit we designed for Him. Isn't His job big

enough without having to put up with all that?

 

* 329 *

Some people just wait for death to come. Waiting

is not living. Why wait for the inevitable? It's

like waiting for a pot of water to boil . . . . .

Wo! Eureka! The fountain! The fountain!


 

 

* 330 *

"Christians and Jews are Allah's creations.

We are called to take care of them." - Muslim Speaker

"Muslims and Jews are God's creations.

We are called to take care of them." - Christian Speaker

"Christians and Muslims are G-d's creations.

We are called to take care of them." - Jewish Speaker

 

Each speaker feels superior.

 

 


 

 

 

 

* 331 *

Truth is generally shared with data,

rather than by testimonial.

 

* 332 *

It was Night.

I turned on the Light.

I saw a Sign.

It said Be My Valentine.

Bill Borough (8)

 

* 333 *

Second hand compliments are nearly always

regarded as sincere, and thus well received

and pleasant. When someone says something

nice about another person, pass it along.

 

* 334 *

In our most intimate moments, the normal among

us do not want anyone to watch, deity or not.


 

 

* 335 *

Come to think of it, debate was discouraged in the physics

classes. I know, because I tried on occasion. That's what

was uncomfortable about them. Ideas were not on the

table; currently agreed-upon beliefs were, which are

not substantively different from creeds. Scientific

method is unwelcome in the physics classes.

 

* 336 *

An important purpose of the Constitution is to stop

majorities from ruling when they should not. Democracy

without a constitution is simply majority rule.

 

* 337 *

Is God capable of experiencing surprise?

 

* 338 *

Goodness is the goal of useful religion,

and truth be damned. Truth is the goal of

useful science, and goodness be damned.

Does this clarify why we need both?

 

* 339 *

If your problem someday will not matter,

maybe it doesn't really matter now.

Sean McPherson


 

 

* 340 *

A person who is comfortable with the belief

that almost all people will burn in Hell forever

for getting technicalities wrong will find it

difficult to care about the living.

 

* 341 *

Everything we know for sure, we should

also believe. Many additional things not

known for sure, we still need to believe.

 

* 342 *

It's not like eating, for one may get his fill.

A hunger for wealth is never satisfied.

 

* 343 *

The faith-filled without the tool of doubt are like

a carpenter with his hammer and no saw. What he

builds will be poorly fitted. His trash can will be

empty, while his poor house will consist greatly

of the trash that should have filled the can.

 

* 344 *

If we are always united, we are inferior to others,

who respectfully play different notes, hoping to

find the way to harmony rather than to unity.


 

 

* 345 *

Why don't we declare war on the cause, rather than

on symptoms? Let's declare a war on exclusivism.

Whether it be a country, a creed, a species,

whatever, if they believe they are the only ones

that matter, or the only ones who are correct, or

the only ones who know the truth, or the only

ones authorized, let's declare a war on that.

 

 

The Sun Ė David Kennard Borough


 

 

* 346 *

God either exists or does not exist.

I have no control over that.

I am not responsible for it.

I know that my fellow man exists.

That is where my responsibility lies.

 

* 347 *

A man or woman does not become guilty just by

joining the country's military. Most who die in the

military are innocent. Few who die in war are

the guilty who cause the war. Those responsible are usually protected and out of harm's way. After all,

they were aware it was coming before anyone else,

and also they were in control of its execution.

 

* 348 *

I do not want to die, before I simplify. I do not want

my end to be, with all this stuff while it owns me. All

these things that bind the mind, I do not wish to leave

behind. I want them all used up. I want an empty cup.

 

* 349 *

Religion may be able to play a wonderful part in our

learning to accept what is, with comfortable resignation.


 

 

 

* 350 *

Those who are entirely silent and express no

opinions, are some of these the ones who reason

or believe that it all has no purpose?

 

* 351 *

Over eating and obesity are nearly as dangerous

as smoking. What in the world is wrong with me,

willingly putting deadly bites into my mouth?

 

* 352 *

Worshiping truth, as atheists tend to do, is just

as silly a one-way love as any other. Truth will not

love them back, and is not what matters.

 

* 353 *

When we pay our taxes, let us know that we

could not, of ourselves, ever have been any more

than a cave man. Anything beyond that comes as

a result of the support we get from societies.

 

* 354 *

When at odds, emotion trumps intelligence.


 

 

 

* 355 *

His gods are man's feeble attempts to understand

where he came from. To discover a billionth part

of the real truth is eternally unlikely. Still, the

small amount he may discover is more truth

than all his comfortably designed illusions.

 

* 356 *

Once beliefs are agreed upon, they

become creeds, and are no longer science.

 

* 357 *

People do not make real their pretense of loving

everyone while they hate the Devil. Any devil, after all,

is simply their view of those they do not love.

 

* 358 *

She has always loved cats, but he is more like a dog,

dedicated, unselfish, and not mysterious. Her lack of

appreciation for him is a loss for them both.

 

* 359 *

He was an adjusting optimist. "Well," he said, "sometimes

the glass is only a quarter full, but it's still a drink."


 

 

 

* 360 *

The random risks, taken in the process we call evolution,

have poor odds. Each risk has less chance for success

than a lottery ticket. Here is the secret: We may

buy a limited number of lottery tickets, but evolution

takes countless trillions of these risks, and pays nothing

for each one. For each trillion risks, if one in a billion

succeeds, evolution succeeds a thousand times.

 

 


 

 

 

* 361 *

There is no purpose for a lasting Hell, unless

God's will is not going to stand. His written

will? That none should be lost.

 

* 362 *

When a star changes form and ceases to exist

as it was, none of us expect it could later

return to exist and be the same again. Living

phenomena, including ourselves, are not different.

Time moves forward, not back. There will forever

be other phenomena, but complex and wonderful

as we are, we are temporary. Stars and humans

are all the same. No, not quite. What a wonder,

that we spend a little time aware in the

universe! That is more than stars ever were,

their fusion of hydrogen into helium

such comparative simplicity!

 

* 363 *

We all know that Grandpa says what he

thinks. It's on his face, too. When we

get him to play poker, we get his money.


 

 

* 364 *

It was said she had not a dime to inherit, but her

granddaughter declared many years later, "I can

scarcely measure what great gifts I inherited from

her. My life is so sweet. I love her. I have not seen her

for 18 years, yet she has been with me the entire time."

 

* 365 *

If a thing's being true would be more amazing

to someone than the thing's being false, why

would one assume ever that the thing is true?

Isn't being amazed a matter of recognizing

that the evidence is pointed the other way?

 

* 366 *

Those outside-the-square discoveries do not come

via a logical process, but by the random walk.

 

* 367 *

That boy or girl with you will not hold you

back if you allow the child to be delightful.

 

* 368 *

Light is a good thing. Too much of it blinds the eyes.

Truth is a good thing. Too much of it clouds the mind.


 

 

* 369 *

Most punishment is not about improving a person, but

is an attempt to achieve "fairness," a most wasteful

goal. Nature is concerned about fitness, not fairness.

 

* 370 *

We spent an evening having dinner with friends

in Mexico. We did not invite them to come to America

to have dinner in our home, as they had done for us.

There are conditions that make our country unwilling

to welcome them, as Mexico always welcomes us. Our

friends understand, but we are sad about it. We

waited in the long line for permission to return home.

 

* 371 *

Justice and politics should cost only public money.

Public money represents us all. Private money

represents unevenly and makes us unequal.

So long as private money is allowed to determine

winners, justice and democracy are compromised,

and the processes are immensely more expensive.

 

* 372 *

If we own the healing power, why not use it for what

most needs a cure, the sickness in our creeds?


 

 

 

 

 

* 373 *

The light at the end of a tunnel sometimes really is a

train . . . . In that case, it's time to change tracks.

Sean McPherson

 

* 374 *

Fairness is just a human invention.

Our attraction to it differs from the rest of nature.

 

* 375 *

The schizophrenic and the discovering scientist are

sometimes in the same boat. They believe something

that nobody else believes. The difference is that

the schizophrenic has only testimonial, while the

scientist is able to share his data and process.

 

* 376 *

The part of the yard further

from the eye is free of weeds.


 

 

* 377 *

If we don't know that we are born of non-human

ancestors, then we are no richer in history than a new

Ford which has no idea that there was ever a Model T.

 

* 378 *

Sometimes they wanted me to

state that I know the uncheckable.

 

* 379 *

Those who do not believe as we

believe also need to be heard,

and we need the free speech and

the stimulation of our thought.

 

* 380 *

We have too little time to learn

a billionth of what there is to know.

But we have far too little time

to waste it with our eyes closed.

 

* 381 *

Will we hear also the controverting

speaker and be stimulated to think, or

will we rather just be indoctrinated?


 

 

* 382 *

You are not a member of an organization which

keeps secrets from you. You are only a subject.

 

* 383 *

Sometimes we believe things we do not know. I believe it

will rain tomorrow. Some beliefs graduate to knowledge.

I believe 2+2=4, then I come to understand counting,

and I know it. Sometimes we know things we still do not

believe. I know the roller coaster is safer than my car,

but I don't believe it on my way down the big hill.

 

* 384 *

Achieve that understanding, that goodness is more

desirable than the visible. By the intellect, it's already

obvious, but it is in the feelings that it matters.

 

* 385 *

Each one must conquer the exclusivist

superstitions of his religion before he may find

and use its caring and inclusive heart, its core.

 

* 386 *

There is no purpose to having any interest

in the impossible. Things thought

impossible may be worth lots of interest.


 

 

* 387 *

It is silly to argue that God would not

allow man to do what man has done.

 

* 388 *

The worst agreement made out of court is

better than litigation in court, and the worst

litigation in court is better than combat.

 

* 389 *

With no listener, is gratitude still good for us?

 

* 390 *

Good advice, if from one's enemy, is still good advice.

 

* 391 *

If you never disagree with me, I have no idea what you

really think. If you disagree with me part of the time,

then I will trust, when we agree, that we actually do.

 

* 392 *

Who does God worship? Nobody.

Follow this example.

Who does God love? Everybody.

Follow this example also.


 

 

 

David Kennard Borough

 

 

* 393 *

Weíve all heard that itís better to teach a man

to fish than it is to feed him a fish. The truth is,

sometimes he needs the fish before the lesson.

Someone really hungry is not a good student.

Feed a man a fish, and then teach him to fish.


 

 

 

* 394 *

Animals, with instincts, are forced to strive for

survival. Humans, because of language, share

thought. They know that they are going to die no

matter what they do. Feeling a need to survive that

threat, the cultures they have formed developed religion,

promising that death is just an illusion.... It is such a

popular notion, and so desirable, that thousands of

versions of religion were and still are invented. Each

version differs from the others in detail, often insisting

it is the only correct one of those thousands, but they

all include the needed belief: Lives do not really end....

 

* 395 *

Sometimes a look at the familiar and simple

gives us a view of what is larger and harder to

see. Consider yesterday. What you did is done,

and you cannot change it. Now consider

tomorrow. You may go to Disneyland or to the

beach or to work or knit or do any of a thousand

other things. That is the familiar and simple.

There is only one lay of the universe behind,

but there are infinite options ahead. That

is the larger and harder to see.


 

 

 

* 396 *

The accusation that a logical argument

is evil if it falls against an accepted

belief is more than unfair; it is idiocy.

 

* 397 *

An excellent teacher must maintain two attributes.

Knowing the subject and loving the subject.

 

* 398 *

Don't ever punish yourself for past wrongs by doing

additional wrongs. Nobody is ever unworthy to do good.

 

* 399 *

Every demon and spirit, every imagined monster,

all of them together, do little damage compared

with that from obesity and cigarettes.

 

* 400 *

With or without humans, Earth matters

the same. Not a hundredth of one percent

of its time has included humans, and only the

minutest part of its future will include them.


 

 

* 401 *

She, truth, is the slave of creeds, which

would define her. She, truth, is the

master of research, who would follow her.

 

* 402 *

Persons needing kidney transplants died with near

certainty just a hundred years ago, no matter who

prayed. Now, many of them live. Do these miracles

occur because we pray better than people of the past?

 

* 403 *

If the sacred writings are fiction,

their best advice may be good anyway.

 

* 404 *

All the failing mutations add up to a simple

zero, while the rare successes are an

infinity of awesome consequences.

 

* 405 *

Nobody wants to buy your home. They want to

buy only your house. They will bring their own

home along with them. The same principle

applies when we put our religion on the market.


 

 

 

* 406 *

The eternal past leaves us what we are. That time is

no longer in our control. It does not matter. What are

we doing now? Where are we going? What will we be?

 

* 407 *

Love and do not worship. Bowing down is neither useful

nor good. Caring and serving are both useful and good.

 

* 408 *

Behind a door locked for safety, nobody feels safe.

 

* 409 *

When we pretend to be something we are not, if it is

our goal, it is not hypocrisy, but planning. As a child

pretends to be a fireman, so we may pretend to be

better than we are. It's our own pretending, not

something used to take advantage of another person.

 

* 410 *

Sometimes the scientist's humor consists of

actual technical truths, but humor is seldom

appreciated when it is technically true.


 

 

* 411 *

If someone calls attention to cruel doctrine or calls

for us to repent, will we want his head on a platter?

 

* 412 *

Far worse is a dishonest truth than an honest lie.

"He smoked and lived to be 99," is a dishonest truth.

"Santa Claus loves you," is an honest lie.

 

* 413 *

You will be exposed to great persecution if

you are right when the Church is wrong.

 

* 414 *

It's not nice when adults debate with little children

about whether reindeer can fly. It's a waste of time

when adults debate with other adults about the

untestable and unprovable beliefs they hold.

 

* 415 *

Many wonder whether the universe has

purpose or not. We may be sure that if it does,

it is not about humans, with all the rest in service to

that purpose. It is the most prevalent and significant

superstition, that humans are the why of it all.


 

 

* 416 *

Physics is quite simple, once it is understood, but

physics is never understood. I am a physicist all my

life, and I can promise you, we do not understand.

 

* 417 *

Discovery consists of digging through a mass of

information with enthusiasm and doubt, and once in a

while finding a little something that survives the doubt.

 

* 418 *

If we are to avoid contention, then how

will we contend for the good and true?

 

* 419 *

Guilt is a waste after a person

has been moved to do better.

Heather Campagna

 

* 420 *

Correct science and good religion are both with

great merit, yet often are friction for each

other. Thoughts and feelings are in conflict, yet

either without the other can be unfulfilling.


 

 

 

* 421 *

Should a dragonfly declare that all the universe is

a service to him, and that God made him in God's

image and as God's purpose, he would be no more

arrogant than humans who make the same claims.

 

 

 

David Kennard Borough


 

 

 

* 422 *

Punishment is not useful when it brings more

fear, but when it brings hope and anticipation.

 

* 423 *

When the claim is made that something is supported

by all scientists, simply quit listening, and begin

another conversation with someone sensible.

 

* 424 *

How many times do we need to do something

that changes our lives? When do we get to be

happy with our lives going along as they are?

 

* 425 *

Things selfish are not real success. It

is what we cause that makes us

what we are, not what we get.

 

* 426 *

No torture of the innocent, only assassination

of the guilty, as found so in a ruly World court.


 

 

* 427 *

Concerning religion, when it sounds too good to

be true, it is too good to be true. When it sounds

too awful to be true, it is too awful to be true.

 

* 428 *

If I negotiate, he may win. Of course,

but this is what I want, so long as I also win.

 

* 429 *

If God organized the universe, He is

not life, which is a late development

within the universe, and much in need

of the environment for its existence.

 

* 430 *

A warrior, at the bottom of it, is one who has decided

that if he can show himself to be the toughest, then he

has shown himself to be right. It's false, of course.

 

* 431 *

It is not because they are the enemy that they

will not negotiate; it is because they fear us.

It is the same in reverse. If we will not

negotiate, it is because we fear.


 

 

 

* 432 *

Respond to pollsters with, "What, you

want to see my cards? What kind of

poker do you think we're playing here?"

 

* 433 *

We scientists tend to do the math, and it messes up lots

of the metaphors. Someone says for every drop of rain

that falls, a flower grows. Physicists think, "Oh no, the

Earth will be smothered many miles deep with densely

compressed flowers. Not one of us will survive!"

Understood, it is just science humor. Other scientists

will appreciate it, but this is a reason some people

really don't care that much for physicists.

 

* 434 *

War cannot be well fought on the assumption that

God will help. All the good gods are against war.

 

* 435 *

No one knows what is true, but

people know what works.


 

* 436 *

On average, one may be considered moderate while

extremist on issue after issue. A true moderate is not a

moderate by an average, but a moderate philosophically.

He would be good at moderating the discussion between

two on opposing sides of an issue. He would understand,

and more important, appreciate, both sides.

 

* 437 *

Why what is danger to me? At most it is death

quickened, what will surely be, but with different

timing. There is no time much more acceptable

than another. It is better to measure risk by

what is to be gained rather than by fear alone.

 

* 438 *

A huge blow may appear to end a war, but

in time, it will be found that another

stage has been set by this very blow.

 

* 439 *

Where should ivy be? Where it is. The thought

process that brings this answer, when extended,

is troubling. It gives "should" no meaning. We

invented the word; did we also invent the concept,

which gave us the need for the word?


 

 

 

* 440 *

Believing will not make the believed thing

so, but believing may motivate actions

that then make other things so.

 

* 441 *

Nothing is God's business without our consent.

He is as strongly for free agency as we are.

 

* 442 *

Only God can make a tree. Of course. If a man

began to know how, other men would quickly make

laws stopping him from "playing god." They like to

force what they say is true, to be true.

 

* 443 *

Dictators love prima donna's, but only inferior

ones to themselves. They will treat one like a

princess, so long as she bows down to them.

 

* 444 *

The hands can do many things the

mind could never do without them.


 

 

 

 

 

 

* 445 *

Societies and organizations generally start out more

or less liberal and troubled. In time they become

conservative, as they develop more and more they do not

want to lose, and eventually they become so conservative

that they lack the motive force to move forward. They

decay, they die, or they are forced to yield to revolution

and drastic change, then liberal and troubled again.

 

* 446 *

It doesnít matter when the gambling addict quits

the game. If one comes after a time to gamble

again, the time in between has no mathematical

meaning. The next deal of the cards might as well

have been dealt without the wait. Only when the

quitting is permanent does it have meaning. This

same principle applies to other addictions,

including societal ones, including even warfare.


 

 

 

* 447 *

In this search for "I", the description must be so

defined that no other being will be mistaken as you.

Benita Silas

 

* 448 *

Every time we Kick a Rock, we re-seed

the random events of the entire universe.

 

* 449 *

If all is together, past, present, and future, how

can God sing a song, with one note before another?

How would He ever enjoy a good punch line?

 

* 450 *

Morality is not binary. It is not a one or zero.

It is analog and can take many values. It never

reaches zero, and it never reaches one. If we

must judge it, it is important to do the math, and

often to compare one number with another and

to be more concerned with the difference than

with the numbers themselves each alone.


 

 

* 451 *

Ask a hundred people to list the feelings they

can think of. Not one will list "knowledge." A

feeling of certainty is not knowledge, and we

all evidently know the difference..

 

* 452 *

By those who fail in important matters,

success is measured in dollars.

 

* 453 *

To the end of time, there will always be rich and

poor, until the rich themselves want it corrected.

 

* 454 *

We vainly try to alter the unchangeable past

when it has been hurtful. That's what revenge

is. Inspiring change to make a future not like

the past is tenfold more useful than revenge.

 

* 455 *

True defense is not war. It is the resistance to it. It

is the gazelle's swiftness. It is the turtle's shell, and

it is also the porcupine's quill. Usually, the eagle's

claw and the shark's tooth are not about defense. The

powerful soon learn the value of these in conquest.


 

 

 

 

* 456 *

Even when we take it upon ourselves to punish another

person, we should be the loyal opposition. If we are not on

the side of making life better for that person, we are

incapable of bringing about a successful punishment.

 

* 457 *

As dictators gain control, it is almost

always on a campaign of morality.

 

* 458 *

There should be no double standard. It is not

acceptable for me to keep important secrets from

my country, my company, or my church. It should be

unacceptable for my country, my company, or my

church to keep important secrets from me.

 

* 459 *

When humans act, we often hear that they interfere with

nature, yet the accusers still assume that humans are

nature's purpose. They believe that humans are eternal

and that the universe is a service for them.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 460 *

Even the flight to the moon was natural.

Human intelligence is part of nature as

well as bugs, stones and gravity.


 

 

 

* 461 *

He don't take no hints. He says if I donít

speak clear, why should he listen clear?

 

* 462 *

It's not about me; it's not about you; it's not about

humans at all. It's also not about our gods or our

religions. Itís not about science either. What is it

about? I can assure you that I do not know, nor do

I know whether it is about anything. Does that put

me in the dark? You bet, and how interesting it is!

 

* 463 *

Sometimes we go to great lengths to make soldiers

mentally ill, and then punish them when they act

that way. Is it because they are showing our colors?

 

* 464 *

One side thinks the war is against "other-religion

infidels," while the other side thinks it is a war

against "other-religion terrorists."

If we fought a war against exclusivism, all

of us might fight the same enemy.


 

* 465 *

The best of religion may be the faith that

is a preview of advancing science.

 

* 466 *

Great respect is due those who,

after "success," are still liberals.

 

* 467 *

Circumstances are greatly responsible

for the outcome of a prayer.

 

* 468 *

One cannot repent of war and remain a war hero.

The hero must hate the enemy and not the war.

 

* 469 *

If the Devil gives good advice, take it.

 

* 470 *

Liberalism has its way in time. Change is the

way of time's progress. An adjusting advantage is

that changesí lifetimes are governed by fitness. A

change that has no advantage soon bows to the next

search for a better way, or may curtsy to conservatism

and stand down for a current or past proven way.


 

 

 

 

* 471 *

Secrecy is the greatest danger in our world. It has us

making decisions with the data purposely kept from us.

 

* 472 *

My hobby is to tell the truth as I see it. There is

pleasure in this, even when it causes a little trouble.

Sometimes the ensuing conversation causes me to alter

my thought or find something new, and sometimes the

stirring troubles another to new thought.

 

* 473 *

We need to wipe out "We're the only ones," beliefs

around the world. Christians, Muslims, Jews, we all

need to get rid of this popular, dangerous, false and

cruel teaching. None of us are "chosen" above others.

 

* 474 *

Faith is that feature in humans which allows

them to be certain something is true when their

travels include no path to that knowledge.


 

 

 

 

* 475 *

You wouldn't wear a hero's medal if you found it on

the street. It's not difficult to understand why. It's

a credit for something you did not do. Money is a credit

for work and accomplishment. Why are we all willing

to accept and use money just because a number was

randomly selected or just because someone died?

 

* 476 *

Technology has brought us all to a place where it no

longer takes a nation to go to war. Now ever smaller

groups are able. The smaller the group, the more

likely it will be called terrorism, but it is the same

as all other wars. The group thinks it is right and

that everyone who disagrees should die.

 

* 477 *

Since there was no "time" before the big bang, how

can we say the words "before the big bang"? How long

did the point source exist? If it existed for no time, how

did it spring into existence? Nobody tries to answer.

Itís just like asking, "Where did God come from?"


 

 

 

* 478 *

We know it is not being illegal aliens that is objected to,

but being of some particular nationality, for we wait for

Jesus to come, and by our laws, He will be an illegal alien.

 

* 479 *

If your husband contends with you, do you sometimes

contend in return? Sure. If the Church contends with you,

do you sometimes contend in return? Why not?

 

* 480 *

Of course they don't like the article that says

they are wrong. It is troubling that they also do

not like the article that says anyone else is right.

 

* 481 *

"A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine

for doing well." No. Without public support, no

one could ever do better than a cave man.

 

* 482 *

Well, he wouldn't be much of a liar,

would he, if people didn't believe him?


 

 

 

 

 

 

* 483 *

I believe in love, but not that love is a person.

If God is love, rather than a person, then I believe

in God. When persons love, they live with such a god

within them, and no pretended or imagined, no literal

or living magic being is worth so much as that.


 

 

 

 

* 484 *

Near grasses need more water.

 

* 485 *

No law made by men to control other men

ought receive our respect if it does not

control the makers to the same degree.

 

* 486 *

We know so little of the truth that we ought not

pretend the ability to teach it. We would better

teach searching and sifting, and each student

will find his or her own views and beliefs.

 

* 487 *

Are you taught to be ashamed of your

doubt? If you would be an effective seeker of

truth, then replace that shame with gratitude.

 

* 488 *

The excellent manners of the Church

make escape from enslavement difficult.


 

 

* 489 *

Developed religions are kinds of languages, tools

of thought. Our influence is best used to make the

tools better, rather than, with each of our "only

true religions," hoping to see the rest of them fail.

 

* 490 *

One may think he enjoys being a boss, but it is

likely one would not like an award engraved,

"For Bossing." Instead, he or she would like

it to say, "For Leadership." It is the

difference between commanding and inspiring.

 

* 491 *

The future is always infinitely open. I can break

more Humpty Dumpty's, or I can leave them

whole, but I cannot put the one who fell from

the wall back together again. The past is as

completely closed as the future is open.

 

* 492 *

Disdain honor for character.

 

* 493 *

Consistency is the opposite of repentance.


 

 

 

* 494 *

I do not believe that good science leaves off

the tool of faith, but science recognizes faith as

part of the experiment, not as the conclusion.

 

* 495 *

The first speaker wanted God to be my boss. The

second speaker wanted me to be my boss. God agreed

with the second, and that's why we are free agents.

 

* 496 *

Oxygen. Rapists enjoy an equal share of it with

saints. Who is the author of this equality?

 

* 497 *

We measure progress by decreased local entropy.

The "progress" of the universe is toward increased

total entropy. Is this also true regarding social

things? A society with few rich and many poor is

low social entropy, while if all are equal, this is

high social entropy. Which is social progress? Is

it as humans measure, or as the universe moves?

Should we move to equality, or increase difference?


 

 

 

 

* 498 *

Once we realize that we are nothing, we respond in

one of two ways. Either we can't stand being nothing

and so try to do something huge, imagining that it will

be significant, or we relax and understand and find

comfort in our new humility. Discovering that one

is nothing is either frightening or comforting. For

most, both of these feelings will be experienced.

 

* 499 *

"Quantum leap" is often misused to represent

a large event, but in physics, the quantum leap

is the smallest event that is possible. It is

smaller than anyone can imagine. One step

taken by an ant would involve trillions of them.

 

* 500 *

Part was that doing it unto the least of these was

doing it unto Him, but part was that not doing it

unto the least of these was not doing it unto Him.

The message is that direct worship is worthless.

It is about our relationship with our fellows.


 

 

 

* 501 *

One with manners quits asking after "no"

has been said a time or two. The request

may be more reasonable elsewhere.

 

* 502 *

When the powerful destroy the weak, it is as when an

ant is crushed by the heel of a boot. Nothing about the

boot and nothing about the ant is proved or learned,

other than the power one has over the other.

 

* 503 *

The Devil shoots no arrows;

He only opens doors.

The hand that's on the bowstring,

Is always mine or yours.

 

* 504 *

Can a child waste the ocean's water holding a pail of it?

Our lives, as part of eternity, are like that pail.

 

* 505 *

We are all warriors when we

get angry or fearful enough.


 

 

* 506 *

There is only one war, and until we end all war, that

one war will continue. It is the war of the "haves"

wanting to keep and increase what they have and

the "have nots" wanting to gain more equal parts. When

there are no rich and no poor among us, an end of war

is possible. The peace would be fragile, for some will

want and struggle for what they remember having

before. If they achieve it, the war will begin anew.

 

* 507 *

Good religion is not a contest to prove whom

God loves best, but an adventure to discover that

we all want and need to be loved the same.

 

* 508 *

As we watch over and over, a tower fall, we think

only of Satanic power, but they also watch, and think

only of David's stone. However extremely wrong they

are, until we realize that these are not cowards, we

hold little hope to bring about a lasting peace.

 

* 509 *

Poor folks get lesser lawyers. Justice can prevail only

when we, the more wealthy, want it to prevail.


 

* 510 *

Sometimes hurrying slows us down.

 

 

 

 

* 511 *

Many contributory causes.

Many possible solutions.

David Jess Borough


 

 

 

* 512 *

Seems the only subject is money. Flipping through

radio stations this morning, bypassing music, two

were about taxes being too high. One was a lawyer talking

about a civil case. Two were about investment, one real

estate, the other stocks. One was about giving

money to their church, one was public radio asking for

donations, and one was about fathers behind on child

support. Six were advertising something for sale, one

was a CPA talking about tax strategies, and the last was

a woman calling in to ask if it was ok to marry a man who

wasn't making as much money as she was used to having.

This was all in less than ten minutes on the way to church.

Then the subject was tithing and offerings. Okay, all of

these are alright, but isn't there any other subject? Well,

there were stations in between these playing a song, so

maybe there are two subjects, songs and money.

Nah, they want us to buy copies of the songs.

 

* 513 *

Some lies may be necessary, others

acceptable, and some as much as praiseworthy.

Whether the lie be acceptable or not, when we

endeavor to keep truth from anyone, we lie.


 

 

 

* 514 *

Sometimes, only the winning candidate takes down

the campaign signs. Watch the signs of those who

lose an election. If the signs come down, vote for

this one next election. He or she will care about your

town even when there is not something in it personally.

 

* 515 *

A lock-step logical path may give safety from

error, but it does not allow the randomness that

has led to many discoveries of good and truth.

 

* 516 *

When the computer gets filled with too many

extraneous and unwanted things, including

"protections," we sometimes "baseline" it. This

takes the computer back to its original setup

and rids it of all else. This is not revolution to a

new state. It is a reactionary option leading to a

trusted old state. Much good is destroyed along

with the bad. That may be ok for a tool like a

computer, but we have the ability to correct

things less destructively in the world of people.


 

 

 

 

* 517 *

Often, one is heard testifying the truth of

something while in the same breath declaring

it incredible. Sometimes folks like to believe

what is evidently not reasonable to believe.

 

* 518 *

Once mass was matter, and energy was something

else. Now energy and mass are matter in different

forms. What of information, and what of love?

Is all that matters, matter?

 

* 519 *

It's ludicrous to think that something so beautiful

and complex could have come about by accident or

by some "process" of evolution or natural selection.

Surely God was designed by an intelligent designer.

The only one with motive and smart enough is man.

 

* 520 *

The greatest ignorance is to accept something,

or to reject something, knowing nothing about it.


 

 

 

 

* 521 *

Our entire Milky Way galaxy is but a tiny dot to any

intelligent being who may exist in another galaxy. Our Sun's disappearance would not be noticed. We are a

miniscule event in the entire scheme of things.

 

* 522 *

You know who would handle tangled Christmas tree

lights well? Mr. Rogers. As he caringly untangled

the lights, he would be telling a story that might

have nothing to do with the principle of patience.

 

* 523 *

How can two, each of whom accepts the

other's eternal misery, work peace?

 

* 524 *

Some managers say they hate quitters, yet every time

they fire someone, they are quitting exactly the same. I

quit you because the relationship is no longer worth it to

me; you quit me because the relationship is no longer

worth it to you. What's the difference?


 

 

 

* 525 *

When people purport to tell the truth, it may

mean they will not knowingly tell an untruth. When

people say they teach the truth, it is most unlikely.

We know the very minutest imaginable part of it.

 

* 526 *

Real giving is unsolicited and unadvertised.

Solicited, it is taking; advertised, it is compensated.

 

* 527 *

A star is much larger and more powerful than we, a

million times hotter and a million times longer lasting.

We, however, for our measly number of years, are aware

of the star's existence, and of our own. The star never

feels. The star never loves. The star never has an

opinion. Its size and time and heat and power are

never known to it, for it never lives!

 

* 528 *

Generalizations born of one person's experience are

based on far too little data to be of dependable value.


 

 

 

* 529 *

Without the miracle of random processes,

God would show His hand too clearly.

 

* 530 *

We all know that many are married without

papers. Do we also know that even more

are divorced without papers?

 

* 531 *

Before rejecting evolution, first tell us

something from first-year biology class: What

are the five main classes in the chordata phylum?

 

* 532 *

I think all of God's children are loved, and the eventual

outcome is that none of them will fail forever. It's the

only thing that makes sense to me. They will do it with

their own agency and by their own ever-wiser choice, but

with lots of love for motivation, and with unending time.

 

* 533 *

"Not knowing," and "knowing we do not know,"

is the most important humility of all.


 

 

 

* 534 *

If I kick a rock, a whole bunch of stuff

after that will be changed entirely.

 

* 535 *

Music is such a universal language that if you learn

to play a tune on the piano, then visit any other

country and play it there, it will be understood.

 

* 536 *

I am completely lost, but in awe of what I'm lost in.

 

* 537 *

True freedom comes when we quit accepting testimonials

and begin to form our own beliefs from real data.

 

* 538 *

Jupiter, Zeus, Baal, Ra, Elohim, and all the other

gods, are made by beings who are much lesser

than these gods, but who actually exist.

 

* 539 *

God's nature and His gospel is

like a seed - not like a bomb.


 

 

* 540 *

A billion light years far from here,

A star dimmed and transformed.

And a message came not very clear,

On our screens with lines and dots adorned.

A kinship's born with beings eons gone,

By way of data from a computer's run.

There's a poignant friendship coming on.

We think they called their star the Sun.

 

 


 

 

 

* 541 *

It didn't take a god to make a planet, not to make

me or trees either. We all know the Grand Canyon

was not made by a person. It developed from natural

conditions and processes. The same is true for Mars

and for Uranus, and for mine, and for trees.

 

* 542 *

Any religion that thinks it is the only true

religion needs to be corrected, not by harming

the people, but by change within, by its own

improvement of doctrine. It is as the destruction

of disease, and is thus comparable to healing.

 

* 543 *

If it's just like the "naughty and nice" deal, where, in

the end, all are determined to be nice, I'll like that.

 

* 544 *

Bad religion is not about unconditional love. It's

about conforming, and about rejection of those who

do not conform. Good religion is entirely inclusive and

engenders an acceptance of everyone. Every One.


 

 

 

* 545 *

No dream, no new truth.

Unfiltered dream, unreliable new truth.

 

* 546 *

Obedience is taught to be some kind of basic

moral principle. No, it is only the method of

putting one in charge of another. It is taught

by the one who would be in charge. The slave

did not teach obedience to his master.

 

* 547 *

If English becomes the "official" language,

who gets to decide what it is? Will the patriots

require us to write the school science books

using only the English measuring system?

 

* 548 *

The heart's speed and rhythm are not the

source of feelings, but the subject of them.

 

* 549 *

They manufacture airplanes and chairs and mousetraps,

but they themselves were not manufactured.


 

 

 

* 550 *

Any spider would suffer all humans to die just to

get its next meal. Spiders act as though it is all about

them. This is true for almost all species. Some humans are

not far past this, often declaring that they, unlike all

other species, were made in the image of God.

 

* 551 *

Reading is like a coloring book. The lines are drawn,

and we may add our own hues. It is pleasant and

not overly taxing. To experience creative thoughts,

however, it is better to start with blank pages.

 

* 552 *

Make prayer and work, consistent.

 

* 553 *

Without speaking of evolution at all, there were whole

cultures of humans of our same species, born, living and

dying on this planet, leaving contextual evidence in the

walls of canyons slowly dug by rivers, and with full

languages and obvious political leaders, and dances and

tattoos and tools, farming and trading and fighting, long

before any written history ever spoke of a first man.


 

 

 

* 554 *

Simply to believe what one is taught is not

humility. The truly humble are stimulated in the

presence of good logic and responsible process,

and can be proud to reject the incredible.

 

* 555 *

He commands obedience, while a devil tempts.

We gain strength from this resistance exercise.

That devil must surely know about the benefit to

us, for God would not hire a naive tempter.

 

* 556 *

When we share the beliefs we develop,

it would be best not to call them truths, but

perceptions. Each new thinker has the same

right as we, to develop personal beliefs.

 

* 557 *

Many people, if they saw their stated beliefs

confirmed, would be amazed, proving their

stated beliefs are not beliefs, but hopes.


 

 

 

* 558 *

When a powerful country invades a weak and populous

country, it will kill fifty of them while they kill only one,

but while under attack, the weak will never run out of

anger, while the powerful eventually will experience a

combination of conscience and loss of motivation. The

strong have nothing with which to stoke their fire.

There is no way to win. The strong could destroy

the weak, but what would be left to show for it?

 

* 559 *

We all are loaded with ignorance,

but we ought to enjoy diminishing it.

 

* 560 *

Anything bad is significant. Anything good is significant.

If we are insignificant, then we are neither good nor bad,

and have nothing to be ashamed nor proud of.

 

* 561 *

The word "honest" comes

from "honor," not from "truth."


 

 

* 562 *

As we age, the question changes from "May I?" to

"Can I?" It's just a grammatical issue. No big deal.

 

* 563 *

Our endeavors are our most sincere prayers.

 

* 564 *

Neither heroes nor murderers, they kill reflecting

our own fear and hate. They are trained to

hold no trials, and to paint the enemy with an

incredibly wide brush, including even little children.

 

* 565 *

Good science and systems of research acknowledge

that at most they think they know. Bad science and

systems of faith often declare their certainty.

 

* 566 *

Faith, rightly used, is not belief, but hope. It motivates

thought, and should then be well tested with doubt and

scrutiny before a new belief is either born or aborted.

 

* 567 *

Things don't need to be true to be worth believing in.


 

 

 

 

 

* 568 *

Once our fear of truth is overcome,

we may deal with truth better.

 

* 569 *

Growing up, we always knew the fruit was best when it

was cheapest. When watermelon got down to a penny

and a half a pound, we knew it would be wonderful.

We used to say, "You get what you donít pay for."

 

* 570 *

Bugs and birds love the good fruit, and

so do I. Three quarters of a delicious

peach is far superior to a whole

hard one from the grocer.

 

* 571 *

What an honest person believes is forced upon him or

her by data - but what one wants or hopes for - is a

real choice. It is, in a meaningful sense, the person.


 

 

 

 

 

 

* 572 *

Itís not having the best teachers,

but learning to roll with the punches,

that prepares a child for life.

Sara McPherson


 

 

* 573 *

A fist is not speech. Neither is money.

 

* 574 *

For those who believe that all things are controlled,

the arguments of physics must be pretty much useless.

 

* 575 *

Flags should support the values of the people, not dictate

them. They should be raised in public gatherings as often

by plumbers and homemakers and dentists as they are

by the uniformed. Sometimes a false patriotism

makes them into symbols of superiority or conquest.

 

* 576 *

If you achieve what you envy in others, then you

will simply envy the next higher goal. There is no

end to it. If you achieve what you admire in others,

then you will find you like yourself more. After

all, it is what you liked about the other people.

 

* 577 *

Evolution is mostly failure, but we must be inspired

by what its occasional successes have wrought!


 

 

 

 

* 578 *

If I am a lamb, it is wise to avoid the wolf, but

deeming him my evil enemy is incorrect. He is as

he must be. If this were evil, would I not be equally

so as I escaped and left the next lamb for his meal?

 

* 579 *

When the advice is fantastic and only the delivery is

poor, wouldnít it be useful to consider the advice?

 

* 580 *

Because we believe, "If it's worth doing, it's

worth doing well," we think, "If I can't do it

well, then I won't do it at all." This is a tragedy.

 

* 581 *

We pay quite a lot extra to enjoy a first-class seat on

an airplane, just for a little extra leg room. Leaving plenty

of room between us and the car in front of us on the

highway is free. We can enjoy ten feet of road or a

hundred feet all for ourselves, and the cost is the same.


 

 

* 582 *

The two little conjoined twins were separated this

morning by a team of surgeons. What nature hath

joined together, man has put asunder. We can thank

man and his science for doing the research and for

the miracles. God provides the need for them.

 

* 583 *

The successful terrorist first makes the strong

feel weak. Then the strong, who are terrorized,

begin to flail against all that moves and all they

fear. The terrorist need not strike again. Instead,

he will allow the strong to run out of the desire for

revenge, and then the strong will believe the war is

lost. A wise one among the strong will not be terrorized

in the first place, and will put no value on revenge at all.

His power will be to motivate and inspire a better world.

He is Gandhi; he is Martin Luther King. He is you; he is

I, if we lose our fear. He owns no tool of war.

He has won all there is to win. He is free.

 

* 584 *

Something is going on.. I don't know what it is, but

something is going on. Our existence cannot be explained

by way of any thought a physicist can reasonably form.


 

 

 

 

* 585 *

It would be a challenge to find me one

page of Dante, that I can read, understand,

and appreciate, so I'm in the sciences.

 

* 586 *

A flock of wild parrots are not progressed

above their lives thousands of years ago. They

never vote, do not formally punish parrots

who err, never form national borders, and

yet enjoy great freedom and long lives. What

is given up for us to have government?

 

* 587 *

If you make something that is likely to last a hundred

years, you fashion an antique for your great

grandchildren. The final step is the aging. The

best ones will not be made of physical materials.

 

* 588 *

Just be a good human, and

pat your own self on the back.


 

 

 

 

 

* 589 *

Those who pretend to believe it are hypocrites,

and those who actually believe it are fools, while

those who enjoy believing it are the dregs of

mankind. Only the dregs, fools, and hypocrites

hold that all but their own will be tortured forever.

 

* 590 *

May we still love our child while we know he is sick?

May we still love our country while we know it is sick?

 

* 591 *

Fundamentalists say. "We don't think... We

know!" Agreed, I also don't think they know.

 

* 592 *

Knowing when we donít know

is important and useful knowledge.


 

 

 

* 593 *

It is not dictators, who are few, but the worshippers

of dictators, who are many, who wield the power to

slow our progress toward freedom and self control.

They write the scripture of, "You are doomed if you

do not follow." They cry, they beg, and are emotionally

in need of companions in their folly and enslavement.

 

* 594 *

If we are offended by mere words, we must

be moved in some way. There must be an effect

on our thinking, else why would we react at all?

Shakespeare expressed it, writing of one

who "doth protest too much."

 

* 595 *

I will tell you the truth, and you will memorize it. Is

this the process of learning you want? No, my child;

I will share with you the tools of learning I know, and

you may find others also, and you will decide for

yourself all that is to be believed. As the world of

knowledge grows, you will develop beliefs of things

I will never be privileged to consider.


 

 

 

* 596 *

Are there heroes on both sides of a war? Who are they?

Are they the peacemakers on both sides? Are they the

effective killers on one side and the peacemakers on the

other? Are they the effective killers on both sides?

 

* 597 *

Doubt for a reason better than believing in doubting.

Love for a reason better than believing in loving.

Do for a reason better than believing in doing.

Believe for a reason better than believing in believing.

 

* 598 *

Lack of decision brings us more

failures than bad decisions do.

 

* 599 *

Fearing our enemy sometimes makes sense, but fearing

to understand and know our enemy does not make sense.

 

* 600 *

One can be both too honest and too

smart to respect a doubtless belief system.


 

 

* 601 *

Consider the quantum leap of physics. Beginning with

one state and going to the new one that is one quantum

away, we envision that there can be nothing in between.

Thus, it appears, the travel from one state to the next

is at infinite speed, not limited to the speed of light in

a vacuum. Since everything is made up of quanta, and

since all change is just some number of these leaps,

how can there be a limit to velocity for anything?

 

 


 

 

 

* 602 *

Never be in want of money that is not earned. It

may be ok to accept it; just don't live in want of it.

 

* 603 *

If I am to communicate with the dog, I, being assumed

the more intelligent of the two, must adjust to his

needs. If he's a fine good dog, and the communication

fails, it must be assumed I am at fault. If God is to

communicate with us, assuming He is the more intelligent

of the two, He must be willing to adjust to our needs.

His followers insist, if the communication fails, that

we are "not listening," or "out of tune," and that we are

at fault. This is patently illogical to the dog and to me.

 

* 604 *

I need friends who are ALL of:

1. Experienced enough to appreciate good religion.

2. Aware that a person did not organize the universe.

3. Courageous enough to acknowledge what they know.

4. Interested in discussing the implications.

As an adult, it has been lonely without them. I know

many fine people with only 2, 3, and 4. What is worse,

is to be pretty sure I know many with only 1 and 2.


 

 

 

* 605 *

Good dogma is good fiction that works. Bad dogma

is bad fiction, and, unfortunately, it also works.

 

* 606 *

We do well when commanded, and thus nearly to

perfection we do not smoke. Many of us suffer

from overweight, for on this we are only advised.

 

* 607 *

If His intent was not randomness, why then did He

design a system involving billions of swimming sperm,

not one billionth of whom would ever succeed?

 

* 608 *

There is a popular notion that believing is

a moral good. Not so. Believing without

the supporting evidence is immoral.

 

* 609 *

Whenever I hear that some man beats his wife

and kids, I want that man to be beaten himself.

Whenever I hear that some god has prepared

a burning hell, I want that god to burn there.


 

 

* 610 *

If the Jesus of Christianity ever taught a

principle easy for everyone to measure, it was that

knowing the truth brings freedom. If your religion

does not make you free, find another one.

 

* 611 *

Since we or someone must pay for them, our sins

need to be of some value. If you are about to commit

a sin without any pleasure available and with nothing

to be learned or gained from it, don't do it.

 

* 612 *

Of note, it is the unique and superior intelligence

of humans that makes them able to strongly

suspect that it is not about them, that they will

die and are insignificant. The same intelligence

makes them capable of developing and attaching

themselves to religions that declare the opposite,

thus giving protection from the awful suspicion.

 

* 613 *

Some, with the metaphor of eternal life, make better

use of the limited time here. Others make better use

with an opinion that the little time is all there is.


 

 

 

* 614 *

The Special Boy

--

When he tumbled down the grass,

Happy boy, fleet, safe and turpel,

He rolled with ease and a touch of class,

Passing blooms of red and purple.

--

He needed focus just to peel an orange.

Ordinary things were tough and hard.

He was delighted to take his Mom a florange,

When he gathered wildflowers from the yard.

--

He cared for and loved the tunth.

Who lived beneath his bed.

He left food there once each month.

"That's the way they eat," he said.

--

When he found a stone outside,

That was smooth and pilver,

He always pocketed it with pride,

Its splotches good as gold or silver.


 

 

 

 

* 615 *

Liberals share our accomplishments with bridges

and aid, tutoring and schools. Conservatives protect

our accomplishments with fences and guns, patents

and secrets. We need good people of both kinds, and

we need to know when to be one and when the other.

 

* 616 *

Far more innocent people die in war than guilty

people. Why is this ok with us? At a thousand

to one, how can this ever be a good deal?

 

* 617 *

It's like trying to build a perpetual motion machine

to build a robot vacuum cleaner that gives more

advantage than the extra effort that is put into its

making. Can this be? This needs thought. The copyability

may negate this principle. Does it? In a sense, evolution

has put in great effort to make forms, but then the

repeatability gets the advantage over and over without

the engineering effort over and over. Reproduction

makes the calculations appear faulty. Are they?


 

 

 

 

* 618 *

Science with true faith may move mountains,

as this is both means and motivation. Science

will not move blind faith, as it is asking those

who enjoy the dense darkness to see.

 

* 619 *

Because they use language, humans can organize

their beliefs and exclude all the other species.

They can decide that they have no ancestors

other than humans. They can define what is true

by decision rather than find it by research.

 

* 620 *

In conversation, a walk through her wonderful

mind is a respite from the ordinary.

 

* 621 *

Accepting or rejecting without proof is

simply bad treatment of data. When proof

is unavailable, science keeps the question on

the shelf, neither rejecting nor accepting.


 

 

 

* 622 *

Cruelty toward the innocent cannot be justified

because someone else has been cruel toward the innocent.

 

* 623 *

Money is a tool. Tools follow; they

do not lead. Treat money this way.

 

* 624 *

Science does not blunder, but blunderers try science.

 

* 625 *

We fear the strange, though the strange

be as safe and as friendly as the known.

 

* 626 *

Anyone who takes a job that it's a crime

to quit, either does not understand

freedom, or does not believe in freedom.

 

* 627 *

I'm only an atheist with regard to non-existent gods.

If any actually exist, I most certainly believe in those.


 

 

 

* 628 *

Both crime and the enforcement of law curtail

our freedom. A good balance brings about the

minimum loss. With too much law, we lose more

freedom than the enforcement regains. Countries

with the most freedom have neither the highest

nor lowest crime rates. They also have neither

the strongest nor weakest policing forces.

 

* 629 *

It would be just fine to play God, if He

would simply set a better example.

 

* 630 *

What is the most loving helpful friend and

the most heinous deadly enemy of truth?

Honest doubt and blind faith.

 

* 631 *

The question of Good and Evil is not the same

as the question of Smart and Stupid. Giving and

Kindness are Good. Gossip and Cheating are Evil.

Frugality and Discernment are Smart. Smoking

and Over-eating are Stupid.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 632 *

Mostly listen, but when you talk, don't

talk where there is no listening going on.


 

 

* 633 *

A nation fills its soldiers with ability and fear, and

then may punish them for acts that only reflect the

fear and hate felt by the nation. The soldiers are

mostly naive and innocent, while the guilty become

moralists who insist they never had such intents.

 

* 634 *

Many do not realize that it is not about

some other life to come; it is about this one.

 

* 635 *

The event we call a hurricane has been a part of

nature for millions of years before there were

any humans to commit any sins. The frequency

of hurricanes may possibly be increased by the

actions of humankind, but if so, it is increased

because of the cars, not because of the sins.

 

* 636 *

When God brings victory, it is by David's win

against a giant. When giants win wars against

the weak, it is absurd to carry forward

the belief that it was by way of God's

assistance, even if He favors the result.


 

 

* 637 *

Glimpsing and getting excited is not the same

as understanding. The awed, if a scientist, then

goes to work in the laboratories available.

 

* 638 *

Thank Whomever is and cares. We do not live in a

Muslim country. Amen? We do not live in an atheist

country. Amen? We do not live in an agnostic country.

Amen? We do not live in a Buddhist country. Amen?

We do not live in a Hindu country. Amen? We do not live

in a Jewish country. Amen? We do not live in a Christian

country. Amen? We live in a free country. Amen!

 

* 639 *

Change is more important than position. Good

in decay is sadder than bad becoming better.

 

* 640 *

That we the people allow presidents the right to

pardon makes the separation of powers a joke.

 

* 641 *

They say "asset" is the opposite of "liability."

Sometimes, these are synonyms.


 

 

 

* 642 *

Truth lies at one end, but at

the other end lies tell truth.

 

* 643 *

Sometimes the greatest heroes are those who are

thrust into assignments they would not choose.

 

* 644 *

Vision does not imply understanding. It is the ability to

be awed by a notion of what is beyond understanding.

 

* 645 *

When living things entered the universe, they

encroached. The universe owes them nothing. The

universe has, however, an IQ of zero and no feelings

at all, so whatever can be extracted from it, it will

never know and never care. Short of harming those

who do know and do care, extract all you like.

 

* 646 *

Evidence leading one away from what he wants to believe

is the very evidence most able to improve the mind, but

it is also the evidence most likely to be ignored.


 

 

 

* 647 *

The Substantial, Unselfish, and Continuing

desire for someone else to be happy, is love.

 

* 648 *

I do not know a trillionth of the truth about a single

grain of sand, and if I study all my life concentrating

on that grain, I still will not know a trillionth.

 

* 649 *

The average is often meaningless. I'm a

good driver when I'm drinking. After all,

on average, I'm in the center of my lane.

 

* 650 *

Any and every infinitesimal or quantum event

occurring anywhere in the universe affects the

whole universe in an infinite way instantaneously.

 

* 651 *

Sometimes a person's thoughts do not include an

opinion. They come as a sneeze comes, and if bothersome,

ought still be treated with a blessing.


 

 

* 652 *

Free people are extremely difficult to find,

for they are rare. Most people do not like

them, and that is the cause of the rarity.

 

* 653 *

It's not that it's hard to believe. It is not

believed, and that's all there is to it. If

the data supported it, it would be believed.

 

* 654 *

Our fear of the unknown is so painful that

we form or join complex and inane pretense

systems to avoid thinking about it. Other

pains are handled as well with morphine.

 

* 655 *

Fighting as Mahatma Gandhi or Martin Luther King

fought, may bring peace. Violence brings only more war.

 

* 656 *

There is no Heaven, where every armpit

smells like peppermint, and there is no Hell,

where humans burn without consumption.

Both are simple-minded absurdities.


 

 

 

* 657 *

I like being tastefully attacked

by people who care about me.

 

* 658 *

Supposing things without evidence for

them is fine just before the experiment,

but it is not fine as a way of concluding.

 

* 659 *

When the weak are not supported by a society,

eventually a few of the strong will try to change

that. Not long ago, some of these strong people

of principle were anti-slavery. They were hated

and feared by status-quoists of the time, feared

more by bigots than the same bigots feared the slaves

themselves. Today, anyone who takes a stand against

what the powerful do will be considered haters of

their own country. Some of these are our greatest

heroes. They are not taking the side of an enemy.

They are taking the side of the country they love,

by endeavoring to improve its morality. No discipline

is better than a caring discipline from within.


 

 

 

 

 

* 660 *

If I met only people who think like me,

life would be boring.

Jonna Wilson

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

* 661 *

For him, it was not "seek her own" love. It was not about

only his family. He cared as much about each stranger, and

was thus a frustration to his family, who preferred the

more exclusive kind of love. They wanted to inherit, while

he wanted to continue giving to those in need.

 

* 662 *

Triangle, square, circle, it's easy to understand

how these words came to the language, but how

in the world did the word paisley make it long

before fractals were discovered?

 

* 663 *

He who measures your worthiness

will not want you to measure his.

 

* 664 *

In that great meeting, a point of view was given by

one speaker, and then a controverting point of view

was given by another. A choice became available,

and some chose one, some the other. Many of our

meetings should be conducted in this way, such that

a choice becomes available after hearing both sides.


 

 

 

 

* 665 *

Progress does not come by different rules

in spiritual parts of us. We must take

spiritual risks for opportunities to open.

 

* 666 *

If half our work goes toward protecting

our credits, then unconcerned about

credit, we would accomplish twice as much.

 

* 667 *

Students are allowed to treat physics only as a

conservative science. Real physics is liberal and changing.

 

* 668 *

So how was the very first intelligent

designer intelligently designed?

 

* 669 *

If we do not believe we can bring about repentance,

why go to war? What is to be gained?


 

 

 

 

* 670 *

Why is it a comfort for people to know that

they are better off than most other people?

 

* 671 *

By emulating those you admire rather than

those you envy, you will end up admiring

yourself. There is no greater richness.

 

* 672 *

All of good and all of evil is in the light. Darkness

is neither. It is absurd to think of darkness as evil

and of light as good. Darkness is nothing at all.

Light is everything from beauty and knowledge to

death and destruction. There are truths both

good and evil. Things false do not exist.

 

* 673 *

Thinking is the first time-derivative of

knowing something. Practice is the second

time-derivative. Knowing is position; thinking

changes the position; practice alters the thinking.

The three are place, velocity, and acceleration.


 

 

 

 

* 674 *

If you want to know what you should

choose to do today, ask yourself, "What

will I wish tomorrow that I had done?"

 

* 675 *

I do not want to be treated like the prodigal son.

I want to be treated like the other son. I do

not want the gift. I want the sharing.

 

* 676 *

The miracle of mammals and all other living things

was possible because the universe, and this little

place, already provided the beautiful and complex

environment in which they were able to develop.

 

* 677 *

Don't escape data by the pretense nor by the

giggle. Finding truth or falsity from the tenuous

is important enough and useful enough to be worth

questioning and filtering each claim. Rigorous

truth is tough enough to survive the tests.


 

 

* 678 *

There comes a point, when circumstances

get bad enough, a time at which random

action has a likely positive net influence.

 

* 679 *

It's not about truth. Many things

untrue are beneficial and good.

 

* 680 *

Glean from these old writings all that inspires

and betters us, and tolerate all the error put

there by all those old kindergarteners. They

had no way to be more than they were.

 

* 681 *

Sometimes the love of history is the enemy of progress.

 

* 682 *

When man with his science discovers and applies

a cure for disease or error, he repairs what the

randomness of nature has poorly wrought. Lest we

get too sure of ourselves, that same randomness

has produced all the life and complexity in the

universe that we never could have engineered.


 

 

 

* 683 *

Does one need to believe in Godís

existence to hate or love Him?

 

* 684 *

True stories or honest statistics?

I'll take the statistics every time.

 

* 685 *

Brainwashing is not teaching. We must bare

all sides and encourage sifting and weighing.

 

* 686 *

There is only one way to become independent

of wealth. Billionaires may still be enslaved

by it. The only way is to give up the need.

 

* 687 *

In a sense, a leaf does not know it came

from a tree, but a seed does. Knowledge

comes in many forms, most not conscious.

We "know" how to make our hearts beat.

A woman knows how to make a baby.


 

 

 

 

* 688 *

Those who endeavor in our military to secure and

keep our freedoms should themselves enjoy the same

freedoms. They ought to date whom they please and

marry whom they please and quit their jobs when they

please, and enjoy every freedom that the rest of us

enjoy. It is a great national hypocrisy to pretend to

honor freedom while denying it to the very heroes

who preserve it for us, and when they come home, not

to treat them as well as we treat our sports heroes.

 

* 689 *

A pain abated is as valuable as a pleasure attained.

 

* 690 *

The only thing that makes sense to me - - well no,

nothing makes sense to me. It is all far past my

senses and intellect. What is, is. That's all I know.

I am confused, and I stand all amazed.


 

 

 

 

David Kennard Borough

 

 

 

* 691 *

I sometimes enjoy dealing with

people who have just the right

amount of asshole in them.

Mark Wilson


 

 

* 692 *

Together, we and the little lizard who cocks his

head to the side to look at us in the garden, own

the entire universe. If it were not there for us, we

could not have ever existed. What little we think

we own exclusively is, by comparison, a tiny sum.

 

* 693 *

To exist, a thing must have positive values for all four

dimensions, width, length, thickness, and a positive time

period during which the first three are positive. A

shadow has a length and a width over a positive period

of time, but what is its thickness?

 

* 694 *

Talking is a bit of doing, but only a bit. The larger

doing either backs up the talk or exposes hypocrisy.

 

* 695 *

Nothing is more natural than anything else.

Nature is all there is. The exceptional

is just as natural as the common.

 

* 696 *

He would not be much of a leader if, when

he is gone, the job cannot still be done.


 

 

 

* 697 *

Not every error is a success, but most are,

because something has been learned by

what is tried, while nothing has been lost.

 

* 698 *

The worst contribution of religions is exclusivism.

 

* 699 *

We may choose. We may honor a government of

the people, or we may have the elite who keep

secrets from them. We may choose elements of

both over and over. The more we decide to allow

some individuals to keep secrets from the rest of

us, the less the people are in control. There are

those who do not trust the people, and these usually

think that they are the very ones who should know

secrets and keep them away from the rest of us.

 

* 700 *

One hopes to win the lottery, but one does

not believe he will. Hope is a choice, while

belief is forced upon the thinking man by data.


 

 

 

 

* 701 *

Religion works. It forms a social structure

that is able to amplify good - or evil.

 

* 702 *

Comparing "All There Is to Know," with our knowledge

or the knowledge of a child or the knowledge of an insect,

the comparison is about the same. We merely compare

one personís knowledge to anotherís. Silly.

 

* 703 *

Sometimes lies are honest. "Honest" comes from the word

honor, not from the word truth. "The Tooth Fairy will

bring you something tonight if you leave your tooth under

your pillow." Thatís honest enough for me. As the truth

becomes appropriate, honesty then requires it.

 

* 704 *

I will escape my master, who is stuff.

He has enslaved me long enough.


 

 

* 705 *

A falling rock does not "obey" the law of gravity,

only metaphorically. Obedience is a choice, and a

rock cannot choose. One forced to an action also

has not obeyed. One "obeys" the law of gravity by

building an airplane and meeting the law. Being

subjected to the operation of a law is not obedience.

 

* 706 *

There is nothing unnatural about

the actions of viruses or humans.

 

* 707 *

When a pro-war person is told that some

number of innocent people were killed during

bombings, he invariably will talk only about

the number. "How did they measure that?

They are liars. The number is smaller."

If he has an earache, that will matter.

 

* 708 *

Most people understand about addictions,

that they are difficult to overcome.

Whatís harder to understand is the choice for

use the first time, when there was no addiction.


 

 

 

 

* 709 *

We are not vitally functional by our

knowledge or intelligence. A germ is as

functional as we, with virtually none of either.

 

* 710 *

Regarding stem cell research and use, and other

available technology, remember Thoreau, who asked,

"Who but the Evil One has cried, ĎWhoa!í to mankind?"

If we do not develop these things, others will, who

with wildness answer "No" to the rider.

 

* 711 *

The amplitude of our significance is simply a

matter of how large an infinity represents the

number of random quantum events we cause.

Is there anything we can do that might affect

the quality? This completely baffles me.

 

* 712 *

A person cannot be forgiven while no one

knows what he has done that carries the need.


 

 

 

 

* 713 *

Once it is assumed that death, the permanent end

of a life, is an illusion, it seems a small step to also

assume, with the Christian "Scientist," that all the

physical is an illusion. The step is small because

the unfounded huge step has already been taken.

 

* 714 *

We can believe something and be indifferent.

We can know something and not care.

If we hope something, we are interested.

 

* 715 *

Normality is measured using bell curves

and standard deviations. It has nothing

to do with how we feel about a thing.

 

* 716 *

Each person is as a brick of the Earth, just

as each cockroach and bush is. None is as a

wall, a hallway, none as a steeple. It is not an

unimportant part, but it is a small part we play.


 

 

 

* 717 *

Doubtless confidence that something is true when it

is only understood to be possible, is the faith one

expresses due to obligations designed by others.

 

* 718 *

Sometimes one who cannot abide a loss, restarts

a fight over and over. If he wins one battle, he will

then consider himself to have been right from the

beginning. He may have lost ten times and won

only once, but he is not a mathematician.

 

* 719 *

If we accept a couple idiosyncrasies for each

person, then people can be themselves around us in

comfort, and they may accept a couple of ours.

 

* 720 *

I suggest we scientists do not get rid of God. Why

can't we treat Him lovingly, just as we do Santa Claus?

 

* 721 *

Do not fear, and do not be feared.


 

 

 

 

* 722 *

"Danger" is a statistical word. The fact is,

parents and other relatives and people we

know are far more dangerous than strangers.

 

* 723 *

Language has made it possible for one of the species

to "decide" what is true, and it has been "decided"

that the universe is "about" humans. Is it surprising

that the species decided itself the chosen ones?

 

* 724 *

If we could, we might replace religion with

something that would provide so many

services, but we canít find something else.

 

* 725 *

What is technically true is only

mildly correlated with our beliefs.

Even when our beliefs are correct,

there is no causative connection.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 726 *

Patriotism is a lifelong often quiet attitude of caring, not

an irresponsible spurt of nationalistic enthusiasm.

It is love of oneís country; pride is not love.


 

 

 

* 727 *

If money is the measure of success, then Hitler was

more successful than I am. If fame is the measure,

then Hitler was more successful than I. If power is

the measure, then Hitler was more successful than

I. If how many people love us is the measure, then

Hitler was more successful than I. If being long

remembered is the measure or having a great effect

on the world is the measure, then Hitler was more

successful than I, so what is the measure? Give

me a measure that makes me the more successful.

 

* 728 *

Plumbers and harmless snakes are

in far less danger from us than

policemen and snakes that are able to

kill. Both these snakes and the police

are in general innocent, but their

power puts them in extra danger.

 

* 729 *

There is only one universe behind us.

The possibilities ahead are infinite.


 

 

 

* 730 *

Religion and the scientific method are the same

for steps one and two. They each start with an

interest, and then exercise faith in a possibility.

Religion then goes on to step four Ė the forming of

a belief. Science takes time before this to use

step three, the testing of the faith. If the faith

passes all the tests, then science also forms a new

belief. Science then continues over and over with

step three, the testing, for possible changes in

the belief, and the belief is never cast in stone.

 

* 731 *

Testimonials are used when data is unavailable.

 

* 732 *

There can never be any person or god who

can ever do a single thing that is impossible.

 

* 733 *

Expressing absolute sureness is often

just the weakness that comes from

an inability to accept the truth.


 

 

* 734 *

The future is a little defined by the past and by current

conditions. The further into the future we consider,

the less defined it is. We can make educated guesses

as to the weather tomorrow, a little about next winter,

a good guess that the Earth will survive a billion years

in some form, but our guessing becomes less and less

dependable the further we look and the more detail we

predict. We can do much better looking far into the past,

as it is laid out and unique. If it rained last month. we

know it did. We can't know it will rain next month.

 

* 735 *

Abnormality is how far one is from the known norm,

not how far one is from what the judger wants.

 

* 736 *

In the philosophy class the speaker said that the only

thing that exists is his consciousness, and that everything

else is imagined by that consciousness. So Jim said,

"You're so full of stupid, it comes out your ears."

Whereupon the speaker complained of the unkindness.

Then Jim said, "I did not intend to hurt your feelings. I

only wanted to see if you actually believe I exist, and we

all see that you have confirmed it."


 

 

 

* 737 *

We are required to vote by faith, as the most

important data is often classified TOP SECRET

and unavailable for use by the people.

 

* 738 *

I would like to be a member. Many in power want

me to be a subject instead. For clarity, take for

example a shepherd. His arms are members of him.

His sheep are his subjects. One of his sheep, with

bad wool, will be slaughtered for mutton, but one

of his arms, even if lame, he will not sever.

 

* 739 *

A member is a part, not a subject.

 

* 740 *

We own our religions, which are wonderful things, if

well applied. Things, even wonderful ones, do not own us.

 

* 741 *

The heart may be controlled by blind faith or belief,

but the hands may still choose to follow the mind.


 

 

* 742 *

If we disdain watching movies with violence, what about

participating in violence? Should we refuse that also?

 

* 743 *

People without religious faith love others too.

 

* 744 *

My job is to give a responsible expression of my thought.

Your job is to develop a responsible interpretation. In

reply, the same again, with our roles reversed.

 

* 745 *

Have you ever wanted to be free from a

requirement to pretend to believe things?

 

* 746 *

A bully is usually someone who feels threatened

and who is making a pre-emptive strike. He is

afraid that the weak are becoming stronger.

He fears, for example, that the nerd will

eventually beat him up in the market place.

He is the stronger now, and he fears he will

not always be. Sometimes bullies are whole

countries, who fear the weak are getting strong.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 747 *

Once any absurdity is assumed,

many other absurdities easily follow.


 

 

 

* 748 *

Travel "forward" in time at differing rates is going

on continuously, though no travel back in time is

possible. If you are frozen and then awakened to

meet your relatives who live a hundred years from

now, you will not be coming back to us. We are not

here. Here is not here. The past is not a place.

Though you achieved a move to the future

relative to your life expectancy, and we saw you

frozen, we know nothing of the result. If this logic

is to be confirmed, you must write it, and it will be

read only by those who live when you live and after.

 

* 749 *

I want my beliefs to be as strongly

correlated with reality as possible.

On that scale from minus 1 to

plus 1, wouldnít a plus .9 be nice?

 

* 750 *

Anyone who "knows" what is going on

is lying, pretending or delusional.


 

 

 

* 751 *

"Believing," to many scientists, is a kind of

necessary evil, a way to get motivated to pry more

and try to find out if the belief is justified.

 

* 752 *

Believe in defense.

Do not believe in war.

The porcupine's quill,

but not the eagleís talon.

 

* 753 *

War is an illegitimate method

for solving problems among peoples.

 

* 754 *

If we are pro-something,

we do not hate it.

 

* 755 *

What reveals a womanís age?

Knowledge, wisdom, understanding and love.

Reading with grandkids who relish each page.

A grandpa and angels who watch from above.


 

 

 

 

* 756 *

Why would you be afraid for your congregation to hear

from someone who does not believe? Do you hold they are

unable to logically and safely consider the data?

 

* 757 *

They did not hear you, because you did not yell loud

enough. They are wearing earplugs. If you do

yell loud enough, rather than acknowledge what you

say, they will take issue with the yelling.

 

* 758 *

Science only discovers ever less tenuous possible

truths. It does not define truth. Astrology and

intelligentdesignology, of course, are not sciences.

 

* 759 *

We may do good individually, but with an

organization having a good motive, we may

conspire to do good. Conspiracies are powerful,

because they combine our strengths.


 

 

 

* 760 *

Worthy, one might still be unfit. Fit, one

might still be unworthy. Worthiness comes only

by someoneís judgment, however, while fitness

is a relationship with the environment.

 

* 761 *

The good fight is against the wicked, but it is not

the wicked of us. It is the wicked in us. It is not

a fight against wicked people. It is a fight against

wickedness. The good fight does not bring death,

but repentance, which is more life. The fighting is

not about revenge. The fighting is about love.

 

* 762 *

Matter exists.

-plus-

Matter could not have come from nothing.

-plus-

Matter could not have always existed, with no beginning.

-plus-

Matter had to come from nothing, or it always existed.

-equals-

 Humility.


 

 

 

 

* 763 *

Many people I know and love believe things

without evidence. They also catch colds. I can

wish they did neither, but I still like them.

 

* 764 *

Human culture, so different from that of any other

living being, depends on false beliefs. A knowledge

of truth is felt a real threat to its survival.

 

* 765 *

Itís remarkable how many gods are made. The

Greeks made Zeus, Poseidon, Hades, Ares, etc.

The Romans made Apollo, Cupid, Jupiter, Mars, etc.

Egyptians made them. Hebrews made them. People

still make them. This is reasonably called "Intelligent

Design." The designers are intelligent beings. Essentially

all of these designers and the subsequent believers

disdain scrutiny, and the word "intelligent" does not

mean the designs were responsible or honest. These

gods were made to give the designers control over

other people. Wouldnít you like to be free of all this?


 

 

 

* 766 *

It may be about the universe in some way. It is

definitely not about the living things on this tiny

Earth. There may be no it for anything to be about.

 

* 767 *

It bugs me no end when my little dog thinks he

has to pee thirty times during our walk, but his

wants, needs, and purposes are not like mine.

Neither are other peopleís.

 

* 768 *

There is always an end of any specific. This

species, humans, may be the first to invent the

idea that there is no end for each one of them. It is

easy to be wrong when wants and fears are great.

 

* 769 *

When those three parachutes opened concluding Apollo

XIII, and the men stepped out, I felt I might collapse

from too much inspiration. Here they were, safely, after

so much unanticipated complexity. Imagine, going around

the Moon with no such flight plan. It was impossible to

witness such a miracle without tears.


 

 

 

 

* 770 *

Dadís great grandpa "owned" four slaves. As the story

goes within the family, he loved his slaves and treated

them well. We love our Labrador Retriever also. It is

real love, but it is not respect, and it is not equality.

 

* 771 *

Why didnít He refuse to be a king? The answer is simple.

He did refuse. We decided He was a king anyway.

 

* 772 *

The best people in the Church feel the

most guilty, and that's a damned shame.

 

* 773 *

Please, make sure you are heard. If you are not, we

will not share the you that could be a part of us all.

 

* 774 *

Failures, shortcomings, errors, and sins

are all opportunities, with the added benefit

of the extra data for the next step.


 

 

* 775 *

The truth of our nothingness is hard to swallow.

An acceptance of its non-acceptance by others

is reasonable and kind. Attempting to force

humility is much like pushing a rope.

 

* 776 *

We are so conscious of our existence that it seems

impossible to us that it is not eternal, though

all the evidence points to its being temporary.

 

* 777 *

If I named a far off galaxy

Containing billions of stars,

Knowing not what life it may support,

Seeing only a tiny dot in the sky,

And if I had the option of choosing

Either my own private and permanent death,

Or the destruction of that tiny dot,

Which would I choose?

 

* 778 *

If you pull weeds for an hour, your back is going

to bother you. If you pull them up one or two at a

time during your morning walk, it's just calisthenics.


 

 

 

 

* 779 *

Ordinary people he meets each day are God,

rather than some magic being living in the sky.

 

* 780 *

Defense has never sold as well as offense. Design a

wonderful defensive device, like a good night vision

system, and rather than use it to protect from

attack, it will be used far more often to bomb blind

sitting ducks at night. I know, for I was in defensive

warfare, and found that the best of what was

developed, even if specifically designed for defense,

was almost never purchased and used that way.

 

* 781 *

The future is not unique. Seers must

be one of two things, naive, or liar.

 

* 782 *

You donít get what you pay for. You get what

you get. What you pay is a separate issue.


 

 

 

 

* 783 *

The greatest force for war is

to love some of the people.

 

* 784 *

Someone may be listening. How would I know?

If so, he, she or it did not organize the

universe in which he, she or it developed.

 

* 785 *

He is a leader. He inspires. He sets examples. People

who work with him end up bossing themselves well.

 

* 786 *

Many billions of sperm are sent to die without acting,

while just one succeeds. Are they all wasted, or was having

a purpose enough without the actual success?

 

* 787 *

Acceptance of a new-found truth is not quite

the same as repentance. It is more like taking

a breath after holding it a long time.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* 788 *

I got up an extra hour early this morning.

I had an hour of markedly luxurious time.


 

 

 

* 789 *

Worse than the common superstition that it is

about humans, are the more specific ones. Itís

about my country. Itís about my family. And

worst of all, itís about me.

 

* 790 *

Donít use your washed brain after your thinking

brain has become capable of judging the matter.

 

* 791 *

When a person takes his instructions from

God, he never has a doubt, which is most

unfortunate, because doubt is a wonderful tool.

 

* 792 *

Usually, prosecutors are expected not to love

those they punish. Thatís why it doesnít work.

 

* 793 *

Mostly nice people died in the bombings.

 

* 794 *

"I said it first," is almost always either naive or a lie.


 

 

 

* 795 *

Initiated war for peace is like rape for innocence, and

participating in war for peace is like sex for virginity.

 

* 796 *

One cannot know something unless it is actually true.

 

* 797 *

When power surges, America's power

director must not sleep. It is the people.

 

* 798 *

It is better to be respected and not loved

than it is to be loved and not respected,

but best of all is to enjoy both.

 

* 799 *

Since we regard all as equals, how can

anyone be found guilty of insubordination?

 

* 800 *

When something is subject to an infinity

of causes, we call the thing random.


 

 

 

* 801 *

Dad had run the 50-yard dash in 9.6 seconds

at Jurupa Junior High School in gym class.

With a smile, his coach told him that

he had tied a world's record.

(But the record was for the 100-yard dash.)

I thought it interesting and maybe significant that

the fastest man on the planet was only twice as

fast as the slowest kid in a junior high school class.

Bill Borough

 

* 802 *

From stirrings, selection acts. More miracles

come from this than could ever be designed.

 

* 803 *

I'm not the least bit interested in impossible miracles.

It's the possible ones that count.

 

* 804 *

Organized belief systems are designed for unity.

For individual determination of belief, they

substitute one personís beliefs. The call for

unity is often just a way for one person to dictate.


 

 

* 805 *

If we believe in freedom, then it appears reasonable

that we should not feel guilty for our thoughts and

beliefs, nor for being in charge of deciding when

and where it is fitting to speak those thoughts.

 

* 806 *

Doubt your beliefs and doubt your doubts.

It's a great tool in the search for truth.

 

* 807 *

Why such pressure to say we

know things we do not know?

 

* 808 *

He was keenly and constantly aware of his

rights, and he enjoyed pushing people until

they tried to impinge on one of those rights,

and then he would indignantly exercise it.

 

* 809 *

We do not fight against goodly warriors. We

fight against the poor victims of bad religion.

They do not fight against goodly warriors. They

fight against the poor victims of bad religion.


 

 

* 810 *

It is good to be advised and not commanded. The

results are less consistent and less sure, but they

are more accurately reflective of who we really are.

 

* 811 *

Is information a wave, or is it particles? Is

it energy or mass, or is it not matter at all?

And if it is not matter, is its velocity limited?

 

* 812 *

Of what use was it for a person to know it was

"The Last Days," if 190 years later, long after

the personís death, the days are still not over?

 

* 813 *

Fairies and gods are never made by lower

animals. It takes the magnificent intelligence

of man to develop such wonderful metaphors.

 

* 814 *

People say prayers, and then intelligent designers

try to give them the blessings they ask for. Sometimes

the answer is "no" for now, but may be "yes" later, as

the intelligent designers continue their progress.


 

 

 

 

* 815 *

An enemy is not the enemy, just as

an indefinite is not the definite.

 

* 816 *

With no past, present or future, I guess He smells

the roses and the sewage all at the same time, all

the time. Iíd rather live in the flow of time, with

all the wonderful contrasts and surprises.

 

* 817 *

We may negotiate with those we hate, if

we decide it is sensible, but we are most

unlikely to negotiate with those we fear.

Fear leads to war far more than hate does.

All a terrorist has to do is get us to fear,

and then he will achieve the war he wants.

 

* 818 *

Let me reject what is untrue.

Let me accept what is true.

Let me acknowledge unknowns.


 

 

 

 

* 819 *

No other species has the language to compete

with our religions. If they had the language, it

is likely they would not agree with our conclusion

that it is we who are made in the image of God.

 

* 820 *

Overcoming indoctrination does not mean the rejection

of every principle that may come that way. It involves

the rejudgment of data using new tools.

 

* 821 *

The most honest thought for a scientist:

"We do not know." The most honest feeling

for the religious: "We do not know."

 

* 822 *

Dogs have no self-organized language.

In a way this is an advantage.

A dog can go to any country

and communicate quite a lot,

pretty much the same as at home.


 

 

 

* 823 *

Fortunately, the legitimacy of a scientist's

statement is not based on the clothes he

is wearing nor on his conforming manner nor

on her smile nor on his looks. Measurements

are made on the statement itself.

 

* 824 *

There is a difference between being open

and being cruel. Usually safer is to say

what we think rather than what we feel.

 

* 825 *

If we kill every living soul who is

against us, the enemy is still alive,

and thriving better than before,

and with us in our very beds at night.

 

* 826 *

It is an impossible task for me to believe

based only on the testimonial of someone,

though it be even the mother who loves me.


 

 

 

 

 

* 827 *

Religious beliefs are based on hope. Some

hope everyone else will burn in Hell,

and that only they are the special ones.

 

* 828 *

If we are against addiction, do we enable loved

ones who are addicts? If we are against war, do

we enable loved ones who are warriors?

 

* 829 *

May I please be against war?

Would being for every war we enter be

evidence of my love for my country?

 

* 830 *

If someone screws together a pipe or two, that does not

make him a plumber. If someone tells a lie or two, that

does not make him a liar. Real liars often mislead by

silence and secrets, while speaking no falsehoods at all.


 

 

 

 

* 831 *

It is a much more reasonable concern to care

about whether something is good or not,

than to care about whether it is true or not.

 

* 832 *

When they are in conflict, should we obey or do

whatís right? The answer is not always simple,

and may depend on what value the right thing

has, and the likely cost of the disobedience.

 

* 833 *

If a child cries, and we do not know its gender,

we wouldnít say, "He or she is hungry." We would

say, "Itís hungry." Why not for adults also?

When gender is not known or not an issue, why

canít we just use the neuter pronoun?

 

* 834 *

When a person comes to know that its beliefs

are its alone, it has a great new freedom.


 

 

* 835 *

Our competition with other people brings

about much temporary success for all of us,

but it is the opposite of what is advantageous

to a species in general. Competing, for other

than actual reproductive needs, may eventually

destroy the human race. Evolution is the miracle

that made us possible, but it does not care

about us. We must care about ourselves.

 

* 836 *

Darkness is never thick.

It is thin.

It is only what is not.

The darker, the notter.

 

* 837 *

The near extinction of the polio virus has been

the result of our destruction of habitat. Glorious!

 

* 838 *

Nature kills us all, often after great amounts of torture.

Do we love her? Why surely. We learn to believe that

torture is learning, and that death is an illusion.


 

 

 

 

* 839 *

Truth is interesting, but probably important

only when there is some available application

for it. The vast majority of truth is unknown

to us, still we function well without that

knowledge. Pretending to know the unknown

appears both silly and wasteful.

 

* 840 *

When hungry for food, one may eat and get

filled. When hungry for wealth, every dollar is

only an appetizer. Having oneís needs, or a

thousand times that, the hunger itself eats,

and it is the hunger that grows.

 

* 841 *

What difference does it make whether people

believe that another person made them from

dust, or that they are the product of evolution?

With either belief, one may treat his fellow man

well and live well. We need common beliefs only

when they are actionable.


 

 

 

* 842 *

The need to worship is not hereditary. It is a social

function that has come from the species with language,

by the organization of thought, and by shared hopes.

 

* 843 *

Belief is an uncertain confidence about something.

Knowledge is belief with a level of confidence approaching

certainty. Absolute certainty probably does not exist.

 

* 844 *

One may think that false things are true,

or that true things are false, but what

one thinks does not define knowledge.

 

* 845 *

When someone needs me, I help. I donít

give a damn about their worthiness.

Iola Mahnken

 

* 846 *

If I apologize for something my

country does, am I then not a patriot?


 

 

 

 

 

* 847 *

Obedience may come only from the

able, and never from the broken.

 

* 848 *

Multiple Choice:

A: Live and let live.

B: Live and force to live.

C: Live and help live.

 

* 849 *

Choosing from among three, which is best?

1: Unity Ė No differences.

2: Harmony Ė Comfort with differences.

3: Discord Ė Discomfort with differences.

 

* 850 *

Some people want us to be able to say anything

we think, so long as we donít say it where it can

be heard by those they want to hide it from.


 

 

 

* 851 *

When the wolf and the lamb meet, it is

said, "Wolves are dangerous." When the

car and the motorcycle meet, it is said,

"Motorcycles are dangerous." What?!

 

* 852*

If I think I know the truth, can I ask myself, "Am

I made free?" And if I am not free, can I recognize

that what I think I know, is not the truth?

 

* 853 *

Species survive greatly because they are not in

control. Instincts are built in to assure their

correctness in the environment. Humans are to

some degree exempt from this. They have a

great deal of control over their environment by

decision rather than by instinct. Advantages

are obvious, but there are dangers.

 

* 854 *

The lion is not the king of the jungle.

He is king only of his own pride. The

same is true for all kings, including men.


 

 

 

 

 

* 855 *

With a closed border, the most aggressive

and most willing to flaunt the law will

cross. With an open border, a more

cooperative average of people will cross.

 

* 856 *

If we feel it would be right to emulate it,

we must deem it good. If we feel it would

be wrong to emulate it, we must deem it

bad. How else would we judge? If we decide

that all that God does is good, how then do

we decide which acts to emulate?

 

* 857 *

Why are believers still blaming them for

what He planned before they were born,

for what He did entirely on his own, and

for what no others had power to do, and

for what the believers are grateful was done?


 

 

 

 

 

* 858 *

One must give "to be seen of men" for the

tax deduction and the recommendation

from the church, but it is the secret

giving that will feed the spirit.

 

* 859 *

The best of parents act as soil and water

and fertilizer. Each plant becomes its best

self, mostly by its own deciding in that free

and healthful environment. A little guidance

is fine, like a stick to help a tree grow straight,

but not the detailed pruning that can make a

tree take on the look of an elephant.

 

* 860*

We often want an exorbitant amount of the good.

Things good may not remain so when excessive.


 

 

 

* 861*

Sometimes presidential candidates tell us they

would not do a certain thing, and then, when

they become the President, they proceed to do

that very thing. It may be because secrets kept

from all of us are finally given to them.

 

* 862*

If thereís a little something like paranoia

going on there, make yourself a little like

far grasses. The person will fear that what

is remote is better than what is nearby.

 

* 863 *

When we give, we simply emulate the universe, which has

no wants nor thoughts, but without judgment and without

knowledge or motive, provides the needs of those who do.

 

* 864 *

He who directs or sells may be paid millions,

while he who engineers or builds may be paid

only thousands. Put on an island to survive,

their perceived values might invert.


 

 

 

* 865 *

When does it become reasonable for a child to

be put in his own charge? How about when the

person is both willing and able to take

responsibility for any of the possible results?

 

* 866 *

Belief: Confidence of the probability of

something from above half to almost sure,

depending on the strength of the belief.

Knowledge: Strong enough belief to be

essentially certain. Faith: Either belief or

 knowledge that is acted upon or used with some

degree of confidence and with hope for results.

 

* 867 *

God might be on our side and still not help

us, if we do not need the help. He may

see the value of our working on our own.

 

* 868 *

A man with a plastic and metal heart still

loves his wife and children. The heart is

not the seat of love. Love is of the mind.


 

 

 

 

* 869 *

Is there no space between

advocacy and treason?

 

* 870 *

Efficient repentance is not a bunch of Rís

like Recognition, Remorse, Restitution,

Reformation, and continued Remorse.

Itís just two Fís. Fix it. Forget it.

 

* 871 *

Death implies having lived.

 

* 872 *

Pressuring a physicist to say he believes a person

made the universe seems a bit unreasonable.

 

* 873 *

Absolute and doubtless knowledge is something

a thinking person learns to live without.


 

 

 

* 874 *

What is a reactionary?

One who believes change back to something

older, a restoration, is needed, and who,

often with emotion, is not patient.

--

What is a conservative?

One who wants to keep something already established,

and who does not want experimentation.

--

What is a moderate?

One who sees both sides, values compromise, and

who judges each case as it seems sensible.

--

What is a liberal?

One who favors experimentation and the

possibility of change from the results.

--

What is a radical?

One who believes change to something

new, a revolution, is needed, and who,

often with emotion, is not patient.

--

Iíve been all of these, havenít you?


 

 

 

 

 

* 875 *

"Itís amazing what we can accomplish if we donít care

who gets the credit." Searching around, we can find

many to whom this quote may be credited. One was

Albert Einstein, one, Harry S. Truman, also General

George C. Marshall, Ronald Reagan and many others.

Oh yes, Socrates. None of them care if you or anyone

else takes credit for the statement. Itís the opposite

of copyrights and trademarks and protectionism and

patents and tariffs and duties and walls and borders.

 

* 876 *

We are defined a little by what is, more by

what we want, and most by our dream. The

first is our position, the second our

motion, and the third, our direction.


 

* Essay (6 pages)    *

 

What We Must Own to Exist

 

If we divide the Earth into even parts for all of us, each of the six billion of us will have approximately one trillion tons of it. At just one dollar per ton, it would take 1000 billionaires to buy just your portion or just mine.

 

The Earth is only a small part of what we must own to continue our existence. We know we need the Sun. Its mass is about 5 million trillion trillion tons. If we were to divide the Sun among the human inhabitants of Earth, what would your portion be? About a billion trillion tons. Offering a penny for a thousand tons, with all the money on this planet, just your portion could not be bought.

 

The Sun and the Earth are only a small portion of our needs. The Sun needs its galaxy for it to exist. Perhaps the galaxy needs other galaxies for it to exist. There is, for all practical purposes, no end to what is needed for you and I to exist. What we consider to be our possessions here on Earth are such a small portion of what we "own" that itís like a joke. This is not to say that we donít need our


 

food and other necessities, but all the wealth we accumulate beyond our actual needs Ė and that we use to compare our wealth to the wealth of others Ė is a paltry sum compared with all we already own and must own even to continue living.

 

Consider some different styles of ownership. We own the house. If weíve paid to the bank whatís owed, then we possess a clear deed that says we own the house. This ownership has the strength of whatever state supports it. Anyone more powerful than that state can take it, and then it would be his. This deed has only the strength we and the state may use to hold it. This "ownership" is much limited by the very state which supports it. I "own" my house, but the state says I cannot build a grocery store there. Someone in the energy business owns the mineral rights; I can't dig for oil. I can't burn trash on it. My "ownership" is simply a list of rights, and the state and deed tell me what those rights are. I may live in it and sleep in it. I may restrict others from entering. I may sell the list of rights to another. I cannot really sell the dirt to anyone. If I owned that, I could dig to the center of the Earth, but surely as I dig, I will be stopped by the state less than a hundred feet down. All we can own is a list of rights, and


 

they can only be kept if the state is strong enough to keep them for us.

 

Thereís an old story about a man in the south who camps out on someoneís estate. The estate holder comes out to the manís tent and asks the man what he thinks heís doing there. The man then says, "Oh, this is your land? Where did you get it?" "From my daddy, thatís where!" "Oh, and where did your daddy get it?" "From my grandpappy, thatís where!" "Oh, and where did your grandpappy get it?" "He fought Injuns fer it!" "Ok," says the camper, retrieving his rifle from the tent, "Iíll fight you fer it!"

 

Those have always been the rules of ownership. The deeds and things came to organize and enforce, with the state behind us, our holding on our possessions. The truth is, the rules are still the same, but it takes more than one rifle to take anotherís land.

 

Another style of ownership is the condominium. This is a style that usually includes independent ownership of some small portion of a property and social ownership of the whole property. There may be a hundred dwellings (like apartments), each of which are occupied by an "owner," but then that


 

same owner also owns the whole complex together with the 99 other owners. Even in oneís own unit, the two-by-fours within the walls are not his alone, but belong to the group.

 

The universe is like a condominium. We own it together. We must own it to exist. If someone somewhere were able to take it from us, we would be gone forever. We do not own any particular piece of it exclusively. Instead, we own all of it along with all the other owners. The redwood tree owns it also, and could not exist without it. Any living thing on any other planet must also own it all.

 

If, by some magic, most of the universe were to perish into nothing, what was left would still exist as matter in some form, but no life would survive. Living things must own it the way it is, tolerating only slow and small change. We need no state to enforce our ownership of all this. Indeed, it would take an extremely powerful force to take it from us, and we are not aware of any force at all with a purpose to do so. We don't try to protect it and have no idea how we could. This ownership is the most complete we may imagine, not just a list of rights, but actual ownership in need of no enforcement. Think of it. We own the Sun. We don't lock it up or try to protect it in any way, and


 

we know we are with no need to do so. We are wealthy beyond the ability of any of us to begin to imagine. When we try to separate out some infinitesimal portion of this universe to call our very own and no one elseís, we play a silly game. Each of us must own a trillion trillion trillion trillion times what the whole Earth is, just to stay alive.

The lizard, who cocks his head a little looking at us in the garden, may not be able to develop a notion of the infinite. That lizard must own the whole universe to exist, the same as we do.

 

 

FreeNaturePictures.com


 

The concept of infinity is not well understood even by us, and much less still by the little lizard. Our ownership equality with the lizard may be hard to acknowledge.

 

We may come to think that we own more or less than our neighbor, but in truth, we own an infinite and indefinable amount, essentially the same as every neighbor and the same as that lizard, for otherwise, none of us could ever have come to exist.

 

Our concept of value is amazing. That lizard would not, by choice, trade places with any of us, and one of us, as a mate, would appear terribly ugly to the little fellow. The wealthiest person on Earth has not so much as a tiny speck more than that lizard.

So far as we know, only we humans have developed covetousness, wherein we might wish to be another, often because it is our perception that the other person owns more. Not so. Itís simply not true.

 

 

 vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv


 

* Essay (5 pages)    *

 

The Real Beginning

 

The following is not the real beginning:

 

The first verse of the King James Bible, Genesis 1:1: In the beginning, God created the heaven and the earth.

 

This assumes a "god," who was already existing. Religion never approaches the question of a real beginning, before which there was nothing. It's immensely difficult to imagine a true nothing, and from that, something happening or coming into existence. Religion finds that it must start with an amazing and quite impossible god.

 

The following is not the real beginning:

 

The Big Bang Theory is the dominant scientific theory about the beginning of the universe. The Big Bang was the beginning of both time and space, a giant explosion around 16 billion years ago which expanded rapidly, cooled and coalesced into the universe of today.


 

This assumes a "point source" already existing, the single point containing all that would become the universe. Science never approaches the question of a real beginning, before which there was nothing. It's immensely difficult to imagine a true nothing, and from that, something happening or coming into existence. Science finds it must start with an amazing and quite impossible point source.

 

In 1927, the Belgian priest Georges LemaÓtre may have been the first to propose, in a scientific way, that the universe began with the explosion of a primeval atom. In 1848, however, Edgar Allen Poe wrote: "In the Original Unity of the First Thing lies the Secondary Cause of All Things, with the Germ of their Inevitable Annihilation." Itís interesting that, when we go back far enough, we often find the seeds of new science in more or less religious or poetic thought process.

 

To speak of a real beginning, we must think of a time when there was no matter at all, no mass, no energy, but also of a time when there was no time, (an internal contradiction), no space, nothing, no god, no point source, nothing. Not even a vacuum could exist nor the concept of a vacuum nor any other concept of anything at all. No place for a


 

point source could exist either. No possibility or condition could exist.

 

Most of us, probably during our childhood, experienced frustrating thoughts of the impossibility of all that is and how it could come to be. How could it have just always been? How could it start from nothing? Nobody, it seems, finds a way to justify the existence of anything at all. Matter, as we know it, is by any practical thought, impossible, yet here we are; here is the universe! Whatever do we do about what is impossible and still happening all around us?

 

We can entertain many interesting but insufficient thoughts about how this might be. An example is the thought that before the beginning there was nothing, and that from nothing came a minus 1 and a plus 1, a bit of anti-matter and the same amount of matter, the two parts exactly the opposite of each other, the total still being nothing. This includes a time of an event, a separation of the two parts, space and time, distance, the concept of opposites, and many other things. From nothing, if truly nothing, all these "ideas" and all this "stuff" could not come. At least, none of us has figured out a way for this to be. All our theories, religious


 

or scientific, start with something already existing. Thoughts or faith; it all falls short.

 

Then we are left only with, "It has always been - there was never a beginning," and this thought is equally frustrating. Imagine it all existing not 16 billion years ago, but a trillion times that, and then that to the trillionth power, and on and on. So far as we know, only humans, among all the living things, have ever or could ever be bothered by such questions. There may be other intelligent beings somewhere in the universe, grappling with such thought, but we are not yet aware of them. We develop many different answers, but all of them are answers about some secondary beginning, not a real beginning.

 

When we search on Google for the words "Real Beginning," we find thousands of articles about these beginnings, but in every case, they are not real beginnings; they all start with something already existing.

 

A few of these articles purport a third case, wherein nothing actually exists even now, but is all imagined. Then our consciousness of it still exists, and the question is fully still alive. You may all be my imagination, but there is I, and that is just as


 

impossible as all the rest. This option seems even less reasonable than the other two, for why would this imaginer be writing an article for imaginary readers, and why would he argue his case in a philosophy class of imaginary students? You, of course, would not be reading this, for you are my imagination. No no, if I didnít think you were there to read this, I wouldnít write it.

 

If there were ever a time when nothing existed, then it would necessarily be the same now. The possibility for it to have become what it is now would need to have been there, and possibility is not nothing. Possibility is a set of conditions. At the least, a possibility had to always exist, and thus there must have been no real beginning. No real beginning? Thatís not possible, but neither is anything else. We may not know the answers, but no other species even asks the question. We may be proud of the question itself.

 

A real ending is just as illusive. What is, is, regardless of our inability to understand it.

 

 

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv


 

 

Bill Borough

* Essay (22 pages)    *

Kick a Rock

 

My new way of thinking began with a dream about a tortoise in the California desert. In the dream, we were traveling from Las Vegas toward Barstow. Our car was a 1937 Buick Special, a big sedan with a straight-eight overhead valve engine. I was with my family, with two younger brothers. Dad was driving the car, and Mom was with us also. I saw a tortoise lying upside down on its shell near the side of the road, its short legs, head, and tail flailing.


 

"Stop," I said, and our Dad stopped the car. (I was dreaming. One does not need to back up to a tortoise in a dream; we were still just at the right spot.)

 

I went to the tortoise and turned him upright. I wondered if the tortoise knew what a good deed I had done. I had heard tortoises could die from this, unable to right themselves, and either starving to death or dying from exposure.

 

The dream continued. We drove on, I think, but I could still see the tortoise and the events continuing. The tortoise began walking across the road. Another family dodged the tortoise and left the roadway. They were all killed. This event waked me. I was at home in Riverside on a lovely morning. The Buick was in the driveway. I was glad I was only dreaming. The day became a day of thought.

 

From then until now, a thought and a "knowledge" has often numbed me. I have developed it into a physicistís thoughts, but all the foundation for it was laid on that day. I was 13 years old, in 1953. Now it's the year 2000, and I am now retired after 31 Ĺ years as a physicist working for the United States Navy.


 

The principle came to be known within the family and among friends, as "Kick a Rock."

 

Kick a Rock: "If I kick a rock, a whole bunch of stuff afterwards will be changed."

 

In the dream, I had turned over a tortoise, but soon after, the example we used in discussions was what might happen if a person kicked a little rock.

 

Something now known as the "Butterfly Principle," is similar. This has to do with initial conditions and how great an influence they seem to exact on weather conditions days or weeks later. I believe the principle is often viewed incorrectly Ė or incompletely.

 

Restated years later:

 

Kick a rock: "Any and every infinitesimal or quantum event occurring anywhere in the universe affects the whole universe in an infinite way."

 

Iím going to go through some arguments for consideration. These things are part of my thoughts now and for the past 45 years.


 

The first thought is a simple one and straightforward. If understood, it will be accepted (I think) by anyone who does not believe in a "controller." By controller, I mean a god or other power predetermining events Ė especially, for this case, the births of human beings. Some people, of course, may believe in God, but not believe this god controls things in such a way. That will work also. For those who believe that all things are controlled, the arguments of physics must be pretty much useless. Being the open minded person you are, the next few paragraphs will enter, and if you are like me, you may never get rid of some of them.

 

Consider our sperm and our ova. We males possess billions of sperm. They swim about all the time, and their success in finding an ovum to bring about fertilization is mostly a random process. Consider the instant in time when the sperm makes its contact with the ovum and a new human begins with its "definition." Now consider a time one second before the sperm, along with millions more of them, were deposited. If that guy kicks a rock or wiggles a toe or hesitates in the slightest, millions of sperm will swim about for a small amount of time, and with almost complete certainty the eventual contact will not be made by the same


 

sperm individual as would have had the success otherwise. A different child will be born nine months or so later, or maybe no child at all.

 

This is a small event Ė wiggling a toe Ė not infinitesimal, but very small. Now consider the result.

 

The child that did not come to life would have met thousands and thousands of people and had at least small effects on them if it had been born and lived its life. None of these meetings will occur. All these thousands of people will have their own thousands of contacts altered, and all the sperm in all the male ones will not be stirred exactly the same as they would have been. These thousands will meet thousands of others each Ė thatís millions Ė and they thousands each Ė and thatís billions. None of these could provide that the same sperms in them would reach ova as would have otherwise without the differing contacts and experiences. The result is that in a hundred years, there will not be a single person anywhere on the Earth under ninety nine years and three months old who would have been there had this man not wiggled that one little toe. Let that sink in before reading further.


 

The principle of Kick a Rock is stated above with clarity, I think. This much I thought as a teenager. There is now more.

 

This event, the wiggling of a toe or the kick of a rock, is a huge event compared with the quantum event of physics. "Quantum Leap" is often misused to represent a large event, but in physics, the quantum event is the smallest event possible. Itís called a "leap," because nothing smaller can happen. Nothing can happen in between, so a leap is made of one quantum size. An ant taking a step is comprised of trillions of these quantum events, or leaps. Thatís how small a quantum leap is.

 

There are a plethora of time travel stories. In these stories, one may go back fifty years and become concerned about making changes like keeping their father from marrying their mother. This concern will come about because of a "great" scientistís warning. Each time I read these stories or see a movie, "No no," I say, "if so much as one atom of anything goes back to a time before your conception occurred, your mom and dad are not going to conceive you." No matter what small event occurs before that conception, "Bye-bye you," along with every other future conception from there "forward." If so much as a single photon is


 

stopped by your retina rather than going where it would have gone, everything random from that time on is changed. Why canít the writers of stories get this right? Of course, you would not exist in the "future" to go back in the first place. Itís interesting to note we are "back there" "after" we are here Ė making that not the past, but the future. This is dumb stuff. No travel backwards in time is possible. Iíll keep my mind open, but for now, Iíd need to give up all I "know" to allow for this absurdity. Travel "forward" in time at differing rates is a different question, and appears possible to me.

 

During numerous discussions with family and friends over these 45 years, "Kick a Rock" is what we called this phenomenon. Kick a Rock is a joke in our family. We say it when someone says "What if this," or "What if that," had happened. "Kick a Rock," someone says, and everyone looks my way and enjoys a laugh. I also get into the fray. If my mother speaks of her dating days with my father and has something to criticize, I say, "No no Ė remember kick a rock Ė please do not wish for any changes before my conception. If he flirted with another girl that day, thatís fine with me! Everything that happened was perfect." One of my brothers has enjoyed getting into it on several


 

occasions over the years, and Iím afraid I live with no full supporters, though there has been a partial appreciation of the concept. Thatís a long time to "know" something "significant" and not find corroborators or "friends." Many physicists and engineers among my friends, exposed to these thoughts, while having a little serious thought, still end up ribbing or nay-saying. I believe the whole thought process involved is uncomfortable for most people, scientific and religious alike.

Now letís go to another example concerning Kick a Rock. A statement hard to swallow: "If Iím watching a ball game sitting in front of my TV in California Ė a game being played in New York, and I eat a potato chip, the game is changed in an instant. Every random event from this time and forward is a new random event. If the teams are evenly matched and at the time I eat that chip they are tied with equal innings to play each, the result is like a new coin toss."

 

Nothing is special about the potato chip being eaten. Billions of other small events in the same living room bring about the same effect on all future random events. This is also true for every other potato chip eater in the world, whether watching the game or not. Each and every event anywhere in the world affects the game in a


 

"macro" way Ė with respect to all the random events to occur in the game after any one of these events. There are also non-random events. If one team is the Yankees and the other a Little League team Ė the result with or without the potato chip will be that the Yankees will win. Still, every ball hit and every action of the game will be altered from what it would have been were any one of the billion potato chips not eaten or eaten differently or if one grain of salt on any chip were in a different orientation. This would be true even when the teams are so unevenly matched. We would expect the same "winner," but not the same "game." Any person cutting the finger nails, turning the car, blinking, or any atom taking a different turn would bring about another comparable result. If someone had eaten an extra potato chip two seconds before Hitler was conceived, there would have been no Hitler. This would not have been significant to any of us, for we also would not have come to exist. Humans probably would still have been born Ė there are non-random processes over such a small period of time having their effect, like the Yankees against the Little League team. A billion years later, however, if life still exists, will include a whole different set of species from what would have developed without any one of those


 

potato chips being eaten Ė or considered or just smelled or thought of.

 

When we shine a flashlight in San Diego, photons reach New York almost right away (small part of a second). There will not be enough photons arriving in New York for any person to observe, but even a single photon is sufficient to bring about the alteration of the flow of random events in New York and of those everywhere in between. All those random events will provide many more photon-sized differences to travel elsewhere Ė even to every other galaxy and to anyone who may live in any of these places. When I eat that potato chip, many photons are reflected from my hand differently from how they would have been without the chip-eating. Those photons affect others, and the effects speed about at the speed of light. Photons in the whole neighborhood are different now, and in every other neighborhood, and in New York in less than 1/50 of a second, limited to the speed of light.

 

Even at the speed of light, however, the effects of any Kick a Rock could not be in play a billion light years away until a billion years pass. We think now, however, though "things" cannot travel faster than the speed of light, certain kinds of mass-free


 

"information" can. There are "pairings" of little particle-like guys which appear to "know" each other. Altering the state of one appears to tell the other in an instant, with no time of travel required. Is information a wave, or is it particles? Is it energy or mass, or is it not matter at all? And if it is not matter, is its velocity limited? The population of such pairs is infinite. If this turns out to be so, Kick a Rock gets new life. Sperm are not the only "seeds" for which we may respect Kick a Rock. Every quantum event is a seed.

 

The "stirring" of the sperm is an easy example to follow, but stirrings are happening all the time with all the random decks of cards in the universe. The movement of photons or electrons works as the movement of sperm works. In the case of sperm, the effect is to alter which sperm meets the ovum. In the case of photons, the effect is to alter other little random events Ė multiplied and multiplied until in an instant, visible events are altered. With those, larger and larger events become affected, and eventually, but not instantaneously, all the events we regard to be non-random are changed forever also.

 

So: Stated again:


 

Kick a rock: "Any and every infinitesimal or quantum event occurring anywhere in the universe affects the whole universe in an infinite way instantaneously."

 

This word, "instantaneously," requires the possibility of an infinitesimal event. If each event takes a quantum of time, we are limited to the speed of light for the travel of information as well as matter. Still, a quantum event brings about the shuffling required for all to change. Larger events do also, as they are made up of many of these quantum events.

 

All events are made up of random events. The extinction of mammals, should it occur in the future, is not reasonably expected to occur soon. So much has been lined up to allow more mammals to be born that many random changes are required before such a "macro" event could come about. Another macro event could bring it about Ė like the collision of a comet or planetoid with the Earth, but it is not reasonable to expect this. Which individuals are born is almost random, but that a horse will be a horse rather than a new species is much less random. Your next serve on the tennis court is also a non-random event, but not so non-random as the existence of mammals.


 

Applications:

 

In recent years, we saw a movie about a guy who won a lottery. He had eaten at a restaurant and when finished he had no money for a tip to the waitress. He told her he had bought a lottery ticket and for her tip he was going to share the winnings on this ticket if he won.

 

He did win the lottery, and the ensuing issues were handled without any understanding of Kick a Rock. His wife was divorcing him; she and her lawyer were irate about his promise to share his winnings, arguing that these winning belonged to his wife as well. They got this all wrong. There would have been no winnings at all (but for another new chance in many millions) without his promise to the waitress. In fact, the event was made up of millions of tiny events any one of which would reshuffle all the random events to occur after.

 

The lottery selection is made after a "random" shuffling of some kind. Balls are stirred and then selected, or some other method of shuffling is used. This is not perfect randomization, but it is random enough that it may reasonably be known that with any Kick a Rock occurring before the shuffling, itís a new game.


 

These Kick a Rocks are not "causes." Causes are events that non-randomly affect non-random events. A person runs a stop sign, and an accident occurs. Random events are mixed in here, but the running of a stop sign greatly increases the odds of a collision, and some cause is here. The sharing of the lottery ticket is not attached to any odds in any known way. No one can use Kick a Rock to decide what to do to bring about or stop any future event. We can, however, use Kick a Rock to make many decisions regarding how to treat things after a significant event occurs which is the result of random events.

 

What was "given" to the waitress was half the worth of a lottery ticket; that is all. If the ticket was worth $1.00, then the tip was fifty cents. Thatís all. If there was any lack of sureness as to whether any eventual winnings would be shared, then the gift was for less than fifty cents. The lottery winning was as much a gift from her to him as it was from him to her, but it was actually not a gift in either direction. It was an accident that never would have happened without any one of the infinity of infinitesimal events occurring before the shuffling and selection of the numbers. His promise to her was made up of many of these


 

events. If he had only "thought" of making this promise, the result in the lottery is a new one.

Should this man have given the whole ticket to the waitress for her tip, there would have been no argument at all. Of course, she would not have won the lottery Ė at least there would only be the expected one chance in several million. Iím sure the wife would not have sued for the fifty cents. If the story were changed, and the waitress were given the entire ticket, and she did win the lottery, then Kick a Rock tells us that all the man lost was his $1.00. He would not have won the lottery with the same ticket. The wife might sue and be considered to have some kind of case, but this is only because the courts do not understand kick a rock. The man gave over only $1.00, and had he kept the ticket, would have had only a $1.00 value chance at winning the lottery.

 

"Oh no," one will say, "if only there hadnít been that one bad call in the second inning, we would have won." Not true Ė without that event, it would have been a whole new game from this event forward. "We" might have won and might not have won. No one can know. Again, no cause. Kick a Rocks are not causes. No one can relate any Kick a Rock to any result. We know only that each Kick a Rock changes everything.


 

When I turned upright the tortoise in my dream, I did not cause the accident that occurred after. Now here it is, amazing as it is: There was no accident for this other family; it was a dream. Nonetheless, that dream and every detail of it changed forever all the accidents to occur later Ė for the entire universe. That dream and every detail of it changed forever the population of the earth. Each and every child born more than nine months after that dream will not be the same child that would have been born without that dream or any detail in it. I told people about that dream Ė all of them have been "stirred." They cannot have the same children now. For all they speak to, the same, and so on. Anyone's dream changes everything in the future. Every random event is changed immediately, and all events are changed later.

 

There are many trials in our courts, which have incorrect results because Kick a Rock is not understood. There is a "fallacy of logic," probably the most commonly expressed "fallacy of logic," called "Post Hoc Ergo Propter Hoc." It means roughly, "After This Therefore on Account of This." Many things occur after one event that were caused by the first event, but many events are not caused at all by the first event, and thatís when the fallacy is called upon to negate evidence. Iíve


 

heard it at church. John broke his leg playing football. It was declared that it was because he had played football on the Sabbath day. The fact is, the statistic for injuries is the same or nearly the same regardless of the day of the game. This is "Post Hoc," the shortened version used when calling for this fallacy to be recognized. On the other hand, if the statement had been, "He broke his leg because they were playing tackle football when they have been instructed to play flag football," it would be more correct. "Because" is still the wrong word, but the injuryís likelihood was raised by this choice Ė non-randomly. This is not Kick a Rock. Iíve joked that "Kick a Rock" and "because" should never appear in the same sentence.

 

Kick a Rock "causes" only the shuffling of random events. All random events are changed forever. After a little time, mildly random events are also changed. After more time, less random events are changed. After lots of time, all events are changed. All from any one Kick a Rock and this from each and every one Kick a Rock.

 

Itís also important to understand that one Kick a Rock does not cancel any other Kick a Rock. Each Kick a Rock reshuffles the random events of the


 

universe. Surely we could not imagine that the shuffling brought about by a second Kick a Rock would return things to the way they were before the first Kick a Rock brought about its shuffling. Each and every Kick a Rock has its infinite effect, and no one can invent a special additional Kick a Rock to define a return or any other desired result. Kick a Rock is not useful for planning. It is also not useful for "fixing" things. In time-travel stories, it is often purported that one can go back, change things, and know the new results. Kick a Rock is most useful for understanding the significance of many events and for responding to them with wisdom.

 

Many people begin with the notion that we "must" be able to travel backwards in time, and have come up with ridiculous notions to support the assumption. "Infinite universes," is one of these. This theory purports that all these shufflings and combinations exist together, that one can go back, make changes, and find himself in another of these infinite number of universes. The word "universe" is quite useful to allow us to view the idea of "all that is." As soon as we think of more than one universe, we ruin the word and need another to speak clearly. Humans, and not excluding scientists, seem to like making an absurd assumption and then


 

building complex systems around them. Then people looking at the complex systems are convinced of truths that could be true only if the absurd assumption were true. And the absurd assumption is usually not on the table for discussion or even thought about. Example: People start with the assumption that the first human lived a mere 7000 years ago, taking this from a religious history, and then go on to reject all the research of thousands of dedicated hard-working people who have dug up libraries of evidence to the contrary. They do this without any study of that evidence.

 

My experiences for 45 years with Kick a Rock have led me to believe that there is only one universe, but that the future holds the possibility of any one of infinite possible flows in that universe. Only one of the possible flows will take place, but any flow is possible. Causes and effects function over relatively short time periods. Kick a rocks have just as much influence as causes do over long time intervals. This is a little complicated, the comparison of Kick a Rocks with causes. Causes are made up of billions of Kick a Rocks, but when we speak of the effects brought about by causes, we mean the extra effects that are predictable over a relatively short time. If the effect is not predictable, then we cannot reasonably see a


 

cause. (Koch's postulates.) Long-term evolution is the result of Kick a Rocks. There is no pre-destination. We live in a random universe. Weíre lucky to exist Ė beyond comprehension, we are lucky that all the shufflings before the Earth came into existence, all the shufflings before chordata, all the shufflings before mammals, all the shufflings before humans, and all the shufflings before our individual physical conception, were just such that they left us possible. Lucky, that is, if we are happy we exist.

 

"If great grandpa had bought that property, we would all be rich now." "No no Ė Kick a Rock Ė we would not have been born." If the man had connected his seat belt, he would be alive today." "No no Ė Kick a Rock Ė He would be alive, yes, but he also would not have been in the accident Ė he would have left his driveway two seconds later and had a whole different driving experience. Any number of changes would be the reality after the pause to connect the seat belt. "After" does not mean "because." If he had eaten a banana before he left home, the accident would not have occurred. A different accident is possible, but only with the same statistic as would be expected for any other similar drive. Someone who has an accident with his seatbelt on would have very


 

probably not had an accident if he had neglected to connect his seatbelt!

 

The above is not an argument against wearing seatbelts, as the "statistic" will be better for the group that wears them than for the group that does not. The safety added is not with regard to any specific accident, but only with the statistic for accidents. Accidents are not entirely random events. They are affected by things that are not random. Safety measures save numbers of lives, but they do not save any specified life.

 

If you recognize now that after any accident involving a connected seatbelt, we know the accident would very likely not have occurred if the seatbelt had not been connected, and if you recognize once any accident occurs involving a non-connected seatbelt that the accident would very likely not have occurred if the seat belt had been connected, and if further, you understand that the advantage of connecting a seatbelt is statistically significant, but not significant with regard to any specific event, then you probably understand the workings of Kick a Rocks, and that they are not causes. Kick a Rocks, every single one, will change everything everywhere. The seed of change is instantaneous or nearly so.


 

Kick a rock: "Any and every infinitesimal or quantum event occurring anywhere in the universe affects the whole universe in an infinite way in an instant."

 

Any Kick a Rock re-seeds the random events of the entire universe.

 

 

vvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvvv


 

 

* Essay (3 pages)    *

 

Santa Claus

 

He had his own suit. It had been carefully sewn, and all the parts of it were chosen with care Ė the fur for the hat, collar and cuffs were real wool, not woven, but with the real leather. There were real boots, not covers for shoes. The small glasses had real lenses in them, and the beard was thick and held well to the face, allowing even a little tugging by the children without coming off or going crooked.

 

His "Ho Ho Ho," was not too often, and exuberant, not like an act, but like a personality feature. He carried a real belt of sleigh bells - loud. Many children who were aware that there were many "fake" Santa Clauses still found him to be the "real" one.

 

This year, one little girl was standing a little off in front of him, while child after child came to sit on his lap and be showered with love and encouragement. He gestured several times for her to come, but she stood her ground, still and with


 

interest. She was at that age Ė doubts and wonder at the same time. She was just looking up at him Ė not particularly afraid Ė almost like she wanted something but a little shy about coming all the way up. It continued for the duration of a dozen more visits from other children.

 

He kept giving her a little smile Ė and then all of a sudden he let out, while having her attention, with an extra friendly "HO HO HO HO Ho Ho." She then finally showed a little more reaction Ė jumping a little Ė smiling a little Ė and so he reached out his hands beckoning her once more to approach. He noticed her little bare feet.

 

When she got to him, he picked her up and put her on his left side with his arm around her back. He sensed that something was a little wrong. Did she want to ask for her Mommy and Daddy to get back together for her Christmas present? He didnít know, but he was guessing possibilities.

 

He got near her ear and said, "Santa Claus loves you very much." She turned and looked up into his face. She appeared comfortable with what he had said, but still she responded, "Thereís no such thing as Santa Claus." She didnít appear angry Ė just a statement of fact Ė almost as if she were


 

informing him, in case he didnít know. She gently tugged at his beard.

 

"I know there is no Santa Claus," he said, near her ear again, so only she could hear. "but Santa Claus loves you very much anyway!" She beamed with doubting satisfaction, and her continued smile indicated perhaps she understood some humor in this also.

 

What he meant was that he, the one playing the part, felt to love the little girl. He couldnít know exactly what she thought, but she limped, and he detected her comfort. She gave him a big hug, took her candy cane, and asked for nothing at all for a present. She walked off with a big smile, still looking back several times from different distances.

 

Itís a fine job, being Santa Claus. At its best, there is no pretense of its being about truth. Itís about something much more important than truth.

 

 

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* About the Author    *

 

A scientist all his life, Chuck has also lived with much exposure to religion. He finds the two worlds of inquiry often in conflict, yet both of great value. His individual life is full and busy, but nothing is more important to him than his family. Music is a big part of his life. He attends church each week and leads the music. He played clarinet for nine years in concert bands. He played one of 88 grand pianos at the 1988 Super Bowl. He rides a motorcycle almost every day. He walks with his dog, Scruffy, 3 miles each morning. He takes


 

pleasure in doing science demos for school classes. More than anything, he enjoys comfortable and open discussion.

 

Some of his experience came by his own desire to learn, while some came by indoctrination. Chuck tries to ignore indoctrination, succeeding part of the time. As a scientist, he is firmly against believing or pretending to believe things based on testimonials or on emotion or on obsolete data. Enthusiastic about physics from the ninth grade on, his thoughts are influenced by this emphasis.

 

Chuck served as a United States Navy physicist for 31 1/2 years, in defensive warfare. Before that, between college years, he programmed old mainframes, prior to their becoming commonly known as computers. He carries a California lifetime credential for adult classes in written and spoken communication. For the past 20 years and now, he is involved in political and market research as a computer scientist and researcher. In this capacity, he has worked in many countries, including the now bygone Soviet Union. He is a part of a thoughtful and remarkable team of people in a small and wonderful world-renowned company, Strategic Vision, of San Diego.

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