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An Unmeasurable Truth

I was talking with a Christian a couple of years ago but I recently heard a similar statement by a Muslim so I thought I'd have a crack at addressing it. So as not to indirectly identify the sources or myself, this is a composite of their points...
"Sadly, the gift of disobedience is clearly seen in the children. I don't know where they get it! Lying was never taught to them."
It highlighted, very clearly for me, just how unaware 'we' are of our own behaviour.

While a child might not learn to lie from the environment in which it is raised, the ability to deceive could be seen as a genetically encoded survival mechanism, it will learn the advantages and disadvantages of doing so.
Tooth Fairy, Father Christmas, The Bogeyman, a hundred and one other myths, legends and fairy tales are displayed to the child (I realise that's a description for European descendant childhood but similar rites & phantoms likely apply in all social structures)
These fables are employed to educate the child in 'our' social ways, customs, ethics, morality etc. All very inclusive and laudable on the surface.
I wonder though, does it actually do society harm to employ these fables?
As the child uncovers the truth about each of these fake characters it comes, via subconscious or conscious route, to the solid fact that ALL the adults who kept the 'secret' were actually lying.

And, from the child's point of view these lies are for no good reason other than the adults own ends; to entertain themselves, discipline or educate the child, for the parent to 'get their own way all the time' or, more dramatically, the free will of the child is suspended by the dictator adult.
I know that sounds childish but it's how the child perceives the lies that's pertinent.

Regardless of what the child is told about the ethics or immorality of lying the child learns, by example, that it is advantageous to lie; that one lies to direct the thoughts and actions of others to one's own benefit.

If the child also has the misfortune to be brought up in a religious household they will also, alas, suffer under the largest lie of all, god. Don't get all bristly, religious folks, all I'm saying is this...
No matter what one chooses to believe or where one stands on atheism the following statement is true
An unmeasurable truth
is indistinguishable from a lie

If one teaches a child about a god as if it's the truth but that entity, the god, is the very epitome of unmeasurable, how can the child, or anyone, distinguish it from a lie?

How can anyone trust someone who promotes such an unmeasurable truth?

How can any rational person be in favour of the followers of an unmeasurable truth wielding, on unmeasurable authority, the power to punish, torture or slaughter any individual who disagrees with that unmeasurable truth?

Shouldn't the United Nations, the Court of Human Rights or whomever may be concerned, be working toward an end of all 'law' which is drawn up under an unmeasurable authority?

Finally it occurs...
Is it any wonder that so many young grow through adolescence with the Peter Pan ethos, 'you cannot trust an adult'?
And, if we acknowledge that they do, why do we persist with these exercises in breaking our children's trust in adults?
Is it merely because we are too primitive to notice the consequences of our poor education methods?
If so, surely we must now be smart enough pass on our essential values without all the magical claptrap?

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Soul Shaped Gap

You inherit a 1000 piece jigsaw puzzle, an ancient heirloom, the picture on the box is faded beyond assisting you but the pieces have been kept safe in glorious full colour in a bag, inside.
The instructions say 'finish the puzzle for your inheritance'.
You quickly complete the edge and nearby pieces. The picture begins to reveal a landscape scene. A wrathful, dark sky of storm-laden clouds looms over an escarpment. Illuminated in the only shaft of brilliant sunlight piercing the scene a road leads to a path, which leads to the base of the cliff and a stairway hewn ornately from the rock face snakes upward, climbing to a....
The last piece is missing!
Will you accept that you may know only the shape of the missing piece and never know to what the stairs lead? Or, will you extrapolate from the incomplete data set and deduce from the surrounding image what is most likely printed there and claim your prize?
It's not really a question, our brains spend a huge amount of time piecing together little bits of data about the world in order to calculate 'the best route for survival', so you, I, or any, would likely have no choice, the deduction would be automatic.
It's likely you have formed an image of the scene, not only of the puzzle's picture and what may be depicted on the missing piece but also the surface, maybe a table, which MUST be present in order for a human to do a jigsaw, maybe also a light source, possibly a chair as it takes a while to do a jigsaw, and the likely overall size of the puzzle, based on your own experience of the size of 1000 piece puzzles and, thereby, the approximate size of the missing piece. All may be deduced, just from a the words above (Mighty powerful stuff is brainzzz). And, while the success of the deduction rests heavily in the quality of both the calculator's equipment and the data, even the dumbest person would be able to guess the shape of the missing piece.
Even a two year old can put the right shaped peg in the right shaped hole.

Now transpose that paradigm onto biology, the 1000 piece puzzle is human DNA. Just as one knows, not only that there's a piece missing from the jigsaw puzzle but also the exact shape of that piece, by the shape of the hole which remains, so too with biology, there would be a gap in the genetic code, a hole in the biological knowledge; a group of genetic data, significant only by its absence, where biologists would be forced to conclude 'there's something non-biological/inorganic going on here" and maybe even speculate on a non-corporeal component as would befit the presence of the 'soul' of ancient fable.
If one of the body's systems, respiratory, circulatory, nervous etc, or one of the organs, were invisible/intangible but KEY to life, biologists wouldn't be able to explain the body's workings; they would be able to tell you everything 'up to a point' but DNA wouldn't tell the whole tale, there'd be mysterious, intangible barrier to full medical comprehension.
However, given that thus far no such gap has been identified in DNA, there are no strange absences, blurry bits etc, we may only assume that humanity, and all life, is a direct consequence of natural abiogenesis and subsequent evolution; the human body functions because of the genetic biochemistry alone...
If DNA is present then SOUL is absent.

As if that wasn't conclusive enough, there's a second arrow in this quiver, the Evolutionary mechanism itself; survival of the fittest.
It is widely accepted now that Evolution is fact, THE mechanism for all life. Speaking very loosely, Evolution shows, if a life-form's new genetic mutation is not of benefit to survival in the life-form's environment that 'body part' is less likely to develop; Evolution is kind of a cross between 'Use it or lose it' and 'Do a job often enough you get a callous/good at it'.
So, with that acknowledged one must ask, how does one solve the 'soul' problem? What environmental factors would have to be in place to stimulate, in a purely material, biological mechanism, an entirely immaterial non-biological mutation; the archetypal and Biblical 'Death Escape Pod'? What factors would pressurise any 'Soul-bud' mutation into becoming 'Soul'? And then, more problematically, what environmental factors would have to exist for that biological mechanism to evolve to become incapable of functioning without that immaterial mutation?
Surely we may only honestly claim 'soul' as 'likely' if it can be said to be indispensable, or at least valuable, for the survival of the biological life-form in the environment in which the life-form evolved; ON EARTH.

So, unless we can point out a soul-shaped gap in DNA, where 'SOUL' is required to cause the organic to function AND explain the circumstances by which a soul-shaped callous may be environmentally forged, surely we must concede that the mechanics of Human life are wholly explained by DNA?
And, consequentially, that 'soul' is, as I think we all really suspected anyway, just an ancient label for consciousness?

In the brilliant daylight of current scientific comprehension where our genes clearly do not display even a soul-shaped gap, can we now not assume that 'our' long held fantistical quest for a magical, spiritual core has become, and consequentially always was, merely a wild ghost chase?

Seems clear to me, Soul will soon go the way of all the other bogeymen (or women).

If you are not already convinced, as I, that humans DO NOT have a soul, there's more on the Soul tab, above.
Please remember, trust no one, be your own expert:
Best practice...
ALWAYS do your own research. :)

This is one of the Too Many Questions
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Visitors From Another World

Welcome listeners to Capitol Hill for this unprecedented and momentous occasion.
Since their spaceship first appeared a little over 24 hours ago and the single radio communication from their beleaguered vessel, the country, indeed the whole world has been awash with the story of the star traveller's malfunctioning hyper-drive engines which brought them crashing from subspace to almost collide with our beautiful moon.
The latest update I'm hearing is that they've stabilised life support for the 200 hundred crew but there's still insufficient power for navigation or communications. They can still only communicate with us one call at a time.
In the past few hours dignitaries have been gathering from all over the globe for this first meeting between human and extraterrestrial life; a global collection of heads of state, all here to welcome this new era.
As it's the USA they first contacted they are landing in front of the White House where the president will greet them.

Here they come listeners, a small bright blue egg-shaped capsule with what looks like peacocks tail feathers twisting and fluttering above it as it descends.
It's decelerating, the tail feathers are spreading more like a helicopter, landing feet are extending out from beneath, and, it's, down. Oh lovely, the tail feathers have settled around the egg like a gossamer canopy.
A door is open, tilting out and down, there are steps on the back of the door that extend up into the interior. A similar blue colour.
I see feet two pairs of shoes no, boots; their feet are a little longer than ours. They have skirts or a tunic, there are belts with identical buckles and, it's definitely a tunic. Bare armed, their skin is dark, I think it's actually Greeny-blue, their faces are kind of lizard like though flatter and their eyes are bigger, they have round jowled jaw-lines and bulbous noses.

The president is stepping forward and holding out her hand, a moment's hesitation and the visitors hold out their hands in response; they have only three fingers, ladies and gentlemen.
As they shake hands, let's go to the external mic and hear what's being said.

With a practiced wide smile but trembling voice the president offered a simple, "Welcome to Earth."
"Thank you President and Earth leaders. You know of our plight; we are in need of supplies and have decided we ARE willing to trade technology for some of your water, biomass and resources to make our repairs."
"Well that's just wonderful and, as God is my witness, we'll be glad to help in any way."
The two visitors look aghast first at the president and then at each other, exchange a few very fast, very agitated words in their own language and begin to sidle away.
Sensing something is wrong, the president steps after them.
"Have I said something to offend?"
The visitors exchange another burst of chatter and one turns.
"No, not actually but we didn't realise. And we are not allowed to. It would cost us our lives. No, we must go before we are detected."
"What? What is it?" The president shouts after the visitors, now scurrying toward the ship, its feathers already starting to twirl.
At the steps one stops, turns and shouts back.
"It's a strictly enforced intergalactic dictate, punishable in execution of the perpetrator and ALL their blood relatives."
"What is?"
"Trading possibly dangerous technological advancements to races who have not yet discarded magical thinking. I am sorry. We must depart before we are detected. Goodbye."

It's not my worst nightmare but it's right up there!

Would I so-o be ready to get all stabby and killy on the deluded that day?
If I'm honest, probably not even then.

Of course, the flight of fancy above couldn't really happen; in every micro-second of every day since the first religious radio broadcast, this pale blue dot has been happily spewing supremacist religious bullshit to any other civilization who are paying attention.
Sadly, they will all already know, humanity is still far too primitive for contact. Indeed, we may only hope that any race watching are benign and consider humanity merely an embarrassment, for if they are not, for the last century or more they could have been "slowly and surely drawing their plans against us."(1) as Professor Stephen Hawking recently reinforced(2).

My heartiest congratualtions to Professor Hawking
on the celebration of his 70th Birthday.

This is one of the Too Many Questions
(1) Misquote from "War of the Worlds" ~ H.G. Wells
(2) Hawking on the future of mankind

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If you enjoy what you read here
you will also enjoy my novel
21 days in May

Please be aware this blog may be considered Illegal almost anywhere!

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