Category Archives: Philosophy

The Perception of Humanity

I watch a lot of science fiction movies and TV shows and there’s a trend that I’ve noticed within this genera more then others, scifi writers tend to see Earth and humans as being bad/destructive/something to fear ect. This is of course fine with me as I happen to share the view that humanity is an awful species and should really be destroyed before they destroy Earth at the same time as destroying themselves.  It does make me wonder though what it is that makes scifi writers share a rather dim and similar view of humanity. Obviously you’ve got the shows like Stargate SG1 where people from Earth are running around saving the universe (from an enemy they’ve often pissed off or alerted the presence of humanity to said enemy) from whatever alien threat but there are a lot more that have little hits or obvious declarations that perhaps humanity isn’t all they think they are.

One of the shows I noticed this in was Lexx, the whole last season of Lexx was set on Earth. Earth was in the Dark Universe (as opposed to the Light Universe where season 1 opens) in the very darkest part of said Dark Universe. Earth was described by Stan as a “type 13 planet in its final stages” and was expected to be characterised by a  rush for scientific knowledge that will end in the catastrophic destruction of the planet. In fact when the afterlife planets are destroyed all the souls go off to Earth and Prince (the equivalent of Hades or a guardian of the underworld) has good fun encouraging it to self destruct. Basically we’re told Earth is a bad evil place with evil people that will destroy it’s self in one of a few different ways (war being the most likely).
Sanctuary is a Canadian show where abnormal beings are kept safe by Dr Helen Magnus in her Sanctuary, it includes all sorts of different beings some which are commonly seen in fiction like mermaids, vampires, witches, huge animals ect. while others had been made up specifically for the show. The basic premise behind the whole show is that if the general public where to find out these abnormal beings existed there would be lots of experimentation and exploitation. Toward the end of Sanctuary this does happen and the human military behaves exactly as predicted and starts a huge war. We’re not given a very nice look at humanity here either.
Both Doctor Who and Torchwood have elements of distrust of humanity in them. The first few episodes in which The Doctor is played by David Tennant he defeats an alien in order to save Earth, after he has fairly won the safety of Earth and the aliens plan to leave Earth shoots the retreating space ship. The Doctor then gives the Government that ordered the strike a lecture telling them that he’d sent the wrong message “I should’ve told them to run as fast as they can, run and hide because the monsters are coming. The human race.” Similarly Jack Harkness in Torchwood is shown to be completely  appalled by humanity at times, he’s far more likely to kill a threat then The Doctor but we do see times when he becomes angry with the exploration of aliens at the hands of human beings. He shuts down the fighting ring using wevals and the whole team becomes angered by the brutal treatment of an alien who is butchered alive (because it stays alive but keeps growing) in order to create cheap meat.
Warehouse 13 is a show in which a team of people go around the world collecting artifacts which cause rather nasty things to happen and the ‘good’ ones that the show explores come with bad down sides. Again here we see the need to protect these powerful things because humanity is far too likely to misuse them and there are a few characters who do try to kill people or end the world with these artifacts.

I’m sure if I really stopped to think about it a bit deeper I would be able to think of more, Blakes 7 comes to mind as does Battlestar Galactica and The X Files, however I think I’ve made my point. I wonder what it is about the scifi genera that makes this perception of humanity so common, is it the culture or are people who are drawn to scifi more likely to see the bad effects humanity has? Perhaps its because scifi writers are always looking forward that they’re better able to see that humanity has systematically gone about destroying lots of things especially those which it is fearful of. As I say I tend to agree with this view, I hardly see humanity making friends with aliens, in fact when I did get up to the episodes in which Lexx finds Earth I was all for letting Lexx eat/blow up Earth (primarily to save the rest of the universe) but because I’m interested in thought patterns and beliefs I find this topic very interesting.

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Fundamentalists and Extremest

This is another element of human behavior that completely baffles me, I simply can’t understand the reasons behind holding a fundamentalist or extremest believe. Some people have very ‘smartly’ replied that I just don’t have anything that I believe in, which is obviously not true…most people who know me know that animal welfare is something that I believe in and something that’s also very important to me, and I believe it’s very important to remove the stigma from mental illness. However I accept reality as well, the reality is that people will always eat meat and there will always be people who have the belief that all people with a mental illness are dangerous killers (which obviously isn’t true), whereas many fundamentalists and extremest seem to have an inability to accept the reality behind their belief.

Fundamentalists and extremest tend to take what is originally a good idea and apply stupid means of bringing their method to peoples attention, which of course actually does more damage to their cause then good. I’m referring to any fundamentalist or extremest group/behavior “Bible Bashes” for example take the good idea of a belief in God (which can and does do good for a lot of people) and apply the stupid means of harassing everyone by shouting out the front of a church or big train station that we’re all going to hell for not believing as they do. This of course has the effect of not only annoying people but can actually scare people away from a belief in God after all who in their right mind wants to believe in a God who damns someone to hell forever for only stealing bread for their family to eat?
I’m frequently arguing with vegans about their damaging approach to animal rights and welfare, they seem to think that by demanding people become vegan or trashing research labs that they can change the conditions when we all know that this simply isn’t true. I don’t have a problem with people being vegan and blogging about the benefits of veganism but I do have a problem with the way they think it’s ‘sinful’ to date a meat eater or to say that people will always eat meat, I personally feel the downside to this I’ve known many people who are reluctant to talk to me once finding out I’m vegetarian because they think I’m going to push my eating habits onto them. Instantly we see the problem with that sort of behavior, people don’t like it and they don’t respond to it. Exercise and healthy living can be taken to an extreme and I’ve see this happen before too, in fact how often do you hear blah blah is bad for you? Do you actually care about whatever new thing it is that will kill you or increase your risk of cancer, heart disease or whatever other illness? I know I don’t, I use to pay some vague attention but now everything is bad for you! I remember reading an article about chemicals in furniture that’s slowly killing you and I have to say that it was the most ridiculous and stupid serious article I’ve ever read…you’d better get rid of your couch and bed because they’re making you sick. Its the same with exercise, running in particular is pushed onto a lot of people but very few of the people pushing running realise that it’s actually really bad for all of your joints. You see when you step a certion amount of jolt is pushed back up your body and though all your joints when walking it’s not too hard on your body unless there’s a specific reason for their to be extra pressure in your step an example is running because you’re stepping down harder when you’re running you’re causing more jolt and thus more shock to go up the joints of your body, also if you’re over weight you cause more pressure. Exercise is also addictive, or the chemicals released because of exercise is addictive and many people who exercise to extremes every day in this situation your body doesn’t necessarily have enough time to recover from not only the flood of adrenaline, cortisol (which is particularly harmful to the body if it’s constantly present in large doses, it’s what makes you sick from stressing too much) and nor-adrenaline but also from the stress on your joints and muscles.

Any extreme or fundamental belief is harmful to whatever it is that you actually believe in no matter how “good for you” it might seem and this is something that I tend to see very clearly so I’m often confused as to why so many people have these damaging beliefs, why is it that people can’t take a step back and say “People think with their own brain so they won’t always believe what I do?” or “Blowing up an animal testing lab is only going to make them retest the stuff they just tested.” I’ve never understood this attitude that people have about forcing others to do something the way that they do things, in fact I remember I use to get very annoyed when my brother copied the way that I did things and I still feel similar. I like to think for myself and the fact that so many people seem to be hell bent on not only thinking the way someone tells them but telling others how to think really confuses me, as Socrates said “The unexamined life is not worth living…” to me this has always meant that it’s important to question things and come up with your own answer which I feel fundamentalists and extremest beliefs are missing.

The Grim Reaper

This post is only going to be short, I’m a bit sick at the moment but I’m watching Dead Like Me and the idea suddenly came to me.

So I’m referring to the actual skellington in the black robe and hood. Most people are under the impression that the Grim Reaper actually kills people and thus they are under the impression that he/her/it is evil but this isn’t the case. The Grim Reaper is more like a guide, he/her/it is there to meet you to help you get use to the idea of being dead to help you understand what it means to be dead. To live your life under the impression that death is an evil force constantly out to get you is only going to make it harder to accept when the time does come.
Believe it or not but I’ve actually faced my own death a couple of times and even the first time I wasn’t actually scared as such, I was worried about what sort of pain I would die in…I was also agitated that I’ve made friends between the time I tried to kill myself (short story, I was in an abusive house hold with no other out) and the time that I was dieing of dehydration. What didn’t happen was any sort of anger/frustration at the Grim Reaper or death, I just accepted what was going on. It was the same both times, ironically what bothered me most was the fact that I was in Emergency so long lol I actually got board.

If you start to see death as being nothing more then ‘something that happens’ you wont have as much of a problem when and if your in the situation. Of course everyone takes these things differently and I can’t say it will help for sure but I know it helps me.

Chicken Or The Egg?

Before scientist came in and spoiled the fun, this topic was one that I use to love to think about and again it’s a pretty classic philosophy type question yet I found that once I’d come to my answer it was so very simple and obvious that it seemed almost stupid that it took me so long to come up with an actual answer.
I’m all about thinking for yourself so while I’m putting down my answer to this question (which was something I came up with before it was proven though science, science proved me right hee hee) I encourage everyone not to agree just because it seems reasonable, if you’ve got your own answer or answered this question before science I’d love to hear how you came up with said answer.

Chicken or the egg, which came first? There are two stand points to take when thinking about this question and without taking one of those stand points the question becomes more or less impossible to answer, in my view at least the lack of a stand point is what creates the circular nature of the question. The first and easiest stand point to take would be the stand point of Creationism (when I use this term I mean any creation myth, not just the Christian/Catholic story), this causes the question to become more or less irrelevant. Any deity would create several animals at once, including baby animals and non-born ones which would include a chicken and an egg. Therefore they’d be created together and neither would come first or they both came first…that would depend on what sort of semantics you wanted to talk about and that’s not the point of this post.
Clearly the second stand point would be Evolution, now I didn’t pay a whole lot of attention to the specifics of Evolution because I got board with the specifics but the basics would be little things mutated into bigger things over the course of millions of years. By this line of logic the egg would have come first because it’s what contains the genetic coding for the chicken and an egg is much much smaller then a full grown chicken. Thus the egg came before the chicken from a Evolution stand point.

What is Justice? **Mature Content**

So this topic actually came up in song lyrics, a song by Emilie Autumn. Her song Fight Like a Girl talks about fighting back against the forces that are oppressing you, fight like a girl protecting her child do anything that is necessary to survive. The line that got me thinking was
“There is no such thing as justice”.

I’ve been thinking about the various ways that we try to go about getting justice in both the society and in our own personal lives. I’m starting to wonder what the difference between revenge and justice actually is, after all justice is defined (dictionary.com) as “the administering of a deserved punishment or reward”. So we’ve got the reward part down pat, we’re pretty good at rewarding ourselves but it’s the punishment end of things which poses the problem especially when we’re talking about really awful life destroying events. When someone suggests that we take an eye for an eye it’s almost instantly called ‘revenge’ rather then justice and honestly that seems stupid, maybe I’m just bias because I’ve been victim to crimes as well as life shattering events for which I will never get justice or revenge.

So I ask what is justice if it isn’t revenge? It most certainly isn’t a stressful trial in which the accused is rarely found guilty and it’s not the person who caused damage sitting in jail getting better treatment then the rest of us out here struggling. How does someone get justice for 16 years of child abuse? You’ve got to give justice for a missing childhood, all the emotional issues and the actual pain. How does a family get justice for their murdered sister/brother/child ect? It’s not actually possible, so no I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to get your own justice whatever that might be. At the end of the day I don’t believe that justice exists and I don’t believe that it’s possible to achieve, all those people (including myself) who have been hurt by other people can only fantasize about getting their justice because outside of dreams it just isn’t possible.

Prostitution and Sexual Repression**Mature Content!**

This topic came up again recently after I read a story on Care2 about a woman who is an ex madam and she’s set up what seems to be a sex surrogacy type business that’s not for profit and only for those who are disabled. The story on Care2 referred to this as a brothel (although I don’t think that is what it is) and it had all sorts of negative undertones to it which showed the authors clear dislike of prostitution and any sort of sex work. Obviously from my undertones you can tell that I’m in favor of prostitution, not only because it’s one of the oldest professions but also because I think that everyone should have the right to connect to another person in a physical way provided that this contact is between two consenting adults.

Prostitution, I believe,  is largely misunderstood and the women involved in the profession are casualties of human ignorance and repression. In pretty much every ancient civilisation prostitution was an accepted norm, it wasn’t hidden away behind closed doors or around corners in the back streets it was widely accepted and even celebrated. This is important to note because history shows us what we have gotten right and what we’ve gotten wrong throughout our ‘development'(I personally believe that humanity is devolving rather then evolving but that is a different topic all together). Though all the different rises and falls of empires, civilisations and tribes there has always been a heavy emphasis on the ability to access sex and in ancient times this access was free and accepted…but we also see the oppression that the sex trade has brought once it becomes a closed off area.

An illegal sex trade only has income and ‘value’ to it when the civilisation represses the sexual nature of human beings, we are one of only two animals(to my knowledge) who has sex for the fun of it and not simply for reproduction. However somewhere in time sex went from being widely accepted and a practical stress relief to a forbidden topic which brings about controversies at the very mention. The only reason why the sex trade is oppressive and dangerous is because we’ve let it become such an unspoken and back ally topic, pushing it into the dark where all the other dangerous people are. Once the doors are open and civilisation is once again unafraid to embarrass this natural urge  the dangerous and repressive people will no longer have a hold (because there is no where near as much money to be made) and so it simply becomes a job, a way to earn a living.

There is no reason to look down on prostitutes as they provide not only physical intimacy for those who for whatever reason can’t get the same intimacy from others(a disablity for example causes the person to be pushed away or to push away for fear of being hurt) but they also provide a safe non-confronting environment. I actually know an Escort personally and she’s said before that not everyone who see’s her is after the physical aspect of the relationship, but also just a place where they will not be judged on how they socially interact with people and it can become a sort of therapy which some people really do benefit from.

At the end of the day prostitution has always and will always exist, the sole reason why it’s so dangerous and repressive is because of the way in which civilisation views this profession. It’s today’s views and values which cause the the harm and destruction not only to the prostitutes themselves but also to the clients. Sex is a topic of which we have a natural curiosity and if we are brave enough to admit it, we all would like to have sex with a professional just to see what it’s like. The more we reject the truth the more we cause harm and damage to the people who really are braver then we are.

Purpose of Religion

I’m going to keep this short as I should really be trying to sleep again.

This is a topic I’ve thought about often and it came to me because I feel the need to question the purpose of such a destructive force as religion, this is something that is held onto so tightly that it causes war and all sorts of conflicts and hate. It occurred to me one day while thinking about fear and death that the purpose of religion is very simple and it seems to have two main purposes(though it will have different purposes to different people, I’m referring to the whole of the human race).

Religions have been around for ages, we all know that but why do we actually need any religion in order to go about our daily lives? Religion is there to help put fears at ease, it’s nothing more then something constricted by the human brain in order to cope with the things that we fear. In the past this is seen though Gods/Goddesses who watch over the dead(a main fear of the living), Gods/Goddesses who could help end a drought and the fear/uncertainty that comes along with it and even today we cling to the idea that a God/Goddess has a plan and that our suffering is for some good reason. When I was very ill I can’t remember how often people would say “I’ll prey for you” or “I’m sure it’s all for a reason” ect. and I actually found this to be more of an annoyance then a comfort but that’s just me.

The second main purpose I can see religion having is self betterment. How often do you hear of people who have found God while in jail? Or who have picked up a spiritual practice to better themselves? Somehow for some reason religion and belief give people the strength to do things that they think they would otherwise be unable to do.
I have personal experience is this particular area, I was in the middle of a psychological break down and having trouble coping with it all and I turned to spirituality and later to the Goddesses Hecate and Venus/Aphrodite. To this day I still don’t know why I needed this spirituality in order to get the strength to climb(and I am continuing to climb) the hill of mental illness, but what I do know is that this did help give me an extra boost. I’m personally of the belief that religion is man made and that there isn’t exactly Gods/Goddesses watching over us, but having it there and have such strong role models really did help.

I tend to think that organised religion is about power and not much else but I do think that any religion has the ability to help others in a very good way whether I agree with it or not. I’m not attacking any religion here and I would expect that no one attacks my beliefs whether you agree with them or not.

World Peace

Peace can be defined as the absence of conflict, human beings are constantly in conflict and thus world peace isn’t possible. Yep I truly believe that world peace isn’t possible, don’t get me wrong here I hate war and the rather pointless loss of life that comes with it and I’m against war unless there is an exceptionally good reason(for example WWII was a rather good reason for war, stopping some nutter from walking across the world and killing anyone he didn’t like) to go to war.

Countries will always have some sort of conflict, be that over politics or land and people will always believe that the best way(and finial way) to resolve differences is to fight and enslave others. Once again I find myself feeling like I’m the only one who can see the blindingly obvious reality of the situation, it’s human nature to want to compete and it’s human nature to become agitated which often results in some kind of violent out burst.

I’ve had this argument before and been totally at a loss when even after an hour the other person is still 100% sure that at some point the world will be at peace, ignoring the fact that nature it’s self isn’t peaceful(turn on the Discovery Channel, watch a doco on animal behavior and you’ll see what I mean) there is no possible way that a whole human being would spend their whole life and not get into some kind of fight. You could say that science will at some stage be able to remove agitation, anger and violent impulses from the human species but any ‘person’ then born wouldn’t be a whole human being as they’ve been scientifically altered to remove parts of their neurological and genetic makeup.

There is only two ways that I can see ‘peace’ coming to the human race, the first would be to get rid of them all(I will go first) since you can’t fight if you’re not there or the second would be if aliens where to come to Earth and attempt to take over. However even if there was a totally external threat to the existence of the human race there is no guarantee that all humans would band together in order to fight the invaders. Think about the plot of something like The X-Files, plenty of characters threw the rest of humanity under the bus in order to save themselves and the actively fought against the people who wanted to save the whole of the human race. This isn’t at all unlikely in this type of situation, I’ve known plenty of people who would do the same to the people that they know because self preservation is built into every single living being. Even myself with my lack of will to live has successfully proven that in a situation where I had very little control over(my body went into serotonin shock, I’d lost motor control, was confused, very dizzy, slightly blurred vision and was in the middle of a busy train station on my way to school) what happened my natural instinct was to survive, obviously I did.

Contradiction

I’ve come to realise that I’m more or less one of a kind, the more I learn about myself they more I start to see I’m so very different from everyone else I’ve ever had any kind of contact with. This is starting to leave me feeling very lonely, some times my interests cross with others but when they do there’s only ever a small cross over and most of the ‘normal’ traits of said interest I don’t share or I’m missing one seemingly vital part of this interest which leaves me outside of the group of people.

I know this sounds very strange but it’s common through out all my interests, a couple of examples off the top of my head would be my love for animals and their rights VS my complete lack of care regarding topics like genetically modified food and the very common view that everyone must become vegan(which I don’t agree with, I think it’s unrealistic and stupid to have such a goal). My general disdain for the human race VS my goal to be a psychologist and help people, I have a deep need to find intimacy VS the claustrophobia I get when I’m constantly wanted. Even my chronic illnesses and the amount of sicknesses that have chewed up my body and spat it back out VS the strange fact I’ve only ever once nearly died as a result…which yes I’m sure most people would think that that is a good thing but when you look at all that plagues my body and mind it makes absolutely no sense that my body more or less functions where many others have had far more trouble then I have.

I am in every way a contradiction, my mental health, my physical health, my lifestyle and my interests and this contradiction has left me as a stranger to everyone no matter what group I enter or who I associate with I’m always just sightly outside of the circle and yes, generally everyone fits into some kind of circle. I’m very sick there is a whole list of things that are wrong with me but after each of my surgeries I recovered much faster then what was expected and even then whats common, normally it takes me two weeks to recover from a scratch or a bruise yet surgery(key hole) I recovered in just over a week.  Yes while I was happy to recover quickly it still doesn’t make any sense at all as to how it could have happened so quickly given the way my body NORMALLY recovers from things. Even when I get ill in a normal way I get the not normal parts of it for example I get migraines which are very common BUT I get the rare form of migraines known as Visticular Migraines which surprisingly(not!) are not well understood. Again on the normal illnesses where I get abnormal symptoms, I get hallucinations but I get the uncommon visual hallucinations and tactile/touch hallucinations(most common hallucination reported is auditory ie hearing things that are not there). I however see things that are not there as well as feeling things that are not there and it’s more common for people to report visual hallucinations then the feeling things that are not there.

I end up feeling very lonely because no matter who I try to talk to they just don’t full understand where I’m coming from or why I’m interested in the things that I am or the common aspects of said circle which I don’t have any interest in. This is a very common part of my life and of my struggle for company I find that even when I do have a friend/friends I find that there is some kind of distance between us a missing piece that I just can’t connect to. I often feel like I’m missing some major part of everything, something else that everyone is in on that everyone else understands but when I get close to this part it slips out of my reach and I’m left feeling like I’m missing something. As an example of this I feel a little bit like Sheldon from Big Bang Theory when he’s presented with a social requirement that he just can’t quite understand the purpose of said requirement.

Humankind is Egotistical

Yep I believe this with my whole being, humankind as a species is incredibly egotistical. I arrived at this conclusion long ago there where so many things that just seemed to be stupid that humankind declares, things like we where made in God’s image or animals are not as important as us or someone is inferior because of the colour of their skin ect. There are two main things that really stand out to me and I find it very frustrating that there are so many people who seem incapable of seeing what I see so clearly.

The first thing that really bugs me is the insane notion that we are alone in this absolutely massive Universe, the idea that in a place so big (to the point that we’re unable to comprehend how big it actually is) that we could possibly be alone is just stupid. Every single star in the sky is a sun with it’s own planets and moons and atmospheres ect. and that’s only in our galaxy, you then think about the amount of galaxies that are out there and the amount of suns, planets, moons, atmospheres ect. it’s just impossible for us to be alone. I’m not saying that there’s little green men running around on Mars, it’s actually highly unlikely for intelligent life to be so close to us but given the vastness of space it’s impossible that there is no other intelligent life. I also think that it’s more or less unlikely that all other intelligent life will look like us(humanoid in appearance). There’s so many other types of life and the potential types of life that could be around which is just beyond our imagination and comprehension, just because a human being is unable to survive in a gas environment doesn’t mean that something non-human is unable to. While I do have my fair share of strange dreams a psychological problems I can assure you that I’m not a raving loon or conspiracy nut I just logically can’t see how we could be alone in such a large space. To me it’s like saying you’re the only person in the world, it’s just not logically possible regardless of what we have or have not been able to find.

The second thing is the idea of a food chain, which has a top and a bottom of which we as human beings are on top of. This is biologically impossible and it’s scientifically proven that there are plenty of things that do in fact eat human beings, thus meaning that there is more of a food circle  then of a hierarchy. Again I just can’t see why there are so many people who don’t realise that we’re frightened of animals like crocodiles, lions, tigers, bears ect. because they attack and eat people. When you look at what a person is at a biological level you see that human beings are nothing more then really smart meat and thus we are in fact eatable. Looking a lot smaller, parasites, fungises, bacteria and viruses are continuously eating us in some form or another, when you get a tape worm or an infection or a viruses they are essentially eating the cells in our bodies in order to live and reproduce. Then when we die our bodies are eaten by all sorts of bugs and organisms again making us more or less meat/food, so how people can be under the deluded idea that we’re on the top of a food chain I don’t really understand.

The only explanation that I can think of for these two mass over sights and demented declarations is that human beings have a self absorbed egotistical view of themselves and their importance. Human beings are really not as ‘awesome’ as they seem to think they are, we’re not overly amazing and we’re not a whole lot better then other animals…what we are is rather smart and good at inventing ways to kill other things at a safe distance. If it was not for the fact that we can invent things to kill other things at a safe distance we’d be unable to survive in the wild, humans are in no other way overly special…so where this egotistical behavior comes from I really don’t understand at all.

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