Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spring Equinox Thoughts: Philosophy, and the Pope

Today is the spring equinox, a day all we warm-blooded animals in the northern hemisphere should celebrate. Things seem to be getting warm for the Pope (Benedict XVI), who is being linked closely, for the first time, to the failure of the Roman Catholic Church to protect its own children from its own priests. The increased web traffic to this site from my censorship by the Alpine School Board has worn off. The censorship was partly because of my summer solstice essay musing that it makes more sense to worship the Sun than to worship the Son. Apparently there are limits to compare-and-contrast essay topics in schools in the state of Utah.

By way of contributing to sanity on earth, yesterday I copies two brief articles on Common Sense philosophy from an old (copyright expired) encyclopedia. Apparently some of the arguments used by the Common Sense school (in Scotland in the 18th and 19th centuries) against ultra-skeptical and illusionist philosophies are similar to those I am using in Natural Liberation philosophy. However, I have not yet been able to get their original publications, much less read them. Curiously, in my technical work I am working on a model for the human brain that demonstrates, on a computer, how accurate knowledge of material things and causes can be constructed out of noisy, fragmented sensory information (see in particular Hierarchical Temporal Memory, Part 8, Specific Memories). Even more curiously, last night, viewing an episode of Numb3rs, they talked about obscure notions I have been studying recently: Bayesian probability and Markov chains. They even wrote out an equation for conditional probabilities that I recognized.

So on the one hand we have the Pope and the majority of the Catholic Church hierarchy trying to send the earth back to the Middle Ages (the technology of which would only support perhaps one-tenth of today's human population). The problem is not just Catholic child abuse of the newsworthy sort. The Catholic Church abuses the minds of children, filling their heads with lies, punishing them for any challenge to church authorities. Most organized religions do the same, but I am not looking for kindler, gentler religions peddling the same basic lies about Jesus, Mohammed, Buddha, Moses and their lot.

An equinox is a tipping point. Hopefully the trend away from ill-founded religions and philosophies will lead to a world where people understand their relationship to nature and behave appropriately. More likely we are just headed towards an ecological apocalypse, which the religious crazies will fit into their scheme of things as best they can.

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