Sunday, March 30, 2008


My views still holding, I have similar opinions to euthanasia as I do Abortion. The only difference is that I have a clearer boundary when it comes to it. I haven't read up on the controversy or arguments for euthanasia in a long while, but my view stands for humans that inherit the term "vegetable". This is where my boundary stems from, because a person in a coma, for example, is merely in a recessive state where the brain is trying to heal, or any other temporary mental handicap that renders a body ineffective. This also reflects my view of the symbiotic brain and mind, where the brain renders and gives birth to the mind. I could construed with this view then by saying the only reason a mind lacks in a coma patient is because the brain is in hibernation while a patient in a vegetable literally has a "broken" brain and hence will have an equally, if not more or less, "broken" mind; hence a coma patient is still 'alive' in a 'human' sense while a vegetable patient has run it's course.

With the boundary set on patients whose brains/minds have become vegetables, my opinion on the matter stays with the choice of either that person (if a will was written) or whoever is closest to that person. Since I personally view patients with liquid mush as brains the same as corpses, a discussion over what to do with a vegetable patient is the same to me as a discussion over what to do with a corpse. The only difference here is that the family or close-partners of the person have the option of actually sustaining the body of the person for physical purposes, whereas a corpse would rot so your choices are limited to a type of burial or incineration. The reason for such a strong view on this is because statistically and as far as I know, vegetable patients or those patients with literally no brain have never recovered as "human beings", whether by dying or regaining enough conscious to operate like a machine.

My opinion on this seems a lot more simpler because of the above similarity to a dead person and a vegetable person. Really the only difference between the two is that one person's body cells are still running their automated course and the other body's automated cells have ran their course and are decaying. The ultimate fate of both are obvious at start since we don't generally expect either vegetable or corpse to spontaneously come back to life. Obviously however, if someone proves that a vegetable's brain can suddenly start reorganizing itself back into a brain and kick itself back into drive like a coma patient my opinion would change.

Obviously there are other reasons for euthanasia, to end a life that has already ended being just one. There could be someone who has cluster headaches for example, and just wishes to rest peacefully or perhaps just someone who is mentally and rationally stable and just wishes to be put down. In these cases, that is, cases in which the person is fully aware of the decision their making, I don't see why anyone would have the right to intervene in their choice other than immediate family members; which in that case if the outcome of that discussion is still euthanasia it shouldn't be stopped by anyone else.


Abortion is the premature ejection of a fetus from the uterus to end the pregnancy. This simple action has sparred off countless of debates with an array of variety. Some arguing that all abortion is immoral from the first to the last, others attempt to create lines on the ground saying that a dividing cell in the first weeks is alright but reaching the last few weeks of pregnancy is immoral. Even still are the views that abortion is right in no matter which period of pregnancy, which leads to more arguments about choice, context and etc.

As for me, I'm a person that relies heavily on context. Rarely can you apply a single inflexible rule that can universally be "right" no matter when applied; those types of rules are left for Nature to inscribe, which even then tend to be bent. Given what I just said it could be simple for me to just state I am in the "choice" camp. That a woman, or a couple in unison, have the right to choose what to do with their pregnancy. Assuming that they are rationale adults there is no reason to treat them as children and preach to them what to do from conclusions derived from others. They will not live the next 18 years with that offspring and therefore have no right to impose any responsibilities onto anyone.

Still, while saying this there are limits, if one where a truly responsible adult they would terminate the pregnancy as early as possible as soon a conclusion has been reached by that person. I'd severely doubt that anyone would take nine months to assess whether they want an offspring or not. This obviously makes it fuzzy whether it should be "allowed" that late in the term for those who view a full grown human fetus with great respect. Such arguments I would actually willfully debate since at that point the mothers merit of responsibility comes into question. An exception would be unless someone wants to donate their fetus to science for stem cell research. That idea alone would probably horrify some people but to me it's again the parents choice to live with the idea and memory of doing such action. It holds no effect to me when someone aborts, so who am I to step in and make it my business? When someone doesn't abort however, I could let those slide who wish to intervene because the addedly of another mouth to feast on our limited resources would effect others; even if it's almost imperceptible in a global scale.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Logic vs. Belief

Contact can sum this up a lot neater that I ever will and in fact probably shaped what I think and my views. But I'll still bother who ever reads this with my own thought on the subject. Personally, the most important belief you really should have is in the belief of logic that allows you to comprehend two objects with two other objects gives you four objects; or that a three-sided polygon is different from a four-sided polygon. I'm not at all implying that it should be your only belief, but it that it should be your foundation. An example in what I mean by this is that if your current religion asks you to drink arsenic at your 21st birthday, that belief shouldn't outweigh your logic (more accurately your common-sense), unless you don't value your life so much. But your free to have a religious belief system to help you live your life so you can put more thought energy on other things (or allow you to think less with certain religions).

That vein however, the one to help you interact with the world around you and fellow species, is probably the line that should be drawn in belief systems. It shouldn't be something use to explain the world anymore, we as a species have gone past the needs of archaic ways to explain natural phenomena. Now we've created the tools that we can understand the world around us down the fundamental particles and forces; to the point if we could, we could create an entirely different universe from scratch. We're able to go from 2+2=4, that .9 repeating equals one, to being able to determine the age of our earth, the universe, to being able to know what temperature a distant star is or how much energy it'd require to push a rock up a hill. There is no need to relay on any novel or narrative on giving an explanation on why the sun shines yellow. We have the tools at our hands to give us the natural explanation from such things.

But just as tool-making and curiosity is a strong point for humanity, so is tradition and stubbornness. While a gained attribute after the rise of civility due to agriculture, it's still a strong one felt everywhere. Even the most open-minded person has their initial limitation to new ideas. And this unwillingness to let go of having a beliefs system harms science in itself. Because the majority doesn't view science as logic and as being able to tell you quite literally that a 3-sided polygon isn't 4-sided, it views it as another system that you must believe in. That you somehow have to believe that things evolve over time, instead of grasping the concept of observation, deduction, experimentation or testing. Most will gladly argue that it is just a theory but fail to realize even science still views gravity as a theory yet it's quite obvious it's there. A theory doesn't mean we doubt it's existence or it's possibility, but that we know it's there but lack the comprehension we desire. One of the famous theories that has been enough to stated that desire enough to become Laws is Newton Laws. Though if you search around and research, not many subjects such as physics have had the luxury of being able to quench that need to understand.

The majority that can't let go of old ways isn't the only problem. As previously mentioned, individuals also hold that tradition. To the point where even science falters into nothing more than belief. A good example is the dinosaur extension theory; no other theory has changed into so many flavors and has had so many proponents. The longest standing theory is the most common one to thought, that a big comet/rock smacked the earth and killing most of everything in one shot. Eventually we came to understand that it wasn't the only reason most of life died out; that it was a combination of different environmental changes that occurred, the comet hitting being just one of the bigger piece of the puzzle. Sadly the proponents and discovers of the comet theory became so passionate with their explanation that the science stopped and belief reign, with the idea of the comet being the sole contributor only started to lose it's grip now. Another classic example of this happening that was quicker and more recent was Pluto. A stark difference from what happened to Ceres but the same fate nonetheless. Ceres was considered a planet for a bit until the discovery of the Asteroid belt which it was a part of; so logically it was reclassified to fit it's family. Pluto, was then discovered past Neptune and just like Ceres, so was the Oort Cloud and Kuiper Belt. The discovery of Pluto's family however came alot later than Ceres' so tradition had time to set in to the point where when we finally accepted the existence of the Kuiper Belt, there was actual resistance to reclassifying Pluto; solely on it's seniority as being under the label of a planet. Ignoring that it's orbit was starkly different than the 8 other planets, that it shared it's orbit with a second asteroid belt called the Kuiper belt and that it was more than likely just a large dead/not yet ignited comet.

But that's why I mentioned Contact. The movie does a nice job showing the fallibility and strengths of both Science and Religion. (Logic and Belief.)

My Religious Belief

As a child I did go to Sunday school and was baptised. My parents weren't overtly religious; just enough to follow the moral standards that are contained by it. But as a roman catholic family they did ask for me to at least go to Sunday school and get my first communion done. If I wanted afterwards they said I could continue in going to Sunday school and going through all the other steps or just ditch the whole religion all together. After I got the communion I liked having my weekends to enjoy life a bit more than just during dusk so I didn't go back to church since then. So I consider myself pretty lucky to have such non-overbearing parents when it came to my beliefs; so long as I didn't do anything bad like steal or mortally wound someone they where fine.

Becuase of not having any form of belief system being told to me, during my teenage years while living in Fort Lauderdale I phased through the broad non-religious type labels. Being as I wasn't too fond of religious tendencies to oppress and being a teenager and hence all about rebellion and freedom (more the rebellion I would assume since freedom is something that always sticks around once you get it) my first direction was Atheism. It was the most popular one therefore the first one I found so I was happily obliged to label myself as such. Eventually I became rather bored of "atheism", I never really followed it to begin with as I always upheld my own personal beliefs that got some of it's first roots out of things like the butterfly effect and different semantic of the idea of "fate" and "destiny". So I found atheism pretty boring, summing it up with the analogy of how a person of different ideology behaves on their death bed; with the atheistic person just noting his dropping heart rate and blood pressure and slowing metabolic rate.

Of course me still being young, my beliefs where still pretty rough around the edges so I moved to agnosticism when I heard about it. In retrospect I don't know why I thought an ideology that could be summed up with "I dunno" would be any less boring than atheism but then again, after a caffeine withdraw that left my haunted I replaced coke cans with vodka coolers so I've made queerer leaps in logic. Again however my own personal beliefs stayed the same, and actually started becoming more shaped and comprehensible; till the point I realized that Agnosticism was too bland to encompass what I believed in. Going back to the analogy, the agnostic person would just lay in bed just pondering "maybe I'm just dying or maybe I'm gonna go somewhere, maybe..."

After ditching agnosticism I was left with just being theistic. The broadest of labels meaning that I carried my own personal belief. It stopped there as I didn't really know any other schools of thought when it came to beliefs and I wasn't all that interested in theology to find out; funny the adventures ignorance takes you. Recently though, reading the pages in preparation for the class on the philosophy of religions, I ran into a broad belief label that almost hit the nail on summarizing all of my beliefs. It was pantheism; the belief that everything, mainly nature/universe for me, was "god"; but not god in a traditional omni-thing sense but just that nature is an immanent abstract god as Wikipedia puts it.

It most closely adheres to my belief since it goes well with my construction of the butterfly effect; which is what my semantics of fate and destiny stem from. I view both ideas as more of a tier in which destiny is the idea of an unchangeable end point; such as death; where as with enough free-will, you could change or shift your fate. The reason this came from the butterfly effect is because all life on this planet arose from one or a handful of points and that becuase of that, everything has always had intricate interactions to each other and always will. As one part of my belief system, that's the reasoning of where fate stems from because it's a relatively local and young line of fate that started.. The starting point of the entire universe and it's fundamental laws however is what I consider creates destiny because no amount of free-will could ever change the ebb and flow that came from the insurmountable years of interactions since the universe was created.

Of course I still don't believe my own personal belief under pantheism is done or smoothed out. Infact, what I just described is just one thing from a sea of ideas that surf around my head. There's still looks of nicks and lumps that need to be smoothed out and polished; and even things I haven't even taken time to consider. So my belief system is always changing; But considering my major isn't theology I probably never will perfect my belief. Though that doesn't bother me much because even in my current iteration of belief, another part of it is you should live each day as if you won't awake the next. Meaning always strive to do what you want as to not have to relay on the next day to fix or blanket over an error. Go to sleep happy so you may awake even happier for having another day to do something else.

Note: Didn't have time to proof-read (at work) so sorry if it's hard to read with all the fragmented sentences I usually produce in a first type. If you spot anything that needs to be clearer feel free to comment. (Who am I writing this to?)