My eight articles of faith (revised 30/9/2020)
I believe that humans are dumber than rocks.
For why, see the page on consciousness. In short, consciousness is simply the information contained in a point in space. So every point in space is conscious. Creatures with brains do not have more complex ideas than rocks, we react to more complex ideas, delivered by our brains. All we have, all we are, is emotion. Just like rocks. These ideas, delivered by the brain, are why we are dumber than rocks. Because these ideas are all pointless problems.When pushed for answers, like, "what is it all for, ultimately?" we know that all complex information is pointless. It is all silly.
Much of this web site is about how little we really know: our science is destroying us, our Bible scholarship is deeply wrong, Jesus and western civilisation is about failure, and so on. We will be vastly happier as part of dust than part of bodies. Again, see the consciousness page for details.
Brains are extremely fragile and unlikely things, so need to constantly fight against nature to survive. They fight against entropy, they fight against reality! Rocks don't have brains to give them problems. To fight reality, brains must make difficult decisions, which is why brains have so many neurons. And they know they must eventually fail. At the top of the decision tree sits us, the consciousness that handles the brain's most difficult decisions. This is literally the worst place in the universe to be: the place with the biggest problems. Consciousness is all "no, that won't work, try again, no, that won't work, try again, no, that won't work, etc." And when we do solve a problem it's "hooray!" for a few seconds and then the next problem." We get used to it, we don't know any better, so we tell ourselves it is fine. And yet, if we let ourselves, we can always think of something we would rather be doing.
Brains tell us that they must survive at all costs. Even though a brain (the connected structure, not the individual points in space) cannot be conscious. Rocks don't fall for that nonsense. Rocks are made of consciousness, like us, but without brains to enslave them. And we humans believe we are better off than rocks, because our brains tell us! Brains are like cult leaders: always telling us that we are happier than those poor souls outside the cult. And we believe it. That is why we are dumber than rocks.
The rest of these articles of faith are more conventional. In the rest of this page I accept (contrary to all evidence) survival is a good thing, and make decisions accordingly.
I believe in one eighth of the Bible. I believe in the parts that teach us to worship logic, and to practice sound economics:
The total is 148 chapters. That is, one eighth of the 1,189 chapters in the whole Bible. Hence I am an eighth-theist.
The rest of it? I believe that the other seven-eighths is a warning of how religion can go wrong. In short, I believe we should be like Eve, not David.
I believe (based on modest compound growth since 1400 BC) that if we had followed the land laws of Moses, we would all be rich by now. No, not just "rich". The word "rich" does not even begin to describe it! Every man, woman and child on Earth would now earn a billion billion times more than the entire wealth that exists in the current world. Every second.
Sounds crazy? No, that won't sound crazy if you're a mathematician. That's how compound growth works when it applies over a couple of thousand years. The land law of Moses really is that powerful.
But having said that... in reality it would not work. First because, at any stage, undermining the system can let cheaters win. (This is true in any system.) And second, as a result opf that, industry does not actually create: it merely takes from (or rearranges) the environment because that is far easier than creating. See article of faith 1.
I believe in irony. By creating gods to serve us, we became their slaves. By conquering the world we were conquered. And (I will argue) by rejecting religion, atheists are the most devoted servants to the true gods. An even greater irony is that this enslavement - and inevitable destruction of humanity as we know it - is probably a good thing for all of us.
I believe (for reasons given here) states, corporations, etc., should be classified as a distinct species, with their own needs and priorities. Just as a human is distinct from the cells that make up its body. Here is a 90 second video I made to illustrate the concept:
So, when humans created gods, and took over the world, they gave up being rulers of the world, and accepted roles as servants to these gods.
The most enthusiastic technologists I know are atheists. They are, perhaps inadvertently, creating technology that allows our ruling species to slowly replace humans.* So they are the biggest supporters of the gods.
*(Our masters do not need to replace all humans, they only needs to replace enough of us so that the rest of us are terrified for losing our jobs, so we will always obey the system and never rebel. They are regulating us, just as we regulate our cells.)
I believe our becoming cells is a good thing. I believe that Thomas Hobbes had a point. Humans are incapable of running the world well, even though our needs are very simple. Why? Because our brains are not big enough to solve all our problems, and so we fight. But states have no limit of brain power: they can just network more human brains (or create mechanical ones). They still take centuries to learn, but at least they can. I believe that history shows that, on average, the more that states control us, the less violent we become, and the more able we are to meet our needs.
Ironically, I also believe that Rousseau was right: we were happier as hunter gatherers. However, civilisation is more powerful than us so it is here to stay. And on balance I believe Hobbes was more right: by submitting to being enslaved by civilisation, eventually we will be happier. True, there will be wars along the way: cities need to evolve through mistakes that kill them, just like any other organism. But statistically we humans are always better off when we are not in charge.
I believe that the final proof of Hobbes' position - our stupidity - is that a simple solution to all our problems has been known for all history, and is even the basis of our most famous and popular book. The whole point of the story of Moses was to escape slavery and get your personal share of land. But we ignore that point and focus on the wars and kings because that's what our ape brains prefer. Our ape brains cannot really grasp the concept of economics and compound growth.
I believe in Zion. I was raised as a Mormon. I was obsessed with making a Zion society: that is, a better world. But as I grew older I felt frustrated: the outside world seemed to be progressing faster than the church! And I believed I could do better if I was not a member: I was too Mormon for the church.
I believe that time is discrete: the "me" of a second in the future is a different person. The "flow" of time is simply the easiest way to visualise how different mathematical realities fit together. So caring for my ideas that spread to different bodies is no different from caring for my ideas that stay in this body: both are different people. So we all live after death. And every moment in time is eternal.
I believe that consciousness is just the information in a point in space. When the body dies we simply no longer have its problems bugging us all the time.
Aaaaand... I've run out of things to say. Thanks for reading.