Monday, March 24, 2014

Money, Gold, Paper - What is money?

The funny thing is that this is more well known today than prior to the internet, though not because of the internet. When banks started pushing for purely electronic funds people started thinking about this very question a lot, and eventually figured it out.

But there are still many who make the common mistaken assertions, like saying we should return to barter and trade or abolish money completely. The thing is, money is barter and trade, always has been, always will be.

Think of it like this, a dollar is a mark that represents the value of what you have created and traded to someone else, but you don't want what they have to offer so you take that marker to a different person and then trade it for what they have. In essence it's a miniature loan between several parties.

So to keep this up, the original method was to use gold as the marker, a valuable metal that was rare and otherwise useless at the time. That was when this marker system started, but at that time it was primitive and rather unsteady, that gold may be of great value in a place with no mining operations, but in a mining town everyone had a lot of it, making its' inherent value less that standard.

So then banks collected all the gold and printed paper markers to represent this gold they now controlled. Well, not really controlled, governments still had more say in the matter than the banks, they were paid to maintain the value estimates and manage the marker system.

But then something amazing happened, which upset our original system completely, we found a use for gold, other than as jewelry or status symbols. Technology makes use of this once rare metal so much that the value of gold sky rocketed again, but for it to be valuable it had to be used. This meant it could no longer represent the marker value.

That was when people got confused, the banks and governments had to admit the entire system was nothing more than an arbitrary one, where value was just estimated based on supply and demand. This caused businesses to begin adjusting the prices of their products based on what they thought people would be willing to pay, instead of how much there was of it.

So without the wool over our eyes we all learned one hard fact, money is only worth what we say it is, it's arbitrary and has always been so. The latest generation is exposed to this early on, but some of the older generations are still in shock about this realization. Don't be too harsh on them or it, we had been made to believe money was more than arbitrary for a very long time, as a method of keeping us from asking other, more difficult, questions.

So the next time you get your paycheck, just think of it as equal to the amount of work you did for other people, not your value as a person. It represents what people think your work's value is, for which you can then give to someone else to match what you think their work is worth. Yes, it's all arbitrary, and that's why electronic funds are no different than paper funds.

Actually, electronic funds are superior, they can be adjusted based on their increase in value, while the paper one will only depreciate.

What Is Evidence - Why the bible is not evidence.

Often when a christian is asked for evidence of their god they say the bible is the evidence. This is very fallacious, and does nothing but avoid the burden of proof. The reason they do this is because they have been indoctrinated into thinking that the bible is infallible, which is obviously not true of any religious doctrine for many reasons.

I will stick with the bible specifically, though this is true of all religious texts. The bible was written by a bunch of people during a time when education was lacking as well as understanding of how the universe works. It was written with one purpose in mind, a way to take advantage of the fears of people who knew nothing but had enough time to think of the really scary things, like death.

This fear of death is paralyzing, and when we are not struggling for survival our minds will often wander to this simple yet powerful fear. The advent of civilization gave people a lot of free time to sit and think about such things, so this fear became an everyday thing, and religious leaders saw this as the perfect opportunity to wrest control of the masses without bloodshed.

Sounds so great, until you realize they wanted the control to encourage more bloodshed against the people they didn't like. So that is why the book was written the way it was, full of contradictions as a means of endorsing anything the leader wanted endorsed at the time. Then should the leader change their mind they could recite the part that contradicts the original statement.

But the problem was how to convince the people that this one book was flawless, to convince them that it was perfect. To do that they had the brilliant idea of having the book assert it's own validity, thus no other evidence would be required. The problem is that this is just another assertion, and it's an assertion which cannot be supported by evidence in any way.

What that boils down to is that the bible is inherently false because it claims otherwise. Us atheists tend to call it circular reasoning, it's true because it claims to be true. This form of logic is a trap, intended to lure in the uneducated and stupid masses who toiled the fields and begged in the street.

So this leads to yet another point that explains how the bible cannot be evidence, it actually encourages people to remain naive, even praising stupidity and placing ignorance on a pedestal.  This is written in many places, repeated enough to actually encourage the believers to remain ignorant.

There is one tiny verse which contradicts this, which was added so the leaders could, again, insert what they want into the doctrine leaving the believers no reason to oppose it. Ultimately, the entire book is nothing more than a manual on brainwashing, and that can never be utilized as evidence for any assertion, especially for the claim of there being a specific god of any sort.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

New Technology is Awesome

I have been one of those people who whine about upgrading all the time, mostly because I can't afford the cost of keeping up. But that's really the only reason I don't like it. The reality contradicts my own complaints, I love new technology.

My ten year old computer at home is like an old friend, on his last leg even, but he has done so much for me, from CGI to vlogging. Sadly, he is no longer capable of either, his hardware is finally breaking down. Recently I needed to borrow some money on my new credit card, so I can pay it back to build a credit rating, and decided it may as well be a tablet PC to start things off right.

Gotta say, I am impressed. Very impressed, and happy to finally see my favorite technology make a return. The technology has come such a long way, the apps actually recognize, and understand, my voice. My voice is one of those that technology just hates, for some reason. Voice operated phone systems never like me, even today, but this tablet understands me.

Autocorrect is a feature that's both awesome, and annoying, but more awesome. If it does screw things up, you get a good laugh, but when it works it can save your message. One of those double edged things.

The only complaint are the games, most of them look the same, and the standard look sucks. But meh, games are not the main use, just something to pass time when bored, which I have a 3DS for that anyway. The great thing about the apps is all the free stuff you can get, many of them are useful in many ways.

I have gained a new appreciation for Google Maps, and other Google apps, though I still don't like what they did to YouTube, and the YouTube app is less than adequate. The Twitter app has impressed me, a lot more than I thought it would.

At first the Twitter app seemed less than great, the timeline was bland and looked more like a chat list, but then I played around with other aspects and features and came to love it. Combined with the app switching that's seamless and smooth, the tablet PC has become my new favorite.

Soon I will get a smart phone, just because I may as well dive in all the way. Who knows what I will find with one of those, but I am looking forward to playing with the phone specific apps, like the compass. So if you're one of those resisting the flow, trying not to move into the future, do yourself a favor and give in.

You never know just what you will find in the new technology, and chances are you will also be impressed with it. Sure, the prices can be a bit daunting to some people, but if you can afford to buy one new tech today, do it. Google search on the go is one of the most useful things ever.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

The Awe of a Young Mind

When I was young I often made predictions, mostly with technology, based on what I had seen. Usually they became true in some way, but one in particular only recently came true, and I was more accurate than I had thought I was back then.

I had this old solid state drive computer, the memory and the storage were essentially the same thing, so you could run something, suspend it and switch to another app, then switch back and everything would be right where you left off. I thought it was the coolest thing and predicted it would replace conventional hard drives.

Then I was disappointed, as I never saw the technology used again. At least, I didn't see it in use again until recently. Now it is literally everywhere, smart phones and tablets are the primary devices we now see this same technology in, with some improvements. It's faster and smaller now, so we have much more memory than when I was young.

I thought about this recently and pondered why it is we remember these kind of predictions so well, and why do we make them more when we're young yet not so much as we get older. My inner scientist began working on this inquiry, recalling all pertinent information.

The conclusion offered another very important reason we need to keep pushing our youth to learn as much as they can. Also why we need to expose them to as many aspects of science as possible at a young age. The simple awe we see in new things wears off, eventually life loses that luster, that new car smell.

But during those glorious years of youth our minds are more open to possibilities, some seemingly impossible things to an adult will be nothing more than challenges for the young minds. We lose our sense of wonder and awe as we grow because our brains are only capable of holding so much information, until that limit is reached they are like sponges for everything.

But once we reach that limit things begin to be compacted, and our desires to fill our brains lessens. Some of us renew our desire for knowledge by trying new things, mixing it up a bit, so our brain doesn't feel like it's just rehashing the same things over and over again. This is not a flaw in our species, ironically, it is a huge benefit.

Once you get older you want to talk about your life and share your experiences as a result of losing most of your desire to learn, you become the teacher for the next generation, sharing what you have learned so they don't have to relearn it. As humans this has become the most valuable method of advancing our society and culture, yet it is something we are failing to do.

In my blog I share what amounts to my life, the things I experience, in the hopes that it will help others in some way, specifically younger people. Let them know of my mistakes and my lessons so that they can progress without having to relearn what I did. That is what all blogs should be, a massive collaboration of ideas, lessons, and general life knowledge, wisdom of the elders.

We have been failing to do this in other ways, mostly because our species has grown too massive in population, but also because there are people who prefer to brainwash or indoctrinate the young, rather than teach or allow them to learn. But they can't stop the youth from seeking out the wisdom online, so this is our chance to correct the mistakes made by society, let's make humanity perfect together.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Of Apes and Men

Even when I was young, I never understood why being related to a chimpanzee, or admitting we are apes, is such a difficult thing for religious people to do. It truly puzzles me. First, we have to be animals, there are only two other options to that one and minerals don't have imaginations.

Actually, I do understand the reason, what I don't understand is why they cannot .... grow up.

When we think of other species of animals, we often characterize and stereotype them to make them more comparable to our own species. This helps us to relate to them, one of the ways we see empathy helping our species learn to live with similar species in symbiotic relationships.

By stereotyping the species, we are able to identify those more like us, though it does have one flaw, which I am about to demonstrate why it's a flaw. So many have this stereotype of the "monkey throwing poo," or some other seemingly grotesque act.

Of course, these people are forced to ignore the fact that human children do, in fact, throw poo. Or even paint the walls with it, are very young ages. Watching a toddler explore the world around them, it's hard ignore just how similar we are to our distant cousins.

The denial of our similarities is a very complex subject, one that requires we look at many aspects of the human mind itself. The simplistic explanation is that every species has a segregation instinct, to distance themselves from those who they are not genetically compatible with for reproduction.

One of our beneficial traits is also a responsibility in itself, the ability to ignore, or even alter, our instinctual behaviors. It is the trait that not only allows us to advance our understanding of the universe, it is also why denying that we are apes is insulting to our species.

Very few species ever have the trait that allows them to control their instinctual behaviors like we do, it is a badge that should be worn with pride, and utilized as much as possible. But these people who want to deny our genetic lineage just because of a survival trait that's only suppose to prevent us from trying to breed with them are not using this rare trait our species have, they are, in fact, acting like apes more than anyone else.

It's rather ironic, the people who deny that humans are apes are behaving just like apes by doing so. So the next time someone denies our relatives in common with the chimpanzee or deny that we are not apes, ask them why they keep acting more like an ape than a human.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Jared Leto - The Scapegoat

Recently the Advocate had a very well written article on this story, I have nothing to really add on it so here is the story:

Op-ed: What People Don't Get About Dismay Over Jared Leto

Though I have nothing to add to the article's content, or change for that matter, I want to add my voice to this chorus of disappointed cries.

Being transgender is not an illness, it is not a disability, nor is it in any way dangerous, inherently. However many people who are transgender are labeled as ill or disabled, and many are placed in harm's way by idiotic bigots who have nothing more than their own insecurities guiding their actions.

Laws are being drawn up in the USA that are being paraded from both sides as political clout, nothing more. Those supporting them are simply saving face for decades of ignoring us, and those opposing these laws are doing so with underhanded tactics that prey on the insecurities of morons who didn't learn anything after high school.

That's the problem with all this, this screaming and posturing for the political and ethical high ground, transgender people have become nothing more than a symbol to these people. When you show support by voting for a party just because they sound like they care, you are really just telling us that you don't care at all.

Many times a transgender person is belittled by both those who claim to support, and those who oppose, our equality. Bathroom laws, which were brought to the front of the media circus because of a statistic that does not really mean what they claim, are nothing more than pandering. The very fact that you need laws for this is evidence of how little you care.

The fact that you need to enforce our right to live as our "preferred gender" demonstrates that you have no clue what transgender is. The fact that you tack on labels like "dysphoria" only betray just how naive you are about the brain and biology. 

It is not "preferred," nor is it a mental illness, nor is there anything wrong with us. There is a lot wrong with you though, those who keep feigning support and those who attack us, your education is lacking to such as point as to be laughable.

Here's a small hint, a tiny little clue on what to research, to understand the message I have typed here: Gender is not as definitive to any species as we once thought.

I am not here to explain everything to you, only to point you in the right direction.

Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Atheists Contradict Each Other

The title is something I hear quite often, with variations to suite a specific incident. It is also very incorrect. Let's go there ...

Ask a hundred christians the answer to something, you will get a hundred different answers, many will contradict each other as there is no standard with which to define who is accurate, and who is just making stuff up as they go along. The reason for this lies in their own "doctrine," a silly word that really means "bible" to them. The wording in the texts they claim to abide by is meant to be contradictory, the original con artists were actually pretty smart on this matter.

Thus you wind up with "interpretations," and nothing that is interpreted can ever be declared as fact for this very reason. The irony that these same christians often claim science is also "interpreted," talk about a total lack of education there. The reason they can often get away with this claim is the very same reason the title of this article is incorrect, atheist do often give a wide variety of answers to even the most solid fact.

But it's not "interpretation" that causes it, it's perspective. Perspective has nothing to do with interpretation, though interpretation is often skewed by perspective, the two are not mutually inclusive. What is really happening is that each atheist will have studied a different field in any particular area, and since fields overlap a lot you will get answers specific to their fields on the same topic quite often.

I'll use the evolution of the human eye as one of the most perfect examples of this. To a geneticist or biochemist you will be given a possible reason in which such an evolutionary track could occur, and there are many such possibilities. There are actually more possibilities of how this could occur than what actually did occur, because it only happened in with one such possibility.

In comes the paleontologist who will show you how we understand it did occur, through fossil and biological evidence found in our rocks. By looking at the fossils, then referring the known possibilities, it's pretty easy to figure out which one happened. This answer will be nearly indisputable fact, we have the records in stone.

While the two answers will appear to be very different, they are not. They appear to be different because of the fields of study, and thus the perspective of the one offering the answer. This is compounded by language, culture, and even current emotional state. Neither answer will be incorrect, both will be correct, they just address different contexts.

Oh, what a horribly misunderstood word, context if often touted as an excuse for interpretations of religious texts varying, which is really just ignoring all the other reasons for it. Context is essentially saying "in light of this information," which is more apt in describing the different answers you receive to scientific inquiries.

Science, the key to all our, real, understanding of the universe ... and beyond. Oddly enough there is not one "universe" but a bunch of them in what we can now just refer to as "reality." Science is not really a "thing" though, often people will incorrectly assume or imply that science just does. However, science is a tool, much like a hammer or computer, well, more like a hammer and a computer in one, as well as a stethoscope, a telegraph, a ... you get the idea.

It's a generic tool that, when used properly, can be used to find flaws in evidence. Science does not disprove assertions, it finds flaws in the evidence, and an assertion lacking evidence can, and should, be dismissed. That's what science does for us, it's like a filter, removing the rock and leaving us with gold.

It is no coincidence that us atheists are prone to studying scientific findings so much. For one, without all that worshiping of an imaginary being we have a lot of free time. Another is that we cannot be satisfied with one, simple, answer. We have to know more, when one answer is found we have to find other answers to compare them to. That's just a very common trait atheists share, and one that helps keep our species from looking like total morons.

So yes, our answers will vary; yes, we will disagree; and yes, no two atheists will ever be identical. But that's what makes us so much more human than most religious people.

UPS - A Customer Review

I am not above customer reviews of products or services, part of being an informed consumer is informing others of them. Now, into the snake pit that is UPS.

I live in a secure building, that means the door is locked on the main floor, to enter you must call a resident at the front door. If you have lived in a big city you will know this, it's pretty much standard. But UPS drivers are incapable of dialing those three little numbers into the number pad to let us know they have our package down there. Instead they give the package to whoever passes by, or some business.

Being disabled, I am at home, waiting for this package, only to suddenly receive a delivery confirmation. I'm sitting right next to my phone! The thing that rings when they dial that three digit number. I have no clue where they put the package, none at all. It's lost. A hundred dollars in US taxes lost by the company only because of their laziness or stupidity.

My story is but one of many too, this is a very common problem, for all types of buildings. We depend on these services to get products, many times these are life and death products, to the location we paid them for. But they almost never deliver, and are almost never held accountable for it.

So I invite you to start complaining, not just to them, but to the Better Business Bureau and even the legal system if need be. Start demanding we get what we pay for, we don't pay them to purposely lose our packages, or to give our products away to other people. Demand they give us decent service, or go to companies that offer such.

Mouth - Closed or Open?

In the shelters there was a saying "a closed mouth never gets fed." The saying applies to many needs, in a sane society. The problem is that society is far from sane. This leads to the bigger problem, how does one define sanity?

A psychologist will define sanity as being a state where you are capable of rational thought. A psychiatrist will define sanity was whatever they want it to be. A medical doctor will call whatever they can charge the most for as being sane. Religious people though, they define sanity as agreeing with what they say. So far, only the psychologist has a viable, and logical, definition of the word.

So rational thought is what defines a sane society, however, most societies are incapable of rational thought. Let's look specifically at one of the least sane societies in the world, the society in the United States of America. In this society a majority of people still believe that the theory of evolution is some made up story, while asserting that their myths of creation are fact. There are many reasons this, on it's own, makes the society insane.

Another point in this is that the society in the USA cannot understand that biological organisms, what humans are, cannot be "normal" by any definition of the word, even medically. No aspect of life, as a whole, can not in any way be limited to anything resembling a "normal." Typical, or even average, can and does exist for life, but no definition of "normal" can be applied to anything alive. This particular point is one of the most common insanities in the human species.

There are finer points, and many of those, we could get into, but then we'll stray too far from this topic. The end result is that society is often less sane than the individuals making it up. It also results in the majority often being less sane than any minority group within said society. This is precisely why the USA is not purely a Democracy, mob rule or anarchy is not a viable method of governing the populace. However, the problem is that when the majority of those in power are as insane as the society, that insanity is fueled, never corrected.

So then the responsibility for helping to correct the insanity of society falls onto the minority groups, like LGBTI and atheists. However, our voices are small. So we must keep yelling and screaming to get even a small improvement in this society. Thus, our mouths must remain open at all times, we cannot be silent for even on minute of the day, lest people forget to listen to us.

But how can I know that we are more sane than the rest of society? Being a minority in any society is more difficult than going with the flow, we have to rationalize our every thought, running those thoughts through a gambit of "what if" and "should I" scenarios. The result is that our thoughts are based not on emotions, not on what some hoodoo holy man tells us, they are based on solid information, logic, and rational ideas. It's being in the minority that forces us to do that.

But what if the minority group becomes the majority group? Well then we have to question not only others in that group, but ourselves. This is why the majority, at this time, is insane. They do not question each other, and often refuse to even allow their ideas to be challenged by anyone. This is not rational. So even in such a case, some groups will remain rational as the majority, atheists are a prime example of this.

Now I must elaborate on that particular point, lest I get incoherent screams from people with no more logic than one's opinion on what to wear for that day. As a rule, atheists must challenge everything, even our own perceptions. This rule is inherent with being a skeptic or any form of doubt, and that's the one common trait of all atheists, we have doubts. We doubt everything, even what science has discovered. We question everyone, even our own perceptions of reality. We cannot be content with any answer either, if a better one comes along that is support by solid logic and verifiable information we will change our minds.

The problem is that there are many posers, though some are unwitting. They will jump onto a bandwagon that opposes the majority, or better, the bandwagon that opposes authority. They will cling to this label, as if being a minority group gives them some power or strength, of course that is until the guns are aimed at them, then they run off scared. But being an atheist does not mean we oppose authority, nor that we oppose all majorities, it simply means we do not believe in any gods, and by-proxy we do not believe in anything without verifiable evidence.

So the next time you see a minority group talking, try to pay attention, to listen to what is said. It's more likely they are the sane ones, and the majority are not sane.

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Obamacare - Total Deception

Let's take a quick look at what one of the nearly forgotten policies enacted recently has actually done for the people, specifically, for the patient in need. When the policy was proposed, originally, I knew there was something off about it, there was too much press and too many conflicting explanations from both sides of the political fence. So what I did was read the thing.

Even after modifications made, the law itself is nothing more than a ploy to give insurance companies a free meal ticket. Sure, it stipulates they cannot discriminate for any reason, but if everyone has to buy the insurance they will still accumulate massive compulsory profits. Originally that was all that bothered me, and it's a pretty huge problem. That was before I had to deal with the medical industry at length, which resulted in me doing a bit more work on the issue.

I did one thing that patients are not suppose to do, I looked at my hospital bill. The prices for some things were clearly inflated for no reason. I detailed much of that in previous posts so I won't get into the specifics of what I saw. This was before the law was enacted, this is what the taxpayers had to pay because the doctors won't give me the one surgery I need to get back to work.

Then it hit me, if everyone has to pay into insurance, then no one will have any control of the actual costs of medical care ... except the doctors. Suddenly this house of cards had a basement, a dark and frightening one. The notion that a patient needs insurance to pay for something as simple as an exam is, on it's own, ridiculous. It would be like saying you couldn't buy a loaf of bread, instead you gave your money to this other guy and he bought it for you, but the grocery he went to would decide what bread you got, how old it was, and how much it cost.

That is what insurance really is, it's a middle man that can hide the actual costs from the person who is suppose to benefit from what the actual provider gets to decide is right. All rights to your healthcare, all choices, all your freedom is gone in this scenario. Other countries implemented national health care, and it works. It works because the patient still has control of their healthcare. What we have in the USofA is nothing short of a scam.

Of course both doctors and insurance providers would be on board, and they all were. The amount of profit that doctors and insurance providers get in this bargain is outrageous, especially considering how poorly cared for our patients in the USA already are. We spend more money on healthcare, yet have one of the lowest health ratings in the world, and it has nothing to do with our diets. It has everything to do with our complacency, accepting something that is presented to us on a silver platter, even if it's stale and moldy.

Monday, March 3, 2014

Climate Change - A Debate That Misses The Point

I have heard the argument from both sides, I have also looked into the information as much as I can stand, climatology is a really boring subject to me. But so far only the real scientists have said anything that makes any real sense based on everything I have come to understand.

But what do the scientists say? They admit to not knowing the answer, of course, that's the most common answer you will get from a good scientist. When confronted by both sides of this particular debate, climatologists have given one consistent answer: let us finish the work before you do change anything.

Which is actually the best advice in almost any aspect of your life. You need all the facts about something before you can make an informed decision, even with all the facts you can still make the wrong decision but the facts decrease the chances of that decision causing more harm. So why the push from both sides for different actions? Well, money. Specifically people who want to dip their hands into your taxes and take however much they can grab.

If you know me, you know I love capitalism, but admit we do need social programs to keep society moving forward. So why should I care about companies trying to turn a profit? It's not the profit, it's how. Predatory policies that force you to purchase from specific companies is not capitalism, that is closer to communism. This is exactly what the lobbyists are supporting, attempting to make one company's products look like the best idea then outlaw all the competition.

This holds true for both sides though. The telltale sign is the lobbying itself, the quick soundbites that attempt to paint the opposition in a more horrible light without presenting any solid facts on the issue. So yes, again it's how our government works that is the real problem. The facts in this particular case are still showing no causal links, none, that can shed light on the matter.

Yes, we know that carbon can create a greenhouse effect, but life is made of carbon as well. Methane can also create a greenhouse effect, but this is a byproduct of life. As temperatures rise, many such gases also increase as a result of the rise in temperature, making it difficult to draw any solid causal links, you can't tell which is the horse, and which is the cart. This is just the beginning of the problems with both sides of the debate.

Trends, this is statistical information, are not set in stone, they are predictions, and rarely hold true. At best, a trend is used as a starting point for other predictions based on the numerical values of similar circumstances. This does not make their results fact, ever, at all, in any way. They are educated guesses at best. The entire debate started when these trends did not match the reality, which any scientist will tell you is pretty much expected to happen.

That basically means that the side screaming doom and gloom have based everything on something that was expected to be incorrect by the very people who actually do the scientific research. This is where it gets really messy though, because those opposing these people are just as wrong, and just as dangerous. If we act now, without knowing all the facts, we could actually cause a bigger problem, even cause our own extinction. So premature action can destroy us, that's one part missed often.

But action in the reverse is just as bad. For decades we have been working to keep our air clean, and sanely reducing our waste. As a species we have been looking into new technologies and possibilities, knowing our population will, inherently, produce waste we needed to balance our waste so that it would match that of a much smaller, more realistic, population than we actually have. Countermanding all that work would return us to the Dark Age level of sanitation and cleanliness, but on a more massive scale that would destroy us.

So what is the best solution? Business as usual. Neither side need be listened too, both are wrong, both are extremists crying for attention, an advantage for their pet products, and often just because their lives are so boring they have nothing better to do. Yes, companies across the globe have always been looking for better ways to do things, sometimes it's because they think it's what's right, other times because the right thing does improve the bottom line, but rarely do they do the right thing because the government told them to do it.

So yes, keep working toward a better future, but the direction we have been moving is the best for everyone still, we have no facts stating otherwise. Next time someone shows you one of those charts, on either side, ask them a very basic question: Are you a climatologist? If the answer is "no," then tell them their information is invalid.

Information - Why the Free Information Has Increased It's Value

This era is often called the Information Age, a time when information became free, and at our fingertips. I have spent the last decade reading scientific papers, often donated by scientists who love to see someone fascinated in their area of expertise. I have watched lectures, of varying levels of education, for free on various sites. I have discussed this information with others, scientists in the fields and those studying them. All because I have the most insatiable sense of curiosity.

My primary focus has been on biochemistry, medicine, and neurology. This has brought me into neighboring fields of study to help supplement the information. I finally took a break then looked back on everything I had learned, refreshing my memory, basically. Suddenly it dawned on me, I had just learned enough to earn master's degrees in at least three fields of scientific research, and it didn't cost thousands of dollars. Far from it, most of it was completely free, often just for the asking.

First, what drew me to the fields was my strong background in chemistry, and a fascination with how chemicals interact with each other. When I learned that complex organisms were really walking chemistry labs, my curiosity got the better of me, I dove in head first. Picturing the chemical interactions within the human body became a way to relax, tracing the rout of a single carbon atom through all the chemical reactions while it travels into and out of the various cells. That sense of knowing something set my mind at ease during hard times.

But that's not the meat of this post, what I am illustrating is just how much more valuable information is today than ever before. Sort of the inverse of supply and demand constructs. One would think that the huge influx of free information, with all the excess junk also mixed in, the value of the information would fall to nothing. The junk is, luckily, not the reason for it increasing in value.

The reason it has increased in value is the same reason many lobby groups in the USA are trying to censor and control the flow of information, people can learn more than those who pay for it. This creates a huge imbalance of information in the real world, one which has upset many of those with higher educations to the point of decrying the internet as a whole. The phrase "where'd you hear that? Off the internet" is meant as a slur against those of us not stupid enough to pay for what we can get for free.

When I go to a doctor I have to pretend to be stupid, actually, the moment you betray even a small amount of knowledge in something, the rage that fills their mannerisms is plain to see. They genuinely hate you just for knowing even one thing that they spent thousands of dollars to learn. Professionals cannot tolerate any competition, nor do they like having their elitist clubs threatened by something they cannot control. So in spite of the fact that I know more about what's going on that most doctors, I play like I am ignorant so that I can get what I need from them, a second opinion and the proper medication legally.

I made the mistake of letting my general care doctor learn of just a small amount of what I knew, my diagnosis was accurate, her diagnosis made out of anger was not. Another doctor even said she was wrong, and stated my diagnosis was correct, even though I did not let him know it was my diagnosis. So the information I have learned is more valuable than the information they have learned, only because I learned it out of curiosity, for almost no cost, while they spent thousands in the hopes of making millions for that same information.

This does not mean you should take everything you read online as fact, far from it. You must sift through a lot of junk sometimes, forming connections online with various professionals can help, many of the ones who frequent the internet social sites are always too happy to talk about what they know. Scientists, real ones, who frequent social sites are also very happy to show off the papers they write that have passed peer review, meaning they are as close to factual as you can get at the time. That pesky peer review method, where everyone and their mother tries to destroy your hard work through any means possible, but more papers are withstanding this barrage every day.

That is he key to if a source is valid, the scientific method has produced an explosion of solid information that is often shared freely by those who utilize it. So don't be shy, learn what you can. Open up the links to scientific research, talk to the scientific communities, discuss and ask questions. Seek the lectures shared by universities, for free, on media sites. Most importantly, fuel your curiosity. Start letting the elitists know that they are no longer necessary, they can be replaced if they don't shape up, if they don't start treating everyone right.

Shelter Life - A Time of Deep Insight

In previous posts I have stated I was "100% passable," that essentially means I have no traits that are considered opposite of my gender identity, even my voice and face offer no reason for anyone to question my gender. While this has produced a lot of complications and resulted in discrimination by the medical industry, it did offer me a very unique position in the shelter system while I was a resident of it. I had informed the staff of my situation, only to reduce the risk of discrimination from them, but the other residents had no idea.

This was not a deception, nor a lie, I never once lied to the residents, they just made their own assumptions and accepted those without question. Who was I to correct them, right? It was their belief and they were, and are, entitled to those beliefs, it is not my right to shatter their beliefs with facts and reality. At the time I just really didn't care, shelter life was about living through the day, and nothing more.

But this very unique position, being an atheist and transgendered, helped me to become more critical of what the women said, their choices of words and conversations. They spoke so openly around me, since I never added anything to the conversations and they believed I was just like them. What I had heard was appalling, today I speak against it all the time, working to dispel the myths and misconceptions I had heard in these times I was incognito.

The very few who managed to figure out what I was, usually by some rather aggressive curiosity, still did not see me as any different than the others, just more informed and a great source of information. The more educated women often turned to me as their encyclopedia of obscure information, information that they had not even considered studying until they met me. I was the sage of the shelters for women, considered wiser than my age, but you had to ask the right questions, or you'd not get the right answers.

The conversations of the others, the ones who never had any reason to consider me different than they were, had become the focus of my attention very quickly. There were other transgendered women in the shelters, one who's brain was scrambled by psychiatric medications for problems she did not really have, another was very young and passable enough as to not be seen as much of a threat, and the last that I knew of was an older one who had fallen prey to the nonsense and become an alcoholic. All the the three were always treated so well to their faces, the women behaved with respect and even acted like they were best friends of these women.

But when these transgendered women were not present, the vile hatred that filled the conversations regarding them was a shocking contrast. Many of the things they said about the one who had given up were so horrible that I cannot repeat them legally, or morally. Sure, she had become weak, fallen into a pit of despair, allowing the negativity of those around her break her own resolve. But that was no reason to hate her, it was only a valid reason to pity, and try to help, this poor creature. But the women honestly hated her, and for reasons that defied logic.

They would refer to her in the inappropriate gender when she was not present, and often say it was unfair she was allowed in their shelter. Before I left, I had already signed my lease and was working to leave so I saw no reason to remain the observer, I confronted one, asking why it is they believed a shelter was a place for sexual activity. It was at that moment they realized just who had been watching them for all that time, who was taking notes, and the look of horror on their face, the raw guilt of knowing they were complicit, was worth having endured hearing those horrible words they spewed.

Last I had seen, she was no longer a bigot, but instead treated everyone equally. Such a drastic change in a person, I was given hope for humanity by it. The damage she had done could never be repaired, but she was no longer a threat to humanity because of one simple question. The transgendered woman is still in that deep dark pit though, sadly, it does not appear she has the strength to lift herself from it, drowning her pain in alcohol. She could help so many people with her own story, if only she'd see the value of them.

The younger one was very stereotypical, one of those transgendered women who seemed to be only interested in sex and clothing. When I first met her I thought she may be a lost cause, that some people will just be stereotypes. I did speak with her, often helping her out when I could, offering a hand in friendship to her as often as I could. The other women seemed to have almost no interest in her, even when she was out of sight they didn't gossip about her at all. It was as if those who fit the stereotypes were somehow better than those who didn't, to them. That bothered me more than the gossip though, accepting that stereotypes are better is essentially saying we are all robots with predefined personalities.

I could never bring myself to tell her how much damage she was doing to the transgendered community as a whole, because even if she was a stereotype, it was still her choice to be who she wanted to be. It was that internal conflict that probably encouraged me to be so kind to her, it never occurred to me that sharing my story may change profoundly alter her perspective. She was an interesting person, often upbeat and without a care in the world. I was envious of her at those times, how even the worst of life couldn't touch her.

At that time I had started getting into a routine, which is the worst thing to do when living in a shelter, you become a permanent fixture of that culture. It felt like I had lost the will to fight, the will to cause change in the world. So I just regarded her as a distant friend, one who I would help when I could, when it was convenient. I should have become more involved in her life and formed a much stronger bond, but hindsight is always better.

She got out of the shelter system before I had, of course she had discovered what I was before that and seemed to regard me with some pity, and some respect. I ran into her one day, much later, and it was like seeing a different person, not just different, but a complete person. Her knowing me had altered her own perception of herself so much that I now saw a beautiful young, intelligent, and secure lesbian.

A rather surprising turn in what I had known, she had broken free of living the stereotype and become someone unique who no longer cared what society thought, and no longer behaved how society expected her to behave. I felt as if I had just seen a daughter graduate from higher education, at least I imagine the feeling was the same. I do not know where she is now, but I am certain she is well and happy.

The third transgendered woman, the one who's mind was destroyed by psychiatrists, I had never known her prior to that. Though I could say she is the second friend of mine that psychiatry has killed. You see, I always defended her, stood up for her even against those in charge. She is also what has encouraged me to actively fight against psychiatry, to take it to their throats. She was a very well educated nurse, before the psychiatrists got hold of her, well adjusted, pleasant. The people who knew her before they killed her would reminisce about how great of a person she was.

I had made friends with many of the staff, and one in particular had known this woman for many years, and seen what horrible monsters the medical community is to transgendered people. The staff member was a cis woman, one of those women who truly treated everyone equally and had no hangups at all. I am honored to call her a friend, but it was her who had informed me of the sad tale of the transgendered woman who was slaughtered by psychiatrists in the guise of helping her.

She had an emotional breakdown, a very common thing for many humans, our minds can only take so much stress before this happens. The best treatment for such a case is to place them in a safe environment and allowing them to just work it out in their heads. This is the only treatment that has ever worked, ever. But that is not what they did. Instead, the psychiatrist used her being transgendered as an excuse to declare her unfit, then force her to take medications that completely destroyed her. That is murder, it is a form of murder that is not only legal, but considered acceptable by everyone.

When she was finally released her mind was completely shattered. She could no longer differentiate between reality and imagination, her perception of reality was so skewed that she could not even remain focused on one task. She had a place to live, but kept returning to the shelter, the last place she had ever felt safe in. She had to be reminded to bathe, could not manage her own bowels or urination, and went on incoherent rants.

She would let very few people near her, trust was gone, and rightfully so. With no friends, and the one time she trusted some stranger they killed her, she was lost in a maddening cloud of reality and delusion. I still cry thinking about it, knowing full well that if I give them a chance, they will do that to me as well, just for being different then them. The rather peculiar part, something very few people knew, was that she would talk to me. Though I could only understand some of what she said, I listened to every word.

I always treated her with respect, always kind to her, never once did I mock or get angry with her. Sometimes her delusion would overpower her behavior, and she'd become a bit of a nuisance, others would scream and yell at her, demanding she be quiet and settle down. I'd glare at them for a moment until they were all silent, then calmly, politely, and respectfully ask her to calm down. The sheer anger of the other women when she would apologize to me for being too noisy was something of a mixed emotion. On one hand, it felt good to let them know that I was more capable of handling the situation than they were, but it was a horrible notion to think that they did not understand why my method worked better.

All our lives, the transgendered people are told what we should do, how we should act, what we should be. All our lives we are considered outcasts yet also expected to conform to being outcast. We are rarely ever offered any real choice in our lives, we treat everyone with kindness, treat everyone equally, and offer help when we can. But when we need help, when we are forced to put ourselves into dangerous situations, we are the ones blamed for it, always. We are scorned, tormented, beaten, and discarded. People feign friendship, then wish us harm when we are not present, insult us when we make even a tiny mistake.

Is it not enough that we have more problems to deal with socially? No, of course not, the medical industry does not care about us, they are just as abusive to us. When the safest place for a transgendered is in the shelters, there is something wrong with your society. It's not our problem, it's not our flaw, it's society that is wrong. When hospitals turn us away for simple needs, or worse offer us to the butchers we call psychiatrists, where can we turn for our health? When everything we do right is considered wrong, why should we continue to conform to your ideals? When we abandoned by those we once cared about, why should we care about anyone but our own?

Society does not teach us well, young and old, the transgendered community has no reason to regard society as important, nor valuable to us. Yet, we are all still have such kind hearts as to still hold out our hands in aid, not only to our own, but to other people. Who is the purest in a society, if not the one who society harms most?

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Transgendered Asexual - Contradiction or Misconception?

Often people will incorrectly assume a person who is transgendered is inherently sexual, even excessively sexual. But in reality, transgender only refers to a person's gender, not their sexuality at all. A transgendered person can be gay, straight, or even bisexual ... or asexual. The problem here lies in the fact that people still have several misconceptions, not only about transgendered people, but also asexual people.

The most common myth I hear is that people cannot be asexual. That patently false, humans cannot reproduce asexually like bacteria or viruses, but they can lack sexual desires and attractions. This results in a lack of sexual orientation, dating does not count as sex, nor is sexual attraction required to love someone else, of any gender. The entire culture of false dichotomies has produced more myths and misconceptions than one could cover in a single blog post, and here I am focusing on these two specifically.

In reality, sexuality, as I have addressed in a previous blog post, cannot be simplified into only two categories, or labels. Asexual people are the most forgotten and oppressed of all sexual types, because of the false dichotomies. Many people do not even consider bisexuals to be real, another victim of the same false dichotomy. Gender is one of the most common false dichotomies as well.

A transgendered person is not going to inherently want to be the opposite gender, there is, and has to be, a lot of gray there. Some want to be non-gendered, as in having absolutely no gender identity or even identifying traits at all, yet society will not accept these people. To make matters worse, even transgendered people will not accept the ones who are in the gray areas as well. I have been a victim of the latter. In life I am literally 100% passable, even when I attempted to be male people would often ask if I was really a female, I had no simple answer for them at the time.

I am one of those in the gray area, but when push comes to shove I enter the role of female only because society will not allow me the neutral gender, having no gender or genitals is simply not an option, according to society and medical doctors. This part is key, the medical community denies that people could want to live both sexless and genderless. Which is contrary to what science has discovered recently. Not only do people with sexless and genderless roles exist, we are abused more by medical personnel than anyone else.

I have avoided adding my voice to this, mainly because I am completely passable as a female that I have a unique opportunity to witness the hatred for transgendered people from the other side, to hear the women who, in front of one they know being transgendered will be kind to them, say vile and disgusting things about them when not in their presence. This hidden hatred has bothered me, and I have done what I can to combat it, and due to a development in my life which may mean serious problems, I have decided to finally dive into my problems.

Homosexuals have almost attained equality, the finish line is in sight and the majority are now willing to see such problems as they are instead of shying from them. Transgendered will gain this equality next, the time for them is near, however the non-gendered will still be left in the closets, along with the asexual and bisexual people. So will the other gender identities, like the cross-gendered. The answer the medical community has for all these variations is to diagnose them as psychologically unstable, then sweep the under the carpet.

I have had a run through the system, just admitting what I am to a psychiatrist gave him the sudden urge to get me locked away, of course he did not realize he was dealing with someone who was just as manipulative as he is and I was released as quickly. I have learned how to play any and all medical systems now, I am not one to take being abused without learning how to abuse them in return. I am still stuck on disability, it is difficult, if possible at all, to get a business to hire you when you are diagnosed with depression, in spite of the fact that depression is the most mild of all the disabilities and those of us with that diagnosis can, and often want to, work just as well as any other employee.

So now it is time to expose the system for how corrupt and abusive it really is. I have addressed much of the problems with psychiatrists and medical doctors in previous posts, showing how they can be just as abusive in general to everyone. Now I will explain how they are wasting billions of your tax dollars on a minority so small that a single person could actually count us. I will give you two minorities for the price of one, seeing as how I belong to the two smallest of the smallest minority groups in the world.

Yes, billions on two groups of people that account for such a small number as to be countable without the inaccuracy of statistical math, and that's putting both groups together as one. What the medical community does when you admit to being asexual is assume you are lying. They will often run you through a battery of tests, often at the expense of the taxpayers, that are completely unnecessary, which often causes them to miss any real problems that eventually grow into something worse, which the taxpayer has to pay for correcting later at an even greater expense. All this amounts to a lot of money for one patient being bled from the state and federal funds. Simply so they can deny that the person is what they admit to being.

Yes, an asexual person will not need most tests for STDs, yet I am often tested, unknowingly, for all of them. These are not cheap tests, I  am tested for them because being transgendered they assume I am lying about being asexual. When I had the gallstone attacks, the only things they tested me for were STDs and other less common ailments, gallstones are quite common in those with low testosterone, women and any transgendered women. This means they ignored one key part of my medical history, just to deny that I was what I admitted to being, there was no need to check for STDs without first eliminating the more common ailments.

The end result was a surgery that was complicated because of the delay in diagnosis, which cost the state several thousand dollars. It could have cost about $1K, maybe even less, had there been no complications, however the complications also called for a lengthy hospital stay for recovery, which included meals of course. Luckily the hospital I was at had wonderful food, but I didn't feel like eating much so I didn't jack up much of a bill there, you're welcome. This is not uncommon, not for people like me, however, since I am part of a very small minority you will not see much in the media about it, even online you'd be hard pressed to find many of us.

The other is that the state could fund for a surgery that would cost a couple thousand dollars, done by professionals who have actual training. Instead they would rather force us to get an unnecessary surgery, and instead pay for hospitalization caused by complications due to not getting the simpler version. Not only that, but the more expensive surgeons lack in training, plastic surgeons do not have the stringent requirements a urologist does, nor the specialization in that particular area, which means it's a high risk procedure on it's own. Now I do say unnecessary, for asexual transgendered people specifically. We don't want the genitals, and it's not a sexual thing, we have no interest in sex and thus the entire surgery would simply be a waste.

Now, the part you pay for, the taxpayer. Often to hide the genitalia a transgendered woman, or asexual transgendered, must use method which commonly reduce the circulation to that particular body part. Medical doctors warn against purposefully removing the circulation, it can cause blood clots, and even other dangerous conditions long after you stop. These are paid for by the taxpayers, the conditions and ailments caused by reducing circulation. Instead of offering the simple procedure, cost effective one, to us willing to accept them, they insist on forcing us to wait.

Now, if you are still reading all this, you will see that there is a suspicious pattern to all of this. My previous posts about medical practitioners should now make much more sense, and demonstrate why I have pointed out that greed drives them all. Well, greed and power, but mostly greed. I have been told, indirectly, by medical professionals that I am lying about what I am, psychiatrists often look at me with disdain, even hatred. But on realizing that my life may be cut short soon, and that I may not have any reason to be happy about dying, I will be more aggressive against these vile monsters, the medical professionals who have almost allowed me to suffer to death, and who continually ignore the fact that I may have an issue between my legs which will eventually cost taxpayers millions.

Nothing they do now will be in the dark. That includes those doctors at Virginia Mason hospital, and those at Harborview hospital that seemed to want me to die.

A Fond Farewell - The Dangers Of Smoking

At least this post could be, any of my posts could be my last, technically. That is part of what makes life both interesting, and scary, the thrill of not knowing what the future holds. However, that future becomes less and less of a mystery the more we learn about how the human body works, which tends to make life more scary and less interesting.

This is a flaw of modern medical science I had not considered, until just tonight. For the last week I have noticed symptoms that are common in throat cancer, and strep throat. Right now it is a toss up between the two, considering I live in a big city, going shopping is taking a huge risk with your health, you will come into contact with people who have all sorts of illnesses and not even know it. However, I have a very bad habit of smoking, and thus the throat cancer is also as likely as the other. This is what started me to thinking about my future, so suddenly, and what the implications of cancer would be.

It would be dishonest to say I am not genuinely scared about this, the awe and wonder, the splendor of life itself, has suddenly been overshadowed by the fear that I may have caused my life to be cut very short. Being only 39 years, I should have at least another 50 years of life, had I not been so stupid. I have mixed feelings about making this mistake, as you know I do not think we should regret anything we do in life, even our mistakes make up who we are, but this time I am beginning to feel regret about this one.

But let's look at this more in depth, to understand why I feel regret I had to think more on the decision that was such a huge mistake. What did I learn from it, oddly the addiction to nicotine is the one and only reason I did not try any really hard drugs, even so far as to avoid prescription pain medications whenever possible out of fear of becoming addicted to them. There are many pains I have never told my doctor about, because I know they will just prescribe pain medications for them anyway.

Okay, so that is one good outcome of the decision, but that can't be all, that can not in any way be the only good thing to come of it. Nicotine is suppose to have a benefit, and effect that's desirable, it's suppose to calm you, right? Well, yeah, sure, the same way sucking on a pacifier would calm you, and that's it. There is no real calming effect to smoking. The calming effect of nicotine is so mild that it is unnoticeable, the smoking itself has a much bigger calming effect, but that could be achieved by sucking on anything, really.

So then perhaps being an example of what not to do, well yeah, that's great, for the people who learn from your mistake. For you, being an example of what not to do has no benefit, none at all, because there are many more just like you, who made the same mistake as you, and none of you will stand out, or be remembered for that mistake. This is not a good outcome of your mistake, if anything it's beneficial for other people, but has no benefit to you, because the benefit to other people is when you become nothing more than another statistic.

Is smoking a part of my personality? Not really. It is one decision that would have had no impact on my personality at all. I learned little from it, had little change in influence because of it, and my social interactions would have never been impacted either way. It has the same impact on my personality as what I ate for lunch last year, during the Spring equinox did. I have found one decision, one choice, in my entire life that I can, and should, regret.

I still do not recant my assertion that you should not regret your decisions, but you should really consider why you made those decisions and consider if making a different one would impact who you are before you regret them. If the decision would not effect your personality, if you would learn nothing from it, if it would have only harmed you, then you should regret it. However, if a decision did result in something that would change your personality or teach you a valuable lesson, you should not regret it no matter how bad you think the outcome was.

I regret smoking, it would have been better and I would still be the same person if I had never started this bad habit. There is no benefit, there is nothing to learn from it, there is only danger, risk of a horrible life and death, that is all smoking has to offer. Yet, I still do not believe it should be made illegal, actually no drugs should be made illegal, because that actually does encourage people to do it more than making it readily available. We need education more than anything, I will always call education the cure-all for everything, because it really is the only thing that has demonstrated a flawless track record in decreasing problems in our species.

Saturday, March 1, 2014

"God Blessed Me" - The Hidden Ulterior Motive

When people do things selflessly, they often have little more to say than "it was the right thing to do." The more honest one would say "I thought it was the right thing to do" however selflessness is what I am addressing here. Oddly, the most heroic people on the planet are almost never interviewed, because without an ulterior motive they offer the fewest catch phrases, and least content to their interviews, and that won't attract viewers, readers, or listeners to media outlets.

So instead we are inundated with fake heroes, often citing that some imaginary deity helped them, or even going so far as to stretch the truth of matters to nearly unbelievable tall tales. But the "god helped me to ..." is the most insidious of the ulterior motives, because it masks itself as being selfless. The problem is that the large population of religious people will, without question, think this person is somehow special, and that's what the person who makes such a statement really wants. Another version of this is calling it miraculous, when it was nothing more than someone doing something correct, for a change.

I am railing against religion often right now, but then I have seen many people in the news who are using their religious ideals in manners such as this, and real heroes lost in the avalanche of texts on Twitter and other social sites because of it. This is really just a short post, sort of an addendum to my last post, though the topic is just different enough warrant it's own post.

So next time you hear someone claim their imaginary friend, who lives in the sky, helped them, or that it was some miracle, ask them why they feel so unimportant in their lives as to make something up as a means of garnering attention from others.

Suicidal Atheists

The folly of many religious people is that they believe, not believe and not know, that us atheists are inherently suicidal. That makes as much sense as saying you are insane for not jumping off a cliff because you don't know how far down it goes. The reality of this is completely backwards, and this works for agnostics as well.

The notion of not knowing something will cause you to fear it, that is one of the instincts that have given humans the advantage over some other species, like lemmings. If we don't know what's after life, we will fear ending that life because of that lack of knowledge, so to those of us willing to admit we don't know, it would be illogical to assume we'd want to end our life. Even our strong curiosity cannot overcome this fear, because it's permanent, as far as we know.

However, that also means the inverse is true, those who know there is life after death would lose that fear, they would be willing to get there as soon as possible, even to the point of being suicidal. We do see this in many religious people, suicide bombers are the best example. They believe they know something so well that they are excited to get to that life after death, so excited that they are willing to blow themselves up. But if they admitted to themselves that they did not really know, they'd be to afraid to end this one chance to live so quickly.

This is one of the primary reasons religious people are so willing to kill, the fanatics at least, they believe they know that there is something after life so they do not see it as robbing a living organism of that life, they see it as a release. The question that comes to mind is: why don't they just end their own life?

The answer is more actually a perfect example of the hypocrisy that religion breeds, the one reason this delusion needs to be addressed more than all others. They have doubts. No matter how vehemently one claims to know there is a life after this, no matter how adamant they are that their god exists, deep down in their subconscious there is a doubt that prevents them from killing themselves. They know that they don't really know, that they are just buying some cookie cutter philosophy spoon-fed to them by someone else.

Deep down, everyone is an agnostic atheist, even those who are anti-religion. The problems arise when you deny that you don't know, that is when you create your own delusion, you have to be deluded to believe something without any supporting evidence that exists outside of your own perceptions. The scientific method has given us a way to test evidence, to ensure that the evidence holds true outside of our own perceptions by allowing others to test that evidence.

This is why religious people tend to hate real science. Yeah, I said "real" science. Anything can be called scientific, and who's to argue, however the scientific method is what separates real science from science fiction. Anything that exists in this reality can be tested, anything, that's a simple fact of the matter, one that cannot be denied by anyone with a functioning brain. That makes so-called miracles vanish, without even testing them, because for it to happen in this reality it would have to be tested.

That does not include things outside of this reality, but those cannot be tested within this reality, another simple, hard, and undeniable fact of the matter. We cannot cross the boundaries between realities to test what is outside of this one. That does not mean that other realities do not exist, nor that other possibilities are never played out, it just means this: What can be tested is reality, what cannot be tested is unknown.

It is that final fact that many of the new religious fanatics are perverting for their own ends, using it as a means to convince people that they know something more than they do. That is dishonest, for if you asked an atheist what's beyond this reality, an honest and true atheist would say: we don't know. But if you ask a religious person that same question, they will dishonestly attempt to convince you that they do know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, making that not only a con, but also an outright lie. They have a doubt, lest they'd have gone there already and not be present to try to convince you of their lies.

That entire line of thought demonstrates the fact that a real atheist could never be suicidal, ever. Even when wracked with pain and suffering, and atheist will still fear the end, because as far as we know it means we cease to exist. Not existing anymore is even more frightening to the human mind than eternal torture, so much in fact that it is the only reason our species has survived long enough to extend our own lifespan.

For many years I did not worry about quitting smoking, to me it was something I'd get around to eventually but was not in any real hurry. I was raised religious, and even after leaving that religion, even after admitting to myself I did not know, I held to the hope that there may be something after this life. That one belief caused more damage than anything I knew. Recently I pondered what was after life, what it would be like to be dead, and I kept drawing a blank, literally. All I could imagine was simply not existing.

That scared me, it frightened me so bad that I actively started resisting the smoking addiction, paying attention to when I smoke, how much I smoke, and reducing it. That fear kept me awake at nights, I still wake with a start sometimes as my dreams will often feed on that fear now. When I think about being dead chills run through my body. The reason for this is that when I went for surgery recently, I got to experience not existing for several hours. When I woke I was in a panic, not because of the surgery itself, but because my mind knew there was something missing, time, sensory input.

The surgery had gone wrong, I was under far longer than I was suppose to have been. Recalling what it felt like, that absence, that moment of knowing that I did not exist for a short period of time, it frightened me. But instead of turning to religious nonsense, instead of running to the arms of some con artist with an easy answer for comfort, I started thinking about the entire matter logically. Now, I not only fear being dead, I also feel remorse for all that we have lost, the people who could have contributed so much to our species, their knowledge and wisdom being gone forever.