Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Immaterial Materialism

Recently I've been thinking about the current trend towards consumerism in society. I wasn't thinking so much about how, or even why, but more on it's value. Within our current society, Capitilism has taken a firm hold. This is no secret. While there is no firm definition of Capitalism, one of it's important aspects is profit in the marketplace. Nowadays, this has led to an 'anything for profit' mentality.

Some people will be up in arms, pointing to the Ronald McDonald house charity, or one of the numerous other big corporations doing charitable things, assumably at there own expense. However, every year, McDonalds has a McHappy month, in which they say they'll give $1 from each big Mac to the Ronald McDonald house charity. All well and good, but the number of big macs sold in this month can double or even triple, because of people looking to help charity, while still getting something for themselves. Ask yourself, have you even chosen one brand over another, not because of price or quality, but because you have heard of the good things the company does? I know I have.

Now you're expecting me to say something like "And this is horrible because..." But I won't play that game, yet. We've all heard it before. Instead I'm going to direct your attention to something that I have been thinking on. I call it Immaterial Materialism, and for simplicities sake, I'll treat it as real. Basically, some people get sick of prices, and whatever, and decide to give up things. Most do this sensibly, and give up all but the bare essentials, and 1 or 2 comfort items. Others however, take it to the extreme. They live with nothing but the barest of essentials. Clothes and a little bit of food and water. Many don't start like this, but slowly 'achieve' it. Bit by bit they sell, or give away they're 'useless' objects. Towards the end, they either give away thier money, or buy things with it to give away. I would assume that, like inversing materialism, every time they give an object away, they feel a sense of accomplishment. This is dangerous, as eventually they sell their home, or worse give it away, meaning they live on the street, or in the wild.

Everything has an opposite. Happy and sad, black and white, Theism and Atheism. This was my interpretation of the opposite of materialism. I'm yet to see evidence for its existance, though I am fairly sure it does. As it stands, materialism is on the up and up, and belief in people is dropping. Eventually, if this trend continues (assuming I'm correct in my assumption), people won't even notice each other anymore. They'll be aware of their existance, but other then that stuff is what matters, not each other. Just watch the movie Wall-E. Points it out perfectly.

Until next time - fui fides tantum in testimonium.

Monday, March 29, 2010

My Social Experiment

In my last post, I pointed out a few things that I'd noticed about childhood, and school life. And I would suspect you would like for me to explain how I feel it has affected the adults of the world. Well, too bad. Today, I am instead going to explain an experiment I am going to conduct, and some research I am going to do, on the topic of the competitive nature of man.

First, I am writing a survey. Within this survey, it asks for age and gender, which will be used on for collaboration; and it will ask a few questions about different aspects of life. Of these aspects, the ones I am most interested in are relationships and education. Now, I'm no psychology student (yet), but I still feel that this information can be used to determine the benefits and detriments this system has on society as a whole.

I will not only be speaking with regular people, but also with businesses, schools, and other organisations. They will have both the questions asked of everyone else, plus a few that are for organisations only. With the line of questionging, this should determine how embedded competition is within the infastructure of society.

With this information, I'll draw conclusions about the welfare of the populace, as well as attempting to divine a plausible reason. If at all possible, I'll try and find a better solution, but without any experience in this field, I'll need some help.

That brings us to my experiment. It will be a long running experiment, if I can even get it started. I wish to test a idea of mine, though it may be difficult to find voluteers. My idea is that we survived the evolutionary process due to our cooperative nature. When people work together, the best abilities of each can be utilised better then if each person works seperately. As such, Children who work together throughout their education should have a more firm idea of the concepts presented to them, and of how to utilise their own abilities in the execution of said concepts. This basically means that a group of children, about the age of 5-6, would be placed in a group. This group is always together when learning. This includes grading systems like assignments and exams. As such, they'd be held to a higher standard. My thinking is that by the age of 18, not only is this group efficient at thier work, but have the understanding to survive outside of the group... though I doubt they'd want to.

Obviously this is a very strange, and difficult to organise, experiment; with far-reaching possibilities. It is also quite clear, that I haven't done much background research into the subject of childhood development. That being said, this is of course simply in the conceptual stage, and is far from being implemented, if it ever is. I am only posting it now so that I don't forget it, and to see if anyone else has ideas to put forth on this subject, or would like to help me.

The research part is also conceptual, however I should have the rough draft of the surveys in a month or two. Stay tuned to see how it goes.

Until next time - fui fides tantum in testimonium.

Fun times!

Logical Prophecy has been added to Atheist's Blogroll. You can see the blogroll in my sidebar. The Atheist blogroll is a community building service provided free of charge to Atheist bloggers from around the world. If you would like to join, visit Mojoey at Deep Thoughts for more information.

I'm too lazy right now to come up with a more original post for this. Seriously though, checck them out. They're all you'll need when you're bored... In blog terms anyway.

Until next time - fui fides tantum in testimonium

Friday, March 26, 2010

Childhood brainwashing

In my first post, I casually asserted that there is unnecessary competition and conflict in society, with showing proof of my accusation. This was wrong. In order to make up for this, I am here to show you: "My proof of excessive competition in society today". Maybe that's a little long, but it's informative.

Before I begin, I'd like to say that not all competition is bad. In fact, if it weren't for the competitive nature of science, we'd still believe physics was completely figured out with Newton. It's also useful in the market. If there was no competition, there'd be no choice of quality or price. My post today, is about the excessive amount of competition in society.

From a very young age, we are brought up to believe in the usefulness of competition. One of my earliest memories was watching a childrens program, and hearing about a competition they were running. You send in your best drawing, and if yours is the best you win a prize... I think it was a toy of some sort. I spent days working on my drawing, and when the prize was finally drawn, I didn't win, because someone else was better. Far better. It seemed like it was drawn professionally, thought that's probably because of how my mind was. This was sometime before I started school. It might seem minor, but the things children learn in childhood stay with them their whole lives.

In grade 1, we were taught (not directly) that in order to do well, we'd have to be better then the others in our class. This idea is fundamental in society, because without striving to be better then others, we'd only be average (Like everyone else). This also may seem minor, but considering that humans must be taught how to learn most effectively, and it's easiest to learn in you schooling years, this contest for good grades, and approval becomes so ingrained, it's hard to separate it from anything else in life.

Within the classroom was not the only competition. And I'm not speaking of P.E., despite the fact that it's technically not within a room, it is still a class. I'm talking of school houses. In my schools, both primary and high school, there were four houses, within which, every student and teacher was placed. Once every year we'd head down to the oval, and have race after race after race, starting with the youngest, and ending with the eldest students. The houses were given points based on the students who won. Not only that, we were taught different chants, depending on our house, which we'd yell at the top of our lungs, in an attempt to drown out the other teams, and score a few more points.

There was no point to this. Everyone got a little ribbon for participating, and the next day, every thing went back to normal. There wasn't even a prize! This was an annual occurrence for 12 years. 12 years! Then there was inter-school sport, where various sports teams were picked, and sent to other schools to prove that they're better then the others. Competition within competition within competition. Whether or not it was designed to be that way, childhood is a time to confuse us, while we're told to work together, but are rewards for working against each other. The end result is today's average adult, which I'll describe in length in my next post.

Until then - fui fides tantum in testimonium.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Introduction to The Prophet of Logic

I have only recently discovered the world of Blogging (kind of late, I know). From what I've discovered, it's the perfect place for me to start discussing all of the things I have learnt, and add to my repertoire of knowledge through discussion and debate. Within this oh-so-crowded internet communication medium, I have decided to post mostly on a contorversial, and highly populated, topic: Atheism vs. Theism. For my first post, I'll give a brief description of my beliefs, and the reasoning I apply.

Recently, people in my life have begun to question my beliefs, trying to determine a cast-iron code of conduct that I live by. This doesn't make any sense! It's extremely difficult for me to pin-down my beliefs, whether they be ethical, moral or social, because they can change. Alot of people will be outraged to hear that my morals/ethics can change, but I challenge anyone objecting to stand firm when an act that is normal acceptable makes your blood boil, or when an unacceptable act seems reasonable. Hell, I'll even use examples.

For the former, free-speech. You try to stand firm in your belief in freedom of speech when a charismatic man is lying to people, or using word-games to convince people of something that you know is a lie, or is directly harmful to the ones you love. For the latter, killing. Try and say all killing is wrong when a man hunts you relentlessly, for whatever reason, with the intention to make you suffer. Hopefully, this will allow you to see when it is possible for morals and ethics to change. I will say that I DO believe in freedom of speech... In fact I believe everyone should have as many freedoms as is possible, and I DO NOT think that killing is moral.

As for my beliefs in society, I feel that the masses are under-educated and overly aggressive. This is not helped by the poor education systems of the world (I don't know them all, if you feel you countries education system is good, please let me know). Add to this the unnecessary competition we are all placed in - known as the 'Rat-race' i believe - from a young age. I won't enter into it in this post, that will come in a later post. I will say, however, that from school houses to sporting teams, "reality" television to job-searching, we are saturated with the idea that competition is the way to survive.

Now, for the meat of the post, my Religious beliefs. You all know this is what you want to hear. I am completly Athiest. The idea of an Omniscient, Omnipotent, Omnipresent deity is out-dated. And proven illogical many times over. I'll be doing a post later on about the illogical nature of god. I believe that if a being exists that created the universe (caused the Big Bang), then they are an alien. Not all powerful, not all knowing, not infinite, just another life-form.

I will believe anything that has sufficient evidence. As such, I support the Big Bang, Evolution, and pretty much all of actual science. While I do not claim to know all of science, I do know that the scientific method is a reliable means of determining the truth about the universe, and exposing the frauds and dealing with them appropriately.

Wow, that turned out to be longer then I thought, and I even set myself up a couple topics to post about in the near future.

Until next time - fui fides tantum in testimonium.