Sunday, December 28, 2014

An Argument for Theism

If I have a large stone, that stone is made of component parts.  Those component parts are made of component parts.  Each descending layer of component parts is smaller and simpler than the previous layer (simpler--meaning made of fewer component parts itself).  The bottom layer is one thing which has no component parts (because of ever-descending complexity).  This layer is pure being.  Its force animates the subatomic layer and generates the higher layers.  It could possibly explain quantum entanglement, which is the simultaneous movement of two previously paired subatomic particles.  In this case, information is transferred at a faster rate than the speed of light along (I believe) the matrix of pure being.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Self-Respect

In the absence of self-respect there is always self-pity.  The best way to love something is to respect it first, and that which we respect the most we love the most.  We can only hallow something that has proved itself worthy of respect. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Consciousness

Let me propose an argument for comparison: If acts derive from judgment judgment is embodied in the acts.  Acts derive from judgment.  Therefore judgment is embodied in the acts.  This argument may be sound, but is insufficient to account for judgment.  Judgment has two branches: consideration and pronouncement.  Pronouncement is embodied in the act.  Consideration is not.  Punishment follows from conviction, not trial.  Likewise, it may be said, "All life is being."  But the antipode of being is doing.  Doing is not being, and vise versa, but they are both bound up in life.  So maybe the antipode of properties is processes.  Maybe mind exists in two constituent parts, which would account for why some things are thought of as non-mind.    

Saturday, October 18, 2014

Questions

Would it be correct to conclude that all change will resolve to something changeless? Or maybe change will asymptotically decrease toward a never-reachable resolution? If the latter is true, what would be the state towards which it reaches?

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Free Will

Can we please get rid of the Either/Or model of human existence and replace it with the continuum model, so that we don't have to be either black or white, Republican or Democrat, gay or straight, free or not free. This last one urks the hell out of me. Even intelligent people talk about free will as if it either exists or doesn't. Well, I'm on a continuum, meaning I'm not a zero or one. I'm free in some respects and not free in others. I've progressed since infancy. The fact that I'm more free now than I was then means that I am in fact free in some respects. I feel like the Calvinists are to blame for the whole free or not free bit. The fact that "liberated" (as in "have been liberated") is a valid, serious word in the lexicon means that it is a valid, serious concept.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Three Scenarios

There are, as far as I can see, only three possible scenarios: Either A.) The cosmos is the result of an infinite regress of previous finite occurrences (This event was caused by a previous event, which was caused by a previous event, ad infinitum). B.) The cosmos began to exist but was not created. C.) The cosmos began to exist and was created by a first cause which exists in eternity as an eternal entity. Now which of these makes the most sense? The question is, as far as I'm concerned, a metaphysical one which relies on logical inference rather than empirical solutions.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Word

remarkilarity: n. A similarity between two things that causes uproar, humor or surprise. Example: The doctor's twin cats are always noted for their keen remarkilarity.

Friday, September 26, 2014

Then and Now

If I could hear the water running through
the rocks and the stones under my
feet rumbling, I could behold your voice
again and feel my surprise wherever I go. 
You crack a smile somewhere far away. 
I confer the warmth of a kiss
onto the most solitary star in the night sky. 
Coming here has always been my wish, and now
it is my reason.  From pulp to legal tender,
the truest reason is made from wishing,
and the first sign of spring is that which awakens
within me rather than what I awaken to. 
My first intention is an impulse budding,
not sunned by any need I know. 
I have another day on my mind I must overcome
to forget.  Old hurdle, I have jumped it
a million different ways.  I had a place in mind before
I came to this breezy garden, a maze full of yellow
roses and ivy.  How can I break this unending
splendor to myself, this actual solace of Japanese
maples in the first fog, that so exceeds the flowers
I had thought I would find?  The world I listen to
is the private enterprise of learning. 
I grow older in what I hear than in who I am. 
The years that approach me come to me
in the strictest silence and the starkest light,
and your voice is the clean break I make
with indifference, when you tell me how your father
cannot find himself among his many
waking hours.  There is no alarm for us. 
I keep what you said when you stood
behind me at the party last winter. 
I part my lips to receive your breath.


Joel Fry

(Published in Poem.)

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Presence and Place

Every event has both a presence and a place.  The presence is the area the event occupies.  The place is the point in which the event occurs.  Likewise, each presence has a time span of occurrence and each place has an exact time of occurrence.  So an event has four dimensions: A place, a time of place, a presence and a time span of presence.

The world an old man inhabits is never as large
as the world he hears.

I grow older in what I hear than in who I am.

The bomb explodes in one place, but the shock waves spread for miles.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Planes of Existence (an unfinished fragment)

First, there are four variables which interact to provide the four time-specific planes:

1.) Here
2.) There
3.) Now
4.) Then

I define the four terms above as follows: Here--At the location of my own local self, present to the faculties of touch.  There--Beyond the faculties of my own local self.  Beyond the faculties of touch.  Now--Occurring concurrently with my eyesight.  Then--Not occurring concurrently with my eyesight.

Four positions emerge from these four variables:

1.) Here now, there then.
2.) Here now, there now.
3.) Here then, there now.
4.) Here then, there then.

In our everyday existence we experience and inhabit a world that is here now, there now.  That is, we define the present as being the time in which events occur to us and for us.  Events which occur beyond us are occurring (if they are relatively close to us) in the present as well.  This is to say that the world is present in its occurrence.  If we see a squirrel leap onto a tree ten feet away that squirrel's existence is now along with ours.  The larger world far beyond us as well as the universe far beyond us may be said to be occurring then.  A star on the other side of the universe is burning now, but I cannot observe its burning concurrent with my present state, so its burning is then when I see it burn.  Note that "then" merely denotes a time other than my present.  Then can denote either a future or a past.

What is much harder to imagine is a reality in which I inhabit and experience then rather than now.  In such a state everything within my local self (my body as well as my perception of touch) would be occurring in a time other than my experience of the present.  I would be wholly out of sink with the universe.  In one reality, the universe would occur before my apprehension.  In another reality the universe would follow my apprehension.  This may bring to mind certain drug experiences.

But what would I make of a reality in which here is occurring then?  Such is the case in the third and forth possibility.  Generally here is now, but if here were then and there were now my vision would be concurrent with something beyond myself, but not with myself.  My local self would be out of step with what I beheld to be presently occurring.  However, if the forth possibility (here then, there then) were the experienced reality, there would have to be a third level of existence which were experiencing the present time.

As I move from here to there I move from now to then.  Otherwise as I move from here to there I move from then to now.  If my speed increases does my movement from now to then or from then to now increase?

Realization

Realization takes two forms: I can recognize something first, then discern its properties, or I can discern the properties of something then form a recognition of what it is.  The realization of God works in both ways.  I recognize God in the universe.  Then I discern what I recognize in myself or the rest of existence.  Or I can discern God in myself and the rest of existence only later to recognize what I have discerned as God.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Hope

With respect to Kierkegaard and to a lesser sense Thoreau (which were carrying on the same life experiments in different settings at the same time in history): Hope generates its own reason. Confirmed desperation is confirmed by dying hope only. One can be so numb as to not detect his dying hope until it stops generating reason; then the desperation becomes palpable to the point of despair. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Meaning

One thing that convinces me most that we are not the mere outcomes of brute natural forces is that it is not brutality which lies at the heart of meaning but tenderness.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

My De-conversion From Christianity

Thank God I am finally free of the Christian religion!  Over the past few months I had been noticing things I considered flaws in Christianity, and finally about two months ago I was able to declare boldly that there is no way Jesus of Nazareth was the true Messiah.  For a very short while I pondered becoming a Jew, but I figured why leave one prison only to check into another?

I don't feel like explaining my de-conversion here.  There is a wonderful, exciting, liberating story behind it in which the captive sets himself free from the shackles of scripture, but I just don't feel like going into all that.  If you are a Christian and you want to know why I de-converted just read an essay written by a Jew on why they do not consider Jesus to be the Messiah.  Also, consider that Jesus said, "It is not that which goes into a man that defiles him, but that which comes out," and how that totally defies the Law of Moses, which the real Messiah is supposed to uphold.

I am still a Theist.  I still argue with atheists.  But I am also finally able to live a full life without having to constantly keep a lot of inhuman, servile ordinances.  No more slave religion for me!

 

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Discrimination

We are always and forever hearing about one type of discrimination or another.  And we should hear about them, because they have always been a problem.  From race relations to sexuality to disability, the world is abuzz with efforts to rectify things.

But the world never attempts to rectify the most obvious problems.  If a person of color is discriminated against that's a problem.  But apparently it isn't a problem if the less attractive woman doesn't get the best paying job because she is less attractive.  Let's face it, if you are not very physically attractive, you will have more doors closed in your face than if you are attractive.  And this applies whether you are black or white, gay or straight.  That this is a problem is not surprising.  What's surprising is that it is perfectly condoned by society.  You don't see campaigns to promote equality for the aesthetically challenged.  And yet the slightest infraction of someone's rights based on race or sexuality and the news squad gets called to the scene.  The absurdity of this never fails to arrest me.

Another problem is intelligence.  I mean, I realize companies have to hire people who can do the work.  But would it be too much to ask if the less intelligent get treated with respect and empathy.  It is, after all, one of those things that can't be helped--at least in part.  There is no level playing field, and inequality is not going away, but if we start seeing individuals rather than groups we can go much farther.  Compassion for all is the answer.  Try to put yourself in someone else's place.  And maybe you can try to be patient, because the world isn't.

Friday, April 4, 2014

okay

The concept of an uncaused cause is not naturalistic, and an uncaused cause is necessary because the past cannot be infinite.  God is, by definition, the uncaused cause that brought the universe into existence.  Finite occurrences bring other finite occurrences into existence.  Thus there had to be an occurrence stemming from something that wasn't finite to bring the universe (or simply everything) into existence.  Otherwise there would be an infinite regress of previous finite occurrences.   

Monday, March 10, 2014

Such a Bright Future (Poem)

Such A Bright Future

If freedom means anything
it means one thing.  Be free from want, then
do what you want.  Eat the sour grapes
before you try the sweet ones.  Do you really want them
on second thought?  There is a method
to gauge pain.  The cause of death is easily
determined, but rarely is the cause of life known.
I still can’t figure why I’m overeating.  There’s a
statistical mean, I’m sure, a dictum demarcating
appetite, but you can eat what you want.
You were born to graze the plenty of the plow.
There’s a theory as to where money comes from,
but few comprehend the circulation, which
is impossible to regulate, giant cobra sunning
where it pleases.  The good news
is I am vanishing into a fragrance only God
can smell.  Reserved inside me is the wood
smoke of every fire I’ve built from a single
moment, the brush fire, crackle and hiss,
my place in a flurry of ashes—mine,
treasure and secret store that transcends
the elements of rain and sunlight and
darkness, cutting life to a curl, I burn
myself becoming praise, gratitude,
heartbeat inside a hidden hand.


Joel Fry 

(Published in Relief: A Christian Literary Expression.)

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Yesterday, etc.

Yesterday I drempt that I was working in a pharmacy and all the prescription medications were named after Grateful Dead lyrics.  What could this mean, except that I had my medications on my mind?  Nevertheless, the dream had the characteristic mellowness of GD.

For those of you who don't know, I'm bipolar.  It's a hell of a ride sometimes.  I used to become anxious every day at the same time, about 7:00 PM.  And then there are the occasional night terrors, when I become so anxious I can't think straight and I feel like my face is "on fire," in a manner of speaking.  At least the cores of my ears are no longer burning.

Nevertheless, I have been productive poetry-wise.  Yesterday I submitted five poems to Ghost Town.  Ghost Town is a wonderful online journal.  And today I noticed that my submission is in the "in progress" mode, which is usually a good sign.

So what do I write about?  Well, death mostly, since that is the main theme in all of poetry.  But I am also a firm believer in ideas in poetry.  In fact I even have a poem called "The Idea," which I unfortunately cannot post right now, as I am trying to get it published.  So I sort of believe it is the task of poetry to educate the reader on a level nothing else can.

Here's an example of one of my shorter poems:

If Night

If night has no water
or siphon in its bucket
it is lost.  It can only return
with two smooth stones
fastened like moles
to its skin.

If the moon knows lakes
and seamless strata,
then morning will open
and run its paddle
across an appendage
of birds in flight.

Published in Poetrysz.

There is a definite rhythm here.  But even though there is a definite landscape, each person encounters a different landscape, which is personalized for them by the way they visualize the words.  This is one way in which the poem goes beyond a painting.  There is a kind of ritual here.  Night is lost, and can only "return" with stones fastened to its skin.  At the time I wrote this I was studying logic at Auburn University, and one of the things we studied was antecedent/consequent relationships.  So we see that the if/then here gives rise to night/day.  Death is, of course, center-stage.  Night is dying, but it can only die in the appropriate way.  It must have a good death.  It has responsibilities to fulfill before it dies.