Monday, September 21, 2009

Materialism and popular culture : The "better world" files

I am told that, in Idaho - the home of excellent potatoes - the American Humanist Association ran a successful ad announcing "Don't believe in God? You are not alone," and in the fall another saying "Want a better world? Prayer not required."

Hmmm. Well Joseph Stalin and Pol Pot didn't believe in prayer either, but they sure had ideas for a "better" world. Too bad it wouldn't include you or me.

I guess we would just be "other losses."

PS: The only way we can have a better world is this: We each must get up every morning and say: I am the biggest problem in my own life. I am also the only person who can fix that problem. I cannot force anyone else to be a better person. But if I start working on my own problems today, the world might be a little bit better by nightfall.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose


Animal minds: Fishy business - dead fish reveals thoughts

Hilarious. Here.

I would hardly be surprised by something like this. I wouldn't even try to predict the behaviour of bacteria - relying solely on scanning - let alone humans.

Maybe that's just because I am an old hack. But if you can't interview whatever it is, you can't be sure what, if anything, it is thinking. Does it even think?

I remember a vet confessing that to me once about a tomcat. He said, "The trouble is, he is a cat and I do not know how he is suffering. He obviously is suffering, but he can't tell me how." As it happens, the prescribed antibiotics and painkillers worked and Tom lived a long life for a cat, but we never diagnosed the cause.

Hat tip: Stephanie West Allen at Brains on Purpose