toxic thought waste site

Theological whimsy, metaphysical larks, and other spiritually radioactive waste products.

Friday, July 09, 2010

Where does the hatred for gay people come from?

Every once in a while I like to ask people this question. To me it is a significant mystery. Rationally it would seem that heterosexual males should encourage as many males as possible to be gay. It can only help your odds with the ladies. And yet we live in a world where gay people are loathed (almost as much as atheists).

Invariably the first answer I get is that because the Bible condemns them. Now let's make a *huge* leap here and suppose just for sake of argument that, well, the Bible is completely fiction and the edicts of God are just normal people *pretending* that there is a God and that he said these things. (I know, a huge leap). So why was this such an important thing to codify?

The best I can come up with is that many/most non-gays have a bit of an ick response to gay activities. I do and I've heard the same from many people who intellectually support gay rights etc. I really liked 6 Feet Under, but it was hard to watch sometimes because of this.

As with many things in the Bible people just made God command something that they wanted to be forced on others. Stop being icky.

Of course even if this is correct there is still the question of why we have an ick response. (Well if you are heterosexual. Presumably gays don't have this. Or that would just be weird and sad).

So here's my crazy idea. If all dudes were gay all then the human race would disappear pretty fast. So there would be some evolutionary advantage to avoiding same sex interactions. Therefore the ick factor helps raise the threshold against the likelihood of someone not getting their genes into the next generation.

So ironically the edicts in the Bible against man on man action were put there by evolution. Hows that for a giant irony sandwich. :)

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Saturday, July 03, 2010

My Pet "Crazy" Idea

I suspect most people have a few crazy ideas that continue to hang around even after they have done their best cognitive maintenance and rebooting. Sure, you've banished belief in god or expelled parapsychology, but perhaps there is something lingering around that *seems* like it should have just gone by now. And what's more you only sort of think it's a crazy idea. Actually you think there is some sense to it and it is others who just haven't given it proper consideration.

So it's not so much that you really believe its a crazy idea, its just that others wouldn't easily understand.

So what is my crazy notion that surprises me with its tenacity and that others would think odd? That there is a non-negligible chance we are living in a simulation.

You might be surprised to learn that I didn't (directly) get this from watching "The Matrix". Even if I did consider it at that time it didn't stick with me. I believe the seed got planted by reading (not surprisingly) Are We Living In a Simulation?. This was a serious case made by a serious person. And I found it surprisingly convincing.

So how does this affect me? No much really. But I do take this idea off the shelf of my mind surprisingly often and dust it off and look it over. Sometimes daily (perhaps for just a few seconds). Probably never less than once a week.

Probably the most impact I get from this idea is that I often consider this question: What (if anything) would I do differently this moment if I really *was* living in a simulation? I don't usually have a shocking answer to this question. I mostly feel like I'd pretty much do what I'm doing. Being in a simulation wouldn't (presumably) change what my options are and what makse me happy. In fact in a simulation this real it's not clear what the difference between reality and simulation would be.

So what crazy idea do you have that even your "sane"/"rational" friends would think is weird?

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Friday, July 02, 2010

To the random redditor who recommended "A Brief History of Everything"

I hate you.

So, I keep a long list of books to add to my ipod commute "reading" list. Generally this works out pretty well and I've been exposed to things I normally wouldn't have thought twice about (e.g. Hayek's "Road to Serfdom" for instance). But sometimes something gets through the filter and I end up listening to the most unbelievably awful garbage.

The current winner of the books that have no right to exist award is "A Brief History of Everything". Ken Wilber has got to be the most crazed New Age science ignorant person outside of an Oprah studio.

He starts off by talking about evolution. So I figure this is going to be a science-y book. Then he right away starts down the "half a wing is useless so obviously Darwin isn't the whole picture route". Then he starts talking about "holons". And then I died a little inside.

In the interest of exposing myself to things I don't agree with already I'm going to continue to listen for a couple of chapters. But really it is awful.

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