Theodicy means “justifying God” in reference to the Christian culture. One often presented idea to wich I have had the misfortune to run into again and again is, that a benevolet and omnipotent god would allow evil in order to access for free will. If you have anything new to add or submit to this idea I might be interrested, because I seem to have trouble understanding it. That is how otherwise seemingly intelligent individuals might even consider this as a good defence to the problem?

protective angel

Angel protecting these particular children from polio? But not some other children, why?

To me this has been just gibberish from the first time I run into it. First of all, wether a god is benevolent and from whose perspective tells us absolutely nothing about wether such an entity might exist. This is just about wether we are justified in calling something “benevolent”. Or are people merely pronouncing their hopes on the rather hypothetical issue even contrary to the observable evidence? To declare that this very same god is the final arbitrator wether something is benevolent or not makes the issue totally moot. Add to injury, in my experience, the same people who press forward this idea of their god being both benevolent, omnipotent (or even maximally potent) also only too often claim, that we humans are not worthy to even evaluate the morals of the actions of this very same god. I suppose in their minds benevolent and good is what ever this god of theirs wants, wich peculiar enough seems to be very much in line on what they would want, even if it means to limit the rights and free will of other people.

How do these people expect they are able to evaluate and choose between different god claims? If they are unable to evaluate the morals of a god, how do they know wich god is true, or even wich god to them seems benevolent? It seems to me as a terrible and potentially very dangerous not to mention harmfull hubris to assume the creator entity of the entire universe is telling specifically you what is the true religion, what is right or wrong only through such dubious methods as communicating with you, through your intuition, gut feeling, conscience – that is to say – your subconscious and of course through a particular relgious book written by obvious ignoramuses in ancient times, when written word was so rare, that people had superstitious attitudes about all written word. A book that is so filled with obvious mythos and tribal moralism. A book – like so many others – demands blind faith and makes the sad claim, that this is actually a virtue! This remembering, that the method by wich most people “choose” their religion and their version of it, is by being born into a specific culture. A sort of fatalism in wich the people who were born into the “right” culture benefit from their god being “benevolent” for the accident of birth, exept for some random exeptions, reminds me of racism, in wich it was typical for the members of the “superior” race imagining themselves as justified to their position by mere accident of birth. If racism is wrong then so is this method of divine “choise” for whom shall be saved from them alledged lakes of fire. Is it not?

It is tragicomic, that the very same Christians often also believe they are to continue their lives after their death in some state of a heaven where they expect no evil will exist. Do they think they are going to have free will in them Heavens? If they assume they do posses free will in afterlife, do they also think there is evil in there? If they think, that in their afterlife they are so in line with their particular god, that they only want good things and no evil is required for them to have free will, then what ever for was evil created onto this world?

Who in their right mind would argue, that a creator entity, who deliberately causes, or even allows unnecessary suffering such as for example polio, could honestly be called benevolent, if they could prevent and or at least stop it? How has the existance of polio enabled the free will of anyone in the world?

All this free will argumentation seems like nothing but an evasion attempt at the face of obvious in the high hopes, that if there indeed is a creator entity, it is not only fair, but also benevolent in terms of granting some specific humans an afterlife, if they pay their tithes to support the ritual experts whose job it is to tell the story to people who have never heard of it, because obviously neither omnipotent, or even maximally potent mean, that this god was able to communicate directly with everybody.

Ultimately, the entire notion of free will requiring evil to exist is just nonsensical, even if we could ever prove on any sane level there existed something we could call a creator god. Evil would then need to be an inherent part of that god, for it to have free will. That would mean, that we could call this god benevolent only for overcoming it’s own evil side. If this god did not have evil in it before it chose to create it, then it could not have made the free choise to create evil, or anything really.

It would all seem like from a bad joke, unless this all involved the fact that the adherents of these gods have for centuries felt justified in forcing, coercing and indoctrinating other people to believe like they do, or at very least to act according to what they think (wich is very culturally relevant and tribally moralistic) their particular gods wants from people in general, not just them.

 

When we observe dogs, or horses, we percieve obvious differences between various races of these domesticated animals humanity has selectively breeded for thousands of years. A dog is a dog, it is within the distinct species type, wether a chihuahua, or a great dane.

Are humans any different? No. We are biological entities as much as our pets and beasts of burden. There seems to be these distinct differences between human races alike as there are for example between different breeds of cows. Some are bigger, some have darker skin colouring than the other and so on and these are easily recognizable features.

Or are they? We have stereotypes of racial human features, but even though a vast majority of people may fall under those types, at least in some outside features, what is the actual difference? What about all the people who do not fall under this or that stereotype? Whose stereotypes should we abide to and why? These stereotypes are very much the product of our subjective and sometimes collective minds. The expectations loaded to these stereotypes are also often very unfair towards any individual at all and filled with tribal selfrighteousness, by assuming the features shared by the person holding a specific stereotype are seen as virtues by themselves and any differences as symbols of some sort of defincency. In addition the idea is so muddled, that the cultural aspects of our heritage get confused with what is genetical all the time. Further more, these cultural constructs are equally confused with not just percieved races, but to genders age groups and indeed social groups as well.

Studies of varying social groups and selecting correlative information from those to the ethnic heritage of some groups tells us absolutely nothing about race in reality, but it is often enough used to confirm biases of the existing stereotypes. However correlation does not mean causation.

Realistically speaking, race stereotypes assume all sorts of evolutionary (or unnaturally created) differences between stereotypically nominated groups of people, that can not be demonstrated by any scientific methodology. There exists this ridiculous missunderstanding about evolution, that it causes all things change towards some specific goal and at an equal speed at that. So, that if hereditary groups of people have varying skin colours, their intellects should vary somewhat equally and if these groups are found to have a difference in their economical situation or how often  these groups of people living nominally within the same culture end up in prison, that would somehow indicate some genetic causation to the group ending up in criminal careers (or at least being caught at doing the thing against the social norm of a society). In reality, we do know that powerty and social segragation based on an imaginary stereotype of race or an imaginary stereotype of the poor people do cause crime, while we have absolutely no show that any specific genetics of people with certain kind of perplexion was any cause at all to criminal behaviour. Evolution pushes for change by the simple logic of positive mutation to be more likely to survive long enough to produce the next generation. Nothing more. When a species spreads to new environment for wich it was previously adapted it picks up some mutations that benefits that goal. Perplexion may change over generations according to how much sunlight is awailable to better adapt the new environment, wether the skin needs to protect itself from overt sunshine, or alternatively does it need to let more of sun radiation through from a very limited amount of the sun light awailable in the environment. Human brains have had no such dire demands from varying environments. It seems quite obvious that the brain, is our most adaptive organ as it is, without any major change. There is no soul, we are our brain and it is the same regardless from wich population group on the planet we are descended, since it evolved to be as it is today within a very small group of people who were the ancestors of all of us on the planet today who call ourselves human.

I write this as a “white”, middle aged, male and having lived my entire life in the rich western world. I am painfully aware of my priviledge to even be able to write about this and other issues in my blog, that could be deadly dangerous to other people elswhere.

Realistically speaking race is an issue in societies with history of abuse of people with different perplexion from the ones who held power. Or a cultural norm used when ignorant people get scared of different looking people who come from outside of their very limited cultural experience world.

I find it annoying how loosely the term of race is weilded about in western and especially in American culture even today. For example, in science fiction the imaginary intelligent species originating from various different planets are referred to as “races”. Even if these characters were played by actors wearing mere green rubber mask to make them different enough from humans of planet earth, they most certainly would not be just of different “race”. The products of a completely different ecology and evolutionary trail, separated by the void, would not share none what so ever genetical similarity to us humans and should not be called a “race” under any pretence. This may seem harmless fiction of the most imaginative and farthest from the reality we do live in, but the stories deal often enough with very human problems and they are watched because the audiences can relate to the stories however fancy they are. Hence, implying that there are races and that race differences are an issue may be harmfull. Sure, it may also be a beneficial way for the film makers to remind us about how artifical the entire concept of race is. Yet, when “white”captain Kirk kissed his “black” crewmate in the sixties TV-series Star Trek, it was both a brave step forward by the film crew and a sad show of the racial prejudices of the surrounding society as Kirk had allready kissed green alien “women” and it had been seen as OK, as long as the actor was a “white” woman.

Even today the stereotypes of race are there hidden in plain daylight. When the issue of race comes up, it is about the people of colour or in other words of people of different race, than some race normative people, that is the so called “white” people. More seriously, than in popular culture, though not necessarily any more effectively, these ideas are everyday confused in politics. I just read about two lady candidates in some election in California where it seemed to be an issue that for the first time there were two women candidates and that they were “people of colour”. One had Indian heritage and the other Latin heritage. Neither looked anything but “white” to my eyes, even though I come from Finland where on average there are more of us blue eyed blondes, than in most other countries.

It would be ideal, if it was not an issue at all, that these candidates were “people of colour” or that they were women. However, it remains an issue for as long as such a pervaisive amount of racial and gender stereotypes affect the thinking of the people. It seems the stereotypes need first to be turned, before they can be erased.

 

How wonky is this? The US is now considering legal action against Saudi-Arabia for the 9/11 terror attacks. Now some 15 years after the event, the US has suddenly come to the conclusion, that it might have been the Saudis all along who were behind the attacks. I sure hope they have made a better research on this issue than when they attacked Iraq on the pretense, that Saddam was somehow behind the terror attack, or that the Iraqi government had some weapons of mass destruction concealed on trucks driving around the country. That went well. Did it not?

First of all, if it ever was a justified reason to attack a country because it has weapons of mass destruction, would that actually not make the 9/11 attacks then justified? The US arguably has more such weapons than any other nation on the planet and has used them against other sovereign nations, sometimes even without provocation.

The entire idea, that the Iraqis were stupid enough to ride chemical weapons around their country in trucks, when their roads never were exactly in condition to make it even remotely safe, was as ridiculous when it was first suggested as it is now, that we know the Iraqi government was not concealing any secret weapons of mass destruction. Sure they had had them, we know this because the US and former West-Germany sold them to Saddam, in the 1980’s. Why? That is when he used these weapons of mass destruction against the Kurdish minority in northern Iraq, but nobody was even interrested about them then. Why? These weapons only became an issue, when the Bush administration saw them as an excuse to attack Iraq, to profit by war, to controll the oil rich country (remind me, in wich sort of business was Bush himself involved with) and to deliver a revenge to the scared and angry US citizens.

Ahead they went and brought the might of not only the US but the British military as well on the worst enemy of Saudi-Arabia. Yes, they dislodged a terrible tyrant in the process, who had reigned for decades as their very own puppet. Starved the oil rich nation and drove it into chaos for years and possibly for generations to come. In the end they managed to remove the Sunni-led government, and replace it with a Shia-led government. As a result Iran has become the closest friend the Iraqi government. Good work with that Bush! The Sunnis, who previously were considered to be the more moderate of the two major sects of Islam have moved towards the radicalized fanatics all over the world. It is the former officials and officers of the Iraqi government, whom the US provisional goverment in their absolute and divinely guided wisdom decided to depose and shut outside of the future Iraq, who have now formed the ISIL. Thank you very much. Exdellent job! Is this movement towards Islamist radicalization exactly what Osama Bin Laden would have wanted for?

Osama, the main architecht of the 9/11 attacks was executed, along with some of his unarmed relatives, by the US military on foreign soil, without even the permission of the Pakistani government. He was from a leading Saudi family, but apparently only just now 15 years later have the US officials managed to make the connection. I wonder how long is it going to take them to make the next obvious connection, that he was also a product of the CIA operation of using Islamists against the Soviet occupation of Afghanishtan?

No, I am no conspiracy theorist. I do not think it has all been deliberate. Instead, I think it is a very good example of what sort of crap historically challenged people achieve in positions of power to wich they are elected by uneducated and ignorant populations, as they singlemindedly move towards a short term goal, the ethics of wich they have based on some imaginary nonsense. Sadly often motivated by the opportunity get even richer as if being rich was some sort of measure of a human being.

In an undirect result, as some of the Muslim people have moved towards cultural, religious and political radicalization, so have all the idiots and fanatics pushing out of the woodwork in the western world. Ignorant western people are scared about their mirror images of conservative right wing religious types in Islamic culture and even acting out their hatred. Typically they are still in denial of the actual threat we are facing from pollution and the human induced climate change. Their fear of the other, who is just like them, is taking much of our focus and resources from an actual threat we need to face together as humanity. Can one still hope for the best?

 

 

Most people do not think about death too much, because it is an unpleasant thought. Many people have been led by superstitious cultural heritage to tell themselves they or their loved ones are not going to die at all, but continue in some sort of pelasant paradise after their bodies die out. Some people have managed to provide themselves an income by providing a service of rituals that perpetuate this baseless, but pleasant notion. There are even a few, that get some form of sick satisfaction from the idea that bad people will suffer for an eternity in this assumed afterlife. No surprice the definition for the bad people is typically tribally moralistic, that is, people who are not part of the “tribe”, or “club” that has certain tenets and rituals.

Death is inevitable, but many a cultural movement, that are built around the blatantly obvious form of wishfull thinking, that it is not and there is some form of afterlife, have managed to make themselves exempted from being taxed. Some of them even get support from other taxpayers and indeed they all collect a form of taxes themselves to provide the income to their ritual experts. This is a widely accepted situation in almost any given society. Why?

A couple of years back here in Finland the government decided to stop collecting fees for owning a TV-set and provide funding for the national radio and TV broadcasting network YLE (much like the BBC in Britain) by taxes instead of the previous obsolete method of collecting money. The new tax was named the YLE-tax according to the name of the national and government owned broadcasting company. Now the vice president of the youth section of the (True) Finns party Aleksi Hernesniemi, has launched a citizen campaign to stop the YLE-tax. This is possible through a nother new law we have, wich is that if you can collect 50 000 names to support an initiative, the parliament has to have a discussion about the matter. This is how our new marriage equality laws for example were finally led to the parliament vote.

The main complaint against the YLE-tax is about it being unfair, as it is a network under political guidance. Hernesniemi complains also about the bad quality of the programmes as provided by YLE channels. It is sometimes very difficult to fathom how stupid people are. The president of the political guidance for YLE has been for almost a year a member of the same party as Mr. Hernesniemi. Is he now complaining against his fellow party member, or what? To what is he comparing the quality of the programmes as sent by YLE? One can argue, that the newest series by HBO, that the YLE keeps sending are not quality programme, but that is a rather subjective view at best and they do get high ratings. YLE sends out a wide range of movies, other entertainment and documentaries from around the globe and it provides those online to be watched at the convinience of the audience. I have watched a variety of commercial channels, and none can compare with quality, or wider selecltion to that as sent by YLE. Yes, it is true, that YLE does not produce Big-Brother type of social porn, send out ridiculous “documentaries” such as produced by for example the History channel and that their news are “biased”, to research the facts behind the news stories before airing them out, instead of spouting out racist hatred. Like some small time private tabloids, that are not even members of the journalistic unions have done. That can hardly be called partisan bias, even though the party of Mr. Hernesniemi has based much of it’s xenophobic populism on such.

I for one would much rather see news from a company led by constitutional and journalistic principles and a democratically chosen political guidance to regulate that those principles are held, than by newscompanies led by the popular vote of the viewer masses, advertising sponsors and the preferances of billionare owners. In any case , it can not be argued, that one or the other was any cheaper to me. If anything the commercial channel is prone to be more expensive, because not only does it need the money to run it, but it must also provide for winnigs of the owners. I either pay for the service through some form of taxes, or by the extra cost in products for advertising them.

So, indeed there are ways to awoid taxes, even if there are no ways to awoid death. However, it should be observed how much it is going to cost us, to awoid the taxes.

The new year began with news of a new militant group organizing to “protect the white people” of Finland. The organization has members in many a town around Finland and they are actively recruiting new male members. (Altough to me it seems that the news pics on these guys seem to be all of the same five, or so, dudes.) Their operation at the moment consists of patrolling the steets of their home towns in order to protect the citizenry from the percieved threat, that the asylum seekers present. They have a uniform, wich reminds us of the Neo-Natzie Skinheads. A black pilot jacket with the name of the group printed on the back abowe a skull with a horned helmet and the Finnish flag as a scarf. They also seem to all be sporting bald heads. I do not know if that is an entry requirement, though. They make it known that they expect unwavering loyalty to the other members of their group. For now they have not achieved anything exept become the laughing stock of the nation.

The name of this group has got to be the saddest expression of ignorance ever! These guys portray themselves as patriotically motivated, and oppose multiculturalism, yet the name they have chosen for themselves is in English, not in Finnish. Their name has been taken from an ancient Scandinavian god, not from one of the Finnish ancient gods and the fashion they prefer is presenting rather international identity with thus easily recognizable dangerous morons from all around the western world.

The police has commented as much of them, that any voluntary work is possible in the free country of Finland, but that here we take it very seriously, that law and order, especially any use of force is the job of the police and nobody else. The police also recognizes such groups do not add to the security of the citizens, rather it diminishes it. A patrol may call the police, if they see something, that might require interference, but it is not the job of any more or less organized citizens to interfere. This is an expression of the Lakonian attitude of Finnish officials and people. We do not get easily worked up about anything, but when we do, there will be the Devil to pay…

However, this all makes me a bit worried. The goal posts of what passes as “ordinary” in our society have once again been slightly moved and by the most ignorant numbskulls in our society.

For decades the Finnish people have been moving out of the church. It was already decades and generations ago, when the process in wich not only some people became openly atheistic, but the common folk stopped going to church. Exept for some transitional rituals such as name giving, becoming adult, marriage and finally death. The Christian churches have had a monopoly over these transtional rituals for centuries, and that is why some people have the sad misconception, that such things like the marriage are somehow trademarked by Christianity. One of the reasons for this misconception is the language used, because instead of calling name giving ritual simply for what it is, it has been called Christening, and instead of calling becoming adult what it is, it has been called Confirmation of faith. But despite wether the dead person is being ashed or buried, or wether if the person was a Christian or not, the death is something every individual is going to go through.

The monopoly position has also caused the church not only to neglect the fact that it may not appeal much to modern sensitivities, but also that the church was supposed to be some sort of moral leader. If it is not, then what is the purpose of it within a society? To serve the fancy of superstitious grannies who would prefer to think they shall remain alive even after death? But for a church to be a moral leader it needs to be moral. Morality is not just what we agree upon, to be moral, though that is what moral codes are built on. Morality is mostly about what is right and wrong. As it seems the holy books may sincerely be interpreted to mean many a mutually contradicting views the actual morality has to be drawn from someplace else, than mere authorative commands from an old book.

I salute at least the archbishop of the Finnish state official Lutheran Church, Kari Mäkinen. Thank you for being a moral man and indeed practicing your position to appeal to the better nature of people. I would hope, that more Christians would be more like him.

Archbishop Kari Mäkinen has taken a stand to defend the rights of homosexuals and Muslim refugees despite his holy book could have (and repeatedly has) been used as a base to defile the natural rights of these people as humans. A fine man who deserves my support in these issues. No doubt, that his actions and views will be serving for sensible and moral people to remain as a part of his particular church, while it will drive out the ignorant homophobic tribal moralists out and join in rowes to what ever fundamentalistic groups. What a pity, I can not sincerely join his club, because I simply do not believe in any of the gods, including his god. Even if that god of his was less spitefull, vengefull and mad, than those the fundamentalists propose and sincerely believe in.

The parliamentary representatives of the Finns Party (formerly known as the True Finns Party – rather revealing, eh) have had it hard lately. Their promises before the elections were not to give Greece more money, to decrease immigration and protect the poor and pensioners. They have now totally failed all of these and their popularity has dropped from being the second most popular party in the country as before the elections to being number five below the two main opposition parties. All this in a time span of six months. To be fair, not all of it has directly been their fault. Very few people predicted the current flood of refugees to Europe. To stay in this current coalition government the (True) Finns Party has had to comply to the wishes of the other too conservative parties in it, that are keen on cutting government spending. It is just sad those cuts are typically directed most crucially towards the poorest and most needy – and pensioners.

The latest predicament has been about the marriage equality laws. Starting from minister for justice and work Jari Lindström, who told the press, that he was reluctant to present the new law to the parliament. Well, boohoohoo. It is his job to present such laws and it was decided that this law would come to presentation by the minister holding this job already during the previous goverment. So, in accepting the job he full well knew, he would have to present the law.

A nother representative from the same party Mika Niikko gave a fiery speech about the subject. He claimed that the Finnish parliamentary representatives and ministers have gotten their job from a god and that is why he felt he had to ask the prime minister Juha Sipilä and the foreign minister Timo Soini, who also happens to be the leader of his party, where is their fear of the lord as they are accepting marriage between anything else exept a man and a woman.

I do realize that in the parliamentary system people choose their representatives and that it is impossible, or at least very hard, to set some sort of limits against idiots being selected (even though the ancient English common law says that idiots are not eligable), but could someone please tell this representative, that no gods are part of our electorial processes or method of forming a government? That in Finland the parliamentary representatives and ministers get their mandate from the people, not gods. That is why Finland is a democratic nation, and not a theocracy, or a medieval kingdom. Our last ruler who was officially appointed to the job by a god was infact the tsar of Russia, who was also the grand duke of Finland. That was some hundred years ago. Even him having such divine authorization to the job could be called questionable at best, wether one believes there are gods or not. Perhaps one of the fellow party members of Mika Niikko could tell him this, so that he would not make himself or their party an embarresement again. Alas, I fear I am asking too much…

I guess he really is so fiercely against marriage equality because he actually fears his god will get angry to Finland for us letting the marriage equality laws to pass. As for the part of the prime minister, not to mention the foreign minister, it would be also very nice if the parliamentary representative Niikko was, preferably very slowly, or with simple words and possibly with colourfull pictures, explained that these individuals despite their high status titles can do very little to stop a law from passing. Especially, if the parliament votes for it to pass, as has already happened in last year. It would be nice, that our representatives had at very least a clue as to how our political system works, and had no fantasies of our ministers weilding dictatorial power over our parliament.

Mika Niikko also attacked the archbishop of the state Lutheran church Kari Mäkinen, for having rejoiced for the motion to pass the gender neutral marriage equality law. Niikko seems not to have a clue about how our political system works, but he obviously evaluates himself better at interpreting the will of their common god, in comparrison to the archbishop. Perhaps, his theological skills exeed those of the archbishop, but judging from his feeble capacity to understand law and politics, I find this hardly likely.

I used to think that this sort of ridiculous right wing nutjobs were the problems of other less educated and less civilized nations, but it seems all these morons are simply crawling from the woodwork all over the place.