Anthropocentric God

Do you consider man to be the most important species in the universe?  Why?  Of the billions of star systems in our galaxy and the billions of galaxies in our universe, do you consider us to be the most dominant life form in the universe simply because we believe we are on earth?  I have found other animals on our planet that might well have better qualities than us.  And what if we compared Homo sapiens to life on other planets in the universe?  And we are fairly certain that other life exist.  We just haven’t found it yet.  And if they have found us, then they are certainly more advanced than we are.  Wouldn’t the most important life form be the most advanced?

I suppose it was natural for our species to allow its countenance to be the face of God.  Since we are the most important life in the universe, God must look like us.  However, our egos are perhaps a little inflated.  In reality, we represent a tiny spec of time on earth and are an even smaller amount of matter within the universe.  We are not that important in the scheme of things.

God is the Creator of our universe and other universes if they exist.  We really don’t know how far God’s creation reaches out.  So, we are a bit presumptuous to think that God looks like us or for that matter, even resembles anything in our existence.  We only know that the Creator exists, but nothing else.  God could be the essence of creation and be no more contained than space itself.  We just do not know and will not until we travel into the afterlife.  And there is no guarantee that we will initially view God after we die.  There may be a process that we will have to undergo in order to reach that final destination.  And some may never reach it.

It seems logical that the universe could be a perpetual motion machine, and we may be elements that are recycled as part of that process.  We know that our bodies decay and the atoms are reused.  We know that stars die and the elements are created from its destruction.  It is most likely that we live in a closed universe that constantly has systems that are dying and then regenerating.  It is possible that our universe is actually a living organism that recycles itself.  If there are other universes, they may play a role in the death and regeneration of our universe.  For example, if there is an anti-matter universe that collides with our universe, it could destroy us.

Again, we have no way of knowing what is going on within and outside our universe.  The best we can do is have faith in God, our Creator, and attempt to unify with God in advance of our deaths, so we will be ready for whatever lies ahead.  If nothing happens and your atoms simply merge into something new, then I will not be thinking and will not have to worry about the afterlife.  But I know that I am thinking now and that to just stop thinking would be rather absurd, knowing that there is very little in life that just ends.  Like I said, there appears to be a strong tendency toward recycling in our universe.

It does not seem likely that we would just stop thinking upon death.  But then, we do have a problem if we continue thinking.  What will we be thinking if we do not have our senses to distract us?  It might be good to think about that before you die.

 

Where Is Our Economy Headed?

Tim Morgan, a highly respected economist, has completed an analysis of trends of debt and gross domestic product (GDP).  This analysis is as important as a study by an astronomer on when the next asteroid may strike earth, creating a mass extinction.

Let’s start with Morgan’s trend in growth of America’s debt.  If we examine an average annual growth in debt, this simply totals up the growth numbers and divides that by the number of years.  But economists refer to the growth of debt in terms that differ from the average growth.  It’s almost an inherent number that can’t be really explained to a non-economist.  However, we see only small variations, like from 5.1% to 5.2%, even after significant economic collapses.

This is measured against the GDP at 3.2%.  One of the controversial aspects of GDP is how to consider the spending of borrowed money.  If you were examining your own finances, you probably would not count money that you borrowed as income because it would be a debt that you had to repay.  It would be more of a liability than an asset, especially if it had a high interest rate or were borrowed from an organized crime element.

The U.S. economy currently has a 5.2% compound growth of debt and a 1.8% compound growth of productivity or growth of actual output.  A 5.2% debt rate doubles in 13.84 years.  And it would take 40 years for our productivity to double at 1.8%.  So if we look ahead, we can see that within another 13 years, the amount of debt in the economy will double again.  The economy’s productivity won’t double again for another 40 years at this rate.  And this tells us that there may be a collapse of the economy just like a balloon that is too full of air.  The huge, excessive amount of debt will blow up our economy and will have to be reduced either by massive deflation of prices for goods or by hyperinflation when the value of money is sharply reduced.

Which will it be high deflation or hyperinflation?  More than likely, it will be deflation.  There is no way to significantly reduce the value of money through hyperinflation without printing trillions of dollars, which does not appear to be in the best interest of America or the banking system.   Our system seems to want to borrow money into existence, not print it into existence.  And bankers do not want to devalue the debt that is owed them by printing more money.

Let’s think of our economy as 10% assets and 90% debt.  If the debts were declared forfeited because of inability to pay, that would leave America with only 10% of its wealth.  And even worse if you invested heavily in bonds and there were a major default, you might lose much of what you considered to be an asset in your portfolio.

This whole idea behind conjuring wealth magically out of thin stocks and bonds is destined to fail.  And considering wealth as increasing by going further into debt is also a pipe dream that will eventually disappear.

So what is the best course to steer to avoid the hazards ahead?  First, pay off all your debts.  Second, if we assume there will be high deflation of prices, then cash should be king.  The best approach would be to balance cash with specie, preferably silver since it will be lower in value and easier to use in a bartering system.

Absurdity of Life

Scientists draw conclusions from evidence and facts, a posteriori, while religious teachers rely on faith and imagination, a priori.  Both believe they know the truth about life, but it is more likely than not that neither of them know the truth.  The truth is only known by the Creator, and He is not talking.  Thus, life is absurd because we cannot make sense of it.

Why do we live?  Why do we have free will?  Why do we have a conscience?  Why do we make choices if there are no consequences?  What happens after we die?

After admitting that life is absurd and still puzzling over it, we must logically conclude that life is quite absurd without something after life.  In other words if life were our only appearance in this play, then the play would have no denouement or ending.  This is because if life is to have any meaning at all, then all the choices made during our lives must be analyzed for a full accounting at the end.  Life, which is a test, is nonsensical without death and a grading of our work.  Of course, consequences complete the course.  This completes a design for life in our universe.

And life is absurd for all of us, whether atheists or Christians or agnostics.  We all are tested daily and we all fall short of making good grades.  Christians believe that they are making A’s and B’s, while atheists and agnostics are failing.  The truth is that all of us are failing.  However, the significant advantage for the Christians is that they may lead a better life by following the teachings of Christ.  Unfortunately, there are no guarantees for anybody.  The consequences for our poor choices during life may be dreadful, disastrous for all of us.

I have seen Christians acting as bad or worse than atheists.  There will be no religious shield to protect those who have made bad choices during life.  We must accept our failings and step up to take our punishment, whatever that might be.  By accepting Jesus as our savior, we are in a better position to make good decisions.  But if you read the Bible closely, you will find that there will be consequences for our sins.

I have seen Christians repent of their sins on Sunday and then return to the den of iniquity for the next six days.  Then they return to church on the Sabbath to repent again.  This type of activity shows no true remorse.  It is merely a hope that God will overlook all the misdeeds and erase them because of one hour on Sunday.  This doesn’t even make sense.  It is another absurd myth of Christianity.

So, if there are going to be severe consequences for all of us, what can we do?  Even as a Christian existentialist, I honestly don’t know.  I suppose we can start by doing our best every day that we have left to do the right thing.  Each of us should try to be a better person.  I don’t believe that our judgment day will have a scale with good deeds on one side and bad choices on the other.  I think it will be much more sophisticated and complex than that.

My imagination tells me that we will probably enter a darkness that eliminates our senses.  Our own minds will probably punish us for all the bad decisions we made during life.  The denial of entry into God’s third heaven (2 Corinthians 12:2) may be the worst penalty of all.  My guess is that those of us who have made a half-way decent attempt to make good decision will enter the first heaven.  But the subsequent heavens will be exponentially more difficult to reach.

And even though my musings may seem quite absurd, believe me it is much more absurd that we could live in a world of choices without any consequences.

 

 

Rationalization

When I started out as a young attorney in private practice, I handled divorce and criminal cases.  The thing that I noticed early on was that nobody accepted any blame.  They would rationalize everything that they did and remember the facts in a way that made them look better than it should have.

I represented both males and females and the results were always the same.  They either lied or manufactured a story that omitted incriminating details.  This didn’t happen every now and then.  It happened all the time.  It got to a point where I told my clients that I didn’t believe them and they had to tell me the entire truth or they would have to find another attorney to represent them.

I remember one teenager told me that he had placed the drugstore items in his pocket and just simply forgot to pay for them.  I looked him straight in the eye and asked him if he really thought I believed that story.  He laughed and said “I guess not.”  I got him to plead out and the judge let him off with community service.

A crusty judge in the community where I worked issued a ruling that made both the plaintiff and defendant’s attorneys unhappy.  He called the attorneys down front and announced to them that the he knew he had made the right decision because both parties didn’t like it.  The judge believed that both attorneys were representing only half truths, so the best decision is one that nobody likes.

So, I just resigned myself to knowing that nobody was going to tell the truth and that way I was overjoyed when I ran into somebody who actually told the truth.  This might have happened twice, but I am not absolutely certain of that.  But my point is that truth is a very rare commodity in our society.  Our society does not offer much in the way of consequences for lying, so why would people tell the truth?  The rewards are much richer for those who lie or stretch the truth.

Thus, this tendency to prevaricate made me wonder if this were nature or nurture.  In other words, is this a practice that is found in our genetics or is it something we learn?  I tend to believe that we are born with a conscience and free will.  Neither of these two gifts should lead us to lying our way through life.  In fact, our conscience should act as our moral compass and take us down a path of telling the truth.  So, it must be our experiences that teach us that there are few consequences for lying.  We learn that we can lie and then rationalize what we did, salving our conscience.  After many years of lying, our conscience probably becomes immune to the constant lies.

Lying becomes a lifestyle for most since it can lead to lifetime rewards without any distracting consequences.  But I believe that the numbing of our conscience is a serious consequence.  I also believe that the real consequences occur after we die.  Even though I don’t know for certain what happens in the afterlife, there must be consequences of some kind.  Otherwise, life makes no sense.  Why would we have free will and make decisions if there were no consequences?

Life would be quite absurd if we were never held accountable for our actions.  Choices and consequences are intertwined.  You cannot have one without the other.  The fact that there are no consequences during life, simply proves that there is an afterlife with consequences awaiting.  Unfortunately for most of us, that is the truth.

What’s Really Important?

We tend to focus on all the wrong things during our lifetimes.  We think a lot about ourselves and how to make our lives better.  We are very selfish, but we have occasional love interests that interrupt our fascination with ourselves.  But typically we discover that the love interest primarily existed to satisfy our personal sexual needs.

I stopped having sex when I was 47 years old.  I will be 70 in a few months.  It wasn’t based on any religious epiphany or desire to prove myself worthy of anything.  It was a simple decision not to have sex anymore.  I decided that sex was not important, so I stopped cold turkey.  I am fascinated with all the emphasis on types of sex available today.  Society may claim that it has significant freedom to have sex with anybody or anyway desired, but I would argue that society is enslaved by this sexual free-for-all.  It is an addiction no different than alcohol or drugs.  I’m not campaigning for everybody to follow my lead and become abstinent;  however, I feel extremely comfortable with my decision.  You must make your own decision using your free will and conscience.  A moderate sex life may be a great choice for you.  It just wasn’t my choice.

I guess what I am saying is that having sex is just not that important and deciding to not have sex is really not important either.  So, what is important?  The critical thing is that you must maintain your freedom to make decisions.  You must accept the consequences for all your bad choices.  That is very important.  And you must make the decisions… not your family or peers, but you.  You must decide what is important during your life and how this may impact what happens after you die.

I believe that life is really not important, but the afterlife is the most important thing.  So, I believe how we live our lives, which probably contributes greatly to our afterlife, is very important.  And it is the things that I do during the rest of my life that should be more important than the things that I did or didn’t do earlier in life.  Thus, it is not my past twenty plus years of abstinence, but it is my future acts of kindness to others without seeking or expecting something in return.

The best gauge for judging your future acts is to examine your motives.  Would you have done these acts if nobody knew that you did them?  It is like the judge who asked the accused:  “Would you have returned the money if everybody still thought you took it and nobody would ever have known you returned it?”  Unfortunately, most people would have to honestly say they would not.  However, your actions should not feed your ego, but should instead, build your identification of who you are.  And you should be like Jesus.  Of course, this is an impossible task, but you should strive to come as close to the mark as humanly possible.

Negligence is failing to do that which a reasonable man would have done or would have avoided under the same or similar circumstances.  We can substitute sin for negligence and find that 100% of us, including me, have committed hundreds, perhaps thousands of sins.  With this heavy weight on us for bad acts committed during our lives, how can we ever get past that to what is really important?  Well, you have to start with the fact that you are going to start today asking what Jesus would have done and then attempting to modify your behaviors so that you will become a better person.  This is what is really important in life and also in the afterlife.

So, what do you think is really important?  Is it prestige, power, intelligence, money, sex-drugs-rock’nroll, possessions?  Most likely these items do not follow you into the afterlife.  I honestly don’t know what awaits us at death’s door, but I would rather have my good acts to carry with me.  That may be what is most important.

Creation of Supermassive Black Holes

Cosmologists have been offering theories as to how supermassive (SM) black holes, typically found in the center of galaxies, were created.  But they are analyzing creation from the standpoint of evolution.  In other words, they are starting with dying stars, which become black holes, and then having black holes eat other matter including cannibalizing other black holes, and through accretion over the years, they evolve into SM black holes.

This is an interesting approach to creation; however, it seems more likely that SM black holes have been in existence long before any evolutionary process could have created them.  In fact, scientists have discovered SM black holes very early after the Big Bang.  So, there was not enough time for stellar black holes to accumulate to form intermediate or very massive black holes, which later became SM black holes.

Even if Population 3 stars, which had short lives, collapsed into quasars and these merged, there was not sufficient time to create the multiple-billion solar mass that each SM black hole would have required.  Experts argue that it would have taken one out of every five stars currently in the Milky Way Galaxy to create the mass for its SM black hole.  Thus, it is more likely that the SM black hole for each galaxy was created when the galaxy itself was formed.  And not from stars within the galaxy, but from something else, perhaps the Creator Himself, that made the SM black hole an integral and critical part of the galaxy.  In fact, the galaxies probably would not function without the SM black hole in the center like the nucleus of a cell.

It is interesting how we examine both evolution and creation as a continual growth process, moving forward in time always toward something bigger and better.  But we fail to think about entropy, a powerful force that can put the brakes on expansion and may even be able to reverse its direction.  What if SM black holes, created after the Big Bang, were the seeds for galaxies?  What if all the black holes and our visible universe were one-third of the universe’s mass and dark energy were the other two-thirds?  What if the 1:3 ratio remained the same between the matter in our universe, but the entire universe were shrinking?  If you were looking at other stars, you would not notice the shrinking since all matter would remain in proportion to the other mass.

In effect, God is the Creator of this amazing perpetual-motion machine called the universe.  I may be wrong, but I believe that it is very possible that there are two major cycles in this mechanism:  (1) expansion when the matter expands like a balloon and (2) contraction when the matter deflates and shrinks in size.  In both these processes, SM black holes remain as the centerpiece for galaxies.  Even though SM black holes do grow through consumption of other mass, they also expel mass, so the theory that they are evolving over billions of years probably has little value.  However, the fact that SM black holes may be shrinking in the second cycle makes sense since we are seeing light from ancient galaxies that we could not see other than moving back in time to that event.  The light from the dead galaxies, otherwise, would have passed by us billions of years ago.