Eden Hill Journal

Comments, dreams, stories, and rantings from a middle-aged native of Maine living on a shoestring and a prayer in the woods of Maine. My portion of the family farm is to be known as Eden Hill Farm just because I want to call it that and because that's the closest thing to the truth that I could come up with. If you enjoy what I write, email me or make a comment. If you enjoy Eden Hill, come visit.

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Location: Maine, United States

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Abortion

I don't generally have much to say about the subject of abortion. My own personal feelings are in conflict when it comes to this topic, as are those of many others. Some people simplify the conflict by simply saying that abortion is wrong no matter what and should be banned, no exceptions. Some would allow an abortion to save the life of the expectant woman, but many won't even allow for that in their moral calculus.

I tend to think that abortions are an unfortunate reality in life. I go back far enough to remember what women were going through before the Supreme Court struck down anti-abortion laws. Women were having abortions before Roe v. Wade. Many, if not most, of those abortions were risky and performed by people with no medical background or support. When Roe v Wade came down, many in our society breathed a sigh of relief that women would finally be able to have abortions safely. Those who provided abortion services weren't seen as mass murderers. They were seen for what they were doing, helping to preserve the lives and health of women seeking abortions.

Most pro-life advocates try to paint abortions as murder. They passionately preach that a fetus is a living human being and that to kill a fetus in an abortion is to murder a human being. Yet, despite that rhetoric, I have yet to meet a pro-life advocate who thinks pregnant women who hire specialists to perform these abortions on them should be tried for murder. Apparently it is not murder to buy an abortion. Apparently it is only murder to perform the service. Apparently it should be a criminal act to use professional skills in order to help a woman seeking an abortion save her own life.

When pro-lifers come to the point where they say there should be laws for convicting a woman of premeditated murder for having an abortion, then I'll take them seriously. As it now stands, this is nothing but divisive politics, pure and simple. Scott Roeder earned his verdict.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Free Will

There's what I have always considered to be an inconsistency in religious theology - does man have free will or does God have everything all planned, beginning to end. Free will suggests that we are generating our own thought processes as we live our lives and our decisions influence the future, we have real choices. Predestiny seems to assume that the entire creation was set in motion at the start of it all and creation can only unravel one way, the way God set it up to be from the beginning. The question in theology is how can man have free will if the entire book, start to finish, is already written?

A Big Bang

Very recently it dawned on me that maybe the answer to that question lies in the theory of the Big Bang origin of the universe. I have proposed an idea earlier about thought, how thought preceded the physical universe, that creation happens when thought imposes itself on force. Big Bang theory has it that our Universe started from a single point, that somehow all of the mass and energy of our universe was concentrated in a tiny point in space and simply exploded out from there.

Could it be possible that at the point of that explosion, every particle created was given the inertia, the momentum it would use till the very end of time? Is the book already written? If so, then what is this thing we know of as thought? Are we actually creating our thoughts or is thought simply flowing through us as we pass through time and space?

What If

What if the Big Bang really did put all of the wheels in motion, if after the first few moments of creation, the book of
Creation was written in stone, so to speak? What if all thought happened right then, during Creation and we are living the physical reality of that original thought?

What that would mean is that all of our thoughts came into being then at the moment of creation. We all know we have free will. We know that fact deep in our hearts. But what if that free will were to exist in the first moments of Creation when God's book of Truth was being composed? What if the very notion of time is the expansion and playing out of this book in physical reality? What if all of time in this universe from beginning to end has existed from the origin?

God is Dead

Unfortunately, I've been having second thoughts about that notion. As convenient as it is in answering the contradiction that free will has with destiny, I just can't buy it. I've decided that the main reason why I can't buy it is that it means that the spirit that is creative thought happened then at Creation and then ceased. God wrote the book and then for all intents and purposes left.

I Don't Buy It

God is alive and permeates Creation with spirit, with thought. This is happening now just as much as it ever has before or ever will in the future as His Creation evolves. God is still out there for us to follow. We didn't leave Him behind at the Creation, nor did He leave us. And we do have free will. Every choice we make, every thought we think, everything we cause to happen becomes written in God's Book of Truth. And there's no imaginable reason to believe otherwise, to doubt this obvious truth.

And to think, all we need to do is become conscious of this.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Surgeon General

Deep in the heart of the Washington bureaucracy there is a person who is, according to the agency's website, "America's chief health educator by providing Americans the best scientific information available on how to improve their health and reduce the risk of illness and injury." I shit you not. This person is Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A.

If there is any hope at all for healthcare in America, it is the hope that Americans will lead healthier lives and not need expensive extensive medications and medical services. The "healthcare reform" legislation that the Democrats have staked their political future on is focused on providing insurance so all Americans have access to extensive medications and medical services, the exact opposite of what our nation needs.

I didn't spend a lot of time at the Surgeon General website but I did notice one thing. It doesn't seem to have been updated since November. The "Spotlight" is Thanksgiving is National Family History Day and as of today there are only three items in the "News Room" dated November 25, October 29, and July 13. The last two represent the nomination and then confirmation of Dr. Benjamin.

The Surgeon General website says that this office oversees 6,500 people. It is their job to educate. Wouldn't you think they would start by using their official government website?

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Torn

I am feeling torn by yesterday's vote in Massachusetts. Voters filled Ted Kennedy's U.S. Senate seat with a Republican, a move that will most likely kill healthcare reform legislation in Washington, thus earning Mass voters their nickname "massholes".

But then again, I can't imagine why voters would want someone who reminds me of Martha Stewart representing them in Washington. Yes I understand, Ted Kennedy was a snot, but geeze, was that a Democratic requirement for the seat? I've been wondering today if she was selected because of some sort of entitlement, you know, like the way Dems put Reid and Polosi in the top slots in Congress because they earned it, not because the world is a better place because of it.

But I am not convinced that the world isn't a better place now that the massholes elected a Republican senator. I mean he seems like a colorful guy. Hey, he drives a pickup! He can't be all bad!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Googol

That's googol and not googolplex. A googol is 10 raised to the hundredth power where a googolplex is 10 raised to the googol power. All that is explained here in Wikipedia.

I came across a number much larger than a googol in Discover magazine, December 2008, in an article starting on page 52 titled "A Universe Built for Us" by Tim Folger. Online the article is re-titled "Science's Alternative to an Intelligent Creator: The Multiverse Theory". The number appears on page 57 in the magazine and has a value of 10 raised to the 1,000 power, ten followed by one thousand zeros.

That seems like a very large number to me, but it appears in this article as a speculation of how many different universes there would have to be in creation in order for one of them to support life as we know it. In other words if the universe we exist in evolved randomly after the Big Bang, there would have to be ten followed by a thousand zeros other universes out there that randomly evolved differently from ours.

Fascinating thought, I know.

But the most fascinating part is that the article seems to be saying that scientists, in order to rule out the possibility that our universe's evolution was guided by any form of intelligence, are saying that there must be ten followed by a thousand zeros other universes out there all randomly evolving and none capable of supporting life as we know it.

Smart men these scientists, don't you think?

Climategate taught us that scientists use "tricks" to prove their theories. Would this qualify as a trick?

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Artificial Medicine

"Ask your doctor," the ads say, ask your doctor if this or that patented chemical concoction - being sold for profit but deemed unsafe for healthy people and thus available only by prescription - will work for you.

Isn't it ironic that if you are sick doctors tell you to take chemical cure-alls that would make you sick if you were well, that somehow by doing this you might regain your health. The real irony is that these things are called medicine. Chemical concoctions that are so dangerous that healthy people are by law prohibited from purchasing and using them are being administered to the ill under the assumption that they will somehow make sick people healthy again.

I would like to propose that we call this phenomenon "artificial medicine." If any substance is not safe for use by healthy people, then it is not safe for use by the unhealthy. It is the assumption otherwise that makes them artificial for healing purposes.

Friday, January 08, 2010

Self Destruct Mode

I've come to the conclusion that Wall Street has a built-in self destruct mechanism that nobody seems to be paying attention to even though it nearly destroyed our economy over the past two years. What I am referring to is the commodities trading market which in recent years has come to include things our entire economy depends on like energy, food, and water. These commodities are traded by investors looking for good gains in short-term investments. There are other ways to get such gains, such as milking the cream off the top of the stock market by buying stocks when they dip and selling as soon as there is significant increase in the stock price. Lots of investors make money doing that at the expense many times of long-term investors.

But the commodities market is a different story. Commodities can look good even when the economy and the stock market aren't looking so good. A good example is when the Dow started dropping from its October 2007 high. Investors shaken by the fall of the Dow went looking for something that would hold steady or even go up. They found it in oil and food futures. For awhile there, the first half of 2008, oil was looking like a really good investment so a lot of money went chasing its tail into the oil futures market. The result, as the whole world noticed, was that fuel and food prices headed for the roof.

For the investors - Wall Street - this was seen as a good thing. Money was being made even while the Dow was dropping.

For the rest of the country - Main Street - it was bad. It was inflationary. It devalued the dollar. It was beginning to convince us that suburbia, long commutes, giant houses, and gas-guzzling American-made SUVs were all a bad dream.

The result, driven by this investment in commodities futures, this casino-like mania to make money in a falling economy, drove the whole world's economy into the ditch. And this system still stands waiting for the occasion to rear its head and do the same thing again. I'm no Wall Street expert, but I'd wager that nobody is going to pass laws to prevent commodities speculation the next time the economy takes a dip.