Father, religion, society... And science


pale blue dot

Yesterday I felt it was urgent that I declined help to "my dad" (he once said I'm not his son anymore). He needed a place to sleep, I had some room... But not for him, not like that, not that night.

I just realized I had also almost nobody I could've asked to keep him, in a Saturday Night. I do have many friends who would certainly take me if I were in a similar situation, but I doubt any of those who know my dad would ever take him. In fact, I haven't even thought of asking friends for that... I could only come up with the idea of going to the latest "religious temple" I've came around: it's currently called Laboriosa 89. Because they do have some lounging space.

I desire this fate for nobody. Having to decline help to your father. I think I'm generally quite good at meditating, but I couldn't take my mind away of this for about 38 hours now. Whenever I consider what I'm doing with him, I always ask myself "what if he dies next, would I have done anything differently?" and try to be sure I wouldn't. I'm constantly monitoring myself to do my best to anyone. And still, I couldn't sleep well. The sleeping issue might have been a coincidence, since I've got problems there since I was a kid. But being unable to refresh my mind is sure related.

I'm not positive if I ever talked about this man before, in this blog. I'm pretty sure I've wished many times to have no dad or getting an absent one. Not to say it would have been any good, but it would still have been much better than this. I've also described him as the most evil person I've ever known. When I say "dad" most readers will correlate with their own experience. Don't. He ( like most of my life, but that's another story ) is yet another datapoint completely out of any regular curve. He's nothing you've known.

Well, I guess my point here is I woke up and came to the internet thinking I need a religion.

For too long I need a place in society, at least. And probably a religion-I-can-agree-with is a good pathway to that. Since the first one I've ever been part, for a while (it's like pro-vida and scientology, same brainwashing but money free) I noticed I've been trying many, of many different kinds. Laboriosa is almost a church, though it's not at all selling itself as one. Skeptics Guide to the Universe is a religion, even if they would probably never identify themselves as such (I guess). Recently I've came around EduOnTour (there I am in the picture for this year) and Startup Weekend as well, for a little while. I spent even less time on pastafarianism and kopimism, both lovely ideas, but probably too small to find a minimum of what I need in a religion.

There are many religious "movements" that choose their own labels and refrain from others. I'm looking for one that doesn't. And promote science, logic and communication above all. And is big enough to have (or at least open enough to promote having) little churches anywhere and everywhere. I actually doubt anything like this exists... At least in portuguese or english.

Today I'll start trying to focus more on finding that. I think this is critical for me, and maybe more so than anything else I've been doing. Maybe I'll have to start thinking more seriously about creating it, since I don't think it exists. Or maybe I should just join whichever comes closer.

All I know is that if I was part of such a religion which I deeply agree with, I could have said to my always-begging-father something like "join in here or leave me alone". I need to get closer to people who believe the same things I do and as far as possible from those who don't. Specially my father. He's opposite to my beliefs and I guess that's what makes him both sick (by all measures) and terribly evil (by my measure). Still I would love to keep my door open even for such people, but who are really willing to change their mind.

Now, many people might ask:

What does religion have to do with science?! Are you fucking nuts?

I've got no science to back me up, but I think the brain needs some kind of religion to stay healthy. We need to believe, if in nothing else, in luck at least. We need to stop trying to think we can do everything, as a single person. And that we have the power to fix everything. Even collectively, we can't fix everything. And that is okay. In fact, there is nothing to be fixed. We're here only trying to enjoy life and nobody knows why. The only question to be answered on "why we exist" should be "how to make life most enjoyable for me and everyone". That's all there is to it. And without that if we give room for the brain to trying to "fix everything" it will collapse.

I believe the important thing about religion is enabling us to have a common vocabulary and understanding of social rules by helping on explaining, even if only through a bit of logic, things science can't explain yet. To ease up the brain stress and allow us to better concentrate on keep moving. After all, the brain's main function is movement. In fact, it malfunctions a fucking lot and it's in general a much worse tool than we like to admit. It is very limited indeed, more the reason why so many of us hope for the machine overlords to come up soon.

Although it's mostly associated with God I'd say religion, in the sense I'm trying to define here, isn't about coming up with deities or explanations for everything. It's more about achieving a piece of mind. About a concise group of people with common goals. Helping us to do things which shall yield good results back for everyone, without needing to know exactly why.

And it doesn't matter if a "God" exists or not, but the word sure exists and is already used to define something. So we should be able to use it. Peter Pan and Santa Claus also doesn't exist, but if you heard of them you automatically know what a Peter Pan syndrome is and what would mean "Santa is the town". I do love the huckabee's white sheet, as much as I love this cartoon (which I just translated):

Finally, if this is too long for you to read, I can probably sum it up and add couple points:

  • My father is way too difficult for me and I need to find a well organized community
  • A religion could make a lot of sense, if its main motto is science and communication
  • Churches can actually be desirable for a society, focusing on the socializing aspect
  • Our brain needs peace of mind to focus on our daily activities
  • I probably need to do a deep research about my brain belief there
  • I hope I can build the cregox Advisor to help in this quest

Time to move again, with ai+mprove anywhere!
Yosemite kernel panic, a crash screen like BSoD

My mom just pointed me to a great article about how to keep a relationship with dysfunctional people (not just family members unlike the title and most choosing of words may lead you to believe).

She makes great points. In a nutshell, basically re-interpreting them and reducing a bit:

  • Get in the calm mood and keep calm
  • To keep in touch, talk only about light and positive things, focusing their good side
  • When you feel the needed to resolve issues, talk about yourself by pointing fingers only at yourself and how you feel
  • When they ask something, learn to say "no": quit trying to please everyone and embrace the whole world

That is basically how I've been handling the situation, except not perfectly and not all that consciously about all those aspects. So it sure helps listing them down and thinking better on how to go about.

But that's far from saying it all...

Even in such a lucid topic about relationships, she fails to see where the value of a "family" comes. Why it exists, why do we value it so much?

I don't know why, but I can picture one good possible origin. It's analogous to marriage.

We need support from other people, and having one person supporting another sounds like a good plan to have at least 1 dedicated person aware of all your needs in exchange for you'd be aware for them.

The origin of marriage, could very well be to get lands out of family blood, specially when the family wants a person from outside who will be better for them both, but couldn't do it if it wasn't the same "family blood".

Family basis is children. Taking care of children. We sure need much teaching for our first decade or two of our lives, and that's no minor task. It only makes sense whoever brought them to the world should be held responsible, right?

Well, not really. That open doors for many kind of abuses, from both parts. And it helps keeping dysfunctional people in society. What if parents were not obligated to take care of kids? Instead, they would have to prove they can do it. It'd be actually illegal to keep kids if you're not licensed. Your "punishment" for having a kid you don't want won't be "having to raise it". It will be "jail", since you're unlicensed. You can't discount your anger on them anymore.

The license could be very simple: adopt any person for 1 year. Take care of them...

Anyway, I'm going too far on impossible utopian dreams! Time to stop.