The Shorter the Skirt, the Higher the Kick

Guttural writing and interactive mind games from 'the sweetest girl on the Internet'. No minors or morally outraged, please! ;-)

Topic: Does God Watch When I Masturbate?

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When I signed up for the FriendFinder network (which you all are welcome to join) I entered all kinds of information about myself, including selecting my religion from a drop-down list. I selected 'Atheist' without hesitation, since I simply don't believe there is a God in any reasonably religious sense of the word. This wasn't a hard choice; I am clear over my present feelings and thoughts on the matter. (In fact I thought much longer about what my true height and weight really are.) If other people think differently, or I change my own beliefs at a later point, that's perfectly alright too; although some unpleasant personality traits like intolerance, over-complacency and repressiveness can appear in religious form with certain people, I pretty much believe these traits would have appeared with these people regardless of religion – just as I believe that most of the genuinely good qualities some people maintain in themselves within a religious context would have been there without religion too.

So when I got a message via this network from a man in his early fifties who said that he would like to hear my opinion about a statement that perhaps could rock my world, religion was the farthest thing from my mind. But it was a tall order with high stakes, which I love, so of course I asked to hear the statement. This is what he wrote back:

"Did you ever wonder why there are all these constants in mathematical and physical formulas - and why the constants have the value they do - why can't they be changed? And what would happen it they did change?

Well in the fall of 1973 the worlds most eminent scientists met in Krakow, Poland to commemorate Copenicus - One of te speakers was Brandon Carter - and his presentation of the anthropic principle in cosmology made waves in the decades to come.

Brandon Carter, a cosmologist from Cambridge University, was curious about the constants too and he examined them during the Big Bang creation of the world - today a generally accepted and established theory by science -

The anthropic principle says that all the seemingly arbitrary and unrelated constants in physics have one strange thing in common - these are precisely the values you need if you want to have a universe capable of producing life - in essence the anthropic principle comes down to the observation that all the myriads of laws of physics were fine-tuned from the very beginning of the universe for the creation of man - that the universe we inhabit -appeared to be expressly designed for the emergence of human beings!!!

an example: The nuclear weak force is 28th power of 10 times the strength of gravity. Had the weak force been slightly weaker all the hydrogen of the universe would have turned into helium making the existence of water impossible

and another: a stronger nuclear strong force would have prevented the formation of protons - yielding a universe without atoms. increasing this force by 5% would have resulted in a universe without stars.

and the list goes on and on - a comprehensive compilation of the coincidences can be found in the book "Universes" by John Leslie.

Somebody formulated the results of this research as you might have heard it. The likelyhod of human beings appearing in this universe by pure coincidence is a lot less than the likelyhood of a tornado sweeping through a car junkyard and assembling a perfect Cadillac Seville year XXXX out of the junk -"

(The message continues with some brief remarks regarding parallel universes, wormholes, and chaos theory, but let's just say that at least one of us must be very confused on the subjects – I didn't really understand those parts.)

As you might see, I got a little disappointed by the message writer’s world-rocking abilities at first. But he spent more time and thought on his message than most people writing me do, and he seems driven by motives I basically sympathize with, so I’ll try to share my feelings on the subject with him and the rest of you.

First off: Of course it is amazing that we are here - you, I, and the rest of the human race - and the probability of it seems very low. That a universe with solid matter would form at all from the Big Bang was by no means obvious – but time as we perceive it only exists in our little universe bubble, and there may have been many, many other Big Bangs producing different results 'before' ours, and there may be even more yet to come.

If Earth had revolved more than 5 percent nearer or 15 percent farther from the sun than it does, human life wouldn't have been possible. (But several other forms of Earth life would still do OK, and yet others would probably emerge.) If Earth hadn't possessed a molten interior with swirling magma, it wouldn't have the kind of atmosphere we need or the magnetic fields protecting us from cosmic radiation, and if Earth's surface had been flat instead of made up from continent plates floating around on the magma, Earth would have been evenly covered with water to a depth of 4 kilometers (13 000 ft.). If a lot of amazing coincidences hadn't taken place, from the Mars-sized object slamming into Earth 4.5 billion years ago causing our moon to form from the debris (which provides the gravitational stability facilitating long and successful development of advanced life on this planet) to the KT meteor 245 million years ago (which, while starting the events causing the extinction of 95 percent of all animal species known from the time, put a stop to the dinosaur reign over Earth), things would have been very different.

But then again, the world is full of amazing coincidences; yesterday I was talked into a five-card poker game, and got the opening hand two of diamonds, five of clubs, eight of hearts, nine of hearts, and four of spades. The probability of getting this hand is one in two million five hundred and ninety-eight thousand nine hundred and sixty. It is also a completely useless hand, but its likelihood is still as small as the likelihood of getting an Imperial Straight Flush. (I folded gracefully, but a Turkish girl went 'all in' with an almost as crappy hand, and when she had lost her bet we all abandoned the game to carefully debate which – if any – items of clothes and jewelry she should be allowed to keep wearing after such a loss.) So all we can say about development of life on Earth is really that if these amazing things hadn't been true, something else, equally amazing, would have been.

What I don't quite see, however bigheaded you may become, is how the coincidence-shaped universe in which we happen to be able to live can be regarded as a universe "expressly designed for the emergence of human beings". We're a passing fad I'm afraid, slowly losing both the sun and the moon, and conditions don't seem to have been that favorable for us to begin with. (The species living in the 94.5 percent of Earth's habitable volume that we can't survive in might have made much smarter choices in the long run, and no matter which inventions we produce, we will never gain the survival skills of lichen. The insects which may succeed us as the dominant species of Earth will probably have much better proofs of how all of Earth's evolution led up to their reign than we have.)

Apparently, all or almost all of us are direct descendants from a group of a couple of hundred people who left Africa about twenty-five thousand years ago. If they would have had an accident along the way, no dice. As someone wrote in Science a few years ago: "There’s more [genetic] diversity in one social group of fifty-five chimps than in the entire human population."

Let's say that again: You are more closely related to every single human being - Caucasian, African-American, Eskimo, or Chinese – on this planet than two chimps from the same social group are to each other, and it is truly amazing that any of us are here at all.

If we prance around regarding the Earth as our inherited, eternal possession, we will naturally start abusing it and fighting over it straight away, but if we see our common existence as the passing piece of dumb luck it really is, we'll probably be more inclined to cling together and make each other's lives as easy as possible.

So why would anyone against their better judgment want to claim this 'anthropic principle' about intentions behind the scientific laws? As far as I can see, it's just the Church's love of Science, basically unanswered in the Western world since Scholastic Philosophy broke down into something resembling a junk heap about four hundred years ago, marking the end of what we slightly unfairly call 'The Dark Ages'. Since then, a certain group of religious people have constantly tried to find new 'scientific' signs of God's existence, all basically equivalent to "There must be an intelligent creator of the world since human beings had ears sticking out from their heads for thousands of years before they started wearing glasses."

To me, the quest seems a bit contra-productive, since religion is about believing and science about doubting, but if someone wants to make a scientific claim about God's existence, they should probably start by considering Karl Popper's rule: Anyone making a scientific claim should be prepared to state the circumstances under which she would abandon that claim.

So if you have a 'scientific' belief in God, you must be able to state which scientific findings would make you stop believe in God.

Again, I am naturally not trying to argue against religion – I would just like to stop some abuse of science. Western people used to want a strong God, striking people down and so, then they wanted an omnipotent God, the kind of which Homer Simpson asks Ned Flanders 'Can Jesus heat a microwave burrito so much he can't eat it?', and since that doesn't really work they now want a listening, observing God, who at least can provide an intention behind all of our confused existence, and that's fine by me.

Will He watch us tonight? If anyone gets a kick from that, I don't see the harm, but if He would start to get old-school judgmental and talk about His clever intentions, I would have to caution Him that He is on a very slippery slope.

Read on:

15 bounce-backs:

Anonymous Cristopher says...,

You? Hell yeah! Me? Naaaahhh...

Anonymous bapuda says...,

But surely a sense of gratitude for all the miracles in life can't be wrong?

Anonymous AdrianeL says...,

like ABBA said 'thank you for the music'...

Anonymous RS says...,

But someone else sang "you dont know what you been missin/all my lovin all my kissin"

Blogger -E says...,

Only when he's feeling lonely and cant get any of his own action ;)

Blogger volterwd says...,

"Did you ever wonder why there are all these constants in mathematical and physical formulas - and why the constants have the value they do - why can't they be changed? And what would happen it they did change?

What idiot wrote this crap.... apparently one without an understanding of mathematics

Blogger Dr. Forbush says...,

From the science perspective of your post I would like to point out that because all these coincidences happened we can be here asking the questions. Just think about all the places where these things did not happen. Obviously there aren't any animals or people to even pose the question: "Isn't it too bad that the sun is too hot or the planet is too far away or whatever.

On the Masterbation question I would say that he could watch if he chose to, but he is much to polite for that. He'd just turn his attention to something else that's happening and smile back at you once you were done.

Blogger Alice: In Wonderland or Not says...,

Being a student of anthropology I think whoever wrote that was for the most part not fully informed or even doing all that much inventive thinking. Mathmatically, as has already been pointed out he is wrong.
On the masturbation question I really doubt he give a crap to him masturbation is just more of the same.

Blogger Andy Dabydeen says...,

A big mistake that most people make is believing they're special enough to warrant any attention. Even when they're masturbating. If there was a god, I'd think she'd have better things to do with her time.

Your post was entertaining though. ;-)

Blogger schuey says...,

Just read your blog and found it utterly amusing. Keep on. Like it.

Blogger Weasel Panties says...,

Although that was very interesting, I have to point out that "specific" is not the same as "improbable", and that in fact the probability of something is strongly indicated by its existence. IOW, we do reqiure very specific circumstances in order to exist, but the fact of our existence more strongly indicates that those circumstances are probable than improbable.

Anonymous George Turner says...,

God only watches the women folk do it, but only with the purest motives.

And darn.

I see you ran afoul of Spats. I'll see what I can do. That was very entertaining.

Blogger Bloghead says...,

Referring to the guy, sciencetific whatever. I've been thinking about religion and faith. The problem is not if science or whatever can prove if GOD exist. Sometime, it all boils down to belief and faith. No point arguing and trying to prove anything. It's either you believe or you don't. Like president Bush say, "You're either with me or againts me". Live the life you want to live and be happy.

Blogger sexploitster says...,

trixie...God is not watching, but i will if given teh chance ;-)


Anonymous Anonymous says...,

Do insects masturbate?


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