ISO: The Theory of Everything

Just finished up a thought provoking and highly-entertaining treatment of concepts and ideas swirling around related to life, the universe and everything.

Unlike some reviewers of the book, I specifically appreciate that the author tries to synthesize the scientific world view with the religious world view. 

There are too many in life that think the world is so black and white, on both sides, thus being completely unwilling to give credence to what another might say or think across the divide.

The dichotomy reminds me of a couple maxims summarized by Covey and Bragg: 1) first seek to understand, then to be understood, and 2) science and religion are opposed as the thumb and forefinger – between the two you can grasp anything.

I came to a similar simulation theory ages ago (without much science knowledge to back it up, just through general observation and cognitive experiences), I’m glad to see we have some great thinkers spending significant clock-cycles on it.

Somewhere in our future is “The Theory of Everything”.  Keep seeking!

On critical thinking

Think, It’s not illegal, Yet.

Found this post on my Facebook page from back in July, 2012.

What’s sad is, while I thought it was an issue then, it has gotten even worse, and is reminiscent of discussions I find myself having daily.

July 14, 2012

From my vantage point we are experiencing the unprecedented death of critical thinking in the public school systems, in corporate America, and society as a whole.

It seems we no longer teach children to think critically, rather we teach them to be “yes men” (used in a gender neutral sense). We teach them to go with the flow, to not rock the boat.

In corporate America, we want to raise leaders, but we want those leaders to do what they’re told, and not ask questions. We want them to succumb to the collective “group think” of the masses. We discourage individualism, and punish innovation.

I have been so recently fed up with the lack of critical thought process in our world and the self-destructive nature of society that I picked up the book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand and have turned to it, to read it again, at least as another intellectual to commiserate with (I have thoroughly enjoyed some of her other books).

I thought I would leave you with a quote, and then ask you if you sit back and think about it, does this reflect your experience too?

“[you are a] brilliant child who has not seen enough of life to grasp the full measure of human stupidity. I’ve fought it all my life. I’m very tired. . . . Intelligence? It is such a rare, precarious spark that flashes for a moment somewhere among men, and vanishes. One cannot tell its nature, or its future . . . or its death. . . .”

Never a fear of tyranny – from a citizen of America

Has anyone else noticed that with the failure of trying to make the Zimmerman case about race, the liberal media is now running a significantly higher number of stories about gun violence in an attempt to capitalize on fears of the uninformed american people.

Remember when the British tried to disarm us?

It was Noah Webster in a letter to Benjamin Franklin who once said:

“A people can never be deprived of their liberties, while they retain in their own hands, a power superior to any other power in the state… Before standing army can rule, the people must be disarmed; as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any preten[c]e, raised in the United States (Webster, 1787).”



Webster, N. (1787). An examination into the leading principles of the federal constitution proposed by the late convention held at philadelphia: With answers to the principal objections that have been raised against the system. Prichard & Hall, in Market Street, the second door above Laetitia Court. Retrieved from Google Scholar.


Is there such thing as Universal Ethics?

Absolutely!  😉

Whole books and doctoral theses have been written to address this question, so it is not something that can be answered in passing.  However, I can provide some insight from those much more eloquent in the economics of universal ethics.

Rather than providing specific value statements of right and wrong to be argued over, let us look at this from the perspective of establishing whether or not there is such thing as universal statements of right and wrong.  The first question then to be answered is whether, when I make a value statement, am I intending to assert a universal, or am I just making a statement of feelings only.

C.S. Lewis, the Christian philosopher and theologian, addresses this question in detail in his book the Abolition of Man.  He states that all but the trousered ape would understand that our expression of value statements go beyond a personal bias and individual experience.  He summarizes that when I say something is beautiful, I am not merely asserting that I think it is beautiful, I am asserting that part of the nature of the object is that it is beautiful.  He goes on to pose this argument in another form, using reductio ad absurdum Lewis suggests the claim that value statements are to be interpreted as personal statements can be seen prima facie to be absurd if I were to say I do not feel well, and someone were to respond, nonsense, I feel just fine (Lewis, 2009).

Extending this argument, Lewis also poses the idea that even those that claim that rightness and wrongness is subjective would on one hand steal from someone in the first moment, but then assert as fact the unfairness of any act that allowed them to be stolen from (Lewis, 2001).  The idea being, whether or not we can agree on a set of value statements, all humans have this inborn idea, this natural law as Lewis calls it, that there is indeed a set of value statements that assert rightness and wrongness universally.

After establishing the statement that all humans have this idea of rightness and wrongness, the next challenge then is to understand how, with diverse background and cultures and experiences, we can all come to agreement on what is truly without a bias, right and wrong.  The answering of which, however,  is beyond the scope of this post.



Lewis, C. S. (2001). Mere christianity (Kindle ed.). New York: HarperSan Francisco. Retrieved from Library of Congress or OCLC Worldcat.

Lewis, C. S. (2009). The abolition of man (Kindle ed.). HarperCollins. Retrieved from

doubleplus doublethink from minitrue!

An interesting exercise in doublethink.


Nothing is true. Because we know that nothing is true cannot be true unless it is false, we can state that nothing is true is false. The opposite of untruth is truth; therefore to find the truth, we must find the opposite of the untruth. Because pure and base untruth cannot contain any truth, and because there is nothing more devoid of everything than nothing, in order to find the most pregnant opposite of nothing, we must find a word that incorporates nothing less than the total opposite of nothing, which is everything. Therefore because everything is the completed opposite of nothing, and because the most truth must be a complete opposite of the most untruth – then the truth to counteract the untruth that nothing is true is to argue that everything is true. Therefore, because we know that nothing is true is false, then everything is true is true.

So what came before that?


This thought came from a “What caused the Big Bang” type of discussion.


Something had to cause the Big Bang, unless the Big Bang always existed (which is not possible, as it would have always existed as a point of singularity unless acted upon by an outside force – so then the question would be where did that force come from, and you would end up in a impossible series of circular questioning).


So, when discussing the Big Bang – something caused it – it is not possible to have something come from nothing (ex nihilo nihil fit) [Out of nothing, nothing comes].


In order for something to come from nothing, it would have to create itself. And something would have to predate itself before it could create itself. That is, it would have to exist, before it existed. This is a logical impossibility.


Nothing has ever come from nothing – philosophically and logically speaking, if there was ever a point in existence where nothing existed, then nothing would still exist – and because we do exist, we know there was never a time when nothing existed (Thomas Aquinas makes this argument in his Quinque Viae).


In fact, not even God could create himself; therefore God must have always existed (which is a central claim to the Judeo-Christian doctrine).


Additionally, God would be changeless (RE: The same, yesterday, today and tomorrow) – another foundational claim to central Judeo-Christian teaching, and God would need nothing, He would be complete and whole in his personage, being able to exist eternally without input or output (another central claim to the Judeo-Christian doctrine).



The Hardest Logic Puzzle in the World….

It’s been called the hardest logic puzzle in the world – it did take me a a while to solve it, without having any hints, clues, and never hearing of the puzzle before… It was a lot of fun…. See if you can figure it out (without cheating!). 🙂

Three gods A, B, and C are called, in some order, ‘True’,

‘False’, and ‘Random’. True always speaks truly, False always speaks

falsely, but whether Random speaks truly or falsely is a completely random

matter. Your task is to determine the identities of A, B, and C by asking

three yes-no questions; each question must be put to exactly one god. The

gods understand English, but will answer all questions in their own language,

in which the words for ‘yes’ and ‘no’ are ‘da’ and ‘ja’, in some order.

You do not know which word means which.

Can you solve it?

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