Why have a nose?


If not to smell mint?

Yesterday the plant came home from the grocery store in plastic.  Last night a pouring rain beat it down.  Later this summer I will try to establish this out in the yard.

I live among pines.  While I don’t know the history of this land, my guess is that this entire street was someone’s farm.  Once farming ceased, pines were either started, or they simply took over.  Then the land was sold.  Homes were built.

Years ago I read The One Straw Revolution, by Masanobu Fukuoka.  I am starting to think that his approach should be my approach to gardening.  Just try planting stuff. See what actually grows.

Instead of imposing my will by creating a garden, sew seeds in the woods and observe what grows.  Don’t work too hard.  Don’t work against nature.  Learn to work with it.  Fukuoka found that certain radishes did well on his forest/farm.  Maybe I’ll start there.





Not sure what sprouting has to do with God.  However, assuming that God does exist, and that God is the life force of the universe, then sprouting must have something to do with God.

Keeping a garden is a good use of time.  There is nothing like caring for your own food.  Only you can ensure that you are eating the freshest most nutritious food possible.

The system keeps us alive.  The machine.  95% of us in cities.  The rest growing our food.  The system works.  But the food is not the freshest nor the best-est.  It can’t be.   The system has to provide for everyone.

Muscular dystrophy now prevents me from keeping a garden.  I can hardly move around, let alone dig clay.

My gardening efforts have been reduced to a few potted plants, and kitchen counter-space, enough for a few sprouting-jars.

I used to work hard in the yard, digging soil.  Planting seeds.  Weeding.  Watering.  Making compost.  In the lower deserts of Arizona it was possible to eat something home grown every day, if you were willing to work for it.  Now i live in North Carolina.  I wish i could start a garden here.  It should be possible to eat year round here too, with some winter protection.

Fruit trees are some of my favorite plants.  I love planting them.  I love to tend to them.  I loved raking leaves around the base of the trees in the fall.  Pruning trees in winter is a joy.  Lots of work.  Generally, about two or three weeks of eating.  Then, wait for next year, or grow something else.

Some lessons are learned the hard way.  Now that i can hardly move anymore, I grow sprouts because that’s about all I can do.  But, sprouting seeds is almost effortless.  As a food, sprouts are more nutritious than the adult vegetables.  Now I eat better, and with less effort than ever, by eating sprouts.  It took a lifetime of gardening to figure this out.  It took losing the ability to work as hard as i used to love working to figure this out.

What does this have to do with God?  I don’t know.  But sprouting is an easy way to keep a garden.  Gardens do have something to do with God.

Faith and Assumptions


In the last post, I argued that faith-based beliefs are irrational.  To deepen this perspective, we will look at things from another angle.   Let’s compare the definitions of ’faith’ and ‘to assume’.

Faith: Belief without evidence or proof

To assume: to take as true without evidence or proof

‘Faith’ is a noun, while ‘to assume’ is a verb.  But, otherwise, these two definitions are nearly identical. There is a slight difference between believing in something, and taking it as true. Faith is more committed to an idea than an assumption needs to be.  But, faith plays the same role in the mind as assumptions do.  They enable reasoning.

Faith itself is not reasoning.  Faith is belief.  Belief is a starting point in reasoning.  Before we can question our beliefs, we must first believe.  Religious faith accepts its assumptions uncritically.  Faith is acquired and faith is passed on.  Faith is community-defined belief.  The group has a say in what the members profess.  Faith is not knowledge.  It comes without evidence or proof.  Faith does not know.  Faith merely accepts as true.

Faith can be wrong.  When there is evidence to support an idea, we can place more confidence in the idea.  Faith says, “I am true,” but without evidence.  Rationality is more skeptical.  A rational thinker realizes that faith could be wrong.  The rational person does not accept incredible claims without credible evidence.  It is rational to question faith.  It is rational to ask, “Is it true?”

Faith can be taken too far.

Delusion: A strongly held mistaken belief that cannot be swayed by evidence to the contrary

When we question faith, especially in the face of overwhelming evidence that its claims are wrong, we are behaving rationally.  When the faithful cannot change their thinking, even when their thinking can be shown to be wrong, they are delusional.  There is no problem in having faith in an idea before there is evidence to support it.  But ignoring evidence to the contrary is wrong.  Ignoring evidence to the contrary is not honest.  How strong is your faith?  Is it delusional strong?  A delusional person believes they are right when they are wrong.  And when we show where they are wrong, they still claim to be correct.

Rationality is a choice.  We have to choose to be rational, in order to become rational.  Faith happens to everyone.  We are all born into some form of faith.  We do not choose our initial beliefs.  Delusion is also not a choice. Delusion believes what it wants to believe, evidence be damned.  The delusional mind cannot help itself.

Rationality is not an easy choice.  Especially when faith can be so comforting.  It is comforting to believe that your beliefs are valid and true.  It is discomforting to realize they may not be. 

Rationality seeks to believe that which is true.  And to not believe that which is false.  Faith does not aspire to be true or correct.  Faith only claims that it is so.


Christian salvation makes no sense.  Supposedly, because we are all sinners, none of us gets to heaven, except through Jesus.  In order to be forgiven for our sins, we first need to accept Jesus into our lives.  He died on the cross for us.  We should be grateful for this act of love.

But is this how a loving God would treat us?  After all, God could have simply forgiven us for our sins.  So, why does He require an unblemished human male to be sacrificed, first?  And if he sends his only begotten son to his death, does he love His Son? If He loves his Son, and if He loves us too, why would He be pleased by this crucifixion?

Should we be angry at Pontius Pilate because he sentenced Jesus to die?  Pontius Pilate is portrayed in Christian lore as one of the bad guys.  But, in order for God’s plan for salvation to actually work, someone had to kill Jesus on our behalf.  If I accept salvation from Christ, does that make me an accessory to His murder?  Why would I want to be a part of that?

Christian theology is wrong.  God does not require a human sacrifice before forgiveness can be granted.  Christianity is based on a primitive and brutal understanding of God.  The path to salvation does not begin with the murder of Christ.

God and Time

Someone once said that we should think of God as the set of all true statements.  If that is all that God is — an infinitely large set of true statements — then I believe that God exists.  Because I believe in true statements.  I can’t argue with that.  But I am not sure that we should worship God either, if that’s all He is.  Don’t get me wrong.  I hold truth as the highest virtue.  And the set of all true statements would be of the utmost importance in society, especially if we could somehow tap into it.  But I don’t believe that a mere set of true statements can hear prayers.

There are different levels of infinity.  Some infinite sets are countable, in the sense that each member of the set could be associated with a unique counting number.  Other sets are uncountably large.  There are many more members in the uncountably large set than we have numbers to associate with each of them.  The set of all true statements is uncountably large.  If there are an uncountably infinite number of points between 0 and 1 ( — and there are —), then there is an uncountable infinity within set of statements that could be made about just those points between two consecutive integers.  Now extend that to how many true statements could be made about any given point within the space-time continuum.  Try to imagine a mind with a total and comprehensive awareness of everything.

I can’t do it.  I cannot imagine it.  I do not believe that such a mind could exist.  What is the mind of God made of, if everything that exists came after God?  How could the mind of God exist before anything that does exist was actually created?  How could a mind with no physical substance think everything that would need to be thought of in order to make the universe a reality?

If God had thoughts before the universe existed, then thoughts predate existence.  How can thoughts predate existence?  Before the existence of time, how did God think?  Thinking is a form of processing.  Processing is an action.  What changed in God’s thinking that caused Him to create the universe, if He had always existed before He created time itself?  What is the nature of a timeless eternity?  Why did God’s timeless mind suddenly change?  That would have had to have been the starting point of time itself.  That point where God’s thoughts were set into motion.


That liberal-conservative continuum, where Democrats and Republicans represent ‘polar-opposites,’ — I am not on that continuum.  I can see it from where I stand.  But I am not defined by Democrat nor Republican points of view.  I am defined by my own point of view.  Not everyone sees the world this way.   Some can only see it from the perspective of the fish they school with.