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You're Kidding Me!

By Carl S ~

My beloved brought up something about Einstein after we’d watched the ten part TV series, “Genius.” She said, “He wasn't a very nice man. He neglected his family, especially his wife. And yet he found time to have sex with other women.” I pointed out he was human, that even psychopaths and the mentally-impaired have sex-drives. I mentioned a conversation I once had with her pastor's wife. “I have this book,” I said, “about medical pioneers whose work saved millions of lives. But they were not the kinds of people you'd want to know.” The pastor's wife was disappointed. Looks like she didn't notice her own people-saving Jesus wasn’t a pleasant individual, either.

Maybe Einstein's obsession with finding solutions for the deepest questions humans have always asked was connected with his sexuality and his attraction to intellectual women. (Physics was his lifelong mistress.) Maybe he had no choice but to be uniquely himself; if he was different, he couldn't discover what he did. It brings to mind one man's question to Sigmund Freud, as he thought of becoming his patient: “If my devils depart, will my angels also leave?” I think about this. I've met individuals who've been converted to a religion, ”turned their lives around,” and it's kind of scary. I've found them without the color and vibrancy and nastiness that made their personalities. Sure, they felt good, but at what cost? Did they have any choice than to choose what they did? That question was prompted by watching another program.

Last night the series, “Big Pacific” aired on PBS. I'm completely fascinated by the variety of organisms in the oceans: Fish that resemble seaweed, rocks, bones, and even sand. Combinations of organisms. Shape-shifters. Bio-luminescence, etc., etc. Crabs living near vents spewing toxins lethal to all other life forms. So, too, land and sky organisms are of infinite variety, human individuals included. Organisms visible only under a microscope have killed billions of humans. Everything known came from simple life forms beginning billions of years ago, changing through evolution and chaos! None had a choice of what forms they became, did not ask to come into existence, or to perish.

Aren't human brains unchosen? Isn't every brain different, varying from genius, to savant, to imbecility in its abilities, in intensity or insensitivity of social skills, intensity of or lack of emotions, presence or absence of a moral compass? Many claim without proof genius is a “gift” of God or gods. Clergy and theologians claim “conscience” is “evidence” for the existence of God. If so, how to explain the brains of psychopaths, which are selfishly conscience-free? Psychopaths lack empathy or love for others; those who kill are without the emotion of remorse. What about mothers who don't have maternal instincts and can't force themselves to feel the love for their children they are told they should feel? It makes sense if brains are created, damaged, or altered by natural forces alone. Nature, whether in organisms, weather, or the universe, is moved by blind natural forces using “what's there,” adapting. Adapt, depart, or perish. These rules also apply to religions that reject evolution.

Perhaps even the Universe and history have no choices. Millions of religiously-raised people mention the “Plan” or “plans” of their deity. Perhaps this god has no plan, no choice, either. If so, then the history of Earth, all progress and set-backs on it, every natural and man-made misery and disaster, (famine, plagues, earthquakes, etc.), all joys and disappointments, all the wars and tortures and executions of “infidels” resulting from creeds and sects, are supported by their deity's cosmic silent assent. The plan also means thousands of years of living in ignorance were necessary for humans to learn powerful, obvious facts (which millions still reject because of created “human nature”). Millions believe the plan continues past the world's ending, to include “predestination”: most humans will go to eternal torture after they die. This begins with their pre-birth, pre-embryonic stage. That's the all-wise plan? I prefer “the blind forces of nature” explanation. No kidding.