Ricky M.'s Thoughts

My thoughts on life, relationships, religion, spirituality, the paranormal and more.

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Pluto is No Longer a Planet

It was quite a shock for me when I read on the internet that Pluto was no longer considered a planet. But what i admired though about science, was the speed in which the decision was made. It is nice to note that science is humble enough to accept that it does not know everything and that what may be considered true now may no longer be considered true tomorrow.

Imagine all the science books which may have to be revised due to this new truth. All the grade schoolers have to be told that what they learned last year is now quite different.

Looking at the webpage "http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pluto", we see how the contraversy unfolds. Quoting from the webpage:

"Planetary status controversy
Pluto's official status as a planet has been a constant subject of controversy since at least as early as 1978, when Charon was discovered. Since then, further discoveries intensified the debate in the 21st century.

Omission from museum models
Museum and planetarium directors occasionally would create controversy by omitting Pluto from planetary models of the solar system. Some omissions were intentional; the Hayden Planetarium reopened after renovation in 2000 with a model of 8 planets without Pluto. The controversy made headlines in the media at the time. [20]

New discoveries ignite debate

Pluto compared to 2003 UB313, 2005 FY9, 2003 EL61, Sedna, Quaoar, and EarthContinuing advances in telescope technology allowed for further discoveries of Trans-Neptunian objects in the 21st century, some of comparable size to that of Pluto. In 2002, 50000 Quaoar was discovered, with a 1,280 kilometers diameter, making it a bit more than half the size of Pluto. In 2004, the discoverers of 90377 Sedna placed an upper limit of 1,800 kilometers on its diameter, near Pluto's diameter of 2,320 kilometers.

On July 29, 2005, a Trans-Neptunian object called 2003 UB313 (nicknamed "Xena") was announced, which on the basis of its magnitude and simple albedo considerations is assumed to be slightly larger than Pluto. This was the largest object discovered in the solar system since Neptune in 1846. Discoverers and media initially called it the "tenth planet", although there was no official consensus at the time on whether to call it a planet. Others in the astronomy community considered the discovery to be the strongest argument for reclassifying Pluto as a minor planet."

In contrast, take a look at this website :


"THE Archbishop of Canterbury and other church leaders apologised yesterday for wars, racism and other sins committed in the name of Christianity.

The leaders, who between them represent nearly every Christian in Britain, took time out from the universal rejoicing over what has been billed as the "birthday of Christ", to admit for the first time the harm
done by Christianity over the past 2,000 years. They said that it was "an appropriate thing to do at the
time of the millennium".

While vague in its outline, the apology was described by Dr George Carey's office as a "general confession" intended to cover both private and public wrongs."

I am giving the catholic church the benefit of a doubt. Is this actually the first time that they have publicly acknowledged for their wrongs? Does it take that many centuries to apologize to Galilieo, or is it because it is only now that they have realized that Galileo is correct?

The church contraversy can be seen in this webpage:


"With the loss of many of his defenders in Rome because of Dialogue Concerning the Two Chief World Systems, Galileo was ordered to stand trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633. The sentence of the Inquisition was in three essential parts:

Galileo was required to recant his heliocentric ideas; the idea that the Sun is stationary was condemned as "formally heretical".
He was ordered imprisoned; the sentence was later commuted to house arrest.
His offending Dialogue was banned; and in an action not announced at the trial and not enforced, publication of any of his works was forbidden, including any he might write in the future."

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Is Gnosticism on the Rise?

For the past few months, I have heard of this word crop up a number of times. In the "Judas Gospel" it was mentioned a number of times. In the internet forum which I visited, the term was also used when an ongoing discussion about God was in full swing. Even the movie "The Matrix", which I found quite profound and thought provoking was rumored to have a Gnostic theme. The funny thing is no one really would talk about it at length. Some Christian material which I have read mention it, but does not fully expound on the belief.

So as usual, I started researching with the help of the internet on my own. I took a look at www.religioustolerance.org. I like this site because it is very concise with its explanations.


This webpage outlines the beliefs of the gnostics. The most notable for me are the following:

Deity: The Supreme Father God or Supreme God of Truth is remote from human affairs; he is unknowable and undetectable by human senses. She/he created a series of supernatural but finite beings called Aeons. One of these was Sophia, a virgin, who in turn gave birth to an defective, inferior Creator-God, also known as the Demiurge. (Demiurge means "public craftsman" in Greek.) This lower God is sometimes called Yaldabaoth or Ialdabaoth Jaldabaoth -- from Aramaic words meaning "begetter of the Heavens." This is Jehovah, the God of the Hebrew Scriptures (Old Testament). He is portrayed as the creator of the earth and its life forms. He is viewed by Gnostics as fundamentally evil, jealous, rigid, lacking in compassion, and prone to genocide. The Demiurge "thinks that he is supreme. His pride and incompetence have resulted in the sorry state of the world as we know it, and in the blind and ignorant condition of most of mankind."

Evil: They did not look upon the world as having been created perfectly and then having degenerated as a result of the sin of Adam and Eve. Rather the world was seen as being evil at the time of its origin, because it had been created by an inferior God.

Snake Symbol: Some Gnostic sects honored the snake. They did not view the snake as a seducer who led the first couple into sinful behavior. Rather, they saw him/it as a liberator who brought knowledge to Adam and Eve by convincing them to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and thus to become fully human.

Christ: The role of the redeemer in Gnostic belief is heavily debated at this time. Gnostics seem to have looked upon Christ as a revealer or liberator, rather than a savior or judge. His purpose was to spread knowledge which would free individuals from the Demiurge's control and allow them to return to their spiritual home with the Supreme God at death.

Goodness, when I saw this, I swear I did a lot of thinking. Everything you've learned in Catholic school has been turned upside down. Imagine, God the Father, a "defective, inferior Creator-God". I have to admit though that this theory would answer a lot of questions on why God in the Old Testament was not as likeable as his supposed son Jesus Christ. A lot of people who are against Christianity are against it because of the behavior of God in the Old Testament. There are many sources in the internet that have talked about this.

Two websites I have seen which are not afraid of voicing out there sentiments are:

From www.evilbible.com, specifically in www.evilbible.com/Murder.htm

The act of murder is rampant in the Bible. In much of the Bible, especially the Old Testament, there are laws that command that people be killed for absurd reasons such as working on the Sabbath, being gay, cursing your parents, or not being a virgin on your wedding night. In addition to these crazy and immoral laws, there are plenty of examples of God's irrationality by his direct killing of many people for reasons that defy any rational explanation such as killing children who make fun of bald people, and the killing of a man who tried to keep the ark of God from falling during transport. There are also countless examples of mass murders commanded by God, including the murder of women, infants, and children.

The following passages are a very small percentage of the total passages approving of murder in the Bible. They are divided here into three parts: 1) Capital Punishment Crimes, 2) God's Murders for Stupid Reasons, 3) Murdering Children, and 4) Miscellaneous Murders. This list is long, but it barely scratches the surface of all the murders approved of in the Bible.

And from www.biblicalnonsense.com, specifically in http://www.biblicalnonsense.com/chapter9.html

Without any conceivable doubt, I firmly believe that the Hebrew god is the most evil character of all time. Starting with the book of Genesis, we learn that he’s an insanely angry deity. Of the many atrocities committed in the Old Testament, God is usually the sole participator. The Genesis authors record the first such instance in chapters 6-8 as the account of Noah’s flood.

The reason that God decides to drown the entire world, killing nearly every living person and animal on earth, is his belief that people are evil and unworthy of existence (Genesis 6:5). So what if they were evil? As Lenny Bruce once exclaimed, “The fault lies with the manufacturer!” God allegedly created humans, yet he faults us for being guided by our desires, instincts, and natural tendencies. Since he’s supposedly omniscient, God realized how we were destined to turn from the beginning. He must also have realized that his lament would fuel the urge to destroy his precious creations, only to leave himself back where he started. Even so, he creates Adam, yet hundreds of years later, he drowns nearly all the men, women, and children on the face of the earth because he deliberately chose not to make us to his liking the first time.

Even if we suppose the adults deserved to die slow and torturous deaths, what association could we conceivably make between their decisions and the adolescent victims of the flood? Couldn’t God have just placed the innocent children and animals aside for a while so that they wouldn’t drown? If not, how about a humane death at the very least? Drowning is a horrible way for people to die. As a result of hopelessly treading water for hours, their muscles burned due to large amounts of lactic acid production. Once they finally gave up, went under, and held their breaths, acidic carbon dioxide eroded their lungs until the unbearable pain forced them to inhale where there was no air for them to breathe. The water brought into their lungs robbed their bodies of oxygen, causing them to go numb. As water violently rushed in and out of their chests, the currents eventually laid their heavily breathing, slowly dying bodies at the bottom of the ocean. The inhaled water caused their lungs to tear and bleed profusely. As their blood supply dwindled, their hearts slowly came to a halt. Even so, their brains continued to process information for another couple of minutes. They were patently aware that death was imminent, yet they could do nothing to speed it or prevent it. I imagine that their final reflections would have been on what they did to deserve such treatment.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Is Religion Logical?

Earlier, there was a caller on the phone and she asked me if I had a certain channel on my cable t.v. The caller was one of those people who preach religion. She was talking about salvation. To cut the conversation with her, I just claimed that I was a buddhist and that I didn't believe in God. She then asked me if I was worried about my salvation since I didn't believe in God. Knowing a little about Buddhism I said that salvation to me is not due to the belief in any deity but due to how you treat other people and thru discipline of the mind which can be acquired thru meditation. I also added that if she does not meditate, she herself may have trouble with her salvation. I further asked her why the God in the Old Testament is very different from Jesus Christ. God in the Old Testament was very strict with loyalty to himself and allowed slavery and polygamy to occur. After a few more discussions, she just closed the phone on me without any notice.

Religion is alive and well on earth. It is here to stay at least for the next few generations and will be shaping the political landscape of this planet. It is something so much a part of our lives and yet we must ask ourselves, is our religion necessarily true, or is it just there to give us hope and keep our ideas of right and wrong in place.

Even if we just take the bigger religions existing today, we can see the differences, differences which sometimes will even conflict each other, differences which will show that not all the teachings of the religions can be true at the same time. On Jesus Christ alone, some believe he is God and man, others belief he was a prophet at best. Some believe in a creator God. Buddhism has no idea of a creator God. If you include other groups outside religion, the situation even becomes messier. Some believe that Judas was bad, others that he was good. Some believe that Jesus Christ never got married, some believe he did. The variety is astonishing, and yet some people believe in their Religion with no question.

What is this thing called faith? According to Webster

1 a : allegiance to duty or a person : LOYALTY b (1) : fidelity to one's promises (2) : sincerity of intentions
2 a (1) : belief and trust in and loyalty to God (2) : belief in the traditional doctrines of a religion b (1) : firm belief in something for which there is no proof (2) : complete trust
3 : something that is believed especially with strong conviction; especially : a system of religious beliefs
synonym see BELIEF
- on faith : without question

Funny, there is no mention about logic. Number 2 says, "firm belief in something for which there is no proof". Is this true? If so, what is the difference between 'faith' and 'blind faith'. Is faith then synonymous with superstition?

Of course there are things we believe even if we currently have no proof. But personally, I feel that ideas based on faith should never be passed on as truth unless the ideas have passed thru a logical process. I went to a religious group before and they were giving me advice on life, and she said that that idea was "according to their spiritual book". That was the only time in my life that I have heard such a statement come from a religious person. I felt so elated knowing that some people still have the decency to separate belief and truth. Remember, beliefs are not necessarily true.

Other people believe in their religion because of their sheer number. They assume that if their religion weren't true, they wouldn't have had that many devotees. Haven't they heard of marketing? If everything was based on truth, there would be plenty of salesmen and marketing people out of a job. There would be a lot less commercials on t.v. and less billboards on the streets.

Answer the next few questions truthfully. What is your favorite country? What is your favorite school? What sex would you want to be if you were to be reincarnated? What is the best religion?

What is the similarity of all these questions? If you'll notice, the answers to them aren't always arrived at logically. A lot of the answers are heavily influenced by loyalty. Did you choose your religion due to loyalty? Does one have to be a statistician to say that the religion you are born into is usually the religion you will have, possibly for the rest of your life. When one strays from his/her original religion, the usual answer would be to give his/her religion a chance, he/she should read more. How about giving the other religions a chance. People hesitant to read about other religions are like people afraid to try out computers and get out of the stone age. It is not necessary to remain in the religion your were born into.

Others have transferred at times when they were depressed and their religion could not alleviate them. Then another religion lifted them from their depressed state. Should decisions be made in a time of depression? This is like a person who is heartbroken from a previous affair and was courted by a person. He/she then answers her/him on the rebound. Are decisions made in such circumstances necessarily correct or even reasonable?

When diffent theories come out which question previous beliefs, I get to see different writers stating that there is not enough proof to say such things. One even said that the new ideas would not stand in a court of law. The big question is will any religion really be able to stand an inquiry in a court of law. It is really a matter of relativity, all sides may not be able to give proof beyond a reasonable doubt, but some are just more believable than the others.

I feel that no belief system should claim or even insinuate that they are always correct. If all belief systems just claim that their ideas are 'theories' and based on certain spiritual books then there wouldn't be much argument, would there?

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Isn't it Fair?

How many times have we heard of people complain of their crushes or current significant others not take them seriously only to find out that these complainers had been doing such things before. Funny thing is some of these complainers are seasoned players in the field who have just been hit by their bad karma.

Ever since I can remember I have seen this pattern recur to often. I used to have a friend who was gorgeous and according to her she was even invited to join a beauty contest. Being friends she would confide to me that she had five boyfriends. Being young and naive, I was never able to ask her exactly what kinds of relationships she was having. Was she really a girfriend or a one night stand. Point is she assumed she had five and she believed that they all loved her dearly. Being blunt and a concerned friend, I once asked her if she was afraid of her karma. She said that she was ready to face her karma. Being as beautiful and alluring as she was I believed she could pull it off. I figured she would replace any man whom would not succumb to her whims. One day she called me and told me that she was depressed because one of her boyfriends was two timing her. I was wondering what her problem was, she could easily find a substitute. Apparently she had fell in love with the guy and wanted to discontinue her relationships with the four others. I said she had five, while her boyfriend had only two and that she was still ahead. Apparently she didn't want that arrangement.

Funny how unreasonable some people can be. I knew of another person who had lots of men. It was a mixture of boyfriends, 'financiers' and I don't know what. After a few years she found out that her 'preferred boyfriend' had not only been cheating on her but had been living in with another woman right under her nose. Her friends and sisters told her that it was about time that she reaped what she had sown. I talked to her and she said that she should be allowed to have several, but her boyfriend must only have one.

This next one had a funny twist. This other woman had several boyfriends and one day her male friend warned her that she had to know something about her boyfriend. This girl was a little brainier, she assumed that her boyfriend was cheating on her so she had a ready answer. She told me that she would have said 'so what! I have two boyfriends as well'. It didn't go that way though. My friend was told that when her male friend was urinating in a public toilet, her boyfriend was looking at his private parts.

The usual answer of these people when I tell them that they are just getting back their karma is 'I don't mind getting dropped or fooled by the other men, but not by him.' Oh well, for all the religiousness of the Philippines we still have this. Initially I thought that this was a case of 'religious hypocrisy', but then I noticed that these people actually felt that they were doing nothing wrong. Can one be a hypocrit when one is in denial of his/her misdeeds? Was this a case of narcissicm instead? When one can love onesself so much that he/she feels that she deserves special treatment?

People love to be in denial. In denial that they are outright wrong. People should not expected to be treated fairly when they themselves aren't fair. And they shouldn't claim that they have changed to being monogamous when in fact they are still polygamous. It just so happens that their 'knight in shining armour' has come and that when he does not choose her, she reverts back to the wolf that she is. Do you really think that she really changed?

I have noticed a certain trend in relationships. When a player who toys with the feelings of people decide to 'change for the better' because of a certain person that he or she 'loves', that certain person ends up giving back the bad karma to the first person. Usually also, the first person still continues his unfair treatment of people and traumatizes himself/herself in the process for several more times. Marriage usually doesn't solve the problem, the person is stuck in a marriage which is usually the result of her/him on the rebound.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Separate Blog

I've decided to place my thoughts on a blog separate to my experiences due to a possible difference in the writing style. The previous blog which contains my experiences are usually written in a relatively more playful style since my experiences are done when I am in a more relaxed or even hedonistic mood. My thoughts on the other hand can be quite serious since ever since I can remember I used to be a truthseeker. I remember asking my parents where children came from when I was grade one. Probably one of the biggest questions I asked myself which changed me, was when I questioned my religion.

One day I asked myself, "If I were born in another religion,(I was born catholic by the way) would I still be a Catholic? Common sense tells us that people born Catholic will grow up Catholic, just as people born Buddhists will remain Buddhists. I then realized that religion(at least with me) is not decided on logic but on loyalty.

Our life's decisions are not always rational, sometimes it is based on instinct, and sometimes it is based on loyalty. We love to conform. Conformity does not disappear with intelligence or wealth. Sometimes intelligence and wealth even seem to strengthen our conformity specially when a known person of supposedly high stature endorses it.

After having this realization my views were to change so drastically that my very own parents would have a very hard time understanding me. These diverse ideas would range from relationships, religion, spirituality, paranormal, the meaning of life as well as other things. I intend to put those views here hopefully quite regularly so please come back often.