What is a false move? Is it the opposite of a “true move?”
My wife and I are watching an old 1954 movie called “The Snow Creature” on YouTube. Sometimes I like watching silly old time black and white science fiction movies. This one is also under the genre of “horror.”
At about 35 minutes and 40 seconds into it one of the men says, “One false move and I’ll shoot.”
So my wife asks the obvious question: What is a false move? Is it the opposite of a “true move?” Sometimes you hear this phrase in old Hollywood movies, but think about it… does it have any meaning? Would anyone ever really say it? If someone said that to you while having you at gunpoint, what would you be careful not to do? For sure, don’t do a “false move!” Only do “true moves,” I guess!
I think when the rage dies down they experience an “oh oh” moment. Eventually, of course, they get caught.
After locking up someone for killing out of revenge, even if they have a death sentence, a person remains in prison for many years where some inmates “find God.”
Most inmates say they regret what they did, either because they now realize it was wrong or some because they got caught. The vast majority swear if they could they turn back the clock they’d not do it again. Some claim they didn’t kill anyone and they were locked up by mistake.
Once in prison, inmates are not treated differently due to the crime they committed but by the way they behave with other inmates and prison staff. A well behaved prisoner gets more privileges, like being able to walk to the chow hall on his own. A badly behaved prisoner is often put in more and more restrictive custody.
There are inmates who murdered someone for revenge, received a life sentence due to a plea bargain and walk to the chow hall on their own, sweep walkways or repair plumbing. Some of them work in craft shops where they make items out of leather that officers can purchase, like holders for the C.O.P. gas (mace carried just-in-case). The money is placed in the inmates trust fund (they never see any cash) so the inmate can purchase items from the prison commissary like chips, soda, candy bars, Raman noodles, postage stamps, typewriters and art supplies. Some of them get regular visits from family members who also deposit money in their trust fund.
Inmates in Texas, some of whom murdered for revenge, make all of the license plates for vehicles in Texas and several other states using special machinery.
Thousands and thousands of people in every state are employed and make a living caring for inmates in prison. These include correctional officers, nurses, doctors, psychologists and administrative staff.
After locking someone up and throwing away the key, life does not end for them. It just changes.
This gives lots and lots of time for the person who can’t leave time to think about what they did and what they could have done to prevent it from happening in the first place.
To answer your question, therefore, if you kill someone because of rage, you might feel good in the moment, but then reality sets in.
I’m not old. Sixty five. I look younger, but how much more time do I have? Eighteen years from now I will be the age my father died. Twenty-nine years from now I will be the age my mother died. I still have some time.
I notice, however, that I think about “the end” a lot more. I think about what I should do.
For example, I’ve loved computer programming most of my years since 30. Should I learn Python? I love amateur photography. Should I invest in a new camera? I like learning about the universe. When is enough enough? I was a religious leader. Should I go back?
Did I reach the pinnacle somewhere back there and now I have nowhere to go forward, or do I have more to go forward?
Fortunately, probably because of anti-depressants (!) I’m not depressed. I’m positive about the future. But where do I go from here? Forward, or coast? Upward or level out? Should I learn Python, invest in a new camera and learn about the universe? (All stuff I love.)
I guess the answer to those questions is yes, because I love those things. I love my blog. I love Linux. I love programming. I love amateur photography. I do love the mysterious, religious side of life and I do love learning about the universe.
I guess I’m going forward. I answered my own question.
Why are any of us living our lives?
As for me… Well, I was born, so I gotta live, right? Life is exciting. Lots of things to learn, to see, smell, hear, touch, lots of places to go, people to meet, philosophies to study, books to read, Avenger movies to go to, Facebook and Twitter feeds to follow, Quora to check out. Sometimes life is boring, too, but no matter what, time marches on. One day I was a teenage boy with beautiful brown hair and now I’m a senior citizen with beautiful white hair. I had a lot of adventures in between, but it sure seems to have gone by quickly now that I’m here. In any case, I was born – I didn’t choose to be born – but while I’m here I’m having a good ride.
The lifelong atheist and rationalist Bertrand Russell was once asked this question.
Some human: Lord Russell, what will you say when you die and are brought face to face with your Maker?
Russell: God, why did you make the evidence for your own existence so insufficient?
I’d say this: Hey Dude! Wow. Hehe… you know I was just trying to make those religious fanatics more scientific, right? Wow, I had no idea. Seriously! Very cool. What is this, then? Some parallel universe thing? Fifth dimension type deal? Oh, I see. Just is. Well, thanks. Does that “other place” exist too? It does?
Hehe…. (nervously)… glad I’m talking to you then!
So, the big bang. Was that you? Dark energy? That you too? Dark matter holds the galaxy together. That you too? Higgs boson really the God particle? No? Just an indicator? Cool. Can I go back and tell everybody else? No? Shoot. Well, anyway, glad we finally had this talk!
Some of my readers embrace my pessimism. Some hate it!
Finding life on other planets is the Holy Grail of science. The final punch in the age-old fight between scientists and creationists. It runs deep.
It would finally prove life can exist elsewhere. To date no proof exists.
There are candidates right here in our own solar system with some moons in orbit around Saturn and Jupiter. They are going to spend a lot of money to look. They had hope for Mars. That hope faded quickly when we realized Mars is dead.
My gut feeling is on the side of pessimism, though.
What will it take for the West to apologize for imperialism, slavery and aiding terrorists?
The following article was posted here, on this blog, and with my permission reposted on Writer’s Beat. The follow up comments on that site deserve a follow up on my site. Here was the exchange with the comments that followed.
Must our nations be brought to their knees for an apology?
No Western nation ever apologized for imperialism, slavery or political dirty business – yet they are proud of their history. Must we, as Westerners, suffer Germany’s fate to feel remorseful for our crimes?
Well, that’s not true. Several western nations including the United States and Australia have offered apologies and regret for the past.
I am a white man born in New Jersey, USA, living in Texas, USA. Who should apologize? Me? I didn’t do it. I was just born here. I like and get along with pretty much everybody. My son is Hispanic, my nephew is black, and I have other relatives who are from China. So should I apologize? My neighbor? My friends?
Should the government apologize? The people in the government didn’t do it, they were just elected recently. Who or what entity would be able to offer enough of “I’m sorry,” to make it better?
Everyone is sorry it happened. Don’t you know that? Who’s going to be “enough” to offer the apology? Bitterness doesn’t solve it just as ignoring that it happened solve it.
Just go on and build a better world, together.
What was envisioned didn’t happen and what wasn’t envisioned happened instead – and it was better.
We humans are a hopeful bunch, the civilized ones among us.
We dream of a wondrous future and stop not to realize we have now what wasn’t predicted at all.
Here is a list of items I see for the near future. You may be surprised or may even disagree, but these are very realistic expectations.
Do not expect we’ll terraform Mars and establish settlements there. Do expect more orbiters and robotic machines and equipment in space to discover more about who we are and where we came from.
Do not expect AI to lead us to self aware thinking machines. Do expect amazing advancements in tech we cannot presently imagine.
Do not expect intelligent alien life to be discovered or that ancient aliens once visited Earth. Do expect an ongoing search for evidence life may have evolved elsewhere.
Do not expect conspiracy theories to go away. Do expect science to advance our understanding of the universe around us.
In my thinking, the soul is the “us” that makes us “us,” the being inside the body, the consciousness of an entity.
Mignight and Yoda
About two years ago my wife and I were watching some dumb T.V. show about cute cats. On that show some cat behavioral “expert” person said that when cats greet themselves they wink at each other.
Whether this is ture or not is unknown to me. I’ve tried Googling the topic several times only to be confronted with all kinds of pet websites. It turns out there’s a gazillion websites that talk about cats and dogs like they know what they’re talking about even though they often contradict themselves.
If there’s been any definitive scientific study about cats that wink at each other I have been unable to find it.
Then one day our cat, Midnight, jumped up on my lap. At the time he was a 10 year old cat who’d lived with us since he was abandoned by some railway tracks in Missouri. My daughter, Leanna, fed him with a baby bottle even before his eyes were open. Fast forward a decade and this cat was mischievous and smart. He knew how to close doors to keep other cats out of a room and open cabinets in the bathroom and kitchen to hide inside.
One day we found him with his head stuck in a gourd on top of the refrigerator. (He had eaten a hole into the gourd and got stuck.)
Midnight’s eyes were large and probing. As he sat on my lap that day, he purred and looked me straight in the eye.
Then I did it. I tested the theory. I sought the answer to the question.
I winked at the cat.
He looked puzzled and looked deeply into my eyes. He did not wink back. Aha, I thought. No truth to that tall tale.
I winked again. No sense in doing something just once. You’ve got to test it repeatedly.
Slowly and deliberately, quite to my surprise, Midnight winked back!
I thought, okay, the cat just winked. It could have been a coincidence. I winked a third time, and he winked back again.
This began a ritual that lasted two years until the day he died. He would jump on my lap, I’d wink, and he’d wink back, night after night. Sometimes he would wink first and wait for me to respond. Kind of weird, huh.
It seemed to me a special bond between us – something shared between man and animal – a human and an animal communicating on some kind of almost spiritual plane.
Then one day a couple of weeks ago, when he was 12, Midnight was hit by a car in the back alley. My neighbor found him and said he was dead. They had placed him in a cardboard box. He was still warm, but he was gone. I had to drive him to the pound to dispose his body.
This brings me to the question at hand: Do animals have souls?
My cat had life. He was playful. He could look you straight in the eye and wink at you. He could close doors and open cabinets. He was a living, breathing creature, albeit with a slightly more muddled brain than most – but not all – of us.
Obviously, animals don’t know about the sun, the moon, the stars or the universe. They don’t know about molecules or layers of the atmosphere or geostationary satellites. They can’t read or write. They lack the ability to comprehend much about life. They don’t seem to have much in the way of self introspection.
Their brains are muddled.
What I mean by muddled is that it appears the animals are conscious but their brains don’t work like ours. This can happen to you as well. You could have a stroke or get Alzheimer’s. You would still be you, but you wouldn’t be able to think clearly because your brain is muddled.
Perhaps this is what it’s like to be an animal – to have a muddled brain.
Animals are, nonetheless, conscious and react with people and their environment in differing ways. Some can look you in the eye and understand something about you or wink back at you. Far from inanimate, some chimpanzees can communicate with humans by talking in sign language with a learned human vocabulary.
That cat was my buddy. He was my friend and he thought of me as his friend. He was a well meaning, mentally challenged individual with a muddled, but perfectly normal cat brain. The mental capacity of his little brain prohibited him from advanced learning or communication, but still there was something there – the ghost in the machine.
The argument that animals have no souls I find dubious, as if the soul were a “thing” separate from the self that some creatures possess and some don’t. Some believe we can sell the soul to the devil, as if it were something we could sell to another. We can give away somehow. Once we do that, these people say, we have no soul anymore. We become soul-less.
In my thinking, the soul is the “us” that makes us “us,” the being inside the body, the consciousness of an entity. It occurs to me that I am conscious, my wife is conscious and our animals are conscious – some more, some less. To claim animals have no souls due to some religious doctrine does not ring true to my ears.
As to what makes us conscious, what is consciousness itself, that is yet another discussion, but as to whether animals have a soul or not seems to me to be no more than ridiculous speculation. The word “soul” is an antiquated, unscientific word. What do we mean by soul, that some living creatures can have one and other living creatures do not?
Animals have consciousness. We have consciousness.
Animals have four legs. A table has four legs. The animal is living, the table is inanimate. Inanimate has no consciousness – it is soul-less. Animate is something altogether different.
Or so I think.