Mike Adams

IT - Business Analyst, Los Alamos County
Los Alamos, NM, United States

About Mike

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Areas of Expertise

computer technology, Unitarian universalism, Twelve Step Recovery, Arm Chair Philosophy, Big Questions

An idea worth spreading

Faith is distinct from knowledge. Most people confuse their beliefs and/or faith for knowledge and this causes a lot of problems in the world. Humankind's ability to communicate complex and abstract ideas is perhaps the most profound event in evolution of life on this planet. It is a skill, which gives us unprecedented creative power in our lives and in the world we create. Everything we believe about human rights or religion or politics exists only inside of language, meaning that some human made it up at some point. We have control over the definition of human rights and we have the power to change the world if we choose to do so!

I'm passionate about

Practical Philosophy, the direction my country is going, interesting questions, Spiritual Development (as an atheist...but also interested in what others are doing).

Talk to me about

Anything interesting! Don't try to sell me though, I won't listen to that very well. I like Big Ideas, profound questions, but only if they are practical!

People don't know I'm good at

I'm a talented public speaker, I'm a skilled computer technician. I'm a global or big picture thinker.

Favorite talks

Comments & conversations

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Mike Adams
Posted almost 2 years ago
Atheism as a Spiritual Path
Hey Marshal, no apology necessary, this is a forum for open discussion and agreement or disagreement. I feel your comments were an addition to the conversation and I think this has been a respectful discourse. Also, I agree with most of what you've articulated, in particular with "If we do not evolve are thought processes, how will we ever have a better world then the one we have today." I think what I'm really getting at (and it is theory) is that without religion, I firmly believe people will simply find something else to believe completely and without question. I have known people from the far left and the far right, who in either case refuse to acknowledge that scientific knowledge is more likely to point in the direction of truth than a subjective point of view or anecdotal evidence. I don't see much difference between some of the free market purists or neo-cons with regards to their economic "truths" and my grandfather and his catholic "truths." I have family, who simply want to end petroleum production. I point out that it would devastate our economy and we need a comprehensive plan. They refuse to talk after that. It occurs as an article of faith to me...stop oil production and all will immediately get better. That is all I'm saying. I'm not trying to defend religion exactly, I just think that if we want to create that just world, the focus will have to be on people's need for certainty in life. I have known many "gnostic atheists" who in conversation would say that they don't "know" there is/are no god/s. But when the topic shifted to something else, they would make statements that firmly imply knowledge of god/s non-existence. I also know religious people, Christian, Mormon, etc... who embrace the ambiguous nature of life and who are pretty clear that their religious beliefs are beliefs, rather than knowledge. I'm just think that a focusing on religion, whether pro or con, will likely lead down a tunnel with no cheese.
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Mike Adams
Posted almost 2 years ago
Atheism as a Spiritual Path
Don't misunderstand me about religion, I'm not saying it is all great. I honestly believe, though that not much would change if we do away with religion. I just believe that when we see the hypocrisy of many religious people or hear the religious justification for perpetrating evil, people are quick to blame religion, because it is used to justify horrible actions. Stalin, however, didn't use religion to justify the death of more than twenty million people under his reign, communism was officially atheist. When the US Government took my full blood Native American Mom away from her parents and adopted her into a white, American family, they didn't use religion as an excuse, but rather the concepts of integration and cultural superiority. I truly believe we will cross all of those bridges of poor ethics, using our politics or economics as justification. The global sex trade is funded by greed. Hundreds of thousands of young children are kidnapped and forced into sexual slavery so that someone else can make money. It is justified by the need to make a profit. The same can be said of sweat shop labor. I just don't see the end of religion making any real difference in these sorts of things. While defending freedom, "patriots" will continue to say things like, "America, love it, or leave it!" We'll continue to accuse people of being Nazis for trying to expand health care. People are capable of pretty disgusting behavior and they'll find a new religion to justify that. Some other belief system, which perhaps doesn't include Gods, but does leave them feeling justified in not examining their own faulty point of view. I think if we want to change this, we'll have to dig a lot deeper than religion.
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Mike Adams
Posted almost 2 years ago
Atheism as a Spiritual Path
I think generally, you and I probably agree, except in your condemnation of religion. I don't believe humanity will be any better off if religion is eradicated. I believe religion is merely an expression of the human condition (though it is one of many). I think people tend to be more interested in being right than in embracing the inherent ambiguity of life. If people stop having religion, I think they'll become dogmatic about something else...probably about topics which already carry a heavy load of dogma, like politics or economic theory. We'll substitute Cambodia's killing fields for the crusades. Well substitute right vs. left dogma for religious dogma. We'll let people starve in service of the holy "free market." I don't think much would change in terms of how we treat each other. I could be wrong...I often am, but this is my sincere opinion.
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Mike Adams
Posted almost 2 years ago
Atheism as a Spiritual Path
I suspect this was meant as a snarky or derisive comment, however, having lived in the bay area for sixteen years, I knew many vegetarians who gained a lot of weight. Calories make people gain weight, not meat. There has got to be a parallel here with conversation. Something about adding to a conversation vs. providing empty calories with little nutritional value.
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Mike Adams
Posted almost 2 years ago
Atheism as a Spiritual Path
I've just remembered to stop and check in. I'm not receiving emails about comments on this conversation, only on threads within this conversation, where I commented, so I apologize for my extended absence! Also I had to take care of chickens and ducks and gardens and three kids. I've been thinking about the idea of atheism as a spiritual path. Why I wrote a sermon for Unitarians on this and why I started a discussion on it. I've stated that the wonder and beauty of evolution over the past 16 billions years has left me in awe, but really where my spiritual path comes in, probably has more to do with trying to make a difference in the world. I grew up hearing about Unitarians and Universalists, who helped slaves escape the south, who participated in Martin Luther King's march on Washington (every Unitarian denomination in the US was represented). About UUs who gave their lives during the civil rights movement in the south, About the Unitarian service committee, which sent volunteers into Europe during WWII to help Jews escape the tightening Nazi noose. More than anything, it is service to others, which has defined my spirituality when I was a theist and now as an atheist. The willingness to look at another human being with empathy and to extend my hand in an effort to ease their suffering or help them out of a difficult or impossible situation. It is why I support marriage equality, immigration reform in the US and a path to citizenship, planned parenthood and why I oppose the Arizona prison camp created by Sherrif Joe Arpio: http://www.patheos.com/blogs/uucollective/2012/06/fear-and-love-at-tent-city/
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Mike Adams
Posted almost 2 years ago
Atheism as a Spiritual Path
Thanks Mike, I've not remembered to check in on this in a few days (lame) My weekends come along and distract me. There are gardens to tend, chickens to feed, etc.... Anyway, I appreciate your comments and thank you for stopping to read. --Mike A.
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Mike Adams
Posted almost 2 years ago
Atheism as a Spiritual Path
I think I'm sorry you had that experience, because I love UUism and I think given our seven principles nobody should have that experience in a UU congregation. It makes me feel a bit sad. I've wanted to get into Tai Chi, but don't have the time right now. My eldest son and I have both earned black belts in Tae kwon Do and we hope to enroll in an Aikido class this July. You might be interested to know that my wife and I have been trying to start a permaculture garden in our back yard. We have four ducks and four chickens (for eggs and to help produce compost). I've been working on setting up drip irrigation and such as well, but on a shoe-string budget, so we're still watering by hand. thanks for your response!
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Mike Adams
Posted almost 2 years ago
Atheism as a Spiritual Path
I sort of lived in a Buddhist country for sixteen years (Can Northern California be considered a Buddhist country? LOL) I read a book, The Three Pillars of Zen, which was very engaging and practical. Another book I really enjoyed was called, "A Crisis in modern thought." It was pretty interesting, but not so much as the Zen book. My impression is that Zen is an atheist religion...it doesn't require atheism of its practitioners, but Zen its self is essentially atheist. It is the only form of Buddhism I know anything about though! I've seen 7 years in Tibet, but that doesn't make me the least bit knowledgeable about Tibetan Buddhism. I know there are some pretty mystical forms of Buddhism and that as a religion, Buddhism is probably far more diverse than Christianity. I had a friend who was Taoist and he really wasn't fond of Buddhism, in fact he referred the spread of Buddhism in China and the ancient Orient as, "The Buddhist onslaught." That always made me giggle a bit.
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Mike Adams
Posted almost 2 years ago
Atheism as a Spiritual Path
You don't think they have already found us? what about crop circles? LOL I think if we ever have a chance to travel to another planetary system, which contains intelligent life, we should definitely sneak in at night and leave pretty designs in their crops...it'll be like a really fun inter-galactic prank! Sort of a pay it forward of the cosmos if you will. I saw an interesting program a few years ago, where some scientists created a computer program, which was supposed to model evolution on other planets, with similar traits to ours, but in some cases, it maintained richer levels of atmosphere and in other instances with a thinner atmosphere. It was interesting, but what really stuck with me was that the scientists being interviewed seemed to forget that it was a computer simulation and not real. They were really excited about how the computer generated organisms were developing, but not in a detached "this is interesting" sort of way. I seemed more like "Wow look at my little child growing up" Non-the-less it was pretty interesting. I love the topic of evolution, because some propose questions that things evolved exactly as they had to, due to physical laws, others propose that it's completely random, which is consistent with a quantum understanding of the universe. There is speculation that belief in God is genetically advantageous or that morality allowed us to survive the last great event (either meteor or volcano, I can't remember). It's all so interesting to think about. I wish I had become a physicist instead of an Alcoholic, who dropped out of school! Oh well!