Who are the lodgers?


(and what are “lodgers”?)


I think they are those who insist that what they think (“believe” seems to be a divisive concept for some reason) is more important than another. That another who “thinks” a certain way is less valuable because they reject the right way of thinking.

Like the “the book of Genesis is everything thinker”. Like the “anti-theist who has proved there is no-thei thinker”. Or the “creation without evolution thinkers”. Or the “if you believe in creation you are to be pitied thinkers”. And the “bible is absolute in truth and fact and in historical accuracy thinkers”. And the “bible is a pile of fiction and no one in their right mind must see any value in it at all thinkers”. Like “global warming is just another conspiracy theory thinkers”. Like the “if you disagree with global warming you are the enemy thinkers”. Like all who put “being right” before being kind – who hold “truth” to be more important than “humanity”.

And in doing so are the cause of inhumanity.

I have learned much from the natural world, much from scientific theories, much from those I disagree with, and much from those I agree with.  My “truth” keeps changing as I learn more and as I journey with those I had not yet journeyed.  And that will keep changing as I learn more and journey more.  My truth is not permanent or proven.

My truth is belief (no matter how I dress it up or down).

But kindness and love seem to be beyond our changing “truth”. Like that certain scent which bypasses all our intellectual logical brain. Like a certain scent that goes straight to what matters.

Like: you and me – is this fair?

For that, to me, is humanity.  Kindness, to me, is being fair.  Just as a kick in the intellectual and/or emotional private parts is neither.  Just as being discarded because “my conclusions at this part in my journey are not in complete agreement with your conclusions at this part in your journey” is not fair or kind.  It is not even intelligent.

And, for me, that makes it the stuff of “lodgers”.


Who are the lodgers?  Each of us – because our “truth” is an impermanent lodger.  Because “this” version of truth will move out as we journey.  And no matter how convinced you are right now – your truth will change.

Because if your truth doesn’t and hasn’t changed, your truth is you as a one minute old human being.  And the very fact you are reading this means you aren’t.  You aren’t only one minute old because you can read this post.  And – because you have traveled this far – aged this much – become who you are now compared to that first minute old human being – your truth has changed as you have – your knowledge and experience has grown and grown.  And THAT will continue (it must) until death.

And we can fight it.  And we certainly do fight it.  We say we have found truth and that truth will never change.


But how do you know that?

You only live now – not in the future.

So your truth is a lodger.  And whether my “lodger” stays for ever or moves out and another moves in … it is still a lodger.  Because (whether my “lodger” stays for ever or moves out and another moves in) there is always something new to learn, someone new to meet.  And we can learn with kindness and meet each other with kindness, for that is being at home, that is being family, that is being fair to each. Or we can fight and stamp our feet and proclaim we have truth on our side.

We can be a lodger who thinks (“believe” still being that divisive word) we have the same rights as family.  Except that is not fair to the family.  And that is not kind either.


Who are the lodgers?

We all are.

But we don’t have to be.

If I allow.



7 thoughts on “Who are the lodgers?

  1. You’re a funny one, Paul. Let’s rephrase the question to:

    Is it important to respect reality independent of our beliefs about it and respect what’s true about i independent of our beliefs about it?

    How you answer this question matters a very great deal. If you don’t respect reality and don’t respect what’s true about it but presume it is an extension of our beliefs, then anything you have to say simply doesn’t matter. You live in a delusion.

    If you think these are important questions, then you have to appreciate how this respect is made manifest, how it impacts the importance of gaining understanding about how each of us effects the world, which is a necessary plank to accepting informed responsibility for our actions and non actions. And this is central to appreciating and deepening the understanding of the connection between causes and effect, linking these decisions we make every day to their real world effects.

    You seem to be implying that there are as many realities as there are people to believe stuff about them. So test this and see if it’s a claim supported by reality. Go ahead and let go of an object. Believe it will go in different directions and see how much influence your beliefs have on the object. Now tell me again how you justify this notion you have that there many realities.

    • Hi tildeb. You lost me with what is obviously crystal clear to you. I seem to have done the same with you. Because you offer an alternate question rather than any answer. And that makes for confusion. Your alternate question is also a yes/no option. And I have found those (when a reframing of something you are not sure I am saying) to be filled with a context that means something to you but not to me.

      Not only that, but even without having an answer you then tell me what my answer will mean. And why my answer (which I haven’t given because I don’t get the question) is the wrong answer – and therefore (if I surmise correctly) bad.

      To summarise: you come back with your own version of what you think is good, dismiss my answer to the question you ask (without me answering), and conclude that this post and the points made are not right, and that yours (I assume) proves you are.

      And every time you do this, I read my post again and find (in the language of this post) the language of a lodger. And I sense you are not – because once again I think you and I have more in common than difference. And once again your words say the opposite – and that tickles my curiosity.

      • Two hundred years from now after we’ve lost over 2/3rds of all fresh land sourced water, our progeny will ask why this was allowed to happen and why weren’t we responsible enough, less selfish? To respond with what you advise, “because love is the answer” I find to be not only insufficient in honesty but downright facetious in your quest to make wiggle room for the right to believe whatever you want without confrontation. I think confrontation for empowering belief over reality is exactly what is most needed today. If you find this to be unloving, then so what? Misguided faith-based beliefs need to be confronted for the delusional permission they grant.

        • Thanks tildeb – that makes it much clearer. And that is why I sensed we had more in common than difference. What troubles me is why you refuse to even try and see that. The post about killing this planet I call home – a home I wish for my children and theirs … that seems to have escaped your notice.

          Why is that tildeb? Why do you always see only what you look for (your belief over my reality) and reject anything else I write? Because that is the reality (over which you see my words with your belief). You want confrontation? Then tell me why your “belief/reality” in my “belief/reality” makes your belief in what my beliefs are right – and me wrong?

          “Two hundred years from now after we’ve lost over 2/3rds of all fresh land sourced water, our progeny will ask why … “ is the most biased-belief-ridden-opinionated statement I have seen in quite some time. Your “belief” in your own conclusion is just bad science and bad reality and simply your belief.

          “Two hundred years from now after we’ve lost over 2/3rds of all fresh land sourced water, our progeny will ask why …” doesn’t even need to be the reality. It may be the reality – but you won’t know that – because neither of us will be around then. So my thought/reality is that rather than chatter away the next two hundred years bitching about it is happening – let’s try changing the future now. Let’s try bringing together those who (currently) believe they cannot come together – “believe they cannot come together” being an absolute reality.

          You want confrontation? Then use it to harness resources like me. Those who operate from a different starting point but want the same end point. Those who believe in bringing together opposing forces, beliefs and realities together. Because your confrontation may start a discussion – but we are all really good at that. It is called “kicking (whatever) into the long grass” – or in church “let’s all pray about this and see what he guides.” That is reality.

          And my experience of human beings is reality: we will still be bitching about whose fault it is two hundred years from now unless … and the “unless” is bringing together those who currently “believe” in different realities.

          If you are right – that should never happen.

          • Paul, you say, and I agree,”So my thought/reality is that rather than chatter away the next two hundred years bitching about it is happening – let’s try changing the future now.”

            Right. Thje next quesiton is ‘How?’

            Well that can only begin by first understanding what the root problem really is.

            Back in the mid 80s a scientist named Hansen spoke with us at my university about adding greenhouse gases to the atmosphere and the consequences. He presented data correlating CO2 and methane gases with this warming effect we now call global warming. He showed us US military reports on the problems encountered by air to air missile guidance systems coping with this measurable increase (as well as a raft of other evidence). In 1988, he presented his findings to a Congressional committee… to almost no effect.

            I was working on ice core samples at the time brought from Antarctica that had captured ancient pollen. That was our area of interest: pollen. But those ice samples also contained trapped air, which could be measured for quantities of greenhouse gases. So we started doing that, too. The samples I worked with were between 170 thousand years old to about 110 thousand years old and we could count the layers laid down in the ice each year. This was the first time I encountered a young earth creationist who refused – utterly refused – to link the process of how a layer is created each year – something easily demonstrated – with the number of layers staring us in the face. To keep his religious beliefs intact, he denied the yearly process perfectly understood and claimed divine intervention altered the ice to make it appear to be older than it was, that a divine agency inserted modern pollen into it and somehow physically altered the specimens to look ancient. He claimed this same divine agency must have inserted trapped air and physically altered its composition to remove methane and CO2 to make it appear to be a much lower level than currently measured at the time. Nothing anyone could say or do or show from reality, from this evidence right before his eyes, would or could alter this brittle religious belief that the Earth was fewer than 7000 years old, that all contrary evidence was evidence of divine intervention. This was not the first time I encountered such intellectual intransigence based on a faith it must be so. The first time was in South Africa when I encountered what Apartheid looked like in action, and the second was when I visited Auschwitz: this is what faith-based belief looks like in action. It produces.this bizarre notion that pretending reality is other than what it actually is means doing things contrary to and incompatible with it. It showed me that the beliefs about some faith-based ideology will be treated by people as more important than the welfare of real people in real life.

            To say I was shocked at this introduction to the power of faith-based belief in creationism is an understatement because the guy was going to graduate with a degree in science while, at the same time, simply denying what this method produced: not to suit a better understanding of reality, which is what science is really all about, but to suit not questioning, not confronting, his religious beliefs.

            That’s the pernicious power of faith.

            This is the same issue facing the world nearly 40 years later as greenhouse gas emissions have continued to rise, with knowable physiological and chemical consequences. Knowable. Predictive. The evidence is right there for these consequences, measurable consequences, knowable consequences, consequences revealed slowly but inevitably. Predicatively. Yet there remains steadfast a religious belief that all of these consequences aren’t really happening, are somehow debatable or questionable, that the timeline is unknowable. This is the same reasoning used by the young earth creationist to deny what was right before his eyes, deny what this evidence demonstrated to us, denied the reasoning that modeled an explanation for it that worked for everybody everywhere all the time. This is the power of faith-based thinking in action: to feel justified in denying what reality tells us… to suit believing in something other than what is the case, believing something other than what reality tells us is true about it, believing in something in spite of compelling evidence.

            By presenting some of these knowable consequences for human behaviour as a ‘belief’ somehow equivalent with religious belief, you demonstrate this same young earth creationist reasoning, creating an artificial doubt about well understood and widely applied knowledge. This is the disservice you do to future generations today. Right here. Right now. You present religious faith-based belief as somehow the same quality, the same value, as evidence-adduced belief. This is tremendously dishonest and deceitful because it’s simply not true. Faith-based beliefs do not now and never have produced any knowledge whatsoever. Evidence-adduced beliefs do reveal knowledge and understanding that we then demonstrate by using them to create applications, therapies, and technologies that work for everyone everywhere all the time. These are not equivalent justifications for belief and pretending they are beliefs of equivalent merit is a distortion of such magnitude that it has to be considered a blatant lie.

            My issue with trying to deal with a global problem that really does threaten our species with extinction, really does threaten every human being on the planet for every generation hereafter, is with those people who try to argue that these knowable consequences for human behaviour are in doubt because, hey, it’s just another belief. And, hey I’ve got these religious beliefs to protect.

            That’s the biggest lie. And it is a lie that is recycled by religiously motivated people who wish to maintain their religious beliefs by deny reality the right to arbitrate our beliefs about it.

            We know we are changing our climate at a rate unprecedented in Earth’s history. And we know we are doing so by emitting greenhouse gases in quantities that the Earth’s environmental mechanisms cannot neutralize. We know what the consequences are. We’ve known this for many, many decades. Indisputably known. The evidence is right before our collective eyes. Yet here you are tossing into this ‘conversation’ an idea of doubt, that this knowledge is really just a vague kind of arbitrary belief that might turn out to be the case. But, hey, maybe not and really, who cares if it’s somewhere in the future. We can’t know exacting details for certain, so let’s pretend we don’t really know anything at all.

            No. You’re wrong. You are completely misguided about this. And because you do not recognize or care to recognize just how misguided you are, you – multiplied by every person who thinks as you do – are the problem. The main problem. This is what needs fixing. This is the root problem.

            So it is this way of thinking that needs confrontation now. This reality-denying and doubting way of thinking to protect evidence-denying religious beliefs is what needs to be confronted now. Not in another 40 years after we’ve lost 1/3 of all fresh surface water (that’s a 1C rise in mean temperature). Not in a few more generations down the road. Now.

            By people in positions of authority trying to mollify religious sensibilities, trying to make compatible the incompatible thinking that deny’s reality the right to arbitrate beliefs about it, we collectively bring humanity closer and closer to creating Venus-like conditions here on Earth. Venus has already undergone what greenhouse gases do to a planet after the tipping point has been reached and the planet’s environmental systems cannot reverse the process. That’s what we’re collectively doing to Earth. That tipping point is coming. And we fail to address the known problem because too many people think it’s not real, that the evidence right before our eyes has to somehow comport with faith-based beliefs contrary to and incompatible with reality itself, faith-based beliefs wrapped up in pretty little word packages like ‘love’ that mask just how pernicious and damaging they are when used to deny reality. And to be clear, that is exactly what you’re doing by pretending your faith-based belief has knowledge merit. It doesn’t. At all.

            Faith-based belief is the root problem our species must reject if we are to survive. We have run out of time to afford this idiocy to continue to motivate and justify the kind of reality-denying thinking you endorse in the name of love. It’s high time each of us stopped this childish way of insisting our wishful thinking was equivalent to good thinking, responsible thinking, intelligent thinking, that our wishful thinking should not be adjudicated by reality but held exempt because of pious considerations. That’s beyond idiocy now; it’s delusional and it threatens all of us. And it’s time more people were confronted by this brute and harsh reality that our collective actions really do have knowable negative and pernicious consequences even we try to call it love. It’s not love. It’s not about love. It’s about growing up and leaving our imaginary garden behind, saying goodbye to Daddy, and learning how to take responsibility if we want to be a part of the solution to global problems rather than a central pillar of causing the problems. Faith-based belief and the thinking it involves is a luxury we cannot afford to keep. It threatens all of us.

            • tildeb, you have the biggest bee in the biggest bonnet I have ever come across! To recap: I am the source of the problem and you are the solution.

              “Yet here you are tossing into this ‘conversation’ an idea of doubt, that this knowledge is really just a vague kind of arbitrary belief that might turn out to be the case. But, hey, maybe not and really, who cares if it’s somewhere in the future. We can’t know exacting details for certain, so let’s pretend we don’t really know anything at all.”

              Are you actually reading anything I write? Anything at all? You assume tildeb. And I am done with your assumptions. Try actually reading what I think about this little planet we call home – and then we can talk. Until then …

              In 200 years from now when they ask why – the answer will be “they never learned how to listen to each other (or read the words they wrote)”.

  2. Pingback: Who are the family? | Just me being curious

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