Archive for the ‘ Atheism ’ Category

Christians Keep Trying And Failing To Understand Anything

I’ve not claimed to know everything in the world. I have claimed that my understanding of it is a little different than what I read from others. That difference is what this blog is about. In this post I’m about to rip into a believer’s post about god and gay marriage and their thoughts on such. I don’t care who this author is or what their actual motivation is. I care what they said because that is what the public hears and what influences others. Perhaps this author has no real audience so is impotent in this regard but perhaps they do. In either case it is important that there be discussion. What follows is my one sided discussion of thethoughts of this author. You don’t have to like it. I’m not writing here for popularity. This post is not because I’m an angry atheist but because posts like this make this anti-theist angry.

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I’m not going to quote the entire post (but did anyway) so if you want to read the whole thing, it is here.

After a conversation I had the other day, I realized that the biggest questions that skeptics have about Christianity in our day concern homosexuality.

Our author is clearly now well informed. So how should we treat their opinions if they clearly are uninformed? Trash them? Ignore them? Perhaps we should take the high road and give them a chance to speak? I go for the latter because it gives us much more reason to simply dismiss them outright next time.

How could a God that says that He is love incarnate oppose a marriage between two people who claim to love one another?  The question is such a difficult one and it is so widespread that I have decided that I must offer my best understanding of this issue to those who are genuinely seeking answers.What makes the question so difficult?  It is not difficult because it is intellectually difficult, it is difficult because the question hits every human being where we live.  Sex is the greatest gift given to us by God and the idea of doing as we think best is tremendously attractive to sinful human beings.  For this reason, God’s rules are going to be at their most unpopular when they tell us to restrict our sexual behaviour in ways that are not easy to understand.  Jesus Christ would have been enormously popular had he said, “It is a tough world out there, just do the best you can to live a happy life.”  Unfortunately, he said “If you love me, keep my commands” and this can be very difficult.  One of the clearest commands in the Old and New Testament prohibits homosexuality.

This presupposes a priori knowledge that sex was given to us by a god. We assume that sex was also given to animals so when animals are not heterosexual they must be acting in the nature that the creator god gave them. From this point on you can dismiss this author’s words and thoughts. The author assumes that the holy text of Christianity is the word of their god and as such is without reproach. For this reason alone you can also dismiss everything this author says. He talks about commands of the god who no person has ever seen. Oh sure, Moses saw his ass but that’s it, you won’t find anyone of credit saying that the stories of Moses in the Christian bible are accurate except those that believe on faith alone. Not even Jewish scholars and archaeologists. Think about that for a minute.

Because the number one attack that is going to be levelled against anyone who dares to speak out on this issue is that they are callous and hard-hearted and don’t love homosexuals or understand what they have gone through, I am going to start by explaining my background.  I am not a successful heterosexual who was brought up in a Christian home and who has no experience with the pain of loneliness.  Rather, I am a 47 year-old who has never been married, who has rarely dated and only had sex a dozen times in my entire life.  I was a hardcore pornography addict before the Lord finally delivered me from that completely about a year and a half ago.  I know what it is to be lonely, miserable and suicidal and I have enormous sympathy for those who reject God’s perfect standard because it seems too painful.  I have even written a post where I have tried to minimize the Bible’s condemnation of homosexuality and I have wrestled with divine severity in this regard for years.  Having said all of that, I have come to believe that obedience to God’s commands regarding sexuality is essential for God’s purpose and I am going to attempt to explain why.

Well, there’s a ringing endorsement of the power of prayer if EVER I saw one. Not only did prayer and his Jesus get him away from pornography but they made him a successful heterosexual…. oh, wait. A 47 year old with practically no sexual experience is about to give us sexual guidance from the book he probably hasn’t read from cover to cover yet. I can’t wait! Bonus points, he is going to explain his god’s purpose to us.

Sexual Brokenness in Our Society

The first thing we need to understand when we consider this issue is the fact that sexual intimacy is absolutely, completely and horrifically broken in our society today.  To see this ubiquitous brokenness, consider how widespread abortion, paedophilia, pornography, divorce, rape, homosexuality and gender confusion are in our society.  Now I would never suggest that sexuality has ever been handled perfectly in any fallen society, but anyone with a shred of honesty would have to agree that our society has become almost entirely sexually dysfunctional.  Where did this sickness come from?  While an in-depth discussion of this issue is beyond the scope of this post, let us just say that the “Sexual Revolution” of the 1960’s introduced a “dog eat dog” competition into the most intimate and vulnerable relationships that human beings have and this poison has been slowly destroying our ability to be intimate and vulnerable with one another ever since.  (See “Beautiful Propaganda, Ugly Reality” and “God’s Purpose for Sex” for more discussion on sexuality.)

The reason that it is important to understand that our society is horrifically sick is that those who support homosexual marriage act as though the only alternative to it is a life of loneliness and despair.  In this way, they reject God because they believe He created homosexuals to be absolutely miserable.  Nothing could be further from the truth than this hideous lie.  The essence of understanding God’s attitude toward homosexuality is understanding precisely that God wants something vastly superior to anything we can imagine or think for each and every human being.  God calls homosexuality an abomination because this lifestyle prevents large numbers of people from attaining the true joy and love that God wants for all of us.  To understand this, let us think this through one step at a time.

Ok, so sexual superstar believes that sexual intimacy is broken beyond repair. He’s had 12 encounters in 47 years, about one every 2.5 years of adulthood. He is undoubtedly an expert. This paramour of the ages knows exactly what his god wants for us and it is something that is vastly superior to anything we can imagine or think… yet he is able to do just that. What wondrous luck we have to have found his writings. The rest of his  post has the portents of revelation, I can just feel it. Yes, I’m not gay or lesbian so I must be lonely and in despair. I’m getting the feeling that if you punch this guy in the head there will be a ringing sound. Wait, he’s giving us a step by step guide so let’s continue

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The Nature of Love

Now in the opening paragraph I used some language that many homosexuals and their supporters found offensive.  I said that homosexuals “claim to love one another” instead of that homosexuals genuinely do love one another.  The reason I used this wording, however, is because it is important for us to understand that the most amazing human love still falls very short of the perfect divine standard.  We human beings think that we love another, but when you look at our best relationships from the divine perspective you see that even the best human loves fall woefully short of the genuine article.  Consider the following verses:

Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails. (1 Corinthians 13: 4-8)

As I have shared in a number of other posts, God’s plan for mankind is the heaven that is only possible if every human being has the perfect love described above for every other human being on the planet.  If one considers the real behaviour of the human beings around us, one quickly comes to the realization that heaven is absolutely impossible.  Selfish and self-centred human beings are, quite simply, incapable of the kind of love that would make heaven possible.  What is God to do if he wants to create heaven and populate it with human beings?

So this guy knows what the divine perspective is? Whether he thinks it has been revealed to him or that he found it in the good book doesn’t matter. To know the mind of a god is not possible by all the accounts of the attributes of such beings. He even knows what makes heaven impossible. We are truly privileged here. He’s going to tell us the nature of love and cannot define it. In fact nobody can define it precisely. That is one of the problems with the word love – there is no precise definition. Go on, I dare you to define it for us.

Loving Others with Divine Help

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  (Galatians 2:20)

The keys to human beings living in paradise is obtaining divine help to love other people.  The Bible teaches us that with God’s help we can die to ourselves and learn how to love other people.  The keys to this process are a faith that trusts God even when we don’t understand his command and an obedience that attempts to do things which are absolutely impossible within the confines of our limited humanity.  Faith is important because it allows us to transcend the limitations of our own understanding, our imperfect attempts at obedience demonstrate our faith and are essential so that God can guide us toward the correct path.

Okay, so the key is to trust what we can’t understand, something that rapists would like to tell their victims. Further that we obey even when it is impossible to do so. He further states that we use faith to ignore all the warning signs we see in this. We have to fuck up so his perfect god can guide us. So much for omnipotence. To summarize so far, you’re fucked, sexuality is fucked, everything is fucked but you have to have faith because … god.

A Glimmer of Hope

Over the course of my 21 years of Christian life, I wrestled with pornography until God finally gave me complete victory over this sin about a year and a half ago.  When I think about the many years of struggle against my sexual sins and lusts, an obvious question arises.  “Was it worth it?”

As I consider this question, I think about a number of my beautiful sisters in Jesus Christ whom I love and with whom I have genuine friendship.  Before I became a Christian and for many years thereafter, these relationships would not have been possible.  At that time, I had no control over my sexuality and my lusts.  These lusts and ugly thoughts would have prevented me from forming genuine bonds with these women by distracting me from the things that really matter.  Was it worth it to kill these lusts and ugly thoughts within myself through 20 years of struggle and sacrifice?  Experiencing the joy of freedom from sin and lust and the friendship that it makes possible, I can unequivocally say that love and freedom are absolutely worth the sacrifice.

Okay, sexual superstar says he can’t control his lusts. He’s a moron, apparently, not capable of self control. He’s finally found some kind of self control and tells us that this is because of a god. Well the rest of us with self control just think this guy is a fucking idiot. Just the same it’s nice of him to tell us he has so little self control. How is one to trust anyone that has so little self control? Who knows but he’s going to continue on telling us what is wrong with the rest of the world.

Doubts and Reservations

Now some people may look at the Christians they see around them and express some doubts and reservations.  “No offence”, they might say, “but the Christians around me and those I read about in history don’t seem to be that much more loving than other people.  This path to eternal life and love doesn’t seem very credible.”  This is only one of the many valid questions that one may ask on one’s Christian journey.  Though the questions may seem fatal at first glance, I believe that satisfactory answers can be found if one searches the Scriptures and prayerfully seeks an answer and this website is dedicated to sharing the answers to those questions that I have found in my own journey.  (See, for example, my answer to the above question in “The After Action Report“.)

Well, at least he admits there are credible questions. He doesn’t provide any answers despite the fact that he knows the will of his god. In fact he hasn’t shown himself to know much of anything but I bet you can get some good recommendations for porn sites from him. He doesn’t seem very determined to fix the sexual brokenness that society suffers from. In fact, he’s offered nothing which would help fix sexual problems in society. He’s just blathering on about how his god’s divine plan is awesome but hasn’t even said what that is. Moron. That’s the label I give this guy.

Conclusion

Any rational human being who is aware of their own faults and sees the world as it is knows that human beings do not have anything close to perfect love.  Any rational human being who has known the fleeting joy that is possible when human beings enjoy genuine friendship and love knows that an eternal life of perfect love would be heaven and is worth any extreme of sacrifice.  After all, if I offered you a mansion and a small mountain of gold if you worked out 10 hours a week would you take it?  How much more should we as human beings be willing to give up temporary and imperfect love down here to attain eternal and perfect love with the help of God?  A genuine believer in Jesus Christ must practice and teach that obedience to difficult commands and faith when things are not clear are the keys to the eternal life of joy that Jesus offers to every human being.  This obedience is impossibly difficult for a human being without the promised divine help, but we trust that that help is available to everyone who seeks it and that heaven is worth any sacrifice.

Those who support homosexual marriage and fluid gender identification cannot conceive of the idea that Christians genuinely believe that the Bible is the Word of God.  Because they think we are “making things up as we go along” instead of genuinely seeking to understand God’s will and God’s word, they think it is no big deal for us to interpret the Bible such that homosexuality is acceptable.  In reality, however, Christians are following the path to true and eternal love laid out for us by our Lord and Saviour.  We must stand for the sexual purity commanded by our Lord and resist the world’s siren call to accept homosexuality.  To do anything else is to compromise the truth and betray our most deeply held beliefs.

First, I’m offended that this guy is talking about perfect love, something he’s had no chance to explore according to his own admissions. He has no definition of perfect love or at least has not shared it with the rest of us. What a daydreamer this guy is. He says any extreme of sacrifice is worth heaven yet he doesn’t know what heaven is, nobody does. I want to know what kind of mushrooms this guy puts in his omelets for breakfast. Still, heaven is worth any sacrifice. At least he thinks so according to his definitions of love and heaven. Unfortunately he never defined either one. I’ve not heard of god giving people the talent of mind reading so neither non-believers or believer should believe anything this guy is saying. He’s a fucking nutjob.

Oh, we can conceive of the idea that Christians genuinely believe the bible is the word of a god. The trouble is that because they do we think they are deluded or sick or crazy or ill. If homosexuality was not acceptable then why did the creator god make it so many animals exhibit this trait? I assume that by sexual purity laid out in the book he means that if you can afford 900 concubines as king, then that is okay. If your brother dies you have to service his widow and keep her and so on. His most deeply held beliefs are fucked. He has not read the book and does not think critically yet his voice among many others is out there for wanna-be believers to listen to. He is dangerous and stupid. You, my readers, I hope will reject this kind of blabbering outright, without a thought. That is what it deserves… on a good day.

 

 

 

 

Life Before Death? There is only life. It All Ends At Death.

Those of you who have read my ‘about me’ page know that “Sometimes I think the way I see the world is perhaps worth writing down.”

That view of the world is as present as ever when I read the posts of other bloggers. I want to know what they wrote and why they wrote it. It tells us something about them, or likely does. One of my favorite theist bloggers is Franks Cottage. His writing is different than a lot of theistic writings. He seems to stay on the positive perspective side of the debate. That he is a theist does not meant that I don’t find cause to stop and think when he writes. That said, Frank has posted recently on life before and after death focusing on the before part from his Christian perspective. Reading that gave me a few thoughts that I’d like to share here:

The entirety of his post is included and quoted but reformatted a bit for ease here.

I guess there are some atheists out there who believe that people of faith are just gritting their teeth and tolerating this nauseating existence before going on to unending glory in the life to come. But from my perspective as a follower of Jesus (whom serious Christians believe is God’s divine Son), atheists and Christians have “life before death” as a common belief. Let me make this as clear as possible: while life after death is of supreme importance, life BEFORE death is just as significant. How can I write that? Consider these words of Jesus, recorded in a section of the Bible called ‘John’: “I came to give life—life that is full and good.” He’s not talking about life after death; He’s talking about life RIGHT NOW. So what does that mean?

This premise is a promise that, as we’ll see, is not a promise of a wonderful life of prosperity

1.  Life becomes full and good because you’ve join a worldwide movement of believers. So you don’t have to make a go of it solo. You can attend a church, read the Bible, regularly pray with (and for) others and support each other through good times and bad.

This indicates that Christians don’t want to do this life on their own, can’t do it on their own. They have to have social intereactions which echo their own beliefs and actions. There is nothing here that could not be accomplished in an Atheist church, outside of praying and which books you read. So here we see Christianity fulfilling basic human wants rather than doing something special this part is a requisite part of human social interaction. Nothing special here. You’d get much the same if you belonged to a D&D club.

2.  Life becomes full and good because you have a new power that helps you set aside the meaningless, superficial priorities of our culture and focus on what’s truly important. So you are put on a path to stop worrying about whether you have a new car, the latest smartphone and the biggest flat-screen TV. You stop looking to your mate or your friends to give you happiness because you realize that happiness comes through following Jesus.

Here is a claim of a ‘new power’ that has no evidence for it. A power which most atheists seem to have or can have, I know I do. So this power being promised is not supernatural nor necessarily derived from a holy text. It’s just humans thinking in one way vs. a different way. That last bit where ‘You stop looking to your mate or your friends to give you happiness …’ is very interesting. You don’t need a god for this or a church or holy text. If you can’t manage this on your own a therapist can help you. This is not a special gift from a god, it is simply good and reasonable thinking. You do not and should not need a god to do this.

3.  Life becomes full and good because you have a pathway to becoming truly generous. It’s no longer about getting a charitable tax break or seeking something in return when you give. It’s about being Christ’s ambassador in a world most of us are willing to admit isn’t doing very well.

Ahh, the old giving altruistically bit. Being religious does not make you charitable or good. Spend a couple of minutes searching for atheist charity on the Internet and you’ll see the folly of this #3 item. In fact, #3 here is rather insulting to those charitable non-believers.

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4.  Life become full and good when you realize that the 70-odd years most of us spend on this planet is merely a blip in time compared to the eternity Christ followers have in Heaven with Jesus. The blessing of that perspective means we no longer have to put so much stake in every good or bad thing that happens to us in this life. We see the bigger picture and it changes everything.

There it is, life is good because there is a promise of eternal life afterwards. Live this life for Jesus so you can live forever at his feet worshipping him and his pappa. That is, unless there is something wrong in that heaven and you want change, then you’ll get cast out. Going to heaven has not been shown to be a one way ticket and it’s hard to imagine what being there would be like if all your loved ones or friends are in hell being tortured for eternity by the very god you worship. This promised next life needs to be approached with logic and trepidation. The promise sounds good but you wouldn’t buy a car without a test drive, for a reason.

5.  Life become full and good because you realize that Jesus died to make up for all the wrong things you’ve done and the right things you’ve failed to do. So the burden of guilt and shame is lifted from you; God sees you as He sees His Son: perfect in every way.

Well now, for this part you have to believe that this Jesus existed and died. It’s hard to come to grips with the fact that most of us do things which are not good at some point. Living with that requires a bit of thinking and attitude adjustment. The Christian’s like Frank think they can absolve themselves of responsibility and guilt by believing a story which says they are forgiven and will even get a reward while their friends and family are roasted in hell for eternity. Sounds selfish to me. Oh, I know. Frank and others are trying to share the free trip to heaven with us. I don’t know about you but I’m a little suspicious of the get out of jail free card given because I believe in the very god who built the jail just to torture me with if I don’t love him. It all seems a bit suspicious. One might stop to ponder at this point how well cows are treated before they are slaughtered for meat. They’ve been taught to trust their human masters who have made life easy for them, keep them healthy, feed them and so on… that small walkway to the new barn is not the stairway to heaven.

Now I’m not going to sugar-coat this and claim followers of Jesus float on a cloud of bliss. In another part of ‘John’, Jesus tells His followers “In this world you will have troubles. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” That means the world doesn’t automatically have the final say on your life. If you decide to follower Jesus, then HE has the final say. And that final say is glorious.

There it is, let me translate: This life is going to suck, sometimes it’s really going to suck. Your 2 year old might even be diagnosed with terminal cancer. Not to worry, if you believe in Jesus you’re promised a full and good life and there is the church to lean on when your mind can’t find the necessary impetus to even walk, they’ll support you and pray for you … and your child is still going to die of cancer before he can be saved by Jesus but hey, at least in the next life you’ll be worshipping the god that killed your kid and doomed him to eternal torture. That, that makes all the suffering worth it, don’t you think?

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How Are Your Demons Today?

You have stopped by and said hello to them today, right? You probably should have if you did not. They can’t live without you and if you know they exist you can’t live without them.

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Demon: an evil spirit or devil, especially one thought to possess a person or act as a tormentor in hell.

We usually do not think of demons as something we are responsible for. They instead are responsible for our bad behavior, bad luck, bad life. People talk about inner demons or personal demons as a way of saying that we are responsible for them, yet we are not responsible because it was the demon that made us do that thing or the other thing.

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NOTE: There are habits we cannot easily control. If you have a substance related problem, that ‘demon’ is not just in your head. You will need professional help to get rid of it in all probability.

That warning is not to say that those who smoke can’t get rid of the habit without help or, for that matter, other addictions. Some people are stronger or more desperate than others. Such things vary from person to person. I don’t want to talk about those types of situations. Those situations are not simply in your head, there is a physical component that you cannot will to go away. Our brains are amazing but it is simply not a switch that you can turn on and off at will when there is a chemical component to your bad thinking. It should be noted that monkeys, dolphins, and in fact many mammals [1] [2] [3] have a penchant for using substances to experience an altered reality.

If you want to know what it takes to kill a bad habit with physical components, stop eating for 3 days. Drink water, get lots of sleep but do not eat. That will show you what a physical addiction can be like.

The astute among you will ask “if those people can have physical conditions why can’t mine be a physical condition?” and you are right to ask that. All these ‘personal demons’ have a common component – how we think and the behavior we exhibit based on how we think.

Do other people see your demons as harmless or pretty? Do they think you might be silly?

If your demon is harmless or pretty, is it really a demon? It is if it stops you from being the person that you wan to be. Let’s think about this for a minute. Without much effort I’ve talked about demons like they are an entity and not a thought pattern in your head or a behavior based on thoughts in your head. Let’s stop talking about them like they are external entities. Let’s stop laying the blame for our bad luck or bad lives on something that is not us.

Let’s not talk about major life issues or physical issues as demons. The demons we want to talk about are the small ones, the little buggers you keep tripping over as you go through life.

What people tend to call their demons are thought patterns or behavior patterns which they do not find easy to change and which bring them bad luck, bad life, bad fortune. Those demons are actually us. We are those demons despite something in us not wanting to be those demons. It is when we are tired of the demon that we change. Some might say “well, I don’t know how to change” and there is more than a grain of truth to that. Many of us form our bad thought patterns (and subsequent behavior patterns) based on the only frame of reference that we know – our lives. When our entire life has been filled with those bad thinking patterns and bad behavior patters just how is it that we are supposed to change?

This can quickly get off on the wrong garden path, so stay with me. We are not responsible for what other people do. We cannot change the past. If your bad thinking is based on one or both of those I have something to tell you. We can only be responsible for what we do ourselves. We can only change how we react to things in this moment. The past and the future are outside what we can change. We can only change how we act in this moment. Did that sink in? You can only be who you are in this moment. If you choose to be brave, this moment does not have to be based on anything in your past nor anything others think of you whether they actually do or you just worry that they do.

Most people are in some way afraid of their demons. I say this is exactly the wrong way to look at it. Grab your demon by the hand every day, dance, dance till you know their every move. Learn to lead the demon.

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The continuous dance with your ‘demons’

You can learn to lead your demon if you truly want to be the dominant partner in the dance. When you refuse to dance, dance you will but the demon leads. But how are you to lead your demons? First you must know them, intimately. Not what they want you to think but what they don’t want you to think of them. You have to recognize when they are trying to lead, and change the tune.

Hey MAL, that’s all good to put in a blog but how does that help me?

When you lead the dance, the movements are yours, even when it appears the demon is leading in those times when you choose to let your bad thinking lead. We grow up and many of us learn bad thinking from people that we trust and there is no certain way to learn new habits or forget the past learning. It’s not like one day you wake up and know how life is supposed to be and all the bad thinking is suddenly gone. No, like it was as you were a child, such learning takes time and practice. Time and practice.

Hey MAL, how am I supposed to get time and practice?

Every day, your ‘personal demons’ will come to dance. When they arrive, practice. Time happens on it’s own.

But what do I practice?

Do exactly what your demon doesn’t want. Soon you’ll see small victories, then larger, and before you know it you’ll have forgotten all about that demon. You know what your demon wants or you would not have compartmentalized it to a demon. All you have to do is treat that behavior or thought pattern as if it would kill you or make you deathly sick. When you are more afraid of giving in to the demon than what the demon might have you do, it will not be long before you forget the demon altogether.

Reflection and honest assessment of what displeases you about your behavior (your demon) is required. Sometimes that is kind of nasty. Do it anyway. If you can’t be honest with yourself that demon will never leave. Practice long enough and you’ll see that demon trying to get back into your life. Once you’ve gotten rid of them it’s not hard to keep them at bay.

Hey MAL, what should I tell others about my demons?

Don’t do that. It’s a personal war you have to wage. Sure, you might seek therapy help but your therapist will not dance with your demons, only you will. Therapists offer help and guidance but you still have to do the dancing no matter how much you pay the therapist.

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There are things which cannot be mitigated by desire to fight them however all of us dance with the demons that can be. You are strong enough to change your behaviors. When you find that you simply can’t do so, seek help. Most of our troubles are just a matter of how we dance with the demons. Even for those whose demons are not imagined but physical, they deal with the imagined demons too. The imagined demons can be beaten. You can change your behaviors. You can do what the demons don’t want you to do. In this case, what does not kill you does make you stronger when you are dancing and trying to take the lead.

Now, get up and dance!

Stuff You Say When You Are Stoned!

Oh, I know that this could be a long running series but I only intend to make this one post. I think the video says all you need to know when you understand that this is the kind of stuff you say when you’re higher than a kite. We tend to forgive people for stuff they say when they’re high because we know that their brain is not working as it should and the owner of that brain is enjoying the malfunction. If this guy claims he’s not high you can go ahead and laugh at him because he’s clearly stoned out of his mind.

 

Wait a minute, this bag of flatulence is allowed to vote. Seriously, why do believers wonder why non-believers laugh at them and want them locked up?

If you believe in the same book and the same god as this jerk (see what I did there?) could you please explain what is wrong with him? What exactly did he read in your holy book that tells him this stuff?

I Did An Experiment

Let me start by apologizing. I did an experiment. My previous post, rather than presenting my thoughts on a topic, simply stated one perspective on a problem much bigger than the perspective would allow. I did this with the thought in mind that my followers are generally quite thoughtful and intelligent and as a result I should see at least a couple other perspectives on the same problem. I was right. Each perspective showed we humans as one of the four blind men holding on to part of an elephant and describing what it must be.

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Perspective is everything. The problems of humanity, the dramas of our species, very seldom change. Sure, there is a change in the props on the set and perhaps the demographics of the audience but the plays remain the same as they have been for hundreds of thousands of year or longer. Fear drives us. Without it we’d happily gorge ourselves, raise children, and die. We’d never give a thought to anything else. The one thing that makes us human; the defining attribute of humanity … is fear. Yes, fear. Fear for our food, fear for our children, fear for our freedoms, fear for our happiness, fear for our lives, fear for our existence. Fear is everything to humans.

What does that have to do with the video and the post? That video illustrates one counter point perspective on a big fear, xenophobia. Fear of those that are different. We humans have a very long history of not celebrating differences. Multiculturalism does not work exactly because you cannot mix multiple xenophobic cultures and hope to find a pasteurized common culture at the end. They will clash and one will become dominant. This _is_ human nature or the nature of the human species. One can spend hours arguing for the esoteric or ideals of altruism but in the end we have to admit that this is how humanity works. It is what made humanity the most dangerous species on this planet and what will make us the most dangerous species in this galaxy.

I recently commented that the war between the states was not about emancipation, rather it was about federation over states rights and ‘manifest destiny’ over isolationist views. That war, atrocious as it was, remains very important in that there were three sides: north, south, and antipathy. One dominated and the world was changed forever. Now we have the EU, NATO, North America, United Nations, BRIC countries, remnants of the British Empire and so on. Do you see a trend? The world is like a school yard playground and people are choosing sides. They will clash, one will dominate, and the species will continue on in the ‘new’ political paradigm. That civil war will have to be fought again and again until we are one people, one community, one group. The mechanics of this political mechanism will never allow us to create equality because true equality is the dismantling of the very mechanisms that make us successful. And we wonder what happened to the Neanderthals!

In my opinion the one hope that we have is to begin celebrating differences and to use our resources to empower the individual rather than the group. When the focus is on the individual and not the culture then value and importance is placed on the individual rather than the culture or the politics or the ideology. Should we make heroes of individuals? Not really. I’m talking more about socialism through individual empowerment. To empower each individual requires a socialist perspective. Yeah, I know, socialism is a dirty word for many. So what does that mean?

SOCIALISM: a political and economic theory of social organization that advocates that the means of production, distribution, and exchange should be owned or regulated by the community as a whole.

See that word community there? If we replace them with the words ‘human species’ things change drastically. The community is no longer individual cultures but the species itself. Contributors to the world stage are no longer states or countries but individuals. I don’t think it is too late for us to empower individuals through socialist protections of those individuals and society itself.

[[ I was going to put a picture here of tribal hatred but when you look at what Google serves up it is a short lesson in humanity. There is no representative picture of tribal hatred there is only every picture ever made of humanity. ]]

Yes, I’m very aware that treating all as equal will give rise to a raucous noise of ideas and desires and wants by the many people. Currently we filter those through a strainer we normally like to call culture. In fact, culture is a set of values and rules we use to strain out anything that does not fit our generalized and accepted ideals. That’s all that culture is. If you move one person from one culture to another they adapt to the new culture.

The video argues against treating all boys the same, and worse treating all boys the same as girls. It does not stop to say that treating all girls the same is bad also. The perspective of the speaker is the harm done to boys but the problem is that we are trying to treat all people the same, like brown shirts of WWII Germany. The speaker’s perspective was not that we should treat boys as individuals with individual responsibility to society but that we shouldn’t treat them all the same and expect them to be like girls. The speaker only addresses a small tip of a large iceberg. Even in a single class you can’t classify all girls the same – they are different! GASP

The political ideals that treat us all with labels are dangerous in this modern time. (religion, feminism, political parties and so on) They are dangerous because they promote the ideal that our value is based on culture and what other people think of us. People tend to rebel against this kind of thinking. They check out mentally, stop being productive, stop helping others. They can’t conform to the values demanded by the culture. Whether the culture is that of feminism or conservative politics etc. it alienates some even as it invigorates others. The divisiveness of group think in humans will always end with one group dominating and the other group(s) disappearing. You can rewrite that a bit to arrive at a theoretical formula for equality. When you do you’ll find that feminism as a group ironically cannot create equality for all. They can’t even support equality for all. I may seem to be picking on feminism but it seems topical these days. The very same can be said of any religious sect. Let’s take Islamic State as a quick example. They are not even going to try to create equality. They very honestly want to be the dominant ideology on the planet. We will all be alive to see their demise because there are so many other groups that cannot tolerate such thinking outside of their own halls of power.

One commenter went to great lengths to point out the problem with statistics. I appreciate that. Labels eliminate the outliers and exceptions. Labels eliminate the individual just as statistics are used to do most of the time.

Though the video tries to tell us that boys are being harmed I have to say that if equality is really the goal, any viewer should realize the video is showing us how we are all harmed when we fail to recognize the individual and treat everyone as a label. In this perspective it is boys that are harmed but what damage will that do later in life when they become fathers and husbands? We are all harmed by inequality, every kind or form of it. No group or political agenda can create equality. It has to come from each of us in how we treat others for that is the only way to change culture permanently. Only when we have a culture of equality will we be able to filter out what is not equality. This is an egg and chicken problem, for certain. A conundrum that can only be answered by asking the right questions and calling out those that ask the wrong ones.

We must take our self worth from personal values not those of society or community or even worse the government we didn’t pick. Individual value is the only path to equality under the law. Those that do not teach this have missed the point entirely. My value is not what you think of me, not what the government thinks of me, not what the universe thinks of me. My value is what I think of me. I am an individual. Until most other humans are also individuals under the law and in the culture – well, we can only function as a label. Labels compete with one another until there is dominance and victory. Individuals are more likely to show empathy than groups. Mob rules and all that.

Think. Be an individual. Teach children to be individuals.

 

What _IS_ Injustice?

Without any introduction, please view this video

The reason that there are more male over-achievers is the same reason that there are more male serial killers. Men will excel at something, mediocre is not the thing men do. There can be and are many reasons for this situation. Men do not follow the bell curve in most comparisons. They generally fall at one end or the other, not in the middle. There is a reason for this and I’m not going to tell you what it is. I want you to think about it. I want you to think about all the men that find themselves not in the top 10% and what they must contend with in life. Even as I strive to be a renaissance man of sorts I know that I’m not on the very high end and not at the low end. I’ve known this for a long time. I’m above average but for men – this doesn’t count. I’m not Alexander the Great and I’m not Jack the Ripper. I’m nobody. The world doesn’t hate me and the world doesn’t love me. The world doesn’t care about me. As a man that leaves me with few choices and a big tax burden. I was born this way. Born screwed. I’m fortunate enough to have gone to school before the horrors described in this video. Still, life is what it is and I have to live with it. I won’t get special treatment. I won’t get special dispensation. I won’t get anything that I don’t earn or steal myself. I think that society has forgotten this about our culture. We’ve focussed on the wrong things for too long. Now more innocents get to pay for other people’s mistakes and greed.

Just saying

Racists, Bigots, Multicultural … Out On A Limb

I shouldn’t have to show you pictures of or tell you about Charleston, McKinney, Baltimore, and other places which have been in the news lately. As proven by thousands of blog posts and news broadcasts there are a many opinions about what is wrong and why it is wrong and why the other group who is complaining is wrong.

The fundamentalists told us the mass killings in schools was because there was no god allowed in schools, now they tell us that it’s the gay agenda that got the Charleston 9 killed. Everyone is busy blaming everyone and everything else as the cause of the violence, hatred, and … well… humans being humans.

We hear a lot about how feminists think society should be or at least what they think is wrong. Blacks tell us what they think is wrong. Each political party tells us what they think is wrong. In fact there is an endless stream of people and groups that are more than willing to tell the rest of us what is wrong with the world today, or society, or that other country etc.

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I have my own ideas about who is to blame and what groups we could do without. My unspoken knee-jerk reactions would make vehement fundamentalists look like babes in cradles should I let them fester and act on them. I’m not here to talk about those or such from other people. In fact I’m not here to talk in this post other than to ask a simple question of all who read this.

What does a society without racism, bigotry, cultural hatred and similar items look like? Maybe you’ve only thought what it would be like without violent cops. Maybe you’ve only thought of what it would be like without gender inequality. Maybe you’ve only thought about what it would be like with equality under the law for all people. No matter what your pet project is I want to know what you think a society would look like that did not have hatred, racism, bigotry, fundamentalism, gender inequality, sexual orientation discrimination and so on. What would that world or country look like?

Between this current world we live in and the utopian world I’ve asked about, what are the low hanging fruits that we can work together to start us on that path to the world without the worst parts of humanity?

Go on, I want to hear it in the comments. I want to know what we are supposed to do to fix the giant fucking mess we humans have made of life and living. I want to hear how we fix it not what is wrong with it.

So tell us, what does a ‘perfect’ world look like? How does it work? Where would you fit in that world? Where would McKinney cops fit in that world? Where would former racists (of every color) fit in that world?

I know many may read this. Some may even click the like button. What I really want is to hear what a ‘perfect’ society would be like. Let’s have that discussion here.

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