Archive for the ‘ Morality ’ Category

Election Season In The USA … Again

As we remember the dead and the slowly dying none of us can avoid the fact that it is election season again. Here are something to think about as you spend the next months picking out who you will vote for.

Some handy rules for you:

1: Don’t listen to just anyone about the candidates. This is not about picking a burger joint to get lunch.

 

2: When candidates talk about religion or faith, keep in mind that faith and religion are not exactly winning attributes or virtues.

 

I know it won’t be easy to pick out the right candidates so look forward to nearly 24/7 coverage of all of them, what they eat, who they bedded, what their children are up to… it’s going to be reality television the way that it ought to be. Good luck.

 

Color Outside The Lines

If there is something that Laci missed in her video I’m not sure what it is.

Color is not something, in this case, that should be kept in neatly arranged lines. There are a lot of non-black people that don’t understand what Laci is talking about and I’m not sure I have the credentials to explain it to anyone but there are a few things I can relate from my own experience.

I don’t like to see my friends have to put up with an attitude from a white person who makes them feel second class. I stand up and call out white people who do that so that they’ll know next time.

I don’t like to see men in the grocery store where I shop looking at me with trepidation, we should be able to meet in friendly ways on the street but black people have learned to be extra cautious, to the point that it ruins opportunities for us all. I try to change that one smile and ‘hello’ at a time. It’s been so noticeable at times that I want to wear a shirt that says “I’m not a  cop”.

We all judge people, it’s a human thing. I try to remove any racial qualities to my judgements. This is specific to me because it changes how I think about other people. It has not been an easy task.

Everybody you know or see is fighting their own battles. Try to be a nice person and not give other people yet another battle to worry about.

 

We all have a debt to society. It’s up to each of us to do our part to make our society the kind of society that we would like to live in and to make people feel welcome there. Yes, a debt. Especially in western societies.

THE MIX OF FAITH AND EVIDENCE – A Reply

I don’t personally find the author of this post offensive but that doesn’t mean that he won’t from time to time say things that don’t seem right.

https://i1.wp.com/www.brainyquote.com/photos/s/saintaugustine121380.jpg

Frank wrote a post called THE MIX OF FAITH AND EVIDENCE. If you want to read the whole thing, go ahead. You’ll have to visit to see the graphic he is alluding to. I just want to comment on some of the points in his post.

So, who insisted that Christianity is built entirely on faith? That’s never been my viewpoint and I’m struggling to think of even one Christian who makes this notion their line in the sand.

The point is that without the faith, the religion is pointless. Christianity without faith is not Christianity. It is the primary pillar of the faith, and it’s the part that is bad.

And yet, someone in an atheist Internet community posted this graphic and figured it would cause lots of people to nod in agreement.
But making a statement in a graphic doesn’t make it true. It would be like me insisting all atheists are militant, arrogant and patronizing. Equally false.

This is true, simply making a statement doesn’t make it true. It was a question: If Christianity is entirely built on faith, why do Christians use evidence?

Before I get going here, let me make it clear that faith is definitely a key part of following Jesus Christ (whom serious Christians believe is the son of God). In fact, a section of the Bible called ‘Hebrews’ spells it out: “Whoever comes to God must believe that He is real and that He rewards those who sincerely try to find Him.”
But nowhere does the Bible claim that evidence is irrelevant. Indeed, evidence is mentioned at key points.

He mistakes the claims as evidence, as we’ll see:

Consider the resurrection of Jesus, which is one of the most important parts of Christianity. In a letter that’s now part of the Bible, a missionary named Paul (who helped spread Christianity throughout the Mediterranean), told other Christians that after rising from the dead, “Christ appeared to more than 500 other believers at the same time. Most of them are still living today, but some have died.”

That certainly reads like evidence to me, especially as the underlying message is ‘if you don’t believe me about the resurrection, then go ahead and investigate for yourself’. If Christianity is built entirely on faith, why would this be in the Bible?

For the same reason that con artists lie, I would think. This fundamental belief that the bible is true, word for word, is a basic tenant of Christian belief. Even though he points it out that there are ways to interpret the book as saying you should investigate for yourselves the ‘evidence’ offered there is long gone and religions are famous for not encouraging questions. It doesn’t even mean that the original author was being honest. They didn’t mention anyone by name, no government officials, no ruling body, no religious leaders… just a claim that there were witnesses.

Here’s another example, from a section of the Bible called ‘2 Peter’: “We didn’t repeat crafty myths when we told you about the powerful coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Quite the contrary, we witnessed his majesty with our own eyes.” Again, more evidence.

This ‘evidence’ failed to convince most of the middle east. It was not strong enough evidence to keep him from being killed. In short, even in person very few people believed him to be the Christ. Among the few that did, even they had doubts.

The website FaithFacts.org has this take on the faith vs. evidence debate:
Blind faith is faith without evidence, which would be superstition. The Bible does not call us to blind faith. The Bible calls us to faith in evidence. We submit that various truth claims, including Christianity, should be evaluated on the evidence.

When people evaluate the ‘evidence’ contained in the claim (bible) and find it lacking Christians cry fowl or accuse such people of not having an open heart or enough faith or worse we hate their god or simply want to be immoral (as if not being Christian leaves you with no moral compass).

I can tell you, without any hesitation, that if I was called to follow Jesus based solely on faith, I probably wouldn’t be a Christian today. I was presented with evidence, then asked to make a leap of faith based on that evidence and based on the logic of Christianity. I made that leap and have never regretted it.

I can’t imagine what the evidence was. Clearly it was less evidence that I or others would require. That leaves us with a question: What standard of evidence should be used when evaluating truth claims? The only ones that I know of do not find religious belief to be truthful. If they did we’d not be having this discussion over and over again. Why is it that religion requires a different standard of evidence for it to be true? I rather think that this is special pleading regarding evidence gathering and evaluation.

So, where do you stand? Does a mix of faith and evidence make sense to you when considering Christianity? If it does, have you done any research? You may have friends or family members that discourage checking out the claims of Christianity, but this is important stuff.

April 25, 2015 by Frank King Photos

Clearly I don’t think the evidence for Christianity points to it being true never mind proving that it is. The people most likely to be accepting of the standards of evidence required for Christianity to be true are those of other faiths. Even they don’t believe in Christianity. If the ‘evidence’ can’t convince most or all of the people who sincerely ‘want’ to believe then how would it convince those that are simply looking for the truth?

On Orchids And Intelligent Design

Here we see an Orchid. They are part of a 100,000 plus variants or species of the flower. Like any life on this planet the various species have evolved to thrive in their environment. Like many forms of life on this planet humans have cultivated them (changed their environment) in order to change them to be more suitable in some way for humans. Every time that we see them in the shop we don’t think ‘oh, it’s a cultivated orchid’. Rather we think about how beautiful they are, how delicate they seem, how genuinely frail and wonderful they are. To be certain, they are all these things and more. All that changes if they start growing in a corn field. That makes them a weed: a wild plant growing where it is not wanted and in competition with cultivated plants. Perspective is everything.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orchidaceae

Philosophies are like this.  There are hundreds of thousands of them, most of the ones you know about are cultivated, shaped by humans to be more palatable or useful. Some of them grow like weeds, thriving in their environments. The human mind offers bad philosophical weeds a fertile environment in which to thrive. Once there the human will cultivate it and work to make it grow and fall victim to the wonderment of its beauty to them. They seldom realize that the beauty of the bad philosophical weed is cultivated by them and for them, competing with the philosophies which will sustain them and help them thrive. The philosophical weeds soon choke out the good philosophies we want and need to cultivate and grow. This is not through malice. It is because we humans don’t like to change the environment that our philosophies live in very much. Change is difficult. In fact, left to our own devices humans have shown themselves to be very poor philosophical horticulturists. When it comes to thinking clearly few of us seem to have that envied green thumb. These weeds, like all weeds seem to do, spread far and wide to every niche they can find as suitable to thrive in. That’s what happens when life evolves to survive. It is very opportunistic with little or no long range planning.

It might be said that an intelligent designer might have planned that so we could all see the beauty of such weeds as orchids or some such drivel. If we carry this analogy through, an intelligent designer wouldn’t have designed our minds as such a fertile place for bad philosophies. An intelligent designer would know that bad philosophies should not be designed such that they are beautiful to behold. It seems almost maliciously purposeful that the human mind, if designed, was designed to be a fertile environment for bad philosophy. It seems shockingly bereft of logic that such a designer would turn out to not have a green thumb, unless you consider that such a designer might think bad philosophies are not weeds, and is cultivating them in human minds. If there was or is an intelligent designer it sucks at gardening or its idea of beauty is detrimental to the well being of humanity.

 

Who Is In Control?

Control? Controlling? Control freak?

Interesting aspects of human nature that we generally note with some negativity involved. Wait, what about self control? Does this dog have it?

https://i0.wp.com/cl.jroo.me/z3/v/Z/-/d/a.baa-The-Self-Control-Dog.jpg

the ability to control oneself, in particular one’s emotions and desires or the expression of them in one’s behavior, especially in difficult situations.

Actually it’s not even about control. It’s about desiring a different outcome more. Control is not about repressing bad behavior. No, it is about desiring a more favored behavior more. Think about it. When it comes down to the nuts and bolts, choosing rocky road over vanilla is actually exercising control. Control is about expressing the desired behavior over the undesired behavior. Wisdom is in choosing the right desired behavior. There is always a trick, right?

Direct your mind and the body will follow. The dog above gets no love for not eating snacks, he gets the desired loving behavior for holding still. Perspective is everything… usually … most of the time… at least on Tuesdays.

Oh wait I hear you say. Just saying you want the more desired behavior is not enough, that never works. Well, no, not just saying it. You actually have to want it. When you want something enough it’s easy to achieve.

Think of it this way: You might not like the thought of eating a kitty kat. When you get hungry enough the desire to not die will over come your desire to not eat kitty kat. Sometimes keeping control feels like that: choosing to eat kitty kat. When the alternative is not living through the week, perspective changes.

All of that, I hope, makes reasonable sense even if it seems a bit off key. Why would I tell you this stuff? When believers say that without a moral law giver humans become amoral and lawless. The god of Abraham means nothing for this dog yet he finds subjective morality and can choose a desired outcome over and above the easy route. Morality is so easy that even a dog can do it.

Oh yes I did just hear you say that without training and a trainer he would not do that. No, without training and a trainer he would not have an object of affection he wanted the love from. The trainer has nothing to do with the dog’s choice to remain controlled other than what value the dog places on the trainer’s love. Oh damn that free will stuff! Yep, I just said that. The dog wants the love of his owner/trainer more than the taste of a snack. That is control… not of an owner over a dog, but of a dog over himself because he desires an outcome from the owner.

Does that make sense?

There are people who will understand what I’m saying. Believers want us to think that the dog is not capable of making a decision and neither are they. Without their god they would gorge themselves on the snacks. They think life is about the snacks or just themselves. Even the dog knows that life is about more. Even a DOG knows how the law of reciprocity works. When believers tell you this kind of thing, remember that they are not even as intelligent as a dog. Then go get some rocky road!

Self Respect?

One could be forgiven if they thought self respect went out of style with the advent of reality television. I’d forgive you that. That’s not when it happened. Self respect has been bought and sold in churches, temples, synagogues, and mosques for thousands of years.

Full Definition of SELF-RESPECT

1:  a proper respect for oneself as a human being
2:  regard for one’s own standing or position

By definition the adherents of monotheism can’t have self respect. They traded it for some promised eternal life. PT Barnum is laughing from the grave.

https://i0.wp.com/www.thequotepedia.com/images/68/i-forgive-myself-for-having-believed-for-so-long-that-i-was-never-good-enough-to-have-get-be-what-i-wanted.jpg

To believe in original sin requires you to sacrifice your self respect.

What Is On The Other Side?

Women are not more important than men. Women and men are not important, no, not in the long run. Humanity. Humanity is important to all men and women yet they blind themselves to this simple fact, this simple idea, with all the hatred their minds can muster in the dark, dank places they do their thinking. The explorers we read about search new destinations not for the fame or glory but for humanity. Fame and glory are fleeting. Identity is fleeting.

http://totallyhistory.com/biography/famous-explorers/
300,000 years ago there was an ape who thought “I wonder what is on the other side of that mountain”. Her cousin had a similar thought. His nephew a similar one. Eventually one of those curious apes found themselves in northern Europe. More spectacularly, though that sounds like a nice story these apes full of wonderment were not explorers. No, they simply were looking for more food to feed their babies.

https://i0.wp.com/images.fineartamerica.com/images-medium-large/a-female-mountain-gorilla-and-her-child-michael-nichols.jpg
Those amazing minds among us that strive to keep alive drag the rest of us kicking and screaming into the future. No plan, no guide book, just the unmitigated gall to survive. Those that sit back and stake a claim to some branch of a tree are simply too stupid to go look on the other side of the mountain. It’s never important what is on the other side of the mountain. What’s important is going to see what it is.
https://i2.wp.com/izquotes.com/quotes-pictures/quote-violent-irrational-intolerant-allied-to-racism-and-tribalism-and-bigotry-invested-in-ignorance-christopher-hitchens-237657.jpg https://myatheistlife.files.wordpress.com/2015/04/db13d-10632352_830314300359069_1440023650_a.jpg?w=306&h=306

When the human mind stifles itself to maintain some paltry position of power it causes all of humanity to falter briefly. We’ve been stumbling toward the future of humanity for quite some time now. Do not listen to those that don’t want to go see what is on the other side of the mountain. Leave them under that tree to rot. Think not another thought for them. If they hold you back and beg you not to go to the other side of the mountain, pick up a stick and beat them with it. Their whimpering sounds will fade as you climb up the mountain, sun warming your back and the wind in your hair. No matter what you find, on the other side of the mountain is the future and it does not need that whimpering ape with the tiny mind and tiny thoughts.

https://i1.wp.com/highvibrationfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/Touched-by-a-Wild-Mountain-Gorilla-Uganda%E2%80%99s-Bwindi-National-Park.jpg

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