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Monday, November 14, 2016

Reflections

I try to stay apolitical on here. But ... It's a grave error, rather bigotry itself, to label every person who voted for Trump a racist, a hater, or a bigot. This is the same country that voted twice for Obama. Democracy is about political dialogue and meaningful discourse. But when that discourse makes some people feel unsafe, then I believe all fair-minded people should reach out to their fellow humans.

Saturday, August 27, 2016

System of Nature - Preface

"Truth speaks not to those perverse beings:--her voice can only be heard by generous souls accustomed to reflection, whose sensibilities make them lament the numberless calamities showered on the earth by political and religious tyranny--whose enlightened minds contemplate with horror the immensity, the ponderosity of that series of misfortunes which error has in all ages overwhelmed mankind. To error must be attributed those insupportable chains which tyrants, which priests have forged for most nations. To error must be equally attributed that abject slavery into which the people of almost every country have fallen. Nature designed they should pursue their happiness and by the most perfect freedom.--To error must be attributed those religious terrors which, i realityn almost every climate, have either petrified man with fear, or caused him to destroy himself for coarse or fanciful beings. 
To error must be attributed those  inveterate hatreds, those barbarous persecutions, those numerous massacres, those dreadful tragedies, of which, under pretext of serving the interests of heaven, the earth has been but too frequently made the theatre. It is error consecrated by religious enthusiasm, which produces that ignorance, that uncertainty in which man ever finds himself with regard to his most evident duties, his clearest rights, the most demonstrable truths. In short, man is almost everywhere a poor degraded captive, devoid of greatness of soul, of reason, or of virtue, whom his inhuman gaolers have never permitted to see the light and victimzed by of day." -Baron d'Halbocc

Strange are the times we live in: Religious fundamentalism is on the rise, medievalism
making a comeback, religious terror and tyranny becoming common, and our politics is theater to entertain the credulity of people. And so ever foreign in is the concept of rationality, reason, and common sense, the jewels by which humankind's mind is elevated to greatness. It seems to me the masses, overwhelmed by life and dogmatic beliefs want simple solutions to life's complex problems. To escape from reality and into reality shows, facebook sound bytes and tweets is a path towards destruction. 

System of Nature - Preface

"Truth speaks not to those perverse beings:--her voice can only be heard by generous souls accustomed to reflection, whose sensibilities make them lament the numberless calamities showered on the earth by political and religious tyranny--whose enlightened minds contemplate with horror the immensity, the ponderosity of that series of misfortunes which error has in all ages overwhelmed mankind. To error must be attributed those insupportable chains which tyrants, which priests have forged for most nations. To error must be equally attributed that abject slavery into which the people of almost every country have fallen. Nature designed they should pursue their happiness and by the most perfect freedom.--To error must be attributed those religious terrors which, almost every climate, have either petrified man with fear, or caused him to destroy himself for coarse or fanciful beings. 
To error must be attributed those  inveterate hatreds, those barbarous persecutions, those numerous massacres, those dreadful tragedies, of which, under pretext of serving the interests of heaven, the earth has been but too frequently made the theatre. It is error consecrated by religious enthusiasm, which produces that ignorance, that uncertainty in which man ever finds himself with regard to his most evident duties, his clearest rights, the most demonstrable truths. In short, man is almost everywhere a poor degraded captive, devoid of greatness of soul, of reason, or of virtue, whom his inhuman gaolers have never permitted to see the light of day." -Baron d'Halbocc

Strange are the times we live in: Religious fundamentalism is on the rise, medievalism making a comeback, religious terror and tyranny becoming common, and our politics is theater to entertain. And so ever foreign is the candle of rationality, reason, and common sense; the jewels by which man's mind is elevated to greatness. It seems to me the masses, overwhelmed by life and dogmatic beliefs, want simple solutions to life's complex problems. To escape from reality and into reality shows, facebook sound bytes and tweets is a path towards destruction. 

Monday, July 18, 2016

Eden Prairie

There is legal justice and there is moral justice, and killing police officers is neither. Man needs to respect man. Police present in the park. Charge or no charge, respect is a must between EP man and police. Expose those who do harm to people in park. Witnesses or no witness, do the right thing. Eden prairie news is free and available at starring lake park to read, and I don't care for that paper. Goodbye.

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Religious Faith is Not a Virtue

"Religious faith should stop being considered a virtue.
I define blind faith as choosing to believe in something absolutely, without doubt or openness to change, and without proper scientific evidence – i.e. wishful thinking. Though blind faith in itself need not be religiously affiliated, this type of irrational thinking is very common in religious institutions and almost unanimously supported by them. So I will use the terms religious faith, blind faith, and blind religious faith interchangeably.
Religious faith is not a trait to be considered worthy of praise because it blinds those who carry it to live a life that is less responsive to changes. It is unopen to seeing mistakes in its own ways of thinking in order to find new and better ways of living. It is a fundamentally dishonest trait as it does not seek to reconcile belief with reality, and there are consequences to this. It is comparable to driving a car and only being able to see out of the front windshield. Though plenty of people get hurt and killed driving as it is, undoubtedly more would get hurt if they could only see out of the front.
It is obviously true that there are merits to this type of living: a source of comfort and security in this harsh world, a sense of belonging in a community, a faster way of establishing a moral foundation – which absolutely seems to help in the creation of a more intimate character and disciplined style of living, and increased motivation for community service. However, the consequences of holding this trait far outweigh these surface merits. The primary consequence of blind faith is its grave social irresponsibility. Blind religious faith is at the root of some of the worst social problems of our time (and in times past). Some examples include harsh discrimination – oppression of gay people’s rights and punishment for homosexuality; social isolation and sometimes aggressive punishment (even death) for infidels; class distinctions with oppression to those in lower classes; slowing of scientific and moral progress – stem cell research, drug legalization, discrediting the theory of evolution, sex education, birth control; most forms of terrorism – ISIS, 9/11 attacks, Charlie Hedbo attacks, some school shootings; excessive shaming and verbal/ emotional abuse to mothers who have chosen abortion. It even ranges to subtler issues such as refusing to tip at restaurants, social isolation or guilt creation in schools, and creating fear in children needlessly with teaching beliefs in Hell or other variations of this.
There are other ways to cultivate the merits of religion without practicing or supporting any irresponsible forms of blind faith. Some ways include joining non-faith based communities and learning about different spiritualities that do not include blind faith (some forms of Buddhism, Taoism, Unitarianism, Pantheism, Confucianism, etc.). Even learning about different religious philosophies without embracing or supporting the blind faith elements can contribute to a growing spirituality.
To the moderates of religious practice who claim that their faith is not one of the extreme forms of faith that directly causes negative social consequences, the act of supporting these institutions by participating and donating money is perpetuating these issues. It is the sheer number of moderate believers who give even mild support towards these large religious institutions, and thus large social problems, which gives them their enormous power. A quote by the Polish Poet Stanislaw Jerzy Lec describes this phenomenon elegantly: “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible” (1). Only by each individual revoking their faith and support in the massive oppressive systems can these avalanches be stopped.
Therefore, one carrying the trait of religious faith is a supporter of unjust social systems - which is quite obviously unvirtuous."
Reference 1. Lec, S.J. (1969). More Unkempt Thoughts. Funk & Wagnalls.

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Fundamentalism

"Fundamentalism presents real dangers to the lives and liberties of all Americans. It is not merely an acdamic problem or a problem for people who find fundamentalism a little strange or irrational. At risk are women, children, fair elections, society as a whole, the rights of Americans to reproductive choices, their freedom to choose sexual partners, freedom of religion, the freedom for all kinds of dissent, and their rights to privacy and to die with dignity." --The Fundamentals of Extremism.

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Lynching 1930

"A mob of 10,000 whites took Sledgehammers to the county jailhouse doors to get at these two young blacks accused of raping a white girl; the girl's uncle saved the life of a third by proclaiming the man's innocence. Although this was Marion, Ind, most of the nearly 5,000 lynchings documented between Reconstruction and the late 1960s were perpetrated in the South. (Hangings, beatings and mutilations were called "Judge Lynch.") Some lynching photos were made into postcards designed to boost white supremacy, but the tortured bodies and grotesquely happy crowds ended up revolting as many as they scared. Today the images remind us that we have not come as far from brutality as we'd like to believe." Life. 100 photographs