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Everything posted by Frediano

  1. The practice of homosexuality is jealously protected by secular leftist libertines who regard it as a Holy Sacrament of their political religion. Perhaps. But my politics are somewhere to the right of Attila the Hun. I view the issue as a primary example of free association, in the most personal and individual sense of free association; the choice of one's life partner. I also see the issue as emblematic of what was once also an American principle; that one of the best ways to defend our freedom in this nation is to defend the freedom of our peers. So, yes, in that political sense-- defense of individual liberty in a free nation, I see it as part of my political religion. Been a 'practicing' heterosexual my whole life. Practice makes perfect, they say. Been married to the same woman for decades. Never been molested. I came to know and observe the relationships of adult homosexual couples as a young man, growing up on an island in a river in an industrial town of about 140,000. Families lived on this island, it was a smaller community within a larger community. Because of the nature of this island community, it was a place in this town where people could live without being hounded by the crusaders who were imbued with their special righteous concern over the skins and lives of others; you know, freedom eating busybodies. The adults on this island would hire the kids in the summer to do odd jobs -- like, pour a cement deck or sidewalk or dock, Work all day, get paid lunch and maybe $2 each. Standing in the muck in the river, wrangling railroad ties and metal rods to back the cement forms, all kinds of fun. Not every day; most days we were kids screwing around, and when we did so inappropriately, we'd get yelled at by the adults. All the adults. Equally. Could not tell them apart in any significant fashion at all. But I remember distinctly -- it was a life lesson -- an incident with one of the 'bachelor' couples. One of them got sick, kidney problems, hospitalized for a while. Was critical. And the anguish and concern in his partner was palpable. And when his partner recovered and was back home, the relief was palpable as well. It was clear that these two human beings cared for each other, deeply, like any other pair of human beings I've ever seen on earth. And in all that time on that island community, I never even heard of a single untowards incident or moment of abuse or molestation. Maybe the local DIocese was covering up plenty in town at the time, later well documented in the papers, but not anything I ever personally witnessed or heard of in that island community. So, we all have our theories about the choices of others. Such as, where the deep seated need to crusade against the nobodies business but their own choices of others that has over-run the insane GOP comes from. regards, Fred right wing public secularist advocate of individual liberty and freedom
  2. Glad you asked, Fred. It helps to clear up misunderstanding. You can always presume I speak solely for myself, and for no one else, or for anything else for that matter. That's pretty close. Again, speaking only for myself... Men created by God were given the free will to choose to live in the good universe, or to create an evil which to live. No. It's good that he created men with the free will to choose to do evil, because it is also the free will to choose to do good. Without the potential for the existence of evil, it would be impossible to know good. So it's good for evil to exist... but only for good people... because there would be no opportunity for them to know good without evil. Not faith. I know this solely by my own personal observation of the world as well as observing myself.. Nope... just me and only me. You may regard every word I write as only being my subjective opinion as a totally subjective being. I can only either choose to subjectively agree with what is objective, or I can choose to subjectively disagree with what is objective... ...but I can never BE objective. Greg Then, is it in God's purview to judge that which is good and that which is evil, or is it man's purview, or is this authority to judge shared by some men with God? Surely to choose, one must judge. How does one choose without judging--randomly? So, all of mankind is given the choice to choose between good and evil, and mankind chooses, and God judges, or does mankind choose and mankind judges as well, as a kind of peer to God in the judgment business? Example: some of mankind chooses homosexuality. Some religions(never to be confused with God) declare that an abomination in Gods eyes(speaking as they do for God.) How is anyone to know--objectively-- that homosexuality is an abomination in God's eyes? Maybe its not homosexuality; maybe it is just rampant non-monogamous behavior that is an abomination in God's eyes. How, in fact(as in, subjectively believing an objective fact), are we to know that the condemnation of other's homosexuality is not the abomination in God's eyes? This free will thing is a real Catch-22. That is, unless we actually claim to see through God's eyes, and speak for Him. For all I know, He wants us to freely figure out some things on our own, no matter what ancient bigots once thought. Even if they once wrote it down, not so long ago. regards, Fred
  3. Brant: There is an implicit 30 day money-back return policy, as long as it is returned in the original packaging. But only for store credit. Be glad the anti-you didn't read that post in the anti-universe; your forthcoming dementia would have been pushed ahead five years. regards, Fred
  4. There are two moral universes. One created by God and the other created by men. They're commonly known as good and evil. Is that speaking for you, or is that speaking for God? If I understand what you are saying, the moral universe created by God is the good universe, and the moral universe created by men created by God is the evil universe. Said another way, that which God creates is the good, except for man, and that which man creates is the evil. And, this was told to you, or you know it on faith, or you know it. Have I characterized that unfairly? Am I characterizing this unfairly by regarding this as something that you've told me, and not something that God told me? regards, Fred
  5. ... and for all I can know, that is how God chose to create two universes.
  6. Brant: Isn't the wrestling over 'universe'...' multi-verse'....'mega-verse' ... 'physical reality'.. etc., just kicking the can down the road? What I mean is, no matter how far we kick that can down that road(up that road?)the concept 'supernatural' is by definition forever outside the range of that concept. Otherwise, we could have just arbitrarily stopped the definition at Chicago's United Center and, finding Michael Jordan inside, declared him the God of all that is basketball. You said 'reality' and I qualified that with 'physical reality' but I think(correct me if I'm wrong)you intended 'reality' to include 'all that is', not restricted to physical reality. A superset of the physical universe(however we define physical universe.) The kick the can down the road definitions of 'universe' as far as they can be taken by science/physics/cosmology(and even cosmetology, to dress up Neil on 'Cosmos' and explain it all), plus, everything else that might be-- such as, Astrology+. Is that fair? Then, we probably need yet another qualifier for that concept of reality. 'inaccessible physical reality.' What I mean by that is, regions of physical reality that we believe exist but, by the very laws of physical reality, are forbidden to us as sentient beings to verify/falsify with calibration or experiment. Examples are, regions of space-time outside of our space-time event horizons/cones, or any event of smaller duration or extent than Planck time or distance. 'Physical' things that yet require, in some sense, an act of faith. We may 'get there' via reason, but in fact...we never 'get there.' We can never 'get there.' That would be quite some pissing contest; the battle over which of those concepts is 'real' faith based, and which is 'unreal' faith based. And like all such pissing contests, meaningless. Speaking of meaningless(I do that alot), here is one of those. It is argued sometimes that our physical Universe is a singularity that appears to defy its own conservative laws; something from nothing. Therefore, there must have been something outside of 'it' that we must purely imagine, because we are not outside of 'it.' Well, if we must, then here is one such imagining: two for the price of none. 0 = 0 A + -A = 0 A = A A1 = A2 where A1=A and A2=A Two for the price of none. A vast sea of gradientless sameness, complete random bubbling cosmic foam. No identity because there is no net gradient, just bubbling randomness about some dim grey mean. (Try not to notice that I kicked the can down the road...where did the foam come from? It just always was... just, with no identity because there was no gradient.) Randomly, like waves in a pool, occasionally there is localized 'coherence' -- the randomness adds up or subtracts to create a temporary local peak or trough, a spark of coalesced energy into matter, but it is immediately consumed by an also random local trough or peak, matter-antimatter. The bubbling randomness creates and anihilates tiny bursts of matter and anti-matter constantly, sparks in the dim gray cosmic foam of nothing. Given an infinite amount of time for this nothing to exist, occasionally the lottery is won. A statistically improbable event occurs. Two local regions, one of net matter, and one of net anti-matter, form substantially close enough to each other to create a stabilizing event. The two regions in close proximity initially annihilate enough of each other to create a separation event; the balance of region A recoils at 0.51 times or more the speed of light away from the region of interaction, while the balance of region B recoils in the opposite direction at 0.51 times or more the speed of light. The relative speed of separation of the two regions exceeds the speed of light, but in the frame of reference of the original interaction, both regions are moving at a fraction of the speed of light away from each other. This creates two regions of long-lived net matter and long lived net-antimatter, no longer able to interact, and no longer able to experience each other in each others event cones; they both can only look back and see a Big Bang. They each, in their 'universe A' or 'universe -A' seem to have a local conservative paradox, gradient from nothing, but in 'reality' there is no conservative paradox, because A + -A = 0 and reality is in balance. How long would it take for such an event to occur? It doesn't matter. No matter how much time you imagine, just wait longer. Reality has all the time there is for this to happen. In some sense, there is no 'time' before there is no identity/net gradient of anything. When it comes to fantastic unverifiable stories to explain the inexplicable, take your pick, there are harmlessly many. But, do you realize that 'in reality' there is actual public science money being spent looking for evidence of such an early universe interaction? regards, Fred PS: Not two 'identical' universes, A1 and A2, but two universes in conservative balance with their own distributions of energy/net matter and energy/net anti-matter, and no 'in reality' conservative paradox..
  7. Reagan's folly: making the 'a little more guns in exchange for a lot more butter' deal with O'Neill. Folly because, the little more guns lasted for barely a few years; Clinton immediately leveled off the planned Reagan defense buildup. No '600 ship' Navy (We're currently glad to be around 300). The 'alot more butter' however has remained to this day, and has compounded itself. All so that this nation could do an end zone dance in a game already long won. The fact that the Soviets were farming with ox carts in the 80s and this was known by our Intelligence communty was publicly disclosed by former vice chair of the Senate Intelligence committee Bob Kerrey in a talk at JFK Library Foundation in March 2003. I've posted a link to the transcript often. I could forgive Reagan his folly if it was shown that what the US Intelligence community long knew (that the Soviets were farming with oxcarts in the 80s and were hanging on by a thread)was hidden from Reagan; then, he was just someone raised during the real Cold War acting out on what he knew. But if that was the case, it begs the question; why was that withheld from Reagan by the US Intelligence community?
  8. I am not saying it is necessary to define a purpose; I've said before, even folks who never ponder the questions answer them, simply by living their lives. In the end, their lives are their answers, plural, whether the questions were pondered along the way or not. My definition of religion is simply, when any of us actively ponder those questions, then we are actively engaged in religion/philisophy and are actively seeking an answer and a purpose to our life. At different times in our life, we might arrive a different purpose. Others assert there is one purposeful answer or reason applicable to all. When those others meet under rules of free association, I say, more power to them; a very American idea, and long may they wave. When some of those others embrace forced association to impress their answers on others unwillingly, another very American idea comes to mind; the defense of freedom from those who would embrace forced association for any cause. An example of that would be the GOP and its insane embrace of the Defense of Marriage Act. Marriage is a term of art defined by churches and religions, plural, not 'the' church or 'the' religion. Not the only example, there are plenty more examples, including ACA and most of the Progressive Movement. I've been a married heterosexual for decades. I have no dog in the gay marriage hunt. But here is another waning American idea; one of the most important means of defending freedom in this nation is for each of us to defend the freedom of our peers. That was behind JFK's concept of the 1964 CRA as written, and as expressed in his own race neutral EO. LBJ's EO, which contradicted both JFK's EO and the 64 CRA as written, cynically demanded what the CRA prohibited and created AA. Cynically because of LBJs political reasoning, exposed in his comment "We'll have those n*****s voting Democratic for the next 200 years.." And well, it worked. Can't deny that. Let's not paint too fine a picture around what the GOP is doing with that defense of marriage nonsense; pandering to a special interest group of theocrat wannabees for their constituent faction votes to gain power, selling out American freedom to eyes rolled back into their heads Pensatuckians blinded by the Truth of their religious visions, shredding the very Constitution that defends their absolute right to flail away, like the complete morons they are for doing so. To be clear: not morons for abhoring homosexuality as an abomination as part of their religious beliefs; under the rules of polite free association, feel free. But morons for lurching that religious belief into campaigns for public policy and forcing their religious beliefs onto all as absolute truths, when the absolute truth is, when it comes to 'free association' there is no deeper example of same than the choice of life mate as part of our personal pursuit of happiness, as well as no greater example of none of mine or anyone's fucking business than the principals involved in that pursuit under their embrace of free association. And so, the GOP, as it is today, has lost all credibility when it claims to be the party of liberty and freedom and whatever else its lust for the power of the moment demands and an electorate lets it get away with; the false hope for freedom GOP is no answer to the no hope for freedom Democrats. As it stands today, the GOP itself is the biggest impediment to liberty and freedom in America, precisely because it is a totally hollow and ineffective alternative to the Democrats. RealPolitik demands that a Rand Paul run as a Republican, because the reality is, running as a Libertarian would bury him in a Sea of Stupid. This has been apparent, to me, ever since 1980, when Clark scraped up 1% of the vote after putting today clearly in writing in "New Beginnings." The nation got Reagan and his charismatic lip service to Liberty and limited government, along with his 'a little more guns in exchange for a lot more Butter' deal with O'Neill. Why? So that this nation could do an end zone dance in a game long already won, while the USSR was farming with oxcarts on the way to the trash heap of history as the latest failed example of centrally planned command and control 'the economy' running. Before Reagan? Go back and read Nixon's 1970 Economic Stabilization Act. Straight from the pages of Atlas Shrugged. Who grew the federal government more than Nixon, Reagan, and Bush 43? Well, having followed the charismatic Reagan, don't worry, USSR, so far we are right behind you on the way to that trash heap.
  9. To clarify, by 'Why am I here?" I mean to ask why as in purpose, not 'what was the physical means of my coming from a state of non-being to a state of being.' For human beings, even that restrictive interpretation of 'why' is no longer singlularly answered; we have moved beyond coitus as the only means of procreation. For sentient beings, it is easy to see in the near horizon even more answers to that restrictive interpretation of 'why', with individual instances of sentient beings in the future having multiple answers even to -that- question. But that isn't the question I meant by 'Why am I here?" What I meant is, 'what is the purpose of my life?' My assertion is, there is no evidence that there is one such answer applicable to all. Nor is there convincing evidence that there should be. That is the 'Why are we here?" form of that question, with an implicit belief in the singular among those who pose that question in that form. regards, Fred
  10. When we ponder the question "What is the meaning of life?" we have already accepted, as a Truth, that there is only one such meaning. Why? On what basis? Doesn't that question need to be answered first, before looking for 'the' answer? regards, Fred
  11. There is no doubt that religion succeeds because it works as a means of navigating to a set of answers, and even, that some 'R'eligions work better than others(a 'R'eligion being an instance of religion.) . There is a 6000 yr tradition, for example -- the Hebrew 'R'eligion, the shared old testament foundation of the Judeo-Christian religious tradition. The Hebrew 'R'eligion has some very conservative tenets(I'd say that a tradition that spans 6000 yrs is 'conservative' of those traditions.) Those traditions include things like cherishing education and family and hard work, and as well, a very flat model: you-God, with the singular role of Rabbi being 'teacher.' Then, 2000 yrs ago, an abrupt split, and the resulting model has evolved ever more layers, both corporate and other worldly: you - several layers of also naked sweaty apes in funny hats, the stuff not only of chess boards but entire nations in Italy -- Jesus -- The Holy Spirit -- God all one in the same, world without end but a definite beginning 2000 yrs ago, and any number of versions of a rewritten Bible, take your pick. Limiting our vision to just these subsets of 'R'eligions, clearly there are a plurality of answers to those fundamental questions, not 'the' answer.
  12. it has no answers to 'the meaning of life', or the purpose and morality a man can live by. Speaking only for me, now, there is a real act of faith without knowing: a -default- belief in the singular, that there is only one such meaning, and only one such purpose and morality a man can live by. Tell me that belief isn't at the foundation of every pile of corpses rotting under the Sun. It goes directly to my personal meta-defintion of the word 'religion': any conscious pondering of the questions "Why am I here? What am I supposed to be doing now as a result of that why?" Notice how quickly those questions can be politicized: "Why are we here? What are we supposed to be doing now as a result of that why?" If you believe in the singular, then, you embrace the 'we' form of those questions. If you believe in pluralities, then you accept that in addition to the we form, there can also be the I form, completely without conflict. That is the essence of freedom. It is only the 'we' form that can result in the spectacle of barbed wire fences and machine guns surrounding a nation and enforcing 'the' answer to those questions. In exactly the same sense of 10 to the minus 42 seconds after the Big Bang, I suspect that within 10 to the minus 42 seconds after mankind achieved self-awareness, that fundamental existential question warped from the personal and plural to the tribal and singular, and war was invented. Every one of my fellow peers in mankind who has ever lived answered those questions implicitly even if they never consciously pondered the questions; in the end, their lives were the answers, plural, like the answers or not, with or without an intelligent creator. However, when mankind explicitly ponders those questions, either singularly or in groups of like minded fellow wonderers, IMO, they are engaged in religion/philosophy. To me, a never addressed, much less, answered question: Is there just one answer to those fundamental questions -- one reason why I/we are here, and one thing that I/we should be doing now as a result of that why, or are there a plurality of reasons? Speak up; who speaks for God in this regard? Don't be shy; many in the past have felt no compunction at all about speaking for God in this or any regard. regards, Fred
  13. I can (and do) believe that the physical universe was my Creator, and I am even grateful for that fact; but that bears no real answer to the concept of a God outside of the physical Universe as an entity that, for example, chose the means of this physical universe as the means of my Creation. Those are the stories of 'faith' from people who simultaneously claim 'faith' and 'knowing' in the same breath. It requires no faith to 'know;' deliberately or not, knowing voids the possibility of faith. But I am as certain that I was created as I am of anything else. As 'me' I once was not; as 'me' I am now. The logic that my Creator filled his universe with demands that I acknowledge I was Created. By process is certain; by an act of intelligence outside of or beyond this universe is and can only be an act of faith. That logic, however, doesn't demand that I create stories about that Creation, or accept the stores of ancient man, fellow also merely created naked sweaty apes just like me but with even less knowledge of the physical universe; that is purely an act of faith, and so on. Nor does it demand that I believe in spooks to arrive at morality; that is clear from history. For example, the concept 'The Golden Rule' transcends so many religions and philosophies(if folks insist, I will refer to that as two different things, as if they were), that it is not the exclusive Truth of any one. regards, Fred
  14. Brant: I of course only 'know' of Scott Nearing by reading about him and his own works; he was of a different age. But he was clearly an intelligent, motivated, energetic, charismatic, and effective seller of ideas that he passionately believed in, with well meaning. The essence of his (early) thought was that , dammit, Jesus nearly 1900 yr old (then) mission on earth was stalling, and apparently little closer to being achieved than when it started; classical religion, especially in a wealthy nation like the USA, was ineffective in advancing Jesus mission fast enough as it could without the impediment of separation of church and state, and so, to Hell with the separation of church and state, Onward Christian Soldiers, marching as to war.... Because he(and many like him at that point in history) was so passionate about the righteousness of his vision, of his sense of mission, he argued strongly for a more aggressive form of religion that was not afraid to take on and use the state to advance that mission. To use the implicit and explicit force of the state to achieve more 'progress' and move Jesus' mission ahead here on earth. THe very essence of what remains today as 'The Progressive' movement, a stealth religion-- even if it has since been formed of a confluence of similar interests; there were all kinds of global movements afoot at the turn of the last century-- Social Scientology being a new, modern, 'secular' science-not-religion, even though it was and is clearly a religion("S"ociety is God/the state is its proper church.) His intent was not evil. Many would readily admit it was even 'good.' I don't think his intent was anything other than to achieve what he sincerely believed was 'good.' And, God protect us all from someone so licensed, unfettered as they are from the unforeseen consequences of their actions. Because in balance -- even in the context of achieving Jesus' mission here on earth -- has the consequences of negating voluntary charity and compassion and benevolence and replacing them -- supplanting them -- with state force, really had the effect envisioned? Or has the 'Law of Unintended Consequences' reared its ugly head, and in spite of Scott Nearing's et. al. unimpeachable intentions, has the result of their campaign to over-run the machinery of our state with an unfettering -- even for a good cause -- been a net loss in the desired outcome? I suspect the latter. I suspect that the original visions of our FF were more clearly on target in terms of realizing broad peace and prosperity and opportunities in this world, as it is, and that our impatience at the imperfect realization was insufficient reason to sell out freedom. The quote in Wikipedia is an interesting one: The tension between the dissident individual and the group was an unenviable one, Nearing believed. In the conflict between the solitary individual and the community, Nearing saw only three possible outcomes: "(1) The individual may win out and impose himself and his ideas upon the group. The normal consequence of such an outcome is a personal dictatorship or the imposition upon the community of an oligarchy in which the dissident individual or individuals play a prominent role. (2) The division of the community into factions, one of which upholds the dissident individual, with a stalemate leading to feuding, rebellion, civil war. (3) The group wins out, imposes its will and eliminates the non-conformist. Such conflict sequences have occurred repeatedly in contemporary and in earlier history."[56] . regards, Fred
  15. Greg: Then, God your Creator has given you special access to knowledge within your religion that he has not granted to others within the context of their own. You should feel blessed. Speaking only for me, my Creator -- whoever or whatever that was, including, the Universe as it is, with me in it, -- has granted me only doubt on the subject of the supernatural, ever since my Creator sent me a message with that glowing log along the river when i was 14, and my half a day of absolute certainty on the subject of the supernatural. Our Creators, it is said, work in mysterious ways, and so on. I suppose it is within reason that such Creators send different messages to each of us; that would totally be within the job description of Creator, even as I barely understand the job description. As for my Creator, I know, with certainty, that the Universe, as it is, exists. I feel blessed by my Creator, as well. A total win-win. Fortunately, this nation, unique among many, has tribally arranged things so that it is totally unnecessary for either of us to enter a leglifting 'the True Creator war', nor to worship a singular religion, nor to define for each other the duty that each of us owes to our Creator, as we see fit, within our own conscience. regards, Fred
  16. Social Scientology: "S"ociety is God, and the state is its proper church. Now, there is a religion running unimpeded in the machinery of our state. Do we wonder why such a religion, with such a belief system, would find a friendly landing zone in our machinery of state?
  17. My Mother was a friend of Scott Nearing's son, John Scott, who directly worked for Henry Luce at Time for a long time. So professionally done. Congratulations. --Brant Brant: He was an interesting and complex figure. The first time he published 'Social Religion', he did so as a crusading Christian. The second time he published 'Social Religion' just a few years later, he did so as a crusading Socialist. Same book. Same religion. regards, Fred
  18. VA Bill of Rights: Is among the only state statute anywhere to even attempt a definition of the term 'religion;' Section 16. That religion, or the duty which we owe to our Creator, and the manner of discharging it, can be directed only by reason and conviction, not by force or violence; and therefore all men are equally entitled to the free exercise of religion, according to the dictates of conscience; and that it is the mutual duty of all to practise Christian forbearance, love, and charity toward each other. ...without providing an emperor to define either 'our Creator' or the manner of 'discharging that duty' Such a statement of principle embraces 'the universe, as it is' as 'our Creator' in a perfectly symmetric, peer based definition of religious freedom within the context of a majority Christian nation; the VA BoR acknowledges the fact of a majority Christian nation, and at the same time, tempers that fact with no only 'love and charity' but 'forebearance;' patient self-control, restraint and tolerance-- a withholding of the urge to act upon the fact of that majority status in enforcing their views in a free nation. An explicit abdication of the advantage of simple majority status, an acknowledgment of acting only as peers in this regard, not leglifters or speakers for their God. IOW, in the context of American freedom...brilliant thinkers who attempted to propel mankind beyond the chains of the Dark Ages-- a conflict that rages today in plain view. regards, Fred
  19. The Bush 43 Administration, for the first time in our history, introduced legislation regarding 'churches' explicitly. How that is done without attempting to define 'religion' is a deft act of politico art, but let's not draw too fine a box around this turd; it is entirely consistent with the Bush/Rove realpolitik campaign, payback to a pandered to interest group, for votes, for power, requiring the necessary quid pro quo, Constitution be damned. Actual billboard on I476(turnpike NE extension, north of Lehighton, PA) : Big white letters on dark blue background: "God's Country" Small letters "Bush 2004". The less said, the better; fill in your own meaning. A time tested formula by politicos like Rove and Carville, with his own "Heeeeits the economy, stoopit!" We are that nation. Proud moments. regards, Fred
  20. People who believe they have no sclermak tend to behave as if they don't. Now, that is funny, without even the slightest insinuation denigrating those who believe they have no sclermak. A belief in having a sclermak, would demand an act of faith, because after all, there is no such thing as a sclermak-meter, and we can't be presented with a '5.3' on the meter as evidence of actually having a sclermak. A sclermak, after all, is a totally made up, unreal thing with no evidence that it exists that requires an act of faith, whereas a soul is a non-made up real thing that requires an act of faith to believe it exists. It reminds me of the mirth surrounding what are allowable and unallowable gods in public schools. The gods of football, regularly prayed to in huddles before the inevitable hail Marys, as well as the gods of theater, with its sacred space and sermons delivered to folks from the altar while they sit in pews, are totally embraced in public schools, because on our God-O-Meters, they are clearly not 'real' supernatural gods, whereas the paraphernalia associated with the God of Abraham is not allowed in public schools because that is a 'real' supernatural God. How do we know that one set of gods are not real supernatural gods, and the other is a real supernatural god? I have no idea; clearly, I must have faith, its a mystery, and so on. Which reminds me of the bigger conundrum; the definition of 'religion' in our state. We have a first Amendment that prohibits not only a state 'establishment of religion' (even more restrictive than a prohibition to the establishment of 'a' religion), but also prohibits any infringement of the free exercise thereof-- without any qualification of where or when that undefinable religion can be freely practiced. And so, to me, if nobody else, a conundrum: how is it possible, for atheists or anyone else, to petition our government for 'protection' from the practice of freely practicable and undefinable by the state religion, without the state having the means to define what is and what is not 'religion?' Surely, with all the definitions in the US Code, there is a line somewhere that starts off 'the term religion shall mean:' Nope-- not with a ten foot pole. Not even in IRS statute, whose rules for non-profits nowhere define 'religion' because the state is explicitly prohibited from passing any law respecting an establishment of religion. That does not mean, prohibited from passing a law saying that the church building on 3rd and main is a mighty fine example of architecture. It means: an establishment of religion, nor prohibit the free exercise thereof. Anywhere, without exclusion. So if I or anyone petition the government for 'protection' from gods I don't believe are real -- such as, the gods of theater, or the gods of football -- does the state have any means to deny my petition on the basis that those are not 'real' supernatural gods, or 'real' religions? How so? Does the state maintain a list of 'real' and 'unreal' gods or religions? Isn't that exactly the act that our state is prohibited from ever doing? And how so? Would a God-O-Meter of some kind be involved, to distinguish 'real' supernatural gods from 'unreal' supernatural gods-- such as, the God of Tuna? Isn't the states selective 'protection' -- ie, for the curious goal of prohibiting the free exercise thereof -- an explicit elevation of some religions as 'real' religions? I'm with Thomas Jefferson on this one; let them all arrive on The Lawn at his public university, each to make their case, so that the sunshine and open air can ameliorate their asperities, and so on. The freedom of religion amendment in the VA bill of rights made the original intent of the times much more explicit as to what 'religious freedom' meant in a recognized majority Christian nation; not only complete freedom of religion, but with it, an obligation for a majority Christian nation to practice 'Christian forebearance' -- a tolerance of other's belief or non-belief. The tradition of 'religious tolerance' is the very essence of American freedom. The FF were brilliant in this realization, even as members of their faith. FLash ahead a few hundred years of imperfect abuse of this idea. Is there today any precedent that would support an appeal of 'protection' from Gods that I don't believe are real, or from religions that I am not a member of? Especially for the curious goal of prohibiting the free exercise thereof anywhere in America, in any context? When i claim that theater is a religion, with its self proclaimed 'sacred space' and its gods of the theater, is the state in any position to check its list of permitted and not permitted religions and tell me what is and what is not 'religion' in this nation, and so, deny my petition for 'protection' from gods and religions that I neither believe in nor am a member of? Then, what of Scott Nearing and his "Social Religion." There is a treatise that defines a religion explicitely as 'religion.' It is, in essence, the Progressive playbook. "Progress" was Christian Scott Nearing's precise argument in the early 1900s, when he published 'Social Religion' twice; the first time as a crusading Christian who was frustrated at the slow pace of 'progress' of Jesus' mission here on earth, and who argued for a more politically aggressive use of our state to carry out Jesus' mission here on earth; feed the hungry, fight poverty, and so on. All great and wonderful reasons to court a theocracy. Can some 'religion' be blatantly injected into our machinery of state, as long as we keep out the iconry-- the Ten Commandment tablets, the crosses, the sleeping Jesus in the mangers and so on-- all the really dangerous things? Whereas, the forced association, replace compassion and benevolence with politicos pointing state guns freedom eating elements of religion run amok are acceptable over-runs of religion in our machinery of state, because after all, the Scott Nearings were frustrated with their faith and were doing only what God was screaming into their ears at night when the voices came, and so on? In response to the very first petition for 'protection' from religions and Gods that someone didn't even believe in, our state's only legal response should have been "Religion? God? What is that? You live in a nation of complete religious freedom, with an obligation as a citizen for tolerance of the religion of others." Remember being 'forced' to pray as a child in school? Neither do I. What I was mumbling every morning, and who I was mumbling it to, is a complete mystery and hardly consequential. Remember being forced to take social studies and study sociology and take your indoctrination about "S"ociety, and so on? Now, that I distinctly remember; it continued long past public schooling, well into the Seminaries of Social Scientology we call 'the Ivies.' But we have our hair on fire only about the plastic crosses and stone tablets and christmas trees and baby Jesuses, in the name of defending freedom. Sure we do. regards, Fred
  21. People who speak for God believe they are.
  22. Greg: People who believe they have no soul tend to behave as if they don't. So, directed at the non-spookers among us, that pithy personal leg-lifting was not intended to deride, but to enlighten? Perhaps in prescient anticipation of my need to deride? regards, Fred ,
  23. Sociability is hard-wired (so to speak) into most humans. For sure. But what drives modern politics is not a tiny handful of hermits vs. The Tribe, or even collectivism vs. individualism. What drives modern politics is roaming tribes who either embrace or eschew forced association in the formation of socius. Society, from the Latin 'socius': ally, companion. As in, known associate. Mankind and nations form societies, plural, not "S"ociety, singular. "S"ociety is the very definition of Totalitarianism, and requires forced association to implement. Pointing that out is not being 'anti-social.' Pointing that out is being anit-Totalitarian and pro-freedom/liberty. Embracing free association and eschewing forced association. Individuals form societies all the time; some free and some by force. That isn't a conservative/liberal divide; that is what separates libertarians from totalitarians, rapists from lovers, and slave owners from employers. . Socialism is not national socialism; the difference between them is exactly the element of forced association. So called conservatives embrace forced association when it is convenient; they are a confused mess when it comes to the principles of liberty. Ditto liberals. regards, Fred
  24. Speaking only for me, I can't accept a theology that demands, as part of its belief system, that I anticipate a 'better world' for my non-worldly 'spirit' when I die. I assessed what was told to me when I was young -- by, universally, other human peers just like me, not by 'God' -- as blatent political tales, sort of along the lines of 'buy this, join our club, and we promise everlasting life in a better world or your money back. 2000 yrs, and not a single complaint yet." For all I know (because all I know on this subject is what other peers have try to sell me, and whatever hints my Creator has given to me directly otherwise), when I pass, I will get 10 seconds to say something to my Creator. Or not, and I just pass, and return the merely borrowed heavy elements, former star dust, to the next lucky riders who meander past, leaving only my memories, my children, and my works as reflections of me. Perhaps I'll still make my children laugh, as memories, just like my father in law still does after passing 30 yrs ago, or my father, who is now gone for five, who still inspires me. But I've decided, if that happens, and if I get such a chance, to say "Thanks for the ride; it was incredible." And live my one and only life like I want to prepare to be able to say that, without expecting a 'better life' to be waiting on the other side of that Creator." Another alternative is to show up with my club attendance sheets and offering receipts, and a video of all the times I let folks into traffic and so on, and make my claim on the 'better' life that is due me. "The nice men in funny hats said you'd have a 'better life' for me if I filled all these out correctly and filled their offering plates and so on. I'm looking behind you, and I don't see that 'better' life promised me after whatever the fuck that sad worldly thing I just lived through was, so where's my payday?" Would I be the ingrate for simply saying 'Thank You' and not expecting a 'better' life as my due? Would the after-life seeking mercenaries do much better, expressing such gratitude? Maybe. I know the wordly hucksters selling that jive believe so. But my Creator works in mysterious ways; whoever He is, He created me, here, with this mind, and these conclusions, and He has pretty much been telling me to ignore the hucksters. Or, maybe it is Satan telling me to grateful for what the other guys tell us is God's Creation. I don't know, maybe Satan is confused, too. Hey, according to the legend, God was working with nothing; who am I to tell Him this world, as it is, wasn't up to my standards, and now I and/or just my soul deserve a 'better' world, so pay up? Better still, this is supposedly 'pre-paid' by having crucified His one and only son. Trust the hucksters, this somehow makes sense, was a reasonable thing to do. As a result, I could literally run around raping everything not nailed to the floor and as long as the very last minute, I have a deep and sincere and truthful Come To Jesus moment, why, I, too, will be one of the Forty Thousand from All of History to make it to the Better World. As a worldy marketing tool, how can you beat that deal with a stick? Before you know it, Gold encrusted mansions in Italy abound, and a cool gig for the guys with the funny hats. Judeo-Christian beliefs, with a common root. A 6000 yr history of conservative values, and then, a 2000 year old splintering of those ideas. One branch -- the 6000 yr old model, still has a very flat model: You-God, with Rabbi as teacher. The other branch has split into more layers of corporate structure and men in funny hats than your average chess board. Excuse me for noticing, but W.T.F.? Here's a mind blower; are we sure that the entrance to the Better World is not arriving there with a sincere sense of gratitude for the gift already given to us, and no sense of entitlement to anything else beyond? An alternate theology; now let's see; which one would be more leveragable down here in the mud as a political tactic? I'll see your 'no payday' theology, and raise it an endless afterlife in a Better World. And why not? It costs nothing to make that raise. Infinite return for no additional cost...and not a single complaint in 2000 yrs. Merry Christmas!
  25. The forced association folks seem overwhelmingly of the liberal bent, but for sure, not exclusively. W.T.F. was all that 'defense of marriage' nonsense by the GOP? Marriage is a concept defined by churches, plural, and for sure not 'the' church. If federal statute refers to 'marriage' then fix the statute by referring to 'civil union' instead. The GOP has lost its mind, pandering to theocrats for votes and selling out freedom. There are few clearer examples of 'free association' than the personal choices one makes for a life partner; there are few clearer examples of areas where the state should stay the fuck out of except to defend that free association, not prohibit it(or as bad, tell all churches what they may and may not refer to as 'marriage.') And the idiot braintrust of the GOP is all over it, transparently pandering to eyes rolled back into the head snake worshippers for votes.. Feel free to go to associate freely in any church that defines marriage in a manner consistent with your beliefs, but stay the fuck out of Congress with that spooker shit, you fucking idiots; read the goddamned Constitution, apparently for the first time. Note: idiots not because of your spooker beliefs; feel free. Idiots because you have no concept at all what is and what isn't a proper issue of public policy enforceable at the point of the states guns in the context of freedom. Merry Christmas!