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I'll put this in Christian terms for you.

If your strategy is to serve God and Jesus, you would obviously not want to do any of the things I mentioned. And there is a lot of good things you would want to do. Moreover, you would want others to treat you according to the Christian storyline. (Not the crucifixion part. :smile: The loving others and following His will part.)

If that is your strategy, the Golden Rule makes it easy for you to choose what to do if you are in doubt. You obviously want a Christian world, you want to be treated as a Christian, so you will treat others in a Christian manner.

While I agree with what you just described, I view the same idea on broader perspective in that I already live in a world which is exactly as decent as I am. And that world is defined as everyone with whom I personally interact face to face, and not what is on television news with which I have no personal contact, over which I have no personal control, and for which I bear no personal responsibility...

...because it is within the personal contact, personal control, and personal responsibility of others.

This works for Objectivism, too. Not the snarky put down part :smile: , but instead, the living by reason part. If you want to be treated according to reason, it is a great idea to treat others according to reason. If your strategy is to live according to reason, the Golden Rule is a great tactic for putting that into effect in a social realm.

This works well for business, too, as many businessmen learn. If they want to be treated fairly, but want to receive profits and become wealthy, and that is their strategy, their best tactic is to treat others fairly and provide them with profit first (I'm not just talking about money). Provide value to receive value.

Where I became a smart-ass was by inverting the tactic and strategy. If your strategy is to live according to the Golden Rule at all costs, if that is your living strategy, you will have to extend it to sociopaths, etc.

The Golden Rule actually does extend to sociopaths... as they do to others, others do to them, for they personally interact with their own kind just as they deserve.

This is what happens when you turn a tactic into a strategy.

The thing is, I like being a smartass. :smile:

(And yes, it comes back on me. But I have a lot of fun. :smile: )

Michael

Your attitude has a certain charm, Michael. :smile:

There is also another aspect to the Golden Rule.

The first is a what: Do to others as you would have them do to you...

The second is a why: ...because what you do to others will be done to you.

Notice how it applies equally to the indecent as well as the decent. This is because all truths cut both ways.

Greg

You keep using the Christian altruistic version of the Golden Rule. The correct (Jewish) version is: do not do unto other that which you find hateful if done to you. That is much saner.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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Hi Bradley, I can’t buy that one is a Christian who never turns to faith in contradiction of reason. I can’t buy that one is a Christian who never turns to mercy opposed to justice. I can’t buy that

"Christian Objectivist" sounds to me a bit like "vegetarian tiger". Probably there also exist socialist Objectivists or communist Objectivists, nothing can surprise me anymore.

Bill, I strongly disagree with your statement of what the question boils down to. It is not whether, to be an Objectivist, one must accept each and every consequence of its basic principles claimed b

I have to admit that those terms are lost on me because instead of thinking of tactics or strategies, my attention is on doing what's right. Being a simple person, it's a simple way to live. I've found that the more well grounded in what's right my actions are, the better things go.

Greg,

The form may be lost on you, but the substance isn't. Look at this post alone. You identify yourself as a simple person. Thus a fundamental part of your strategy is to live in a simple manner and another part is to do what's right. You use a lot of tactics to ensure both simplicity and doing right (including the Golden Rule).

Since you want things to go well ("the better things go"--your words), your strategy is to live in a simple manner by grounding your actions firmly in what's right.

See? This strategy and tactic thinking is simple and it's right. Now these terms are found on you, not lost on you.

:smile:

(And btw, if you try to invert them and live that way, you will most definitely get what you deserve. :) )

Michael

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I'll put this in Christian terms for you.

If your strategy is to serve God and Jesus, you would obviously not want to do any of the things I mentioned. And there is a lot of good things you would want to do. Moreover, you would want others to treat you according to the Christian storyline. (Not the crucifixion part. :smile: The loving others and following His will part.)

If that is your strategy, the Golden Rule makes it easy for you to choose what to do if you are in doubt. You obviously want a Christian world, you want to be treated as a Christian, so you will treat others in a Christian manner.

While I agree with what you just described, I view the same idea on broader perspective in that I already live in a world which is exactly as decent as I am. And that world is defined as everyone with whom I personally interact face to face, and not what is on television news with which I have no personal contact, over which I have no personal control, and for which I bear no personal responsibility...

...because it is within the personal contact, personal control, and personal responsibility of others.

This works for Objectivism, too. Not the snarky put down part :smile: , but instead, the living by reason part. If you want to be treated according to reason, it is a great idea to treat others according to reason. If your strategy is to live according to reason, the Golden Rule is a great tactic for putting that into effect in a social realm.

This works well for business, too, as many businessmen learn. If they want to be treated fairly, but want to receive profits and become wealthy, and that is their strategy, their best tactic is to treat others fairly and provide them with profit first (I'm not just talking about money). Provide value to receive value.

Where I became a smart-ass was by inverting the tactic and strategy. If your strategy is to live according to the Golden Rule at all costs, if that is your living strategy, you will have to extend it to sociopaths, etc.

The Golden Rule actually does extend to sociopaths... as they do to others, others do to them, for they personally interact with their own kind just as they deserve.

This is what happens when you turn a tactic into a strategy.

The thing is, I like being a smartass. :smile:

(And yes, it comes back on me. But I have a lot of fun. :smile: )

Michael

Your attitude has a certain charm, Michael. :smile:

There is also another aspect to the Golden Rule.

The first is a what: Do to others as you would have them do to you...

The second is a why: ...because what you do to others will be done to you.

Notice how it applies equally to the indecent as well as the decent. This is because all truths cut both ways.

Greg

You keep using the Christian altruistic version of the Golden Rule. The correct (Jewish) version is: do not do unto other that which you find hateful if done to you. That is much saner.

Ba'al Chatzaf

While that is most certainly true, it is the "Silver Rule". Whereas the "Golden Rule" is the command that you do good for others... and not just the prohibition against you doing bad to others.

Greg

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I have to admit that those terms are lost on me because instead of thinking of tactics or strategies, my attention is on doing what's right. Being a simple person, it's a simple way to live. I've found that the more well grounded in what's right my actions are, the better things go.

Greg,

The form may be lost on you, but the substance isn't. Look at this post alone. You identify yourself as a simple person. Thus a fundamental part of your strategy is to live in a simple manner and another part is to do what's right.

You use a lot of tactics to ensure both simplicity and doing right (including the Golden Rule).

Since you want things to go well ("the better things go"--your words), your strategy is to live in a simple manner by grounding your actions firmly in what's right.

The priority of those three (go well, simplicity, doing what's right) are actually the other way around. Doing what's right comes first, because it's the prime mover which sets into motion the other results.

See? This strategy and tactic thinking is simple and it's right. Now these terms are found on you, not lost on you.

:smile:

(And btw, if you try to invert them and live that way, you will most definitely get what you deserve. :smile: )

Michael

We definitely get what we deserve no matter what we do. :wink:

Greg

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The priority of those three (go well, simplicity, doing what's right) are actually the other way around. Doing what's right comes first, because it's the prime mover which sets into motion the other results.

Greg,

And being a simple man, is the way you find out what's right simple, too?

The simplest way I know of is for someone to tell you what's right.

That way, all you have to do is obey.

:smile:

Michael

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The priority of those three (go well, simplicity, doing what's right) are actually the other way around. Doing what's right comes first, because it's the prime mover which sets into motion the other results.

Greg,

And being a simple man, is the way you find out what's right simple, too?

Yes.

The simplest way I know of is for someone to tell you what's right.

The simplest way I know is seeing what's right for myself.

Seeing is literally without thought and devoid of emotion. It's what happens just before we think and feel. So if instead of becoming immersed in our thoughts and emotions, we first observe that to which our thoughts and emotions are responding... we not only see clearly what's right to do, but we also see our thoughts and emotions for what they truly are.

That way, all you have to do is obey.

:smile:

Michael

On that we agree. :smile:

Greg

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Seeing is literally without thought and devoid of emotion. It's what happens just before we think and feel.

Greg,

I actually have a theory (more like a speculation) about why some abstract art works. This came from living with a painter for several years (she painted both abstract and representational).

Not all, but some abstract art--to me--captures that moment when you are still getting sensory input, but without it fully integrating into a form. Blurred and shadowy are good adjectives, but they still don't capture the total essence of the experience.

I found that when I allow my mind to gaze on works that hit me like that, I go into a trance and my mind goes all over the place, almost like dreaming, but very pleasant.

As to getting your knowledge of right and wrong from some kind of pre-cognitive phase of awareness, be very careful with cognitive biases. If you are interested, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is one of the best expositions of this I have read (he calls automatic and conscious thinking System 1 and System 2 thinking).

If that stuff bores you, no biggie. Your way works well for you and I don't really want to mess with that. Happiness is where you find it. :)

Michael

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Seeing is literally without thought and devoid of emotion. It's what happens just before we think and feel.

Greg,

I actually have a theory (more like a speculation) about why some abstract art works. This came from living with a painter for several years (she painted both abstract and representational).

Not all, but some abstract art--to me--captures that moment when you are still getting sensory input, but without it fully integrating into a form. Blurred and shadowy are good adjectives, but they still don't capture the total essence of the experience.

I found that when I allow my mind to gaze on works that hit me like that, I go into a trance and my mind goes all over the place, almost like dreaming, but very pleasant.

As to getting your knowledge of right and wrong from some kind of pre-cognitive phase of awareness, be very careful with cognitive biases.

I understand. Cognitive biases are thought based. That's why I find that it's possible to be more objective by becoming more aware of what I see right in the moment, and not so much fixated on the cloud of reactive thoughts and emotions about what I see. This state of centered awareness is what makes it possible to calmly choose to act contrary to my thoughts and emotions when it is proper to do so.

The real me is not my thoughts and emotions.

The real me is that which observes my thoughts and emotions.

If you are interested, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is one of the best expositions of this I have read (he calls automatic and conscious thinking System 1 and System 2 thinking).

If that stuff bores you, no biggie. Your way works well for you and I don't really want to mess with that. Happiness is where you find it. :smile:

Michael

I'm not as much interested in the thinking process itself,

as I am in observing the thinking process. :wink:

Greg

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Seeing is literally without thought and devoid of emotion. It's what happens just before we think and feel.

Greg,

I actually have a theory (more like a speculation) about why some abstract art works. This came from living with a painter for several years (she painted both abstract and representational).

Not all, but some abstract art--to me--captures that moment when you are still getting sensory input, but without it fully integrating into a form. Blurred and shadowy are good adjectives, but they still don't capture the total essence of the experience.

I found that when I allow my mind to gaze on works that hit me like that, I go into a trance and my mind goes all over the place, almost like dreaming, but very pleasant.

As to getting your knowledge of right and wrong from some kind of pre-cognitive phase of awareness, be very careful with cognitive biases. If you are interested, Thinking Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman is one of the best expositions of this I have read (he calls automatic and conscious thinking System 1 and System 2 thinking).

If that stuff bores you, no biggie. Your way works well for you and I don't really want to mess with that. Happiness is where you find it. :smile:

Michael

MSK:

Agreed re the Kahneman book. He shows that most of what we consider our initial reactions (pre cognitive) also happen to be 100% wrong. That puts a little bit of damper on Greg's theory, I would think.

I am still trying to figure why Greg told me I need to introspect more, given his above-stated fondness for "seeing" without thought and devoid of emotion. :laugh:

More seriously, I am just not sure how one can "see" without some form of evaluation.

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Cognitive biases are thought based.

Greg,

Some are, but actually, many are not. This "many" are pre-thought based. They are inherent and universal. This is why I mentioned cognitive biases to begin with.

Michael

It is because of those biases that I don't put my trust my thoughts and emotions. However, I do put trust in what I see. And it is through observing thought and emotion from a vantage point which is outside of them that makes possible the choice to override them whenever it is proper to do so.

Greg

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More seriously, I am just not sure how one can "see" without some form of evaluation.

David,

I have a lot more sympathy for Greg's position than many do because I connect what he does to some very odd dots (at least some people would think so :smile: ).

The process he describes is called disassociation or metacognition in psychology. It is actually a higher form of thinking--only humans can do it, and conceptual thinking humans at that. Notice that I'm not worried about the contradiction: that a person has to use higher thinking to observe their own pre-thinking states because I don't think contradiction is a deal-killer for Greg re his faith.

(I have no intention of trying to persuade him to abandon his faith anyway. That's his business. I believe he has reasons that are extremely important to him for adopting it as I judge him to be an honest and good man. In other words, I don't think he's trying to deceive anyone, even when his ideas are at their oddest.)

Notice the anti-Rand crowd who like to call her axiomatic concepts "tautologies." When they (some of them) claim consciousness does not exist, they are completely unphased by the argument that to make an argument in the first place they have to be conscious. Ditto for existence and identity. They even laugh and snark when you bring it up.

Without the hostility and bad vibes, I think Greg is like that on this observing thinking thing. In fact, I believe his metaphysics holds the human soul to be pre-cognitive, so that soul or aspect of the soul (according to this particular perspective) would be what is observing, not his thinking self. Thus, there is no contradiction. I might be wrong, though, since I never discussed this stuff with him.

If you want to talk to people like this and interact intelligently, you start with the common ground (and I mean the common ground of shared important values), not by calling them an idiot. (Regardless of how tough that may be at times. :smile: )

Let's put it this way. If you want to deflect someone or something operating with a cybernetic system, you don't throw the person or thing off-course. The cybernetic system will merely correct itself and your efforts will fall off like rainwater on a windshield. You have to mess with the course-correction mechanism--and if you succeed, even a little, the rest is a piece of cake.

The course-correction mechanism for fundamental values is the core storyline. (Notice in Greg's case, it all goes back to you get what you deserve. This is because in his core storyline, God is the moral authority, thus morality is inherent in existence itself.)

The moment a person feels other core storylines are just as valid as the one he believes in, the slippery slope has begun. The danger with this is people who abandon their core storylines generally get very bitter and vindictive. Not all, but many. They go on a crusade to right the wrongs they lived and the wrongs they believe were done to them. And if this means changing fundamental values (even ones like freedom, reason, non-aggression, etc.), then so be it.

When I meet a person who operates according to a core storyline that is different than my own, but holds many of the fundamental values I do, why on earth would I want to try to sabotage his inner machinery?

Interest in change would have to come from him to even be in the ballpark of happening and that would be a whole new discussion. Greg seems to be perfectly happy as he is and we share a huge amount of fundamental values. I celebrate that and ignore the rest. And I banter some about his cybernetics as he does mine. :smile:

I'm not a missionary.

I'm a friend.

Michael

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I think there is a very interesting nugget in Greg's most recent points, and that relates to who the "I" is that observes the thoughts and emotions. Is that "I" our soul? Is there One oversoul that unites us all? I think this is a very fruitful area of self-study. David Hawkins has some interesting writing in this area, and one of my favorite works is his the Eye of the I. There is also a fair amount of congruence with Greg's thoughts and an Eastern worldview, which I noted when Greg first joined the forum.

I have no wish to convert Greg either--I don't even know what it is I would convert him to if I had such a wish.

I know my brother-in-law, 60 years old and--within in the past 6 months--suffering the full onset of Alzheimer's disease, would find the notion that he is "getting what he deserves" a rather odd notion, were his brain not rotting away, and were he able to actually think. Or "see." My sister, who now lives with this condition and cares for him, would find Greg's musings inadequate, to say the least. Robert Nozick famously once said that one's theory of theodicy--in order to be credible-- should be palatable to the person actually doing the suffering (I am paraphrasing here). Otherwise, the theory is simply the musing of the comfortable, more or less. I think there is some strength in this observation.

I also think Greg is, at bottom, a decent enough man that even he wouldn't have the chops to test his theory of "just desserts" to those who are actually suffering. Actions always speak louder than words.

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David,

Just as a clarifier and going by Greg's own words, you understand "deserve" as a person who independently chooses--who is his own moral authority. Thus "deserve" applies only to what he consciously chooses. Where no choice is involved, the concept of deserve does not apply. (btw - This is how I use "deserve," too.)

So, using that standard, when someone says a suffering person who is a true victim deserves what they get, it sounds sadistic or clueless at best.

Greg (and I hope I've gotten this right) sees "deserve" from the lens of an interaction between God and Satan. You are merely an instrument in that relationship. Thus you deserve everything you get, even though "deserve" ultimately does not apply to you as a causal agent, but instead to the supernatural forces coursing through you and what you allowed them to do with your life--which way you leaned (toward God or toward Satan), so to speak.

I think I got that right. I'm sure Greg will correct me if I did not. :smile:

I think underneath everybody knows we are using the term "deserve" differently. It's just fun to push each other's buttons. :smile:

btw - I just now looked a little at David Hawkins. I think I am going to look some more.

Michael

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btw - I just now looked a little at David Hawkins. I think I am going to look some more.

David,

Er....

I'm not so sure now. I just listened to a YouTube video to get a gist of him:

Profound Teachings of Dr. David Hawkins

I like the Noetic Institute (Institute of Noetic Sciences) where he does some of his stuff (I know, I know I'm a bit woo-woo--what can ya' do? :smile: ), but I'm not much into cheap profundity.

This guy makes odd assertions in this video that sound more like attempts to wow the audience with "far-out, dude" contradictions and keeps laughing about it.

Weird...

Michael

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btw - I just now looked a little at David Hawkins. I think I am going to look some more.

David,

Er....

I'm not so sure now. I just listened to a YouTube video to get a gist of him:

Profound Teachings of Dr. David Hawkins

I like the Noetic Institute (Institute of Noetic Sciences) where he does some of his stuff (I know, I know I'm a bit woo-woo--what can ya' do? :smile: ), but I'm not much into cheap profundity.

This guy makes odd assertions in this video that sound more like attempts to wow the audience with "far-out, dude" contradictions and keeps laughing about it.

Weird...

Michael

That vid is pure bullshit.

Ba'al Chatzaf

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More seriously, I am just not sure how one can "see" without some form of evaluation.

It's not a special ability. You do it. I do it. And so does everyone else.

But we are so accustomed to being totally immersed in our thought processes and the emotions they evoke, as if they were us. And from that point of view looking only from the inside out, it is impossible for us to override our thoughts and emotions when we believe that they comprise the totality of our being. So through that misplaced belief in the primacy of our intellect and emotions, we have enslaved ourselves to acting indiscriminately upon every thought and emotion as if there was no other choice.

We are so used to being hypnotically fixated on our mind and its reactionary thoughts, that it does not even occur to us to turn around and to look at the reality to which our mind is reacting. Now if we were to do that, we would become aware of the objective reality directly of the present moment where everything is really happening. Then if we turn back to our mind, we immediately see the flaws in how it reacts to reality, because we now know the difference by direct personal experience. So we no longer need to take our mind's word for it. We now see directly for ourselves. And it is this act of seeing which relegates our thoughts and emotions to their proper subordinate position.

Greg

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David,

Just as a clarifier and going by Greg's own words, you understand "deserve" as a person who independently chooses--who is his own moral authority. Thus "deserve" applies only to what he consciously chooses. Where no choice is involved, the concept of deserve does not apply. (btw - This is how I use "deserve," too.)

So, using that standard, when someone says a suffering person who is a true victim deserves what they get, it sounds sadistic or clueless at best.

Greg (and I hope I've gotten this right) sees "deserve" from the lens of an interaction between God and Satan. You are merely an instrument in that relationship. Thus you deserve everything you get, even though "deserve" ultimately does not apply to you as a causal agent, but instead to the supernatural forces coursing through you and what you allowed them to do with your life--which way you leaned (toward God or toward Satan), so to speak.

I think I got that right. I'm sure Greg will correct me if I did not. :smile:

I think underneath everybody knows we are using the term "deserve" differently. It's just fun to push each other's buttons. :smile:

btw - I just now looked a little at David Hawkins. I think I am going to look some more.

Michael

Greg's habit of redefining words to suit his own discourse is well-known. However, he has never given any indication that he has redefined the meaning of "deserve". Further, the content of his posts does not support the re-definition you are proposing here. His actual words support quite the opposite as he has on multiple occassions scoffed at the very notion that a person might be in a situation that had nothing at all to do with their own choices, or lack thereof. I can't speak for everybody in the way that you apparently can, but I, personally, do not know, underneath or otherwise, that Greg uses this term differently. I can agree, though, that some people do, indeed, find entertainment in pushing other's buttons.

Edited to correct myself:

Michael, after thinking this through a bit more, I see that I misunderstood you, and that I do agree with your clarification in your first paragraph. That is, how you are describing "deserve" in the context of consciously made choices, yes I agree with that. In that light, the rest of your post makes more sense to me.

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That vid is pure bullshit.

Ba'al Chatzaf

That dude sounds like he's rolled a few too many. :laugh:

Greg

It actually may be worse than that: he claims to have had an extended, long-term "enlightenment" experience of the kind the famous yogis, mystics, and other Lucky Ones have had, and, as a famed medical doctor, he has tried to put his experience into words. I have not listened to the video/audio, but in his books, he makes a point of saying that they have to be read chronologically so that the listening ear gets more progressively more used to and understanding of the language he uses. His basic premise is that we are all one, and we can "see" that if let thoughts and arguments out of the way.

Sound familiar?

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That vid is pure bullshit.

Ba'al Chatzaf

That dude sounds like he's rolled a few too many. :laugh:

Greg

It actually may be worse than that:

Yes, it is. He claims hallucinogens are a door to enlightenment.

I have not listened to the video/audio,

Well, that's all I listened to was his own voice in that video. The guy's a stoner.

His basic premise is that we are all one, and we can "see" that if let thoughts and arguments out of the way.

Sound familiar?

Nope.

I've never claimed that "we are all one". That's stupid doper leftist collectivism.

His method of "letting thoughts and arguments out of the way in order to see" is dope. Hawkins is just another cookie cutter product of the narcoculture.

My approach is quite the opposite. In my view, it's impossible to objectively observe and to relate properly to your own thoughts and emotions objectively while you're f**king up your own head with dope.

Greg

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David,

Just as a clarifier and going by Greg's own words, you understand "deserve" as a person who independently chooses--who is his own moral authority. Thus "deserve" applies only to what he consciously chooses. Where no choice is involved, the concept of deserve does not apply. (btw - This is how I use "deserve," too.)

So, using that standard, when someone says a suffering person who is a true victim deserves what they get, it sounds sadistic or clueless at best.

Greg (and I hope I've gotten this right) sees "deserve" from the lens of an interaction between God and Satan. You are merely an instrument in that relationship. Thus you deserve everything you get, even though "deserve" ultimately does not apply to you as a causal agent, but instead to the supernatural forces coursing through you and what you allowed them to do with your life--which way you leaned (toward God or toward Satan), so to speak.

I think I got that right. I'm sure Greg will correct me if I did not. :smile:

You are correct, Michael. I tend to omit the underlying God/Satan narrative and to focus more on the actual effects we all experience. But this is as good an opportunity as any to further clarify my view of our relation to good and evil.

In my view, each of us has a choice. We get to choose what we serve: good or evil. And we get what we deserve as a result of what we choose to serve.

Our problem is not what happens to us which is outside of our control. Our problem is denying what is inside of our control.

There is no more painful failure to do right than to regard ourselves as helpless innocent victims of unjust oppression.

Now why is this so painful?

Because the continued stubborn denial of the objective reality of the moral causality of our own actions enables us to make the same damned mistakes over and over again. So objective reality responds to our stubbornness by making the consequences worse and worse. It's not punishment... just a rational logical utterly impersonal consequence of denial of reality.

The reward for failure to learn to do what's right is pain.

The reward for learning to do what's right is joy.

You can do it the hard way or the easy way.

The choice is all yours.

Greg

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