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Everything posted by Heelaque

  1. Perhaps, French Patriot, your opinion that Atheism is just another religion under different branding, is perhaps a symptom of what you define as a religion more than anything else. As this ventures into my personal opinions I will state that at the beginning of this response as other people will likely have different perspectives on what religion/atheism is (to them). To me religion is a way for spiritual leaders to distance themselves from consequences of their own belief (the result of actions was god’s ‘will’ so we must just accept it). Where as Atheists deny themselves that buffer by removing the concept of god. Religion distils the attention of a population into a non-corporial analogue of humanity (god or gods) where as Atheists dilute the concentration of results amongst the sciences. The difference then becomes one of ‘opinion’ vs ‘evidence’. Religion relies upon opinion to guide activities, Atheism relies upon continually updated evidence to guide itself. This is how Atheism can not be classified as a religion - it does not exist using the same structure that religion requires, at which point Atheism can be recognized as a non-religion.
  2. To French Patriot I feel the need to correct you that there are no ‘good gods’ as they are only imagined creatures and therefore only as good as the people that imagine them. Aethists require no gods but rather only the morals and principles that people require to live amongst each other peacefully. Religions have historically hijacked those morals/principles for their own and rebranded them as divine wisdom when in fact people as a whole knew these principles to be self evident as a consequence of simply living amongst our own species (killing/stealing is bad - giving/compassion is good) etc...
  3. For someone to commit any crime against morality in the name of their ‘invisible friend’ can be considered nothing more than a simple tactic from an adolescent mind to try and remove an obstacle from their life in a manner convenient to their primitive instincts. Religious genocide is when they are able to convince others to do that on their behalf.
  4. All people are vulnerable, it doesn't matter how old they are, you are just disagreeing over nuance at this point. Vulnerability is simply another cadence of society that should resonate between the genders and provides further reasons to unite against those who would try to exploit that vulnerability for their own personal gain, it has never been age or gender-specific.
  5. If you look beyond the need for a Governor General then you supersede the question of how to fire one.
  6. Society naturally favors balance and with two dominant genders this emerges as equality, due to the zero-sum game of gender bias. In an historical sense this has played out where one gender balances the shortcomings of the other in creating a partnership that, with equality, is capable of withstanding challenges of a far greater magnitude or frequency than the individuals could withstand alone. Due to the dynamic nature of societies and how we have built them, the aspect of gender superiority can be seen at play both in the margins and out in the open but it is always temporal. With the passage of time we know that complex civilizations wither to dust, whole religions can rupture into allegory and entire languages lose their meaning but men have always needed women and women have always needed men in order to harvest some sense of completion. Arguing over which gender dominates the other is merely the precursor to discovering how finite the argument actually is.
  7. The lottery is a public system - winners are therefore declared publicly. The lottery is gambling - sometimes when you win, you lose (long-term). The lottery is a flawed - don't expect perfection with so many loopholes.
  8. The process of political reform is rarely framed as a spectacle, I’ll grant you that, however the validity of a system-change can not be measured by its entertainment value alone. Your anticipation that any attempt to change this system to then be rejected by the very elements it’s intends to change is fairly obvious, resistance would be expected but not impossible to overcome. As far as “trends reversing” you would tackle complacency with consistency. The political establishment could assist with that in so much as it would continue to commit acts of corruption reminding citizens of the need for more transparency, closing the loop.
  9. I'm not sure it would be something that could be instigated by approaching the people in power, you can't ask someone to put out a fire if their hands are already burnt. There would need to be a grass-roots movement, motivated by detailed instances of corruption and moderated by studies rooted in cause and effect. Recommendations can then be collected and prioritized after a formal public and impartial investigation of common practices. The various political parties can then run for future elections choosing to adopt any number of those recommendations as part of their platforms - any party(s) that tries to block this process of reform will brand themselves as potentially too corrupt to be trustworthy. I am not suggesting that this is a complete formula by any means but as this is a discussion board I open these points up for debate.
  10. In response to the opening post, and please correct me if I’m wrong but your concerns seems to revolve around the fabric of society being unraveled from within due to self-interested parties taking advantage of an oblivious public. We can indeed discuss the mechanisms that come into play when elements of a society turn parasitic and feed off the resources available without returning anything meaningful to that society. I put forward however that we could look beyond the symptoms and instead address a root cause of what allows such parasitic mechanisms to exist in the first place: a simple lack of reasonable transparency within the political system.
  11. That video is in direct response to Trump not the right-wing extremism. Trump is an ‘independent’ masquerading as a Republican and up to this point at least, the party doesn’t care so long as they stay in power but that gamble is apparently starting to weigh heavy on their supporters.
  12. The issues outlined in the Harper’s letter appear to be dealing with the symptoms not the cause - a reaction to members of the ‘moderate left-wing’ stepping further left towards extremist thinking. This motion towards more extremist left-wing absolutism does seem more reactionary than radical in nature due to the perception that the right-wing elements of American politics took their step further right and in doing so allowed them to take and then keep the presidency from a democratic winner of the popular vote. To a member of the moderate left-wing this result would have felt like political theft due to manipulation of the current voting framework that exists (gerrymandering, electoral college system & voter suppression) to name a few metrics. This has been compounded during the course of this electoral term by the growing list of improprieties perpetrated by a sitting president, individual instances of which, on their own, have historically unseated previous presidents of the past. So in order to purchase new traction some of them sold their moderate positions in the hopes that their new extreme views will finally provide them with the foundation they need to succeed. To frame this post with perspective rather than rifling through all of the other symptoms, I think the consistent power struggle within a two-party system may actually be the cause for the rise of extremism on both sides. Result: With these political parties being so deeply separated the moderates on both sides will not be left with a horse in this race, signaling that it’s perhaps time for a legitimate third party to be generated so that extremism can return to the fringes of American politics no matter what side you lean towards. In returning to the Harper’s letter it’s purpose seems to be a reminder to Democrats (that have in more recent years occupied the more moderate positions of politics) that a return to center will assist them more, politically speaking. In short the letter should read: “Democrats, you don’t need to despair, the current president has dug himself into a hole and he refuses to put down the shovel. We just need to wait this out, please don’t shift the political landscape too much and we can win this with relative ease”.
  13. Thank you for furthering this conversation with both of those videos French Patriot, I have watched both of them with an open mind and in consideration my response follows: The first video seems to describe the purpose of religion as one that is meant to take our minds away from materialistic distractions and false worship and refocus our attention towards religious faith (a rhythmic recruitment video). As someone who is a believer "Jeff" is mistaking 'over-dependence' for 'worship' making such claims as (and I'm paraphrasing): Girls worshiping their boyfriends and 'cosmo' being their bible. Organized sports in stadiums. Addiction to alcohol (inebriation) in bars. Masturbation and pornography. The clear way to counter his point is to state that moderation is key to a balanced life and if an individual becomes over-dependent on a particular act then this imbalance will have consequences in their private life. This does not mean you need to find god, perhaps a therapist or professional help to readdress the imbalance that has crept into an individuals' life-cycle. The second video then seems to describe the struggle between a religious organization and one of their pastors: an atheist who preaches to a congregation seemingly in an attempt to blur the lines between religion and atheism in potentially catering to those people who are winding-down from a religious belief-system and looking for a way to transition into a more spiritual perspective on life (an emotional safety blanket of sorts) which is a perfectly acceptable method for those in the congregation who feel the need for group therapy with added anonymity. Both of these videos touch on the subject of 'lack of religion/faith' in exploring alternative definitions with modified acceptance as their end goal: Acceptance to the first video would mean that you would then change your ways because you come to a realization that you were worshiping all along - it was just the wrong thing. Acceptance to the second video would mean that religion is an ambiguous construct that is capable of manifesting in many shapes and one may fit you if you chose to accept it. To me atheism is neither one or the other, I worship nothing due to the fact that nothing is worth blind obedience and I have faith in nothing that is not based on fundamental facts and evidence. To the commentary you personally provided: "Your ideology/belief system, tell you that black is not a color yet it is in most color charts. If you allow yourself that, then you would also have to eliminate white as it is made up of all colors, including black." It is not a belief system that tells me black is not a color, just because something occurs on a color chart doesn't mean my analogy is invalid as I stated in my original post: "Now this is just an analogy and those who would criticize me may try to poke holes in it but in the end I am not trying to make you believe anything, I am just trying to help you understand." Thank you so much for tackling this with me and I appreciate the time and effort you have placed in this discussion, I look forward to furthering and expanding on anything I have presented so far.
  14. As an atheist reading through this thread I thought I would try and shed some light as to what atheism means to me and perhaps dispel the idea that it would be classified as a religion. I have found analogies can sometimes work well in conveying complexity so imagine that the various religions of the world are represented by the different colors of a rainbow. They are rich and varied but follow the same path (of worship and belief in this case). Now your own personal religion would be perceived as white - a color none the less but this one is special. You would argue that it ‘illuminates’ better than all others as it does not follow a narrow path but is rather all-encompassing and provides you with the best perspective on life. Now atheism, this is black, some think it’s a color but in its truest logical meaning it is in fact the absence of all color. Those who are religious might think to pity those who choose to identify with the absence of color but in the darkness I begin to truly realize we are all worth the same. Now this is just an analogy and those who would criticize me may try to poke holes in it but in the end I am not trying to make you believe anything, I am just trying to help you understand.
  15. I consider marriage to be a statement of maturity intended to formalize our monogamy as 'social' creatures, whereby two people indicate that they are capable of altruistically caring for each other regardless of current or future difficulties. The 'typical' (but not absolute) purpose of which implies that should offspring emerge from this union (through procreation or adoption) that these children will be cared for appropriately due to the notion that the partnership is collectively mature enough to weather the trials and consequences of raising physically and emotionally healthy children. The way I look at it, maturity does not just represent emotional balance but also the ability to foresee potential problems in the future before they arise and allow us to not just 'react' as a problem presents itself. For that, an individual would have needed to live their own life and gained enough experience independently encountering troubles and learning to overcome them - establishing personal balance and social routines as well as coming to terms with who they are and who they want to be. We all need time to develop who we are as an individual and that personal development could not be said to have completed by the age of 18 no matter where you live and as a consequence your preferences and priorities would naturally shift over time in finding an appropriate partner. Marriage before the age of 18 is the hallmark of a bygone era that may have seen necessity as an agent of the decision making process. A necessity that social and technological change has allowed us to move beyond in buying our youth the time to mature in the face of ideally life-long decisions.
  16. From what I understand 'equality' is an even starting point for a process and 'equity' is an equal share of the end result of that process. Lets consider the (ongoing) process to be 'human society' - at the beginning of human life we have an equal share of what is available to continue living and at the end you still have an equal share of what is available. This would mean that no matter what choices you made (good or bad) you still end up not effecting the personal outcomes you are left with when you die. The obvious issue with this model is that no matter how hard an individual works they will never get additional credit for that hard work so there is no incentive for innovation and society as a consequence stagnates. Furthermore examining the aspect of 'equity' reveals a fundamental reliance on 'equality' - but not the other way around - therefore 'equality' is proprietary to a more successful social model. This axiom allows me to focus on 'equality' rather than 'equity' as the real factor worth considering in generating a (more) fair society. To me the notion of equality is a set of necessities for human existence that if prioritized and provided - allow for an individual to change from a 'survival' mindset to 'functional' mindset. A sample of these necessities (in no particular order) and would include but are not limited to: Nutritious food & clean water. Shelter & Clothing. Medical assistance & Pharmaceutical access. Transportation & access to Communication. Education & Training. Once these are provided to an individual as the basics for human life then survival instincts are suppressed and higher functioning/reasoning will emerge as the daily struggle to survive diminishes. This then provides the groundwork for individual expression as those who work more add to their perceived value in society and those who play more will at least never loose the baseline necessities should they ever change priorities and want to begin contributing in a more meaningful way. As long as opportunities that can be worked for remain available to the bottom line of society (essentially the application of human time and effort) then there is equality but equity signals the redundancy of human endeavor. The lack of free education and communication (for life) are relevant examples of how lower classes are kept low and prevent measures of higher equality from reaching those who want more from life.
  17. It seems the title of this thread is fundamentally flawed as it pits the science of personal biology (nature) against the structure of a social upbringing (nurture) as though it could be simplified to being just one or the other (as humans we crave to parse simplicity from complexity in an effort to understand). Since we as individuals are the product of both (on every other metric governing our personality) it would seem logical to assume that sexual orientation is no different and so the validity of the original 'topic' can be considered flawed to the point of nullified. Sexuality as I understand it is temporally-instanced from a broad gradient of nature with nurture - not permanently assigned from one of two choices If morality and ethics are to be cited within the aspect of sexuality then it should be framed within the context of consent - not to be confused with sexual preference.
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