I Think, Therefore I Am...Someone who Writes

0 notes

If You Don’t Believe Our Natural State is One of Equality You Push Theocracy and Aristocracy

It’s recently occurred to me that the reason a lot of people think there has to be society-wide religious observance in order to have a moral society is the same reason a lot of people are afraid of equality and justice based civil rights for all. It’s because there are people in this world who don’t believe we are all equal and don’t trust “others.” They are afraid of giving the responsibility of freedom, moral and otherwise, to people, because they feel they aren’t good enough to handle the responsibility. Thus, they’d rather there be a hierarchy where the “lessers” are controlled by either the superior classes of people and/or a  proposed deity’s rules. How little trust and how great an amount of cockiness we have…..

Filed under theocracy aristocracy morality philosophy equality

0 notes

My Takeaways from Part 1 of Book on Burke and Paine and the start of Modern Left-Right Debate

NATURE AND HISTORY:
Burke: Burke was driven by the idea that leaving people with only their reasoning skills and no respect for the traditions of history leads to disaster. Thus, he promoted the idea of incremental change. He felt it was a terrible idea to throw away everything and start from scratch, and he felt that what kept people from doing all kinds of bad things was an emotional respect for and fear of things like God, kings and queens, and country that were bigger and better than the individual. He felt it was impossible to think of man as an individual, in some pre-government, pre-societal, pre-civility state. Furthermore, he worried that if people looked too deeply at history and figured out that the order of things was first set up by a brutish takeover they would no longer have respect and would go wild. Thus, it was better to think of your country as this great place that was ruled by majestic nobility who were made special by a supreme God. Finally, he felt that people naturally fit into leader and submissive roles. He felt that nobility was naturally suited to rule of over naturally submissive people and men were suited to naturally rule over females, with the nobility and males feeling a sense of duty to respect, take care of, and protect their citizens and females respectively.
What we see here: We see how conservatives viewed the nature of people in the late 18th century. The problem of this time was illegitimate government. The conservative response was to fear change that came too fast, and call for continued respect for traditions based in religion and authoritarianism. The fear was that people, when left uncontrolled by a fear of God and nobility, they would turn animalistic and violent. The other fear was that if they came to see all people as equals all order would fall apart.

Paine: Paine was driven by the idea that the world was a terrible place because we had gotten away from our true state of nature. He believed that before there was government there were collections of people voluntarily living and cooperating with each other, and before there was that, there was a world of separate but equal individuals. He felt that over time, illegitimate governmental forces had taken power over people using brutish force and false declarations of divine superiority. He felt that revolution, rather than incremental change was necessary, and that we should scrap all existing governments, moving back to the voluntary cooperating society state, and then build governments to rule over such states based on our true nature that could be found in the ways of the equal individuals who make up these cooperative, voluntary pre-governmental societies. He felt the only legitimate source of authority was one that was elected by the people, as the collective voice of the people was the highest power, not the supposed will of God, or the tradition of national, hereditary aristocracies.  
What we see here: We see how liberals viewed the nature of people in the late 18th century. The liberal response to illegitimate governments was to start revolutions that threw out the aristocracies. Complete destruction of the old ways was both acceptable and necessary because they were not at all in line with the true nature of people, which is as free and equal individuals. Things like hierarchies, divine rights, and other authoritarian ideas were viewed as things that had to be destroyed, not preserved or phased out at a snail’s pace. There was a trust in the rational ability of everyone else who had long been oppressed to set up good, peaceful societies because of the belief that these people were just as good by nature as any previous king or queen.

How do these right-left positions still manifest themselves today: Today, the western world has long since abandoned the idea of aristocracies (at least aristocracies that serve as anything more than symbolic celebrity figures with zero political power), but has moved on to economic plutocracies. We try to promote the idea that if someone has more money than you there is something inherently superior about them, much as we once did with nobility. Furthermore, we subscribe to this notion of hereditary passage of power, as we do very little to stop full fortunes from being passed down from one generation to the next, with what little we do have in place being thoroughly demonized as “death taxes,” and the likes. Beyond that, we try to obscure people from thinking or investigating too hard, so they will not know exactly where the fortunes now residing several generations away from the original fortune winner first came to be won. Much as we didn’t want people to realize that king so and so was only king because several generations ago his ancestors were the most brutish conquerors who took the thrown by force, today we don’t want people to think about the unethical practices that led to people getting rich and then passing it down through hereditary lines. We’d rather not think about how the Koch brothers father made the original fortune they’ve since grown by selling energy to the communists in Russia, or how the Rockefeller fortune came from illegal monopolies, or how Steve Jobs essentially stole other people’s work to make Apple, etc, etc. If we think about that too hard and find out too much then the “heirs to the thrown” seem a lot worse than the undeserving beneficiaries of great people, but rather the undeserving beneficiaries of the most ruthless, manipulative, moral bending, and sometimes outright illegal people. That might lead to resentment and a call for the masses born into regular economic circumstances to fight back against the plutocracy, much as there was once a sudden resentment by all those born into a lack of political power that made them feel compelled to call for the downfall of the aristocracy.
     Yet today we see from conservatives a great fear of change and sudden, drastic, complete reformation of unfair structures of power. It is not so much that they condoned how illegitimate political power back then or condone immoral economic power today, nor is it that they truly prefer those with such power over the masses, but rather a fear that the masses are not fit to lead themselves, not fit to collectively handle the power the few elitists hold. Because of that fear, calls for change, reformation, and progress are always met with resistance and calls to respect tradition, respect history, and move slowly; essentially the “we aren’t ready for that yet” argument. Today we also see this preference for hierarchies and authority. Again, this is about a fear of chaos born of the belief that we aren’t really all equal. They believe that the destruction of hierarchies were a given gender is “complementary” to the other, or a given race is treated better than others, or a certain religion is tolerated more than others, or the composition of economic classes are preserved would create a chaos were all the inferior people are suddenly being handed the power and responsibility of full equality with their natural superiors. It’s why throughout history we’ve seen them try to slow the tide towards full racial, gender, sexual orientation, religious, and class equality. At the heart of the fear of equality in practice is a fear that we are not all equal by nature. Furthermore, you also see their continued instance that there must be someone or something that people are accountable to. It is why, despite the destruction of nobility, you still see such an obsession with religion. They do not believe that people are free just because, but rather because some superior force has to give them their freedom. They do not believe all these free individuals are as equal as they are separate, so they feel they all need to answer to some authority they perceive higher than themselves and become subservient to this idea. Of course since we’ve eliminated kings and queens and do not wish to be ruled by tyrants the only remaining option is to continue to make people feel like they need to be subservient to some invisible higher power force that is their master.
            

Filed under politics government philosophy conservative liberal Edmund Burke Thomas Paine state of nature equality nobility democracy aristocracy

0 notes

Yea….

Today I met Rep. Schakowsky. When we asked her if these people in Congress are actually serious or just charlatans, she said they are mostly serious, and also mentioned that she once suggested to a few of them that they really ought to be more careful with what comes out of their mouths in public, because someday their grandkids might run into a recording or transcript of grandpa saying global warming is a hoax because God promised he wouldn’t destroy the earth again after Noah’s flood.

Filed under global warming climate change enviornment

0 notes

Strange TImes, Strange People, Scary Situation

     This whole Cliven Bundy thing is getting really strange. I’m not sure whether I should be amused or alarmed. I mean, I guess it’s just a slow news cycle these days with Congress being out of session, that Asian airplane never to be found, and no new developments in Ukraine, so this guy’s little show is becoming all the rage, but I mean, yea, it’s pretty weird. On one hand it’s sort of amusing to watch an old bitter guy from the middle of nowhere attracting a bunch of crazies to come support him in his bizarre late-life crisis battle with the federal government. On the other hand, it’s pretty alarming that there are so many people who seem so absolutely giddy about the prospect of getting to have a violent shootout with the federal government.
        These are precisely the kind of people all us evil liberals talk about when we have discussions about what guns are and are not for. They are for protecing your home, your family, or whatever, and for hunting, shooting, collecting and whatever. They are not for loading up an arsenal of weapons in your paranoid basement where you spend all day reading Alex Jones books and Glen Beck websites, so when you hear of some guy like Cliven Bundy you can go racing off to the middle of nowhere Nevada loaded with multiple assault rifles ready to take out a few gub’ment bureaucrats.
       I’m not entirely sure if Cliven Bundy is actually one such nutjob himself, or if he is the cowboy version of a businessman setting up an astroturf movement to benefit his financial self interests. I can’t tell, and really nobody but him knows. He really could be some crazy dude who truly doesn’t recognize the legitimate existence of the United States federal government and wants to shoot them up for trying to enforce federal laws, but he also might just be some rancher who would really like to continue feeding much of his cattle for free by having them trespass on government grazing grounds without paying permit fees, so he’s appealing to all the crazy militia nut jobs out there to generate such a stir and such a threat of violence that the government lets him have what he wants.
           Either way, what I’m most disturbed by are these people that are looking for this fight. When I first heard about this I thought it was local crazies who were out there defending him, but apparently he somehow got hundreds of crazies from all over the country to come pouring in. These are truly frightening people for many reasons. First of all, they all either have no life whatsoever or they are so passionate about the chance to come shoot someone from the bureau of land management that they dropped whatever was going on in their lives to drive to Nevada and hang out on the side of the highway with their glocks and rifles. Then there’s the whole matter of them perceiving this as something that might require violence. Even if you didn’t think the federal government should own the land it does and you didn’t think this guy should have to pay his 20 years worth of grazing fees, I just can’t imagine thinking, oh my gosh, I need to be a part of a gun battle with the people trying to enforce these fees, this is end of freedom if I don’t. It’s this extreme, impulsive, violent, macho response to something so mundane that has nothing to do with their own lives, and there are so many of them; I’m sorry but that’s scary. The fact they are presumably putting their life in danger, potentially leaving any spouses or kids they have without them in the name of protecting some rancher from hundreds or thousands of miles away, they don’t know one bit, who didn’t want to pay grazing fees is just so incomprehensible to me. There’s really only three answers to that. 1.) These are people with no life, no loved ones, lots of twisted anger, and nothing to lose, which makes them very scary. 2.) They are incredibly delusional and truly think this is like the start of some second American Revolution where they are going to be the next hero in the textbooks who made the first shot heard round the world or something, which makes them very scary. 3.) They are a bunch of angry, bitter guys with some sort of hero complex and an ax to grind with the world and/or government who feel like this is a way to reclaim purpose in their lives, which once again makes them very scary.
             The real weird part is that this doesn’t seem to be a big problem for anyone else. Apparently there are about 16,000 ranchers in that area and nobody except this guy has ever had some major problem with the BLM. I’m sure many of them don’t particularly enjoy having to pay grazing fees to use public lands, but I guess they sort of realize that if they are going to be in the beef business and they want their cattle grazing on land that they don’t own and the government does they have to pay to use what isn’t theirs. They may not like the idea of the government owning this particular piece of land to protect some turtle species, but they just kind of deal with that reality instead of rounding up an army of crazies to have a violent standoff.
        Then, there’s the whole humorous aspect to it all. Like, I really love watching a bunch of people waving around the American flag when their whole militia movement is based on the idea they don’t recognize the federal government. It’s like, bros, shouldn’t you be waving around a Nevada flag or something. Or take the arguments this guy is making about how his family was out in the desert before the BLM ever existed. Using that logic I’d like to introduce this guy to the ancestors of the Native Americans who lived where he did before the American pioneers moved west and drove them out by force. And things like posting pictures of dead cattle that the BLM had earlier confiscated looking for some kind of outpouring of sympathy and outrage, as though they were cherished pets and not pieces of property that he sells for a living.
            But when I really think about it, the most disturbing thing of all is not that Cliven Bundy is using nut jobs to get out of obeying the law, nor is it the truly crazy, dangerous nature of most of these nutjobs. The pinnacle of absurdity is how Fox News and the right wing internet establishment is not only turning him into a cult hero, but basically egging these people on. I understand ratings are important and pushing this, you need a bunch of guns to protect yourself from the evil government who might do things like try to enforce grazing laws on your cattle narrative is really good for that, but seriously, it’s like they want to push this towards some Waco-like situation, or push one of these nuts sitting out their over the edge to do something Timothy McVeigh-like after this doesn’t end the way they want. If they were all sane and this was some kind of bizzare but peaceful picketing scene against the BLM or something, it’d be okay, whatever, but these are nuts with tons of guns, a bizarre paranoid hatred of the US government, and most of them drove hundreds of miles to be a part of this. Why are you egging people like that on? Why are you giving them some sense of emboldened self righteousness? It’s truly irresponsible, and truly scary.

Filed under Cliven Bundy guns government rancher militia BLM

0 notes

Accepting Homosexuality Is Hard for Religious in Part Because it Takes a Big Hit at the Notion of Soul Mates Being Opposite Sex (aka “Intelligent Design”)

    Over the years people that can’t deal with the prospect of a lack of a personal god who made humans as their special, favored creation, and has a glorious plan for each one to carry out as their life’s purpose have taken many psychologically devastating hits. Amongst other things they’ve had to deal with….
-Finding out earth is not the center of the universe, and that the universe is a really big place with millions of galaxies, billions of stars, and trillions of planets, amongst which our galaxy, sun, and earth are just one unspectacular example
-Finding out the universe was not started the way Genesis says (with God over seven days), but rather by the Big Bang and then billions of years of development
-Finding out there was indeed an earth, life on earth, and human life on earth that predates the six thousand some-odd year old genealogy timeline found in the Bible tracing back to Adam and Eve
-Finding out there wasn’t some global flood that washed away all of humanity except one dude’s family a few thousand years ago
-Finding out humans didn’t come to be as currently constructed via a deity playing with some dust and the rib of the first man, but rather evolving over time and containing common ancestry with all other species living and extinct which all split off just like humans from the same tree of life tracing back to some original cells well over a billion years ago
            So, they’ve had to deal with a lot, but there have long been three things they’ve gotten to cling to in order to keep alive the hope of the personal loving supernatural creator and all that would come with it. They are, a lack of an answer for exactly how the first life on earth originally formed, where the hot dense matter that existed before the big bang came from, and the idea that evolution is driven by a personal, purposeful god. The first two, for the time being get to remain in their back-pocket of hopeful dreams, but the latter of the three is something that we already know to be verifiable bullshit. Of course, much like evolution itself that hasn’t stopped people from believing what they want (be it that evolution just isn’t true, or that it’s somehow guided by a god). However, there is now something that seems to be blowing up the idea of “intelligent design” right in front of people that want to believe in it, almost analogous to if those that want to believe in “creationism” were able to go on a time machine and watch humans and apes go split in different directions over millions of years one generation at a time. So, what exactly is this big blow? Homosexuality.
      What? I know, it’s very surprising and very unexpected, but it seems that the implications of gay marriage make a lot of deeply religious people very uncomfortable for reasons that go far beyond a desire to see everyone in their society adhere to bronze age rules from ancient texts they think are directly inspired by a purposeful creator deity. This is apparently about so much more than some Leviticus passages, and it wasn’t until very recently that I started to figure this out. Obviously, we all know that evolution occurs because living things reproduce with other members of their species, and whatever traits are best suited to the environment at the time are favored. If, for example, the environment is ripe for humans to produce a lot of dairy products the people with DNA that best tolerates the digestion of dairy products will live longest and healthiest eating such a dairy dominated diet and thus they will make more kids. If this pattern continues over several generations then humans living in that region would begin to evolve to become more dairy based eaters. That’s evolution. It isn’t that there is some god in the sky that decides, hey I want the members of this species living in this region to start having digestive tracts that handle cheese and milk better so I’m going to magically change their anatomy to do so. Rather, the sexual choices of human beings living in a given environment determine what changes occur. The changes that occurred that made us go in one direction while apes, gorillas, and others went in different directions were based on sexual choices living things made, not some magical creator deciding to split things into new species.
         This is a really rough thing for some people to accept. And this is actually a big reason why they absolutely cannot stand homosexual attraction. Homosexual attraction being a naturally occurring thing means the reason some genes aren’t passed on to future generations is because some dudes don’t like putting their dicks in vaginas and vice versa, rather than some supernatural creator stopping a guy from reproducing. Even though it looks like, hey if there is some “designer” of humans this person was made with a penis and this one with a vagina so the “architect” of humanity must view these two as a potential reproductive pair, the reality is they have no attraction to the opposite sexual body parts that seem “designed” for them to go pursue. Homosexuality is an explicit display of something that looks to be designed by a craftsman but in fact isn’t. And beyond the destruction of the concept of opposite sex human bodies seeming to “fit” into each other serving as “evidence” that there is some purposeful “grand puzzle” that is the mystical guiding force of evolution through sexual reproduction, there’s also technological innovation coupling with natural homosexual tendencies to literally produce children that any believer in the grand puppeteer in the sky would say isn’t part of “the plan.” Now that a gay man or lesbian woman can use things like in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination to make a baby that has 50% of their DNA we can literally witness the birth of children who belong to people that never stuck their penis in a vagina or had a penis go inside their vagina. It’s literally the creation of life being created in a manner that the religious don’t feel is the way the deity in the sky intends for life to be created. The fact that it gets created anyways is a huge slap in the face to the idea that this proposed deity is actually controlling evolution through sexual selection. It’s a big slap in the face to this long held desire to believe that people have “soul mates,” which is a fancy way of saying that they have a purpose of the opposite sex who was made by this purposeful creator as their “missing puzzle piece” and with whom they will create new life. In other words, it’s the idea that your reproductive future is preordained because there is some god driving evolution, which can only happen if a god is driving everyone’s sexual activity.
         

Filed under LGBT homosexuality religion evolution intelligent design soul mates philosophy gay marriage gay child rearing gay parents gay sex

0 notes

Pretending We Are All Born With Freedom and Equality Because of a Magic Man in the Sky Halts the March Towards Global Freedom and Equality

     Lately, I’ve been reading a book that discusses how the modern left-right divide is essentially defined by the differing approaches Burke and Paine took to enlightened liberty. A crucial part of the book discusses the differing way the two men saw the natural state of humans. In other words, they differed on how they viewed man when man is completely independent from societal influences. We always talk about how everything is one part nature, one part nurture, but we rarely consider the theoretical existence of people who just are what they are, not ever having been affected by their surroundings. It’s basically a question of what humans would be like in a “laboratory control” setting, in some isolated bubble. More practically the question is what were people were like before the dawn of civilization and all the influences that it puts upon people. Within such a question we find the questions of whether or not people are born free, as well as whether people are all born as equals.
        When we look at something like freedom, we ask ourselves if it is something that we are born with, which is taken away by human forces, only the be restored by human forces, or if it is something we are not born with, and thus must be manufactured by human forces that remove us from our inherent state of slavehood. Enlightenment thinking says that we are born free. Additionally, it says we are born as equals. Yet the justification for this very progressive, enlightened view is quite ancient, and most certainly anything but progressive or enlightened. The justification given for saying all men are naturally born free and equal is that they were all created by some supreme deity, and thus their freedom is a gift from the deity, and their equality is byproduct of the deity’s engineering. It seems very scary to most to say that we are created by our parents who made a conscious sexual choice that resulted in our creation, and that our degree of freedoms in any practical sense is determined by where we are born, not what we are born as. In other words, people don’t like to perceive their creator as being mom and dad, but rather a depiction of a supernatural creator, and they don’t like to see the rights they inherit as being the result of human leadership where they live creating such rights, but rather rights coming from some mystical heavenly place.
           People often find the idea that there doesn’t seem to be any decent, logical reason to think there is a personal supernatural creator of humanity as unthinkable because they believe their freedom and equality are only possible if such a creator gave those things to them. They fear a world where you are made as equal or unequal in various abilities to those around based on how equal or unequal your parents were in comparison with theirs in a given area. They fear a world where your rights and freedoms are contingent upon human leadership legally granting and preserving those rights and freedoms for you. But they shouldn’t fear this world, and in fact fearing it can only lead to bad outcomes, as fearing it leads to a motivated denial of it, which means we won’t properly manage the reality we are dealt. If we understand that people will only be free to do what they want, treated with justice, and treated with equality if our society decides to grant everyone that freedom, justice, and equality, then we will focus on making sure our society is ordered in a free, just, and equal way. However, if we focus on the idea that we are actually free and equal by nature and it’s just some battle between a deity who wants to preserve your freedom and a tyrant who wants to take it away, we, as real, living humans won’t fight nearly as hard against tyranny, injustice, and inequality, as we will be expecting a blast of divine justice to be served either during this life or during some eternal afterlife.         
             It is so very crucial to realize that not all humans are born equal, and not all humans are born free. Once we recognize that some humans are born free and with all sorts of wonderful rights while others are not, we will recognize how unequal we are, and we will recognize how that inequality is the byproduct of unequally benevolent and enlightened human governance, which will motivate us to bring more enlightened benevolence and progressivism to the rest of the world so that we might someday be able to say that all people truly were born equal because they were all born free. Pretending we are all already born equal and free because some bearded man in the sky wills it only holds back the march towards this tangible and achievable global freedom and equality.

Filed under philosophy enlightenment freedom politics religion Thomas Paine Edmund Burke equality civil rights

261,177 notes

previewofthoughts:

dickeynation:

previewofthoughts:

strangelybeautifulworld:

nympherret:

like how much more obvious does this need to be made for people to get it?

this isnt even an exaggeration 
like at all

Except, it is.
People get rich by providing goods and services to other people. Generally, these producers have some sort of competition, be it homogeneous or heterogeneous goods or services. The producer that produces his good or service most efficiently given the rates of labor and capital to produce. The producers that expand, adapt, and produce goods or services that the people actually want will produce massive amounts of wealth, like Fortune 500 companies. This doesn’t always happen though.
These producers, and their higher employees don’t simply sit on mountains of cash though, their wealth is their assets, which is in the form of houses, cars, and investments.
However, economics isn’t zero sum. The small worker on the left isn’t poor because of that rich man. This is backwards 17th century thinking. The small worker is representative of a large labor force of low skilled workers and mostly part time (seeing as he is saying “raise the minimum wage”, it can be assumed that this man is on minimum wage). The minimum wage is a price floor, and like all price floors, it is a mandated shortage, in this case, mandated unemployment. Unlike the producer, who is creating and amassing his wealth through service to others, the laborer is demanding what isn’t deserved through the force of law.

Basically your argument is that what keeps the economy going is enormously rich people buying lots of houses and cars. The amount of wealth isn’t going to change if the masses of low level laborers have more to spend as consumers on basic things like food, heating, and healthcare, and the 0.1% don’t have quite as a big a CEO bonus to spend on sports cars. Pointing out all the wonderful investments in cars and mansions these people make as opposed to just sitting on their money and telling everyone else they don’t “deserve” enough money to live off of without help charity or government isn’t a compelling argument unless you are in the 0.1% or you are a college kid convinced that you are likely going to be in that 0.1% someday and most definitely never stuck in minimum wage land.

That’s not my argument at all.
If I believed spending made the world go round, I’d be a Keynesian.

Well, basically what you did was defend the well-off employers of the world not paying their masses of low level workers enough to live off of based on the idea that the money they aren’t paying out as higher wages to their workers isn’t something they sit on, and instead something they invest, and the two specific investments you happened to mention amongst the many they make were their houses and cars (which are inevitably almost always multiple and mansion/sports-car type purchases). Your whole economic worldview is that everyone should go try to produce or provide something and those that produce and provide the best become really rich and use their profits to invest in other people’s production/service endeavors so as to help others grow their companies in exchange for reaping a share of their profits. There’s nothing wrong with that by itself, but when we start to realize that the biggest and best producers or service providers of a given thing like burgers or cable TV or whatever have both destroyed most of their competition and refuse to pay their workers any amount they could live off of, it basically becomes a situation where unless you happen to be up in the corporate hierarchy of some Wal-Mart, BP, McDonald’s type enterprise you are doomed to be one of the many who work for these ever smaller number of giant employers, and your labor isn’t “deserving” of an amount of money you could live off of. You’re so caught up in the dream of being one of the rare few who own, manage, or are high up in the corporate hierarchic of one of these business conglomerates you seem to forget that not everyone, and in fact the vast majority of everyone will never end up there. So, if you don’t end up at or near the top of some mega-corporation you end up either having to….-work as a sub-living wage employee for one of them,-try and start your own small business that will get crushed by them-get into one of the rare government and/or union type fields like law enforcement, military, teaching, etc that will provide a real living-or get a boatload of education via massive debt or rich family benefactors that allow you to end up in some white collar professional field like law, medicine, accounting, etc.        Of course your proposals are always to eliminate the minimum wage, eliminate the social safety net, bust all the unions, shrink down the number of government jobs, and take away grants and government insured loans for higher education. Somehow you expect that everyone will be just fine and not start some incredibly violent revolution against the plutocracy if we told everyone that there were no more union jobs, no more opportunity to go to college unless you have a spare 120k, meaning even more people that the huge amounts we already have will all have to compete for these sub-living wage jobs from these huge corporations, that serve as our primary private sector employers, and that the lucky ones who do even get such a job will be paid less than 8 bucks an hour and not receive any food, housing, energy, childcare, or healthcare assistance. Somehow a world where everyone who wasn’t either born rich or was the exception to the rule and created some wildly successful company will just have to be happy begging for one of the limited 4 dollars an hour jobs and then begging in the streets for everything else they need because that’s what they all “deserve.” You’re literally asking for a modern day French Revolution type event.

previewofthoughts:

dickeynation:

previewofthoughts:

strangelybeautifulworld:

nympherret:

like how much more obvious does this need to be made for people to get it?

this isnt even an exaggeration 

like at all

Except, it is.

People get rich by providing goods and services to other people. Generally, these producers have some sort of competition, be it homogeneous or heterogeneous goods or services. The producer that produces his good or service most efficiently given the rates of labor and capital to produce. The producers that expand, adapt, and produce goods or services that the people actually want will produce massive amounts of wealth, like Fortune 500 companies. This doesn’t always happen though.

These producers, and their higher employees don’t simply sit on mountains of cash though, their wealth is their assets, which is in the form of houses, cars, and investments.

However, economics isn’t zero sum. The small worker on the left isn’t poor because of that rich man. This is backwards 17th century thinking. The small worker is representative of a large labor force of low skilled workers and mostly part time (seeing as he is saying “raise the minimum wage”, it can be assumed that this man is on minimum wage). The minimum wage is a price floor, and like all price floors, it is a mandated shortage, in this case, mandated unemployment. Unlike the producer, who is creating and amassing his wealth through service to others, the laborer is demanding what isn’t deserved through the force of law.

Basically your argument is that what keeps the economy going is enormously rich people buying lots of houses and cars. The amount of wealth isn’t going to change if the masses of low level laborers have more to spend as consumers on basic things like food, heating, and healthcare, and the 0.1% don’t have quite as a big a CEO bonus to spend on sports cars. Pointing out all the wonderful investments in cars and mansions these people make as opposed to just sitting on their money and telling everyone else they don’t “deserve” enough money to live off of without help charity or government isn’t a compelling argument unless you are in the 0.1% or you are a college kid convinced that you are likely going to be in that 0.1% someday and most definitely never stuck in minimum wage land.

That’s not my argument at all.

If I believed spending made the world go round, I’d be a Keynesian.

Well, basically what you did was defend the well-off employers of the world not paying their masses of low level workers enough to live off of based on the idea that the money they aren’t paying out as higher wages to their workers isn’t something they sit on, and instead something they invest, and the two specific investments you happened to mention amongst the many they make were their houses and cars (which are inevitably almost always multiple and mansion/sports-car type purchases). Your whole economic worldview is that everyone should go try to produce or provide something and those that produce and provide the best become really rich and use their profits to invest in other people’s production/service endeavors so as to help others grow their companies in exchange for reaping a share of their profits. There’s nothing wrong with that by itself, but when we start to realize that the biggest and best producers or service providers of a given thing like burgers or cable TV or whatever have both destroyed most of their competition and refuse to pay their workers any amount they could live off of, it basically becomes a situation where unless you happen to be up in the corporate hierarchy of some Wal-Mart, BP, McDonald’s type enterprise you are doomed to be one of the many who work for these ever smaller number of giant employers, and your labor isn’t “deserving” of an amount of money you could live off of. You’re so caught up in the dream of being one of the rare few who own, manage, or are high up in the corporate hierarchic of one of these business conglomerates you seem to forget that not everyone, and in fact the vast majority of everyone will never end up there. So, if you don’t end up at or near the top of some mega-corporation you end up either having to….
-work as a sub-living wage employee for one of them,
-try and start your own small business that will get crushed by them
-get into one of the rare government and/or union type fields like law enforcement, military, teaching, etc that will provide a real living
-or get a boatload of education via massive debt or rich family benefactors that allow you to end up in some white collar professional field like law, medicine, accounting, etc.
       Of course your proposals are always to eliminate the minimum wage, eliminate the social safety net, bust all the unions, shrink down the number of government jobs, and take away grants and government insured loans for higher education. Somehow you expect that everyone will be just fine and not start some incredibly violent revolution against the plutocracy if we told everyone that there were no more union jobs, no more opportunity to go to college unless you have a spare 120k, meaning even more people that the huge amounts we already have will all have to compete for these sub-living wage jobs from these huge corporations, that serve as our primary private sector employers, and that the lucky ones who do even get such a job will be paid less than 8 bucks an hour and not receive any food, housing, energy, childcare, or healthcare assistance. Somehow a world where everyone who wasn’t either born rich or was the exception to the rule and created some wildly successful company will just have to be happy begging for one of the limited 4 dollars an hour jobs and then begging in the streets for everything else they need because that’s what they all “deserve.” You’re literally asking for a modern day French Revolution type event.

(Source: america-wakiewakie)

261,177 notes

previewofthoughts:

strangelybeautifulworld:

nympherret:

like how much more obvious does this need to be made for people to get it?

this isnt even an exaggeration 
like at all

Except, it is.
People get rich by providing goods and services to other people. Generally, these producers have some sort of competition, be it homogeneous or heterogeneous goods or services. The producer that produces his good or service most efficiently given the rates of labor and capital to produce. The producers that expand, adapt, and produce goods or services that the people actually want will produce massive amounts of wealth, like Fortune 500 companies. This doesn’t always happen though.
These producers, and their higher employees don’t simply sit on mountains of cash though, their wealth is their assets, which is in the form of houses, cars, and investments.
However, economics isn’t zero sum. The small worker on the left isn’t poor because of that rich man. This is backwards 17th century thinking. The small worker is representative of a large labor force of low skilled workers and mostly part time (seeing as he is saying “raise the minimum wage”, it can be assumed that this man is on minimum wage). The minimum wage is a price floor, and like all price floors, it is a mandated shortage, in this case, mandated unemployment. Unlike the producer, who is creating and amassing his wealth through service to others, the laborer is demanding what isn’t deserved through the force of law.

Basically your argument is that what keeps the economy going is enormously rich people buying lots of houses and cars. The amount of wealth isn’t going to change if the masses of low level laborers have more to spend as consumers on basic things like food, heating, and healthcare, and the 0.1% don’t have quite as a big a CEO bonus to spend on sports cars. Pointing out all the wonderful investments in cars and mansions these people make as opposed to just sitting on their money and telling everyone else they don’t “deserve” enough money to live off of without help charity or government isn’t a compelling argument unless you are in the 0.1% or you are a college kid convinced that you are likely going to be in that 0.1% someday and most definitely never stuck in minimum wage land.

previewofthoughts:

strangelybeautifulworld:

nympherret:

like how much more obvious does this need to be made for people to get it?

this isnt even an exaggeration 

like at all

Except, it is.

People get rich by providing goods and services to other people. Generally, these producers have some sort of competition, be it homogeneous or heterogeneous goods or services. The producer that produces his good or service most efficiently given the rates of labor and capital to produce. The producers that expand, adapt, and produce goods or services that the people actually want will produce massive amounts of wealth, like Fortune 500 companies. This doesn’t always happen though.

These producers, and their higher employees don’t simply sit on mountains of cash though, their wealth is their assets, which is in the form of houses, cars, and investments.

However, economics isn’t zero sum. The small worker on the left isn’t poor because of that rich man. This is backwards 17th century thinking. The small worker is representative of a large labor force of low skilled workers and mostly part time (seeing as he is saying “raise the minimum wage”, it can be assumed that this man is on minimum wage). The minimum wage is a price floor, and like all price floors, it is a mandated shortage, in this case, mandated unemployment. Unlike the producer, who is creating and amassing his wealth through service to others, the laborer is demanding what isn’t deserved through the force of law.

Basically your argument is that what keeps the economy going is enormously rich people buying lots of houses and cars. The amount of wealth isn’t going to change if the masses of low level laborers have more to spend as consumers on basic things like food, heating, and healthcare, and the 0.1% don’t have quite as a big a CEO bonus to spend on sports cars. Pointing out all the wonderful investments in cars and mansions these people make as opposed to just sitting on their money and telling everyone else they don’t “deserve” enough money to live off of without help charity or government isn’t a compelling argument unless you are in the 0.1% or you are a college kid convinced that you are likely going to be in that 0.1% someday and most definitely never stuck in minimum wage land.

(Source: america-wakiewakie)

41 notes

osvnews:

A catechetical response to same-sex marriage Using a logical argument, the author explains the Church’s position on a difficult issue
By John Cavadini
Why does the Catholic Church oppose same-sex marriage? This question is a burning one for many Catholics.
The recent outpouring of local support for Mark Zmuda, former vice principal at a Catholic high school in Seattle, is an example of how the emotions involved in addressing this question cross our own hearts.
Zmuda resigned from Eastside Catholic High School in December after failing to honor his contract — which states he must follow the Church’s teachings — by marrying his same-sex partner in July. Since Zmuda’s departure, the school’s students have staged a walk-out, spoken out on social media and collected signatures for a petition to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.
As is evident by these actions, the Church’s position seems especially inexplicable to young people. Anyone reading this may him or herself be same-sex attracted, and certainly all of us know and love people who are. Why, then, should there be any difficulty for the Church with same-sex civil marriage? Isn’t this a simple matter of civil rights?
Read entire story.



THE “WE CAN’T REDEFINE MARRIAGE” ARGUMENT      The definition of marriage is not really a thing. This is a hard thing for a lot of religious people to accept, because they are so into everything having dogmatic labels, but there isn’t some set definition to an abstract concept like marriage. Countless societies and countless religions and countless nations have created their particular official definition of marriage, but how the nation of France and the nation of Sweden define it might not be the same; the way the Catholic Church and some Hindu religion defines it might not be the same; the way ancient Rome and ancient Greece defined it might not have been the same, etc, etc. You could probably find thousands of “official definitions” of marriage throughout world history. Some of them specify that it is limited to man and woman, others do not, and some have depicted adults marrying children, polygamy, gay marriages, etc.          The Catholic Church as an individual organized religion is free to hold whatever definition they want for the word marriage, and nobody is going to force them to change it, or force them to perform marriages in their churches. While individual Catholics who like the standing definition and the decision to not amend it probably aren’t concerned with the prospect of lots of young Catholics, more liberal and moderate Catholics, homosexual Catholics, and family members of homosexual Catholics leaving the religion for a more tolerant one I’m sure the Vatican is. The organized religion itself isn’t a person who views their Catholicism as a personal thing. Rather, the organized religion is an organization concerned with growing their numbers, maintaining their old members, and presenting a good public image. Given that the Catholics who are okay with not modernizing are mostly straight, older and/or very conservative Catholics, when we consider that such is not a majority of Catholics I wouldn’t be very surprised if at some point in the next 5-15 years the Catholic Church does finally switch its view on gay marriage.        If they don’t do that it will quickly become a religion of the developing world. European and American Catholics are soon all going to be living somewhere where gays are openly accepted and allowed to marry (many European countries and American states already are like this, with the momentum swinging towards full coverage very fast), so if the Vatican doesn’t change very soon it’ll probably become a fringe right wing sect of Christianity in the old western world and hold its big numbers in Central America, South America, and Africa where social progress is still much further behind on this issue, and Catholicism is widespread. THE IDEA THAT MARRIAGE IS A BABY MAKING EXPEDITION        Obviously it’s ideal to have your kids within a marriage, because married people are, at least in theory, committed to stay with each other for the rest of their lives, so the kids are more likely to have two parents and two incomes taking care of them throughout their childhood. Yet, it doesn’t mean that people don’t have kids outside of marriage, and it also fails to mean that everyone who gets married needs to have kids. The idea seems to be that people’s primary duty is to make babies, so if they aren’t in the business of doing so, they don’t belong in a marriage. People can absolutely be in love with and committed for life to their sexual partner without desiring to make babies with them. Most people just naturally end up wanting to have kids, so they go ahead and do that with their spouse. Yet, this idea that marriage was made for baby-making instead of committed love which oftentimes results in kids is very marginalizing to the notions of love and commitment. The idea is that you love and committee for the sake of making babies, rather than you sometimes make babies because you are in love and committed and wanting to make babies. That seems pretty messed up.  THE “FORMATION OF SOCIETY” STUFF        This was a little all over the place, but it seems to start off by suggesting that the Catholic Church views marriage as “the baby making institution,” and that this “baby making institution” has to be given some sort of special prestigious social recognition as the “right way” to make babies. It’s probably not a big leap to say that most people view marriage as being about way more than making babies, and that there’s nothing wrong with a couple deciding they want to have kids even if they don’t have some legally and religiously recognized marital status. It’s also not a big leap to say that while everyone recognizes that unplanned pregnancies are not ideal, allowing gay people to get married isn’t going to somehow lead to more unplanned pregnancies. Somehow people who can’t make babies (homosexuals) having legal and/or religious marriages is going to cause unmarried straight people to have more accidental babies? That doesn’t make any sense.     Then it goes off onto railing against technological alternatives for procreation. I’m not really sure what the discomfort with babies coming from something other than good old fashioned intercourse followed by 9 months and a birth is, but there seem to be a few things in play. The first of course is that technology is making it possible for homosexuals to have kids. People that are uncomfortable with homosexuality and would like to see homosexuals be lesser people within society don’t want to see them become parents, as being a parent is rightfully seen as a good thing, a tremendous responsibility, and something to take great pride in. By opposing things like gay adoption they thought they could avoid gay parenthood, but with technological developments like in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination we now have situations where gay and lesbian couples can end up holding legitimate claims to a particular child because it actually holds the DNA of one of them. If homosexuals become parents many in society will come to see them as more normal, more human, more loving, more responsible, and more admire once they prove to be good parents like any straight couple. Furthermore, homosexual people will obtain more joy, purpose, and fulfillment out of life as parents. Technology is basically threatening to make homosexuals more accepted by others and happier themselves, which are the last things in the world people who want to both hold up a nasty caricature of homosexuals and simultaneously keep them away from opportunities for happiness would like to have happen.           Beyond the fear of them becoming parents and all that such would entail for public perception of homosexuals, there’s obviously this fear that technology is breaking down gender roles. In particular there is probably a great fear of lesbians getting kids without a man, because the idea had always been that women will give men the sex and children they desire because without a man the woman wouldn’t have access to the kind of life they wanted. Well, then there was that whole pesky feminism thing where they started going after money and power on their own without men, but still women who wanted families could be pegged as holding the role of baby maker and child rearer, while the man was free to do whatever. Now with technology the great fear is that women will go get kids on their own without the help of a husband’s dick, thus leaving them no motivation other than genuine love to be with a man. There’s this great male insecurity often found in western religions, amongst other places, that men won’t be able to get what they want out of women if they can’t hold the leverage of money and sperm over their heads. Of course, it’s not that women won’t still be with men if they really love a man; it’s just that the men feel scared of actually having to earn that woman instead of just being like, “well if you want money and/or babies I guess you are going to have to deal with me and keep me around.” And of course it’s not like men couldn’t conceivably go get their own kids without a wife via technology, it’s just that they won’t, because a man wouldn’t want a kid by themselves, while a woman could very easily see that as a workable situation. So, there does seem to be a fear with reproductive technology that “today it’s the lesbians, tomorrow it’s our wives.”            It then concludes with this emotional appeal to the horror of the idea of children as commodities. This idea seems to be attempting to do two things. First, it appears to be trying to define children belonging to gay parents as “commodities,” compared with the real, human children made by and raised by straight couples. It’s basically an attempt at dehumanizing the humans that are around homosexuals, even if it’s a child-parent relationship. Then there’s this attempt to sanctify sex. The idea of a child made without sex between a man and woman being a “commodity,” makes the sex between a man and woman trying to make a baby within marriage somehow more special and holy because only through that sort of creation can a “non-commodity” baby be made. It’s trying to glorify some sexual relations as holier than thou’s sexual relationship.          THE “HUMAN PRODUCTION” STUFF        Here they seemed to get more into this idea of sex for babies inside marriage being this sanctified endeavor that produces worthwhile results, with other ways of making babies somehow taking away the “special” status of humans or something. I’m not really sure what all this obsession over the way a baby is made and with whose DNA has to do with gay marriage, but I guess it’s because marriage is viewed by Catholics as the place for people to reproduce and the reproductive process being something “special” because humans are “special,” and to allow gays into marriage is to allow them into the world of children and families, which could potentially serve the purpose of humanizing them and their sexual orientation, which is very scary to these people. It’s sort of some long domino affect they seem to be afraid of. Letting gays get married=they will want kids (because duh, that’s all married people want…)=technology will make them kids=human reproduction will move away from sex=humans and sex which are special and sacred will become less special and sacred.        Overall, it seems like gay marriage is being opposed for a lot of the same reasons the heliocentric model of the solar system was opposed in the past or evolution through natural selection is still oftentimes rejected today. It’s all about human beings needing to be this special centerpiece of the universe, purposefully made by a supreme creator who favors them over all other creations, and has created a glorious, meaningful journey for their individual lives and their existence as a collective species. The heliocentric model was opposed for the simple reason it took our home (earth) away from the center of the known universe. It was unacceptable to think that we were sitting on one of many rocks revolving around this one ball of gas, and that there were lots of other balls of gas with rocks going around them in our galaxy and lots of galaxies in the universe. It made us and our existence seem a lot less important being just one piece of some puzzle and not at all the centerpiece of it around which everything else revolved. Evolution was/is unacceptable because it says that humans aren’t one of many species that were created unequally with separate points of a finger from the supreme creator, but rather that however the initial living cells on this planet came to exist, be it through a creator or some other process, it was from those cells that all kinds of species eventually sprung up and separated from one another due to sexual choices they made. This makes your ancestors ape looking things, fish looking things, bacteria looking things, not some man and woman that a god made above all other things.         Now, the gay marriage thing is unacceptable because it’s this reminder that human evolution is driven by humans not some intelligent designer, because the fear is that as gay people start making kids with their DNA that “God didn’t intend” (because they weren’t made from sticking a penis in a vagina) you can literally see new generations of living things that you know were made because of the sexual will of the previous generation, not the will of some supreme creator. A generation of men and women who didn’t like the opposite sex using tools humans made to create kids containing their DNA while not having sex with the opposite sex takes away the mysticism people yearn to believe in where they think they are driven by a deity to a “soul mate” with the opposite sexual body parts as themselves in order to make kids because a deity is driving the future of reproduction, aka driving evolution. This is really fucking scary for people that need to hold onto some self-created rationalization of how the science of things like evolution are still compatible with their religious beliefs by subscribing to an idea such as that “intelligent design” is driving evolution.  It’s starting to make a little more sense to me why the idea of gay marriage is so scary to religious people. It’s more about its existence and the inevitable results of it existing seeming to chip away further at ideas they have about the universe than it is about holding onto literal interpretations of OT passages (although that’s still a big part of it).  THIS SHOULDN’T BOTHER YOU        When you ask most people what marriage means to them, it’s really one of those subjective, abstract questions like “what does love mean to you?” or “what does family mean to you?” But most people would give some answer that talks about being in a loving relationship with someone whom they are committed to spend the rest of their lives with, often times being sexual partners, oftentimes having children, oftentimes obtaining legal rights from their state/country, and oftentimes obtaining religious recognition from the organized religion they belong to. To suggest that gay people cannot actually get married is really to say that gay people can’t be in a loving, exclusive, sexual relationship they’ve decided to remain committed to for the rest of their lives. That’s how most people see their relationship with their spouse, so to say that marriage of gay people isn’t a real thing because various religions and governments don’t feel same gender couples should be in these loving, sexual, lifelong commitments with one another, and thus refuse to write up an “official definition” that includes same sex marriages is really just a bunch of subjective silliness. Just as the Catholic Church as one particular organized religion doesn’t have to think same sex couples in such a relationship who obtained a legal or religious marriage certificate from a government or religion that does recognize them, no individual person has to think in their hearts that gay people who are married are “actually married,” but it’s also not their job to try and persuade governments and religions that do recognize these loving life-long commitments to not do so. You don’t have to belong to a nation that recognizes gay marriage, or belong to a religion that recognizes gay marriage. If you come to disagree with and dislike such governments and religions enough, you are free to leave them or avoid living under their rule/joining them.      The really crazy thing about all this is that it doesn’t hurt anyone. This isn’t something like the abortion debates people have. If you don’t agree with gay marriage, don’t belong to a religion that acknowledges them, and just pretend all the married gay couples your government recognizes aren’t really married. It doesn’t hurt you. All this outrage that the world is progressing and is recognizing gays as equals to straight people is something I’ll never understand. We get it, you clearly don’t feel bad that they used to be treated as lessers who couldn’t obtain the same rights as heterosexuals and you feel really, really upset that they are now allowed to obtain marriage rights in many states and many churches, and that’s fine, we all see and acknowledge your feelings. But now that most people are becoming okay with what you aren’t okay with, what’s the big deal? Nobody is forcing you to become gay and have a gay marriage; just let the gays be, and let the people who do feel bad for them and do fight for equality for them continue to do so, and understand that this is now, and forever will be, a majority opinion in advanced nations like America; there’s no going back, just like there’s never going to be some reversal of the legal and social progress black people or women made decades ago.                                          

osvnews:

A catechetical response to same-sex marriage Using a logical argument, the author explains the Church’s position on a difficult issue

By John Cavadini

Why does the Catholic Church oppose same-sex marriage? This question is a burning one for many Catholics.

The recent outpouring of local support for Mark Zmuda, former vice principal at a Catholic high school in Seattle, is an example of how the emotions involved in addressing this question cross our own hearts.

Zmuda resigned from Eastside Catholic High School in December after failing to honor his contract — which states he must follow the Church’s teachings — by marrying his same-sex partner in July. Since Zmuda’s departure, the school’s students have staged a walk-out, spoken out on social media and collected signatures for a petition to the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops.

As is evident by these actions, the Church’s position seems especially inexplicable to young people. Anyone reading this may him or herself be same-sex attracted, and certainly all of us know and love people who are. Why, then, should there be any difficulty for the Church with same-sex civil marriage? Isn’t this a simple matter of civil rights?

Read entire story.

THE “WE CAN’T REDEFINE MARRIAGE” ARGUMENT
      The definition of marriage is not really a thing. This is a hard thing for a lot of religious people to accept, because they are so into everything having dogmatic labels, but there isn’t some set definition to an abstract concept like marriage. Countless societies and countless religions and countless nations have created their particular official definition of marriage, but how the nation of France and the nation of Sweden define it might not be the same; the way the Catholic Church and some Hindu religion defines it might not be the same; the way ancient Rome and ancient Greece defined it might not have been the same, etc, etc. You could probably find thousands of “official definitions” of marriage throughout world history. Some of them specify that it is limited to man and woman, others do not, and some have depicted adults marrying children, polygamy, gay marriages, etc.
         The Catholic Church as an individual organized religion is free to hold whatever definition they want for the word marriage, and nobody is going to force them to change it, or force them to perform marriages in their churches. While individual Catholics who like the standing definition and the decision to not amend it probably aren’t concerned with the prospect of lots of young Catholics, more liberal and moderate Catholics, homosexual Catholics, and family members of homosexual Catholics leaving the religion for a more tolerant one I’m sure the Vatican is. The organized religion itself isn’t a person who views their Catholicism as a personal thing. Rather, the organized religion is an organization concerned with growing their numbers, maintaining their old members, and presenting a good public image. Given that the Catholics who are okay with not modernizing are mostly straight, older and/or very conservative Catholics, when we consider that such is not a majority of Catholics I wouldn’t be very surprised if at some point in the next 5-15 years the Catholic Church does finally switch its view on gay marriage.
       If they don’t do that it will quickly become a religion of the developing world. European and American Catholics are soon all going to be living somewhere where gays are openly accepted and allowed to marry (many European countries and American states already are like this, with the momentum swinging towards full coverage very fast), so if the Vatican doesn’t change very soon it’ll probably become a fringe right wing sect of Christianity in the old western world and hold its big numbers in Central America, South America, and Africa where social progress is still much further behind on this issue, and Catholicism is widespread.

THE IDEA THAT MARRIAGE IS A BABY MAKING EXPEDITION
        Obviously it’s ideal to have your kids within a marriage, because married people are, at least in theory, committed to stay with each other for the rest of their lives, so the kids are more likely to have two parents and two incomes taking care of them throughout their childhood. Yet, it doesn’t mean that people don’t have kids outside of marriage, and it also fails to mean that everyone who gets married needs to have kids. The idea seems to be that people’s primary duty is to make babies, so if they aren’t in the business of doing so, they don’t belong in a marriage. People can absolutely be in love with and committed for life to their sexual partner without desiring to make babies with them. Most people just naturally end up wanting to have kids, so they go ahead and do that with their spouse. Yet, this idea that marriage was made for baby-making instead of committed love which oftentimes results in kids is very marginalizing to the notions of love and commitment. The idea is that you love and committee for the sake of making babies, rather than you sometimes make babies because you are in love and committed and wanting to make babies. That seems pretty messed up.

 THE “FORMATION OF SOCIETY” STUFF
        This was a little all over the place, but it seems to start off by suggesting that the Catholic Church views marriage as “the baby making institution,” and that this “baby making institution” has to be given some sort of special prestigious social recognition as the “right way” to make babies. It’s probably not a big leap to say that most people view marriage as being about way more than making babies, and that there’s nothing wrong with a couple deciding they want to have kids even if they don’t have some legally and religiously recognized marital status. It’s also not a big leap to say that while everyone recognizes that unplanned pregnancies are not ideal, allowing gay people to get married isn’t going to somehow lead to more unplanned pregnancies. Somehow people who can’t make babies (homosexuals) having legal and/or religious marriages is going to cause unmarried straight people to have more accidental babies? That doesn’t make any sense.
    Then it goes off onto railing against technological alternatives for procreation. I’m not really sure what the discomfort with babies coming from something other than good old fashioned intercourse followed by 9 months and a birth is, but there seem to be a few things in play. The first of course is that technology is making it possible for homosexuals to have kids. People that are uncomfortable with homosexuality and would like to see homosexuals be lesser people within society don’t want to see them become parents, as being a parent is rightfully seen as a good thing, a tremendous responsibility, and something to take great pride in. By opposing things like gay adoption they thought they could avoid gay parenthood, but with technological developments like in vitro fertilization or artificial insemination we now have situations where gay and lesbian couples can end up holding legitimate claims to a particular child because it actually holds the DNA of one of them. If homosexuals become parents many in society will come to see them as more normal, more human, more loving, more responsible, and more admire once they prove to be good parents like any straight couple. Furthermore, homosexual people will obtain more joy, purpose, and fulfillment out of life as parents. Technology is basically threatening to make homosexuals more accepted by others and happier themselves, which are the last things in the world people who want to both hold up a nasty caricature of homosexuals and simultaneously keep them away from opportunities for happiness would like to have happen.
          Beyond the fear of them becoming parents and all that such would entail for public perception of homosexuals, there’s obviously this fear that technology is breaking down gender roles. In particular there is probably a great fear of lesbians getting kids without a man, because the idea had always been that women will give men the sex and children they desire because without a man the woman wouldn’t have access to the kind of life they wanted. Well, then there was that whole pesky feminism thing where they started going after money and power on their own without men, but still women who wanted families could be pegged as holding the role of baby maker and child rearer, while the man was free to do whatever. Now with technology the great fear is that women will go get kids on their own without the help of a husband’s dick, thus leaving them no motivation other than genuine love to be with a man. There’s this great male insecurity often found in western religions, amongst other places, that men won’t be able to get what they want out of women if they can’t hold the leverage of money and sperm over their heads. Of course, it’s not that women won’t still be with men if they really love a man; it’s just that the men feel scared of actually having to earn that woman instead of just being like, “well if you want money and/or babies I guess you are going to have to deal with me and keep me around.” And of course it’s not like men couldn’t conceivably go get their own kids without a wife via technology, it’s just that they won’t, because a man wouldn’t want a kid by themselves, while a woman could very easily see that as a workable situation. So, there does seem to be a fear with reproductive technology that “today it’s the lesbians, tomorrow it’s our wives.”
            It then concludes with this emotional appeal to the horror of the idea of children as commodities. This idea seems to be attempting to do two things. First, it appears to be trying to define children belonging to gay parents as “commodities,” compared with the real, human children made by and raised by straight couples. It’s basically an attempt at dehumanizing the humans that are around homosexuals, even if it’s a child-parent relationship. Then there’s this attempt to sanctify sex. The idea of a child made without sex between a man and woman being a “commodity,” makes the sex between a man and woman trying to make a baby within marriage somehow more special and holy because only through that sort of creation can a “non-commodity” baby be made. It’s trying to glorify some sexual relations as holier than thou’s sexual relationship.  
       
THE “HUMAN PRODUCTION” STUFF
        Here they seemed to get more into this idea of sex for babies inside marriage being this sanctified endeavor that produces worthwhile results, with other ways of making babies somehow taking away the “special” status of humans or something. I’m not really sure what all this obsession over the way a baby is made and with whose DNA has to do with gay marriage, but I guess it’s because marriage is viewed by Catholics as the place for people to reproduce and the reproductive process being something “special” because humans are “special,” and to allow gays into marriage is to allow them into the world of children and families, which could potentially serve the purpose of humanizing them and their sexual orientation, which is very scary to these people. It’s sort of some long domino affect they seem to be afraid of. Letting gays get married=they will want kids (because duh, that’s all married people want…)=technology will make them kids=human reproduction will move away from sex=humans and sex which are special and sacred will become less special and sacred.
       Overall, it seems like gay marriage is being opposed for a lot of the same reasons the heliocentric model of the solar system was opposed in the past or evolution through natural selection is still oftentimes rejected today. It’s all about human beings needing to be this special centerpiece of the universe, purposefully made by a supreme creator who favors them over all other creations, and has created a glorious, meaningful journey for their individual lives and their existence as a collective species. The heliocentric model was opposed for the simple reason it took our home (earth) away from the center of the known universe. It was unacceptable to think that we were sitting on one of many rocks revolving around this one ball of gas, and that there were lots of other balls of gas with rocks going around them in our galaxy and lots of galaxies in the universe. It made us and our existence seem a lot less important being just one piece of some puzzle and not at all the centerpiece of it around which everything else revolved. Evolution was/is unacceptable because it says that humans aren’t one of many species that were created unequally with separate points of a finger from the supreme creator, but rather that however the initial living cells on this planet came to exist, be it through a creator or some other process, it was from those cells that all kinds of species eventually sprung up and separated from one another due to sexual choices they made. This makes your ancestors ape looking things, fish looking things, bacteria looking things, not some man and woman that a god made above all other things.
         Now, the gay marriage thing is unacceptable because it’s this reminder that human evolution is driven by humans not some intelligent designer, because the fear is that as gay people start making kids with their DNA that “God didn’t intend” (because they weren’t made from sticking a penis in a vagina) you can literally see new generations of living things that you know were made because of the sexual will of the previous generation, not the will of some supreme creator. A generation of men and women who didn’t like the opposite sex using tools humans made to create kids containing their DNA while not having sex with the opposite sex takes away the mysticism people yearn to believe in where they think they are driven by a deity to a “soul mate” with the opposite sexual body parts as themselves in order to make kids because a deity is driving the future of reproduction, aka driving evolution. This is really fucking scary for people that need to hold onto some self-created rationalization of how the science of things like evolution are still compatible with their religious beliefs by subscribing to an idea such as that “intelligent design” is driving evolution.  It’s starting to make a little more sense to me why the idea of gay marriage is so scary to religious people. It’s more about its existence and the inevitable results of it existing seeming to chip away further at ideas they have about the universe than it is about holding onto literal interpretations of OT passages (although that’s still a big part of it).

THIS SHOULDN’T BOTHER YOU

        When you ask most people what marriage means to them, it’s really one of those subjective, abstract questions like “what does love mean to you?” or “what does family mean to you?” But most people would give some answer that talks about being in a loving relationship with someone whom they are committed to spend the rest of their lives with, often times being sexual partners, oftentimes having children, oftentimes obtaining legal rights from their state/country, and oftentimes obtaining religious recognition from the organized religion they belong to. To suggest that gay people cannot actually get married is really to say that gay people can’t be in a loving, exclusive, sexual relationship they’ve decided to remain committed to for the rest of their lives. That’s how most people see their relationship with their spouse, so to say that marriage of gay people isn’t a real thing because various religions and governments don’t feel same gender couples should be in these loving, sexual, lifelong commitments with one another, and thus refuse to write up an “official definition” that includes same sex marriages is really just a bunch of subjective silliness. Just as the Catholic Church as one particular organized religion doesn’t have to think same sex couples in such a relationship who obtained a legal or religious marriage certificate from a government or religion that does recognize them, no individual person has to think in their hearts that gay people who are married are “actually married,” but it’s also not their job to try and persuade governments and religions that do recognize these loving life-long commitments to not do so. You don’t have to belong to a nation that recognizes gay marriage, or belong to a religion that recognizes gay marriage. If you come to disagree with and dislike such governments and religions enough, you are free to leave them or avoid living under their rule/joining them.
     The really crazy thing about all this is that it doesn’t hurt anyone. This isn’t something like the abortion debates people have. If you don’t agree with gay marriage, don’t belong to a religion that acknowledges them, and just pretend all the married gay couples your government recognizes aren’t really married. It doesn’t hurt you. All this outrage that the world is progressing and is recognizing gays as equals to straight people is something I’ll never understand. We get it, you clearly don’t feel bad that they used to be treated as lessers who couldn’t obtain the same rights as heterosexuals and you feel really, really upset that they are now allowed to obtain marriage rights in many states and many churches, and that’s fine, we all see and acknowledge your feelings. But now that most people are becoming okay with what you aren’t okay with, what’s the big deal? Nobody is forcing you to become gay and have a gay marriage; just let the gays be, and let the people who do feel bad for them and do fight for equality for them continue to do so, and understand that this is now, and forever will be, a majority opinion in advanced nations like America; there’s no going back, just like there’s never going to be some reversal of the legal and social progress black people or women made decades ago.
                     
       
              

(via previewofthoughts)

Filed under gay marriage religion LGBT LGBT rights gay rights homosexuality gay adoption gay parents

0 notes

What’s With the Founding Fathers Obsession?

        I’m trying to figure out the obsession with the founding fathers. Yesterday I got a book from the library written by some historian who, over the course of 10 chapters, attempts to provide the singular and “correct” answer to 10 modern questions facing our society, by trying to speculate what the founding fathers would say about each one. A couple of things come to mind before I even start reading it. First of all, I think people often forget this but the founding fathers, as we now call them, were a very large, diverse group of guys. In addition to being way more numerous than your basic Jefferson, Adams, Hamilton, Madison type name-dropping (I mean seriously think about how many people were in on those Constitutional convention meetings), they were not some homogenous group. I have zero doubt that if transported to modern day some of them would be all buddy-buddy with Ted Cruz and Mike Lee, while others would be hanging on every word uttered by Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders. Some of them would be far right, others far left, others more moderate, and some of them would probably be a mixed bag of far left or right depending on the issue sort of like Justice Kennedy. Furthermore, I’m sure as they went through their lives some of them went through major shifts in their views. After all, Reagan was once a Hollywood liberal turned conservative icon, CS Lewis was a Christian, turned militant atheist, turned evangelizing Chrisitan, LBJ was a racist turned civil rights hero, Hilary Clinton a hippy turned neocon on foreign policy, etc, etc. People shift, grow, change, switch, whatever you want to call it. The point is that this notion of the founding fathers as this supremely knowledgeable and wise small group of founders who were all the same, and all off on the right wing, never shifting back and forth and all around throughout their lives….well, it’s just silly, wrong, and really laughable.
       So, the question becomes, why are people who currently hold very conservative views so obsessed with painting this large and ideologically diverse group of men, many of whom changed their views on numerous issues throughout their lives, as this extremely right wing, extremely uncompromising, extremely tiny, and extremely “correct” group? The best answer I seem to have is the obsession that conservatives seem to have with both tradition and authority. You can find a lot of this worldview within their religious views where they are completely obsessed with upholding rules and ideas written down by people from thousands of years ago, based on this fantasy that they are divinely inspired, literally true words, every single one of them. Catholics have this idea that their organized quasi-political organized religious hierarchy at the Vatican has divine ability to “recognize” what words are holy and what they mean, based on the idea that their organized religion was initially set up by some perfect source in a god incarnate; Jesus. (Which, when you think about it, isn’t all that different from how modern day conservatives are always trying to claim the superiority of their views because they feel they are the next descendents who have inherited the tradition of the founding fathers, or Lincoln, or Regan, or whomever they claim as their de facto “political Jesus” who “laid the foundation” or whatever) Meanwhile, most Protestants think every word found in a Bible is literally true and perfect because they think the authors of those words were overtaken by some perfect divine source; God. If you noticed, in both cases the perfection of various rules and ideas is justified by some sort of divine, perfect source having either written and/or revealed those texts to their authors and/or organized religions that later find them. With the American Constitution, it’s basically impossible for anyone to try and claim it was written by some divine source (although there does seem to be a growing movement of conservatives who like to think the Constitution is the divinely inspired word of the Christian God), but the closest thing to such a claim is to claim the founding fathers as one collective mind that is wiser and more right about all issues than any opinion any living individual might have.
          By viewing the founding fathers in this way it accomplishes two things for the American right-winger. First, it sanctifies their opinions. By propping up the founding fathers to this place a quarter step down from infallible political gods, and then claiming that all their views match the founding fathers views, it’s essentially saying, “my views are representative of infallible political ideology.” Second, it helps them get rid of prospects of uncertainty and change by holding up their interpretations of really old rules and ideas as basically perfect. When you come to view really old things as perfection at best or entirely idealized at worst, you get to cling to an idea that all change (a concept you fear) would be regressive, and no change is necessary since there is no doubt, zero uncertainty of the infallibility of the “original way.” Uncertainty and change are probably the two biggest fears of conservatives, and by always looking to prop up very old things as having come from sources they’ve mythologized into perfection (be it the idea of Jesus or the founding fathers as more than thinkers of their time, and in fact literally or very nearly god-like), they don’t have to deal with uncertainty (hey, it’s perfect because it came from a perfect source) or change (hey, we shouldn’t change perfection from a perfect source now should we?).
      
   

Filed under founding fathers America politics philosophy ideology consrevative liberal

0 notes

About This Rancher Guy

         This rancher dude in Nevada is generating a lot of media noise, so I had to check out what the back story is. Basically, he’s a rancher who has his cattle graze on grass on lands that he doesn’t own, the government owns these public lands. That would be okay if he would just get a permit like all the other ranchers who have their cattle graze there legally, but this guy doesn’t want to pay for the permit. I guess the government has had a lot of trouble with this guy having his cattle trespass on and eat from government lands going back decades, to the point that estimates have him owing about 1 million in unpaid permit fees and penalties. Recently the bureau of land management found 40 or so of his cattle on government land and they seized them, kind of like how a bank finally comes and seizes your house when you haven’t been making your mortgage payments.  This guy was able to get a bunch of those paranoid wilderness militia types to come out and literally threaten some kind of gun battle with the bureau of land management.
       I honestly think this guy is a lot smarter than we give him credit for. He’s using a bunch of people who believe in all this stuff about Obama coming to grab your guns, land, and property, but it doesn’t feel like he’s actually one of them. Rather, he smells like a scummy businessman whose trying to get away with not paying for grazing permits on public lands. Throughout American history whenever there is something that someone or some group isn’t happy about they’ve used “we don’t recognize the federal government,” as a shield to keep doing what they are doing and avoiding what they want to avoid. You see “state’s rights” thrown up all the time to try and help areas of the country that are particularly racist or homophobic enact racist or homophobic laws, or avoid having to follow anti-racist, anti-homophobic federal laws. This rancher seems to be using the ideal of state’s rights while simultaneously exploiting the paranoid, aimlessly angry idiots that live around him to both get out of following the rules he doesn’t like, and generate some publicity in the process. It’s actually really simple. If he wants his cattle to graze on land he doesn’t own he has to pay for the permits and pay the fines he’s accumulated through the years. If he wants the land really, really bad, I’m sure for the right price he can buy it and make it his own private property. And the funny thing is that for all the anti-federal government screaming this guy is doing, I’m not sure what he thinks is going to happen if the land were recognized as Nevada land as opposed to federal government land. I’m sure the state of Nevada would charge him permit fees to use their land just like Washington would. Getting the federal government to go away (which isn’t going to happen here) doesn’t somehow make it your personal land that you can do with whatever you want. And quite frankly, if we are going to play the “if I live or work on it it’s mine and no government can claim it” game, then we ought to give back all of North America to the Native Americans, just saying.

Filed under rancher Cliven Bundy federal government state's rights private property public property militia politics news