Friday, April 29, 2011

In Light of Facism.....

In light of my other posts on Facism, I started thinking about how groups define themselves. Distinction makes for significance, importance, value, or some other defining characteristic. This is especially necessary when there has been a humiliation of some kind. Many scholars think that Hitler's rise to power was because of the German humiliation in WWI.  Individual's within the group choose to associate with a particular group because of its value to them. I think this is how Relgions have developed by their group identifications and answers to the "Big Questions". The answers to these questions are assimulated into their personal views, values and understanding. And it makes them find significance before "Someone" that is not grounded in reality, as theirs is a lack of political power. But, it is no less true of political ideologies, as in Hitler's Germany.

Facism is an authoritarian governance based on such identification, and those in power control the resources of those within their group. All religious cults define and act in such ways, too. Early Christianity assimulated mystery cultish thinking and understanding; "sanctifying" the pagan to produce a "new Christian culture" that was maintained by the Church's theological commitments to these belief systems.

Facism seeks to identify its superiority in some way, usually with the nation-state and to prevent the moral decay of the nation. Such is what we see on the "Right" in their defense of the Christian Nation. But, it is no less true of theocratic governments such as the Taliban.

On the other side, is the left, who supports a redistribution of wealth and Marxist revolutionary ideology. While the Facists holds a "capitalistic veneer", Marxism is repulsed by the "elite". They want a level playing field. Some political scientists believe that Facism is the last resort of corporations to hold on 'to the ship", when corporatism is sinking. The compromise of private corporate power and government power is deadly for individual liberty.

The death of individual liberty is the point in Facism, as Fascists seek to allign socialism with corportatism. The collective hides behind a capitalistic facade. But, it is no less true of religious zealotry, such as the Taliban that seeks to allign the religous with political power.

I think the "Culture Wars" are about what America is to look like in the future. Is it going to be the defense of corporatism alligned with government power? Religious zealatry alligned with political power? or Socialsim alligned with political power?  Instead of looking back and protecting the foundations of our society, we seek "a better way", which ends up underming what America has always stood for; individual liberty in his pursuit of Life and Happiness!

Facism and Fundamental Rights

Ayn Rand

It is true that the welfare-statists are not socialists, that they never advocated or intended the socialization of private property, that they want to “preserve” private property—with government control of its use and disposal. But that is the fundamental characteristic of fascism.
“The New Fascism: Rule by Consensus,” Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal, 211

The "control and use" of anything, even one's personal talents is not to be the object of anyone else's designs, without consent!! As otherwise, though one might hold the property or talent, it is not one's own to hold responsibly.

As James Madison said, ""As a man is said to have a right to his property, he may be equally said to have a property in his rights. Where an excess of power prevails, property of no sort is duly respected. No man is safe in his opinions, his person, his faculties, or his possessions."

-- James Madison, National Gazette essay, March 27, 1792

Monday, April 25, 2011

The "Hope" of the Human Heart and Negotiating on Difference

Last post, I recognized that negotiation of differences, is an "ideal". Negotiation assumes mutual respect and trust. Mutual respect and trust does not exist among nations, nor does it exist in many personal relationships. Nations are self-interested, just as individual humans. Nation-states justify their actions to citizens depending on their ultimate values, just as indiviudals do. The "ideals" of the human heart are the material for "world politics".

America values individual liberty and its "ideal" is an informed citizenry. Without "freedom of the Press", there can be no liberty, because "the people" cannot have the knowledge that is necessary to hold government 'accountable'. An informed citizenry also, means that people take the time to investigate the issues, but many haven't the time to be interested, except when it concerns their present circumstances. The "ideals" are negotiated by those that are invested and interested in such matters. Propaganda is known to control the minds of the mindless, and those under dominating societies that do not value liberty and individuality. Educating the populace is the only hope for remaining a free society.

Negotiation is diplomacy, as it values cultural diversity, while upholding the value of 'world/global concerns that impose upon the nation-state. International politics underwrites much of what we read in the paper, but I wonder if all the power brokers and their negotiations are "upfront" in eye of the public? It makes one wonder when actions are taken that make one question the rationale, with little justification coming from Washington, what is really happening to the "hope of the human heart"?  (the hope to be remain free).

There is little to support that we will ever find Utopian ideals realized, where all men are free, and equal. This is why we "order society" to find the "best fit" for negotiating the differences.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The More I Think About Morality

The more I think about morality, I have to believe that the moral absolute is the granting of "life" to another. What does this mean?

Is "life" just its physical properties? If so, we shouldn't allow " living wills". We should demand that another's physical life be determined by our own assumptions, without their consent. We know what is right for another person, and they are wrong, if they do not submit to our demands.

What is wrong with this? Moral demands of this kind is considered tyrannical, to those that also value liberty. Liberty allows for tolerance toward differences of value and prioritize the value of choice, itself. Without choice, there is an underming of morality, as morality is about our behavior in society. And society should value individual rights to "ownership" of their person, and property. Without such guaruntees, there is no liberty, therefore, we have no "life", only a "life", as defined by another, as a robot.

So, government is necessary to protect rights, as rights protect liberty, otherwise, we are dissolved before the most empowered and will be limited as to our "life". Limitation of "life" is certainly not one's personal pursuit of happiness, but another's. Society should be protected from intrusions into these private spaces of "self-determining" choices, as long as they are not impinging on another's "life". As the saying goes, "moral busybodies" need to "get a life"!

Good and Evil and Moral Dilemmas

I am reading a dissertation about Moralism and Morality. The premise is that world conflicts will not be solved through political or government solutions. The only solution is the moral one. This is where definitions about morality and the moral is important. The problem in his analysis is moral realism. Everyone assumes that his "morality is Truth" and that another's is "False". Religions further inflate and enlarge the ante in such conversations, I think. I am still reading and thinking through his premises. One quote he ends with is Solzhenitsyn's. I added some from Nietzsche because he understood also, this point, I think.

“If only it were so simple! If only there were evil people somewhere

insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate

them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and

evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to

destroy a piece of his own heart?”54

—Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn ( (1974).
The Gulag Archipelago

Nietzsche quotes;

 A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.

Battle not with monsters, lest ye become a monster, and if you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you.

In heaven all the interesting people are missing.

Insanity in individuals is something rare - but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule.

Man is the cruelest animal.

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.

The overman...Who has organized the chaos of his passions, given style to his character, and become creative. Aware of life's terrors, he affirms life without resentment.

To predict the behavior of ordinary people in advance, you only have to assume that they will always try to escape a disagreeable situation with the smallest possible expenditure of intelligence.

You need chaos in your soul to give birth to a dancing star.

But thus do I counsel you, my friends: distrust all in whom the impulse to punish is powerful!

What else is love but understanding and rejoicing in the fact that another person lives, acts, and experiences otherwise than we do…?
Nations have different ways of approaching situations and understandings that make for conflict. Is there a way of compromise where both parties are co-operating, instead of battling to the "end"? Does there have to be a "winner and loser", or can we "all win" something that makes for a 'better place"?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Individual Rights and Expectations

Ayn Rand

Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: “I’ll do as I please at everybody else’s expense.” An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man—his own and those of others.

“Textbook of Americanism,” The Ayn Rand Column, 84
The other day, I heard a psychologist talk about expectations in relationships. He made the point that expectations make for conflict/"war". Expectations are those "goals", images, desires, hopes, and dreams that are put upon the relationship or the other individual. Though our culture "romanticizes" love and creates what "happily ever afters" must look like, real people must step back long enough to ask themselves and thier mates what are their goals, hopes, dreams, desires, and images of marriage. Otherwise, one will always be frustrated because thier "mate just doesn't get it", and you really won't understand why. But, this way, you can count on having a "real relationship" that is based on real communication with another person, which is not defined by a role or function of one marital partner, but mutuality, compromise, negotiation, and respect.
In civil societies, we come to expect that people will obey the law, where we can live peaceable lives, depending on the mutuality that paints our society. Time has meaning in our society, because Americans believe that deadlines are respect for those that are waiting on you to meet them. When an American makes a date, whether a professional or social one, it is considered disrespectful and dishonoring to be late, without calling with an explaination and apology. This is a common courtesy to not presume upon another individual's time/life. And it doesn't much matter whether the one late is the employer or the employee, as to its message. Americans understand that business does not function apart from the employee, and good businessman knows how to entice and convince an employee to join his enterprise. Collaboration is the "food" of business partnerships, and building teams that meet the expectations of their investors. This is what has prospered America economically; trust, respect, co-operation, and mutuality.
How does free and open communicaton and a respect for individual lives make for a better life? It doesn't if one believes that men and women are unequal, in their personhood. If men and women are looked at as only thier gender identity and form their expectations based on that alone, then, it limits personhood to a particular role or function that is "expected Such structuring of a relationship might be easier to "correct", but it is not fulfilling to the individuals involved. Society might function smoothly, and might benefit by these simple roles/functions, but is society where the ultimate focus should be? Society, as the predominat value in this scenario, is justified to over-ride individual liberties because society cannot function apart from a fully functioning family. And a functioning family is considered in some circles to be a man and a woman, producing children. Society does not have the complexities to discuss when such limitations are the norming "norms". But, how do we address those at either "ends" of marital definition?
Those, who believe that polygamy should be allowed to define marriage, have different expectations of women and the relationship between the husband and wife, than a traditional marriage would. The woman is useful for the man's pleasure and procreation of his familial line. But, the woman has little say, even when they have the "right" to approve of a "newly elected" wife. Should this type of marriage be allowed in our society? Why or why not? Wouldn't it meet the requirements of a fully functioning marriage, a family? Polygomous marriages is a partiarcial view (expectation) of marriage.
On the opposite end, are same sex couples that expect that marriage should be defined by mutual consent, commaradie, and expectations. Is this not similar to the first communicative relationship that was affirmed? Is this kind of marriage to be allowed in our society? Why or why not?  Is marriage about one's gender and function within the marital bed/relationship? Is marriage primarily about the ability to procreate?
In America, religious liberty is a value that cannot be undermined, unless we change our Constitutional government. We believe that the individual has a right to conscience in worshipping 'God' however he./she sees fit. No one can deny that priviledge, but it stops at the door of another's conscience, as one individual cannot impose their views, without hindering another's right to civil protections under law.
So, what should we desire for and in America, as to our expectations? Should we desire everyone have the same liberty we desire for ourselves? Should we desire that everyone believe like we do? How possible is it that with America's diversity that we will all see "eye to eye" on most everything? Aren't our diverse views understandings that make for great science in investigating such questions? Should we limit the diversity that is the seed-bed to discovery? I think not, that is my hope and expectation!

Individual Rights

Ayn Rand

Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: “I’ll do as I please at everybody else’s expense.” An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man—his own and those of others.
“Textbook of Americanism,” The Ayn Rand Column, 84

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

What Do You Do, When No One Listens?

What happens when people don't listen to YOU? Do you feel frustrated, alone, insignificant, devalued, ignored, minimized, dismissed or what? Perhaps, all these terms apply and this is what is so disturbing when people don't listen!

Has life taught you to expect others to listen because your parent valued your opinion, or at least, you, as a child and a separate being? Or has life taught you that no one listens, because they are too busy for YOU? "You" are those previous terms we used in our first paragraph? What happens when we don't take others seriously? Can we have expectations of them, when we have been dismissive and arrogant?

On a recent program I was listening to, a psychologist say that many conflicts occur because of hidden expectations. These unidentified expectatons are "key" to what we really want or need in a relationship. Expectation is about how we 'see" relationships, in general, and if they are not addressed, there is not much hope of relationship.

Relationships are about two people or groups of people that have certain desires and these groups/people are "formed" by expectations. These expectations frame/interpret our judgments of another's "love" :"value" or "care" of us, as persons. Many times unconscious demands on another's life is what really bothers those that can't seem to bend or express themselves in ways that are productive. These kinds of people are hard-core moralists that hold to a high road of superior vision, purpose, or design about/on life. Those not "in the game" are "not in the game". There is not much compromise in their view, as to compromise is to de-value their ultimates which are absolutes. Absolutes cannot be negotiated, as that would be 'kin" to treason. One must by loyal to principle before people.

When no one listens because they haven't understood or minimized your concern, what can you do? You can take responsibility for youself, and choose the road that seems most pertinant to your values and remember that even those that listen, might not listen well. So, take care of yourself and your own family.

Society's Mistakes

When someone speaks of "society", what do they mean? Do they mean the "culture", the "attitudes", the "values", the "ideals", the "structures", the "customs", the "norms", the "behaviors", or just, What?

Society is made of individuals, who form families, and families are the founding environment to form childhood 'hopes and dreams". But, society has not faired well on the accounts of many children, as parents are "MIA" (missing in action). Whether the parent is there physically, sometimes does not seem to matter, if they are not "present" with their children "in the moment".

Children have needs that they can't easily rationlize away. All they know is what they experience and what it made them "feel". These "feelings" are basis of forming their identity, self-esteem and values. If parents aren't around to gauge, or care about what their children do, they nor society should be surprised by misbehavior.

I don't think that when our Founders founded our nation, that they ever could envision the social challenges that we face today. There were not that many "outside forces" vying for attention. Mothers and Fathers were mostly "at home" and children sat around the family table at meal-times. Those "norms" are long gone for the American family.

Because of the social problems in our society, Society has become an entity itself. Society invades the privacy and values of other families that might have chosen different ways of addressing problems that the one force fed, because "Soceity" Must address it, or our children are doomed! Such social engineering puts those parents that desire to do right by their children at a disadvantage.

Should our society grant "perks" to those parents that do "their duty"? Should we reward good parental behavior? Would this work better than handing out monies for "the sake of the children" and not holding the parent accountable for their behavior?

Sure, there are social problems, which are really unmet needs of children and parents overwrought with the pressures of modern life, but does this mean that society's needs  outweighs "family rights"? Should society's needs made for society's mistakes? And thus, perpetuating societal crisis?

Sunday, April 17, 2011

The Power of the Mind via Albert Einstein

The unleashing of power of the atom bomb has changed everything

except our mode of thinking, and thus we head toward unparalleled


—Albert Einstein
I wonder what Einstein would think and say about the conflicts we fact today?

Friday, April 15, 2011

Society, Change and the Political Climate

Maybe what we are experiencing in America, is indeed the change that was promised by present leadership. Bush might have offended the liberal, but now Obama offends the conservative.

Society in America is made for individual "hopes and dreams". We believe in the individual's right to choose. Choice is a value itself in America. And choice is about competition and the market. Just look at the number of cereals on the shelves of our local supermarkets. When government seeks to control these "competitive values", it also limits choices. People are not prone to choose to "invest" in markets that are not viable, or personally enriching.

Today, America is being re-defined by those that want globalized markets, and the ' political class", where the "underpriviledged" have "equal opportunity and science defines what values American must affirm". These are values of the "free market/enterprise", environmental concerns,  as well as, humanity's goal for universalization of political liberty. Free trade is the possible terrain for furthering liberal democratic governments.

 We will have to see if the political class, which chooses the scientific issues and political values will work, as governments that are established in the "here and now" must value the diversity and liberty that "free markets/enterprise/competition" provides. Men are not prone to distribute power equally, when it is to their disadvantage. And this is what makes it difficult to ensure "equal opportunity" to those that are under political domination. Power is usually understood in hierarchal structuring, but such sturcturing is damning to individual or personal liberties, if not limited by rights.

I have doubts about Utopian ideals about political realities, and scientific possibilities. But, who am I, anyway? I am an American, and I am free to choose, value and affirm the "ends" I desire. Is this what the "empowered class" really wants?

The Plurality of Voices in American Society and the Autonomy of "Self"

Many have been seeking a resolution to the political conflicts we experience in today's world. When the world is smaller due to Internet connections and trade is free, nuclear arms and ideologies still plague the landscape and inhibit world peace.

America's Founders understood the need for the balance of power. Although their views were dominated by Newton's paradigm and Christian/Jewish understandings of "Providence", today, the world isn't as simply explained. "Providence" is not accepted, when "the world's" story isn't one that is explained by "ideal dreams or hopes" of "the human/humane". And Newton's paradigm isn't universally accepted as THE paradigm to explain human reality.  History was understood in America as "God's story" as revealed in the Christian "Christ". The Jewish Scriptures were the context of "storying" the Christian message. But, such "messages" appeal to the "ideals" of our Founder's vision of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They were never meant to describe the "real or political" one. The story of Jesus was never intended to be historicized as a political goal, upon individuals, but as a moral ideal of a universal value, a value of "the human/humane". The Jew was the useful "tool" of forming the value of valuing the oppressed, or de-valued.

Politics seeks to address problems, and strategic planning about furthering goals of the politically empowered. The Founders, though empowered, never sought to subvert the individual's claim about his own life. The Founder's understood that society needed to function in an orderly way, but did not attempt to order it in a way that oppressed the individual's right of choice and value.

Though science has discovered much more to "life" than Newton's cause and effect, the political realm is still most effective when it is ordered after our Founder's vision of balancing and separating power. That way, the individual, no matter where they are on the spectrum of human development (intellectual, moral, or faith) or values of priority and understanding (life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness) can find/make their place in society, without oppressive domination by poltical or religious zealotry. Our society was meant to be a "civil one".

Political power that allowed autonomy and religious liberty, within the bounds of law, were the "ideals" of our free society. Americans should always value and take part in their country's "ideals" furthering the goals that are important to them, personally, because America will only survive when individuals take their personal values/ideals seriously and get involved in the political process. At the same time, free persons should also understand that others are free to disagree, under the "canopy of plural voices" that "speak" in our "political environment" without threatening with poltical domination, whether through nucelar arms, or legal manipulation.

Monday, April 11, 2011

Protections of the Law

Ayn Rand

All laws must be objective (and objectively justifiable): men must know clearly, and in advance of taking an action, what the law forbids them to do (and why), what constitutes a crime and what penalty they will incur if they commit it.
“The Nature of Government,” The Virtue of Selfishness, 110

Without such assurances, there will all kinds of abuse of power, and power grabs over individual lives.

Funny How Christians "Use" Language

We all use language to communicate. But, though many of us can use "words", we do not know how to communicate. What is Communication?

Communication means that one understands a context and the history that affects "meaning". This is how the "Christian" uses language "to fix" or "redeem" (this is their theoogical term) the world. Such language is useful to get "believers to agree" and co-operate "with God's purposes, as Goe's purposes are assumed to be "about the world". But, is it just manipulation of language for certain purposes? When in reality, what is desired is certain behavior for certain outcomes or goals of personal interests or concern to leadership? These goals are defined within contexts, themselves.

Groups like to scapegoat. The Christian scapegoats "God", all groups think that "justice" is "their view" in a particular context and God 'is on their side". This is how the Church theologized "Christ" as the unifier of the world. Christ was scapegoated for one group's sins against another group of people. Group reality is not 'human development", but one identification factor to a particlar indivdiual.

In reality, groups are formed and framed by social, legal, moral, and interests factors. These factors support individuals and their view of themself and "life". Groups can be "causes" or "interests", or "pursuits" or "goals". But, all  formal groups are framed with certain unifying by-laws, written or un-written.

Communication between groups can be hard because interests, views, and commitments vary. And some of a group's assumptions about 'reality" are not readily understood. This is when diplomatic efforts are made to make for peaceful resolution. Resolutions are "peace treaties". Apart from negotiation, there is no "justice", and wars are made from such offenses/differences of values.

 The West believes that the individual has a right to representation and trial by jury. One is not guilty until proven innocent. These protections allow the individual liberty of conscience, as to values and commitments. "Justice", in this regard, has to do with rights. And rights are what make for the "human"/humane environment of the West. The individual is not required to submit to speicifications about their life and its commitments.  Group interests are to be negotiated with private individuals.

Christians like to define their group on the "language of theology", instead of understanding that Christianity itself is fraught with differences that are based on "language". What does "sin" mean? The definition will depend on how one understands "salvation", the Church, human/individual development, ulitmate purposes, practical realities, and contexts. This is where the "universalization of language" can be "defeating" to bringing "justice", because people understand terms differently. And such complexity makes it hard to bridge the communication gap.

People live within their understandings of the world. In the West, we believe that equality under law, protects the indivdual from hierarchal forms of co-ercion, but , religious groups understand that hierarchy 'honors God". Therefore, the individual is diminished and devalued, "in the light of God". During the Roman Empire Ceasars (or leaders over the government) were considered to be "gods". Christians were first thought to be atheists in this climate, because they resisted "earthly power". So, whether the Christian thinks that earthly government or 'spiritual governmant has primacy, it interferes with a universal view on government, as to "faith".

"Self-respect" and personal commitments are not values to many religious communities, because the individual is only 'a part" of the "whole" and the whole is more valuable. This view is a communal or societal view.  Paul said this in his analogy of the Body of Christ and interdependence. While interdependence is a fact of life, dependence is when hierarchal views are held and diminish the indivdiual within the corporate. This is 'injustice", because "the heads" or the corporation pre-determine without considering the "parts" that are needed to carry out their "plans". Such behavior disrespects/dishonors the individuals, who are to be a part of the team, for each team member must be aware to the specifics of the "goal" and know the part they play to be able to commit and carry out the plan. And sometimes the member may not value the goal, and this is when the member is free to consider other options and the "heads" can find a replacement.

It is interesting that individuals all have an innate sense of justice, because we all want to be valued and respected, unless there has been an environment that did not develop proper boundaries in the child.. Self-respect is the first and foremost foundation of coming to terms in 'just relationships. Otherwise, "self" is seen as "selfishness", and run over by those that cease to understand their own selfishness! Self-interest is the basis of our capitalistic system, and "self-interests" supports the view of the Christian or the naturalists. Men are viewed as "fallen" or "fighting for survival".  "Fallen" and Survival" also has many definitions, such definitions make for "life". How are we to understand 'life"?

The Christian likes to spiritualize terms, such as "life". Life is about "God:", instead of man. But, when these terms are united, the reality of "the god/man", we have a man fully developed. The Christian would term it 'in God's image". Such human development does not have to be "spiritual", as man is a physical entity. His brain responds to stimuli and interprets such stimuli in cerain ways. This is why communication is complex, because man's mind is different from his brain.

Minds can be "formed" by certain social conditioning. Such is the Christian's attempt to "condition" through "moral education". But, usually, the Church has certain "goals" that are limiting the definition of such "education of character", which is "Jesus" life, as revealed in Scriptures.  Such a life was not respected, honored, or considered as in our Western concept of "justice". Should the West continue to promote such "education", as Christian character? Or should the Church cease in trying to use "language" to get humans to agree to "denying self-interest"? Should individuals allow the Chruch to abuse them under a hierarchal view of power? Is the Church justified in "making disciples", when the Church acts unjustly, according to our Constitutonal governent? Is the Church above the law, because "God is above the law"? Or is justice defined by the law, whether or not one uses The Church or God to 'sanction' or 'make it holy?

Since men are "fallen" or prone to compete for survival, how should we view "justice" in the Church? Justice in the Church is no more or less than justice in our Constitutional government, as without it, we do disservice to man  (made in God's image,). Man made in "God" image" is not one form, but many forms, because beauty allows for diversity.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

The Meaning of Racial Slurs

One of the first things that one learns in a language is to understand the meaning withint context. Without understanding the context, one is bound to misunderand what is spoken or written. Today's poltical correctness has done just that. It takes "racial slurs" out of their contextual situatedness and misunderstands the intent of such "racial slurs".

Today's "political correctness" doesn't leave any room for affirming social norms. Social norms are what first formulated the "racial slurs", but the political correctness of our society isn't able to use such "racial slurs" for fear of personal insult, or being divisive. Political correctness has undermined the cohesiveness in our cultural values and norms. As a result, our society suffers.

Martin Luther King, Jr. epitomized a social transformation in our society, but such transformation was not to usurp the values and norms of culture itself, such as hard work and industry, but to call the nation to a more ethical or principled judgment about "people of color". He wanted the nation to be united by "character", which upheld the values of creative industry, hard work, productivity and giving back to society, as well as giving equal opportunity to those who'd been second class citizens.

Today's "civil rights" mentality undermine the "right to free speech" when it has racial implications. Such speech occurs because of the value of social norms. The "slave-owining class" had certain expectations about their human capital. They wanted strong and able men and women to work the farm, do the housework and alleviate the upper class from similar duties. But this "norm" came about almost 100 years after our Founding. Our Founding was based in the Protestant work ethic, where all that were able bodied helped.

The Protestant Work Ethic was the hard work and industry that produced prosperity for the "founding generation".  The Indians were useful to help the founding generations to know how to cultivate and live "in the wild". But, while the "founding generation" learned from the Indian, the Indian was not viewed as an equal, but as a "savage". The savage acts out of instinct and not out of rational principle. Such judgment upheld the social value of law and education. A civilized society did not function on or by instinct, but by a government. Today, mulitculturalism undermines American society and it 'founding values' because of political correctness.

Racial slurs like, "He's acting like a nigger",  has a valid use in language and culture. "He acts like a nigger" came from a culture that valued hard work from the slave. Is the value of hard work still important to our culture, or is "political correctness" a more important value to our society? What we have lost is both the distinction of character when it comes to the worker or the "owner". The worker should work to the best of his ability, while the owner has an obligation to treat the employee with equal respect and honor. Our cultural value is "equal under law".

I think "political correctness" has undermined our society's virtues and furthered society's vices. No longer is there any speech that discriminates, or oppressess. And there can't be any social taboos, or mores that are limited by such language. Surely, one would not want to be labeled as "acting like a Nigger", freeloading off their "masters". Nor would one want to be labeled "acting like a Jew", and be understood to be materialistic and greedy. These colloquialisms have lost their force in society, because of political correctness.

Because Political Correctness has undermined the force of social taboos that uphold society's norms that benefit society and its people, we have lost as a nation, and our culture's values have shifted from hard work and prosperity to entitlement and sloth.

Friday, April 8, 2011


On a blog tonight, someone stated that an ideological approach to biblical studies was what was "selling". But, the objective, more factual studies were not. He painted a picture of some unknown classics or religious studies professor, who would be in the back of the "ship". It got me thinking about Self Respect.

I believe that when one has certain commitments of value, these make for "self-respecting" behavior. In the above situation, those that would love fame and fortune, more than intellectual honesty have different values than those that wouldn't submit to "majority rule" for the sake of "peace". "Self Respect" would not allow one to bend such issues of integrity.

Self Respect protects the teen couple under a moon-lit sky, the businessman faced with a financial dilemma, or the person filling out their tax forms. One will not tend to take advantage of another if they act with self respect. Self Respect means that you don't allow others to take advantage of you, either. Healthy self-respect is of necessity to function in society in a healthy way, knowing who you are, and what you are committed to and giving the same respect to others. Most of the time respect is not an overt action, but a respect of proper boundaries that maintain stability in society.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Question of Experience in Brain Experimentation

Because humans are sensate beings, the brain is obviously on the forefront of scientific investigation. Experience, then becomes of interest in investigating human response to stimulit in understanding culture, human reasoning, human rationale, and how the mind interacts with the brain. Such experiments are "necessariy evils" according to such scientists, otherwise, humanity cannot learn how to live in "peace", as we will always be conflicing in our "worldviews" which create values, and form "world colliding realities".

Education is such a "life transformation", as it gives information about the world that brings about cognitive dissonance and a 're-ordering" or one's "world". Fine tuning one's reasons for believing or committing to one's values is what defines the years of growing into maturity and wisdom. Such academic freedom is not valued in religious communities.

While control of academic liberty makes for religious control, freedom of the Press makes for political control. Such States demand that the 'people be conformed by the information that is regulated. Both types of limiting information, whether academic or political make for conforming man's 'mind' and forming society into a "collective". Individuals are not important to the collective mentality.

But, the question of values always makes for conflict when values want to be defined by outside sources. Where and what will determine values? Science seeks to promote and protect the "natural environment and resources". Such "experts" then, define for everyone else where the lines are..and some seek to re-define values based on global concerns about these resources, while others like to define values on social issues that concern society.

The Church has been useful to further the concerns of the State when they collude over global power and dominance. Such endeavors have to do with the "poor", the "outcast" (Islam?) and the disenfranchaised (the minority) and using the "ethics" of political and social power to bring about an equalization to all. But, it also undermines the political power of the nation-state and makes for an allignment to those outside the boundaries of lawful behavior. Such an allignment might make humanity open to a "new religious order". Then, the "war" will be between religion and the nation-state as to the defining of law and order, Whichever power, religious or political, the "new world order" will not bring about liberty unless it allows law to protect individual liberties in conscience concerning religion and their personal choice!.

The Movie, "The Source Code" and Issues of Bio-Ethics

This past week-end our son told us we might like the movie, "The Source Code". So, we went to see it Friday. It was a move about how the State used the new "brain science" and "quantum theory" to protect national security. The ethical question was one of where or when life is valued and for what purpose and who owns their brain or minds?! The story left one with unanswered questions about where to define the limits of science, and the State.

The science experiment was done with a knowledge of "parallel universes" in quanturm theory where 8 minutes of overlap make for new information about the past. A local terrorist attack on a Chicago metro had left the military community on "alert" to another terrorist threat in the center of the city, where many lives would be lost, unless they found the culprit of the 'metor explosion".

The soldier who'd lost half his body, but not all his brain was left in an incubator for the purpose of taking advantage of the 8 minutes to investigate who was responsible for the bombing of the metro. The experiment kept putting the soldier back into the same "past reality" so he could investigate more fully or differently to find the terrorist, in hopes that the terrorist would be kept from another attack with larger reprecussions.

The soldier did his duty, but under the controls of the State, until the person in charge of direct command started seeing the soldier as "a person", who had had traumatic experiences and thought it better to let him die in peace, as promised, rather than continue to use his brain for further experiments. Even though "the greater good" would grant using the brain of a disabled person in such a way, the ethical questions were obvious.

It reminded me of the Karen Quinlen (sp?) case where a brain dead girl continued to be hooked up to a respirator. The question in this case,  is "life" defined by "the brain" alone? What makes for human life? Surely, we in the West believe that all aspects of the person, the brain, the body, the mind, the personality, the family, the community, the nation, the WHOLE is responsible for fully functioning Personhood.

Binary Thinking, Deconstruction, and the Reconstruction in the "New World Order"

Binary thinking is understanding things in "black and white". It is necessary  in understanding and making meaning and organizing an organization in the West. But, those that want to bring about a re-construction seek to undermine the priviledged position. structuralism, and making understanding of  life in "black and white" thinking, but in multi-dimensioanl thinking. This has significance if anyone want to go beyond the "us"/"them" dichotomy. But, we must ask, if such thinking is the undermining of "self-identity" itself. (I think it is, but that is of necessity to those that want to form global initiatives).

Priviledge is about position, and power. It is a hierarchal structuring of the world that limits, defines and controls from "above". But, new leadership principles understand the need to build "team", "community", or a more equalized "playing field". This is done by sharing information and allowing others to have a "voice" in formulating the "organization", "corporation", or nation.

America was founded on such principles of "equality and fraternity". Today is a global context where those that seek to equalize power, also seek to undermine priviledge to America and/or the West. But, at what costs are we giving up our rationale and rationality? It seems to be a necessary "evil" for a "greater good", at least for those "at the top". And such a "vision" is a communist's one.

The "political" problems that face our world are complex "wars" about power and position. Solutions have been proposed to form a governmental "Leviathan" to control such problems of individual "warfare", as to identity, and goods. Others have proposed "the market" as the "Leviathan" that will control human behavior. But scientists see a forboding future for limited resources that make for "wars". Scientists view the problem as one that must be addressed by science.

Neuroscience is the "ground-breaking" science that will define "Man's future". Today, besides government, and "the market" controlling "world affairs", it is the 'Human Brain". The Brain as responsive to stimuli is on the forefront of sicentific advance to understand how to "control man's behavior", create "a new reality" and form a "new world".

Such a "world" will not be based on binary thinking (ethnocentric mentality) but a synthetic thinking where the "dialectical" is embraced in a new reality created by "new forms" of understanding the world and all that is. The Church is a useful source of "revenue" because religion has been a cause of "war" in the past and is a present reality for the West. The use of "symbol" is a way of reframing reality so 'Unity" and the "Global" will overcome one's identity within a specified "form". And the dialectical is how the Church has framed its reality "in Christ", in "the Cross" and in a "New Hope" of a "Future".

A unificaton of purposes will create the 'new world order" where government, the market and the Church will have a unified purpose and goal or bringing order, that will prevent "war" over limited resources, and hope for future development in science.

I wonder what the "new world government:" will look like and how that will happen, when so many countries do not hold our values, vision or purpose? Will we be "dumbing down" our Founder's vision, without a separation and division of power? Or will Power control the "new World" under "Leviathan"?

Leviathan, as Our New Reality?

Yesterday, I heard something on NPR that sent chills up my spine. It was presented like a public service announcement. But, the message was one of limiting the public's right under the 'social contract". It was Leviathan.

The announcer stated that "war" is caused by "self-interest", and since "self-interest" is the culprit of "war", man is to give up his rights to "government" under "social contract". That is, one must give up personal interests, so that the public's welfare will be met.

Thomas Hobbes wrote Leviathan under the premised that government was to be the arbitrator, determinor of the individual. The individual would be limited because government would become more centralized, therefore, supposedly understanding more of what "the public" needs.

Centralization was always of concern to the Founders and political theorists, because of the "balance and separation of powers". The limitation of government was of concern because government had abused power over the inidividual. Hobbe's "Leviathan" desired centralization because of the "state of nature". Power being a useful source of promoting peace, and security.

Hobbe's contention was the people in the 'state of nature" war for gain, security or reputation. It is only when a commonwealth is established that men are "domesticated" to act in ways of "peaceful co-existance". This is what colonization did for Western countries. Trade and commerce were easy means of bringing about domestication of certain societies. And today, it is continued by the West, some believe to pillage. But, as Hobbe's affirms, all are not created equal. So the separation and division of powers were not on "his plate". A Sovereign must rule, and the press be manipulated/controlled, so the people's natures will be controlled.

The Church becomes useful to tame the savages to "fear God", as a moral education, bringing about constitutional governments, so tribal societies can breed "independent persons" that have "comme of age". This was always the view of Catholicism. But, America was mainly a Protestant nation. Calvin was America's "theologian" par excellance.

Today, there is "war on all sides" in the areas of science (creation/evolution); in the areas of political theory (Church/State) amd in the area of man, himself, as to his nature and whether it can be trained, conditioned, reformed, or transformed. And each of these views of man have assumed biases about man and his abilities. These are philosophical and scientific wars that have to do with man, his environment and his ultimate end.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Bifucation of Life

I believe that for so long I lived my life in bifucation. I attempted to form and view things from separating the sacred from the secular. That is what fundamentalists do. They think that all of life's answers are found in the text. And it was a sickness for/to me. And i personally think it is also dangerous for others.

I would much rather face things as normal and everyday problems, with solutions or a seeking of a solution in the Academy. Humans are human and solutions are solutions. It doesn't matter if there are spiritual terms, (altho I find such language as disingenuous) or "holy water" sprinkled around, so the spiritually infected are appeased.

I  am a little "put off" by religion, and spirituality and for good reason. These terms are useful for manipulation, though it is not seen that way. And such terms are useful for creating a reality that might not exist. I know all the arguments for the "probabilities for God", but I would rather face my life knowing that I am responsible, not God, to fix it, to understand it, and/or to create it, whatever "it" happens to require.

I find that humans can hide behind thier relgiious terms, and groups. Don't get me wrong, I value friends as much as anyone, but religious clicks can be quite exclusive in how they define themselves. Such exclusion is not humane and I find arrogant. The ones that "reach out" might have a patronizing or paternalistic view of those that didn't have "the heritage". Such comtempt for me or others, breeds my own contempt. I am sorry, but I thought that Chrsitianity was about me and my life, as well as "humanity's life. I was finally valued as a person, not for some reformation of who I was to become, becasue I didn't measure up. I have had enough of that.

The vision of the Church is focused on surviving the culture of today that doesn't particularly value the Church. And as death approaches its doors, the Church is frantically using whatever means to remain afloat. Humans gravitate to what interests them and find their place in the chosen social group. And framing things in a supernaturalistic way appeals to the feelings of  "God", so it grows the Church. So, emergants, post-modernity, or any other philosophical, business, social, psychological "model" is used for the Church's benefit, unbeknown to those in the pew who think their reality is really "from God".

The Church must re-orient their vision to re-frame their purpose, which is not spreading a spiritualtized "gospel", but a message of hope for those that have lost it. and some have done this in reaching their communities. This is social work 101, but it benefits society.


Universalism can be understood in various contexts. Universalism as it has been discussed lately by Bell and the evangelical, is about supernatural salvation. What "God" wants to do to reconcile people to himself. But, the naturalist believes that humans believe in myth when they are framing their realities as children. Myth is know in anthropological terms as the way people frame their cultures. While cultures are human by-products, all cultures are not equal.

Universalism is about universalizing concepts about the world. Universalism is about human rights, global intiatives, and diplomatic efforts to resolve differences. It is "international relations". But, our world is fraught with complexities that are not easily solved. People disagree about what and how to go about dealing with these differences in the world.

Not everyone formulates their particularities in a universal frame, as it makes for discomfort. Identity is threatened by the "unknowns". But, universalization of identity is understanding "the human", which is understanding the generalities of mankind. The generalities of mankind (human development) cannot be universalized to the exclusion of particularity. And this is what liberty is about. Liberty understands particularity within the context of a Constitutional government.

How much of our cultural forming identity is internalized such that it inhibits a "re-framing"? Some are not bound to change their cultural values, even when faced with the facts of science. These are people that aren't open to understand thier own conditioning. Universalizers are those that push against the conventional understandings of "traditions". These seek to change the world in thier particular ways and impact society for different outcomes.

All of us are social transformers. We might not view ourselves that way, but what we do has impact upon others, whether we understand that or not. Humans have the need to belong and these needs are met within various social contexts. There is no one defined context in free societies, as individuals are allowed to choose their context/job/role for the most part.

Universalism has to be framed respecting boundaries of identification. The nation-state being the context of individual identification. Then, diplomatic action can be taken when there are disagreements about where one's values lie. Nation-states are to uphold international laws, which protect global concerns. International law defines terror. And terror is what happens to humans whenever laws are broken, because the laws give a certain expectation or hope for order. The human brain/mind seeks to order the world and laws give the needed context for a sense of security.

Laws that are defined by tightly defined religous or poltiical regimes are confining to individuality and limit possibilities of outcome under the guise of "order". These regimes hold control over society out of 'fear". But, such order undermines human value itself, which international laws seek to uphold.

Universalism is an ideal of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness for all humans. But, it cannot be found apart from proper government, which allows such liberty. The West values liberty under law, or "ordered liberty", therefore, all cultures are not equal.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

This Is the Way I Think....

 E.M. Forster said, “How can I know what I think till I see what I say?” I read this on another's blog and I like the comment because it is true for me, too.

Many times there are so many "ribbons of thought" that I cannot tie them together, until I start to write. I know that my writing is dense and my thinking unrefined, but I love tying ideas together, to create new forms, or new understandings or thinking through problems, or analyzing some puzzle or something I've read. The problem remains that I don't know so much. I am ill informed in many areas, but I love to learn...

So, I enjoy my blog. It is for myself that I write and if it meets another's need, then all the better. But, I think it is important to do what is valuable to oneself, as in finding what is of value, one can benefit others, too.. I used to be attuned to what another's "need" was, or how I would offend, or bring conflict to another. But, that kind of thinking is gone now with blogging. Why?

Blogging is taking advantage of one of the liberties in our society; the freedom of the press and freedom of speech. Without these liberties, we would not be free to think and thinking is the first step to rationality in framing one's life. People should not live without a rationale. And in free societies there can be different rationales in serving one's ulitmate values and commitments.

Some don't think that thinking or ideas are important, but our Founders ideals of "life, liberty" and the pursuit of happiness depend on individuals coming to terms with what these terms mean to them, personally. And personal conviction is where commitment begins, not in irrationality.

I am so grateful to live in a society that values liberty, without which I would not have the right to pursue personal interests. Without personal interests, one can only live their life under the demands of another's values, power or purpose. And whether living one's life under such conditions would be of benefit to society or not, it is not a "moral good" that such determinations happen.

Liberty and Faith

America was founded on the principle of liberty. Liberty was of value to protect from factions (Federalist #10) because factions divided the nation into special interests. And special interests did not protect justice or liberty. Therefore, "faith" in American society is undefined faith, because the Founders did not want to establish a religious tradition (The First Amendment). But, "faith" was understood to be an important value to protect the social structures of the family. Our nation was a mix of  Enlightenment understanding and "faith" principles. Today's challenge is to combine such understanding with principles. Pragmatism and moral idealism were the 'standards' the Founders used to serve the nation's interests.

Enlightenment was the knowledge of man in scientific terms. Today's scientific understanding of man and his society has pushed aside the need for "faith" principles. In fact, "faith" has become a natural faith in reason, not revelation. All aspects of man and his environment is undestood within the Academy. The religious find it hard to defend religious texts as special revelation, other than defending "personal faith".

"Personal faith" is just that, "personal". It canot be defined, controlled, or reasoned from the outside. It is a faith development model, that understands "faith" as symbolic and human development as the real understanding to "faith".

 "Faith principles" are understood as character, in personal terms, as to values. These are not formed from without but are worked out from within. "God" is understood in symbolic ways of leadership in the here and now, not defined as a supernatural Being. The needed character for a "god" (government) is humility. And this is learned first in the family and "moral education". Fully formed "faith principles" is "self-governance, because self-governance was also self-resposible behavior". "Self-goverance" was a high value to our Founders, as without it, there could be "no union" because self-interested parties would undermine and make "war" for thier personal investments. This was one of the very reasons why "religion" was not to drive public policy, because it would inevitably bring about factions. Factions base their understanding of "faith" on "real understanding" of the transcendent. As the transcendent can only be appealed to but never "proved", these will always cause divisions in the nation.  It takes humility to unite when "faith" is so important that "faith communities" divide over its definition.

Humility requires an acknowledgement that leaders are needed if anything gets done. Humility frames the "personal" to be a part of what is needed to protect and prosper society, as a whole. The principle of the "personal" is also, an understood boundary to leadership. Good leadership does not presume and doesn't take advantage or intrude upon another's "personal". This is a character principle of humility and mutural respect. Though humility is needed, it does not "put its head in the sand" but uses the best information that is known in the Academy to further the "ends" of societal flourishing.

Today's sermon tried to balance the supernaturalists and the naturalists undestanding of religion, for societal benefit. The supernaturalists were appealed to on the basis of "God's vision" of love and hope....and the Church being of importance. The naturalists, on the other hand, were appealed to understand the need to the disadvantaged children in our society for education and encouraging character development. These children who have no healthy role models are those that need the impact from those that care about society's health as a whole.

Factions were never the intent of the Founders. They intended to build one nation "under God", but "God" was understood as a "faith principle", because we were mostly a Protestant nation. And faith can't be defined, except as a personal commitment of value in a free society. Those that seek to prevert or co-erce another's life in forming "faith" through "works" are "using scripture to over-ride" the moral principles of our Constitutional government, because the scriptures also say, that "whatsoever is not of faith is sin". And if the "just" live by "faith", then there is no more room for discussion, as whether one is a believer or unbeliever, faith is foremost a principle of character. A character that will not bend under the principle of Liberty and Faith.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Moral Realism and Language Games

Moral realism is grounded in the real world of "the political". What is claimed to be "moral" cannot be grasped without language. And language becomes the problem of diversity. Diversity of interests make for our public climate of "debate" about what "should" claim universal right to make the "goals" for societal benefit. So, what can be "the moral", if there are diverse ways of expressing the "moral"? The academic disciplines seek to claim the "moral" for their own purposes. But, all of these claims should be limited by our Constitutional government! We cannot allow the "universal" to undermine the personal, nor our nation-state.

Moral realism is based on Constitutional government in the poltical realm, where "the rule of law is King", not Dictators, Monarchs, Chiefs, Leaders, or Presidents! The rule of law makes definitions about nations and their values. Without such a government, the individual serves some other ends, than being an "end in himself"! This is the "rub" for us in the West, today. The liberal want to liberalize what cannot be liberalized without undermining the very basis of our protections, the rule of law!

Academic freedom is one of our highest values because we do not believe that any form of knowledge has a right to primacy over others. In other words, the political claim to knowledge should not have more power over other areas of knowledge in the Academy. Otherwise, we limit other perspectives, and make unwise or ungrounded decisions based on values that might limit the wider range of knowledge. I think such has happened with the natural sciences and economics. These have become politicized. And the religious claims to knowlege have underwritten these claims as absolute! Therefore, the environment, and the poor are the driving force behind political power. Political power that is driven for speicific goals, undermines the very basis of our Constitutional government. Politics then, become a war to maintain the power to control "language" or the attempt to defeat such "language" and expand the information base, so the "common" will beocme empowered. The Tea Party movement seeks to bring accountability to government in such a way.

Our country values liberty, as justice, because we believe that individuals must have the right to their life and property. These are negative rights, as government does not seek to impose these rights, but does defend them if they are undermined. We do not value those that make "special claims" about political power. Power is about personal ownership of one's life, Government must  be limited, not expanded. Otherwise, we limit the personal to the "common" and it undermines liberty as a value for a "universal value" of some other definition, i.e. the definition of the "empowered class".. Personal choice is based on personal values, not universal ones. Universal values, might limit personal ones, which undermine our understanding of the "moral" of a Constitutional government.

Today, we are challenged as to our diversity and the laws that protect diversity. Shairia law claims a "right" to religious tolerance in our society, that undermines our cultural values of equality and liberty of conscience. And the illegal immigrant claims "universal right" under the "Declaration of Human Rights". Is the "universal" to undermine the law of the nation state?  Are we to tolerate what undermines our very survival? Our laws protect our survival, because they set limitations, while protecting liberty. We cannot undermine our Constitutional government and our citizens right to protection under those laws.

Shairia cannot be allowed unless we fail to make laws that protect from the abuses that we deem inhumane treatment to the child, or the unequal treatment of women. That would limit radical Muslims from infilterating our country.

As to the illegal immigrant that fails to meet our immigration policies. We need to enforce the law, and we need to think through what to do about the drug trafficking that undermines our society, while appealing to those crossing our borders. Those immigrants that come to our country to find economic liberty must be taught how to make thier own life in their own country. Those that are here legally should be part of the solution in encouraging change in their home society. This way, our country, and theirs benefit. But, we cannot afford to promote nation-building, when other countries do not do their part.

Humane behavior needn't undermine our national interests. But, it should limit the resources we give to others. We cannot do something we cannot afford. We must be committed to viability at home, otherwise, we defeat ouselves in the proces of our "moral concern" for others. Such stipulations about our "investments" abroad must be studied. We can't have our country limited by environmental concerns, that undermine our own economic viability, while other countries are allowed that liberty.

Such issues as our natural environment, and "the poor" have been useful and used by the political class to further goals that subvert our national interests.

While scientists like to define the 'moral" on the principle of the natural, the political scientists like to view "the moral" on our constitutional government. So what is "moral"? That depends on one's interests and values. The liberal would uphold "natural selection", while the conservative believes in an equalization of power where all are created equal.

I read once where America is a country that was founded on pragmatism, and moral idealism! Our ideals allow liberty under law. Ordered liberty. And our pragmatic values should not be politicized to the extent that moral realism undermines another's right to describe things in another "language". Americans haven't valued "propaganda"!

"Moral Claims" About Human Rights, and The Poor

Human rights has a liberal agenda, but no less than "the poor". While "human rights" appeal to liberalizing "rights languagde" to "all people". "The poor" is specialized political language. Both appeal to different "kinds" of pre-dispositions toward "the human/humane". But, without discrimination of one kind or another, one can't make his own rational choice, but be a pawn to emotive identification factors!

While the liberal like universal terms, the conservative likes defined terms according to neurological research. The best way to "sell" globalized government is to sell each on its own "language tendency" based on emotion/sentiment that breeds identification and motivates to heroic action.

While the liberal humanitarian might like U.N. intervention, the conservative intellectual wouldn't see this as "justified" because one can't make any claims to anything, without defining, limiting, discriminating, as to what is allowed in the "real world"....not the idealized one, which is the nation-state. Our nation must defend its right, not bring about the universal Utopia that is so often sold to manipulate others. Human rights, or "the poor" are the terms of appeal to human sentiment to universalize what might be to the detriment of rational choice about one's life.

Identification has to be an alignment in/with the agenda or goal of a certain group. Emotion or sentimental visions, or hopes of "ideals" are the undermining of individual choice, and rights. Alturistic concern is a "group's norm" so that the social goal of equalizing the playing field is made.  This is what the "social gospel" proclaims. And it justifies its goals by the means of manipulating language to subvert "selfishness".

Moral claims are made under many guises and they mask demands of another's agenda, whether Church, State or a Dictatorial Leader. So, what is morality, except what one deems as one's own purposes, plans and goals in a free society under a Constitutional government. We must never give up our right to individual liberty!

Good People and Religion

"With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things.

But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion." -Steven Weinberg (1933-)

Social psychologists have known this for a long time! Group behavior via religion tends to "not notice" its own tendency to radicalize! God justifies whatever is deemed "sacred", "holy", "set apart", etc. And when it does.....all kinds of evil from the death cults of Jim Jones, to the greed of a Jim Baker. Nothing is beyond the pale of religious zeal, righteousness, holiness, or "moral out-rage"! And such behavior is called "the fear of God"! But, is is really "self justification" or "self vindication" for those that "need" "God" to make them "feel better" about themselves and the world they live in!

Neuroscience has revealed that the liberal and conservative bias in religion and political views are genetically determined. The consevative is highly sensitzed to their senses, while the liberal is not. The conservative tends to be more emphathetic, than the liberal. So, what one believes about "right and wrong", is really determined by a society's laws. But, what is "felt" as "right or wrong" are genetic (innate) when it comes to cultural differences in a free society.