Liberty Spirituality Technology

The Hypersynergy Spirituality Index : Ethical Philosophical Issues

Saturday April 28, 2007 Slashdot : Resolution To Impeach VP Cheney Submitted
Re:That's absurd

"There is no way an issue like abortion can be "solved"."

Effective and acceptable conception prevention that would actually be used and could not be defined by opponents as just another form of abortion like most of the more effective methods available today. Objective and realistic acceptance of the sexuality of all people including those who are not of legal age. Realist forms of education of people especially those of lesser experience or mental ability. Cultural acceptance of non intercourse type of sexual activity, ie: masturbation, oral, and "petting" types of activity, once again especially for those not of legal adult status.

I know most all of this would be opposed by the same persons that oppose abortion. However the arguments about the sanctity of life taken by abortion is addressed. If such methods were actually in place the incident of abortion would be so low as to defuse the abortion debate itself. I am also aware that issues of disease transmission are not entirely addressed by what I suggest, however incidents of such could be quite effectively reduced via these methods. To put it as simply as possible it could be stated as:

  • A.Humans are sexual animals, they almost always become sexually aware well before they of legal age or maturity.
  • B.They will be sexually curious, and usually active before they are legally responsible adults.
  • C.Self enforced abstinence is not a natural answer or we would have been extinct long ago.
  • D.Human sexuality and its expression is natural not unnatural.
  • While there are some technological hurdles like conception and disease prevention and educational methods, they are realistically addressable in the near term. The real obstacles here are cultural acceptance of sexuality, again especially the sexuality of those not of legal adult status. There are several reasons for this cultural bias, one is completely understandable and solvable, some others are well illogical and will be very difficult to resolve. A parents concern for the welfare of their children is very understandable. Issues of unplanned pregnancy or STD's that can screw up many peoples lives is a valid concern for parents. These can be addressed via technology and education very effectively in the foreseeable future. The really tough problems with the cultural bias is rooted in the institutional and personal interpretations or religious texts that were written hundreds or sometimes of thousands of years ago. That these texts had very detailed instructions as to what was proper expression of human sexuality should not be unexpected. That those instructions were formed by decisions on the best survival methods for the technology at the time is to be expected. The instructions were usually even very logical and thus relevant for the technology of the time. They were almost always focused on maximum reproduction and minimum mortality rates, disease prevention, and stability in the society.

    That we should have a set of instructions for our own civilization is completely logical. That we should continue to use those adopted by a civilization hundreds or thousands of years in our past is not logical and is in fact an exercise in insanity. It is illogical to expect changes in outcome without without changes in input, if we keep doing the same old stuff and having the same old arguments we should expect to keep getting the same results. I will agree that the cultural situation at hand is an absurdism. I also agree that there is no sure and enlightened path to the future that resolves these issues. It could very well be that a few hundred years from now the Christian and the Islamic fundamentalists will rule the world by a set of 12th century edicts and still be slaughtering each other and burning and beheading heretics like me. I do suspect though that to do so they will have to stall or regress most science and technology. Do able I guess it seems many are already trying to effect such change. Still given the logic at the base of the scientific method and the obvious benefits of technology advancements I tend to be a bit optimistic that they will continue the slow but mostly forward momentum in the enlightenment of all our cultures.


    Monday December 04, 2006 Slashdot : Post Topic : Stallman Absolves Novell
    Serves them right ..

    .. if they read such hogwash and believe it, kinda like the FOX "News" fanboys deserve to be misinformed. Anyone who would believe they have developed a well informed opinion about something as complex as the GPL and the surrounding legal issues from such a small data set deserves to be misinformed regardless of the bias in the information. However bias is the reason that such people go through life with a warped view of the world. This is somewhat analogous to the idea of a self full filling prophecy. Their less than nimble minds already had the kernel of misinformed or warped view and thus seek only sources that reinforce such fantasy. A spiritually and mentally slothful and thus dangerous way to live, this is. Ahh Karma!

    "because other people who don't know anything about the GPL read this shit, and then they think that they do"

    Your observation reminds me of one of my favorite quotes...

    "It ain't what folks don't know thats gets them in the most trouble, it's the things they think they know that ain't so" Will Rodgers (or a close paraphrase of something he said anyway)


    Monday October 23, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : England Starts Fingerprinting Drinkers
    Re:V for's happening. ..a waste of time, none of this is relevant

    "Statistically insignificant. Hmm. When 3,000 people dead on one day at the hands of just 19 people is statistically insignificant ....then 2,800 dead over three years in a "war zone" is...what? A hellhole? What level of mass death is statistically significant to merit a response? 100,000 dead in a nuclear attack? That's only 2.5 years of car accidents in the US. Oh well, just another statistic, right? This kind of morbid bean counting gets rewarded on slashdot? Come on!"

    I believe your numbers are a bit off, try 2,800 US soldiers dead PLUS 300,000 to 600,000+ others (mostly civilians) . Oh and BTW you also failed to mention the 30,000 or so US soldiers maimed, who knows how many others maimed as well.

    "What level of mass death is statistically significant to merit a response?"

    The answer to your question is ONE. The real questions should have been; what level of response is logical and ethical, and how do we implement the response in a effective and judicial manner. Listen close now, 99%+ of the 300,000 to 600,000 more or less that have died in Iraq had NOTHING to do with the 3,000 that died on 9/11.

    "100,000 dead in a nuclear attack? That's only 2.5 years of car accidents in the US"

    Do you really believe that the mess in Iraq has rendered such an event less likely? How would you feel if your child, lover, sibling, parent or close friend was blown in half before your eyes? Then you get to see the persons responsible smiling and strutting around using such actions to make political hay, now how would you feel? How many more thousands of persons with a vengeful hatred for the US are there today just because of this war?

    "Oh well, just another statistic, right?"

    Think about it....


    Tuesday June 27, 2006 Slashdot Post : Topic : Billions Donated to Charity
    It is about cultivating a selfless compassion

    I read in this passage (Mark 12: 41-44) the same basic message as most of the teachings of Jesus. That of placing ones self interest below ones compassion for others, especially those of lesser abilities and of greater needs. Marx actually came close to the same ideal in "from each according to ability, to each according to need. However Marx was attempting to codify such into a social structure, something that did not really have anything to do with the ideals or intents of the individual regardless of how lofty the goal. I believe that Jesus had the correct approach in that his teachings were almost always directed at coaxing a selfless compassion for the welfare for others in individual hearts. Society after all is merely a collection of individuals with at least some common ideals and intentions. This was intended as grass roots building of a kind and noble civilization based on love and compassion. Sadly many Christians I have encountered seem to misunderstand this most basic of testaments. You don't simply do these things out of fear because an all powerful and vengeful God insists you do them. You need to cultivate the softness of heart that makes YOU WANT to do them out of love and compassion. But then this interpretation of Jesus's teachings is from old agnostic me.

    Monday June 05
    I recently received a forwarded email newsletter from a former coworker. The newsletter had a amusing lead article about a fathers inattention in mistaking a neighbors kid for his own, that was cute. As for the other content, well he should have stopped there, the other content was classic of what is wrong with most of the information I see coming from the right side of the political spectrum these days. A lot of misinformation and miss-applied statistics. In my humble opinion the author of this newsletter, one Zig Ziglar is doing society a great disservice by spreading this type of trash. I have pasted below the content of my reply to my former coworker, with appropriate quotes from the newsletter.

    " The question being repeatedly raised in America is "just what did the First Amendment say about the 'separation of church and state'?" To begin with, it says nothing about the separation of church and state. However, the Supreme Court has ruled that the First Amendment says church and state must be separated."

    Amendment I
    Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances.

    As quoted above, Amendment I of the Bill Of Rights explicitly states "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion". In order to connect the state with the church, a church, that is a theology would need to be selected, and thus established as the official theology. This was common in European nations at the time, and was in fact the reason many colonists choose to leave Europe for America. While European laws still had some effect here it was usually negligible thus most could worship as they pleased, within their local community's tolerances of course.

    The Supreme Court correctly interpreted the intent of the framers on this issue. In the run up to the Constitutional Convention there was considerable debate on even the inclusion of any references to a deity or theology in the Constitution and even in the Declaration Of Independence. Many including Jefferson and Franklin argued for little or no reference to a deity or theology in the drafts. They were concerned that the inclusion of such references left the documents weakened and subject to exploitation by the same influences prevalent in Europe and other governments throughout history.

    There were many compromises, one being the various references to a deity commonly accepted as the God of Abraham, but not explicitly stated anywhere I am aware of. You may be interested to know that the Oath of Office required for elected Federal officials does not require an pledge before God, only one of the individuals honor made to the People and the Constitution. Similarly the mention of "one nation under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance was inserted in the early 1950's.

    Overall I believe the original framers made amazingly well thought out compromises in these documents, and the Supreme Court did a good job on the interpretation of the same. By not having an official religion we are all free to worship OR not to worship as we please as long as it does not impede on anyone else's rights or welfare. For the Baptist's how would you like it if Catholicism were adopted as the official religion of the USA? This could be a real issue in the near future with the immigration of Hispanic population if not for the first amendment. If you are a Catholic how would you feel if the church were forbidden to conduct mass?

    Want to see what a theologically supported government looks like, look at the Islamic states of Iran or Saudi Arabia or read on the "emperor as god" states of ancient Rome or pre WWII Japan. Want to know what a Christian theological state could be like, read up on the Spanish inquisition. What to know about a simply theologically anointed state is like read on the the governments of Kings Charles, George or Louis. I am not arguing for a atheistic state like the Soviet Union or the DPR of China. I happen to think we have had a pretty good compromise for the last couple hundred years.

    "Since the Supreme Court ruled that prayer and Bible-reading in public schools were to be outlawed, increased crime and violence, a decline in academic achievement and other negative consequences have resulted."

    Most issues of crime and violence with kids and adults has more to do with lack of raising by their parents that anything else. While a legitimate argument can be made for an ethical decline in the world, lack of indoctrinated Bible study and public acts of prayer have little of nothing to do with it. Anyone can pray anytime they want, privately, so far there is no way to prevent or directly inhibit our thoughts. Public prayer is often like the Pharisee's practice of faith anyway, for show. Prayer even when done in union is by its nature a personal matter between one an ones God.

    A much better argument for the increase in crime and violence, which I dispute anyway maybe it has increased since the since the 70's, but the statistics I have seen show a decline through the 90's, it seems the 80's were a violent decade. And maybe it has picked up again recently I am not sure. But even given that there has been a increase since some unspecified date, lets look at what has changed in our world. It is more likely that both parents work even if they are still together, and most marriages fail over economic reasons anyway. So the kids have less supervision and direction. The prime wage earner, usually the father is working longer hours than ever, so he is involved less than ever in their day to day lives.

    "A decline in academic achievement" Who would have guessed that was possible? Maybe anyone that noticed that Federal backing in real dollar funding fell through most of the Reagan years in the1980's and has hit new relative lows again with the current Bush administration. Heck a good number of kids go to school all day without enough to eat. This is a fact even though often what they can afford to eat is so loaded with simple carbs and fat that they seem well fed, even obese, eating well can be expensive these days. Hey, but at least we can give generous tax breaks to the wealthiest 2% of the population, so they can make those great foreign investments. Plus ain't it just wonderful that we can afford to spend more on weapons than the next half dozen or so nations combined. You don't think the kids noticed do ya?

    There is also a lot of apathy in the kids today, why should they strive work hard when they see their parents working longer and harder for less every year, their grandparents often unable to afford medication they need. Then the parents and kids alike get to watch as their inheritance, if any, is gobbled up by obscene health care costs in the last days of the grandparents lives. The last couple generations have been fed a bunch of propaganda revolving around what I call social evolution theory. They have been lied to about Social Security issues to the point most believe it is a grand pyramid scheme. They have been indoctrinated by politicians, yellow journalists, many Hollywood producers and Nashville country music artists to believe in a simplistic perversion of true patriotism. They look about themselves and see politicians, executives and professional athletes committing all kinds of atrocious acts, and getting away with it. No wonder so many are apathetic, unethical or outright criminal.

    This social evolution, survival of the fittest, greed is good, I got mine and you can go "eat cake" philosophy, is often espoused by both Republicans and Democrats, though not quite equally as the Republicans seem to have literally enshrined it. I like to say that Washington has become infested with Republic-rats. Not Republicans, not Democrats, but the worst parts of both. There are way to many opportunist types calling themselves Republicans that who do not hold traditional Republican values like self responsibility and thrift. Instead they seem hell bent on perverting private issues into divisive social confrontations all the while picking the pockets of the small business person and working people and creating a revolving door political-corporate oligarchical fascist big brother state. It also seems to me that way to many so called Democrats have forgot the honorable liberal principles of freedom of the individual to live as they please and the ethics of striving to progressively create a more equitable society. Instead they seem too often to be obsessed with creating an always politically correct socialist nanny state, are too cowardly to say no to way too many special interest agendas, and too self interested to stand up for core liberal values.

    The sometimes conflicting agendas of true Republicans and Democrats work well to rein in the extremes of either. However the perversions of those values into what we see today may very well destroy this nation if not corrected in time. You may not agree with all the observations or conclusions I have made. Don't be too hasty to dismiss these words though, I think about this stuff a lot, so I don't make these statements without a lot of observation and contemplation. Do your part, try to raise your and others kids with a sense of open minded personal ethics, personal responsibility, with the inclination and ability to think for themselves. Educate yourself on the issues, reach you own conclusions, and make a pest of yourself to BOTH parties and those around you spouting fallacious opinions as fact. If you don't end up locked away as a malcontent and possible terrorist in the making you might actually have an effect.

    Sometimes all it takes is one person to stand up at the right time for the right reason and the world is changed for the better. Sometimes you might not be that person, it could be the child you nurtured or the neighbor you confronted on a fallacious opinion he digested from someone else's talking points. Remember to not delude yourself, to keep some humility about your own opinions and never stop with the observations. However if you don't ever act, don't ever expect action. May you live long, may you be embraced by true love at least once, may you find comfort in your times of despair, may you live with a humble honor, and may you finally die with dignity and at peace with yourself.

    Friday May 19, 2006 Slashdot Post
    Re:Monkey Business

    "Science wouldn't be where it is today if it weren't for the work of Christian/Creationist Scientists such as Copernicus, Kepler, Boyle, Newton, Gauss, Faraday, Maxwell, Lord Kelvin"

    You think maybe these intelligent folks might not have any other motivations to avoid confrontations with rabid theists? Like their careers, or in some cases their lives, maybe they placed the value of continuing their work above the self gratification of dissent.

    Take for instance your first example, Copernicus. The Austrian mathematician Georg Rheticus wrote a book Narratio prima in 1542 outlining the essence of Copernicus' theory. The generally positive reception among peers and failing health convinced Copernicus to allow Rheticus to undertake the publication of a second more extensive book. It is said the first printed copy of De revolutionibus - orbium coelestium was placed in Copernicus' hands on the very day he died in 1543.

    He did not have to be concerned about encountering the same fate as some others that embraced his theories. Fifty seven years later Giordano Bruno was tried before the Inquisition, condemned and burned at the stake for such blasphemy. Galileo was charged in 1633, under the threat of torture and death, forced to renounce all belief in Copernican theories, and was thereafter sentenced to imprisonment for the remainder of his life. Georg Rheticus himself may have avoided persecution because he was under the protection of Duke Albrecht, Albert of Prussia, who consented the publication, for whom he had developed a day length calculating instrument.

    Maybe these folks just did not wish to suffer the fate of Galileo or Giordano Bruno. That is, to lose their positions of influence, to starve , be imprisoned or even be burned as heretics? Even in their public writings they may have well have been simply patronizing those that might cause them trouble. I have found that you see more of who someone is through their acts than their words anyway. The acts these men performed are the very foundation of the science that the creationist's argument is positioned against.There is also the issue of your implication of their support for the modern creationist argument. Even when they accepted the general therom, todays form of dogmatic faith might might be a bad fit. There is no way you know what these people actually thought about such matters.

    Please note that while not a theist, I consider atheism to be even less of a valid belief system. I guess if you had to have a label for me it would be an agnostic honestly invested in the search of gnosis. Most of what I have read and seen in the theisms of yesterday and today is far less than honest and all to often devoid of knowledge, so I search on. BTW, I was raised once upon a time as a Baptist, so there is hope even for the well indoctrinated. From my experience and observations I suspect the root of the noise with the theists' communities has more to do with control of women and children than any true search for gnosis.

    We are as a species very young, our individual live experiences rank close to the mayfly when compared to the age or agelessness of the universe. What we do not know in the span of the only mortal life we have evidence of far outweighs what we do know and will for a very long time. Just because something does not fit your world view does not mean it is not true. Even if it does or does not, just because something is true here and now does not mean it will be true elsewhere or tommorrow. Please keep some humility about your assertations of knowledge.

    Evolution is a theory and is taught as a theory with mostly well supported evidence. It is a complex endeavor and that some parts of the theory may be invalid is more likely that not. I have reservations about a lot of it myself. However I see very little in the way of supporting evidence for the Creationist's argument. Never the less it should be taught, in an comparative and equitable manner along side other religious and philosophical topics, but not as a science.

    Saturday April 08, 2006 Slashdot Post
    The cause and effect relationship.......

    All thoughts are "neurochemical phenomenon". But the cause and effect relationship gets a bit cloudy in these areas. Gross disturbances of chemical compounds are indeed responsible for neurological illnesses in many cases. But the statement "you are what you think" has some merit as well. Ones thoughts and patterns of thought also effect neurochemical changes and balances.

    I believe one can think themselves into a destructive neurochemical state. In effect you can program your brain into producing disturbances of chemical compounds. It seems to me that such "programming" often includes a feedback loop that amplify the processes. I suspect many bad habits and addictions are supported this way even if some start from external electro/chemical or internal biological influences.

    So yea I think "p0rn" could and indeed does act as the raw data source such in some cases, but then so can and also do books, news, movies, games and religious "faith". As to if "p0rn" by its nature in some way contributes to the "program source" in an especially destructive way, I would say depends upon the specific nature "p0rn" and the individual, same as for news, movies, games and religious "faith". Both also depend on the amount of "processing time applied.

    Whether it is reading Hemmingway, watching the idiotic demologues on Fox News, looking at naked butts, watching violent or sexual deviant behavior, watching scientific documentaries, watching violent movies or sports, playing challenging games, playing gratitiously violent games, listening to Mozart or listening to a deranged mullah or evangelist, do it long enough and it will change your neurochemistry and thus your thoughts and maybe your actions as well. What goes in... well thats your choice, sometimes:). What comes out, thats pretty much always your choice.

    August08 2005
    How we treat the vanquished

    Most of you who know well, know me to be ..well.... not especially religious. This does not mean I am not spiritually active. In the same light, I can't not honestly say I have the generally accepted level of unquestioning surety of belief that makes one a Christian or devout follower of any other faith. This does not mean I do not find spiritual peace, revelation or ideals in the teachings of spiritual leaders, especially those attributed to Christ. Indeed it is there that I have found the most complete, relevant, simple, elegant, moving, and deeply emotionally stirring message.

    The article below seems to me to a near perfect example of where and how these teachings may be applied to dealings with ones enemies. It does not suggest, nor do I, that we lay down arms, run from bullies, ignore injustices or cower from evil, it just simply describes the logic of a compassionate approach. If we expect to influence or change how others think of us, we need to the take a higher path in how we treat the vanquished. History could record this generation through any one of many lenses, how would you like our generation to be remembered?

    Are we not taught by business today that the difficult customer while rare, a very small percentage, requires the most patience and effort? If this is important enough for the money used to buy toys, does not the price paid in the blood and tears of our children make it even more valid in the affairs of nations, especially in conflicts involving entire civilizations? Should not WE as a people be seen to reject the uses of deprivation, torture and terror as valid tools? Should we not be seen instead to embrace honor, mercy and compassion as way of life? Should we not value our honor, compassion, and ability to reason more than our hubris of ego or possessions?

    For those of you whose faith is more certain than my own, I ask what do you think God would wish? If you are not sure ask for an answer in your prayers or meditations. What would the Christ teach? Not sure? Go back and read again the Beatitudes (Matthew 5). If you are of another faith of which I am less familiar, please read this short chapter for the core of what I think Christianity is based upon. And please enlighten me with pointers to items you would consider of similar message and/or equitable value in your faith. I really would love to read them in a most respectful and earnest manner.

    Why do our leaders not have these insights? How can we help them to see these things? They ALL claim to be devout, they ALL say they hold such teachings as sacred. If they simply do not care, how can we act to create concern in their hearts? If I were sure enough in my heart to presume the right, this is what I would ask of God. Please cause or help me to create such concerns in the hearts of ALL mankind, especially those of great influence and power or those in with a malignant hate, unrequited loss or bitterness of injustice searing their soul.

    May you live long, may you be embraced by true love at least once, may you find comfort in your times of despair, may you live with a humble honor, and may you finally die with dignity and at peace with yourself.

    Matthew Hill
    reference article:
    In Iraq's Prisons, Try a Little Tenderness

    Sometimes even the big ole corporate media does it's job, imho the NYTimes is usually better than most. .... Zealots at the Air Force Academy Now this is an excellent example of badddd hypersynergy, religious ideology and the military must be kept separate. Hell this is specifically the evil what we are supposed to be fighting. Militant Islam or an Industrial Corporate Christian Military, both are wrong. Don't we have enough trouble with corporate/political/military collusion issues already? I respect everyone's right to observe any faith that does not intrude one anyone else's faith, human or civil rights. Especially those that are to accept the sacred duty of defending their peoples, they will need an ideology. I have my own ideology, you have yours, this is as it should be. The military organization should have an ideology itself, one based on honor, professionalism, respect, truth, justice, I don't even care if it accepts the existence of a higher power in it's definition. Never the less, any external specific ideology must not be allowed to become one, a duality or a trinity with with the military.

    From a 2003 USENET posting of mine to a Bush supporter. Primary Topic: collusions of interest, political and religious manipulation. also footnote on agnosticism.

    Republican vs. Democrat is there a difference?

    Yea there is a difference a big one, the Democrats are the lesser of two evils by a considerable degree. Of course that's my opinion, simply put. You on the other hand have yapped on to considerable length mostly parroting a party line of talking points and of course linking to your favorite political sites. I did take the time to read your letter that seems to me to be simply more of the same. Since you opened this up, a 'brief' on my views and positions as they relate on the primary topic you raise of who should lead this nation.

    There are indeed many issues, population numbers, energy issues, environmental issues, destructive social evils, many pathologically nasty human nature conditions, sometimes it is just the often unforgiving and hostile nature of the universe itself, that all must be eventually solved, contained or defeated. However a few operating in a sort of synergistic spiral lurch out at me as being an imminent threat to us all.

    1. This nation, indeed the entire planet faces dangers it has never known before, the ability of humankind to destroy itself and possibly the rest of the planet as well. The evolution of technological advances have a 'hypersynergy' that has great promises but terrible dangers. I do not see technology as the problem, technology is a tool, it is not by its nature good or evil, just a tool. In fact I see advances in knowledge and technology as humankind's rightful destiny. I also believe that such tools are the only solution for our ultimate survival as a species.

    2. We have not evolved socially at the same rate as our technology. So many of the territorial animals survival instincts are reflected in our social structure that we still find it difficult to apply reason to our decisions. The rise of the fundamentalist religious sects, of all faiths, and their resistance to logical and reasonable changes to society are evidence of the instinctive animal nature still embedded in humankind. The fundamentalist movements rely on and indeed harness by manipulation the territorial animal based fears and insecurities their followers face in a rapidly changing world. This has of course been the case for thousands of years, however a war of the faiths, fought with the technology of tomorrow places the entire planet in danger. The basically flawed non-inclusive nature of religions is degrading into racial and ethnic hate mongering world wide. This is due to defensive territorial animal instincts of our nature being manipulated by the those who will eventually lose control of the beast they create.

    3. One other situation we have also endured for millennium involves the concentration of power and its inherent limitation of logical analysis. Most consequential events are decided and controlled by a minuscule percentage of the population. Most resources are also controlled by the same persons. Indeed the percentage of this base to the world total is shrinking. While it is often true that this 'elite' percentage is more intelligent or otherwise capable, it is not an absolute. Throughout history here are many instances of where idiots, fools, lunatics, hedonistically greedy types and even pathologically insane evil persons have acquired great power. Do not think it cannot happen again, I suspect it already has.

    But then bad events don't necessarily need the above instances of malformed mind. Systemic abuses of humanity are rampant in the world today. Regretfully the effective form of government in the 'free world' today, including the USA , is more of a corporate oligarchy with very limited democratic control. The populace is being manipulated by appeals to our animal based territorial and security instincts and our liberty is being surrendered for a perceived safety. My recollections on history lessons indicated that most failures of civilizations were caused by ecological disasters -often self perpetuated, corruption of office, overly ambitious and unrealistic attempts at conquest, abuse of the citizen or conquered, unfair unrepresentative taxation, and/or the simple failure to represent the will and general welfare of the people. Inappropriate collusions of the principles that control a society assure corruptions of office, monopolies of wealth, consolidations of influence, and at the heart are antithetic to the spirit of a republic and representative democracy. Presidents Jefferson, Adams, Lincoln, both Roosevelt's and Eisenhower among others like A.Smith, T.Paine and B.Franklin have warned us of these collusions of interest, and deceptions of security, we should listen.

    The primary sources of my repulsion of the Republican party are divided between the last two above observations. They have decided to pander to and manipulate the fundamental religious movements of the Christian and Jewish faiths. They have also decided that the best interests of the nation and world are reflective of the corporate oligarchy that is compromised of a micro percentage of the nations population. They act in ways that leads me to believe they have decided that the best method of controlling this nation is to further consolidate that power. I do not believe this privileged elite has the knowledge, foresight or ethics necessary to ensure the survival of this nation in a form I would want to live in. This is not say the Democrats are innocent of these collusions or transgressions, its just that they either practice them in lesser numbers or degrees or they are not as proficient in their executions or deceptions, ie the lesser of two evils. I am also concerned that the language and methods employed by the Bush administration to fight terrorism have been very divisive and exacerbated the conflict. I agree that radical Islamic fundamentalism is a grave threat to the whole world, but you don't destroy a hornets nest by annoying the hornets unnecessarily. I agree that the right to life and liberty for an Iraqi is valid as one for an American, or a Korean, or an African, or a Saudi, or a Chinese citizen. I will even accept the possibility that an objective, practical and logical analysis of the Iraqi condition may have justified their selective liberation in a well planned and objective manner. I agree that there is a possibility that Bush truly believes he has acted logically and honestly, I don't however believe that he has. What I am sure of is that there have been way too many costly misjudgments in his actions.

    So for Bush, simple, he should not be be re-elected simply due to his incompetence in the area of choosing the members of his staff and cabinet, simple poor judgment in choosing whose advice he should dismiss or retain. He seems to lack the ability to entertain a logical analysis of the facts without placing them in a subjective box, he seems to, as Simon and Garfunkel wrote, "hear what he wants to hear and disregards the rest". Well as they also note "the words of the prophet are written in the tenement halls", a disillusioned and disaffected populace can be a most disruptive power. I suspect he should realize this Nov03, but the lesson will probably be to bitter for him to learn from in an objective and logical manner. If the citizens of this nation place him in control of our national soul for the next fours years, well I think it was Blaise Pascal that noted "people get exactly the type of democracy they deserve".

    More on my views on Agnosticism and religion in general ...

    As one of an Agnostic inclination, I do not profess a definitive or absolute knowledge of anything spiritual or other form of extra-experience. I do however have every reason to know that there are many things outside my personal experience that are real. I am somewhat well read and very literally liberal in my reading range. The thoughts and experiences of many of these writers seem to me to be genuine enough to accept as a very real possibility. I have had many experiences, a few friends, and in fact had a few dreams, that I will not launch into a discourse upon, that have affected me profoundly. Thus I do not, and will never dispute the existence of God. Also I do believe that there are a great many aspects of a 'faith' that are very valuable and a great comfort to humankind. I also believe that many of the practices of almost all faiths have been positive for humankind. Many of the text attributed to Jesus Christ are still the most profound and elegantly simple statements I have ever read and affect me in very powerful emotional level while having excellent logical reasoning as they relate to the human condition. However for most of humankind religious teachings have been used more often as a narcotic or stimulant for our animal natures, as those in power required at the time. There is a great deal of pandering to and outright manipulation of the faithful today. In many ways Jerry Falwell is just as dangerous as Osama Bin Laden. Even professed nonviolent movements like Falwell's can and are contributing to the hatred and general animosity by using practices are intentionally disrespectful and divisive. This is happening today at an accelerated rate between almost all of the worlds faiths and in an environment of accelerated technological advance, this 'marriage' concerns me deeply.

    While the faiths of Abraham, Jewish, Christian, and Islamic (in order of age) are at the center of today's stage with both inter and intra conflicts running amok, other belief systems like Hindu, Buddhist, and Native African tribal faiths also have bloody histories and have some very serious internal or external conflicts today as well. The African conflicts have devolved into some of the worst slaughter in recent history. Other faiths, even monotheistic faiths like those of many Native Americans are not just ignored but indeed disrespected as primitive and invalid, which is at the base of the problem of religions, exclusion of other beliefs by invalidation. I do not mean that religion is the sole source of conflict in the world, just often used as a tool. Dismissal of religious faith is not a condition that excludes these terrors. One cannot ignore the atheistic forms of abuse, especially those in the last century. The horrors of Germany, Japan, Russia, and especially China dwarf most other abuses in history and all but Japan existed outside of the religious movements. Well Germany's condition wasn't religion free it was more was bipolar, read some Herman Hesse, the titles Steppenwolf or Demian would be excellent choices. However these movements employed many of the same tools, like the forms of pandering and manipulation used by religions. Please note, I do not mean to define the descriptor of an 'agnostic' generally, just what it means to me.
    Wabi Sabi

    "It's not what folks don't know that gets 'em in the most trouble, it's the things they do know that ain't so" Will Rodgers

    "Any sufficiently advanced technology appears as magic" Arthur C. Clarke

    "I am an agnostic, I don't know and you don't either" unknown genius

    "If you want to know who someone really is, you get a lot better idea by watching what they do than listening to what they say. Most of the time folks are either going to tell you what they want you to hear, or what they think you want to hear." Albert V Hill - my grandfather

    From a long time ago, original draft was written on the ole Apple IIe....I would say the early 90's or so. I have since added to it now and then.
    A Life Worth Living

    My Ideals : A Life Worth Living

    ..Is worth living right. Ok, whats right? The following is an exploration of the subject. First to be clear, I make no claims of originality of thought here. Most of these ideas have occurred at one time or another to nearly every one. Many finer minds that my own have expressed the ideals with more depth and eloquence than I can. However these words are meant mainly for finding my own focus and to assist those close to me in the same.

    As a child I was sure that one day it would all come together. I foresaw my future self as an idealized version of my Grandfather's, tough, fearless, smart, independent. I was sure that I could make a few small changes and have all the necessary answers. I'm not sure of when it became apparent that things were not that simple. Each year that passed brought a new crop of problems that demanded decisions or action. Each year they got tougher. Of course many were never dealt with and came back to haunt me, usually in a meaner form than before. Some still do. The usual reason for this is that these situations involve responsibilities that I would rather avoid. In fact I've been dodging some of them for many years, somethings because of the work involved in their resolution, sometimes because of the things they insist I surrender. The times I do end up dealing with these things usually involves me being dragged kicking and screaming all the way through ththeir resolution.

    The List In no particluar order of importance

    #1 NEVER intentionally hurt anyone for any reason except in defense of yourself or others from someone who doesn't care to uphold the same ideal. The term hurt includes mental and spiritual as well as physical anguish.

    #2 THINK for yourself. Listen to the arguments of others with earnest attention, but draw your own conclusions. The act of forming and holding your own ideals and values and making your own decisions are what free will and freedom are about on a very basic level. This is important, these rights have been paid for in blood and are sacred.

    #3 SEEK within yourself and in the works of others to define your life. Life without ideals has no center or focus. You must develop these ideals to define your life or you are doomed to wander aimlessly, lost in the darkness of ignorance. Never be afraid to reevaluate or question the ideal. Things that cannot stand up to honest examination are lies that are bad or even evil and very harmful to your spirit.

    #4 ALWAYS be honest with yourself. Anything you attempt will be fruitless if done within the shadow of lies. This is as true for the questions of why as those of what. Be sure you understand and make honest confession to yourself as to WHY you do something or believe a certain way. Lying to your self can be more than just a waste of can be very dangerous to your soul.

    #5 REMEMBER your ACTIONS are the true measure of who you are. Contradictions in the way you profess to believe and in the way you act are evidence of lies to yourself. This may also be extended to include others. Many persons will tell you what they want you to hear or what they think you want to hear. Watch their actions, these are a true measure of who they are, "The tree shall be known by it's fruit". Be aware however that some will often take actions that are in conflict with their true selves. These conflicts are the source of much of the stress in our lives. This stress often results in physical and mental illness. Severe cases will be very erratic and difficult to understand.

    #6 RESPECT the honest and peaceful beliefs of others with whom you may disagree.

    #7 STAND forth against that which you examine and find truly EVIL. Do not shrink from this responsibility by using the excuse of RESPECT for the beliefs of others.

    #8 BE AWARE of your blessings. You will find many if you only look a little. Focus you examination on the many less fortune than yourself, not the few with more. Remember that your greatest blessings are found in your relationships with others and their good will toward you NOT in your material possessions. Things may save your life, but the testaments of others may very well save or condem your soul.

    #9 BE CAREFUL and sparing in the forming of judgments of others. Every decision you make involving another person is a form of judgment. While this is a necessary part of life, be cautious. Make sure it is necessary, that your reasoning is honestly arrived at and has a sound foundation in your ideals. Do not allow yourself to make such judgments carelessly or to become fixed in such a way that does not allow for your own mis-perceptions or for the changes possible in others.

    #10 BE SENSITIVE to the pain of others. Compassion is the true source of the GRACE that makes spiritual growth possible.

    #11 EXPLORE LIFE in all is wondrous directions. You are a part of the universe just as are the stars. You will find insights into yourself in places you may have trouble believing now. You are in a very basic way are STARDUST. The you seen in a mirror is as old as the stars and formed of the same thing on a very basic level. The thoughts of many others have been recorded over the millineun and while you should reach your own conclusions, please study the efforts of these other souls in earnest. You will be amazed by how revelant many are to your life today.

    #12 BE KIND to yourself, learn from your mistakes and shortcomings through honest examination. Try to do so without recrimination, excuse or self hate.

    #13 ACCEPT RESPONSIBILITY as it is bestowed upon you. Often we see such as toil, it is instead a gift of potential GRACE and GROWTH. Try to accept such without anger or resentment, this may be hard, these are natural responses and to feel them does not make you bad. Call upon the "better angels of your nature".

    #14 KEEP YOUR WORD.. Don't commit yourself to something you can't or don't intend to do. Better to avoid the potential growth than to live a lie. Try and not over commit yourself even if done with the best of intentions.

    #15 LOVE AND HONOR THY GOD however you preceive such. This first commandment of the Abrahamic faiths has an equilivant in all faiths. I take it to mean to simply to love and honor that which made YOU possible. Thus you must love thyself as well or you dishonor that which made YOU possible.

    #16 FIND SOMEONE TO LOVE. LOVE is the most powerful force in the universe. And LOVE grows with use. LOVE will always return from somewhere even if not from where directed. Be careful here, while love can lift and improve your whole being, DO NOT become a parasite upon another.

    The New Rules necessary for our survival in a global civilization
    Pay attention now, this is important stuff.

    You must think for your self to discern reality.
    Those who think for themselves define reality.

    You must listen to your heart to know the truth.
    Those who know the truth listen to their hearts.

    You must act if you expect or require action or reward.
    Those who act should expect to reap the rewards of their actions.

    You must act with integrity if you wish respect.
    Those who act with integrity should be respected.

    You must accept and show responsibility if you expect trust.
    Those who accept and show responsibility should be trusted.

    You must expect to expend effort if you expect to measure a gain.
    Those who put forth effort should expect to gain in measure.

    Our liberty has been paid for with our ancestors sacrifices of blood and tears.
    The liberty of our descendants will require us to sacrifice our blood and tears.

    Free minds and free discussion plus free sources equal a free society.
    Open minds and open discussion plus open sources equal an open society.

    Knowledge shared is knowledge gained.
    Knowledge gained should be shared.

    Wealth shared is wealth invested wisely.
    Wealth wisely invested is wealth shared.

    Resources applied are resources appreciated.
    Resources deprived are resources depreciated.

    Work shared by many is work of purpose.
    Work of purpose should be shared by many.

    Love shared is love that will be returned.
    Love returned is love that will be shared.

    With a dream one can become greater than ones sum.
    Without a dream one is less than ones whole.

    Every soul has a unique and important destiny.
    Dreams are visions of the souls quest for its destiny.

    A single small voice may ask why when or how.
    Ten thousand echoes shall be heard by a billion plus minds.
    Impossible to silence or ignore a quest is born.
    E Plurbius Unum for real forever and for all.

    These are the new rules.
    Your quest is up to YOU .... after all its your dream.
    And every quest begins with a dream.

    Quotes of note

    "An appeaser is one who feeds a crocodile, hoping it will eat him last." Winston Churchill

    "Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's trustworthiness." George W. Bush

    Great Quotes On Faith and Religion

    "Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."   Hebrews 11:1.5

    "Faith-is the Pierless Bridge Supporting what We see Unto the Scene that We do not-." Emily Dickinson

    "Faith is not a thing which one "loses," we merely cease to shape our lives by it." Georges Bernanos"

    "Reason is our soul's left hand, Faith her right, By these we reach divinity." John Donne

    "It is the heart which perceives God and not the reason. That is what faith is: God perceived by the heart, not by the reason." Blaise Pascal

    "The mysteries of faith are degraded if they are made into an object of affirmation and negation, when in reality they should be an object of contemplation." Simone Weil

    "Absolute faith corrupts as absolutely as absolute power."   Eric Hoffer

    "To know a person's religion we need not listen to his profession of faith but must find his brand of intolerance."   Eric Hoffer

    "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root."   Henry David Thoreau

    "It was the schoolboy who said, "Faith is believing what you know ain't so." Mark Twain

    "O Lord our God, help us to tear their soldiers to bloody shreds with our shells; help us to cover their smiling fields with the pale forms of their patriot dead; help us to drown the thunder of the guns with the shrieks of their wounded, writhing in pain; help us to lay waste their humble homes with a hurricane of fire; help us to wring the hearts of their unoffending widows with unavailing grief . . . for our sakes who adore Thee, Lord, blast their hopes, blight their lives, protract their bitter pilgrimage, make heavy their steps, water their way with their tears, stain the white snow with the blood of their wounded feet! We ask it, in the spirit of love, of Him Who is the Source of Love, and Who is the ever-faithful refuge and friend of all that are sore beset and seek His aid with humble and contrite hearts. Amen.  " Mark Twain

    "Philosophic argument,especially that drawn from the vastness of the universe, in comparison with the apparent insignificance of this globe, has sometimes shaken my reason for the faith that is in me; but my heart has always assured and reassured me that the gospel of Jesus Christ must be Divine Reality. The Sermon on the Mount cannot be a mere human production. This belief enters into the very depth of my conscience. The whole history of man proves it."  Daniel Webster as Spoken on the eve of his death and carved as his epitaph.