Tag Archives: relationships

Rights

 

 

rightsr

Rights

Rights are just one of many similar things that bother the heads of atheists. They don’t really exist but we make them exist by agreeing to honor them. That’s why I tend to speak and write about such examples of quasi-reality in terms of persistence more than existence. This is very important to a full understanding of atheism and I shall have to pay strict attention to my wording from now on. Quasi-real “things” don’t exist in reality; they persist only for as long as some people find ways and reasons to support them. When their time runs out, most will leave on their own.

Use government for an example

Government, at various levels, and by agreements pounded out at the very beginning and since the beginning of the U.S.A., was granted the role of defender of our rights. Government also persists in that state of phantom reality, and so must be accepted by its intended constituents to gain its authority; or else, authority must be asserted by force as in the olden days. The quasi-real contrivances of mankind are so subject to manipulation people can hardly be blamed for qualms about trusting them. As time passes and manipulation progresses, watchful eyes lose their vigilance to age. As new generations come and go, tradition sets in and watchfulness becomes about the developing traditions. From early on, religion asserts itself and makes its presence known and rights become lost to the guise of public protection. Other influences work to promote special interests, greed, power struggles, all aiming to acquire undue advantage for some dishonest person or group.

Whether atheist or Christian, saint, sinner or “none of the above”, our rights are designated as equal. That means no person can claim rights denied to others nor deny to others any lawful rights others enjoy. It means no person can enforce a claim of elevated status due to religion or wealth. It means no person can be legally subjected to persecution for their religious beliefs or their perceived absence. At least, it once did.

We must learn to practice equality. It is not knowledge we possess at birth. We leave it to chance and hard experience, make innocent actions illegal by following a monotheist religion’s prescription or “just in case”. The poor results show throughout our American society, in crime, murder, imprisonment rates, stress rates and more. The precepts sound simple but we seem unable to get past our prejudices to make them work. That,“I will defend your right to practice your beliefs and you will defend mine”, “Your rights begin and end with you and mine begin and end with me,” plus “We will go beyond our differences to defend our families and territories against invaders.”

Another Example

The preachers and priests who contrived organized monotheism released upon the Earth an inevitable development in the evolution of religion. Monotheism, if you have forgotten (or never been informed) was built on the premise that only one god created, and rules, over the heavens and Earth.

Perhaps by accident, those who chose to describe the nature of this god as “immaterial”, albeit in rather dated language, chose the most appropriate term available. This 14th century word also, according to Merriam-Webster, applies to ghosts, spirits and other incorporeal specters, all of which require belief and acceptance in order to persist. Words not in use until relatively recent centuries will find their origins in apologia, where doctrines develop separately from the main guidebook formed by the scriptures regarded as sacred. Except for those scriptures, all else can be different between any two establishments.

Visit a Local Church

You can sense it upon entering the building. Some exude happiness. Some give such a sense of sorrow you need to cringe. Some, plain and simple in pastel colors, give no hint of what to expect. And then, never to be forgotten, there’s the church where you pushed the door open and jumped back, amazed to hear echoes of the minister’s last sermon ringing through the rafters. Though they all addressed their god by the same name, no two versions of the-god-named-God will be identical. Calling on them by the same name doesn’t make it right. That would have the same effect as naming multiple fraternal sisters all “Sarah” and making them figure out, each time you pray, whose name you don’t know this time.

What Does Any of This Have to do With Rights?

If this is at all true, preachers and priests have nothing to answer to beyond the members of their own congregations. They would be kept too busy tutoring their flocks about all the gods and demons, plus learning about new ones “discovered” locally and in nearby towns and cities. New gods get absorbed into the culture as do those from nearby.

Rights” and “freedom” are non-words in monotheism. “They represent blasphemy. They were planted in your mind by agents from Satan. They put you in danger of Hell fire. If we had been able to use our guillotine on Jefferson and his damnable cronies, you would not know to be lusting after such iniquitous pipe-dreams now.” “As you have already admitted in this blasphemous piece, individual rights do not exist. All rights are held by the church.”

I am sorry, but I have already asserted in this rather astute work of mine, that churches can only exist by the agreement of individuals. You will have to accept before that I will argue with you. Otherwise, you don’t understand it. Individuals have objective existence. Until individuals agree about it and provide an edifice or place, churches don’t.

 

Labels

labels

Labels

People unaware of the atheists they know have been mistaught a one-dimensional view of us. Since it is impossible to sense a one-dimensional object, maybe that’s why we escape notice. The worst people are the aggressive ones who deny that we understand ourselves and strive to gas-light us into believing “in” their description of atheism. What gall people can have, that drives them to insist that other people don’t know the thoughts in their own minds.

Think of people carrying their knowledge and opinions around in buckets, each of which bears a label naming the contents. The atheism bucket is empty. Call me ignorant all you want, that changes nothing. Empty remains “full of nothing but air.” There is nothing to discuss. Take your gas light and your own hot air back home.

I am what the religious people call an “apostate”. That label means I once had religion in a bucket but turned it over to dump. It didn’t pour as easily as I expected, as it was full of a stinky substance I saw once when a commode overflowed. It has been draining more than fifty years, and most of the religion is gone. Looking at the blob of poop that encircles my upturned bucket, I can see why the religious would expect atheism to be a set of beliefs that drive an agenda. They really don’t know how well off that makes them for that to not be true. I can see how the poop oozed out in layers of beliefs, all of them bound into the religion, a united concoction all tied to the main belief. With that being true of all religions, it must also be true of atheism. This requires an experiment.

I find a new bucket and fill it with water, which I then dump. When I look inside, the bucket is empty. Verification: Maybe water is not a thick enough substance? I fill the bucket with grain and dump it: Empty. I try sand and dump it out, with the same result: Empty. After that, I get inspired: Mud is about the same consistency as poop! I carry my shovel to the garden, fill it up, dump it and … empty but for some crap stuck around the edges. Excited to be so vindicated, I return to my old religion bucket, kick it loose from the ground, peer inside, jump into the air, and sing, “I’m free, I’m free, I’m free!” My religion bucket is very old and shows its age. I can go empty-handed, now, so I toss it toward the trash bin. I don’t need to carry an atheist or an apostate bucket. I am free to think my own thoughts.

To get to the point of this, take a look around yourself next time you’re with a group of people. Imagine each of them carrying a bucketful of beliefs. If you know their various religions, try to imagine then voluntarily joining forces to take over the world.

Next, try to imagine attempting to gather up people of all faiths to form an army intended to conquer a territory in the name of one that is not involved. Now, study that idea and you will find a few of the beliefs that some atheists follow. Notice how the incompatibilities between those beliefs duplicates what you find with religions.

So, yes, atheists have beliefs, philosophies, even religions; all of which bear their own labels, none of which is ‘atheism’. Think of ATHEISM as “absence of beliefs about gods, including that gods exist and that gods do not exist.” Think of ATHEIST as “a person who asserts that no demonstrable evidence supports the existence of any gods, nor of any realms designated ‘superior’ to nature.”

Each belief bears its own label. There are no ‘kinda’ beliefs. To my mind belief is either present or absent. When belief in gods is absent, people of all sorts apply ATHEIST as a label to name something that does not exist. Whatever individual atheists may happen to believe “in” bears a different label according to what each accepts as true. Rather than engage in foolish arguments, why not perform a simple experiment: Ask an atheist. Science will give you much truer answers than any religion.

No Master

nomasterR

No Master

Faith in oneself—self-confidence—provides the resources that sustain personal stability. It enlivens the master within so the self confident person can act rather than vacillate when a need arises. Whether the original impetus arose from unusual bravery or was forced by circumstances, self-confidence arises from the experience of successful ventures and grows with their increasing numbers.

Consider self-confidence as an imperfect tool for preventing stress. It is imperfect because it must be developed at personal risk due to its customizable nature, but it enables talented people to learn how to breeze through complicated tasks with relative ease.

How do we get to be ‘talented people?’ We try things out. Every trade or profession you tackle will contribute something of value to your experience, so don’t sweat for lost time. Look for your areas of greatest interest. Some work will seem too unlovely to endure while some seems to call your name. Maybe you already have a sense of what you would like to spend the rest of your life doing. I still recall a vivid memory of the time I, a skinny preteen, informed my dad, “I am going to be a writer when I grow up.”

A frail lad, somewhat sickly, emotionally thin skinned, I completely accepted Dad’s immediate response, “No one will ever read the kind of shit you will write. You will starve to death.” His mental image of me doing what it takes to become a man able to walk in his footsteps amounted to a lifetime of physical labor. I know that from hearing it over and over, in every way he thought to say it, for the first 20+ years of my life. From then on, I drove my puny body to live up to Dad’s expectations. I regret none of it beyond dropping my own aspirations. I gained strength and health. People described me as “wiry”.

Though I mastered none, I gained skills in several unrelated trades and ended up informally apprenticed to the West family until I retired, a position I still reflect upon with increasing appreciation.

My point? All my life, I never shed the urge to write. I continue to meet people with dreams of something they might have gotten good at if they had not given it up for a more practical pursuit. I say them, find a way to get it —or something related to it— back. Make an avocation or hobby of it. Read all you can find about it. Bore people talking about it. Look for periodicals, or online groups, to get and keep yourself updated. The worst that can happen could also be the best: your dream gets boring to you and you lose interest. Think of all the stress and aggravation that would eliminate.

Written entirely with OPEN OFFICE.


Bad Labels

BadLabels

Bad Labels

Labels that mislead about the contents hidden in a container, book, baked goods, or any sort of vessel would deserve the irate condemnation it would earn for any commercial establishment. Surely, no one would purposefully mislabel even a competitor’s container that might be on display. To offer, “I thought it would be better for you than what you asked for,” as apology would gain new labels, like ‘crook’, ‘con artist’ or ‘shyster’ for the perpetrator. “Who are you, to think you can make such decisions without my permission? What’s wrong with you?”

Honest business practices, upon which we all depend, require all proprietors to provide honest labels on all products on display for sale, including those from competitors, and to not make false and misleading statements about competitors in any manner.

It seems that Christianists (those people engaged in spreading, defending, and arguing for the Christian religion, often by attacking competitors) would see from events in the commercial world how their pushy, dishonest tactics backfire, made worse by the interference of trolls. When the trolls push the same message as the Christianists, their very similar tactics appear as though from the same army, just different soldiers. Neither the Christianists nor the trolls seem capable to realize that, as businesses engaged with the public, religions are bound by the same ethical principles as all the others. If they intend to stay in business.

Fear, Feuding and Force don’t work anymore except among semi-literate populations and the impoverished. Doubt gets provoked the same as it would if the makers of toothpaste, dish soap, or your favorite car tried those same counterproductive tricks. Imagine the lawsuits that would plug our courtrooms shut if every business with little to offer elicited the disgust of their current and former customers by resorting to the shoddy tactics on which Christianists rely.

And, yes, I am aware that “Christianists” is a label I have found on the internet being very similarly used. Like the term’s originators, I recognize there are two kinds of people who consider themselves religious. There is the quiet kind, confident enough in their beliefs to teach by example, wise enough to council silence when approached with an argument, stalwart enough to stand up against obvious dishonesty, and whose belief is strong enough so they seek the company of like-minded people.

The Christians know this message is not about them, for they recognize the Christianists from my description. They know this message offers a way to separate the seeds from the bedding so that everyone can learn that love pulls together, while hate drives apart. As the atheist in this story, I believe everyone should learn all we can about the Christianists so we can recognize when we are getting swindled, and to keep ourselves from becoming like them.

Written entirely with OPEN OFFICE.

Myths

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Myths

Myths, a philosopher said, are necessary for human well-being and survival. When people believe the same myths, they think more alike and better understand one another. People tend to care more about those with whom they share myths, and suspect those from whom they feel estranged. That is how myths promote group coherence that increases people’s ability to increase safety and well-being.

Looking at today’s world news should convince anyone: that is a line of bull-larny. There may have been some demonstrable truth there, back in times when people roamed as tribes within their own territories, when their craziest notions and practices could affect no one on the opposite face of the planet. That free reign was doomed by with the development of monotheism. As that scourge spread around the world by the meme-power driving dirty-minded hawkers, humanity took a dive into a world of slavers and slaves, landowners and serfs, employers and employees—one level who makes up rules; one lower level who obeys them. That seems to represent a necessary circumstance for social animals such as humans, apes and dogs, but, in today’s world, it endangers all life by making tribes of nations, wherein even science gets perverted to enable political agendas to blind the eyes of naive commoners in every locale.

Written entirely with OPEN OFFICE.

 

Love and Justice

love and justice

Love and Justice

Wise lovers who feel concern for each other will set down fair rules right from the start, but do we ever? It would be far better if we could grow up with such rules instilled in us so we understood them from long practice, followed them without pause, and accepted the humanistic reasoning behind them.

Justice, derived from rules of fair play, toleration, reciprocity and trustworthiness, does not equate with the common notion of justice as a form of revenge. Justice seeks balance, yes, but ends with that; to push it farther begets punishment, which has no place in love.

But, mercy does. When one lover sins against another, pain and blame rule in the offended lover’s thoughts. The relationship—that process which binds them—suffers from that even more than from the offense. To punish the relationship when it is innocent makes no sense. Show mercy until the offender has made it clear that it is not deserved.

Righteousness arises not from out of any edification by church or priest, but from having earned the trust and respect of those with whom we share our lives and a world. A moral life has less to do with catering to artificial gods and demons than with how well our world, and our fellow humans, have fared at our hands. Evolution favors not the most perfect nor the strongest, but favors the ones who best fit in the social environment where they reside. Why else, despite centuries of killing each other off, would the religious still outnumber atheists? It must be for the same reason that sheep outnumber goats, and that cattle outnumber those even while serving as a popular meal for the human species.

Does justice, then, decree that we must serve the needs of the power-wielders to increase our own kind upon the Earth? No—justice and love serve the same ends in roles that humans play as tested in the courts of every land. Justice conflated with vengeance unbalances: Where vengeance reigns, love ebbs; where justice rules, love increases as compassion so that a balanced state can be maintained. Balancing hurt for hurt does not satisfy: Vengeance demands that interest be charged. The relationship suffers for the excess toll of that.

Liberty

libertyR

Liberty

I want to talk about the last time I defecated, and describe in detail all the accompanying sounds and smells. I think you should agree, after very little consideration, that the right to walk away from what you do not want to hear is equally as important as my right to tell it, and no one should ever be forced into enduring such potentially traumatic events.

I may wish to tell you, “For lack of evidence, there is no god named God,” for I might wish to save you from the grief and stress that comes from chasing after a chimera. You, with equally good intentions to steer me away from the fire pits of Hell, want to tell me, “I have faith and don’t require evidence.” You have every right to tell me and I have every right to tell you. You have every right to walk away from my voice, and I have every right to do the same. Were wisdom to prevail, we would find other entertainment to share.

What we do not share is a right to harm or endanger each other. Helpful or harmful acts done to or for others are subject to the rule of reciprocity or reciprocation. We can sense that in the feeling of indebtedness kind acts induce, the urge to get even for mean acts, and our awareness of such urges in others. The Principle of Mutual Authority provides an alternative statement of reciprocity by turning it around so its importance to the perpetual defense against attacks from religion may be recognized. In the same way that to take upon oneself the authority to offer a hug grants the offer’s recipient the authority to return the hug or refuse it, it is true that an attack invites a rejoinder. Since the attacker has taken an autonomous authority to act in some fashion, that action also carries autonomous authority forward to its recipient. Autonomous authority to act in refusal, for example, if one so chooses. Action is required in any case, for good reasons, the main one being to bring the problem to an end.

Our aim, overall, must be to assert our right to respond with factual information to things that are offensive, wrong, or lies, or to assert a right to offend someone in exchange for his right to offend. The accompanying aim, however, is to avoid personal attacks and keep the topic about the subject and not each other. Any offense must be from the topic, then, and not a personal attack on your opponent.

We ought to not be lax about this principle: If others grant us ‘authority’ by their actions toward us to respond in a relevant manner, any absence of response asserts a willingness to receive such actions all through the future by silently granting them ‘authority’ to continue. Moreover, it soon erases any ‘authority’ to respond to them.

Before you offhandedly disagree with that, stop to ponder first how things actually work. Somewhere in the depths of consciousness we are aware of how true it is, and from that awareness arises such concepts as “nip this in the bud” and “put a stop to this before it’s too late,” or “If you don’t tell him right now, he’ll just keep on doin’ it.” We all know, in the depth of our beings, that such sayings are from human experience, and can use this principle to explain why.

 

Reality 101 by Lloyd H. Whitling (paperback – September 2002)

“We believe Reality 101 is one of the best independently published books on the market.” Rec’d 3/4/06 in a letter from Airleaf Publishing and Bookselling. Buy it, read it, and see for yourself.