Check Check Checking For Reality… Check Check

 

Are my thoughts queer or is it just because I am that they are deemed so?

but you know, when you consider the calibre and force – the absolute truth of the words and assess the quality of thought

 

queer really becomes a value added to the thought

 

outsiders can better compete in the market place of ideas, because we’re not grabbing for the blandest most mass appeal words to say and really, the volume of lies and distortions, the public political process has lost all sense of truth or morality and is invested in complete imaginary replacement of anything that resembles reality.

but the public beleives it and it becomes real in a sense after a while

 

because people are really unwilling to find out about things that they don’t know about.

 

and really, if you had any courage or conviction or genunine beleif in what you beleive; then information that contradicts it shouldn’t be a threat to you to the point of corrupting the education of the poplation or engaging in so many lies to obtain power.
in total contradiction of your stated values that you say qualify you for office.

 

well, the only criteria for office is being willing to sell out to the highest bidder

and that means that you have no morals to sell out.

 

Censorship is not just for Christians

Respect the right to but not the belief

All the backlash through the years of Western Christians censoring, protesting and demanding that various art works not be published, screened or displayed because the work critiques their broad category religion and the more recent actual violence over Islamic art critiques, has made me wonder.

When did the respect for person’s right or entitlement to a religious belief of their choice start to include respect for the belief itself?

We seem to be in a time where people think that they have the right to not be offended. I find that offensive.

Offense is essentially a clash of rights. But how do we balance one person’s rights against another’s when offense seems to be greater the more the offended party feels entitled to said rights.

There’s this idea of inalienable rights enshrined at in the UN’s declaration and in many Western countries charters and bills of rights.

But are rights really inalienable?

I don’t think so – if they were, wouldn’t they be defacto in all countries?

Wouldn’t each person find it difficult to not respect other people’s rights? Especially when it comes to the big ones like life, bodily integrity and even property?

Particularly when property rights don’t seem to be enshrined anywhere – buying a plot of land doesn’t entitle you to keep it if your government or powerful enough other people/corporations want it.

Wouldn’t everyone understand that one person’s right to swing their arm ends at the point that someone else’s nose begins?

So, why does the religious person’s offense and sense of rights entitlement often override the other religious believer or non-believer’s right to freedom of expression, assembly and their access to art works or information that the religious find offensive.

Can’t the believers just not go to the movie theatre or the art gallery during the time of the offensive display? Or not buy the book, skip that page of the paper, not click on the website or plain avoid what they find distasteful?

At this point in the argument, this is when believers try to make a plea that their offense is reasonable by comparing it to things that are plainly offensive  to 99% of the population – the standbys are pedophilia and bestiality.

But, these aren’t relevant or comparable to artistic expression, ideas or someone else’s rights – since pedophilia and bestiality plainly cause harm – and for the child or teen, it’s an infringement of their rights and it sometimes is for the animal, country dependent.

Oh, and if the right under debate is gay marriage, then polygamy is brought into play. Never polyandry (one wife, multiple husbands), interestingly enough.

But, polygamy isn’t relevant to gay marriage since gay marriage actually doesn’t change the nature of marriage in the west – which is 2 people exclusive of all others.

In polygamy, it’s one man married to several women – the women aren’t married to each other. While polygamy is legal in many countries around the world, this was usually referred to in Canada and the US as bigamy and is a criminal code offense.

Marriage is essentially contract law – and with it comes legal kinship and over 1000 rights under various other laws – and these rights are linked to kinship, inheritance, property, power of attorney, immigration sponsorship, separation, taxes and everything else that requires you to check a box on a form that indicates your marital status.

That religions originally had control over marriage – partly as an income stream for the ceremony, partly as a means to control peoples behaviour – doesn’t mean that marriage in the middle ages and earlier wasn’t also a means to consolidate wealth in particular socio-economic strata, make allegiances at the state or family or business level.

The idea of romantic love being the basis for marriage is actually pretty new – and pretty much until women were allowed to vote and hold property – guess what – they were marital property.

Isn’t that offensive to our modern sensibility?

People do have under the law in many countries, the right to belief in the religion of their choice. You don’t tend to have this right in a theocratic country though – telling, isn’t it?

But one person beleiving in a particular religion does not obligate people who do not beleive in that religion to obey the rules of said religion.

Otherwise, everyone would have to follow all religions and not only would that not lead to anything productive going on – being too weak or tired from not eating and meditiating and praying all the time, but most of the year would be religious holidays.

Atheism isn’t a religion, but has gained the legal status at the US Supreme Court as an on-par belief – so everyone having to observe this also throws a monkey wrench into the all religions all the time mix.

The reality is that we as a society do not deem all ideas on par with all others.

When we have a discussion or class about WWII, we do not include holocaust deniers. When we have a biology class, we should not be “teaching the controversy”.

We as individuals get to pick and chose what we believe and what we don’t – no matter how repugnant it is to everyone else. And, we get to teach those beliefs to our children and it’s up to them to keep them or reject them.

Social norms are culturally dependent and they vary from time period to time period and country/region to country/region. And even between cultural subgroups in the same geographic location. Immigrant groups tend to become a blend of old country and new country over time – and a large enough immigration wave and a welcoming enough new country, that new country also experiences something of a slower change. The sum of the parts thing.

Wow, all those connected ideas is making my wandering mind tired.

It comes down to this – we can only get along as long as everyone has the same rights, entitlements and basic treatment as anyone else in a geographic region.

Otherwise, resentments and ghettoizing occurs and that benefits no one, as that tends to erupt in riots.

As long as we all accord everyone the same amount of rights as ourselves – and mostly to recognize that someone else having rights does not impede our own in any way – we can get along.

Pretending that our differences don’t exist will not work. Better to acknowledge that each of us – as individuals as well as our under each of our various group identities – all being different doesn’t make us all the same – and difference doesn’t always translate into inferior, just different.

We really only have the rights that our legal system allows us – but our ability to act in accordance with those rights has become limited by the backlash of other people who expect rights of their own and none for anyone else.

This should not be acceptable to anyone.

As a lesbian who came out in the early 1990’s, when it was legal to be evicted, not hired/fired, denied services and it was not legal to be married, sponsor an immigrant partner and you had no real expectation of protection from police – in fact, it wasn’t that much earlier when the police were the bashers – yes, even in Canada.

I understand that rights are dependent on law and the “generosity” of the population – people who have always had them do not understand this.

Times change, and what offends people changes.

So let’s stop finding offense at what people 1000 or more years ago would find offensive.

If we can’t do that, then at least remember that you aren’t entitled to or have a right to not be offended.

Scaritual makes sense

I like to play on this public forum – mostly because it’s fun to hone your arguments and meet other atheists.

Recently an online pal wrote a really good post, so I asked if I could steal it for my blog and he said yes, so, today I offer a guest blogger :

From guest blogger – scaritual from Chattanooga, TN

This is just an observation, and I have noticed this quite a bit, especially of late. Its almost as if a segment of society has decided there needs to be official meeting halls , buildings, malls and atheist  services” held therein, and additionally we (atheists) should enumerate a set of standards to “be” atheist.

Religions… and how do I say it?, “ALL INCLUSIVE LIFE PHILOSOPHIES” , all seem to be trying to make substantive and comparative points of favor or preference in relation to atheism…*you should prefer (insert belief system/philosophy) instead of being atheist*

Its funny.

I really see it as a statement similar to:  “You are an atheist, while I believe in something for which I have no reason to do so….how dare you.You should all join a group with silly rituals and beliefs, it makes the rest of us look bad ”

As atheists (only bound the definition of the word and nothing else), we can’t help it if we as a group don’t have a huge codified system with tome after tome of unfounded reasons written down to convince us that we should ….BELIEVE THEM.

Honestly, I find that tends to be the basis of many of the arguments when an atheist is confronted by any number of adherents of “belief systems”.

I think they are more upset that an atheist asks the question “why?” as opposed to the question that seems to be the inverse and opposite (they hold) “why not?” when it concerns these discussions we have.

Just to be clear, atheism is simply a lack of maintaining a faith in a belief of god(s)for which there is no clear reason or proof to do so.

Its just a aside effect I think, that once you figure out that simple fact about god belief, that it then spreads to other areas.Once you question the “unquestionable” question of god, by extension (for myself)once I figured out there wasn’t even a reason to think there was , it branched into other areas.

The difference being as an atheist, I wouldn’t dare to speak for another atheist as to what the things are that the individual chooses to believe , should or shouldn’t believe.

I think that drives those of religion and faiths mad.

My two cents. (that I hope made sense)