10-11-08 10:11Power Grab

Lady Love: So what if Sarah Palin was found to have abused her power? I like her. It doesn't mean she won't make a good vice president.

The problem is power.

Practically no one who wants to wield power can be trusted to wield it. If you covet power you are already showing your proclivity to subjugate others to your will.

That is why there are so many checks on executive power, to keep those who are granted it from abusing it.

But if someone has a will to power, they can and will use the power they are granted for the purpose, not of governing, but simply acquiring more power.

Case in point: George W. Torturer.

This president used a national tragedy to prop up an unprecedented power grab. The ruling cadre declared the U.S. president a "Unitary Executive" and used the post to circumvent all normal checks on power - the rights of the citizens against unlawful search and seizure (illegal wiretapping); the right of habeas corpus (illegal custody); the right of national sovereignty (pre-emptive "defense" against Iraq); the right of Congress to establish the limits of legislation (signing statements); the right against cruel and unusual treatment (waterboarding, etc.)

At this point there is an unprecedented level of power invested in the executive branch. This is not a particulary good trend. Unless we want to see ever more of our power transferred upwards, the path forward is NOT to put people who are known to abuse power into positions of MORE power. More power will always equal more abuse.

Lady Love: She didn't abuse her powers, she acted within her rights and it just so happened that it was her ex-brother in law involved.

The investigative body in this case says that she did abuse her powers. Unless there is a reason to believe that they are not ethical or competent, it is their call to make.

It seems like "no big deal." I know a lot of people actually like to see successful power grabs. Palin is strong! She's a tough cookie! Hurray to strong women everywhere!

But Palin should not have acted inappropriately. If she was granted more power she would undoubtedly continue to make questionable use of her authority.

10-10-08 10:08Responses to the New God

Read the New God FAQ here.

Michael J.: What does the New God think about Xenu? Also, do prophets like Ron Hubbard (pbuh) and Mohammad (pbhu) fit with the New God?

The New God does not have any prophets. He doesn't play favorites.

Michael J.: Oh and Buddha, has he left the karma cycle? what happened to him now that the new God is here?

The Buddha has been dead for quite some number of years. The New God did not affect Buddha much.

Michael J.: will this new god smite my enemies?

Let's find out.

sisyphus: I hate this new god. :-(

Everybody hated the old one. The difference is, the New God doesn't mind.

PsychoticEpisode: This is excellent work Changeling....your OP was a treat.

I'm honored you think so, thanks!

Skaught: Shit, where do I sign up?

Already taken care of.

White Rhyno: I'm not swallowing this new propaganda for the new audience, liberal Americans who like to feel spiritual but aren't willing to accept any sort of consequences or conditions for the love/salvation provided by their former God. Anyway, I still believe in God, the God of the Jews and of the Lord Jesus Christ, and I would advise anyone else to not listen to this sacrilege that Changeling is spouting.

Changeling, you now have the responsibility on your conscience of any souls that you have condemned to hell through this new evil.

Wow, now I'm really honored.

Luckily, Hell has been completely disbanded by the New God so there is nothing to worry about.

PsychoticEpisode: This is sooooo good. I'm intriqued by the responses your getting. Incredible. I want to say more but I don't dare. Great idea!

BTW, do you have some scripture? LG & his ilk will need to analyze it to deem the new god worthy.

The New God, like any god worth His salt, could never fit into a puny human book, and is not at all concerned what the ilk think of Him.

PsychoticEpisode: The old god could take a few lessons from this guy.

Too late.

10-09-08 10:08Hard Work and Striving

Amniro: The youth these days are just too pampered, spoiled, and shallow!

Every generation always says that about the young generation. That is what our grandparents said about us and what their grandparents said about them, backwards into infinity.

People have not really changed that much. Most people of every generation seem pampered, spoiled and shallow...compared to US of course.

Amniro: But people have changed!

Culture has changed, but people do not change that quickly. There are ancient Roman writings complaining about how shallow and pampered the youth of their day was.

Amniro: Too many kids expect handouts and special privelages because of their name or who their daddy is.

This is exactly what the Romans thought about their youth.

Amniro: And our inability to place a hard emphasis on hard work for ourselves.

"Hard work" is over-rated. If we really wanted "hard work" we would never have invented the plow.

The whole reason we cultivated technology was so that we would not have to slave our lives away in endless toil. Why bother inventing electricity if we want to spend our whole lives busting our asses?

There is a very easy way to live the good life without having to trade huge chunks of it away to someone else in constant work. The trick is to strive for what you can be instead of what you can get.

Amniro: I disagree! If we would all get back to just one or two of our roots we'd have a newfound understanding of what it means to "strive" for the things we want.

The problem is with the word all.

One of the great strengths of the human species is our amazing variability. The reason humans are so adaptable to any kind of climate or changing conditions is because people are so different from each other. With variability, in any new kind of situation, at least some of the people will be able to adapt to it and survive.

I think it is a mistake to expect everyone to strive and fight and climb and achieve. I really don't think that is realistic or even healthy. Some people are very naturally fighters and climbers and achievers. Other people are much more laid back. (Before everybody jumps down my throat, I'm not talking about lazy welfare slobs who watch soap operas all day and expect a handout. I'm talking about people who are content to get by without trying to get ahead.)

It is especially important, for people who want to go and outpace everyone, that there are other people beind them all the way down the scale. Getting first place requires second, third and fourth places. Winning requires losers.

In other words, it is not important for everybody to strive. There is nothing wrong with people who do not want to do that, as long as they are taking care of the essentials. There are plenty of natural strivers to hold the vanguard.

Amniro: But I still believe we shouldn't be so damned dependent on technology.

This I agree with completely. But this will take care of itself. Our love affair with cheap energy is about to come crashing to a halt.

Amniro: When we tilled the fields and manned the farms ourselves, obesity wasn't such a problem.

True, and I feel that it will not be such a problem in the future as it is discovered that human energy is cheaper than fossil fuel energy. There is a happy medium somewhere between back-breaking toil and total automation, and I'm sure we can find it. I'd like to think that people could use more physical labor to accomplish life's tasks, and still log on and check out what's happening on the forum in the evening.

Amniro: How will we know how to strive or if we are doing it correctly if we are never taught?

You can tell by your results. If you get what you want, you were doing it correctly. No matter what people teach you, it still comes down to trial-and-error anyway. Every person has to figure these things out for themselves and find what works for them. Those who want to, do.

Amniro: This is my problem with most of the parents today. They have become so caught up with being cool, modern, and hip that they themselves have forgotten what values their parents instilled in them, which leads to their children never being taught.

Apparently the values weren't exactly "instilled" if they are that easily forgotten.

But I think you should realize that every group has real winners, real losers, and a bunch of people who are in the middle. This has less to do with what we are taught and more to do with the natural variability in human personalities and behaviors.

As I mentioned, the Romans had the very same complaints thousands of years ago that we have today. If you are among the natural acheivers, of course it looks like most people are slacking to you! You are leaving them in the dust! But it always looks like this to the achievers. In every group, in every age, there are the same curves of a few outstanding, some pretty good, a whole lot of ordinary, and a few slackers. It is absolutely just human nature.

Amniro: It's not just hard work that suffers. It's our endurance, our drive, our push.

It is not important for everyone to have endurance, drive and push. If people don't have drive and push, they will have mediocre success...so what? They reap what they sow...and that's okay. There is nothing wrong with some people not achieving greatness. It leaves more room at the top for those who want to claw their way up.

Amniro: Our ability to deal with the ups and downs that come with chasing a dream.

There are many different successful ways of dealing with ups and downs. Being an achiever is not the only path to happiness.

Amniro: We as a society have become too dependent on the "quick fixes" and "give me's" in life.

That's not the fault of lazy parents or lazy people. It's the fault to too many quick fixes and gimmies. But they do serve a purpose. Why do we even invent quick fixes and gimmies? Because life can be pretty fucking hard and a few quick fixes and gimmies take a lot of the strain off.

As I mentioned - unless we can get on board with modular fusion - a lot of the quick fixes and gimmies that we enjoyed will soon be a thing of the past. Our children and grandchildren will have to get by without them.

But luckily, into every human population are born many natural strivers and climbers and achievers who will handily overcome those obstacles. And most everybody else will find a way to get by too - just like people always have.

10-08-08 10:08Conservative on "Liberals"

StepM: I don't want to point fingers, but what is wrong with this country is all liberals fault!

It was liberals who wanted people to have mortgages - people who should have no business getting a mortgage because they couldn't afford them and they should have known that.

This is the most tired canard of the entire blame game.

The richest 10% of our society own 85% of all the wealth. The big problems with our economy are not stemming from trouble down in the 15% owned by everyone else. Everyone else put together does not have a big enough stake in the game to have screwed it all up this bad.

If you want to look at what happened to all the wealth in the U.S., look at the people who had it. The top 10%. They are the ones who had it. They are the ones who lost it. They gamed it around back and forth, trying to make it bigger and bigger and bigger, until it was so big it was just fucking ridiculous. When money gets that ridiculous, it loses all value. It just breaks.

StepM: It was GREED.

Damn straight it was greed. But I don't consider anyone who just wanted one house to be immorally greedy.

I think one person who thought seventy billion wasn't enough for him, he had to try to turn it into seven hundred billion, to be savagely, insanely greedy.

StepM: But look at what liberals belive!

* Liberalism takes a very passive side to most moral issues. Certain criminal law, for example anti drug laws, are often questioned and disapproved of by the left. The far left often adheres to what can be termed an "if it feels good, do it" policy.

* Results should be equal for all. Those who put in more effort should be no more successful than those who don't.

This is crap. This is what conservatives complain about liberals. This is not what liberals themselves think.

I have never, ever heard one person say "if it feels good, do it," except a conservative describing a liberal. I have never, ever heard one person suggest anything like "Results should be equal for all." No one thinks this.

Where the fuck are you getting this stuff?

I'm not even a liberal and I'm offended by this misrepresentation.

StepM: Liberalism takes a very passive side to most moral issues. Certain criminal law, for example anti drug laws, are often questioned and disapproved of by the left.

Anti-drug laws are condemned by the far right - libertarian territory - because they are unconscionable government interference in personal decisions.

They are questioned by everyone to the left of Joe Lieberman because they DO NOT WORK.

Does the decision to have a beer offend your delicate sense of morality? Or, are you with the "if it feels good, do it" crowd on this?

10-08-08 10:08Where is God?

Aurora: You fight pretty strongly for your views against a god.

I'm not sure you addressed this in your last answer so I'd like to reiterate it. Did I actually say somewhere that there is no God? Did I say that there is proof of no God? Did I say that God was impossible?

The only thing I am stating is that it is pretty fucking weird that after a lifetime of earnest seeking, I cannot confirm the assertions that others make to me about God.

I have tried every single method that has ever been proposed to me for getting in touch with God. I have prayed, meditated, loved, promised, read, fasted, tripped, danced and chanted. And I have waited.


I have had many strange and beautiful experiences, and learned so many important things about myself and about reality.

But no God.

People say, "You didn't try hard enough! You weren't sincere enough. You didn't try properly, or you didn't try often enough. You didn't try in every possible way."

Well, I do try hard. I am completely sincere. I try properly. I have tried often, in many ways.

I have looked deep within......I have vanquished the ego-mind and found perfect silence. I have looked without...I have seen stars of distant galaxies. I have looked before me...I have seen intricate patterns.

But no God.

People say, "You have too much doubt! You are too skeptical. You aren't looking in the right way. God doesn't reveal Himself to atheists. Some people just don't 'get it'."

Well, I'm not an atheist. I'm not different from other people. I'm open to every possibility. I'm looking in every possible way.

Nothing. No God.

People say, "He is before you! You just refuse to see!"

Well, I am not refusing to see. I am sitting here, right now, looking.

And, I am seeing.

I see so much...all so vast and and interwoven and wonderful! I can see everything.

Everything.....except for God.

Where is God?

Ellie: Brilliant post. I could have written the same thing....except i didnt. I dont write as well lol.

The whole thing applies to me. perfectly.


Aurora: I have personally experienced God. I am very sorry you haven't.

Please don't feel bad for me. I would not trade the magnificent clarity and strength of personal enlightenment for anything that could be bestowed from without. I remain curious...somewhat perplexed...but never disappointed.

Aurora: I don't know why He seems to visit me so I am moved to tears and others aren't.

As I believe I have mentioned, I have had my experiences of the spiritually sublime. It didn't match up to any of the things people say about "God"...the buddhist experience of "nirvana" might be a closer parallel - but I certainly don't feel I am missing anything essential to the human experience.

Aurora: And I hope that you find the answers you are looking for.

The ones I have seem to be working for now. For the future...who knows?

Aurora:It is a difficult spot you are in, probably worse even then being on one side or the other. I empathize.

I appreciate that. Thanks so much for sharing this discussion with me. You seem like a very warm and special lady.

10-06-08 9:22Sex

Andra: How important or unimportant is sex to you?

I never had much of a sex drive. I had some unpleasant early experiences and my first husband wasn't exactly a ball of fire. By the time I met J. I was convinced I could live the rest of my life and never have sex again.

Not long after we got together, I confessed to J. that I just didn't like sex.

He said, "What do you like?"

I thought about it, and I said, "Back scratches?"

He said, "Okay, we'll start there."

That was about nine years ago. I'm still not as into it as he is - sheesh, he's forty-seven and he's like a teenager, he could have it every day! But J. sure gives some good back scratches.

Even if I'm not in the mood, he just slowly pulls me into it - "Don't you think the scratches would feel better if we took these off?" - and just makes me feel so languid and relaxed I'm finally like, "Well, okay, go ahead! Hop on!"

Ellie: LOL.

Good man youve got there.


10-05-08 9:22God vs. Reason

From earlier:

Aurora: I don't see how believing in God and reason are so diametrically opposed.

Me: It really depends on what you mean by God.

I'd like to revisit this point, because this is probably one of the most important parts of the differences between theists and atheists (or other kinds of theists.)

If a person is describing "God" as another word for "universe" or "nature" most people will go along with that. Some might say that "god" is an unnessarily loaded term and simply saying "universe" or "nature" would suffice, but most would not feel that offends the bounds of reason.

However, when more specific kinds of qualities are assigned to "God," it starts to get more complicated. For example, many theists imagine that God is a sentient being of some kind, who can observe us and interact with our lives. This starts to seem unreasoned, because as far as we are able to discern, sentience requires a physical substrate - that is, every mind we know of operates out of a physical brain. Every force we know of that can affect matter also has some sort of physicality. The idea that intelligence exists without a neural network, or that agency exists without physicality, starts to stretch the bounds of reason.

Now, it is possible that some kind of non-physical intelligence exists in the universe. (Well, maybe.) It's a big sky, who knows? But the conflict deepens as more agency is attributed to this intelligence. For example, theists often suggest that the "God" they are discussing is the creator of this planet, and of this universe. The questions posed by reason would be, "Where did this creator come from?" and "How did this being arise and obtain this ability to create universes?" Sentience appears to be a late development, arising from simpler processes, not the other way around.

This rift with reason is furthered by studying the observable universe and our planet. As more and more is learned about where it all comes from, less and less does it appear to be the deliberate act of a sentient being. Particularly the formation of galaxies, stars and planets seem to be pretty straightforward natural processes resulting from matter acted on by gravitational forces.

As the agency of "God" gets more specific, the conflicts with reason get sharper. Theists often insist that God created humans. Reasoned study of humans suggests that we too arose from natural processes. Theists often suggest that God answers prayers. But studies of the efficacy of prayer can not confirm any notable correlations.

As we get down to the nitty-gritty specifics of religious cannon, the opposition of God and reason becomes startlingly clear. There is no reason to think, for example, that anyone was ever "born of a virgin." There is no reason to think that anyone "rose from the dead" or "raised the dead" or even "parted the sea." For one thing, people back in those days did not have rigorous methods to confirm that what they thought they were seeing was what actually happened. And for another, the physical laws of this universe dictate unwaveringly that those things are simply not possible. They don't happen now, that's for sure. What could have been different to make it possible then? The most obvious course, to reason, when people say a guy was born of a virgin, is to assume that someone back then was lying, or wrong.

Particularly troubling are declarations of knowledge about what to expect in "the afterlife." Every culture and religion on this earth has a different idea about this and there is absolutely nothing to reccommend one culture's belief over another. There is no way to check. The only answer acceptable to reason is "I don't know."

I hope this will help explain why "believing in God" and "reason" seem diametrically opposed.

Aurora: I respect whatever you choose to believe because I believe you have the choice to believe it.

I would beg to respectfully differ on this. I often hear people say that we "choose" what to believe, but for me anyway, my personal choice of what I "want" to believe does not even enter in to my attempts to discern what is real. I examine all that is before me and assess which explanation best correlates with what is observable. I cannot, by an act of will, diverge my assessment from what seems to be apparent. I can change it on the arrival of new facts, but not by any act of "choice."

This is one reason why I often say that I don't "believe" anything. When what is known changes, assessments and discernments are much easier to change than beliefs. And, if I am not able to make an assessment, have no problem at all with arriving at the answer "I don't know" when that is the truth.

Aurora: Have you heard of Maruso Emoto? He wrote words on the containers of water and then looked at their crystalline structure... I don't know how "scientific" this all is...

It is not scientific at all. These results have never been reproduced or corroborated and Emoto's work has been thoroughly discredited. There is no evidence that we can project "feelings" into water and so I would not advise you to base assumptions about what could exist without a body on this.

Aurora: Actually I have heard scientific talk for why the seas could have parted having to do with the tides and the shape of the bottom of the Red Sea that it has since happened in recorded history.

Yes, but are they claiming it was the tides, and the shape of the seabed? Or are they claiming it was the work of God? If this is naturally occurring, then it is certainly no miracle.

Aurora: As for being born of a virgin, this can also happen, a girl does not need to have sex to be pregnant, she just needs to come into contact with sperm.

Yes, I know that. But is that what the Christians are claiming? Are they claiming that Jesus was conceived as a result of Mary and Joseph getting into some heavy petting? NO. They are claiming that Mary was impregnated by God.

Aurora: And people have "risen from the dead," they have appeared dead and been brought to the morgue only to be resuscitated. People are also clinically dead and revived all the time, this hardly seems unreasonable.

True. But again, is this what Christians are claiming? Are they claiming that the people just appeared dead, but they weren't really? Are they claiming that Jesus just resuscitated them with mouth-to-mouth? Or are they claiming that Jesus used magic to restore the completely dead to being completely alive?

If Mary was just into heavy petting, and Jesus just used heart massage to revive the merely unconscious, then there is NO miracle.

As I said, the bronze-age people who witnessed these events did not have a rigorous means to discern what really happened. I don't fault them if they thought it was a miracle and it wasn't. But if it can all easily be explained by what we know now, then what is the God part?

Aurora: But as part of my faith I believe that these are answered prayers.

Extensive studies have been done on the effectiveness of prayer. In a typical experiment, researchers would take three groups of people with moderate-to-severe illnesses. The first set they would simply monitor as a control group. The second set was prayed over by a dedicated "prayer circle" but the patients were not informed that people were praying for them. The third group was informed that there were prayers being said for their recovery.

The only groups in these studies to vary from expected norms were the groups that were told about the prayers on their behalf. The difference is that these people actually did WORSE - they had longer recovery times and more complications. It has been surmised that they may have been more worried that their illnesses were serious because of the apparent need for "outside intervention."

Whatever the reason, there is no support to the idea that God is intervening in human health, in response to prayer or otherwise.

That doesn't mean prayer serves no purpose. But it may not serve the purpose people claim it does.

Aurora: If you choose only to believe in that which you can see, that is still a choice.

I'm sorry if I haven't been clear about this, but I disagree.

First of all, I could "decide" right this minute that from now on, I'm going to start believing in the unseen. But is that supposed to stop my brain from wondering how this all works? I don't see how. My brain is what it is, it does what it does.

Secondly, I am sure I made a point of emphasizing that I do not "believe" in anything, whether I can see it or not. As far as I can tell, there is no utility in belief. There is no reason to have any kind of "fixed" notion. I can examine a situation and make an assessment of what seems to be the case, and that is all I really need to proceed. I can change my assessment as new data is acquired. I would certainly not choose to "believe in only what I can see" when I do not choose to "believe" in anything at all.

Aurora: But you are choosing to eliminate all other possibilities.

I am really disappointed that this is the message you are getting from me.

Please, go back and read what I wrote about God and reason. I want you to observe the careful way I have constructed almost every sentence.

"...because as far as we are able to discern..."

"...every mind we know of..."

"...every force we know of..."

"Sentience appears to be a late development..."

"...less and less does it appear to be..."

"...stars and planets seem to be..."

"...study of humans suggests that..."

I am describing only what seems to be, and hardly declaring it to be incontrovertible fact. If I was eliminating all other possibilities, I would not say "it appears to be," I would say "it IS." See?

I really hope you are able to grasp this from what I am saying because it is absolutely critical to the point I am trying to make.

All I want to know is exactly what IS. Nothing more or less. How does that make me closed to the possibilities?

Jovaiel: IF/When science proves or disproves the existence of God...

This will never happen. This is not within the purview of scientific endeavor. I don't expect them to take up the burning issue of proving or disproving the existence of Puff the Magic Dragon either. Not their job.

Jovaiel: We are at a point where science has nothing except theories...

So...cures for rabies and smallpox and polio, nothing but "theories"? Harnessing electricity, creating radio, television, microwaves and x-rays...just "theories"? Landing a man on the moon, and returning him safely to earth...just "theories"?

Science MAKES things. Science DOES things. It's not "just theories." It's theories that work.

Jovaiel: Until we have knowledge, therefore...

Sorry, but I seriously doubt we could be constructing and launching international telecommunication satellites or cataloging the human genome without knowledge.

Science isn't just another kind of religion, another set of beliefs. It IS knowldege, imperfect and incomplete as it is. We may not know everything, but that doesn't mean we know nothing.

Jovaiel: ...we must depend on belief for our foundation...

Not everyone. It is a choice, not an imperative.

Jovaiel: ...and "faith" in those beliefs to keep them strong enough to sustain our lives.

Ridiculous. I know plenty of atheists who are strong enough to sustain their own lives without faith or belief.

Jovaiel: The point is only that it is not a question yet answerable by science and is, indeed, a matter of choosing which belief you find most positive, spiritually enriching, encouraging of happiness and joy, strengthening, etc.

Only if you don't care at all whether what you believe about reality actually correlates to reality. Some people do, some don't.

Jovaiel: Atheists are constantly seeing proof to confirm their belief that no god exists.

Do you actually know any atheists? Most would not say they have a belief in "no god". They would say that they do not have a belief in God.

Any atheist worth his salt would not claim to "see proof that no god exists." The typical rationalist, atheists included, might say they have proof that "god" is not necessary to explain a particular phenomenon, but that is far from saying it is proof that He doesn't exist.

Jovaiel: For Christians it is a regular occurrence to experience "God moments"...

This does not happen just to Christians. This happens to people in every religion and culture, and it happens to atheists too. What you think it means is highly dependent on what culture you happen to have been born in, among other things.

Jovaiel: ...until you try to explain it to an atheist who will find some way or another to deny it.

You need a better class of atheist friends. Anyone with a shred of actual interest in the human condition is familiar with this phenomenon. They may not agree with you that "God" is the only explanation, but that doesn't mean they will pretend it never happened.

Jovaiel: It all comes back to choosing what you want to believe.

It doesn't have to.

Aurora: I just don't see how you can claim to be truly be open to the possibility of God but then work so clearly against it.

What, exactly, am I doing to "work against it"?

Aurora: You have left it open, sure, but to me it still appears you make a choice to rule out all possiblities of faith until there is living proof.

I told you haven't ruled it out. I am telling you that straight out, and since you do not speak for me, I would appreciate it if you would not insist otherwise. It is not your call.

But my real question is, why isn't there any "living proof"? Any at all? If prayer worked, for example, a simple study like the type I mentioned should have revealed it. Why doesn't it? Did God refuse to help those particular prayer subjects just because the scientists were watching?

If the Hand of God is present in everything, everywhere, why doesn't it look like it is? Is He hiding every sign of Himself to force people to rely on faith or what?

And why does it look so different to people born on the other side of the planet?

Aurora: You said that the biblical miracles were far-fetched, I was attempting to demonstrate that they were not far-fetched or outside of reason at all.

Look, just because they are outside of reason doesn't mean it didn't happen that way. That's the whole point. You can believe that they happened, and who knows, you might even be right, but that doesn't make it reasonable. It is not reasonable. But God is not supposed to be reasonable so why insist that it is?

10-05-08 5:22Women and Choice

Ellie: Check out this video, about women and choice.

MMx3: We have a choice. To keep our legs open or closed.

Nuns cannot keep their legs closed. They have sworn an oath before god to never, ever open their legs. And yet, they turn up pregnant.

If the nuns can't keep their legs closed, with God looking right over their shoulder, what makes you think everybody else can?

Jedi Princess: LOL, this is the second thread that you've brought up nuns and pregnancy. Do you have some sort of issue with nuns, or what gives???

I am happy to clarify.

"Women need to keep their legs closed" is not the answer to the challenge presented by this video.

I bring up preists, monks, nuns - Buddhist too, mind you, not just Christian - to point out that every order that has a rigid policy of celibacy fails. Some of the people have sex anyway.

Even teen virginity pledges are a dismal failure. It just makes teen girls four times more likely to perform oral sex, or six times more likely to go for...another option.

There is no vow, no force in the universe that can keep people from having sex. There is no group of people at any point in time where every single woman kept her legs closed, even when she had sworn to.

Sure, celibacy is a choice, but celibacy as public policy is not a solution. It doesn't work.

Jedi Princess: Ahhh, gotcha. Thanks for clarifying :)

"Legs Closed" isn't much of a choice...it's more like, "My choice for you is that you keep your legs closed."

SewinMomma: We're all sinners before God. Which would explains why women can't seem to keep their legs shut if they didn't want kids.

I think you and I would both agree that there is an "underlying" imperative. However it's not necessary to resort to using "sin" to explain this.

Men and women can't keep their hands off of each other because your DNA does not care if you are "ready for children," as far as your genetic imperative is concerned, if you can bleed you can breed. DNA observes no other criteria.

And if you think that we are in charge of our DNA, you would have it exactly backwards. We seem to have some volition, but that too was created to help the DNA, and is entirely beholden to it.

SewinMomma: ...but really we need to get down to the root of the problem instead of just "aborting" it."

What are you seeing as the root of the problem? What are you suggesting instead?

10-05-08 2:22Fruit of our Labor

Aurora: Don't we have anything in common? We all love our kids. 2. We want our kids to grow up in a world where they can be successful if they choose to be 3. We want to be respected 4. We want the economy to get better 5. We want our kids to have good education

I would agree that these are commonalities. I'm with you on these.

Looking4logic: I would like my boys to be able to enjoy the fruits of their labor and not have to give any of their fruit to someone who won't earn their own fruit.

I would say this is not a commonality. I can't see what bugs people so much about sharing 1% of the fruit with the fruitless.

Aurora: Particularly when there is alot of fruit to go around.

Looking4logic: There is a big differenct between sharing the fruit with someone in truly in need and being required to give personal fruit away to people who feel entitled to the fruit of other's labor.

No there isn't. People sometimes need help. It's not always easy to tell why. One percent of the fruit is not too much to spare, even with no questions asked. That one percent should not be so important to you that you must have a rock solid reason to share it. Just let it go.

Sunny: I will have to disagree here. I will not share anything with someone who refuses to work for it. I would never give fruit to those who want it without helping pick that fruit.

Really, never? Are you sure that is what you mean?

There are a lot of people who can't "pick." Children. The elderly. The disabled. The disturbed.

I can't imagine needing fruit so bad that I could never share it with non-pickers.

Sunny: Moochers are not welcome.

You can't tell by looking at someone if they are "mooching" or not.

Sunny: I have my own children to provide for, I shouldn't have to provide for others who are capable of providing for themselves.

I understand. If you are running short, you should see to them first.

Sunny:To me, it isn't about running short. I don't worry about that. I don't feel that I should have to continue helping those who do not help themselves.

Why not? There aren't very many people like that. It's no skin off our noses to help them, we have plenty. It would show a good example of what a healthy person does. It might help them get their act together.

And it's more compassionate than watching them starve.

Sunny:Do you agree that I should give a handout to someone sitting at home watching soap operas all day although they are very physically capable of getting a job and making their way.

I don't know that this is what they are doing. It costs more fruit to scrutinize every fruit request than it does to just share some.

Most people get their act together if you give them some help. Some very few people never get their act together no matter what. But not having their act together only makes me more compassionate for them, for whatever lack they have. I would not see them starve because of it. Especially if I had way more fruit than I could ever, ever eat.

Sunny: I can't believe you actually thought I was talking about kids and the elderly or the disbaled.

You said, never. I did ask you to clarify.

The point is that it's easy to say "never to non-pickers!" but most of the people who are "not picking" ARE kids, the elderly and the disabled.

Looking4logic: I'm going to send my 36-year-old moocher brother over to you. Yes, sometimes it IS easy to tell who's abusing the fruit of MY labor.

Do you want him to starve?

Sunny: So, you would allow someone to do this to you?

I cannot afford to have someone do this to me. However this is not what people on public assistance are asking of me.

If Woodbabe's brother was hungry and applied for public assistance, I would not begrudge the 1% of my taxes that would go towards feeding him. I would be glad he was eating and I would never even miss my tiny little portion. That's the whole point of doing it publicly, so that the burden is shared and very minimal for any one person.

As a group, we have enough fruit so that no one ever has to run short. Why hoard it?

Sunny: Letting him go a day without food might make him wake up and get a job!!!

You'd think so, but it doesn't always work that way. Especially when jobs are hard to get. Our country has a lot of economic downtime.

Maybe once he has a full stomach, he can look around and and realize that there is more to life than food. There is just as good a chance that this will wake him up. Most people eventually do get it.

Sunny: So, when do I stop helping my lazy sister in law? BTW, she is 42 years old. She has a job but blows her money on booze and cigs. Then asks me for money to help with food.

You should tell her to apply for public assitance if she needs help with food. We are all here to help you share the burden of supporting her so it will not rest too heavily on you or shortfall your children.

Sunny: I told her, if you are hungry, go buy some food and quit drinking and smoking if you can't afford it.

I don't see a problem with telling her that. That's why food assitance doesn't pay for those things.

Sunny: So, she sould be able to spend her money on booze and cigs instead of food, yet be able to get pa?

No, completely wrong. Thanks for the opportunity to clarify.

If she has a job, if she has money to spend on booze and cigs, she would not qualify for public assistance. They would laugh in her face.

I said you should tell her to apply for public assistance if she needs help with food and quit bothering you. If she doesn't need it, oh well.

Looking4logic: You know, this sitting at home and letting everyone else do the work for ME is starting to sound pretty good...

Only if all you wanted was food. If you wanted anything more out of life it might not sound as good.

Looking4logic: Shoot, I'll get food stamps, subsidized housing, my utilities paid for....I can even get free daycare so the kids won't bother me during my soaps....oh yeah...and we'd all get free healthcare too! PARTY ON!

If you think that you would really be happier that way, go ahead. Most people want more out of life than that, but there are always a few who are lame that way. If that's you, you have my compassion, and I would certainly see you fed, housed and your illnesses cured before I would see you die.

Looking4logic: but you don't seem to understand that there actually ARE those who don't eventually get it.

I know that those people exist. I think that there must be something very wrong with them if they can't figure out something so simple. If there is something wrong with them, I have compassion for their lack.

Looking4logic: They learn how to work the system.

I know that. But that is not true for the vast majority of people using the system. A couple of freeloaders at the very fringe, more or less, isn't going to make or break us.

Looking4logic: What motivates a person to work or not to work?

Most people work because they like money and what they can buy with it. A lot of people also work because they enjoy it.

Some people don't work because they can't, or they don't think they can, or because work is not available.

Looking4logic: How far should we as workers be expected to go to make sure those who REFUSE to take care of themselves get their needs met?

Not very far each. Food, shelter. Nothing more.

Looking4logic: If they don't hit rock bottom they are never forced to look at why they need to change how they operate.

When it comes to providing food, starvation is rock bottom, and you can't bounce back from death.

Looking4logic: No one, not even one person has the excuse to starve to death in this country. There are many ways to get help. If you do manage to starve to death then you weren't looking in the right places. Or you weren't trying hard enough.

That's what makes this country great. I would only have a problem if people could starve to death. I don't have a problem with what we are doing to help now.

Looking4logic: Well, I'm against the repeated doling out of freebies to people like my brother who feel they deserve it without giving anything back in return.

Well, perhaps we are not talking about the same thing. What kind of "freebies" is your brother getting?

Looking4logic: My brother? He claimed he was gay, and then suddenly married ...A woman! She gets disability and her parents have lots of money to help them out.He is now sitting in HER apt, playing video games.

That sounds like HER problem. If she is okay with it I'm certainly not one to interfere.

Looking4logic: Maybe he SHOULD starve a little bit so he'll be motivated to get a job.

You'd think so, but it doesn't always work that way. Some people are very hard to motivate, and no one really knows why. Maybe someday we will understand it better. In the meantime, I don't have a problem keeping people from starvation.

It sounds like your brother is motivated by video games. When the girlfriend stops supporting him and he ends up on public assistance for food, it will only last until his video game breaks. Then, viola! Motivation.

I definitely do not support enabling laziness by providing free x-boxes. Ya gotta draw the line somewhere! :-)

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