Humanism And Jesus…

2018-03-05_15-42-33My conservative Evangelical friends would like me to believe that you can’t be a humanist and also be a follower of Jesus.  From what I have discovered in the last few months, that is categorically false. The two beliefs align very well with one another.

Yes, there are differences in beliefs for different versions of humanism, but since there are over 39,000 versions of Christianity that kind of seems a lame argument to me. I’m sure some humanists are more aesthetic in nature just as there are Christians who basically ignore the teaching of Jesus.

Jesus was about caring for “the least of these”. It was a core part of his nature and teachings.  Show me where the words in the graphic above are contrary to that? I have always been uncomfortable with the anti-science nature of many versions of Christianity. That, and the political one are the reasons I no longer call myself a Christian.  To me, those folks who reject science are simply too stuck to a few limited words in the Bible that they take far too literally.

It seems that in my old age I am just not much of a joiner so I no longer call myself a Christian and I probably won’t call myself a humanist either but I do agree with much of their philosophy. I definitely don’t call myself a Republican or a Democrat for that matter, both are now stained beyond recognition.

Haters Are…

There just seem to be a lot more haters in the world today.

  • They are bitter about one thing or another
  • they envy so many others and covet what they have
  • they voted to put an incompetent, ignorant, bullying narcissist in the Oval Office.

I will come out and say it, I think that many of those who voted for this guy are just lazy losers.  They don’t want to take the time to understand the issues that are confronting us as a nation or even on a personal level.  I think they know that he is incompetent and only thinks of himself but they simply don’t care. But, that is enough politics for now.  On to other areas…

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Were they always like that?  Almost all of us as four-year-olds questioned everything. “Why” was probably the most often used word in our limited vocabulary. Some of us maintained the “Question Everyone” attitude throughout our lives. Since it is a major theme of this blog I like to think I am one of them. But there are others who had it beat out of them early on. They were told to keep quiet and do what you are told.

I know I quote Thomas Jefferson frequently here at RJsCorner, especially the quote about how a democracy depends on an informed electorate, but that fact seems to be forgotten by so many so I will bring it up again and again. To get back to the quote above, everyone has dreams about something but like the “Why” thing for too many of us, the dreams are squashed early on. As a result, they just don’t have the fire in their belly to begin to make them happen. If you are one of those people think about why you hate so much and do everything you can to strip it from your lives before it consumes you.

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Wit, Wisdom, and Insight

This is going to be a pretty philosophical post so be ready.

The three words in the title above are a strong part of what I want to be when I grow up. I realize that these things don’t happen overnight. They are instead a lifelong process.  I proudly think I have come quite a way in obtaining them now that I am beginning my eighth decade on this earth. A few more and maybe they will be complete. 🙂

2018-09-08_14-58-02.pngJust kidding of course, but these three characteristics do take a long time to mold into a psyche.  Which is harder to obtain? They all take different paths to accomplish.  I think the secret behind wit is the ability to see the irony around you and the ability to laugh at yourself and how you react to the world. Or maybe it is just realizing that for the most part life is really just one big joke.

Wisdom is a lifelong process and since I have lead a pretty long life I think I am to one degree or another wise.  In order to be wise, you must first have been foolish.  Wisdom does not come from always being perfect but instead, it comes from making mistakes and realizing there was a better way.  After a couple thousand cycles of this, you might finally be able to proclaim wisdom. I might just be getting close

2018-09-08_14-57-08.pngInsight is another matter. Insight is being able to understand different situations and intuitively grasping the best solution.  I’m not sure this can even be learned. Either you have it or you don’t. But being skeptical of what you are told is part of this process.

 

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Human Dexterity…

This post is going to be about how robots have replaced humans in a significant segment of our industrial complex.  I will say up front that I deem this as progress. Human dexterity is just not a precise thing.  We are incapable of producing the accuracy of today’s workplace.  We are imprecise creatures and in some way that makes us creative creatures and that is something that machines won’t soon replace.

2018-08-24_10-05-47.pngWhen I bought my first new car in 1970 the saying “don’t buy a car made on a Friday or Monday”  was something to take seriously. The reason for that is that the workers who made the cars were often thinking about what they were going to do that weekend or what they had done after it was over.  Robots think of one thing and that is to put that screw, weld, or part within a 10,000th of an inch where it is supposed to be. They do the same thing to that accuracy over and over again without thinking of anything else.

As I said previously, human beings by our nature are meant to be creative creatures. We are meant to solve problems, create new ways of doing things, or just make life a little more pleasant for the rest of us.  We were never meant to shut off our minds and do the same thing over and over again.  Someday we will look back on things like the human assembly line and wonder how anyone could ever do such a boring thing!!

 

Shades of Grey…

2018-08-27_10-48-28.pngUnlike so many of my conservative friends, I deem almost everything in life as being shades of grey. Some agree with #CO3 that the press is the enemy of the people. There is an iota of truth in that but their contributions to our democracy FAR outweigh those times when they are doing something totally for their own sake.  As far as Fox News is concerned, I don’t put them in the press category.  They are instead just a propaganda tool for a small slice of our society.

Getting back to the topic at hand, the Poll watch shown here is more than a little deceiving. It would have you believe that 48% of Americans agree with #CO3 and even want to give him the power to shut down those news organizations he doesn’t like.  First of all, if that were to happen we would be on a path very similar to what Hitler did in Germany in the 1930s.  It was the first step in the total evil of his regime.  But that is a story for another post.

Let’s be a FactChecker for the duration of this post. Statistics show that the Republican party is made up of about 25% of the American population. So, that 48% who want to give him dictator-type powers will really about one in nine of us. I call that a pretty small but still scary minority.

Why was the clipping stated as it was? I kinda think it was to stir up discord among us. Too often it seems that media publishers want to dramatize things.  For instance, everything on CNN is not “Breaking News”. 🙂

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office Occupant

America’s Form Of Capitalism…

2018-08-24_09-44-00.pngThis post is about the question “Is America’s form of capitalism being pushed aside?” Is the world moving beyond the American definition?  Some might say the Capitalism as it exists in America is “The rich get richer,  and nothing else matters…

“What happens when a society reinvests the gains from industrialization into things like healthcare, education, and so forth? Well, it’s economy changes — radically. You see, the American economy is still 75% consumption — McMansions, SUVs, designer jeans, and so forth. The problem is that 80% of Americans live paycheck to paycheck. They can’t afford those things anymore. But if America had invested in public goods, then the economy would be made less of consumption, and more of investment.

Source: How to Think About the World After Capitalism – Eudaimonia and Co

I like to blame all of our problems on #CO3 but I recognize that our “consumption” problems are ingrained in our capitalist system. The “rich get richer” and “survival of the fittest” is a dominant part of our version.

Our version of capitalism will likely change in the coming years. One path will be divorcing ourselves from the rest of the world. Going it alone. Another path is that our capitalist system may morph into the version practiced by  Western Europe, Scandinavia, and Canada as cited in the source article.

So, what is the basic difference? These countries practice what some may call social democracy.  They give all their citizens what they see as inalienable rights.  They include healthcare, education, transportation, and retirement. Because these rights are endemic in their version of capitalism they divorce themselves from the “survival of the fittest mentality”. I think we have some things to learn from them in that and many other regards.

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#CO3 = Current Oval Office occupant