Thursday, August 2, 2007

10 commandments

Janice would like to know if I do not adhere to 5-10 of the commandments as being morally relevant even though I am an atheist.

Before I fisk the 6 commandments, I do not believe that these moral codes originated with the Israeli tribal god. They have been present in many civilizations prior to the Israelites and Moses. See the code of Hamurabi and more, which if you wish I can track down. There are also those who claim that the 10 commandments were for the jews only and only meant for the jews dealing with other jews- a way of rationalizing much of the god commanded killing, slaughter and mayhem the jews committed throughout the old testament.

Also- as repeatedly stated in my post on morality...the reason I make any moral decisions is because it is in my own self-interest and not as a way to avoid burning in hell. Personal choice. My responsibility for my own actions. Not out of fear of divine retribution.

6 of the 10 commandments according to the New King James Version Exodus 20:1-20

#5 “ Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.

I love my mother and father because they are good and wonderful people. Because they have cared for me and loved me throughout my life. They have earned my love and respect and even my honour of them.

Not everyone is as fortunate as I am with my parents. I firmly believe that it is evil to offer unconditional honor to another human being based on their genetic code and its similarity to your own. There are absolutely situations where it is evil to maintain contact with your biological parents, or even your adoptive parents for that matter.

#6 13 “You shall not murder.

At this point in my life it is not beneficial for me to "off anybody". Does that mean that I would not protect my family from harm? No. Does this mean I believe all killing is evil. No.

#7 14 “You shall not commit adultery.

The parameters of my relationship with my mate are between him or her and me. They are nobody's business but our own. If we decide to have a sexually open relationship that doesn't concern anyone but me, him, the other, and possibly my children. It is nobody else's business.

#8 15 “You shall not steal.

I would steal if it was necessary to save my life or the lives of my children. Once again, based on the goals in my life and what is necessary for my own survival.

#9 16 “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.

Sometimes lying is necessary. Evil people do not deserve the truth. If a hostage taker demands to know where your hidden children are, you are morally despicable if you do not lie to protect them.

Does not god open the bible with the first lie? He said "hey- do you see this tree here? It's covered in beautiful luscious fruit. And you can't have any of it, cause I said so. If you eat of this tree you will surely die" They didn't die, they gained knowledge of good and evil. For that he sentenced them to a life of mysery and eventual death with the possibility of life in hell.

#10 17 “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

What is this, a thought crime? No matter how much I want my neighbor's new car, it does not affect him in any way. Nor should that be a sin. If I think the guy across the street is hotter than James Marsters in a red silk shirt, then what business is that of anybody's except possibly my mate. It is the acting on those desires that can create problems.

Check out what happens after the commandments were laid down. Did the people rejoice in their new found freedom and love for each other?
18 Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. 19 Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.”
20 And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.”

Why did they say they would obey the commandments? Because they are afraid of god. Fear is not a positive emotion. If the only reason you act as a good person is to avoid the wrath of morally depraved is that?

Make moral choices because it is the right thing to do!

This needs more, but I am at the library and running out of time.


Reg Golb said...
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Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

On #5 reg

So if your father raped and beat you from the age of 12 - till when you escaped, you should still honor him?

Fiery said...

piss off reg. you're not welcome here

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

I thought though shall not muder was actually thou shall not Kill, did I miss the revision?

Fiery said...

Dunno, I just copied and pasted out of the New King James version translatino available on line. I was once told that was THE translation to consult.

Fiery said...

translatino is actually meant to read as translation not some gender challenged ethnic individual

Reg Golb said...
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Fiery said...

It's not a discussion with you, it's me banging my head against the wall. Fiery votes no. Now go away.

You're Poodles' pet fundy, go back to her blog.

Reg Golb said...
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Crazyman Bob said...

It's fun being a pest where you are not wanted, huh Reg?

When there isn't much others can do about it?

Why don't you stop causing trouble and do something productive somewhere else? It's pretty clear you are not wanted here.

Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

On discussions reg, nice dodge of my question, or did that one stump you?

*crickets chirp*

Richard said...

For a powerful 'take' on the Ten Commandments, go to
If one is careful in interpreting the full meaning of the author's words, his arguments are resoundingly pro-American*

Gosh, the comments here are disappointing, save for the "translatino" typo ...good one!

Fiery said...

Richard...welcome to my blog!

It is unfortunate that your profile is unavailble so we know nothing about you but the article you've provided.

Cap mag is an excellent source of articles, though the fact that the core group of ARI objectivists toe the party line and accept most media stories as spot-on is beyond frustrating. That and the fact that inspite of Ayn Rand's specific vehemence against it, they have definitely urged that the "ends justify the means".

Again- welcome to my blog! Please feel free to help jumpstart the comments in a more interesting direction!

janice said...

Please, everyone, it was not my intention to get into a theological debate.
I just wanted to know how FE went from trying to have a personal relationship with God to where she is now.

Growing up with the values, morals and golden rule that the bible provided her during her time trying to become a Christian. FE's moral compass was based in Christianity, and now as an atheist she still has the same moral compass. What I want to know is where or what her values and morals are based on if not from her Christian upbringing.

We all adhere, to some degree, to those commandments, believer or not. I just want to know how an atheist has the same moral compass as believers in God be it Christian, Jew or muslim.

Fiery said...

Janice- I understand you don't want to get into a theological debate. You want to know about my moral compass and why it contains similar elements to the 10 commandments.

I will not answer the same question twice, though. You asked it back in open forum. I started the answer in Moral Compass.

Start there. Read what I wrote. Then ask for clarification on any part you are unclear on.

If it is your contention that many cultures share similar laws/prohibitions on lying, stealing, adultery, and murder because the christian god wrote it in their hearts, there is little I can say to dissuade you on the matter.

*sigh* Ignore the comments you don't wish to reply to, it's no bother to me. I am curious what you have to say about mine.

janice said...

I apologize for the comment here, it was not meant for you alone.

It was only a response to pummeling of questions/answers/comments from everyone else here and your last 3 posts. Everything moves at the speed of light and I can't keep up and have come off track.

I did read your post (many times) on Moral Compass. Then everything seemed to explode with more posts and comments.

I got the feeling my original question may have gotten lost along the way, branching off in many directions from different experiences. I was only asking about your specific journey based on your wanting/trying to be a believer, and coming from a similar background as me (without the Jewish mother).

Perhaps an email between you and me could clarify my question.

PS Sean - The Jewish translation is Thou shall Not Murder

King Aardvark said...

translatino: that's a good one. We'll have to use that somewhere sometime...

Reg Golb said...
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Reg Golb said...
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Sean the Blogonaut F.C.D. said...

Respectfully disagree with you Reg on the honoring your father. Someone has to be worthy of honor, indeed to be honorable in some sense.

The crickets bit, well that is interesting :)

To Richard,

Interesting that you walk right into a conversation and insult all of the participants in the conversation - nevertheless welcome.

To Janice,

Thankyou for the Jewish translation. Amazing how one word can entirely alter the meaning of a sentence.

Reg Golb said...
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Fiery said...

Janice- my sincere apologies for flubbing the e-mail address.

the correct one is
atheisthomeschooler at yahoo dot com

NOT gmail. SHEESH. sorry about that.

Reg Golb said...
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Richard said...

Thank-you for the welcome fiery.

I had to go through the kind of journey Janice as asking about. I was the son of a lay preacher and choir member of the Anglican church. There were not many childhood Sundays where I did not get at least one 90 minute Sunday
School lesson. Every lesson raised 'little' questions that bugged me: why wouldn't hungry lions eat Daniel; how can a few trumpets knock down ten foot thick stone walls; how can a bush burn and not be consumed; how can a MAN walk on water that wasn't ice; why kill all the first born; how can a stick suddenly be a snake; and on and on and on.

At fourteen I was confined to bed for six weeks, and read a lot... notably The Source by Roland Michener... SO, primitive tribal spirits once existed for all sorts of things: sun, moon, sky, woods, rivers, storms, big animals and small animals. Over millenia, the spirits became fewer in number but more powerful. All the while, coercive leaders imposed key Gods on their citizens and on citizens of defeated societies. Clearly it was easier to convince defeated people of one God's existence than that of a collection of gods. My teenage conclusion: gods are primitive nonsense, but the questions of how Man and the Universe were made, were not answered.

In strict confidence I nervously asked my Mum. She said she neither believed in organized religion, nor in a God, in Man's image. Some Power must have started things, she said, but we had to live our own moral lives. She mainly used church services to think about how she would do that. (Much later I learned her's was the position of Thomas Jefferson et al.; a discovery that to this day amazes me about my mother --even as she lived with my devout father.)

In my last year of high school, a very good biology teacher explained Man as a product of Darwinian Evolution (which he explained very well - I am a biologist). It made far more sense than Genesis!

Much later it became clear that the traditional view of God was impossible, even refutable. The idea of an eternal Universe is much more honest and easily understood than any supernatural consciousness.

Later still, Atlas Shrugged, and For the New Intellectual by Rand, made the World and My Life mine, rather than some illusory vale, or Platonic veil, arbitrarily granted to me by a capricious, 'unknowable' Power.

If ever there was a 'born again' revelation, that was it for me. I was not under any Power's scrutiny except my own. I was not even subordinate to society; I was in cooperation with society where it was good. It was in my best interest to live in a rationally moral, good society and support it, while opposing the irrational.

'My God', I was free, free of the mystical oppression of Gods!! I was even free of other men, to the extent that my society enabled it. Heaven is and should be life on Earth. Live it now.

I hope Janice can experience that revelation one day. Life after death is a contradiction that kills life.

[Sean, there is no need "to shoot the messenger". I remarked on the comments up to that point, and nowhere did I direct my remarks at "the participants" of this blog. That was your figment, words have exact meanings. My comment applied regardless of the depth of its recipients' skins. Fiery has made a phenomenal, honest blogging effort --which is why I am 'here'. She deserved more than flippant responses and one liners.]

Fiery said...

Richard- thank you very much for the long and highly enjoyable comment!

You are right- size matters and the more someone writes the more they reveal about themselves.

Which is generally why I prefer long comments and am almost completely incapable of leaving a short one. However, a short comment is better than none, otherwise it's just me and the crickets chirping.

As for comments long, short, whatever you feel like writing.

Just be warned, Fiery wants MORE!!!!

Fiery said...

'My God', I was free, free of the mystical oppression of Gods!! I was even free of other men, to the extent that my society enabled it. Heaven is and should be life on Earth. Live it now.

Richard if your life was a musical you would have burst into song at that point.

And what a joyous uplifting song it would have been.

Discovering reason, rationality and a life free of chains and fetters is indeed a breath of fresh air. A glorious experience that I wish more people were sharing with us.

I was not under any Power's scrutiny except my own.
I think the idea that someone is watching over your shoulder, judging not only your actions but your thoughts as well, is hideously oppresive.

Thought crime rears its ugly head in the bible w/ the 10th commandment. Now they are trying to legislate it through hate crimes. As if what the person was thinking at the time of the crime is punishable as well as the crime that was actually committed.

Poodles Rule said...

Whew! I go away for a bit and look what happens.

I think I dated a translatino once.

I feel too long gone on the rest of this to comment on anything else.

janice said...

Oh FE you are right on the mark regarding "hate crime" legislation.

However, (in my email to you earlier) I believed the 10th C had more to do with (hyper) envy. I wrote,
"Now on to coveting other peoples stuff. I have always thought this refereed to envy, but on a higher level. Envy can be very destructive emotion, can you not agree? It's OK to look at the neighbors new BMW and want to acquire one for yourself, that drives people to want a better life for themselves and their family. It's when you start to develop a dislike for your neighbor and wish him "bad luck" with the BMW and are happy when you see a dent or the repo truck pull up. That's how I've always looked at that commandment."

In the believers world, yes its a "thought crime" sin.

You've got me questioning some things.

If I oppose hate crime legislation, being judged by the government, how do justify a "Higher Power" doing the same?

I must do more reading when the family leaves tonight.

Tommy said...

Fiery, I do have to take a contrary position with you on hate crimes.

A hate crime is not a thought crime, as is commonly asserted. A hate crime is a crime that violently targets a member of a particular group to send a message to the group. For instance, to make the example more personal to us atheists, next month there is an Atheist convention in Virginia (Arlington I think), which will be attended by various luminaries of the movement, such as Sam Harris, Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens.

Now, just imagine that about a week or so prior to the convention, an atheist in Alexandria, Virginia is violently set upon by a group of people, severely beaten up, and the tires on his car, which features atheist bumper stickers, are slashed. While being beaten, the atheist hears his attackers yelling at him "You atheist scum are not welcome here!"

Now, in the anti-hate crime viewpoint, the attackers should be found, arrested, tried and sentenced for the assault and the vandalism. But because the victim was targeted because he is an atheist, the attackers intent was to send a chilling warning to all atheists that they could be attacked as well.

If you want some good info on hate crimes, check out David Neiwert's blog Orcinus.

Fiery said...

Tommy, nothing you have said here convinces me that the attackers should be charged with anything other than assault and vandalism.
Criminals always have a reason for what they do. Even if it is as stupid as "I was drunk and pissed and she was ugly."

Why should their "intent" make it more of a crime than what they already committed? How do you prove intent? It is the actions that are punishable not the thoughts behind them.

Tommy said...

How about the "You atheist scum are not welcome here!" as they beat the crap out of the atheist in the city where an atheist convention is due to be held in a week or two? That's the context I provided.

I am not going to get into a debate though. We both have our opinions on the subject. I am just saying that it is not about punishing thoughts, it is about punishing heinous acts that are meant to terrorize not just the individual who is the victim, but the group to which the victim belongs.

Tommy said...

But you might want to check out some of the posts at this url:

And that will be all I have to say about it! Honestly.

janice said...

Well said FE,
All violent crimes are "hateful" and should be addressed on the basis of the offense not what the "perp" was thinking prior to the act.

Reg Golb said...

Yeah, Fierry is right. I think you should moderate tommy for disagreeing. By his rationale, If the perp yelled "I love you and hope you heal quickly, Health and prosperity to all atheists" they should get a lighter sentence.

BigTex71 said...

By his rationale, If the perp yelled "I love you and hope you heal quickly, Health and prosperity to all atheists" they should get a lighter sentence.

No. By them saying "You atheist scum are not welcome here!", it asserts that the only reason they are committing the crime is because he is an atheist. Which, in turn, makes it a hate crime. If the man was not an atheist, this crime would not have been committed. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out. (Or does it?!) :)

Fiery said...

BigTex, awhile back 3 children were found floating in a bathtub. They had been strangled by their mother and left lying in the water. There mother did it because she loves god and wanted her children to go to heaven immediately.

Because her motivation for the murder was love, should we give her a lighter sentence?

Another mother strangled her 3 children and placed them in a dryer. She did it because she hated the whiny little shits and couldn't stand cleaning up their vomit any longer. Because her motivation for the murder was hate, should we give her a stronger sentence?

The emotional motivation does not matter.

A crime was committed. The crime deserves punishment.

Reg Golb said...

"No. By them saying "You atheist scum are not welcome here!", it asserts that the only reason they are committing the crime is because he is an atheist."

What if a mute is the perp? Are you going to punish him less? Every violent crime, they all scream hate, is commited by people who have hate for the victim. We have to punish the crime, the actual act the did damage, you can scream anything you want.

One of the ramifications of punishing "hate" crimes more that "nonhate" crimes is is tells the victims and the victims families that they don't deserve the same amount of justice as the speciality groups. And lets be honest, that is what we are talking about for the most part.

BigTex71 said...

I understand what you are saying, but hate crimes are usually tabbed that because a person was a victim because of race, creed, affiliation, etc. I am not saying that hate crimes should or should not be treated differently than other crimes. I am simply stating why some crimes are tabbed hate crimes. It could be another way of getting a jury to convict someone if it is proven that the only (or main) reason why someone was a victim was because of their race, affiliation, etc.

Richard said...

Thank-you, again, for your positive remarks, Fiery.

I was interested that, on the issue of the 10th Commandment, you noted its connection to hate crimes. You wrote:
"what the person was thinking at the time of the crime is punishable, as well as the crime that was actually committed".
This is, I think, the exact issue.

While Janice is right that the 10th is about envy, the fact that it is 'packaged' with *murder* suggests something more important than envy is at stake. In fact one site on the "Ten Commandments" described the 10th this way:
"coveting is corrupting the image of God secretly."

The Ten Commandments clearly seek to control freedom of thought (and so speech). By this, the Spanish Inquisition is not merely justified among 'serious' Christians,it is necessary. So is the notion of "death to infidels" & the practice of dhimmitude, among serious Muslims. If one doesn't think right, one is a sinner, a heretic and disposable.

(Dear Janice, this is same problem occurs with "thou shalt not murder". It becomes a faulty moral standpoint when murder is taken as a sin against God. The commandment says murder is wrong, but not so much when the victim rejects your God. The right conclusion for the wrong reason, is the wrong conclusion!).

Returning to the notion of hate crime: the instant speech or thought, themselves, serve to alter justice, one is acting against a fundamental, American, freedom. So long as the speech does not itself do damage, as in libel, slander, inciting panic or riot that results in harm to body or property.

That said, this principle must not be confused with culpability for a criminal act. Imagine someone in haste, who fails to properly put a car in Park and, as they get out, the car rolls backwards over, and kills, a small child. He may be guilty of manslaughter, but not first degree murder.

My point is that any deliberate criminal act is just that, regardless of the particular reason. Hate only adds a non-essential category of culpability. It serves as an anti-concept that serves only to soften the evil of non-hate crimes. It corrupts justice, and is very un-American. (I'm a Canadian, btw.)

And this brings me to BigTex's last point:
"It could be another way of getting a jury to convict someone if it is proven that the only (or main) reason why someone was a victim was because of their race, affiliation, etc."

That is the clearest example against the notion of 'hate crimes' yet. The jury member that favors one group and abhors another, however subtly, will use that prejudice to judge the defendant. Justice must never be capricious and must wear her blindfold. Defendants should only be judged on the nature of their action, and intent as discussed above, not ideology. Else, we sink back towards medieval times and kangaroo courts.

BigTex71 said...

That is the clearest example against the notion of 'hate crimes' yet. The jury member that favors one group and abhors another, however subtly, will use that prejudice to judge the defendant. Justice must never be capricious and must wear her blindfold. Defendants should only be judged on the nature of their action, and intent as discussed above, not ideology. Else, we sink back towards medieval times and kangaroo courts.

That is not what I meant at all. I merely meant that it could be easier to get someone convicted if they could show that a crime was committed only because of the person's race or even affiliation (like the atheist example above.) And if that person were not that way, then the crime would not have been committed.

Again, I am not endorsing hate crime labels. I am simply saying some of the reasons I can see why the courts would consider a crime a 'hate crime'. It's not about what the person was thinking at the time - if they were known to be against a certain type of people (being in an organized group like KKK, anti-sematic, anti-atheis.) Nothing at all about a 'thought crime'.

Fiery said...

Does the stance on hate crime come from an anti-government perspective?

I am absolutely anti-the-current-government in almost all of its manifestations.

I abhor the theocracy that is being created, the slave state taxes that are ripped from the people, the welfare state that give give gives to the undeserving while take take taking from the value producers. I hate that big business gets to use corporations as a dodge for personal responsibility in their business dealings.

Do I hate America? Do I hate its original intended political system? Absolutely not. America, as founded, is the greatest nation the world has EVER known. We have strayed so far from the path as to become the very thing we claim to be fighting against- state sponsored terrorism.

My stance on hate crime has nothing to do with anti-government and everything to do with the hideous unnecessary potential for abuse that "hate crime" provides.

Tommy said...

Wow, I didn't realize I had set off a hate crimes debate after leaving some comments here several days ago.

Evangelical Christians are against giving hate crime status to violent crimes intentionally committed against gays, which tells me everything I need to know.

Again, I reiterate, violent crimes intentionally targetting people for reasons of race, religion, ethnicity, or sexual orientation serve the purpose of not just hurting the victim, but the group to which the victim belongs.

If a gay tourist is violently assaulted in Boise, Idaho, the message that gays across America get is "We are neither welcome nor safe in Boise, Idaho." Consequently, gays will avoid visiting places like Idaho. That represents a LOSS of freedom, the freedom that every American should have to visit any place they want in this great country of ours.

Fiery said...

Tommy said Evangelical Christians are against giving hate crime status to violent crimes intentionally committed against gays, which tells me everything I need to know.

I am not evangelical.
I am not christian.
I am against giving hate crime status to violent crimes intentionall committed against gays.

Gramomster said...

Oh wow... there are just a number of things that get my sociologist hackles up here.

I think that hate crime designation is a necessary thing. I abhor the fact that gays, blacks, women, Muslims etc are beaten/killed by people who, in any other circumstance, would not commit violent crime. Those who commit such crimes are usually 'law-abiding' folk in every other way. They have jobs, they pay taxes, they love their kids. But, because they hate a particular type of person, they feel justified in causing harm to that person. That, I feel, should absolutely be treated differently.

Many people who commit violent crimes other than hate crimes do not hate their victims. They seek power, or revenge, or some such. Actual hate is rarely a part of it.

Beyond that, I am somewhat disturbed by the suggestion that the government give give gives to the undeserving etc. Who decides who the undeserving are? I would truly hope that you are speaking of the corporate heads who make 10s of millions a year while witholding benefits from lower employees. Or the fact that many major corporations pay NO taxes. Or that many horribly polluting corporations actually get paid to poison our water and soil. And not that you might be suggesting that working single mothers or working homeless families do not need help, or that if they do they do not deserve it, as their need is their own fault, and not in any way the fault of our corporations sending jobs overseas, closing plants and putting 10s of thousands out of work. Or the fault of downsizing to increase the CEO salaries, and the shareholders portfolio value.

With 11 million children in this country without access to healthcare, I would argue vociferously that the government does not give to those in need, but only to those who will help those in power to remain in power. Those who truly need have NO power, and their voice is not heard.

I have a very strong liberal bent. I think the current gap between rich and poor in this country is unconscionable. As the richest country in the world, we have the fewest family-friendly policies, and the poorest health outcomes. We rank at the bottom of industrialized countries in such areas of human well-being as maternal mortality, infant mortality, education, not to mention more consumer debt, as we try to fabricate a middle-class existence in a land where the middle class is going the way of the dodo bird.

Okay. done. Sorry for the length... I'm sitting here grading Social Problems final papers to boot. Hate crimes, social policy... these things are my lifeblood, and my bread and butter.

Tommy said...

Why do you hate America Gramomster?


Richard said...

BigTex71 wrote "It could be another way of getting a jury to convict someone if it is proven that the only (or main) reason why someone was a victim was because of their race, affiliation, etc.".

I pointed out that such a view would corrupt justice. Where jury members have certain prejudices it would be considered appropriate them to act on them.

BiTex objected to that interpretation, saying, "I merely meant that it could be easier to get someone convicted if they could show that a crime was committed only because of the person's race or even affiliation...".

I cannot see how that changes anything at all. The crime is the crime, and guilt is drawn from evidence not from 'type-of-attitude". As I said above, that approach is medieval and anti-American (in the Founders' sense).

It seems to me BigTex likes the idea of using hate crime as a an approach to justice but, at the same time, does not want it to corrupt justice. Because the use of 'hate' is a non-essential issue in matters of justice (as I explained above) the moment it is used it will distort justice. One cannot have their cake and eat it too!

Grammonster commits exactly the same error. Hate is just another awful idea among a list of awful things criminals hit upon to justify their actions. But each is an idea and ideas are not to be punished, only the crime. As I said above, start punishing people for ideas and we return to the Dark Ages.

Richard said...

I must chime in with a defense of Fiery concerning government spending and taking. Grammonster begins by asking, "Who decides who the undeserving are?"

No one has such a Right, no matter how many voters elect a man willing to do so wrong a job! Forced redistribution of wealth is an evil against both the robbed and the recipient. The robbed becomes a slave and the recipient becomes a farm animal waiting for feed. Neither is American.

Worse, the instant anyone or any group gets to decide, the power-hungry flock for the opportunity it presents (e.g Hilary Clinton, and many others). "I'm from the government and I'm here to help you" is one of those BIG lies.

The rest of Grammonster's post could be fisked point by point, but there is a more general response: if government interference worked, Russia, East Germany and China (etc.) would be clean and pristine ecologically, there would not be coercive measures interfering in every citizen's lives. The very principles of socialism and communism work against human nature. The first demands suicide, the second murder.

There is nothing inherently wrong in being wealthy while others are poor. The money does not sit under a mattress, it is used to build things. In free, capitalist countries the wealthy pay someone else for their gold faucets, not so in any other kind of country. Some of the very wealthy in America may have performed some unsavory manipulations that America's half-free half-socialist justice system cannot properly judge, but wealth itself is not a bad thing. The minute the wealthy are actively crushed, and taxed (a form of material enslavement that today is worse than what southern blacks experienced in the early 1800s) the only outcome will be poverty for all. Jefferson saw this, understanding that "no man has a right to that which another man has a right to take away". He also knew that the best help for the poor was to stand aside and let them pursue whatever degree of economic success they hoped to achieve.

Pretty well everything the liberal left blames on capitalism and freedom, is a result state interference. The state interferes in health care, and then health care becomes less available and more difficult to provide according to the meddlers' standard (ideal care for all at no significant personal expense). Their idea of a solution is more meddling. Always it comes to no good. Always it is the very poor the Left claims to want to help who end up suffering the most.

My contempt for the Left is only matched by my contempt for the Right. The Left wants to forcibly distribute productive wealth and have only a passing regard for the altruist morality (as they trumpet it), while the Right wants to forcibly distribute their altruist morality, having little regard productive wealth. Neither support freedom or peace for citizens.

Gramomster said...

Interesting how only Russia, East Germany and China are mentioned here, and not the very successful, economically competitive countries of Europe, where family leave is provided to all new parents, fathers and mothers both. It is thought that support for families equates to support for the society. Given that societies are comprised of families, this makes definited sense, and the success of such thinking can be shown.

I don't hate America. I have zero faith in those who hold office, those who have never lost a job without prospect of another, those who have limitless financial resources on which to draw, many of whom have not worked for ONE DIME of the money they spend!

And who the hell do you think the wealthy hire to watch their precious little trust fund babies and install those gold faucets!? Fucking illegal immigrants, in order that they (the owners) can pay as little as possible for the services they procure, and simultaneously evade social security, workers' compensation and other taxes!

Watch 'My Super Sweet Sixteen' on MTV once, and tell me there is nothing wrong with wealth! It distorts all perception of reality, and it creates an entitlement complex that harms every last corner of society.

What on earth did Paris Hilton ever do that made America a better place?! The sex tape?! I don't think so! Yet America is obsessed with her every move. But hey! It's all good! Somebody somewhere, once upon a time worked their ass off to build something that would allow a prissy little bitch to do absolutely nothing, and that's wonderful! It's the American way! Screw the folks with college degrees who can't find work in their field because some rich person wants to be richer, and has eliminated the jobs. So the college educated person, who bought into the ideals that are held up loses a home, a business (thanks, WalMart), perhaps a family. But it's their own damn fault for not working hard enough? Yeah. False consciousness, alive and well.

Gramomster said...

Just another thing that sprang to mind...

This is an atheist blog, correct? And yet, those oft quoted in this particular debate are those that called upon the power of god to justify and explain their actions against others. Jefferson? Impregnator of a slave? Thus an unfaithful husband, yes?

And all those wealthy folk... manifest destiny, chosend by god, blessed by god, favored of the creator. Hmmmmm.....

Richard said...

Gramomster said "Interesting how only Russia, East Germany and China are mentioned here, and not the very successful, economically competitive countries of Europe..."

Examples need not be exhaustive; to sneeringly suggest they should be is disingenuous. Further, the most casual, honest observer can see --both across political space and time-- that the more socialist a nation is, the more impoverished its people become.

It is also just as clear that the Mexican immigrant nanny is better off with dirt cheap pay in the US than she was when in Mexico. That is why they keep arriving, and in a generation become more American and harder working than Americans of the same age. Welcome them, they make the lives of working Americans better.

Filthy language only demonstrates a person's state of mind, or lack thereof.

Richard said...

As a Canadian I am proud to say I seem to know more about Jefferson than an American grandmother "who finds herself in Michigan".

Thomas Jefferson was desperately in love with his wife. Her death, when he was in his 40s, all but killed him. His daughter's memoirs speak of the months of despondency he suffered after she passed. Young Patsy's memory of his suffering stuck with her for her entire life, as an indelible example of how parents could love one another. Three or four months after her passing, Jefferson's friends rallied around him and directed him toward his better interests, and he eventually rallied.

To suggest Jefferson was adulterous is nothing short of vile, given the truth, and the overall greatness of the man.

DNA evidence suggest the slave in question was most likely impregnated by a cousin of Jefferson's who stayed at Monticello, at a time when Jefferson was away. But, even if he had done impregnated her, it in no way should be used to discredit the wonderful intelligence of the ideas he stood for. To think that way would be to "throw out the baby with the bathwater" out of spite, I suggest, against the one of America's greatest men.

[The Left is most eager to reject Jefferson on adultery charges, yet love their own adulterer, Bill Clinton, as their living political darling.]

Leftists have been working hard to discredit the Founders of America, and have distorted a great many facts, or have developed contrived interpretations --rewriting history--, to achieve their goal. Jefferson was neither Right nor Left. He, perhaps more than any other Founder, understood Individual Rights for their value to Men, as conceptual beings living in a social context. I said, "Individual" Rights", not "human rights" or other corruptions of the concept.

Also, Jefferson was a Deist, a god was his only explanation for the Universe. But God did not interfere in the lives of Men. Each man had to discover how to live without a god's intervention. T.J. was no Sunday-go-to-meeting, bible thumper. In fact his position then was more radical than any atheist's over the last 100 years. To apply today's standards to him is a gross injustice.

To those actually interested in a proper understanding of Jefferson and the Founders, rather than hearsay and Leftist distortions from academia, I recommend:
1) In Pursuit of Reason: The Life of THOMAS JEFFERSON, by Noble E. Cunningham, Jr.
2) Vindicating the Founders: Race, Sex, Class, and Justice in the Origins of America by Thomas G West.

I personally find attacks on the very few great men who dragged the Western World out of the Dark Ages to be contemptible in the extreme. Seeking to put clay feet on heroes is nothing less than "hatred of the good for being good".

I've seen a lot of that in academia, since the early 1960s. Such duplicitous tripe is widely disseminated to lecture halls full of trusting young minds who lack the tools to critically reject such nonsense. Now three generations, exposed to such "abuse of reason", can no longer grasp the distinction between actual crime and thought crime (presently known as "hate crime"), nor see how it destroys Justice.

American Academia should be showing the World why Reason is superior to Skepticism or Faith, yet too often they snidely achieve the opposite. Jefferson sought to do that when he built the University of Virginia.

At the close of the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia on September 18, 1787, a Mrs. Powel anxiously awaited the results, and as Benjamin Franklin emerged from the long task now finished, asked him directly: "Well Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" "A republic if you can keep it" responded Franklin.

It pains me to see so many Americans no longer know what made America great. So many are no longer patriots, they are mere flag waving nationalists.

Gramomster said...

I absolutely agree that the Mexican nanny is much better off, and immigrants by and large do work much much harder than native-born Americans who feel entitled to good lives for no other reason than having been born here. My point is that those who can pay decent wages choose not to, in order to hoard further. They do not hire Americans, they hire illegals, to that purpose. Personally, I believe that immigrants contibute immensely to our economic standing, and folks who do not see that would be stunned if in fact the undocumented 'went back where they came from'. I find that type of thinking ignorant.

And, if you are going to cast aspersions based on language... perhaps you should go back to Fiery's last post... does your comment still apply?

BigTex71 said...

I think Tommy summed up my views a little better than I did. :)

Richard said...

I think it is no one else's business what a wealthy family pays their illegal immigrant nanny. In fact I strongly believe immigrants should be illegal just because they have no papers. The first Americans were not so xenophobic.

The illegal immigrant situation is the cause of their poor pay... and still they are willing to come.

We have absolutely no right to demand that someone who is wealthy pay more. We can politely suggest it, and make sure that we pay well. , but it is un-American, with all that subsumes, to pass laws that *force* employers to cater to employees (unions too).

The key thing about freedom in a socio-political context, is that it means freedom from other men and that means you and me. Unfortunately Americans made the immigrant laws instantly taking away freedom from would be Americans. Many immigrants are more American than people who have lived all their lives in America, and that includes more than a few Presidents and Governors!

NB. We are in Fiery's 'house'. If she chooses to toss spaghetti, with sauce, on the wall does that mean
1) you immediately have license to do so too, and/or
2) that it is a good thing for you to do?