Category Archives: People with interesting ideas

The ultimate ‘What would you do and why?’ question.


Subjective experiences interest me. 

A research firm calls.  They want you to volunteer to be a research subject for mind altering experiments.  They offer ten million dollars in compensation.

If you say yes now, keep reading.  If not, drop a comment for me as to why, please.

The study will last the rest of life.  You will live in a resort like hospital, and be free to leave at anytime.  If things go badly, then your health will be taken care of, according to the wishes you lay out now.

If no now, comment below.  If yes, read on.

This is a complete roll of the dice as to how it will affect you.  You could have nothing in you change, really.  You could become smarter, you could develop a mental illness.  Death, immortality, everything is on the table.

No, comments.  Yes, keep going.

The first portion of the testing will be a treatment that will alter the way you react to things.  You will find that you are content all the time, even deliriously happy when appropriate.  Things just won’t bother you, and you’ll always be happy.

No, comments.  Yes, keep going.

The next portion of the testing will be taking some various chemicals at increasing dosages, while your health is carefully monitored.  You will be expected to record your state of mind and thoughts on an hourly basis.

No, comments.  Yes, keep going.

The next part of the testing will involve chemical and gene therapy on your brain, directly, to overcome the blood-brain barrier.  You will be anesthetized and, due to earlier testing, happy.

No, comments.  Yes, keep going.

The final stage of the testing, they surgically implant devices into your brain that allow you to directly interface with it.  You can have experiences akin to the Matrix, instantly learning things, experiencing anything you want while jacked in.

The devices can’t be removed, but you will have the choice to leave the Matrix at any time, and you are not required to ever use it again.

No, comments.  Yes, keep going.

Your experiences and thoughts will be constantly recorded and uploaded to a research computer.  It will include data that will enable them to experience your every moment, as you, believing that they are you while experiencing it.

This effect will happen while you are in the Matrix, and and outside of it.  You can ask that they delete it all on delivery.

Comments, please.  My opinion on this will be in the comments as well.  There are no wrong answers, and if you don’t want your responses published, just note it in your comment.

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Filed under Creative ideas, Mental Health, People with interesting ideas, Philosophical Q&A, Social ideas, Things I like

On kindness.


What?  I like them.

Yay dandelion!

I propose an idea.

The rules of society, the unspoken rules, the ones you figure out by slow, uncomfortable experience? Let’s do away with them.  Everyone is miserable in some way.  If not everyone, a ridiculous vast majority.  Most of those people are miserable because of those unwritten rules.

Lies are okay.

Me first.

He who dies with the most toys wins.

They are bad because they look/think/believe/want/need differently from us.

The misfortunes of others give us joy.

 

So, in their place, I say we adopt the following, as a species.

1: Be kind.

Kindness would not harm another being through deliberate action or inaction.

Kindness is aware that other human beings exist and they are all affected by my decisions.

Kindness is consistent and constant.

Kindness is not the easy thing.  It is the worthy thing.  It is the right thing.  Not just for me, but for society as a whole.  We are human beings.  We have risen above so much, but somewhere kindness was lost behind.

Kindness does not judge without reasoning.

Kindness does compromise.

Kindness asks for what it needs.

Kindness doesn’t ask unless it’s a need.

Kindness is the small thing, the common thing.  The single stirring of a butterfly wing, that eventually creates a hurricane.

Kindness is powerful.  It doesn’t flinch.  It doesn’t back down.

Kindness takes care of itself, that it might better care for others.

Kindness is subjective, but always tries to imagine what it’s like in another’s shoes.

Kindness is the rock to which civilization clings.  Trust is a kindness.  Honor, a kindness.  Truth, respect, justice, valor, all derive from kindness.

 

We laud ourselves for being tool using creatures.  We call ourselves sentient.  Without kindness as a constant part of who we are as a species, are we any better than animals, really?  Given a behavior comparison, how does humanity rank against the Great White Shark?  (No, really.  Have there been any studies?)

 

As for my proposition and the rules, there need be no more.  From kindness, all else grows.

I like elephants, too.

Yay Elephant!

Now for an injection of “sanity” from the devil’s advocate.

If humans are wrong about being better than animals, then kindness becomes a privilege.  If humans are incapable of overcoming their desires to be selfish and destructive, then perhaps reality is what it shall be.  Poverty must exist because not all can have all.  Crime, hatred, war, all must exist in a world without kindness, because greed is their root. Itself, unkind.

Kindness itself can’t spread aggressively, either.  Kindness can only be an example, spread passively.  We have to choose to do it, and change is uncomfortable at best.

So, the proposition.  Let’s try it.  Choose to be kind.  Let’s see what the world looks like with that as our driving force for a century or two.  Join me?

 

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Storm warning…


storm-clouds-over-empty-road-16_9-nf4he4

The Gathering Storm

It’s funny. I grew up in the country, so I learned a lot about the ways mother nature will warn you that there’s any kind of bad weather coming. Little things that you only notice if you take the time to be still, quiet, and look at the world around you. I’ve learned to trust those little signs of a coming storm. I might not get as much notice as I would from computer models and weather forecasters, but generally, if I pay attention and look at those little signs, I know whether I’ll need an umbrella or sunglasses on any given day.

Lately, though, I’ve seen something different. Something that’s maybe a part of nature, yet a part of mankind. Something that seems to definitely exist in the United States right now, as well as other parts of the world. There’s a feeling, a sensation, a low rumble that seems to be something people don’t talk about much, but they all quietly acknowledge it’s there.

There’s a storm coming.

It wasn’t all that long ago when I noticed the first gusts of the storm in the tree tops. People arguing about political things, right versus left, big government versus small, that sort of thing. The folks that were on television, the folks that told most people what and how to think about things, they seemed to be arguing, upset about how things were, how things should change, how bad stuff was. People in real life tended to parrot what they heard from them, but that was about as far as things went.

Now, the wind has changed a bit. The gusts that were makin’ the tops of the trees sway back and forth are now down here, at ground level. Folks are noticing that maybe what they were told by those folks wasn’t all true. There’s nothing stable to lean against or hold onto in the wind. People are gettin’ blown around a bit, and they know things aren’t quite right anymore. The trust is gone, and folks are nervous.

There’s a storm coming.

When a thunderstorm comes in, one of the things I notice is the way the air smells. It smells like wet dirt and grass and leaves all mixed up. It’s a smell that’s easy to miss, and gets blown away by the wind. It’s like the way folks in the United States are most entertained by other people’s trouble, and imaginations of apocalypse. Think of all the big movies and such that have been around recently, and you’ll find that a good portion of them, a good portion of the popular ones, have been about the end of the world or dystopian societies. It’s not something you think too much about, most of the time, unless you’re keeping your ear to the ground.

It’s like people have not just lost hope, but they’re secretly thinking about what to do when the world they know has passed on. It’s as if the clouds are dark and heavy with big ol’ raindrops, waitin’ to be driven down by the winds, and the sun is only shining through in a few distant spots, the breaks in the clouds that are slowly coming together as the storm comes along.

There’s a storm coming.

Before a storm rolls in, I’ll see the cows lay down together, the birds will go quiet. I’ll notice that there are more turtles up on higher ground. Odd little behaviors they really only do when some kind of weather is on the wind. People are doing similar things, looking around a little more, going amongst those that are close to them to talk low about things that are going on, but keepin’ that smile on when they’re out with other folks. People are being careful what they say around other people, careful what they post online, trying not to be noticed as the storm rolls in, hoping it will blow over them, leave them unscathed.

There’s a storm coming.

I notice that before a storm, some folks feel aches and pains in old wounds, like their body is telling them to get under cover before it happens again. It’s funny how a lot of wounds that should be healed by now are being dragged up and out into the open, causing pain and hate among people that otherwise wouldn’t worry about it so much.

It’s like the air before a thunderstorm. That air is electric, like there’s an unseen bit of electricity that makes you a feel kind of small and even a bit jumpy. I like that feeling in nature, it’s one of my favorite times when a storm rolls in and the air gets quiet, and even the bugs seem like they’re looking for cover. This feeling is different, though, and it seems like people are noticing it. There’s things going on up north in Connecticut right now that would have been unheard of in times past. There’s folks acting against other folks because of things that really have nothing to do with them, things that make people hate each other. There’s rumblings in the distance, like lightning that flashes in the sky before the first hint of rain, revolutions and such in places like the Ukraine and Venezuela, military posturing in China, warnings and arguing between the US and Russia.

There’s a storm coming.

One of the things that I have always noticed is the way people talk about an oncoming storm. Plain, simple, country talk about how bad it might or might not be, and what to do about it before it comes. More and more, I keep coming across people from all different walks of life that, while they might disagree about just about everything else, agre on a few things. They agree that congress is just about useless. They agree that not only do they have issues with the president, but that the choices available in the past haven’t been worth the spit to talk about. They agree that something is about to happen, and it’s time to get ready for whatever it may be.

People are scared of whatever is coming. Bankers are offing themselves for no apparent reason. There’s talk about money being weird and how many ways things can suddenly go wrong. People are thinking about what to do when the storm comes, whether they have shelter for the storm, and who they might go to should the storm overwhelm them.

There’s a storm coming.

It’s all the little things put together. I don’t know if we’re going to get a misty soak followed by rainbows and birds singin’ on the wind. I don’t know if it will be one of those storms that blows a bit, makes some noise, and moves on, leaving the day more hot and humid than when it began. It could be a short downpour, what we call around here a “gully washer”, one that almost seems to clean things up a bit, or a tornado that will just plow everything down in it’s path.

I hope it’s a light mist, personally, or maybe a short gully washer that won’t last too long, and afterwards things will just seem better for awhile. It’s hard to say, though. I’m not sure whther it’s time to just get out the umbrella and keep it handy, or whether to check around to see where some good root cellars are to make it through.

I hope it’s just a shower, and we’ll all get to go play in the puddles afterwards. Maybe it will be, and everything will be fine. It may be that we all have to come together afterwards and try to clean up the mess left behind, though.

All I know is what I see and what I feel, and what I know is that it feels like there’s a storm coming. I hope we can all go out and play in the puddles when it’s over, but we should all be ready to go and help clean up the mess if it’s somethin’ worse.

www.cracked.com/article_20819_5-disturbing-reasons-not-to-trust-news-from-reporter.html

www.washingtonpost.com/blogs/post-partisan/wp/2013/12/17/trust-in-congress-gallups-to-single-digits/

www.cbsnews.com/news/most-americans-disappointed-in-obamas-presidency-poll-says/

www.coolage.in/2014/02/27/the-ukraine-crisis/

www.usatoday.com/story/news/2014/02/23/maduro-seeks-venezuela-peace-conference/5760543/

www.reuters.com/article/2014/02/25/us-afghanistan-usa-obama-idUSBREA101B420140225

rt.com/usa/us-military-cuts-budget-423

www.gmanetwork.com/news/story/350486/news/world/china-says-decision-on-new-air-defense-zone-depends-on-threat

www.theguardian.com/world/2014/feb/27/us-warns-russia-military-drills-ukraine-border

www.cnbc.com/id/101450365

 

If you liked the way this was written, check out my e-book, “Fairy Ring”.  Only 2.99 and found here: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00I7YXGLG

 

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Internal Computing of Morality(for me)-or why I hate my brain sometimes…


mammalian-brain-computer-inside

(image credit: http://www.voodish.co.uk/articles/human-brain-simulated-on-super-computer/)

Morality. Noun. Principles concerning the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad behavior.

I always wonder how people develop their morality, how they make “moral” choices, and what they mean when they describe a person as a “moral” person. It’s honestly something of a curiosity to me.

Let’s take a look at the definition, first. “the distinction between right and wrong or good and bad”

Think about that for a minute. Does right equal good? Does wrong equal bad? Who is it that decides these things, exactly?

For some, the answer is simple. They point to a deity of one sort or another, look at their sacred texts, and come back with an answer to what is right or wrong based on that. The problem with this, is that there are several to choose from, and while societies can form that support these ideals, those societies tend to be at odds. In general, within these societies, there are also conflicts within them about the interpretation of the sacred text and what it is the society itself should be doing, causing splinters within the society.

For others, they go with instinct. The problem I have with instinct is that instinct seems lot flipping a coin or rolling dice to decide on the outcome of a given situation. There’s no real thought put into it, you just go forth and do, and hope for the best. Some of these people do well, some do not. Instinct alone is all about survival, and while you may survive and even thrive on it, it makes you a bit random. The only thing that is apparent to me that those who follow instinct first and foremost can be depended upon for is to look out for their own interests first in any given situation. Whether this is good or bad is a question that I’m not convinced even applies.

So, morality is still an enigma, as far as how other people come to their decisions and whatnot. This is how my mental computer works, as far as I can understand.

1:Input: Something is Happening.

2:Choice: Is the input signifying something that must be decided on now? If yes, continue, if no, return to input.

3:Choice: Is the input enjoyable? If yes, continue. If no, continue to step 7

4:Choice: Is the input good? If yes, continue. If no, continue to step 7

5:Choice: Is the input right, wrong, or neutral? If right, continue, if wrong, continue to step 7 if neutral return to step 2

6:Return to Input and continue

7:Cease activity and return to Input.

*****************************************************

Pretty basic, right? The problem here is defining the variables “enjoyable”, “good”, “right”, “wrong, “bad”, and “neutral”.

Looking a little bit deeper at myself, I find that I have quick lists in my head. Like bookmarks. Each variable has a tab, and each seems to have a list of experienced activities and sensations attached.

The problem is this, though. I can’t figure out what subroutine in my head places things in the tabs as they are. I know that some were learned, whether by parents, society, school, or religion. Those things are all also marked as things told, not experienced.

I have another tab, though, marked experienced. This is another list of things, some of which are in the not experienced tab. These two tabs seem to be outside of my decision making process, though, as I look at my internal “program” above, I see no place where the use of either tab fits.

:internal examination:

On further examination, I find that somewhere along the way I placed in my “good” and “enjoyable” tabs the concept of increasing the number of things under my “experienced” tab. Further, this seems to be reinforced by something that affects the way I receive input. It’s sort of like this:

1: Input: Something is Happening. If input is not currently in experienced tab, check told tab for variable reference, but force continue once. If input is in neither tab, force continue once.

The problem here is that it suggests there is more to the program than I have seen so far. It appears that it actually goes more like this:

1: Input: Something is Happening. If input is not currently in experienced tab, check told tab for variable reference, but force continue once. If input is in neither tab, force continue once.

2:Choice: Is the input signifying something that must be decided on now? If yes, continue, if no, return to input.

3:Choice: Is the input enjoyable? If yes, continue. If no, continue to step 7 If no reference, go to enjoyable subroutine.

4:Choice: Is the input good? If yes, continue. If no, continue to step 7 If no reference, go to good subroutine.

5:Choice: Is the input right, wrong, or neutral? If right, continue, if wrong, continue to step 7 if neutral return to step 2 If no reference, go to right/wrong subroutine.

6:Return to Input and continue

7:Cease activity and return to Input.

************************************************

So-I have subroutines to examine.

*************************************************

Enjoyable subroutine

1: Input: Something is happening.

2: Choice: Does the enjoyable tab have anything similar to this, but different enough to be considered a unique experience? If no, continue. If yes, mark enjoyable and return to decision making process at step 3.

3: Choice: Does this cause me some kind of pain? If no, continue. If yes, mark as “painful” and continue.

4: Choice: Does this cause anyone else any kind of pain? If yes, cease activity and reboot system. If no, continue.

5: Choice: Does this give me pleasure? If yes, mark “pleasurable” and continue. If no, force check to decision making process at step 4.

6: Choice: Does this give anyone else pleasure? If yes, mark pleasurable. If no, force check to decision making process at step 4.

7: For each pleasure, add one point. For each painful, subtract one point.

8: If points is greater than zero, mark experience “enjoyable” and return to decision making process.

******************************************************

Good seems to be similar, but different. It includes a couple of extra steps.

1: Input: Something is happening.

2: Choice: Does the good tab have anything similar to this, but different enough to be considered a unique experience? If no, continue. If yes, mark good and continue.

3: Choice: Does this cause me some kind of pain? If no, continue. If yes, mark as “painful” and continue.

4: Choice: Does this cause anyone else any kind of pain? If yes, mark as painful and continue. If no, continue.

5: Choice: Does this give me pleasure? If yes, mark “pleasurable” and continue. If no, continue

6: Choice: Does this give anyone else pleasure? If yes, mark “pleasurable”. If no, continue.

7: For each pleasure, add one point. For each painful, subtract one point.

8: If points is greater than zero, mark experience “good”

9: If points is zero or less, but activity is marked “good”, then remove “good” marking and remove “good” marking from similar experiences.

10: Return to decision making process at step 5.

***********************************************

One more subroutine… Right, wrong, neutral.

Right/Wrong subroutine:

1: Input: Something is Happening

2: Choice: If input is not marked experienced, check learned tab and continue.

3: Choice: If input is marked learned and marked right within tab, mark right and continue, if not, continue.

4: Choice: If input is marked enjoyable, mark right and continue, if not mark wrong and continue.

5: Choice: If input is marked good, mark right and continue, if not mark wrong and continue.

6: For each right mark, score one point.

7: For each wrong mark, subtract one point.

8: If points is greater than 0, mark right and continue if not, cease activity and mark wrong.

9: Choice: Does this cause anyone harm? If yes, mark wrong and return to decision making process at step 3 for reevaluation.

10: Return to decision making process at step 6.

************************************************

Whew! That’s pretty involved.

Well, for me, the good news is that I can now examine these processes, and if I can examine them, I can tweak them. The bad news-this is just how I sort things out internally as to morality and decision making. It tells me nothing of what to expect from others, unless everyone works off of something similar.

So… how about you tell me? How similar is your own process? If it’s completely different, how is it different? Can you edit this process in ways that will make it more efficient, or line up more to the way society works?

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Filed under For followers, Mental Health, People with interesting ideas, Philosophical Q&A, Social ideas, Things I like, Thoughts

NIN: Hesitation Marks-another step on the path


Hesitation-Marks-standard

Pretty Hate Machine.  Came out in 1989.  Trent Reznor was 24 years old.  An album that was “popular” and seemingly meant to be that way, with lots of club-worthy beats and synth-pop style, with words that spoke to the urgings of a teenaged boy becoming a man and the desires and experiences that drive him.

Broken.  Came out in 1992.  Trent Reznor was 27 years old.  Written during a fight with his label at time, and released after he was “traded” to another.  An anger filled album about what it’s like being forced to take orders from a disrespectful patron who believe themselves your master.

The Downward Spiral came out in 1994.  Trent Reznor was 29, and this album “made” him, according to many.  It’s an examination of hopelessness in many ways, through the cynical, jaded eye of a man trying to understand life, trying to function within the madness.

The Fragile came out in 1999.  Trent Reznor was 34 years old.  He was still riding high off the last album, and this one was excellent in and of itself.  It examined many more of life’s experiences.

With Teeth came out in 2005.  Trent Reznor was 40 years old.  He had battled with addiction and “won”, entering the “recovery” period of addiction.  It examined politics of the time as well as delving a bit deeper into philosophy, as if Trent was trying to find a new focus, to “do something that mattered”.

Year Zero came out in 2007.  Trent Reznor was 42 years old.  This album was a story.  It reminded me of how Pink Floyd’s “The Wall” was very much a story.  This one was an alternate reality, and a pretty cool one…  well, if you like dystopian futures that get overrun by aliens/deities eliminating the human race.

Ghosts and The Slip were released in 2008.  Trent Reznor was 43 years old.  They were sort of “gifts” from Trent, being freely available.  Ghosts is a cool set of instrumentals, great for thinking.  I never really got into The Slip as heavily, personally, but I’m going to have to reexamine it, and see if it “fits” with what I’m about to say.

Hesitation Marks was just released, September 3rd, 2013.  Trent Reznor is now 48 years old.

This album is evolutionary, just like every other album has been since PHM.  Trent Reznor is married with a couple of kids.  He has won awards.  He has money.  These are not the energy filled, sex-focused days of PHM.  There’s more to life than the angst of Downward Spiral, and he’s come through the rest of the “experimental” times of his life.

I’m not sure what each of the songs meant to Trent Reznor while he was writing them or while he performs them, but if he’s like me, he’s disconnected from them anyway, as his creativity comes from some inner place that’s not consciously accessible to examination.

My view of it, though, is not what I have read in the various reviews, some enthused, some seemingly well-researched, but by people who have no real affinity for the band, by reviewers who see the art as an abstract.

I like it.  It’s an older look at life, with all of the anxiety and self-doubt that come from looking at the world and one’s place in it.  “I am just a copy of a” is the philosophical basis for the album, and everything that follows stems from it.  It’s a story, and here’s my summary of it:

Copy of a” is the basis for the album, an introspective and disturbing discovery.  With this discovery in mind, he “Came Back Haunted“.  He realizes he made a mistake and he sings, “I’m just trying to Find My Way“.  He has a relapse and hits an “All time low“, and then beats the crap out of himself with “Disappointed“.  He comes back from that dark place by repeating to himself that he’s survived “Everything“, but it’s all really just self-talk.  He feels like he’s under a microscope now, and gets paranoid, looking for the “Satellite” that’s watching him.  He thinks about “Various methods of escape“, to include suicide.  It’s a dark place he retreats to because he feels trapped and wants to get away from everything.  He starts “Running” to chase the one he loves and feels he has disappointed the most.  He wants to fix things, singing, “If I could be somebody else, Well I think I would for you“.   He decides to try to divide himself “In Two“, to become only the good for this person, but they point out that it’s hard to tell the person from the monster he wants to avoid being.  He sees that his whole world is falling apart, that he faces death at some point, whether at his own hand or otherwise, and just seeks to survive it, asking for some comfort “While I’m Still Here“.

——————————————

Maybe it’s me, the writer, seeing more than is really meant to be there.  Maybe it’s Trent Reznor’s subconscious mind now or in the past.  Maybe it’s just a series of poems he strung together and put to words to make a buck.

I don’t know, and honestly?  I don’t care.  I like the story I see here, and I like the album.  Each album takes me a couple of listens to thoroughly “get into”, and this one will as well.

If  you’re a fan of NIN, or Trent Reznor, get this album.  It’s not “The Wall”, but it’s not meant to be. It’s another evolutionary step for Trent Reznor and Nine Inch Nails.  A small portion of the whole story of the man and the machine.

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People are only truly free if they have the freedom to err


other's rights

I shared this picture onto facebook today, thinking to myself, “Surely, people will agree.”

The response I got was as follows:

The reason this is bullshit is because many of these things are choices which those who disagree with are nonetheless forced to participate in. Gay marriage? Try refusing to photograph, perform the rites or cater one and get sued (already happened) Porn? There was a time when people in underwear weren’t shown in ads. Now they are nude in bed together on daytime TV for little kids to see. Alcohol? Try driving down the road while every third driver is legally intoxicated. Drugs? Try thinking you have raised your kid so he won’t be dumb enough to use illegal drugs and just sit back and enjoy the heartbreak. Cigarettes? Try dealing with the lies told your child by others who convince him it won’t hurt anything and it’s “cool”. Yep. this sign is total bullshit.

So, feeling strongly about the importance of rights and whatnot, I feel I need to respond.

First, let me take the responses points individually.

  1. Gay marriage? Try refusing to photograph, perform the rites or cater one and get sued (already happened)

The decision to refuse the benefits provided by being in a legally recognized union, known as a “marriage”, to those who choose to be in a non-standard relationship is tyranny. Whether or not homosexuality is moral or not is immaterial. The fact is that “marriage”, as we know it in the United States, means two different things.

One is to be joined in a commitment recognized by your religion. This union, by itself, does not bestow any particular benefits except to abide by one’s religious beliefs.

The other is to be legally joined to another person, and to be recognized by the government and in commerce as working together.

The first should be managed and administered by the “marrying couple’s” religion and it’s leadership. The second is managed by the government.

Now, religion and state being seperate entities, religious leaders should have the option to not participate in such ceremonies or personally recognize such unions. That is their choice, and they feel that their religion mandates such a position, and so long as they do not attempt to otherwise hinder the couple from getting married, then they should have the right to refuse to administer the ceremony or participate in it, even to the point of refusing to allow the service on their property or provide commercial services in support of the ceremony.

However, the state should recognize such a union performed within the laws of the state, and provide to the couple all of the rights and privileges it provides to anyone who enters such a union. The state is not a religion, and while it may offer lip service or a historical relationship with a religion, it should hold itself seperate from the religion. It should not, under any circumstances, show favoritism to one group or community over another group or community.

My opinion is that the state should have nothing to do with marriage at all, but that is not our situation in the United States. We have to work with the system that is in place, and that system requires that any couple who wants to be legally recognized as “married” has to pay for a license. To deny that license on any grounds to any individual, with the exception of a child, is inequality. All inequality that is supported by the state is tyranny.

If you support the idea that the legal institution of marriage should be refused to an individual or couple because they do not agree with your religious belief, then you support tyranny based on religion. If that is your belief, you have a right to it. I do not hold this belief, however, and thus, support the idea that ‘gay marriage’ should be legal.

The idea that any commercial service must be applied against the will of the proprieter of a business is also tyranny, but also madness on the part of a customer within a capitalist driven society. If you wanted a service provided for what you see as an important life event, why would you want people to do it who would be irritated and offended that they were doing it, when their work would invariably show this irritation and be ‘less’ than someone else’s who was pleased or indifferent to be there in the first place?

That there have equivalent lawsuits to try to force or coerce people into administering these ceremonies, or providing commercial services in support of the ceremonies, is tyranny as well, because it interferes with the individual’s right to practice their religion according to their own conscience. The fact that this has happened in no way takes away from the need for state recognition of homosexual and heterosexual marriage to be applied and allowed equally.

These are both situations that should be addressed properly by the courts, recognizing the rights of the individuals in each case first.

      1. Porn? There was a time when people in underwear weren’t shown in ads. Now they are nude in bed together on daytime TV for little kids to see.

What children watch on daytime TV is the responsibility of the parent. Morality is a pretty subjective thing, especially when it comes to sexuality, and it is the job of the parent to decide to what level children are exposed to it. I don’t personally think that they should be exposed to sexual ideas at a young age, but I do not feel that I have the right to decide what my neighbor thinks about their own children, to the degree which our society and culture suggests that it is appropriate. That is why we have laws which determine at what point a ‘child’ becomes an ‘adult’ and can make their own decisions.

If it was a situation where people were required to watch television, and the only things on the television were sexual in nature, then it would be tyranny for parents’ rights to be overstepped and forced into allowing their children to watch such things. This is not the case, however, and the situation is that there are other choices in programming, choices which do not include such advertisements.

For the government to decide things that are within the parents’ purview is tyranny. The government can protect a child’s physical safety, as there are parents who are incompetent when it comes to this, but it is not the job of the government to determine the child’s morality, and the further they stay from that idea the happier I am.

  1. Alcohol? Try driving down the road while every third driver is legally intoxicated.

I would have to say that this sounds like quite the challenge, but far from reality. I invite you to give evidence of the claim that every third driver is intoxicated, as you say.

Alcohol is a substance generally used for recreation. It is illegal to use it publicly, except under certain conditions. It is illegal to drive while intoxicated or to be publicly intoxicated.

Are you saying you’d like to bring back prohibition?

  1. Drugs? Try thinking you have raised your kid so he won’t be dumb enough to use illegal drugs and just sit back and enjoy the heartbreak.

While I understand that you may have had a personal experience with this, and I’m sorry that you have, I cannot sign on to the idea that it is the government’s job to protect people from making the choice to use them.

The government should, by all means, expect a person to pay a consequence if they harm someone else or damage property or become a public nuisance while under their influence, it should not be up to the government to decide whether or not a person is able to use them.

I can see some wiggle room in this issue, as some drugs have far worse effects and chance of death than others, and if a drug is generally “safe for use”, then it should be legal, and up to the individual to decide if they will use the drug or not.

Thus, marijuana, which is the drug currently under examination as a possible legal drug, based on the current research, should be legal and regulated in the same ways that other legal drugs are regulated, so that the consumer is getting a viable product that does not harm them further than is expected by any such substance.

To allow access to other, more dangerous, less helpful substances while denying access to marijuana is tyranny.

      1.  Cigarettes? Try dealing with the lies told your child by others who convince him it won’t hurt anything and it’s “cool”

Again, while I understand that you have had a personal experience with this, and I am sorry for that, it comes down to the right of the individual to choose to use the substance.

Now, on cigarettes, I would have to say that it is reasonable to expect cigarette smokers to refrain from smoking in public places, considering that the smoke can harm others. It should probably be regulated with similar laws as alcohol, with the exception of those laws which were created to combat people trying to do activities which would be dangerous while experiencing an altered state of consciousness.

The goal here, as with all the other points, is protection of the rights of the individual. For the government to deny the rights of an individual is tyranny. For the government to deny the rights of an individual based on the desires of another individual’s personal beliefs or morality is inequality.

Individual rights, applied equally and protected to the utmost by the government would allow for all of these things to one degree or another. Without government influence, in a free, capitalism driven society, these things are self-limiting. Those who want success or long life are careful with the substances they take in. Parents who want their children to hold off on sex until they are of an appropriate age will do what they need to do to arrange for that. Those who do not, will suffer from the things they will experience within the capitalist society-less luxuries, possible homelessness, even death. Those people who are unfortunate enough to wind up in these situations can thus be held up for the rest of society as reasons to probably avoid those things within the society.

I think Gandhi said it best: People are only free if they have the freedom to err.

 

(extra note:  I hold a libertarian position on abortion, for more info on that go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_perspectives_on_abortion )

 

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