get god on your side

October 28, 2005 at 11:30 pm | Posted in religion & politics | Leave a comment

One of the reasons superstitions like religion remain in our golden age of science is that they can be used to increase personal power. If I can convince people that it is not just my will, rather, it is God’s will, then I have given myself ultimate authority. That is the kind of authority you need to launch wars, execute criminals and invade non-aggressive states. It can be used positively too – but is it really a positive thing for an action to motivated out of a desire to avoid the wrath of God?

the 800 pound gorilla in the room

October 28, 2005 at 11:20 pm | Posted in religion & politics | Leave a comment

Some things need to be said.

Perhaps it could have been said more tactfully, perhaps not. This is a topic that the intended audience almost always will have far too much investment in for them to be able to approach it with an open mind. Anyone with ideas on how to convey the core concepts in a way that stands a chance of getting through, please let me know.

kicking and screaming

October 22, 2005 at 3:34 am | Posted in philosophy & politics | Leave a comment

Bonjour and welcome to my little corner of self expression. This is where I will have a go at communicating some of the things that are important to me, which I hope will engage and inspire you, dear reader.

Have you noticed there is a great deal of unnecessary man made suffering and stupidity going on? Even though for my own mental health I make a point of trying to ignore world events, it is impossible to completely avoid seeing the tragic consequences of too much power and too little wisdom and compassion. The daily news is a litany of suffering. It runs the full spectrum of misdeeds from interpersonal to international.

Should we accept all this suffering as inevitable and beyond our control? If not, what can we do about it?

A natural first response is that great problems require great power to solve them. This is dangerous thinking. Great power creates great problems, but it rarely solves them. ‘With great power comes great responsibility’ is a poorly understood concept. Our human intelligence has allowed us to wield power that would have been inconceivable only a few generations ago, yet our psychological makeup and ability to ‘be responsible’ has not developed at all. Some power is so terrible that it is not even possible to use it responsibly, yet that has not stopped us producing thousands of nuclear weapons or creating horrific biological agents. It is human nature to focus power rather than responsibility.

If great power is not the solution to great problems, what is? Who is it creating these man made problems anyway? How can they be stopped?

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