Showing posts with label morality. Show all posts
Showing posts with label morality. Show all posts

Monday, January 13, 2014

"It's Just Business"- An Innocuous Phrase, or a Symptom of a Sick Culture?

We've all heard the phrase. It's usually uttered in an apologetic tone along with a slight shrug of the shoulders (as if to say, "eh, what can you do?") which makes it that much worse when you stop and think about it- It's simultaneously being treated with ambivalence/an air of meek acceptance (the shrug) and an implicit admission of the phrase's darker undertones (the apologetic tone).

"It's just business."

You can bet that if someone is saying it, someone else, or a group of someone else's, has just been (or is about to be) hurt. Maybe a thinly veiled bribe has been delivered by a lobbyist to a government official, gaining favour for a corporation in a manoeuvre that, whether the parties involved want to think of it this way or not, violates the entire premise of a democratic government. Perhaps an entire town's/state's/countries' water supply is sold to a company who then sells it back to the community at prices they cannot afford and/or utilizes it in less than ideal ways (things that maximize profit (logging, let's say) but not availability of fresh water to the community) causing serious water shortages and causing massive health problems.

Whatever it is, something has been done that would be unacceptable in  a non business context but because the context in which it occurred is the wonderful leviathan we lovingly refer to as "business" it becomes acceptable. If you examine this for but a second the extent to which it is clearly a symptom of a system gone awry becomes glaringly obvious. So much so that I struggle to understand how this notion has pervaded for so long without really being deconstructed in the public consciousness. At it's core, "it's just business" is a euphemism for something that, once faced without prejudice, bias or the desire to defend, justify or diminish, is shockingly sinister. If we were being honest with ourselves, we would recognize that "it's just business" is a less obviously disgusting way of saying "I know it's wrong but I'm getting paid to do it."

Having said that, let's now consider an example from my personal life, first using the euphemism, then replacing it with a more appropriate, more accurate and non obfuscating statement like "I know it's wrong but I'm getting paid to do it." This example is not nearly as obviously immoral as some of the examples I mentioned above (especially the water supply one, which, by the way, happened in Chile) but it struck me at the time as being wholly unfair and really started the process of opening my eyes to the reality of business practises (working for a few doctors and seeing the relationship drug company reps have with the medical establishment definitely accelerated that process, but I digress).

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

You Have Proof of Your God's Existence? Okay, Let's Hear It.

Believe in a god? Have proof of said god's existence? I'd like to hear it.

Anyone who happens to be reading this and think they have proof of the existence of their god of choice, let me have it. 

However, if I may, before you reveal it, I'd like to set 3 rules.

1) Arguments from incredulity are fallacious and I will not accept them.  For example, saying "Look at the world around you. sIt's too "perfect." It had to be created, therefore, there's obviously a God." This is a logical fallacy. Just because you cannot fathom any other explanation does not mean there isn't one. All you are really saying is "I don't know and I am inserting "god." There are MANY other possible explanations. Some more plausible than others. So please refrain from using this as "proof." I will not accept it.

2) These also are not valid and will not be accepted as "proof:"

-You can't prove there's not a god!

-Without god, people have no reason to be moral.

The first one is just stupid burden shifting (and still not proof anyways) and the scond one is just a bare assertion fallacy (and wrong) (and still not proof).

3) For people who believe in the "one true god....." whatever proof you do have, ask yourself, could that same proof not be utilized by someone else who believes in a different god? If so, how can it be valid for you and not them? Which your logic, their god must exist as well. For example, if you say "God speaks to me" and this is your proof, fine. However, if someone who believes in one of the 3799 other propsed gods says that as well, would that not be proof that their god also exists?

Okay, so if you think you have proof of god's existence and it does not consist of one of the above disqualified lines of reasoning, please do share it! Keep in mind, however, that this is for people who say they actually have proof, not for those who say it's based on faith.

Friday, June 17, 2011

1984 Becoming a Reality?

Okay, I freely admit that the title of this post was purposely sensationalistic, but in all seriousness, is America becoming more and more Orwellian as time goes on, or am I crazy? Let's examine a couple of news stories:

Monday, May 30, 2011

Priest Sex-Abuse Case Hits Church of Pope's Adviser

Catholic Sex Abuse Scandal Number 938346473893 Hit Closer To Home For Pope Ratzinger:,8599,2072613,00.html?xid=rss-world
The latest sex-abuse case to rock the Catholic Church is unfolding in the archdiocese of an influential Italian Cardinal who has been working with Pope Benedict XVI on reforms to respond to prior scandals of pedophile priests.
Father Riccardo Seppia, a 51-year-old parish priest in the village of Sastri Ponente, near Genoa, was arrested last Friday, May 13, on pedophilia and drug charges. Investigators say that in tapped mobile-phone conversations, Seppia asked a Moroccan drug dealer to arrange sexual encounters with young and vulnerable boys. "I do not want 16-year-old boys but younger. Fourteen-year-olds are O.K. Look for needy boys who have family issues," he allegedly said. Genoa Archbishop Angelo Bagnasco, who is the head of the Italian Bishops Conference, had been working with Benedict to establish a tough new worldwide policy, released this week, on how bishops should handle accusations of priestly sex abuse.

Monday, November 29, 2010

My Views (more like ramblings) on Abortion

Here are my thoughts on abortion. As you will see, my position is not solidifed (the general slant of it is, the details are not) and the issue is, for me, a difficult one, but not for the usual reasons. The difficulty for me lies in the fact that formulating an opinion which is not borne (pun intended?) of assertions based on arbitrary delineations is rather difficult.


Thursday, November 25, 2010

Vatican Priest: Sex With a Condom is like a Mugger Wrapping the Pipe he uses to Beat People in Foam

So, Pope Ratface recently made a comment on condom use that has gotten the world a talkin'. Here is said comment:
There may be a basis in the case of some individuals, as perhaps when a male prostitute uses a condom, where this can be a first step in the direction of a moralization, a first assumption of responsibility...

Friday, September 17, 2010

Ongoing Debate With Rhology, the Christian Apologist: Special Pleading and Hypocrisy?

EDIT: Here is his response to this post.  I will be responding to it in time. It's headache inducing, so I may have to do it bit by bit ;)

This is a response to THIS POST, which itself was a response to MY RESPONSE to THIS POST by the user Rhology. That post of his is a response to my Initial Post which was a response to an older post of his (linked to in my original response post).

This might be starting to get confusing. Just follow the links, it's not nearly as confusing as it may sound. Basically, this is the thrid or fourth round in an ongoing debate of sorts with the Christian Apologist Rhology from the RHOBLOGY BLOG.

This response is definitely the most heated of what has thus far been a very civil, but strident, debate. I think I may have just opened the gates to some anger and perhaps even insults, although this was certainly not my intention. Sometimes, to be honest, you have to ruffle some feathers. Regular readers of mine may be scratching their heads at this point, wondering if perhaps I have sustained a head injury or something, as I am known for my fiestiness and proclivity to 'let someone have it' if they, in my estimation, deserve it. I only make these disclaimers in this case because this is someone who, up until this particular comment of his that I am responding to, was open and honest, with a respectful demeanor. Well.....I am afaid the demeanor may have remained intact, but the intellectual honesty seems to have taken the night off.....Let's get into it, shall we?

Response to the Response to my Response by a Christian Apologist

This is a response to THIS POST by the user Rhology (who I accidentally refer to as Rhoblogy in this...sorry man). That post of his is a response to my Initial Post which was a response to an older post of his (linked to in my original response post).

Here goes.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Response to a Christian on the topic of Atheist Morality

I have been engaged in a discussion with a christian apologist, who seems to have been at it for a long time. After some back and forth (during which he was refreshingly honest about his opinions, specifically those relating to the issue of morality in the Old Testament) this was the message directed at me, regarding atheist morality, atheistic inconsistency, and the accuracy of atheistic claims in the comment section of this person's blog (THIS is the post in question).

Monday, August 30, 2010

God is Moral? Oh, Really? Simple Challenge for Christians! (Video to Follow)

This is a straightforward challenge for christians, consisting of three simple questions that pertain to a specific bible passage. If you are a Christian, and you believe Yahweh (your god, for those of you who are unaware of that particular name) to be moral, I challenge you to read the short bible passage provided, and then answer the threee simple follow up queries.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What Does Our Proclivity to Root for the Bad Guy Mean in Terms of Our Morality?

What Does Our Proclivity to Root for the Bad Guy Mean in Terms of Our Morality?

How many movies have you seen where the protagonist is what we, in real life, would consider a 'bad' person, yet you found yourself gleefully cheering them on?

Monday, August 16, 2010

Is it Immoral For a Charity To Take Dirty Money? EDITED!

Just a thought: Would it be wrong for a charity to accept money that came from drug deals, theft, murder (blood money), etc?

Dirty money for a good deed....wrong?

EDIT: The charity in question knows the money is dirty.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Ray Comfort on John Lennon's Murder-er, rather, on how Justice Means No Food, Sleep, or Sex

Wow. I visited Ray Comfort's blog for the first time ever, and this is what I was confronted with:

He's in a tiff at the fact that Mark David Chapman (John Lennon's killer), who is coming up for parole this year, has been able to sleep, eat, and fuck in the 29 years that he has been in jail. I guess solitary confinement and sensory deprivation would be more fitting for Mr. Comfort?

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Monday, May 17, 2010

Thought Experiment. Viewer Participation Required!

I'm looking for some people to 'play along' here.

Here's the video description:

This video requires viewer participation!!

This is an older video that's been sitting on my HDD for 2-3 months. I could never upload it because I wouldn't have garnered enough of a response with it, and I am worried that this still might be premature, but, having now topped the 100 subscriber mark (thanks to you all), I thought that perhaps I'd have enough people seeing it to get a few solid responses.

I hope. If not, well, I'll take it down and reuplaod in a year when I have 300 subs ;)

Sorry for the mediocre vid quality.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Twenty Five New (Religious) Commandments. Like a New Ten Commandments, But Better! ) UPDATED)

UPDATE: Video released, see HERE if you so desire.

As I stated in a previous, related blog, The Lost Commandment? I was working on a new set of religious commandments. Basically, some rules/laws/commandments that I felt would be much more appropriate, if we are to assume we need them at all. I had come up with 5 in a matter of well, seconds, perhaps one minute, when I was hit by a thought and changed the idea of the blog from several new religious commandments to one supposedly lost one, which I stated that I hoped did exist and we'd one day locate (not really believing this, of course).

Well, I said at the end of that blog that I was going to finish off that initial list (it had been 5 in number that that time) and so, without further adieu (?) here are my list of ideal religious commandments, which, as I said in that blog, are of course modeled after (but not specifically aimed at...per se) the Ten Commandments (capitals for emphasis!)

These are in no particular order. A few of these are done in jest. It's good to joke around once in a while :) Also, assume these are in addition to those few useful religious commandments.

Psht, we can top that.

Thou shalt not discriminate against anyone based upon their sexual orientation, race, age, etc.

Thou shalt not work towards limiting the happiness of those whose actions you disagree with, if those actions are not harmful to others.

Thou shalt treat others as you wish to be treated, unless thoust art a masochist. If so, see the next command.

Thou shalt not treat others as you wish to be treated, if thoust art a masochist. Do the opposite.

Thou shalt not abuse neglect, or otherwise treat poorly non human animals. Do not adopt a pet if you cannot and will not provide a loving, stable, fulfilling environment for them.

Thou shalt not have numerous amounts of children for whom thoust cannot provide, financially, emotionally, or otherwise.

Thou shalt not neglect to consider societal and environmental impacts when contemplating having children.

Thou shalt not knowingly exploit others for financial or other gains.

Thou shalt enter into a marriage purely for monetary or other reasons not involving love if you so desire, but be honest about it. Nobody believes that you married a rich 89 year old for love, if you're a gorgeous 25 year old.

Thou shalt be intellectually honest in all of your intellectual endeavors, no matter how uncomfortable this maybe make you.

Thou shalt seek to question and challenge thy beliefs, including those theistic in nature.

Thou shalt not act contrary to these or any other moral or ethical teachings in the name of business.

Thou shalt not solicit those protected by the do not call list.

Thou shalt strive towards not teaching children known falsehoods, especially when the truth may lead to more beneficial outcomes, or lessened negative ones.

Thou shalt not murder another, with the exception of a self defense situation in which all other options are unfeasible.

Thou shalt not watch Fox News.

Thou shalt not seek to enforce your religious or cultural heritage upon others. Sharing it is welcomed, attempting to enforce it is not.

Thou shalt not proselytize to someone who has requested the cessation of such activities.

Thou shalt not use fear as a basis for said proselytization.

Thou shalt respect secularism as the only reasonable way to ensure as healthy a society as possible, unless every single member of said society belongs to the same religion and shares the exact same beliefs.

Thou shalt not deny your children medical care in favour of prayer or religious healing practices. Empirically validated treatments are the only recommended course of action for anyone, especially a dependant child.

Thou shalt watch The Young Turks, even if thoust doth not reside in the United States of America. 

Thou shalt not assume that this list is complete.

Thou shalt work towards effecting change in this very list, when both the means, and the societal imperative to do so, arise. If the state of societal health and individual liberty necessitates a change,

Thou shalt make that change!!!!

That's it for the new commandments, at least for now. If you have any of your own to add, please feel free to add some in the comment section. Also, feel free to criticize my choices. Keep in mind, this list was made up on the spot, and it is very liable to be revised (in fact, THAT'S ENCOURAGED!).

In all seriousness though, if you removed the ones done in jest, I'd say I'm on to something here, although I would certainly make some changes and some additions after some more thoughtful deliberation. And with the input of others, which can only serve to make this much stronger.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

If I Was God....

Note: This one is pretty much directly aimed at this Yaweh character (and his followers)

Note 2: There is a video on this very subject located at the bottom of this post.

If I was god......

If I was god, I'd have done things a bit differently. Here's a list of some of the things I would do. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. It's just to exemplify the type of things I'd be doing.

I'd make inanimate, non sentient meat grow on trees. so no species have to endure being eaten alive to provide sustenance for something else.

I'd make it so that the life I created is suitably built to withstand the environment I put them in. And if I did not (although I cannot foresee a reason why), I'd at least give them stuff to meet the environmental demands. I mean, what? The dude couldn't throw us a winter jacket? Do you send your kids out into the cold without a jacket? Make them hunt dangerous animals to make their own until they become smart enough to make coats in factories?

I'd design a world that doesn't have natural disasters, ever.

I would never have created things like cancer, polio, multiple sclerosis, arthritis, crohn's and ulcerative Colitis (things with which I am intimately familiar), ulcers, huntington's, asthma, angina, stroke, bursitis (have this as well), parkinson's, muscular dystrophy, fibromyalgia (yes it's real), narcolepsy, depression, bipolar disorder, social anxiety disorder, birth defects like craniosynostosis (which I had) and probably one of the most horrible ones in existence, anencephaly (babies born without all or most of their brain, skull and scalp), which is pictured here:

(what the hell kind of perfect god allows THAT sort of shit to exist?)

I'd switch out pain for something else that warns you of danger but doesn't make you suffer. Or I'd make it so that pain shut off when it was no longer needed. Burn victims do not need to suffer for months on end. They are well aware of their injury and what not to do. Why do they need to suffer so?

I'd create people who adhere to the golden rule. Of course, this wouldn't apply to masochists. Actually that reminds me....

No masochists. And no sociopaths or psychopaths. Human brains wouldn't be such fickle things if they were of my creation. Yes, people would have freedom to develop as they will, but I would set some basic fucking parameters.

I wouldn't give two shits for what consenting adults do with their bodies.

I would not give people pervasive desires and then make it a no no to act on them.

I wouldn't expect to be worshipped. If I deserve it, respect me. Even love me, if you wish. No worship please. Maybe a few hugs from some pretty ladies, but that's it.

I wouldn't sit idly by and watch my children destroy one another and the environment I gave them to live in. We don't allow human parents to act in this manner, and I wouldn't expect you to allow me to do so either. Not that I would. A parent should guide their children and help them along the path of life, not remain hidden and silent with the only message being ''read my book.''

And, lastly, if I ever did get angry (a curiously human attribute), I wouldn't act out in a childlike way and throw tantrums involving hurricanes and earthquakes. I'd calm down and then approach my creation in a constructive manner, and broach the subject that ailed me. At most, I might raise my voice a few times a millenia. And for that I do apologize.


And if this stuff was caused by the so called fall of man, as you and your followers often say, well, you know what buddy? Perhaps you need to do what women have done for centuries: Lower your expectations. We didn't live up to your vision for us? Your creation failed you? Well, ignoring the fact that you are supposedly omniscient and would have seen this coming, you should lower your damn expectations and reduce your requirements. Lowering your standards makes a lot more sense than creating loopholes that include blood sacrifices, does it not? Especially given the fact that your loophole shenanigans still failed.

Sorry folks, but I think I would make a better god than this supposed god character. And no, I don't view myself as some sort of deity, demigod, or anything other than a fallible human being.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

The Lost Commandment?

Note: Follow Up: 25 New Religious Commandments Is Available!! (read after this)

I started this blog with the intent of creating a new list of religious commandments, modeled after of course (but not specifically aimed at...per se) the Ten Commandments (capitals for emphasis!) but I hit upon something in the course of doing so, and decided to revamp the concept. I now offer but one commandment, and, the optimist in me (yes, there is one....somewhere) is hoping against all hope that this in fact is a real (but lost) commandment, that we will one day stumble upon. Before I reveal this commandment, let me explain how I hit upon it.

I was coming up with new religious commandments, such as:

Thou shalt not discriminate against anyone based upon their sexual orientation, race, age, etc.

Thou shalt not work towards limiting the happiness of those whose actions you disagree with, if those actions are not harmful to others.

Thou shalt not abuse, neglect, or otherwise treat poorly non human animals. Do not adopt a pet if you cannot and will not provide a loving, stable, fulfilling environment for them.

Thou shalt not have numerous amounts of children for whom thoust cannot provide, financially, emotionally, or otherwise.

Thou shalt not neglect to consider societal and environmental impacts when contemplating having children.

when I wrote a caveat about revisionism into the list. And that's when it hit me.
Perhaps the most important of all of the things left out of religious commandments. The idea that these lists should be revised when both the means, and the societal imperative to do so, arise. If the state of societal health and individual liberty necessitates a change,
Thou shall make that change!!!!
There is NO reason why ALL religions should not have built in safeguards for the changing moral zeitgeist. Well, apart from that supernaturally provided, absolute morality nonsense. That pesky little thing, that. Probably the single greatest barrier to true, healthy morality that religion has given us (gee, thanks, religion!).
If these religious texts, which issued moral commandments, all acknowledged that things change over time, and we must change our morality to crest the tide of these contemporary shifts, we'd be a lot better off, as I see it. 
Then again, we've seen changes despite (and often in spite of) these texts and religions, so perhpas, while a nice idea, this isn't imperative. Then again, it certainly could not hurt.  
NOTE: If anyone is interested, I will be blogging on the original idea behind this. So, those 5 'new' commandments posted here will see the light of day once again, accompanied by some friends. If you are interested in seeing what else I have in mind, check back. And, if you have any of your own to add, please feel free to add some in the comment section, either on this post or in that future one. Also, feel free to criticize my choices.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

New Research: Atheists 'just as ethical as churchgoers'

Few excerpts:

People who have no religion know right from wrong just as well as regular worshippers, according to the study.

People who did not have a religious background still appeared to have intuitive judgments of right and wrong in common with believers, according to the findings, published in the journal Trends in Cognitive Sciences.

The team looked at several psychological studies which were designed to test an individual’s morality.

Dr Hauser added: "The research suggests that intuitive judgments of right and wrong seem to operate independently of explicit religious commitments

 You can read more at the link I posted above.
To this, I think the only thing I can say is, "duh!" To any reasonable person, this is quite obvious. However, unfortunately, there are many people out there who feel that someone such as myself, has no moral compass.
They could not be more incorrect. Hopefully now, at least a few of these people will be stripped of such notions. The notion that one needs religion to be a moral person is incredibly outdated and misguided, and it's time to put it to rest.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Ritual killings of children in Uganda

This basically speaks for itself.....