Jump to content
Political Discussion Forums
cybercoma

Atheism Explained

Recommended Posts

No, but if you could point me in the direction to making money writing so I could quit my day job, I'd be happy! My wife has often asked me over the years if any of the books I was reading, and then the stuff I was reading online after getting a computer, could help me make money.

What? Make you a capitalist? Could you ever forgive me?

I was hoping you would elaborate on these sorts of points. The only thing I know of the Club of Rome is the Limits to Growth report and the updated Limits to Growth from a few years back which confirmed most of the dangerous trends in population growth and environment depletion identified back in 1972. If it has some connection to bilderbergers and UN conspiracy theories, all I know of them is that "Bilderberger" just rolls off the tongues of wingnuts like Alex Jones and similar conspiracy buffs. If this was the source of world domination, I'd like to know why they didn't do anything to stop the looming environmental crisis, and why they can't do anything to change world events if they are running the world right now? The global conspiracy theory I believe in is the one that makes its power plainly evident for all to see: the major international banks and corporations that have set up the only international bodies that have power over national governments -- IMF, World Bank and WTO. If the UN was trying, and was capable of taking over the world from the existing powers, I would probably be on their side! I can't see how they could do any worse than the corporate fascism that increases its wealth and power every year.

A very important point is that no one can govern or rule without the support of the masses, not locally, not provincially, not nationally and definitely not globally. The problem of leaders at all levels then is to acquire the support of the masses for the plans they wish to implement and support the concerns they have by making them the concerns of the masses. The Club of Rome is one of those world intellectual/elite think tanks that express the same concerns you do about our planet and are not unlike the Bilderbergers. Your concerns are their concerns. They expressed them in the sixties and have been acquiring support since. But the real start was with the failed League of Nations instituted after WWI. They have been attempting to establish a world organization with teeth since that time but there are national sovereign power struggles and political ideological differences of opinion regarding how to maintain "sustainability" of such an establishment.

The UN is making inroads with the ideological left on this point.

The economic system is designed to centralize power. Governments of all ideologies agree this is the best way to ensure the masses are malleable. They believe it to be the safest way for them to proceed with governing. However, the economic system is crumbling because of departures from natural economic fundamentals.

Do you really think there is no connection at all between the UN and international banking establishments?

I'll need an interpretation for this one too! But, I'll add that the real economic situation demonstrates that the banking system is a giant blood-sucking leech that extracts the wealth from the real economy by creating new debt and then using that debt to leverage control over real assets.

I agree with you on this point but the system was only intended to take the power of economic wealth out of the hands of the masses. It has accomplished that and can now proceed with forwarding "your" concerns about the planet, its over-population and non-renewable resource depletion among other things. They are not at all concerned about you. There may be a bit of a power struggle at the top which may bring about some turmoil but ultimate control of the resources of the earth is the goal. The masses will be used to eliminate opposition between the power brokers as has been the case throughout history but of course never at this level nor with the stakes so high.

???????????????????????????

Essentially, you are a pawn.

I'll take a stab at this and see if it has something to do with your concerns. In brief, everything I've read over the last few years about ecology, economics and resource depletion, tells me that we are using an economic system that will completely collapse at some time in the near future. We live in a finite world, with finite resources. During previous times in human history, it was possible to pick up and move to a new location to exploit the local resource base...which may have entailed killing or enslaving the locals....but today, there are no frontiers for exploration and growth....except in space....and reality is telling us that the Moon, Mars and beyond, are just too far away to be of any use to us. So, we are stuck with the resources available on this planet, and we are still adding more people and increasing our individual consumption of energy, renewable and non-renewable resources, because our banking system and our economic system demand increased growth. Tell me how this system makes any sense, and how it can sustain itself in a finite world? The only option is base economies on resources available for use and divide up resources equitably. I've mentioned a couple of times already that I see the underlying story behind the increase in wars, genocides, forced migrations, increased military spending and military actions, as being sourced in an increasingly aggressive competition for the resources that are left......and I don't see a good outcome coming from more wars for resources.

The banking system only needs increased growth to feed governments that cannot and have no means to shrink. Corporations will come and go they will adjust to economic conditions but government has no means to adjust itself, it cannot downsize without reducing influence nor will a democratic populace, used to its benefits, entitlements and privileges, vote for downsizing even if economic circumstance dictates it, collapse is the only alternative.

So, you're in favour of the Guaranteed Minimum Income? How else do we decide who needs what? There are many people who fall through the cracks of the present system, because personal problems that may have their source in mental illness or difficult to diagnose ailments like Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, make them unemployable and unable to hold onto their jobs, and unable to qualify for disability pensions.

No, I would not be in favour of a guaranteed minimum income because that would mean that the provider would have to have a guaranteed income or well of resources.

Unfortunately, this is a problem of the humanities in which, as "sciences", we have sorely lagged. The creation of victims is in itself an industry.

Seems like there's a lot of right wing religious people here who are giving their charitable programs short shrift! What secular thinkers fear about faith-based programs supported by government, is that the providers will base their programs on some sort of religious litmus test. This may not be true in most cases, but public money shouldn't be given to charities who only want to help their own adherents and require partakers to sit through religious indoctrination before giving them a meal. Also seems like you are too overly focused on someone getting aid who may not be in dire need. From what I have seen, even those who are first in line at the food banks and at the Salvation Army truck, are already living a marginal existence. The Sally Ann truck is supposed to focus primarily on the homeless, and I have often seen a lot in line who are on welfare or psychiatric disability, but do have homes....if you can call them homes. They know who the regulars are and try to limit the ones who are in line too often, just like the food banks usually limit collections to once per month from each residence - depending on family size. Personally, I would rather focus my guns upward, at the billionaires who are robbing us blind!

Well, as I said the creation of victims is itself an industry in western nations. The people you see at the food banks regularly, the permanently homeless on the streets are generally the ones that have already been "helped" and are thoroughly convinced there is no real help - they have learned to trust no one and so they know quite well that religious charity may require some form of retribution. They will prefer handouts with no strings attached because they don't want any more "help". These are the ones that fall through the cracks. Most of us that want help will get it - real good if we approach the government for it.

Yes, I've heard that socialist societies are less efficient than capitalist ones; but let's not forget that the few examples of socialism in practice have been primarily state socialism where control was centered among a small ruling class living miles away. When socialism is practiced at the local level, where people have a say in the work they do, and know who's contributing and who's collecting, a socialist system can work just fine. Let's not forget that Cuba survived after the collapse of the Soviet Union primarily by reforms to their communist system that reduced central control. That was more of a factor in ensuring that Cubans had food and other necessities after the money and oil were cut off by the Soviets than the U.S. and Canadian dollars provided to a few hotel resorts.

Again, I agree with you that socialism can work on a local level where the bonds of the community can remain stable. On a national level the common bonds are very narrow. The interests are too varied over a wide population and a diverse geography to remain centralized stably and serve everyone's interests, therefore a national government, in my view, should have a limited mandate that all citizens of the nation can and will commonly support. This was some of the brilliance of the American authors of their Constitution.

In the end, what I do know is that your system isn't working anymore. It won't find a way to grow its way out of the present malaise, and the only thing our economy has over the U.S. and the rest of the developed world is that we have oil....or what can be loosely called oil after a long, dirty job of processing. So, Canada is making money by turning Northern Alberta into a giant cesspool, and ramping up the levels of atmospheric carbon. I'd rather take the alternative!

The alternative is not offered in order to please you. It is not interested in you other than you can forward the idea that, the system is not working anymore, Northern Alberta is turning into a giant cesspool, and atmospheric carbon is ramping up destroying the climate.

These may be real concerns but it seems that rational attempts to alleviate these problems are met with disapproval, destructive demonstrations, and only one approach seems to be acceptable, that being the total regulation of all resource use by a central authority. You must know that is the objective. THis why the environmental movement is so obviously political, it will only accept one solution. It doesn't matter if oil companies are trying to clean up their environmental footprint, or developers attempt to keep the environment as natural as possible. There is no appeasement that meets with the extreme environmentalists approval.

Oh, I'm not moving just yet. That small parcel of land is part of long range plans....at least I hope it's something five to 10 years in the future. I'll keep working till my youngest son is finally supporting himself, and I can collect my company pension and Canada Pension...for however long that lasts!

When it comes to the kind of collapse that I see collectively in our future, it's difficult to say exactly where a safe place to live would be! I recall a little while back - listening to an interview with Dmitri Orlov, who sees currency collapse as precipitating a breakdown or unwinding of the present social order, as events that entail a lof of uncertainty. From his own experience during his earlier years living in the collapsing Soviet Union, he says the place you don't want to be when society breaks down is in large cities. Most of the old people who starved or died of exposure, were living in the big cities, same with the younger people killed in random acts of violence. He says it was lucky that some semblance of order could be re-established after a few months, but in a worldwide collapse, there won't be anyone coming in to the rescue with bailout funds to create a new economy.

Currency collapse is inevitable because, let's face it, a currency printed or created by "anyone" that calls themselves the government, is not money even if they decree it to be so. This is one of the fundamentals of economics that has been abandoned which has allowed a centralization of national powers and a weakening of the power of the people.

Edited by Pliny

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What? Make you a capitalist? Could you ever forgive me?

Not likely that it's going to happen! Nothing that really catches my attention presents itself as a moneymaking opportunity. The only reason that's a problem today is that we live at a time when competitive capitalism and media have monetized almost every aspect of life.

A very important point is that no one can govern or rule without the support of the masses, not locally, not provincially, not nationally and definitely not globally.

No, that is patently false, and I suspect you didn't really think that through before you wrote it down. Most of the world's governments are totalitarian - with entrenched ruling classes either ruling without any democratic process or completely subverting the democratic process and making it a meaningless exercise - like in the United States right now.

All it takes is a relatively small portion of the population to see their interests tied with the dictatorship and they can rule the majority for years or decades! The despots and oligarchs use religious, racial and national identity politics to enlist a dedicated minority who may not even receive any economic benefit from the dictatorship....again we have the U.S. example, where so called tea party republicans, formerly referred to as the social conservative wing of the Republican Party, vote against their own economic interests for religious, racial and patriotic reasons. And, we have the growing alter ego of Republican fascism as their strategies at local levels across the U.S. to suppress minority votes and gerrymander districts to rule without a popular majority (remember the Repubs only rule the House because of gerrymandering -- if districts were equally divided by population they would have lost the House), and they are pushing further, because the Republican Party has decided that their future lies with white conservatives, and they are doing their damnedest to marginalize the groups who they do not want to have to offer any incentives to support them: racial minorities, immigrants, younger women, college students etc.. If a political party seeks to exclude entire groups from the democratic process, then they have no claim on democracy at all.

My recollections of when the Francisco Franco Dictatorship finally came to an end in Spain as he lay dying in a hospital were that when King Juan Carlos...whom Franco expected would consider his future tied to Franco's Falangist Nazi Party and maintain the status quo after his death, surprised onlookers in Spain, the U.S. and Europe, by dissolving the legislature and calling for free and fair democratic elections. When an election finally occurred for the first time since the early 1930's, Franco's party received less than 8% of the popular vote! And yet for decades, through a system of reward, tyranny, torture and the threat of reprisal, Franco's Falangists were able to rule every aspect of Spain's political and economic life. The real, unvarnished truth is that a populist movement has to be united, and stay united through the attacks and attempts to create wedges within the movement by fascists and neofascists who have their interests tied with those who are in positions of political and economic power. And, the popular uprising rarely accomplishes its task through solely peaceful means, as in the case of Spain where a benevolent dictator (The King) passed up the opportunity to become the next dictator and turn power over to the people. That sort of thing rarely happens because leaders are usually social manipulators and narcissists who are addicted to power. By the time the populist movement overthrows a dictatorship, its ranks are usually filled with the Stalins and Maos and Pol Pots, who, if they ever were populists, decided to act and govern in a similar manner as the dictator they replaced. So, I'm skeptical about the odds of success of peaceful populist movements in general....which is one of the reasons why I couldn't get too excited about the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt etc.. Two years later it's back to square one again!

The problem of leaders at all levels then is to acquire the support of the masses for the plans they wish to implement and support the concerns they have by making them the concerns of the masses. The Club of Rome is one of those world intellectual/elite think tanks that express the same concerns you do about our planet and are not unlike the Bilderbergers. Your concerns are their concerns. They expressed them in the sixties and have been acquiring support since. But the real start was with the failed League of Nations instituted after WWI. They have been attempting to establish a world organization with teeth since that time but there are national sovereign power struggles and political ideological differences of opinion regarding how to maintain "sustainability" of such an establishment.

The UN is making inroads with the ideological left on this point.

My familiarity with this subject comes almost exclusively from the years that I had long commutes home from 2nd shifts and had nothing to listen to on the radio besides the Art Bell Show. Before Ipods and podcasting was invented, I used to take out stacks of audio books on cassette to play so I wouldn't have to torture myself listening to a.m. talk radio. Anyway, whenever Art Bell would have a conspiracy theorist going on about the UN and the Bilderbergers and David Rockefeller for some reason I forget... and would yammer on about how they were going to force nations to stop burning oil and coal and force birth control on women to bring populations down, I would think to myself that 'I'm on their side.' That's the kind of new world order that would actually be trying to save the world, rather than destroy it!

But, like I said, if they were the puppetmasters behind world government as imbeciles like Alex Jones believes, then why is the only world government with effective power the government of big money and banks? Time after time we are told that the it is impossible to bring world peace and enforce anything more than weak environmental policies internationally, and here we have the economic world order putting more teeth in every new trade agreement that comes along, where presently - even before the ratification of TPT, a nation like El Salvador has to part with money that is needed to provide services to the poor and spend that money in international courts to defend itself from a Canadian mining company, demanding that they follow through and allow development on an environmentally risky mine in a nation that never allowed mining previously, until a corrupt president who was no doubt influenced by bribes, signed off on the mining deal. These sorts of schemes enforced by the international banking system and corrupt government officials worldwide, seem to be the only sort of world government that makes its presence known! And they are not working to save the planet!

These mining corporations, oil corporations, and other resource developers of high yield natural resources, have shown themselves to be psychopaths by their own actions -- time after time ignoring risks and warnings of potential dangers to push ahead in the interest of money. That, and the fact that ramped up resource extraction to feed increasing economic demands is already showing that it is close to the limits of resource recovery, and yet they keep pushing harder...to use more energy, demand more water for extraction and leave toxic waste dumps after the mines, coal fields and tar sands are exhausted past the point where they are profitable. This short term, greed-driven organization is what rules us today. It would be nice to think that they are planning for the long term and have thought out all of the environmental and population issues to save the planet, like rightwingers fear that they will be forced in to....something like a child being forced to eat his broccoli....but the truth is that the psychopaths rule our world, and they have no thoughts or concerns for the future beyond their own immediate needs. And that's most of why the world is heading over a cliff today.

The economic system is designed to centralize power. Governments of all ideologies agree this is the best way to ensure the masses are malleable. They believe it to be the safest way for them to proceed with governing. However, the economic system is crumbling because of departures from natural economic fundamentals.

Do you really think there is no connection at all between the UN and international banking establishments?

There are right wing anarchists and left wing anarchists, and both have no alternative plan for how a society can rule itself without some overarching government system. The question is how much say the individual and minorities marginalized by majority populations, have in how they are governed. The economic system has already centralized power in case you weren't aware of it. That's what the whole bullshit strategy behind 'free trade' agreements was all about. They have centralized the power that makes it possible for banks and corporations to move freely across national borders while paying minimal taxes; why would they want to bother taking down the facade of nationalism? Which keeps some people bedazzled because of its emotional connection to our innate responses to tribal identity....just like sports teams.

I agree with you on this point but the system was only intended to take the power of economic wealth out of the hands of the masses. It has accomplished that and can now proceed with forwarding "your" concerns about the planet, its over-population and non-renewable resource depletion among other things. They are not at all concerned about you. There may be a bit of a power struggle at the top which may bring about some turmoil but ultimate control of the resources of the earth is the goal. The masses will be used to eliminate opposition between the power brokers as has been the case throughout history but of course never at this level nor with the stakes so high.

Essentially, you are a pawn.

No, once again you are the pawn! Any billionaires who might have real concern about the future...and I guess there are some of them who aren't oblivious to the fact that their children and grandchildren - though privileged, will inherit the same world as everyone else's children. But, the billionaires who are legitimately concerned about environmental and population concerns, are shouted down by the money of the majority of billionaires who have no such concerns. And, as many of them see how well religion works to keep many of the masses subdued, they will support the dangerous reactionaries like the evangelicals and the leaders of the Catholic Church, who want no end to babymaking....just in case women do something sinful....like start enjoying sex!

The banking system only needs increased growth to feed governments that cannot and have no means to shrink. Corporations will come and go they will adjust to economic conditions but government has no means to adjust itself, it cannot downsize without reducing influence nor will a democratic populace, used to its benefits, entitlements and privileges, vote for downsizing even if economic circumstance dictates it, collapse is the only alternative.

Governments come and go! And they are funded by banks and corporations who pull all the strings. The only thing growing in most government today is military expenditures. And the reason is because some militaries (primarily the U.S.) is needed to provide the guns necessary to maintain gunboat diplomacy. And military contractors are the great beneficiaries of government spending...not some indolent welfare recipients of your imagination. The big welfare recipients running Lockheed, Haliburton, Northrop, the new mercenary contractors etc. are always able to find an enemy like Iran, to justify another war or at least ramp up military spending on new missiles and other war toys.

No, I would not be in favour of a guaranteed minimum income because that would mean that the provider would have to have a guaranteed income or well of resources.

And until the entire government goes broke, I would say that their primary responsiblity should be to ensure that the least among us do not fall through the cracks.

Well, as I said the creation of victims is itself an industry in western nations. The people you see at the food banks regularly, the permanently homeless on the streets are generally the ones that have already been "helped" and are thoroughly convinced there is no real help - they have learned to trust no one and so they know quite well that religious charity may require some form of retribution. They will prefer handouts with no strings attached because they don't want any more "help". These are the ones that fall through the cracks. Most of us that want help will get it - real good if we approach the government for it.

Did it ever occur to you that many of the homeless and the people who have lost jobs and become essentially unemployable are mentally ill and will not be able to respond to your so called 'tough love' approach that believers in the meritocracy prescribe for those on the margins? They will respond of course...but usually that's by becoming sick and dying an early death. But, the wealthy and upper middle classes these days do not see those people or put a face on them. They are merely statistics.

Again, I agree with you that socialism can work on a local level where the bonds of the community can remain stable. On a national level the common bonds are very narrow. The interests are too varied over a wide population and a diverse geography to remain centralized stably and serve everyone's interests, therefore a national government, in my view, should have a limited mandate that all citizens of the nation can and will commonly support. This was some of the brilliance of the American authors of their Constitution.

Well this is a hallmark moment! Maybe I should stop here, but I'll add that I am aware of the problems that happen - like the free rider problem from game theory - when people contributing do not know those who are receiving and vice versa.

According to the evidence from anthropology, we have spent the bulk of human history in small hunter/gatherer bands practicing a lifestyle that was essentially small scale socialism....where tribe members had no personal property because it was usually too impractical...especially during the long history of the Pleistocene Era, when weather changes were frequent and dramatic, and made travel a frequent necessity. We have been struggling ever since the first city states to find ways of uniting people who have no bonds of kinship...that's the whole reason for inventing religions and nationalism. In tribal societies, religious beliefs are interwoven with daily life and cannot be separated into a separate box of doctrines and rituals to practice separately. As a sidenote, I am waiting to learn more about some recent work done at the site of Mohenjo Daro -- the Indus Valley city state that existed along with some other, smaller Harappan city states along the Indus River.

The Sumerian city states, ruled by despotic rulers, male-dominated, patriarchal, and constantly at war with each, are considered the norm for human civilization. And yet, at the less studied and less understood city states like Mohenjo Daro, we have a prosperous trading city that existed for many centuries, where there are less indications of patriarchy, no evidence of a slave or servant class, there are no temples or palaces - instead every house in the city is exactly the same size and follows similar floor plan....giving the appearance of an equal...gasp...socialist society where socialism some how worked on a large scale. Since so little has been understood of the available writings from the early period at Mohenjo Daro, we don't know how they maintained an equal society for so long. The only indications of hierachy and social status is that some people wore more expensive and elaborate jewelry and ornamentation than others.

So, how did they do it? How did they maintain an equal society for so long when we have been told for ages that the natural human state is to compete with others and set up social hierachies of winners and losers? Well, we would all like to know the answer to that question because Sumer set the course for our culture, our religion and our political and economic theories; not the Harappans and their cities like Mohenjo Daro. But, Mohenjo Daro at least shows that living modestly and equally and refraining from war and overexploitation of area resources is possible. It would just take a lot of unlearning of wrong thinking and some new learning to accomplish that goal at this 11th hour period of our history.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

....No, that is patently false, and I suspect you didn't really think that through before you wrote it down. Most of the world's governments are totalitarian - with entrenched ruling classes either ruling without any democratic process or completely subverting the democratic process and making it a meaningless exercise - like in the United States right now.

A better example is on display in Canada, as First Nations protest decades of subjugation and treaty flim-flams, even though they are token Canadians with voting rights.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not likely that it's going to happen! Nothing that really catches my attention presents itself as a moneymaking opportunity. The only reason that's a problem today is that we live at a time when competitive capitalism and media have monetized almost every aspect of life.

I understand. Not much sense in your wife even asking such a question then?

No, that is patently false, and I suspect you didn't really think that through before you wrote it down. Most of the world's governments are totalitarian - with entrenched ruling classes either ruling without any democratic process or completely subverting the democratic process and making it a meaningless exercise - like in the United States right now.

I disagree and I have thought it through. The support of the masses are necessary to rule, the larger the population governed the harder to maintain the governed. The fact most of the world's governments are totalitarian doesn't refute the statement. Most people don't really care about governments unless they are oppressive to them or they are persons ideologically bent to seize power. As long as they can avoid the government for the most part they are content. Generally under oppression they develop a subculture replete with an underground economy which erodes the foundation of the government. Meanwhile forces build and any sign of weakness or instability in the government will ignite the growing powder keg.

As for the United States, the masses are growing rather divisive and discontent. The masses support the government but there is growing discontent as both left and right forces are trampling on the Constitution and the Federal government is becoming too large and intrusive.

Most People are not warmongers like power tripping rulers or inciteful activists or big governments.

All it takes is a relatively small portion of the population to see their interests tied with the dictatorship and they can rule the majority for years or decades! The despots and oligarchs use religious, racial and national identity politics to enlist a dedicated minority who may not even receive any economic benefit from the dictatorship....again we have the U.S. example, where so called tea party republicans, formerly referred to as the social conservative wing of the Republican Party, vote against their own economic interests for religious, racial and patriotic reasons. And, we have the growing alter ego of Republican fascism as their strategies at local levels across the U.S. to suppress minority votes and gerrymander districts to rule without a popular majority (remember the Repubs only rule the House because of gerrymandering -- if districts were equally divided by population they would have lost the House), and they are pushing further, because the Republican Party has decided that their future lies with white conservatives, and they are doing their damnedest to marginalize the groups who they do not want to have to offer any incentives to support them: racial minorities, immigrants, younger women, college students etc.. If a political party seeks to exclude entire groups from the democratic process, then they have no claim on democracy at all.

Americans still support their government. It has the support of the masses. They may not like the current administration or the last administration but it hasn't come down to re-writing a Constitution and restructuring the form.

Will it come to that? Obama is trying hard to get the masses behind him on it.

My recollections of when the Francisco Franco Dictatorship finally came to an end in Spain as he lay dying in a hospital were that when King Juan Carlos...whom Franco expected would consider his future tied to Franco's Falangist Nazi Party and maintain the status quo after his death, surprised onlookers in Spain, the U.S. and Europe, by dissolving the legislature and calling for free and fair democratic elections. When an election finally occurred for the first time since the early 1930's, Franco's party received less than 8% of the popular vote! And yet for decades, through a system of reward, tyranny, torture and the threat of reprisal, Franco's Falangists were able to rule every aspect of Spain's political and economic life. The real, unvarnished truth is that a populist movement has to be united, and stay united through the attacks and attempts to create wedges within the movement by fascists and neofascists who have their interests tied with those who are in positions of political and economic power. And, the popular uprising rarely accomplishes its task through solely peaceful means, as in the case of Spain where a benevolent dictator (The King) passed up the opportunity to become the next dictator and turn power over to the people. That sort of thing rarely happens because leaders are usually social manipulators and narcissists who are addicted to power. By the time the populist movement overthrows a dictatorship, its ranks are usually filled with the Stalins and Maos and Pol Pots, who, if they ever were populists, decided to act and govern in a similar manner as the dictator they replaced. So, I'm skeptical about the odds of success of peaceful populist movements in general....which is one of the reasons why I couldn't get too excited about the Arab Spring uprisings in Tunisia, Egypt etc.. Two years later it's back to square one again!

The masses will suffer some tyranny but doing nothing overtly against the government does not indicate support. Because they sit there it means the regime will die. The first opportunity for change that might bring better conditions and the government is gone.

The middle east is too tied up in Islam and theocracy, which the masses support while the west tries to install democracy - a foreign concept. They live by the Quran for the most part and it isn't oppressive to them since they choose to live by those rules. There is, however, a growing discontent with the introduction of the western ideas of "equality" and "human rights". It incites them to start making demands. And that's the start of the end. Eventually, it would have changed, but the west wishes to force it to change as it has economic interests in the area.

My familiarity with this subject comes almost exclusively from the years that I had long commutes home from 2nd shifts and had nothing to listen to on the radio besides the Art Bell Show. Before Ipods and podcasting was invented, I used to take out stacks of audio books on cassette to play so I wouldn't have to torture myself listening to a.m. talk radio. Anyway, whenever Art Bell would have a conspiracy theorist going on about the UN and the Bilderbergers and David Rockefeller for some reason I forget... and would yammer on about how they were going to force nations to stop burning oil and coal and force birth control on women to bring populations down, I would think to myself that 'I'm on their side.' That's the kind of new world order that would actually be trying to save the world, rather than destroy it!

Yes. You are on their side.

But, like I said, if they were the puppetmasters behind world government as imbeciles like Alex Jones believes, then why is the only world government with effective power the government of big money and banks?

Someone has to rule and they will obviously need big money and banks.

Time after time we are told that the it is impossible to bring world peace and enforce anything more than weak environmental policies internationally, and here we have the economic world order putting more teeth in every new trade agreement that comes along, where presently - even before the ratification of TPT, a nation like El Salvador has to part with money that is needed to provide services to the poor and spend that money in international courts to defend itself from a Canadian mining company, demanding that they follow through and allow development on an environmentally risky mine in a nation that never allowed mining previously, until a corrupt president who was no doubt influenced by bribes, signed off on the mining deal. These sorts of schemes enforced by the international banking system and corrupt government officials worldwide, seem to be the only sort of world government that makes its presence known! And they are not working to save the planet!

They are in a quandry really. They have to keep society chugging along and supplying the masses with essentials to their sustenance. What do you do? Just stop? Or just gradually get everyone to curtail their consumption....oh but wait the economy stalls then...and government revenues drop.

We have to have someone where to go before we can change course.

These mining corporations, oil corporations, and other resource developers of high yield natural resources, have shown themselves to be psychopaths by their own actions -- time after time ignoring risks and warnings of potential dangers to push ahead in the interest of money.

Yes, they make a profit filling an essential need to government revenues as well as a demand. When government can replace its lost revenues, which are vast, from non-renewable fossil fuels, we might see some change but it would be devastating to society. Government won't care initially but mainy people will be left unemployed.

That, and the fact that ramped up resource extraction to feed increasing economic demands is already showing that it is close to the limits of resource recovery, and yet they keep pushing harder...to use more energy, demand more water for extraction and leave toxic waste dumps after the mines, coal fields and tar sands are exhausted past the point where they are profitable. This short term, greed-driven organization is what rules us today. It would be nice to think that they are planning for the long term and have thought out all of the environmental and population issues to save the planet, like rightwingers fear that they will be forced in to....something like a child being forced to eat his broccoli....but the truth is that the psychopaths rule our world, and they have no thoughts or concerns for the future beyond their own immediate needs. And that's most of why the world is heading over a cliff today.

Are they doing resource recovery corporations doing something illegal?

The masses seem content with the progressive direction, for some we aren't going fast enough.

There are right wing anarchists and left wing anarchists, and both have no alternative plan for how a society can rule itself without some overarching government system. The question is how much say the individual and minorities marginalized by majority populations, have in how they are governed. The economic system has already centralized power in case you weren't aware of it. That's what the whole bullshit strategy behind 'free trade' agreements was all about. They have centralized the power that makes it possible for banks and corporations to move freely across national borders while paying minimal taxes; why would they want to bother taking down the facade of nationalism? Which keeps some people bedazzled because of its emotional connection to our innate responses to tribal identity....just like sports teams.

Yes the economic system is centralized. Every country, but three, has a central bank all tied together with the central banks of other nations.

I thought the free trade agreements meant cheaper goods for consumers.

No, once again you are the pawn! Any billionaires who might have real concern about the future...and I guess there are some of them who aren't oblivious to the fact that their children and grandchildren - though privileged, will inherit the same world as everyone else's children. But, the billionaires who are legitimately concerned about environmental and population concerns, are shouted down by the money of the majority of billionaires who have no such concerns. And, as many of them see how well religion works to keep many of the masses subdued, they will support the dangerous reactionaries like the evangelicals and the leaders of the Catholic Church, who want no end to babymaking....just in case women do something sinful....like start enjoying sex!

What allows billionaires to keep their power are their estates are held in trust. Their children get some property but teverything is held in trust. So their estate stays in tact over generations. If they had to divide up the entirety of their holdings among their children, or relatives, or aquaintances or charities then their legacy would not continue. That's what they found happened in the States as opposed to Europe. In Europe inheritance of the estate of aristocracies was always left to one relative, usually the eldest son. The accumulated wealth never got divided up. When trusts came into being it had the same effect. Wealth never gets divided and thus distributed.

Governments come and go! And they are funded by banks and corporations who pull all the strings. The only thing growing in most government today is military expenditures. And the reason is because some militaries (primarily the U.S.) is needed to provide the guns necessary to maintain gunboat diplomacy. And military contractors are the great beneficiaries of government spending...not some indolent welfare recipients of your imagination. The big welfare recipients running Lockheed, Haliburton, Northrop, the new mercenary contractors etc. are always able to find an enemy like Iran, to justify another war or at least ramp up military spending on new missiles and other war toys.

Governments collude with all corporations in a type of crony capitalism. But they can and do play favourites.

The whole connection is rather nebulous to the masses and do they really need to know how it all works? It's complicated.

Here's how money gets into the economy essentially,

This contrasts with the arcane process by which money is now created, which involves the Treasury issuing debt that is purchased by private entities, mainly banks and other financial institutions, and then eventually repurchased by the Fed via open market operations. In this way the Fed circuitously “monetizes the debt” and expands the money supply while pretending to control interest rates. Invisible to the lay person is the fact that twenty or so privileged Wall Street banks and financial institutions—so-called “primary dealers”—that sell bonds to the Fed profit immensely from the money creation process. Also benefitting are the fractional-reserve banks that get hold of the newly created reserves and their business clients who borrow the money at reduced interest rates and spend it to appropriate extra resources before prices have begun to rise.

Joseph Solerno

And until the entire government goes broke, I would say that their primary responsiblity should be to ensure that the least among us do not fall through the cracks.

Did it ever occur to you that many of the homeless and the people who have lost jobs and become essentially unemployable are mentally ill and will not be able to respond to your so called 'tough love' approach that believers in the meritocracy prescribe for those on the margins? They will respond of course...but usually that's by becoming sick and dying an early death. But, the wealthy and upper middle classes these days do not see those people or put a face on them. They are merely statistics.

Despite the numerous charitable and government sponsored agencies they are still on the street. A lot have drug problems and some mental problems. But, as I said, they have already been through the mill and they see the hypocrisy of the "help" experts.

You should read a few books by Thomas Szasz, I suggest, The Manufacture of Madness, or by Tanya Dineen, The Manufacture of Victims.

Face it, we don't have the technology to help those people but our current "experts" can sure fill their pockets and say they tried.

Well this is a hallmark moment! Maybe I should stop here, but I'll add that I am aware of the problems that happen - like the free rider problem from game theory - when people contributing do not know those who are receiving and vice versa.

According to the evidence from anthropology, we have spent the bulk of human history in small hunter/gatherer bands practicing a lifestyle that was essentially small scale socialism....where tribe members had no personal property because it was usually too impractical...especially during the long history of the Pleistocene Era, when weather changes were frequent and dramatic, and made travel a frequent necessity. We have been struggling ever since the first city states to find ways of uniting people who have no bonds of kinship...that's the whole reason for inventing religions and nationalism. In tribal societies, religious beliefs are interwoven with daily life and cannot be separated into a separate box of doctrines and rituals to practice separately. As a sidenote, I am waiting to learn more about some recent work done at the site of Mohenjo Daro -- the Indus Valley city state that existed along with some other, smaller Harappan city states along the Indus River.

The Sumerian city states, ruled by despotic rulers, male-dominated, patriarchal, and constantly at war with each, are considered the norm for human civilization. And yet, at the less studied and less understood city states like Mohenjo Daro, we have a prosperous trading city that existed for many centuries, where there are less indications of patriarchy, no evidence of a slave or servant class, there are no temples or palaces - instead every house in the city is exactly the same size and follows similar floor plan....giving the appearance of an equal...gasp...socialist society where socialism some how worked on a large scale. Since so little has been understood of the available writings from the early period at Mohenjo Daro, we don't know how they maintained an equal society for so long. The only indications of hierachy and social status is that some people wore more expensive and elaborate jewelry and ornamentation than others.

So, how did they do it? How did they maintain an equal society for so long when we have been told for ages that the natural human state is to compete with others and set up social hierachies of winners and losers? Well, we would all like to know the answer to that question because Sumer set the course for our culture, our religion and our political and economic theories; not the Harappans and their cities like Mohenjo Daro. But, Mohenjo Daro at least shows that living modestly and equally and refraining from war and overexploitation of area resources is possible. It would just take a lot of unlearning of wrong thinking and some new learning to accomplish that goal at this 11th hour period of our history.

Well a city state is not a nation or a continent or a planet and socialism is limited to working in small communes. What is necessary is a common bond between the people that overrides everything in their actions. Religion can do that and in fact the word derives from Latin for "binding together" (although it may be disputed). Once someone eats at the common bond socialism fails.

But I remember a song in the 60's called "Little boxes" and it was a pejorative comment on how all the houses looked the same. Something you would approve of no doubt.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

A better example is on display in Canada, as First Nations protest decades of subjugation and treaty flim-flams, even though they are token Canadians with voting rights.

They are not protesting against the system they wish to keep the status quo , at least the chiefs do.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's hard to take that picture seriously, CC, when there is no option for the invisible pink unicorn....

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's irrelevant. What is they name, oh lord?

I am

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Nope, I'm more of a chateauneuf du pape and brillat-savarin type of guy.

Doritos are for cheap losers who smoke dope and don't bathe.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Do You Believe In........

I didn't want to take up half a page by reposting the image, but I want to say that this is a weak argument against belief in God because it's based on an assumption that the various believers have chosen their God from the menu and are atheists about all other Gods......therefore they are atheists just like atheists who believe in no Gods!

I don't see how this argument is going to convince anyone who is not already an atheist (a real atheist) because the theist is not basing that belief on some rational process of examining evidence. On the contrary, it's coming more from an intuitive feeling about the world and feeling that the world must have a purpose and a plan.....and that plan would mean that there must be a super mind or grand architect who built it. So, the believer may argue with some of the believers in other Gods on that list, but they are going to share varying degrees of cameraderie with them and not us because the other believers are going by their gut instincts too, while those snotty, arrogant atheists smirk at them and call them all idiots.....so I would say that the "we're all atheists about most gods" argument isn't going to win them over!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WIP, while you make a good point I think you are missing the point:

It's a joke! blink.png

Says who? When Dawkins was doing the circuit promoting The God Delusion, he was tossing up this line:

“Everybody is an atheist in saying that there is a god - from Ra to Shiva - in which he does not believe. All that the serious and objective atheist does is to take the next step and to say that there is just one more god to disbelieve in.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The fact of the matter is that they are atheists regarding those other gods. Christians don't believe in them. In fact, they think it's absurd that anyone would believe in those gods. But mostly, they just go through their day living life as if those gods don't exist, not giving it a second thought. That's what atheists do with their Christian god. Except, we're constantly reminded every day by Christians that there's something wrong with us for not giving a second thought to their god or giving due deference to their god and their beliefs. This is all despite the fact that they wouldn't dream of giving that kind of respect or deference to people that believe in any of those other gods.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WIP there is no silver bullet rational argument that will win over all theists. You're right that believers don't tend to choose their belief system through a rational process; most never even examine their beliefs. However, in my experience in talking with Christian acquaintances little comments similar to CC's graphic can actually lead to some self examination. It may take one seed of doubt or it may take 1,000, but every little bit of reason helps.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

WIP there is no silver bullet rational argument that will win over all theists. You're right that believers don't tend to choose their belief system through a rational process; most never even examine their beliefs. However, in my experience in talking with Christian acquaintances little comments similar to CC's graphic can actually lead to some self examination. It may take one seed of doubt or it may take 1,000, but every little bit of reason helps.

I suppose, but I have to question whether deprogramming everyone who has supernatural beliefs and belongs to religions (almost all base core dogma on the supernatural) is best for them on balance. Doesn't it depend on what sort of religion they belong to, since most - aside from cults - make some compromises and adjustments to fit in better with mainstream thinking. And sometimes they adapt to harmful social conditions rather than trying to change them....I'm thinking in particular of the early Christian rejection of the ways of this world, to later mostly adopting nationalist and pre-existing race and ethnic discrimination, rather than have to do the hard work to challenge their converts to practice a more universal concern for others.

I've mentioned previously that most churches - starting in America - made an abrupt shift in the Christian approach to economic theory when the gospel that comes from Matthew in particular - with Jesus frequently condemning the rich and the accumulation of wealth, and promising relief for the poor, is turned upside down in the 20th century in the prosperity gospel version, where the rich are wealthy because God is blessing them, while the poor are doing something wrong.....otherwise they wouldn't still be poor! I mention this because religions that coopt mainstream thinking as their own, may be doing more harm in general, than the religions that stubbornly resist changing their dogmas.

As for the individual; I also want to mention that there is a built-in assumption that all minds are identical, having the same needs and ways of understanding and finding meaning in the world. I have a suspicion that the more evangelical wing of atheism is building it's own faith-based myth to try to attract those who have been deconverted, to tell them that they will be happier and satisfied with life as unbelievers. I've noticed that all of the most active atheist writers, lecturers and bloggers are all in the techno-optimist side of secular thought. There are atheists who look at what the human race is faced with today and believe that the hopeful optimism of tech-boosters....mostly arguing that....things are bad but we will innovate and substitute our way out future bottlenecks threatening extinction....is nothing more than faith-based belief itself. I can't count how many times Moore's Law has been thrown at me to argue that technological innovations are increasing at an ever-faster pace and that magic bullet - free energy machine is out there somewhere in the near future just waiting to come to market. But the reason Moore's Law applies so well to computer technology and almost nothing else, is because innovations that require very little increased energy inputs are easy to produce, while the cost of energy constrains every other proposed innovation.

That's just one example of why I find what's called the Cornucopia view of the future to be delusionary optimism. A realistic look at the future does not look like we're paving the way for Star Trek, but that seems to be the mind set needed before an active, aggressive campaign to deconvert the religious makes any sense! If the future is dystopian, then all institutions, including government and religions are at risk of collapse, and that is more likely to incline the atheist with what's called pessimistic...but I would argue - the realistic look at the future to be more inclined to leave the religious believers alone as long as they have a grip on reality. They may need a faith that there is a God in charge of this universe, and a grand purpose behind it to get through the declines of the coming decades. And those of us who can't convince ourselves that there is a divine purpose in this universe, are stuck looking at a future that will either collapse quickly, or just keep slowly unwinding and grinding down. And that's the main reason why, unless I am pestered by some evangelical, or am talking to someone who has a real childish view of the world and/or a hostility to science, I am more inclined to just leave it alone.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And those of us who can't convince ourselves that there is a divine purpose in this universe, are stuck looking at a future that will either collapse quickly, or just keep slowly unwinding and grinding down.

]

No, atheists and apocalypse prophets are not the same thing. Please speak for yourself when discussing your end of the world predictions rather than presuming to speak for all atheists on such matters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose, but I have to question whether deprogramming everyone who has supernatural beliefs and belongs to religions (almost all base core dogma on the supernatural) is best for them on balance.

Would you support widespread use of a mood altering drugs provided they kept users comfortably numb?

I don't fear the revelation that we will not live eternally in paradise will be too much more believers to bear. Even if widespread superstition could be consequence free for society, I still think reason matters. A cocktail of blissfully ignorant religious belief is still a crutch and a potentially dangerous one at that. If we are to be guided by knowledge, systemic belief that a poorly written ancient fairy tale trumps evidence is a serious threat to our well being.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you support widespread use of a mood altering drugs provided they kept users comfortably numb?

Television!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Would you support widespread use of a mood altering drugs provided they kept users comfortably numb?

Don't we already have that now?

I don't fear the revelation that we will not live eternally in paradise will be too much more believers to bear.

Isn't it too much to bear for everyone, including atheists? If we're talking of a subconscious level, everyone is acting in denial...at least to some degree as they go through daily life with the awareness of their own mortality deep in the back of their mind. I'm thinking here primarily of some stuff I've read on Terror Management Theory -- first conceived by Ernst Becker and later developed into a psychological theory that is contested by some, but if it's well grounded, TMT could help explain just about every aspect of culture and human behaviour as the awareness of our mortality acts as the motivating force behind religious practice, legacy building, burial rituals and visiting grave sites of loved ones. An interesting Psychology Today article on TMT shows surprisingly, that people who exhibit the highest levels of anxiety about death also are more likely to be reckless and act aggressively, even having what looks like a death wish....almost the opposite of what would be expected. Some findings, such as high fear of death correlating with strong dislike and avoidance of animals, including dogs and cats seem to go together for some reason. And scrolling down Nathan Heflick's article to no.10) Defending one's belief prior to reminders of death lower death thoughts. I'm thinking that this applies more widely than someone being afraid of death and clinging to a belief in an afterlife, but also includes the atheist, who doesn't believe in life after death, feeling a strong need to prove his non-supernatural beliefs to others, to lower his own anxieties.

Even if widespread superstition could be consequence free for society, I still think reason matters. A cocktail of blissfully ignorant religious belief is still a crutch and a potentially dangerous one at that. If we are to be guided by knowledge, systemic belief that a poorly written ancient fairy tale trumps evidence is a serious threat to our well being.

Certainly reason matters! But, my point has been that most of our thinking is not based on reason and rationalizing choices. That just takes too long. According to dual process theory (that our reasoning and intuitive thinking systems work largely independently from different levels of brain function), most of our thinking is intuitive, so we can make quick decisions....mostly without even being consciously aware of them. The difference between those of us who are highly skeptical and adhere to a naturalist view of the world, is that at some point, as we determined that we live in the natural world, we began to suppress supernatural thoughts, so our practiced skepticism shuts down the life after death stories, and the psychics, and the holistic medicine claims etc. It's always possible that the skeptic may be screening out too much, so just in case, I wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone was skeptical atheist, in case we become overly skeptical and miss something unexpected.

But, the big problem to me is that I don't find most secular humanist writers and lecturers all that rational about the state the world is in today. If they were, they would be advocating for drastic changes to the way we are governed and change economies based on increasing consumption.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It's always possible that the skeptic may be screening out too much, so just in case, I wouldn't want to live in a world where everyone was skeptical atheist, in case we become overly skeptical and miss something unexpected.

Entirely the possibility. All that doesn't fit the narrative is screened out.

But, the big problem to me is that I don't find most secular humanist writers and lecturers all that rational about the state the world is in today. If they were, they would be advocating for drastic changes to the way we are governed and change economies based on increasing consumption.

But your premise of bending to the environment is anti-thetical to the human species who always works the environment to bend to him. You could say it is his whole challenge. Animals adapt to the environment which makes mankind an exception in the evolutionary process. Did we evolve adapting to our environment and rise out of it? If so how and why? When did we eat of the fruit of the tree of knowledge? Humanist writers and lecturers are not that rational and perhaps are in fear but simply being brave and facing the reality of their self-created mortality having lost the great chess game with themselves. No longer can they emote and create those things that make life worth while. They are subject to the external and have basically become the Darwinist/Pavlovian stimulus-response animal of scientific electro-chemical processes continuing to deny or as you say "screen out" their very existence and responsibility in any part of life other than what they are told.

You have read many things WIP but you have never looked to yourself for any answers and what you read is mostly from those who would deny you any original thought. It isn't science that promotes atheism. They don't make any claims regarding the origin of the universe as truth. It is the secular humanist and the skeptic that promotes it as absolute truth, which they deny being a possibility, since they don't believe in absolutes. But then claim all else but their view is absolutely a lie.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...