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Some thoughts on Human life, society, and more..


 

Ideally, no man should see his own death, as it happens.

 

The growth of one’s character is a selfish endeavor, but it leads to a societal growth of all human charater.  Thus, it is the most selfish, and least selfish act a man might indulge in.

 

No matter what you may think of the current state of our world, improvement is the only path we’ver ever had.

 

The is no Road to Ruin.  Ruin happens in its own time.

No matter what you’ve been told, or what you think, there are no easy rides through this journey of living.

 

-Jack

Always Listening.

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The basics of what we teach our children has to change to include complex, abstract ideas, for real understanding. Fear must be removed from the classroom. We must teach our children to associate knowledge with fun and happiness. Our children deserve better than we had. Open discussion of abstraction is the only way that the world will improve. Analytical thought is so important. Reason and logic must prevail. With an early education of this style, we might grow as human beings, and as spiritual beings. Creativity, abstract thought, complex ideas, and problem solving is the only way our children will ever be better people than we were.

Jack
I Listen.

Spiritual Evolution

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What is Ideology?

In the simplest of terms, ideology is the study of ideas.

In the previous philosophical series, Developmental Theology 089, we talked about very basic ideas that can help develop an open mind, and teach us how to create our own philosophical views, overlooking prior prejudices. You can read the entire Developmental Theology series in this PDF.

With the foundation built in Developmental Theology, my hope is to extend this learning with my Basic Ideology lessons. These lessons haven’t seen the kind of popularity as the former lessons. I think this is because the ideas and concepts are more complex. I’ve struggled with making the subject itself more accessible to the everyday person, with no prior knowledge of philosophical concepts. I’m beginning to think this is the mistake. It has been suggested that to better understand the current lessons, one should have read the prior lessons.

Which leads us to this lesson. I’ve provided a back link, so those who are behind, but would like to catch up, can. I’ll be working on better ways to do this as we continue these lessons.

Back to the question at hand: What is ideology?

Well, it is indeed the study of ideas, but it is also much more personal than that. Every person adheres to an ideology, whether they realize it or not. It is the sum total of one’s beliefs concerning right and wrong, and the degree to which things are right and wrong. Further it includes a person’s concepts of justice, punishment, reward, and how to deal with our own actions, as well as the actions of others.

Sometimes these ideologies have names, such as Humanism, which we talked about in the last two lessons, or a religious grouping. More often, one’s ideology is very personal, and crosses over many identified ideologies, as well as those without a name. It is influenced by events in life, and their effects, the things children are taught by their parents and other authority figures, books read, and things studied. Personal ideologies are constantly changing and evolving as new ideas and experiences are introduced.

I believe that by talking about these ideas, we can shift our focus and purposely evolve our own concepts. And in this sharing, we might find that we are not so different, despite our personal ideologies. Helping to build the community of man is the most important thing to which a person can aspire. And it’s what I aspire to here, and I hope at least some of my readers are with me on this cause.

Jack
I Listen.

Basic Ideology 101
Lesson #25
The Battle of Focus

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When I asked the community for an inside view of Humanism, I never expected to get such a rich and detailed version like the one Ryan provided for our last lesson.

In this lesson, we’ll talk about Humanism, using the information that is generally available across the net, and some of the remarks Ryan made.

Humanism has several off-shoots, with a variety of beliefs. Some are based in religion, others in atheism, but agnosticism seems to be most prevalent. The basic ideas involved with Humanism do not require a religious concept of God, or laws laid down by a religion.

So, let’s set out the base of Humanism in bullets.

  • Democratic
  • Humane Action
  • Human Reason
  • Ethics
  • Justice
  • Rejection of Superstition.
  • Charity and Philanthropy

So, when we take a look at these aspects, we can see a lot of what Ryan was talking about in his email.

Humane action and ethics play the most important part in this, to my view point. The way we treat other people should be with kindness and understanding. Whether or not there is a God(or gods) should have no effect on how we treat each other. Most Humanists take this a step further and volunteer, work for charity, or donate money to charitable organizations.

I’d like to take a moment, and focus on a couple of things Ryan said.

Do what is right because it’s right and there may be nobody else to do it.

That is a powerful statement. Doing what is right, when you are in the position to do so.

If we want to see good in the world we have to do it ourselves.

Again, there is a lot to this statement. Responsibility. I think that is what it really boils down to; human responsibility. It’s not just a responsibility to ourselves, but to society, and our world.

So, looking back on Humanism, I think it’s easy to see that, at its very core, it is merely the idea of treating people well and doing what we believe is right. Doesn’t sound so different from many other ideologies or religions, does it?

Jack
I Listen.

Basic Ideology 101
Lesson #24
The Battle of Responsibility

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A few weeks ago I asked on my blog and on twitter for Humanists willing to discuss their belief system. I was pleasantly surprised when Ryan Sutter, webmaster of humanistsofmn.org, contacted me.

I explained to Ryan what I was looking for, and what he sent me was so personal and informative, that I asked if I could publish the entire email. So, here is what Ryan Sutter has to say about Humanism, and how he found it. Enjoy.

I was raised a Jehovah’s Witness and stayed one until I was 30 years old at which point I lost my faith in it and didn’t know what to call myself or what I believed. I took the Beliefnet Belief-O-Matic and found out that my beliefs were most closely defined as humanist. Not having really ever thought about humanism before this, I was a bit surprised to find a web site telling me that I was one. 🙂

I went on to study it a little and found that the whole idea of humanism was fairly straightforward and could be boiled down into the statement: Do what is right because it’s right and there may be nobody else to do it. In other words, we live in a world that may or not have any supernatural element, but that really should have no bearing on being a good and moral person. Goodness and morality are things you need to practice if you want them to exist in the world, they don’t come from somewhere other than us and if we don’t do them, they don’t exist. This is a compelling alternate reason for living a clean moral life as opposed to the reward/punishment model of Christianity.

You don’t do good and avoid evil in order to reap a reward or avoid a punishment, you do so simply because you wish for good in the world and you wish to avoid evil in the world and you let the supernatural aspect take care of itself, if there is such a thing.

That is humanism and it is my deep belief that even the religious person who hates or fears the “godless atheists and secular humanists” basically lives a moral life for the same fundamental reasons, if you press them on it. Most Christians will admit that they aren’t restrained from killing their neighbor and raping his life because they are afraid of God but because they know it’s the wrong thing to do. They know this innately, because they wouldn’t want it done to themselves. “Do unto others” is a very humanist statement.

Of course, in conversations with religious believers (including my own father) I’ve come to realize that this is not what humanism means to fundamentalist eyes. To a lot of people it seems that humanism means “whatever man decides to do is right” or “there is no god so we’re screwed, ACK! let’s call our pathetic plight ‘humanism’ and worship ourselves”. The first commits the naturalistic fallacy and the second conflates humanism and atheism. Humanism does not glorify people or set them up for worship. The whole concept of worship means to give praise and obedience to a higher power. When you are a human, and a humanist, you are not suddenly a higher power. In fact, it’s humbling. You look at yourself and your limited capabilities and you look at humankind and their messy psychological and sociological situations and you realize that we all need to work really hard to solve our problems, cooperate more, communicate more, help each other more, because if we are all we have then none of us is an island, none of us can operate without considering the fates of the others, and we all need each other. Kinda’ knocked me down a peg from when I thought I was personally fashioned in God’s image, while simultaneously making me feel a sense of civic and moral obligation as opposed to how I felt when I thought God would charge in and fix everything. The sense of personal responsibility implicit in humanism is extremely powerful. I think that explains why so many humanists are involved in social justice and activist causes, as well as volunteerism. They have to be, on some level, or their conscience nags at them because all it takes for bad people to have their way is for good people to do nothing.

I have found a lot of prejudice against humanism over the last 5
years. People say Hitler and Stalin and Pol Pot were humanists, to
which I say bullshit. Humanism is a philosophical justification for moral and humane behavior. If a psychopath or despot commits acts of atrocity and cruelty, their actions are immoral and inhumane and therefore anti-humanist, whether they believe in a supernatural or not. Like I mentioned earlier, humanism does not say there is no God, humanism says that regardless of the metaphysical state of things, if we want to see good in the world we have to do it ourselves. The sad fact is that some people decide their is no God so they DO murder their next door neighbor and rape his wife, and other people do the exact same thing and say God made them do it, or the Devil, or whatever. The point is, that any behavior that is anti-human is anti-humanist and people can decide to be evil with or without belief in God. When people start to connect the two questions of “Does God exist” and “How should I behave” as if they are inextricably linked they are committing a fallacy. They are two separate questions that do not necessarily relate.

Thanks for the insight, Ryan.

Jack
I Listen.

Basic Ideology 101
Lesson #23
The Battle of Human Action

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I’m doing a study on Humanism for the next BI101. I’m hoping to provide a good work up of the ideology(or in this case, life stance) that is both comprehensive and easy to understand. Touching on key points, comparing to a couple of other ideologies, talking about famous Humanists, and hopefully getting a short interview with someone who practices this ideology presently.

So, I’m asking out to you, my readers, looking for that someone for the interview. Does anyone currently follow the life stance of Humanism? If you’d like to share some views on Humanism, from the inside or outside, please email me and we can discuss this further. It would be a tremendous help to me. Looking forward to hearing some of my audience members opinions and ideas.

Jack
I Listen.

Basic Ideology 101
Update and Request

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This is the 26th section of my novel. If you haven’t read the first 25, you might want to start here.

Jane’s Journey
—-

In the astral world, Jane’s soul was exploring. She saw the pyramids of Egypt in their greatest glory. She flew over Atlantis, populated by ethereal glowing balls, that she could only assume had once been something like human.

In this level of consciousness, she could move at the speed of thought. Was this alacrity in it’s first stages? She wasn’t really sure at all.

In all of these wild and wondrous places, she felt like an observer. No one seemed to notice that she was there, even when she tried to get their attention(which she did. Often.). Even without interaction, she was learning much by observing.

She could sink her soul down to the material realm and fly through cities. People using magic, or even attempting to, shot up lights like a beacon. Jane would fly to these beacons and watch the people. Sometimes it was someone walking down the street, and she couldn’t tell what was causing the light. Other times, people would clearly be focusing on an antiqued and mundane spell of sorts.

Every now and then, as she floated through the streets of large cities, people would see her. They would give her funny looks and walk off. Children would smile and giggle. Dogs would bark at her. Sleeping cats would send their astral selves to her hands, floating lazily in the air, until she would stroke their oddly soft fur. It was an odd feeling, petting these not so real cats.

Jane thought of all the Earthly places she had always wanted to see. She visited them one by one. She thought of places that had disappeared with time. She visited them as well. She was experiencing history.

When Jane realized this, she also realized that she was not bound by time here. She could watch the past, and to an extent, the future.

She watched as hundreds of men built the great wall of China. She saw the Berlin Wall torn down. Julius Caesar died a bloody death before her. Yeshua ben Yoseph preached his new ideas to a crowd of Romans and Isrealites. Years later a man named Paul would twist words and confuse people with the teachings of ben Yoseph.

Jane could see beyond that. She could see the tiny bluish-white lines that tied all of these people to their history and to their destiny. She could see that undeserved pain was sometimes necessary for the world to grow. She thought it was odd that the history of the world so often hinged on one person. One person’s self-sacrifice to appease the lonely astrals.

She was getting tired. Very tired. Astral travel taxed her physical constitution. She needed to sleep. She thought of her body and of Minus’ basement. She closed her eyes, and could feel the rapid movement. When she opened her eyes, she was not in her body, but instead, inside a large building filled with books. Thousands and thousands of books.

“Fuck. What? Where am I? Is this the Akashic Library?”

A booming masculine voice answered her. “Some beings call it that. But it is so much more. Welcome to my home, Jane De la Moore.”

She went silent with shock. Someone could see and hear her! She felt a sensation of shear excitement. If she had been in her body, her heart would be racing.

“I am the Keeper,” the voice boomed again. She saw a robed and hooded figure coming down a set of stairs to her left. “This is my home. You are welcome to use my library. I have expected you for some time.”

—-

Jack
I Listen.

The Cost of Magic
Section #26
Jane’s Journey

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