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Sins of your faith

If you are going to claim enlightenment in the name of your faith, you'd better damn accept the sins too.
— NeoWayland
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Blind spots and authority

I know that expertise does more to define blind spots than establish authority.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — Biblical morality

Inherent in the argument of Biblical morality is that it brings benefits without significant tradeoffs, or at least in the idea that the benefits far outweigh the costs. That's not true. In the OT number one of the Decalogue specifically says that the Hebrew G*D is unquestionably number one. That's fine if you are sworn to that faith, but accepting a Biblical morality means that any other gods must take second place.

Speaking of the OT, Christians and even modern Jews are curiously selective when it comes to which laws are followed. The books of Numbers and Leviticus list laws that are routinely ignored today.

Let's move to the NT, shall we? According to Jesus (as quoted by John and who knows how many editors and rewriters), what's the greatest commandment? Why, it's a version of number one from the previous hit parade. But then that is the whole premise of a monotheism. No other gods allowed, and only selected interpretations of the Official Religion.

The costs aren't worth the benefits unless you follow that faith. Bottom line, if a society follows a Biblical morality, other belief systems must always submit to the Bible as defined by the dominant sect. Which is the point. It's not about the faith, it's not about glorifying the Divine. It's about power over. Through the priesthood. Through the princes, potentates, and politicos sanctioned by the priesthood. Power over. Politics.

Religion cannot be allowed the coercive power of government. Government cannot be allowed the moral justification of religion.

So instead of law handed down from on high (at least according to a priesthood with their own political agenda), let's see if we can find a moral keystone that isn't subject to religious edict. We don't have to look very far for the ethic of reciprocity. Don't do it if you don't want it done to you. It probably didn't originate in the West, but it is the keystone of Western Civilization. More importantly, it doesn't require sanction from the local priesthood to work. It's tied to self-interest, one of the strongest drives we have.

One of my parlor tricks is showing how an entire system of ethics can be built on the EoR.

The thing is, there is nothing in the EoR that displaces or contradicts the Bible. But there is everything against using Biblical authority to rule over others. So the only thing a monotheist has to surrender is their expectation of control over others. Which naturally just follows. If you don't want to be controlled, you shouldn't seek to control.

It is the only way that different belief systems can live and work together.



I never claimed anything else. I also never claimed that it came from on high.

The ethic of reciprocity does have advantages. It works whenever it's tried and does not require submission to gods that you might not worship or deferring to different religious rules.

Would you be willing to follow the rules and requirements of another faith if you had not chosen it? Even if it was for "the Greater Good?"

Is it really moral if you are not allowed to choose?



Then I choose not to follow a Biblical morality.

*reaches towards you and extends hand*

That gives you a choice. Do you force me? Or do you work with me for a mutually beneficial solution that isn't based on raising your faith above all others?
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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We don't agree with each other

We don't agree with each other, not entirely. Just because someone is religious doesn't automatically mean that they are defective. If nothing else, that faith gives them a different perspective. It doesn't mean it's right or wrong, more or less, just different. Sometimes that's good, sometimes not. It depends on the individual and circumstances.

Religion is bad is just as big a trap as science is good. There was an author named Isaac Bonewits who wrote on the limitations of dualism. Either/or thinking can trap you. One example is that if something is ACCEPTABLE than everything else is NOT ACCEPTABLE. It becomes easier to define what doesn't work for you as not fitting your worldview instead on it's own characteristics. If all you are looking for is WHITE, than anything else including fuzzy pink becomes NOT WHITE. I'm sure you'll agree that while black and fuzzy pink are NOT WHITE, neither are they the same thing. And we still haven't touched on semi-sweet.
— NeoWayland
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“The Numbers Game: Do The Rich Get All The Gains?”

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“SAT Adversity Score: More Affirmative Action?”

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Not part of the climate crisis crowd

I'm a pagan who is not part of the climate crisis crowd. Two of the biggest reasons are the climate changes on Mars during roughly the same period and the fact that the models haven't been accurate yet (and had an 18 year gap). Long story short, we don't know enough about the climate to even say what the baseline is, much less fiddling with the thermostat.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote - Compassion, abortion and faith

I don't have an answer either, but I think if you asked most conservatives if abortion was more compassionate than taking care of unwanted and/or disabled babies, they would laugh in your face.

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Dangerous liberty

I prefer a dangerous liberty to peaceful slavery.

Malo periculosam, libertatem quam quietam servitutem.
- usually attributed to Count Palatine of Posen, cited by Jean-Jacques Rousseau in The Social Contract and later by Thomas Jefferson in a letter to James Madison.

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Government gets involved

When government gets involved, count on costs going up, quality going down, and availability diminishing.
— NeoWayland
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“Be so good they can't ignore you.”

Be so good they can't ignore you.
— Steve Martin

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“Moral Panic Over Sex Work”

“Police often use “sex trafficking” and prostitution interchangeably. That’s what happed in the Robert Kraft case, says reporter Elizabeth Nolan Brown.”

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“Health Care is a Mess... But Why?”

“You probably know a couple who both work full time to support their children, but even with their dual incomes, they’re finding it more and more difficult to afford health insurance. Everyday incidents like sports injuries, asthma, and blood pressure, combined with their anxiety over rising premiums, are turning their American dream into sleepless nights. Why can’t people catch a break? It wasn’t always this way!”

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“Alyssa Milano's SEX STRIKE? Feminist Abstinence Fail”

“Alyssa Milano raised eyebrows by suggesting a #SexStrike in response to pro-life heartbeat bills in Georgia and Ohio. But this backfired when feminist fans questioned preaching abstinence, and conservatives supported it.”

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Outside the law

I don't think government is the first, best, and last solution.

I don't think the emergencies are really emergencies. As long as there is a mechanism for government to act outside the law, government will act outside the law.
— NeoWayland
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NeoNote — The internet and social media

…if you are not paying for the product, you are the product.

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Thermosecurity

The first law is that the desire of authorities in charge of security for information will continue in a straight line with no limits in time and space short of the heat death of the universe. The second law is that the willingness of their authorities to supply them with the budget they need to do that has very definite limits, both in time and space. Hence the third law, which is the one we are now operating under. The information assembled by security authorities invariably overwhelms their ability to analyze the information. They are, in effect, suffocated by their own insecurity.
— David Weber, Cauldron of Ghosts

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Fear mongering

Democrats have been fear mongering too. Especially since Trump announced.

I'm not going to say who is right or wrong, but I am going to point out that both major parties have done fear mongering over decades. If that is one behavior you're questioning, you should ask why is it bad when "They" do it and good when "We" do it?

I too get tired of the dualism. But I don't see it limited to one party.

My blocked follower on this site would tell you that I am oversimplifying. I don't think I am. Both parties do it. Both parties are contributing to the problem. Both have media allies who sing their praises.
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Here's what you haven't been told about ethanol

Since ethanol is heavily subsidized in the United States, the price at the pump does not reflect the actual cost to produce. Extra costs are buried in taxes and the Federal general fund. These costs include collecting the tax, administering the tax, administrating the production and distribution of ethanol, and actual subsidies. It's nearly impossible to accurately calculate these costs, much less contain them.

Even with substantial subsidies, the technology doesn't exist to make ethanol economically from anything except food crops. Theoretically, almost any plant material can be used. Practically we haven't reached that point yet.

Government mandates and artificial demands for ethanol raise global food costs. The more crops required for ethanol, the bigger demand on food crops. The more ethanol that is required by law, the less food the poor can afford.

Mixing ethanol with gasoline makes fuel with less energy. More fuel must be used to move the same distance. There is ever growing political pressure to increase the ethanol and decrease the gasoline in the mix, which means even more fuel is needed.

Ethanol does not burn "cleaner" than gasoline. Ethanol does produce fewer greenhouse gases, but science hasn't yet found significant evidence that human-caused greenhouse gases significantly change the climate.

Ethanol is much more chemically reactive. Special (expensive) measures must be taken to transport and store ethanol. It doesn't "keep" as well as gasoline.

Farming crops to produce a gallon of ethanol takes more than a gallon of gasoline, especially considering the soil additives needed.
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Complicating

Yes, that reading is subject to interpretation. By experts determined to prove that their expertise should trump your common sense.

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Twitter

I've started using my long dormant Twitter account. There's nothing exciting there, just "political soundbites." I don't intend to follow anyone or comment on their tweets. I'm going to use Twitter my way.

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“Ideas are far more powerful than guns”

Ideas are far more powerful than guns. We don't let our people have guns. Why should we let them have ideas?
— Joseph Stalin

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Nothing in common

Democracy and socialism have nothing in common but one word, equality. But notice the difference: while democracy seeks equality in liberty, socialism seeks equality in restraint and servitude.
— Alexis de Tocqueville

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What would Walt think?

There's a part of me that can't help but wonder what ol' Walt would have thought about a bunch of stormtroopers marching around the Disney parks. Even if it is May the Fourth.
— NeoWayland
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Vulgar mistake

Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Too much power

I'm going to say this again. If the Democrats are afraid of what Republicans do with government power…

…if Republicans are are afraid of what Democrats do with government power…

…if independents don't trust either the Democrats or the Republicans with government power…

…and if libertarians don't trust government power…

…maybe, just maybe, the government has too much power.
— NeoWayland, comments from Leaks and Barr
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☆ Dear Democrats

Trump may be the worst president you ever heard of. But you have heard of him. And he plays the press better than almost anyone else on the planet.

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“But in the well-intentioned battle against sexual assault, facts become irrelevant, and truth never seems to matter.”

“Trauma Informed Investigations Stole My Son’s Future”

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Save the people

We are trying to save the people of the planet from the people ‘saving the planet.'

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American obsession

Sex. In America an obsession. In other parts of the world a fact.
— Marlene Dietrich
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Freed more

I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed more if only they knew they were slaves.
— Harriet Tubman
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Makes sense

A Modest Proposal For US Slavery Reparations

Since most of the Democratic Presidential aspirants have come out in favor of at least studying reparations for slavery, I wanted to offer a common sense proposal. I propose that slavery reparation be paid for by the single organization that had the most to do with the existence and protection of slavery in this country: the Democratic Party.
     — Warren Meyer
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NeoNote – “What I do is not up to you.”

Not what they wear, not who they live with, not what they eat, not what happens in the bedroom, not what they read, not how they do it, and not who they do it with.

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FDR and the IRS

My father may have been the originator of the concept of employing the IRS as a weapon of political retribution.
— Elliott Roosevelt

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“I Built a City Of Lawless Anarchy and This Happened - Citystate”

Libertarian anarchism rules! At least in simulation…

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“Green New Deal: Fact versus Fiction”

“Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal proposes to save the planet. It calls for the United States to reduce carbon emissions to zero in 10 years.”

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Works better

Capitalism works better than it sounds. Socialism sounds better than it works.
tip of the hat to Brian Micklethwait
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Only reason

Capitalism is the only reason socialism has any money to redistribute.
tip of the hat to Brian Micklethwait

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Women's rights

The first and most important "women's right" is the right to vote. Then comes the right to earn, to keep what is earned, and to hold property. Free speech and the rest listed in the Bill of Rights come next. Reproductive "rights" don't even make the top ten. Especially since the last time I checked, sex is supposed to be a consensual activity.
— NeoWayland, comments from The “no news is good news” open thread
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