Ronin of the Spirit

Because reality is beautiful.

The Truth about me.

So, a quick explanation of why I haven’t written much.  I realized the key to happiness.  I tried to fight the realization.   I tried to find holes in it.  I tried to disprove it.  But the more I thought about it the more I knew it was right.

Happiness is feeling powerful.

We are happiest when feeling powerful, and most miserable when feeling powerless.

We have shallow friendships because having people around that we feel better than makes us feel powerful.  Shallow friendships (which will be the balance of most of the people we are friends with in this life) are like knick-knacks.  They give something to do while you putter around, and make the place more interesting.

We have meaningful friendships because those are the few people who by their commitment to us enhance our power.

People form into groups to get access to power.

Religion is all about power.  The question every religion answers is what must I do to have access to divine power?

Religious groups complain about the state of society because they look back to a time when they had more power, and feel the lose keenly.

I have very little power over the world.

I thought before I wanted to change the world.  I can’t.   It doesn’t mater what I think about abortion or murder or government.  I don’t have the power to write policy so my beliefs about these things change nothing on the whole.

I’m not rich, I’m not famous, I’m not powerful.  Thus no one cares what I think, particularly if I disagree with rich, famous people in positions of power.

The only things I have power over are not system wide, they effect mostly just me.  I have some control over my attitudes, and much control over my actions.  That’s it.  There is no point in knowing a ton of stuff that I can’t do anything with.

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May 23, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Christianity, Government, Politics, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Slice of life, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments

Totally Unsubstantiated Parallels to the Church

First of all, the modern Church could not exist without the New Testament (Or New Covenant as it is properly called).  I am fascinated by the Bible as a human artifact.  First off, the Bible is open source.  Think about it.  There was no top down command structure that caused the Bible to be developed on certain lines.  The “design” was open source.   All kinds of people wrote their stories, their advice, their point of view.  The word Gospel means good news, but it doesn’t just mean that in the sense we mean it today.  It was a common way for a traveler to begin a positive story.   The Gospel according to Mark could be changed into the expression “The Big story, according to Joe”.   Tons of people wrote original work, many more people copied the original work and made minor changes.  A lot of the original work was not that great and many of the changes were pointless.   The really good stuff was kept and the not so great stuff discarded. Eventually a certain writing style, presentation, and language developed.  Sound familiar?  The Bible was the original wiki!  (You might consider the Koran the original Linux. The source document was written by one vision, but the most of the Koran is actually inspired commentary on the source.  The inspired commentary was written by experts of the source document in collective, co-operative, and Darwinian manner.)

Then there is the early Church.  The church began with a handful of true believers, profoundly affected by what they had seen.  Each formed his own following, a small group that respected and obeyed him.  In modern middle eastern cell ideology this called the cell ring: the core cells in the center of the org chart that basically independent but lead with a connection to each other.  The churches under them met in houses, this would be the secondary cells.  Rituals began to develop that encouraged a sense of intimacy and family between people who had not previously been related.  (The siblinghood of all man under God and through Christ encouraged this.)  Then, increasing notoriety and public knowledge resulted in increasing religious cleansing. The movement went underground.  The leaders began to die, and the cell structure split into two separate cultures depending on local tradition and local acceptance. One was leaderless resistance movement, where the cell don’t communicate much, but work independently towards the same basic goals. The other movement became more of a top down cell group structure of a Western rather then middle-eastern tradition.  Sound familiar?  It’s the same with every small group of political or philosophical resistance fighters world over.   It is how terrorists organize their cells, how the special forces organize theirs, how the NVA fought in Vietnam, how the Communist fought in China, and so on.  It is the premiere method of organization for asymmetrical warfare.

Then, when the church became accepted, the western style bureaucratic cell structure prevailed, gradually absorbing the leaderless cells, and setting up a chain of command.  There was the individual, the decons, the elders, and a bishop.  Due to the social welfare provided by the church, a geo-political government formed, with a chain of command and hierarchy.   Everyone paid the church (tithes were not voluntary, making them de facto taxes), but not everyone one in leadership.   The church was divided between clergy and laity.  The low level clergy had some say in political issues, and were appointed from the top down.  Because this was a source of wealth and power, becoming part of the clergy was the route to wealth and power.    Sound familiar?  It’s the communist party in Russia.   Just as junior level party members had some power, and high level ones all the power.  The discongruous enormous personal wealth, power, and luxury of senior level party officials was identical to that of senior level Church officials.

Then the Church grew into a machine that took and took.  The message of all the world under one cross was taken to the farthest corners of the world, and the old states of the Roman empire became the Satellite states of the Church.  The Church provided military aid and advice to accomplish it’s goals.  Improper expressions of the Gospel (ie, ones that didn’t pay tithe to Rome or refused to serve the Church’s armies) were viciously eradicated.  Sound familiar? Soviet history anyone?

During this time the Church maintained itself as the world’s first multinational brand, with immediately recognizable franchises in every city of any importance in Europe, and small branch centers is smaller towns and villages.  (Read the history of McDonalds)

Then, the Reformation.  The massive bureaucracy was unable to respond to the new paradigm of freer, more democratic leadership selling a religious experience for the individual rather than the city or village. (IBM vs Apple, Cars vs. Trains, landlines vs. cell phones)

Everything you need to know about business, about management, about wealth, about power, about technology, about organization, about counter culture, about revolution, about change, is all there in the history of the Church.

April 19, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Christianity, Linux, Politics, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Slice of life, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Male Privilege and me

Privilege.

Hello, I am a white, straight, male. This means I am the privileged member of the Patriarchy.  When I first started reading feminist blogs the whole Patriarchy thing really pissed me off.  It seemed this whole bugaboo with really bogus standards of existence: “Don’t believe in the Patriarchy? It’s because you are the Patriarchy!” I mean, I’m not sure that there isn’t a conspiracy which that couldn’t be applied to.  “Don’t believe in the Reptilians? It’s because you are one!”  “Don’t believe that Elvis is alive and the truth is being suppressed by a conspiracy? That’s because you are part of the conspiracy.”

Several (male) posters made this argument.  A lot of the responses were vindictive, cruel, and not particularly helpful.  With time, though, I heard some good data.  First of all, that the concept of the Patriarchy is the most misunderstood concept in feminist thought.  The Patriarchy as visualized is bunch of old white dudes with mutton chop side burns and full beards.  They’re these semi-immortals that have been locked in a boardroom since 1885.   They’re wearing old suits, sitting in overstuffed leather chairs.  There’s mounted endangered species everywhere from antelope to zebra.  The guy at the head of the table leans back in his chair and pulls a long drag on his huge, expensive cigar.

mutton1

“Boys,” he says with British accent, “we gotta do something about these feminists!”

General “Harrumphs!” ensue.  The men smoke cigars and drink bourbon from crystal glasses as they control and manipulate the whole world, sliding little brass tokens across a sepia world map.

The truth is both simpler and more complicated.   There is no boardroom.  This is not a conspiracy of the grand sort, this is a conspiracy of peers.  Friends take care of friends.  People feel most comfortable with people that look like them, act like them, value what they value.   That’s the basis of a whole lot of ‘isms, racism and sexism most obviously.  It’s not a purposefully conspiracy, it just happens.  Life is series of choices.  When we don’t force ourselves to think about, we make choices that are helpful to people like us.  The people that aren’t like us don’t quite advance as fast as we do.  With time, people think the backwardness of the people who “aren’t like us”, is accepted, a given.  It’s the way it was meant to be.  Then come moral statements.  They’re like that because they are morally inferior.  They don’t advance because lack the moral fiber it takes to succeed.   Because we don’t hold them down on purpose, it seems like the most reasonable explanation for their failure is themselves.

The Patriarchy is the end result of this advancing people just like us.  The tiny, top of the pyramid of exploitation. The reason that most people in charge of the world are white, straight, and male.  I am member of this privileged class.  I get that now, and I accept it.

But it would wrong to feel guilty for it.  I didn’t choose to be born the straight, white, male child of two college educated parents.  That which I did not chose, I will not apologize for.  I didn’t do anything wrong.  Now, if I use this position of privilege that fate granted me to fatten myself at the expense of others less fortunate, then I have done something wrong.  I have become the exploiter.   But on the other hand, I did not make this world.  I am not the person who said a white, straight, male’s opinion was more valuable than other peoples’.    And I will not take my “bully pulpit” and ignore it.  Me not using the position of privilege I have as the person I am to make the world a better place,  would be as wrong as me refusing to walk just because there are people out there who can’t.

I admit it.  Society privileges me.   And I vow to use that for good, and not evil, and never to feel guilty for it.

April 16, 2009 Posted by | feminism, Politics, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Slice of life, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 2 Comments

A better system.

So, I’ve been really blue the last couple weeks. I’d forgot as I occasionally do, my point and purpose. I bought the lie. I am not here to make more money. I am not here to pad my ass. I am not here please the people who hired me.

I am here for one purpose, and one purpose alone: to start a fight. There is a world of injustice out there. Some of it caused by individual persons. There is nothing is I can do about that. Some of it is systematic and I can make a better system. I am here to fight a system that keeps us divided.

I quit working on that goal for a while. I forgot that and started working for the system instead of against it. I started studying things other people care about, instead of the things I care about. When I did study the things I love, I felt guilty for not studying the shit that matters to other people. I started to look differently at my car, which should have been a huge red flag to me. Part of my system is “You are not what you drive.”

So I am writing tonight the things I must remember. I must put myself on the right track again.

I am here to start a fight. I fight the idea that you are what you buy. I am here to fight the idea that problems aren’t fixable. I am here to fight the idea that someone else can tell you what makes you happy. I am here to fight the idea that others know what is best for you better than you do. I am here to fight for my rights. I am here to make a better system. I am here to find a better way to get to the better way.

As I find the desire to fight again I find my peace again. I find the place in my heart where injustice should be fought, not expected. I start looking at suffering and the stupid, and I say it’s not OK. I find my voice again in Niemöller’s poem.

First they came for the Communists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Communist
First they came for the Socialist
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Socialist
First they came for the trade unionists
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a trade unionist
First they came for the Jews
And I did not speak out
Because I was not a Jew
Then they came for me
And there was no one left
To speak out for me

I will not be silent. Even if I cannot reverse the tide, I will not sell out to it.

April 7, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Christianity, Government, Politics, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Rape 4 (The last one)

This is my last post on this ghastly topic.  In the first, I said that I agreed with the feminist party line that rape is caused purely by the addition of a rapist.  In the second, both in the comments and the post, I said I really struggle with the idea that no woman could be held even a little bit responsible.  Primarily this was because of my close relationship with a rape victim.  It seemed to me that if I said that a woman who was getting drunk and frisky with total strangers had the same total lack of fault as child who was raped (my friend) then I was somehow cheapening the horror and misery that latter felt.

While I rationally accepted the obvious truth that rape is cause by the addition of a rapist (something that did not seem so obvious to me a few years ago), I found this statement emotionally disturbing, and I wasn’t sure why.  So, post three was an attempt to explore my feelings about it.  I found two reasons to be disturbed.  The first was I had a lot of hate toward women when I was young man.  Though I never acted on these feelings, to accept that rape is just as evil towards a drunken, promiscuously dressed woman as it is towards a child, meant I had to look at my feelings in high school and college about my peers, not as the reasonable thoughts of frustrated young man, but as something profoundly unhealthy.

The other reason was the safety and security of my daughter.  Obviously, I had some unhealthy views about sex, love, and sexual roles.  I picked these views up in the malaise of church, camp, campus, books, and “positive Christian radio”.  I want my daughter to grew up healthy, strong, and, above all, free.  I want her to love freedom.  Free speech, free press, free trade, freedom of religion.  These are the things I believe in.  They bring me joy, and if I can only communicate one thing to her in my life it would be “Freedom is worth fighting for.”  Yet, having been the first trusted male for several rape victims.  I have heard about rape to a detail I could have never imagined, and I am terrified of teaching my daughter to believe something that could hurt her the way some of my beliefs hurt me.

So I arrive at my answer:  Rape victims are to blame for rape in exactly the way that soldiers are responsible for their injuries.  Right now my good friend Paul is “down range”.  He volunteered to join the Air Force.  He volunteered to go on the very dangerous mission he is on.  No one forced him to join.  No one forced him to go on this mission.  If he gets shot, it will happen at the end of chain of decisions for which there can be no one to blame but him.  Yet, if he gets shot my thought will not be “Well,  he was asking for it.”  Or, “Well of course, he got shot, wearing a US uniform in a place like that.”  Or “Well, a nice guy would not have been in that village with an M4 in the first place.”

It all boils down to reasonable expectation.  You see, I joined for a lot of reasons.  I was broke, I was tired of fighting the bad guys and never winning (we belonged to an inner city church). I was facing my fears.  There were a hundred reasons I joined, but in the end I joined to fight this misguided war on terror for one reason: So my daughter wouldn’t have too.  I made a decision about “reasonable expectation”.

The US has a reasonable expectation of acts of terror.  They are people out there who hate us. Regardless of whether their motivation has merit, their methods are horrific.  I volunteered for the Air Force during a war, a war that will never truly end.  I volunteered to endanger my life for an ideal, the ideal that terror should never be a reasonable expectation.

We fight for rights by using them.  We fight for freedom of speech by speaking freely.  The day we say “I’m not going to say that, I’m afraid of what the government might do” we have lost our free speech, regardless of what a old piece of parchment under glass in Washington says.  Couldn’t we blame Martin Luther King  for his assassination?  He could have stayed at home.  He could have stayed quiet.  But instead he fought for his right to free speech by speaking up.  He fought for his right to peacefully assemble by peacefully assembling.  He got shot because he stood up and said “Hate is not a reasonable exception.”

Rape is not a reasonable expectation.  No matter what the statistics say, no matter how many lives are destroyed, no matter what, it is never a reasonable expectation.  We fight for the right of people to dress how they like, speak how they like, and act how they like without fear acts of hate by dressing how we like, speaking how we like and acting how we like regardless of the consequences.

I joined the Air Force because I believed that planes full of innocents crashing into buildings was not a reasonable expectation.  This life style choice is a risk, but I believe in this ideal so much, I will risk my life for it.  For the belief that rape is not a reasonable expectation I will believe things that put my daughter at risk, because I would rather have her live a life of danger and freedom than cower in fearful security.

March 21, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Christianity, Politics, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Slice of life, Uncategorized | , , , , , | 5 Comments

Rape 3

Why is this subject so important to me?  Why do I need to have an opinion on this?  First, to redeem my past.  As I said before, I have never raped anyone, not by even the least coercive definition.  I never felt the desire to do so, but I did share one common thought with rapists:  I hated women because of how much power they had in comparison to me.  I would submerge my identity to be with a woman.  I would change my vocabulary, my clothes, my hair.  Anything just to be seen with a woman, yet no woman would equally debase herself to be with me.  I hated myself for being so desperate and empty and I transferred this hate to women.

Christian life reinforced these outlooks in a lot of ways.  Women were the “weaker vessel,” fragile, emotional creatures, who could not be trusted to make important decisions, which is a backwards way of saying they could not be held as accountable as a man for their behavior.  This and the tyranny of love.  Young adulthood is a time to understand love and sex.  I remember so many ex-couples where the girl broke up with the guy and really wanted to be friends afterword.  Getting a mix tape of Micheal W Smith’s “Friends” was not unusual.

Packing up the dreams God planted
In the fertile soil of you
Can’t believe the hopes he’s granted
Means a chapter in your life is through
But we’ll keep you close as always
It won’t even seem you’ve gone
cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

Chorus:
And friends are friends forever
If the lord’s the lord of them
And a friend will not say never
cause the welcome will not end
Though its hard to let you go
In the father’s hands we know
That a lifetimes not too long to live as friends.

With the faith and love god’s given
Springing from the hope we know
We will pray the joy you’ll live in
Is the strength that now you show

But we’ll keep you close as always
It wont even seem you’ve gone
cause our hearts in big and small ways
Will keep the love that keeps us strong

Do you see what I mean the tyranny of love?  My god, who could do that?  No pain of loss was great enough.  No hope of a different kind of love could hurt enough.  Nothing could hurt enough to end it.  You just had to just keep suffering, pretending that everything was OK.  This was the “love” that my female peers spoke off.   This too contributed to my hate.

friends

Further, from home and a little bit from the Christian culture, I had picked up the idea that women were not as sexual as men.  “Women act like they want sex to get love, men act like they want love to get sex” was never said from the pulpit, but as a viewpoint, it pervaded the churches, camps, and college I went to.  To have this incredible need from someone and have them have no need of it themselves felt so unfair.  Imagine you are dying of thirst, and you crawl up to a person sitting on a 55 gallon drum of ice water.  “No, you can’t have any.  You’re all icky and thirsty.”  You’d be pretty mad.

Again, the Christian culture shares some blame here, because if I could have just had a girlfriend and gotten laid, I probably would have calmed down with the hate quite a bit.  But Christianity told me that the only acceptable way to desire sex was to want a wife.  So every female friend I had was the future Mrs. Ronin Truthwalker.  Every issue was huge.  I could never just enjoy a young women for who she was. No, I had be weighing her character for fitness as the mother of my children.  This is not conducive to good friendships, which made me feel hurt and betrayed a lot.  Which again, increased the hate.

This hate I used to feel is the first reason this subject is so personal and important to me.

The second reason is my daughter.  I don’t want her to grow up the way I did with these really stupid ideas about sex, love, and male and female roles in society, because ideas take people places, and those aren’t places I want her to have to go. A person’s ideas about rape are sort of a litmus test for what they think of women.  If a person thinks that rape is not as serious a crime when the women was dressed suggestively that person is saying “It’s OK to harm women if they don’t look like nice women.”  Which then says “Nice women either don’t like sex or don’t look like they do.”  Which then says “It’s OK for guys to like sex, but not for women too.”   Like I said, ideas take people places and I don’t want my daughter to go the places those ideas take people and I don’t ever want to go back myself.

I want my daughter to be free and strong.  I want her to believe that rape should never be a reasonable expectation.  At the same time, I don’t want her to believe an idea that puts her at risk. I’ll finish the rest of this later.   This is just why this is important to me. I’ll give my conclusion later.

March 20, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Christianity, Politics, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Slice of life, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Rape 2

tears

In my earlier post about rape I mentioned the Christian/Conservative/patriarchal party line as my starting point, my beliefs in high school. I explained why I felt this view was wrong, and I agreed more or less with the feminist party line.  That post climbed up over 1000 words and I quit, saving the second half for another day.  This is the half where I admit thought I agree with my own conclusion, I am concerned by the direction society has taken in response to the tension between these two view points.

For some reason, women trust me.  They tell me things they would not tell other men in their life, and this contributes greatly to my disillusionment with Christianity.  Being a fundamentalist home schooler, my high school was the kitchen table, and not a lot of sexual coming of age happened there.  The place that “grew me up” was my job at East Iowa Bible Camp.  A busy lifeguard, I sat stone still, watching my grossly over crowded pool carefully.  There was room for two my stand, and to make sure I didn’t miss anyone, I didn’t talk.  I just listened.

Girl after girl sat on my stand with me.  Enjoying the comfortable silence for a time, and then beginning to talk.  And they told of their rapes.  I don’t remember the numbers anymore, just that it was more than half.  These beautiful young women, with their shining eyes and easy smiles had been raped.  So many of them had been raped.  They were worship leaders, youth group assistants, nursery volunteers.  They were young the face of Christianity, fresh scrubbed and facing the ‘morrow.  It still disturbs the hell out me as I write it 12 years later.

I knew from TV shows I’d watched, the important thing to say, was that it wasn’t their fault, and while I said it to still their tears rolling down their faces so incongruently in the summer sunshine, sometimes I didn’t believe it.  One friend told me she knew she was raped, but didn’t remember.  Klara (not her real name) had been drunk, and she remembered doing a strip tease for the boys at the party.  She woke up with her panties around her ankles, her crotch feeling raw and damp.

Another friend was four.  Her mother left her with a good Christian neighbor everyday.  The neighbor’s son was 10.  He raped her.  He raped her everyday until they moved to the mission field, eight years later, her a budding young woman, him finally legally an adult.  We’ll call her Gina.

These two women never told each other their stories.  Neither ever knew the other was victim, and I’d given my word I wouldn’t tell.  Inside, I seethed.  Both were raped, both had something horrible happen.  Both were shattered inside.  But one was actively trying seduce a stranger and had, with full knowledge of consequences, consumed a huge quantity of alcohol.  The other was four years old.  In general, I agree with feminism, I agree that rape is far to common, but I have always felt any definition of rape which puts these two acts on the same moral level is less than ideal.

I remember believing that raping a drunken promiscuously dressed woman should not be punishable to the same severity as raping an “innocent” women.  This retrospect belief sickens me today.  Feminism taught me that woman should be able to do and appear as she wishes and that only thing that makes for a rape is the addition of a rapist. I feel that is mostly true.  I also feel saying Klara’s experience was as equally not her fault as Gina’s is an enormous slap in the face to Gina.  I feel that saying the only contributing factor was the addition of rapists elevates a Klara as much as saying “She asked for it” rapes Gina anew.

My second confusion is about alcohol.  A woman cannot give consent if she is drunk.  Even if she says yes, her yes is meaningless, because she lacks the ability to consent, and cannot be held accountable for her action.  Yet man, no matter how drunk, rapes if he does not hear and heed a “no”.  This is a horrible double standard.  In short a woman is not accountable for her sexual behavior when drunk, yet a man is.  This is patronizing so called “positive discrimination”.  It is clear sexual Uncle Tomism, that says that woman are weaker and less accountable and need more protection.

This issues are where I step away from the party line.  I am not making statements of fact.  I am stating my understanding of the facts.  I could have them wrong, and I welcome correction.   Please feel free to comment and set me straight, that’s why I wrote it.  I would really like to hear something from some card carying feminists on these two issues.  Thanks for reading, all.

March 5, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Christianity, Politics, Religion, Self discovery | , , , , , , , | 25 Comments

Rape 1

rubens_rape1

I’ve wanted to write a post about rape for awhile now, but it’s a pretty hard topic to write about. I’ve never been raped though I have been sexually assaulted a few times. I want to write about it because I want some discussion on it from my readers. If you never comment on anything else, this is the blog. Unfortunately, I have my usual problem of with holisticness. I can’t talk about rape without talking about gender, sex, feminism, and society. This means a lot of variables which introduce a lot more chance for me to accidentally spew bullshit.

(The purpose of my blog is to purge myself of bullshit. I am out here, saying to the whole world, “Hey, call my bullshit.” So, readers, if I say some total crap, be gentle. I’m here to learn.) Now that that’s out of the way…

When I was in high school, it was incredibly important to me to develop my world view. I’m not sure if my experiences are unique to me, if all young Christian me, all young Christians, or all teens in general feel this pressure to have an opinion on everything. I think because of Christianity, I was in a group of people who believed that they had special revelation about how the world should work, the pre-packaged world view I and other de-cons have mentioned before. The church calls this having a ready answer. I also believe that the rationality that my father taught me as a method for interpreting scripture helped me to be a rational thinker. It was important to me to have an answer that was really defensible.

I believed that rape was a crime, a terrible one that should be punished with death, but only in the case of real rape. A wonderful American girl with good clean hobbies, perfect teeth and and well earned scholarship to a small, but challenging private college, is snatched out of parking garage and raped after a prolonged fight with her assailant.

But in the news a lot was something called date rape. A woman would dress like a prostitute, let a man get her drunk, take her home, get her naked, and then say no. Well, that wasn’t rape at all, she acted like she wanted sex, then got upset when she got what she had, through her actions, asked for all night. I wasn’t sure how this should be treated, but certainly it didn’t deserve the death penalty. This could not be what God intended when he said that a rapist should be killed. If fact, the Torah says that a woman who is raped where others can hear her, and doesn’t yell for help must herself be stoned. (Deuteronomy 22:24)

I remember the scuff about Clarence Thomas, and similar stories, and the consensus among my peers was that these girls hadn’t really been raped, because they were asking for what they got. I remember the humorous incredulity in regard to news story of prostitute who had been raped. You can’t rape a prostitute, we reasoned, you can only rob her by not paying her afterward.

So, now I am an atheist. One of the things I have done is try to examine the claims of people who’s view I rejected outright before. Some I have found that I still reject their ultimate thesis, Muslims, for instance. But feminists surprised me. I found that while I don’t agree with everything they say, I can test many of the basic theories of feminists with a skeptical eye and burden of evidence, and that these theories pass.

You might notice I said “girls” in reference to the alleged victims of rape. I know that they were over 18. Yet, they are called girl, for the same reason that a 50 year old black man is called boy. An unconscious display of power, a statement of the hierarchy, a re-establishment of pecking order. I know now that what this is, and I try to eliminate such patterns from my writing and speech. And the feminist taught me a lot about rape.

First, most rapes are not what I described above as “real” rape (though it too is real). That would more appropriately be called “Hollywood rape.” It’s quite rare. The place where most rape happens: a woman’s own bedroom. The person most commonly raping them? Someone they trust; how do you think they got in the bedroom? Now, I know some people will read this and think to themselves, oh well that’s not real rape.

Rape by someone they trust in their own bed? That can’t possibly be real rape because that wouldn’t happen to nice girls. Whether you realize it or not, if you are going to be really honest with yourself, if you think that sort of rape isn’t real, it is because you have decided that a girl in her bedroom with a man she trusts is already guilty of wanting sex, so she can’t be upset about the man giving it to her. I used to believe that, so it is with some authority that I say, how mind bogglingly stupid.

Imagine going to a hospital and saying you are interested in a vasectomy. You talk to the doc for about an hour, you take the brochure, and you get up to walk out. At the door, the doctor shoves a needle into your left buttock. You instantly don’t feel right, you turn around and fall. As the world goes black and you become increasing powerless you feel the doctor pulling your pants off. You wake up, and you have a vasectomy. You’re not going to sue are you? After all, you’d been asking for it for an hour.

Two women both go to Applebee’s. They both go with someone they trust and care about. They both dress quite revealingly for the pleasure of being seen. They both get quite tipsy. They both get taken home and carried to their bed by their date. One is raped. One is not. What’s the difference between the two situations? The addition of a fucking rapist.

It’s not the way they dressed. It’s not the way they talked. It’s not the drinks they had. The only thing that got one women raped, the only thing that made the situation something terrifying and twisted was the addition of rapist. The problem is not the victim, the problem is the rapist.

Not every man is a rapist, in fact most aren’t.  The problem is not the woman.  The problem is not men.  The problem is rapists.

March 4, 2009 Posted by | atheism, Christianity, Politics, Self discovery, skepticism, Uncategorized | , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Environmentalism and Overpopulation: The Solution, Part VI, Summary

I didn’t get to really spell it out why I believe this because I wanted to avoid a controversy which would distract from the point I was making… so I will spell it out here, because you’re a captive audience.

I don’t believe in sin, and I am skeptical of any concept of absolute and universal morality.  Ultimately, I think what people perceive as morality is, in fact productivity.  Productivity has gotten a bad rap because we tend to think of productivity as factories and smokestacks, but truly, productivity is getting more for less effort.  Morality is founded in productivity.  Incest and cannibalism, for instance,  are universal taboos not because they “wrong” but because they are counter productive.  They take the exact same energy to achieve as other options, but yield less productive results.  The same reason is why we hunted the magafauna to death.  It takes about as much energy to kill a mammoth as deer, but a mammoth provides orders of magnitude more food energy.

Population reduction means one thing.  Birthrate/deathrate must be less than 1. We can do this through homicide or prophylactic measures. Believing as I do that morals are imaginary, and the right social engineering can produce new taboos and virtues, I have to take an honest look at homicide as an option.  Conclusion: if homicide worked, it would have worked sometime in the last couple eons.  However, believing as I do that reducing population is a noble goal, history also shows me that unethical people regularly jump on noble bandwagons to kill people and take their stuff.  That is what war is all about, killing people and taking their stuff.  So, first of all homicide is a lousy way to control population. Two, as soon as population control becomes demographically appealing, some people will use the platform to demand the death of whatever group they can make into a scapegoat.  They will then kill those people and take their stuff.

To prevent this, we have to not touch homicide with a 10′ pole, even though it is an acceptable solution to some issues.  I don’t think that plants, animals, and resources disappearing to keep people like Timothy McVeigh alive is a particularly moral/productive use of limited resources.  But homicide can’t be part of population control.  Ever.  In the long run, it’s counter-productive in two ways: First, it has no proven long term ability to reduce population, and in many cases, birthrate skyrockets after a bloody war.  Second, it stratifies wealth into the hands of the people who control the homicidal bureaucracy (Just look at the Soviets and the Nazis) This is counterproductive for reasons I’ll explain in a moment.

So that just leaves prophylactic methods, with two paths: voluntary and coercive. The problem with coercive, is that creating the bureaucracy to rigorously enforce the standards (aka forced abortion) would create a very similar bunch of bloody handed plutocrats as in the Soviet model.  (Look at China)  and has the same counter-productivity I will mention in a bit.

That leaves voluntary.  Coitus interptus has been known for thousands of years, and the population just keeps going up.  So, the incentive to voluntarily overproduce is stronger than the incentive to not.  “Voluntarily” is relative.  We can create a voluntary model with taxes and social norms.  But people hate taxes, and social norms are slow.  (It took the catholic Church 1500 years to accept that it might be a good idea to charge interest on loans.)  We don’t have 1500 years.

But everyone likes money and position, and income and education are the most proven mass birth control in the world.  Education costs money.  Ironically, the people who can afford children the least have the most, and the people who can afford children the most have the least.  We could get people to procreate responsibly if everyone on earth had access to European or American levels of wealth.  Access to wealth is dependent upon social mobility, which in turn means that despite the fact that Soviet style homicide, or Chinese style birth control can reduce world population, they would fail in the long run because poor peasants breed like rabbits, and the bureaucracy need to enforce those kind of standards always becomes the arm of a kleptocracy.

So, that’s what I meant by saying if it could be done, it would have already.  And why my solution is global wealth.  The only way I know to make global wealth and not rape the planet is with strong property rights for shared resources like, forests, air, and water.   The only proven way I know to share property rights is stocks, the only way I know to make stocks work right is perfect market.  The only way I know to make perfect markets work is to make sure that all members have equal access to the market, and the only way I know to do that is with a global governmen.  The only proven effective method I know for a group of groups to relate is in voluntary unions with trade benefits.

That’s my whole plan in a nutshell.

December 21, 2008 Posted by | atheism, Ecology, Government, Politics, Religion, skepticism, Slice of life | , , , , | Leave a comment

Obama completely sells out homosexuals for some favorable coverage.

The following are articles which talk about Obama choosing Rick Warren to do his presidential inauguration.

http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=98453190&ft=1&f=1012

http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/08354/936242-84.stm?cmpid=nationworld.xml

http://edition.cnn.com/2008/POLITICS/12/19/navarrette.warren/index.html?section=cnn_latest

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/washington/2008/12/rick-warren-oba.html

Something that, to me, is going mysteriously unmentioned is this: Rick Warren claims to be Rupert Murdoch’s pastor. (1.) (2.) (3.) And that Obama sat down with with Rupert Murdoch and agreed to to quid pro quo agreement.  Fox News, which belongs to Rupurt Murdoch would provide more favorable coverage of Obama if he would work with Murdoch on somethings. (4.) (5.) Murdoch said during this interview “leadership was about what you did in the first six months” (5.)

Obama then says, in what is seen by my many as a slap in the face to gays and lesbians. (Click the 4 links listed in the first paragraph.) that Rick Warren would do his invocation.  Rick Warren’s book A Purpose Driven Life is published by Zondervan, which is owned by Harper Collins, which in turn is owned by Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation.  (6.)

So, let’s see.  Obama meets with Rupert Murdoch and agrees to a quid pro quo agreement for more favorable news coverage.  Then, he hires Murdoch’s own pastor, (Who has increased Murdoch’s 8.3 billion dollar worth (7.) by uncountable millions with the best selling non-fiction is history (30 million books) to do his invocation.

And then, I hear people saying they are suprised by his choice.  How much advertising for Rick Warren is a presidential invocation worth? How big of a cut does the owner of Fox News get?  What does Obama get in exchange?

Who cares.  Let’s bury those questions in the homosexual rights debate.

December 20, 2008 Posted by | atheism, Politics, Religion, Self discovery, skepticism, Transportation | , , , , , | 5 Comments