Nothing in this blog can be believed. If you think that anything in this blog is true or factual, you'll need to verify it from another source. Do you understand? No? Then read it again, and repeat this process, until you understand that you cannot sue me for anything you read here. Also, having been sucked into taking part in the mass-murder of more than 3 million Vietnamese people on behalf of U.S. Big Business "interests", I'm as mad as a cut snake (and broke) so it might be a bit silly to try to sue me anyway...

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

nonviolence or nonexistence...

Dr. King told thousands of people at the Mason Temple in Memphis, Tennessee: "For years now, we have been talking about war and peace. But now, no longer can we just talk about it. It is no longer a choice between violence and nonviolence; it’s nonviolence or nonexistence." John Dear
Martin Luther King, Jr., understood our situation profoundly. He summed it up in his contingent prophecy for the rest of human history: "Nonviolence or nonexistence." King knew humanity had passed beyond the imaginable limits of violence at Hiroshima. Today, God and history challenge us to pass equally beyond the imaginable limits of nonviolence. King, like Gandhi and Jesus, felt there were in truth no limits to nonviolence. " Jim Douglass
I'm concerned about living with my conscience and searching for that which is right and that which is true, and I cannot live with the idea of being just a conformist following a path that everybody else follows. And this has happened to us. As I've said in one of my books, so often we live by the philosophy 'Everybody's doing it, it must be alright.' We tend to determine what is right and wrong by taking a sort of Gallup poll of the majority opinion, and I don't think this is the way to get at what is right. Excerpted from a 1967 interview of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. by Arnold Michaelis, compliments of The King Centre.
Where am I going with this? Towards a universal ecumenism (beyond merely Christian ecumenism). More from John Dear:
I’ve come to the conclusion that all the major religions of the world are rooted in nonviolence. Islam means peace. Judaism upholds the magnificent vision of shalom, where people beat swords into plowshares and study war no more. Gandhi exemplified Hinduism as active nonviolence. Buddhism is all about compassion toward all living things. Even Christianity is about nonviolence!
But for the True Believers In The Nonexistence Of God there's a problem here... And a lesson as well...

Many "on the left" fancy themselves to be atheists (more about such gross ignorance in another blog post), and a fair few of them reflexively avoid studying the utterings of religious teachers. Yet they (erroneously) like to think that they form the core of the anti-war movement. Not only is that not true, but their dismissive attitude towards religions divides the anti-war movement unnecessarily and thereby diminishes its effectiveness.

And the lesson? The lesson for believers in atheism is that if they want a unified peace movement, they need to stop the ideoligical war they wage upon religions. (And likewise, the religious believers could learn much from the utterings of nonreligious teachers, and they too could realise that there are many atheists in the peace movement, and therefore stop their ideological war upon atheism.)

I think it's high time that ecumenism goes universal and that it recognises, not just the need to not wage war between religions, but also the need to not wage war between religions and atheism. And therefore it behoves atheists to actively join this ecumencial discourse and to do so in the true spirit of ecumenism.

Peace, pace, paix, pax, paz, frieden, shalom, vrede, etc., etc.

(P.S. Sorry I've not posted for so long, but the Big Black Dog has been savaging me again...)

Saturday, January 14, 2006

I'm sick of the lies...

I'm horrified. And disgusted. And depressed.

Who with? "Western" society, that's who.

Why? Well, that's almost too big and too complex for this inarticulate and under-informed old fart to communicate to you in a way that would really explain it all to you. And anyhow, who bothers to read this shit anyway? I'm just ranting at the converted minority - those few who, like me, have realised that we in the "developed" world are controlled and brainwashed by the most selfish, exploitative, corrupt, arrogant, willfully ignorant, self-deluded, thieving, mass-murdering psychopaths on the planet.

Our very lifestyle is not just unsustainable, it is exploitative, and corrupt, nay, it is pure evil wich has been given a nice, shiny, chrome plated finish.

And we love it.

We love it so much we will gladly remain deaf to the lies we are told, and oblivious to the lies we are telling to ourselves, as long as we can get more of this wonderful lifestyle for just a little bit longer.

We are lifestyle junkies and the people running our "Western democracies" are its suppliers and pushers. They make the megabucks whilst we stay hooked.

We now refer to this wonderfully corrupt, exploitational, wasteful, excessive, lying, cheating, mass-murdering way of living as being "our way of life". We refer to it as a "high" standard of living.

And we sure are "high" on our standard of living...

And like all addicts, we are in total denial about the costs and deficits of this "high" standard lifestyle we have come to believe is our birthright. We don't want to know what it's doing to the people we exploit, cheat and kill, and whose cultures and habitats we trash in order for us to sustain, just a little bit longer, our totally unsustainable lifestyle. We don't want to know about the evil and murderous political and military interference we visit upon these people.

And so we desperately gobble up the propaganda we are fed and we convince ourselves of its truth. And we convince ourselves that our leaders know what they are doing and that they are are acting in our best interests.

And here is where the logic gets circular.

Given the interests we have been brainwashed to have, these leaders, these sycophants of the robber barons, are acting in "our" interests.

But it's getting very, very ugly...

There are those who are so infuriated by what our military and political machinations have done to their people, countries, cultures, habitat, resources, etc., that they are at their wits end and they have resorted to violent or armed resistance. Our propagandists, our bullshitmeisters, have labelled them "terrorists" in order to blind us to the true reason for our victims' madness and despair. God forbid we should acknowledge that any of this had anything to do with what we have been doing to them for a long, long time...

And so our governors demonise these "terrorsts" and the communities from which they arise. And so we wage "war on terror" - a nice euphemism for crushing the exploited and the oppressed if they dare lift a hand against their exploiters and oppressors.

And there are those who have decided that the best way to resist this untenable evil is to engage, not in violent resistance, but in peaceful, nonviolent resistance. This too is now being nobbled by our governors via the clever laws thay are passing which will make even nonviolent protest illegal.

And now our governors have passed laws which can have the likes of you and me arrested for the very act of trying to expose their murderous lies and deceptions.

So how do you fight these evil, lying, mass-murdering bastards?

"Elections" you say?

You are a naïve little dreamer, aren't you? Or a deluded one...

The Propaganda Machine will make sure that the majority will stay the course... Oh yes, elections are all the go... Democracy has degenerated into the biggest-ever fraud perpetrated on a gullible public.

Happy voting, voters...

Monday, January 09, 2006

the dirty duo...

According to the ABC's 7.30 Report (tonight):

The U.S., whilst having only 4.6% of the world's population, produces 25% of the world's carbon emissions.

Australia produces more carbon dioxide emissions per capita than any other nation on earth.

We make such a lovely couple...

Saturday, January 07, 2006

I've been infected by the virus virus...

It started innocently enough... in the previous post... with the idea that religions are virus-like... then it was mooted that memes are virus-like:
"Today, Virus is used ... as a metaphor for other parasitically-reproducing things, such as memes..."

Now, the word 'meme' can mean many things. Look it up. Don't make me explain it to you. Then get back here...

Now do you see what the problem is? Any idea, word or thought can be a meme. And memes are virus-like...

And now it's too late... You too are infected... Oh dear...

Whatever you do, don't think...

Thursday, January 05, 2006

do religions cause mental illness?

Blame GreenSmile for this post. It's all his fault. (I assume he's a he but I don't know why. I vaguely recall some clue he dropped somewhere but I forget where.) Anyway, I digress...

In the post Jesus was a communist I made the (unfounded?) assertion that adherents (of a religion) are in dire need of psychotherapy.

Well, GreenSmile has obviously felt the need to refute my assertion and has sent me a link to an apparently serious scientific paper by Ben Cullen in which Cullen purports to do just that. But I am not satisfied that it does, nor that it addresses the question in a comprehensively-enough way.

Curse you, GreenSmile, you are making me think way too hard! Grrrrrrr...

The problem with Cullen's paper is that it operates in a very narrow section of the spectrum i.e. parasite ecology. (And even within this I think I can detect the whiff of sophistry.)

I'm not going to go into detail here (read the document if you want details), but Cullen argues that religions which are transmitted vertically i.e. handed down from parent to child, "ought" be symbiotic and co-dependent (benign) in their relationship with their followers and "ought" not to be parasitic (disease-like). Ergo, according to Cullen, religion is not a disease. He cites recent parasite ecology research for the correctness of his assumptions.

The flaw in Cullen's reasoning is, I think, contained in the assumption that the symbiotic or co-dependent nature of the relationship between a religion and its followers is therefore a benign one. Really? Are the abuser and the abused, although heavily co-dependent, in a benign relationship? Ditto, the brainwasher and the brainwashed? Ditto the controller and the controlled? I don't think so. Just because the relationship is not terminal to either party does not make it benign or healthy.

An interesting sideline to this is that Cullen is trying to use a branch of the theory of evolution to obtain a stamp of approval for his creationist leanings. Oh yeah? Really? Excuse me!!!

And then there are all of the questions which Cullen does not even begin to deal with:
What defines mental illness?
What defines sanity?
What defines psychosis?
What defines reality?
Is religious practice/ritual often a form of mass (or self) hypnosis?
Is the act of deliberately brainwashing people to become total bigots not also the act of tampering with their perception of reality and therefore tampering with their mental health?

Oh no, I did not find Cullen to be a convincing read at all...

Is that the best you got, GreenSmile? :-)

Craig Murray writes...

Craig Murray writes on the Torture Telegrams, the al-Jazeera memo and the (British) Official Secrets Act.