Monday, May 8, 2017

Reconciling Atheism and Humanitarianism with Conservatism and Libertarianism

Atheism is disbelief or lack of belief in the existence of God or gods.

Humanitarianism is the promotion of human welfare.

Conservatism is the holding of political views that favor free enterprise, private ownership, and socially conservative ideas.

Libertarianism is an extreme laissez-faire political philosophy advocating only minimal state intervention in the lives of citizens.

Atheism leads the individual into the realm of defending the lack of belief in god and religion. The common argument on the side of religion is that without it there would be no morality. Standing against that, atheists have to show morality is influenced by the structure of society. The rule of law and decency allows atheists to act morally without the need. Most atheists are scientists; the tools from science lead to one to be a skeptic. Question everything. What is the evidence. Does the evidence support the claim. Can an individual be moral without religion? Of course. Can one help one's neighbor without religion? Of course. Quite often people go out of their way to help another without referring to a religious text. That's just being a decent human being; that's a humanitarian. You act that way, because if the situation was reversed you would want the same. Science also brings with it innovations, whether it is technology, procedure, or information. Those can bring forth things to help your fellow man or to not. As an atheist, even as a good person, you want to help as many people as possible. One of the driving forces of the atheist movement is that by ridding the world of religion we can unite together and achieve even greater feats. So, we come together and form these organizations for all sorts of causes. There is already a powerful organization that represents the people and that is the government. If atheists come together, or any group for that matter, we can appeal to our representatives and they can take action.

Now, my political outlook is a conservative libertarianism. We believe that government is a necessary evil. Without control it can grow far beyond its intended means. So, it needs to be restricted. We are against taxes. A purist would say taxes are not necessary, but a realist agrees that some taxation is needed for maintaining government infrastructure. Another core belief is that the freer the market the better off the economy will be. Leave all economics to the private sector, especially including charity. Government policy can dictate how taxes are used. It's a recurring issue in politics is how one's money is spent. Simply it leads many to think “is this what my taxes are being used for?” What if the individual doesn't agree with how taxes are being spent? This is a core idea of the libertarian movement is that the government shouldn't be able to make decisions on how money will be spent. Especially, the individual's money. They and only they should be able to make that decision. You cannot force an individual to purchase or support something they do no believe in. In the US the “right” or “conservatives” are conflated with “religious.” Even though these groups overlap the ideas of both outlooks, conservatism and christian belief, are quite contradictory.

So, how do you reconcile these seemingly opponent ideologies. Simply, you leave charity and goodwill to the private market (especially with the advent of internet crowd funding). Leave the scholarly atheism in formal debates. Keep opposing religion and religious dogma with private organizations like FFRF (Freedom from Religion Foundation). But don't go around on the street and push your ideas onto people. Foremost, continue to a genuinely fine human being.

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Ethics; Terrible Media; Terrible People

I had quite a few articles started, but I decided to put them on the back burner. Why? I did not like all the negativity involved.

I started reading Aristotle's Nicomachean Ethics. One of the opening conversations he has is about why do people do anything? The answer being for good, of course. Depending on the the field of study of the individual determines which good they aspire to. With that said, I believe that everyone-- barring psychopaths--strives for good. Everyone does what they do with the best of intentions. 

There is a lot of ill amongthe politically active. They exaggerate every little thing. It is not rhetoric, it is libel. These stories go on and on about the negatives of this election's candidates. Regardless of whom you want to vote for, they are human beings. Humans make mistakes. We often say contradictory things. We speak in context. We do things that are on the fringe off ethical and legal, especially if it is for the greater good.

With social media and memes, the libel is out of control. I understand that they are meant to be humorous, but the majority of people that share them believe them at face value. Anyone with conflicting views will see them as an affront and inflammatory. This does not lead to sincere discussion at all.

Time Lapse: This article was being written in July, 2016. A lot a has transpired since then.

Recently, there have been quite a few attacks on the smaller independent content creators on the internet. Especially, in the case of YouTubers. Larger mainstream media outlets are trying to become popular on the internet. So, what do they do? Create quality content and spend resources promoting and expanding their viewership. Not even close. They instead go after more popular content creators and concoct stories about them. Unbelievable. What happens when this doesn't work the way they want? They go after the money. Now YouTube is going lengths to demonetize creators of controversial content. The result is a more bland and uninteresting content; and no one can profit from that.

Another big issue with mainstream media is that they do not have writers, or journalists, of quality. They are complete nobodies. With very little formal education. Hell, they don't even bother to proofread their content. The are usually riddled with spelling and grammar issues. They do this on purpose. The companies wrangle in people to squeeze as many articles out as possible for ad revenue. These authors go out of their way to make stories which mostly wind up being complete fake news or complete nonsense.