An Alaskan journalist's perspective on local and national issues

Posts tagged ‘The Amazing Atheist’

Poor Bristol Palin…:(

Well, after her post talking about how the President decided to support gay marriage simple because of his daughters, and saying that same-sex couples aren’t as good at being parents as opposite-sex couples (of which no evidence exists), Bristol Palin has come out with a new post talking about how she is the victim of “bullying.”

Much like how all interactions with a statement by the Palin family have gone from the beginning of their time in the limelight, it wasn’t hard to predict that this was the direction that it was going to take.  It has been the Palin family’s modus operandi to make a horribly unpleasant statement, and then, when the people come out against this, to make it all about themselves, and how they are the victims.

Bristol’s post about the president and gay marriage is textbook example of this strategy.  Here is what Bristol had to say –

Well, I stirred up a hornet’s nest.  You know you’ve struck a nerve when even J-Woww tweets insults at you.  But the thing that most amazes me is how few people actually addressed the points I made in my recent blog post.  They were pretty simple.  Conservative women like my mom get grief because people think they can’t make decisions without their husband, but Barack Obama gets applauded for changing his mind on a huge issue after consulting his wife and young daughters. The double standard amazes me.

Gee, Bristol, if you look at my previous post, you will see that I, along with many others like the YouTube vlogger Zinnia Jones, did address your argument, and were very clear with our problems with them.  We told you that President Obama didn’t just come to this decision because of talking with his wife and daughters.  It was a personal choice based on years of his experience.  Apparently, you didn’t catch that.  Your move.

But I’m not a pundit.  I’m just a mom made famous in one of the most intense and embarrassing ways possible – by having your teen pregnancy announced in the middle of a presidential campaign.

I put this section of her post here because there is something I want to draw attention to – your hypocrisy.  You had your pregnancy announcted on national television by your mother.  She whored out you and your down-syndrome brother in order to further her own political agenda.  I find it incredible that you are so on her side and yet you don’t feel the slightest inclination to point out that all of this “bullying” that you are claiming happens to you is directly tied into your mother using you and your entire family as a stage prop.  The hypocrisy just leaps off the page, doesn’t it?  Your move.

 When you’re in Hollywood you’ll meet some great people, some terrible people, and many somewhere in between.  In other words, they’re people just like everyone else.  But what you won’t find is any disagreement about things like gay marriage or abortion.  For those folks, there’s one way to think, and anyone who disagrees is stupid, hypocritical, hateful, or bigoted.

Sorry, Bristol, but you’re wrong again.  You are called hypocritical, hateful and bigoted because you made statements that are hypocritical, hateful and bigoted.  Saying that children are more likely to be happy in a home with a mother and father is bigoted.  You can’t explain that away, sorry.  You have to answer for it.  Your unwillingness to doesn’t surprise me in the least.

She puts up a graphic showing some of the angry comments she got, and yeah, they are unpleasant and people shouldn’t make them, but once-again, the strategy that you use is pretty clear – don’t make this about the issues, make this about yourself.  And here’s the kicker, Bristol – you are not special.  Go onto most any video about President Obama and you’ll see plenty of hate and vitriol thrown at him from people.  Hate statements are the name of the game with a large part of this country against the LGBT community.  Go onto a Zinnia Jones video and you may just find some lovely tidbits about how awful that person is.  Or click on an Amazing Atheist video and you will see plenty of disparaging comments.  While all of these are stupid and pointless, they are also not unusual.

Instead of defending your point of view, and making this about the issues, you instead retreat to the easiest option you have – making this about yourself.  It has been the way your mother has defended her scorn for years, and you are following in the same vein.  Feel proud of yourself, Bristol.  Those are some big and hypocritical shoes to fill.

Here’s the real truth – you don’t know who the real bullies are.  The people who are using their national fame that you acknowledge you have in order to make sweeping generalizations about a group of people and their love.  The people who are saying that children aren’t going to be happy with same sex parents.  The people who want to deny LGBT couples the right to marry simply by invoking “tradition,” and continuing the cultural stigma against them through the same way.  The people who are making no argument, but instead want to make this entire thing about themselves and paint themselves as the victim of some kind of bullying, while they are spreading intolerance and lies for no good reason.

The bully, Bristol Palin, is you.  Plain and simple.

The Question of Morality

There was a question that was posed by a public figure who isn’t known as a great intellectual, and yet he has some very poignant message about the way things are in the world.  His name is TJ Kincaid, also known on YouTube as The Amazing Atheist.  In a video on Bing, he posed a question –

If morality controls human behavior, then who, or what controls human morality?

While he furnishes his own answer, I thought that, while it is late and I am unable to sleep, I would write up what I believe to be the answer to that question.

The first thing that one has to accept when they are looking at this question is that morality is a human invention.  There will be those that argue for absolute morals.  If that is to be taken seriously, then the question comes – where did those morals come from?  Many will respond to this – God.  He created the world, and gave us this moral code.  However, this cannot be taken seriously.

There is no evidence for the existence of God, and if something cannot be proven to exist, saying that we must follow a code that is by it, and even more disturbingly, unchanging is absolutely false.  To do so is madness, in every sense of the word.

The reasons why are obvious.  What if the religious figure which you get your morals from is not the real deity?  What if it is something completely different?  If that is the case, then you are deliberately disobeying that absolute morals that you claim to cherish.

The next is that the fact is that the predominate source that Christians claim to be the source of their morality, the Christian God, has a holy book that is filled with inconsistencies and contradictions.  To obey such a text, absolutely to the letter, is not only impossible, but completely ridiculous.

The final reason is that to obey any set of principles, absolutely, without change or even the ability to discuss change, is nothing more than a way to be manipulated.  A moral code of any kind must be flexible, it must be open to change.  It must be willing to accept that there may be issues that one can take with it, and willing to change to accomodate that, along with changing social values.

According to the Bible, slavery was not only acceptable, it was encouraged.  God encouraged his various armies to take their slain enemies families and cities as their slaves.  He made rules about how much a master could punish their slaves.

The bible had a lenient punishment for rape, and virtually no punishment for murder.  While The Ten Commandments stated that murder was wrong, this didn’t stop those from murdering others in the name of God, did it?  Not only that, but God, on numerous incidents, commanded his followers to murder, telling his armies to kill the girls and women who were not virgins, and to tear open the bellies of pregnant women.

So, by that logic, the absolute moral code that is given to us by religion is a farce.  But if that is the case, then where can morality come from?  This brings us back to the question at hand, who controls morality?  Well, take a look at the previous statements about religion, and how it works.

Back before the days when literacy was high, the Bible was taught to the people by priests and preachers.  The growth of education and the growth of skepticism has led to the increas in the atheist population, because reading these books and judging them on their own merits naturally leads to questioning the absolute system they are taught.  However, these religious leaders are giving people the system as they believe it to be from their holy book.  These people have power over their congregations and give them the values that they have.

Next up, we have governmental systems.  The laws that we make are secular in nature, designed to be fair to all parties, while still using a metric that is within the purview of people’s understanding, such as how killing and rape is wrong, and should be severely punished.

There is a pattern that you are seeing with these systems, aren’t you?  The people in power.  The religious leaders have power over their congregations.  They are informing their congregations of the values of the book that they are teaching, since it has been shown that most Christians are unfamiliar with the bulk of what is in their Bible.  Likewise, the people in government have power over the entire nations.  This power gives them the ability to dictate the morality of a nation.

Take Sparta, for example.  In the ancient city-state, there was the belief that kindness was weakness, and to show any kindness took away some of your honor.  In the Hindu-guided states, if you were suffering, it was your fault, for what you did in a past life.  There are parts of culture, even here in America that encourage hate, seperation, bigotry and being divided.  This tactic has been used by the powerful to keep the lower-classes in line.

So, where do morals come from?  Well, the answer is simple – they are a tool that is used by the powerful to control those without power, or those who are ignorant of their power.  Moral systems are simply a device that is to keep order in a society.  But what of morality?  How do we know that things are right and wrong?  How do atheists like myself know that killing people is inherantly the wrong thing to do?

The answer is empathy.  Those have this knowledge within them based on their ability to empathize with other people.  Through that, the real natural morality is born.  Perhaps, when we abandon these systems that we are taught and embrace empathy, then real progress of acceptance and kindness between people can be born, away from the systems that drive us apart, and teach division, rather than working together.

Of course, given how gullible people are, probably not.

Peace out,

Lefty

Alaska is Hope. America is Too

There was a brilliant allegory that was recently posted on YouTube.  This may just be the best piece of video footage that has graced the hallowed halls of YouTube’s library in some time.  It was done by a vlogger named TJ Kincaid.  He talks about a couple that we all are intimately familiar with in this country, and I bet people all over the world know this couple as well.  Their names are Wally and Hope.

Hope is an honest and hard working woman.  She busts her rear at a paper recycling plant every day, working as a secretary.  But she comes home to Wally.  He is a very rich man, whose income dwarfs her’s.  And what’s more, Wally takes all of her money too.  He only lets her have just enough to survive.  For years, Hope takes this.  She tries to stand up to him, but when she does, she is beaten, brutally.  For years, it goes on, until one day, she decides to really stand up, to make a stand for herself.  Wally is enraged beyond all reason.  Wally beats her as he has never beaten her before.  After it is done, Hope manages to crawl to the phone and call the police.  They come, but they like Wally, and Wally is their friend, so they take Hope to the hospital, and after that, she goes to jail.  When she gets home, she sees Wally with a smug look on his face, because he knows that she is powerless, and now, the question really becomes –

What can Hope do to survive against a powerful and corrupt beast, that wants nothing more than to subjugate and suppress her?  What can she do?

The big question is that very one.  As one views Alaska, America, and the industrialized world, and really the whole world, it is the question that people need to be asking with more and more skepticism as time goes on.  Hope is a brilliant allegory.  Not only does Hope symbolize us all, it shows the pure hopelessness of the people of this country.

There is an event that is going on today in Anchorage today.  It is the second of their version of Occupy Wall Street.  As one watches what is happening, it is easy to see why those who are following this event are kind of disheartened.  Time and time again, the law has been used as a weapon against the people.  These people who are doing this are trying to appeal to a group of people who, like Wally, have no sense of decency, no conscience to speak of.  They throw away the jobs of thousands, do whatever it takes to save money, and they don’t feel bad.  There is no conscience with these people.  They have proven, time and time again, how it is all about money.

There was an AMA on Reddit.com between TJ Kincaid and a Wall Street trader, and the trader says, flat-out, that he is in it for the money, that all he wants it to have it and power.  It is a tragic thing that shows so much of what our country has become.  Money, it is the golden rule that everybody has to obey.

There was a woman who recently asked, in a personal conversation, that if one was making $5 million dollars a year, would they want to give some of that up?  Would they want to help those who don’t have that money?  Such a heartless question, from an equally heartless person.  She asked believing that giving up money is just the worst thing.

If people want to believe that they are making a difference with these protests, that is good.  But when one examines history, it is hard to understand why people are so gung-ho to believe that peaceful protest is going to get them anything more than a beating in the street, because Wally is absolute, and Hope…well, what can she do?  Violence may be the only solution that Hope has left.

People shouldn’t be afraid of their government, governments should be afraid of their people.”

Alan Moore, or V, whichever you want to give that quote to, they had a very good point.

Peace out,

Lefty

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