O Philosophy! What a week…

Dear Readers …

Apologies for the absence, but life she be hectic recently. I wish I found time for Friday Fictioneers, but…I also wish for a unicorn, unlimited travel, and brief moments of peace.

logo-apus-stackedI graduated with honors from American Public University on 15 August 2016 with a Master of Arts in the Humanities. <> I am a Master <> While many have asked if attaining the degree is relieving, satisfying my intellectual needs. But…no ~ the degree has invigorated my thirst for more knowledge, more research, more academia. I cannot wait to find the perfect doctoral program. I currently am turning my gears around a project proposal for a desirable university.

First, however, my attentions belong with my upcoming poster presentation for the Humanities, Literature, Cultures, and Arts Global Conference on 18 Oct 2016 in DC. Excitement level out of control – ahh…sharing research<> Heaven – so looking forward to the conference!

I began tutoring for Brainfuse, Inc. last Friday. This will be a fabulous way for me to get a little teaching experience. Extra flexible, the tutoring position – Writing Submission Specialist – is online. This allows me the ability of working throughout the day. Recently, there is a high volume, and I have only stolen away a few moments to get a post out.

3cc6a963bae0c50097f9e31bb1dac987Husband and I are preparing for travel of the relocation variety. Finally! a return to the West! O Fortune! graceful blessings upon us! After a drawn-out process, the housing approval came through; bummer being that we opted to rent in efforts of avoiding the headache. However, anything that is valuable requires effort. Let me stew in patience until my nerves calm themselves. The desire for our new life overwhelms me, I feel I live there already. Here, in West Virginia, remains a ghost – a fragmented memory of a girl who escaped. Roll on evolution, keep spinning me…on we must grow for the better.

The absence, more than likely, will continue. Once we’ve constructed a new beginning, routine will follow. Until then… Tu me manques

Early Thoughts on #Brexit and Islamic Appeasement

10 Tidbits of Recent Concern

 

Hello Dear Readers…

This morning I am researching what is happening overseas. Curious, yes of course, but the way things go…if England is affected by something, there is a strong possibility that America will feel repercussions. I feel like if we research we will be better prepared to handle any outcomes.

That being said, there is much information available online. What can a reader trust? Personally, I trust no one. I find “truth” by comparing numerous articles and looking for similarities. Because, frankly, there is no hard “truth,” only subjective interpretation.

What can we really know?

1. That’s a hard one. However, one must be steadfast. Opinion cannot be accepted as it varies per person. “Facts” cannot be praised because they were ultimately written by a person. If every event has at least two sides to the story — or fifteen sides in the quantum world — then reading a story is not going to assist that much in “truth finding.”

2.  There is one thing I can extend a gram of “trust” to, and that is historical themes. A theme does not depend on opinion, it is a trend in history. Cliches are annoying but some are right – history does in fact repeat itself. Not in the sense that each event replays continuously, but in the way that humanity moves in a zigzagging pattern much like evolution. We go out with our ideas, but when the ideas don’t work, we come back home to sort out a new plan.

3.  Considering recent European events with this train of thought, I do not think that it is unexpected that Britain left the EU. I am not taking either side – I do not know their politics enough to cast judgment. What I am saying is that the trend of the EU was progressive – they tried to bring democracy and drop walls. However, reality did not embrace theory. What looked good on paper did not stand up well in the here and now. Historically, the reasonable action is to withdraw – “go home” and lick one’s wounds, and then…develop a new method.

4.  Taking history into account, there are time periods that act as a “reply” for past occurrences. Currently, the entire world is trying to figure out what to do about the Islamic culture. On my small scale, my advice is education. I’ve said it before and will repeat it here:  Educate the youth in hopes of securing a better future. First off, introduce them to Darwinism, Biology, and Genetics. Science confronts life situations with empirical data. Certain cultures refuse to read any book that is not religious. This is a huge misstep. Human thought, expression, and consciousness expands at escalated rates. Yet, some people do not know “science is real.” Some people fail to notice the damages brought on by incest, or marrying one’s cousin.

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5.  When I think about “historical replies” I cannot help but land on the dangers of appeasement, or giving in to a “bullying” force who issues demands for a select group. Uncontrollably, the image of Hitler comes to mind. It makes me uncomfortable because I saw comments yesterday that Atheist sites were being taken down from social media. The motivation:  Islamic culture. Supposedly, since the Muslims find Atheists offensive, the Atheist viewpoint is restricted. How is that just?

6.  Ah, it is most definitely not just. I find sporting events offensive, but does that mean that the sporting industry should be dismantled? Nope — it means that I make the personal choice to not watch sports.

7.  Social media should include all aspects of human preference. The moment one group limits another indicates that the first believes they are “better” than the rest. Guess what…we are all humans. We are all species. Not a single one is better than another. We are all forms of life. Darwinism illustrates the connection of species. If all cultures accepted scientific evidence then much of belief’s illusions would fade away.

8. Western culture is filled with individuals. Individualism is our bag. However, older cultures still operate under collectivism. Huge difference. Here is another historical theme – Individualism developed out of the Enlightenment. In America, we recognize the Enlightenment era as sloughing off tired beliefs that no longer rang true because of the empirical evidence presented by science. Collective societies have not learned Enlightenment lessons – they refuse to read or accept the science. So why, for Reason’s sake, would progressive thought kneel to backward society?

9.  Society cannot give in to backward demands. Society strives for the betterment of the human race just like evolution. Or it should. Religion and Science are expressions of human thought. One relies on belief, the other on empirical evidence. The individual gets to decide which one speaks louder to them. What’s important is that each person should have the right to choose for the self.

10. I am not religious. I prefer understanding reality through science. However, I see value in both as dependent on the person. Humans should be able to believe whatever they want to believe, or believe nothing and look for knowledge. The point is that it is personal preference. I think if everyone recognized the effort it takes in constructing the self, we could realize that each person has a great task before them. Each person is in charge of their own reality, and nobody…nobody…has any right to limit individual growth.  –Not a government, not a Union, not a Culture, not a Religion, not even Science.

Hate: The Embarrassment of Humanity

I avoid mainstream media as much as possible. Yesterday, Husband told me about the shooting in Florida. My heart cries for humanity. The lives lost – over fifty human beings – at the hands of terror is a horrifying truth to accept. But, looking deeper, the social factors at play here are also of strong concern. The message the shooter expressed is “My will is greater than yours – you deserve extermination.” There is not a single human voice that can authentically support this claim – all species are flawed. What is important is what we make of our journey. That journey is subjective, unique to each person, and there is no authority – not animal, mineral, or vegetable – that holds any inherent right over another. Not here, not now in the twenty-first-century.

We cannot allow these injustices ground to breed. We cannot turn a blind eye to violence, cruelty, and dehumanization. We cannot let fellow Americans be targeted by “wrath-worthy” vengeance. The fact that terrorism continues is an embarrassment to human progress. The fact that other people think they have a right to determine who a person should marry, love, or what have you is not only ridiculous, it’s rather childish. Why is Betsy’s life bothered if Tim down the street prefers Dave over Sue? Why does Betsy care? …she’s not in the picture. Why is society so nosy about people’s sex lives? Isn’t there enough reality TV to go around? Why is there so much animosity for groups of people who are trying to love and live?

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Why would any of that be motivation for terrorism? Now, as a rational individual, I have to say I cannot see a genuine reason for terrorism, period – other than to enforce one’s will over another. I don’t care if a god, a government official, a newscaster, or a peanut-butter sandwich whispered in one’s ear and said terrorism is okay… it’s not. It is never cool to dehumanize. Each human has inside the self the a priori understanding of right from wrong. When religion tells one to ignore those morals, something is up. When government says to reject those morals, again – something is wrong in Denmark.

What can we do?

1. I don’t know. I’m thinking. It’s been a long think, one rolling for years now. One thing I’ve recognized is the authority found in individualism. No, it’s not enough, but it is something, a starting point – a personal choice. Make the personal decision to reject hate – in all forms. Hate is a nasty creature; if let in for one group it will easily spread to another.

2. Heighten awareness by talking, posting, commenting, or participating in social issues. Raise the call to arms for justice but when arming the self: reach for love. Hate and terror breed more violence – violence is not the answer. Read MLK and hold onto his message.

3.  When you hear others negatively supporting injustice, do not silently absorb their message. If you feel strong enough to defend – by all means do, in a rational manner. If your voice is still soft, or if you notice entering into debate will only lead to harm: leave. Silence is powerful when others realize you will not tolerate barbarism. One cannot change another person, but one does not have to expose the self to negativity. If one person is able to refuse listening, then others may follow. They may admire your strength – regardless, by leaving you have improved your environs.

4.  Redirect conversations by implementing “good” stories or examples. If you do not have any personal examples, widen your circle – oftentimes, when one steps out of their comfort zone they learn valuable lessons. Personally, my go-to story when I hear people complaining about LGBT marriages – I ask them if they’ve ever attended a ceremony, and once the guffaws clear out, I inform them that the lesbian wedding I participated in, Septemeber 2013 was the most beautiful celebrations. This holds clout because I was a stylist for over twenty years and trudged through many a wedding. All brides have some shade of fickle, all weddings issue stress and drama, all weddings (typically) bum me out. Why? Well, I feel like marriage holds a lot of limitation, conformity, compromise, and domination. Yes, Husband and I struggle, lol…I am not an easy wife nor is he a basket of sunshine. Every bride that ever sat in my chair received my last minute getaway speech and promise of an Ocean City holiday if she just wanted the beach. Every bride save two – the two that married each other. I’ve prepped hundreds of heads for their “big-day” and only one couple – a same sex couple – demonstrated what I envision as a “perfect love.” Not only my Brides, but their maids were also delightful. The guests were all happy. The décor was fabulous. I actually stayed for the wedding, took a cabin, and shared breakfast with the whole bridal party the next morning. When I think of a happy marriage, their lovely faces come to mind.

5.  What do you think we can do? “We” as in society as a whole, “We the Human Race.” How can one person’s action affect the world? Let’s see…try to implement positive change where one can. I will keep thinking, and I hope you will, too.

Grades Posted …{le bow}

Humanities 571 Individuals, Societies, and the Spirit

{or…what will forever be the “religion” class I survived}

Survived may not be the right word. Ole girl managed to pull off a 98% on the final paper and score an overall 96.7% for the course! As expected – good news and bad news with these results. First off – the bad so the good will have a final word.

Bad News:

  1.  For me, a 96 is a low or just barely, an A – my other pieces from the last four to five courses have shown high A’s, as in 100% ‘ers.
  2. I know I promised to post my last integral essay – a look at the sociological authority found in music and collective effervescence. However, since Prof finally gave me a good review, and declared that with a few grammatical corrections – the paper is publishable! {yes, this is the good, lol} Why it could be viewed as “bad” is that I cannot post the piece online as I will adjust for publication.

Good News:

  1.  My writing confidence is restored. Over the last sixteen weeks, Prof has not enjoyed my style, word choice, or ability. His comments greatly affected my ability to write as I constantly questioned every thought I formed. But now, in this final piece, Prof turned the tide and accepted my writing.
  2.  I may be able to publish this essay! Seeing the words “this piece is publishable with a few tweaks” made my day.
  3.  571 was my last course before the Capstone. The light at the end of the tunnel is flashing a “go ahead” sign, permitting me access to proceed towards my goal.
  4.  I, hopefully, will never have to read Weber or Bellah again {fingers crossed}.

The good outweighs the bad. I am happy with the 98% on the piece, and the possibility of publication. I learned a great deal in HUMN 571 – I think the most important grain is that “religion” is actually a means to form society. If dogma is removed, what is left is society. With this in mind, I am less hostile towards religion. I see it more as a means than an ends. This could be why I am so put-off by current Humanism and Atheism attempts at thwarting religion – because it’s not about dogma. Religion is community, or individuals working together to improve their environment.

 

Picture c/o:  http://previews.123rf.com/images/alexmillos/alexmillos1104/alexmillos110400461/9336277-Pen-and-paper-success-sign–Stock-Vector.jpg

No to Negative Action

Good afternoon, dear Readers…

I received a letter from #AHA (the American Humanism Association) today regarding the humanist plan of action for 2016. First off – yes, I am a Humanist. I believe in good without “god.” What that means to me is that I believe the individual is able to strive for good without supernatural threat, to “be good” purely because striving for betterment is improvement of the self. I understand my limits – all I can control is myself. This creates a heavy internal morality that guides my decision/action process. I am a Humanist because I think humanity is able to create many wonderful and terrible things. I also am a Humanist because of the whole philosophy-bit – the reading, researching, and learning. I am a stronger Humanist due to scientific theory and empirical data. Humans are amazing life forms, but humans are also only a fraction of species.  The latest craze for evolution.

So…what’s my beef? Well….I do not care for negative action. I do not think that I will truly be better by discrediting, harming, or removing another. I do not think that negative action inside of Humanism is a good advertisement for “I believe in good without god.” What I mean is I do not think attacking the religious minded is fair play. Humanism will not be better by tearing down religious statues or decimating belief. I know – often matters are acted on in a defensive form, but still…becoming a monster will not rid the world of monsters. There must be another way of reducing the authority of religion than to declare war between secularism and theology.

No, tax payer dollars should not be spent on religious idols/statues/monuments – but that does not mean that already constructed works should be removed or destroyed. Tax payer dollars are a hot-topic for many issues. What it sounds like, behind all the gloss, is that Humanism has to be in direct opposition to religion. And that doesn’t sit well with me. Religion, like music and science, are expressions of humanity. Making another lesser will not make me better. Personally – NO, I do not “need/want” religion in my life…but that does not mean that other people cannot benefit from a religious message. Religion works at bonding society together, looking to one’s community for aide and support. I mean, I do not need/want to attend a sporting event but that does not mean that sports should cease to be. Seems rather limited. One of the reasons I look to secular education is to broaden my experience and understanding of the world. I do not do limits.

I will not limit another individual from living their lives – even if that means that they have to look to religion to answer their life questions. So…No, I will not donate funds to support the elimination of religion. I cannot support this because some people still need religion, or at least believe that they do. All I can control is myself. I have no interest in controlling other people, and I wish that message was echoed in Humanism. I feel that, at the heart of humanism, there is great good possible. We are looking for answers, see what all these human beings can do and create.

The Atheists, too, are hell-bent on decimating belief. I have called myself atheist for quite a while, yet I do not agree with the current Atheist-Hatred that is rumbling through society. Let us look at what an atheist constitutes:  question everything, look for reason, note personal experience, question again. As Atheists, it is our job to keep searching. We are seekers. Again…there is no need to become a monster. In that we question everything and continually search for rationality, I would like to note that the answer has not yet been found. Atheists need to keep looking. That means that we do not have time to argue, aggravate, or attack “the believers.” Reason suggests that they have not read as much, nor questioned. – Why then waste precious moments that could be spent positively researching and thinking? I am not saying they are lost causes that should be abandoned – I think all life matters, each subjective person is important. But there is no reason to debate – both sides are convinced. Change the subject, walk away, ignore the post. Get back to contemplation. The moment one is “certain” I daresay belief still reigns.

 

Picture c/o:  https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/9b/e6/39/9be639189fe6a5339daff06284600f24.jpg