Making No Sense of the World, philosophy, Uncategorized

Odd Times, Apologies

There have been many long absences I’ve taken from posting here. For many different reasons. One of the most paramount being the troubling times we’re going through.

I know that seems odd. It feels odd to say. But the fact is that I don’t see a purpose in telling people things they already want to know, things they already know, things they simply agree with. It serves no purpose in the long run. There is no reason to search for things you already agree with and read opinions that you already hold.

In these times it seems there is an intellectual cowardice, an inability to open one’s mind to the possibility of being wrong. Where on the one hand, there are people who surround themselves with sycophantic voices, seeking only praise and “likes,” there is on the other hand people who seek conflict for conflicts sake, and not for the sake of bettering oneself through reasoned argument.

There is, then, little purpose in posting things that I find curious or fascinating if the goal of reading has become to decide if one likes what is written or not, rather than growth and inspiration of new thought.

I haven’t given up. I simply needed a break. I will endeavor to write more posts more often for those, however few, who want to listen. And for my own fragmented sanity.

Wishing you well
Your friend
Eddy.

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Freedom, Human Spirit, Rights

Immutable

My Friends

Freedom is like a muscle: It must be exercised or it will atrophy. Press, expression, speech… so many more. There are freedoms intrinsic to who we are. Freedom cannot be taken from you. This has been forgotten because our lives can be taken from us. So, in fear that our lives will be taken, we give up willingly our freedoms to preserve our lives. And so freedom atrophies.
It saddens me how meaningless we are willing to let our lives become simply to preserve them. I am frightened more by a life without meaning than a meaningful death. There are many things that can be taken from you against your will, but there are certain noble attributes within you that no one can take from you without your willing consent. We should never give up that honor that cannot be taken from us for the preservation of those things that be can be robbed of.
After all: what is more important: life, or survival? There IS a difference. I hope we can choose to live, regardless of the consequences, instead of surviving regardless of the degradation of our spirit. I wish you all the best of luck.

Your friend,
Edgar.

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civil rights, Making No Sense of the World, philosophy, psychology, rationality, relationships, Uncategorized

An Appeal

I am deeply disturbed by the unspoken undercurrent of racial tension lately.

I was attacked half a year ago by people who thought their skin color made us different. But we are not. I don’t know what anger prompted their actions. Truthfully it doesn’t matter.

I am surrounded by a mix of people. And it has been my experience that a person shows you who they are by their behavior. Not their parentage. I know that divisions are forming that threaten to destabilize our relationships.

Perhaps you haven’t been impacted by this. Maybe you didn’t even notice. But it is important that we remember that what an individual does is their own crime or their own gift.

When we begin to define others by some arbitrary group they happen to belong to, we forget our own humanity. That we are each unique and capable of both great acts of kindness and uncommon cruelty.

Don’t go down this path. There is nothing at the end of it but pain. For you, for your children, and for so many generations that will have to write the history books that try to explain why.

I ask you: is there more than one race of people? Or are we all members of the human race? When we allow ourselves to be divided we risk never being united again. I ask you: are our frustrations worth that risk?

Your Friend,
Eddy

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Atheism, faith, Making No Sense of the World, philosophy, rationality, religion, traditional, Uncategorized

Atheism as Religion

1. Science. Logic. Reason. Evidence. Expertise. Rationality. Doubt. Objective.

2. Religion. Belief. Faith. Trust. Authority. Tradition. Scripture. Subjective.

These do not equate. These are not the same. 1 demonstrates science. 2 demonstrates religion. Any religion. Pick one. Science is about method and incremental improvements. Religion is tradition and faith. (notice I am not making a preferential statement. I am only defining.)

All I am saying in this post is that science is not a religion. One religion never disproves another, because they are based on subjective views about perceived reality. But one idea in science can disprove another, because they are based on objective views of evaluation.

Accepting that, atheism (by definition the lack of religion) is a denial of a non scientific assertion. It is not an assertion. An atheist wants evidence. Religion does not, to that person, provide convincing evidence. Perhaps atheism can be, at best, a philosophy. But it is not a religion. It is, by definition, refusal of religion.

As a person who loves language and knows that the boundaries of definitions must be respected if we are to communicate properly, calling atheism religion bothers me just as much as calling a flower art. Art is a human construct. Flowers are not. Art is a product of human creativity. A flower is not.

 

Feel free to argue.

Your friend,

Ed.

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dating, equality, family, Forgiveness, Kindness, Making No Sense of the World, morality, philosophy, psychology, relationships, sexuality, Uncategorized

Honesty of Love

Hey, kids. Do you know why your significant other says something is “fine” even though you know it’s not?

Because they’ve discussed what bothers them with you in the past. It was either ignored by you, didn’t help, or invited conflict. So now they’re not bringing up what’s bothering them. They’re holding back and having a personal evaluation. They’re weighing how much they care against how much you don’t.

They’re letting you do whatever you want so they can see the real you, because they are trying to figure out if you’re worth the struggle. And your sitting there complaining about them saying something is “fine” when it isn’t fine is proving that you’re not worth the struggle. That you’re only concerned about your own happiness.

So be an adult and start showing them you care, because you’re about to lose them.

Maybe you should lose them, because you’re really doing a bang-up job of keeping them happy.

I’m seriously surprised people don’t seem to understand this.

Please, for your own sake, don’t ignore this.

 

Your friend,

Edgar.

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civil rights, equality, family, Government and industry, Income, politics, Poverty, Uncategorized

Not Just TV

It just occurred to me: Most people have no clue what poverty actually is. They can’t imagine having a twelve inch black and white television for a family of four in 2002, with no computer and only a house phone. Which was my life.

If they can’t imagine that, how can they believe stories of people struggling to keep their water and electricity turned on, living with no furniture because they need to pay the heating bill, stealing water from their neighbors instead of cable?

If you can’t imagine that it happens even now, you’re privileged, just as I was privileged that I never went too hungry. But never think for a second that it’s not happening right now to some family somewhere. And no, it’s not because of drugs. It’s because of corporate greed and the system of Haves and Have-nots that has crippled us for far too long and only looks to get worse.

It’s not something you forget. While my school friends were complaining over a Playstation game they wanted, I didn’t have a coat for winter, only a windbreaker I got at a garage sale for two dollars. If my state hadn’t had a free meals program for students, I wouldn’t have eaten on some days. And my mother worked her ass off. She never did drugs, didn’t even drink. But she couldn’t provide for us all the time. Sometimes we had beans and rice several times a week, seasoned differently with decades old spices so they wouldn’t taste the same as the last time.

We only had the television because someone threw it away. We only had a home because my mother was willing to work herself to exhaustion to keep it for us. She wasn’t a slacker. She kept a job that had a turnover rate of six months for ten years. It just wasn’t enough.

But because people are lucky enough to have grown up with opportunity, they can’t imagine how it can be for others who didn’t have that. They see these stories as unusual circumstances even when this, and worse, is happening all around them. None of my friends knew I was going through this because I was too embarrassed to tell them. I didn’t want to beĀ seen as poor. I didn’t want to elicit pity. Now, fifteen years later, it’s just as hard to talk about.

But it needs to be said. Because we need to build something better. In the wealthiest country in the world, no family, no person, should have to wonder where their next meal is comingĀ from. If one person can afford a mansion, everyone should be able to eat.

This has been very hard for me to talk about, but I felt I needed to say it. I’m glad you read it, and thank you for listening.

Your friend,

Eddy.

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