ETHICS AND MORALITY.

ETHICS AND MORALITY.

Doctor, Patient, Hospital, Child


HEALTH CARE.  PT 1.

I am not going to begin this regular feature by providing a definition that will no doubt bore most readers.  In the future, I will define such words, but I would rather open up with a practical article.  The theme, " When does personal belief conflict with the best interests of society as a whole." The subject- Health Care.
Providing Health Insurance to every person residing in the U.S and its' territories, is not an economic question.  If the federal government creates a program to provide minimal guaranteed medical coverage, funding must be there to support those who cannot afford traditional private plans. This is the Heart of the matter, and the dilemmas we must face are;
  • Do we, as a society, have an obligation to provide minimal affordable medical care to all.
  • That many people will, through taxation, provide a service that will be of direct benefit to others and not them personally.
  • That in the question of the right or wrong of a given situation, choosing a moral stand is;
             
            1) The responsibility of the individual who is a member of society.
             
            2) The obligation of the governing body in society, which is a collection
                 of individuals.

To illustrate what I mean, here is an example.  Let us say an individual decides all questions of morality will be answered from a Doctrine based upon the teachings of a given faith.  Now such decisions have two distinct implications;

  • Is the individual going to decide the morality of any given situation solely by religious instruction and nothing else. If not, they have invalidated their own moral code, for it is not universally applied. It contradicts any assertion that the doctrine of their faith, regarding morality, is to be accepted absolutely.
  • Does the individual wish to establish this system of morality for all of society, and punish any deviations.

If society is populated by a majority of such citizens, what will be the outcome?
See pt.2 in a future issue.

                                 What type of world do you want them to inherit?
Date- 6\16\2013.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY- HEALTH CARE.  PT 2.
I would like to emphasize something I alluded to in part 1.  Too often, the health care debate gets mired in details that have little to do with the reality that must be faced.
Initially, at least, HEALTH CARE BEING APPLIED UNIVERSALLY TO AN ENTIRE POPULATION OF ANY GIVEN COUNTRY IS A MORAL DECISION , NOT AN ECONOMIC ONE.

Business, Idea, Style, Concept, Goals


Like other state run social programs in the U.S, Universal Health Care is not designed to turn a profit.  Its' goal is to provide affordable medical insurance that will not cripple an individual or families ability to provide for other basic necessities.  This idea stems from the primarily 20th century concept that government has an obligation to provide for, to a certain extent, the basic needs of a portion of the population that cannot do so on its' own.  However, unlike
current social programs, Universal Health Care in the U.S differs from other social programs in one major aspect- ELIGIBILITY.

As it stands today in the U.S, there are three main groups that have medical insurance.
  • Those who have high enough incomes that make attaining quality health care plans a non-issue.
  • Private health care plans that are partially or wholly subsidized by an employer.
  • Individuals and families with an income that falls below a certain level, which is set by the federal government.
These above groups leave out a substantial portion of the population in the U.S.
This segment of society is the real reason that Universal Health Care, or "Obamacare" is being instituted.  The middle class is the target group that will benefit the most, because they do not lie at either end of the financial spectrum in terms of income.  Since paying health insurance premiums will be done on a sliding scale basis, all Americans will be covered in a way that does not end in financial hardship.
See pt. 3 in a future issue.















ETHICS AND MORALITY.

Case-Law, Lady Justice, Justice, Right

IT IS ON YOU...
(First published on examiner.com, partially rewritten here.)
It is on you...
...if you help elect an official, with the belief that they owe you special treatment.
For you are not alone.

It is on you...
...when cheating others is a game.
But you expect fair treatment in 
return.

It is on you...
...if you believe your faith trumps all others, and should be legislated into law.
Then find your opponents want to create laws that obey their own personal religious doctrine.

It is on you..
...when you complain about taxes.
Then criticize government when it does not spend enough to support programs that benefit you.

It is on you...
...when you complain that the criminal justice system is to soft on criminals.
Then look for "contacts" who will pull a few strings to help you avoid responsibility for your actions.

It is on you...
...when you despair about how others talk behind your back.
Yet you gladly join in, trashing others.

It is on you...
...when you expect people to do what is right.
But don't hold yourself to the same standards.

It is on you...
...if you are a hypocrite.
For you have no real allies, or friends.
Just future opponents.

It is on you...
...is that a life worth living?

Date-8/16/2013.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.  

BY DEFINITION?  DEFINE BEFORE YOU DISCUSS.  PT 1.
( First published on examiner.com. Partially rewritten here.)

Us, Them, Tribal, Contest, Compare, Win


On March 24th 2012, a special rally was held on the National Mall in Washington D.C.  This event, dubbed the "Reason Rally", showcased the beliefs of individuals who reject the concept of a supreme being, i.e. God.  Further, it was to emphasize that such a rejection was a celebration of human reason over religious faith.  The ultimate goal of the organizers was to show that they are a viable political force and can no longer be ignored.

This piece is not to pass judgment on these beliefs, but to point out how they are falling into the same trap that creates dissension among Deists;  No concrete definitions that are universal in nature.   In other words, they claim a common bond.  However, that is only superficial.  Looking for what you have in common is easy, addressing differences is not.

It is for this reason that I offer the following; Definitions that address the most common subjects when Church/State issues are debated.  These are my definitions which I have derived through logical reflection, experience and education.

God - A sentient being that existed prior to the creation of the universe.  All that is and all that will be comes from the power of this entity.  The laws of nature were put in place by this being.  Existence and reality is the product of a single entity, who exists apart from us and with us.  In most faiths, this definition would be valid to a certain extent.  Where they differ, is usually an acceptance of a moral code that may or may not be derived from a belief in a supreme being.  Further, whether or not free will is plausible for humanity, or are we living out a plan that is pre-destined and cannot be altered.

Atheist - So much has been written and debated about the actual system of belief that is represented by this term, that few realize it is not universal among those who claim it as their own.  Look for pt. 2.

Date-8/22/2013.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY- HEALTH CARE.  PT 3.


Syringe, World, Medicine, Medical

In the end, subsidized health care is not an economic issue.  When we say that government has an obligation to provide all citizens with affordable medical insurance,  a moral decision has been made.  That does not mean that in the future such a decision will not lead to practical benefits, where the return is not in just doing what is right.  I will get into that part of the equation in a future post, but for now I will stay on topic.

In the debate over Universal Health Care in the U.S, much of the rhetoric ignores the bottom line.  Opponents are using objections that they wish us to believe are valid and on target, but they are nothing more than a smokescreen.  They choose to criticize how the program is to be funded and administered, all the while avoiding answering the most important question;

IS PROVIDING AFFORDABLE SUBSIDIZED MEDICAL INSURANCE TO AMERICANS UNABLE TO ACQUIRE IT, THROUGH PRIVATE SOURCES, A MORAL OBLIGATION THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS TO ALL OF ITS' CITIZENS?

The above question is often not satisfactorily answered by the critics of subsidized health care, who choose to attack the mechanics of the new law.  However, the criticisms are often based on misleading, false or incomplete data.  This strategy is a deliberate attempt to shift the debate away from the purpose of the program and focus it on issues that are easy to manipulate.  Many times this is done by using assumptions and conclusions that are not based in reality.
( Look for part 4 in a future post.).


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ETHICS AND MORALITY. 

HEALTH CARE.  PT 4.
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE- A PRACTICAL APPROACH.

Progress, Clinic, Medical, Care For


















 





















Thus far I have treated this subject as a question of morality.  That whether or not government has an ethical duty to provide subsidized medical insurance to its' citizens, to alleviate financial hardship.  Well, many politicians ignore this question and say requiring companies to offer such programs will lead to financial disaster.  To avoid such a consequence, they contend, businesses will be forced to downsize and take some of their full-time employees and reduce them to part-time status.  This will avoid offering mandatory health insurance.  However, is this reasoning valid or is it founded in the desire to keep many Americans without health care?  Let's create a fictional scenario;

John Doe works for the ABC company.  He works forty hours a week and makes ten dollars an hour.  His job is to operate a machine that combines two or more parts to create a finished product.  While the job is not physically demanding and does not require extensive training, his two years on the job have showed that with trial and error, he has increased his hourly out-put from ten pieces to fifteen.  It was all a matter of working more efficiently.
However, the company was now required to offer all of their full-time employees medical insurance, the cost which will be partially subsidized by the federal government.  In the end, the company estimates that coverage for John will cost them fifty-dollars a week.  So, he and other employees are reduced to part-time status of twenty-five hours a week.  Thus, the company does not have to offer health care.

This is basically the reasoning of UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE opponents.  The cost is to much to absorb and remain profitable.  However, that is a superficial criticism that avoids many other factors.

  • By reducing John Does work week by forty-percent, they are also reducing his total production of finished product by an equal ratio. Since he averages 15/hr it comes to a total of 600 for a forty-hour work week.  However, as a part-timer he now produces only 375 for the twenty-five hours worked.
  • Remember, ABC company was satisfied with John Does weekly pay, for that was not the reason for reducing him to part-time status.  It was only the addition of a health care cost that precipitated the change.
  • To justify this change, the employer cost of fifty-dollars per week for a medical plan that John Doe was entitled to as a full time employee would cause an unacceptable decline in profits.
  • Since there will be a decrease in John Does weekly production, which viewed in the past as acceptable, it must be made up in a way that will be less than fifty-dollars per week.


How could this be done?

  • Increase the workload of other employees to make up the deficiency.  If this is possible and there is no decrease in production, why was John Doe not laid-off in the past?  However, is it pragmatic to think that these employees can maintain their current level of production, when they have the added responsibility of making up for the decrease in John Does weekly out-put?
  • Hire new part-time employees to make up for the loss in production.  Even if we allow for the fact that they can equal John Does per hour production by working the fifteen hours that have been cut, it would not be of financial benefit to the company.  Even paying these employees minimum wage would still result in a cost of 105.00/wk.  As you can see, that is more than the $50.00 it would cost to cover John Does medical insurance.

Look for the conclusion of this article.












ETHICS AND MORALITY. 

HEALTH CARE.  PT  5.
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE- A PRACTICAL APPROACH.

Medic, Hospital, Laboratory, Medical

The scenario from part 4 was, of course, a fictional example.

However, all you have to do is change the job description and plug in different numbers to find out that this can be applied to any full time employee who is down-sized to part time, to avoid being offered employer subsidized health care.

Ignoring or disagreeing with the result in the story does not answer the questions that it poses.
  • All working Americans are, in essence, producers.  It might be a Cook who prepares X number of meals per day, or a Truck Driver who makes a certain number of deliveries during a scheduled shift.  This also holds true for white-collar jobs.  Teachers produce educated students during a school year and Doctors treat a certain number of patients each day.
  • When an employee has their work hours cut and are now part-time, they can no longer produce the same results achieved during a full-time work week.
  • This reduction in out-put must be justified, if the only reason was to avoid offering Medical Insurance.
  • The bottom line is simply this; Is there a reasonable explanation in shifting
      any full-time employee or employees to part-time, in that it will  be more                     profitable because they do not have an employer based Health Care
      plan?
What the scenario does not address is the long term benefits of having an employee, who did not have medical insurance, into one that has it available if needed.  Here are a couple of more points that should be considered;
  • Many employees come to work ill, because they cannot afford the double whammy of paying a Hospitable Bill and losing a days pay.  At least with medical insurance the financial hit would not be so bad.  By staying home and receiving proper care, they are not on the job possibly infecting co-workers.
  • Now preventive and rehabilitative medical care is available.  Not only is sickness treated properly, but future illness can now be prevented and injuries can be treated and healed more efficiently.  Loss of work production is decreased, for there are fewer days missed.
What amazes me is the number of Americans,without medical insurance, who don't question their politicians motivation for trying to prevent Universal Health Care.  That is a question that Medical Science cannot answer.

Date-10/3/2013.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.  

BY DEFINITION?  DEFINE BEFORE YOU DISCUSS.
PT 2.


Easter Island, Rapa Nui, Mohais, Chile


ATHEISM-  Is essentially a system of belief that denies the existence of a supreme sentient being (God) that created all that exists.  Further, it denies that any being could violate the laws of nature, let alone create them.  Moral Behavior is not grounded in the faiths of such beliefs. However, there are differences among those who consider themselves "Atheists."

Absolute Atheist-  Not only denies the existence of "God", but believes that the term is meaningless.  The belief is such that there is no physical evidence or logical extrapolation, nor can there be.  They argue "God" cannot exist, so the search for such a being is useless.

Contingent Atheist-  Denies the existence of "God", because they have found no logical proof or physical manifestation that is convincing.  They do not go as far as the Absolute Atheist, for they deny that such a being cannot exist.

Moral Atheist-  Believes that the physical universe may well have been created by a supreme being, but is not convinced , pro or con.  To them it doesn't matter, for the concept of proper ethical behavior exists independent of the physical world.  In other words, even if there is a supreme being responsible for the physical reality in all that has been and will be created in the universe, such an entity would not be the judge of morality.  Understanding and choosing to act morally or immorally can be found in the realm of reason and intellectual reflection, a process within the capabilities of all rational beings.

Look for PT 3. in a future post.


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ETHICS AND MORALITY.  

BY DEFINITION?  DEFINE BEFORE YOU DISCUSS.
PT 3.

Ascension, Celestial, Planet, Heaven











HUMANIST-  The belief that all decisions regarding moral behavior, either individually or as a society, can be found through intellectual reflection and discourse.  It rejects any faith based grounding of proper ethical behavior.

Christian Humanist-  Accepts the Divine nature of Jesus, but believes that God gave man the ability and mental discipline to find ultimate truths regarding proper moral behavior.  Scripture is not the source
for finding ethical absolutes.  The Gospels may be correct, but must be judged on a case by case basis.

Secular Humanist-  Believes that faith based institutions have no place in deciding public policy or law.  Religion is purely an individual choice, and should not influence the legal system in any way.  A Secular Humanist is not by definition an Atheist.

Deistic Humanist-  Closely resembles the Christian Humanist.  Believes in an ultimate power (God), that is the prime mover in our universe.  However, this power created the laws of nature and set reality in motion, but leaves the concept of morality as something the human mind can comprehend without Divine interference.

Keep in mind these are my definitions.  You are free to disregard or accept them. My main goal is to show that we often use blanket definitions on certain belief systems.  However, some of these systems are not uniform, and vary in how they view the nature of God, Reality, Morality, and the Universe in general. 

Date-  2/8/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

THERE IS BEAUTY IN...



There is Beauty in ...

...a childs laugh. An expression of joy from the innocent.


Clouds, Sunset, Sea, Beach, Colors
                                        ...giving of yourself with no qualifications.

...believing that love is created not manufactured.

...accepting others for who they are, not what they are.




There is Beauty in...

...admitting when your wrong.

...not gloating when you are right.

...remembering we are a product of those who came before.

...what could have been. Sometimes we fail to see what is before us, and the result is unfortunate.


There is Beauty in...

...the decision to do what is right, regardless
of the outcome.

...Humanity, when we don't treat each other
as a means to a goal.

...not allowing another to dictate morality, 
when you disagree.

...accepting that your faith is wonderful, but no
more valid then someone elses.


There is Beauty in...

...Trust, Accountability, Fairness and Equality. Because,
when these are gone what is left?

Nothing, and there is no Beauty in that.














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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

RIGHTS-  WHAT THEY ARE, AND WHAT 
THEY ARE NOT.  PT 1.
Strangers are welcome here.There is perhaps no more important word, when we discuss such issues as Freedom of Choice, Protection from Governmental Interference into our lives and, yes, "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  Yet, the definition of RIGHTS seems to be something many don't understand. 

Even more alarmingly, there are those who define the term in different ways at different times, depending on the agenda they are supporting in the latest election cycle.


The goal of this article is to define what is meant when the word RIGHTS is used properly, and to shed light on the improper usage of the term.


In general terms, a RIGHT can be referenced and defined in several ways:

-  A Protection against Persecution for certain behaviors, that an individual or group may engage in.

-  The ability to make decisions about ones' own life, free of improper
influence or malicious retribution.

-  Protecting groups that are recognized legally, from hostile actions by those
who desire to inflict harm upon the members, without just cause.

-  Punishment administered to any individual, Either by Government, Social Organization, or Employer must be justified through defined procedures that allow the individual an opportunity to provide a proper defense to any and all charges. Further, that judgment will be based on facts and evidence that were gathered in a prescribed manner.  Of course, the degree to which these are implemented differs from the Public to the Private sector.

When speaking of Rights that are found in the Private Sector, we usually find them
to be creations of contractual agreements between Employer and Employee, or in By-Laws that are part of a fraternal organizations code of conduct for members. By their very nature, these Rights affect a very select group.

This is not true in the Public Sector.
End of PT 1.  

Date-  4/7/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

MORAL COWARDICE-  WHEN YOU SACRIFICE YOUR PRINCIPLES,
SO NOT TO OFFEND.  PT 1.

While writing about Political Issues through the years, one recurring theme I find most disturbing;

MANY AMERICANS DEMAND THAT THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS REVEAL AND STAND BY A SET OF MORAL PRINCIPLES THAT ARE EASILY IDENTIFIABLE AND UNCHANGING. YET, ARE AFRAID TO FOLLOW THIS LINE OF REASONING IN THEIR OWN LIVES.

Many individuals are deathly afraid to reveal their personal beliefs on Religion and Morality, in fear that their family or friends will ostracize them.                                                 
This has always fascinated me.  Why would any person deceive others, just to maintain a relationship built on lies?  Yes, I understand that a Human Being is essentially a Social Animal, and the need to be accepted is a fundamental desire. However, what do you sacrifice, in the name of being part of a particular social circle?

To be clear, I am not including the individual who is trying to interact with an extremist group, or others that are clearly irrational in nature.  Sexists, Homophobes, Religious Fanatics, Xenophobes etc., are examples of Mindsets based on Fear, Hate and a general loathing of Humanity.

This article is to ask why an Intelligent and Caring person would decide to mask their beliefs, which are genuine in nature, from those that mean the most to them.
Let me ask a question, to all of my readers. Think of the people you are closest to,
they may be a relative, or a friend.  By close, I mean an individual that you consider a close confidant, in that their advice would be considered a prominent part of any important decision that you make.  Would you be afraid of offending them, if they found out that there were certain moral absolutes that you were not in agreement?
Look for PT 2.


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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

RIGHTS-  WHAT THEY ARE, AND WHAT
THEY ARE NOT.  PT 2.

Meadow, Away, Panorama, Mountain Hiking


Rights, when we are discussing the Public Sector, generally fall into two categories;

1)  HUMAN RIGHTS-  These are Protections, Freedoms and Guarantees that are bestowed upon individuals by virtue of their being part of the Human Race.  To a certain degree some of these may be applied to all living things, but only to a certain extent and varies depending on specific situations.

2) CITIZENS RIGHTS-  Are granted by a governing body with the legal authority over a specified jurisdiction, to individuals identified as part of the recognized civil population.  These Rights can vary greatly, depending on the source of Authority.  i.e (Constitutional Republic, Monarchy
Oligarchy, Dictatorial etc.)

This brings us to the concept of CIVIL RIGHTS, which is basically a sub-category
of CITIZENS RIGHTS. The main difference is;

     -  Rights given to all Citizens may include the ability to chose a System of Morality and/or Faith that is constructed by the individual, and is not interfered with by the State.  Further, that one cannot be held either Criminally or Civilly for Behavior or Speech that others consider offensive.

      -  Civil Rights are guarantees set up by the State/Government, that protect individuals from Malicious, Discriminatory, Arbitrary and Hateful acts that target them specifically as a single person or as part of a group.  These Rights apply to 
both the Public and Private sectors.  Civil Rights are basically set up to"Level the Playing Field", in which no single person or group has an unfair advantage over other parts of society.

However they are applied, not all Rights are created equal.  Some can never be taken away, Some are Valid only in certain cases and others may be given up voluntarily.

There is one main rule that applies to all Rights:  NO ONE CAN EXERCISE A RIGHT, WHICH AT THE SAME TIME VIOLATES THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS.
End of PT 2.

Date-  5/16/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

MORAL COWARDICE-  WHEN YOU SACRIFICE YOUR PRINCIPLES,
SO NOT TO OFFEND.  PT 2.

A major part of the work that goes into publishing this site, is keeping up with current news and events.

However, it also means confronting and understanding opposing viewpoints, not only of those I have never met, but also friends and family.  What I have found to be most interesting is the reluctance of some to voice an opinion, if they are aware of those with a dissenting point of view being present.

I understand that many people will go out of their way to avoid confrontation.  The desire to be liked and accepted is so strong in some individuals, that they will try to find a way to make everyone happy. This includes being a passive witness and listener, even when someone is ridiculing and disrespecting an opinion or belief they hold dear.  Even more disturbing, this can extend to the point of ignoring inaccurate or wrong information being transmitted to others, by an individual who clearly does not understand the facts of a given situation.  I have often found this to be true of a person promoting an idea that supports a certain world view that cannot stand up to close scrutiny.  They bend or distort information in a way that fits neatly with their conception of reality, even if it violates the Rules of Logic and Critical Thinking.

Now the point of confronting such irrational and clearly invalid lines of reasoning, is not to attempt to change the mind of the offending individual.  Usually, this would be a pointless exercise, for they have already exhibited a capacity to ignore anything that would conflict with their viewpoint.  As we have seen, especially when we examine certain decisions made by Juries in Criminal Trials, that some people lack the ability or willingness to make decisions in a rational manner.
Look for PT 3.


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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

RIGHTS-  WHAT THEY ARE, AND WHAT
THEY ARE NOT.  PT 3.
Can we break down the Hierarchy of which Category of Rights is the most important, and can supersede the others?  Yes, it is possible to do this, and the following is the result of such an analysis.

HUMAN RIGHTS-  Must, by their very nature, rank as #1.  They are the only Category of Rights that is binding on all Countries, States and
Governments.  This is the goal of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, to create and enforce Laws that bind the people of all nations to a Universal set of Moral Standards in the proper treatment of every member of the Human race.

Further, that these are Rights that cannot be relinquished, even on a voluntary basis. THE BOTTOM LINE-  HUMAN RIGHTS CANNOT BE DENIED, LOST OR GIVEN UP, REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.

CIVIL RIGHTS-  Are a sub-category of CITIZENS RIGHTS, but are placed on a level higher in importance.  Citizens Rights may include such things as Freedom of Speech, Religion, Assembly etc., but may not be legally applied in every situation. This is where the Category of Civil Rights can be found.  Consider the following : 

        Example #1-  Freedom of Religion allows you to believe and promote a certain set of Moral Values.  However, the application of such values in the Public Sector may not be considered Legal.

         Example #2-  Freedom of Speech permits you to advocate and relay information to other people.  However, the Legal System may create limits on the How, When and Where such information is disseminated.

         Example #3-  Freedom of Assembly-  Allows you to Come Together and/or Associate with other like minded individuals.  A Legal problem may arise if these meetings are used for planning Criminal Activities, or for the purpose of creating situations that have a detrimental affect on other persons and groups.

These examples have one main goal:  That Government has a Moral duty to its citizens and society at large, to create restrictions on Individual Rights, for the benefit of all.
End of PT 3.

Date-  6\26\2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

MORAL COWARDICE-  WHEN YOU SACRIFICE YOUR PRINCIPLES,
SO NOT TO OFFEND.  PT 3.

In Today's Political Environment, as has happened in the recent past, the vicious nature of public commentary is again forcing Rational Discourse to the sidelines. You cannot turn on the Radio or Television, without hearing the incoherent rambling of some Political Pundit.  Insults, Threats and Bad Information are the norm. Modern Technology has changed the very nature of how Political and Social debate is now conducted in the Public Spectrum, in comparison to Decades past. I am of course referring to Cable Television and the Internet.

Before the worldwide expansion of the Internet, and the introduction of Cable Television into private homes, Political News, Commentary and Review Programs represented a very small part of what was broadcast over the air.  Prior to the 1980s most homes received programming from the three major Networks: CBS, NBC and ABC, and maybe several local UHF Channels and PBS.  Legendary shows such as SEE IT NOW, SIXTY MINUTES, MACNEIL\ LEHRER and the National Evening News provided the vast majority of Over the Air viewing regarding Political News and Information. 

Additionally, Newspapers and Magazines, once Bastions of "In- Depth" Investigative Reporting and "From the Scene" Articles , are now struggling to stay afloat financially. The Reason: In the past, these elements of the Media prided themselves on the Professionalism, Integrity, Honesty and Accuracy of the information they presented to the public, and this led to the trust and esteem that the News Media relied on to succeed.

Unfortunately, the proliferation of so-called "News Stations and Programs", and the ability to place anything on the Internet regardless of Truth or Lack of Critical Construction or Validity, has led to the rapid increase in Bogus, Irrational, Racist,
Bigoted, Homophobic etc. news items.  Such Reporting will never make it past the Editorial Standards of true Journalistic Professionals, who value truth and integrity.

The real sadness is not the Irrational or Closed- Minded people who report and thrive off the Hate and Misery they feel, and want to inflict on others through false and misleading information.  These people have probably always been with us, and maybe always will.  However, Moral Cowardice does not challenge or refute information known to be wrong, and allows this Bullying of the Innocent to continue without confrontation or contradiction.
Look for PT 4.


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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

MORAL COWARDICE-  WHEN YOU SACRIFICE YOUR PRINCIPLES,
SO NOT TO OFFEND.  PT 4.

Sometimes, it is fairly easy to pick out the Closet Bigot, Racist, Homophobe etc., simply by their choice of argumentation.  Very few public figures are going to openly embrace such belief systems, it would be political suicide.  Also, citizens who embrace such attitudes are usually careful enough not to be upfront and honest about expressing such views openly.  Both groups have adopted tactics they hope are devious enough to mask their true motivations, when dealing with groups they oppose.

However, these actions are not very artful, and really hide nothing if one looks closely at what is being said or proposed. They are designed to appeal to those who may not share the same opinions, but may become motivated to support the individual or group because they supposedly share common ground.

What is unfortunate is that the Moral Coward may realize the truth that motivates these individuals or groups, but refuses to "Rock the boat", in calling them out for what they really are.  This is especially true if those who hold extremist views cloak them under the guise of such terms as "Patriotism", "Nationalism", "Religious Freedom" or "Law and Order." The Moral Coward may see family, friends or co- workers drawn into supporting candidates who are hiding behind such concepts to appeal to a greater part of the electorate.  They see the "Smokescreen" being set up, and realize the actual intent to deceive.  Yet, the fear of "Offending" or "Angering" someone who is Loved, Respected or Admired, trumps the possible good that could be realized through honest and open communication.

This is very unfortunate.  Of course, no one likes to be told that they are being deceived.  Further, admitting that you are being duped is something that is not easy to accept.  However, progress is never easy.  History has taught us that "Traditional Values and Mores" , "Social Status" and other such constructs are not easy to overcome.  Yet, the belief that doing or espousing the "GOOD" or the "RIGHT", is the Moral Absolute that seems to be prevalent in both faith and humanistic based ethical systems.

Maybe it's time for all of us to practice what we preach.

Date-  8/23/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

RIGHTS-  WHAT THEY ARE, AND WHAT
THEY ARE NOT.  PT 4.

A few things we should remember about the concept and definition of 
RIGHTS;

-  Virtually no nation legally defines "Rights" the same way, and the word may not even exist as a separate and distinct element within the laws of a given country.

-  The U.S. generally considers Rights as protections the individual has against abuses by government, or illegal actions that may occur in the private sector.  However,  the code of law in other Jurisdictions may define Rights as actions government can take to protect itself from harm.  This may be done regardless of the impact on the individual or society as a whole.  Usually, it is just a way to maintain the status quo, and ensuring the continued existence of those in power.  This places Human, Citizen or Civil Rights, ( If such things are even acknowledged), as secondary in importance. 

-  In what is becoming a familiar theme inside the U.S., especially around election time, is the charge by some groups that their Rights are being violated.  This may be recent , or a claim that was also made in the past.  However, it is usually hyperbole, with the goal of electing like minded candidates.  This situation brings up a frightening, but all to often glimpse into the mindset of many Americans:  THAT WHEN CERTAIN "RIGHTS" ARE EXERCISED, THEY AUTOMATICALLY NEGATE OR DISQUALIFY OTHERS.

What is the source of this way of thinking?  Is it a lack of understanding about the wording included within the body of the Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights? Could it represent the desire to accept without question the opinions of those with questionable motives?  Most frightening of all, the unspoken wish to abolish many parts of the Constitution, and that freedom should be limited to the chosen few?

End of PT 4.

Date-  9/10/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

RIGHTS-  WHAT THEY ARE, AND WHAT
THEY ARE NOT.  PT 5.

What is really fascinating about the BILL OF RIGHTS, and how it is interpreted, is the omission of wording within the Article itself and corresponding text within the body of the U.S. Constitution, that have a direct baring on how specific Rights should be legally defined, and the protections that they offer the American Citizen.

These pick and chose tactics are not just something political candidates do to gain support, but can be misused by those who should know better.

Case in point:  Here is one quote taken from a recent speech made by Supreme Court Justice ANTON SCALIA; 

“I think the main fight is to dissuade Americans from what the secularists are trying to persuade them to be true: that the separation of church and state means that the government cannot favor religion over nonreligion."

Judge Scalia should know better, but let us see what the 1st Amendment actually says;

"CONGRESS SHALL MAKE NO LAW RESPECTING AN ESTABLISHMENT OF RELIGION, OR THE FREE EXERCISE THEREOF;  OR ABRIDGING THE FREEDOM OF SPEECH, OR OF THE PRESS;  OR THE RIGHT TO PEACEABLY ASSEMBLE, AND TO PETITION THE GOVERNMENT FOR A REDRESS  OF GRIEVANCES."

Why have I quoted the entire passage?  BECAUSE THE ENTIRETY OF THE AMENDMENT USES TERMINOLOGY THAT IS UNIVERSAL IN NATURE, NOT CONDITIONAL.  In other words;

All forms of RELIGION, SPEECH, PRESS, ASSEMBLY OR GRIEVANCES MUST BE PROTECTED, AND NO PART OF ANY CAN BE SANCTIONED AS PUBLIC POLICY OR, YOU HAVE "ESTABLISHED" OR "CREATED" AN ENDORSEMENT THAT ONE FORM OF RELIGION, SPEECH ETC., IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN ANOTHER.

PUT ANOTHER WAY;  FREEDOM OF RELIGION, SPEECH, THE PRESS, PEACEFUL ASSEMBLY, OR REDRESS OF GRIEVANCES ARE ABSOLUTES. IN NO CASE CAN THEY BE RESTRICTED OR PROMOTED.  FOR ONCE THAT IS DONE, THEY ARE NO LONGER "RIGHTS", BUT HAVE BECOME "PRIVILEGES."   

Yes, such things must be defined and limits placed, for you cannot use Religion, Speech,The Press etc, to do anything you want. These restrictions are of the HOW, WHEN AND WHERE VARIETY,  THEY CANNOT BE USED TO SUPPRESS OR DENY RIGHTS OTHER CITIZENS HAVE.

So no, government cannot favor religion, over anything else.  That is not its' job, which is:  PROTECTING THE RIGHTS OF THE PRIVATE CITIZEN, BY NOT MAKING THESE RIGHTS SUBJECT TO CHANGE BY PUBLIC POLICY.

In part 6 we will again address more of Justice Scalias recent comments, and remind him and his supporters of ARTICLE 6 OF THE U.S. CONSTITUTION.

End of PT 5.

Date-  10/12/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

RIGHTS-  WHAT THEY ARE, AND WHAT
THEY ARE NOT.  PT 6.

Let us now examine another recent 
quote, from the mouth of Justice Scalia.

“We do him [God] honor in our pledge of allegiance, in all our public ceremonies,” Justice Scalia said. “There’s nothing wrong with that. It is in the best of American traditions, and don’t let anybody tell you otherwise. I think we have to fight that tendency of the secularists to impose it on all of us through the Constitution."

Before I get into the question of the history of the PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE, I would like to address something else said at the same time.

"WE DO HIM (GOD) HONOR... IN ALL OUR PUBLIC CEREMONIES."  This is perhaps the most clear expression of the lack of coherent knowledge about the content of the CONSTITUTION by Justice Scalia or, more likely, that he has abandoned any pretense of being Fair and Unbiased.

How is this possible?  Here it is, and I quote:  The Senators and Representatives...
and the Members of the several State Legislatures, and all executive and judicial officers... shall be bound by Oath and Affirmation, to support this Constitution;
but no religious Test shall ever be required as a Qualification to any Office or public trust under the United States. (Italics are mine.)

This is taken from Article Six of the U.S. Constitution.  We, as Americans, can never require an elected or appointed public official, to relate or explain their private religious beliefs, as a requirement to hold office.  This includes PUBLIC CEREMONIES THAT INCLUDE SWEARING THEM INTO OFFICE.  IF AN AMERICAN MUST FIRST ACKNOWLEDGE THAT THEY ACCEPT THE EXISTENCE OF A RELIGIOUS ENTITY, AS PART OF AN OATH OF OFFICE, AND BY REFUSING TO EXCLUDES THEM FROM HOLDING OFFICE, YOU HAVE CREATED A TEST OF RELIGIOUS OBEDIENCE. 

This is Unconstitutional.  It is a first step into creating a THEOCRACY. The only oath required to be taken before one enters office, is the following, also spelled out in Article Six:  ...SHALL BE BOUND BY OATH OF AFFIRMATION TO SUPPORT THE CONSTITUTION.

This is clear, and leaves no room for interpretation.

End of PT 6.

Date-  10/25/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, 
OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD.  PT 1.

Clouds, Air, Storm, Orange, Blue

Why is it that people with certain Moral Beliefs, automatically feel it is their mission to see that others also adopt this same ETHICAL SYSTEM?

What is even more Disturbing, is their desire to see it instituted into Law, either by Statute or Judicial Decree.  Unfortunately, the Lack of Freedom to Choose never seems to bother them, unless it inhibits their own ability to make Individual Decisions.

FREEDOM OF RELIGION, AS A RIGHT, INCLUDES THE ABILITY TO OBEY OR DISOBEY ANY FORM OF RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE.  IT IS NOT A MATTER OF SELECTING WHICH FORMS OF FAITH CAN BE LEGALIZED, AND ADJUSTING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO CONFORM.  NONE OF THEM ARE TO BE PART OF ANY CODE OF LAW, BECAUSE THE CONCEPT OF 'FREEDOM OF RELIGION' WOULD BE MEANINGLESS. 

A Response to this is could be something like : "The Word of God is Absolute, we must Convert or Convince others that their only hope for Salvation is accepting 
Scripture, and Submitting to Gods Will."

This type of Response makes the following Assumptions;

-  DEFINING "GOD" IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY, AND MUST BE ACCEPTED.

-  That Their DEFINITION OF GOD IS THE CORRECT ONE.

-  THAT FAITH ALONE IS REQUIRED AND NECESSARY.  NO LOGICAL PROOFS, OR SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY IS NEEDED TO "KNOW THE TRUTH."

-  That GOD HAS REVEALED INSTRUCTIONS FOR A MORAL LIFE, THROUGH INTERPRETATIONS OF SPECIFIC TEXTS, WHICH MUST BE ACCEPTED AS TRUE AND INFALLIBLE.

-  "SALVATION" IS A DESIRABLE GOAL , THAT CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED BY OBEYING THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

Now there is nothing UNCONSTITUTIONAL OR ILLEGAL about believing any of the above.  A FREE SOCIETY allows each of us to find answers on our own, and being able to share our BELIEFS OR FAITH with others. 

HOWEVER, THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONVERTING OR CONVINCING SOMEONE TO ACT OR BELIEVE CERTAIN RELIGIOUS DEFINITIONS OR ABSOLUTES VOLUNTARILY, AND FORCING THEM TO THROUGH THREATS OF CRIMINAL OR CIVIL SANCTIONS INSTITUTED INTO LAW.

LOOK FOR PT 2 IN A FUTURE POST.  

Date-  12/5/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, 
OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD.  PT 2.

Coastal Landscape, Sea, Mediterranean

Unfortunately, throughout Human History, Many Religions and Faiths 
have exported Their Religious Beliefs and Practices at the point of a Sword.  Adapt or Die.

Sometimes it is Different Denominations or Sects within the Same RELIGION, supposedly Worshiping the same GOD, who have engaged in Fights to the Death.

Yet, there are cases of Empires and Nations showing Tolerance to the Belief Systems of People who Inhabit recently acquired Territory or Land.

What causes One form of Government to behave in a manner that Persecutes, and another to show Understanding and Acceptance?


I think it may lie with THE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, OR THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH THAT IS ESPOUSED BY THOSE IN POWER OR AUTHORITY, THAT WILL GIVE US AN INDICATION OF HOW OPPOSITION RELIGIOUS GROUPS WILL BE TREATED.

To Clarify, consider the following Two examples.

Government # 1 is Ceded Land that was Formerly controlled by an opposing Nation.  This Government is now responsible for Administering and Enforcing Economic, Social and Legal Programs that are part of its Infrastructure, into the Newly Acquired Territory.

There is a Problem;  The Dominant Religion in this Area, by number of Adherents, is Relatively Small compared to other Faiths within Government #1's Borders.

However, the New Government has a Policy that Recognizes the Following:  THAT LAWS GOVERNING MORAL BEHAVIOR AND RELIGIOUS FAITH, ONLY ADDRESS ISSUES THAT WILL AFFECT THE STABILITY OR PROPER FUNCTION OF THE PRESENT FORM OF AUTHORITY. This may include such Concepts as CIVIL RIGHTS, TAXATION, CRIMINAL ACTS etc.

THIS GIVES US THE FOLLOWING:  RELIGIOUS FAITH AND WORSHIP ARE MORALLY NEUTRAL CONCEPTS LEFT TO INDIVIDUAL EVALUATION, AND ARE NOT TO BE SANCTIONED OR PUNISHED UNLESS THEY INTERFERE WITH THE GOVERNMENTS ABILITY TO SUCCESSFULLY OPERATE.

LOOK FOR THE SECOND EXAMPLE, ALONG WITH THE COMPARISON AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO, IN PART 3.

Date-  12/29/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, 
OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD.  PT 3.

The Clouds, Clouds, Sky, Heaven, White

In Part Two, we examined a Government that allows those living within its Boundaries, the opportunity to Worship Freely, and in the Manner they choose, free of Official Interference.  This Policy is Subject to Obeying Civil Laws, designed to preserve the Safety and Stability of the Standing Government.

The Moral Standard that this Type of Government Policy is Endorsing, regarding the extent of Permissible Religious Behavior and Activities to be left undisturbed, can be related as:

The Concept that Ethical and Moral Behavior, in how one chooses to live Their Life, is Meaningless if one is not free to select an Alternative without outside Intervention.  In Other Words, Coming to God and Obeying Specific Doctrines, cannot be Truly an Act of Devotion and Belief, if FORCE OR THE THREAT OF PUNISHMENT COMES FROM GOVERNMENT SOURCES.

The Government in example #1 is Defining GOD on a Very Personal Level, leaving as much as possible to Individual Interpretation, only Intervening when the Safety of All is at Risk.

NOW, let us create a second example.

The Scenario:  After an Extensive Conflict, a Peace Treaty is Drawn up between Two Countries.  In the Treaty, a Community that Lies within the Physical Boundaries of Nation A, is now to come under the Rule of Nation B, due to the Physical Borders being Altered.

This Community had been living under the Laws of Nation A, which has a Policy regarding Religious Freedom similar to that of the Country described in the First Example.

However, in this Second Example, the New Government believes that GOD GUIDES THEM DIRECTLY, AND THIS IS EXEMPLIFIED IN THEIR CODE OF LAW,  WHICH ALLOWS DIRECT INTERVENTION AGAINST ANYONE WHO DOES NOT OBEY RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE SET BY "DIVINE INSPIRATION", AS INTERPRETED BY RELIGIOUS HIERARCHY.

Date-  1/7/2015.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, 
OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD.  PT 4.

Landscape, Blue Sky, Clouds, View, Hills


From the Two Examples, we get the Basic Controversy that exists in the U.S. Today, as well as many Nations around the World that try to separate Religious Belief, Tradition, and Form of Worship outside the Realm of Government Control;


To what Degree does Legal and Lawful Authority have over the Religious Lives of Those who live within its Borders.  What is Permissible, and free from Government Intervention, and what Constitutes Criminal or Undesirable Activity that must be Controlled or Stopped.


Remember, in part Two we had a New Government that wanted to leave as many Personal Moral Decisions as possible in the hands of the Individual, Free of Possible Intervention or Sanction.  In part Three we had just the opposite, a New Government that wanted to control the Religious and Spiritual Lives of Those within its Borders, to the Point of Punishing those who will not follow a Specific Mandate about correct Moral Behavior.

However, within the U.S., THERE IS A PROBLEM THAT TAKES THESE TYPES OF SCENARIOS, AND REVERSES THEM;  INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS THAT BELIEVE THAT THEIR RIGHT TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ENTITLES THEM NOT ONLY TO WORSHIP AND BELIEVE AS THEY SO CHOSE, BUT THAT THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS MUST LEGISLATE THESE DOCTRINES INTO LAW, MAKING IT ILLEGAL NOT TO FOLLOW A SPECIFIC CODE OF ETHICAL OR MORAL CONDUCT.

It often Amazes me the number of people who claim to follow "THE PATH OF GOD", OR "FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF THE LORD", who will scream the loudest if they believe that Their Rights are being violated, YET SEEK TO FORCE EVERYONE TO OBEY THEIR OWN PERSONAL FORM OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF.
TO THEM THE "PATH" OR "FOLLOW", IS NOT TO BE LEFT TO INDIVIDUAL CHOICE.

Now, in the U.S., this wouldn't be a Problem if Elected and/or Appointed Officials Actually Understood or Believed in the CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, WITHOUT GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE.

UNFORTUNATELY, TO ACHIEVE THE POWER AND PRESTIGE THAT COMES WITH HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE, MANY AMERICANS ARE WILLING TO TOSS OUT THE CONCEPT OF "FREEDOM OF RELIGION",  TO APPEASE THOSE WHO WANT TO LIVE IN A THEOCRACY OF THEIR OWN CREATION.

Date-  1/23/2015.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, 
OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD.  PT 5.

Book, Bible, Scripture, Religion

The Idea that Some Americans want to Enforce their own Brand of Morality and Religion on the rest of us is not surprising.  When you Claim to Speak for the "ALMIGHTY", and your Faith Teaches that all else is Evil, than Tolerance and Understanding is probably not High on your list of Priorities.

However, in the U.S., the Form of Government is a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC, and there are Safeguards that are set up to prevent a Single Faith or Set of Beliefs from becoming the Source of all Legal Decisions, and the Final Word on Morality, Rights, and Acceptable Behavior.

What I find Interesting, and a Little Disturbing, is that Many of Those who would seek to Criminalize Offending Acts that run contrary to Their Faith, consider Themselves EVANGELICAL.

CHRISTIAN EVANGELISM, at its Heart, is Spreading the Word of JESUS CHRIST, at least in Terms of how it is interpreted Through Scripture. Not every Form of Evangelism Preaches the same System of Faith, and Disagreements are quite common.

Yet, they all seem to have One Thing In Common; BRINGING IN NEW
CONVERTS, AND GETTING THEIR MESSAGE OUT TO THE WORLD, IS DONE BY PREACHING THE IDEA OF ETERNAL SALVATION.  IN ADDITION, COMING TO GOD, DECLARING ONES DEVOTION, AND REPENTING PAST SINS, ARE ALL NECESSARY FOR ACCEPTING ENTRY INTO THE NEW FAITH.  THIS MAY INCLUDE SUCH RITES AS BAPTISM.

There is also One Other Key Ingredient:  THAT THE INDIVIDUAL MUST COME TO THIS LIFE CHANGING MOMENT FREELY, AND ACCEPTING THE "WORD OF GOD" IS NOT DONE BY FORCE OF ARMS, OR BY STATUTE.  

IN OTHER WORDS; A TRUE CONVERSION RESULTS IN THE INDIVIDUAL "FEARING THE WRATH OF GOD" IF THEY DO NOT ACCEPT THE TEACHINGS OF THE NEW FAITH, AND NOT BECAUSE THEY FEAR THE "HAND OF MAN."

TO BE CONTINUED.

Date-  2/2/2015.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, 
OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD.  PT 6.

Religion, Jesus, Baptism, Faith, Fish

That is the Basic Problem, and the Inherent Weakness in the Plan to Force All Americans to Obey Their Set of Moral Values, Through Force or the Legal System;  
All of the Talk of Converting, and coming to "Know the Will of God," are just Words, That in the End Ring Hollow, Because of the Refusal to Allow others to Freely Choose the same path.

In Fact, it Reveals that all the Talk of "FINDING THE LORD, THROUGH SCRIPTURE, PRAYER, AND REPENTANCE", IS ONLY FOR THOSE WHO CONVERT FREELY.  When it comes to Interpreting the Constitution, or Defining "FREEDOM OF RELIGION," VOLUNTARY IS NOT AN OPTION IN THE END. 

In Other Words;

-  "IF YOU DON'T AGREE THAT SAME-SEX MARRIAGE IS A SIN, AFTER WE HAVE EXPLAINED HOW IT VIOLATES THE WORD OF GOD, DON'T WORRY.
WE WILL CRIMINALIZE IT UNTIL YOU SEE THE LIGHT.''

-  "You Don't Think that Organized Prayer in Public Schools is a good thing? No Matter, we know what is BEST FOR EVERYONES CHILDREN, AND MAKE SURE ITS DONE EVERYDAY."

-  "SCIENCE SHOULD NOT BE CONTRADICTING SCRIPTURE, AND TEACHING EVOLUTION DOES THAT, SO WE'LL REMOVE IT FROM THE CLASSROOM. WHO NEEDS THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD, WHEN THE BIBLE GIVES US ALL THE ANSWERS."

Naturally, There are more examples, but the Point is Clear:  When one SEEKS TO INSTILL PRINCIPLES OF FAITH INTO A CODE OF LAW, FREEDOM OF RELIGION IS AN EMPTY PROMISE, SUBJECT TO THE WHIMS OF THOSE WHO CONTROL THE POWER BASE.

What is Really Amazing, is the Contention by Those who Promote Religious Belief as the Answer for Providing Society with the Proper Moral Compass, is that BY NOT ADOPTING THEIR BELIEF SYSTEM INTO A FORM OF CIVIL AND CRIMINAL LAW, THEY ARE BEING DISCRIMINATED AGAINST.

TO BE CONTINUED.














ETHICS AND MORALITY.

PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, 
OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD.  PT 7.
Building, Church, Chapel, Historic, Old

I Believe that the CONCEPT of PERSONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM BEING MISINTERPRETED, MISUNDERSTOOD OR MISUSED , IS ONE OF THE MOST PERVASIVE AND HARMFUL ATTITUDES THAT INHIBITS SOCIAL AND POLITICAL PROGRESS IN THE U.S.

It is Fascinating, and at the same time Disturbing, to Hear Individuals relate how Their Religious Convictions are being ignored by Politicians and Lawmakers.  How?

BY OTHER AMERICANS BEING ALLOWED TO ENGAGE, PARTICIPATE AND ENTER INTO CONTRACTS, ACTIVITIES AND BEHAVIORS, WITHOUT ANY SANCTIONS FROM THE LEGAL SYSTEM...


... THAT ARE CONTRARY TO THE INDIVIDUALS CODE OF MORALITY, WHICH IS OFTEN DERIVED FROM RELIGIOUS FAITH AND DOCTRINE.

I Often wonder how They Define Religious Freedom, if it is done at all.  In Most Cases, it seems that the PASSAGES IN THE U.S. CONSTITUTION ARE IGNORED, IN FAVOR OF SOME KIND OF TRADITIONAL INTERPRETATION OF AMERICAN HISTORY.  THIS IS COMPLETELY SUBJECTIVE IN NATURE, AND IGNORES LEGAL PRECEDENT, THE FOUNDING FATHERS INTENT WHEN DRAFTING THE CONSTITUTION, AND HOW THE BILL OF RIGHTS NOW PROTECTS ALL CLASSES OF AMERICANS.  

Women, Children, Racial Minorities, Certain Religious Faiths, The Disabled and   Political Dissidents etc., are EXAMPLES OF GROUPS THAT AT ONE TIME WERE NOT GIVEN EQUAL PROTECTION UNDER THE LAW.  However, the U.S. CONSTITUTION WAS DESIGNED TO EVOLVE, AND IN THIS WAY CORRECT ANY INJUSTICES IN THE SYSTEM THAT WERE TO BECOME KNOWN AS TIME WENT ON.




ETHICS AND MORALITY.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE? PT 1.
Sun, Meadow, Only, Landscape, Nature











It is Suppose to be one of the Most "HUMANE" Acts one Person can do for another.  That no Matter How Much you have been hurt by SOMEONE ELSE, be it MENTAL , PHYSICAL, OR BOTH, TO "FORGIVE" THE ACTIONS AGAINST YOU IS CONSIDERED TO BE NOBLE AND VIRTUOUS. 

Yet, at the same Time, even though "FORGIVENESS" IS SUPPOSE TO BE A VOLUNTARY DECISION BY THE "VICTIM,"  IF IT IS NOT OFFERED, THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN HARMED IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE COMMITTED A MORAL TRANSGRESSION AGAINST THE ONE WHO VICTIMIZED THEM.

It is a Fascinating example of how Some People Believe that taking the "HIGH ROAD," especially if They are Talking about someone elses Victimization, must be part of the ROAD TO RECOVERY IN OVERCOMING THE PAIN AND ANGUISH THAT HAS BEEN INFLICTED ON THEM.

HOWEVER, JUST WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE ANOTHER?  Does it Mean the Same Thing to Everyone, or DOES THE DEFINITION OF "FORGIVENESS" CHANGE DEPENDING ON THOSE INVOLVED, OR PERHAPS THE SITUATION/EVENT THAT LED UP TO SUCH A DECISION POSSIBLY BEING MADE.

Lets Create a Basic Example.

-  An Individual Decides to Act in a Way that is considered a FREE CHOICE.

-  This Action may result in the Direct Harming of Another, and it is 
a possibility that any Reasonable Person would be aware of.

-  Ignoring the Possible Consequences, the Individual Acts, and Harm
comes to someone else, who in no way contributed to the NEGATIVE 
RESULT that has been Inflicted on Them.

STOPPING HERE, UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES OR DEVELOPMENTS WOULD YOU WOULD YOU CONSIDER "FORGIVENESS" AS A JUSTIFIED EXPECTATION OF THE "TRANSGRESSOR,"  AND A MORAL REQUIREMENT OF THE "VICTIM?"  IF SO, WHAT WOULD "FORGIVENESS" CONSIST OF.

END OF PART 1.






ETHICS AND MORALITY. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE? PT 2.


Woman, Thoughtful, Pensive, Young, Face

I Ended Part 1 with an example, and a "WHAT WOULD YOU DO?" Question.  However, You may have noticed that Answering such a Challenge isn't easy.  Nor should it be.  "FORGIVENESS" is not the Simplistic Concept Many would have you believe, for it contains Different Elements and Levels that are Unique to each Situation.

Those who believe that Short and Quick Resolutions are the Answer to Resolving Conflicts, sometime begin Their Advice with words like the following;

-  "He's really sorry for what he did, you should forgive him."

-  "She's not like that usually, it won't happen again, don't worry about it."

-  "You pushed the Wrong Buttons, you know how they are.  Watch it 
next time."

THIRD PARTY INDIVIDUALS are usually the ones to offer such "ADVICE."  Either by Design, Ignorance or Fear, They seek to place the BURDEN OF RESOLVING THE SITUATION ON THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN HARMED, OFTEN WITHOUT ANY SANCTIONS AGAINST THOSE WHO HAVE CAUSED THE SUFFERING. 

It is just another CASE OF BLAMING THE VICTIM.

So where do We Start?  How and When should "FORGIVENESS" BE OFFERED, AND UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES?

How about Defining "FORGIVE."

THIS IS THE DEFINITION TAKEN FROM THE MERRIAM- WEBSTER DICTIONARY.

: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) 
: to stop blaming (someone)
: to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong)

THIS IS TAKEN FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA- BERKELEY "GREATER GOOD."  THE SCIENCE OF A MEANINGFUL LIFE, WEBSITE.

What Is Forgiveness?
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.


These Definitions are fairly close to others I came across, and all have Basically the same things in common.

HOWEVER, THERE ARE TWO IMPORTANT THINGS THAT SHOULD BE NOTICED:

-  BOTH DEFINITIONS REQUIRE NOTHING FROM THE INDIVIDUAL(S) WHO HAVE CAUSED THE PHYSICAL OR MENTAL TRAUMA.

-  BOTH USE THE TERM "FEELINGS,"  AS A NEGATIVE DESCRIPTION REGARDING HOW THE VICTIM CONTINUES TO PERCEIVE THE PERSON AND ACTIONS THAT HAVE HURT THEM.

THIS LEADS US TO THE FOLLOWING:

IS "FORGIVENESS" JUST ANOTHER FORM OF "ACCEPTANCE," SINCE NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN THE "VICTIM" AND THE "PERPETRATOR?"

WHY IS CONTINUING TO JUDGE THOSE WHO HAVE HARMED YOU SOMETHING THAT MUST BE OVERCOME, IF THE INDIVIDUAL(S) INVOLVED HAVE NOT ALTERED THEIR PERSONAL BEHAVIOR, WHICH MAY CONTINUE TO CAUSE PAIN AND SUFFERING TO YOU AND OTHERS? 

END OF PT 2.






ETHICS AND MORALITY. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE? PT 3.

Men, Thinking, Man, Thinking Man, Male

Unfortunately, it seems that the Definition of FORGIVENESS IGNORES TOO MANY IMPORTANT FACTORS. We are expected to apply it to ALL SITUATIONS IN WHICH HARM HAS BEEN INFLICTED UPON US, EITHER DIRECTLY, OR THROUGH THE HURT AND PAIN CAUSED TO OTHERS WHOSE PERSONAL WELFARE AFFECTS US EMOTIONALLY AND/OR INTELLECTUALLY.

Yet not every Situation is the Same, and Certain Important Details are often Ignored.  As I Mentioned Earlier, This Includes the Future Actions of Those Who have Caused Harm, and whether or not there is any Adjustment in the Type of Personal Behavior that led to the Negative Consequences that were Inflicted on Those Innocent of any Immoral or Illegal Behavior.

However, that is the Final Evaluation;

-  After the Act has been Committed.

-  When the Affects of such Behavior have become known,
at least the Physical, on the Victim(s). ( Mentally, the Victim 
may Suffer Ill- Effects for Years, which may not always be Readily Apparent.)

-  Once Punishment, (Through the Legal System) , has been Exacted.

-  WHEN RESTITUTION , if it is Possible, is made to make THE VICTIM WHOLE, or as Close To as is Possible.

However, that is all Done AFTER THE FACT.  It is at This Point that the Expectation of FORGIVENESS is Usually Confronted, whether or not it 
should be Offered, and if not, WHY?

THIS TYPE OF REASONING EXCLUDES THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT
OF ALL, WHEN WE JUDGE THE ACTIONS OF ANOTHER:  

WHAT LED TO BEHAVIOR THAT CAUSED INJURY OR SUFFERING, AND 
HOW DOES THIS MITIGATE OR ALTER THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE HOLD THE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES RESULTING FROM THEIR ACTIONS.


IT IS THE IDEA OF JUDGING THE INTENT VS JUDGING THE OUTCOME.

END OF PT 3.







ETHICS AND MORALITY.  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE? PT 4.

Girl, Beauty, Beautiful Girl, Female

IT IS THE IDEA OF JUDGING THE INTENT VS JUDGING THE OUTCOME.

That I Believe, is the Reason there is so much Confusion, Anxiety, and Distress when it comes to the Concept of Forgiveness.

Why?  Consider the Following.

-  WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FORGIVING AN INDIVIDUAL WHO COMMITS AN IMMORAL ACT THAT RESULTS IN CATASTROPHIC NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES, AND ANOTHER PERSON WHO COMMITS THE SAME ACT, WHICH DOES NOT RESULT IN ANY MEANINGFUL HARM TO ANYONE?

-  IS A PERSON WHO SETS OUT TO HURT ANOTHER BY COMMITTING OR PERFORMING CERTAIN ACTIONS, LESS DESERVING OF FORGIVENESS THAN ANOTHER WHO ACTED IN THE SAME MANNER, BUT DID NOT WANT TO CAUSE SUFFERING?

-  IS FORGIVENESS A GIFT YOU GIVE ANOTHER REGARDLESS OF THE PARTICULAR ACT THAT CAUSED UNWANTED PAIN AND SUFFERING?

-  IS GENUINE REGRET, BECAUSE OF AN EMPATHETIC EPIPHANY THAT WAS NOT EXPRESSED EARLIER, A REASON FOR FORGIVENESS?

-  SHOULD YOU FORGIVE ANOTHER, IF THEY ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS?

FINALLY, IF A PERSON CHOOSES NOT TO FORGIVE ANOTHER, CAN THEIR DECISION BE CONSIDERED IMMORAL?
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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

STOP BLAMING POLITICIANS
FOR THE MORAL PRIORITIES
OF THE VOTER.  PT 1.

On and On it goes.  No matter what Time of Year it is, and how Far Away the next Election may be, Controversy and Rhetoric is still the Order of the Day for the Federal Government.

However, lets cut Through all the Speeches, News Bites and Most of All, the "BLAME GAME, " and look for the Real Cause(s) for the Lack 
of Progress in Creating New Laws and Public Policy that will Address any Problems the U.S. may have ECONOMICALLY AND SOCIALLY.  Is it really the Fault of our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES?  Are They ROGUE EGOTISTICAL DEMAGOGUES WHO DO WHATEVER THEY WANT, or ARE THEY BEHAVING AS THOSE WHO PLACED THEM IN OFFICE EXPECTED THEM TO?

Some of the GREATEST MISCONCEPTIONS AMERICANS HAVE ABOUT THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS, ESPECIALLY ON THE FEDERAL LEVEL, INCLUDE;

-  THE DISPARITY IN POWER FROM ONE CONGRESSPERSON TO ANOTHER.

-  THE MORAL BELIEFS ABOUT WHAT ROLE GOVERNMENT SHOULD PLAY IN ADDRESSING ISSUES OF NATIONAL IMPORTANCE CAN DIFFER VASTLY BETWEEN MEMBERS OF THE SAME CHAMBER, COMMITTEE OR EVEN POLITICAL PARTY.

-  THE MOTIVATIONS THAT LED TO THE ELECTORAL VICTORY OF ONE CANDIDATE, IN TERMS OF BRINGING OUT THE VOTE, COULD BE EXACTLY THE OPPOSITE OF THOSE THAT PLACED ANOTHER INTO ELECTED OFFICE.

FINALLY,

WHAT IS CONSIDERED IMPORTANT, ESSENTIAL AND VITAL TO VOTERS IN ONE PART OF THE COUNTRY, CAN BE TRUMPED BY THE BELIEFS OF THOSE IN A DIFFERENT SECTION OF THE FIFTY STATES.

THE PROBLEM CAN BE BOILED DOWN TO ONE ESSENTIAL THEME-  THAT TRYING TO CHANGE THE MIND OF AN ELECTED OFFICIAL ABOUT WHAT COMPRISES "GOOD" AND "ETHICAL" GOVERNMENT IS SOMETIMES USELESS. IT IS THE OPINIONS OF THOSE WHO PLACED THEM IN OFFICE THAT OFTEN CARRIES THE MOST WEIGHT.  AT LEAST THE ONES THAT:  A) VOTE.  B)  CONTRIBUTE.

Date-  6/4/2015.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

STOP BLAMING POLITICIANS
FOR THE MORAL PRIORITIES
OF THE VOTER.  PT 2.

It never Fails to Fascinate Me the way People react with Shock when an Elected Official, Politician, or Potential Candidate says something Outrageous. (At Least to The Listeners Way of Thinking.)  

Yes, some off the Cuff remarks are Unprepared, and catch Supporters off Guard. Damage Control is set into Motion, and "CLARIFICATION" is Issued to Media Outlets, so that the "MEANING'' OR "INTENT" can be Ascertained.  However, it is Rare for the Speaker to Disavow the entire Statement.

WHY?  Because they are Generally Directing the Comments to Supporters, who may try to spin any Mistake as a Simple Misunderstanding, or more likely, BLAME THE CRITICS FOR MAKING SOMETHING OUT OF NOTHING.  IN THE MOST DESPERATE CIRCUMSTANCES, THEY WILL CLAIM SUCH CRITICISMS AS A "WITCH HUNT" AGAINST THIS "HEROIC" INDIVIDUALS "STAND."

Think about it for a Minute, and consider some of MOST SHOCKING OR OUTRAGEOUS STATEMENTS THAT YOU CAN REMEMBER.  BUT DON'T THINK OF STATEMENTS ONLY MADE BY THOSE WHO REPRESENTED A VIEW OPPOSITE TO YOURS, CONSIDER CONTROVERSIAL LANGUAGE EXPRESSED BY INDIVIDUALS YOU SUPPORTED, AND HAD CONFIDENCE IN.
Do you Find any Differences in the way you reacted?


In the End, the only Real Controversy lies with those MIDDLE OF THE ROAD VOTERS, WHO HAVE NOT MADE A DEFINITE JUDGMENT REGARDING THE CHARACTER OF THE INDIVIDUAL MAKING THE CONTROVERSIAL STATEMENTS.  The EXTENT AND INTENSITY OF THE UPROAR REGARDING THE "OFFENSIVE LANGUAGE" USUALLY DEPENDS ON:

-  PAST BEHAVIOR.

-  THE IMPORTANCE OR SIGNIFICANCE OF THE OFFICE THE INDIVIDUAL
IS SEEKING, OR IS CURRENTLY OCCUPYING.

-  THE NATURE AND TYPE OF GROUP AT WHICH THE CONTROVERSIAL
STATEMENTS WERE DIRECTED AT.


Date-  7/4/2015.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

JUST ANOTHER EXCUSE. PT 1.













As another Election Cycle approaches, we are again 
being Subjected to Daily Analysis about what the Average 
Voter is Thinking and Looking for in a Candidate.

In Reality, They seem to be Nothing More than Sound Bites,
with the Media Trying to Create Controversy by finding 
Perspective Voters who are;

-  Looking for Reasons to Justify Their Lack of Knowledge.

-  Desperately trying to Blame any Problems They Have, Socially
or Economically, on other groups.

-  To Complain about how Recent Political Activity That May Have
Benefited others, is Unfair or Unjust because it didn't produce 
Immediate Positive Affects on Their Lives, or Disrupted a World View 
that Confronted Personal Prejudices, Irrational Judgments, or Past
Injustices.

-  So Self- Centered that even Trying to Explain to Them the Long Term
Goals of New Policies falls on Deaf Ears.

It almost seems like that Those Interviewed consider any Action or Stand 
Taken by an Elected Official IMMORAL IF THEY DO NOT PERCEIVE AN IMMEDIATE POSITIVE IMPACT IN THEIR OWN LIVES, EVEN IF THERE 
IS NO REASONABLE DETRIMENT TO THEIR QUALITY OF LIFE.

What is even Worse, is the Memory Lapse that occurs when it is pointed 
out that other Policy Changes have Benefited Those who are now Criticizing
a Specific Issue.

So, HOW MUCH EMPHASIS SHOULD WE PLACE ON OVER THE AIR 
OPINIONS GIVEN BY THE "VOTING PUBLIC," WHICH ARE OFFERED 
BY DIFFERENT MEDIA OUTLETS?

SEE PART 2.

Date-  7/31/2015.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

JUST ANOTHER EXCUSE. PT 2.














Remember, you have no way of knowing how many Individuals were
Interviewed to get the few Sound Bites Broadcast over the Air.  There 
could be Dozens of Reasonable and Thoughtful Comments Discarded,
to get the Irrational Ramblings of a Few that will create Dissension and 
Controversy.

FOCUS GROUPS are another Form of Interviewing that Attempts to
get a REASONABLE MEASUREMENT OF THE ATTITUDES AND 
OPINIONS OF A SPECIFIC SECTION OF THE POPULACE OR 
ELECTORATE.  However, These are also Unreliable, Especially if; 

-  The DEMOGRAPHICS RELY ON THE INFORMATION PROVIDED
BY PERSPECTIVE PARTICIPANTS, WITH LITTLE OR NO ADDITIONAL 
DATA TO SUPPORT IT.

-  The PROBLEM OF PRODUCER\INTERVIEWER BIAS, WHERE 
SELECTION OF PARTICIPANTS IS LEFT TO THE DISCRETION OF
ONE OR TWO MEDIA MEMBERS.

-  THE INTERVIEWER ALLOWING ONE OR MORE PERSON(S)
TO CONTROL THE GROUP DYNAMICS.  THIS IS DONE WHEN
THE PERSONALITY OF CERTAIN MEMBERS INTIMIDATES 
OTHERS.

-  THE CONTENT OF INITIAL QUESTIONS ARE WORDED TO 
STEER OR INFLUENCE ANSWERS IN A PARTICULAR DIRECTION.

-  EDITORIAL CONTROL OF AIRED CONTENT IS LEFT TO THE 
JUDGMENT OF THOSE WHO MAY HAVE INCENTIVES TO CONTROL
WHAT THE PUBLIC SEES.

Never take at FACE VALUE WHAT YOU SEE OR HEAR ON A BROADCAST 
BY ANY MEDIA OUTLET.  MANY TIMES THEY ARE NOT THE 
IMPARTIAL OBSERVERS YOU THINK THEY ARE.

Date- 8/21/2015.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

TRUMP AND DAVIS-  THE ONE-TWO PUNCH 
OF INTOLERANCE.















As of 5:00pm, Todays Big Political News is;

-  DONALD TRUMP PLEDGING ALLEGIANCE TO THE REPUBLICAN
PARTY,  AND WILL NOT RUN AS A THIRD PARTY CANDIDATE.

-  KIM DAVIS, THE COUNTY CLERK IN KENTUCKY WHO REFUSED TO
ISSUE MARRIAGE LICENCES TO SAME- SEX COUPLES, IS FACING
JAIL TIME FOR REFUSING TO OBEY A COURT ORDER AND FEDERAL
LAW, WHICH RECOGNIZE THE LEGALITY OF THESES UNIONS.

Nothing in Common You Think?  Hardly.  They are SIMPLE BAROMETERS 
MEASURING HOW MUCH ULTRA- RIGHT WING SUPPORT THE 
REPUBLICAN PARTY BELIEVES THEY CAN EXPECT COME 
ELECTION TIME.

To Put it More Simply, HOW MUCH RACISM, SEXISM, AND RELIGIOUS 
INTOLERANCE WILL DRIVE THE MONEY INTO CAMPAIGN COFFERS, 
AND SPUR VOTER TURNOUT.

TRUMP spread his SPIEL IN AN OVERCROWDED REPUBLICAN PRESIDENTIAL FIELD, BY INSULTING AN ENTIRE ETHNIC GROUP,VETERANS, WOMEN etc.,  did you really think his Support Would Remain Constant as the Field Shrank from those who dropped out?

KIM DAVIS does not have to PERFORM, ATTEND, OR EVEN LIKE THE
IDEA OF SAME- SEX MARRIAGE.  However, SHE AND HER ILK WANT TO 
DENY THIS OPTION TO EVERY OTHER AMERICAN. 

IT IS SO REFRESHING TO HAVE ONE PERSON OR GROUP BE THE LAST WORD ON THE STANDARDS OF MORALITY EVERYONE ELSE SHOULD LIVE UP TO,  SINCE THEY SPEAK FOR GOD.

To Them RELIGIOUS FREEDOM MUST PASS THEIR OWN STANDARDS, NOT THE CONSTITUTION, COURT SYSTEM OR EVEN THE CONCEPT OF HYPOCRISY. 

You Know, the IDEA THAT EXERCISING YOUR RIGHT OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM CANNOT BE USED TO DENY THE CONSTITUTIONAL RIGHTS 
OF OTHERS, WHICH IS EXACTLY WHAT SHE IS DOING.

So be Careful America, AND LOOK UNDERNEATH THE RHETORIC.

Date- 9/3/2015.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE INDIFFERENT. PT 1.

One of the Most Fascinating Parts in Researching ETHICS AND MORALITY, in Terms of the Nature and Source of CONCEPTS OF RIGHT AND WRONG, IS HOW SOME SYSTEMS THAT ARE DESCRIBED AS ANTAGONISTIC TOWARDS ONE ANOTHER, HAVE MORE IN COMMON THAN THEIR ADHERENTS ARE WILLING TO ADMIT.

What is even more Unusual, is that They often have common Foes or Opponents in the PUBLIC AND POLITICAL SPECTRUM, AND ARE BEING PLAYED ONE AGAINST THE OTHER FOR THE BENEFIT OF THOSE WHO COULD CARE LESS ABOUT EITHER.

To Better Understand This, we must DEFINE EACH SYSTEM, AND SEPARATE THE DIFFERENT SUB- CATEGORIES THAT EACH CONTAINS.


FAITH BASED MORALITY-  IS, IN GENERAL, ETHICS BASED ON A METAPHYSICAL OR SPIRITUAL SET OF GUIDELINES.  THESE ARE USUALLY PASSED DOWN FROM ONE GENERATION TO ANOTHER, AND CAN BE PART OF A WRITTEN OR ORAL TRADITION.  HOWEVER, INTERPRETATIONS CAN DIFFER OVER TIME, DEPENDING ON THE NATURE OF THE LEADERSHIP WITHIN THE STRUCTURE OF THE FAITH ITSELF.

INTELLECTUAL REFLECTION-  IS THE IDEA THAT ALL ANSWERS REGARDING ETHICAL QUESTIONS CAN BE FOUND BY THE USE OF CRITICAL THINKING AND LOGIC, AND HOW IT IS APPLIED TO HUMAN BEHAVIOR, BOTH INDIVIDUAL AND GROUP.  INTENT, MOTIVATIONS, AND
CONSEQUENCES ARE KEYS TO UNDERSTANDING THIS SYSTEM OF MORALITY.

SITUATIONAL ETHICS-  RIGHT AND WRONG ARE MEANINGLESS CONCEPTS, AND WHATEVER DECISIONS OR ACTIONS TAKEN ARE PERFECTLY ACCEPTABLE, AS LONG AS IT IS MADE BY FREE CHOICE.

LOOK FOR PART 2.

Date-  10/24/2015.












ETHICS AND MORALITY.

THE GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE INDIFFERENT. PT 2.

A STRICT FAITH BASED SYSTEM OF MORALITY DIFFERS FROM THE OTHERS IN ONE IMPORTANT FACTOR:

THERE IS NO EVALUATION DONE BY THE INDIVIDUAL TO UNDERSTAND, OR EVEN JUSTIFY WHY THEY SHOULD FOLLOW, OR OBEY THE MORAL DOCTRINE THAT IS SET FORTH IN THE PARTICULAR SYSTEM OF FAITH.

IN FACT, TO EVEN QUESTION THE "WORD", REGARDLESS OF THE HOW AND WHY, MIGHT BE CONSIDERED AN IMMORAL ACT. CONCEPTS OF "RIGHT" AND "WRONG", OR, "GOOD" AND "EVIL" ARE USUALLY NON-NEGOTIABLE, WITH LITTLE, IF ANY, ROOM FOR COMPROMISE.

However,  

If One Lives in a Country that is not some form of THEOCRACY, perhaps a CONSTITUTIONAL REPUBLIC LIKE THE U.S, A DEGREE OF ADJUSTMENT OR ACCOMODATION MUST BE MADE TO CIVIL AND CRIMINAL CODES OF LAW, OR YOU RISK PUNISHMENT AND CENSURE FROM GOVERNMENT AUTHORITIES.

In the U.S., the BILL OF RIGHTS  SAYS:

"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof;"

For this Article, I am referencing this for a Specific Reason:

WHILE CERTAIN BEHAVIORS, BELIEFS, OR ATTITUDES MAY BE CONSIDERED IMMORAL AND UNACCEPTABLE TO THE RELIGIOUS FAITH 
OF THE INDIVIDUAL, THE LEGAL SYSTEM MAY CONSIDER THEM PERMISSIBLE, AND THEREFORE NO PUNISHMENT WILL BE EXACTED 
BY CIVIL AUTHORITIES.

UNFORTUNATELY, MANY PEOPLE EQUATE THE FOLLOWING:

        SINS OF THE FAITH = CRIMES AGAINST THE STATE/SOCIETY.

I KNOW THIS IS DIFFICULT FOR SOME TO ACCEPT, BUT THEY ARE NOT ONE AND THE SAME, IF WE ARE DISCUSSING FREE AND OPEN FORMS OF GOVERNMENT.

As we have seen Time and Time Again, even in the U.S., THERE ARE THOSE WHO BELIEVE THAT: 

FREEDOM OF RELIGION = NO RIGHTS FOR THOSE WHO VIOLATE THE MORAL CODE OF MY FAITH.

HOWEVER, NOT ALL FAITH BASED SYSTEMS OF MORALITY VIEW THEIR ROLE AS PRIVATE CITIZENS THE SAME WAY, AT LEAST IN TERMS OF TOLERATING OPPOSING VIEWPOINTS.

IN AN ADAPTIVE SYSTEM OF FAITH BASED MORALITY,  the GOAL IS TO WORK WITH OTHER SYSTEMS OF MORALITY, ESPECIALLY ONE THAT IS CREATED BY A GOVERNMENT THAT SETS A PRIORITY ON CIVIL AND HUMAN RIGHTS.


LOOK FOR THIS TO BE CONTINUED IN A FUTURE POST.

Date-  12/14/2015.  

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

POLITICAL MYTHS-  WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW. 
THE TRUTH ABOUT TERRORISM.  PT 1.












TERRORISM IS NOT A POLITICAL PHILOSOPHY, IDEOLOGY, OR SET
OF BELIEFS.  IT IS A MECHANISM OR TOOL TO INSTITUTE CHANGE.
TO SAY ONE TERRORIST ORGANIZATION IS WORSE THAN ANOTHER IS MISSING THE POINT. THEY ALL USE CERTAIN METHODS TO GET WHAT 
THEY WANT.  THIS GOES FOR FOREIGN OR DOMESTIC TERRORISTS, POLITICAL TERRORISTS, RELIGIOUS TERRORISTS, ENVIRONMENTAL TERRORISTS, SOCIAL TERRORISTS etc.

IN THE END, YOU ARE COMBATING TACTICS AND STRATEGY, NOT IDEOLOGY . TO CONCENTRATE ON ONE SPECIFICALLY, IS LETTING 
OTHERS OFF THE HOOK. IN FACT, IT COULD BE CONSIDERED A PASSIVE FORM OF ACCEPTANCE, IF YOU IGNORE ONE IN FAVOR OF CONCENTRATING ON ANOTHER.

TERRORISTS ACT ON THE ASSUMPTION AND BELIEF THAT THEIR GOALS CANNOT BE ACHIEVED THROUGH SET PROCEDURES AND LEGAL OUTLETS THAT ARE PART OF THE POLITICAL PROCESS, SO THEY CHOOSE...

-  EXTORTION.

-  INTIMIDATION.

-  VIOLENCE.

-  RACKETEERING.

...AND OTHER METHODS TO FORCE GOVERNMENTS, POPULATIONS, COMMERCIAL INTERESTS, AND FAITH BASED GROUPS TO COMPLY 
WITH THEIR DEMANDS.  

THE MAIN ATTRIBUTE THAT ALL TERRORIST GROUPS HAVE IS:

NO DESIRE OR MOTIVATION TO USE PROPER POLITICAL CHANNELS
TO ADVANCE THEIR GROUPS AGENDA.  IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT 
I WANT, YOU WANT, THE MAJORITY OF CITIZENS WANT, THE GOVERNMENT WANTS, OR WHAT IS NECESSITATED BY A LEGAL 
SYSTEM BUILT UPON HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS, AND UPHELD
BY JUDICIAL DECREE.

                              "DO AS WE WANT, OR ELSE."

Date-  1/30/2016.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

POLITICAL MYTHS-  WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW. 
NOBODY "LISTENS" TO THE VOTER:  THE SILLIEST
OF ALL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES.  PT 1.
















There is ONE TYPE OF CAMPAIGNING  that really bothers me, come 
Election Time.  It is so ABSURD, THAT IT SEEMS INCREDIBLE THAT MANY
VOTERS BUY INTO IT TIME AND TIME AGAIN. However, with a News 
Media that cares for Little More than Meaningless Sound Bites, and an ELECTION
THAT IS BECOMING JUST ANOTHER "REALITY" TV PROGRAM, IT IS PROMOTED TIRELESSLY BY CANDIDATES WHO APPRECIATE THE LACK 
OF INTELLECTUAL INSIGHT THAT INHABITS SOME OF THE ELECTORATE.

What is it?

IT IS THE TIME TESTED BATTLE CRY UTTERED BY CANDIDATES WANTING TO FEED OFF THE EXTREME SELF-CENTERED NATURE OF PORTIONS OF THE ELECTORATE, WHO BELIEVE THE COUNTRY SHOULD ADOPT THEIR WAY OF THINKING, REGARDLESS OF THE CONSEQUENCES.

HERE IS THE ASSERTION, IN ITS MOST BASIC FORM:
THAT NO ONE LISTENS TO VOICE OF THE VOTER(S), BUT THAT THIS CANDIDATE, BE IT AN INCUMBENT OR NOT, IS DIFFERENT, AND WILL
BRING POWER BACK TO THE PEOPLE.

IN ADS, SPEECHES,OR SOUND BITES It Usually Takes One of Two Forms. 
Here are a Couple of Examples.

#1-  That Politicians have lost Touch with the People, and Don't Listen to
Them Anymore.

#2-  The Will of the People is Subverted by Ignoring what they really want and 
need, Often Violating Their Constitutional Rights.

Lets look at this with an OPEN MIND, AND SEE HOW IT STANDS UP TO SCRUTINY.

How often do Hear a Candidate for Public Office say something in a Political Ad Like: "'IF ELECTED I AM GOING TO LISTEN TO THE WILL OF THE PEOPLE,
AND BE A CHAMPION FOR CHANGE BY GOING UP AGAINST THE ESTABLISHMENT."

I'm willing to Guess that Most of my Readers have heard this, in one form or another, more than once.  In Fact, depending on the Number of Elections That 
Have Occurred during Their Lifetime, it has become a Familiar Sounding Campaign Slogan that no longer surprises Them anymore.

HOWEVER, IF THIS IS A RECURRING CAMPAIGN STRATEGY, USED MANY TIMES DOWN THROUGH THE YEARS, WHY DO WE NEVER SEEM TO ENCOUNTER THE POLITICIAN WHO HAS LIVED UP TO THIS DECLARATION?
WHY IS IT, TIME AFTER TIME, THAT WE SEE THE OPPOSITION ATTACKING THESE "NOBLE" ELECTED OFFICIALS, WHO NEVER SEEM TO BE ABLE TO DEFEND THEMSELVES AGAINST THE CHARGES THAT THEY ARE NOW PART OF THE "POWERS THAT BE."

Date- 2/21/2016.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

POLITICAL MYTHS-  WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW. 
NOBODY "LISTENS" TO THE VOTER:  THE SILLIEST
OF ALL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES.  PT 2.















As the Rhetoric Continues, with THE SUPER TUESDAY PRIMARIES JUST FINISHING, WE CAN LOOK TO MORE OF THE FOLLOWING HYPERBOLE,
SPREAD BY CANDIDATES WHO ARE DESPERATELY TRYING TO SET THEMSELVES APART FROM TRADITIONAL PARTY POLITICS. 

They will usually rely on COMMENTARY AND PHRASES THAT ARE TRIED
AND TRUE, AND SHOWN TO WORK.

EXAMPLES LIKE:

 ''Issues That are Important to the American Public and the Voters, are being Ignored, because Politicians have lost Touch with the People, and Don't Listen to
Them Anymore. I will change that."

-  "To Many Politicians Support One Side of an Issue , CONTRARY TO THE DESIRES AND WISHES OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC. This will not happen
if i'm elected."

I Have Mentioned this in a Previous Post, but lets look at it again.

Exactly which Issues:

-  That are Important to the American Public and the Voters,
are being Ignored? 

Having Researched past National Campaigns going back Decades, I haven't found a Single Example of an ISSUE WHICH CAUGHT POLITICIANS,THE NEWS MEDIA, OR ANY OTHER PART OF THE POLITICAL SYSTEM OFF GUARD, IN THAT IT WAS NEVER ADDRESSED AS AN IMPORTANT TOPIC, AND WAS COMPLETELY IGNORED OR AVOIDED BY ALL RUNNING FOR ELECTED OFFICE. 

-  Do we find POLITICIANS SUPPORTING ONE SIDE , CONTRARY
TO THE WANTS AND NEEDS OF THE AMERICAN PUBLIC, OR THE
VOTERS?

FINDING POLITICIANS WHO PUBLICLY STOOD AGAINST THE MAJORITY OF THEIR CONSTITUENTS, ( A SOLID QUANTIFIABLE NUMBER, NOT JUST A MINOR SPLIT), AND DEFENDED AN UNPOPULAR VIEWPOINT, ARE EXTREMELY HARD TO LOCATE.

So what is the Answer?  Why do Politicians continue to use these worn out 
CAMPAIGN SLOGANS, and why do Americans Fall for it?

Clue- No One likes to lose, but when They Do, Some People look for any Reason
to Blame Others.

Date- 3/2/2016.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

POLITICAL MYTHS-  WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW. 
NOBODY "LISTENS" TO THE VOTER:  THE SILLIEST
OF ALL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES.  PT 3.

If we Look at the Issues that have DOMINATED THE LAST TWO PRESIDENTIAL ELECTIONS, SUCH AS:

-  UNIVERSAL HEALTH        CARE.

-  SAME-SEX MARRIAGE.

-  IMMIGRATION                  REFORM.

-  ECONOMIC CONCERNS SUCH AS UNEMPLOYMENT, WAGES, TAXES etc.

-  FOREIGN POLICY CONCERNS-  THE FIGHT
   AGAINST TERRORISM, MILITARY OPERATIONS
   IN IRAQ AND AFGHANISTAN.

We see that..

THERE IS NOT A SINGLE TOPIC OR ISSUE, THAT I CAME ACROSS, CONSTITUTING AN "A-HA" MOMENT."  THERE WERE NO SURPRISES THAT SUDDENLY IMPACTED THE ELECTIONS. NOT A SINGLE HIDDEN ISSUE APPEARED OVERNIGHT, WHICH HAD THE CANDIDATES SCRATCHING THEIR HEADS IN BEWILDERMENT.  ALL OF THESE ISSUES WERE COVERED, OPINIONS OFFERED, AND THE RESULTS EITHER THROUGH THE BALLOT BOX OR THE COURTROOM, AFFECT ALL AMERICANS.

So how is it that we continuously hear REFRAINS LIKE: "THE VOICE OF THE PEOPLE IS BEING IGNORED. NO ONE SPEAKS FOR US." Quite Simply, it is the same reason we heard in the Past, Present, and Unless the General Public Recognizes how Preposterous Such Claims really are, you can count on it being 
Unleashed in the next Election Cycle.

First, let us Answer the following Questions.

-  If the Voters are being Ignored by Their Elected Officials, why are such a
High Percentage Re-Elected over and over again?

-  Even if a Candidate Declines to run for Re-Election, why is Their Party Usually
able to Retain the Seat?

-  Why do both Main Parties spend Millions of Dollars on Research, Straw Polls
and Focus Groups, while hiring Top Notch Advertising Agencies to Measure the 
Attitudes of the Electorate, if the Candidates could care less?

-  Why Bother with Debates, or Media Coverage, if the Voting Public Believes that
all Politicians do is lie?

We will look at these in the next segment.

Date- 3/27/2016.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

POLITICAL MYTHS-  WHAT YOU MAY 
NOT KNOW. 

WHEN INTELLECT AND INTEGRITY
REFUSES TO CONFRONT DISHONESTY
AND INJUSTICE. #1.




















Have you ever Wondered Why...

-  SO MANY AMERICANS ARE DEEPLY OFFENDED
BY DESECRATION OF THE AMERICAN FLAG, A SYMBOL
OF FREEDOM, YET ARE WILLING TO DISREGARD THE 
U.S. CONSTITUTION,  THE FOUNDATION OF FREEDOM?

-  THERE ARE ELECTED OFFICIALS WHO WOULD DENY 
THEIR CONSTITUENTS DECENT HEALTH CARE THAT IS
AFFORDABLE, ALONG WITH A LIVING WAGE, BECAUSE 
THEY ASSERT IT IS NOT TRUE "CAPITALISM."  HOWEVER, 
THEY ARE WILLING TO TAKE CONSUMER TAX MONEY TO BAIL 
OUT THOSE WHO MAKE POOR INVESTMENTS, AND LOSE 
TENS OF MILLIONS OF DOLLARS GAMBLING ON RISKY AND 
FOOLISH INVESTMENTS?

EXACTLY WHICH DEFINITION OF "FREE MARKET CAPITALISM" 
ARE THEY USING?

-  THAT FREEDOM OF RELIGION, TO SOME, MEANS DENYING 
OTHERS CERTAIN OPPORTUNITIES AND FREEDOMS THAT 
THEY THEMSELVES TAKE FOR GRANTED.

-  EVEN WITH ALL THE ADVANCES IN SCIENCE THAT HAVE 
BEEN MADE, ENHANCING THE QUALITY AND LENGTH OF LIFE 
FOR HUNDREDS OF MILLIONS, THERE ARE STILL THOSE WHO 
WANT RELIGIOUS FAITH, INSTEAD OF THE SCIENTIFIC METHOD,
TO BE THE DETERMINING FACTOR IN FINDING ANSWERS ABOUT, 
AND UNDERSTANDING, THE NATURAL UNIVERSE. 

I Think the Answer lies with the Idea that certain Blocs of Voters Hang
"Tags" on Themselves, about what They Believe, and what They 
Represent.  However, the Labels They Choose are Often Wishful
Thinking, and Upon Inspection, NOT BASED IN REALITY.

Unfortunately, Their Opponents do not challenge these Assertions, 
which allows these groups to get away with making Statements and
Judgments that are in OPPOSITION TO THE IMAGE THEY ARE 
TRYING TO MAINTAIN.

See #2.

Date- 4/17/2016.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

POLITICAL MYTHS-  WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW. 
NOBODY "LISTENS" TO THE VOTER:  THE SILLIEST
OF ALL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIES.  PT 4.








                                     







(REPRINTED FROM PT 3.)

First, let us Answer the following Questions.

-  If the Voters are being Ignored by Their Elected Officials, why are such a
High Percentage Re-Elected over and over again?

-  Even if a Candidate Declines to run for Re-Election, why is Their Party Usually
able to Retain the Seat?

-  Why do both Main Parties spend Millions of Dollars on Research, Straw Polls
and Focus Groups, while hiring Top Notch Advertising Agencies to Measure the 
Attitudes of the Electorate, if the Candidates could care less?

-  Why Bother with Debates, or Media Coverage, if the Voting Public Believes that
all Politicians do is lie?

***********************************************************************************************

THIS MAY BE DIFFICULT FOR MANY TO ACCEPT, BUT THE POLITICIAN IS NOT THE CAUSE OF ALL THE PROBLEMS AND CONTROVERSIES THAT OCCUR IN GOVERNMENT, BE IT ECONOMIC, SOCIAL, CRIMINAL etc. 

WHY?

BECAUSE, CERTAIN POLITICIANS ARE THE SYMPTOM OF THE SOMETIMES ANTI- INTELLECTUAL, SOMETIMES SELF- CENTERED, AND SOMETIMES SELF-RIGHTEOUS IDEOLOGIES OF THOSE WHO PUT THEM IN OFFICE. THIS APPLIES TO THE NON-VOTER AS WELL AS THE VOTER.

Sorry, but Excuses like:

-   "I don't vote because all Politicians are the same."

Well, in some cases they would be, if the same people vote the same way,
without any real Opposition.

 "They don't listen to the Average American."

No, They Tend to Listen to those who Actively Support
Them, and continually return Them to Office.  In Addition,
just how do you define the "Average American"?

 "They're  all in the Pocket of Big Business."

Even if you subscribe to the Idea that all Corporations
are Heartless Creations of Greedy and  Immoral Opportunists, 
you are left with explaining the Many Social Programs that
have been, and in many cases still are, FUNDED AND OPERATED
BY GOVERNMENT AGENCIES, OFTEN AGAINST EXTENSIVE 
OPPOSITION FROM DIFFERENT ELEMENTS OF CORPORATE
AMERICA. ( BUT NOT ALL OF CORPORATE AMERICA.)

This is Important, because TAGS LIKE "AVERAGE AMERICAN" AND "CORPORATE AMERICA" ARE A BIG PART OF THE PROBLEM. WE HAVE BEEN CONDITIONED, (HERE IS WHERE AD AGENCIES, MEDIA CONSULTANTS, AND FOCUS GROUPS COME INTO PLAY), TO ACCEPT
SPECIFIC DEFINITIONS AS TRUE, WHEN WE HEAR CERTAIN TERMS AND 
LABELS USED BY MEDIA OUTLETS.


This is Done to Create an IMPRESSION. 

THE REASON:

TO ELICIT EITHER A POSITIVE OR NEGATIVE REACTION FROM THE INDIVIDUAL WHO HEARS THE WORD OR TERM.

Date-  5/13/2016.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

POLITICAL MYTHS-  WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW. 
THE GUN CONTROL DEBATE. #1.














There is a BELIEF, PROMOTED INCESSANTLY BY THE NRA, THAT THOSE WHO ADVOCATE GUN CONTROL, WANT TO CONFISCATE ALL FIREARMS POSSESSED BY PRIVATE CITIZENS.  

HOWEVER, 

THIS IS NOT THE DESIRE OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, NOR IS IT THE GOAL OF MOST PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS, WHO ARE SEEKING A MIDDLE GROUND THAT ALL SIDES OF THE GUN CONTROL DEBATE WOULD FIND ACCEPTABLE.

To accomplish this, a Compromise would the Most Essential Part of Establishing Guidelines that all sides could live with. 

This Means that each side of this CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE must be willing to give a little to the Opposition, Allowing at least part of Their Gun Control Agenda to be placed into Law.  This can be done BY UNDERSTANDING THE FOLLOWING:

REALIZING THAT EVEN IF THE SECOND AMENDMENT IS ONLY APPLIED TO SPECIFIC SECTIONS OF THE POPULATION, DOES NOT MEAN THAT THERE
ARE NO OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS THAT CAN BE UTILIZED TO PREVENT GOVERNMENT CONFISCATION OF PERSONAL WEAPONS.

THAT OTHER RIGHTS, CONTAINED WITHIN THE BILL OF RIGHTS, ARE NOT 
WITHOUT LIMITATIONS.  THESE GUIDELINES ARE USUALLY SET BY JUDICIAL REVIEW,  TO PREVENT ABUSE BY AN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP WHO TARGET OTHER AMERICANS FOR UNWARRANTED PERSECUTION.
(SPEECH, RELIGION, ASSEMBLY etc.)

HOWEVER, BEFORE WE LOOK AT OTHER RIGHTS, LET US LOOK AT THE SECOND AMENDMENT, AND SEE WHAT IT SAYS.

THE SECOND AMENDMENT READS AS FOLLOWS:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The WORDING IS USUALLY INTERPRETED IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TWO WAYS:

-  THAT IT APPLIES TO ALL AMERICANS, IN THAT NO CITIZEN CAN BE DENIED AN OPPORTUNITY TO OWN OR CARRY A FIREARM.

OR...

-  THAT IT CAN ONLY BE APPLIED TO THE MILITIA, (NATIONAL GUARD IN TODAYS TERMS), AND GUARANTEES NOTHING TO ALL OTHER AMERICANS.

TO BE CONTINUED...

6/28/2016.

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THE SECOND AMENDMENT READS AS FOLLOWS:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."






















































































































































ETHICS AND MORALITY.

POLITICAL MYTHS-  WHAT YOU MAY NOT KNOW. 
THE GUN CONTROL DEBATE. #1.












There is a BELIEF, PROMOTED INCESSANTLY BY THE NRA, THAT THOSE WHO ADVOCATE GUN CONTROL, WANT TO CONFISCATE ALL FIREARMS POSSESSED BY PRIVATE CITIZENS.  

HOWEVER, 

THIS IS NOT THE DESIRE OF THE OBAMA ADMINISTRATION, NOR IS IT THE GOAL OF PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATIONS HOPING TO FIND A MIDDLE GROUND THAT ALL SIDES OF THE GUN CONTROL DEBATE WOULD FIND ACCEPTABLE.

To accomplish this, a Compromise would the Most Essential Part of Establishing Guidelines that all sides could live with. 

This Means that each side of this CONTROVERSIAL ISSUE must be willing to give a little to the Opposition, Allowing at least part of Their Gun Control Agenda to be placed into Law.  This can be done BY UNDERSTANDING THE FOLLOWING:

REALIZING THAT EVEN IF THE SECOND AMENDMENT IS ONLY APPLIED TO SPECIFIC SECTIONS OF THE POPULATION, DOES NOT MEAN THAT THERE
ARE NO OTHER CONSTITUTIONAL PROTECTIONS THAT CAN BE UTILIZED TO PREVENT GOVERNMENT CONFISCATION OF PERSONAL WEAPONS.

THAT OTHER RIGHTS, CONTAINED WITHIN THE BILL OF RIGHTS, ARE NOT 
WITHOUT LIMITATIONS.  THESE GUIDELINES ARE USUALLY SET BY JUDICIAL REVIEW,  TO PREVENT ABUSE BY AN INDIVIDUAL OR GROUP WHO TARGET OTHER AMERICANS FOR UNWARRANTED PERSECUTION.
(SPEECH, RELIGION, ASSEMBLY etc.)

HOWEVER, BEFORE WE LOOK AT OTHER RIGHTS, LET US LOOK AT THE SECOND AMENDMENT, AND SEE WHAT IT SAYS.

THE SECOND AMENDMENT READS AS FOLLOWS:
"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The WORDING IS USUALLY INTERPRETED IN ONE OF THE FOLLOWING TWO WAYS:

-  THAT IT APPLIES TO ALL AMERICANS, IN THAT NO CITIZEN CAN BE DENIED AN OPPORTUNITY TO OWN OR CARRY A FIREARM.

OR...

-  THAT IT CAN ONLY BE APPLIED TO THE MILITIA, (NATIONAL GUARD IN TODAYS TERMS), AND GUARANTEES NOTHING TO ALL OTHER AMERICANS.

TO BE CONTINUED...









AND  PROGRESSIVE ORGANIZATION THAT I AM AWARE OF.  IN FACT, IF YOU CAN PRODUCE ONE NATIONAL POLITICAL FIGURE THAT PROMOTES THIS AGENDA, IT WOULD BE NEWS TO ME.  THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN REGULATING PRIVATE GUN OWNERSHIP, AND REMOVING ALL
GUNS PERMANENTLY.

Take this example, a Ruling made Today by the SHORT HANDED U.S. SUPREME COURT.

WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court on Monday upheld the broad reach of a federal law that bars people with misdemeanor domestic violence convictions from owning guns.

The justices rejected arguments that the law covers only intentional or knowing acts of abuse and not those committed recklessly — where a person is aware of the risk that an act will cause injury, but not certain it will. As examples, the court mentioned throwing a plate in the heat of an argument, or slamming a door.














































                        






































































































































ETHICS AND MORALITY.-  PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD. PT 7.





Mother, Daughter, Love, Sunset, Mar

ETHICS AND MORALITY- HEALTH CARE.  PT 1.

I am not going to begin this regular feature by providing a definition that will no doubt bore most readers.  In the future, I will define such words, but I would rather open up with a practical article.  The theme, " When does personal belief conflict with the best interests of society as a whole." The subject- Health Care.
Providing Health Insurance to every person residing in the U.S and its' territories, is not an economic question.  If the federal government creates a program to provide minimal guaranteed medical coverage, funding must be there to support those who cannot afford traditional private plans. This is the Heart of the matter, and the dilemmas we must face are;

  • Do we, as a society, have an obligation to provide minimal affordable medical care to all.
  • That many people will, through taxation, provide a service that will be of direct benefit to others and not them personally.
  • That in the question of the right or wrong of a given situation, choosing a moral stand is;
             
            1) The responsibility of the individual who is a member of society.
             
            2) The obligation of the governing body in society, which is a collection
                of individuals.

To illustrate what I mean, here is an example.  Let us say an individual decides all questions of morality will be answered from a Doctrine based upon the teachings of a given faith.  Now such decisions have two distinct implications;

  • Is the individual going to decide the morality of any given situation solely by religious instruction and nothing else. If not, they have invalidated their own moral code, for it is not universally applied. It contradicts any assertion that the doctrine of their faith, regarding morality, is to be accepted absolutely.
  • Does the individual wish to establish this system of morality for all of society, and punish any deviations. If society is populated by a majority of such citizens, what will be the outcome?

See PT 2 in a future issue.

6/16/2013.









ETHICS AND MORALITY- HEALTH CARE.  PT 2.

I would like to emphasize something I alluded to in part 1.  Too often, the health care debate gets mired in details that have little to do with the reality that must be faced.  Initially, at least, HEALTH CARE BEING APPLIED UNIVERSALLY TO AN ENTIRE POPULATION OF ANY GIVEN COUNTRY IS A MORAL DECISION , NOT AN ECONOMIC ONE.


Red Cross, Humanitarian Aid


Like other state run social programs in the U.S, Universal Health Care is not designed to turn a profit.  Its' goal is to provide affordable medical insurance that will not cripple an individual or families ability to provide for other basic necessities.  This idea stems from the primarily 20th century concept that government has an obligation to provide for, to a certain extent, the basic needs of a portion of the population that cannot do so on its' own.  However, unlike current social programs, Universal Health Care in the U.S differs from other social programs in one major aspect- ELIGIBILITY.

As it stands today in the U.S, there are three main groups that have medical insurance.

  • Those who have high enough incomes that make attaining quality health care plans a non-issue.
  • Private health care plans that are partially or wholly subsidized by an employer.
  • Individuals and families with an income that falls below a certain level, which is set by the federal government.

These above groups leave out a substantial portion of the population in the U.S. This segment of society is the real reason that Universal Health Care, or "Obamacare" is being instituted.  The middle class is the target group that will benefit the most, because they do not lie at either end of the financial spectrum in terms of income.  Since paying health insurance premiums will be done on a sliding scale basis, all Americans will be covered in a way that does not end in financial hardship.
See pt. 3 in a future issue.

Date-7/20/2013.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

Boy, Beach, Dream, Vision Future
















IT IS ON YOU...
(First published on examiner.com, partially rewritten here.)

It is on you...
...if you help elect an official, with the belief that they owe you special treatment.
For you are not alone.

It is on you...
...when cheating others is a game.
But you expect fair treatment in 
return.

It is on you...
...if you believe your faith trumps all others, and should be legislated into law.
Then find your opponents want to create laws that obey their own personal religious doctrine.

It is on you..
...when you complain about taxes.
Then criticize government when it does not spend enough to support programs that benefit you.

It is on you...
...when you complain that the criminal justice system is to soft on criminals.
Then look for "contacts" who will pull a few strings to help you avoid responsibility for your actions.

It is on you...
...when you despair about how others talk behind your back.
Yet you gladly join in, trashing others.

It is on you...
...when you expect people to do what is right.
But don't hold yourself to the same standards.

It is on you...
...if you are a hypocrite.
For you have no real allies, or friends.
Just future opponents.

It is on you...
...is that a life worth living?

Date-8/16/2013.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY- HEALTH CARE.  PT 3.

Medicine- Not just a career, but a calling.
In the end, subsidized health care is not an economic issue.  When we say that government has an obligation to provide all citizens with affordable medical insurance,  a moral decision has been made.  That does not mean that in the future such a decision will not lead to practical benefits, where the return is not in just doing what is right.  I will get into that part of the equation in a future post, but for now I will stay on topic.

In the debate over Universal Health Care in the U.S, much of the rhetoric ignores the bottom line.  Opponents are using objections that they wish us to believe are valid and on target, but they are nothing more than a smokescreen.  They choose to criticize how the program is to be funded and administered, all the while avoiding answering the most important question;  IS PROVIDING AFFORDABLE SUBSIDIZED MEDICAL INSURANCE TO AMERICANS UNABLE TO ACQUIRE IT, THROUGH PRIVATE SOURCES, A MORAL OBLIGATION THAT THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT HAS TO ALL OF ITS' CITIZENS?

The above question is often not satisfactorily answered by the critics of subsidized health care, who
choose to attack the mechanics of the new law.  However, the criticisms are often based on misleading, false or incomplete data. This strategy is a deliberate attempt to shift the debate away from the purpose of the program and focus it on issues that are easy to manipulate. Many times this is done by using assumptions and conclusions that are not based in reality.
( Look for part 4 in a future post.).

Date- 9/22/2013.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY. 

HEALTH CARE.  PT 4.
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE- A PRACTICAL APPROACH.

Medicine, Remedy, Pill, Pills, Treatment

Thus far I have treated this subject as a question of morality.  That whether or not government has an ethical duty to provide subsidized medical insurance to its' citizens, to alleviate financial hardship.  Well, many politicians ignore this question and say requiring companies to offer such programs will lead to financial disaster.  To avoid such a consequence, they contend, businesses will be forced to downsize and take some of their full-time employees and reduce them to part-time status.  This will avoid offering mandatory health insurance.  However, is this reasoning valid or is it founded in the desire to keep many Americans without health care?  Let's create a fictional scenario;

John Doe works for the ABC company.  He works forty hours a week and makes ten dollars an hour.  His job is to operate a machine that combines two or more parts to create a finished product.  While the job is not physically demanding and does not require extensive training, his two years on the job have showed that with trial and error, he has increased his hourly out-put from ten pieces to fifteen.  It was all a matter of working more efficiently.

However, the company was now required to offer all of their full-time employees medical insurance, the cost which will be partially subsidized by the federal government.  In the end, the company estimates that coverage for John will cost them fifty-dollars a week.  So, he and other employees are reduced to part-time status of twenty-five hours a week.  Thus, the company does not have to offer health care.
This is basically the reasoning of UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE opponents.  The cost is to much to absorb and remain profitable.  However, that is a superficial criticism that avoids many other factors.

  • By reducing John Does work week by forty-percent, they are also reducing his total production of finished product by an equal ratio. Since he averages 15/hr it comes to a total of 600 for a forty-hour work week.  However, as a part-timer he now produces only 375 for the twenty-five hours worked.
  • Remember, ABC company was satisfied with John Does weekly pay, for that was not the reason for reducing him to part-time status.  It was only the addition of a health care cost that precipitated the change.
  • To justify this change, the employer cost of fifty-dollars per week for a medical plan that John Doe was entitled to as a full time employee would cause an unacceptable decline in profits.
  • Since there will be a decrease in John Does weekly production, which viewed in the past as acceptable, it must be made up in a way that will be less than fifty-dollars per week.


How could this be done?

  • Increase the workload of other employees to make up the deficiency.  If this is possible and there is no decrease in production, why was John Doe not laid-off in the past?  However, is it pragmatic to think that these employees can maintain their current level of production, when they have the added responsibility of making up for the decrease in John Does weekly out-put?
  • Hire new part-time employees to make up for the loss in production.  Even if we allow for the fact that they can equal John Does per hour production by working the fifteen hours that have been cut, it would not be of financial benefit to the company.  Even paying these employees minimum wage would still result in a cost 
  • of 105.00/wk.  As you can see, that is more than the $50.00 it would cost to cover John Does medical insurance.

Look for the conclusion of this article.

Date- 10/1/2013.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY. 

HEALTH CARE.  PT  5.
UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE- A PRACTICAL APPROACH.

Medic, Hospital, Laboratory, Medical














The scenario from part 4 was, of course, a fictional example.

However, all you have to do is change the job description and plug in different numbers to find out that this can be applied to any full time employee who is down-sized to part time, to avoid being offered employer subsidized health care.

Ignoring or disagreeing with the result in the story does not answer the questions that it poses.
  • All working Americans are, in essence, producers.  It might be a Cook who prepares X number of meals per day, or a Truck Driver who makes a certain number of deliveries during a scheduled shift.  This also holds true for white-collar jobs.  Teachers produce educated students during a school year and Doctors treat a certain number of patients each day.
  • When an employee has their work hours cut and are now part-time, they can no longer produce the same results achieved during a full-time work week.
  • This reduction in out-put must be justified, if the only reason was to avoid offering Medical Insurance.
  • The bottom line is simply this; Is there a reasonable explanation in shifting any full-time employee or employees to part-time, in that it will  be more profitable because they do not have an employer based Health plan?

What the scenario does not address is the long term benefits of having an employee, who did not have medical insurance, into one that has it available if needed.  Here are a couple of more points that should be considered;
  • Many employees come to work ill, because they cannot afford the double whammy of paying a Hospitable Bill and losing a days pay.  At least with medical insurance the financial hit would not be so bad.  
  • By staying home and receiving proper care, they are not on the job possibly infecting co-workers.
  • Now preventive and rehabilitative medical care is available.  Not only is sickness treated properly, but future illness can now be prevented and injuries can be treated and healed more efficiently.  Loss of work production is decreased, for there are fewer days missed.

What amazes me is the number of Americans,without medical insurance, who don't question their politicians motivation for trying to prevent Universal Health Care.  That is a question that Medical Science cannot answer.

Date-10/3/2013.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY.

RIGHTS-  WHAT THEY ARE,  AND WHAT THEY ARE NOT.  PT 1.

Strangers are welcome here.There is perhaps no more important word, when we discuss such issues as Freedom of Choice, Protection from Governmental Interference into our lives and, yes, "Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."  Yet, the definition of RIGHTS seems to be something many don't understand. 

Even more alarmingly, there are those who define the term in different ways at different times, depending on the agenda they are supporting in the latest election cycle.

The goal of this article is to define what is meant when the word RIGHTS is used properly, and to shed light on the improper usage of the term.


In general terms, a RIGHT can be referenced and defined in several ways:

-  A Protection against Persecution for certain behaviors, that an individual or group may engage in.

-  The ability to make decisions about ones' own life, free of improper
influence or malicious retribution.

-  Protecting groups that are recognized legally, from hostile actions by those
who desire to inflict harm upon the members, without just cause.

-  Punishment administered to any individual, Either by Government, Social Organization, or Employer must be justified through defined procedures that allow the individual an opportunity to provide a proper defense to any and all charges. Further, that judgment will be based on facts and evidence that were gathered in a prescribed manner.  Of course, the degree to which these are implemented differs from the Public to the Private sector.

When speaking of Rights that are found in the Private Sector, we usually find them to be creations of contractual agreements between Employer and Employee, or in By-Laws that are part of a fraternal organizations code of conduct for members. By their very nature, these Rights affect a very select group.

This is not true in the Public Sector.
End of PT 1.  

Date-  4/7/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY. 

RIGHTS- WHAT THEY ARE, AND WHAT THEY ARE NOT. PT 2.


Meadow, Away, Panorama, Mountain Hiking

Rights, when we are discussing the Public Sector, generally fall into two categories;

1)  HUMAN RIGHTS-  These are Protections, Freedoms and Guarantees that are bestowed upon individuals by virtue of their being part of the Human Race.  To a certain degree some of these may be applied to all living things, but only to a certain extent and varies depending on specific situations.

2) CITIZENS RIGHTS-  Are granted by a governing body with the legal authority over a specified jurisdiction, to individuals identified as part of the recognized civil population.  These Rights can vary greatly, depending on the source of Authority.  i.e (Constitutional Republic, Monarchy
Oligarchy, Dictatorial etc.)

This brings us to the concept of CIVIL RIGHTS, which is basically a sub-category
of CITIZENS RIGHTS. The main difference is;

     -  Rights given to all Citizens may include the ability to chose a System of Morality and/or Faith that is constructed by the individual, and is not interfered with by the State.  Further, that one cannot be held either Criminally or Civilly for Behavior or Speech that others consider offensive.

      -  Civil Rights are guarantees set up by the State/Government, that protect individuals from Malicious, Discriminatory, Arbitrary and Hateful acts that target them specifically as a single person or as part of a group.  These Rights apply to 
both the Public and Private sectors.  Civil Rights are basically set up to"Level the Playing Field", in which no single person or group has an unfair advantage over other parts of society.

However they are applied, not all Rights are created equal.  Some can never be taken away, Some are Valid only in certain cases and others may be given up voluntarily.

There is one main rule that applies to all Rights:  NO ONE CAN EXERCISE A RIGHT, WHICH AT THE SAME TIME VIOLATES THE RIGHTS OF OTHERS.
End of PT 2.






ETHICS AND MORALITY. 

RIGHTS- WHAT THEY ARE, AND WHAT THEY ARE NOT. PT 3.

Right, Human Rights, Human, Hands, Wrap
Can we break down the Hierarchy of which Category of Rights is the most important, and can supersede the others?  Yes, it is possible to do this, and the following is the result of such an analysis.

HUMAN RIGHTS-  Must, by their very nature, rank as #1.  They are the only Category of Rights that is binding on all Countries, States and Governments.  This is the goal of the United Nations Commission on Human Rights, to create and enforce Laws that bind the people of all nations to a Universal set of Moral Standards in the proper treatment of every member of the Human race.

Further, that these are Rights that cannot be relinquished, even on a voluntary basis. THE BOTTOM LINE- HUMAN RIGHTS CANNOT BE DENIED, LOST OR GIVEN UP, REGARDLESS OF CIRCUMSTANCES.

CIVIL RIGHTS-  Are a sub-category of CITIZENS RIGHTS, but are placed on a level higher in importance. Citizens Rights may include such things as Freedom of Speech, Religion, Assembly etc., but may not be legally applied in every situation. This is where the Category of Civil Rights can be found.  Consider the following : 

        Example #1-  Freedom of Religion allows you to believe and promote a certain set of Moral Values.  However, the application of such values in the Public Sector may not be considered Legal.

        Example #2-  Freedom of Speech permits you to advocate and relay information to other people.  However, the Legal System may create limits on the How, When and Where such information is disseminated.

        Example #3-  Freedom of Assembly-  Allows you to Come Together and/or Associate with other like minded individuals.  A Legal problem may arise if these meetings are used for planning Criminal Activities, or for the purpose of creating situations that have a detrimental affect on other persons and groups.

These examples have one main goal:  That Government has a Moral duty to its citizens and society at large, to create restrictions on Individual Rights, for the benefit of all.
End of PT 3.










ETHICS AND MORALITY.

MORAL COWARDICE-  WHEN YOU SACRIFICE YOUR PRINCIPLES,
SO NOT TO OFFEND.  PT 1.

Books, Old Books, Reading, Literature, Education, Read

While writing about Political Issues through the years, one recurring theme I find most disturbing;  MANY AMERICANS DEMAND THAT THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS REVEAL AND STAND BY A SET OF MORAL PRINCIPLES THAT ARE EASILY IDENTIFIABLE AND UNCHANGING. YET, ARE AFRAID TO FOLLOW THIS LINE OF REASONING IN THEIR OWN LIVES.

Many individuals are deathly afraid to reveal their personal beliefs on Religion and Morality, in fear that their family or friends will ostracize them.                                                 

This has always fascinated me.  Why would any person deceive others, just to maintain a relationship built on lies?  Yes, I understand that a Human Being is essentially a Social Animal, and the need to be accepted is a fundamental desire. However, what do you sacrifice, in the name of being part of a particular social circle?

This has always fascinated me.  Why would any person deceive others, just to maintain a relationship built on lies?  Yes, I understand that a Human Being is essentially a Social Animal, and the need to be accepted is a fundamental desire. However, what do you sacrifice, in the name of being part of a particular social circle?

To be clear, I am not including the individual who is trying to interact with an extremist group, or others that are clearly irrational in nature.  Sexists, Homophobes, Religious Fanatics, Xenophobes etc., are examples of Mindsets based on Fear, Hate and a general loathing of Humanity.

This article is to ask why an Intelligent and Caring person would decide to mask their beliefs, which are genuine in nature, from those that mean the most to them.

Let me ask a question, to all of my readers. Think of the people you are closest to,they may be a relative, or a friend.  By close, I mean an individual that you consider a close confidant, in that their advice would be considered a prominent part of any important decision that you make.  Would you be afraid of offending them, if they found out that there were certain moral absolutes that you were not in agreement?

Look for PT 2.

Date-  4/10/2014.

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ETHICS AND MORALITY. 

MORAL COWARDICE.  WHEN YOU SACRIFICE YOUR PRINCIPLES,

SO NOT TO OFFEND. PT 2.

Friends, Lost, People Talking

A major part of the work that goes into publishing this site, is keeping up with current news and events.

However, it also means confronting and understanding opposing viewpoints, not only of those I have never met, but also friends and family.  What I have found to be most interesting is the reluctance of some to voice an opinion, if they are aware of those with a dissenting point of view being present.

I understand that many people will go out of their way to avoid confrontation.  The desire to be liked and accepted is so strong in some individuals, that they will try to find a way to make everyone happy. This includes being a passive witness and listener, even when someone is ridiculing and disrespecting an opinion or belief they hold dear.  Even more disturbing, this can extend to the point of ignoring inaccurate or wrong information being transmitted to others, by an individual who clearly does not understand the facts of a given situation.

I have often found this to be true of a person promoting an idea that supports a certain world view that cannot stand up to close scrutiny.  They bend or distort information in a way that fits neatly with their conception of reality, even if it violates the Rules of Logic and Critical Thinking.

Now the point of confronting such irrational and clearly invalid lines of reasoning, is not to attempt to change the mind of the offending individual.  Usually, this would be a pointless exercise, for they have already exhibited a capacity to ignore anything that would conflict with their viewpoint.  As we have seen, especially when we examine certain decisions made by Juries in Criminal Trials, that some people lack the ability or willingness to make decisions in a rational manner.
Look for PT 3.





ETHICS AND MORALITY. 


MORAL COWARDICE-  WHEN YOU SACRIFICE YOUR PRINCIPLES,
SO NOT TO OFFEND. PT 3.                                

Man, Silhouette, Embrace, InternetIn Today's Political Environment, as has happened in the recent past, the vicious nature of public commentary is again forcing Rational Discourse to the sidelines.  You cannot turn on the Radio or Television, without hearing the incoherent rambling of some Political Pundit.  Insults, Threats and Bad Information are the norm. Modern Technology has changed the very nature of how Political and Social debate is now conducted in the Public Spectrum, in comparison to Decades past. I am of course referring to Cable Television and the Internet.

Before the worldwide expansion of the Internet, and the introduction of Cable Television into private homes, Political News, Commentary and Review Programs represented a very small part of what was broadcast over the air.  Prior to the 1980s most homes received programming from the three major Networks: CBS, NBC and ABC, and maybe several local UHF Channels and PBS.  Legendary shows such as SEE IT NOW, SIXTY MINUTES, MACNEIL\ LEHRER and the National Evening News provided the vast majority of Over the Air viewing regarding Political News and Information. 

Additionally, Newspapers and Magazines, once Bastions of "In- Depth" Investigative Reporting and "From the Scene" Articles , are now struggling to stay afloat financially. The Reason: In the past, these elements of the Media prided themselves on the Professionalism, Integrity, Honesty and Accuracy of the information they presented to the public, and this led to the trust and esteem that the News Media relied on to succeed.

Unfortunately, the proliferation of so-called "News Stations and Programs", and the ability to place anything on the Internet regardless of Truth or Lack of Critical Construction or Validity, has led to the rapid increase in Bogus, Irrational, Racist, Bigoted, Homophobic etc. news items.  Such Reporting will never make it past the Editorial Standards of true Journalistic Professionals, who value truth and integrity.

The real sadness is not the Irrational or Closed- Minded people who report and thrive off the Hate and Misery they feel, and want to inflict on others through false and misleading information.  These people have probably always been with us, and maybe always will.  However, Moral Cowardice does not challenge or refute information known to be wrong, and allows this Bullying of the Innocent to continue without confrontation or contradiction.
Look for PT 4.









ETHICS AND MORALITY.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE? PT 1.
Sun, Meadow, Only, Landscape, Nature











It is Suppose to be one of the Most "HUMANE" Acts one Person can do for another.  That no Matter How Much you have been hurt by SOMEONE ELSE, be it MENTAL , PHYSICAL, OR BOTH, TO "FORGIVE" THE ACTIONS AGAINST YOU IS CONSIDERED TO BE NOBLE AND VIRTUOUS. 

Yet, at the same Time, even though "FORGIVENESS" IS SUPPOSE TO BE A VOLUNTARY DECISION BY THE "VICTIM,"  IF IT IS NOT OFFERED, THE ONE WHO HAS BEEN HARMED IS CONSIDERED TO HAVE COMMITTED A MORAL TRANSGRESSION AGAINST THE ONE WHO VICTIMIZED THEM.

It is a Fascinating example of how Some People Believe that taking the "HIGH ROAD," especially if They are Talking about someone elses Victimization, must be part of the ROAD TO RECOVERY IN OVERCOMING THE PAIN AND ANGUISH THAT HAS BEEN INFLICTED ON THEM.

HOWEVER, JUST WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE ANOTHER?  Does it Mean the Same Thing to Everyone, or DOES THE DEFINITION OF "FORGIVENESS" CHANGE DEPENDING ON THOSE INVOLVED, OR PERHAPS THE SITUATION/EVENT THAT LED UP TO SUCH A DECISION POSSIBLY BEING MADE.

Lets Create a Basic Example.

-  An Individual Decides to Act in a Way that is considered a FREE CHOICE.

-  This Action may result in the Direct Harming of Another, and it is 
a possibility that any Reasonable Person would be aware of.

-  Ignoring the Possible Consequences, the Individual Acts, and Harm
comes to someone else, who in no way contributed to the NEGATIVE 
RESULT that has been Inflicted on Them.

STOPPING HERE, UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES OR DEVELOPMENTS WOULD YOU WOULD YOU CONSIDER "FORGIVENESS" AS A JUSTIFIED EXPECTATION OF THE "TRANSGRESSOR,"  AND A MORAL REQUIREMENT OF THE "VICTIM?"  IF SO, WHAT WOULD "FORGIVENESS" CONSIST OF.

END OF PART 1.






ETHICS AND MORALITY. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE? PT 2.


Woman, Thoughtful, Pensive, Young, Face

I Ended Part 1 with an example, and a "WHAT WOULD YOU DO?" Question.  However, You may have noticed that Answering such a Challenge isn't easy.  Nor should it be.  "FORGIVENESS" is not the Simplistic Concept Many would have you believe, for it contains Different Elements and Levels that are Unique to each Situation.

Those who believe that Short and Quick Resolutions are the Answer to Resolving Conflicts, sometime begin Their Advice with words like the following;

-  "He's really sorry for what he did, you should forgive him."

-  "She's not like that usually, it won't happen again, don't worry about it."

-  "You pushed the Wrong Buttons, you know how they are.  Watch it 
next time."

THIRD PARTY INDIVIDUALS are usually the ones to offer such "ADVICE."  Either by Design, Ignorance or Fear, They seek to place the BURDEN OF RESOLVING THE SITUATION ON THOSE WHO HAVE BEEN HARMED, OFTEN WITHOUT ANY SANCTIONS AGAINST THOSE WHO HAVE CAUSED THE SUFFERING. 

It is just another CASE OF BLAMING THE VICTIM.

So where do We Start?  How and When should "FORGIVENESS" BE OFFERED, AND UNDER WHAT CIRCUMSTANCES?

How about Defining "FORGIVE."

THIS IS THE DEFINITION TAKEN FROM THE MERRIAM- WEBSTER DICTIONARY.

: to stop feeling anger toward (someone who has done something wrong) 
: to stop blaming (someone)
: to stop feeling anger about (something) : to forgive someone for (something wrong)

THIS IS TAKEN FROM THE UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA- BERKELEY "GREATER GOOD."  THE SCIENCE OF A MEANINGFUL LIFE, WEBSITE.

What Is Forgiveness?
Psychologists generally define forgiveness as a conscious, deliberate decision to release feelings of resentment or vengeance toward a person or group who has harmed you, regardless of whether they actually deserve your forgiveness.


These Definitions are fairly close to others I came across, and all have Basically the same things in common.

HOWEVER, THERE ARE TWO IMPORTANT THINGS THAT SHOULD BE NOTICED:

-  BOTH DEFINITIONS REQUIRE NOTHING FROM THE INDIVIDUAL(S) WHO HAVE CAUSED THE PHYSICAL OR MENTAL TRAUMA.

-  BOTH USE THE TERM "FEELINGS,"  AS A NEGATIVE DESCRIPTION REGARDING HOW THE VICTIM CONTINUES TO PERCEIVE THE PERSON AND ACTIONS THAT HAVE HURT THEM.

THIS LEADS US TO THE FOLLOWING:

IS "FORGIVENESS" JUST ANOTHER FORM OF "ACCEPTANCE," SINCE NOTHING HAS CHANGED IN THE DYNAMIC BETWEEN THE "VICTIM" AND THE "PERPETRATOR?"

WHY IS CONTINUING TO JUDGE THOSE WHO HAVE HARMED YOU SOMETHING THAT MUST BE OVERCOME, IF THE INDIVIDUAL(S) INVOLVED HAVE NOT ALTERED THEIR PERSONAL BEHAVIOR, WHICH MAY CONTINUE TO CAUSE PAIN AND SUFFERING TO YOU AND OTHERS? 

END OF PT 2.










ETHICS AND MORALITY. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE? PT 3.

Men, Thinking, Man, Thinking Man, Male

Unfortunately, it seems that the Definition of FORGIVENESS IGNORES TOO MANY IMPORTANT FACTORS. We are expected to apply it to ALL SITUATIONS IN WHICH HARM HAS BEEN INFLICTED UPON US, EITHER DIRECTLY, OR THROUGH THE HURT AND PAIN CAUSED TO OTHERS WHOSE PERSONAL WELFARE AFFECTS US EMOTIONALLY AND/OR INTELLECTUALLY.

Yet not every Situation is the Same, and Certain Important Details are often Ignored.  As I Mentioned Earlier, This Includes the Future Actions of Those Who have Caused Harm, and whether or not there is any Adjustment in the Type of Personal Behavior that led to the Negative Consequences that were Inflicted on Those Innocent of any Immoral or Illegal Behavior.

However, that is the Final Evaluation;

-  After the Act has been Committed.

-  When the Affects of such Behavior have become known,
at least the Physical, on the Victim(s). ( Mentally, the Victim 
may Suffer Ill- Effects for Years, which may not always be Readily Apparent.)

-  Once Punishment, (Through the Legal System) , has been Exacted.

-  WHEN RESTITUTION , if it is Possible, is made to make THE VICTIM WHOLE, or as Close To as is Possible.

However, that is all Done AFTER THE FACT.  It is at This Point that the Expectation of FORGIVENESS is Usually Confronted, whether or not it 
should be Offered, and if not, WHY?

THIS TYPE OF REASONING EXCLUDES THE MOST IMPORTANT ASPECT
OF ALL, WHEN WE JUDGE THE ACTIONS OF ANOTHER:  

WHAT LED TO BEHAVIOR THAT CAUSED INJURY OR SUFFERING, AND 
HOW DOES THIS MITIGATE OR ALTER THE DEGREE TO WHICH WE HOLD THE INDIVIDUAL RESPONSIBLE FOR ANY NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES RESULTING FROM THEIR ACTIONS.


IT IS THE IDEA OF JUDGING THE INTENT VS JUDGING THE OUTCOME.

END OF PT 3.







ETHICS AND MORALITY.  WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO FORGIVE? PT 4.

Girl, Beauty, Beautiful Girl, Female

IT IS THE IDEA OF JUDGING THE INTENT VS JUDGING THE OUTCOME.

That I Believe, is the Reason there is so much Confusion, Anxiety, and Distress when it comes to the Concept of Forgiveness.

Why?  Consider the Following.

-  WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN FORGIVING AN INDIVIDUAL WHO COMMITS AN IMMORAL ACT THAT RESULTS IN CATASTROPHIC NEGATIVE CONSEQUENCES, AND ANOTHER PERSON WHO COMMITS THE SAME ACT, WHICH DOES NOT RESULT IN ANY MEANINGFUL HARM TO ANYONE?

-  IS A PERSON WHO SETS OUT TO HURT ANOTHER BY COMMITTING OR PERFORMING CERTAIN ACTIONS, LESS DESERVING OF FORGIVENESS THAN ANOTHER WHO ACTED IN THE SAME MANNER, BUT DID NOT WANT TO CAUSE SUFFERING?

-  IS FORGIVENESS A GIFT YOU GIVE ANOTHER REGARDLESS OF THE PARTICULAR ACT THAT CAUSED UNWANTED PAIN AND SUFFERING?

-  IS GENUINE REGRET, BECAUSE OF AN EMPATHETIC EPIPHANY THAT WAS NOT EXPRESSED EARLIER, A REASON FOR FORGIVENESS?

-  SHOULD YOU FORGIVE ANOTHER, IF THEY ACCEPT NO RESPONSIBILITY FOR THEIR ACTIONS?

FINALLY, IF A PERSON CHOOSES NOT TO FORGIVE ANOTHER, CAN THEIR DECISION BE CONSIDERED IMMORAL?






ETHICS AND MORALITY. PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD. PART 1.



Clouds, Air, Storm, Orange, Blue

Why is it that people with certain Moral Beliefs, automatically feel it is their mission to see that others also adopt this same ETHICAL SYSTEM?

What is even more Disturbing, is their desire to see it instituted into Law, either by Statute or Judicial Decree.  Unfortunately, the Lack of Freedom to Choose never seems to bother them, unless it inhibits their own ability to make Individual Decisions.

FREEDOM OF RELIGION, AS A RIGHT, INCLUDES THE ABILITY TO OBEY OR DISOBEY ANY FORM OF RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE.  IT IS NOT A MATTER OF SELECTING WHICH FORMS OF FAITH CAN BE LEGALIZED, AND ADJUSTING THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM TO CONFORM.  NONE OF THEM ARE TO BE PART OF ANY CODE OF LAW, BECAUSE THE CONCEPT OF 'FREEDOM OF RELIGION' WOULD BE MEANINGLESS. 

A Response to this could be something like : "The Word of God is Absolute, we must Convert or Convince others that their only hope for Salvation is accepting Scripture, and Submitting to Gods Will."

This type of Response makes the following Assumptions;

-  DEFINING "GOD" IS THEIR RESPONSIBILITY, AND MUST BE ACCEPTED.

-  That Their DEFINITION OF GOD IS THE CORRECT ONE.

-  THAT FAITH ALONE IS REQUIRED AND NECESSARY.  NO LOGICAL PROOFS, OR SCIENTIFIC METHODOLOGY IS NEEDED TO "KNOW THE TRUTH."

-  That GOD HAS REVEALED INSTRUCTIONS FOR A MORAL LIFE, THROUGH INTERPRETATIONS OF SPECIFIC TEXTS, WHICH MUST BE ACCEPTED AS TRUE AND INFALLIBLE.

-  "SALVATION" IS A DESIRABLE GOAL , THAT CAN ONLY BE ACHIEVED BY OBEYING THESE INSTRUCTIONS.

Now there is nothing UNCONSTITUTIONAL OR ILLEGAL about believing any of the above.  A FREE SOCIETY allows each of us to find answers on our own, and being able to share our BELIEFS OR FAITH with others.

HOWEVER, THERE IS A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CONVERTING OR CONVINCING SOMEONE TO ACT OR BELIEVE CERTAIN RELIGIOUS DEFINITIONS OR ABSOLUTES VOLUNTARILY, AND FORCING THEM TO THROUGH THREATS OF CRIMINAL OR CIVIL SANCTIONS INSTITUTED INTO LAW.

LOOK FOR PT 2 IN A FUTURE POST.  








ETHICS AND MORALITY. PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD. PART 2.



Coastal Landscape, Sea, Mediterranean


Unfortunately, throughout Human History, Many Religions and Faiths 
have exported Their Religious Beliefs and Practices at the point of a Sword.  Adapt or Die.

Sometimes it is Different Denominations or Sects within the Same RELIGION, supposedly Worshiping the same GOD, who have engaged in Fights to the Death.

Yet, there are cases of Empires and Nations showing Tolerance to the Belief Systems of People who Inhabit recently acquired Territory or Land.

What causes One form of Government to behave in a manner that Persecutes, and another to show Understanding and Acceptance?


I think it may lie with THE RELATIONSHIP WITH GOD, OR THE DOCTRINE OF FAITH THAT IS ESPOUSED BY THOSE IN POWER OR AUTHORITY, THAT WILL GIVE US AN INDICATION OF HOW OPPOSITION RELIGIOUS GROUPS WILL BE TREATED.

To Clarify, consider the following Two examples.

Government # 1 is Ceded Land that was Formerly controlled by an opposing Nation.  This Government is now responsible for Administering and Enforcing Economic, Social and Legal Programs that are part of its Infrastructure, into the Newly Acquired Territory.

There is a Problem;  The Dominant Religion in this Area, by number of Adherents, is Relatively Small compared to other Faiths within Government #1's Borders.

However, the New Government has a Policy that Recognizes the Following:  THAT LAWS GOVERNING MORAL BEHAVIOR AND RELIGIOUS FAITH, ONLY ADDRESS ISSUES THAT WILL AFFECT THE STABILITY OR PROPER FUNCTION OF THE PRESENT FORM OF AUTHORITY. This may include such Concepts as CIVIL RIGHTS, TAXATION, CRIMINAL ACTS etc.

THIS GIVES US THE FOLLOWING:  RELIGIOUS FAITH AND WORSHIP ARE MORALLY NEUTRAL CONCEPTS LEFT TO INDIVIDUAL EVALUATION, AND ARE NOT TO BE SANCTIONED OR PUNISHED UNLESS THEY INTERFERE WITH THE GOVERNMENTS ABILITY TO SUCCESSFULLY OPERATE.

LOOK FOR THE SECOND EXAMPLE, ALONG WITH THE COMPARISON AND DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE TWO, IN PART 3.





ETHICS AND MORALITY. PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD. PT 3.


The Clouds, Clouds, Sky, Heaven, White

In Part Two, we examined a Government that allows those living within its Boundaries, the opportunity to Worship Freely, and in the Manner they choose, free of Official Interference.  This Policy is Subject to Obeying Civil Laws, designed to preserve the Safety and Stability of the Standing Government.

The Moral Standard that this Type of Government Policy is Endorsing, regarding the extent of Permissible Religious Behavior and Activities to be left undisturbed, can be related as:

The Concept that Ethical and Moral Behavior, in how one chooses to live Their Life, is Meaningless if one is not free to select an Alternative without outside Intervention.  In Other Words, Coming to God and Obeying Specific Doctrines, cannot be Truly an Act of Devotion and Belief, if FORCE OR THE THREAT OF PUNISHMENT COMES FROM GOVERNMENT SOURCES.

The Government in example #1 is Defining GOD on a Very Personal Level, leaving as much as possible to Individual Interpretation, only Intervening when the Safety of All is at Risk.

NOW, let us create a second example.

The Scenario:  After an Extensive Conflict, a Peace Treaty is Drawn up between Two Countries.  In the Treaty, a Community that Lies within the Physical Boundaries of Nation A, is now to come under the Rule of Nation B, due to the Physical Borders being Altered.

This Community had been living under the Laws of Nation A, which has a Policy regarding Religious Freedom similar to that of the Country described in the First Example.

However, in this Second Example, the New Government believes that GOD GUIDES THEM DIRECTLY, AND THIS IS EXEMPLIFIED IN THEIR CODE OF LAW,  WHICH ALLOWS DIRECT INTERVENTION AGAINST ANYONE WHO DOES NOT OBEY RELIGIOUS DOCTRINE SET BY "DIVINE INSPIRATION", AS INTERPRETED BY RELIGIOUS HIERARCHY.









ETHICS AND MORALITY. PERSONAL ETHICS VS INSTITUTIONAL ETHICS, OR FINDING GOD VS FORCING GOD. PT 4.

Landscape, Blue Sky, Clouds, View, Hills

From the Two Examples, we get the Basic Controversy that exists in the U.S. Today, as well as many Nations around the World that try to separate Religious Belief, Tradition, and Form of Worship outside the Realm of Government Control;

To what Degree does Legal and Lawful Authority have over the Religious Lives of Those who live within its Borders.  What is Permissible, and free from Government Intervention, and what Constitutes Criminal or Undesirable Activity that must be Controlled or Stopped.

Remember, in part Two we had a New Government that wanted to leave as many Personal Moral Decisions as possible in the hands of the Individual, Free of Possible Intervention or Sanction.  In part Three we had just the opposite, a New Government that wanted to control the Religious and Spiritual Lives of Those within its Borders, to the Point of Punishing those who will not follow a Specific Mandate about correct Moral Behavior.

However, within the U.S., THERE IS A PROBLEM THAT TAKES THESE TYPES OF SCENARIOS, AND REVERSES THEM;  INDIVIDUALS AND GROUPS THAT BELIEVE THAT THEIR RIGHT TO RELIGIOUS FREEDOM ENTITLES THEM NOT ONLY TO WORSHIP AND BELIEVE AS THEY SO CHOSE, BUT THAT THEIR ELECTED OFFICIALS MUST LEGISLATE THESE DOCTRINES INTO LAW, MAKING IT ILLEGAL NOT TO FOLLOW A SPECIFIC CODE OF ETHICAL OR MORAL CONDUCT.

It often Amazes me the number of people who claim to follow "THE PATH OF GOD", OR "FOLLOW THE TEACHINGS OF THE LORD", who will scream the loudest if they believe that Their Rights are being violated, YET SEEK TO FORCE EVERYONE TO OBEY THEIR OWN PERSONAL FORM OF RELIGIOUS BELIEF.
TO THEM THE "PATH" OR "FOLLOW", IS NOT TO BE LEFT TO INDIVIDUAL CHOICE.

Now, in the U.S., this wouldn't be a Problem if Elected and/or Appointed Officials Actually Understood or Believed in the CONSTITUTIONAL GUARANTEE OF RELIGIOUS FREEDOM, WITHOUT GOVERNMENT INTERFERENCE.

UNFORTUNATELY, TO ACHIEVE THE POWER AND PRESTIGE THAT COMES WITH HOLDING PUBLIC OFFICE, MANY AMERICANS ARE WILLING TO TOSS OUT THE CONCEPT OF "FREEDOM OF RELIGION", TO APPEASE THOSE WHO WANT TO LIVE IN A THEOCRACY OF THEIR OWN CREATION.