Tue 7 Apr, 2015 10:18 am
OpEd to Victorville, Ca Daily Press
Open letter to the Educational Establishment and The Media:
Not much hope ever reasoning with fanatics, as we infer from "Gunman Massacre was government official's son" Aptil 6, as "One of the gunmen who slaughtered 148 people...the...son of a Kenyan Government official, ...Abdirahim Abdullahi....with a law degree...was seen as a 'brilliant upcoming lawyer'.... separated...and massacred the Christians."
Then in "Dogma and the FFRF" March 6 Nancy Oswald reminds us how we're hopelessly split between religious dogma on one hand and virulent atheism on the other--a position to which each of is indoctrinated in childhood and clings tenaciously the rest of his life. In precisely this connection, "Lake Illusion" March 12 by Richard Cooper, regarding ".... the certainty with which we should hold our beliefs" as adults, goes on to assert, "...we have no way of knowing whether our thought are either rational or responsible....Therefore we should always proceed with caution and humility when acting out...."
Bingo! War, bigotry, terrorism and maybe even crime might stop, Rich, the world becoming a paradise, if only we could only somehow convey this obvious cognition (of you and me anyhow) to the rest of the world--to folk such as the young Kenyan scholar cited above. Clearly it's a matter of education, but early on.
Myself, as a kid I was an avowed atheist lib, but as I matured, reading at least the third para of each news story, every day your fine OPINION page, and even a few pieces in Saturday's RELIGION, I gradually swung con; except for a morality still tinged blue: Certain inescapable arguments of the orthodox have set me to thinking outside the agnostic position of my parents, Now I'd agree there's something not yet understood which you might befittingly but asexually label "God," depending on your exact defs. After all, it was She who invented sex, alcohol, hops.
Thus you guys left and right, believer and doubter, are daily persuading us to take sides in a struggle to improve a humanity that Daniel B. Jeffs in "President and leftist Dems" same day, describes as "...a superficial society of social injustice, political chaos, selfish interests, economic instability/uncertainty....a nation of fools by indoctrination,.....deceptions, lies....loss of freedoms...," concluding with a vague call for " "Strong language and action...." --presumably however of the legislative sort--radical legislation that will make us all good.
No, in fact we're over-regulated, says Daniel Jeffs in "President Obama's poison pens" March 1 with, "...government abuse of power...environmental extremists....with land grabs...over-regulation..," then (very next LETTER) Bob Mosca in "The changing of America,....as we witness one liberty after another banished...God given rights..." --while some of the rest of us hope that somehow the churches will intervene.
So Why are we so bad? How can we change? Should we pray? No, let's just pass more laws! Or maybe ease up a bit as suggested Jan. 9, "Questions for a nominee," by George F. Will: On one hand that we're overly judgmental; e.g.,"Civil forfeiture treats citizens worse than criminals...Is it time to consider decriminalizing some controlled substances?" while on the other concluding that something must be done "...to radically change our system..."
Yes, but what, George? Okay, I might be tempted to try pot. But golly, dudes, certainly your religion hasn't been very successful. "Lake Illusion" March 12 by Richard Cooper, questions ".... the certainty with which we should hold our beliefs," and goes on to assert, "...we have no way of knowing whether our thought are either rational or responsible....Therefore we should always proceed with caution and humility when acting out…."
Bingo! War, bigotry, terrorism and maybe even crime might stop, Rich, the world becoming a paradise, if only we could only somehow convey this obvious cognition (of you and me anyhow) to the rest of the world. Clearly it's a matter of education, but early on.
So it's obvious to some of us that the only feasible approach lies not in the courts or churches but in our educational system. By the time they reach teenhood or college age it's usually too late (as with those Easterly murderers of anyone professing Christianity), but the receptivity of grade-school kids is widely underestimated, they're a lot smarter than we think (or at least I was).
Starting even as early as first grade, set 'em to thinking about life, when to entertain your opponent's argument, to do the 'right thing,' and what happens to you if you don't. And it's okay, my lad, to doubt a few things about Mom and Pop's faith, especially in view of their private behavior.
This would of entail a certain philosophical approach exposing these youngsters to a variety of opinion not necessarily shared by their parents and certainly not by the entrenched political and immensely powerful religious factions. So our first job--impossible?--is to address political prejudice and the absolutism of religion, if not fanaticism. Guys, can't you see how you've lodged yourself in some arbitrary set of opinion or belief? If you're brought up by environment A you will defend, perhaps to the death, positions w, x, y, and z, praising God in the process; but if B, then m, n, o, and p, God be damned. But how can we reach 'em?
Good lord, I dunno, but I'm sure the Media have to be deeply involved. Hence this feeble effort. So maybe some of us could eventually make a worldwide difference in humanoid behavior--those of us who ourselves have come about to a more rational approach (like me, of course). Let's suppose we could somehow get through to the kids in North Korea, show them how the standoffish, repressive behavior of their leaders seems so very silly to the world's democracies. In the extreme case, we'd show the young ISIS just now learning how to murder the rest of us supposedly in the Name of God: Woah, fella, stop and think. Suppose you had instead been born in Illinois to Christian parents....
Here I've posted a prop that could save mankind; yet after 52 viewings no response
Is it too long
Am I fullovit, don't hesitate, I won't be offended
Its to long to read so I think you should make summary of it so that readers can read that easily.